Day: October 8, 2019

Provinces considering carbon pricing are watching Ontarios first capandtrade auction

Ontario Environment Minister Glen Murray couldn’t comment on his province’s expected results so close to the auction, but has previously said he didn’t think Ontario’s market would see the same problem of oversupply, because the number of available allowances will decline at a more aggressive rate.Ontario is capping emission allowances at roughly 142 megatonnes this year, declining about four per cent each year to 2020, when the Liberals hope to have achieved a 15-per-cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions over 1990 levels.As the emissions cap declines, the government hopes companies have more incentive to invest in technologies that cut their emissions.Carbon market expert Nicolas Girod said he expects the first auction to be close to fully subscribed. However, some businesses may sit this one out and some may be waiting until the market is linked with the California-Quebec one, he said.“There will be…excess allowances in California, so they may be cautious about buying in this first auction, or they may not be willing to buy at too high a price in this first auction because they know that there will be excess allowances from California coming next year,” said Girod, responsible for trading and research at Clear Blue Markets.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said all provinces must set up a cap-and-trade system or impose a price on carbon of at least $10 per tonne starting next year. In Ontario, the floor price on carbon is expected to be set for auctions at between $17.50 and $18 per tonne, though demand could push the price higher.I must say I’m hoping for the best for themProvinces without a carbon tax or cap-and-trade system are weighing their options and some say they will be closely watching Ontario’s results.Nova Scotia’s Liberal government is proposing a cap-and-trade system but isn’t currently planning to link its market. It is opting instead for trading of credits among emitters within the province and proposing to not make polluters pay the full cost for the greenhouse gas emissions that are over the capped limits.Jason Hollett, the executive director of Noca Scotia’s climate change division, said the plan is to distribute credits “for free” to carbon emitters, because the province has already met Ottawa’s targeted emission requirements due to changes to its electricity generation.Most large emitters in Ontario will receive allowances for free until 2020, which the government says is meant to prevent them from moving to jurisdictions without carbon pricing.Newfoundland and Labrador will watch what happens in Ontario and may consider a cap-and-trade system in the future, said Perry Trimper, the minister responsible for the office of Climate Change. Emissions caps are being set in that province and emitters who go over them will be required to invest in a low-carbon technology fund being run by the government, or find ways to reduce their emissions.“I must say I’m hoping for the best for them and we see an opportunity in the future to join jurisdictions like Ontario and Quebec in a cap-and-trade system,” Trimper said.Ontario’s results will be made public on April 3.The Canadian Press Mark Blinch / THE CANADIAN PRESS TORONTO — Ontario’s cap-and-trade system aimed at lowering greenhouse gas emissions begins in earnest Wednesday with its first auction, which other provinces said they will be watching closely as they consider their own carbon pricing plans.The provincial Liberal government hopes the auction — held every three months — will bring in $1.9 billion a year, or $8 billion by the end of 2020, to be invested in programs that reduce emissions and help businesses and consumers adapt to a low-carbon economy.Under the plan, businesses will have limits — or caps — on the amount of pollution they can emit. Companies that exceed those limits, which will be reduced each year, can buy permits or allowances through auctions or from other companies that come in under their limits.The cap-and-trade system, which came into effect Jan. 1, added 4.3 cents per litre to the price of gasoline and about $80 a year to natural gas home heating costs, in addition to indirect costs that will be passed onto consumers.Why Canadians are turning against carbon prices — but still support climate actionB.C. proves to Ontario Conservatives that ‘revenue neutral’ carbon taxes are a mythThe Opposition Progressive Conservatives have been critical of those added costs and party leader Patrick Brown said Tuesday he would instead bring in a “revenue negative” carbon tax, with which any increased costs to consumers would be more than offset by tax cuts.A government-commissioned analysis showed that a carbon tax would achieve more emission reductions — almost half through businesses leaving Ontario — but cost more, and an unlinked cap-and-trade model would be the most expensive option.Ontario plans to link its cap-and-trade system with a joint Quebec-California market next year. But when that happens, an estimated $466 million will leave the Ontario economy over three years, because it will be cheaper to buy allowances in those jurisdictions, the auditor general has said. Both the environmental commissioner and the auditor have said that means greenhouse gas emissions won’t actually be cut in Ontario.The most recent Quebec-California joint cap-and-trade auction saw just 18 per cent of allowances sold, with previous results of 88 per cent, 35 per cent and 11 per cent.Mark Blinch / Canadian Press read more

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Brothel inside Mount spa

The police have found a brothel operating inside an Ayurvedha spa in Mount Lavinia, the police media unit said today.According to the police, the spa was raided after obtaining a court warrant from the Mount Lavinia Magistrate yesterday. Following the raid on the spa named ‘Jeewoda Suwasuna’ the police arrested the owner, a resident of Dehiwala, as well as six women who were believed to have been engaged in prostitution.The police said that the women were aged between 25 and 32 years. The suspects are to be produced in court today. read more

