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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2611

Monthly archive

Anura Priyadarshana Yapa

Tourist Board in a mega drive to promote Sri Lanka

By Ashwin Hemmathagama – Our Financial Correspondent

Sri Lanka Tourist Board (SLTB) is currently looking at all available options in promoting the island nation as a tourist paradise. Taking few steps forward, SLTB will be launching Public Relations agents during the latter part of this month in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Netherlands, Italy, Japan, China, India, United Arab Emirates, and Australia. The second phase of this project will promote Public Relations Agents in United States of America, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Belgium, Russia, Hungary, Sweden, and Poland.

Sea Tigers killed in fierce fight with Karuna group

Vanni Sea Tigers sent on the mission of hunting and killing the leadership of the break-away group Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP – Karuna Group) were foiled yesterday. They came under heavy fire yesterday when they entered the area (undisclosed) under control by the TMVP. TMVP sources claimed that they routed the Sea Tigers, killing four of them and capturing one. According to reports, Sea Tigers entered the area under the control of the TMVP by sea.

Sri Lankan civilians flee to Tamil Nadu - an estimated 6500 have fled since April

By Munza Mushtaq - Reporting from Colombo for Asian Tribune

As fighting raged in the North and East, nearly 6500 Tamils have fled to India's Tamil Nadu State since April this year. A further 210 refugees arrived in Tamil Nadu's Arisalmunai and Dhanuskodi early last week. "So far according to official statistics, 6346 Tamils have arrived in Tamil Nadu, but it is estimated that at least another 1000 refugees are unaccounted for," sources claimed. Most of the families who have already fled to India by boat are mainly from LTTE-held areas and also from government-controlled areas. The majority of the refugees who have fled to Tamil Nadu belong to Killinochchi, Mannar, Trincomalee and Batticaloa.

Dr. Subramanian Swamy welcomes offer of Indian federal model to Sri Lanka

Dr. SwamyThe staunch anti-LTTE Dr. Subramanian Swamy has welcomed India’s offer of the devolution model based on the Sarkaria Commission to the Sri Lankan Government. An expert body in Sri Lanka is now studying various models that could be adopted. The Sarkaria Commission was appointed by Mrs.Indira Gandhi. The Sarkaria Commission defined the boundaries of the centre-state relations. It was meant to smoothen the relations between the centre and the 27 states of India. The jury is still out as to whether it has resolved the vexed issues that crop up from time to time between the centre and the states.

Sri Lankan Government allies in collision on North East future

By Munza Mushtaq - Reporting from Colombo for Asian Tribune

DouglasWhile the government's main ally, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna has demanded that President Mahinda Rajapakse immediately de-merge the North and East, the coalition's chief Tamil constituent has called for the permanent merger of the North and East as a single province. The Eelam Peoples Democratic Party (EPDP) led by Minister Douglas Devananda has in their proposal on the ethnic conflict also emphasized the need for internal autonomy for the Muslims living in the North and East. The party has also emphasized the need for devolution of asymmetric powers to the region vis-Ã -vis other provinces, if the country is to witness peaceful coexistence of all ethnic groups in a united Sri Lanka.

Congressman Danny Davis junkets on tickets paid by Tamil Tigers

Danny Davis Illinois congressman Danny Davis and an aide took a trip to Sri Lanka last year that was paid for by the Tamil Tigers, a group that the U.S. government has designated as a terrorist organization for its use of suicide bombers and child soldiers, law enforcement sources said. Davis' seven-day trip came under new scrutiny this week following the arrests of 11 supporters of the organization on charges of participating in a broad conspiracy to support the terrorist group through money laundering, arms procurement and bribery of U.S. officials.

Sri Lankan government lays down two conditions for ceasefire

MangalaMinister of Foreign Affairs Mangala Samaraweera laid down two main conditions yesterday in parliament to engage in a ceasefire: A verifiable ceasefire personally declared by the LTTE Leader Velupillai Prabhakaran. He said the government cannot accept any ceasefire unless it is declared by Prabhakaran himself as he has avoided responsibility in the past for ceasefires declared by others. LTTE has to move out of vulnerable places such as Sampur for a meaningful ceasefire to take place.

