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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2522

Monthly archive

Philippines president orders offensive against Maoist guerrilla army

Philippines President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, in a bid to whip up anti-communist hysteria and shore up the narrow social base underpinning her tottering regime, has ordered the military to launch an offensive against the Maoist Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New Peoples Army (NPA). Arroyo issued the orders in mid-June, just one week before petitions were filed in the Philippines congress to renew impeachment procedures against the president over allegations of vote rigging during the 2004 presidential election, corruption and attacks on democratic rights. She instructed the military to wipe out the insurgents in two years, especially in the three critical provinces of Luzon, Southern Tagalog and Northern Luzon, which surrounds Metro Manila.

Sudan Resists UN Force, As Donor Funding Falters

By Thalif Deen - Inter Press Service

When Sudanese President Omar El-Bashir was told about a proposed peacekeeping force to stop the ongoing killings in Darfur, he was quoted as saying that U.N. troops will be permitted into his country "only over my dead body." "These are colonial forces," he said of the proposed U.N. peacekeeping mission. "We will not allow colonial forces into the country." Asked for his comments last week by reporters covering the African Union (AU) summit in Gambia, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan responded diplomatically: "In the world of politics things change. We hear 'never', 'forever' -- and yet it does come around, and so I am expecting that, in time, there will be a U.N. peacekeeping force deployed to Darfur."

'Operation Sukoon' to lift Indians, Sri Lankans and Nepalese from Lebanon

By M Rama Rao – Reporting from New Delhi.

Amidst reports that at least three Indians were killed in the latest Israeli air raid on Lebanese positions, Indian government has launched 'Operation Sukoon' to rescue and repatriate Indians, Sri Lankans and Nepalese from the war zone in Lebanon. Four ships are deployed on the mission and they have reached Beirut with the task of shifting them to Larkana in Cyprus to begin with. If situation warrants they will be brought home, it was officially announced here. But for the present, Indian government has not decided on pulling out the 672 Indian troops who are part of the United Nations Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).

Sri Lanka's candidate for the top UN post talks of changing the world body

Neville de Silva - Diplomatic Editor Asian Tribune

DhanapalaA front-runner for the secretary-generalship of the United Nations, Sri Lanka's veteran diplomat Jayantha Dhanapala made a wide-ranging address to the prestigious Royal Institute of International Affairs, London on what changes to the world body are needed to make it a more effective and representative organization. But he warned against rushing into change or excessive tampering that could defeat the values embodied in the Charter that established the UN some 50 years ago.

Sri Lanka's predominant Muslim party ducks out from presenting its peace plan

By Munza Mushtaq -- Reporting from Colombo for Asian Tribune

A brain storming session convened by the Peace Secretariat for the Muslims (PSM) was a non starter after the country's predominant Muslim party, the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) conveniently ducked from presenting their proposal on the party's position on what the final settlement should be to the ethnic conflict. Highly placed sources said that the two-day meeting held last week at the JAIC Hilton in Colombo titled 'achieving a consensus on the Muslim position of the peace process,' was a futile exercise, because although the Muslim parties representing the community in the country were initially told to forward their proposals on what they think should be the solution to the conflict, not a single of these parties including the two main stakeholders of the PSM, the SLMC and the National Unity Alliance (NUA) had failed to forward their proposals.

Sri Lanka: Tsunami affected youths receive training as skill workers

Sunil C. Perera - Reporting from Sri Lanka

Samarawickrama,After 19 months of the tsunami, around 2500 Sri Lankan tsunami affected youth received skilled job training from France based NGO-Bioforce and Sri Lanka’s Chamber of Construction Industry, which would enable them to obtain local and foreign employment in the construction sector. At present around 60 trainees follow masonry and carpentry trainings at the Buddhist Temple, Welithara, Balapitiya. Speaking to media, Program Director Bioforce - Sri Lanka, Mr.Percy Samara-Wickrama said this training project will make well disciplined skilled workers, who can obtain employment locally as well as internationally.

Mrs Ruth Flint-Ledergerber – Swiss Ambassador designate to Sri Lanka.

The Federal Council of Switzerland has appointed Mrs Ruth Flint-Ledergerber, as Ambassador designate and extraordinary plenipotentiary to the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and to the Republic of the Maldives. She will be resident in Colombo. Currently she is the Minister and Deputy Head of Mission (multilateral affairs) in The Hague. as extraordinary.

Imposition of levy will confine audience to Island itself - Media Consumers' Rights Forum

Levying of a heavy tax for imported films and television programs amounts to the denial to media consumers of watching programs of their choice, a statement by the Organization to Protect the Rights of Media Consumers pointed out. The statement issued by Organisation's Secretary L.A.Piyasena further noted that the people will be deprived of watching programs of their choice as a result of levying unreasonable tax.

LTTE Men Detain 19 Lorries & Tractors

Reports emanating from Alankulam area in Batticalao, confirmed that Tamil rebel outfit, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on Tuesday (18) afternoon have commandeered at least eleven tractors used for transport of sand and agro-products and eight lorries that transport goods in and out of the town after threatening owners. According to the official website of the Sri Lanka Army, the forced removal of those vehicles had occurred around mid-noon on Tuesday, after the drivers and owners were threatened to do so by pistol-carrying LTTE men in the area.

Sri Lankan Police issue 'shoot at sight' warning to Public

By Munza Mushtaq - Reporting from Colombo for Asian Tribune

Colombo, 20 July, ( Failure on the part of the public to heed to security regulations may likely end in dire consequences, with police and military having no option but to shoot at the speeding vehicle and / or driver. Colombo Range DIG Pujitha Jayasundara said that, 'with the ever increasing volatile situation in the country, if a civilian refuses to stop when directed to do so at a security checkpoint, the law permits us to resort to such an action if the public fail to adhere to the law depending on the severity of the situation and suspicion arising from thereof.'

Hotelier seeks Government support to promote ecotourism in Sri Lanka

Sunil C. Perera - Reporting from Colombo

The Government of Sri Lanka should encourage local and foreign investments on the hotel and tourism industry to generate employment and foreign earnings to develop Sri Lanka. "Now we have a good platform based on Mahindha Chinthana," says Niranjan Mudalige, veteran hotelier, ecotourism expert and Director of the Manjari Hotels.

Bowing to the inevitable!

By Ramu Sharma - Syndicate Features

The Board of Control for Cricket in India had no option but bow to the inevitable when it accepted the concept of Twenty-20 as part of its domestic and international calendar. Both India and Pakistan had opposed this form of cricket till now but with the apex body, the ICC, going ahead with the ‘twenty 20’ World Cup and most of its members having their own tournaments on this line, there was very little India, at least could do, but join the club.

Canadian government indifferent to Israel’s murder of eight of its citizens

Canada’s Conservative government has responded to the murder of eight Canadian citizens in an Israeli air strike with a shrug of its shoulders. The Canadians, four adults and four children aged from 1 to 7, were among eleven members of the Al-Akhrass family who were killed as the result of Israeli strafing of the south Lebanese village of Aitaroun last Sunday. All four of the family’s houses in Aitaroun were destroyed by Israeli bombs. In the past such an event would have triggered a strong Canadian protest, with Ottawa likely calling in the Israeli ambassador for an official dressing down. All the more so, since it is indisputable that the Israeli action against Lebanon, ostensibly launched in response to the kidnapping of two soldiers by Hezbollah, has taken the form of a punitive mission, with the Israeli military besieging the country and targeting Lebanese infrastructure and civilians.