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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2346

Monthly archive

TNA MPs Meet Indian PM

Nonagenarian V.Navaratnam passed away

V.Navaratnam V. Navaratnam, (97 yrs.) former Member of Parliament for Kayts, and one of the founder members of the Ilankai Tamil Arasu Kadchchi, (Federal Party) passed away quietly on Friday at his residence in Montreal, Canada. Navaratnam was Member of Parliament for Kayts 1965 - 70. Born in Karampon on 18th October 1910 in Jaffna and educated in Ceylon Law College. He was an Attorney-at-Law for well over 58 years. In 1956, he authored the book "Ceylon Faces Crisis," and in 1995 "The Fall and Rise of the Tamil Nation."

Sri lanka's TNA MPs meet Indian PM; Pranab rules out direct intervention

By M Rama Rao in New Delhi

Pro-LTTE Tamil lawmaker from Sri Lanka met Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday exactly three months after Singh snubbed them by denying audience. The meeting became possible; it is said, because of the efforts of Tamilnadu chief minister Karunanidhi, who had skipped the dinner hosted by the UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi. Whatever euphoria the Singh-TNA meeting had generated proved to be short-lived with external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee giving a fresh lease to the 'old India stand – no direct intervention to solve the ethnic issue in Sri Lanka from Chennai minutes after the Delhi meeting. Pranab was in Tamilnadu primarily to inaugurate a passport facility. He returned to Delhi without meeting Karunanidhi, a TV report said late Friday night.

Bush’s 80th option?

US President George Bush would be disheartened by the prognosis and recommendations of the Iraq Study Group (ISG). The report prepared by a team headed by former Secretary of State James Baker and former Democrat Congressman Lee Hamilton came to the conclusion that was privately aired in the US for months: that the situation in Iraq is rapidly deteriorating, the current policy of the Bush administration could not be sustained and that a major course correction is overdue.

Tsunami Memorial Candlelight Vigil in California: To rekindle awareness of plight of affected nations

Daya Gamage – US National Correspondent Asian Tribune

A Los Angeles California-based organization whose primary aim is to bridge communities through arts, sports and technology has undertaken a unique project to bring awareness of the plight of the victims of the tsunami-affected Asian nations in holding a memorial candlelight vigil on 26 December to maintain the communication bridge that was established two years ago between Western donors and the Asian nations.

Vaiko's MDMK moves a step closer to split

By M Rama Rao in New Delhi

Vaiko's MDMK moved a step closer to split on Friday. While Vaiko is planning to expel L Ganesan and Gingee Ramachandran, the two dissident lawmakers, at a meeting of the party's district secretaries in Chennai on Christmas Day, Ganesan and Gingee decided to take their fight to 'enemy' camp. Ganesan, who is also the Chairman of the presidium, said he would attend the meeting and indeed would preside over the deliberations in his capacity as the Presidium Chairman. "I am the Presidium chairman. Hence I will preside over the meeting", he said. Gingee Ramachandran will be in tow in his capacity as Party's Deputy General Secretary.

Hemas Aviation wins the Travel Agent Award

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

At the recently held Annual Awards Ceremony and Product Presentation by Kenya Airways at the Cinnamon Grand Colombo for all travel agents in Sri Lanka, Hemas Aviation, part of Hemas Group won the Agent Award. Awards were presented to the Agents in ascending order based on their performance during the last financial year and the top 5 agents were world Link Travels, Global Holidays, Gabo Travels, Reliance travels and Hemas received the Agent Award.

Controversy over a Muslim Entering US Congress Continues

Daya Gamage – US National Correspondent Asian Tribune

Responding to Congressman Virgil Goode's uncomplimentary statements concerning Muslims and immigration, Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation’s Executive Director sent an English translation of the Quran to the Congressman. Congressman Goode stated in his letter opposing Congressman-elect from Minnesota at the November 7 general election expressing his desire to take his private oath-taking on Islam’s Holy Book Quran, sent early this month to his constituents in the State of Virginia and released to the nation’s 300 million population to read, that he does, "not subscribe to using the Koran in any way." Goode wrote, "We need to stop illegal immigration totally and reduce legal immigration and end the diversity visas policy that allow many persons from the Middle East to come to this country".

