Sri Lanka President holds discussions with UN Secretary-General and Iranian President
Posted on May 21st, 2014

By Janaka Alahapperuma

President Mahinda Rajapaksa who is in Shanghai, China on an official visit to attend the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) met with the Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon this evening (May 21). The President enlightened him about the post-war development activities and the progress achieved in other sectors after the Secretary General’s visit to Sri Lanka in May 2009.
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The President requested the Secretary General to pay another visit to Sri Lanka to witness the real ground situation by himself and see the progress Sri Lanka has achieved in a short span of time. The President also enlightened him that reasonable and satisfactory percentage of the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) has now been implemented. While appreciating the implementation of LLRC recommendations, the UN Secretary General commended President Rajapaksa’s commitment and dedication being made by him for ensuring democracy in the country. The President told him that although it takes certain time period to solve problems related to some sensitive matters including land matters, Sri Lanka is committed to implement the recommendations of the LLRC. The president also informed that Sri Lanka is fully committed to inquire in to allegations reported to have been taken place during the elimination of 30 years of brutal terrorism through a local mechanism and emphasised that an international investigation does not fall in line with the aspirations of the people of Sri Lanka.
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The president also pointed out that the controversial differences existing in the new proposal of the UN Human Rights Commission. The president also assured that Sri Lanka will uninterruptedly work with the UN network. The UN Secretary General said that Sri Lanka has recently achieved a high level of development and commended holding of the World Youth Conference-2014 in a highly successful manner.
In the meantime, President Rajapaksa also met Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on the sidelines of the 4th Summit of the CICA in Shanghai. During the bilateral talks between the two leaders, President Rajapaksa said that Sri Lanka is keen on further strengthening ties, especially in the area of trade. Iran also would like to develop economic relations with Sri Lanka, President Rouhani commented.

10 Responses to “Sri Lanka President holds discussions with UN Secretary-General and Iranian President”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    Endia has shot itself in the foot by NOT attending at a high level at CICA summit in Shanghai. A VERY LOW level Endian officer will be representing Endia at CICA.

    This is an INSULT to China and other CICA members.

    This is STRANGE because the Russian, SL, Iranian, etc., etc. PRESIDENTS (16 heads of state) participate. SL is still an OBSERVER and NOT a full member but still we send the PRESIDENT.

  2. Ananda-USA Says:

    Meanwhile, while the US, UK and the EU imposes ECONOMIC SANCTIONS on Russia, and encourages the EU to seek gas supplies elsewhere, Russia and China have signed a $400 billion deal to deliver Russian gas to China!

    This will SEVERELY undermine the SANCTIONS the US-UK-EU axis wants to impose on Russia by provide a secure major market for Russian gas.

    Furthermore, in response to threats from the US against China’s moves to extend its Maritime Economic Zones in the Pacific, China is attempting to create an Asian Security Arrangement that would include Russia and Iran but specifically excludes the US.

    It is very sad that the misguided policies of the US inflicted on the rest of the world are beginning to boomerang! This country deserves a wiser and more enlightened leadership!

    ……………..
    China, Russia sign $400 billion natural gas deal

    By William Wan and Abigail Hauslohner
    WashingtonPost
    May 21, 2014

    BEIJING — China signed a huge, long-awaited deal on Wednesday to buy Russian natural gas, giving Beijing a new source of clean energy and Moscow a diplomatic boost as it faces international sanctions for its aggressive actions in Ukraine.

    With the stroke of a pen, Russia significantly shifted its economic relations with its neighbors, creating a major new export market to the east and reducing its reliance on European customers at a time when its relations with the West are at their lowest point since the Cold War.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin called the deal a “watershed event” and said implementation would start “tomorrow.”

    The 30-year deal was announced after meetings in Shanghai between Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping. It is worth an estimated $400 billion, Alexei Miller, chief executive of the Russian energy giant Gazprom, told Russian reporters.

    The deal marked a new partnership between two countries that have at times mistrusted each other but have also sought to counter U.S. influence in global affairs.

    China’s booming economy has created a growing need for energy, especially cleaner sources of power, given its reliance on coal, which has produced major pollution problems.

    The agreement allows Russia to diversify its gas exports at a time when the crisis in Ukraine has accelerated calls in Europe to rely less on energy supplies from Russia. Europe gets about 30 percent of its gas from Russia.

