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

Monthly archive

Air Arabia

LTTE Plans to Starve Civilians to Death in Vakarai – Sri Lanka Government

Sri Lanka Government alleged LTTE is planning 'to Starve civilians to Death in Vakarai' located in the East. It further added that LTTE wants the Tamil civilians starved to death to launch a media campaign against the Government – 'Sinhala dominated oppressive rule.' According to the latest report released by the Media Centre for National Security, "Tigers want to see some Tamil civilians starved to death, so that they could launch a media campaign saying that ethnic minority Tamils are starved to death by the 'Sinhala dominated oppressive state'." The report dated 24 November, further added, "Such a scenario would earn them more publicity and sympathy for their so called 'liberation struggle'."

Armed Conflict Creating Crisis in Education for 43 million Children Worldwide - Save the Children Report

Daya Gamage – US Bureau Asian Tribune

More than 43 million children living in countries wracked by war and armed conflict are being left without the chance to go to school, says a new research and investigative report published recently by Save the Children. The report is part of the organization’s five-year Rewrite the Future education initiative, which seeks to help millions of children in conflict-affected areas gain access to and reap the current and future benefits of a quality education.

Evidence suggests ULFA role in Jalpaiguri train blast

By M Rama Rao - Reporting from India

Fresh evidence unearthed by investigators into the Monday train blast near Jalpaiguri is pointing the needle of suspicion to the involvement of ULFA as well besides the Jamaat-ul- Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB). While JMB did the planning, the actual execution was left to ULFA, which is fast emerging as the new ISI foot soldier in the region, police investigators opined on the basis of evidence collected thus far. Forensic experts and police have sifted through the debris of the train compartment that was ripped apart by the blast. Seven persons were killed and over 50 injured in the blast.

Sri Lanka Government willing to make controversial A-9 highway priority at next round of talks

Munza Mushtaq - Reporting from Colombo

The Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process (SCOPP) has announced that the government is willing to make the opening of the A-9 highway as a priority agenda at the next round of peace talks, for
which dates are yet to be fixed. SCOPP made this announcement in its official website recently. The secretariat has also reiterated that the LTTE was hell bent on getting the A-9 road reopened simply to continue to earn money and not for the benefits of the civilians as propaganda through their media.

Rajpakse, Manmohan Singh, Karunanidhi set to begin a tight rope walk

By M Rama Rao - Reporting from India

President Mahinda Rajapakse begins a four day working visit to India on Saturday at a time he and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh are under extreme pressure to be pro-active – one against the LTTE and the other to 'protect' the ethnic Tamilians of the Island nation. In the way the Tamil issue is snowballing in Tamil Nadu, it may fast become a potential mine field for policy makers in the South Block.
No surprise, therefore, Prime Minister deputed his National Security Advisor (NSA) M. K. Narayanan to Chennai to meet Chief Minister Karunanidhi on the eve of Rajapakse visit. Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon, who flew back from Colombo, joined him in the 45- minute long meeting.

Veteran Sri Lankan Diplomat Jayantha Dhanapala Appointed as Chair of UNU Council

Jayantha DhanapalaThe Council of United Nations University, which met for its annual session earlier this month at UNU Centre in Tokyo, has elected Ambassador Jayantha Dhanapala of Sri Lanka as UNU Council Chair. Ambassador Dhanapala, who currently serves as Senior Adviser to the President of Sri Lanka, has had a distinguished four-decade career as a diplomat, peace-builder and disarmament expert. In his role as UNU Council Chair, he succeeds Peter Katjavivi, the Republic of Namibia’s Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany.

Sri Lankan gang jailed for forged bank card thefts

Sri Lankans and credit cards forgery goes hand in hand. Latest episode was the arrest and court sentencing of a gang of six Sri Lankans in Singapore. Those involved in the crime were all Sri Lankan Tamils and all British residents. Reports revealed that Six Sri Lankans were jailed for using forged cards at bank machines in Singapore to steal from British bank accounts, the second such case in two months, news reports said on Friday. They were nabbed on the fourth day of their crime spree with more than 350,000 Singapore dollars (224,000 US), according to The Straits Times - an English language news daily.

