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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2340

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Vladimir Putin's

Tigers recruit young Dalit girls in Tamil Nadu as future suicide bombers

The latest move of the Tigers to overcome shortage of suicide cadres is to smuggle Dalit girls from Tamil Nadu. Most of them are underaged girls. Indian statistics reveal that 40,000 children go missing annually and the Indian authorities have failed to tackle this issue. Dalits form a poor community of low castes with little or no education. The Tiger agents are offering payments ranging from Rs. 10,000 up to 25,000 to the poor Dalit families for every girl recruited into the suicide cadre. Several Tiger agents have come down from Europe and America to recruit young girls by throwing money at their families.

Omens

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

The signs are unmistakable – Sri Lanka will be compelled to prosecute the Fourth Eelam War in an increasingly non-conducive international environment. 2006 ended badly with the unpropitious meeting between the Indian Prime Minister and the TNA. Hard on the heels of that came another shock – the hostile stance adopted by the new EU chairman, Germany towards Sri Lanka. The Germans have suspended tsunami reconstruction aid to Sri Lanka and are trying to get the other EU countries to follow suit. Though the Tigers are reportedly hoping to get the EU ban lifted through German good offices, this is probably too ambitious a goal – unless we lend a helping hand with a major atrocity against civilian Tamils, especially another race riot (this is clearly what the LTTE is hoping to achieve with the bus bombings). Still Europe in 2007 will be a far more inhospitable place for Sri Lankan than it was in 2006.

Tamil Tigers heading for disaster

From our Political Correspondent

The Government of Sri Lanka yesterday accused the Tami Tigers of "targeting civilians in the south with the intention of instigating a communal backlash due to military setbacks in the north and east." Tigers facing severe military set backs have been threatening to hit back. On Friday and Saturday two bombs were set off in the south killing civilians. But the Tigers deny responsibility for "the two bomb blasts in the south of the island on Friday and Saturday." The Tigers say that this accusation is an attempt by the government to "discredit the LTTE."

JVP still wants the APRC experts panel to mind its 'own business'

By Vandana Jayasinghe - Asian Tribune

The appeal of the Chairman of the All Party Representatives Committee (APRC) Prof. Tissa Vitharana to the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) to submit its proposals to end the national problem is likely to be ignored by the Marxist party which still demands the government to not to consider the proposals prepared, based on decisions of the experts panel. The JVP, which played a major role on the weekly APRC meetings, withdrew its representatives last December, claiming that the expert committee had no 'business' to make recommendations for the resolution of the national problem.

New Senate and House Leaders Oppose US Troop Increase in Iraq

Daya Gamage – US National Correspondent Asian Tribune

In a complete one hundred and eighty degree turn, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House speaker Nancy Pelosi, in a letter to President Bush, opposed a troop increase in the Iraqi operation. It was anticipated that in a major policy pronouncement early January President Bush, among other changes in the Iraqi policy and approach, is expected to announce the increase of U.S. troops by thirty to forty thousand in the Iraqi battle theater.

Under the shadow of Lakegala - Of Their Religion

Under the shadow of LakegalaBy Sudath R. Gunasekara

All the people of this village are Buddhists. They know not of any other religion. They strongly believe in pin (merits) and pav (sins). No are they sophisticated and exposed to the outside world either. Other than a Muslim vendor or a high government official like a white Government Agent that visit the village very rarely, no person belonging to another denomination has ever trodden this village. Buddhism like in most other villages in Sri Lanka has come with their birth. It is shear faith, devotion and the fear of pin and pav rather than a deep understanding of the doctrine that has kept them bound to their religion.

New U.N. Chief to Disclose Financial Assets

By Thalif Deen - Inter Press Service

The U.N.'s new Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has moved swiftly to hold himself up as a model international civil servant by voluntarily declaring his financial assets to the newly-created Ethics Office. U.N. spokesperson Michele Montas told reporters Friday that Ban submitted his financial disclosure statement on Tuesday, his first day in office in the U.N. Secretariat, where he is starting a five-year term as the world body's chief administrative officer.

Tigers boats heading to attack port unloading food destroyed by Navy

The Tiger attempt to disrupt the unloading of 3500 metric tons food and essential items at the Point Pedro port was thwarted when a joint operation of aerial and naval attacks targeted a cluster of 31 Sea Tiger boats in the seas off Vettilaikerni at 3.50p.m., yesterday (Saturday), said a Ministry of Defence press release. Naval sources said that a tense situation prevails in the northern seas after the Sea Tigers were heading to attack Point Pedro harbor where the food was being unloaded.

Don’t be a Zat Pyet to Zat Thein

Prof. Kanbawza Win

As the New Year rings let us see ourselves in retrospect. The forlorn hope of progressive political change in Burma using all modern means has failed miserably. A popular uprising against military rule in 1988 failed, followed by nearly a decade of international economic sanctions was also a disaster. Regional engagement under the banner of the notorious Constructive Engagement by the neighboring countries followed by a string of special envoys from the United Nations promising aid in return for democratic progress were of no avail. Burma is destined to drift through the first decade of the 21st century much as it has for the past 60 years, teetering on the brink of economic collapse, cut off from the wider world and led by the tyrannical bombastic clique of military officers, convinced they are the only true custodian of the country which all indicates that there is a much deeper malaise afflicting the people of Burma.

The Putin we don’t know

By Andrei Vavra - political commentator - RIA Novosti

Vladimir PutinRussian President Vladimir Putin's online news conference consists of about one million questions asked by mail, telephone, SMS and via the Internet. Most of the questions are serious and allow the president to speak on the key issues of life in Russia, yet there are quite a few questions that are not directly connected to politics. Although Putin has held his high post for seven years and appears on television almost daily, he still remains an enigma, to a degree. We know his face, but can we say that we know him?
The objective of the Kremlin's PR team is to show the president in the best light. They show him talking with the people, including children, and at home with his family and pets. Everything looks fine, and we seem to have come very close to knowing the president, but for one thing.

Winning hearts and minds

By Vinod Vedi - Syndicate Features

There are several segments to the counter-insurgency scenario in the north-east and the Government of India should seek to exploit their several layers to reduce the demands on manpower and logistics. For instance, the segments that enjoy a ceasefire are also those areas that currently are in the throes of festivities and amenable to diplomacy and tack intended to win hearts and minds.

Romania and Bulgaria join the European Union

The admission of Romania and Bulgaria to the European Union on January 1 concludes the EU’s eastward expansion. In May 2004, 10 predominantly eastern European states joined, heightening tensions within the EU, and the entry of the two remaining candidates will certainly reinforce this tendency. These two virtually destitute states have been accepted as EU members only with reluctance. Although their admission was agreed in principle in 2003, the voices of those calling for it to be postponed until 2008 had been growing louder. In May 2004, the then Irish presidency of the EU organized a summit and a pompous celebration in honor of the new member states. This time, however, there is to be nothing similar. In Brussels, there is talk of them "joining by the back door."

Under the shadow of Lakegala

Sri Lanka police suspect headless female body as LTTE suicide bomber

Munza Mushtaq – Reporting from Colombo

Dead bodies removedSri Lankan police suspect the body of a decapitated woman recovered from the site of Saturday afternoon's bomb blast as the suspected LTTE suicide bomber. "The arms and head of the woman were detached from the body and we suspect her to be the bomber," police sources claimed. Saturday's blast aboard a private bus south of Sri Lanka, incidentally a critical tourist destination killed 15 and injured more than 25 of which several remain in serious condition and have been transferred to the Colombo National Hospital.


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