    U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew appealed to China in a visit last week to avoid actions that might limit the impact of recent Western sanctions against Russia. But a U.S. official, who was not authorized to speak by name, said the United States would distinguish between deals that have long been in the works — such as this one — and new agreements that seek to fill space left by U.S. and European Union sanctions.

    The deal will involve developing natural gas fields in Russia and building pipelines from Russia to China. The cost of building the infrastructure alone is expected to top $70 billion, said Mikhail Krutikhin, an energy and oil analyst at RusEnergy, a Moscow think tank.

    The agreement was 10 years in the making, and price had long been the stumbling block. On Wednesday, the final per-unit price of the gas remained a mystery.

    The $400 billion figure quoted by Gazprom’s Miller is probably the result of a formula that could include other costs — such as construction, transportation of the gas and other fees — making it difficult to work backward to the price per unit.

    Miller called the price a “commercial secret.”

    Analysts at IHS Energy — who have tracked the deal’s progress — said in a written analysis that they believe the final price was “closer to what Russia wanted than what China was initially prepared to pay.”

    “This is Gazprom’s biggest contract. We don’t have a contract like this with any other company,” said Miller in Shanghai, according to Russia’s Interfax news agency.

    The agreement met with approval from many people in Russia, which has been swept by rising nationalism and anti-Western rhetoric related to the crisis in Ukraine.

    One caller to the Ekho Moskvy radio station declared the gas deal “another victory for Putin because he managed to sell gas for European prices,” while another listener suggested the new level of ­Russian-Chinese cooperation must be a “nightmare for America.”

    Suspicions about price

    Putin said that the gas prices in the deal were pegged to the price of oil and petroleum products. That represents a win for Russia, analysts said, since oil prices are expected to remain high. European customers have been fighting for years to have natural gas prices float, based on market demand.

    “This is the largest contract in the history of the gas industry of the former USSR and the Russian Federation,” Putin told reporters in Shanghai. The infrastructure costs to develop the natural gas fields needed to supply China will top those of the Sochi Games — which are believed to have been in the tens of billions of dollars, officials said.

    But the missing price details raised the suspicions of some Russians, who suspect Putin dropped the price of gas significantly for China in a desperate maneuver to ensure a steady cash flow for Gazprom in the face of sinking revenue and Western sanctions.

    “There’s something fishy in the contract,” said Krutikhin, the think-tank analyst, suggesting that Russia got a bad bargain.

    Erica S. Downs, a China energy expert at the Washington-based Brookings Institution, cited other possible reasons for the secrecy. “Too high a price could anger China’s current suppliers in Central Asia,” she said. “Too low a price could affect Russia’s European buyers. And there’s the optics of the deal. If nobody knows the price, then no one can say who came out better or worse.”

    Gazprom charged European customers on average about $380 per 1,000 cubic meters in 2013. Unnamed individuals quoted in Russian media estimated the price in the China deal at $350 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas, based on earlier projections of a long-term price tag of $400 billion.

    But if the actual figure was much less than that, the deal is not as profitable as the Kremlin is making it out to be, Krutikhin said. Gazprom is already losing out to American and European competition; gas demand in Europe has been stagnant; and the threat of mounting Western sanctions over Ukraine is “making Mr. Putin jittery,” he added.

    Russian officials on Wednesday also hinted at a possible “prepayment” totaling $25 billion.

    An online notice posted on China National Petroleum’s Web site said that under the deal, Russia would begin supplying China with 38 billion cubic meters of natural gas a year beginning in 2018.

    Russia will be responsible for building processing plants, doing field development and constructing pipelines on its side, and China will be responsible for the pipeline construction within its own borders.

    Hauslohner reported from Moscow. Xu Yangjingjing and Gu Jinglu in Beijing and Michael Birnbaum in Kiev also contributed to this report.

  3. Ananda-USA Says:

    More Absolutely SHOCKING NEWS on the US energy front: Today the US Government cutback the estimated shale oil and gas reserves of California from 13.7 billion barrels to 600 million barrels, or to 4.5% of the original estimate!

    This drives a SPIKE through the hearts of the FRACKING service industry, the petroleum production industry, CA landowners and the local and state governments that were hoping to cash in on this BONANZA in a really big way, over the objections of the environmental opponents of fracking in California. California’s Gov. Jerry Brown who authorized increased fracking to benefit from the $23.4 billion in increased tax revenues, and 2.8 million new jobs, by 2020 will have to revise his budget estimates and rethink how he is going to fend off the environmentalists re-invigorated by this news.