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India says ties with Lanka strong

“We are confident of our relations in our neighbourhood and it is not a cause of sleepless nights if someone wants to compete with us. We are way ahead in our relationships,” he added. “I cannot speak for the Sri Lankan government but we have many areas of cooperation with them. We are actively involved in the rehabilitation of Tamils in the country,” he said. The Indian government says its ties with Sri Lanka are strong and it has no reason to be concerned over reports that Sri Lanka is having talks with Pakistan over a nuclear pact.India External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid noted that India is actively involved in the rehabilitation of Tamils in Sri Lanka, the Press Trust of India reported. read more

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Jayalalithaa writes to Modi again on Sri Lanka

The Sri Lankan strategy of not releasing the fishing boats, the sole source of livelihood of the poor fishermen, was further aggravating the situation. At present, 30 fishing boats were in Sri Lankan custody and were facing the risk of damage beyond repair with the impending advent of the monsoon, Ms. Jayalalithaa said.The Chief Minister reiterated that India should not treat the International Maritime Boundary Line with Sri Lanka as a settled question as the constitutionality of the 1974 and 1976 agreements had been challenged in the Supreme Court. Urging him to secure the release of these fishermen and their craft along with the 21 others and their 30 boats who are already in Sri Lankan custody, Ms. Jayalalithaa requested Mr. Modi to use all diplomatic channels to ensure that “our fishermen are allowed to pursue their livelihood with freedom and peace of mind in their traditional waters.” Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa Jeyaram  has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi once again, expressing concern over the repeated arrest of fishermen from Tamil Nadu by the Sri Lankan Navy, The Hindu newspaper reportedThis is the third time in a week that fishermen had been apprehended. Seven fishermen in a motorised boat set sail for fishing from Therespuram fishing base of Tuticorin District on September 26. They were apprehended in the Gulf of Mannar area by the island navy on September 29 and taken to Negombo in Sri Lanka. “In spite of the several steps being taken by my Government with an accommodative frame of mind to devise a permanent solution to this sensitive livelihood issue, the situation at sea remains precarious with the dubious actions of the Sri Lankan Government. I have been requesting the Government of India to wage a strong diplomatic offensive to uphold the rights and interests of our Indian fishermen from Tamil Nadu. The Sri Lankan Government continues its series of arrests of our fishermen while fishing in their traditional waters,” she said. read more

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Citizens peace prize to venerable Sobitha

The National Peace Council has decided to award the Citizens Peace Prize to the late venerable Maduluwave Sobitha thero.Prior to his untimely demise the National Peace Council had decided to award the venerable Sobitha its Citizens Peace Prize, to which he gave his consent. However with some persuasion he agreed to accept our offer.  With his consent we agreed on the date of the award to be November 5, 2015.  But this was postponed due to the venerable Sobitha’s illness.“We are grateful to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe for having agreed to be present on that occasion. We now intend to present this award to venerable Sobitha posthumously in the name of the civil movement for good governance he led.  The most fitting tribute to him is to stand for the values he did and ensure that they are realized in the life of the nation,” the National Peace Council said. The National Peace Council said  the passing away of venerable Maduluwave Sobitha is a great loss to Sri Lanka.At a time when the space for political dissent had shrunk, and the government increasingly authoritarian, ethno-nationalist and corrupt, the venerable Sobitha took the challenge to speak out, stand up and give leadership to the general population.He transcended the love of his community to embrace all ethnic and religious communities with the universal spirit of Buddhist religious teachings.  He provided leadership to civil society in its quest for good governance and ethnic harmony. The National Peace Council said that when representatives of the National Peace Council met him to convey this decision, his first response was to state that there were more deserving candidates whom we should consider. This prize is awarded to those in Sri Lanka who have demonstrated public commitment and taken risks to uphold values of human rights, good governance and ethnic and religious harmony. The social media is filled with expressions of sorrow by members of all ethnic and religious communities at his passing away and appreciation for what he did.  His loss was remarkably felt even by the prisoners taken in under the Prevention of Terrorism Act who stage their protest nowadays for their release.  They too have send their condolence message and that shows the credible work that he had done and as an individual voiced for their release.  The government of national unity, that combines the two main political parties which have hitherto been rivals, is due in no small part to his moral leadership. The National Peace Council said it mourns his loss. (Colombo Gazette) read more

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HRCSL writes to AG raises concerns on detainees

