அரசியல் பிரச்சாரத்தின் ஆதாரக் கோட்பாடு

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அரசியல் பிரச்சாரத்தின் ஆதாரக் கோட்பாடு.

'' நீதி, மதம், அரசியல், சமுதாயம் சம்பந்தமான எல்லாவித சொல்லடுக்குகளுக்கும் பிரகடனங்களுக்கும் வாக்குறுதிகளுக்கும் பின்னே ஏதாவதொரு வர்க்கத்தின் நலன்கள் ஒழிந்து நிற்பதைக் கண்டுகொள்ள மக்கள் தெரிந்துகொள்ளாத வரையில் அரசியலில் அவர்கள் முட்டாள்தனமான ஏமாளிகளாகவும் தம்மைத் தாமே ஏமாற்றிக்கொள்வோராகவும் இருந்தனர், எப்போதும் இருப்பார்கள். பழைய ஏற்பாடு ஒவ்வொன்றும் எவ்வளவுதான் காட்டு மிராண்டித் தனமாகவும் அழுகிப் போனதாகவும் தோன்றிய போதிலும் ஏதாவது ஒரு ஆளும்வர்க்கத்தின் சக்தியைக் கொண்டு அது நிலைநிறுத்தப்பட்டு வருகிறது. சீர்திருத்தங்கள், அபிவிருத்திகள் ஆகியவற்றின் ஆதரவாளர்கள் இதை உணராத வரையில் பழைய அமைப்பு முறையின் பாதுகாவலர்கள் அவர்களை என்றென்றும் முட்டாளாக்கிக் கொண்டே இருப்பார்கள். இந்த வர்க்கங்களின் எதிர்ப்பைத் தகர்த்து ஒழிப்பதற்கு ஒரே ஒரு வழிதான் உண்டு. அது என்ன?

பழைமையைத் துடைத்தெறியவும் புதுமையைச் சிருக்ஷ்டிக்கவும் திறன் பெற்றவையும், சமுதாயத்தில் தாங்கள் வகிக்கும் ஸ்தானத்தின் காரணமாக அப்படிச் சிருக்ஷ்டித்துக் தீரவேண்டிய நிர்ப்பந்தத்திலிருக்கிறவையுமான சக்திகளை, நம்மைச் சூழ்ந்துள்ள இதே சமுதாயத்துக்குள்ளேயே நாம் கண்டுபிடித்து, அந்தச் சக்திகளுக்கு ஞானமூட்டிப் போராட்டத்துக்கு ஸ்தாபன ரீதியாகத் திரட்ட வேண்டும். இது ஒன்றேதான் வழி. ''

மாமேதை தோழர் லெனின்
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Thursday, 28 February 2013

Balachandren Portrait: பாலச்சந்திரனின் பிரதிவிம்ப ஓவியம்

மதிவதனி பிரபாகரன் பாலச்சந்திரன் - அகவை 12 -  ஓவியம்:பாரதிராஜா

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

GEELANI RELEASED

GEELANI RELEASED

To Announce Future Strategy Soon

PRESS TRUST OF INDIA

New Delhi, Feb 27: After being put under house arrest here for nearly three weeks, Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani was released as Delhi Police withdrew its personnel from his South Delhi home this evening.

Describing his detention as “illegal” and an act of “high-handedness” on the part of the Centre and Jammu and Kashmir government, 83-year-old Geelani said he will be chalking his future strategy in a couple of days including a decision on his return to Kashmir Valley.

Geelani, who has a two-room flat near Malviya Nagar, was placed under house arrest on the morning of February nine, the day when Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru was hanged in Tihar jail.

“The police withdrew at 7 PM this evening,” Geelani said. Along with Geelani, another separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was also kept under house arrest in Delhi but he was released last week.
Geelani claimed that police personnel, both men and women, had at one stage camped inside his flat for nearly two days.

Both the Hurriyat factions led by Geelani and Farooq had given a strike call in protest against the execution of Afzal.

Geelani had termed the execution of Afzal as "unfortunate" and claimed that Afzal was not involved in the 2001 Parliament attack.

Kuddish leader 'outlines' Turkey peace plan


Kurdish leader 'outlines' Turkey peace plan

Turkish official says Abdullah Ocalan set to ask PKK fighters to declare truce by March 21 and lay down arms by August.

Last Modified: 27 Feb 2013 19:28
The leader of a Kurdish armed group imprisoned by Turkey is set to call for a long-sought ceasefire next month as part of a renewed push for peace with the Turkish government, according to officials.

Abdullah Ocalan, head of the PKK, is currently serving a life sentence on an island prison off Istanbul where visitors are seldom allowed and only under the surveillance of Turkish agents.

"[The PKK] will declare at the very least a ceasefire by Newroz [March 21, the Kurdish New Year] and lay down arms by July-August, after which departure from the country will be discussed," Bulent Arinc, Turkey's deputy prime minister, said in an interview on Turkish TV on Monday.

Arinc was quoting a 20-page letter written by Ocalan, which outlined his views on a possible solution for the nearly three-decade-long conflict between the PKK and Turkish security forces that has cost 45,000 lives, mostly Kurdish.

Turkey's secret services resumed negotiations with Ocalan in December with the ultimate aim of ending the PKK's fight for autonomy.

Ocalan's letter was addressed to PKK members and the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), according to Nazmi Gur, a BDP legislator.

'Draft solution'

Gur told AFP news agency that Ocalan was proposing a "draft solution" in the letter and there would be more discussion and feedback before reaching a final decision.

"We, all components of the Kurdish movement, will be standing behind that final decision Ocalan will give on that day," Gur said referring to March 21.

Both sides in the conflict have set out conditions they say would signal good faith and commitment to long-lasting peace.

PKK is asking for the release of hundreds, possibly thousands, of Kurdish activists and politicians kept in detention on charges of links to the group.

Turkey in return insists "terrorists" need to withdraw from Turkish territory before the peace process can effectively begin, and has promised not to attack rebels wishing to leave the country.
Source: Al Jazeera And Agencies


The Turkish government and jailed Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan have agreed on a roadmap

January 9, 2013
ANKARA,— The Turkish government and jailed Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan have agreed on a roadmap to end a three-decade-old insurgency that has claimed tens of thousands of lives, Turkish media reported Wednesday.

The deal was reached during a new round of talks between Ankara and Ocalan and aims to have the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) lay down arms in March, private news network NTV and Radikal newspaper reported.

An initial cessation of hostilities was to evolve into a fully-fledged ceasefire agreement over the following months, they said, without revealing their sources for the reported breakthrough.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government recently revealed that the intelligence services had for weeks been talking to Ocalan, who has been held on the island prison of Imrali south of Istanbul since his capture in 1999.

The government is expected to reciprocate the ceasefire by granting wider rights to Turkey's Kurdish minority, whose population is estimated at up to 15 million in the 75-million nation, according to unofficial figures.
 
  The rebels also want the release of hundreds of Kurdish activists held in prisons over links to the PKK as well as the recognition of Kurdish identity in Turkey's new constitution, according to media sources.

But Turkey's pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) warned the talks were not at the stage of fully-fledged ceasefire negotiations,www.ekurd.net arguing Ocalan would have to be freed first and given a chance to consult the grassroots.



"The conditions between the parties are just not equal," BDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtas told fellow lawmakers on Tuesday. "And by that, no, I do not mean Erdogan going into Imrali," he said.
Officials have not confirmed the details of the roadmap published in the media.

Hopes of a breakthrough on the Kurdish issue were heightened when two Kurdish lawmakers were allowed to visit Ocalan last week for the first time.

Previous talks floundered after the PKK leadership demanded the release of Ocalan.

Since it was established in 1984, the PKK has been fighting the Turkish state, which still denies the constitutional existence of Kurds, to establish a Kurdish state in the south east of the country. By 2012, more than 45,000 people have since been killed.

But now its aim is the creation an autonomous region and more cultural rights for ethnic Kurds who constitute the greatest minority in Turkey.  A large Turkey's Kurdish community, numbering to 25 million, openly sympathise with PKK rebels.

Abdullah Öcalan, who founded the PKK in 1974, has a high symbolic value for most Kurds in Turkey and worldwide.

The PKK wants constitutional recognition for the Kurds, regional self-governance and Kurdish-language education in schools.

The PKK has nearly 50 thousand trained fighters on fronts and streets war, as they are deployed within the Kurdish areas near the common border of Turkey with both Iraq and Syria.

PKK's demands included releasing PKK detainees, lifting the ban on education in Kurdish, paving the way for an autonomous democrat Kurdish system within Turkey, reducing pressure on the detained PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan, stopping military action against the Kurdish party and recomposing the Turkish constitution.