Jaffna bound Ship with food items and medicine expected to arrive in Point Pedro today.

MV Mercs Ruhuna started sailing under Red Cross flag yesterday evening to Jaffna, with food and other provisions including medicine is expected to arrive in Point Pedro today. However it is believed that the arrival of the ship might be delayed as the ship is sailing around the country avoiding shallow water spots. Defense spokesman and Minister Keheliya Rambukwella told journalists here that a ship with 3,800 tonnes of food, medical and many basic goods was sailing towards the North. "The Government decided to take the sea route as it is far safer than by land. LTTE launches attacks on whatever they come across even an unarmed ship transporting basic necessities to serve the civilians," he said.

Sri Lanka Government hailed US steps against the LTTE fund raisers

By Sunil C. Perera - Reporting from Colombo

Minister YapaSri Lankan government has hailed the legal action that has been taken by United States against the men who were raising funds for the LTTE. Mass media and Information Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa says this step will also be highly appreciated by the all the Sri Lankans as well. Minister stated this at the debate in the parliament on Wednesday, which discussed the present situation in North and East. Speaking further he reiterated that the government has not started another war but only repulsing the attacks by the LTTE.

Dirty Water Deals Cheat the Poor

By Thalif Deen - Inter Press Service

Expressing concern over the "pervasiveness of corruption" in the management of water, a coalition of six international non-governmental organizations has created a new global anti-corruption watchdog body: the Water Integrity Network (WIN). Launched Tuesday during "World Water Week" in the Swedish capital, the network vows to root out unethical behaviour by promoting good governance and transparency in the water sector. "At a time when we are talking about increasing investments to expand water supplies and water resources, we also have indications that about 25 to 30 percent of state budgets on water investments are lost due to corruption," Hakan Tropp, WIN's interim chair, told IPS.

Dr. Swamy


Danny Davis

Danny Davis


MV Mercs Ruhuna

Despite president’s denials, Sri Lankan military continues offensive war

In a meeting on Monday with diplomats from the US, the European Union, Norway and Japan, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse denied that his government was waging war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Repeating earlier comments to the media, he claimed that the Sri Lankan military was only responding to LTTE attacks and had not launched any offensive operations. The diplomats represent the co-chairs of the so-called Sri Lankan peace process, which has all but collapsed, along with the 2002 ceasefire agreement, amid open fighting over the last month. In a statement issued after the meeting, the president rather absurdly declared that the government remained committed to the truce and was awaiting the LTTE’s response for the resumption of peace talks.

Talks of the advisory committee of the 5th all party convention noted a remarkable progress - Prof. Tissa Vitharane

Sunil C. Perera, Reporting from Colombo

Professor Tissa Vitharane, Minister of Science says talks of the advisory committee of the 5th all party convention have noted a remarkable progress. The 5th round of talks were held at the Peace Secretariat on Monday. During the talks, the attention was paid on as to whom the stakeholders to the north east conflict and problems were faced by them. The committee will also discuss on solving the problems of migrants. The issue of the devolution of power will be taken up for discussion under four topics. The Minister said the final arrangement of the committee will be to determine the nature of talks to be conducted between the government and the LTTE. The All Party Advisory Council hopes to forge a document based on a series of systematical policies.

LTTE funded U.S. Congressman's 2005 trip to Vanni in Sri Lanka: A sequel to Asian Tribune report

Daya Gamage - US National Correspondent for Asian Tribune

Danny DavisUnited States Congressman Danny Davis’ trip to Sri Lanka from March 30 to April 5, 2005, spending most of his time in the regions of the Vanni and Kilinochchi Districts, controlled by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, was in fact funded by the Liberation Tigers, it was revealed by federal authorities, according to an August 23 datelined report in Chicago Tribune. The Democratic Congressman from Illinois says that he was unaware that the Tamil Tigers paid for the trip and on his required congressional disclosure form has reported that the trip was paid for by a Hickory Hills, Illinois-based Tamil cultural organization, the Federation of Tamil Sangams of North America.