The Commission views prolonged administrative detention or remand of persons as a serious violation of the fundamental rights guaranteed to them under Articles 72 and 13 of the Constitution of Sri Lanka as well as under Sri Lanka’s human rights obligations under international law. The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) has written to Attorney General (AG) Y J Wijayatilake, conveying to him its grave concern about the rights of the detainees and remandees held under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and the Emergency Regulations and called upon him to take necessary measures to ensure the protection of the rights of these detainees and remandees.The Commission has called for the immediate release of those held in detention or remand for a long period of time without charges and against whom there is no credible evidence. The Commission has further called upon the Attorney General to review the cases of those indicted and to withdraw those cases which are solely based on confessions made to police officers, caseswhere no credible evidence exist and cases which are relatively minor. The Human Rights Commission has also communicated to the Attorney General its concerns about the rehabilitation process to which detainees and remandees will reportedly be subjected.The Commission has shared these concerns with the Attorney General in the hope it will be ableto engage in dialogue with, and extend its support to, the Attorney-General’s Department inorder to seek an urgent resolution to this critical issue. In respect of accused indicted under the PTA and Emergency Regulations against whom there iscredible evidence but who have been in detention and or remand for long periods of time, theCommission has expressed its view that arrangements should be made to release such personson bail immediately. read more

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Sri Lankan fraudster in Toronto sentenced to jail

These scams ranged from plans to flip run-down Muskoka cottages to a development in her native land. “She aggressively encouraged investors to remortgage their homes and borrow from lines of credit … and encouraged them to refer their friends and family to her,” Weinberg said. “All of the money used to pay investors came directly from other investors, and not from investments,” Weinberg said, reading an agreed statement of fact last month.Perera took more than $5.5 million from 60 investors, but she pleaded guilty to two counts of defrauding the public for almost $3 million from 32 GTA-area victims, with sums ranging from $776,000 to $1,000. “To a more sophisticated observer, these investment opportunities were obviously too good to be true. Promised interest rates were very high, sometimes 72% or higher.”She even paid travel costs for some investors to go to Sri Lanka.“All of the ‘deals’ went bad at the same time. Victims invested, or so they thought, in different types of investments, yet they all went bad at the same time,” Weinberg said. Yet the scheming continued. A Sri Lankan in Toronto, Jayawathe “Janake” Perera, who promised dozens of investors up to 60% in annual returns, has been sentenced to five years in jail. She was also slapped with a $3-million restitution order, the Toronto Sun reported.From 2004 until 2014, Perera, 52, conned many of her fellow immigrants from Sri Lanka as well as others into investing their hard-earned cash in bogus schemes. The victims’ money was spent on various items, including Perera’s first-class plane tickets to Sri Lanka and travel expenses (almost $100,000), on her $92,000 BMW, a downpayment and on mortgage payments for her home and business condo.Perera presented herself as a successful businesswoman who entertained clients at her luxurious home and drove a BMW with vanity plates.She also travelled by limousines and attended casinos, Justice John McMahon heard. While she was out after being initially charged on April 30, 2012, she kept on ripping off victims. She was recharged in February 2016 and has been in jail since. She pleaded guilty last month and was given credit for one-year custody for her eight months in jail. It was a Ponzi scheme, Crown attorney Renna Weinberg told court. read more

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Vaiko calls for release of fishing boats held by Sri Lanka

Moreover, this would thwart the attempt by the Sri Lankan government to impose fines, he said. India’s MDMK general secretary Vaiko urged the Indian Central Government to take effective steps to secure the release of fishing boats from Sri Lanka, The Hindu newspaper reported.In an informal chat with reporters in Tiruchi, he said a large number of fishing boats belonging to fishermen of Rameswaram, Nagapattinam and other coastal areas of the State were under the custody of the Sri Lankan Government and this had affected the livelihood of fishermen. To a question, Vaiko said that about 49 farmers had committed suicide in various parts of the State due to crop failure.The government should announce Rs.25 lakh compensation to each victim, he added. (Colombo Gazette) There were reports that the Sri Lankan Government had planned to impose hefty fine for Indian boats fishing in the traditional waters, he said and added that the Central government should take immediate steps to secure the release of the boats. read more

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UKs Labour Party wants push on Sri Lankan issue

