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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2832

Monthly archive

Plantation Workers 1

Fernandes call to help Lankan Tamils

By M Rama Rao in New Delhi

India's former defence minister George Fernandes has asked Delhi to take steps to stop the 'attacks' on Sri Lankan Tamils by
government in Colombo. Leading a demonstration and rally organised by Nadar Peravai, an association of people belonging to the Nadar community, in Chennai to condemn 'the massacre of Tamils in Sri Lanka', the aging Indian socialist said, "Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had promised Tamil MPs from the island that he would help the Tamil population which he would not be able to fulfil."

Alarums and Excursions

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

On December 26th 2004, a tidal wave devastated Sri Lanka. Two years later, less than 50% of the destroyed houses have been rebuilt. The figure for the East is even more shocking – only 10% of the houses have been reconstructed. That typical excuse of inept and inattentive governments – lack of finances - is invalid here, because there is no dearth of money. What seems to be lacking is political will and leadership. In an article written two decades ago the Newsweek identified ‘indifference’ as one of the main obstacles to the search for a solution to the problem of homelessness in the developed world. That assessment seems applicable to the situation faced by Lankan tsunami victims. And not just tsunami victims either.

Vaiko Strikes First, Sacks Ganesan, Gingee From Party Posts

By M Rama Rao in New Delhi

Drawing the first blood in the ongoing factional war fare, MDMK supremo has sacked the two dissident leaders L Ganesan and Gingee N Ramachandran from their party posts. He has disturbed their primary membership of the party. Vaiko stuck two days before the district secretaries meeting scheduled for Christmas Day.

Commentary: Moves and counter moves on Tamil chess board

KanimozhiIt has now come to the open without any degree of doubt that Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam is in control of the Tamil Nadu politics. Tamil Tigers from Vanni have started making deft moves on
the Chennai political chessboard and remote controlling the operations through their blood stained money. A few months ago LTTE's proxy, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MPs arrived in Tamil Nadu and waited in vain in front the Chief Minister's house. Just to meet him. They also showed keen interest in meeting the Prime Minister of India. Neither could meet anyone of them.

UNESCO to re-examine Chandrika’s appointment but she denies being suspended as consultant

First, she denies that she has been suspended from her new job as a Senior Consultant of UNESCO for education in Asia.. Second, she denies that she got the job as a “UNESCO consultant” because President Chirac pulled a wire. Last week the Sunday Times revealed that she was suspended by the UNESCO. This week it questions whether she was appointed as a "Consultant" at all by the UNESCO. The day after President Chandrika Kumaratunga announced (October 25, 2006) that she was appointed “as a Senior Consultant for education in Asia, at the invitation of UN Secretary General, His Excellency Mr. Kofi Annan and UNESCO Director General Mr. K. Matsuura” she was suspended by Gen. Matsuura, reported the Sunday Times last week..

The usual Nigerian scam: This time in the name of Mrs.Noi Thakshin Shinawatara of Thailand

A Nigerian-based e-mail scam is presently going round in the name of Mrs.Noi Takshin Shinawatara who is seeking the assistance of the recipients to invest millions in her custody. The e-mail says: "I am contacting you to assist me invest I' have this hug of money in my custody which i want you to invest it' for me without my husband concurrence with a total sum of USD $21,000.000 [twenty one million dollars]." This scam is often referred to as the 4-1-9 scam, after section 4-1-9 of the Nigerian Penal Code which relates to fraudulent schemes.

Jordan confirms Tamil Tigers pirated ship: Reports crew members are safe

By Walter JayawardhanaJordan’s Transport Ministry told the Jordanian news Agency Petra that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) seized one of the Jordanian ships off Sri Lanka’s North East coast and burgled it but its crew was safe. "A Jordanian ship owned by the International Al Salam (Peace) Company for Trade and Transport was seized and burgled by the Tamil Tiger rebels off Sri Lanka's northeast coast, at midnight on Friday, according to a statement released by Jordan’s Transport Ministry," the Petra item said.

