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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2702

Monthly archive

President addressing

Susil Prem Jayanth tells there were no conditions by the UNP to agree to support the government

Cabinet Minister and spokesman of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) Susil Prem Jayanth said the rumors that the Prime Minister of the government would be appointed from the United National Party (UNP)after the successful completion of an agreement between the SLFP and UNP have no truth whatsoever. He said a joint program of work for the benefit of the country drawn by the two parties would not go against the "Mahinda Chinthanaya," the manifesto of President Mahinda Rajapaksa , that received a mandate of the electorate at the last presidential elections. Prem Jayanth said very soon a Memorandum of Understanding will be signed by the two parties on six major points to develop the country by the ruling SLFP and the main opposition UNP.

Government and Tamil Tigers agree for peace talks on October 28 and 29 in Sswitzerland say Sri Lanka and Tigers

By Walter Jayawardhana

Dr. Palitha Kohona, head of the Sri Lanka Peace Secretariat said that the government has agreed with the Norwegian facilitators to have peace talks with the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on October 28 and 29 in Switzerland but he warned that the government would swiftly react against any kind of provocations by the terrorist group until that period. speaking to the BBC’s Sinhala language service the LTTE’s military spokesman Rasiah Ilantheriyan said that their group also has agreed to the date and the place with the Norwegian facilitators.

Death of Afzal Guru will not solve anything

Dr Shabir Choduhry

The government of India is in dilemma whether to hang Mohammed Azal Guru or not. The court has given its verdict that he should be hanged. Hanging or even illegally eliminating a person is not a big issue in most third world countries; but hanging of Afzal Guru will become a major issue even though the authorities have a 'legal mandate' for doing this. Issue here is not whether Afzal Guru is completely 'innocent' or 'guilty'; issue is what government will achieve out of this, especially now that it has become a public issue, and demand for clemency is coming from various parts of the world.

Talks to begin on October 28: Norway undertakes to keep an eye on Prabhakaran

H. L. D. Mahindapala

Piecing together the reports coming in from available sources few things are becoming clear on the latest agreement between the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) and the LTTE to resume the stalled talks in Geneva: 1. Date: the Government of Sri Lanka had conceded to the LTTE the dates on which the next round of talks will be resumed. The GoSL wanted October 30 or November 10. In the end the GoSL agreed to the LTTE dates of October 28 and 29.

Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission accuses Muslim 'culprits' behind recent eviction notice, defends LTTE

Munza Mushtaq - Reporting from Colombo

The Sri Lank Monitoring Mission (SLMM) which has often been accused of making arbitrary and bias decisions appears to have made a similar judgment again last week with regard to the renewed quit notice by a
group called 'Tamil Eelam Redemption Force' which was circulated among Muslim civilians living in Muttur demanding they leave their homes immediately. The SLMM in its weekly situation report from September 18-24, 2006 states: The development in Muthur seems to indicate that while the Muslims have moved back, there are certain factions that wish to use the situation for their own benefit.

U.S. Faces Dilemma Over Thai Coup

By Thalif Deen - Inter Press Service

The bloodless coup against a democratically-elected government in Thailand last month has forced the United States to review its military relations and suspend aid to one of Washington's longstanding political allies in Southeast Asia. The administration of U.S. President George W. Bush, which is seeking U.N. sanctions against the military government in neighboring Myanmar (Burma), has said the Thai military coup was a "U-turn" for democracy in that politically stable region

Dont commence talks without a wtritten pledge from LTTE Leader Prabakaran - JHU urges the Sri Lanka Government

By Vandana Jayasinghe – Asian Tribune

Jathika Hela Urimaya (JHU) Party strongly objects the government’s decision to resume peace talks with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) ignoring the conditions in the Mahinda Chinthanaya, which clearly states that the government would not come to talks in the absence of its leader Valupillai Prabakaran. The JHU leader Puravidya Chakkrawarthi Ven. Ellawala Medananda Thera, MP, told the "Asian Tribune" that from the Oslo peace talk’s up to the last round of peace talks, the LTTE has misled the government and it used the opportunity to strengthen their terrorist activities.

Release the 3 detained student leaders and the 2 political activists Immediately – EU Presidency

In a declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the European Union, on detention has called upon the military rulers of Burma/Myanmar to release immediately the former three student leaders and the two political activists immediately. EU in a press statement has stressed that it has noted with deep concern that those former student leaders Min Ko Naing, Ko Ko Gyi and Htay Kywe, detained by the Burmese/Myanmar authorities on the 18th anniversary of the National League for Democracy (NLD) last week, have still not been released.

Sri Lanka’s Overseas Diplomatic Missions Limit Work to Visa Issuance Only not Public Diplomacy says President Rajapaksa

Daya Gamage – US Bureau Asian Tribune News Analysis

"It is no secret that your primary task is to maintain good relations between your motherland and your country of residence at the highest level. However, it is necessary to consider whether your time should be spent solely to strengthen good relations or to provide consular services to Sri Lankans resident in that country, as the practice has been so far. Is it sufficient to limit one’s work to that of the Department of Emigration and Immigration," questioned Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa addressing top diplomats in charge of Sri Lankan missions overseas at Presidential Secretariat in Colombo on October 4, 2006.