The rebels have scaled back their demands for more political autonomy for Turkey's ethnic Kurds.
Turkey refuses to recognize its Kurdish population as a distinct minority. It has allowed some cultural rights such as limited broadcasts in the Kurdish language and private Kurdish language courses with the prodding of the European Union, but Kurdish politicians say the measures fall short of their expectations.

The PKK is considered as 'terrorist' organization by Ankara, U.S., the PKK continues to be on the blacklist list in EU despite court ruling which overturned a decision to place the Kurdish rebel group PKK and its political wing on the European Union's terror list.
Source: Ekurd.net

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Exxon, Total Study SL Oil Reserves


Exxon, Total Study Sri Lanka Oil Reserves Ahead of Biggest Sale

 By Rakteem Katakey & Anusha Ondaatjie - Feb 26, 2013 6:00 AM GMT.

The nation has identified 13 blocks off the northern and western coasts of Sri Lanka for the auction, including five in the Cauvery basin and eight in the Mannar.

Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) and Total SA (FP) are among explorers reviewing Sri Lanka’s oil and natural gas reserves ahead of the biggest auction of blocks planned by a nation that imports all its crude.

Exxon Mobil, the world’s largest oil company by value, and Total, Europe’s third-largest, bought data related to the sale of 13 offshore fields, Saliya Wickramasuriya, director general at the Petroleum Resources Development Secretariat, said in an interview. Eni SpA (ENI), BP Plc (BP/) and India’s Oil & Natural Gas Corp. (ONGC) have enquired about the bids, which are scheduled to open at a meeting with potential investors in Houston on March 7 and end about five months later, he said.
“We’ve had quite a few people from Big Oil come by,” Colombo-based Wickramasuriya said in a Feb. 25 telephone interview. “We’ve had 20 companies that took our data, made repeat visits, or expressed interest in taking discussions further in the framework of the bid round.”
Global oil majors are being lured by prospects beyond the island’s famed white-sand beaches as the nation seeks to rebuild an economy ravaged by three decades of civil war. Sri Lanka, where conflict ended in 2009, is looking for technology to unlock the potential of the area neighboring India, where companies including Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL) and BP are present.

“It’d be good for Sri Lanka to get the big conglomerates in the energy sector interested at the onset,” said Dushni Weerakoon, director at the Institute of Policy Studies in Colombo. “It’ll be a signal of confidence and an enormous economic relief as we are a heavy energy importer.”
Crude Importer Sri Lanka, which doesn’t produce any oil or gas, imports all its crude oil requirements from nations including Saudi Arabia and Iran. The nation has identified 13 blocks off the northern and western coasts of Sri Lanka for the auction, including five in the Cauvery basin and eight in the Mannar. Two of the 13 may be withdrawn because of a lack of data, Wickramasuriya said.

Alan Jeffers, a spokesman for Irving, Texas-based Exxon didn’t reply to an e-mail seeking comment on the bidding. Total spokeswoman Anastasia Zhivulina and ONGC Chairman Sudhir Vasudeva declined to comment, as did an Eni spokesman, who couldn’t be named because of company policy.
“BP continuously evaluates and ranks new exploration access opportunities around the world,” spokesman Mark Salt said in an e-mail on Feb. 25.

Cairn India Ltd. (CAIR), which is producing oil at India’s largest onshore block, discovered gas in an offshore area in Sri Lanka’s Mannar basin last year, estimated by the government to hold 1 billion barrels of oil. That’s equal to about 18 percent of India’s proved oil reserves, according to BP data.
Gauge Potential Cairn India started drilling a new well in the area this month, Chief Executive Office P. Elango said in a Feb. 20 interview. It needs to drill two or three more wells before it can gauge the potential of the reserves, Wickramasuriya said.

The Sri Lankan Cauvery basin is a geological extension of an area in India off the coast of Tamil Nadu state, Wickramasuriya said. Reliance announced a gas discovery in a deepwater well in the Indian waters of the basin in July 2007. Four years later, it announced another discovery in the area.
Loans from China’s Export-Import Bank and companies including China Merchants Holding International and China Machinery Engineering Corp. are helping Sri Lanka expand its ports, power generation, and transportation networks. Chinese oil explorers have yet to contact Wickramasuriya or his office for the latest auction, he said.

“Now that we’re launching the bid, some companies that have been interested internally may now start contacting us,” he said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Rakteem Katakey in New Delhi at rkatakey@bloomberg.net; Anusha Ondaatjie in Colombo at anushao@bloomberg.net
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jason Rogers at jrogers73@bloomberg.net http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-02-26/exxon-total-study-sri-lanka-oil-reserves-ahead-of-biggest-sale.htmlBiggest Sale

 

மகிந்த அரசே மன்னார் விவசாயிகளின் கோரிக்கைகளை உடனே நிறைவேற்று!

மண்ணின் மைந்தன் வேடந்தாங்கும் மகிந்தவே, மன்னார் விவசாயிகளின் குறைந்த பட்ச வாழ்வாதாரக் கோரிக்கைகளை உடனே நிறைவேற்று!
 
புதிய ஈழப்புரட்சியாளர்கள் ENB


 

முருங்கன் செம்மண் தீவில் மன்னார் விவசாயிகள் போராட்டம்

* நிர்ணயிக்கப்பட்ட விலையில் நெல் கொள்வனவு செய்!
* சந்தை வாய்ப்பை அதிகரி!
* விவசாயிகளுக்கு எரிபொருள் மானியம் வழங்கு!
* விவசாயிகளுக்கு வரட்சி மற்றும்
 வெள்ள நிவாரணங்களை உடன் வழங்கு!
*வங்கிக் கடனை உடன் இரத்துச்செய்!
*மீள்குடியமர்வையும் வாழ்வாதார வசதிகளையும் உறுதி செய்!
 
மன்னார் மாவட்ட விவசாய சம்மேளனம்
 
மன்னார் மாவட்ட விவசாய சம்மேளனத்தின் ஏற்பாட்டில் மன்னார் மாவட்ட விவசாயிகள்,  மூன்று பிரதான கோரிக்கைகளை முன் வைத்து இன்று உண்ணாவிரதப் போராட்டத்தை முன்னெடுத்தனர்.

இன்று காலை 9 மணியளவில் மன்னார், முருங்கன், செம்மண் தீவு விளையாட்டு மைதானத்தில் இவ் உண்ணாவிரதப் போராட்டம்
முன்னெடுக்கப்பட்டது.

இந்த உண்ணாவிரதப் போராட்டத்தில் தமிழ் தேசியக் கூட்டமைப்பின் வன்னி மாவட்ட பாராளுமன்ற உறுப்பினர்களான செல்வம் அடைக்கலநாதன்,
சிவசக்தி ஆனந்தன், எஸ்.வினோ நோகராதலிங்கம், மக்கள் விடுதலை முன்னனியின் உறுப்பினர் சாமிவேல் செல்வக்குமார், மன்னார் நகர சபை,
மன்னார், நானாட்டான், மாந்தை மேற்கு ஆகிய பிரதேச சபைகளின் தலைவர்கள், உப தலைவர்கள், உறுப்பினர்கள், விவசாய அமைப்புக்களின் பிரதி நிதிகள் மற்றும் பொதுமக்கள் என பலர் கலந்து கொண்டிருந்தனர்.
 
 
நிர்ணயிக்கப்பட்ட விலையில் நெல் கொள்வனவு செய்ய வேண்டும், விவசாயிகளுக்கு எரிபொருள் மாணியம் வழங்கப்பட வேண்டும், விவசாயிகளுக்கு வரட்சி மற்றும் வெள்ள நிவாரணங்கள் உடன் வழங்குவதோடு வங்கிக் கடனை உடன் இரத்துச்செய்ய வேண்டும்
 
என்ற மூன்று அம்சக்கோரிக்கைகளை முன் வைத்து உண்ணாவிரதப் போராட்டம் இடம் பெற்றது. இதன்போது ஜனாதிபதியிடம் ஒப்படைக்குமாறு மகஜர் ஒன்றும் மன்னார் மாவட்ட அரசாங்க அதிபர் சரத் ரவீந்திரவிடம் .
கையளிக்கப்பட்டதாக தெரிவிக்கப்படுகிறது.

குறித்த மகஜரில் குறிப்பிடப்பட்டுள்ளதாவது,

கடந்த யுத்த பேரழிவின் போது மோசமான இழப்புக்களுக்கும், பின்னடைவுகளுக்கும், முகம் கொடுத்த வன்னி பெருநிலப்பரப்பின் ஒருபகுதியினர்,
மன்னார் மாவட்ட விவசாயிகளாவர்.
 
