8 Oct

Blake casts doubts on government commitment

He said that while he was aware the government had said the elections will be held the latest in September next year, the US government hopes the elections can be held much sooner.On issues of accountability, Blake said it is the hope of the US government that three years after the end of the conflict, there can be a credible and transparent accounting, investigation and prosecution of some of the outstanding and serious allegations of human rights violations, as well as progress on the missing. Blake also called for early provincial council elections in the north despite the announcement by President Mahinda Rajapaksa that elections will be held in September next year. “We always supported a domestic process,” Blake told reporters hours after meeting with officials from the government and opposition including President’s Secretary Lalith Weeratunga who heads the committee involved in preparing the LLRC action plan. He also encouraged an early resumption of talks between the TNA and the government to agree on powers to be devolved to the provinces.Report by Easwaran Rutnam US Under Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert Blake says there are questions on the commitment of the government in implementing the action plan of the Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC).Addressing the media in Colombo today following the end of his visit to Sri Lanka, Blake said that the action plan is fairly detailed and having a timeline is also good but yet there needs to be progress in the implementation process. read more

3 Oct

Crown may proceed with BC logging auction against First Nations wishes court

by The Canadian Press Posted Jul 28, 2015 4:07 pm MDT Last Updated Jul 29, 2015 at 2:40 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email VANCOUVER – A judge has refused to block British Columbia’s government from auctioning off 15 logging licences within the traditional territory of a First Nation in the province’s northeast.B.C. Supreme Court has dismissed an injunction application by the Blueberry River First Nations connected to almost 1,700 hectares of marketable timber in the upper Peace River Region.The application is part of a much broader lawsuit in which the First Nation alleges its treaty rights have been violated wholesale, in a region that will be home to the province’s controversial Site C hydroelectric dam.In applying for the injunction, the First Nation argued the Crown breached its treaty obligations with the cut-block auction, which is slated for August.However, the Crown says the First Nation has long known about the proposed logging, was consulted and didn’t object until a recent change in its leadership.The judge says the First Nation may be able to persuade the courts to put a wide-ranging hold on industrial activity until the broader lawsuit is heard, but he says the public interest is not served by dealing with the issue project by project. Crown may proceed with B.C. logging auction against First Nations’ wishes: court read more