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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2647

Monthly archive

Bomb blast kills 64 villagers and catapults Sri Lanka toward war

A powerful landmine blast killed 64 passengers and injured at least 80 traveling on a bus to the town of Kebitigollewa in Sri Lanka’s north central province on Thursday morning. This criminal act is a deliberate provocation aimed at destroying what remains of the 2002 ceasefire and plunging the island back toward civil war. Whoever carried out the attack, there is no doubt that the Colombo government and its chauvinist allies are directly responsible for inflaming communal hatreds and creating the political climate in which such an atrocity can take place. Most of the victims were impoverished Sinhalese farmers and their families, who were traveling to town from neighboring villages. Among the dead were 15 children. The area, about 240 kilometers from Colombo, borders the war zones of the northern province, significant portions of which are under the control of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

India's risky UN Gamble

P R Kumaraswamy - Exclusive to Asian Tribune

By deciding to field Shashi Tharoor as its official candidate for the post of Secretary-General, India has taken a risky, avoidable and potentially disastrous gamble at the UN. Official spin notwithstanding, the move implies that India has given up its aspiration for a seat in the UN Security Council. At least in the short run. Many countries both in Asia and elsewhere world will warmly endorse the Indian position of rotation “under which the next Secretary-General of the UN should be from Asia.” Indeed veteran socialist leader U Thant of the then Burma, now Myanmar, was the last Asian to occupy that position until he was killed in a tragic accident in September 1961.

The Sun God’s War

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

The Kebithigollawa abomination is symbolic of the war the Sun God wants to wage, and of the war he wants Sri Lanka to wage - a war of terror on terror in which unarmed civilians are targeted by both sides, as a matter of course. Mr. Pirapaharan does not want the Fourth Eelam War to be a contest between a democratic state (and Sri Lanka is that despite her warts) and a terrorist movement. Such wars are hard to win, because in the present international context terrorism is not quite in fashion. He wants a racial conflict, a Sinhala on Tamil war, where ethnicity is the determinant factor and simply being a Sinhalese or a Tamil will make one a ‘legitimate’ target for the other side. He wants a total war, in which every horror is permissible, terrorism is a shared mindset and both sides attain ‘parity’ status in barbarism. It is only in such a war that he can present himself to the Tamils and the world as the sole saviour of a beleaguered minority.

Musharraf calls for peaceful Kashmir solution

By Iqbal Hussain Khan Yousafzai – Reporting from Islamabad

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has called for a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute for durable peace and development in the region. He was addressing the second summit of conference on Inter-action and Confidence Building Measures in Asia in Almay, Kazakhstan on Saturday. The President said that Pakistan is engaged with India in a peace process to resolve all outstanding issues including Kashmir dispute.

Sri Lankan Ceasefire Monitors yet to identify perpetrators of the brutal bus attack that killed 64 civilians

By Munza Mushtaq – Reporting from Colombo for Asian Tribune

The Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) today urged all parties to come forward with any information available, and to assist the authorities so that the perpetrators of the Kabithigollewa claymore bus attack can be held responsible. The Mission however claimed that although their monitors had immediately visited the site of the incident, which occurred on June 15, killing more than 60 civilians, at this moment the 'SLMM is unable to determine who is behind this brutal act', nor what could be the motive for such threat to humanity.

United States Global Image on the Decline: Interaction with others is Monologue not Dialogue

By Daya Gamage – US Bureau of Asian Tribune

Washington, D.C. 18 June, ( With limited success with its revamped Global Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs campaign with the inauguration of a special bureau in the State Department fifteen months ago, the United States global image has slipped further, an indication that, since September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the American soil, U.S. is still to come out of its monologues posture to engage in a dialogue with the international community especially the Third World nations. A new Global Opinion Poll to assess America’s image overseas, released last week by the Washington-based Pew Research Center, contends that in both allied nations and other parts of the world the U.S. suffered adverse effect on its global image.

Sri Lankan security forces unearths LTTE conspiracy which planned on blaming Thursday's attack on Karuna

By Munza Mushtaq – Reporting from Colombo for Asian Tribune

Sri Lankan security forces have unearthed a LTTE conspiracy which attempted to blame the Karuna faction (led by former LTTE commander Colonel Karuna Amman) over Thursday's claymore bomb attack on a bus at Kabithigollewa which killed some 64 civilians including more than 15 children and injured more than 80. Reports claim that the LTTE had got prepared with two of its cadres who was to claim themselves as distraught Karuna faction cadres, who had fled Karun because they were unhappy the way he has been conducting himself in the recent blast. "These two so called karuna cadres were to claim that they were behind the incident."

Three Sri Lankan Navy sailors feared dead after a boat capsized

By Our Colombo Correspondent

One Sri Lankan Navy sailor was killed and two others were missing -feared dead on Saturday, when a Naval boat capsized in off Pamunugama due to rough seas. The ill-fated fiberglass boat, which is generally used in shallow sea Patrol by the naval forces, was on a search mission in the seas off Pamunugama, where three suspected LTTE cadres were caught this morning. A body has been recovered. A search and rescue mission is in the progress in the area, said the Navy Spokesman Commander L.H.K.Dassanayake.

The Muslim Council of Sri Lanka condemns the brutal killings of civilian bus passengers

The Muslim Council of Sri Lanka vehemently condemns in the strongest terms the savage and brutal attack on the bus carrying civilians to Kebithigollewa which killing over 64 innocent poor unarmed civilians including many children and fatally injuring more than 75 others. "This barbaric and brutal attack by claymore mine carries the message and hallmark of terrorism and there is no iota of doubt amongst the people as to who are the perpetrators of the attack and is a blatant violation of the cease-fire agreemement," Muslim Council anounced.

Hate lessons in Saudi, Pak textbooks

By Allabaksh - Syndicate Features

Even as the so-called war on terror continues with little success and the fool hardy attempts by the US to transport ‘democracy’ to reluctant shores make the Americans even less liked in the Muslim world, one of the main worries in the West remains the hatred for Christians and Jews preached in school textbooks in many Muslim countries, especially in one of its closet allies, the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which also spends a part of its huge petro-dollar income on spreading across the world the message of the faithful. Post 9/11, textbook in Pakistan also came under the scanner but the country being more ‘focused’ on demonising only the Hindus, the US is not bothered about what hate lessons are taught in that country, the frontline state in the so-called war on terror.

Market holds ground as violence escalates

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

Colombo, 18 June, ( Investor confidence took a beating this week as acts of violence against civilians escalated and investor fear also heightening with the peace process again at stand still indicates the Research Report of the HNB Stockbrokers (Pvt) Ltd analyzing the All Share Price Index (ASPI) for the previous week. The recent claymore attack on Thursday, which killed at least 64 civilians, was to date the gravest attack being witnessed after the signing of the ceasefire agreement in 2002. Overall the market was showing a declining trend this week, as investors opted to remain on the sidelines, however the fall in indices was more prominent on Thursday subsequent to the claymore attack.