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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2492

Monthly archive

Balochistan: The game of development, deception & defiance

By Nizamuddin Nizamani

General (Retd) Jahanger Karamat, former Chief of Army Staff and the outgoing Pakistani ambassador in Washington in his last briefing advised the establishment back home to settle the ongoing conflicts in Balochistan and Waziristan through dialogue instead of the use of military muscles, as it becomes very difficult for the diplomats posted abroad to defend the government policies. Mr Anwar Syed a political scientist and analyst based in US wrote Balochistan violence as a devastating revolt. These comments give some insight to Balochistan’s factual ground realities, but the ruling elite seem shy of realizing the situation.

Claymore blast in Wattala: Intended target was a Navy convoy of 60 sailors.

By our Colombo Correspondent

The intended target of the claymore fragmentation mine blast early this morning was a Navy convey of 60 naval personnel, but the Tiger guerrilla operatives missed the naval convoy and instead hit a civilian bus. A navy bus was expected to leave from the Welisara naval camp at 4.05 am today carrying 60 naval personnel to Ratmalana Airport; from there they were to be flown to Trincomalee.

Australia, Timor and oil: the record

In all the Australian media coverage of the Howard government’s latest armed intervention in East Timor, the words “oil” and “gas” are hardly mentioned. Yet control over the vast reserves beneath the Timor Sea—now valued at more than $30 billion due to rising world oil and natural gas prices—lies at the heart of the dispatch of troops and police. Together with the wider strategic and commercial calculations of the Australian ruling elite, domination over the Timor Sea—and blocking access to all foreign rivals—has been the overriding concern throughout every cynical twist and turn in Canberra’s policy toward East Timor over the past three decades.

Bomb blast rocks Sri Lanka navy base in Welisara

By Ashwin Hemmathagama reporting from Colombo

A bomb exploded today at 4.10 am (Sri Lankan time) close to the Sri Lanka Navy camp in Welisara, missing target of trop transport. The bomb had gone off injuring a driver and a conductor of a public transport vehicle which was starting its day’s routine. According to local authorities LTTE is suspected for this powerful explosion which has seriously wounded two persons.

Sri Lanka to fight the small arms war.

Sunil C. Perera - Reporting from Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the UN, Prasad Kariyawasam, will chair in June the first Review Conference for the UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat, and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All its Aspects (UN PoA). The PoA is an agreement reached in 2001 amongst member states to prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons. It is estimated that nearly 5,000,000 small arms are circulating throughout the world. These small arms are used by individuals or groups fighting their private wars. Like most other nations Sri Lanka has not monitored successfully of the free flow of arms. Easy access to small arms has created a culture of impunity. It was also revealed that arming the politicians in Sri Lanka began prior to the 1989 elections, at the height of the JVP insurrection. It is estimated that 15,000 arms were distributed to politicians for their protection. It is now revealed that most of these weapons were never returned.

Sack Truce Monitors - Tigers demand

An angry LTTE team led by S. P. Thamilchelvam, head of the Political wing of the LTTE, will be filing into the Oslo meeting tomorrow with one main item on their agenda: change the composition of the Nordic Truce Monitors (officially known as the Sri Lankan Monitoring Mission (SLMM)). Their main objective will be to get rid of three out of the four Truce Monitors: Sweden, Finland and Denmark who joined the EU in banning them. Only Norway declined to join the other three countries. Head of LTTE Peace Secretariat, S Pulithevan said the organization will raise the issue of Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) having three EU countries as its members. He added: “We are going to discuss about the SLMM activities and the future of the SLMM,” he told BBC Sinhala language service

FTA between Pak, ASEAN to boost trade, economic ties: Kasuri

By Iqbal Hussain Khan Yousafzai - Reporting from Islamabad

Pakistani Foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmood Kasuri has highlighted the need for Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Pakistan and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for further enhancement of bilateral trade and economic ties. Addressing the inaugural session of ‘ASEAN Joint Sectoral Cooperation Committee’ here on Monday, Mr. Kasuri said that 710 million people would gain economic advantages of a free trade pact between Pakistan and ASEAN member countries.

Daya Dissanayake preaches new 'Buddhism'

By Janaka Perera - Asian Tribune

Is elephant `rights’ champion Daya Dissanayake trying to preach a new Buddhism? At least that is the impression I got reading his comments unless I am mistaken. Responding to `Crocodile tears for elephants,’ he says that when Buddha preached against the torture of living creatures, it also meant domestication of elephants and other wild animals. This is indeed to new to Buddhists. I challenge Dissanayake to prove in which Buddhist text say so? When and where did the Buddha equate domestication of wild beasts with torturing them? To me this appears more like baloney than Buddhism.

New leadership in Dhaka

By Christopher Giddings

For past several years, one of the top topics of Dhaka’s political arena is new generation leadership, which should ultimately take over the responsibilities of policy making. Keeping this target at the front, both the major political parties, Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and Awami League (AL) are searching for young leaders inside. AL leader Sheikh Hasina already expressed willingness of bringing her only son Sajib Wajed Joy in the party politics.

Pak promises relief in new budget

By Iqbal Hussain Khan Yousafzai – Reporting from Islamabad

Pakistan Monday announced 1.5 trillion federal budget for the next financial year that provides the highest ever allocation for development to fight poverty and includes a number of relief for the salaried and the common man. Presenting the annual budget in the National Assembly this evening, Minister of State for Finance Umar Ayub Khan said special focus of the budget is to improve socio-economic conditions of the common man by generating more job opportunities and provision of improved social services.

Mamun's Khwab and TATA deal

By Sunita Paul

Most hated and corrupt name in Bangladesh, Giasuddin Al-Mamun has become fabulously rich by limitless corruption and abusing power of being the friend of Tareq Rahman. And most interestingly, this notorious man even does not care in showing his evilly earned wealthy face to the Bangladeshi nation, because he continues to get sympathy and support from ruling party’s senior joint secretary general and Prime Minister’s son, Tareq Rahman. Clippings from Dhaka’s press would evidently prove the amount of money this swindler has bagged during BNP’s rule. Dhaka’s leading English newspaper The Daily Star, reported on 15th May 2004 that Tarique Rahman's friend Giasuddin Al Mamun's has built a palatial pleasure house named Khwab (Dream in Arabic) in city’s suburb with a huge amount of money.

Combined arms warfare vs terrorism

By Vinod Vedi - Syndicate Features

Given what is happening in Jammu and Kashmir demilitarization is out of the question. And, in the face of repeatedly stated threats of first use of nuclear weapons by Pakistan it is best to refine the conventional military capabilities in a manner that makes it possible achieve quick politico-military objectives. The latest series of terrorist attacks show they have the advantage of choosing their targets according to their own convenience. A thinning out of the Indian Army would result in the consolidation of control by the terrorists of significant portions of territory in Jammu and Kashmir. It is a risk best not taken, says the author.