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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2400

Monthly archive

Dr TM Lotha

Mutur, the Battle for the East and the Muslims

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

The Tigers have been eying Mutur for a long time, because they regarded it as a gateway to Trinco, the designated capital city of Vellupillai Pirapaharan’s future Tiger Eelam. For instance, as the UTHR warned on a number of occasions, the LTTE has been making repeated attempts to get the Muslim residents of the town to vacate, so that a depopulated Mutur can be used to facilitate an assault on Trinco. Unfortunately these warnings seemed to have gone unheeded and the government was definitely caught napping in Mutur, a state of un-preparedness which enabled the Tigers to enter the town and occupy parts of it, battle it out with the Lankan Forces for several days. According to media reports, Mutur was ‘thinly defended’, despite its obvious strategic import and its obvious vulnerability. Why? Was it a part of the general malaise – after all even the Army Headquarters was thinly defended, as the suicide attack on Gen. Sarath Fonseka demonstrated, as was Gen. Parami Kulathunga? Or was it because Mutur is a predominantly Muslim town and therefore of little consequence to the Sinhala supremacists political leaders?

Training for Lanka police becomes a political football in Tamil Nadu

M Rama Rao – Reporting from New Delhi

KarunanidhiKalaingar Muthavel Karunanidhi has faced the first real test vis-à-vis India's Lanka policy. The old war horse survived with his image in tact and with no damage to his alliance with the Sonia Congress. Unlike in July when his political reflexes were slow to react to the brewing crisis over Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's plan to partly privatize a federal government owned lignite based power utility at Neyveli, this time around, Karunanidhi acted swiftly when the AIADMK and MDMK opposition kicked up a row over training for Sri Lankan police at a Central Reserve Police Force camp in Coimbatore.

A diagnostic scan of the conflict

By Dayan Jayatilleka

It is a dubious distinction. With the war raging in Lebanon and Fidel’s sudden ill-health it wasn’t easy to grab a slice of attention from the global media, but Sri Lanka has succeeded in doing so with its recent and continuing bout of intense fighting. The multi ethnic east was always regarded as the more favourable battlefield for the Sri Lankan forces. The heavy going over the past week brings home three stark realities:

Pakistan, India expel a diplomat each in a tit-for tat action

By M Rama Rao - Reporting from New Delhi

In a sudden and unprovoked action, Pakistan has expelled India's visa counselor Deepak Kaul in Islamabad after holding him under detention while on his way to receive his family at the border. Within hours India followed suit and asked Pakistan diplomat Syed Mohd Rafiq Ahmed, Political Counsellor in High Commission here to leave the country in 48 hours. These tit-for tat expulsions are the fist such action marks a new low in the bilateral relations. It comes in the wake of India pointing an accusing finger at Islamabad for the July 11 Mumbai blasts. Already the Foreign Secretary-level talks scheduled for mid-July in New Delhi became a blast casualty and pushed the peace process that got underway in January 2004 into cold storage.

Policy Paper Sanctions and the Junta

Nobody, in the right sense of mind would argue that "Sanctions" is the most effective weapon used by the international community to change the tyrannical regime in Burma."Sanctions," also augmented Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's philosophy of non violent struggle against the dictatorial brass. But caution must be taken that nobody must underestimate the treacherousness, cunningness, craftiness and the ruthlessness of the regime. In the two decades, the Junta had already lured a good many prominent pro democracy leaders, ethnic fighters to his side by hook or by crook and many has fallen its trap. The clear strategy of the Junta to "Divide and Rule" within the ethnic forces with bribe and economic incentives has paid off handsomely, while it tries to divide the solidarity of the ethnic minority and the pro democracy forces with the "Maha Bama" (Myanmar Chauvinism) slogan have also met with success. As of today we can see that every ethnic forces are divided, if not splintered because of the generous offers of the army. Obviously business always overrules the conscience.

Investors reacting to escalating violence bring instability to stock indices

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

The HNB Stock Brokers, Equity Research Team indicated volatility was witnessed this week with indices seesawing, showing a downward trend on one day and an upward trend on the other. Low market sentiments were driven by an upsurge in violence in the North and the East, with government forces trying to open the Mawilaru sluice gates, which are situated within LTTE controlled territory.
However subsequent to a downfall, investors were seen rushing back to the market leading to the up down scenario witnessed this week. The reluctance of investors to stay on the sidelines can be taken as a positive note, indicating investors were becoming more resilient towards adverse developments in the peace front.

