Two youth further remanded over pics on stupa

They were produced before a Magistrate today who ordered that they be further remanded till February 27th. (Colombo Gazette) Two youth who were in remand for taking photographs while posing on top of a stupa, have been further remanded.The two youth had been arrested for posing on the stupa at the Mihintale Raja Maha Viharaya.

Annan invites Greece and Turkey to help in Cyprus talks

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has invited Greece and Turkey to join in meetings next week in Switzerland to help the Greek and Turkish Cypriots finalize a plan to reunify Cyprus before its entry into the European Union on 1 May.”The Secretary-General looks forward to the two sides and Greece and Turkey meeting their commitments under the 13 February agreement, and has asked that all concerned be in a position to make final commitments at Burgenstock,” a statement released by Mr. Annan’s spokesman said, referring to a hotel complex in the outskirts of Lucerne, Switzerland, that would serve as UN premises for the duration of the meeting that convenes on 24 March.Alvaro de Soto, the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Cyprus, will be carrying out the talks, although Mr. Annan “will be personally involved” as the discussions draw to an end, according to spokesman Fred Eckhard.”The Secretary-General will be personally involved in the effort as it draws to an end,” the statement added.Last month, the Greek Cypriot leader, Tassos Papadopoulos, and the Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, agreed in New York to continue negotiations in Cyprus until 22 March on the basis of Mr. Annan’s plan.If an agreement on modifications to the plan can be reached, then the entire proposal will be submitted to separate referenda on 20 April for approval by the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots.Should the talks stall, the leaders agreed to have Greece and Turkey invited to lend their collaboration in a concentrated effort to finalize the text by 29 March. Failing that, Mr. Annan would step in to use his discretion to complete the text, which would ultimately create a federation of two constituent states – a Greek Cypriot state and a Turkish Cypriot state – and contain some suggestions for security arrangements between Greece and Turkey.Asked to comment on a statement by Mr. Denktash that he would not participate in the Lucerne talks, Mr. Eckhard said the Secretary-General expected each side to abide by the commitments made in New York on 13 February. read more