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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2552

Monthly archive

X.S. Xavier

Politicians do not create waves, they just ride them – Sri Lankan President completes one year in office

By Raj Gonsalkorale

The Australian Prime Minister John Howard is an astute politician who has mastered the art of riding political waves. It is not entirely correct to say he hasn’t created any waves. In fact he has created a significant wave with changes to industrial relations laws in the country. Whether that wave will sink him or lift him to another historic election victory remains to be seen. Generally however, Mr Howard has waited until others created waves and he has picked the right time to ride them as successful surfers are wont do.

Sri Lanka Army refuses Monitors access to Vakarai

Munza Mushtaq -- Reporting from Colombo

As thousands of helpless and panic stricken victims continue to languish without proper aid in the LTTE controlled area of Vakarai,
the Army has refused access to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) citing 'security concerns.' SLMM acting spokesperson Helen Olafsdottir told the Asian Tribune that the army refused the monitors access due to security reasons. "But even the LTTE has given us a security guarantee and we don't know why the Army refused to give us permission," she said.

UN Rock repeats Tiger accusations - Karuna Group

Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP) led by the Karuna faction accused Alan Rock, UN's Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, of repeating "fictitious, fallacious and frivolous information" fed to him by "quislings who oppose them in the east". After a quick 10-day visit Rock rushed to a press conference to announce that "the Government security forces are supporting and sometimes participating in the abductions and forced recruitment of children by the Karuna faction." Referring to TMVP he alleged "The so-called Karuna faction continues to abduct children in Government-controlled areas of the East, particularly Batticaloa district, the mission said in a statement. Since May of this year, 135 cases of under-age recruitment by abduction have been reported to the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), "with evidence that this trend is accelerating."

UNP going to the dogs: Ranil struggling desperately to survive

H. L. D. Mahindapala

The United National Party (UNP) - the party launched by the Founding Fathers of independence - is in total disarray under the leadership of Ranil Wickremesinghe. It is divided over the failed leadership of Wickremesinghe who was outfoxed and thrown out from his prime ministerial seat by the former President Chandrika Kumaratunga and let down later by his other ally, Velupillai Prabhakaran, who ordered Tamils not to vote for him in the last presidential election. Wickremesinghe has also set a record of losing elections under his leadership more than any other UNP leader.

UN Aims to Shed Culture of Corruption

By Thalif Deen - Inter Press Service

As the United Nations continues to battle waste, mismanagement and corruption, an outgoing senior U.N. official has proposed that all high-level staffers in the world body should not only disclose their private financial assets but also make them public. U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Management Chris Burnham told reporters Wednesday that incoming Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has already pledged to sign a financial disclosure form -- and also go public with it.

Lanka's 60th budget brings in a 10 year infrastructure plan, mobilizes US$ 5 billion

Mahinda RajapakaseThe 60th budget which will be presented in Sri Lanka parliament shortly this evening (4:00 pm local time) called Budget 2007, is framed within a medium term plan of 10 years and is based on the "Mahinda Chinthana" policy, sources said. "Mahinda Chinthana" is the political campaign that won the presidency for President Mahinda Rajapaksa. According to it, the local industrialists, traders and manufacturers are given priority and protection along with consumer protection which is it says as "paramount". The 10 year plan will target key infrastructure development projects such as major expressways, power and rural development projects, according to Treasury Secretary of Sri Lanka, Dr. P.B. Jayasundera. The Government plans to mobilise about US$ 5 billion worth foreign aid over the next three years mainly for power generation, roads, port development and water supply projects.

Sri Lanka’s leading author Gunadasa Amarasekera says United Nation’s Alan Rock lied against Sri Lanka about child soldiers

By Walter Jayawardhana

Sri Lanka’s leading author, novelist and short story writer Dr. Gunadasa Amarasekera charged that the statement of Alan Rock, the special adviser to the UN Representative for Children and Armed Conflict that accused the Sri Lanka Army of complicity in the recruitment of Child soldiers was a big lie. He said it has been done as a sinister move to lessen the true charges against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam( LTTE) of its notorious recruitment of children for war for many years.

India's Foreign Secretary to convey India's concern to Colombo

By M Rama Rao - Reporting from New Delhi

Manmohan SinghNew Delhi has begun to 'respond' to the 'concerns' being voiced in Tamil Nadu over the plight of Tamils in Sri Lanka. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asked the foreign secretary to take up the issue with Colombo when he visits the island. In a letter to Muthavel Karunanidhi, the chief minister of Tamil Nadu, Singh said he also proposed to raise the matter with President Rajapakse 'in an appropriate fashion when the two leaders meet in Delhi shortly. Prime Minister wrote the letter to Karunanidhi on November 11. It was released to the media by the chief minister's office in Chennai. The letter went out from Delhi a day before T R Baalu, DMK leader and federal minister met Manmohan Singh here with a litany of complaints against Colombo and told in so many words the patience of Karunanidhi was running out.

