Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Car Bomb kills 86 in Pakistan city of Peshawar

Car bomb kills 86 in Pakistani city of Peshawar

AP – People gather at the site of an explosion in Peshawar, Pakistan on Wednesday Oct. 28, 2009. A car bomb …
Riaz Khan, Associated Press Writer –
PESHAWAR, Pakistan –

A car bomb tore through a market popular with women in northwestern Pakistan on Wednesday, killing 86 people hours after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton arrived in the country to show American support for its campaign against Islamist militants.
More than 200 people were wounded in the blast in the main northwestern city of Peshawar, the deadliest in a surge of attacks this month. The government blamed militants seeking to avenge an army offensive launched this month against al-Qaida and Taliban in their stronghold close to the Afghan border.
The blast hit a market selling bangles, dresses and toys in an old part of town crisscrossed with narrow alleys. It set scores of shops on fire, collapsed buildings, including a mosque, and sent a cloud of gray smoke over the city. TV footage showed wounded people sitting amid the debris as people grabbed at the wreckage, trying to pull out survivors before carrying them to a hospital.
One two-story building collapsed as firefighters doused it with water.
Clinton, on her first visit to Pakistan as secretary of state, was three hours' drive away in the capital, Islamabad, when the blast took place. Speaking to reporters, she praised the army's anti-Taliban offensive in South Waziristan and offered U.S. support.
"I want you to know that this fight is not Pakistan's alone," she said in remarks carried live on Pakistani news channels. "This is our struggle as well."
Sahib Gul, a doctor at a nearby hospital, said 86 people were killed and more than 200 injured. Many of the victims were women and children.
No group claimed responsibility for the bombing, but that is not unusual, especially when the victims are Pakistani civilians.
Three bombs have exploded in Peshawar this month, including another one that killed more than 50 people, part of a barrage of at least 10 major attacks across the country that have killed some 250 people. Most have targeted security forces, but some bombs have gone off in public places, apparently to sow fear and expose the weakness of the government.
The Taliban have warned Pakistan that they would stage more attacks if the army does not end a new ground offensive in the South Waziristan tribal region, where the military has dispatched some 30,000 troops to flush out insurgents. South Waziristan is a major base for the Pakistani Taliban and other foreign militants.
North West Frontier Province Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain blamed the militants for Wednesday's attack.
"We are hitting them at their center of terrorism, and they are hitting back targeting Peshawar," he said. "This is a tough time for us. We are picking up the bodies of our women and children, but we will follow these terrorists and eliminate them."

Country burning with problems : only media suppression and people oppression are Govt.’s solutions- Ranil Wickremesinghe

Country burning with problems : only media suppression and people oppression are Govt.’s solutions- Ranil Wickremesinghe

UNP and opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe addressing Trade unions at the Cambridge place Office yesterday (27) , said, while the country is burning with raging problems , the President and his Govt. are not seeking solutions to them , but only moving heaven and earth to suppress the media which exposes the Govt. weaknesses, corruption and backstreet politics , while also oppressing the people with untold hardships.
The Govt. is so jittery and unstable , it is even trying to hide the truths seeping through the media. He was referring to the latest action of the Govt. to forbid publication of reports on military leaders and their entry to politics. This is clear testimony of the Govt.’s worry . It is very unfortunate that this Govt. is obsessed only with matters concerning its power perpetuation . It is shaken because the military leaders , if they come to politics will be a threat to it. It has no concern about uplifting the people or with country’s development and progress. If there is even a slightest threat to its power from the remotest quarters , it gets cold feet . But even if the people are in dire problems and acutely suffering , the Govt. elected by the people for the people is not worried.

It is the President who has the power to decide on the date of the election. He can call for a Presidential election before the term is over . Those decisions are of the President , and the UNP is not concerned about his decisions. The UNP has no need to focus on the Presidential elections until it is announced.. At the moment the focus is on human rights protection , Ranil added.

