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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2552

Monthly archive


President Rajapakse meets Indian Finance Minister before flying to Cuba

President Mahinda Rajapakse left with a delegation to attend the Non-aligned summit in Cuba. He had a busy schedule at the last minute, squeezing in a meeting with the JVP, the leading coalition partner. Somawansa Amerasinghe, leader of the JVP. Tilvin Silva, secretary and Wimal Weerwansa met to discuss their future partnership. The meting lasted for nearly 1 ½ hours. Further talks were postponed till his return. In the meantime President also met P.Chidamparam, Indian Finance Minister.

Indo Lanka Chamber of Commerce and Industry new agreement to improve bilateral relations

By Ashwin Hemmathagama – Our Financial Correspondent

A Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) initiative to bolster growing bilateral relations with India was entrenched when India’s Finance Minister P. Chidambaram launched the Indo - Lanka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ILCCI) yesterday. As a logical continuation of the existing economic linkages and considering the burgeoning economic relations, the CCC initiated the ILCCI which is the first bilateral chamber of its kind. The objectives of the new Chamber are promotion of trade, tourism and services between Sri Lanka and India.

Lanka Govt. insists on "a clear commitment" for peace from Prabhakaran

From our Political Correspondent

After burning its hands on previous peace deals the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) is very wary about LTTE’s commitment to peace as stated in the announcement issued by the four Co-chairs – EU, US, Japan and Norway – on Tuesday in Brussels. The Peace Secretariat welcomes peace talks proposed by the Co-chairs but it insists on "a clear commitment by the LTTE Leader to a comprehensive and verifiable cessation of hostilities." The GoSL is keen that any future peace deals must come with the guarantee of Velupillai Prabhakaran himself and not by his subordinates.

13 Tamil civilians in Vavuniya came under LTTE’s hand grenade attack

Tamil Tigers for refusing to pay ransom, as demanded by them avenged the Muslim farm shop owner in Vavuniya by detonating a hand grenade. The grenade explosion injured 13 civilians including 3 women. According to report, the owner of the shop, a Muslim poultry vendor had refused to pay ransom as demanded by the cadres belonging to Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Police sources revealed that the vendor on Tuesday (12) had openly shouted at LTTE extortionists and argued with them before the LTTE men were asked to leave the place.

Training of Health Professionals in Neonatal Life Support

The greatest risk of childhood death in Sri Lanka occurs during the neonatal period, which extends from birth, through the first month of life. Birth asphyxia is a primary cause of neonatal death and long-term neurodevelopment disability such as mental retardation, cerebral palsy and behavioral disorders. Availability of an organized resuscitation programme is essential to prevent birth asphyxia. In a statement released to the press UNICEF further added: "In Sri Lanka, the neonatal mortality rate is 12.9 per 1000 live births whereas in developed countries it is approximately 05 per 1000 live births. It is noteworthy that neonatal deaths accounted for 81.6 per cent of the infant deaths registered in 2003."

Janashakthi Insurance post Rs.209.5 million profits for 2005

Sunil C. Perera - Reporting from Colombo

Janashakthi Insurance Co. Ltd reported a turnaround in the Company’s profits to Rs. 209.5 million for the financial year ending 31 December 2005, which is an astounding 324% growth in profitability over the previous year. The total revenue reported is Rs. 3,863 million up by 32.6% from Rs. 2,913 million in 2004. Income from investments grew by 39% in 2005 to reach Rs.766 million. Janashakthi’s General Insurance sector recorded a gross written premium of Rs. 2,888 million, an increase of 16% over last year, with the most significant contribution being from the Motor Insurance business. Despite fierce competition which continues to pervade this market, the Company reported an increased underwriting profit of Rs.216 million in 2005 a commendable improvement even after discounting the impact of Tsunami claims in 2004 compared to the loss of Rs. 74 million previously.

Malaysian prime minister under bitter attack from predecessor

In what has become a very public dispute, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has been under sustained attack from his predecessor Mahathir Mohamad. The row erupted in April and threatens to open up divisions in the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), the major party in the national coalition government. Mahathir’s criticisms of Badawi centre on the direction of national economic policy. Mahathir, now 81, was prime minister and UNMO leader from 1981 until he retired in October 2003. His tight control over both the government and party was enforced by a highly politicised police and judicial system, anti-democratic internal security laws and a muzzled media that allowed UMNO to dominate the country’s economic life and reward those close to it.

Mahinda - Chidamparam


The talks trap & our terms

By Dayan Jayatilleka

It’s the same old story. When it is at a disadvantage, the Tiger seeks to engage its enemy in negotiations, buy time and weapons, sew confusion in the ranks of the enemy’s troops (Sri Lankan, IPKF), and disrupt the morale and momentum of the armed forces. It is psychological warfare at its most insidious. In 1987 the Sri Lankan army was marching on Jaffna, having captured Vadamaarachchi, and Prabhakaran was put to rout. That victory was aborted by India’s intervention - a folly for which India would pay with the murder by a grateful Prabhakaran, of the leader who ordered the intervention, Shri Rajiv Gandhi. 15 years later the long range patrols of the Sri Lankan army were liquidating LTTE commanders and hunting down Prabhakaran, until the Ranil-Balasingham-Solheim CFA saved his skin.