UN to review Sri Lankas rights record in November

Sri Lanka’s human rights record will come under review in November during the Universal Periodic Review (UPR).Burundi, Korea and Bolivia forma a Troika which will review and submit a report on Sri Lanka in November. The UPR is a unique process which involves a review of the human rights records of all UN Member States. The UPR was created through the UN General Assembly on 15 March 2006 by resolution 60/251, which established the Human Rights Council itself. It is a cooperative process which, by October 2011, has reviewed the human rights records of all 193 UN Member States. Currently, no other universal mechanism of this kind exists.The UPR is one of the key elements of the Council which reminds States of their responsibility to fully respect and implement all human rights and fundamental freedoms. The ultimate aim of this mechanism is to improve the human rights situation in all countries and address human rights violations wherever they occur. (Colombo Gazette) The UPR is a State-driven process, under the auspices of the Human Rights Council, which provides the opportunity for each State to declare what actions they have taken to improve the human rights situations in their countries and to fulfil their human rights obligations. As one of the main features of the Council, the UPR is designed to ensure equal treatment for every country when their human rights situations are assessed. read more

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President says not aware permission was needed to repaint State House

President David Granger earlier today (Wednesday) stated clearly that he is not aware that permission needs to be sought from the National Trust for Government to repaint monumental buildings around Georgetown and as such, maintained that he has not broken any law.State House being repaintedJust last week, the APNU/AFC Administration came in for heavy criticisms after it bypassed the National Trust and began changing the colour of State House from white to green – the dominant colour of the People’s National Congress and A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), both of which the president is leader.In response to a question from a member of the media, Granger, today, said he is concerned about “preserving heritage” which is why a decision was taken to have several significant structures in the city repaired and repainted.“I am not aware that repair, there is lots of rot and some of the windows have fallen out and the decision was taken to repair the rotting board and repaint it… We have historical buildings all across the country [and] some of them are collapsing. I weep when I see the condition of the city, St George’s Cathedral, and I am very concerned about preserving heritage; that is why I am repairing State House,” he told media operatives during a side interview.On Friday last, when asked whether State House was going green, Granger stated “Guyana is going green” as he walked away from media operatives, chuckling.Since the APNU/AFC coalition came into Government, it has been actively repainting several public buildings using the colour green.The National Trust of Guyana was established following the passage of the National Trust Act, No 7 of 1972. The Act “makes provision for the preservation of monuments, sites, places and objects of historic interest or national importance”.According to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Trust, Nirvanie Persaud, while repair works are welcomed, major construction and repainting must be communicated to the entity, in accordance with the law.As such, she told media operatives that a letter was penned to the Ministry of the Presidency (MotP) seeking an explanation as to the reason for the colour change at State House.However, today, Granger told media operatives that he has not seen such a letter.“I have not received a letter from the National Trust.  I am not aware a law has been broken, I am not aware,” he maintained. (Ramona Luthi) Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedPresident yet to engage AFC on LGE even though APNU consultations have startedApril 11, 2018In “latest news”No ‘compulsion’ for the Cummingsburg Accord to be reviewed- PresidentFebruary 14, 2018In “latest news”Red House debacle: Injustice of an oppressive Govt will be recognised- JagdeoDecember 30, 2016In “latest news” read more

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UPDATED Three dead 140 injured in Boston Marathon blasts

first_imgInitially posted 20.07; Updated 07.00TWO EXPLOSIONS CAUSED devastation at the finish line of the Boston Marathon Monday afternoon, resulting in three deaths and dozens more injuries.US media outlets, citing a law enforcement source who was briefed on the investigation, are reporting that an 8-year-old boy is among the dead.Authorities confirmed that at least three people died in the explosions. About 140 more were injured. It is understood that at least 15 people are in a critical condition and many more have injuries described as “serious”. Injuries range from shrapnel wounds to limb amputations.“The number of injuries is an unfolding issue, we will not have hard figures until this morning,” police commissioner Ed Davis told reporters at a press briefing at 1.45am (Irish time). He added that the blasts were powerful so there were “serious, serious injuries”.The explosions occurred near the grandstand area at Boylston Street about four hours and nine minutes after the marathon began.The police chief again dismissed rumours that a suspect is in custody.“There is no suspect at Brigham and Women’s Hospital,” he said, adding he wanted to “fix” those erroneous reports. It has been confirmed that 20 people are being treated there.“There are people we are talking to,” he confirmed. Earlier reports suggested there was a person of interest being treated at the medical centre.FBI investigator Rick DesLauriers, who will lead the joint terrorism investigation, said that he could not offer comment on “specific leads”.“There is an investigative activity ongoing. Again, it is a very active and fluid investigation at this time.”Speaking from The Westin Hotel, Davis said federal, state and local authorities will ‘turn every rock over to find those responsible for this cowardly act’.Children hurtA number of the victims of the blasts are minors. Boston Children’s Hospital has confirmed that it is treating 10 patients.According to Reuters journalist Edith Honan, the injury list includes leg traumas, fractures and two head injuries to a 14-year-old and a two-year-old.Another of the injured is a student at Boston University.Earlier reports that “multiple explosive devices” have been found in the city were also dismissed by Davis. He said all packages, bags and other items discarded by runners in the area are being treated as suspicious and are being examined by explosive experts.“Anything that is unattended is being treated as a potential problem,” he explained. “We are methodically going through the area.”Massachusetts General Hospital asked all staff to remain at work as it deals with the emergency. Doctors there are treating 29 patients and the hospital’s Incident Command System has been activated. It is understood that security has been provided at all area hospitals.Some 23,000 runners took part in the race, one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious marathons.Stay calm but vigilentAuthorities have asked the public to stay at home and to avoid congregating in large groups tonight.They described the situation as “ongoing”. Governor Deval Patrick said it will “not be business as usual” in the city tomorrow either. He explained security will be ramped up and urged residents to be extra vigilant.He asked citizens to report suspicious activity and to be patient as there will be random security checks of parcels, backpacks and other items.He thanked residents for the “extraordinary kindness” being shown to runners, neighbours and visitors “shaken by this experience”. “We are going to get through this,” he added.A third incident at JFK Library was confirmed by police earlier today but it has now been described as “fire related”. It is not thought to be linked to the race explosions. There were no injuries in the fire.Addressing the American people from the White House, US President Barack Obama pledged that authorities would find out who carried out the attack.“The American people will say a prayer for Boston tonight,” he said adding that it was a “senseless loss”.Mayor of New York Bloomberg also said the city’s thoughts and prayers were with the City of Boston.Security in Manhattan has been ramped up. The Mayor’s office said NYPD is “stepping up security at hotels and prominent locations in NYC until more is known about the Boston Marathon”.TheJournal.ie understands that 50 people with Irish addresses had registered to participate in the race. The Department of Foreign Affairs said the Irish consulate was making contact with emergency services in the area but information gathered so far indicates that no Irish citizens were caught up in the blasts.An Irish eye-witness described the scene at the line as “chaos” with people “stampeding” to escape the area.Scotland Yard in London said it would be reviewing its security arrangements ahead of the city’s marathon this weekend.Chief Superintendent Julia Pendry, event commander for the London Marathon, said: “A security plan is in place for the London Marathon. We will be reviewing our security arrangements in partnership with London Marathon.”Here is the initial broadcast of the explosions from CNN:Updated: So far no reports of Irish caught up in marathon blastsRead more coverage of the Boston Marathon explosions> Read: Hashtag #BostonHelp offers support to those in needlast_img read more

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