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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2400

Monthly archive

Major powers complicit in Israeli war crimes

Israel’s actions in Gaza and on the West Bank constitute war crimes. Few any longer believe that Tel Aviv is seriously concerned with securing the release of Corporal Gilad Shalit. Rather, Israel is, as Prime Minister Ehud Olmert declared yesterday, waging “a long war” aimed at destroying whatever remains of the political infrastructure of the Palestinian Authority so as to bring about regime change. Launching such a war of aggression is a “crime against peace,” according to the Nuremberg Principles drawn up to determine what constitutes a war crime during the trials of Nazi party members following World War II, and incorporated into the Charter of the United Nations. It is a crime made worse by the grotesquely unequal character of the conflict now being waged, with Israel enjoying an overwhelming military superiority

Sri Lankan President attempts to strengthen human rights

By Munza Mushtaq -- Reporting from Colombo for Asian Tribune

President Mahinda Rajapakse has declared that law enforcement officers in Sri Lanka must respect the fundamental rights of all persons arrested or detained. In his capacity as Commander-in- Chief and Minister of Defence the President issuing directions to all Heads of the Armed Forces and Police Force requested them to enable the Human Rights Commission (HRC) of Sri Lanka to exercise and perform its duties and functions by ensuring the fundamental rights of persons arrested or detained are respected.

Come September - come Facets - Sri Lanka's Premier Gem and Jewllery Exhibition

BY Quintus Perera - Asian Tribune

Facets Sri Lanka , the premier annual Gem and Jewellery Show in Sri Lanka that is held in September, each year, for the last 16 years has achieved great results by creating an identity for Sri Lanka as an ‘Island of Gems’ and the show itself has become an international event like the other international Gem and Jewellery Exhibitions. Macky Hassim, Chairman, Facets Organizing Committee said that the results were the concerted and meticulous efforts of the Sri Lanka Gem and Jewellery Association (SLGJA) which represents all the sectors of gem and jewellery industry in Sri Lanka which stands for the greater benefit of the industry as whole, and not for any personal benefits of any member of the Association.

New program to analyze malnutrition in Sri Lanka

By Ashwin Hemmathagama

A special programme in analyzing the issues for malnutrition among infants and children was launched yesterday with the collaboration of World Bank and a number of key development partners. With this programme in place, it is expected to boost better health indicators than most countries with comparable per capita incomes. According to World Bank issued press release, despite investing much on nutrition programs over the years, surprisingly Sri Lanka has not performed well in reducing malnutrition. “Today's collaborative workshop on ‘Nutrition in Sri Lanka: Rethink Yesterday, Change Tomorrow’ is the commencement of a vital dialogue to support Sri Lanka in tackling the twin issues of under nutrition and increasing obesity in the country,” it said.

Sri Lanka bans public smoking, alcohol, tobacco advertising

By Our Colombo Correspondent

Sri Lankan parliament on Wednesday passed a stringent anti- tobacco and alcohol Bill and slapped a total ban on public smoking and advertising on alcohol and tobacco related products. The bill was widely believed to have a drastic impact on alcohol and tobacco industry in the country. But an amendment added to the Bill today - on the instruction of Supreme Court judicial review- further tightened the screw on alcohol industry when it brought under new regulations all the beverages which have over one percent of alcohol content.

Sri Lanka President appoints a committee to provide guidelines to achieve a permanent peace

Sunil C. Perera - Reporting from Colombo

The committee comprised of intellectuals appointed by the President to provide guidelines to achieve a permanent peace in the country will meet for the first time next Tuesday at the Presidential Secretariat. The objective of the committee is to prepare a strategy to find a solution to the ethnic conflict through a broad framework.

Sri Lanka unlikely to reduce poverty by half by 2015

By Munza Mushtaq – Reporting from Colombo for Asian Tribune

The World Bank Country Director for Sri Lanka Peter Harrold has declared that it is unlikely that Sri Lanka will achieve the Millennium Development Goal [MDG] of reducing poverty by half by the year 2015. "The two targets, poverty and malnutrition are closely linked, one represents income poverty and the second represents non-income poverty. We need to understand why Sri Lanka is lagging behind on these targets and address the issues immediately for one impacts on the other in significant ways," he said.

Fisheries cooperatives received equipment worth Rs. 115 Million from UNDP and Japan

Fisheries cooperative societies in the Tsunami affected areas received equipment from the United Nations Development program. Among the equipment gifted were 19 refrigerated trucks, 31 large and small tractors and 8 diesel generators. At a ceremony on Friday 30th June at the BMICH in Colombo, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) handed over equipment worth US$ 1,125,548/- for the use of Fisheries Cooperative Societies in Jaffna, Ampara, Galle, Matara, Killinochchi, Mullaitivu, Trincomalee and Batticaloa districts.

European Commission provides €7 million aid for displaced people by the ongoing conflict

Sunil C. Perera - Reporting from Colombo

The European Commission has allocated €7 million to provide assistance to around 300,000 people displaced by the ongoing conflict in the north and east of the country. Funds will help to meet emergency needs resulting from the present conflict as well as the vital needs of those returning to their places of origin or relocating to new land and those displaced people living in "welfare centres". All funds are channelled through the Commission’s Directorate-General for Humanitarian Aid, ECHO, under the responsibility of Commissioner Louis Michel.

2006 Nansen Refugee Award goes to Japanese man with global vision

The U.N. refugee agency on Tuesday announced that the 2006 Nansen Refugee Award will go to Dr. Akio Kanai, a Japanese optometrist who over more than two decades has improved the quality of life of over 100,000 uprooted people around the world by testing their eyes and providing them with spectacles. The Nansen Refugee Award Committee selected Dr. Kanai, chairman and CEO of Fuji Optical Co. Ltd., for his practical commitment to humanitarian work and dedication to easing the plight of refugees by improving their eyesight. The committee found Dr. Kanai had "rendered exceptional service to the refugee cause" and had made a huge and genuine contribution to uprooted people in human as well as financial terms. Dr. Kanai's company is based in Japan's northern island of Hokkaido.

Arundhati Roy denounces Indian democracy

By Atul Cowshish - Syndicate Features

Ms Arundhati Roy is an unhappy citizen. There is so much in this world that she finds loathsome. She cannot stand the US president, George W. Bush, she condemns the occupation of Iraq, she sees evil designs behind the clarion calls for globalisation and liberalisation coming from the wicked West as it has not helped the impoverished in the Third World. Her catalogue of bad things in India is so large that it is actually difficult to say if she finds anything right here. Indians outside the country too seem to annoy her as she has observed that ‘the so-called expatriate Indians are running a campaign against me’.

Bangladeshi Islamists Bomb Independent Newspaper

A Bangladesh weekly newspaper office was reported to be bombed. It was alleged that an Islamist organization was behind the bombing incident. According to a report filed by Dr. Richard Benkin, on 05 July, at 11:35pm, local time, two explosions rocked the office of Weekly Blitz, the independent newspaper of maverick editor, Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury. Report went on to add that Choudhury was not on the premises at the time of the bomb explosion, and report reveals that no one was injured in the explosions.