Changes should first come from within: Dr Lotha

By Oken Jeet Sandham - Asian Tribune

Nagaland Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dr TM Lotha expressed serious concern on erosion of the work culture and moral ethics in the present generations. He said while the whole world was changing for every moment with the invasion of newer technologies, the Nagas could not afford remaining complacent but instead should out of the box and compete with the rest of the world to become the “best.”Speaking as chief guest on the occasion of the 34th Annual Session-Cum-Freshers’ Day of the Kohima Lotha Students Union (KLSU) here at the State Academy Hall today, the Minister stated there was a massive global change which also affected the normal lives of the Naga society. “Unless we go along with this (changes), we will continue to suffer and regress ourselves,” he cautioned. “But such changes will only come about as and when you change yourself.”

LTTE mercilessly slaughtered more than 100 Muslim civilians - including women and children

Over 100 Muslim civilians, including women and children were slaughtered by the Tamil Tiger militants on Friday night at Pachchanoor, alleging them as members of the Muslim armed group ‘Jihad.’According to the report, displaced families were fleeing the fighting in Muttur - the government-held town when the Tigers blocked them at Pachchanoor on Friday night and killed over a 100 "including women, youth and children." Earlier on 04 August, Rauf Hakeem - Leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress publicly raised the issue of missing more than 100 Muslims innocent civilians and alleged that they are being detained by the LTTE.

‘Money really grows on Rubber trees’: Prices on an upward trend

By Quintus Perera - Asian Tribune

Rubber traders prefer ‘bountiful earnings for the natural rubber grower/producer’ to continue as they indicated there were moves by the local rubber consuming industries to completely prohibit the export of unprocessed rubber from Sri Lanka. Jayantha de Silva, President, The Colombo Rubber Traders Association (CRTA) expressed these views at its Annual General Meeting held at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel. The CRTA was disappointed as the scheduled chief guest, Nivard Cabraal, Governor, Central Bank failed to arrive.

"Star" rating system for Tea by Sri Lanka Tea Board

Sunil C. Perera - Reporting from Colombo

Sri Lanka Tea Board has introduced star rating system for private tea factories to improve factory conditions and produce quality tea to achieve best prices in the global tea market. Tea Board Chairman B.A.C.Abeyawardana says this star rating system has already been given to 14 private tea factories in Sri Lanka. We received good response from existing tea factories to enter in this rating system, said the Chairman.

Will Pakistan ever stop its terror tap?

By J. N Raina - Syndicate Features

Pakistan stands fully exposed. It has flaunted its insidious role of sponsoring genocide of common people in India. Instead of smashing its terror mills, it has spread terror in India, and defended the cause of ‘jehadis’; or call them ‘freedom fighters’; by linking serial bomb blasts in Mumbai---second time in 13 years---to the resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir imbroglio. Just on the eve of the blasts, which claimed over 200 lives, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Khursheed Mehmood Kasuri, linked end to terrorism to the resolution of Kashmir. Overstepping the brief by making such disparaging remarks from Washington, Kasuri described the Confidence-Building Measures (CBMs) as ‘half-hearted’.

Sri Lankan military attacks drive thousands from Muttur

Thousands of people are fleeing Muttur in eastern Sri Lanka, amid a continuing battle for control between the military and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The town has been devastated by artillery, mortar and air strikes since LTTE fighters entered it on Wednesday and forced government security forces to retreat to their camps. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) estimates that 20,000 to 30,000 people have fled from the predominantly Muslim town due to the lack of food and water, and continued shelling. A bank worker in the nearby port of Trincomalee told the WSWS by phone last night that the ICRC had sent 50 Lorries of relief supplies to Muttur, but had been blocked by the military at Kantalai just to the south of the town.


Defeat of LTTE confirmed by independent news agencies

Independent Western news agencies reported today that after heavy fighting the Sri Lankan Forces had recaptured the town Muttur, forcing the Tamil Tigers to abandon the town leaving their dead behind. Reuters reported that the Sri Lankan forces invited journalists to tour the captured town. The report added: "On Saturday, after days of rumors the town had fallen to the Tigers, the military brought in more than a dozen journalists from the capital Colombo to show that the buildings once briefly occupied by the Tigers had been recaptured....Troops showed off the corpses of what they said were four slain Tiger fighters."