Tagged in: Sjoerd

UN silent on appointment of Jagath Dias

On Sunday Human Rights Watch said Sri Lanka’s promotion of Jagath Dias, whose division was implicated in serious human rights abuses, casts doubt on government pledges to credibly investigate alleged war crimes. The United Nations (UN) refused to comment on the appointment of Major General Jagath C Dias as the new Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Army.Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was asked at a press conference if the UN had any comments on the post given to Jagath Dias despite some human rights allegations against him and since he may get listed in a UN Human Rights Council report on Sri Lanka. “I think first we’ll allow for the Human Rights Council itself to review the matter and pronounce themselves on that,” Farhan Haq said in response to the question. Maj. Gen. Jagath Dias, who led the Army’s 57th Division during the last two years of the civil war with the LTTE, was appointed army chief of staff, one of the armed forces’ highest post. Although effective May 7, 2015, the appointment was only made public on May 15.“Sri Lanka’s new government has promised genuine accountability for wartime abuses, but naming the general of an abusive unit the army chief of staff is a slap in the face for victims,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “Members of the UN Human Rights Council expecting genuine accountability in Sri Lanka need to closely scrutinize the government’s actions.” (Colombo Gazette) read more

Iceland to write €24000 off every household mortgage

first_imgTHE ICELANDIC GOVERNMENT has announced that it will write off household mortgage debt in order to kickstart the economy.Under the plan, every household in the country will have €24,000 worth of debt written off.The move was part of the election manifesto of the Progressive Party, led by Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson.The idea will cost the country €1.2 billion and will begin in mid-2014. Iceland has been burdened with debt since the 2008 financial crisis, which saw the krona collapse.A government statement said that the plan would kick-start consumer spending.“Currently, household debt is equivalent to 108 per cent of GDP, which is high by international comparison. “The action will boost household disposable income and encourage savings.”The plan has been criticised by the IMF, the OECD and various economists, with the IMF saying that the country has “little fiscal space” for the move, while the OECD says the plan should be limited to low income housing. The measure has improved the country’s rating with Standard & Poor’s, who upgraded the economic outlook from negative to stable. Read: The leader of Iceland’s ‘Kitchenware Revolution’ reckons we have a thing or two to learn about protestsRead: Iceland PM hits back in mackerel fishing rowlast_img read more