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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2994

Monthly archive

Private universities: strangled hopes and vacuous promises

By Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury

The education scenario has come a long way since the early 1990s when the whole private university scenario was enveloped in uncertainty. As far as this writer can remember, one of the best private universities at the moment was housed in a small house back then with the office being run by a handful of men. At that time, the office which literally didn't inspire much was in no way indicative of the fact that one day the whole country would be right in the middle of a private university boom.

Sri Lankan government drafts new Patriotic Act in preparation for war

One of the clearest indications that the Sri Lankan government is preparing to launch a renewed civil war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) is its plans for wide ranging legislation to impose compulsory military conscription, tough media censorship and other anti-democratic measures. Despite the efforts of President Mahinda Rajapakse and his chauvinist allies to stir up a climate of communal fear and anxiety, there is no significant support for a conflict that has claimed more than 65,000 lives since 1983. The new legislation is aimed against working people: forcing young people into the ranks of the military, stifling any media criticism and suppressing opposition to a deeply unpopular war.

President Rajapakse takes Lanka back to the Dark Ages of the Catholic Church

Colombo, 25 May, ( The state-run Daily News announced yesterday that President Mahinda Rajapakse has "ordered the Public Performances Board to ban the screening of the movie ‘The Da Vinci Code’ in local cinemas and on local television channels. The decision to ban the film was taken on an appeal by the Catholic Bishops Conference in Sri Lanka, President Rajapaksa told the Daily News yesterday. This is an abominable political decision to please the Vatican," said a leading film critic. "It is not based on any merit or demerit of the film."

Solheim down in the polls; no hope either of re-starting talks

The Norwegian Peace facilitator. Erik Solheim, is scheduled to arrive in Colombo today with a huge question mark hanging over his head: how far can he go with kick-starting the stalled peace process? He himself has hosed down high expectations. S. Pulidevan, head of the Tamil Peace Secretariat, too has confirmed this. Jon Hanssen-Bauer, the special envoy who has replaced Solheim, will also be with Solheim in conducting this new round of talks in Colombo. According to latest media reports, he is not even going to Killinochchi. According to informed sources, the LTTE is cheesed off with his failure to prevent the EU ban. They were depending on him to do the trick but he failed.

Sri Lankan Navy spokesman denies extortion charges, but investigations continue

By Munza Mushtaq – Reporting from Colombo for Asian Tribune

Amidst allegations that navy personnel stationed in the North and East are extorting money from civilians currently fleeing to India, Sri Lanka Navy spokesman Commander D.K.P. Dassanayake, has categorically denied these allegations claiming them to be 'baseless'.

Pak arrests four Afghan suspects including intelligence official

By Iqbal Hussain Khan Yousafzai – Reporting from Islamabad

Pakistani security forces have arrested four Afghan nationals, including an intelligence official, for entering the country without valid travel documents.

The Domestic dynamics of India’s foreign policy

By P R Kumaraswamy

The intensifying violence in Sri Lanka and the result influx of refugees are bound generate intense debate in India, especially in the southern state of Tamil Nadu over India’s policy. Indeed, over the years, various ethno-religious groups in India had wielded considerable influence upon some of the critical aspects of India’s foreign policy. Rarely debated in public, these groups have brought about some of the significant shifts in India’s policy towards a number of countries and regions. Prevailing political correctness however, precluded any meaningful discussion on the role played by various domestic groups in trying to influence, if possible dictate, India’s foreign policy formulation.

Japan funds to improve rural roads in Moneragala District

By Ashwin Hemmathagama - Asian Tribune Financial Corespondent

Government of Japan yesterday provided a sum of US $ 78,711 (approximately Rs. 8.2 million) towards the "Project for Rehabilitation & Improvement of Rural Infrastructure Facilities for the Benefit of the Disadvantaged Rural Poor in Remote & Vulnerable Areas of Moneragala District". The Project is to be implemented by the Samastha Lanka Praja Sanwardana Manadalaya (SLPSM), an NGO engaged in facilitating self-help oriented development to the poor and disadvantaged communities in remote areas of Sri Lanka

Peace process deadlock likely to continue

By Munza Mushtaq – Reporting from Colombo for Asian Tribune

The Sri Lankan Government's Peace Secretariat Chief Palitha Kohona has expressed optimism that the latest visit of the Norwegian facilitators would be a turning point to the current stalled peace process.

