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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2526

Monthly archive

Tens of thousands march against Australian IR laws

Tens of thousands of workers rallied in 30 centres across Australia yesterday as part of a “Day of Action” called by the trade unions to protest against the Howard government’s new industrial relations (IR) laws. The large demonstrations in Melbourne, where estimates ranged from 80,000 to 150,000, and Sydney, where at least 40,000 marched, showed the depth of concern and anger produced by the legislation, which has already been used to sack workers, slash wages and rip up conditions.

Buddhist-Hindu brotherhood

By Janaka Perera – Reporting from Colombo.

A major conference will be held at Kandy on Saturday (July 1) to discuss the formation of a Buddhist-Hindu brotherhood. All Buddhist and Hindu organizations in the Kandy District will be represented at this meeting, which will be held at the Sri Palipana Chandrananda Memorial International Buddhist Conference Hall, Asgiriya. Two members from each organization will participate in this conference - the objectives, which include the protection of Sri Lanka’s Buddhist and Hindu religious and cultural heritage and meeting the threats to the country’s age-old moral values and traditions that are largely common to both communities.

Sri Lanka Defense Secretary in Washington: Meets Pol-Mil officers

Daya Gamage – US National Correspondent for Asian Tribune

Sri Lanka’s top defense policymaker, Gotabaya Rajapakse, secretary of this South Asian nation’s Defense Ministry and brother of Sri Lanka’s president Mahinda Rajapakse on Tuesday (27) and Wednesday (28) was in Washington to meet U.S. government officials who associate with this country’s policymaking establishments. Secretary Rajapakse met with the United States Under-Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns, the third ranking official in the Department of State. With the departure of the department’s number two to Secretary Condi Rice last week, Burns is widely expected to fill the position of deputy secretary.

Pak-Turkey pledged to boost defence ties

By Iqbal Hussain Khan Yousafzai - Reporting from Islamabad

The fourth meeting of Pakistan-Turkey High Level Military Dialogue Group ended in the Pakistani Garrison city of Rawalpindi on Thursday with a pledge to further strengthen and increase defence collaboration between the two brotherly countries. The concluding session was co-chaired by Pakistan's Secretary Defence Retd Lt General Tariq Waseem Ghazi and the Deputy Chief of Turkish General Staff General Isik KOSANER.The meeting underscored the need for closer defence cooperation between the two countries.

Why American Liberalism is Impossible

By John Chuckman

I heard an interview the other day with Peter Beinart who has a new book called The Good Fight: Why Liberals – and Only Liberals – Can Win the War on Terror and Make America Great Again . Apart from a slight nausea induced by a toothy Richard Beymer smile offering reassuring platitudes, there was a sense of both déjà vu and ennui, and the interview only succeeded in reinforcing my gloomy conviction that there are virtually no liberals left in America. You cannot be a liberal in any meaningful sense of the word and talk about winning a war on terror. It is a ridiculous inconsistency and a revealing one. When someone representing himself as a liberal feels he must appeal to Americans in these terms, it tells us a lot about the state of that nation’s values, just as it did when Michael Moore announced he supported that arrogant, perfumed generalissimo, Wesley Clark, for president.
How can you have a war against a technique? Terror is not an army, not an idea, not a philosophy. It is what people with serious grievances of many kinds resort to when they have no other means of redress. The rational approach would be sorting out the grievances, but the rational approach doesn’t achieve the true objectives of a War on Terror.

High interest rates for those save with HBC

By Quintus Perera - Asian Tribune

Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Ltd (HSBC) in a bid to encourage more and more saving has last week introduced to the market three deposit products – HSBC Smart Savings Accounts, HSBC Foreign Currency Deposits and HSBC Fixed Flight designed to help customers save even more than before with one of the highest interest rates around. HSBC Smart Savings Accounts is with an interest rate of six percent, when their balance grow their balance by Rs 10,000 or more monthly. The initial deposit required is Rs 30,000 and the minimum balance and the minimum balance requirement is Rs 25,000.

No unilateral changes in the ceasefire mission, reiterates Peace Secretariat Chief

By Our Colombo Correspondent

Dr. KohonaThe Head of the Government's Peace secretariat today reiterated that any changes in the ceasefire monitoring mission needed the government's consent as the representative nations of the SLMM held crisis talks in the future of the ceasefire mission. "It is not a request, but a right," said Dr. Palitha Kohona, the Head of the government's Peace Secretariat who was formerly the former Head of the United Nation's treaty division.

Anti-LTTE Tamils in Sri Lanka face death – Human Rights Watch: Advocates protection of civilians from both government & Tigers

Daya Gamage – US Bureau of Asian Tribune

America’s most influential and prominent human rights advocacy group, Human Rights Watch, is deeply concerned about child recruitment by the Tamil Tigers (LTTE) of Sri Lanka and political killings, according to Jo Becker, the children’s rights advocacy director for the rights group in a recent interview with the PBS, the Public Broadcasting Service, a widely subscribed broadcasting and television network in the United States.

Sri Lanka's first ever budget airline set to finalize major deal with a leading Asian airline company

By Munza Mushtaq – Reporting from Colombo for Asian Tribune

Sri Lanka's first ever budget airline, HolidayAir is expected to finalize a deal with a leading Asian airline company in the coming weeks, sources told the Asian Tribune. The deal may even be inked during the first week of next month, when the final round of discussion between HolidayAir and this major regional airline takes place. The Sri Lankan airline company hopes to mainly utilize this foreign company's experience in the technical department.