Ex- Indian PM Deve Gowda's Janata Dal splits, dissidents take over the party

By M Rama Rao in New Delhi

Former Indian Prime Minister Deve Gowda's Janata Dal has split with the dissidents virtually taking over the party and expelling Gowda himself. This is not the first split in the Janata Dal, which took birth in 1987. It has suffered several splits and has come to be regarded as the political amoeba. One faction is ruling. The Kerala lobby has led the revolt against Gowda, who has come to represent the Karnataka lobby His son is the chief minister of Karnataka in alliance with the Bharatiya Janata party.

Overall Tsunami reconstruction progress in Sri Lanka

Sunil C.Perera , Reporting from Colombo

The relief effort in the immediate aftermath of the Tsunami was overwhelmingly positive with strong responses from government, private citizens and international agencies. However, the record of the reconstruction phase is more mixed with an acceptable performance in the south but unacceptably limited progress in the north and east, largely because of escalating conflict is focused in the north east of the country. In addition to immediate relief, the reconstruction phase in Sri Lanka was estimated to need some EUR 1.5 billion and would take 3-5 years. Sri Lanka received this full amount in pledges. On this second anniversary, nearly 100% has been committed and over half of it has been disbursed onto specific contracts.

Affno sweeps the board at Best Quality Software Awards

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

Leading Web based Software Engineering Company - Affno won 2 Gold awards and the Silver for the Best Overall Product at the national Awards for the Best Quality Software in Sri Lanka held last month. The National best Quality Software Awards was organized by the British Computer Society (BCS) with the support of Sri Lanka Association for Software Industry (SLASI), Software Exporters Association (SEA) and Infotel Society, Universities of Colombo and Moratuwa.

Sri Lanka: Plantation Ministry plans to double tea export income within ten years

The Ministry of Plantation Industries has planned to double the tea export earnings within the next ten years and is also ready to acquire a big margin of the world’s tea market. According to the Progress Report of the Ministry, at present Sri Lanka’s tea exports earn 815 million US$ per year. "Our target is to increase this income into US$ 1500 million, a spokesman of the Plantation Ministry said.

Power struggle in Saudi Arabia: a sign of regional instability

The abrupt resignation of Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the US, Prince Turki al-Faisal, last week is one more sign of a power struggle underway in Riyadh. While factional intrigues in the Saudi royal family are undoubtedly involved, the overriding factor is the deepening instability throughout the Middle East being fuelled by the aggressive intervention of the US, above all in Iraq. One consequence has been an intensification of the traditional rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran for regional dominance. After just 17 months as US ambassador, Prince Turki announced on December 12 that he was quitting to spend more time with his family. The reason is obviously absurd. He gave the same excuse when in 2002 he stood aside as head of the Saudi intelligence services—a post he held for 24 years and which included responsibility for providing covert funding in the 1980s to the Afghan mujaheedin via Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda.

V.Navaratnam

TNA MPs meet the Indian PM2

Sea Tiger pirates forcefully occupy Jordanian Merchant ship with Egyptian and Jordanian crew members.

Tamil Tiger pirates have forcefully occupied a Jordanian Merchant Ship this morning which was drifting towards Mullaithievu due to a technical failure. According to reports LTTE Sea Tiger pirates forcibly boarded a Jordanian Merchant Vessel named FARHA iii around 3.30 am today (23) which had been drifting off Mullaithievu seas. A maritime distress message which was released by the vessel indicating that the ship is under armed pirate attack was received by the Maritime Rescuing Coordinating Centre, Falmouth in UK and this has been conveyed to the Sri Lankan naval authorities. Attempts made to establish communication have failed, as it is believed the Sea Tiger pirates have disconnected communication.


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