V.Navaratnam, veteran of Tamil politics, to be cremated on 26th December

V.Navaratnam, the former Member of Parliament for Kayts will be cremated on the 26th December in Montreal. His family members informed that his body will be kept for viewing today from 2 to 7 PM. Navaratnam was associated with the Sri Lanka’s political developments throughout his career. In the beginning he was associated with All Ceylon Tamil Congress a led by G.G.Ponnampalam (Snr) and later with Ilankai Thamil Arasu Kadchchi led by S.J.V.Chelvanayakam. When he was a Member of Parliament representing the Kayts electorate he opposed the Srima Shastri Pact and the Bill connected with the implementation of the Indo- Ceylon Agreement.

Finding the right head to run the foreign frontier

H. L. D. Mahindapala

The task of a consummate diplomat is to balance the fiery passion for his country with a quiet professional cool. H. M. G. S. Palihakkara combined both qualities in serving his country abroad and at home. When at the peak of his career he was appointed as head of the Foreign Ministry he brought in exceptional skills of handling complex issues, international relations and inter-personal sensitivities – all which he had guided with the soft but sure touch of a seasoned and unflappable diplomat.

The Karen People Of Burma: An "imagined community"?

By – Saw Kapi

Contrary to what most students of Burmese politics think, the Karen people of Burma do not share the same faith – a significant percent of Karen people have become Christians (35%, according to the latest estimate by the Karen Baptist Convention), while more than 50% of them have adopted the Buddhist religion, and some remain animists still. It appears that the Karens are almost equally split in terms of creeds. The advent of Christian religion in Burma, however, is a recent phenomenon. It can be reasonably assumed that the Karens have been sharing a common tradition of faith, that is, their belief in nature and animism, which, in certain aspects, may be closely related to some practices of Buddhism, until the later part of 19th century.

Plantation Workers2

Plantation Workers 3




Sri Lankan plantation workers angry at unions and government

The World Socialist Web Site spoke to striking plantation workers in different areas in Sri Lanka over the past week as their pay campaign was sabotaged and finally shut down altogether by the leaderships of all the trade unions. The workers expressed their anger and opposition to the role of the unions and the failure of President Mahinda Rajapakse and his government to support their demands. The Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) and its allied union, which opposed the strike from the outset, signed a deal with employers on Tuesday that was significantly less than the strikers’ demand. The CWC leadership was only able to carry out this betrayal because it had the tacit support of the United Peoples Front (UPF), which had called the strike, but was increasingly concerned over the looming confrontation with the Rajapakse government.

Tsunami Recovery Decisions on Flawed Assumption Caused Beneficiaries to Suffer, says Special Envoy Bill Clinton

Daya Gamage – US National Correspondent Asian Tribune

The two-year of tsunami recovery effort has shown both “examples of great new approaches, as well as decisions and programs based on flawed assumptions that have caused us to lose time and beneficiaries to suffer. It is critical that we pass on such lessons to actors in future recovery processes,” says former U.S. president Bill Clinton who is UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery in his introduction to a report released by the UN on eve of the second anniversary of the 26 December 2004 deadly tsunami that devastated more than 12 nations in South and South East Asian

Twas the Night Before Christmas in the American Empire

By Ron Holland

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the South
American flags were flying on many a house
Cars & trucks were decked out by "Old Glory" with care,
In hopes that Bin Laden would soon be killed in his lair;

12 LTTE men killed and a 120 MM mortar completely destroyed by TMVP fighters.

A deep penetrating force led by Riyaseelan, Commander of the Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal killed 12 LTTE men, destroyed a LTTE camp in the uncleared area located in the Batticaloa district and completely destroyed a 120 MM mortar captured from camp. At about 11.30 PM yesterday, in a blitzkrieg lasted merely for 30 minutes,TMVP fighters surrounded the LTTE camp located between Pankudaveli and ilupaddichennai, nearly 15 kilometers away from the Batticaloa city and destroyed the camp.