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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2555

Monthly archive

Home guard and Tiger guerrilla killed in fresh violence

By Our Colombo Correspondent

One home guard and a Tiger guerrilla were killed and one soldier injured in a spat of low-level violence in the volatile Northeast. A home guard was killed in Kebetigollewa, South of Vavuniya when he went to jungle to collect beehives. The deceased was in the company of two other home guards who escaped the assassins and report to police of the killing. Home guards said the suspected LTTE cadres fired at them indiscriminately in the middle of jungle.

Postman vs. The courier man

By Atul Cowshish - Syndicate Features

It is astounding that more than half a century after Independence our postal services continue to be governed by a law going back to colonial days, the Indian Post Office Act, passed in 1898. As a result we have such anachronisms as references to the UK and Her Majesty’s government in the statute book. Belatedly, however, the government is now getting ready to replace it with a new Indian Postal Act which, among other things, is expected to take cognisance of facilities like the internet, ‘private enterprise’, a euphemism for courier service, and provide a level play field to all service providers in the postal sector. Hopefully, it will also lead the government to do the more needed job of improving the postal services.

Death toll of LTTE claymore mine attacks rises: Sri Lankan President rush to the scene

Grieving SL PresidentSri Lanka Government strongly condemned the barbaric and inhuman killing of civilians, as the death toll rose to 63 which included 15 school going children, and a few pregnant women. At the time of posting this news item it was reported that nearly 87 were wounded. Emotion packed Sri Lankan President was seen as one of the earliest dignitaries to visit the gory scene of the incident and later to the hospital. Sri Lanka Government in its statement condemning the killing said, “The Government of Sri Lanka strongly condemns the barbaric and inhuman killing of dozens of innocent civilians at Kebitigollawa this morning. The Government is aware that the aim of the terrorists is to instigate a backlash in order to fulfill their evil designs. The Government urges the people to be calm and support its endeavor to eradicate the menace of terrorism.

58 bus passengers killed in the LTTE’s claymore mine attack: SL Air Force bombed the LTTE controlled Mullativu area

Colombo, 15 June, ( Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam as usual has come up with a strongly worded denial for the international consumption, that they were not involved in the claymore mine attacks on a Sri Lanka Government owned Ceylon Transport Board passenger bus carrying nearly 100 passengers at Vuharahalmillewa, Kongolwewa, located near Kebitigollawe today at about 7.45 a.m killing 58 passengers including 8 children and injuring over 45. In the meantime according to a report, Two Kfir bombers of the Sri Lankan Air Force (SLAF) began bombing Liberation Tigers controlled Mullaitivu and its suburbs today noon. LTTE Peace Secretariat in its statement has reported “SL Air Force bombed the LTTE controlled Mullativu area immediately after the above Claymore attack.”

Bangladesh: Babar & his magic stick

Lutfozzaman BabarBy Christopher Giddings

In Bangladesh, one name is widely circulated, as a man with the magic stick or wish bone to mesmerize the members of Bangladeshi law enforcing agencies, in becoming extremely active in handling the opposition activists during any political agitation, which, in the name of democratic right, always turns into anarchy to the highest degree. His name is Lutfozzaman Babar, one of the youngest members in Bangladesh cabinet, with his own style of spike cut hair and certainly a decent smile, whenever speaking to the press. Many would rather wonder as to how this thin man would handle the entire situation in the country, and successfully face the political turmoil without any tense or fear. Each time, he looks to be very confident on the members of Bangladesh’s law enforcing agencies, which too, have notable admirable and affection for this man, for untold mystery.

Escalating violence in eastern Sri Lanka

Over the past six months, as Sri Lanka has slid toward full-scale civil war, hundreds of people have been killed, including many innocent civilians. Tens of thousands have been displaced and several thousand have fled to India and other countries. The eastern district of Trincomalee is one centre of the escalating conflict. Clashes between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and rival Tamil paramilitary groups, covertly backed by the military, are taking place virtually every day. Trincomalee town has an important harbor and is the site of a major navy base.

