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.
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Scott Mayerowitz, The Associated Press Posted Feb 12, 2013 10:32 pm MDT NEW YORK, N.Y. – General Electric is saying goodbye to 30 Rock — the famous building and the TV business born there.It’s another step in GE’s efforts to focus on less glamorous — but theoretically more profitable — ventures such as manufacturing medical imaging equipment, airplane engines and electrical generators.The Fairfield, Connecticut, company announced Tuesday that it is selling its 49 per cent stake in NBCUniversal to Comcast Corp., the largest U.S. cable TV operator, for $16.7 billion. Comcast had bought a majority stake in the television and movie company in January 2011 and was expected to buy out GE’s remaining stake over the next several years.General Electric will use the money to accelerate its share repurchase program to approximately $10 billion in 2013.“This transaction allows us to significantly increase the cash we plan to return to shareholders in 2013, to approximately $18 billion, and to continue to invest in our industrial business,” GE CEO Jeff Immelt said in a statement.GE is giving up its stake in one of America’s best-known brands.The sale includes the NBC broadcast network, which airs everything from “Law & Order” to “The Office” and “The Biggest Loser.” The company also owns cable networks Bravo, CNBC, Telemundo, USA and the Golf Channel. There’s also Universal Pictures, which over its 100 years has offered movies including “To Kill a Mockingbird,” ”The Sting,” ”Jurassic Park” and “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial.”GE’s capital unit will also sell the floors NBCUniversal occupies in the iconic 30 Rockefeller Center building in New York as well as property in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, for $1.4 billion. GE will retain two floors at 30 Rock, spokesman Seth Martin said.The sale of the Rockefeller Center floors includes naming rights to the building, which has featured giant red “GE” letters at its top since 1988, a prominent part of the New York skyline.A spokesman for Philadelphia-based Comcast said the company had no comment on its plans for the 1933 Art Deco building.GE’s history with NBC goes back to 1919, when it co-founded the Radio Corporation of America, or RCA. The company pioneered commercial radio broadcasting. In 1926, RCA launched a television arm: the National Broadcasting Company, or NBC. Within two years, it had started the first regularly scheduled U.S. television programming in Schenectady, New York, then the site of GE headquarters.GE sold its stake in RCA in 1932. But in 1986, GE ended up acquiring RCA, selling off its record label and television-manufacturing business. All that remained was NBC.During the GE years, NBC was home to a number of hits including “Friends,” ”Seinfeld,” ”ER,” ”Frasier,” and the “West Wing.” Millions of American tuned in each night to watch the network’s lineup, which was sold as “Must See TV.”In 2011, GE sold its majority ownership of NBCUniversal to Comcast for $8 billion in cash and reduced its ownership share from 80 per cent to 49 per cent. Tuesday’s sale of the remaining stake gives GE cash to focus on its industrial businesses, such as building train locomotives, wind turbines and lights.In 2007, just before the financial crisis hit with full force, GE’s finance arm accounted for about 55 per cent of the company’s earnings, according to Martin. NBCUniversal contributed about $3 billion of the company’s $22 billion in operating profit.In 2012, GE’s industrial segment — including a growing energy-infrastructure business — had a profit of $15.49 billion, compared with $7.4 billion from GE Capital.General Electric CEO Immelt said that Tuesday’s sale of NBCUniversal will allow his company to “accelerate our investment in our core businesses.”Showbiz might be sexy, but for GE the profit apparently is in manufacturing the devices that generate the power for our TVs.___Scott Mayerowitz can be reached at http://twitter.com/GlobeTrotScott. General Electric will use proceeds from NBCUniversal sale to repurchase $10 billion in shares