It also requests the government to present a comprehensive action plan as expeditiously as possible, detailing the steps the government has taken and will take to implement the LLRC recommendations and also to address the violations of international law. The full draft resolution submitted by the US today:http://www.thehub.asia/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/US-resolution.pdf The draft US resolution on Sri Lanka submitted today also encourages the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and relevant special procedures to provide, and the government of Sri Lanka to accept, advice and technical assistance on implementing those steps and requests the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to present a report to the Council on the provision of such assistance at its 22nd session. The United States submitted a resolution on Sri Lanka to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) today despite pressure mounted against the move by the Sri Lankan government.The draft resolution submitted to the 19th session of the council notes with concern that the report of the Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) does not adequately address serious allegations of violations of international law during the war in Sri Lanka. The resolution calls on the government to implement the constructive recommendations in the LLRC report and take all necessary additional steps to fulfill its relevant legal obligations and commitment to initiate credible and independent actions to ensure justice, equality, accountability and reconciliation for all Sri Lankans.

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first_imgTORONTO – A 15-year-old student who drowned on a school-run camping trip this summer had not passed a required swim test, the Toronto District School Board said Wednesday, as it apologized to the teen’s family.The board’s director of education, John Malloy, said that of the 32 students who went on the multi-day canoe trip to Algonquin Park in July, 15 had failed the swim test. There was no documentation for two of the students, he said.Jeremiah Perry disappeared under the water after going for an evening swim with other students. His body was found a day later by search and rescue divers.“I’m deeply troubled by these findings, that such a critical safety requirement in our procedures appears not to have been followed,” said Malloy.“On behalf of the TDSB, I offer our most sincere apology and regret. I also want to apologize to the families of the other students who went on the trip, even though they did not pass the swim test.”Malloy said that the initial swim test took place in a lake, and that students who did not pass the first test would be required to take a second test at the C. W. Jefferys Collegiate Institute, the school Perry attended. However, the second test was neither provided nor offered, Malloy said.“The information that we have is the students did not pass the test and should not have been on the trip,” Malloy said.Two teachers who were on the trip have been placed on home assignment as a result of the incident, he added.New procedures have already been put in place, according to Malloy, who said that school principals will now have to see a list of students who passed or failed a required swim test before the trip takes place, and that parents will be notified if their child passed or failed the test.“I know that Jeremiah’s family wants us to take steps to ensure that this will never happen again,” said Malloy.He said that there will be a third-party review of all TDSB excursions that, like a canoe trip, are classified as ‘high care’ activities.Perry’s parents could not be reached for comment on Wednesday, but at the time of the incident, his father, Joshua Anderson, said the he had expected the school would keep Jeremiah and his brother, who was also on the trip, safe.“That was the least on our minds thinking about the safety because we know the school is supposed to have proper supervision, proper protocol, everything in place,” he told a Toronto TV station.Malloy said that an internal investigation is currently taking place to better understand how this incident could have happened. He said that the investigation is still ongoing because some members involved, including the two teachers on the trip, have “exercised their legal right not to speak” at the advice of their legal council.He added that the TDSB has scrutinized every trip scheduled to take place before Sept. 5, and confirmed that there are no similar issues with any of those trips.last_img

first_imgTORONTO — An Ontario court has extended an order that suspended legal proceedings against three big tobacco companies.JTI-Macdonald Corp., Rothmans, Benson & Hedges and Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd. were granted protection from their creditors last month after they lost an appeal in a multibillion-dollar case in Quebec.On March 1, Quebec’s highest court upheld a landmark judgment that ordered the companies to pay more than $15 billion to smokers who were part of two class-action lawsuits.The companies quickly secured creditor protection in Ontario, putting all legal proceedings on hold so that a global settlement could be negotiated with all those who have claims against them, including the class-action members and several provincial governments.The stay was set to expire at midnight Friday but Ontario Superior Court Justice Thomas McEwen agreed to push the deadline to June 28.However, McEwen has yet to rule on a motion that could lift the stay and send the matter back to the Quebec court of appeal. That decision is expected the week of April 15.Lawyers representing the class-action members argued earlier this week that the stay in their case should be revoked if the companies intend to appeal the Quebec ruling to the Supreme Court of Canada.Appealing would mean the companies do not recognize their debt to the class-action members, which means they would not be negotiating a settlement in good faith, the lawyers argued Thursday.What’s more, the possibility of an appeal that would further prolong the case could be used as leverage in negotiations, they said.The lawyers said if the companies intend to seek leave to appeal to the Supreme Court, they should instead ask the Quebec appeal court to suspend the implementation of its judgment until the appeal process is over.The companies have said they had no choice but to seek protection from their creditors, and said the Ontario court was the appropriate venue to deal with the issue.Lawyers representing several provinces — including British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick — have opposed the class-action members’ application, saying it would give preferential treatment to claimants in one province over the others.Paola Loriggio, The Canadian Presslast_img

Some 70,000 more people have fled their homes in South Sudan since a 9 May agreement was signed to end the fighting that has ravaged the world’s youngest nation for over six months, the United Nations refugee agency said today.“In South Sudan, the number of people fleeing fighting continues to rise almost three weeks on from a truce agreement,” Adrian Edwards, spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), said at a press briefing in Geneva.Since the signing of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement in Addis Ababa, Mr. Edwards said, the number of internally displaced people has grown by 46,000 people to 1,005,096. Over the same period, the number of South Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda has risen by over 20,000 to 370,000 people.South Sudan has been enmeshed in a crisis which began in mid-December 2013 as a political dispute between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy president, Riek Machar, who had been forced from office earlier that year.The in-fighting has since erupted into a deadly conflict forcing tens of thousands of people to seek refuge at UN bases around the country. The political rivals signed an ‘Agreement to Resolve the Crisis’ last month with the aim of ending the violence. At today’s briefing, Mr. Edwards said that Ethiopia currently hosts the largest South Sudanese refugee population at 131,051 people, mostly women and children. Recent arrivals say they have fled fighting in neighbouring Jonglei and Upper Nile states, fearing attacks or lack of food.To accommodate the refugees, UNHCR and the Ethiopian authorities have opened three new camps this year. “With an average of 1,000 South Sudanese arriving daily in Ethiopia, we have already started looking for additional land for a fourth camp,” Mr. Edwards said.Commenting on those displaced within South Sudan in a press briefing in Juba today, a spokesperson for the UN peacekeeping mission known as UNMISS said that as of today between 75,000 and 80,000 civilians have sought safety in the Mission’s main protection sites.Stressing that those sites were never meant to be a durable solution, the spokesperson reported that rain, along with clogged drains and congestion, have turned them into breeding grounds for water-borne diseases, including cholera.The World Health Organization (WHO) said today that it was working closely with its partners and the South Sudan Ministry of Health to stem the cholera outbreak in the country, where, the agency said, more than 514 cases have been reported so far.

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