UN Rapporteur wants Lanka to invite him

“It is encouraging that it has not been completely imposed on the state, but the state itself is receptive to some of these ideas. And I think it’s encouraging for the system that it does not work in all cases but in some cases, the system can actually address this, and accountability is the central point really of protecting the right to life, without that it’s simply an ideal, but when one has accountability as we may have at least to some extend in Sri Lanka it’s an affirmation of the right to life,” he said.However, he also noted that he has requested for a visit to Sri Lanka and he needs the approval from the Sri Lankan government to undertake the visit. “To me, the case of Sri Lanka stands out. And the resolution that has been taken in Geneva about that, in many cases, I think one has a situation where there are large scale killings, violence, and with this impunity, and for some time it looked like that was going to be the case with Sri Lanka,” he said. A top UN official said that there were encouraging signs that Sri Lanka will deal with human rights concerns related to the war but the new government was not willing to go all the way.Christof Heyns, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, said that for him Sri Lanka stands out as the most defining moment when carrying out his mandate in 2015. Heyns noted that while it is still early days and no one knows exactly what and where the process in addressing human rights concerns in Sri Lanka will go, it is encouraging that the process went as far as it has gone. “They’ve accepted some of the other mandates, but not my mandate. But I have a standing request to the government to visit Sri Lanka, and I’ll drop everything if they say I can go,” he said. (Colombo Gazette) read more

Castle Mountain shutting down operations amid nosnow winter

by News Staff Posted Feb 15, 2015 4:39 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Castle Mountain shutting down operations amid no-snow winter Warm weather, lack of snow, and winter rainfall are taking a toll on a ski hill southwest of Calgary.Castle Mountain already had to postpone operations last week because of the poor conditions, and now they’ve announced on their website Monday will be their last day for the foreseeable future.Castle gets an average of 910 cm of snow in a season; this year the resort reports less than a third of that.The lack of a snow base as well as the wet and melting snow are also being blamed for a higher risk of avalanches in the mountain parks.In Kananaskis Country, five people were swept over in a snow slide Saturday, killing one.A Special Public Avalanche Warning has been extended for Banff, Yoho, Kootenay, Jasper and Kananaskis Country until Tuesday February 17th.The following statement was posted on the Ski Castle website.“Castle Mountain Resort ClosureFebruary 15, 2015 – Pincher Creek, AB – We regretfully announce that Castle Mountain Resort will be unable to continue its winter operations at this time. Following the temporary closure last week temperatures have remained high and no new snow have forced this closure. Monday February 16th will be our last day of operation. We will make every effort to re-open if conditions permit.The mountain’s snowpack, especially at lower elevations, is too lean to continue with alpine operations. The contrast in snowfall from an average full season Winter snowfall is 910cm. Currently to date for the 14/15 season we have received 264cm.“The resort staff have all been working hard, moving lots of snow to rebuild the lower mountain.” says Brad Brush, General Manager. “Unfortunately the weather has been against us, delivering warm, wet conditions that has eroded our snow base in these areas”.This season has been extremely challenging and Mother Nature has unfortunately not delivered this season. Our customers, the community and our staff have been very patient this Winter Season. Please keep snow dancing!” read more