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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2993

Monthly archive

Hu snubs US on visit

By Atul Cowshish - Syndicate Features

Much of the anger or disagreement between China and the US appears to be exaggerated, if not fake with neither country really changing its ways. The two countries are now so firmly bound by economics that they would not go beyond a point to accuse each other, much less seek a forceful change in the other. The hollowness of this ‘disagreement’ contrasts with the rising crescendo of anti-Indian noises from the US, following the so-called Indo-US deal over civilian nuclear cooperation, says the author.

Bangladeshi oil and gas blocks grabbed by India

Bangladesh missions in different countries miserably failed to keep the government informed about India's bidding for offshore oil-gas blocks that are originally within the maritime borders of Bangladesh. "For the bidding, Directorate General of Hydrocarbons under Indian Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas held projection meetings not only in Delhi, but also in a number of countries. None of our missions could notice those," said a concerned source.

Col. Soosai joins the chorus: We are not prepared to relinquish sovereign rights to the seas

Colonel Soosai, Special Commander of the Sea Tigers categorically stated that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam “is not prepared to relinquish sovereign rights to the seas which we have won with the sacrifice of our people." In an interview with the media he has clearly emphasized that “We have openly established our control, and have unequivocally asserted our rights to maritime waters adjoining our homeland, in the same way we recovered and control large areas of northeast.”

Major naval battle: Sri Lanka plunges toward open civil war

In a major escalation of the conflict in Sri Lanka, the military and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) fought a pitched naval battle on Thursday in the seas near the northern fishing village of Vettilaikerni. Up to 50 are estimated to have died on both sides. In retaliation, the military launched a series of air strikes and artillery attacks on LTTE positions, including near the rebel headquarters of Kilinochchi.

Anandasangaree presents his case for a federal solution

In a letter addressed to Mahinda Rajapakse, President of Sri Lanka, V. Anandasangaree, Leader of the Tamil United Liberation Front has pointed out that no one, including the European Union as well as the international community “would accept any solution under a unitary system as a reasonable one,” as put forward by the Sri Lanka President. In his letter he has urged the Sri Lanka President to prepare a draft of a solution to the ethnic problem of the country based on a federal proposal without delay and have it ready for presentation at the next round of talks with the LTTE. If for any reasons, no further talks take place, he advised the President to “refer it to the people for a decision without any delay, but before doing so please consult at least the co-chairs.”

Tigers rejects SLMM ruling, SLMM chief returns empty handed from the crisis meeting.

By Our Colombo Correspondent.

Colombo, 13 May, ( Tiger leadership refuted a ruling by the ceasefire monitors who ruled that the Tigers have no right at sea. The head of the Scandinavian truce monitors, Ulf Henricssen on Friday returned from Kilinochchi after a crisis meeting where the Tigers rejected the SLMM chief’s position that the Tigers should not have right to be at sea or control of the seawaters.

Coconut growers urge VAT on marketing oil and copra removed

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

The Coconut Growers Association of Sri Lanka (CGASL) representing growers of one of the major financial crops has written to the Treasury to remove VAT currently imposed on marketing coconut oil and copra because of the dclining price of Rs 9 per coconut prevailing in the market now due to glut in production indicating that this the finest chance to revive the dying coconut oil production. CGASL points out that today less than 10 percent of the potential capacity of the coconut oil production is in operation.

Pakistan, Malaysia to finalize FTA in few months: Pak PM

By Iqbal Hussain Khan Yousafzai – Reporting from Islamabad

Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and his Malaysian counterpart Abdullah Ahmed Badawi met in the Indonesian resort of Bali on Friday on the sidelines of the Development Eight (D-8) Summit to exchange views on bilateral and regional issues and agreed to expedite ongoing negotiations for an early signing of the Free Trade Agreement.

Construction Industry Expo 2006 - to enhance capacities and competitiveness of the domestic construction industry

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

The construction industry in Sri Lanka is seriously disturbed as it encounters two major debacles – the severe scarcity of river sand and the dearth of skilled labour and to vitiate these debacles the Chamber of Construction Industry Sri Lanka (CCI) is hard at finding solutions.

