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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 80

Monthly archive

India’s PM enters third year in office

Dr. Manmohan Singh has entered his third year in office as prime minister of India amidst an ominous sign of student unrest all over the country, triggered ostensibly by the controversy over reservations for other backward classes (OBCs) in higher institutes of learning. The agitation started by medical students in Delhi has attracted almost the entire medical fraternity, not just the students, and other professionals in many cities and towns in the country, making it look like a movement against the reservation policy as such. Clandestine support of at least one political party cannot be ruled out, though most political parties can ill-afford to openly support any anti-reservation agitation.

World’s largest steelmaker in $33 billion takeover bid for the second largest

A massive takeover bid, upped last week by 34 percent to 25.8 euros ($US33 billion), is currently underway by the world’s largest steel producer, Mittal Steel, for the world’s second largest, Arcelor. If successful, the massive new conglomerate would have an annual output of around 110 million tonnes or about 10 percent of world steel production—three to four times that of its nearest rivals. With annual sales of $69 billion and 320,000 employees worldwide, it would be the leading steelmaker in five of the world’s nine major markets.

Workers riot in Bangladesh; over 100 casualties

By Dr. Richard L. Benkin

Reports coming out of Bangladesh tonight tell of extensive damage from two days of rioting between workers and police, with speculation that Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia will declare a State of Emergency when she returns from the United Arab Emirates. According to Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury, editor and publisher of Dhaka’s Weekly Blitz, the violence began when workers set fire to Universe Knitting Sweater Factory and at least eleven other garment factories. Most of the factories were foreign-owned.

Lanka Indian Oil Company warns bankruptcy in 40 days due to government debt

By Ashwin Hemmathagama - Asian Tribune Financial Corespondent

Lanka Indian Oil Company Ltd., which operates 160 filling stations in the country warns of possible bankruptcy in 40 days due to the non-payment of fuel subsidy by the Sri Lankan Government. LIOC Managing Director K. Ramakrishnan reconfirming the company position told The Financial Review that total fuel subsidy dues have reached Rs. 7.67 billion as of April this year.

Marketing Sri Lanka to American Traveler

Daya Gamage – US National Correspondent for Asian Tribune

The Americans have special interests when traveling to the Asian Continent: diving, surfing, bird- watching, trekking, hot air ballooning, white water rafting and eco-tourism. The SriLankan Airlines Senior Vice President for North America and Canada, Ken Campbell believes that “the American public wasn’t traveling to Sri Lanka not because of the unrest, but because they do not know about what the country has to offer.”

Dhaka’s industrial sector in danger

More readymade garment factories and vehicles were damaged on Tuesday, as labor unrest, which originated near the Dhaka export processing zone in Savar on Monday, spilled into the capital city. The paramilitary Bangladesh Rifles were called in, as workers went on the rampage for the second day straight. There were also reports of looting of machinery and other goods from some factories.The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) convened an emergency meeting in the afternoon and threatened to shut down readymade garment factories indefinitely, if the government failed to control within five hours.

A full-scale probe into the grenade attacks on NGO offices - Sri Lankan Police Chief

By Our Colombo Correspondent

Sri Lankan Police Chief announced that a full-scale probe was underway into the grenade attacks on three offices of the International Non-Government Organizations in the country’s restive East. "An aggressive, impartial and transparent investigation is being conducted."” Inspector General of Police Chandra Fernando told the “Asian Tribune” referring to the investigation into grenade attacks on three International Non Government Organizations working in the East.

Pakistanis court sentences four to death in attack on Aziz

By Iqbal Hussain Khan Yousafzai – Reporting from Islamabad

Islamabad, 24 May, ( A court in Pakistan has convicted four men giving them capital punishment while three others were sentenced to life in prison for a 2004 suicide attack against Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, who was finance minister then.
The anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi, acquitted an eighth suspect in the case for lack of evidence, a court official said.

Muslim refugees in Puttalam to receive clean water and sanitation

Muslim families who were chased out of their homes in 1990s from the Northern province by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and presently languishing in the refugee camps in Puttalam are to receive clean water and other facilities. At last Thousands of children of conflict-affected families and their host communities will receive soon clean water and sanitation.

Prabhkaran’s days are numbered – Pilliyan

Pilliyan, Special Commander of the TamilEela Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal, told that Prabhakaran is now engaged in battle for his survival and not that of the Tamil people. Prabhkaran exploits the suffering of the Tamils for his own political ends, he said. Citing an example he said: “Recently, when the Government closed entry to the A9 road, Praba group shed crocodile tears over the death of a child who died, according to a report, without proper medical facilities. But from the date of opening the A-9 road, Prabah Group has collected huge sums of money in the form taxes imposed on the passengers.

Sri Lanka's electricity reforms impasse continues

By Munza Mushtaq – Reporting from Colombo for Asian Tribune

The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) Reforms Bill which was to be presented in Parliament yesterday, was withheld owing to a Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) backed trade union voicing their 'protest'
against the bill.

India extends its ban on LTTE for another two years

On May 14, 2006 India renewed its ban on the LTTE for another two years declaring, among other things, that the “LTTE's objective for a homeland for all Tamils disrupts the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India”.

Sri Lanka government will revise office and school hours

Sunil C. Perera - Reporting from Colombo

Sri Lanka Government has planned to revise the office and school hours soon. The government decided to change the school and office hours following the reverting of time recently. Secretary to the Ministry of Public Administration D. Dissanayake says a decision regarding on date of implementing the revised office and school hours will be reached during the cabinet meeting this week.

Norway has an obligation to ban LTTE - victim of Tigers in Norway

Sivarajah Rajasingham, leader of Norway’s Liberal Democratic Tamils, told the Asian Tribune that Norway too should ban the LTTE now that the European Union has taken decisive action despite threats by the LTTE to escalate violence. “Norway has a duty to ban those agents of terrorism operating on its soil,” he said.

Sri Lankan exporters seek government mediation to solve their burning issues

Local exporters seek government mediation to solve their burning issues and a number of subsidies to administer their manufacturing process. The exporters said that they need cheap electricity and low-cost energy to compete with the global competitors, but said the prevailing energy prices are too high.

Tiger guerrillas kill three security forces personnel as Norwegians strive to save a crumbling truce.

By Our Colombo Correspondent

Tamil Tiger guerrillas exploded a claymore mine killing three security forces personnel in the North and attacked an army forward defence line in the East as two key Norwegian peace brokers are due in the island to save the ceasefire agreement hit by the worst level of violence since its inception. Tiger guerrillas blew up a claymore mine targeting an army vehicle transporting mid-day meal to soldiers who are on duty in check points in Marikkarampalai, in the Northern town of Vavuniya today morning.