LTTE carried out Claymore mine attack on a passenger bus : More than 30 Sinhalese killed

More than thirty civilians were killed, scores sustained shrapnel injuries, when LTTE carried out a claymore mine attack at a bus carrying at least 100 civilians at Kongollawa in Anuradhapura around 8.20a.m today. In the meantime the pro-LTTE news website Tamil Net, which is always fed with news reports on attacks undertaken by the LTTE, by the LTTE official sources, at times even in advance, reported “Around 50 civilian passengers were feared killed and more than 30 wounded, when a civilian bus hit a Claymore mine near Kebitigollawe, 23 km southeast of Vavuniya, Thursday around 7:50 a.m., medical sources said. Wounded passengers were rushed to Kepitigollawe and Anuradhapura hospitals. Majority of the victims are Sinhalese civilians.”

India to Field Candidate for Top U.N. Job

By Thalif Deen - Inter Press Service

Shashi TharoorWhen India ran against Japan for a non-permanent seat in the 15-member U.N. Security Council back in October 1996, it suffered a humiliating defeat. The vote was a whopping 142 for Japan and a measly 40 for India in a General Assembly of 191 member states. By U.N. standards, it was a monumental political disaster. As Dharam Shourie, a longstanding U.N. correspondent for Press Trust of India (PTI) news agency would recall, the news took even visiting opposition leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee by surprise.

NLD condemns Burmese junta for preventing the opening of its branch offices in other parts of Burma.

Aung San Suu KyiExcept for the Headquarters of the National League for Democracy located in Rangoon, other offices in the states and divisions continues to remain closed following the brutal and violent attack on the motorcade of the Aung San Suu Kyi, NLD General Secretary, who was on an organizing trip, near Tabayin, Sagaing Division, on 30 May 2003. In a statement released by the Central Executive Committee of the National League for Democracy pointed out, “Without the permission from the authoritative body concerned, no one can open or close these offices. No one can be above the law. Hence, the acts including the announcement that a township NLD office has been closed and/or the party signboard has been removed, are illegal and therefore they are totally unacceptable to the NLD.”

Sri Lankan government will not take any action that would jeopardize national security

Keheliya RambukwellaBy Munza Mushtaq – Reporting from Colombo for Asian Tribune

The Sri Lankan Government yesterday reiterated that highest priority would be given towards maintaining the country's national security, although it was keeping its options open with regard to the resumption of peace talks with the LTTE. The Government's Defence Spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukwella during a news conference emphasized that although the option of negotiations was still open, the Sri Lankan Government will not undertake any action detrimental to the national security simply for the sake of resuming peace talks.

The Shanghai Summit without Manmohan Singh

By P R Kumaraswamy - Exclusive to Asian Tribune

The conspicuous absence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh from the summit meeting of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) that takes place today in Shanghai conveys the consternation faced by India and its diplomatic community. While the other six members, three ‘observers’ and one special invitee would be represented by their heads of states, India is represented by his Oil Minister Murali Deora. During the last meeting India was presented by Natwar Singh and in the absence of a full-fledged foreign minister New Delhi chose to send Deora. This however, does not explain the larger dilemma facing India. Among others Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would be attending. Given the select nature of the gathering bilateral meetings would be inevitable. Having literally ditched Iran at the very last moment at the IAEA over the nuclear question, it would have been extremely embarrassing, if not difficult for Manmohan Singh to make even a resemblance of a civilized conversation with the Iranian leader.

Great buddies, now sworn enemies

By Mallika Wanigasundara

Let the LTTE go to hell, said V Anandasangaree, TULF leader in an interview with the Sunday Observer, [Colombo] on May 21. Another war will be Prabhakaran’s Waterloo, said Karuna alias Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan, one time Prabhakaran’s great buddy, confidant and military commander of the East, in an interview with the Sunday Times [Colombo] of June 4 2006. The content of these interviews indicate the depth and extent of the dissidence and disillusion, rebellion in fact of leaders of the North and East who once stood up against the government of Sri Lanka and its ‘Sinhala’ armies!

University Teachers, Jaffna urges international community intervention to prevent a human disaster in Sri Lanka

In its latest report the University Teachers for Human Rights (Jaffna) Sri Lanka, UTHR(J) has appealed to the international community to act, without washing their hands off Sri Lanka descending into another “human catastrophe of massive displacement where people have limited choices of where to run.” University Teachers for Human Rights (Jaffna) Sri Lanka, UTHR(J) Information Bulletin No. 40, Date of Release: 15th June 2006, Flight, Displacement and the Two-fold Reign of Terror. It also points out that armed forces must be restrained because its current action against Tamil civilians “is enabling the LTTE to make cannon fodder of these people who dread war.”