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

Monthly archive

Bangladesh garment industry on dormant volcano

BY Sunita Paul

That the four days of violent agitations by garment workers near the capital has inflicted enormous amount of damage on the readymade garment industry on the one hand and the national economy as a whole on the other is not a matter in doubt. The agitated workers had reportedly set 14 factories on fire and damaged some 70 others, including about 30 in the Export Processing Zone in Gazipur between May 20 and May 23. The labor unrest caused deaths to three workers, injuries to 150, arrest of another hundred, and a halt to production in several hundred factories in the area, burning down thousands of pieces of finished products along the way.

U.S. Condemns Extended Detention of Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi

Daya Gamage – US National Correspondent for Asian Tribune

The United States on May 27 condemned the decision of Burma’s ruling military regime to extend the detention of Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, according to a statement released by the State Department. The statement described the action as “yet another sign of the regime’s intransigence and brutal repression.”

Despite Global Efforts Against AIDS, 40.3 Million Infected with HIV Virus

By Thalif Deen - Inter Press Service

The AIDS epidemic, described by the United Nations as the "most destructive in human history" and accounting for more than 25 million deaths so far, is still a growing threat to global progress and stability. "AIDS is one of the greatest leadership challenges of our time," says U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan in a new report released here, in advance of a U.N. special session on AIDS scheduled to take place next week. "Without urgent and long-term action," he warned, "the epidemic will continue to take an unacceptable toll of death and suffering in countries and communities throughout the world."

US Appeal Court rules Online Journalists are protected by Constitution

Daya Gamage - US National Correspondent for Asian Tribune

The United States Court of Appeal in the State of California on Friday ruled, overturning a lower court decision, that online journalists are protected by the same confidentiality laws that protect traditional journalists under the First Amendment of the Constitution. The First Amendment guarantees the freedom of speech, dissent, assembly and other basic rights which cover freedom of the press.

Fiji : Elections Accentuate Racial Divide

By Alok Bansal

The recent elections in Fiji have highlighted the deep rooted racial divide within the country. The ruling Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua (SDL) scampered home with a narrow majority of 36 in a house of 71 as against 31 seats won by opposition Fiji Labour Party (FLP). The two seats were won by United Peoples Party (UPP), an ally of the FLP and two by the independents and like in most developing countries the independents have agreed to join the government, thereby giving the government a slightly enhanced majority of 38 in a house of 71.

War, Nation and Relgion

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

The Tigers need Tamil refugees, as recruits, as service providers, as propaganda props, as justification. But an exodus of Tamils either to the Tiger territory or to India cannot happen without the full cooperation of the Lankan Armed Forces, Sinhala mobs and anti-Tiger Tamil parties. Unfortunately there are signs (such as the murder of five students in Trincomalee, the Pararajasingham killing and possibly the Kayts massacre) that this cooperation, in the form of anti-civilian violence, will be forthcoming.

Big birthday bash for Prabhakaran's daughter in London

Moves are a foot to celebrate the 20th birthday of Duwaraha, the only daughter Velupillai Prabhakaran, in London. Invitations have gone out to VIPs to attend the function. Only selected invitees will receive the invitations. Hush-hush preparations are going on for this event. Her birthday falls on June 04. Her brother Charles Anthony is expected to participate in the lavish birthday party.

A Holy War For Shehnaz Sani !

Advocate Amit Kumar Bhowmik from Pune, India

Through the last two decades, I had, off and on, followed Shehnaz Sani’s numerous expeditions through the Courts. Like a jack-in-the-box, every now and again would pop-up a news-item, reporting that she had bagged yet another order in her favour. But these were phyric victories since, apparently, according to her, she has not been able to enforce them !