 
2006ஆம் ஆண்டு மகா காலப்போக அறுவடை நெருங்கிய காலப்பகுதியில் யுத்தம் தீவிரப்படுத்தப்பட்டதால் விவசாயத்தில் பெருமளவு முதலீட்டைச்
செலவிட்ட நாம்  அதனைப்பெற அறுவடை செய்ய முடியாது அவற்றை முழுமையாக கைவிட்டு இடம்பெயர வேண்டிய அவலத்திற்குள்ளானோம்.
வங்கிகளிடமும், தனியாரிடமும், விவசாயத்திற்காக பெறப்பட்ட கடன்கள் மீளச்செலுத்த முடியாமலும், விவசாய செலவுக்காக அடைவு வைத்த
நகைகள் மீட்க முடியாமலும், உள்ளன.
 
2010 மீள்குடியமர்த்தப்பட்ட நாம் முதலீடு எதுவும் இல்லாமையால் அவ்வாண்டு காலபோகச் செய்கையில் ஈடுபடமுடியாத அவலத்திற்கு உள்ளானோம்.
 
எனினும் 2011ஆம் ஆண்டில் ஓரளவு விவசாயத்தில் ஈடுபட்டோமாயினும் அறுவடை செய்த நெல்லும் சந்தைப்படுத்த வாய்ப்பு இல்லாமையால்
தனியாருக்கு குறைந்த  விலைக்கு விற்க வேண்டிய நிர்ப்பந்தம் ஏற்பட்டதால், முதலீட்டை மீட்க முடியாது கடனில் தத்தளித்தோம்.
 
2012இல் செய்த வேளாண்மை ஒருபுறம் நீர்ப் பற்றாக்குறையாலும், வெள்ளப் பெருக்கினாலும், அழிவுக்குட்பட்டதால் இவ்வாண்டிலும் பாரிய
நட்டத்தையே சந்தித்தோம்.
 
இக்காலத்தில் எரிபொருள் விலை உயர்வு, விதை நெல் தட்டுப்பாடு, பசளை வகைக்கான மானியங்கள், வழங்கப்படாமை போன்ற காரணங்களால்
உற்பத்திச் செலவைக் கூட மீட்டெடுக்க முடியாத நிலைக்குள்ளானோம்.

இக்காரணங்களாலும் சந்தைபடுத்தும் வாய்ப்பு எம்மாவட்டத்தில் இல்லாமையாலும், உள்ளீடுகளுக்கான மானியங்கள் இல்லாமையாலும், எரிபொருள்
விலை அதிகரிப்பாலும், உற்பத்திச் செலவை மீட்டெடுக்க முடியாத நிலையில் தனியார் சுரண்டல் காரணமாக 66 கிலோ மூடைக்கு பதிலாக 75 கிலோ
மூடைக்கு வழங்கப்பட்டதோடு, நிர்ணயிக்கப்பட்ட விலைக்கு குறைவாகவே விற்கவேண்டிய  அவலம் எமக்கு ஏற்பட்டது.

மீள்குடியமர்வின் பின் எமக்கு வழங்கப்பட வேண்டிய வீட்டுவசதி, வாழ்வாதார வசதி, போன்ற நிவாரண வசதிகள் எவையும், எமக்கு வழங்கப்படாத
நிலையில் எமது முயற்சிகளுக்கு எதுவித பலனும் பெற முடியாத அவலத்திற்கும் உள்ளாகியுள்ளோம்.
 
எனவே இவற்றை கருத்தில் கொண்டு கீழ்வரும் குறைந்த பட்ச நிவாரணங்களையாவது, உடனடியாக வழங்கி உதவுமாறு பணிவுடன் வேண்டி ஒர் அடையாள உண்ணாவிரதத்தை மேற்கொண்டு இக்கோரிக்கைகளை முன்வைக்கின்றோம்.
 
 
வங்கி கடன்கள் அனைத்தையும் ரத்து செய்ய வேண்டும்.
அடைவு வைக்கப்பட்ட நகைகளுக்கான வட்டிகளை ரத்து செய்வதோடு மீட்புக்காலத்தை நீடிக்க நடவடிக்கை எடுக்க வேண்டும். எரிபொருள் விலை
உயர்வுக்கெதிராகவும், விவசாய உள்ளீடுக்காகவும், உரிய மானியம் வழங்க வேண்டும். நெல்லுக்குரிய தரமான விலை நிர்ணயம் செய்து உறுதிப்படுத்தப்பட வேண்டும். சந்தை வாய்ப்பை அதிகரிக்க வேண்டும்.
விதைநெல் உற்பத்திக்கு ஊக்கமளிப்பதுடன் உற்பத்தி செய்யப்பட்ட விதை நெல்களை அத்தாட்சிபடுத்தும், உத்தியோகஸ்தர்களின் சேவையை அதிகரிக்க வேண்டும்.
 
வறட்சி, வெள்ளப்பெருக்கு போன்ற இயற்கை அனர்த்தங்களால் பயிர் பாதிப்புக்குள்ளாகும் போது, காப்புறுதி செய்தவர்களுக்கு காப்புறுதி தொகைகளை தாமதமின்றி வழங்க வேண்டும்.

மேற்படி கோரிக்கைகளின் மீது விரைவான நடவடிக்கையெடுக்குமாறு மன்னார் மாவட்ட விவசாயிகளான நாம் பணிவுடன் வேண்டுகின்றோம்' என
குறித்த மகஜரில் குறிப்பிடப்பட்டுள்ளது.

 

`எங்கள் அப்பா` பாலச்சந்திரன் நினைவு உருவகக் காணொளி

 

Monday, 25 February 2013

Syria says ready to talk with armed opposition


Syria says ready to talk with armed opposition

முன்னமொரு காலத்தில
File Photo: First lady asma al assad & queen elizabith 2
Syria says ready to talk with armed opposition
 9:26pm EST
By Thomas Grove and Steve Gutterman

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Syria is ready for talks with its armed opponents, Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem said on Monday, in the clearest offer yet to negotiate with rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad.

But Moualem said at the same time Syria would pursue its fight "against terrorism," alluding to the conflict in which the United Nations says 70,000 people have been killed.

His offer of talks drew a dismissive response from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who was starting a nine-nation tour of European and Arab capitals in London.

"It seems to me that it's pretty hard to understand how, when you see the Scuds falling on the innocent people of Aleppo, it is possible to take their notion that they are ready to have a dialogue very seriously," Kerry said.

He said U.S. President Barack Obama was evaluating more steps to "fulfill our obligation to innocent people," without giving details or saying whether Washington was reconsidering whether to arm the rebels, an option it has previously rejected.

"We are determined that the Syrian opposition is not going to be dangling in the wind," Kerry said.
Obama has carefully avoided deeper U.S. involvement in Syria, at the heart of a volatile Middle East, as he has withdrawn troops from Iraq and extracts them from Afghanistan.

Assad and his foes are locked in a bloody stalemate after nearly two years of combat, destruction and civilian suffering that threatens to destabilize neighboring countries.

Syria's Moualem said in Moscow that Damascus was ready for dialogue with everyone who wants it, even with those who have weapons in their hands "because we believe that reforms will not come through bloodshed but only through dialogue."

"WAR AGAINST TERRORISM"

Russia's Itar-Tass, which reported his remarks, did not say if Moualem had attached any conditions for the dialogue.

"What's happening in Syria is a war against terrorism," the agency quoted him as saying. "We will strongly adhere to a peaceful course and continue to fight against terrorism."

Moaz Alkhatib, head of the opposition Syrian National Coalition, told reporters in Cairo he had not been in touch with Damascus following Moualem's offer. "We have not been in contact yet, and we are waiting for communication with them," he said.

Syria's government and the political opposition have both suggested in recent weeks they are prepared for some contacts - softening their previous outright rejection of talks to resolve a conflict which has driven nearly a million Syrians out of the country and left millions more homeless and hungry.

The opposition says any solution must involve the removal of Assad, whose family has ruled Syria since 1970. Disparate rebel fighters, who do not answer to Alkhatib or other politicians in exile, insist Assad must go before any talks start.

Brigadier Selim Idris, a rebel military commander, told Al Arabiya television that a ceasefire, Assad's exit, and the trial of his security and military chiefs must precede any talks.

Damascus has rejected any preconditions and the two sides also differ on the location for any talks, with the opposition saying they should be abroad or in rebel-held parts of Syria, while the government says they must be in territory it controls.

"STATE COLLAPSE"

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov expressed alarm about events in Syria, which he said was at a crossroads.

