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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 76

Monthly archive

Victims of a Surrogate War

The brutal killing of Indian engineer K Suryanarayana clearly shows that Pakistan is using the Taliban as its foot soldier in Afghanistan to gain a new strategic advantage. Since Gen Pervez Musharraf pretends that the Taliban cadres have just disappeared from the face of earth, India must bring the reality to the notice of the US and the rest of the world, even Pakistan for that matter, says the author.

LTTE light aircraft seen in the air- Military intelligence.

By Our Colombo Correspondent

A light aircraft of the LTTE was in the air in Iranamadu last evening, military intelligence has been informed. "There are sources confirming that a light aircraft had been seen over Wanni for 30 minutes," an intelligence source told the Asian Tribune. However the radars of the Air Force had not intercepted the aircraft, according to military sources, Security Forces have been put on high alert to react to any illegal flights since the incident.

Some myths & realities of Sri Lanka’s conflict

By Dayan Jayatilleka

Sri Lanka has not had as extensive media coverage and so thick a stream of important visitors as it has in recent months and weeks. One hopes all parties concerned noted Mr. Donald Camp's remarks. The word from Washington was twofold. Mr Camp was unambiguously condemnatory of the LTTE, making a major conceptual distinction between Colombo and Kilinochchi, and emphasising that there was no comparison between an elected democratic Govt and the Tigers, which he defined ( in his TV interview in Colombo) as “a terrorist organisation of the first order”. He was also critical of recent killings of Tamil civilians; he also said that a democratic state must be accountable, with no impunity, no immunity. The perpetrators of the killings of Tamil civilians must be prosecuted.

South Seeks Authority to Decide on Next U.N. Chief

By Thalif Deen - Inter Press Service

The five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council -- the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia -- have traditionally exercised, or threatened to exercise, their veto powers to assert their authority in ultimately deciding who should be the secretary-general of the United Nations, come election time. The 15-member Security Council, which also includes 10 rotating non-permanent members playing a marginal role, recommends one candidate, and the 191-member General Assembly meekly rubber stamps the decision.

US want fast enactment of law against terror finance

A visiting US high official yesterday urged the government to frame and enact an effective anti-money laundering law and take steps to curb financial crimes as part of the Bush administration's global drive against militancy. Patrick M O'Brien, assistant secretary for terrorist financing at the US Treasury Department, recommended the actions at a number of meetings with the central bank governor and high officials of home and foreign ministries during his two-day official visit here from Wednesday.

And they now gear up narcotic jihad

By Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury

It is current news in Bangladesh. Owner of pro-radical vernacular daily Naya Diganta (New Sky), which was established with dubious fund from Saudi source a few years back, is now under massive interrogation in remand for his involvement in trafficking huge quantity of heroin (narcotic) to European and American destinations. Bangladeshi intelligence agencies arrested Badruddoza Chowdhury Momen, owner of BD Foods, a company exporting ‘spices’ to Western destinations, for trafficking huge amount of heroin which were packed inside the sachets of spices. On interrogation, Badruddoza confessed to the interrogators that he has smuggled out narcotics worth few hundred million dollars to United States and Europe since 2003.

EU backs President Rajapakse and moves to freeze LTTE assets

The European Parliament yesterday whacked the LTTE out of the boundary lines when it recommended a total freeze of Tiger assets before EU considers listing Tigers as a terrorist organisation. The EU parliament passed a resolution which, on the one hand, assured President Mahinda Rajapakse of EU’s full cooperation in facing the challenges ahead and, on the other, condemning the LTTE violence.

Tele bugging challenged in Bangladesh

The High Court Division of the Supreme Court yesterday issued rule upon the government and others to show cause why the provisions of tele-tapping under the Telecommunication (Amendment ) Act 2006 should not be declared ultra vires of the constitution. Justice Awlad Ali and Justice Jinat Are of the Court issued the rule on a writ petition filed jointly by Nurul Kabir, editor of the daily New Age and Dr Tasneem Siddiqui, treasurer of Odhikar, a human rights organization.

Sri Lankan Central Bank attempts to cover up deepening economic contradictions

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka Annual Report 2005 issued on May 1 painted a rosy picture of the country’s economy and government policies. It emphasised that the growth rate of 6 percent last year had “exceeded expectations” and backed government forecasts of even higher growth rates for 2006 and beyond. Inflation was down and the balance of payments was in surplus. This optimistic view does not stand up to critical examination.