Reiterating his colleague’s call for further action, Barry Gardiner MP, the Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade, also said the Sri Lankan government cannot be allowed to deceive the international community through another resolution at the UNHRC: “I think it is now time that we should say not just no to a second resolution, but that that we have a referral from the UN Human Rights Council to the UN General Assembly. And I think that really is where this must now go.”The meeting’s host, Joan Ryan – the MP for Enfield North, said: “The slaughter of tens of thousands of Tamil civilians in the Vanni in the final weeks of the war will never be forgotten.”“[…] There are many of us – and I am one – who would say that a genocide took place against the Tamil people on the beaches of Mullivaikal and elsewhere. It is shameful that so many questions about what happened to the disappeared remain unanswered and that justice and accountability has still not prevailed. Justice delayed is justice denied.” “[…] We must not allow the commitment to an investigation that involves international judges and others to just be brushed under the carpet. This was a commitment that Sri Lanka itself made. It was a very, very important step forward in 2015, and we must not allow that to disappear.” The meeting was chaired by Siobhain McDonagh, MP for Mitcham and Morden.The comments of the senior members of the Labour Shadow Cabinet were echoed by Mike Gapes, MP for Ilford South, Wes Streeting MP for Ilford North, Rt. Hon Stephen Timms, MP for East Ham, Liz McInnes, MP for Heywood and Middleton, Thangam Debbonaire, MP for Bristol West, and Dawn Butler, MP for Brent Central.The messages of the Labour Leader, Jeremy Corbyn MP, and Kate Osamor MP, the Shadow Secretary of State for International Development, who could not attend the meeting due to unavoidable circumstances, were read out by their colleagues. Speaking at a packed Tamils for Labour event in the UK Parliament, John McDonnell MP, the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, said the Labour Party is “extremely concerned about the role that the Sri Lankan government has in the recent period – [they] are trying to undermine the UN resolutions and the way which the Human Rights Council has sought to address this matter. I think the Sri Lankan government have had a strategy for dividing and ruling the Tamil community; dividing and ruling the international community; and trying to undermine any attempt to seek truth and justice on this particular issue.” McDonnell went on to say that “there is a real anxiety that the Sri Lankan government will again manipulate the situation in the Human Rights Council where again we don’t get any further movement on this. That’s why we are saying to the UK government it is important that they stand firm in these negotiations; that we get both the proper investigation: the monitoring of the Sri Lankan government’s activities; and at the end of the day also the holding to account the perpetrators of these human rights abuses that have taken place, particularly in recent years.” Britain’s Labour Party has called on the UK Government to ensure that Sri Lanka honours the promises it made – in the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution 30/1 – to address the legacy of the country’s armed conflict.The Government of Sri Lanka’s commitments to achieving justice, accountability and reconciliation, under resolution 30/1, will be assessed by the UNHRC at its current 34th Session in Geneva, Switzerland. “[…] It cannot be right that the Sri Lankan government is allowed to investigate itself. That is not an independent inquiry. In addition to that, it cannot be right that the Sri Lankan government almost vetoes elements of international representation in independent inquiries – that will never achieve the security of truth that we are seeking in this matter.”Emily Thornberry MP, the Shadow Foreign Secretary, said she was “far from convinced that this is the right time to reintroduce EU trade concessions [GSP+] to Sri Lanka. We need to think about what message this would send on human rights. So I am writing to the Foreign Secretary and urging his government to press for further progress on human rights before trade concessions are offered to Sri Lanka.” Speaking at the event, Sen Kandiah, the Chair of Tamils for Labour, called for the UNHRC to establish an in country monitoring office in the North and East of Sri Lanka to ensure that the fundamental rights and freedoms of Tamils are respected and upheld. (Colombo Gazette) read more

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Former Hague prosecutor Sri Lankas new CAA head

Meddegoda is a PC with 37 years of legal experience. He served in the Attorney General’s department (as Senior State Counsel) for nearly 20 years. Thereafter he joined The Hague’s United Nations International Criminal Tribunal’s Office of the Prosecutor as a Legal Adviser in 1994 and served for 10 years. A one-time trial attorney from The Hague’s International Criminal Tribunal (ICC) has been appointed to the helm of Sri Lankan consumer affairs authority.The Ministry of Industry and Commerce said that President’s Counsel Anura Bandara Meddegoda has been appointed as the seventh Chairman of the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) of Sri Lanka. “I thank the Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen for appointing me. I pledge to discharge my duties to the best of my ability, to safeguard and enhance the rights of Sri Lankan consumers, manufacturers and traders,” Meddegoda said. He was appointed as Secretary Ministry of Justice and Judicial Reform in 2004 but had to skip due to his commitment with The Hague. After returning from The Hague in 2005 he continued with his private legal practice and President Maithripala Sirisena appointed him as a President’s Counsel in April 2017.The Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) is the apex Government organization mandated to protect consumers’ interests and ensure fair market competition in Sri Lanka. It has been established under the Consumer Affairs Authority Act No.09 of 2003. read more

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US UN envoys meet Speaker on Constitutional crisis

Envoys from the US and the UN met Speaker Karu Jayasuriya today to discuss the Constitutional crisis which has affected the country.Chargés d’affaires of the US Embassy in Colombo Robert Hilton and a top official of the UN office in Colombo met the Speaker in Parliament. The Speaker’s office said that the US officials noted US concerns over the political situation in the country and the need to resolve it soon.The official from the UN had also expressed similar sentiments.

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