"There are those who have set a course for further bloodshed and an escalation of conflict. This is fraught with the risk of the collapse of the Syrian state and society," he said.

"But there are also reasonable forces that increasingly acutely understand the need for the swiftest possible start of talks ... In these conditions the need for the Syrian leadership to continue to consistently advocate the start of dialogue, and not allow provocations to prevail, is strongly increasing."

Lavrov's warning that the Syrian state could founder appeared aimed to show that Russia is pressing Assad's government to seek a negotiated solution while continuing to lay much of the blame for the persistent violence on his opponents.

Russia has distanced itself from Assad and has stepped up its calls for dialogue as his prospects of retaining power have decreased, but insists that his exit must not be a precondition.

A deputy to Lavrov said the West had not matched Moscow's peace efforts. "Our Western partners ... have to some degree encouraged (the opposition) to continue the armed fight," Itar-Tass quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov as saying.

The Syrian National Coalition said on Friday it was willing to negotiate a peace deal, but insisted Assad could not be party to it - a demand that the president looks sure to reject.

U.N. envoy Lakhdar Brahimi has said Assad had told him he would complete his term in 2014 and then run for re-election.

International deadlock over how to bridge the political chasm between Assad and his opponents has allowed an increasingly sectarian conflict to rage on for 23 months.

Assad, announcing plans last month for a national dialogue, said it would exclude "traitors" and "puppets made by the West."

Kerry is to meet Lavrov in Berlin on Tuesday, but a senior U.S. official said he expected no breakthrough on Syria there.

The new secretary of state is also to meet Syrian opposition leaders at a "Friends of Syria" conference in Rome on Thursday.

The Syrian National Coalition said on Monday it would attend the Rome meeting, reversing a decision it made last week to stay away in protest at Syrian government missile strikes on Aleppo.
The change of mind came after Kerry called Alkhatib to urge him to attend.

"I want our friends in the Syrian opposition council to know we are not coming to Rome simply to talk. We're coming to Rome to make the decision about next steps," Kerry said earlier.

Following up on Kerry's call, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden phoned Alkhatib to welcome his decision to travel to Rome, stressing that the talks there would be an opportunity to consult on "ways to speed assistance to the opposition and support to the Syrian people," the White House said.

(Additional reporting by Yasmine Saleh and Ayman Samir in Cairo, Arshad Mohammed and Mohammed Abbas in London and Matt Spetalnick in Washington; Writing by Dominic Evans; Editing by Alistair Lyon, Michael Roddy and Lisa Shumaker)

PFLP condemns EU program to enforce normalization on Palestinians

PFLP condemns EU program to enforce normalization on Palestinians
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) issued a press release rejecting the programme known as “Partnership for Peace” EuropeAid/133-831/L/ACT/PMO, and considered it a European interference in internal Palestinian affairs and an attempt to impose normalization on Palestinians. The programme proposed by the European Union requires a cooperation or partnership between Palestinian, Jordanian and “Israeli” institutions excluding any cooperation or partnership with the Palestinian institutions in the areas of 48 – occupied by the Zionist movement in 1948 – thus, reflecting yet again the suspicious role of these initiatives, which exposes European bias towards the “Israeli” Occupation and US policies which are adapted to the “Israeli” occupation plans, to undermine the rights of the Palestinian people and the Palestinian struggle for freedom and contradicts the fundamental principles of the Palestinian people, including the right of return, self-determination, the independent state and Jerusalem as its capital.

The Front praised institutions in Jerusalem who rejected projects carrying these requirements, and called upon all civil society institutions and political and social forces in the Palestinian occupied homeland and abroad to reject these suspicious projects, and emphasized the responsibility of the PLO leadership to refuse all forms of normalization, security coordination and financial and other forms of corruption that have emerged in certain sectors of Palestinian society.


 

In Cyberspace, New Cold War

News Analysis
In Cyberspace, New Cold War
By DAVID E. SANGER

Published: February 24, 2013 New York Times

WASHINGTON — When the Obama administration circulated to the nation’s Internet providers last week a lengthy confidential list of computer addresses linked to a hacking group that has stolen terabytes of data from American corporations, it left out one crucial fact: that nearly every one of
the digital addresses could be traced to the neighborhood in Shanghai that is headquarters to the Chinese military’s cybercommand.


A building that houses a Chinese military unit on the outskirts of Shanghai, believed to be the source of hacking attacks.

That deliberate omission underscored the heightened sensitivities inside the Obama administration over just how directly to confront China’s untested new leadership over the hacking issue, as the administration escalates demands that China halt the state-sponsored attacks that Beijing insists it is not mounting.

The issue illustrates how different the worsening cyber-cold war between the world’s two largest economies is from the more familiar superpower conflicts of past decades — in some ways less dangerous, in others more complex and pernicious.

Administration officials say they are now more willing than before to call out the Chinese directly — as Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. did last week in announcing a new strategy to combat theft of intellectual property. But President Obama avoided mentioning China by name — or Russia or
Iran, the other two countries the president worries most about — when he declared in his State of the Union address that “we know foreign countries and companies swipe our corporate secrets.” He added: “Now our enemies are also seeking the ability to sabotage our power grid, our financial
institutions and our air traffic control systems.”

Defining “enemies” in this case is not always an easy task. China is not an outright foe of the United States, the way the Soviet Union once was; rather, China is both an economic competitor and a crucial supplier and customer. The two countries traded $425 billion in goods last year, and China
remains, despite many diplomatic tensions, a critical financier of American debt. As Hillary Rodham Clinton put it to Australia’s prime minister in 2009 on her way to visit China for the first time as secretary of state, “How do you deal toughly with your banker?”

In the case of the evidence that the People’s Liberation Army is probably the force behind “Comment Crew,” the biggest of roughly 20 hacking groups that American intelligence agencies follow, the answer is that the United States is being highly circumspect. Administration officials were perfectly
happy to have Mandiant, a private security firm, issue the report tracing the cyberattacks to the door of China’s cybercommand; American officials said privately that they had no problems with Mandiant’s conclusions, but they did not want to say so on the record.

That explains why China went unmentioned as the location of the suspect servers in the warning to Internet providers. “We were told that directly embarrassing the Chinese would backfire,” one intelligence official said. “It would only make them more defensive, and more nationalistic.”
That view is beginning to change, though. On the ABC News program “This Week” on Sunday, Representative Mike Rogers, Republican of Michigan and chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, was asked whether he believed that the Chinese military and civilian government were behind the economic espionage. “Beyond a shadow of a doubt,” he replied.

In the next few months, American officials say, there will be many private warnings delivered by Washington to Chinese leaders, including Xi Jinping, who will soon assume China’s presidency. Both Tom Donilon, the national security adviser, and Mrs. Clinton’s successor, John Kerry, have trips to China in the offing. Those private conversations are expected to make a case that the sheer size and sophistication of the attacks over the past few years threaten to erode support for China among the country’s biggest allies in Washington, the American business community.

“America’s biggest global firms have been ballast in the relationship” with China, said Kurt M. Campbell, who recently resigned as assistant secretary of state for East Asia to start a consulting firm, the Asia Group, to manage the prickly commercial relationships. “And now they are the ones telling the Chinese that these pernicious attacks are undermining what has been built up over decades.”
It is too early to tell whether that appeal to China’s self-interest is getting through. Similar arguments have been tried before, yet when one of China’s most senior military leaders visited the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon in May 2011, he said he didn’t know much about cyberweapons — and
said the P.L.A. does not use them. In that regard, he sounded a bit like the Obama administration, which has never discussed America’s own cyberarsenal.

Yet the P.LA.’s attacks are largely at commercial targets. It has an interest in trade secrets like aerospace designs and wind-energy product schematics: the army is deeply invested in Chinese industry and is always seeking a competitive advantage. And so far the attacks have been cost-free.
American officials say that must change. But the prescriptions for what to do vary greatly — from calm negotiation to economic sanctions and talk of counterattacks led by the American military’s Cyber Command, the unit that was deeply involved in the American and Israeli cyberattacks on Iran’s nuclear enrichment plants.

“The problem so far is that we have rhetoric and we have Cyber Command, and not much in between,” said Chris Johnson, a 20-year veteran of the C.I.A. team that analyzed the Chinese leadership. “That’s what makes this so difficult. It’s easy for the Chinese to deny it’s happening, to say it’s someone else, and no one wants the U.S. government launching counterattacks.”

That marks another major difference from the dynamic of the American-Soviet nuclear rivalry. In cold war days, deterrence was straightforward: any attack would result in a devastating counterattack, at a human cost so horrific that neither side pulled the trigger, even during close calls like the
Cuban missile crisis.

