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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2557

Monthly archive

NGOs and Relief Agencies Sign Accountability Charter

By Jim Lobe - Inter Press Service

The leaders of 11 major international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) last week decided to practice what they preach to governments and business by endorsing an "Accountability Charter" for themselves.
The six-page charter commits its signatories to, among other things, comply with the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, ensure "good governance" and transparency, and maintain high ethical standards in their fund-raising and advocacy activities. The charter's debut, which came at the London headquarters of Amnesty International Tuesday, came on the eve of the Jun 21-25 summit of the CIVICUS World Alliance for Citizen Participation in Glasgow, Scotland, a meeting that is expected to draw representatives of NGOs from 100 countries to discuss issues relating to development, and civic and economic justice.

The Curious Khan Investigation

By Tushar Charan – Syndicate Features

Pakistan’s claim that it has completed investigation into the underground nuclear network of A.Q. Khan, the so-called father of its nuclear bomb, came just when the US had started to mount fresh pressure on Islamabad for direct access to the disgraced Khan. Now, influential Pakistanis are rallying behind Khan and also stepping up efforts to restore his glory amidst some alarming reports that Khan is seriously ill, maybe nearing his end. Khan has been under virtual house arrest since February 2004 when he ‘confessed’ to having passed nuclear secrets and material to a number of countries—Iran, North Korea and Libya.

Tiger delegation returns to Colombo, flown to Kilinochchi in Air Force chopper

By Our Colombo Correspondent

S.B.TamilselvanTamil Tiger delegation arrived in Colombo this morning and were directly flown to Kilinochchi, airport officials said. LTTE delegation consisting political chief S.P. Tamilselvan, police chief B. Nadeshan and Tiger peace secretariat chief Pulithevan arrived at Sri Lanka's Katunayake International Airport from where they were directly flown to Kilinochchi in a Sri Lankan Air Force helicopter.

Bush in Baghdad

George BushPresident Bush’s trip to Baghdad Tuesday has been hailed by the American media and official Washington as something of a political masterstroke. In fact, the sudden trip, conducted in secrecy even from the Iraqi government that holds nominal sovereignty in the US-occupied country, was a demonstration of both the dire state of affairs in Iraq and the political isolation and disorientation of the Bush administration. No amount of “spin” can alter the sense of something degrading and even ludicrous in the spectacle of an American president stealing into a foreign capital, spending five hours on the ground in a series of stage-managed and largely meaningless public appearances, and then flying off under cover of darkness, never having left the safety of the fortified Green Zone in downtown Baghdad.

LTTE treated Norwegians with "intemperate discourtesy" - Dr. Palitha Kohona

Dr. Palith KohonaAffirming that the Sri Lankan government has "asked the Norwegians to continue in their role as facilitator" Dr. Palith Kohona, Head of the Peace Secretariat, told the Asian Tribune in a Q & A interview that: "Our hosts (Norwegians) have been treated with intemperate discourtesy" by the LTTE. "We feel sympathetic towards the Royal Norwegian Government for having spent considerable amounts of money and effort to transport the LTTE delegation to Oslo only to be told that they will not participate in the discussions," he added.

Musharraf sees pivotal role for Pak in regional commerce

By Iqbal Hussain Khan Yousafzai - Reporting from Islamabad

General Pervez MusharrafPakistan President General Pervez Musharraf Tuesday saw tremendous scope for increased trade and economic relations between members of Shanghai Cooperation Organization and underlined that Pakistan can play a pivotal role in promoting regional commerce. He was speaking to newsmen prior to his departure for China for the SCO Summit, a regional grouping, which brings together China, Russia and Central Asian states with a focus on fostering peace, security and development.

JVP joins in the battle against Sri Lanka's pre dominant Muslim party

By Munza Mushtaq – Reporting from Colombo for Asian Tribune

The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) has also joined hands with several frontline Ministers to voice its disapproval of a possible amalgamation between the Government and the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC). The SLMC, which is being openly attacked by senior Muslim Minister A.H.M. Fowzie, has however decided to refrain from reacting to such attacks. SLMC Secretary General M.T. Hasan Ali told the “Asian Tribune” that his party has taken a decision not to respond to a single statement made by Minister Fowzie. "What is the use of responding to such statements," Mr. Hasan Ali said.

Norwegian pilot jumps out of the plane in mid air

By H. L. D. Mahindapala

Jonas Gahr StoreAfter meeting the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister, Mangala Samaraweera, in Oslo the Norwegian Foreign Minister, Jonas Gahr Stoere, dropped a bombshell at the press conference. He said: “Norway will present no new mediation or peace initiative in the Sri Lanka conflict.”This act is compared to the pilot jumping off the plane in mid air. Analysts state that this could lead to a deepening of the crisis. Analysts also agree that this is an admission of Norwegian failure in peace-building after being engaged in it for over six years.

Kadirgamar’s assassins posed as insurance agents - Investigator

By Our Colombo Correspondent

Some of the accomplices of the assassination of former Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar have posed as agents of a leading insurance agency, investigators have found. Two accomplices of the killing of the Foreign Minister had been issued with identity cards by a leading insurance company, an investigator told the Asian Tribune.

Sri Lanka Presidential Advisory Committee Lacks Tamil specialists

Mahinda Rajapaksa Even the very outset of the move to find lasting solutions to the ethnic conflict has failed to win the hearts and minds of the Tamil community in Sri Lanka. It has been pointed out that by appointing a majority of the Presidential Advisory Committee members - 11 out of 12 belonging to the Sinhala speaking ethnic group, reflects a calculated move that the whole exercise is a forerunner for imposing a Sinhalese solution to the Tamil issues and would not be an acceptable solution to all the ethnic groups in the country. Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa has appointed a committee to serve in an advisory capacity to the committee of representatives, from all parties to be appointed to work out the formalities for a lasting solution to the ethnic conflict, without any Tamil members in it.

More details about the London travel agent after our stories

Readers of “Asian Tribune” who have been shocked by the conduct of K.Suthaharan, proprietor of Time Travel and Tours, a UK-based travel agency with a branch in Colombo have revealed details of the man and his work that have not emerged so far. We reproduce below information that was revealed to “Asian Tribune” by readers.

Sri Lanka government launched Livelihood Development Plans in Hambantota

Sunil C. Perera and George de Silva - Reporting from Sri Lanka.

Minister Chamal Rajapaksha says that the government of Sri Lanka will promote self-employment projects and huge investment projects in the Hambantota district to boost the rural economy. Speaking to media, the Minister said that the government would promote these projects to improve agriculture and obtain assistance of the rural youth to develop the southern province.