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

Monthly archive

Fidel Castro with Che Guevara

Conflicting reports : LTTE claims overrunning four SLA camps – SLA counterclaim successfully repulsing LTTE attacks

Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam claimed that they have overrun four Sri Lanka Army camps in Trincomalee and entered Muttur town. However the Sri Lanka Army denied the report and made counter claim that they have successfully repulsed LTTE attack using heavy weapons at Muttur , Kattaparichchan, Selvaanagar and Mahindapura areas on the early hours today (02 August).

Fidel Castro: The Last Titan

By Dayan Jayatilleka

Last TitanThree dramatic, developing stories seize the attention of the public today; the Israeli ground offensive in Lebanon, the health of Fidel Castro and running a very distant third, the renewed fighting in Sri Lanka. The first two divide the world. People everywhere are divided between those who support and oppose the Israeli onslaught in Lebanon, as well as those who are gladdened and saddened by the ill-health and absence from public view of Fidel Castro. A far smaller segment of world opinion would be divided between those who support either the Sri Lankan armed forces or the Tamil Tigers in the ongoing battle. On the first two issues there is a large degree of overlap: those who oppose the Israeli attack and those who wish Fidel Castro well seem to be the same people, while those who are celebrating Fidel’s illness are also those who applaud Israeli aggression.

Sweden officially anounced the pull out of its truce monitors

Jan EliassonSweden officially anounced the pull out of its cease-fire monitoring team from Sri Lanka, joining Finland and Denmark who last week announced similar moves. Swedish Foreign Ministry on Tuesday has officially anounced the withdrawal of their truce monitors totalling to 15 in all, including the head of the mission Maj. Gen. Ulf Henricsson. The press release issued by the Swedish Foreign Ministery revealed that Sweden will gradually withdraw their their members from the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission.

Middle-East crisis - how many children will die before parties agree to stop hostilities?

A girl killedUnited Nations Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy expressed her profound shock and sadness at the recent events in Qana and the brutal deaths of 37 children and their families. She strongly condemned the repeated attacks on civilians and especially on children, noting that callous disregard for the lives of children has permeated this conflict from its inception The Special Representative calls for an immediate cessation of hostilities. "The guns must stop firing to give all parties time to reflect on the impact of this war on children and to provide the space necessary for the formulation of a political framework to ensure a more permanent peace"

Is full-scale war inevitable?

By Vasantha Raja

The shutting down of the Marvilaru sluice gate seems to have come as a ‘godsend’ to the Sri Lankan state forces, who were eagerly waiting for a pretext to wipe out the LTTE from the east. And, that they have got. As the truce-monitoring mission’s head, Maj. Gen. Ulf Henricsson, correctly indicated, the ‘water issue’ is not the real reason for this operation. He is right. The target, I would add, is to take the east prior to further negotiations.

Sri Lanka's main Muslim parties in a rare show of unity

By Munza Mushtaq - Reporting from Colombo for the Asian Tribune

The Government's main Muslim ally, the National Unity Alliance (NUA) has expressed its whole hearted backing of the peace proposal submitted by the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) last week on grounds that what the SLMC has unveiled is the factual concept of the founder leader of both these parties, M.H.M. Ashraff. NUA deputy leader Abul Kalam said that, "Conceptually we are for the SLMC proposal which is based on a non-contiguous administrative unit which merges the Muslim dominated areas in the North and East. This is an original concept of our founder leader Mr. M.H.M. Ashraff, and so we share the same concept."

"Pulmoddai siege – a pro- LTTE ploy" - Sri Lanka Defence Ministry

Sri Lanka’s Defense Ministry has denied the pro-LTTE’s news portal’s report that the Sri Lanka Navy’s passenger vessel which escaped their attack at Trincomalee on Tuesday afternoon with 854 Sri Lanka Army soldiers on board came under attack again in the Pulmoddai Sea, bound for north from 6:00 p.m. Pulmoddai is located 49 km northwest of Trincomalee and 41 km southwest of Mullaithivu. The pro-LTTE news portal further added that Kfir jets took off from Colombo towards Pulmoddai in support of the ship under siege. The report also pointed out “Villagers of Kokilai, Pulmoddai and other areas close to the Pulmoddai Sea are fleeing from their houses.”