Sri Lankan Treasury and CEB owes Petroleum Corporation billions of rupees

By Munza Mushtaq -- Reporting from Colombo for Asian Tribune

The Sri Lankan Treasury currently owes the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) approximately Rs. 8 billion in subsidies for the first quarter of this year, the Corporation's Chairman Jaliya Medagama told the Asian Tribune. He also said that the Treasury has already paid the CPC Rs. 26 billion in subsidies for the year 2005. The payment also included arrears amounting to Rs. 4 billion from both the ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) and the security forces.

EU likely to ban LTTE by Friday

Strong American pressure has finally pushed the European Union - one of the four Co-chairs - to ban the Tigers sooner than later, according to diplomats in Brussels. The anouncement is likely to be made by Friday (Today). Diplomatic moves were intensified after the naval attack by the LTTE on the Sri Lankan navy off the coast of Jaffna, The LTTE suicide-bombers threat to attack the Pearl Cruiser ferrying 700 unarmed soldiers, with a Truce Monitor on board, has shocked and disappointed even the Nordic mission monitoring the Ceasefire Agreement.

Tigers shell Nagar Kovil, two Tiger pistol men shot dead in the East

By Our Colombo Correspondent

Tiger guerrillas attacked security forces Forward Defence Line in Nagar Kovil, Jaffna yesterday (18 May) for the second time in three days. A military official in the field said the Tigers attacked with Rocket Propel Grenades and mortars and that the security forces retaliated.

LTTE retreating under anti-terror laws in UK

Faced with mounting pressures after the LTTE was banned in UK under the Terrorism Act 2001 the Tiger agents have changed the name boards of their front organisations. The new front organisations are facing an uphill task to win the support of the Tamil diaspora in UK. Immediately after the proscription, the LTTE’s UK arm, United Tamil Organisation, disbanded. In its place the Tiger agents formed British Tamil Association.

Sri Lanka Government will always stand for peace and a negotiated settlement - Weekly cabinet briefing

Sunil C. Perera - Reporting from Colombo

Minister of Information and Media Anura Priyadarshana Yapa says the government will always stand for peace and a negotiated settlement. Speaking at the weekly cabinet media briefing in Colombo on Thursday the Minister stressed that the government’s stand in this regard has not changed.

Sri Lanka’s election watchdog criticize substitution of candidates in the Local Government elections

A section of the Sri Lankan voters are to elect tomorrow 332 representatives out of 2,891 candidates for Local Government institutions of 4 Municipal Councils, 4 Urban Councils, and 14 Pradeshiya Sabhas in nine Districts tomorrow.

Bangladesh to Frame Sedition Charge against Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury

By Dr. Richard L. Benkin

In an after hours telephone call, Bangladesh Home Minister Lutfuzzamen informed Bangladesh journalist Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury that the government will frame the sedition charge against him at his May 23 trial. Framing the charge is the first step in proceeding to try Choudhury for sedition, a capital offense.

US State Department’s Don Camp and Ambassador Lunstead advocate Opposing views on military solution to Sri Lanka crisis

By Daya Gamage – US National Correspondent for Asian Tribune

If the current conflict between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) escalates into a full-scale military conflict, the United States, a Co-Chair of the Tokyo Donors and the principal player of this Indian Ocean island nation’s crisis, is not in one voice as to what action it should take.

Two LTTE child combatants surrendered to Army

By Our Colombo Correspondent

Two child soldiers of the Tiger guerrillas have surrendered to a military roadblock in Trincomalee in the island’s volatile East, the security forces said. "Two child combatants of the LTTE surrendered to army road block in Mahindapura seeking our protection at 4.45 pm today,"” a military officer in the field told the Asian Tribune. The Mahindapura roadblock in located in Serunuwara, bordering LTTE control areas in the east.

"Government owned plantation institutions are running at a loss" – Plantation Minister

Sunil C. Perera - Reporting from Colombo

Government owned Janatha Estates Development Board [JEDB] and the State Plantations Corporation [SLSPC] would not be privatized according to President’s vision. Both plantations are now managed with big losses, said Plantation Minister Milroy Fernando who still continuously discussing with the treasury officials to obtain funds to run both institutions.

Sri Lankan President cautiones staff against going to five star hotels

By Munza Mushtaq -- Reporting from Colombo for Asian Tribune

In what appeared to be a bizarre request, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse has requested his staff to limit the number of visits they make to five star hotels in Colombo to have their meals. The Asian Tribune reliably learns that the request was made after the President received information that several of his staff working for him had gone to a popular five star hotel in Colombo to enjoy lavish Chinese meal for a striking sum.