The meaning of the proposed EU ban on the LTTE

By H. L. D. Mahindapala

The long-awaited ban of the EU proves, among other things, that the internationalization of the separatist claim in Sri Lanka, which was first mooted by S. J. V. Chelvanayakam, has boomeranged on the Tamil separatists just at the time they need international support to get over their hurdles. This is not what the Tamil agents expected when they lobbied assiduously, through their sob stories and underhand tactics, to influence Western lobbies. They expected total support for their cause which they had for a while in the beginning. But after nearly fifty years of lobbying in Western corridors their efforts have reached a point where they can't even put their faces in the chambers of power abroad. After the fall of Saddam Hussein the EU ban has placed the LTTE as the latest political pariahs of the international community.

Another fuel price hike expected in Sri Lanka

By Ashwin Hemmathagama - Asian Tribune Financial Correspondent

Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (Ceypetco); state owned petroleum giant has recently recommended an increase of retail fuel prices to be inline with the international oil prices. Ceypetco Chairman Jaliya Medagama explaining the possible price hike told the Asian Tribune: “These price increases are recommended according to pricing formula. During the month of April our petrol refining cost was Rs. 100/- per liter which was sold at Rs. 88/-. Diesel refining cost was Rs. 69/- where it was sold at Rs. 58/-. This gives a clear-cut loss for the government. Kerosene, mainly used by factories, is to nearly double to around Rs. 67 per liter from the current Rs. 38 per liter.”

Tokyo conference on Sri Lanka to meet after EU’s ban on the LTTE

Tokyo donor conference on Sri Lanka gains added importance, as it is expected to convene just a day after the proposed ban on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam by the European Union. Extra-importance is added to the co-chairs’ meeting, which is expected to discuss the international political ramifications that may arise in case the 25-member country of the European Union decides to ban the Sri Lanka terrorists outfit on 29 of this month as being widely expected.

Asian states vow to coordinate efforts for social development

By Iqbal Hussain Khan Yousafzai – Reporting from Islamabad

The South Asian countries have agreed to create an Asian Network of the Sub Regional Networks of Social Development Ministers with an objective to coordinate efforts for social development and speed up development activities. It was announced at the end of two-day Forum of Ministers of Social Development from Asia on Saturday held at the Pakistani resort of Bhurban under the auspices of UNESCO.

UK and EU emergency aid to help earthquake-struck Indonesia

By Neville de Silva - Diplomatic Editor Asian Tribune

Britain is to rush emergency aid to Indonesia where over 3000 persons have died and at least 200,000 displaced following the devastating earthquake that struck the island of Java early on Saturday morning. Britain's Minister for International Development Hilary Benn was cited by the news media as saying that the government would send emergency aid but no details were immediately available.

Churches in Meghalaya opposed 'Da Vinci Code'

By Raymond R Kharmujai - Asian Tribune

Church elders of various denomination in the predominantly Christian Meghalaya has opposed screening of the film version of Dan Browns ‘Da Vinci Code’ saying the content is “blasphemous.” "We are against screening of the film ‘Da Vinci Code,’ as the content is blasphemous”, said the Archbishop of the Roman Catholic church, Rev. Dominic Jala and Senior Administrative Secretary KJP Assembly Rev (Dr) J F Jyrwa.

The State of Israel versus love

Blitz-Asian Tribune

Israel has declared war on family life and, by extension, on its very ethical foundations. The Supreme Court's decision to uphold the provisional law denying spouses of Israel's Arab citizens the right to reside in the country comes on the heels of the coalition agreements that preclude any change in the prohibition on non-religious unions. Israel has become the only country in the democratic world where not all those who marry can live in its territory and where many of those who live in its territory cannot marry.

Unauthorised Delhi

By Tushar Charan - Syndicate Features

In days long past Delhi was known by many names, a reminder of the city’s rich history and its cultural mosaic. Various rulers might have chosen different names for Delhi, but none of these had any derogatory connotation. In contrast, recent years have seen the national capital collect epithets indicative of the city’s degeneration due to a multitude of reasons not the least of which is an unholy politician-bureaucrat-criminal nexus that has ravaged the city’s beauty and charm.