Local activists organizations condemn Presidents statements

“These contradictions between the President and the Prime Minister are however not new and have been a constant feature of the Government’s public communications about their commitments under the resolution ever since the resolution was passed,” the joint statement added.The local civil society organisations and activists said that it is widely acknowledged that the victim communities in Sri Lanka consider a purely domestic process to be untrustworthy. The joint statement noted that the President’s comments come at a time when his Government claims to have embarked on a process of consultations on the design of transitional justice mechanisms outlined in the UNHRC resolution.The statement also notes that these comments severely compromise that process and cast doubt on the intentions of the entire endeavour. There are also reports that the Government has already started drafting the necessary legal frameworks to put in place these mechanisms, which local civil society say then raises the question as to whether the consultations will be merely tokenistic. (Colombo Gazette) The statement also noted that on 26 January 2016, a few days after the Presidents interview to the BBC, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in an interview to Channel 4 appeared to be engaging in damage control when he stated that that the Government will abide by commitments given in Geneva. “Owing to the Government’s positions taken at these negotiations, the resolution in itself was a compromise, much to the disappointment of many victims and activists. The Government now appears to be backtracking from even these compromised commitments. The President in these interviews categorically stated that foreign judges and experts would not be part of the process. In his interview to BBC Sinhala Service he also went on to express his full confidence in the existing judicial system and in Sri Lanka’s investigative authorities. In that interview he added that if there was any international support necessary for Sri Lanka that it was only for economic development,” the joint statement noted. Local activists and organizations have condemned President Maithripala Sirisena’s recent statements wherein he appears to be indicating a withdrawal from the obligations the Government had committed to in the consensus resolution passed at the 30th Session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in October 2015.In a joint statement, 144 local activists and organizations said that it is worth recalling that the Government as a co-sponsor of the resolution in Geneva, was in a position to negotiate the exact terms of the resolution. read more

HewlettPackard says fraud at company it acquired cost it 5 billion

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Hewlett-Packard Co. said on Tuesday that it’s the victim of a $5-billion-plus fraud, claiming a British company it bought last year lied about its finances.HP CEO Meg Whitman said executives at Autonomy Corporation PLC “wilfully” boosted the company’s figures through various accounting tricks, which convinced HP to pay $9.7 billion for the company in October 2011.Autonomy’s former CEO said HP’s allegations are false.HP is now taking a charge $8.8 billion charge to align the accounting value of Autonomy with its real value. More than $5 billion of that writedown is due to the false accounting, HP said.The revelation is another blow for HP, which is struggling to reinvent itself as PC and printer sales shrink. Its shares hit a 10-year low in morning trading.Among other things, Autonomy makes search engines that help companies find vital information stored across computer networks. Acquiring it was part of an attempt by HP to strengthen its portfolio of high-value products and services for corporations and government agencies. The deal was approved by Whitman’s predecessor, Leo Apotheker, but closed three weeks into Whitman’s tenure as chief executive. Whitman was a member of HP’s board of directors when Apotheker initiated the Autonomy purchase.Among the tricks used at Autonomy, Whitman said: The company had been booking the sale of computers as software revenue claiming the cost of making the machines as a marketing expense. Revenue from long-term contracts was booked up front, instead of over time.As a result, Autonomy appeared to be more profitable than it was, and seemed to be growing its core software business faster than was actually the case. The moves were apparently designed to groom the company for an acquisition, Whitman said.Once HP bought the company, Autonomy’s reported results quickly declined. Autonomy CEO Mike Lynch continued to run the company as part of HP, but Whitman forced him out on May 23 because it was not living up to expectations.“Little did I know that there was more than met the eye,” Whitman said.With Lynch gone, a senior Autonomy executive volunteered information about the accounting shenanigans, prompting an internal investigation, she said.The case has been referred to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the UK’s Serious Fraud Office, she said. The company will also try to recoup some of the cash it paid for Autonomy through lawsuits.In a statement to the Financial Times, Lynch said “The former management team of Autonomy was shocked to see this statement today, and flatly rejects these allegations, which are false.”“It took 10 years to build Autonomy’s industry-leading technology and it is sad to see how it has been mismanaged since its acquisition by HP,” he added.On a conference call with Whitman following the earnings report, analyst Ben Reitzes of Barclays Capital asked who will be held responsible internally for the disastrous acquisition.Whitman answered that the two executives that should have been held responsible — Apotheker and strategy chief Shane Robinson — are gone. But the deal was also approved, essentially, by the current board.“Most of the board was here and voted for this deal, and we feel terribly about that,” Whitman said. “What I will say is that the board relied on audited financials. Audited by Deloitte — not ‘Brand X’ accounting firm, but Deloitte. During our very extensive due diligence process, we hired KPMG to audit Deloitte. And neither of them saw what we now see after someone came forward to point us in the right direction.”Apotheker told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he was “stunned and disappointed” to learn of the allegations against Autonomy, and pointed out that they had gone undiscovered by HP’s auditors, executives and directors.Deloitte UK said it could not comment on the matter because of client confidentiality rules.Whitman said she still views Autonomy as a “growth engine for HP software,” albeit a weaker one than initially thought.HP shares traded down $1.74, or 13 per cent, at $11.56 in morning trading. Just after the open, they hit $11.35, the lowest level since 2002.HP’s net loss for the fiscal fourth quarter, which ended Oct. 31, amounted to $6.85 billion, or $3.49 per share. That compares with net income of $239 million, or 12 cents per share, in the same period last year.It was the second mammoth loss in a row for HP. In the third fiscal quarter, it lost a record $8.86 billion, or $4.49 per share. That was due to a charge for another acquisition — that of Electronic Data Systems, a technology consulting service that it bought for $13 billion in 2009. In that case, HP didn’t blame improper accounting, just results that didn’t live up to expectations.Excluding the charges in the latest quarter, HP earned $1.16 per share in the latest quarter, just above the average analyst forecast of $1.14 per share, as polled by FactSet.HP’s revenue was $30.0 billion, down 7 per cent from last year. That was below analyst expectations at $30.5 billion.The Palo Alto, Calif., company stuck to its previously given earnings forecast for the fiscal year that just started, but it issued a forecast for this quarter that was well below analyst expectations. It expects earnings, excluding items, to be 68 cents to 71 cents per share, while analysts were looking for 85 cents, according to FactSet. by Peter Svensson, The Associated Press Posted Nov 20, 2012 12:06 pm MDT Hewlett-Packard says fraud at company it acquired cost it $5 billion AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more