But cyberattacks are another matter. The vast majority have taken the form of criminal theft, not destruction. It often takes weeks or months to pin down where an attack originated, because attacks are generally routed through computer servers elsewhere to obscure their source. A series of attacks on The New York Times that originated in China, for example, was mounted through the computer systems of unwitting American universities. That is why David Rothkopf, the author of books about the National Security Council, wrote last week that this was a “cool war,” not only because of the remote nature of the attacks but because “it can be conducted indefinitely — permanently, even — without triggering a shooting war. At least, that is the theory.”

Administration officials like Robert Hormats, the under secretary of state for business and economic affairs, say the key to success in combating cyberattacks is to emphasize to the Chinese authorities that the attacks will harm their hopes for economic growth. “We have to make it clear,” Mr.
Hormats said, “that the Chinese are not going to get what they desire,” which he said was “investment from the cream of our technology companies, unless they quickly get this problem under control.”

But Mr. Rogers of the Intelligence Committee argues for a more confrontational approach, including “indicting bad actors” and denying visas to anyone believed to be involved in cyberattacks, as well as their families.

The coming debate is over whether the government should get into the business of retaliation. Already, Washington is awash in conferences that talk about “escalation dominance” and “extended deterrence,” all terminology drawn from the cold war.

Some of the talk is overheated, fueled by a growing cybersecurity industry and the development of offensive cyberweapons, even though the American government has never acknowledged using them, even in the Stuxnet attacks on Iran. But there is a serious, behind-the-scenes discussion about what
kind of attack on American infrastructure — something the Chinese hacking groups have not seriously attempted — could provoke a president to order a counterattack.
===========

China worried about cyber security: FM spokeswoman

(Xinhua)20:46, February 25, 2013   BEIJING, Feb. 25 (Xinhua) --

A Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said Monday that the Chinese government is worried about recent negative developments in cyber security.

Spokeswoman Hua Chunying made the remarks at a regular press briefing in response to a question regarding an alleged Chinese cyber attack directed at Germany.

Hua said some countries have treated cyberspace as a new battlefield, justifying their efforts to build up their own cyber arsenals by making their own rules for how cyberspace should be treated.
Hua said these activities have increased the risk for a potential conflict.

She said the cyber espionage conducted by some countries represents an attempt to divert attention from real problems and will not help to create a cooperative international atmosphere.

"China has cooperated in the areas of cyber security and law enforcement with 30 countries, including Britain, Germany and Russia. It has developed an overall mechanism for fighting cyber crime and hacker attacks," she said, adding that China hopes relevant parties will stop lodging accusations and work together to safeguard cyberspace security.
==========
US accusations harmful to build safe cyber world
(People's Daily Online)11:05, November 21, 2012 

The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Committee affiliated to U.S. Congress issued its annual report on Nov. 14, declaring that China has become the most threatening country in the cyber world. This is not the first irresponsible report issued by the Committee.

China is opposed to any form of hacker attacks and has set up relevant laws to prohibit it.
With the rapid development of Internet in China in recent years, China has suffered more and more attacks from hackers overseas.

According to sample monitoring of National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team Coordination Center of China (CNCERT), about 47,000 foreign IP addresses as Trojan or botnet control server had broken into nearly 8.9 million computers in China in 2011.

In the foreign attacks suffered by China network, the malicious IP addresses from the United States are the most serious threat.

The CNCERT found through survey that about 9,500 U.S. IPs had controlled nearly 8.8 million computers of China in 2011 and 72 percent of IPs pretending to be Chinese banks were from the United States.

Although these data showed the conditions of U.S. cyber-attacks suffered by China from a technological point of view, China never made any simple assumptions and accusations to the source of attacks.

This is because, determined by the openness of the Internet, it cannot be deduced whether the attack has been launched by American hackers merely because the IP addresses of the attack source are in the United States.

China has been participating in the exchanges and cooperation in a constructive way in the field of global network security. In the fight against cybercrime, China has also been carrying out fruitful cooperation with many countries including the United States.

Unfortunately, the United States has always held a negative attitude toward the initiative for the prevention of network warfare and the development of relevant international rules while vigorously developing its network attacking capabilities.

Information security has become a global issue and the counter actions against hackers are inseparable from international cooperation. The misleading report of the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission cannot solve any problems; dialogue and cooperation is the only correct way of dealing with network security and other global challenges.

Hackers air Sri Lanka war crimes video on govt website

Hackers air Sri Lanka war crimes video on govt website


Monday, February 25, 2013 - 16:36
Location:  COLOMBO


HACKERS
have attacked Sri Lanka's media ministry by placing a documentary about alleged war crimes during the island's ethnic war on its website, an official said Monday.

The hackers identifying themselves as "H4x0r HuSsY" uploaded a link to an Australian Broadcasting Corp report on atrocities during the final stages of Sri Lanka's battle against separatist Tamil Tiger rebels in 2009.

"Stop Killing Innocent Tamil Ppl! Or Get prepared 4 Attacks From Us!" read a message left on the website, media.gov.lk.

An official in the Mass Media and Information ministry said the website had been "reclaimed" on Monday morning.

"The hackers exploited a loophole over the weekend, but we have plugged it now," the official said on condition of anonymity,

The media ministry is known to carry out unofficial censorship of news sites deemed to be anti-government by pressuring local Internet service providers to block their content.

The Sri Lanka government is braced for more criticism of its human rights record during its war against Tamil separatists at the upcoming United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.

The United States has given notice of a new resolution against the island which is set to be voted on this week.

Rights groups say up to 40,000 civilians were killed by security forces in the final months of a no-holds-barred offensive that ended in May 2009.

Sri Lanka denies causing any civilian deaths and has refused to allow an independent international probe. -AFP

Opening Statement by Ms. Navi Pillay at the 22nd session of the Human Rights Council



Opening Statement by Ms. Navi Pillay United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights at the 22nd session of the Human Rights Council


25 February 2013
Mr. President and President of the General Assembly,
Distinguished Members of the Human Rights Council,
Excellencies and dear colleagues,

Allow me first of all to congratulate His Excellency, Remigiusz Henczel, who is presiding over his first meeting of the Council as President, at the start of what is an historically significant year for the Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights, for the Human Rights Council, and indeed for
the global human rights movement as a whole.

Twenty years ago, in June 1993, more than 7,000 participants gathered in Vienna for the World Conference on Human Rights. I was among them, and remember vividly how most of us at the time worried about the likelihood of real progress in the protection of human rights. Many believed there was a risk that the fundamental rights laid down in 1948 in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, might be rolled back.

The Berlin Wall had fallen in November 1989 and, despite the outbreak of new conflicts in the Balkans and elsewhere, the end of the Cold War gave a new impetus to the concepts of freedom, democracy and human rights that carried us through the Vienna Conference. The assembled delegates
overcame major differences on contentious issues such as universality, sovereignty, impunity, and how to give a voice to victims. The result was a powerful and very positive outcome document: the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action (VDPA).

The VDPA is the most significant overarching human rights document produced in the last quarter of a century. It crystalized the underlying principles that human rights are universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated, and took the key notion of universality a step further by committing States to the promotion and protection of all human rights for all people “regardless of their political, economic, and cultural systems.”

In a sense, by cutting through the artificial hierarchy under which social, economic and cultural rights were viewed by some as being less important than civil and political rights, the Conference succeeded in breaching a second wall that had divided States over the previous decades. That process is continuing, with the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights entering into force on 5 May. This will finally bring it in line with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which has had a similar Optional Protocol, allowing for individual complaints, in place for the past 37 years.

The Vienna Conference led to historic advances in a number of other areas. During the course of this anniversary year, we will have several opportunities to take stock of these, including at the High Level Panel on the Vienna Declaration later today, when the anniversary celebrations will be
officially launched.

I will mention just a few of the principal achievements of the VDPA: its role in advancing women’s rights, its impact on the fight against impunity, and its swiftly realized recommendation to create the organization of which I am currently the proud steward: the Office of the High Commissioner
for Human Rights.

At Vienna, the NGO slogan “Women’s Rights are Human Rights” spoke loudly, and the VDPA reclaimed the vision of human rights for women. It called for the universal ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the integration of women’s rights into all UN activities and called for the adoption of the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women and endorsed the creation of a Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women.

The Vienna Declaration condemned the gross and systematic violations of human rights that were continuing in many parts of the world. It highlighted violations such as torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment, summary and arbitrary executions, disappearances, and arbitrary detentions; it drew attention to all forms of racism, racial discrimination and apartheid, foreign occupation and alien domination, and xenophobia. It highlighted poverty, hunger and other denials of economic, social and cultural rights, religious intolerance, terrorism, and lack of the rule of law.

