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

Monthly archive

Col. Karuna

United States recognizes Sri Lanka Government’s Right To Maintain its Territorial Integrity while Pushing Peace

Daya Gamage – US National Correspondent Asian Tribune

There are two distinct changes in the overall tone of the Co-Chairs of the Tokyo Donor Conference which met in Washington on Tuesday, November 21 to discuss strategies that the international community can pursue to encourage the peace process in Sri Lanka. The heavy influence of the United States on the peace process was seen when Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns told reporters after the meeting, beside the joint statement he was entrusted to read, that "the United States is not a neutral observer: it believes the Tigers are a terror organization responsible for innocent deaths and the government has the right to maintain its territorial integrity."

Sri Lanka: Maximum devolution, says All Party Representatives Committee

Chairman of the All Party Representatives Committee (APRC), Prof. Tissa Vitarana, announced yesterday that the various stakeholders who are involved in the current national conflict (in Sri Lanka) have agreed to the concept of maximum devolution. In a press release Prof. Vitarana states: "The members had earlier agreed to use the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution of Sri Lanka as a starting point for their debate. There is agreement and support by all parties to solving the national question through maximum devolution." Following requests made by V. Anandasangaree of the TULF and the leaders of EPRLF and PLOTE, APRC has agreed to invite them to address the members of the APRC. The APRC also hopes that the UNP will be represented at its future meetings

Foreign diplomats visit Jaffna on a fact finding mission

Foreign diplomats based in Colombo Sri Lanka visited Jaffna yesterday to asses the implementation of the humanitarian assistance plan provided by the Sri Lanka Government to the 500,000 people in Jaffna who are presently completely cut of from other parts of the country. The visiting diplomats from Australia, Canada, Sweden, Switzerland and UK were welcomed at the Palali Air Force base by Jaffna, Security Forces Commander, Major General G.A. Chandrasiri. The visiting diplomats were briefed by Major General Chandrasiri on the current security situation, measures taken to establish normalcy and to ensure civilian safety in the area. The diplomats were also extensively briefed on the humanitarian missions carried out by the Security Forces.

Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh "Suspected For Bengal Train Blast"

By M Rama Rao - Reporting from Delhi

There is no break through as yet into Monday night’s blast in a train North Bengal. No terror group has claimed responsibility either. But various central and state investigating agencies suspect the involvement of Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh, JMB, an associate of Pakistan’s ISI, in the blast at Belakhoba near New Jalpaiguri station that claimed seven lives and left nearly fifty injured. The area where the explosion in one of the three compartments of Haldibari-Jalpaiguri passenger, which were to be attached to the Darjeeling Mail, Express train, was carried out is known as the KLO territory. Maoists are also active in the belt. JMB, which is aligned with both, is operating camps in North Bengal since 2002.

Karuna Group rejects unattainable Eelam and appeals for a political solution within united Sri Lanka

Col. KarunaRejecting the Eelamist goal of Tiger separatists, the Thamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP - Karuna Group) has appealed to the major parties in the democratic stream to help them to end their war against Prabhakaran’s oppressive regime and find a "political solution that could fulfill the fundamental rights and political aspirations of our people within the united Sri Lanka." Rejecting also the claim of the Tigers that they are "the sole representatives of the Tamils," TMVP states in a major policy statement that no political solution can come without their participation. Addressing the major parties it says: "You, and the parties who represent you, should extend support to our armed struggle, which we are carrying out to protect you, the majority brethren, from the repression and a murderous frenzy. We do not have goals that cannot be achieved."

Sri Lanka: A modern version of Grama Rajya in the making

Munza Mushtaq - Reporting from Colombo

A modern version of the Grama Rajya system is in the making by a five member Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) committee.m According to the party's spokesman Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe the proposal will be shortly handed over to the All Party Representatives Committee (APRC) led by Minister Prof. Tissa Vitharana. Parliamentarian Udaya Gammanpila who is also a member of the APRC heads the five member committee, which includes Manohara de Silva, M.C. Jayantha, Champika Ranawaka and Athuruliye Rathana Thera.

Bishop office launches letter writing campaign to focus deteriorating humanitarian catastrophe in Northern Sri Lanka

Office of the Bishop of Jaffna is launching a letter writing campaign with the view to send 5000 letters to the Secretary General of the United Nations, pin- pointing the present plight of the people and the appalling humanitarian situation existing in the Northern Province. People living, mainly in the Jaffna Peninsula are asked to mail letters to the Secretary General of the United Nations. This move has been planned to draw the immediate attention of the international community focusing the deteriorating humanitarian catastrophe in the province.

Mahinda: mass line, middle path & mistakes

By Dayan Jayatilleka

The chorus of critics of government policy on the A-9 needs reminding that in the effort to preserve a united country, Abraham Lincoln, that most enlightened of democratic leaders, permitted General Sherman’s March Through Georgia, with its scorched earth tactics intended to starve the secessionist enemy of supplies. The American Civil War waged to prevent separation (and confederation), cost 650,000 lives. While one must be mindful of being paralysed by history – "the abuse of history", as cautioned against by Nietzsche - most commentary on the Sri Lankan crisis does seem to lack a sense of history in three senses. Firstly a sense of long range history as pondered by Fernand Braudel, William MacNeil, Andre Gunder Frank and Immanuel Wallerstein; history which takes a look at, say, 5,000 years, as Frank suggests. Secondly, comparative history, history informed by a sense of similar situations elsewhere. Thirdly, contemporary history, a history of the current crisis.

Tamil Diaspora should hold Tigers accountable for human rights violations – UN Human Rights High Commissioner

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour, has urged the international Tamil Diaspora to hold the LTTE accountable on its human rights record "and demand a change of approach. LTTE has been black listed by the UN Security Council for its recruitment of Children, its humans rights record has been one of the major reasons it has been banned or proscribed in many parts of the world. I think one of the key challenges is for the international Tamil Diaspora to hold the LTTE accountable on these issues and demand a change of approach," said the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour.

Sri Lanka's expert panel to hand over final report next month

Munza Mushtaq - Reporting from Colombo

The expert panel currently in the process of finalising the final report on the solution to the country's two decade long ethnic conflict, is expected to hand over the report to the All Party Representative Committee (APRC) early next month, the "Asian Tribune" learns. The expert panel was set up in July this year to find an acceptable solution to the conflict. The proposal is expected to be based on the 2002 Oslo declaration which emphasises for a 'political solution founded on internal self-determination based on a federal structure within a united Sri Lanka.'

Another Pacific intervention: Australia, New Zealand dispatch troops to Tonga

The Australian and New Zealand governments dispatched more than 150 soldiers and police to the south Pacific nation of Tonga on Saturday. Contrary to the claims of the two governments and media outlets, the military intervention has nothing to do with helping the Tongan people. Rather, it is aimed at advancing Canberra and Wellington’s strategic and economic interests in the region and preventing the country’s political and social crisis from spiraling out of their control. Riots erupted last Thursday in the capital, Nuku’alofa, leaving six people dead and destroying 80 percent of the central business district.


Anton Balasingham is in critical health condition

By Asian Tribune’s Medical Correspondent

BalasinghamAnton Balasingham, the self-styled ideologue of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam is suffering from terminal cancer and said to be very critical. It is said that a type of cancer has spread all over in his vital organs and according to medical sources it cannot be medically cured. Reports reveal that Balasingham 68 years old, married second time to Adele, an agency nurse from Australia, was suffering from diabetes, coronary conditions and has also a transplanted kidney donated by a LTTE cadre due to chronic conditions of his kidney.