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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2552

Monthly archive

North-East troubling portends

By Vinod Vedi - Syndicate Features

Insurgency and instability in the north-eastern segment of India appears set to exacerbate and there could be no worse omen of unpleasant things to come than the flowering of the bamboo, a phenomenon that repeats itself every half century and brings in its wake pestilence and famine. And insurgency! The last time the bamboo bloomed in the north-east the population of rats grew to millions and they ate all the crops, causing famine. The Mizos under Laldenga started a breakaway movement which took a quarter of a century to subside. In most of the eight states that constitute the north-east there are currently insurgencies raging with tribes and sub tribes trying to assert their independence from the Indian Union. The oldest is the one in Nagaland which, one had hoped, would have been quelled by the accord signed in Shillong but two factions of Nagas the National Socialist Council of Nagaland led by Isak and Muivah (NSCNI-M) and the NSCN led by Khaplang tribes are still battling each other and the security forces in a daily bloodletting. A ceasefire arrangement exists and it expires in July.

Sri Lanka should strive to gain additional garment export market

By Quintus Perera - Asian Tribune

Human development and improved market access are musts to develop the garment export industry in Sri Lanka in the face of heavy competition from countries like India and China which have performed excellently well said Dr Saman Kelegama, Executive Director, Institute of Policy Studies making a presentation on "The Garment Industry in a Non-Quota Trade Regime” held at the Sri Lanka Association of Advancement of Science Auditorium, this week. He said there should be make or break situation for the weak and vulnerable economies until 2008; address supply side constraints requires innovative approaches, beyond conventional issues like trade facilitation, creation of EPZ, improving access to finance and improved delivery of technical assistance; need to reduce dependence on developed countries for market, capital, technology and training and South-South cooperation and public –private partnership could be useful instruments.

Miscreants hide-out busted, 15-20 killed

By Iqbal Hussain Khan Yousafzai – Reporting from Islamabad

Security forces have destroyed a hide out of miscreants in Drub Lokai near Datta Khel in North Waziristan Agency early on Saturday killing about fifteen to twenty miscreants. The compound, attacked with artillery and helicopters, was near Datta Khel Village, in the North Waziristan region on the Afghan border, said the spokesman, Major-General Shaukat Sultan. An attack was launched before dawn and about 70 percent of the compound was destroyed, he said. “We believe we killed 15 to 20 miscreants,” he said.

National Savings Bank – income up but profits down for 2005

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

The income of the National Savings Bank (NSB) grew by 9.6 percent to reach Rs 21.2 billion in 2005 even tough the net profit for the year was down to Rs 2.1 billion compared to the Rs 3.1 billion registered in 2004, reveals E Narangoda, General Manager/CEO in the recently released 2005 Annual Report of NSB. The decline in the net profit is attributed to the increase in interest expenses and corporate taxes.

‘Mahinda Chinthana’, Maximum Devolution & Mannar

By Dayan Jayatilleka

I was too little to witness the 1958 riots, but was barely in my teens when the 1971 insurrection took place, and was therefore able to register the atrocities. For the past 35 years, most of which I spent in Sri Lanka, I have, like the rest of our citizens, absorbed many horrors, committed by all sides in our several civil wars. However, in those 35 years, never have I seen such evidence of unmitigated evil as I did in the photographs of the Mannar massacre, with its hanging, disemboweled children. I do not know who did it, but I know enough about my country to be aware that both sides are capable of this; and capable of it in order to pin the blame on the other. The Sri Lankan state however has an unavoidable duty to swiftly induct international forensic expertise to conduct the investigation. The FBI would be best. There is a precedent: no less a patriot than President Premadasa brought in experts from Scotland Yard to investigate the killing of Lalith Athulathmudali (and Scotland Yard sent in a brilliant young Sinhala woman, a former Visakhian, who was perhaps the inspiration for Michael Ondaatje’s book ‘Anil’s Ghost’.)

Tigers stab Erik Solheim, their best friend, in the back

By H. L. D. Mahindapala

When the two delegations of the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) and the LTTE arrived in Oslo for their latest round of talks Erik Solheim, the Norwegian facilitator who had gone out on a limb to save the LTTE from international pressures and opprobrium, had grand visions of being in the smiling centre of the two parties shaking hands and informing the media that the LTTE had agreed not to target Nordic Truce Monitors. But the LTTE had other plans for him. Even before they left Sri Lanka they had planned to scuttle the talks like all other talks which were not going go their way. If the talks got off to a new start the LTTE would have to face the flak from all quarters, including Norway, and agree (at least nominally) to adhere to the Ceasefire Agreement and guarantee security for the Truce Monitors. But from the LTTE point of view there was nothing to be gained at the talks that were going to restrain them. Earlier, they refused to go to the Tokyo Conference of international donors which had pledged $4.5 billion because the aid was tied to guaranteeing human rights and democratising of the one-man regime in the Vanni.

Nadarajah Sethurupan arrested in London and held in custody

The notorious Nadarajah Sethurupan, the Editor of the now defunct “Oslo Voice” the web news portal based from Oslo, Norway and also one alleged to be associated with – ‘the messenger of death’ and his colleague Rajan Thamotherampillai of London are at present held under police custody in London. According to reports, police has released the third person. On 8th June at about 10.00pm, London Metropolitan Police took into custody Nadarajah Sethurupan and two of his colleagues for unruly and violent behavior in front of the Tamil Broadcasting Corporation (TBC), the London based Tamil Radio station, owned by V.Ramaraj, located at Rayners Lane in Harrow, Middlesex, England.

The Tamil Factor in the War against the Tigers

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

The Karuna rebellion had a greater devastating impact on the Tigers than any other single event of the last two decades. The LTTE’s Oslo communiqué of June 9th commences with a declaration of its bona fides: “The de facto State of Tamil Eelam exercising jurisdiction over 70 percent of the Tamil Homeland…; the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), being the authentic representative of the Tamil Nation…” (emphasis in the original). This grandiose claim was accurate right up to February 2004, as the Third Peace Process enabled the Tigers to extend their dominance into government controlled territories and to kill off their disarmed opponents with impunity. The Karuna rebellion happened at a time when the Tigers were at their apogee, enjoying unprecedented military prowess and political legitimacy - thanks to a biased CFA, a spineless Lankan administration and a partial peacemaker.

The Speculative trades dominating, activity in the market improves

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

The All Share Price Index (ASPI) closed the week at 2221 points down by 26.8 points or 1.2percent compared to the last week, while the Milanka Price Index (MPI) fell by 36.2 points or 1.26 percent to close at 2842.6 points and thereby the market retained a downward trend last week with both indices showing a moderate decline, according the research team of HNB Stockbrokers (Pvt) Ltd. Activity levels however picked up sizably in the back of two strategic trades going through in the market, while speculative trading within the week also managed to boost activity levels. Speculative trading propelled Touchwood counters this week making it the highest contributor towards weekly turnover, contributing Rs.910.3 million. Investor interest remained fixated on Touchwood with its share price rising by a staggering 80.3 percent Week on Week (WoW). The counter touched a high of Rs.126.50 per share, closing the week at Rs.112.50 per share.