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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2559

Monthly archive

Renewed efforts to impeach Philippines president

Late last month, the first of several petitions to restart impeachment procedures against Philippines president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was filed in the lower house of the national parliament. While the latest impeachment moves appear to have little chance of success, the issue is being fuelled by an acrimonious debate in ruling circles over a package of constitutional changes being vigorously pushed by Arroyo. The first complaint was filed on June 26 and was followed the next day by a second petition from former vice-president Teofisto Guingona.

Security Council to Test Waters on New UN Chief

By Thalif Deen - Inter Press Service

The resounding cry among most U.N. member states for "transparency and accountability" in the election of a new secretary-general has apparently gone unheeded. The Security Council -- which traditionally decides on a new U.N. chief -- will once again take the initiative in a restrictive election process scheduled to begin before the end of July.

India tells Pakistan stop terror export for dialogue to continue

By M Rama Rao – Reporting from New Delhi

Manmohan SinghIndia has put Pakistan on notice. Friendship and cooperation will not be a one-way street, Islamabad was told. It is a fall-out of the deadly serial blasts in Mumbai on Tuesday and the ground swell of evidence pointing at the involvement of Lashkar-e-Toiba, a Pakistan based terrorist organisation and even of ISI, the intelligence agency of Pakistan engaged in subversive activities in this part of the world. ndia has decided to raise the issue of terrorism, and cross border terrorism at the G-8 meeting in St Petersburg.

Sri Lankan court issues order on Attorney General to appear as amicus curiae

By Munza Mushtaq -- Reporting from Colombo for Asian Tribune

Mr. Hemantha Withanage, Executive Director of the Centre for Environmental Justice (CEJ) of 59/14, Kuruppu Road, Colombo 08 has filed a writ application in the Court of Appeal challenging the constitutionality of the North Western Province Environmental Statute. The application was supported today (14th July 2006) by Counsel Dr. Mangala Wijesinghe appearing with Attorneys Ravindranath Dabare and Ms. Nilmal Wickramasinge, before a bench comprising Justices Sripavan and Abrew.

No bank loans – No SMEs venturing industries in rural areas

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

Though it is apparent that the government has ambitious plans to take more and more trade and industry to the remote rural Sri Lanka in a bid to uplift the living standards and provide more jobs to the rural youth, the exercise would not benefit the SME sector in those areas, as these SM enterprises would face a serious liquidity problem to invest. A L Somaratne, Programme Advisor, International Finance Corporation speaking at the seminar on Enhancing Profitability Through Regional Ventures organized by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce said the rural industrialization as planned would only be meaningful if the rural SME sector entrepreneurs could participate in the process, but their participation would be hampered due to no lending agencies to finance their investments.

Sri Lankan Government receives $ US 10 million for tsunami housing efforts courtesy SLRCS and IFRC

By Munza Mushtaq -- Reporting from Colombo for Asian Tribune

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the Sri Lanka Red Cross have contributed $US 10 million to Phase 2 of the Government of Sri Lanka's Home Owner Driven Housing Programme (ODHP) which will help at least 10,000 tsunami affected families to rebuild or repair their homes. These funds form the first installment of a $US 25 million pledge made by the IFRC to the ODHP. The fund will be administered by the World Bank and grants will be made by the Government to families in four installments via the country's commercial banking system.

PHDT plans to introduce recreational and entertainment facilities for estate workers

Sunil C. Perera - Reporting from Colombo

Sri Lanka’s only social infrastructure development agency for estate workers –the Plantation Human Development Trust [PHDT] plans to introduce another set of welfare facilities to all estate workers who work under the regional plantation companies. ‘Electricity, sanitation, recreation, entertainment are main events which will be introduced to these workers, using unproductive buildings and estate own resources, said PHDT’s head and ex-planter Col. Ranjith Ellegala .

Sri Lankan company says multinational Shell attempring to paralyze them

By Munza Mushtaq -- Reporting from Colombo for Asian Tribune

Sri Lanka's second largest Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) player LAUGFS Lanka Gas has accused the multinational Shell Company of attempting to eliminate them from the LPG business. LAUGFS Holding company Chairman W.K.H. Wegapitiya emphasizing his
claim alleged that with his company's contract with Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) scheduled to end in October this year, Shell gas company in Sri Lanka has made a "very lucrative' offer to CPC, which Mr. Wegapitiya claimed was a move to "paralyze his company'.

Sri Lanka constructs affordable weather station

Sunil C. Perera - Reporting from Colombo

The Electro Technology Centre [ETC] of the Industrial Technology Institute of Sri Lanka has constructed an affordable weather station, the ‘Weather Master. “This fully automated weather monitoring station is capable of recording a wide range of meteorological data,” said a spokesman of the ETC. The unmanned system is a useful solution to overcome problems encountered with manual recording methods. The Weather Master utilizes a simple data logging system that can be left unattended for long periods of time in remote areas and harsh environments.

Mandal Messaiah returns to political activism

By Atul Cowshish - Syndicate Features

Lately, the former Prime Minister, V. P. Singh, seems to be getting quite active politically. He has floated a new outfit and has been commenting on nearly every issue that hits the headlines.He is apparently there to lead rallies in support of the poor. Despite all this, it is difficult to say that he is headed to regain the high political status he had acquired for a brief period in the late 1980s. After all, his kind of political activism is not very different from those of others in the trade. Perhaps he can still edge out competition from fellow politicians if only he goes for ‘out of box’ ways while supporting various causes and philosophies. By way of illustrating the point, let us take the ‘farmers’ rally’ that he led the other day at the Delhi-Ghaziabad (UP) border in the company of former film star, Raj Babbar.

Tigers crow about killing Sri Lanka soldiers.

Dead soldiersLiberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam made use of the killings of the Sri Lanka soldiers at Vakerni located northwest of Batticaloa town as a big propaganda campaign. They have made use of the killing of the soldiers to boost their fragile military image in the midst of the Tamil expatriates. According to a survey, majority of the Tamil expatriates have gradually started expressing doubts of the military capabilities of the LTTE war machinery under aging commanders of the outfit. Images of the killed Sri Lankan soldiers were splashed in the LTTE controlled electronic and print medias globally.