It viewed with concern the issue of impunity of perpetrators of human rights violations, and supported the efforts made by the UN human rights machinery to examine all aspects of the issue. Perhaps most significantly, just one month after the establishment of the first ad hoc international
criminal tribunal since Nuremberg, the Declaration nudged the International Law Commission to continue its work on a permanent international criminal court.

The Conference did not stop there. It recognized that achieving these goals required stronger, more streamlined leadership in the UN system itself. To this end, it called for the establishment of a High Commissioner for Human Rights, with a mandate to protect and promote human rights, and the post
was created by the General Assembly later that year.

That was twenty years ago.

Much progress has occurred during those two decades. But we must recognize that the glass is half full, and the promise of respecting all human rights for all people is still a dream for too many.
Major advances in women’s rights have occurred in many countries, and international legislation has continued to develop, for example in the area of conflict-related sexual violence. The CEDAW now has 187 State parties, making it the second most ratified human rights treaty after the Convention
on the Rights of the Child. Its Optional Protocol has 104 States parties drawn from all regions of the world and the decisions it has generated have brought individual relief to many women and brought about profound policy and legislative change in many countries.

Yet women are still subject to discrimination and violence, to a shocking degree.

There have been tremendous advances in tackling impunity for international crimes over the past 20 years, in particular through the ad hoc tribunals such as those for Former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Cambodia, and the establishment of the International Criminal Court, the world’s
first permanent tribunal with powers to prosecute suspected perpetrators of international crimes.

Yet here too, we still have a long way to go. The ICC can only become involved if the State concerned is among the 122 State Parties to the Rome Statute, or if a situation is referred to it by the Security Council. Two important situations – Darfur in 2008, and Libya in 2011 have been referred, but the Security Council has so far failed with regard to Syria, despite the repeated reports of widespread or systematic crimes and violations by my Office, the International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, civil society organizations and Special Procedures.

Again, despite the truly inspiring advances in combating impunity and ensuring accountability both at the international and national levels, including through transitional justice processes, there are still far too many people with command responsibility who escape justice for serious crimes and gross
human rights violations. Hundreds of thousands of people have died in genocides in Rwanda and Bosnia and Herzegovina; the Palestinian territories are still occupied; massive violations have occurred in Iraq and Sri Lanka; and war crimes continue to be committed in numerous internal conflicts including those continuing in Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, Sudan and Syria.

We must continue to nurture and strengthen the system designed to deal with such crimes and violations, and those who commit them. It is also critical that we in the international community do
our utmost to prevent such situations from developing or deteriorating.

One of the most tangible outcomes of the VDPA is the world-wide recognition of national human rights institutions as key independent and authoritative protectors and promoters of human rights at the national, regional and global levels. Their number has rocketed from fewer than 10 at the
beginning of the 1990s to 101 internationally accredited institutions today (including 71 with ‘A’ status).

At the Vienna Conference, I was representing a women’s rights civil society organization, and it is a matter of pride to me that NGOs played such a critical role at the World Conference, especially in pushing for the establishment of a High Commissioner’s Office with a strong and unequivocal
mandate.

Since then, civil society has evolved and expanded, with many more active national human rights organizations around today than there were 20 years ago. These national human rights defenders are the heroes of our time. It is, therefore, a matter of great concern that so many State authorities continue to ignore or repress civil society organizations, human rights defenders and the media. These organizations and individuals inject the life blood into human rights: they are the promoters of change, the people who ring the alarm about abuse, poor legislation and creeping authoritarianism.
Nonetheless I continue to hear of brave human rights defenders, journalists or bloggers who have been threatened, harassed, arrested or killed because of their work on behalf of the human rights of others. Such intimidation has sometimes even occurred during the proceedings of this Council. We
must never tolerate such pressure, or reprisals against those who rightly seek to engage the international human rights system.

Excellencies,
Colleagues and friends,
The UN Human Rights system has also grown stronger since the Vienna Conference.
This Council began its work in 2006, replacing the Commission on Human Rights, which although controversial had laid the bedrock of our human rights system. The Council has gained credibility for its different modus operandi and in particular for its successful management of the first round of
the Universal Periodic Review, which examined every UN Member State’s human rights record without exception. I urge all States to maintain this impressive record during the all-important second cycle. The Council has also been increasingly receptive to human rights situations, holding a
succession of important Special Sessions and establishing Commissions of Inquiry and Fact-finding Missions.

In June 1993, there were just 26 Special Procedures with thematic or country-based mandates. Today there are 48 separate mandates with 72 experts appointed by the Council. The combination of independence, expertise and UN-bestowed authority is potent. It is critical that all Member States
cooperate fully with the Special Procedures, including by accepting visits.

The human rights treaty bodies have also grown in number and weight. Two major new international treaties – on Persons with Disabilities and Disappearance – and nine important substantive and procedural Optional Protocols have been adopted since Vienna In 1993, the seven treaties and
protocols had received 742 ratifications by States. That number has grown to 2010 State parties to 18 treaties and protocols. I urge States to accept more of these crucial treaties during this anniversary year. It would be a welcome development if every single State has become a member to the CRC
and CEDAW by the end of 2013.

The Office of the High Commissioner, one of the most tangible legacies of Vienna, has grown from a small entity of just over 100 staff and a presence in two countries outside Geneva, to more than 1,000 staff and 58 field presences worldwide. Yet we continue to receive many requests for assistance
that we are unable to satisfy. We could – and I am convinced that we should – continue to grow and mature in order to carry out fully our mandate to promote and protect the human rights of everyone everywhere.

For that to happen, we need your further support, and in particular we need a higher, more realistic and more sustainable level of funding. I am convinced that, collectively, we are failing to devote nearly enough human and financial resources to come even close to fulfilling the aspirations of
the Universal Declaration, the Vienna outcome and each and every session of this Council. In other words, while we fully recognize the crucial importance of human rights to the development of a global civilization that now comprises more than seven billion people, we are failing to match our
stated aims and established obligations with the necessary concrete commitment.

I urge you then to advance the implementation of the many remarkable international laws and standards that have been developed since the Universal Declaration laid down the basic framework in 1948, and the subsequent vigorous boost provided by the Vienna Declaration and Programme of
Action.

The 20th anniversary of the Vienna Conference and its Declaration coincides with another round of unforeseen global upheavals that provide both enormous challenges and significant opportunities. I am of course referring not just to the tumultuous events that have occurred in the Middle East
and North Africa over the past two years, and to the situation in the Sahel region but also to the massive global financial and economic crises and threats to the environment, that have made the increased focus on economic, social and cultural rights especially relevant.

Today more than ever, we must learn from the past, as well as take pride in our very real achievements over the past 20 years.

In 1993, the world community recommitted itself to fight for human rights for all. Vienna marked a chapter in a human rights revolution that had begun almost half a century earlier with the adoption of the Universal Declaration. Hundreds of millions more people today are able to exercise their
human rights without interference thanks to the actions taken on the basis of the commitments outlined in the Vienna Declaration. Our task, as heirs of Vienna, is to extend these benefits to every last person on earth -- especially the most marginalized and those most at risk of violence, exploitation and discrimination. For while the past twenty years have seen extraordinary progress, we should never forget that there have been those who have been left behind – migrants, older persons, religious and ethnic minorities, people persecuted because of their sexual orientation and gender identity, to name just a few.

Our work here will not be done until the promise of the Vienna Declaration is made real for everyone – no exceptions, no excuses.

I wish you a productive 22nd session and assure you of my, and my hard-working and dedicated staff’s, readiness to assist you in any way we can.

Thank you, Mr. President.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Hanging Rajiv’s assassins will be constitutionally incorrect: Former SC judge

விடுதலை செய்!

Hanging Rajiv’s assassins will be constitutionally incorrect: Former SC judge
Chennai, Feb 24: The recent execution of Afzal Guru has brought the spotlight back on the legality of hanging those who have been serving long sentences in jail after being awarded the death sentence.

 Thirteen years after awarding death penalty to Rajiv Gandhi's assassins, former Supreme Court judge Justice KT Thomas said that it would be constitutionally incorrect to hang them now. In an interview, Justice Thomas said the judgment itself had errors as it did not consider the antecedents, nature and character of the accused.

 The former apex court judge also called for a review of the case as their hanging would violate Article 21 of the Constitution. A three-judge bench presided over by Justice Thomas had awarded death sentence to Nalini Sriharan, Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan.

 Nalini's death penalty was commuted to life imprisonment in April 2000. The trio's case had been transferred to the Supreme Court and the court is expected to decide after the Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar case verdict.

