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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2962

Monthly archive


Tamil Minister accuse Tigers of causing humanitarian disaster facing the Tamil people

DouglasIn a press statement Douglas Devananda, Secretary General Eelam People Democratic Party (EPDP) and Minister of Social Services and Social Welfare, has pointed the finger directly at the Tamil Tigers for the closure of A-9 road and causing the humanitarian disaster "It was the Tigers who were responsible for the closure of the A 9 road. Now Tigers have also closed the road to peace by demanding the opening up of the road for their selfish ends," he said. "It was the aspiration and desire of the whole people of Sri Lanka that the talks between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Tigers should move towards peace. This was what the international community desired. This was the longing of the Sri Lanka Government. It is also the wish of Eelam People Democratic Party (EPDP).

Jaffna food prices hit ten times that of Colombo- Salt not available!

One box of matches costing only Rs. 2.50 (US $ 0.02 cents) in Colombo city is sold for nearly ten times that price at Rs.20.00 ($ 0.18 cents) in Jaffna, while an egg that cost Rs 6.00 ($ 0.05 cents) costs Rs 20.00 ($ 0.18 cents) or more in Jaffna. Some essential food items such as salt, sugar, flour, coconut oil, mysore dhal (lentils), are not found in Jaffna altogether. Even the prices of available essential items -such as the staples rice, coconut, coconut oil, egg, fish, and bread - have skyrocketed and have become scarce.

Bangla opposition leader Hasina suspends agitation, trade off with President likely

By M Rama Rao - Reporting from India

In a new twist to the unfolding Bangladesh tale, the opposition on Monday gave a 4-day ultimatum to President Professor Iajuddin Ahmed to prove his neutrality in the run up to the elections amidst indications of atrade off that may see isolation of Khaleda Zia's Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) led four- party alliance. The deadline expires on November 3. A soil scientist by training, President Ahmed's credentials will be tested Tuesday itself when he will be naming ten advisors to run the 'caretaker' government.

Sri Lanka's expert panel snubs Indian jaunt

Munza Mushtaq - Reporting from Colombo

The expert panel, tasked in finding a solution to the country's ethnic problem had shot down an offer to travel to India on grounds that it had much more important work to do instead of going on foreign jaunts. An invitation was extended to the expert panel and the All Party Representatives Committee by Indian Minister in charge of the Panchayat Affairs Mani Shankar Aiyer, during his recent visit to Sri Lanka to study India's system, its devolution process and the Panchayat Raj.

Memoirs of a Counter-Rebel Spy in London - PART VIII : Let's call those 'Good Ole' British Chaps' back to Ceylon!

By Glen Jenvey - Exclusive to "Asian Tribune"
Edited By - Joseph Thavaraja

With all the links to anti-Israeli, anti-Indian and American groups in just one London demonstration, I felt that the rebels ought to have had links with others in the past…But I believed that it's only understandable, considering the harsh realities they faced….
The al-Qaeda and the rebels were in some sort of 'business', but I did not know the exact nature of it.. (In my view, al-Qaeda does not represent Muslims in their entirety). Back in 1990, when LTTE established arms procurement bases in Philippines, it came to contact with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Abu Sayyaf Group that were fighting the Government of Philippines.

When Bangladesh is on fire, Indian silence is prudent

By P R Kumaraswamy - Exclusive to Asian Tribune

One step away from military rule. Or a step closer to anarchy! This is perhaps the apt description of the unfolding drama in Bangladesh. The decision of President Iajuddin Ahmed to concurrently head the Caretaker government that would supervise the forthcoming elections has opened a Pandora’s Box. Undoubtedly, this unusual move had temporarily filed the political vacuum created when the tenure of the government headed by Prime Minister Khaleda Zia completed its five-year tenure. Under the Bangladeshi constitution, a caretaker government was to have been sworn in Friday to organize, conduct and supervise the Jatiya Sangsad elections slated for early 2007.

Switzerland to continue promoting "peace and of human rights in Sri Lanka."

Switzerland revealed that as a consolation to cover up its disappointment over the collapse of the recent peace talks between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, the parties would mutually honour the ceasefire agreement as pledged. Also Switzerland indicated that it largely expects that both the parties would not launch any military campaign against each other as agreed in Geneva. Switzerland hosted the talks between the Government of Sri Lanka Government and the Tamil rebel outfit, Tamil Tigers on 28 and 29th held on Geneva. Even earlier, Switzerland hosted the first Talks between the two warring parties in February this year.

Sri Lanka: Colombo Municipality’s color - Ruling blue or traditional green?

By Vandana Jayasinghe – Asian Tribune

A comical episode has just been over. But humor is written all over on peoples' faces as suddenly color changes once more. The freshly blue-coated iron fence and gates around the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) has been repainted back in green yesterday morning.It was only few days ago, the green colored gates and walls had a fresh look with newly painted navy blue, but now repainted back to its original color – green. The high officials who said last week that the gates and the fence of the CMC turned blue was not due to any political change, but want of a new look, are now tied-lipped over the re-painting.

