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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2399

Monthly archive

Prasad Kariyawasam

Saudi Aid Sent to Displaced Muslims of Sri Lanka

By Walter Jayawardhana

Saudi Arabia’s leading English daily the Arab News said that the Kingdom is sending two plane loads of urgent relief supplies in response to a request by Sri Lanka Government to aid the Muslims who became victims of terrorist attacks and fled their homes in Muttur and more recent victims of the monsoonal floods in Sri Lanka. The newspaper said one plane load has already left Riyadh and the second one will depart on Sunday carrying urgent relief supplies to the refugees who are going back to settle down in their homes and the victims of recent floods who have gone out of their homes due to the floods.

UN Gears for Upsurge in Peacekeeping Troops

By Thalif Deen - Inter Press Service

The United Nations is gearing itself for a dramatic upsurge in the size of its peacekeeping force worldwide, from the current 93,000 troops to an unprecedented 140,000 next year. "When I took this job a decade ago," says U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, "there were 20,000 U.N. peacekeepers in the field." But as he steps down as the world body's chief administrative officer at the end of December, the number of peacekeepers would have registered a phenomenal increase -- and as never before in the 61-year history of the organization.

Sri Lanka Responds to EU Charges at the UN

Prasad KariyawasamAddressing the UN's Social and Humanitarian Committee, Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Prasad Kariyawasam recently responded to a statement of the European Union (EU) delegation relating to human rights concerns in respect of several countries, including Sri Lanka. The Special Rapporteur on Extra Judicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions, Mr. Philip Alston, in his introductory statement presenting his report, also referred to Sri Lanka. Ambassador Kariyawasam said: We appreciate the Special Rapporteur's abiding interest in Sri Lanka, following his recent official visit to my country and thank the EU delegation, for its support for pursuit of peace and promotion of human rights in my country. My delegation however, would like to take this opportunity to clarify some aspects of all concerns expressed and brief this Committee on recent developments in Sri Lanka.

Why the West is wobbling under terrorist pressures

By H. L. D. Mahindapala

Making choices in the Cold War era, even when both sides dragged the world to the brink of extinction, were easier than in the clouded post-9/11 years. The stark ideological contrasts which reduced conflicting politics into simple categories of good and evil have gone. The lines that divide ideologies today are blurred partly because the violence is propelled by diverse religio/ethnic ideologies implanted with local specifics and partly because there is no centralized source of global power directing the violence in the mini-wars exploding in numerous flash-points. Most of the lines drawn are also arbitrary or fudged by self-serving ideologues appealing to specific political constituencies.

Sri Lanka law-enforcement officers comes under heavy criticism

Munza Mushtaq – Reporting from Colombo

Police have come under severe flak for its alleged lethargic attitude with regard to conducting investigations on the series of abductions, disappearances and the killings of Tamils in Colombo. During a meeting held last week between the Civil Monitoring Committee (CMC) and Inspector General of Police (IGP) Victor Perera, the committee representatives had voiced their displeasure over the style in which the investigations were being carried out by the respective police stations.

Memoirs of a Counter-Rebel Spy in London – Final Episode: Guess who ran Mister Abu Hamza?

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

In the immediate months after 9/11, I needed a webmaster and a net-expert. I logged on to Russian based www.'s forum. I knew a contact would soon come along who thought the same as me.. I noticed a few postings by some very clever posters. By now I was not required to obtain permission from my ex-bosses any longer as I had already told them of my plans to web-hit on other groups. I started writing about the London based which was the main Mujahideen web-site based on a US web server but run from London. It was one of several al-Qaeda sites based in the west but more importantly, it personified 'authentic Saudi dissidency'.

Unveiling of DLDPs for Livelihood Development in Tsunami Affected Areas

Sunil C. Perera - Reporting from Colombo

The livelihood Unit of the Reconstruction and Development Agency (RADA) is mandated by the President Mahinda Rajapakse to uplift the affected livelihood of the tsunami affected people. RADA Livelihoods Division works closely with Government Agencies, Communities, Development Partners (Donors, INGO/NGOs) and Private Sector to recover local economies devastated by the Tsunami by way of planning, policy development, coordinating, facilitating, fast tracking, monitoring and evaluating livelihood recovery activities across the affected districts and divisions.

Sri Lanka: Judiciary serving the Executive detrimental to human rights

Nallaratnam Singarasa, a Tamil, was arrested on 16 July 1993 by the Sri Lankan army, along with some 150 others, in a round-up in Batticaloa District and suffered severe torture at the hands of police. His thumb print was forcibly obtained on a prepared confession in Sinhala language which he does not understand. In September 1994, he was indicted on charges of receiving training under the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), causing the death of army officers and conspiracy to overthrow the Sri Lankan government having attacked four military camps.

Iran to build two thermal power plants for Sri Lanka

By Walter Jayawardhana

The Iranian News Agency reported that Iran will build two 300- and 500-megawatt thermal power plants in Sri Lanka. Quoting the Iranian Energy Minister Parviz Fattah the agency said that he told reporters about the new deal after a meeting with his Sri Lankan counterpart W D J Seneviratne. Fattah said that an agreement on construction of the power plants will be signed by the two sides within the next two days.

Peace in Sri Lanka…

By M Rama Rao

The talks in Geneva between the LTTE and the Rajapakse government have not disappointed the sceptics of the Sri Lanka scene. The failure of the talks was written in the very script for the face off between the two sides. More over, neither side is keen on getting locked in polemics when reports from the front line offered no room for optimism. Viewed from this perspective, the world community must be prepared for more blood letting – aerial bombardment by the Lankan air force and suicide attacks by the Tigers. Who will ‘win’ in the next round of the bullet is a matter of conjecture. The odds are not in favour of the Tigers. What they could not win over decades will not come their way in the changed global mood, more so when the global cop is cozying up to Colombo.

A sign of political crisis: coalition of Sri Lankan parties formed

The two main establishment parties in Sri Lanka—the ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the opposition United National Party (UNP)—for the first time signed a formal coalition agreement last week. The grand alliance has been hailed by corporate leaders and the media as an "epoch making achievement". In reality, it is another sign of the country’s deep political crisis. The SLFP and UNP have been bitter rivals for power for more than 50 years and have rejected all previous appeals to form a government of national unity. The desperate hope in ruling circles is that this new political formation will somehow end the island’s escalating civil war and provide the means for pressing ahead with an agenda of market reforms to boost foreign investment.

Two Indonesians plead not-guilty in the Tamil Tiger sting operation in arms case in Baltimore

By Walter Jayawardhana

Reinhard Rusli (34) and Helmi Soedirja (33) alleged two young Indonesian business partners of illegal arms buyers for the Tamil Tigers of Sri Lanka pleaded not guilty before US District magistrate judge James K. Bredar in Baltimore USA. The two, were among six South Asian men brought to US mainland after certain extradition procedures from the US territory of Guam where they were arrested in an elaborate sting operation for attempting to buy millions of dollars worth of weapons to be smuggled out to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in Sri Lanka for their terrorist activities.