Reforming the Indian Bureaucracy

By Saumitra Mohan

India’s first Prime Minister Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru had once confessed that the failure to reform the civil services was among his greatest regrets. So, after the findings of the Civil Services Reforms Committee including Mr. T.K.A. Nair, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister and Mr. B.K. Chaturvedi, Cabinet Secretary, were made public recently, a debate has been raging for the past few days as to how to how to bell and tame the intractable and much-maligned bureaucracy cat. Copious volumes and reams of papers have been wasted over sundry proposals to reform the bureaucracy without anything concrete still being in sight. Reform definitely do we need but whether we need it of the kind being suggested is a moot point. But before we get down to discuss the proposal threadbare, it is more than advisable to first get down to the brass-tacks and discuss the proposal itself.

War on terrorism and three lame ducks

'War on terrorism' whatever its real aim has changed the world politics. The attack on Afghanistan was apparently in response to the destruction of twin towers, even though no Afghan was involved in it. The attack on world's poorest country and fall of Taliban government, which was projected as main source of terrorism, enhanced the image of Bush and Blair. Armed with another feather in their cap and with help of strong media campaign they decided to resolve world's problem by use of their superior weaponry. Soon it was clear that their next target was Iraq, even though they knew there were no WMD. More than a decade long sanctions made Iraq very weak; and under the pretext of inspections they got confirmed that Iraq does not have ability to defend itself.

Air Arabia one of the best Low Cost Airlines of the Year 2006

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

Air Arabia (AA) has received a Merit Award for topping the category Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) Low Cost Airlines of the Year 2006 for its strong strategic contribution to the aviation industry and the Airlines received the Merit Award, an AA press release indicated.

The Sovereignty of Sri Lanka at Stake

By Garvin Karunaratne Ph.D.

Boucher, Assistant Secretary of the United States has tried to nail the coffin of Sri Lanka’s sovereignty when he stated that the Northern and the Eastern Provinces should not be demerged. There is a true saying that people living in glass houses should not throw stones. One is reminded of the sad record of the two recent Presidential Elections held in the United States. In 2000 the President was selected by a peculiar legal process which forbade the counting of the votes cast by the people. In any case as far as the election of the President of the USA is concerned the presidential election held with pomp and pageantry in primaries and elections where every citizen votes is a total farce because it is not the people’s voice that matters but the voting done by the electors. In 2000 Al Gore secured more votes than George Bush, but the electors decided otherwise. The electors have that right according to the Constitution.

Do Muslims really lag behind other communities…..

By JN Raina: Syndicate Features

Figures tell their ‘woeful’ tale. The Muslim community is in dire straits. But none else than they are themselves to be blamed for their so-called ‘ghettoization’, making the Indian society fractured and uneven. The question arises, what are the reasons for their ‘backwardness’ and neglect? Are they really backward, or is it an election stunt? The depiction of Muslims as badly off, by the Rajinder Sachar Committee, which was appointed by the Prime Minister to look into the status of the Muslims, can create bad blood. Education is the backbone for the development of a community. A fear psychosis has been created that they are backward, and their lot is miserable, beyond redemption. It is just a myth.

The New York Times and the Gemayel assassination

The November 23 editorial of the New York Times, "Another Killing in Lebanon", begins with the assertion: "It is too early to know who ordered this week’s assassination of the Lebanese cabinet minister Pierre Gemayel, but there are many reasons to suspect Syria." Indeed, there are many reasons to suspect all sorts of people for being responsible for Gemayel’s death—and quite a few of them enjoy the editorial support of the New York Times. He was killed amidst an intense internal and international conflict to decide who controls the Lebanon. The assassination took place in the aftermath of a multi-million dollar military offensive by Israel that was fully backed by the United States, and which cost more than 1,500 lives. When such high stakes are involved, there will be many parties for whom the life of a relatively insignificant government minister is small change.

Jayantha Dhanapala

Changes in international attitudes to Sri Lanka conflict

By Col. R.Hariharan (Retd.)

As Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa completed one year in office, there are perceptible changes in the attitude of international community to the alarming escalation in the conflict between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) during this period. Specifically these were in three directions.