Canada’s leader is boycotting the meeting and human rights groups are urging others to do so because the groups say Sri Lanka has failed to address abuses during the civil war and ensure reconciliation since it ended in 2009. Prince Charles will represent Queen Elizabeth II as the head of the Commonwealth at the meeting next month in the capital, Colombo. The British government will be represented by Prime Minister David Cameron and Foreign Secretary William Hague, British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka John Rankin said Tuesday evening. “The British government will come with a clear message that Sri Lanka needs to make concrete progress on human rights, reconciliation and a political settlement,” Rankin told the Colombo-based Foreign Correspondents Association. Sri Lanka has been peaceful since the nearly three-decade war, which ended when the government troops crushed the Tamil Tiger rebels who fought to create a separate state for the ethnic minority Tamils. Still, rights groups say the government has been squelching dissent and suppressing the judiciary. “The end of the physical conflict was of course only the beginning,” said Rankin, stressing that the next tasks are “accountability that arose from events during the conflict and to achieve lasting reconciliation between Sri Lanka’s communities.” He also cited progress in such areas as infrastructure development in the war-torn areas and resettlement of many war-displaced people. Australia and Britain have pushed for engagement with Sri Lanka rather than isolating it and have encouraged countries to participate in the Commonwealth leaders’ meeting in Sri Lanka despite the calls for the boycott. Last week, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he would not attend due to human rights concerns and he threatened to cut off funding to the Commonwealth group. Harper has accused Sri Lanka of failing to uphold the Commonwealth’s core values. Sri Lanka has rejected Harper’s comments, saying “he has his own political obligations.” The Commonwealth is a loose association of 54 members, mostly former British colonies, and the leadership summit is biennial. Join the Discussion You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
She told police that her addiction to money led to a life of crime. Sabrina Howard Howard’s addiction to morphine drove her son to commit suicide, because he lived in fear that she would overdose, according to police in Indiana. James D. Blanchard James D. Blanchard, 21, has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for abusing his newborn son. A medical doctor said that the child has lost his vision and will likely never walk or talk. The doctor also said the injury was common with shaken babies. Parents Accused Of Putting Daughter In Chicken Coop Cops say that not only did Diana and Samuel Franklin keep their 15-year-old daughter in a chicken coop, they made her wear a shock collar and used it several times. Father Allegedly Kicked Son Dario Napolitano is accused of kicking his 3-year-old son at Disney World in late June, 2012. Parents Blindfolded, Bound Their Kids Outside Kansas Walmart Adolfo Gomez Jr., 52, and his wife, Deborah Gomez, 43, both of Northlake, Ill., were arrested at a Walmart in Lawrence, Kan., after someone spotted a 5-year-old boy sitting outside a sport utility vehicle with his hands and feet bound and a blindfold covering his eyes. -AP Mother Tried To Sell Baby In Newspaper Brittany Hill allegedly tried to sell her 4-month-old boy in a classified ad in June, 2012. Someone was going to try and buy the baby, but decided to call Dallas police instead. Brandi Baumgardner Baumgardner is accused of injecting her daughter with heroin roughly 200 times when the girl was 14-years-old.
Markets closed A UK Labor Report 12 Years in the Making By Boris Schlossberg | DailyFX 8 hours ago 98.7875 +0.567 GBPUSD got a big boost from sharply improved UK jobless claims data, although it failed to translate into a lower overall unemployment rate for the time being. UK labor data showed the biggest improvement since 1997, pushing GBPUSD through the 1.6000 mark overnight, but the rally stalled ahead of the 1.6050 level after investors were slightly disappointed by the lack of improvement in the ILO unemployment rate. Cable was the primary focus of the early-morning European session, rising nearly 100 points off the session lows as currency markets responded to the sharp improvement in the UK claimant count, which declined by -41K versus -24K expected. This was the best reading in a dozen years and the 12th consecutive monthly reduction in UK jobless claims. The decline in joblessness did not immediately translate into a decrease in unemployment, however, as the ILO unemployment rate remained at 7.7%, matching last month’s reading. Nevertheless, the much smaller claimant count will likely lead to reduction in the unemployment rate over the next several months, and that should prove supportive for the British pound (GBP) given the fact that the Bank of England (BoE) has tied its forward guidance on interest rates to the UK unemployment figures. Another minor disappointment in today’s UK labor numbers was the smaller-than-expected rise in average hourly earnings, which increased by only 0.7% versus 1.0% expected. Given the persistently sticky inflation rates of 2.5% or higher, UK workers are actually seeing negative income growth for now, and that may temper spending going forward. Thursday’s UK retail sales data should provide an interesting glimpse into the strength of consumer demand. In the meantime, GBPUSD remained bid above the 1.6000 level by mid-morning London trade, and the pair could see further relative strength as the day unfolds, especially given the ongoing debt-ceiling debate in the US, which looks to be moving closer to a resolution. Big US News Likely to Get a Ho-Hum Reaction With essentially just a matter of hours left until the US Treasury’s October 17 deadline, US legislators continued their furious negotiations. As the last effort by GOP members of the House failed to take hold, the focus has moved back to the Senate, where majority leaders Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell appear to be close to an agreement. House Speaker John Boehner said that he would allow the Senate bill to be voted in on the House, and that could mean passage, as moderate Republicans would likely join Democrats to secure a majority vote. The markets appear unmoved for the time being, however, as “headline fatigue” has clearly crept in.