Skip to Content

Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2526

Monthly archive

Jimmy Ross

What International Support for Argentina Can Teach Us About Burma

By Dr. Joseph Eldridge

During the 1970s and 1980s, Latin America endured the scourge of dictatorship and yet US policy makers were slow to acknowledge the tragedy unfolding before their eyes because Washington was locked in a Cold War showdown with the USSR. It was often hard for the White House to hear the cries from the region, despite the heroic efforts of human rights activists in and out of country to speak out. In the case of Argentina, great efforts were made to document and publicize reports of mass disappearances and torture, and reverse a morally indefensible policy of turning a blind eye to these hideous violations. As cofounder of the Washington Office on Latin America I traveled to Argentina to document disappearances so that we could provide this information to supporters of human rights in the U.S. Congress, the Organization of American States, media, and United Nations.

UN Security Council Urged to Strengthen its Commitment to Children in Armed Conflict

Daya Gamage – US National Correspondent Asian Tribune

Radhika CoomaraswamySpecial Representative for Children and Armed Conflicts of the United Nations, Radhika Coomaraswamy making a statement before the Security Council on the occasion of the open debate on children and armed conflict on Tuesday, 28 November 2006 said that the United Nations scrutiny on the issue "has enhanced constructive dialogue, at all levels, with the member-states concerned for the benefit of the war-affected children." Declaring who the ‘member-states concerned" at this present time are as Burundi, Cote D’lvoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Sri Lanka and Nepal, she said the six country reports are to be examined in 2006 by the Security Council Working Group.

Prabhakaran’s Mahaveera Speech 2006: Decisive Escalation, Final Conflict

By Dayan Jayatilleka

Though the Great Heroes Day commemoration this year was more grating than great, the Great Leader’s speech was historic; perhaps the most important he has ever made. Mr Prabhakaran could not have a military parade, for the first time in many years, and his speech was released quite late in the day, considerably behind schedule. As DBS Jeyaraj explained online in Tamil Week, this was due to the fear that the Sri Lankan air force would attack the venue. That Mr Prabhakaran had to keep his head down, so to speak, marks the significant distinction between President Mahinda Rajapakse’s administration and those of all his predecessors.

Rajapakse ready for direct talks with Tigers, package for Tamils on the anvil

By M Rama Rao - Reporting from New Delhi

Mahinda RajapaksePresident Rajapakse, who began his India parleys on a 'promising' note on Tuesday, has expressed his readiness for direct talks with the LTTE leader Prabhakaran. "He (Prabhakaran) did not allow me to celebrate my victory (as President). He killed more Tamils than he has killed Sinhalese people over 30 years. Yet I have always (been) telling… I can talk to you directly, so let us talk", President Rajapakse told Asian Tribune in a free wheeling interview in his 14 th floor hotel suit here. The visiting leader earlier in the day met Sonia Gandhi, the chairperson of the ruling United Progressive Alliance, (UPA) whose husband Rajiv was assassinated by the Tigers in May 1991 at Sriperumbudur in Tamilnadu during an election rally. His talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and leader of the opposition L K Advani are slated for Wednesday

No hope for Tamils in Prabhakaran's speech

By H. L. D. Mahindapala

This year's speech of Velupillai Prabhakaran, the leader of the Tamil Tigers, was a damp squib. As predicted in these columns he had absolutely nothing new to say. Nor did he go emphatically to declare either war or peace. Skirting around these two options, he went back to his old gimmick of promising Eelam -- the independent state he has been promising it for the last thirty years with nothing to show for it. Other than that he went through his annual policy speech reciting the usual litany of complaints blaming the "Sinhala governments". Nothing new in that either.

Violence escalating after Prabhakaran’s speech

Tamil Tiger rebels in Sri Lanka intensified attacks on military positions in Vakarai in the east and Muhamalai in the north after Prabhakaran’s policy speech on Monday. Faced with this new escalation the government is seeking clarification from the peace-broker Norway, whether the Ceasefire Agreement is "defunct," as stated by Prabhakaran in his policy speech. Declaring that the Ceasefire Agreement signed in Oslo in February 2002 is "defunct," Prabhakaran said that he had no option but to resume the struggle for a separate state.

Sri Lanka's ceasefire monitors to make several 'anti-government' rulings soon

Munza Mushtaq - Reporting from Colombo

The Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) is expected to make several rulings in the coming weeks against the government with regard to the series of abductions including child conscription alleged to have been carried out by the Karuna faction. The rulings currently in the process of finalization will include a series of observations made by the monitors who are active in the North and East, and will emphasize on the kidnapping, prevailing impunity and continuous violations against the ceasefire agreement.

Tigers escalating violence to block passage of food to the north and east

Over 50 government and NGO lorries carrying food and other essential supplies to Vakarai - the last post of the Tigers in the east - were blocked yesterday by Tiger fire directed at the Sri Lankan troops in the Mankerni-Kadjuwatte area. Tigers, who were aware of this food convoy moving through this area, deliberately opened fire to block the movement of lorries, according to Defence sources.

Choose negotiations to end Sri Lanka’s violence - Lion’s International President

Sunil C. Perera - Reporting from Colombo

Jimmy RossInternational Lion’s President Jimmy Ross says negotiations are a suitable path to end violence in Sri Lanka and reach a peaceful environment. However he said, as International Lions , he and his members never attend political talks and do not dabble in politics. Mr.Ross , one time legislator in the USA and now working to build a better world under the Lion’s logo also said the government of Sri Lanka and the rebels should reach a common agenda to settle this problem. Addressing the media in Colombo, Mr.Ross said the International lions –the world’s largest volunteer service organization which covers the world over, wants to strengthen community service with their slogan "We Serve."

China woos India to parry US containment strategy

Chinese President Hu Jintao made a four-day visit to India last week, then spent three days in Pakistan. Sino-Indian relations have long been strained. In 1962 the two countries fought a brief war over a border dispute that still remains unresolved. In June 2003, in the immediate aftermath of the illegal US invasion of Iraq, China and India initiated a rapprochement. But Asia’s two aspirant world powers have frequently found themselves competing for investment, foreign energy resources, and international influence.

Radhika Coomaraswamy

Mahinda Rajapakse

Amarasuriya & Ross

Top UN Official says Myanmar Regime should release all Political Prisoners

Daya Gamage – US National Correspondent Asian Tribune

After briefing the United Nations Security Council of the developments and political situation in Myanmar, previously known as Burma based on his four-day tour in this South East Asian nation, UN Under Secretary-General for Political Affairs Ibrahim Gambari told reporters in New York that the military regime should release all political prisoners, especially democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, and open up the political process. Gambari traveled to Myanmar earlier this month during which he met top government officials, including Senior General Than Shwe, as well as Ms. Suu Kyi, who has been under house arrest for 10 of the past 16 years.