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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2619

Monthly archive

Japanese government withdraws its troops from Iraq

The arrival of 220 Japanese troops in Kuwait last week marked the complete withdrawal of Japan’s 600-man Ground Self-Defence Force (GSDF) from Iraq. If one were to believe Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s announcement on June 20, the Japanese troops are on their way home because their “humanitarian mission” has been accomplished. “Japan’s GSDF troops in the region have played a considerable role in providing humanitarian and reconstruction support. That is why we have decided to withdraw,” Koizumi declared.

U.N. Shifts Focus from Politics to Humanitarian Aid

By Thalif Deen - Inter Press Service

The United Nations is trying to help resolve the Lebanese crisis on two fronts: political and humanitarian. On the political front, the 15-member U.N. Security Council is grounded because it has failed to pronounce itself on the non-stop aerial bombing of civilians by the Israeli air force and the continuous barrage of rocket fire by Hezbollah. With the veto-wielding United States throwing its protective arm around Israel, the hands of the remaining 14 members have been tied, primarily because of the unyielding stand taken by Washington.

Pranab says India favours cooperative friendship with Pakistan

By M Rama Rao – Reporting from New Delhi

Pranab MukherjeeIndian defence minister Pranab Mukherjee in the first formal clarification on New Delhi's disposition towards Islamabad in the wake of Mumbai blasts, said here that the Manmohan Singh government will continue to seek cooperative friendship with Pakistan. He has a word of advice to Islamabad though. 'Countries which are undemocratic in their orientation are often a haven for terrorists and even pursue terrorism as a part of state policy", Pranab Mukherjee remarked without identifying any nation, much less Pakistan. And added, "This is an important distinction between the defence and securitypolicies of democracies and autocratic rulers.”

Buddhist monks given training to ensure peaceful co-existence in Sri Lanka

By Munza Mushtaq – Reporting from Colombo for Asian Tribune

The United States is working to help build the capacity of monk dedicated to opening dialogs and finding non-violent solutions to the conflict. The Buddhist ethical principles of non-violence and peaceful co-existence can play a positive role in the formation of a multi-ethnic, multi-religious and pluralistic Sri Lanka. The Buddhist clergy will have tremendous influence in educating and shaping the attitudes of Sri Lankans about peace and inter-ethnic relations.

Levy on TV programmes revised with immediate effect

By Ashwin Hemmathagama – Our Financial Correspondent

The levy on imported television programmes will be revised from today as a result of the meeting Television Industry Joint Action Committee (TIJAC) held with the President Mahinda Rajapakse during the weekend. According to industry sources, the levy on English programmes will be reduced by Rs. 65,000/-, (from Rs. 75,000/- to Rs. 10,000/-) for 30 minutes imported programmes. However, Sinhla dubbed imported programmes will continue to be levied Rs. 90,000/- for 30 minutes as proposed in the Gazette notification; number 1451/16 of June 29, 2006. MTV Head of Channel 1 Chevaan Daniel told the “Asian Tribune” that during the meeting, President was accommodative on the industry problems. “We basically spoke on our problems, as a result English television channels were largely exempted from the proposed tax,” Daniel said.

The SAARC Chamber Crafts Village Project launched in Kathnandu

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

The first retail outlet for handicrafts produced by South Asia Women Entrepreneurs was launched recently in Kathmandu and is located at Lazimpat in Kathmandu. It is an affiliate of the SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry and brings together women entrepreneurs of the region, a press release by SAARC Chamber office in Colombo indicated.

Developments in capital is for Naga people, not for Angamis alone: Dr Shurhozelie

By Oken Jeet Sandham – Asian Tribune

Dr ShurhozelieNagaland Minister for Planning and Urban Development Dr Shurhozelie said the DAN Government had been doing a lot of developmental works since it came to power in 2003. Talking to “Asian Tribune here in his residence, the Minister said whatever “Plan money” they got as “financial assistance” had been “judiciously used with proper monitoring.”He said there had been 38 projects for the state under the Urban Development Ministry and out of which, only 8 were for state capital. These capital projects include Capital Cultural Hall, two Pedestrian Footbridges, Drainage Protection, IAS Transit Accommodation, Development of Parks, Pay and Use Toilets, Super Market Complex, etc.

Development of renewable energy sources has become a national priority for energy security in Sri Lanka.

From Sunil C. Perera - Reporting from Colombo

A Sri Lankan academic, Dr. Mrs. Hemanthi Ranasingha says that the Development of renewable energy sources has become a national priority for energy security in Sri Lanka. The Energy Policy of the country clearly states that by 2015 at least 10% of the power generation should be achieved through renewable sources. Dendro thermal energy generation using biomass has been paid much attention lately. She said that Dendro power plants face many hurdles among which the irregular and sub-optimum supply of feedstock, the high moisture content of the feedstock, constant failures in the grid connection, the cost of production (Rs. 8.00/unit) being higher than the selling price (Rs. 6.50/unit) were significant. However, after many deliberations the Ceylon Electricity Board had agreed to purchase the electricity at Rs. 8.50/unit.

Shady CEB deals and corruption root cause of present electricity crisis in Sri Lanka

By Munza Mushtaq - Reporting from Colombo for Asian Tribune

The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) today faces its worst-ever financial crisis, while its bureaucrats and the Power and Energy Ministry keep claiming that the financial calamity the Board faces is due to the excessive usage of oil-generated power plants. The CEB is
also reported to be losing approximately Rs. 45 million a day, while its short and long term debts have passed the Rs. 85 billion mark. Beginning mid 2006, the ministry and the CEB initiated a new ploy to curtail the electricity consumption of the public, including switching off street lamps as much as possible. For a country where many roads are not illuminated, in the coming weeks, Colombo too would possible look like a rural village in some far-off place in the country.

Evaluation of Gliricidia sepium provences in the intermediate zone of Sri Lanka

By Sunil C. Perera - Reporting from Colombo

Sri Lanka university academics H P M Gunasena and R J Rajaselvam say that seven selected Gliricidia sepium provenances from the Oxford Forestry Institute were evaluated for growth, soil improvement, competition with Agricultural crops and woody biomass production, in two experiments, a pure plot and an alley cropping experiment, at Dodangolla Experiment Station, Kundasale in the intermediate zone of Sri Lanka.

Elections in POK a farce

By Sarla Handoo - Syndicate Features

It seems Pakistan is bent upon not learning its lessons from experience. It lost one wing of the country, East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), because it refused to accept the verdict of the elections in 1971. It did so because leadership in West Pakistan did not want a person from the Eastern wing, Sheikh Mujeebur Rehman, to become the Prime Minister of the country. The result was uprising in Dhaka followed by a war, humiliating surrender of its troops and ultimately dismemberment of the country. Any other nation faced with such a gory history would never do again what Pakistan has been doing with so called elections in Pakistan occupied Kashmir. The elections held on the 11th July were nothing but a farce, a mockery and a drama.

TamilEela Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal opposes moves to de-merge Northeast province - Special Commander Pillaiyan

"We do not support any move by anyone to de-merge the single administrative provincial unit of Northeast,” said TamilEela Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP). They added this amounts to majority community continuing with its hegemonic politics to subjugate the Tamils and Tamil speaking people in the country. If Sinhala majority community wishes to have a united country in the future, they should give up such moves forthwith in the interest of unity and national integration. In a move to clarify their position, TamilEela Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal led by Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan nom de guerre Colonel Karuna has categorically stated that they are against any move to de-merge the existing Northeastern province.