“This is taking a racial twist. We must stop this,” Salley asserted.Salley said that if the UNP fails to give him nominations to contest the August 17 election, he will contest as an independent candidate in order to keep his promise to the people of Kandy. (Colombo Gazette) He also said that at talks held with UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe he was told that the UNP had proposed that only two Muslims contest in Kandy on behalf of the UNP. Salley said that the UNP had in the past fielded more Muslim candidates from Kandy but now that number is being reduced.He also accused the UNP of attempting to reduce the overall number of Muslim candidates contesting future elections from the party. Salley said that the people of Kandy have requested him to contest the election from Kandy and represent the people of Kandy in Parliament. Muslim Tamil National Alliance (MTNA) leader Azath Salley says he will be contesting the Parliament elections from the Kandy District.Speaking to reporters in Kandy today after meeting the Chief Prelates of the Asgiriya and Malwattu chapters, Salley said that he will contest the election either with the UNP or as an independent candidate.
In a press release citing the latest postal statistics for 2013, the Universal Postal Union (UPU) today said that the downward trend in global letter-post traffic had been offset by a 5.8 per cent uptick in parcel volumes in all regions of the world, except Africa and the Asia-Pacific, where slight decreases were observed. José Ansón, a UPU economist, explained that infrastructure difficulties and competition could be to blame for the lagging figures in both regions. Although international letter-post volumes have decreased, Mr. Ansón added, the average weight of individual items is heavier as “a significant number of small packets generated by e-commerce seen to be moving through the letter-post stream.” In all, he estimated, some 240 million small packets made up letter-post volumes in 2013, permitting postal services worldwide to reap the benefits of e-commerce.In addition, the UN agency continued, letter-post accounts for 43.4 per cent of global public postal revenues, which reached $234 billion. In some regions, the contribution to revenues was even higher, reaching 59.6 per cent.Against the backdrop of a radically changing communication environment, Mr. Ansón noted that the public postal service nonetheless remains widely accessible. There are currently more than five million postal employees around the world in 663,000 post offices and, annually, postal services process and deliver an estimated 368 billion letter-post items and 6.4 billion parcels.“Despite the transformation the global postal sector is experiencing, it is interesting to note that the global network is not retracting,” he continued. “Rather than seeing a decline of post offices or access points and staff, we are seeing a relative stabilization on both counts. The postal web remains the largest physical distribution network on the planet.” This year, 2014, is a milestone year as it also marks the 140th anniversary of the UPU, whose establishment helped postal services pave the way to globalized trade and commerce.With almost 3 per cent of the world’s inhabitants remaining without postal services, including 13 per cent of the African population and eight per cent of citizens in Arab countries, the UN agency has long advocated for increased investment in postal services so that they may reach deprived and rural communities in the hope of stimulating global and local economies and improving livelihoods.
A RUSSIAN PASSENGER airliner crashed this evening while trying to land at the airport in the city of Kazan, killing all 50 people aboard, officials said.The Boeing 737 belonging to Tatarstan Airlines crashed about 7.20 p.m. local time (15.20pm GMT). There were no immediate indications of the cause.Catching fireReports said the plane appeared to lose altitude as it was making a second landing attempt, crashing and catching fire.Kazan, a city of about 1.1 million and the capital of the Tatarstan republic, is about 720 kilometers (450 miles) east of Moscow, where the flight originated. Weather in Kazan was reported to be light precipitation and winds of about 18 miles per hour.A spokeswoman for the Emergencies Ministry, Irina Rossius, said there were 44 passengers and six crew members aboard and all had been killed.Read: Ireland pledges additional €1.6 million to Philippines relief efforts>