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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 105

Monthly archive

Kumar Rupasinghe

SLFP-UNP sign a common agreement

Sunil C. Perera - Reporting from Colombo

The Sri Lanka Freedom party and the United National Party have entered into a common agreement setting stage for a new political culture in the country. General Secretary of the SLFP and Minister Maithripala Sirisena and the president of the UNP Malik Samarawickrema have signed the historical agreement short while ago at a ceremony held at the Temple Trees, the official residence of the President of Sri Lanka . SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena and the UNP Chairman Malik Samarawickrema signed the MoU at the Temple Trees at the auspicious time few minutes after 12 noon in the presence of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Jathika Hela Urumaya endorses the MOU to be signed between the ruling SLFP and opposition UNP today

By Walter Jayawardhana

Jathika Hela Urumaya parliamentarian Venerable Athureliye Rathana thero said that the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) due to be signed between the ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the opposition United National Party (UNP) today cannot be categorized as an agreement relying on a war solution or peace only solution but a one that belonged to neither of those categories. He said a copy of the finalized copy of the MOU had been shown to JHU head Venerable Ellawela Medhananda thero by President Mahinda Rajapaksa and according to that, it cannot be said that the agreement could be called an imposition of the policies of the former Ranil Wickremesinghe government on the present administration. It neither could be called an agreement for peace nor war, Venerable Rathana said.

Congress of Religions emphasizes the need for political willingness

Munza Mushtaq - Reporting from Colombo

The Congress of Religions and the Organizations associated with it has emphasized that the success of the SLFP-UNP collaboration will depend on the willingness of the political parties to give and take and make the necessary compromises. "We are greatly encouraged to note that both the SLFP and the UNP have set up a working committee to formulate a way forward. We have assured both parties of our whole hearted support in this historic initiative, we are hopeful that give the crisis situation in the country that they will rise to the occasion as true statesmen, to lead Sri Lanka beyond the decades old war and bring about the peace the entire country is yearning for," the statement said.

Burma: A Prison State At Large?

By - Zin Linn

People of Burma were shocked by the sudden death of a 34-year old student leader Thet Wing Aung in Mandalay prison. He had played an active role in the 1988 anti-military demonstrations. Arrested in 1998, Thet Win was 'awarded' a 59-year jail term. As his health deteriorated in recent months appeals went out from all over the world from the United Nations to the Amnesty International and human rights groups to junta to spare the life of this promising young man. The Junta turned a deaf ear and according to informed sources, his end came in his cell on 16 October 2006. He had completed just eight years of his sentence by then. This very fact is by itself a telling commentary on the conditions in the Myanmar jails. Since the present regime seized power, the country has become a prison- state. A hundred and thirty political prisoners, including Members of Parliament and journalists became martyrs to the jails.

Peace in Sri Lanka must be accompanied by justice for the Island’s Tamil minority – Boston Globe

Peace in Sri Lanka must be accompanied by justice for the island's Tamil minority insists Boston Globe in its editorial. The popular English daily pointed out “That justice and that peace should be seen as building blocks for the security in Asia that is sure to become more and more important to the United States." Boston Globe further pointed out that to demonstrate Washington's seriousness about a permanent peace that provides for Tamil self-government and human rights in a confederal Sri Lanka, the administration ought to prevail on the central government to withdraw its armed forces from the Tamil areas in the north of the island. "The Sri Lankan government should also be told that as a humanitarian gesture, it would be wise to open the road to Jaffna, the sole main artery connecting the Tamil areas to the rest of the country," Editorial urged.

More traumas for tsunami victims in Sri Lanka's South

Munza Mushtaq - Reporting from Colombo

Pandemonium raged in Galle among hundreds of already traumatized tsunami victims following Wednesday's explosions which rocked the community, who although nearly two years after the tsunami catastrophe continue to pick the pieces of their shattered lives. Magalla is an area in Galle where the tsunami of December 2004 was hit hard. People there are still working to rebuild their lives, to regain what they had before the disaster, and to come to terms with what they lost. The people there have been starting to look towards the future with hope, and feel that better times are to come. With the help of the government and NGOs, they have begun to regain the sense of safety and security that the waves took away from them.

Focus on bloodless surgery

By Janaka Perera - Asian Tribune

Blood conservation and transfusion alternatives have become increasingly important in health care worldwide. Concerns about blood safety, periodic blood shortages, liability issues and consumer demand for are drawing attention to transfusion alternatives and bloodless surgery, according to the International Society of Hematology. After the worldwide AIDS epidemic cast the spotlight on blood in the 1980s, efforts to eliminate its unseen threats intensified. The refusal of blood products by patients has led to greater awareness of blood conservation strategies. Increased awareness of the risks of transfusion including communicable diseases such as HIV has resulted in greater numbers of patients not accepting blood for non-religious reasons, while Jehovah's witnesses refuse blood transfusions on religious grounds.

