Inquiry into alleged abuses crucial for Sri Lankas recovery – UN rights

26 May 2009Investigating human rights abuses allegedly committed against civilians by both the Government of Sri Lanka and Tamil rebels will help the country transition into a new future, the United Nations human rights chief stated. “There are strong reasons to believe that both sides have grossly disregarded the fundamental principle of the inviolability of civilians,” Navi Pillay said in a video message to the Human Rights Council’s special session on the human rights situation in Sri Lanka.Today’s meeting in Geneva takes place one week after the Government announced that its military operation against the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) had ended, and on the heels of a visit to the South Asian island nation by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and several of his top aides. Ms. Pillay said an “independent and credible international investigation into recent events should be dispatched to ascertain the occurrence, nature and scale of violations of international human rights and international humanitarian law, as well as specific responsibilities.”The LTTE has been accused of purposefully preventing civilians from leaving the conflict zone, forcefully conscripting people, and using civilians as human shields. “There were even alleged cases of the LTTE firing on civilians as they sought to flee, or targeting with suicide attacks checkpoints as the [internally displaced persons] IDPs left the area,” Ms. Pillay said.For its part, the Government reportedly utilized heavy weapons on the small and densely-populated area of conflict in Sri Lanka’s north, she noted, in spite of assurances that it would take precautions to protect civilians. Further, Government forces allegedly shelled a hospital several times in the last weeks of fighting, and accusations that the army may have killed LTTE members as they were trying to surrender would constitute violations of the laws of war.“Establishing the facts is crucial to set the record straight regarding the conduct of all parties in the conflict,” the High Commissioner for Human Rights stressed, with victims and survivors to the conflict entitled to justice and remedies.In her message to the 47-member Council, she reiterated the call issued by Mr. Ban to tackle the root causes of the conflict.“A new future for the country, the prospect of meaningful reconciliation and lasting peace, where respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms can become a reality for all, hinges upon such an in-depth and comprehensive approach,” she said.During his visit, Mr. Ban urged the Government to undertake certain confidence-building measures to “clearly and unmistakably” signal its good intentions in addressing root causes of Tamil and Muslim grievances, warning that if issues of reconciliation and social inclusion are not dealt with, history could repeat itself.Mr. Ban also visited IDP camps, an experience he called “very sobering,” and flew over the former conflict zone.In the camps in Menik Farm, one of the largest IDP sites, the Secretary-General was “able to see from himself that while a lot as been done, there is still long way to go,” Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes, who accompanied Mr. Ban on the trip, told a press briefing today in New York.Regarding the flight he took over the former area of conflict, the Secretary-General could “imagine just by looking at it what kind of hell it must have been,” Mr. Holmes noted.In his “useful” discussions with President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Mr. Ban discussed humanitarian issues, including greater Sri Lankan-UN cooperation to improve conditions in the camps. Mr. Ban pressed upon the Sri Lankan leader the need for unimpeded access – for both people and for vehicles – to the camps.Also accompanying Mr. Ban to Sri Lanka was B. Lynn Pascoe, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, who told reporters that although the military part of the conflict is over, the Sri Lankan Government must lead the humanitarian, reconstruction and political aspects of the recovery process.The international community must also play a role, he stressed, adding that “we don’t want to see a recurrence of the difficulties and problems that have occurred in the past.” read more

Mining leads as IPO activity in Western Australia continues recovery in FY11

first_imgGR Engineering Services19 Apr -56Materials -17Materials 20.0 2007 Amount raised ($m) (LHS)495.7 603.9 Number of floats (RHS)55 174 2009 15.0 Amount raised ($m) 101.2 IPO activity in Western Australia continued to increase post the global financial crisis (GFC), according to new figures released from the Deloitte Corporate Finance survey. Western Australia produced 63 IPOs in the year ending 30 June 2011 (FY11), almost double the 33 IPOs in the previous financial year. The value of funds raised through IPOs also increased sharply, up from A$266 million to A$604 million. Of the ten largest of these IPOs, nine were in the resources sector.Deloitte Corporate Finance partner, Andrew Annand, said Western Australia again generated more IPOs than any other state in 2010, and accounted for five of the 10 best-performing floats, again led by the resources sector. 2011 Company 67 20.0 $billion raised1.981 Maca3 Nov Kimberley Rare Earths18 May Date listed Ten biggest WA-based IPOs in FY11 Haranga Resources9 Dec 2010 1,776.6 123 South American Ferro Metals16 Nov Blackgold International22 Feb 70.2 -38Materials 5.884 60.0 Industry sector 63 2010 7.555 100 2011 Dampier Gold23 Aug 18.2 1,500.8 -40Materials 10.174 2007 12Materials Universal Coal10 Dec 25.0 2003 -7Materials McPherson’s Reward Gold24 Dec Change versus issue price at 30/06/11 (%) 2005 10.788 63 2008 -34Materials 13.247 Across the country, the Deloitte Corporate Finance IPO survey shows that FY11 produced 123 floats, almost double the number in the previous financial year.The value of funds raised from investors has also climbed strongly, up from $4 billion in FY10 to $7.6 billion in FY11, however, Mr Annand said the strong-looking numbers belied a disappointing second half of the year for IPO activity.“The value of funds raised reflected two big-value floats earlier in the year of QR National and Westfield Trust, which together raised almost $6.1 billion. The number of floats was boosted by activity in the resource sector, which produced 95 IPOs, or almost 80% of all the floats for the year.“The successful listing of Queensland Rail in particular raised expectations for the IPO market in the new year, however, overall the market has failed to live up to these expectations, with many businesses foregoing a listing, often in favour of a trade sale. The equity market simply couldn’t match the valuation expectations of vendors or those achieved through private sales.” 2002 4.269 169 33 2005 55 10.550 265.7 113 30.0 201 221 2008 2006 1.149 27.5 17 PMI Gold Corporation21 Dec 1,312.8 30.0 Number of IPOs60 145Materials 151 2009 2006 2004 95Capital goods 28 4.011 -25Materialslast_img read more