US Embassy protests blocking of demonstrators

“All Sri Lankans should enjoy the same rights and live in dignity, sharing a democratic, secure, and prosperous future,” the US Embassy statement said.The police blocked a group of people heading to Colombo from the north late last night to take part in a demonstration over the disappeared, Tamil politician Mano Ganeshan said.He told the Colombo Gazette that some 10 bus loads of people mainly from Vavuniya and Mannar, which were preparing to leave Vavuniya today, were blocked by the police. The LLRC recommends thorough investigations into disappearances as well an establishment of a mechanism to address cases of the missing and detained.The US Embassy says since last year’s UNHRC resolution the United States has grown increasingly concerned by the lack of progress on these issues, as well as backsliding on other important areas of fundamental democratic rights. The Embassy also said that the United States is constructively working with international partners to support these basic freedoms through the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution in Geneva. Ganeshan said that the police had warned the people that there was information the buses may come under attack when heading to Colombo. (Colombo Gazette) “We continue to urge the Government of Sri Lanka to follow through on its own commitments to its people by implementing recommendations made in their Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) Report;” the Embassy said. The US Embassy in Colombo, in a strongly worded statement, has hit out at the government for preventing hundreds of people from the north from heading to Colombo today to take part in a demonstration calling for information about their disappeared family members,The Embassy called on the Sri Lankan authorities to allow free movement of these citizens as the right to freely express opinions is universal and protected under Sri Lankan and international law. Report by Easwaran Rutnam read more

Germanys ZEW investor confidence index falls unexpectedly in July to minus 196

Germany’s ZEW investor confidence index falls unexpectedly in July to minus 19.6 points by News Staff Posted Jul 17, 2012 7:37 am MDT FRANKFURT – A key measure of German investor confidence fell unexpectedly in July in another sign that the eurozone financial crisis is weighing on Europe’s largest economy.The ZEW institute said Tuesday its index fell for the third month in a row to minus 19.6 points from minus 16.9 in June. Market analysts foresaw a small increase to minus 15.0.Germany is the largest economy in the 17-country eurozone and has an outsized impact on the currency union and its efforts to dig out of a crisis over too much government debt. It has enjoyed economic growth and low unemployment even as financially troubled countries such as Spain and Italy were sinking into recession. German growth of 0.5 per cent in the first quarter kept the eurozone as a whole from sliding into recession, and the German economy is still expected to post modest growth this year.Yet economic indicators have worsened recently as the financial turmoil heightened economic uncertainty among other eurozone members — who are also Germany’s main trade partners. The European Central Bank cut its key interest rate July 5 to a record low 0.75 per cent to stimulate the eurozone economy.The ZEW remains well below its long-term average of plus 24.0.Carsten Brzeski, an analyst with ING bank in Brussels, said Germany should still escape a sharp downturn, noting the ZEW index has in the past been a better indicator for investor perceptions of the eurozone crisis than of German economic growth.Data on German industrial production and private consumption remained stable, he noted. “The economy has not yet escaped the risk of a contraction in the second quarter but a severe deterioration, as in most other eurozone countries, should be avoided,” he wrote in a note to investors.Jennifer McKeown, senior European economist at Capital Economics Ltd in London, took a more bearish view and predicted Germany would suffer a recession with GDP falling by 1.0 per cent next year. “Germany’s earlier economic resilience is at an end,” she said.The Mannheim-based ZEW, or Centre for European Economic Research, surveyed 273 investment analysts July 2-16 about their about their expectations for the next six months. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more