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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2787

Monthly archive

Bala - Praba

Half of Asian Tsunami Reconstruction Donations Still Unused:

Daya Gamage – US Bureau Asian Tribune

Of the 6.7 billion US dollars pledged, about a tenth has yet to be delivered, and only 3.4 billion US dollars has been spent thus far. About half of the billions of dollars donated by individuals, companies and governments worldwide to help the victims of the South and Southeast Asian tsunami two years ago have still not been spent. Among the South and Southeast Asian nations that were devastated by the December 2004 deadly tsunami, Sri Lanka has got a raw deal.

Prabhakaran, Che Guevara & Violence

By Dayan Jayatilleka

In a particularly repulsive distortion of the truth in a generally disgusting article which strives to justify the LTTE’s fascist terror, HA Seneviratne, lawyer, Sinhala fiction writer and Trotskyite, invokes the name of Che Guevara to justify terrorism (‘A War has no future’- ‘North-east war of doom’ Daily Mirror, Tuesday, Dec 19, 2006). With a misplaced air of punditry he mentions Che Guevara as having said in his book Guerrilla Warfare, that terrorism is a useful tactic. He then goes on to show how it might be useful - it generates repression, which makes people join the struggle; the regime becomes unpopular and isolated etc. This is an argument for terrorism that never appears in Che Guevara’s book, but in a sleight of hand is made to look as if it does.

Nepali Maoists put Koirala government on fresh notice

By M Rama Rao - Reporting for Asian Tribune from India

Differences between the Maoists and the ruling seven party alliance of Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, who are scheduled to work together, have surfaced once again. These differences are not personality clashes but show deep fault lines with the Maoists putting the government on a 10-day notice. Maoists said they would announce a general strike on December 31 and January 1 if their ultimatum is not heeded.

Anton Balasingham to be laid to rest today: Final arrangements are kept highly secretive

Anton Stanisilaus Balasingham (68) who passed away on 14 December is expected to be laid to rest today, but the final arrangements are held highly secretive. So far it is not known whether his body will be cremated or buried. According to a news report, as burial space was not available, Balsingham body would be consigned to flames and his ashes sprinkled in the Alexandra Place gardens. However the information is kept highly secretive and the reasons behind maintaining this information so secretively is not known up to now.

Who misled President Mahinda Rajapakse on the Ambassador Allan Rock Assignment Sri Lanka?'

Who failed in their duty by advising Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse to approve the investigation assignment of Ambassador Allan Rock in Sri Lanka? This question is now being posed by Asoka Weerasinghe.In a letter to the Editor, "Asian Tribune," Asoka Weerasinghe of Onntario, Canada noted that Radhika Coomaraswamy, the UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, wrote to "Asian Tribune" that her appointment of Ambassador Allan Rock to visit Sri Lanka on an assignment to investigate about underage children "was approved by the Sri Lankan Mission here, by the foreign ministry and by the President himself."

Clashing Begums deepen Bangladesh impasse, no solution in sight

By M Rama Rao reporting from New Delhi

Only a miracle can avert Bangladesh from plunging into chaos as of now. Though President Iajuddin Ahmed and his mentor, Khaleda Zia, the former prime minister are opposed to the Awami League's demand for postponing the elections, deferring elections appears inevitable if the parties concerned are keen on bloody street battles. The opposition parties have called for a countrywide dawn-to-dusk hartal on December 21 the last date of submitting nomination forms for the general elections scheduled for January 22.

Sri Lanka at the cross Roads: Where to from here?

By Raj Gonsalkorale

This is not the first time that Sri Lanka has been at the cross roads since 1956, when the conflict with the Tamil community escalated on account of ethnic oriented policies adopted by the then government. Beginning with the abrogation of the Bandaranaike/Chelvanayakam pact, the country has had several aborted efforts to come to terms with the conflict and find ways and means to address it peacefully. On each occasion, a multiplicity of forces pressurized the government in power to go back on agreements entered into with the Tamil political leadership, and every Sri Lankan Prime Minister or President was compelled to leave an unresolved ethnic conflict legacy bigger in dimensions, to their successors than what they inherited.

Small hydro power industry supplies 100 MW electricity

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

Hundred megawatts have been connected to the National grid and 3.5 percent of the country’s electricity requirements could be supplied by small hydro power industry. The Grid Connected Small Power Developers Association (GCSPA) announced recent. This could save Rs 3,000 million each year by way of saving foreign exchange. Dr Nishantha Nanayakkara, President, GCSPDA said that 100 mw yields over 350 million units of electricity per annum. Each unit of this indigenous energy saves the country from importing fuel oil required to power thermal plants. Today a unit of electricity generated by small hydro power plants costs the CEB Rs 6.05. This is one of the few avenues of profit for the CEB, which is compelled to pay over Rs 15 to purchase diesel based thermal energy.

