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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2345

Monthly archive

Louise Arbour

Sri Lankan Supreme Court ruling undermines basis for peace talks

In a major ruling on October 16, a five-judge bench of the Sri Lankan Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva declared invalid the merger of the North and East provinces. The decision is a blow to the internationally-sponsored peace process because the merger of the provinces, which Tamil nationalists claim as their "traditional homeland," has long been considered the basis for a political settlement of the country’s civil war. The Sinhala extremist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), which brought the case before the Supreme Court, has been hostile to the "peace process" from the outset. It opposed the ceasefire signed in 2002 with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and campaigned against peace talks in 2003. During those negotiations, the LTTE dropped its demand for a separate statelet of Tamil Eelam, in return for a significant political role in an administration of the merged North and East with enhanced powers.

Sri Lanka: UP Country Tamil Political parties voted in favor of the extension of the emergency regulations

The motion for the extension of the motion was taken up for debate yesterday in the Sri lanka’s Parliament. The extension for another one month was passed by a majority of 81 votes while 21 voted against the extension. Along with the Government, United National Party (UNP), Janatha Vimukthi Perumuna (JVP) Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) and Upcountry Peoples Front (UPF) in favor of the extension of the Emergency Regulations.

China Triples Output as New Industrial Powerhouse

By Thalif Deen - Inter Press Service

The world's fastest growing developing nations, including China, India and South Africa, contributed significantly to the rise in world industrial output last year, according to the Vienna-based U.N. Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO). "The most remarkable has been the transformation of China into an industrial powerhouse with its share of world industrial output tripling over the past 15 years," says UNIDO Director-General Kandeh Yumkella.

No provisions in the constitution to merge two or three provinces - Sri Lanka Prime Minister

The Sri Lankan Prime Minister, Ratnasiri Wickramanayake, told parliament that the issue of the merger of the Northern and Eastern Provinces to constitute a single Tamil-majority North-Eastern Province would have to be decided "by the people" through a referendum. In the meantime the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), charged Tuesday that it was the duty of President Mahinda Rajapakse’s government to uphold the merger as it constituted a recognition of Tamil grievances. "There is a duty cast upon the President to uphold the course of action adopted by each one of his four predecessors over a period of 18 years," insisted, R.Sampanthan, Leader of the TNA Parliamentary Group.

Mediation in Sri Lanka and Role of India

By R.Gunaratna

Mediation in the Sri Lankan conflict goes back to decades. Intervention of the foreign countries came to the surface as the Tamil and Sinhalese politicians could not find a common ground to settle the dispute. It was the 1983 riots that enabled the Tamil people to internationalize their conflict in order to win the sympathy of the international community. This helped them to convince the world community to intervene into the internal affairs in Sri Lanka. The dampening effect of the war on the political environment and regional implication of the conflict resulted in Indian intervention too.

Dr Lotha expounds importance of preserving cultures

By Oken Jeet Sandham – Asian Tribune

Nagaland Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dr TM Lotha said one’s culture and tradition was his identity and pride and stressed the importance of "preserving it at any cost." Speaking as chief guest on the occasion of Tokhu Emong held here at the Dimapur Stadium today, the Minister said the Lothas like any other communities in Nagaland used to observe their festivals. They have many festivals in a year but Tokhu Emong of the Lothas was not only one of them but also one of the most important festivals celebrated by the communities wherever they lived.

Australia’s Humanitarian Programme Clarified

Sunil C.Perera, Reporting from Colombo

The Australian High Commissioner’s office in Sri Lanka says contrary to recent newspaper reports, there have NOT been any changes made for Sri Lankans applying for the Australian Government’s Humanitarian Programme, including under the in-country Special Humanitarian Program. Australia’s Humanitarian Programme is a global, non-discriminatory programme. There are no ‘reserved’ places especially for Sri Lankans.

FOODEX Papan 2007 biggest Asian Food Show

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

The News Update of the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), Colombo Office indicated that the 23rd International Food and Beverage exhibition, organized by Japan Management Association will be held at Makuhari Messe (Nippon Convention Centre) in Japan from March 13 to 16, 2007. FOODEX JAPAN is the Asia’s biggest and the leading Food and Beverage trade fair held annually since 1979. JETRO as one of the main sponsors, sets up the JETRO Zone at this fair, with the objective of assisting companies in the Food and Beverage industry from developing countries to get in to the much potential market in Japan.

