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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2554

Monthly archive

US and Japan seize on missile tests to tighten noose around North Korea

In a move that plays directly into the hands of the Bush administration, the North Korean regime test-fired seven missiles yesterday—six short-range rockets and its longer-range Taepodong-2 ballistic missile. Washington and Tokyo immediately condemned the tests and called for an emergency session of the UN Security Council, due to meet today, to impose diplomatic and economic sanctions on Pyongyang. Without waiting for the outcome of the UN debate, the Japanese government has imposed sanctions on North Korea, banning ferry services and charter flights between the two countries and barring visits by North Korean officials.

Mubarak is busy, Please mail the Nehru award

P R Kumaraswamy - Exclusive to Asian Tribune

The nadir of Indo-Egyptian ties can be gauged by the importance that the latter attaches to the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding conferred upon President Hosni Mubarak. Nearly a decade after the Indian decision, the Egyptian leader is yet to find time or inclination to make a trip to New Delhi and formally receive the award. This Egyptian behaviour is in contrast to the attitude of others. Of late India has become a favourite destination for many world leaders. None could blame India if it lost count of heads of state and government who are making a beeline to New Delhi. During the last decade it hosted two sitting American Presidents, scores of western leaders and other heads of state. Even countries of the Middle East have also discovered its growing importance and in recent years, India had many visitors including King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, President Mohammed Khatami of Iran and the new Emir of Kuwait.

The house of Norwegian journalist exposing LTTE fraud in election hit with bullets

JohnsrudThe house of a Norwegian journalist exposing the corruption of the LTTE leader, Yogaraja Balasingham, rigging the last Oslo municipal election was hit with bullets yesterday. The news of the bullets from a small calibre gun shattering the windows and damaging the furniture of Ms. Nina Johnsrud’s house made headlines in Norwegian media. Ms. Johnsrud works for the newspaper “Dagsavisen”, a popular Norwegian newspaper. Police are investigating as to who is behind this threat to Ms. Johnsrud. She is convinced the shooting is connected to her work as a journalist. Ms. Nina Johnsrud has previously been writing about Norwegian criminal gangs. She was one of the leading journalists who exposed Balasingham’s rigging of the last municipality election. It is this rigging that resulted in Balasingham getting elected to the Oslo Municipality.

Kalingar draws the line for economic reforms of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

By M Rama Rao - Reporting for Asian Tribune from New Delhi

KarunanidhiPrompted by his Dravidian politics, Muthavel Karunanidhi, Tamil Nadu chief minister forced Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to put on hold a key economic reform. Singh, who is already under pressure from the Left parties, conceded the request within a few minutes and went public with his decision, prompting some political pundits to dub the Karunanidhi action as pure political blackmail while some critics felt both the Kalingar and Manmohan Singh are only being true practioners real politik

News analysis: Prabhakaran celebrates the Black Tiger cult of death and Vanni displays warning to Sri Lankan Air Force

PrabakaranDefying the global moves of the international community to combat terrorism Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tigers celebrated on July 6, 2006 its cult of death symbolized by the Black Tigers – the brain-washed suicide bombers. Pro-Tiger media carried pictures of the LTTE leader V. Prabakaran participating in the Black Tiger commemoration day’s events in the Vanni. He was seen lighting the traditional holy fire to pay respect to the slain suicide squad members of the Black Tiger cadres The international network ofTamil Tiger media published news items glorifying the exploits of the Black Tigers. Most of these publications were from Western countries which have banned the Tamil Tigers. Suicide bombing is now classified as a war crime because it targets non-combatant civilians indiscriminately in addition to its main target

US Ambassador calls LTTE to renounce terrorism, violence and enter political path

By Munza Mushtaq – Reporting from Colombo for Asian Tribune

LunsteadThe United States has emphasized that a solution to Sri Lanka's ethnic conflict would be found only if radical changes are made in the way the entire nation is governed--changes which will empower all the people of Sri Lanka: Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims and others, and give them a greater say in how they are governed in the areas where they live. These thoughts were intimated by US Ambassador Jeffery Lunstead who also reiterated the need for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to renounce terrorism and violence and enter the political path.

