Libya UN adviser on postconflict planning begins talks with interim authority

3 September 2011The Secretary-General’s special adviser for post conflict planning in Libya, Ian Martin, arrived in the Libya capital, Tripoli, on Saturday and began discussions with representatives of the country’s interim authorities on the form of assistance the transitional body will require. Mr. Martin’s mission to Tripoli for talks with the National Transitional Council (NTC) follows the International Conference in Support of the New Libya in Paris on Thursday when Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon pledged the United Nations continued assistance to Libya tackle its humanitarian challenges and build a democratic and stable nation.Mr. Ban told the gathering in Paris that the immediate challenge is on the humanitarian front, with some 860,000 people having left the country since February, when opposition forces rose up against the regime of Colonel Muammar al-Qadhafi as part of a wider pro-democracy movement across North Africa and the Middle East.In addition, public services are under severe strain, including hospitals and clinics and there is a major water shortage, as sporadic fighting continues, particularly in the country’s south.The Secretary-General had on Thursday announced Mr. Martin’s trip to Tripoli to begin laying the ground work for UN operations there. read more

Government asserts dissolving Parliament setting dates for polls legal

He said that there are some additional powers given to the President under the 19th Amendment to the Constitution under which he can dissolve Parliament to resolve a political deadlock. Reading from the Constitution Rajapakshe said that the President can dissolve Parliament even before it completes 4 1/2 years. Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Sarath Amunugama said that the actions of Speaker Karu Jayasuriya also influenced the President’s decision to dissolve Parliament.He said that the Speaker had attempted to go against the standing orders of Parliament when Parliament was to meet on November 14th. The Government today asserted that the decision taken by President Maithripala Sirisena to dissolve Parliament and set dates for elections in January, is legal and Constitutional.Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said that the President has the right to dissolve Parliament and he had acted within those legal rights. As a result the President considered the actions of the Speaker and other issues and dissolved Parliament and called for elections. (Colombo Gazette) read more