Sri Lanka: Market holds ground on scheduled peace talks

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

The HNB Stockbrokers in their market review indicated that volatility continued in the market this week as investors came into terms with the escalating violence witnessed in the country. Maturity was evident in the way investors reacted to LTTE attacks this week, with the market remaining defiant even amid two suicide attacks being carried out against the military during the week. The government remaining unchanged in its stance to move forward with peace efforts, despite experiencing heavy casualties, left investors hopeful that peace talks between the LTTE and the government would go ahead as scheduled next week.

A new look Colombo Municipality and the Mayor after the crossover to Rajapakshas’ party

By Vandana Jayasinghe

The green painted Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) gates and walls has now been redone with blue just few days after the controversial cross over by the city father – the Mayor Uvais M. Imitiyaz to the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP). The pubic think that the sudden change of the color is due to the cross over but according to CMC Commissioner Dr. Jayantha Liyanage, this is not due to political changeovers but want of a new look.

Kumar Rpasinghe’s second anti-war meeting at Kandy also ended up in pandemonium

By Walter Jayawardhana

Kumar RupasingheA seminar of the national anti-war movement held in Kandy by Dr. Kumar Rupasinghe once again ended up abruptly when protesters pelted the leaders of the movement with rotten eggs and tomatoes.The seminar was originally scheduled to be held at the D. S. Senanayaka Library auditorium but had to be moved to the Jana Medura Auditorium of the Communist Party, where protesters moved in and pelted the speakers with rotten eggs and tomatoes. Dr. Wickramabahu Karunaratne the leader of New Left Front, a Trotskyite Marxist group sympathizing with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and prominently taking part in Kumar Rupasinghe’s movement accused the party of the Buddhist monks, the Jathika Hela Urumaya, and some unnamed pro-government elements as the saboteurs of their seminar.

A gem miner wins Sri Lanka’s super jackpot of Rs.60 million

By Vandana Jayasinghe - Asian Tribune

A poor man, who suddenly turned multi-millionaire by winning the Mahajana Sampatha Super Jackpot, Sri Lankas’ largest ever lottery prize two weeks ago, has donated Rs. one million to the National Defence Fund soon after he received the cheque for Rs. 60 million from President Mahinda Rajapaksha at the "Temple Trees," President’s official residence in Colombo. Martin, a father of four and a gem miner by profession in Pelmadulla, was the winner of Mahajana Sampatha draw no. 1858, the highest ever jackpot in Sri Lanka's lottery history.

Vehicle cushion workers ask concessions to reduce material cost

Sunil C. Perera - Reporting from Colombo

Local small scale cushion workers ask more concessions to reduce the coat of materials to compete with the big cushion works companies in Sri Lanka. The small-scale entrepreneurs said material costs are regularly increasing and they do not have a proper channel to obtain relief from the government. Prince Wilbert, a small scale cushion worker who is based in Digana, Kandy said there are no training programs to promote the industry and the government is still not mediating on behalf of the cushion workers to end their problems.

Sri Lanka: Back to chaos

By Vinod Vedi - Syndicate Features

The Sri Lanka Supreme Court ruling that the merger of the Tamil majority Northern and Eastern Provinces in 1987 is illegal and invalid has put the fat in the fire just when a resumption of peace talks between the government and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam was set for the end of October in Geneva. It undercuts the concept of a "homeland" for the embittered Tamils as envisioned in the Indo-Sri Lanka Agreement as the via media to ensure the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the island-state. The LTTE, already suborned by the weaning away by the ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party of its most charismatic guerrilla fighters –Colonel Karuna -- who was its mainstay in the Easterrn Province with a stronghold in Batticaloa region, thus finds that the territorial ambiance of the Tamil Eelam of its dreams has suddenly shrunk to a mere few hundred kilometres of the northern pinpoint of the teardrop shaped island.


LTTE to give first priority for the restoration of normalcy at the talks in Geneva

Tamilselvan As the first and foremost arrangement, normalcy has to be restored then only Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam would come forward to talk about the core issues. "We will base our talks according to aims and aspirations of the Tamil people," said S.P.Tamilselvan, Head of the Political Division of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. He emphasized that resolution has to be found today to end the sufferings that their people undergo and for them to lead a peaceful life. He said that only after the restoration of normalcy, they can think about issues connected with political solutions.