Mahaweli Ganga project outcome unsatisfactory – World Bank

By Ashwin Hemmathagama – Our Financial Correspondent

Mahaweli Ganga project which is considered as country’s land mark multi-purpose rural development programme was recently reconfirmed as one of the unsatisfactory projects for both the lender and the borrower in a meeting regarding the expected results. World Bank recently revealed this publishing in it’s report, ‘Project Performance Reassessment Report – Third Mahaweli Ganga Development Project,’ reassessing the project previously evaluated by the Operations Evaluation Department (OED) testing the initial findings and ratings remain valid after a significant lapse of time.

Disasters and Development- Lessons from South Asia

South Asia Policy Dialogue emphasized that when government officials and other experts from South Asian countries meet at the first regional Policy Dialogue for Disaster Management in New Delhi, this August; they are expected to debate upon a new framework for disaster management in the region, which would address such macro policy issues. The press release further added that the need to mainstream disaster management and incorporate elements of risk reduction into development plans and poverty alleviation programmes is emphasized in this policy framework

Woes of Burmese Exile Government

By Dr. Tayza - London, United Kingdom

A government is a government, either it be in exile or in power. Like any other governments which stay in position for nearly two decades, Burma’s exile government, or National Coalition Government of Union of Burma (NCGUB), has recently come under intense fire from almost all sides. NCGUB was first formed in 1990 soon after Burma’s one and only democratic general election in so many decades. It was formed by the decision of a secret meeting of elected people’s representatives, which was held at a secret location outside Mandalay, the second largest city in Burma. As the National League for Democracy, led by Aung San Suu Kyi, won land-slide victory in 1990 election, their elected MPs at that time were urging military regime to start the process of handing over power. But the regime responded by putting NLD leaders behind bars.

Another group of Sri Lankans employed in the Lebanon returned

Sunil C. Perera - Reporting from Colombo

Another group of Sri Lankans employed in the Lebanon have returned to the island. A group of 250 workers arrived in the island on Tuesday in a Qatar airways flight. The foreign employment Bureau says so far around 2,000 Sri Lankans have returned to the island from Lebanon. The government of Qatar has provided ten air trips from the Damascus in Syria to Colombo. A special security programme is also being carried out to ensure the security of the Sri Lankans who return to the island.

Following Qana massacre: Israel escalates Lebanon offensive with US backing

Given yet another green light by the Bush administration in the wake of the Qana massacre, Israel has intensified its bombardment of Lebanon and launched a wider ground offensive in a bid to occupy a swathe of territory across the south. In the face of an international outcry over the murder of 60 innocent people, mainly children and women, in Qana, the Israeli government has declared there will be no ceasefire until it has accomplished its mission of wiping out Hezbollah. This means the terrorization and expulsion of the population of south Lebanon. At a meeting last night, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s inner security cabinet authorised the expansion of the ground war, involving thousands of troops amassed on the Lebanese border. “The security cabinet approved a widening of ground operations without any objections,” a government official told reporters.

Fierce fighting escalates in Sri Lanka

For the first time since the signing of a ceasefire in 2002, Sri Lankan soldiers and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) fighters have been engaged in open battle over the last two days. While reports of casualties vary widely, fierce fighting has claimed scores of lives and left many more wounded. After four days of aerial attacks on LTTE positions, the military launched a ground offensive on Sunday involving 3,000 troops to seize control of the Mavilaru irrigation sluice gate, which lies within LTTE territory near the eastern port of Trincomalee. The government has accused the LTTE of closing the gate, cutting off water to thousands of small farmers in surrounding areas.