US expresses concerns about human rights situation; Rambukwella vows to wipe out the LTTE by the end of 2008; India to construct a 500MW coal plant in Sampur, Trincomalee; Ahmadinejad to visit Colombo on April 28
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  • The International Group of Eminent Persons (IIGEP) terminated its enquiry on human rights in the country and announced that it would not be interfering with the Commission of Enquiry, set up by the Sri Lankan government to probe into human rights violations in the region1. The US has also expressed concerns over the state of human rights and conflict resolution but admitted that the issues were “difficult.” It vowed to remain engaged with Colombo in the hope of ensuring progress in the region2.

    The battle in the North continued with both sides suffering casualties. Defence spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukwella declared that the “liberation operation” would continue and that the North would soon be liberated. He also declared that by the end of the year 2008, LTTE would be wiped out from Sri Lanka3. In other developments, the Jantha Vimukthi Perumuna (JVP) has appealed to the British Government to counter LTTE activities with the support from the European Union4.

    At the bilateral front, India announced that it would be constructing a 500 MW coal-based power plant at Sampur in the Trincomalee district. India’s National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and Sri Lanka’s Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) would be holding stakes in the ratio of 70:30 in the project5.

    Reports noted that energy cooperation would be the main thrust of the forthcoming visit of the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Sri Lanka o April 286. Tehran would be investing around $1.5 billion for developing natural energy resources in the country, including the Sapugaskanda oil refinery project7.