    California, you see, is an earthquake-prone zone that experiences several hundred tremors EVERY DAY. Fracking has to potential to penetrate aquitards (low permeability clay zones) that confine aquifer and prevent their pollution from contaminants and invading salt waters. Fracking requires the injection of vast amounts of chemically treated water and chemical additives, most of which is NEVER RECOVERED and is left underground.

    Among the dangers of fracking in seismically sensitive are the linking of natural fracture networks and the depletion/pressurizing of these fractures that can result in surface tremors. The decline of fluid pressures in the poores and fractures can lead to large scale ground subsidence. Altough ground subsidence can be controlled somewhat by water injection, who will bear the burden of maintaining that wwater pressure over decades and centuries in the future? Finally, seismic events due to natural causes can create fault zones that can link the artificial fractures created (and kept propped open by injected proppants) by fracking leading to unintended and unanticipated contamination of underground potable aquifers that the people of already water-starved California must depend on in the future.

    California’s prolific agriculture feeds Californians, and much of the rest of the United States. Today, Califonia is experiencing a SEVERE DROUGHT, which some say will a permanent feature due to changes in weather patterns brought about by the Global Climate Change. Southern California, and the prolific San Joaquin Valley farms have no water resources of their own, and depend on Colorado river water which is oversubscribed. Poor Mexico gets less than 10% of its original flow. This is supplemented by water brought from Northern California’s Sierra Nevada snow melts via vast canals built a generation ago. Today all residents of the city I live in to conserve water, including watering the lawn only one day a week, ending the all washing of cars and driveways, and many other limitationss, and imposing expensive penalties on violations.

    In thiis environment, it is very unlikely that Californians will approve statewide fracking of underground formations to pump out 4.5% of the initially balleyhooed reserve trumpted as a massive windfall for Californian businesses, residents and local governments.

    The day when WATER becomes MORE VALUABLE than OIL … and perhaps GOLD … has arrived in the Golden State of California.

    If there is a SILVER LINING in this BAD news, it is that MORE EMPHASIS than ever will be placed on the production of RENEWABLE ENERGY and ENERGY CONSERVATION & EFFICIENCY in California.

  4. Lorenzo Says:

    That is good news for Russia. EU and Ukraine were UPBEAT about SHALE GAS REVOLUTION. BUSTED!

    Come winter EU and Ukraine will be BEGGING Putin for gas. That is better time for East Ukraine.

    “Climate change” can mess up the military competitiveness of countries.

    IF sea level rise is TRUE, GUAM, MARSHALL IS., DIEGO GARCIA, etc. will be under water or seriously affected by FREQUENT floods. GREAT NEWS for Russia and China and BAD news for USA.

    ALL empires MUST collapse.

  5. Ananda-USA Says:

    AS EXPECTED, the WEAKENED Congress Party panders to the Tamils and CRITICIZES the BJP for inviting President Mahinda Rajapaksa to Modi’s inauguration!

    If the Congress Party had won a Landsilde Victory in the Lok Sabha elections, they would do the EXACT OPPOSITE … just as the BJP is doing today.

    All of this CLEARLY ILLUSTRATES why Sri Lanka SIMPLY SHOULD NOT ALLOW itself to be HELD HOSTAGE to India’s internal politics.

    While maintaining neighbourly relations, Sri Lanka should not allow India to dominate its TRADE, ECONOMY, POLITICS and DIPLOMACY …. and should recover its sovereign independence by REPEALING the 13th Amendment and REJECTING all Indian Interference in the Internal Affairs of Sri Lanka.

    ……………………
    Congress sides with Tamil parties on Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa invite New Delhi

    ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

    May 23 (DNA) Congress today sided with Tamil parties over the invitation sent to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa for Narendra Modi’s swearing-in, saying sentiments of the people of the state should be taken care of.

    “Who has to be invited is a decision that has been taken by Modi. But we are of the view that the Tamil sentiments should be taken care of,” party spokesperson Shakeel Ahmed told reporters here. His comment came amid sharp criticism by Tamil parties, including National Democratic Alliance (NDA) constituents Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) and Paattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) to Modi’s step.

    MDMK chief Vaiko had separate meetings with Modi and BJP President Rajnath Singh to demand reconsideration of the decision. “Rajapksa is the butcher of Tamils. Mr Modi should reconsider the decision to invite him (for the swearing-in ceremony on May 26),” Vaiko told reporters after meeting the Prime Minister-designate.

