Ban KiMoon urges Israel to reconsider measure to limit fuelelectricity to Gaza

“The Secretary-General reiterates his call for the cessation of indiscriminate rocket attacks by Palestinian militants targeting Israel and strongly condemns these actions. However he also believes strongly that punitive measures taken by Israel which harm the well-being of the entire population of the Gaza Strip are unacceptable,” a spokesperson for Mr. Ban said in a statement. “The limitation of fuel and electricity supplies deepens the humanitarian distress of the 1.4 million residents of Gaza, as does the reduction of the supply of essential commodities and the tightening of restrictions on movement and access,” the spokesperson said, calling on Israel to reconsider its actions. All concerned must “protect civilians and to meet their obligations under international law,” the statement noted. Last week, UN Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes also condemned ongoing rocket attacks from Gaza into Israel while voicing concern that Israel was threatening to cut off electricity and fuel supplies if they continued. “It did not appear to be an appropriate response to those rocket attacks to punish the population of Gaza,” he said. He called on Israel to lift its economic blockade on Gaza and relax its restrictions on humanitarian aid, in part to improve the chances of progress at Israeli-Palestinian talks scheduled to take place in the United States next month. Given the conditions inside both Gaza and the West Bank, the population increasingly depends on outside aid to survive, he said. “That is not a good situation for their livelihoods, their dignity and the possibility of their participating in any kind of peace process.” Also last week, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs B. Lynn Pascoe told the Security Council about the humanitarian situation that Palestinians face and the potential impact of further Israeli restrictions. 29 October 2007United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today reiterated his call for an end to rocket attacks against Israel while urging the country to reconsider the limitation of fuel and electricity supplies to residents of Gaza, pointing out that this is worsening the already serious humanitarian situation there. read more

Ex LTTE negotiator tells TNA to push for Eelam

Rudrakumaran also noted that the outcome of the August 2015 elections should not be in any way misconstrued by the TNA that the people have rejected the overwhelming mandate given at the parliamentary election of 1977 for the establishment of an independent Tamil State in the island of Sri Lanka adding that doing so would be utterly incorrect. “Of the different positions we articulated, the TNA included in their election manifesto the one concerning the Thimphu Principles, which recognize that Eelam Tamils have inhabited a traditional homeland, they constitute a distinct nation, based on which  Eelam Tamils were entitled to the right of self-determination.  With reference to the Report to be delivered by the United Nations Human Rights Commissioner, although there was no mention about an international independent investigation in TNA’s election manifesto, we saw that number TNA candidates reiterated on election platforms their support for an international investigation,” Rudrakumaran said in a statement. “The reality in Sri Lanka is such that 6th Amendment to the Constitution adopted after the 1977 elections prohibits any expression by the Tamil people of their aspirations for freedom through secession. The 6th Amendment has clearly established a situation in which the Eelam Tamil Nation in its campaign for political rights could not even express, let alone discuss freely, the options for a resolution to the Tamil National question. In this context, the failure of the Tamil voters to express a desire to create their own independent, sovereign state could be considered as a fresh mandate state only if they voted after the 6th Amendment had been repealed, and not when the voting took place with the 6th Amendment in place to muzzle their freedom of expression. The enormous sacrifice of over 40,000 martyrs and tens of thousands of citizens remain with us as a mandate, and reminding generations to come the duty to uphold that mandate towards establishing an independent State of Tamil Eelam,” he said.He also said that the opportunity for the Tamil people to express their true aspirations would come only when the said 6th Amendment is repealed and a Referendum is conducted under aegis of the international community whereby Tamils living in the North and East and in the Diaspora could vote on all options for a solution to the Tamil national struggle in Sri Lanka, including the option to secede. (Colombo Gazette) Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran, the head of the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) and former LTTE peace negotiator, has called on the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) to push for the creation of a State of Tamil Eelam.While congratulating the TNA on its victory at the Parliamentary Elections Rudrakumaran noted that during the election the TGTE appealed to the Tamil people to cast their votes based on certain fundamental positions instead of the usual approach of supporting a political party. read more