I welcome the fact that decades of terrorism by the LTTE have come to an end.NP

I welcome the fact that decades of terrorism by the LTTE have come to an end. They were indeed a very brutal organisation.UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (HR) Navi Pillay


Govt. efforts at investigating alleged war crimes lack credibility: NP
Namini Wijedasa in an e-mail interview with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (HR) Navi Pillay

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (HR) Navi Pillay says none of the steps taken domestically in Sri Lanka, to investigate allegations of war crimes, have inspired confidence. This made an international investigation essential. Excerpts from her email interview with the Sunday Times:
 
There is to be another resolution on Sri Lanka at the upcoming sessions. What use are such resolutions, when (as is evident from your most recent report to the Council) the last one had such little impact?
 
I disagree. It is not that the last resolution has had little impact, but rather, that the Govt. has made little progress in pursuing true accountability and reconciliation measures. But in response to the resolution, the Govt. has at least made commitments and plans of action, and there is a framework in which to measure progress. I also think the resolution has sparked a proper debate on these issues in Sri Lanka, in which, calmer and more rational voices from civil society can be heard.
 
The Govt. says it serves no purpose to introduce “resolution after resolution” on Sri Lanka, so soon after it defeated a brutal terrorist organisation; that such resolutions are impediments to reconciliation and its domestic programmes.
 
I welcome the fact that decades of terrorism by the LTTE have come to an end. They were indeed a very brutal organisation. It is, nevertheless, important to address all situations where there have been massive HR violations, so that they are not brushed under the carpet, with the inevitable result that resentments begin to fester and harden, dramatically jeopardizing the chances of long-term peace and stability. It is hard to see how real reconciliation will be possible, if the truth is not told, and if justice is not seen to be carried out.

You expressed strong concern about the impeachment of the Chief Justice (CJ) and its impact on the rule of law. The Govt. accused you of overreaching your mandate. Didn’t you?

No. My mandate is to protect and promote the HR of everyone everywhere. And for HR to be protected, obviously, you must have an effective system of rule of law. There must be all the necessary checks and balances. As a former judge myself, both at home in South Africa and in international courts, I am acutely aware of how important it is to maintain the integrity and independence of the judiciary. And I have questioned politicised actions against the judiciary in many other countries.

The CJ was impeached after last year’s resolution was passed, and pending your report to the HRC this year. What does this tell you about the Govt.’s attitude?


My concern is that the impeachment of the CJ actually runs contrary to achieving accountability and reconciliation. The Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission rightly recognised that strengthening the rule of law is necessary for Sri Lanka to overcome the legacy of the conflict, but this action has eroded judicial independence and the rule of law. It has also further divided and polarised the community, making reconciliation more difficult.

You keep calling for an international war crimes investigation, particularly, into what happened during the final stages of the war. Why is this still so important?

Because tens of thousands of civilians were reportedly killed. Because there are very credible allegations and some strong pictorial evidence and witness accounts indicating that war crimes and other serious international crimes, including summary executions, use of child soldiers and the use of civilians as human shields took place on a large scale.

These are crimes that are viewed with the utmost seriousness under international human rights and humanitarian law, and there is plenty of evidence to suggest both sides committed them. Unfortunately, none of the steps taken domestically in Sri Lanka, to investigate any of this, inspire confidence. There is a long history of national inquiries in Sri Lanka that have led nowhere, but to impunity. This makes such an international investigation essential. Crimes like these cannot simply be ignored or pushed aside. If there has been exaggeration or distortions, or unjust allegations, then such an inquiry should also expose those. There has to be justice, if there is to be lasting peace.

Why do you suppose an international war crimes investigation is nowhere close to being initiated?

There are plenty of cases where the wheels of justice ultimately turn, although it can take time. But I don’t like to see the victims suffering so long, without any justice or redress for the appalling losses and personal damage they have endured.

Could it be that, given all the crises around the world, there is little international appetite for an investigation into a war that ended three years ago?

I think there is actually increasing appetite, as people start to see more details of what happened. The HR Council is now more active on comparable situations, and it is not surprising it should be returning to this issue.

There is also little local interest (among the majority public) in Sri Lanka, for such an investigation. How would you assess such sentiment?
I think some people just want to get on and forget, or would prefer not to know the full details of what happened. That is quite understandable after a long and vicious war like this, but it is also counter-productive, because it hinders a long-term solution. The LTTE were a particularly vicious group, and people are happy to see the end of them. But the Tamil population in Sri Lanka, especially in the war-affected parts of the country, must be treated fairly. They went through a quite atrocious experience. Crimes committed against them must be investigated, just like crimes committed by the LTTE.

The HRC is genuinely accused of double standards vis--vis Sri Lanka, and some other pro-Western countries (for instance, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Yemen, Occupied Territories). Is this exercise merely to inflict continuing diplomatic torture on Sri Lanka, until they fall in line with the West?

None of the countries you mention has gone through a conflict like the one in Sri Lanka. But there have just been similar inquiries on the occupied Palestinian territories: There was one on the 2009 conflict in Gaza, led by Justice Goldstone, about the same time as the last stage of the conflict in Sri Lanka began, and another major report has just been submitted to the HRC on the settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. I have personally spent considerable time and effort on the situations in Bahrain – where an international Commission of Inquiry headed by eminent international jurist Cherif Bassiouni, issued a very important report — and Yemen, where we recently opened an office and are actively engaged in transitional justice issues.

Are you aware of the recent protests against the Muslim community? If you are, do you have any concerns about this?

I am worried that the current climate in Sri Lanka is fostering intolerance and even violence towards minorities including the Muslim and Christian communities. We have seen manifestations of this before, and Sri Lanka should engage its civil society and religious leadership in preventing such tensions. That is why a visit by the Independent Expert on minority issues would be very timely, as she would be in a position to make expert recommendations on how to address the situation.

In the run-up to each HRC session, there is a heavy onslaught against Sri Lanka by rights groups and civil society. Channel 4 routinely times the release of its documentaries with some session or the other. There seems to be an orchestrated “conspiracy” against the Sri Lanka Govt. Do you think this is fair?

People should not confuse campaigns – which are legitimate activities – with conspiracies. I am not at all surprised that there are campaigns being carried out by HR activists, for all the reasons we have discussed already. This is a symptom of the fact that there has not yet been a proper independent and credible investigation into all the HR violations that took place during the conflict, with the aim of bringing sorely needed justice and reparations.

Sri Lanka states that it has engaged with the UN system consistently and transparently, and therefore, expects reciprocity from your office. Why do you not reciprocate?

I meet with Sri Lankan govt. officials, whenever they ask for a meeting. My staff engage with the Sri Lanka govt. and Sri Lanka civil society on many different levels – just as I do with other govts. and other civil society actors. I shared my report to the HRC with the Govt., and incorporated many of its comments. I have offered my office’s assistance to the Govt., and hope for a positive response.

Isn’t it the High Commissioner’s mandate to work in cooperation with member States, rather than in a confrontational manner, as HR cannot be promoted and protected without cooperation of the elected govt?

Indeed, I look for cooperation with all govts., but, at the same time, my mandate also involves acting as the voice of the victims, and speaking out when needed.

ஐ.நா.மனித உரிமை சபையின் 22 ஆவது கூட்டத்தொடரில் சமர்ப்பிக்கப்படவுள்ள சிங்களம் குறித்த அறிக்கையின் ஆரம்ப வரைபு

ஐ.நா.மனித உரிமை சபையின் 22 ஆவது கூட்டத்தொடரில் சமர்ப்பிக்கப்படவுள்ள சிங்களம் குறித்த அறிக்கையின் ஆரம்ப வரைபு

Here is the latest UNHCR draft:

1. Welcomes the report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the human rights situation in Sri Lanka [and urges / calls upon the Government of Sri Lanka to implement its recommendations];

2. Reiterates its call upon the Government of Sri Lanka to expeditiously implement the constructive recommendations made in the LLRC report and to take all necessary additional steps to fulfil its relevant legal obligations and commitment to initiate credible and independent actions to ensure justice, equity, accountability, [including investigations of violations of international law,] and reconciliation for all Sri Lankans;

3. Urges the Government of Sri Lanka to formally respond to outstanding requests, including by providing unfettered access, by special procedures mandate holders, in particular the Special Rapporteurs on independence of judges and lawyers; human rights defenders; freedom of expression; freedom of association and assembly; extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions; minority issues; and the Working Group on enforced or involuntary disappearances; and discrimination against women;

 4. Encourages the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights andrelevant special procedures mandate holders to provide, in consultation with, and with the concurrence of, the Government of Sri Lanka, advice and technical assistance on implementing the above-mentioned steps;

5. Requests the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, with input from relevant special procedures mandate holders, as appropriate, to present [to the Human Rights Council an interim report at its twenty-fourth session and] a report on the provision of such assistance and progress on reconciliation and accountability, including investigations of violations of international law, and the provision of technical assistance in Sri Lanka to the Human Rights Council [in an interactive dialogue] at its twenty-fifth session.”