Has the Burma's Junta Able to Hoodwink the United Nation

By Professor Dr. Kanbawza Win

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the detained Burmese Nobel laureate and pro democracy leader, was allowed to meet the United Nations Undersecretary General for Political Affairs Ibrahim Gambari hit the world's headline news. For the man on the street, the Burmese thugs letting the Nigerian diplomat and number three man of the UN to meet the Lady, may paints the picture that the cruel Junta has come around to its senses and has soften a bit on its war against democracy and the truth. But delving deep into the affairs one can vividly see the ulterior motive of these sordid Burmese Generals.

Sri Lanka will attend seventh SAARC trade fair in Pakistan

Sunil C. Perera - Reporting from Sri Lanka

The Export Development Board [EDB] of Sri Lanka is now engaged with the local exporters to grab a number of new business orders from SAARC countries attending the seventh SAARC trade fair, which is to be held in Karachchi, Pakistan from June 16 to 18 this year.

Judge Weeramantry wins UNESCO peace education award

Sri Lankan judge Christopher Gregory Weeramantry, former Vice-president of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Hague, was awarded on Wednesday the UNESCO annual prize for peace education, the UN's culture and science organisation said.

Bangladesh Minister's wife runs fake private university

Wife of State Minister for Education Ehsanul Haque Milon is running a fake university named ‘The International University’ at city's Uttara model town, thus cheating hundreds of students in Bangladesh.
The matter came to the attention when a local newspaper published an exclusive report on it. According to the report, the education ministry has found that the authorities of The International University have been running the private institution for over five years with a fake approval of the ministry.

Four LTTE cadres killed by Karuna in the East – military official

By Our Colombo Correspondent

Four Tiger guerrillas were killed and two injured on Wednesday in an attack believed to be carried by the rebels of former LTTE Eastern Commander, “Colonel” Karuna on a LTTE bunker in Upparu near Muttur in the country’s volatile East, military sources said.The attack which happened at 9.30 pm on 24 May, had killed four Tiger guerrillas, according to intercepted LTTE transmissions.

Elephants condemned to life imprisonment in Sri Lanka

By Daya Dissanayake

Among humans who claim they are the most civilized, most intelligent and most advanced animal form on earth, another human is sentenced to life imprisonment only when found guilty of a serious crime, by a court of law. Among Lankans who boast of 2500 years of the purest form of Buddhism, which is the greatest non-violent philosophy in the world, even an animal should not be hurt in any way.

Sri Lanka Government to promote rice flour for pastries

Sunil C. Perera - Reporting from Colombo

Sri Lanka Government is trying to promote rice flours in the country instead of wheat flours. Ministry of Science and Technology is presently experimenting to produce bread and other pastries by mixing rice and wheat flours. A senior cabinet Minister Professor Tissa Vitharana says that the government may reduce import of wheat flour to popularize rice flour among the masses.

Brazil Starts Enriching Uranium

By Atul –Malladi - Syndicate Features

When planet earth’s mightiest power considers you a good boy, you cannot do anything wrong. Largely unreported and under the shadow of the controversy over Iran’s refusal to stop enriching uranium, Latin America’s largest country, Brazil, announced (May 6) that it has joined the select group of countries that are capable of enriching uranium on industrial scale. For Brazilians it was a moment of pride and triumph. A new centrifuge facility for producing enriched uranium was formally opened on that day at Resende, 140 km from Rio de Janeiro.

LTTE runs berserk - 4 policemen killed, 1 police sergeant and 3 soldiers wounded.

This morning about 6.45 a.m., Police Constables Jayaratne and Navaratne and auxiliary policemen Ramanathan and Badurdeen were killed while they were on duty near the Failvan Mosque at Uttukathankudi located on the Batticaloa – Kalmunai Road, when the suspected cadres belonging to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) activated claymore mine.