When I became a 'Jihadi'

By Dr Shabir Choudhry

Jihad has become a very controversial word, in some cases a taboo word, yet I claim to be doing Jihad which is different to 'Jihad' of Jihadi groups who believe in waging an armed struggle against 'infidels' and accomplices of foreign powers. Mosques play a central role in lives of most Muslims. Overwhelming majority of Muslims are peace loving and friendly people who believe in 'live and let live'. But we, like in other religions and communities have a hard core Muslim groups and individuals who do not share the above view.

Ceylinco introduces Hasthi Uvaduru Rakawaranaya

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

Ceylinco Insurance has taken another step forward in introducing, in conjunction with the University of Colombo, the University of Peradeniya and Virje University of the Netherlands, an insurance policy aimed at minimising the impact of the Human – Elephant Conflict prevalent in Sri Lanka. The concept was developed by the three universities, collating years of research and supported technically by Ceylinco Insurance. It identified as the Hasthi Uvaduru Rakawaranaya (HUR), to be introduced to lessen the Human – Elephant Conflict in the island and will rehabilitate farmers and individuals, whose lives and livelihoods are at risk.

Burma army intensifies attacks on Karen civilians : Fires on displaced people in hiding

The continuing Burma Army offensive in Karen State has displaced a further 1,450 people in one valley alone. During the last ten days, 700 people have fled from their homes in the area north of the Mon Chaung (river) and more have fled the area south of the river following machine-gun attacks on villages and areas where Internally Displaced People are in hiding. During an attack on Mawn Ki village, one villager was killed and another badly wounded when the Burma Army opened fire. There are currently five Burma Army columns based in the area.

Child-friendly Yayawatte Village is handed over to its new residents

Munza Mushtaq - Reporting from Colombo

The largest of the post-tsunami housing projects of ‘Plan Sri Lanka,’ the new Child-friendly Village at Yayawatte consisting of 200 homes was officially handed over to its new community on October 12, 2006. Most of the beneficiaries have already settled down in their new homes and many have already added their own personal touches to decorate their homes. The project handled by Plan Sri Lanka was funded and sponsored by Germany's leading travel company - TUI, and Plan Germany in an effort to bring hope to families who lost everything in the tsunami. TUI Director of Communications Uwe Kattwinkel and National Director Plan Germany, Marianne Raven came all the way from Germany to attend this memorable occasion.

Dialog Disaster and Emergency Warning commended

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

Dialog Telekom was recognized and commended for its pioneering Disaster and Emergency Warning Network (DEWN) at the National Best Quality Software Awards (NBQSA) held last week. The Company together with its technology partners Microimage and the Dialog University of Moratuwa Mobile Communications Research Laboratory received the Overall Award in the Research and Development Category, as well as the all round Gold Award for DEWN. The pilot launch of DEWN took place in November 2005 together with the Ministry of Public Security Law and Order.

China holds key to Korean crisis

By Chandra Mohan - Syndicate Features

It was like a tragedy happening in front of hapless bystanders. When North Korea started giving sufficient hints that it was pursuing a nuclear weapons programme much of the world could do nothing more than to express its concerns. A week before its October 9 nuclear test, Pyongyang was more explicit in announcing that it was ready for testing a nuclear device. The indignation in many capitals, especially Washington, was more intense but the US thought the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-Il, was bluffing. Then after serving a 20-minute notice to Beijing, North Korea finally made the Big Bang on the morning of October 9.

Australia: Management ignored danger warnings at Beaconsfield gold mine

Fresh and damning evidence has emerged that the owners and management of the Beaconsfield gold mine ignored warnings of a potential disaster not long before the tragedy earlier this year that killed one miner and trapped his two companions underground for two weeks. On April 25, mining activity at Beaconsfield produced a seismic disturbance that triggered a massive rock fall, killing miner Larry Knight and trapping Todd Russell and Brant Webb. The two men only survived the ordeal because a flimsy steel cage on the mining equipment they were operating managed to hold up a huge rock slab above them.

Dr. Swamy

Dr. Subramanian Swamy backs JVP stance of not holding any more talks with Tiger terrorists

Dr. SwamyThe outspoken Dr. Subramanian Swamy, President of India Janata Party, has blasted the Norwegians for engineering and the Sri Lankan government for "agreeing to attend the so-called peace talks at Geneva." He has suggested to "the short-sighted, weak kneed Sri Lankan leadership in Government not to participate in any more peace talks as the JVP insists." Dr. Subramanian Swamy is the former India’s Commerce and Law Minister. Earlier, Dr.Swamy was awarded Doctorate of Economics by the Havard University after his joint research with two Nobel laureates. He joined the faculty at Havard and taught economics for about ten years.