International NGOs under investigation in Sri Lanka

The Government of Sri Lanka has allowed four international NGOs (INGOs) to stay until the Police investigations are completed. Police are investigating into allegations of inappropriate behaviour of 1. Medicines Sans Frontieres, France 2. Medicines Sans Frontieres, Spain 3. Medicos Del Mundo and 4. Doctors of the World. These INGOs will be allowed to remain until the investigations are completed, said the Peace Secretariat.

Glimpses into a Trotskyist party

By Vasantha Raja

The Socialist Equality Party analysts’ hard hitting articles in the World Socialist Web Site (WSWS) have generated extreme reactions among many readers showing the impact they have. And that’s not a bad thing at all. They often appear on other popular websites such as the Asian Tribune, TamilCanadian and Lacnet too. Clearly, the editors of these other websites are doing a valuable service to their readers by opening up their pages to unexpected angles. For, diverse viewpoints always enhance readers’ intellectual horizons, as well as enhancing those websites’ credibility.

Sri Lanka: Estate unions and companies commence negotiations

Munza Mushtaq- Reporting from Colombo

Negotiations for a new collective agreement between the estate sector trade unions and the Employers Federation of Ceylon is expected to kick off this week. The first round of discussions will take place at Ceylon Workers Congress headquarters in Colombo 'Sawmya Bhawan'. Estate unions are hoping for high stakes once negotiations commence. Union sources said that they were hoping to demand a daily wage of Rs. 350/-. The present daily wage earned by an estate worker is between Rs. 131 to 185/-.

Removing Hamas: Brinkmanship Tactics or Coup D’etat

By Nicola Nasser

Within the context of a U.S.-Israeli determined campaign to remove the elected Islamic Resistance Movement from power, the best of the Palestinian mainstream anti-occupation activists of Fatah and Hamas are being polarized into a deadlocked divide that is already threatening an historic national unity with a looming civil war as a result of either risky brinkmanship tactics or what Hamas says a coup d’etat. Either way the external campaign has succeeded in mobilizing an array of a minority of local would-be losers of any change to the pre-Hamas status quo to exacerbate inter-Palestinian disputes into a crisis by launching their own campaign to bring about the downfall of Hamas, using brinkmanship tactics that could hardly be distinguished from a coup d’etat.

IRA gives up arms and terrorism and embraces mainstream politics

Neville de Silva - Diplomatic Editor Asian Tribune

The Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) that had terrorized Britain for over three decades in its quest for independence for Northern Ireland has given up its armed struggle and terrorism to enter democratic politics, an independent commission reported. In a historic change in strategy which was warmly welcomed by the British government that first fought the IRA and later encouraged negotiations with its political arm, Sinn Fein, to thrash out a political settlement, the announcement comes ahead of next week's talks in Scotland to revive the stalled power-sharing process.

The road to consensual governance

By Oscar E V Fernando

Your two unsuccessful revolts were for the emancipation or ‘vimukthi’ of your followers and this is very understandable as emancipation is defined as release from legal, social, political, intellectual or moral restraint. Your getting into democratic politics is also praiseworthy. Incidentally, certain of your objectives and that of the LTTE are also identical. Due to the economic disparity in society, bungled by the past rulers, you felt that you could never come up to the level of those inherited rich and the powerful.

Karnataka Row 0ver Medium

By Tukoji R. Pandit - Syndicate Features

Karnataka seems to have sparked off, not for the first time, a debate on the medium of instruction at school level, especially the primary school. It recently ordered—and then announced a reprieve for one year—that (government-aided) schools where English is the medium of instruction, will not be recognised as these institutions are supposed to be imparting lessons to pupils in the state’s language, Kannada. In some quarters, the JD(S) –BJP government’s move is seen as a deliberate ‘anti-English’ drive, a cause that has been a popular with sections of the political class which thrive on ‘nationalist’ and chauvinistic causes.

Despite talk of peace, Sri Lankan military continues offensive

The Sri Lankan government tentatively agreed yesterday to hold "unconditional" talks with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on October 28-30, but ruled out any cessation of attacks on rebel positions. Defence spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella warned that the government would "respond appropriately" if the LTTE threatened "national security". The talks have been brokered by Norwegian envoy Jon Hanssen Bauer, who arrived in Colombo on Sunday. He held discussions with the chief government negotiator Nimal Siripala de Silva and other ministers on Monday before travelling to Kilinochchi on Tuesday for talks with LTTE leaders. LTTE spokesman Daya Master said the LTTE had agreed to talks but would pull out if the army continued to attack its positions.

Many POK families vulnerable to coming winter

By M Rama Rao - Reporting from New Delhi

Many families in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir and adjoining North West Frontier Province are vulnerable to coming winter, says a report by the California based a Fritz Institute, on the plight of families hit by the killer earthquake that rocked the area one year back. ‘Our findings are alarming. Too many earthquake survivors are facing another winter without basic services and adequate shelter,’ Anisya Thomas managing director of Fritz Institute, says. The institute specializes in improving global disaster relief operations. Another global NGO, Oxfam has reported that corruption and bureaucratic inefficiency have increased the miseries of the locals with at least 90% of the 3.3 million affected people in need of assistance with food, shelter and livelihood almost one year after the earthquake.