Sri Lankan Govt put off vote on 18 amendments amid Opposition pressure

By Our Colombo Correspondent

Sri Lankan government today put off a vote on a constitutional amendment which provides for the setting up of regional appeal courts after opposition legislators objected when it was taken up at Parliament. The 18 Amendment to the Constitution envisages to increase the number of Appeal Court Judges from 11 to 21 and to set up five Regional Appeal Courts. The amendment was required to pass in a two third majority in the225 member Sri Lankan Parliament. But the main Opposition United National party objected when the amendment was taken up, demanding to activate the Constitutional Council, if they were to support the 18thamendment.

Tamils and Muslims flee seeking refuge from Tamil Tiger rebels

By Munza Mushtaq – Reporting from Colombo for Asian Tribune

A total of 186 civilians have fled LTTE controlled areas this week in their desperate attempt to safeguard their children from LTTE cadres, who insist that all children must be sent to the organization to undergo arms training. The latest fleeing report comes from Panichchankerni, Batticaloa where 12 civilians including five children entered Government controlled areas seeking refuge. Most of these fleeing civilians have been housed at churches, and other public buildings such as schools.

Chin Christian women targets for rape, claims new report

Ethnic Chin women in Burma are "under constant attack", according to a new report which documents the use of rape by the Burma Army. The preliminary report, Hidden Crimes Against Chin Women, has been written by the Women's League of Chinland, an umbrella organisation comprising nine human rights groups from different parts of Chin State. Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) has worked closely with the Women's League of Chinland, most recently on a fact-finding visit to the India-Burma border in March this year.

Investigators identify the suicide bomber who targeted Sri Lanka Army Commander.

By Our Colombo Correspondent

ManjulaInvestigators have identified the female suicide bomber who blew herself up targeting the Sri Lankan Army Commander Lt. General Sarath Fonseka and arrested a couple which housed the suicide cadre at their home. CID investigators have identified Kanapathipillai Manjula Devi, 32 once a resident of Anuradhapura as the suicide bomber who attempted to assassinate the Army Commander. IGP Chandra Fernando said three suspects, including a couple which provided accommodation to the female suicide bomber had been arrested.

Some enterprises affected by Tsunami, back at business, thanks to FCCISL

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

Six enterprises from 7,415 livelihoods and enterprises which were brought back to business by the Back to Business Project of FCCISL successfully entered the UK Market after participating at the Serendib 2006 – Sri Lanka Trade Exhibition and Meet the Buyers Event held from 21st to 23rd June at New Connaught Rooms, Covent Gardens, London. The exhibition was organized by the Export Development Board. The six of them were portrayed at the FCCISL auditorium and they have explained how successful they were at the Exhibition.

Rice pulls up Pakistan

By Tushar Charan - Syndicate Features

With a three-piece all-weather suit his trademark and an affected speech, foreign minister Khursheed Kasuri was at his theatrical best when he challenged Afghanistan to provide him the address of terrorist hideouts in Pakistan in support of their oft-repeated charges against Islamabad. This was at a joint press conference with the US secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, during her whirlwind tour of Pakistan and Afghanistan, the two strong but quarrelling allies of the US in the so-called war on terror, on her way to Moscow to attend a G-8 meeting. Rice smiled ‘thinly’ as she watched the Kasuri’s melodramatic performance.

UN to Spend a Million Dollars Rooting Out Fraud

By Thalif Deen - Inter Press Service

The United Nations, which is trying to root out corruption in its procurement services, is spending over a million dollars on legal and consultancy fees in an ongoing investigation which has so far offered little or no productive results. The Headquarters Committee on Contracts has approved a total of 485,000 dollars as a retainer to a legal firm in New York "for the continued provision of outside legal counsel to represent the Organization and staff members" through December this year. As a result of preliminary investigations by the U.N. Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS), eight staffers were placed on administrative leave with full pay last January. But no single charges have been framed against them so far, nor have they been exonerated, leaving them virtually in limbo. They have essentially been on a paid vacation for the last six months.