Wild speculations of civilian coup in Bangladesh

Speculations are rife, particularly in the vernacular print media, about a 'foreign' design to effect a 'civilian coup d'etat' in Bangladesh by diplomatic maneuvers surrounding the next general election. A number of political analysts, leaders of opinion, men of letters and newspaper columnists have expressed their reservations, as well as their dark misgivings, about the diplomatic ping-pong that has been going on, signaling keen Western interest in 'free and fair' elections in Bangladesh, scheduled in January 2007. Some of them have detected strong Indian interest and persuasion, particularly behind diplomatic moves and noises made by some European Union member-states.

Rio hasn’t made any approach to Naga political issue till date: Hokheto

Oken Jeet Sandham – Asian Tribune

The President of the NPCC Hokheto Sumi said there was no approach so far from the Rio Ministry to the Naga political issue since its coming to power, although they had promised even before the general election for bringing solution to the Naga political issue in three months time if they came to power. Talking to NEPS here at the Congress Bhavan yesterday, the NPCC Chief said, “Since Neiphiu Rio came to power, I have not seen anything that he made any approach with regard to the Naga political issue.”

Record Income of Rs. 27.60 Million netted from Gem Land Auction

Sunil C. Perera - Reporting from Colombo

The Government earned Rs. 27.6 million by auctioning the gemming rights of 49, 10 perch blocks of the Paradise estate Kuruwita. The auction organized by the National Gem & Jewellery Authority was held at the BOI Auditorium in the Seethawakapura Industrial Park. It was revealed that on the Instructions of Minister of Enterprise Development & Investment Promotion Rohitha Bogollagama arrangements were made for the Gem Land Auction to be held with complete transparency where the bidders were able to bid for their choice without fear or favour. Arrangements were also made to conduct the auction without any outside influence.

Babar urges to intensify war on drugs

The first-ever meeting of home ministers from the seven member states of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation ended in Dhaka with specific decisions to fight the alarming spread of drugs abuse in the region. ‘Narcotics are affecting every country, and Pakistan has been assigned to identify specific activities within the year on how to stop proliferation of drugs abuse in South Asia,’ the state minister for home affairs, Lutfozzaman Babar, said when addressing a news conference after the daylong meeting.

Launch of a livelihood program for the tsunami victims

A less number of government and Non-Government agencies who are interest in the tsunami rehabilitation and livelihood development process have agreed to provide their maximum support to the Divisional Secretaries of the tsunami- affected areas to implement a number of self employment projects including entrepreneurship development.These donors have pledged their support after the launching of the divisional livelihood plan [DLDP] Habaraduwa at a simple ceremony held on Thursday.

Imkong congratulates Sonia

The Leader of the Opposition and Leader of Congress Legislature Party, I Imkong on behalf of the Congress Legislature Party in Nagaland congratulated Sonia Gandhi for her thumping victory in the Rae Barelli bye election. "By winning the election with a landslide majority, you have once again shown the people the extent to which you can go in sacrificing your wisdom, time and tremendous energy for the interest of the nation and especially the weaker sections of the billion plus population. We are confident that your return to Parliament will enhance your personal image and that of the party," he said.

Khaleda for regional cooperation in combating terrorism

Bangladesh Prime Minister Khaleda Zia said Bangladesh remains committed not to allow her soil to be used by any terrorist group for undertaking crime and subversive activities in other states. Making the remark while formally inaugurating the first SAARC Interior/Home Ministers’ Conference at Hotel Sheraton in the morning, she informed that she categorically conveyed this assurance of Bangladesh’s stand and commitment to other SAARC leaders whenever she met with them.

Tamil Nadu: Karunanidhi’s minority Government sworn in

A 31-member ministry, headed by M Karunanidhi, was today sworn in at a simple ceremony held at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium. Surjit Singh Barnala, Governor of Tamil Nadu administered the oath of office and secrecy to all the ministers. All the ministers took the oath on their conscience and in Tamil. Karunanidhi who led the DMK-led Democratic Progressive Alliance to victory in the May 8 Assembly polls, has become the Chief Minister for the fifth time.