The mortal remains of Nadarajah Raviraj consigned to fire

The mortal remains of Nadarajah Raviraj, the slain Tamil National Alliance Member of Parliament for the Jaffna electoral district was consigned to fire yesterday afternoon around 2 pm at the Kannapiddy Hindu cemetery, Chavakachcheri. Raviraj’s son Yudeshran lit the funeral pyre. The casket containing the body of Raviraj was kept at his house in Chavakachcheri from 7 a.m. till 12 noon for the public to pay their last respect. A few thousands of people paid their last respect to the deceased Raviraj.

De-merger, a great political victory

By Mallika Wanigasundara

Several speakers paid warm and fervent tributes to the courage and selflessness of several persons who came forward to file action in the Supreme Court against the merger of the north and the East at a seminar held on Nov.14th 2006 at the BMICH, Colombo.They were two JVP MPs Jayantha Wijesekera [Trincomalee], Wasantha Piyatissa[Digamadulla] and principally A H M Buhari, former post–master who has had to give up his job. The seminar organized by the National Joint Committee and the Sinhala Veera Vidhana discussed the verdict of the Supreme court, its significance, impact, the opposition to the verdict which declared the merger null and void and the need to make the public aware and seek their support for the verdict.

Sunny brand Ice Cream

Mahinda Rajapakase

Dr. Manmohan Singh

High-profile Tamil parliamentarian murdered in Sri Lanka

The murder of Tamil MP Nadarajah Raviraj last Friday is the latest in a long line of killings, "disappearances" and abductions this year as the government has plunged the country back into civil war. None of the culprits has been caught and prosecuted, but the evidence points to the military, its allied paramilitaries and their death squads. The killing of Raviraj was particularly provocative, as he had taken part in public campaigns against the war and the abductions. Thousands of people marched in central Colombo on Monday to protest against his assassination. Waving banners that read, "Stop Crimes Against Humanity" and "Shame" and chanting, "Don’t kill Tamils," the crowd accompanied the slain MP’s coffin in a procession that wound through city streets.

NATO faces defeat in Afghanistan

By Allabaksh - Syndicate Features

The commander of the International Security Assistance Force, which is how the Nato force in Afghanistan is known, Gen David Richards of Britain flew from Kabul to Islamabad amidst media reports that he would confront President Pervez Musharraf with fresh ‘evidence’ of Pakistan’s involvement in Afghanistan’s heightened insurgency which was inflicting heavy casualties on the 20,000-strong Nato forces. And when he arrives in Islamabad, the first thing he declared is that presenting evidence of Pakistan aiding and abetting insurgency in Afghanistan was not his intention even ‘for one moment’. His ‘intention’ was only to heap praise on the Pakistani dictator for his ‘contribution’ to the so-called war on terror and discuss ways of ‘expanding cooperation’ with Pakistan to fight the Taliban.

Multi nationals destroy SMEs in Sri Lanka

Sunil C. Perera - Reporting from Colombo

Local Small and Medium Scale Food and Beverage manufacturers say they face severe difficulties due to the brand promotion and anti trading activities of the multi national companies who manage the local food and beverage market in Sri Lanka.According to the small and medium scale food and beverage manufacturers a number of multi national food and beverage companies have banned keeping other companies products in their deep freezers which were provided them for the traders. According to the traders, these companies provide deep freezers to keep their products in each grocery.

Desperate civilians in Sri Lanka hold UN official captive

Munza Mushtaq - Reporting from Colombo

UN special representative Alan Rock was in for a surprise when he visited the crisis ridden area of Vakarai on late last week, after helpless civilians barred him, the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) and International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) officers from leaving their area on grounds that as soon as the foreigners leave, shelling in the area will begin.

Osaka 2006 - International Design Competition

By Quintus Perera - Asian Tribune

The International Design Competition - Osaka 2006 organized by the Japan Design Foundation (JDF) is now inviting the latest design proposals that can promote new product development and new market exploration and have high potential to be commercialized within the next several years, according to the Japan External Trade Organization Colombo office (JETRO).

Lanka Budget 2007: $10 visa fee slapped on incoming tourists, milk-food and vehicle import taxes increased

Incoming tourists to Sri Lanka should pay a new $ 10 visa fee while the Sri Lanka Harbour and Airport Development Tax has also been increased by the Budget 2007 announced today by Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his budget speech being delivered at this moment in Sri Lanka Parliament. Taxes on milk food and agricultural equipment imported to the country too are jacked up while a new 2.5% tax on motor vehicle imports are slapped in the Budget 2007.