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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2706

Monthly archive

Ban Ki-moon

Bangladeshi Journalist’s Sedition Trial highlighted In the United States

Daya Gamage – US National Correspondent for Asian Tribune

The American Jewish Committee (AJC) today urged world leaders to press Bangladesh to end its persecution of Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury, a Bangladeshi journalist whose trial for sedition set to begin Thursday, 12th October. Choudhury, the editor of Blitz, the largest tabloid English-language weekly in Bangladesh was arrested in November 2003, when he tried to attend a conference in Israel. He was imprisoned, it is said, under extreme difficult conditions, and then released last year after efforts of United States Congressman Mark Kirk, among others, to seek his freedom.

Sri Lanka: Peace talks still remain elusive

By Vandana Jayasinghe - Asian Tribune

Hans BrattskarNorwegian Ambassador will meet today, senior members of the LTTE to discuss the future of the peace talks, which is scheduled to hold later this month. Norwegian Ambassador Hans Brattskar will discuss with LTTE’s Political Wing Leader S. P Tamilselvan in Kilinochchi this morning and the LTTE hopes that this meeting will bring positive results to resume peace talks. Daya Master of the LTTE told the ‘Asian Tribune’ that the LTTE would come to peace talks if the government stops military attacks against them. "We agreed to hold peace talks with the government after the meeting with Mr. Bauer and even agreed with the dates of the talks. But, later we thought to abandon the idea," he said.

The Indian factor in Sri Lankan politics. Why should we woo India so much?

By Sudath Gunasekara -. Writing from USA

The Indian factor in recent Sri Lankan politics has become extremely critical and now it has grown beyond all proportions. It is definitely important and useful too to maintain cordial diplomatic relations with our neighbor India. There is no doubt about it. But this should never be done at the expense of our independence and sovereignty and self - respect. In contemporary Sri Lankan politics wooing and begging India in domestic politics despite all the unfriendly moves she has taken particularly in the past and the arrogant and undiplomatic attitude she continue to display appears to have come to stay permanently as a fashion. So much so, most Sri Lankans have begun to wonder whether this country has already got reduced to the level of another regional state of the Sub-continent.

Leader of India’s depressed castes Kanshiram dead

By M Rama Rao from New Delhi

KanshiramKanshiram is dead but the Dalit icon lives. The 72-year old bachelor, who single handedly changed the political discourse for the untouchables in the past three decades, died of protracted illness on Monday. His body was consigned to flames on the banks of Yamuna here according to the Buddhist traditions in the presence of top political leaders, large number of his supporters and two sisters and a brother.

Dangers of a military agenda

By R Hariharan

It is nearly a month since both the Sri Lanka Government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) agreed in principle to meet and talk peace. The subsequent delay was only in matters of detail. But even as the Government announced that it was ready for the talks at Geneva on Oct 28 and 29, 2006, the Sri Lanka Armed Forces (SLAF) artillery and air force planes pounded LTTE targets in Vakarai-Panichchankerni (about 50 km Southeast of Trincomalee) area on the east coast on the strategic A-15 highway running between Trincomalee and Batticaloa signalling another round of military operations.

Sri Lanka: Red Cross handed over multi-story housing complex for 64 tsunami affected families in Kalutara

The Irish Red Cross and the Sri Lanka Red Cross handed over 64 apartments constructed in multi-story blocks for tsunami affected families in Kalutara on 06 October. The "Janaraja Vidyalaya housing scheme" consists of apartments built in eight blocks, each of four storeys. Every apartment has two bedrooms, a living room, kitchen and bathroom. All have been handed over with water, sanitation and electricity connections and gas cookers and cylinders will be distributed to each family. "The peace of mind that comes with owning a home of one’s own is incredibly important. These apartments demonstrate how the generosity of the Irish people has made a real difference in helping these families to move on and rebuild their lives after the tsunami," said Simon Harris, Country Coordinator for the Irish Red Cross

North Korean nuclear test a small scale affair

By M Rama Rao reporting from New Delhi

Notwithstanding outrage from world capitals, the device North Korea tested on Monday is a small one. Its capacity is anywhere between 550 tons to 1000 tons explosive. Not a big blast but it has enabled the North Koreans to test their design. There is a view that the small explosive yield is because the nuke device had failed. But there are few takers for this line with most experts led by Texas based Stratfor, unanimous that Pyongyang has derived the mileage it is after.Through out Monday there was speculation that North Korea would test a second device just as it did when it first tested an indigenous missile in July 4. The Taepodong-2 missile test secretly was followed by another missile test.

Writing another Thai Constitution amounts to writing a fiction one more time – A human rights group castigates Coup leaders

The proposed constitution writing by the Thai coup leaders has been described with cynicism as "a fiction writing." The 2006 coup group is now embarking on its own journey of constitutional fiction-writing in the tradition of its predecessors. Like them, it is concerned to impress its international partners, especially the United States, which has already suspended a large amount of military aid, it was alleged. In a statement by the Hong Kong based Asian Human Rights Commission has called upon the new interim prime minister of Thailand, General Surayud Chulanont, to give up the constitutional fiction writing.

Security Council proposes South Korea’s Foreign Minister Ban as Secretary-General

Ban Ki-moonThe UN Security Council yesterday formally chose Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon of South Korea as its nominee to be the next Secretary-General of the United Nations for a five-year term when incumbent Kofi Annan steps down on 31 December. The recommendation, made in a resolution adopted in a private meeting by acclamation, now goes to the 192-member General Assembly for formal approval Assembly President Sheikha Haya Al Khalifa of Bahrain has already received a letter from Council President for the month, Japanese Ambassador Kenzo Oshima, informing her of the recommendation and she will consult with the chairs of the regional groups as soon as possible to determine a date for the appointment.

Enigmatic Nepali Maoists

By M Rama Rao - Syndicate Features

Nepal Home Minister Krishna Prasad Situala has cancelled his scheduled visit to Delhi ‘for the time being’. He was to be in India to sign an updated India-Nepal extradition treaty and an agreement on mutual legal assistance on October 5. No reason has been given officially for the cancellation. Only a cryptic communiqué was sent to the Indian High Commissioner in Kathmandu that the visit which was due to begin on October 4 stands cancelled for the present. The existing extradition treaty is fifty years old and is found inadequate to deal with present day problems like drug and human trafficking along the 1,700 km long ‘open’ border between the two countries. Both sides had set into motion the process of revising the treaty about two years ago.

Sri Lankan Supreme Court overrules appeals to international human rights body

In a major attack on democratic rights, the Sri Lankan Supreme Court ruled last month that citizens have no right to lodge complaints with the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC). The court declared that the country’s accession to the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) was "unconstitutional and illegal." A five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva issued the ruling on September 15 amid an escalating civil war and well-founded allegations of abductions, extra-judicial killings and "disappearances" carried out by the military and its paramilitary allies. The cold-blooded killing of 17 local workers attached to the French aid agency Action Contre la Faim (ACF) in Muttur in early August is just one high profile case in which the military are directly implicated.

Hans Brattskar


Kim Il-Sung

Gender Violence a Universal Norm, Says U.N.

By Thalif Deen - Inter Press Service

A 113-page landmark U.N. study on gender violence says women continue to be victims of sexual harassment, human trafficking and blatant discrimination worldwide. "Violence against women persists in every country in the world as a pervasive violation of human rights and a major impediment to achieving gender equality," says the first-ever in-depth report on gender violence released Monday by U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Such violence is unacceptable "whether perpetrated by the state and its agents or by family members or strangers, in the public or private sphere, in peacetime or in times of conflict."