Skip to Content

Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2786

Monthly archive


Sri Lankan military launches new offensive in country’s east

The Sri Lankan military launched a fresh offensive over the past week to seize the Vaharai area in the island’s eastern Batticaloa district from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The aggressive new operations are another blatant breach of the 2002 ceasefire agreement, which the government still claims to uphold. There are no independent media reports but it is clear that the fighting has been intense. According to the military and state-run media, some 300 people had been killed up to Thursday, including 28 soldiers and 115 LTTE fighters. Thousands of people have fled the area and many more are seeking to escape.

Human Rights under a cloud in Afro-Asian countries

By Jagdish P. Sharma - Syndicate Features

For Iran’s Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi "Human Rights are a package ……….. a way of seeing the world, a culture, which cannot be imposed with cluster bombs" and brought to countries in "tanks." "The world is turning into a unified village. We can see that in finance borders are eliminated. But when it comes to humanity the borders are still intact. And the problem is here. What needs to be globalized is human rights," the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003, said in a conversation with Indian journalists while in New Delhi recently. Known for her crusade on human rights, Ms. Ebadi, who practices law in Teheran, is particularly critical of the U.S. sponsored "war on terrorism" and its effect on human rights. "Violence always brings violence. Have we found the roots of terrorism," she asked.

Bush releases US Dollars 5.215 millions for war refugees in Sri Lanka and Somalia

By Walter Jayawardhana

US President George W. Bush released 5.215 million dollars as emergency aid to help refugees who have become displaced due to war situation in Sri Lanka and Somalia, the White House in Washington D.C. announced. The announcement did not clarify how much money was allocated to each country as aid to help the refugees fleeing from war situations in each country.

Under the shadow of Lakegalan: 7.Hena as a part of the village life

By Sudath Gunasekera

Apart from its economic significance hena also occupies an important place in the village social and cultural life. Its distance from home, isolation, the need for men to be away from home to watch the hena in the night, the risk, roughness and the loneliness associated with paelrekiima are some of the peculiar characteristics that have earned a special place in the rural set up for hena sub-culture. The cultivation practices, methods of management, language employed and the entire modus operandi associated with hena are different from that of the paddy field. Volumes of folklore associated with paelrekiima (watching) and Kurahan kepiima (Kurahan harvesting) forms an invaluable part of Sinhala literature. The drudgery, loneliness, romanticism, cynicism, the beauty and sometimes the elegiac tone that flow through the lines of this folk poetry presents a veritable mirror image of sorrows and joys as well as the romantic aspects of rural life.

Repeat Performances?

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

In a rate moment of candour President J R Jayewardene described his opposition to the B-C Pact as lack of intelligence, lack of foresight and lack of courage (at the press conference subsequent to the signing of the Indo-Lanka Accord). The opposition of the UNP did undermine the B-C Pact but Mr. Bandaranaike could have handled it if he was backed by his own party (conversely if the UNP supported the Pact he could have withstood the rebellion from within his own ranks). The end came when a group of SLFP monks conducted a Satyagraha outside the PM’s residence. Having come to power on a whirlwind of Sinhala supremacism (which he exacerbated and harnessed to further his political ambition) Mr. Bandaranaike could do little else but tear the Pact, literally. This first violation of a democratic agreement to appease a minority of vocal hardliners was followed by others, creating a trail of shattered hopes and broken promises which paved the way for the formation of the Tigers and sustains them even now.

Mystery of Anton Balasingham's death in his house

Was Balasingham's death a mercy killing? Speculative rumors about his death are going round in the circles of the Tamil Diaspora in the United Kingdom. When Balasingham was on terminal care in his South London house, Macmillan nurses – specialists in cancer palliative care -- put him on an electric pump injecting morphine. This pump automatically administers regulated low dosages of morphine to make him comfortable. In addition to the nurses from Macmillan nursing service Balasingham was also taken care of by his wife, Adele, a trained nurse from Australia, as well as LTTE leader A. C. Santhan’s cousin, a qualified nurse.

Anton Balasingham – voice or vice of "Thamby" in the Vanni?

H. L. D. Mahindapala

Though to some Tamils, particularly those in the diaspora, Velupillai Prabhakaran, the internationally banned terrorist leader, is a cult figure the Tamils in the east, a sizeable segment of the Tamils in the north and in the diaspora consider him as the man who denigrated the image of the Tamils and reduced the Tamils to almost a vanishing tribe in Sri Lanka. Faced with a backlash that was de-legitimizing his politics of violence Prabhakaran was in need of a spin doctor to polish his image and to justify his ruthless violence, targeting in particular the Tamils.

The fundraising activities of the LTTE has to be stopped – Washington Times

The fundraising activities of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam have to be stopped. "Washington Times," in its today’s Editorial strongly advocates the stoppage of the fundraising activities of the LTTE, "To bring the Tamil Tigers into meaningful and lasting cease-fire agreement, and stop the violence that is besieging the small nation." "Washington Times" in another rap on the LTTE says, "A successful peace accord cannot be reached in Sri Lanka until the financial support for the terrorist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam can be altogether strangled."