UN chief deplores razing of East Jerusalem building for new Israeli settlements

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today deplored the destruction of the Shepherd’s Hotel in occupied East Jerusalem to make way for new Israeli settlements in the heart of a Palestinian neighbourhood.Israel’s refusal in late September to extend a 10-month freeze on settlement activity in the Palestinian territory occupied in the 1967 six-day war prompted Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to withdraw from direct talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which had only resumed a few weeks earlier after a two-year hiatus.Mr. Ban said the demolition which took place yesterday “only serves to heighten tensions,” according to a statement issued by his spokesperson.“It is deeply regrettable that growing international concern at unilateral expansion of illegal Israeli settlements is not being heeded. Such actions seriously prejudice the possibility of a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”The Secretary-General again called on the Israeli Government to take “whatever steps are necessary” to freeze settlement activity anywhere in occupied territory, the statement added. 10 January 2011Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today deplored the destruction of the Shepherd’s Hotel in occupied East Jerusalem to make way for new Israeli settlements in the heart of a Palestinian neighbourhood. read more

Democratic Peoples Congress sacks Nalliya Kumaragurubaran

Kumaragurubaran has also been removed from the party as he had failed to promote the party and had instead established contacts with other political parties. (Colombo Gazette) The Democratic People’s Congress says it has removed Nalliya Kumaragurubaran from the party.In a statement, the leader of the Democratic People’s Congress, Praba Ganesan said that Kumaragurubaran had been removed from his post of party General Secretary.