Gotabhaya’s call for abolition of the 13th amendment is said to be in response to the “post-war strategy” of the TNA. India has repeatedly, and successfully, sought a reiteration from Lanka of its commitment to the 13th amendment, saying it was imperative for reconciliation after the war ended in 2009. Though the 13th amendment, which guarantees devolution of power to the provinces and comprises several other major concession to the Tamils, has often been pejoratively referred to as an “imported solution”, rarely has it been subjected to such attack by parties within the ruling coalition. Indian officials here said they were “surprised” by the development, but added they would respond at the right moment. Sources confirmed that Gotabhaya will be visiting India this week, and that the issue will be taken up with him. Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa is expected in India this week to discuss the government position of the 13th Amendment, the Times of India reported today.The Indian media report said that ongoing one-upmanship between the Sri Lankan government and TNA, which represents a vast majority of Tamil population in the island nation, has taken a dangerous turn with many within the government, including President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s brother and defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, demanding that the 13th amendment to the Constitution, a product of the Rajiv Gandhi-Jayewardene 1987 accord, be repealed altogether. Despite raising doubts about the agenda of TNA, described by India as a credible body, President Rajapaksa had told TOI earlier this year that his government remained committed to 13th amendment. A joint statement issued by the two countries last year had said that “a devolution package, building upon the 13th amendment, would create conditions for genuine reconciliation”.Indian officials underlined how Lanka made the same commitment in the 2008 Universal Periodic Review (UPR), which looks at the human rights record of all UN member states every four years. Interestingly, Lanka’s record will be reviewed again by the UPR in early next month with India being one of the three countries that will carry it out. “This is not just a commitment made to India but to international agencies,” said an official. The reconciliation talks, which started after the war, collapsed in January with President Rajapaksa insisting that the process could be taken forward only through a Parliament Select Committee (PSC). The TNA has refused to join the PSC.While ties have suffered because of India’s vote at the UN Human Rights Council against Sri Lanka, PM Manmohan Singh did try to save the situation when he met Rajapaksa last month and assured him of New Delhi’s support at international fora in future. In the talks, though, India also conveyed to Lanka that it looked upon TNA as a credible entity with which talks must be resumed. The relations now threaten to hit an all-time low with the talk about scrapping the 13th amendment altogether. the Times of India reported.
Rock drills major Doofor Inc and Fabchem Group of Johannesburg, South Africa are working together to offer the Southern Africa mining market functional drilling equipment. The Fabchem Group is the official distributor of the Doofor products in Sub-Saharan Africa. Fabchem, through its subsidiary, Conax Machine Solutions, manufactures, refurbishes and repairs roof bolters and hydraulic rock drills, with its flagship product being the Mantis Roof Bolter. The Mantis is offered with a Doofor DF530S hydraulic rock drill.Recently, a client of Fabchem, in coal mining, achieved excellent results when they used the Mantis equipped with a Doofor rock drill, for developing through a dyke (hard rock). They had started the project using jack hammers, but it soon became clear that the project was unfeasible due to slow production rates. They were achieving an average penetration rate of 0.11 m/min or 18 minutes for every 2 m hole. They then tried another hydraulic rock drill, which achieved a penetration rate of 0.44 m/min or 4.5 min for every 2.0m hole, but reliability was poor. Fabchem then offered the client a Doofor DF530S rock drill mounted on the Mantis machine and it was a huge success. They achieved a penetration rate of 0.80 m/min, which meant they could now drill a 2 m round in 2.5 minutes, with excellent equipment availability.At these drilling production rates, the project became viable and the client was very satisfied. These results were also shared at a meeting of the South African Colliery Managers Association in 2017. The mine has recently ordered another Mantis Roof Bolter/Face Drill, which is both diesel and electric powered, complete with percussion feed frame and Doofor DF530S rock drill mounted on it, for delivery at the end of June 2018.The Doofor drifters are of very high quality, offer high production rates and are cost effective. “We at Doofor are pleased to work with a manufacturing company such as Fabchem. With them we can offer strong technical support and spare parts service for our products in demanding underground conditions.”, explains Kalle Kuusento of Doofor Inc. “We see a lot of potential for growth through customer satisfaction when they see the economy and reliability of our products.”