Can the LTTE wage another war?

By Ranjith Gunaratna

In addition to the sporadic attacks on the security forces, bomb explosions, suicide attacks, and killing of civilians, threatening rhetoric of the LTTE leaders have imprinted a reasonable fear among the general public in Sri Lanka. Today, the public's perception is that at any moment the country would plunge into another costly and bloody war. The two dominant paradigms: outbreak of war after every failed peace negotiation in the past; and strengthening of the LTTE's military capabilities during the period of peace are supporting this belief. It is also natural to have such feelings as the LTTE has never ever displayed any genuine interest in resolving the conflict through negotiation. Therefore, based on its track records, no sensible human being is prepared to trust them. Yet, in the highly unpredictable environment of today, it is very unlikely that the LTTE would willingly resort to a full scale war. This appears to be rather controversial hypothesis, but there are evidences to arrive at this conclusion.

Defence Secretary in Washington for bilateral consultations

Secretary, Ministry of Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa paid an official visit to Washington D.C. on 27 – 28 June 2006 for consultations with the U.S. administration. During his stay in Washington, Secretary Rajapakse met with the U.S. Under-Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns, the U.S. Under-Secretary of Defence Eric S. Edelman and the Vice Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chief of Staff Admiral Edmund Giambastiani.

For leadership and team work take a cue from geese flying

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

Top executives in managerial level should lead from the top and engage in teamwork and the best example of leadership and team work in the way the geese flying hundreds of miles for winter and summer as they fly in perfect formation and when it is time to change leaders the geese manage the task in mid-flight, said Gamini Karunaratne, President, Chartered Management Institute –UK Sri Lanka Branch (CMI) at its Annual General Meeting held at the Galle Face Hotel, last week.

Mahindha gets leadership of the SLFP

Sunil C. Perera, Reporting from Colombo

MahindaMahinda Rajapakse, President of Sri Lanka who is from the ruling Sri lanka Freedom party has been elected as the new President of the Party. The party sources said the executive committee of the SLFP and the All Ceylon Select Committee of the Party unanimously agreed in this regard. The agreement to appoint president Rajapakse as the President of the SLFP was finalized at the Party gathering at the Temple Trees.

Sri Lanka’s Peace and International Community

By Manoj Lanka Hettige

When I come to know the recent suicidal bomb blast killing three military personnel, including the country’s third highest ranking Army Commander and government’s inaction over that, I was surprised about Sri Lanka Government’s peace process, which reminded me of the popular kids cartoon movie ‘’Tom & Jerry’’. It is a play between Tom - big cat & Jerry - a small mouse and children use to enjoy watching ‘‘Tom’’, which always used to get the tough strikes and blasts from the small mouse - Jerry. Government of Sri Lanka is successfully portraying itself as the ‘’fool Tom’’ role on the face of dreadful LTTE attacks, but continues to beg them for the peace, while the world community is playing the childish role of only issuing statements of condemnations. Can a responsible government become a ‘Fool Cartoon Star’ merely to appease the bloodthirsty terrorists and selfish world community?

‘Boston Globe’: On a solution to the issues of the Tamils in Sri Lanka.

‘Boston Globe’ in its editorial has advocated for a political solution to put an end to the Sri Lanka’s long drawn out ethnic conflict. The American daily newspaper has pointed out that the political solution must have to include a constitutional arrangement that frees Tamils in the northeast from submission to the Sinhalese-dominated central government. The editorial appraered on the 29 June issue of the 'Boston Globe' reminded a solution of this kind offered by Richard Boucher, US assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian Affairs, this month in the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo, where he emphasized: “Though we reject the methods that the Tamil Tigers have used, there are legitimate issues raised by the Tamil community and they have a very legitimate desire, as anybody would, to control their own lives, to rule their own destinies, and to govern themselves in their homeland, in the areas they've traditionally inhabited."

Sri Lankan President must convert 'All Party Conference' into a credible mechanism of the peace process – AITUF

By Munza Mushtaq – Reporting from Colombo for Asian Tribune

Akhila Ilankai Tamil United Front (AITUF), a newly formed political party consisting of some top notch Tamil politicians, has written to President Mahinda Rajapakse urging him to take steps to restructure the 'All Parties Conference and its Committees' by converting them into Credible Mechanisms of the Peace Process.

Special UN envoy to probe LTTE's child recruitments

Ms. CoomaraswamyWarning that the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) are continuing to recruit and use child soldiers in Sri Lanka and highlighting allegations of grave violations against children by all parties in the conflict, Radhika Coomaraswamy, United Nations Special Representative for Children affected by armed conflict said today that she was appointing a Special Adviser to undertake a fact-finding mission to the island.

Dr. Rajani Thiranagama: A Courageous and Vibrant Life of Human Rights Activist featured nationwide in US television

Daya Gamage – US Bureau of Asian Tribune

RajaniA story of love, revolution and betrayal, “No More Tears Sister” explores the price of truth in times of war. Set during the violent ethnic conflict that has enveloped Sri Lanka for decades, the film recreates the courageous and vibrant life of renowned human rights activist Dr. Rajani Thiranagama. That was how the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) introduced the documentary “No More Tears Sister”, produced last year by the National Film Board of Canada and premiered at the Seattle International Film Festival in May 2005, when it telecast it nationally in its airwaves in the United States early this week.