Daily Archives: September 25, 2014

Human Rights Being Used As Tool for Motivated Agenda: Rajapaksa

UNITED NATIONS: Under pressure to allow an international probe, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa said Wednesday that “human rights are used as a tool to implement motivated agendas” and criticised what he characterised as double standards in enforcing them.

Speaking at the UN General Assembly, Rajapaksa said: “Human rights should be recognised by all as a moral and ethical concept rather than as a political tool.” He warned that “external intervention without adequate consideration of the structures in a society and cultural traditions” leads to destabilisation.

In March the UN Human Rights Council mandated a probe into “alleged serious violations and abuses of human rights and related crimes by both parties in Sri Lanka.” The United States spearheaded the resolution for the international investigation, while India abstained.

Calling his nation ” an unfortunate victim of ill-conceived agendas of some in the Human Rights Council,” Rajapaksa said, “There is an obvious lack of balance and proportion in the manner in which my country is being targeted today, disregarding these significant achievements. This is in sharp contrast with the approach to deeply disturbing situations involving humanitarian emergencies elsewhere.”

After the civil war, Sri Lanka has made substantial progress in reconciliation, he said. “Large scale post conflict reconstruction, rehabilitation and resettlement initiatives were implemented in the North in a relatively short period of four years. Most importantly, democratic structures in the North have been re-established. Elections were held to the Northern Provincial Council in September 2013, after a lapse of 28 years.”

A recurring theme in Rajapaksa’s speech was that nations like his were being bullied by international organizations in various ways. “UN bodies must find ways to work with governments through dialogue, greater understanding of situations and cooperation including assistance to strengthen national institutions. This approach, instead of strong arm tactics, must form the heart of multilateral diplomacy, in the search for sustainable solutions to global challenges.”


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Snowden honoured with ‘alternative Nobel’


Edward Snowden has been selected among the winners of the Right Livelihood Award, also known as the “alternative Nobel,” for his disclosures of top secret surveillance programs.

The award foundation today said the former National Security Agency contractor splits the honorary portion of the prize with Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger.

The 1.5 million kronor (USD 210,000) cash award is shared by Pakistani human rights activist Asma Jahangir, Basil Fernando of the Asian Human Rights Commission and US environmentalist Bill McKibben.

Award foundation director Ole von Uexkull said all winners were invited to the December 1 award ceremony in Stockholm, though he added it’s unclear whether Snowden, who remains exiled in Russia, can attend.

The awards were established to recognise efforts the foundation felt were being ignored by the Nobel Prizes.


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Facebook not going to charge users any fee: Reports


NEW YORK: An article on the satirical website National Report, which stated that the social networking site is going to charge its users $2.99 per month starting Nov 1 is fictional, media reports said.

“At a press conference, Facebook rolled out their new monthly service plan which begins November 1st of this year. The social media giant says they will start charging members $2.99/mo to use the services that the site has to offer,” the article read.

The article also used “made up” quotes from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Epoch Times reported.

“After thinking long and hard about this decision, at the end of the day we were forced to add this monthly fee. If we don’t do something about our rising costs now, Facebook could cease to exist in the near future,” the website quoted Zuckerberg as saying.

Later, the fake piece of information led people throng social media platforms expressing outrage over the article.

Recently, the social networking website announced that they would add a ‘satire’ tag with their news feed for articles from parody news outlets like The Onion.

“This is because we received feedback that people wanted a clearer way to distinguish satirical articles from others,” a Facebook spokesperson told Ars Technica website.


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