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- Suresh Jaura
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SRI LANKA: NEWS BRIEFS

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LKR 425 billion spent in last five years for development in Northeast: Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Economic Development Nihal Somaweera said that the Government had set aside LKR 425 billion for the reconstruction activities in the Northern and Eastern Provinces from the year 2006 to 2011. The Government has spent a large portion of the money for resettlement, de-mining, reconstruction and welfare activities. He also claimed that 95 percent of the reconstruction activities in the two provinces have been completed. Colombo Page, March 30, 2012.

War crimes against Tamils: India votes against Sri Lanka in UN: On Sri Lanka's day of reckoning in Geneva on March 22, India dumped its neighbour and friend for thousands of years. United Nations' top human rights body passed a US-backed resolution censuring the island nation and it was India that cast the crucial vote, as it joined 23 other countries to tilt the outcome against Colombo. The resolution went through despite Sri Lanka and its allies on the 47-member council fiercely resisting the move. By voting against Sri Lanka, India broke away from a long held tradition of not voting for country-specific resolutions. Read more
[Source: India Today]

Resolution against Sri Lanka adopted at UNHRC: The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on March 22 adopted a resolution proposed by the United States with 24 votes in favor, 15 against and eight abstentions. In a resolution (A/HRC/19/L.2/Rev1), regarding promoting reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka, the Council notes with concern that the report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) of Sri Lanka does not adequately address serious allegations of violations of international law. The resolution calls upon the Government of Sri Lanka to implement the constructive recommendations made in the report of the LLRC session. Colombo Page, March 23, 2012.

Army to submit action plan for LLRC implementation: An Action Plan detailing how recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) report could be implemented in the country's North, will soon be handed over to the Ministry of Defense by Sri Lanka Army. Acting Spokesman for the Sri Lanka Army (SLA), Brigadier G V Ravipriya, on March 12 said a board comprising senior officers of the SLA formulated the Action Plan on how to implement the recommendations stipulated in the LLRC report. Army Commander Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya had appointed the board about a month ago to formulate the Action Plan, he said. Daily News, March 13, 2012.

LTTE fast fading in Germany, says Sri Lanka's ambassador to Germany Sarath Kongahage: Sri Lanka's ambassador to Germany, Sarath Kongahage, said that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and its sympathisers are fast fading in Germany. Several attempts made by them to raise funds by holding campaigns have failed. Daily News, March 10, 2012.

Separatist activists and LTTE supporters at work in Australia, says media spokesperson for Sri Lankan Australians in Melbourne: Media spokesperson for Sri Lankan Australians in Melbourne, Nagesha Wickramasuriya, said that separatist activists and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) supporters are attempting to lobby support from federal Parliamentarians in Australia into making a statement. They are also trying to pressurize the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to take action against Sri Lanka. Daily News, March 9, 2012.

TNA split into three factions, says report: The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has split to three factions. The three factions are led by incumbent leader R. Sampanthan, Suresh Premachandran and Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam. Reportedly, the other two factions have blamed TNA leader R. Sampanthan for TNA rejecting to participate in the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. Colombo Page, March 5, 2012.

Army to scale down its presence in North and East: Army Commander Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya said that the Army is to scale down its presence in the Northern and Eastern Provinces. The Army is now completely ready for far-reaching reforms in its structural composition regarding ground realities, security and needs of island-wide ongoing development projects, he added. Colombo Page, March 3, 2012.

Terrorism countered without any racial discrimination, says President Mahinda Rajapaksa: President Mahinda Rajapaksa on February 28 said that the Protest in North and East along with other parts of country on February 27, irrespective of all differences, against a resolution before the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva against Sri Lanka proved that ruthless terrorism was defeated without rousing racist passions by the State. The President also stated that the international community does not have a genuine desire to build unity among peoples of this country. Daily News, February 29, 2012.

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