 

Here is the latest UNHCR draft: ஐ.நா.மனித உரிமை சபையின் 22 ஆவது கூட்டத்தொடரில் சமர்ப்பிக்கப்படவுள்ள சிங்களம் குறித்த அறிக்கையின் ஆரம்ப வரைபு

Here is the latest UNHCR draft:

ஐ.நா.மனித உரிமை சபையின் 22 ஆவது கூட்டத்தொடரில் சமர்ப்பிக்கப்படவுள்ள சிங்களம் குறித்த அறிக்கையின் ஆரம்ப வரைபு


Here is the latest draft circulating in Colombo’s diplomatic community as well as in Geneva. Diplomatic sources in Colombo said further changes to the draft were likely.

“Promoting Reconciliation and Accountability in Sri Lanka
 “The Human Rights Council,
 “Guided by the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenants on Human Rights and other
relevant instruments,
 “Recalling Human Rights Council Resolution 19/2 on Promoting Reconciliation and Accountability in Sri Lanka,
 “Reaffirming that it is the responsibility of the Government of Sri Lanka to ensure the full enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms
of its entire population,
 “Taking note of the Government of Sri Lanka’s National Plan of Action to Implement the Recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation
Commission (LLRC) and its commitments as set forth in response to the findings and recommendations of the LLRC,

“Noting with concern that the National Plan of Action does not adequately address all of the findings and constructive recommendations of the LLRC,
 “Recalling the constructive recommendations contained in the LLRC’s report, including the need to credibly investigate widespread allegations of
extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances, demilitarize the north of Sri Lanka, implement impartial land dispute resolution mechanisms, re-
evaluate detention policies, strengthen formerly independent civil institutions, reach a political settlement on the devolution of power to the provinces,
promote and protect the right of freedom of expression for all and enact rule of law reforms,

“Also noting with concern that the National Plan of Action and the LLRC’s report do not adequately address serious allegations of violations of
international law,
 “Expressing concern at the continuing reports of violations of human rights in Sri Lanka [--, including] threats to judicial independence and the rule
of law, [such as the dismissal of Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake; enforced disappearances; extra-judicial killings; torture; repression of the
freedoms of expression and assembly; and intimidation of and reprisals against human rights defenders--] and failure by the Government of Sri Lanka
to fulfil its public commitments, including on devolution of political authority to provinces as called for in Sri Lanka’s constitution,

1. Welcomes the report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the human rights situation in Sri Lanka [and urges / calls upon the Government of Sri Lanka to implement its recommendations];

2. Reiterates its call upon the Government of Sri Lanka to expeditiously implement the constructive recommendations made in the LLRC report and to take all necessary additional steps to fulfil its relevant legal obligations and commitment to initiate credible and independent actions to ensure justice, equity, accountability, [including investigations of violations of international law,] and reconciliation for all Sri Lankans;

3. Urges the Government of Sri Lanka to formally respond to outstanding requests, including by providing unfettered access, by special procedures mandate holders, in particular the Special Rapporteurs on independence of judges and lawyers; human rights defenders; freedom of expression;
freedom of association and assembly; extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions; minority issues; and the Working Group on enforced or involuntary disappearances; and discrimination against women;

 4. Encourages the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights andrelevant special procedures mandate holders to provide, in consultation with, and with the concurrence of, the Government of Sri Lanka, advice and technical assistance on implementing the above-mentioned steps;

5. Requests the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, with input from relevant special procedures mandate holders, as appropriate, to present [to the Human Rights Council an interim report at its twenty-fourth session and] a report on the provision of such assistance and progress on
reconciliation and accountability, including investigations of violations of international law, and the provision of technical assistance in Sri Lanka to the Human Rights Council [in an interactive dialogue] at its twenty-fifth session.”

Human Rights Council will hold its twenty-second regular at the United Nations Office at Geneva from 25 February to 22 March




Human Rights Council to hold twenty-second regular session from 25 February to 22 March

Human Rights Council
BACKGROUND RELEASE

19 February 2013

The Human Rights Council will hold its twenty-second regular at the United Nations Office at Geneva from 25 February to 22 March, starting with a four-day high-level segment in which over 80 ministers and other senior dignitaries will address the Council on human rights matters of national
interest and concern.

During the session, the Council will hold interactive dialogues with High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay as well as with its Special Procedures on the right to food, adequate housing, torture, human rights defenders, arbitrary detention, human rights and counter-terrorism, enforced
disappearances, freedom of religion or belief, human rights and the environment, human rights and foreign debt, the sale of children, private military and security companies and minorities.  The Council will also hear the presentation of reports from the Special Representative of the Secretary-
General on violence against children and the Fact Finding Mission on Israeli settlements.

Interactive dialogues will also be held under the agenda item on human rights situations that require the Council’s attention with experts on Syria, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Myanmar and Iran, and under the agenda item on technical assistance and cooperation with experts on Côte
d’Ivoire and Haiti.

A high-level panel on the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action will be held on the first day, as well as a panel on human rights mainstreaming on 1 March, which will include an address by Secretary-General Ban ki-moon.  The annual discussion with human rights and persons with disability will be held on 6 March, the annual full-day meeting on the rights of the child on 7 March, another panel on the impact of corruption on human rights on 13 March, and the annual thematic discussion on technical cooperation on 19 March.

The Council will consider from 13 to 15 March the final outcomes of Universal Periodic Reviews undertaken on the human rights situations in Czech Republic, Argentina, Gabon, Ghana, Ukraine, Guatemala, Benin, Republic of Korea, Switzerland, Pakistan, Zambia, Japan, Peru and Sri Lanka.
 
Following its consideration of the reports, the Council is expected to officially adopt those documents, which include observations and recommendations to concretely improve the human rights situations in those countries.  This will conclude with the general debate on the Universal
Periodic Review.

On the first day, the President of the General Assembly, Vuk Jeremic, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, and the President of the Council, Ambassador Remigiusz Achilles Henczel of Poland, will make opening remarks. The high-level segment will take place from 25 February to 28 February and it will be followed by the High Commissioner presenting her annual report and an interactive dialogue with Ms. Pillay on 28 February and 1 March.  The High Commissioner and Secretary-General’s thematic reports will also be presented on 1 March.

During the week of 4 to 8 March, the Council will hold interactive dialogues with a number of its Special Procedures.  On 4 March, it will meet with the Special Rapporteurs on the right to food, the right to adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, on torture and
other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and on human rights defenders.  On 5 March, it will hold interactive dialogues with the Working Group on arbitrary detention, the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while
countering terrorism, the Working Group on enforced disappearances and the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief.  Interactive dialogues will be held with the Independent Experts on human rights and the environment and on the effects of foreign debt and other related
international financial obligations of States on the full enjoyment of all human rights, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on violence against children and the Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography.  A general debate will be held on 7 and 8 March on the promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development.

On 11 March, the Council will hold interactive discussions with the Commission of Inquiry on Syria, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar and the Special
Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran.  In the evening, the High Commissioner and Secretary-General’s country reports will be presented, followed by a general debate.  On 12 March, the Council will hold an interactive dialogue with its Independent Expert on minorities, to be followed by the presentation of the reports of its subsidiary bodies: the Forum on Minority Issues, the Social Forum and the Human Rights Council Advisory Committee.

The Council will on 18 March hold an interactive dialogue with the independent interactive fact-finding mission to investigate the implications of the Israeli settlements on the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the Palestinian people throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.  In the afternoon, the reports of the High Commissioner and the Secretary-General under the agenda item on the human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories will be presented, followed by a general debate.  On 19 March, general debates on the agenda items on follow-up to and implementation of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, and on racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related forms of intolerance, follow-up to and implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action will be held.

On 19 March in the afternoon, an interactive dialogue with the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Côte d’Ivoire will be held.  And on 20 March, an interactive dialogue with the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Haiti will be held.  Also on the same day, general debates will be held on the agenda items on the annual report of the United nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and reports of the Office of the High Commissioner and the Secretary, and on technical assistance and capacity building.

The Council will hold closed meetings on its Complaint Procedure on Friday, 8 March in the afternoon and Wednesday, 20 March in the afternoon.

Before concluding its session, on 21 and 22 March, the Council will take action on the draft resolutions and decisions tabled during the session.