155,000 persons in the industrial sector and 99,000 in the services sector have lost their jobs within the first six months of this year. Accordingly the total number of people who lost jobs during the period is 254,000 states reports from Department of Census and Statistics.
Meanwhile, the government has taken loans for high interests by issuing development bonds for Rs.150000 million. Out of this amount Rs.75000 million has been allocated to pay loan installments and interest.
Latest statistics issued by the Department of Census and Statistic reveal the economic growth by the second quarter of this year has come down by 2.1%. Also, several ministries are preparing to get supplementary estimates to the value of Rs.6000 million approved during the next three months.
All this data reveal that the economic crisis the government has been trying to hide has aggravated.
© Lanka Truth
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Saturday, September 19, 2009
By Amal Jayasinghe - A top UN official issued a strong call for "truth-seeking" into alleged excesses by security forces during the crushing of Tamil rebels as he ended a visit to Sri Lanka, a UN statement said on Saturday.
"We feel that ideally the Sri Lankans should carry out a national process of truth-seeking and accountability," the UN's political chief Lynn Pascoe said a statement issued in Colombo after his departure late on Friday.
Pascoe, undersecretary general for political affairs, asked Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse to set up a process to ensure accountability for alleged war crimes, said the statement.
"The (truth-seeking) process has to be serious, independent and impartial," said Pascoe, a deputy to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
Sri Lanka has consistently resisted US- and European-led calls for war crimes investigations, saying no civilians were killed by its security forces.
With support from China and Russia, it has managed to stave off a UN Security Council debate on the issue.
"Coming to grips with the past is difficult," the UN statement said.
"Sweeping it under the rug could be a tempting shortcut, but it can have a high price at a later time," the statement added.
The UN statement said reconciliation was important for the island's future.
"The UN has dealt with the aftermath of many conflicts around the world, and has learnt that moving forward and building peace sometimes requires finding a way to address issues of accountability," the UN statement said.
The UN has said up to 7,000 civilians may have perished in the first few months of this year when security forces escalated their offensive against the remnants of the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
At a press conference just before leaving the island, Pascoe expressed "strong concerns" over Sri Lanka's war refugees and said the government had been slow to resettle tens of thousands of displaced civilians.
"We have not seen the progress we expected from that agreement," he said of a deal between Colombo and Ban in May, just after the government declared the decades-long separatist war was over.
The agreement was for the speedy resettlement of 300,000 internally displaced people who were driven out of their homes after the end of fighting between troops and Tamil Tiger rebels.
"Clearly, the government is making a lot of effort, but we have some strong concerns -- particularly the 'closed' nature of the camps," Pascoe told reporters after touring camps where ethnic Tamil civilians are held in what rights groups say are prison-like conditions.
"We picked up great frustrations. I was told by many that they just wanted to go home," Pascoe added. "I urged the government to allow people who were screened to be allowed to leave."
UN calls for Sri Lanka probe into rights abuse charges - Lanka Business Online
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Two election offices of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) located in Seenipella and Kiriveldeniya in Galle and Matara districts were set on fire Thursday night by unidentified gang suspected to be ruling UPFA supporters. JVP member of the Mulatiyana Pradeshiya Sabha and Matara district provincial election candidate Ajantha Gammedda complained to the police that the furniture and several banners in the two offices were destroyed by the fire.
In another incident the Akmeemana Chief organizer of the ruling UPFA Nishantha Mutuhetti was arrested by the Police after he attacked an office of actress Anarkali Aakarsha who is also contesting from the same party in the same district for the upcoming PC elections.
The arrest came hours after Mutuhetti surrendered himself to the Galle Magistrate court over an allegation that he had threatened Anarkali.
He was given bail later.
He and his supporters thereafter attacked the office at Magalla. The Police also had been attacked, but residents had overpowered them and handed over to the police.
Mutuhetti is a former PC member and has been opposed to Anarkali contesting from the same district.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
A visiting senior United Nations official on Friday expressed "strong concerns" over Sri Lanka's war refugees and said the government had been slow to resettle tens of thousands of displaced civilians.
"We have not seen the progress we expected from that agreement," UN undersecretary-general for political affairs Lynn Pascoe said of a deal between Colombo and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in May.
The agreement was for the speedy resettlement of 300,000 internally displaced people (IDP) who were displaced after the end of fighting between troops and Tamil Tiger rebels.
"Clearly, the government is making a lot of effort, but we have some strong concerns," Pascoe told reporters here after touring camps where ethnic Tamil civilians are hold in what rights groups say are prison-like conditions.
"But we have some strong concerns. The UN is concerned over the lack of free movement of IDPs, particularly the 'closed' nature of the camps," he said at the end of his three-day visit.
"We picked up great frustrations. I was told by many that they just wanted to go home," Pascoe said. "I urged the government to allow people who were screened, to be allowed to leave.
"For others, to leave the camps in the daytime to find work, to meet with family, to visit families in other camps," he said.
He said Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse on Friday agreed to issue "day passes" for inmates allowing them to leave the camps during the daytime.
"As the situation currently stands in the camps, there is a real risk of breeding resentment that will undermine the prospects for a political reconciliation in the future," he said.
There was no immediate reaction from the government, but the government in a statement earlier in the day said Rajapakse had promised Pascoe to resettle war-displaced civilians by January.
The president also brushed aside Western demands for a probe into war crimes in the final stages of the decades-old conflict, saying the global body should not "pacify" Western countries which have been seeking a UN investigation.
"Considering the understanding that existed between the UN and Sri Lanka, President Rajapakse said he did not expect the UN to pacify any members, big or small, about the situation in Sri Lanka," his office said in a statement.
"With the new (mine-clearing) equipment in use, and hopefully more to come, we expected the entire resettlement to be completed by the end of next January," he told Pascoe, the presidency said in a statement.
"I look forward to things been done on the timetable assured by the president," Pascoe said of the end-January deadline.
Pascoe was sent by Ban, who has voiced concern over delays in resettling Tamil civilians living in what the government calls "welfare villages."
"I understand the pressure and constraints on the (UN) Secretary General. However, you must also understand the problems we face," Rajapakse said in the statement, referring to the need to screen the camps for rebels.
Sri Lanka has resisted calls for war-crimes investigations into its recent crushing of the Tamil separatist insurgency and, with support from China and Russia, managed to stave off a UN Security Council debate on the issue.
The UN has said that up to 7,000 civilians may have perished in the first few months of this year when security forces escalated their offensive against the remnants of the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
Pascoe said that he saw some efforts to provide facilities for the refugees displaced by the violence, but added that people were impatient and wanted to go back to their homes at the earliest.
A UN statement issued before Pascoe's arrived here said he would discuss resettlement, political reconciliation and ways to probe alleged human rights violations during the conflict.
Lanka’s story better than reported internationally:Pascoe - The Island
As Rajapaksa Says Pascoe Praises His Actions - Inner City Press
VICTIMS OF WAR: A long, long wait for Sri Lanka's IDPs - New Straits Times
Sri Lanka Pledges to Send Home Tamils Displaced by Fighting - Voice of America
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