Girl in Singapore finds missing Sri Lankan Tamil father

She says he mother had posted newspaper advertisements in Sri Lanka through a Singaporean lawyer looking for her father from the time he left to the year 2000 but there was no luck.She also published a post on her Facebook which was republished in the Singaporean media recently.“I am searching for my biological Father, Kanagasundaram Somasundaram (Age 60). He left us 27 years ago, My mum (Vimala) and me when I was 1+years old. After a workplace injury that cut off one of his fingertip, he left to Sri Lanka in 1991, since then he has not returned to Singapore. I’m looking for my father so that my mum and ‘I’ have some closure to some of the questions that has been pondering us. My mum is still not married or attached to anyone as she still respect my father as her husband,” the Facebook post read. Durga Keshav had said last week that Kanagasundaram Somasundaram left her family in Singapore and came to Sri Lanka in 1991 but never returned.Keshav said that her father left Singapore following a workplace accident in which one of his fingertips was injured. Somasundaram has two younger siblings, a brother and sister and is a resident of Pandivirichchan near the Madhu Church.“My father was a teacher who taught Arts in Sri Lanka and India before he came to Singapore to work as a carpenter. I have a couple of documents to proof of his birth, village certificate, registry of marriage certificate, special pass entry document. The last information that we knew about him was that in 1994-1995 he had left to either Canada or Australia with his new family (not sure of the authenticity of the info),” Durga Keshav said.Durga Keshav says she was not looking to get anything from her father other than just find him and get closure. (Colombo Gazette) Kanagasundaram Somasundaram was born in Point Pedro, Jaffna and is a Sri Lankan Tamil. “After so much of questioning and getting proofs from them, It is confirmed that my dad is still around. I have spoken to my dad. He still has all the letters that my mum wrote to him and the photographs as well. He also asked if it’s ok to be in contact with him, and If I will even call him back. No plans of meeting him or his family as I don’t want to disturb them. My step siblings have requested to speak to me as they have accepted the truth. However, I would want to  travel to Sri Lanka in the near future to know my roots,” Durga Keshav told the Colombo Gazette. A girl in Singapore has found her father in Sri Lanka after a story appeared on the Colombo Gazette and other websites saying she was looking for him.Durga Keshav said that she has received various messages from her paternal relatives and cousins with regards to her father. She was a one year old when her father left but and Durga Keshav later launched a campaign to locate her father who she believed was either in Sri Lanka or Australia. read more

Moodys downgrades ratings for Canadas big banks amid consumer debt worries

Moody’s downgrades ratings for Canada’s big banks amid consumer debt worries TORONTO – Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded Canada’s six big banks in another worrying sign about growing consumer debt and housing prices.The cut reflects an ongoing concern that expanding levels of private-sector debt could weaken asset quality in the future, Moody’s senior vice-president David Beattie said.“Continued growth in Canadian consumer debt and elevated housing prices leaves consumers, and Canadian banks, more vulnerable to downside risks facing the Canadian economy than in the past,” Beattie said.Shares of TD Bank (TSX:TD), Bank of Montreal (TSX:BMO), Scotiabank (TSX:BNS), CIBC (TSX:CM), National Bank (TSX:NA) and Royal Bank (TSX:RY) all fell Thursday in the wake of the downgrade, which may increase their cost of borrowing. Royal Bank closed down 58 cents at $92.75, while TD Bank dropped 47 cents to $63.42.David Madani, senior Canada economist at Capital Economics, said the downgrade comes amid mounting concerns about the housing market and its effect on the economy.“Even the banks themselves have admitted recently that housing is a problem,” he said.Despite moves by the federal government in recent years to cool the housing market, Moody’s noted that house prices and consumer debt levels remain historically high and business credit has also grown rapidly.“We do note that the Canadian banks maintain strong buffers in terms of capital and liquidity,” the Moody’s report said.“However, the resilience of household balance sheets, and consequently bank portfolios, to a serious economic downturn has not been tested at these levels of private sector indebtedness.”But Madani said the Canadian banks have taken steps to protect themselves even if there is a major housing correction that leads to a broader economic slowdown.“The thing to keep in mind though is when it comes to the major traditional larger banks, they’ve been very careful to insure a lot of their non-conventional mortgages,” he said.Madani said the Canadian banks would take a hit, but they have also expanded their operations outside of the country and diversify where they make their money in recent years.Moody’s said it expects the six big banks will face a more challenging operating environment for the remainder of this year and beyond.The debt rating agency downgraded the baseline credit assessments, the long-term debt and deposit ratings and the counterparty risk assessments of the banks and their affiliates by one notch, with the exception of TD Bank’s counter party risk assessment which was affirmed. It also maintained its negative outlook for the relevant ratings on the six banks.The change cut TD Bank’s long-term rating to Aa2, while the five other banks fell to A1.The move comes amid heightened scrutiny of the Canadian housing and financial sector, particularly around alternative mortgage lender Home Capital, which was forced to seek an emergency $2-billion line of credit recently as customers rushed to withdraw their deposits from their high-interest savings accounts.Madani downplayed the possibility of trouble at Home Capital causing broader problems in the sector.“They aren’t too big to fail, their balance sheet is very small and lately we’ve already seen some private lenders step up and purchase some of their presumably better quality mortgages,” he said. by The Canadian Press Posted May 11, 2017 7:39 am MDT Last Updated May 11, 2017 at 2:40 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more