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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2342

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Lull prevails in Jaffna, amidst sporadic incidents of aerial bombardments and artillery fire

Reports from Jaffna reveal of a lull prevailing in the region, despite of a sporadic incidents of aerial bombardments and artillery fire here and there. Reports received in Colombo revealed that Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) bombers Thursday morning bombed Kattaikadu area in Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) controlled Vadamaradchi East twice yesterday.

Fraction of Oil Profits Sought for Poorest Nations

By Thalif Deen - Inter Press Service

The world's 50 poorest nations -- ranging from Cape Verde and Haiti to Nepal and Sierra Leone -- are turning to the major oil-producing nations for urgently needed assistance for development. Anwarul Karim Chowdhury, U.N. under-secretary-general for Least Developed Countries (LDCs), has proposed that oil-producing nations should consider earmarking just 10 cents per barrel from their rising incomes for infrastructure development in LDCs in the next 10 years.

Time for India to ‘Cross’ over to Crystal

P R Kumaraswamy - Exclusive to Asian Tribune

The bizarre nature of Indian obsession for secularism is visibly manifested in the continued presence of the Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS), headed by the President himself. A pre-dominantly non-Christian country adopting an explicitly Christian motif might appear to be a secular move unconnected to any religious overtones. Rather than being a sign of Indian tolerance, the Cross has been a symbol of intolerance of the world body. If one looks at the conservative nature of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRS) and its prolonged intolerance towards other religious symbols, the Indian practice appears strange, illogical and insensitive.

Sri Lanka's Monitors lose count as fighting continues unabated

By Munza Mushtaq - Reporting from Colombo for Asian Tribune

The hefty increase in the number of ceasefire violations have even made it 'humanly impossible' for the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) to keep track of the number of truce violations. The mission's spokesman Thorfinur Omarsson told the "Asian Tribune" that, "monitoring a warlike situation is impossible; both sides ar violating the ceasefire agreement by the dozens on a daily basis. We were brought here to monitor a ceasefire not a war," he declared.

Sri Lanka: geographical positioning increases vulnerability for HIV

By Ashwin Hemmathagama – Our Financial Correspondent

Sri Lanka which is already categorized as a low prevalence country to spread HIV/ AIDS, the geographical positioning of the country increases the future risk in spreading the epidemic. Health and Nutrition Ministry, National STD/ AIDS Control Programme Consultant Venereologist Dr. Sujatha Samarakoon yesterday disclosed this at special media conference held in Colombo on the highlights of the recently concluded International AIDS Conference in Canada.

Sri Lanka's domestic airlines hit by Jaffna violence

By Munza Mushtaq - Reporting from Colombo for Asian Tribune

The country's domestic airliners have been hit by the escalation of violence in the Jaffna peninsula. Several of these airliners including ExpoAir and Aero Lanka have ceased operations to Jaffna, thereby losing millions of rupees. "We have ceased operations due to the problems in Jaffna, but we hope to resume flights as soon as the situation in the peninsula returns to normalcy," officials attached to these two airline companies said.

Royal Ceramics profits up by 90 percent over the previous year

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

A M Weerasinghe, Chairman, Royal Ceramics indicated in the 2005-2006 Annual Report of the Company that the Group recorded an impressive profit after tax of Rs 467 million, a 90 percent increase over the previous year. The Company has issued an interim dividend of 10 percent in September 2005 and the Board has recommended a final dividend of a further 10 percent. During the year under review, Royal Ceramics achieved the largest Profit after Tax in the history of the Company. It was achieved through consistent growth over the years with far-sighted planning by the Board of Directors and the Senior Management.

New Documentary Supports Threat of South Asian Islamic Takeover

By Dr. Richard L. Benkin – Asian Tribune

A new Indian documentary provides visual and other evidence that Islamist attempts to secure a base on Northeastern India are "at an advanced state." According to the documentary by Indian, Mayank Jain, "A conspiracy has been hatched by Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence and fundamentalists from Bangladesh to carve out an Islamic country comprising Assam, Tripura, and West Bengal," as well as Bangladesh. The three Indian states almost totally surround Bangladesh on the North, East, and West. Bangladesh is the world’s third largest Muslim nation and the seventh largest nation on earth both by population, and it actually separates Assam and Tripura from the rest of India.