High Commissioner for Human Rights hopes new inquiry commission on killings and disappearances in Sri Lanka will prove effective

Sunil C. Perera - Reporting from Colombo

Louise ArbourUnited Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour yesterday welcomed the Sri Lankan President’s establishment of a Commission of Inquiry into extrajudicial killings and disappearances, expressing hope that it will see the perpetrators of serious human rights violations brought to justice. The High Commissioner underlined the significance of this initiative in addressing impunity for human rights violations related to the on-going conflict in Sri Lanka. She noted that the Government has also invited a group of international observers in the form of an International Independent Group of Eminent Persons to monitor, provide advice as requested, and report on the Commission’s work.

Sri Lanka Telecom tops 55 percent for three quarters

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT), reported an after tax Rs 3,870 million group profit during the first nine months of the year, a 55 percent increase over the corresponding period of previous year while the net profit for the same period was Rs.1,570 million, a 42 percent increase over the same period last year. The group revenue for the period was Rs.29,879 million, which was a 27 percent increase when compared to the corresponding period of the previous year.

Inside Burmese Prisons – prevailing gruesome conditions

The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) a watchdog group involved in the monitoring of the political prisoners welfare in the Burma’s notorious prisons contradicts the statements made by the Burmese Government regarding the health care situation inside Burmese prisons and prisoners’ rights.The AAPP was founded by former political prisoners who served several years behind bars in Burma. We have been constantly monitoring Burmese prisons and the situation for political prisoners in prison, and reporting our findings to international human rights groups.

Closure of A-9, Tamil sufferings, ...... and the Government of Sri Lanka?

By Sudath Gunasekara - President, Mahanuwara Senior Citizens Movement.

It is quite strange that this mounting excitement and emphasis on A-9 began to surge the pro-LTTE propaganda machinery only after the LTTE walk out from the Geneva talks demanding that the A-9 should be opened as a pre-condition for talks and when the government refused to re-open it. The government only in August 11, for highly sensitive security reasons closed down this road, where as it had been closed down for nearly two decades by the LTTE prior to 2002. From the above media reports it appears that people are suffering and dying only now, where as no body suffered or died when it was closed for 20 odd years by the LTTE. This to me is nothing but only another well orchestrated international LTTE propaganda racket carried out by their agents to embarrass the government of Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka Reports: Two mysterious flights sighted over Vavuniya, Mannar

Two mysterious flights over skies of Vavuniya and Mannar were spotted by the radar screens of Vavuniya Army Camp, reported on Tuesday, the Sri Lankan Sinhala national daily Lankadeepa. The flights that were of a non-Sri Lanka Air force origin, were also heard (but not seen) by residents in the areas they have overflown, the paper reported.

When will the US give up double standards in war on terrorism…

By Tukoji Pandit - Syndicate Features

It was in October 2001 that the US had launched its famous ‘war on terror’ after sending its forces to rid Afghanistan of the savage Taliban regime. As was to be expected, evicting the bearded and black-robed Taliban from the seat of power was a swift operation. Lots of things have gone wrong since. Afghanistan remains miserable with its elected government unable to control the country outside the capital, Kabul; the extreme slow pace of development is increasing people’s dissatisfaction. In some ways, Afghanistan seems to be moving in the opposite direction with both the Taliban and the ‘warlords’ directly challenging Kabul’s authority and the country establishing itself as a magnet for drug lords by virtue of becoming the biggest centre of opium production. Above all, the all-important task of eliminating terrorism now looks more remote than it did five years ago.

Sampanthan

Ratnasiri Wickramanayake

American Voters Impeached Bush Foreign Policy in Tuesday’s Mid-Term General Election in Defeating the Republican Party

Daya Gamage – US National Correspondent for Asian Tribune

From coast-to-coast, through the plains and central mountain region the American voters on Tuesday’s mid-term elections gave the Bush administration, in loud voice, the message that the nation is being taken on the wrong direction, a reality George W. Bush never wanted to listen and believe, in defeating his Republican Party. The voters, who went to polls to elect all 435 members of the Congress, 33 of the 100 Senate seats, one third of the fifty governors and thousands of other constitutional position in all states, impeached President Bush’s foreign policy on Global Terrorism, and told the administration loud and clear that they are utterly dissatisfied with its domestic policy that has led to corruption and cronyism.


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