Norwegian government’s key coalition partner attacks Sri Lanka raising doubts about their role as peace facilitator

By Walter Jayawardhana

The Deputy leader of Norway’s Labor Party, a key member of the ruling coalition government of the country has come up with extremely pro-Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) statements attacking the Sri Lanka government that would make them disqualified to be the peace facilitators in the current Sri Lankan dispute, many have pointed out. According to a report published by the Tamilnet news website the deputy leader of the Oslo Labor Party, Ivar Christiansen attacked the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and former President Chandrika Kumaratunga and praised terrorist leader Velupillai Prabhakaran and his advisor Anton Balasingham as peace promoters.

Of Courts, Politicians and Page Three

By Tushar Charan - Syndicate Features

The class of politicians with perhaps no exception has held that judiciary has now over reached itself. All because in recent days the higher courts in the country have convicted a number of VIP politicians and celebrities, thus dispelling the long held cynical but popular belief that some people in the country will always remain above the law. The courts touched the raw nerves of the politicians by asserting that the final arbiter of matters will be the judiciary. Members of the elected body will not brook this even though they may have little time for carrying out their essential job of legislation.

U.S. Government and American Muslims Engage to Define Islamophobia

By M. A. Muqtedar Khan

On December 4, 2006, the national leadership of American Muslims met with key senior U.S. government officials to discuss the state of Islamophobia in America and US Muslim relations. The conference was organized by the Bridging the Divide Initiative of Saban Center at the Brookings Institution. It was co-sponsored by the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding and the Association of Muslim Social Scientists. As the conference chair of the program, the most extraordinary challenge that I faced was to bring together two parties that did not see eye to eye on this issue. While American Muslim leaders and participants were arguing that Islamophobia was not only a reality but rapidly increasing phenomenon in America, the government’s position was that while there have been increased incidences of anti-Muslim episodes in the U.S., the word Islamophobia deepens the divide between the US and the Muslim world.

Noted International Human Rights Attorney, Irwin Cotler, joins Shoaib’s Defense

By Dr. Richard L. Benkin

In a development that underscored the growing seriousness of the Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury case, noted International Human Rights attor-ney, Professor Irwin Cotler, has joined the Muslim journalist's defense team as international legal counsel. Choudhury was imprisoned and tortured by Bangla-deshi authorities after writing about the rise of radical Islam in that country, promoting peace with Israel, and advocating interfaith dialogue. Choudhury is now faces charges of "sedition, treason, and blasphemy" for which he could be put to death. Cotler's has previously acted as counsel for Nelson Mandela, Andrei Sakharov, Natan Sharansky and Saad Edin Ibrahim, among others.

US general issues warning: politics must not interfere with 100-year "war on terror"

One of the Pentagon’s senior uniformed strategists warned last week that the "global war on terror" will go on for another 50 to 100 years and voiced concern that "politics" not be allowed to interfere with the protracted struggle. The remarks were made by Brig. Gen. Mark O. Schissler, an Air Force commander and the Defense Department’s deputy director for the "war on terrorism." He made them in an exclusive interview with the Washington Times, the right-wing daily owned by the Unification Church of Rev. Sun Myung Moon.

It's Another New Year...What's To Celebrate?

By M. Burhanuddin Qasmi

The calendar says- this is going to be a festive season: Eiduz Zuha, Christmas, New Year and many other festivals in many lands will be celebrated in late December, followed by the dawn of 2007. Will it be a new beginning; respite from mayhem and relief from deprivation for our fellow beings- a real peace for all? It is too much to hope for, but hope we must, to keep striving for the universal peace. "Happy New Year!" That greeting will be said and heard for at least the first couple of weeks, as a new year gets under way. Gifts receiving or offering or extravagant parties will ramp the atmosphere for few days. Some will have feast and real festive but some, without knowing what exactly they are doing will just dace in tune.

Alexandra Palace - West hall

Alexandra Palace - Great Hall

Alexandra Palace

Makkal Paddei - the People’s Army - a brief analysis of the Auxiliary forces of the LTTE

Analysis by International Center for Strategic Defense (ICSD)

The greatest of all Western writers on war, Karl von Clausewitz once said, “War is the continuation of politics by other means”. The reverse of this seems to be true with strategies of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in Sri Lanka because, most of the key achievements of the same had been accomplished through politics and not by war. Although so called ‘peace attempts’ were used to strengthen the military capacity, in the decade long blood soaked struggle, LTTE’s ultimate achievement had been the Cease Fire Agreement (CFA) in year 2002. The CFA “officially” recognized and persuaded other parties to accept that, in territorially integral Sri Lanka, there are lands under LTTE control extending from Omanthai to Muhamalei, which includes entire Mulaithivu and Killinochchi districts and parts of Mannar and Vavunia districts. Further, both Sri Lankan Army (SLA) and the LTTE had to remain in position as they were on December 2001.