Open warrant issued to arrest former Sri Lankan envoy to US

The open warrant was issued today as Wickremesuriya failed to appear in court when the case was heard again. (Colombo Gazette) An open warrant has been issued to arrest Sri Lanka’s former Ambassador to the US, Jaliya Wickremesuriya.The warrant was issued by the Colombo Fort Magistrate. Wickramasuriya was earlier arrested and remanded over allegations of misappropriating Government funds amounting to US$ 332,000 when he was the Ambassador to the US.The former Ambassador was granted bail and was allowed to travel overseas last year for medical treatment. read more

UN aids flood victims on opposite sides of world in Philippines and

In the Philippines, where floodwaters have left many roads impassable and washed away bridges and houses, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have pledged emergency funds and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) has requested a further grant of $100,000. Many people have been stranded on rooftops and OCHA reported that rubber boats, tents, food and drinking water were urgently needed.In Panama, OCHA reported that flooding in the Darien region – where more than 7,500 people, mainly in indigenous communities, are estimated to have been affected – could lead to severe food shortages in the next seven to eight months. The UN team in the country has already conducted two missions to affected areas.A joint UNICEF and UN World Health Organization (WHO) mission to Yaviza delivered water purification materials and oral rehydration salts after water-borne diseases were identified as the greatest threat to people living there.A second team helped bring in a government-supplied portable water plant and transport 18 Health Ministry personnel to El Salto, which is completely flooded. Its population has relocated to a neighbouring village on higher ground.OCHA has released an emergency cash grant of $20,000 from its Norwegian Grant Reserve for the purchase of emergency relief items. Priority needs include food and clean water, water purification tablets, portable latrines, cooking supplies and materials for repairing aqueducts. read more