Lankan Navy denies attacking Indian fishermen

According to reports, a complaint had been filed with the Indian police on Tuesday stating that Sri Lankan navy personnel had allegedly assaulted three Indian fishermen and snatched their mobile phones while they were fishing in Sri Lankan waters. After being told to leave, one of the fishermen alleged that the navy personnel had jumped into their boats, assaulted them and snatched their mobile phones. “The Sri Lankan Navy is a highly disciplined military organization and we conduct all our duties within the country’s legal framework. Indian fishermen who have entered local waters have been arrested and handed over to the relevant authorities for onward action,” Silva said.The Indo-Lanka fishing dispute has been a long standing issue with several rounds of talks to resolve the matter between the two countries resulting in a deadlock.Indian fishermen often stray into Sri Lankan waters to catch fish as the island nation has rich fishing resources. (Colombo Gazette) Reports said that more than 500 Indian boats had been in the sea for fishing when the incident had taken place. The other fishermen had left the scene immediately.Commander Silva however said that such an incident had never taken place and maintained that the navy had never engaged in any such behavior. The navy denied reports that it had attacked a group of Indian fishermen who had strayed into Sri Lankan waters.Navy Spokesperson Commander Indika Silva said that the navy had never engaged in any unruly behavior and conducted its duties within the country’s legal framework. read more

UN peacekeeping mission in DR Congo warns M23 armed group over helicopter

The warning from the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in DRC (MONUSCO) comes after two of the mission’s utility helicopters faced hostile fire on 26 December from “two localities under M23 control,” according to a MONUSCO press release.MONUSCO said the helicopters were unarmed and are “routinely used for medical evacuation for both UN personnel and civilians.”They were fired upon while undertaking a “routine flying certification” 20 kilometres north of Goma, the provincial capital of North Kivu province in eastern DRC that the M23 occupied last month for 11 days.MONUSCO added that this was the second time that UN helicopters had been “deliberately targeted by M23 elements” during December.The M23 is made up of former DRC army troops who mutinied in April, and named after a 23 March 2009 peace agreement that they reportedly say has not been implemented. For its part, MONUSCO is deployed in DRC to protect civilians, humanitarian personnel and human rights defenders, among other tasks set by the UN Security Council.“MONUSCO reminds that peacekeepers are in the exclusive service of peace, and that any attack against them constitutes a war crime,” the mission said. “Those responsible for such acts will be prosecuted and brought to justice.”The M23 has this month participated in peace talks with the DRC Government in the Ugandan capital of Kampala. Its troops withdrew from Goma at the end of November under the supervision of some of the 1,500 MONUSCO peacekeepers deployed in the city of one million. This was in accordance with requirements laid out in a communiqué issued by the regional intergovernmental group known as the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR).MONUSCO said it has reported the recent attacks to ICGLR’s Joint Verification Mechanism in Goma, which monitors the border between DRC and Rwanda.It added that the 26 December attacks took place at approximately 8 p.m., with initial fire originating from Kibumba, a town about 25 kilometres north of Goma, and a second round of fire coming from Kanyamahoro, another locality in the region. read more

August 2006 vehicle production figures

Commercial Vehicles Home20,853240,4534,38344,94625,236285,399 Total72,959990,3068,746130,18581,7051,120,491 -17.6%-19.1%10.0%-16.3%-13.9%-18.7% Total vehicles Export52,106749,8534,36385,23956,469835,092 -24.9%-8.0%-19.0%-3.7%-24.3%-7.5% Source:Cars % of total71.4%75.7%49.9%65.5%69.1%74.5% -27.4%-3.8%-36.0%4.7%-29.7%-3.0% SMMT LtdAug-06YTD 2006Aug-06YTD 2006Aug-06YTD 2006 % of total28.6%24.3%50.1%34.5%30.9%25.5%Cars: ‘While August car production was lower this year than in 2005, the car industry has been boosted by recent announcements from Nissan and BMW, both of which have made commitments to UK plant investment’, said Christopher Macgowan, SMMT chief executive. ‘This is not only testament to the skills and abilities of the UK manufacturing workforce, but it will help support the supply of large-scale components from British-based companies.’ Commercial Vehicles: ‘Commercial vehicle production for export shows an encouraging trend, fuelled by demand on the mainland’, commented Christopher Macgowan, SMMT chief executive. ‘Production for the UK has dropped a little this year, following some industrial restructuring. Overall, the outlook is good both in the UK and mainland Europe.’ This month’s plant focus is Rolls-Royce in Goodwood. Click below for detailsDownloadClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) read more