  6. Ananda-USA Says:

    Meanwhile Tamil Nadu demagogues play the “Race Card” totally ignoring that they AIDED and ABETTED TERRORISM in Sovereign Sri Lanka killing over 150,000 Sri Lankan citizens.

    Bloody Murderers, Hypocrites and War Criminals getting away SCOT FREE with their CRIMES!

    What was Vaiko doing ILLEGALLY in Sri Lanka helping to train LTTE cardre, and plotting strategy with Prabhakaran? There is ample video evidence of it. The GOSL should CHARGE him with War Crimes and issue a request for EXTRADITION from INdia to face Prosecution in Sri Lanka for violating Sri Lanka’s visa anti-terrorism Laws!

    …………………..
    Some allies go silent on Rajapaksa visit; Opposition condemns invite

    May 22 (Hindu) While the BJP�s decision to invite Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to Narendra Modi�s swearing-in ceremony has evoked protest from its allies and other parties, including the ruling AIADMK, the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam and the Pattali Makkal Katchi have so far maintained silence on this issue.

    On Thursday morning, PMK founder S. Ramadoss called up Mr. Modi and congratulated him on the BJP’s massive victory in the Lok Sabha elections. A party statement said Mr. Modi greeted Dr. Ramadoss in Tamil initially. Mr. Ramadoss said he liked Mr. Modi’s mantra of ‘With everyone always, for everybody’s development.’

    “All the people in the country are behind you. I am sure India will transform into a strong nation under your leadership,” Dr. Ramadoss told Mr. Modi.

    But the invitation to Mr. Rajapaksa did not figure in the conversation, though, in the past, Dr. Ramadoss, along with MDMK general secretary Vaiko, vehemently opposed his visit.

    According to PMK sources, Dr. Ramadoss has decided not to react as it may upset the prospects of his son Anbumani getting a berth in the Union Cabinet.

    Actor Vijayakant, who was praised by Mr. Modi in the Central Hall of Parliament on Tuesday, has not yet reacted to the development.

    It will hurt Tamil sentiments: VCK

    Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi president Thol. Thirumavalavan, another strong supporter of a separate state for Tamils in Sri Lanka, has condemned the invitation.

    In a statement here, he said his party welcomed the aim of inviting South Asian leaders, especially that of Pakistan, to facilitate cordial relationship with neighbouring countries. “But at a time when the United Nations Human Rights Council is inquiring into the war crimes during the final phase of Eelam War, inviting Mr Rajapaksa for the swearing-in ceremony will hurt the sentiments of Tamils and cause a setback to the international efforts at securing justice for the Tamils,” he said.

    Mr. Tirumavalavan said Sri Lanka could not be treated on a par with other neighbouring countries. “Over 500 Tamil Nadu fishermen have been killed, and the island nation was waging a proxy war against India. Realising this difference, the BJP should cancel the invitation,” he said.

    He called upon political leaders of Tamil Nadu to boycott the ceremony if Mr. Rajapaksa attended it.

    In a letter to Mr. Modi, Mr. Vaiko requested him to “totally avoid” the presence of Mr. Rajapaksa at the ceremony. Officials of the External Affairs Ministry who guided India to oppose the resolution moved by the U.S. and the U.K. at the UNHRC meeting in Geneva misled the new government with the same mindset, he said. He also spoke to BJP president Rajnath Singh on the issue, says a release.

    Dravidar Kazhagam president K. Veeramani asked the BJP not to invite Mr. Rajapaksa, a “proclaimed war criminal.” There was no precedent for inviting SAARC leaders to the swearing-in of a prime minister, he said, claiming the Sri Lankan military’s “atrocities” against the Tamils continued even five years after the end of the war.

  7. Lorenzo Says:

    IF Modi sticks to his decision he has made one good impression.

    MR is damn foolish. He has invited Osama-Bin-Ladin-look-alike Viggie to come with him to Modi ceremony!! What madness is this. Viggie has REJECTED it.

  8. Ananda-USA Says:

    Lorenzo,

    Yes, I agree with you! Vigneswaran recently stated that there is No Favorable Response from the GOSL to a “Political Solution” to the “Tamil Question”.

