Shivajilingam calls for an OHCHR office in North and East

Shivajilingam said the UN must firmly and categorically require Sri Lanka to fully implement each section of the Resolution 30/1 without any delay.“The UN must ensure that the judicial process consists of foreign judges, prosecutors and investigators as stated in the Resolution, and if Sri Lanka continues to delay and deceive, the UN must take further measures,” he said.He also said the UN/OHCHR should open its offices in the North-East region where the crimes were committed, so that it can facilitate the victims, and provide some protection to the witnesses. (Colombo Gazette) He said the Tamil people have long history of disappointment and deception by the successive Governments of Sri Lanka. Tamil National Alliance, Northern Provincial Counmcil member M K Shivajilingam has called for the establishment of an Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in the North and East.In a statement to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Shivajilingam said the Tamil people in Sri Lanka have suffered tremendously for the last 70 years, and today more than ever, they are counting on the UN and the international community to give them justice and their political rights, and assure their protection. “After numerous reports, resolutions, and investigations by the UN, Sri Lanka finally agreed last year, and co-sponsored a Resolution calling for a judicial mechanism that will include foreign judges, prosecutors and investigators. Not too long after its promises, several high-ranking members of its Government, including the President and the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka have clearly, categorically, and publicly retracted from their promises made to the UN, declared that they will not allow foreign judges, prosecutors and investigators, and vowed to “protect” their military,” he said. Shivajilingam said the Tamil people want all crimes committed against them to be investigated, including the crime of Genocide.He said there will not be any justice to the Tamils without the involvement of foreign judges, prosecutors and investigators. read more

Japan posts record 174B monthly trade deficit in January as rise in

Japan posts record $17.4B monthly trade deficit in January as rise in imports outpaces exports by Elaine Kurtenbach, The Associated Press Posted Feb 20, 2013 2:54 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email TOKYO – Japan posted a record 1.63 trillion yen ($17.4 billion) trade deficit in January as rebounding exports lagged behind surging imports of crude oil and gas due to rising prices and the weakening yen.The provisional data released Wednesday show exports for the world’s third-biggest economy rose 6.4 per cent to 4.8 trillion yen ($51.2 billion) in January from a year earlier, the first year-on-year increase in eight months. Imports jumped 7.3 per cent to 6.43 trillion yen ($68.6 billion.)A weakening in Japan’s currency over the past few months has helped boost exports by making its products more price competitive overseas. But it has also inflated the value of resource-scarce Japan’s imports of crude oil and other commodities, which offset a recovery in demand for Japanese-made vehicles and machinery.The trend is hindering Japan’s long-time strategy of relying heavily on exports to drive growth and adds to pressure for stronger domestic demand at a time when the workforce is aging and shrinking and corporate investment remains feeble.Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to seek help from Japan’s ally the U.S. in a visit later this week to Washington, where he plans to appeal to President Barack Obama for wider access to cheaper exports of U.S. shale gas, Kyodo News Service and other local reports said Wednesday.Abe’s office would not confirm those reports. But it did say that “the government of Japan attaches utmost importance to the necessity of co-operation in the areas of resources and energy, particularly considering our current stringent energy situation,” after the March 2011 disasters.The Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear accident, triggered by a massive earthquake and tsunami, led to the closures of most of Japan’s nuclear power plants, necessitating a sharp increase in imports of oil and gas.Abe took office in December vowing to boost the economy by restoring Japan’s export competitiveness, while at the same time stimulating demand at home through higher public works spending. He also has promised to push ahead with politically tough reforms needed to sustain growth in the longer term, though such efforts have not made much headway in the past.Trade with the United States and major Asian trading partners rose early this year as the global recovery strengthened and the economic impact of friction with China over a territorial dispute appeared to recede. But trade with European countries remained weak, with a 6 per cent decline in exports from a year earlier. Imports from Western Europe climbed 6.3 per cent.Exports to the United States jumped 11 per cent from the year before to 839.8 billion yen ($8.97 billion), while imports rose 5.8 per cent to 521.1 billion yen ($5.6 billion). That boosted Japan’s surplus with the U.S. by 20 per cent from a year earlier to 318.7 billion yen ($3.4 billion)Exports to China climbed 3 per cent but imports also surged, leaving a deficit of 654.6 billion yen ($7 billion), up 11 per cent from the year before. Shipments of Japanese products to other Asian nations rose sharply, however, as manufacturers stepped up efforts to boost production and sales outside of China. Exports to Taiwan jumped 28.8 per cent from a year earlier, to Thailand by 23.7 per cent, to Vietnam by 21 per cent and to Hong Kong by nearly 12 per cent.Japan’s imports of crude oil and other fuel rose 8.8 per cent to 2.26 trillion yen ($24.1 billion), accounting for over a third of its total import bill, pushed higher by the yen’s weaker purchasing power and rising prices.Exports of transport equipment climbed 25 per cent, mainly due to rising exports of auto parts, while exports of machinery increased 18 per cent.Japan’s trade deficit rose to a record 6.93 trillion yen ($78.3 billion) in 2012 as fuel imports surged and a bitter territorial dispute with China provoked anti-Japanese riots, hammering exports to the world’s No. 2 economy.The trade deficit narrowed to 641.5 billion yen ($7.25 billion) in December from the 954.8 billion yen shortfall in November. That was despite a 5.8 per cent drop in exports for the month. read more