The emergency regulations do not preclude journalists from reporting on military or matters pertaining to Presidential candidates. Yet , the Govt. is unduly worried. The constitution is more important than the emergency laws . Section 14 of the constitution guarantees freedom of expression of the people. This should be preserved.

There is nothing wrong in the Media Reporting of a military officer going to contest Presidential election. Such news deserve publication not suppressed., he pinpointed

Sri Lanka- Bulgeriya Business Forum

Sri Lanka – Bulgaria Business Forum

A Sri Lanka-Bulgaria Business Forum is being organized by the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL) with the support of the Foreign Ministry, on Sunday 1st November 2009, from 9.00 to 12.00 hrs, at Hotel Taj Samudra, Colombo (Crystal Lower Ballroom), on the occasion of the visit of a Bulgarian Business Delegation that will accompany the President of Bulgaria on a visit to Sri Lanka.

The Bulgarian delegation to the Business Forum will be led Hon. Traicho Traikov, Minister of Economy, Energy and Tourism, and will include leading businessmen from Bulgarian and an Agreement on Cooperation is also scheduled to be signed on this occassion.

It would be appreciated if you could assign a journalist/photographer/media crew to cover the above event.

Please inform the names of your representatives to the following contact details in order to facilitate security clearance.

Tel : 2437633

Fax : 2472488
E-mail :

S. Khan
Director / Public Communications
for Secretary / Foreign Affairs

Death of Sri Lankan national in Italy--Help to Find

Death of a Sri Lankan national in Italy

Help to Find

The Sri Lanka Embassy in Rome has informed the Consular Affairs Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that Mr. Samson Surendran Benedict has passed away in Italy.

The details provided by the Sri Lanka Embassy in Rome are as follows:

1. Name of the deceased : Mr. Samson Surendran Benedict

2. Date of birth : 21.02.1948

3. Place of birth : Jaffna

The Consular Affairs Division of the Ministry has requested assistance of the general public to trace the Next of Kin (NOK) of the deceased person.

Any information of above mentioned person’s NOK or any contact details could be communicated to the Consular Affairs Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the following:

Address : No:14, Sir Baron Jayatilleke Mawatha
Colombo 01

Tel : 2437635

Fax : 2473899

Most prosperity living country in the world

Most prosperity living country in the world
SINGAPORE (Reuters Life!) – For those who value their freedom of expression as much as health, wealth, and prosperity, then Finland is the place to be, with an index ranking the Nordic nation the best in the world.

The 2009 Legatum Prosperity Index, published on Tuesday and compiled by the Legatum Institute, an independent policy, advocacy and advisory organization, ranked 104 countries which are home to 90 percent of the world's population.

The index is based on a definition of prosperity that combines economic growth with the level of personal freedoms and democracy in a country as well as measures of happiness and quality of life.
With the exception of Switzerland, which came in at number 2, Nordic countries dominated the top 5 slots, with Sweden in third place followed by Denmark and Norway.

The top 10 were all also Western nations, with Australia (6th place) and Canada (7th place) both beating the United States, ranked 9th. Britain came in at number 12.
In Asia, Japan was the region's highest ranked country at number 16, followed by Hong Kong (18th place) and Singapore (23rd place) and Taiwan (24th place).
Dr. William Inboden, senior vice president of the Legatum Institute, said the lower rankings for Asian nations were largely due to their weak scores for democracy and personal freedoms.
"Many Asian nations have good economic fundamentals, but the Index tells us that true prosperity requires more than just money," Inboden said in a statement.
"Democratic institutions and personal freedom measures are letting some Asian nations down. Furthermore, countries which have low levels of economic stability, such as Cambodia, finish even further down in the overall rankings."
Cambodia came in the 93rd slot while China, with its tight political controls, came in 75th despite booming economic growth.
And the world's least prosperous country? According to the Legatum Index, it is Zimbabwe, with Sudan and Yemen close runners-up.
The index combines objective data and subjective responses to surveys. More details can be found on
(Writing by Miral Fahmy, editing by Ron Popeski)