    How does Vigneswaran expect the GOSL to DEVOLVE power to a Tamil Political Leadership that

    1. Pursues a separate Tamil state of Eelam as its continuing ultimate objective
    2. Plots with foreign governments and the rump LTTE in the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora to undermine and destabilize the Government and accuses Sri Lanka of War Crimes
    3. Refuses to participate in the Parliamentary Select Committee com[osed of the representatives of ALL STAKEHOLDERS in the country, without the GOSL agreeing first to their demands … which it cannot
    4. Behaves as if the NPC is already a sovereign state with the right to engage in diplomatic relations with foreign governments and organizations without a by-your-leave to the national government, and
    5. Refuses to participate in anything organized by the GOSL, including attending Modi’s inauguration.

    Under these circumstances, t is INDEED UNWISE & INAPPROPRIATE for the President to invite this SNAKE IN THE GRASS along to meet Modi. It will only ENHANCE Vigneswaran’s stature. THANK GOD the treacherous fool REFUSED the invitation!

    IT IS HIGH TIME for the GOSL to CALL A NATIONWIDE REFERENDUM to REPEAL the 13th Amendment and DISSOLVE the Provincial Councils, and replace them with District Councils administered by APPOINTED GOVERNMENT AGENTS!

  9. Ananda-USA Says:

    Lorenzo,

    Yes, I agree with you! Vigneswaran recently stated that there is No Favorable Response from the GOSL to a “Political Solution” to the “Tamil Question”.

    How does Vigneswaran expect the GOSL to DEVOLVE power to a Tamil Political Leadership that

    1. Pursues a separate Tamil state of Eelam as its continuing ultimate objective
    2. Plots with foreign governments and the rump LTTE in the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora to undermine and destabilize the Government and accuses Sri Lanka of War Crimes
    3. Refuses to participate in the Parliamentary Select Committee composed of the representatives of ALL STAKEHOLDERS in the country, without the GOSL agreeing first to their demands … which it cannot
    4. Behaves as if the NPC is already a sovereign state with the right to engage in diplomatic relations with foreign governments and organizations without a by-your-leave to the national government, and
    5. Refuses to participate in anything organized by the GOSL, including attending Modi’s inauguration.

    Under these circumstances, t is INDEED UNWISE & INAPPROPRIATE for the President to invite this SNAKE IN THE GRASS along to meet Modi. It will only ENHANCE Vigneswaran’s stature. THANK GOD the treacherous fool REFUSED the invitation!

    IT IS HIGH TIME for the GOSL to CALL A NATIONWIDE REFERENDUM to REPEAL the 13th Amendment and DISSOLVE the Provincial Councils, and replace them with District Councils administered by APPOINTED GOVERNMENT AGENTS!

  10. Lorenzo Says:

    EXCELLENT Wimal Weerawansa. He is GR’s man. At least you have a BACKBONE when all the other asslicking MFs shamelessly go with the DIRTY tide.

    “Sri Lanka’s powerful Finance Secretary Dr. P B Jayasundera is to be removed from the additional post of Secretary to the Ministry of Economic Development, according to sources.

    Informed sources say that P.B. Jayasundera, who is also the Secretary to the Treasury and the Finance Ministry, will likely be removed from the position of Economic Development Secretary, in the wake of his ongoing conflict with Minister Wimal Weerawansa.

    The vociferous Minister has on numerous previous occasions launched scathing attacks on Dr P B Jayasundera, and had even called him an “economic hitman.

    The Minister’s latest salvo came during the Derana 360° programme on May 12 when he charged that Jayasundera is holding the government “hostage” and that he should be behind bars.

    The Minister of Construction, Engineering Services, Housing and Common Amenities claimed that P.B. Jayasundera is wrongfully exercising executive powers and that Ministers are helpless in front of the Finance Secretary’s chair.

    Minister Weerawansa had also attacked the government for not replacing Jayasundera with another financial expert and stated that failure to do so was due to the “brainlessness” of the government and its “biggest mistake.

    The National Freedom Front (NFF) leader had continued his clash with the ruling party when his party unveiled 12 proposals at its annual convention and declared that they would quit the ruling alliance if the government does not adhere to them.

    Meanwhile representatives of the NFF and Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), coalition partners of the ruling UPFA government, met yesterday at Minister Weerawansa’s official residence in Tunmulla.

    Weerawansa and Mohamed Muzammil were among those present from the NFF while the JHU was represented by Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka, MP Athuraliye Rathana Thero, Western Provincial Councilors Udaya Gammanpila and Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe.

    Incidentally both parties were absent during the vote on the UNP-led Motion of No-confidence against the government, over its failure to take concrete steps to curb the drug trade in the country, and also during the vote on the Strategic Development Projects Acts.”

    -adaderana.lk

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