Satellites Chronicle a Depleted Continent

By Thalif Deen - Inter Press Service

The U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP) believes that the growing environmental degradation of Africa is perhaps most starkly reflected in satellite images beamed from the skies. And so, the Nairobi-based U.N. agency introduced a new atlas at an international water conference here which shows "the dramatic and damaging" environmental changes sweeping across the beleaguered African continent.

Government invites non-resident with US citizenship to open rupee accounts in Sri Lanka

Sunil C. Perera - Reporting from Colombo

Sri Lankan embassy in Washington DC says the non-resident Sri Lankans with US citizenship can open rupee accounts in Sri Lanka. The official website of the embassy said a Non Resident Rupee Account in any form (either interest bearing or non interest bearing basis) with a commercial bank out of foreign exchange remittances brought into the country by him is approved.

Fishing in troubled Lanka

By Tushar Charan - Syndicate Features

It has been reported that the target of the Colombo suicide bomber on a three-wheeler was the Pakistani high commissioner in Sri Lanka, Bashir Wali Mohammed, who escaped unhurt; altogether seven persons, including three security personnel guarding the high commissioner’s convoy, were killed on Aug 14. Reports also suggest that the attack was almost certainly the work of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE) who are angry with Pakistan for having supplied offensive weapons to Sri Lanka army engaged in a long battle with Tamil rebels in the island. The Tigers’ ire was directed towards the diplomat because he personally played a leading role in the transfer of Pak arms to Colombo.

International Gem and Jewellery show in Sri Lanka

Sunil C. Perera - Reporting from Colombo

Sri Lanka, the world's oldest source of the most spectacular gemstones will showcase the beauty and rarity of her magnificent sapphires and dozens of other varieties of gemstones at "Facets Sri Lanka," the International Gem and Jewellery Show in September 2006. Held annually in Colombo since 1991, "Facets Sri Lanka" made an exciting new beginning in September 2005 ,when the show moved to a smart new venue, the BMICH Exhibition and Convention Center in Colombo. Exhibitors increased by more than 50 percent and the show took on a whole new professional and international atmosphere, with attractive new booths displaying a greater variety of fine gemstones and exquisite jewellery.

Government re-assures investor support in chaotic times

By Ashwin Hemmathagama – Our Financial Correspondent

Government recently assured the local investor community and the respective trade chambers that continuous support will be extended to them in achieving the business goals with an effective restructure to develop the country. Enterprise Development and Investment Promotion Minister Rohitha Bogollgama stated this discussing the feedback from the business sector on the current status in the country and how best the Government could help.

Britain: Labor government proposes punitive welfare reforms

The Labor government’s Welfare Reform Bill published before the parliamentary recess seeks to force the most vulnerable members of society—the sick, single parents and older workers—off benefits and into work. Its aim is threefold. Firstly, to dismantle the social security system by making a much reduced entitlement to welfare dependent upon cooperation with back to work schemes. Secondly, to redistribute wealth in favor of the owners of capital, via the creation of a huge pool of workers forced to take the lowest paid and most unpleasant jobs. And, thirdly, to privatize the employment services.

Charge sheet against Tamil Tigers arrested in the undercover sting in US

Details of the undercover sting operation that led to the arrest of Tamil Tiger agents in US is contained in the following document filed in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn. The eight Tamil Tiger agents are charged with multiple crimes, including conspiracy to provide material support and resources to a designated foreign terrorist organization - the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE or Tamil Tigers).

Five new ministers were sworn in today

Five MPs from the Ceylon Worker’s Congress (CWC) and the Up Country People’s Front (UCPF) swore in as Ministers and Deputy Ministers before President Mahinda Rajapaksa today. Arumugam Thondaman and Periyasamy Chandrasekaran were sworn in as ministers with cabinet rank today morning around 9.40 a.m. and 10 a.m.by President Mahinda Rajapakse at the Presidential Secretariat.


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