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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 81

Monthly archive


Sri Lanka President in Vaharai – told LTTE to give up arms and come for talks

By Walter Jayawardhana

Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa flew to the newly liberated Vaharai in the Eastern province of the island one day before the country’s 59th independence day celebrations and categorically told the Tamil Tigers who lost the area after ten years of domination that it was time they lay down their arms and sit down for talks for a political solution. "This is a big opportunity for the Tigers to return to the negotiating table. I will offer them a political solution and they should come for talks," he told reporters who accompanied him on the trip.

TMVP briefs US Embassy diplomats their political agenda

Diplomats from the political division of the United States Embassy in Colombo recently met with the officials of the Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal led by V.Muralitharan nom de guerre Colonel Karuna, at the office of the Tamil outfit in Colombo. American diplomats met the political officers of the TMVP and discussed the future of the TMVP and their future political agenda. The meeting was held at the political head office of the TMVP, located in Colombo, on 30 January, around 10 AM, in the morning. The meeting lasted well over one hour. At this meeting, the present positions of the TMVP as well its future political plans were discussed in detail.

Tomorrow - Sri Lanka’s 59th Independence day

Elaborate security arrangements are in place in Colombo, Sri Lanka’s capital and its suburbs in connection with tomorrow’s 59th national Independence Day celeberations on a grand scale under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksha. According to Colombo city traffic police, several roads will be kept closed for motorists as the Independence Day ceremony will be held at Gall Face Green.

Satyagraha centenary – a strange 100-year journey from Gandhi to Gandhi

By R.C. Rajamani - Political EditorAsian Tribune

One can credit the Indian National Congress with the penchant and ability to turn any public event in to a self-glorifying extravaganza. The one unfailing source for its favourite sport is the name Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation, whom the party has always claimed as its own. It also arrogates to itself the Mahatma’s legacy and his principles. So, it came as little surprise that the party last week show-cased an international conference on the centenary of the Satyagraha as its own private affair, though the movement drew millions from across the country – not all of them members of the Congress and many, who were, had later left it too.

Lame duck Ranil fails to impress the public on his return from India

From our political Correspondent

RanilRanil Wickremesinghe's last minute bid to stage a show of public strength after the party stalwarts had crossed over to join the government of President Mahinda Rajapakse was a flop. The enthusiastic crowd he expected to greet him on his return from India yesterday, was not there. He had earlier sent an urgent message from India to his party urging them to stage a welcoming motorcade, leading from Katunayake Airport all the way to his residence in Colombo on his return. But when he arrived at the Katunayake airport yesterday the response of the UNP supporters and the public turned out to be lukewarm. He was received at the Katunayake Airport by the UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake and a few UNP MPs. The motorcade was trickle that didn't take much time to reach his residence in Colombo.

Dialog Telekom Launches Mobile Phone Insurance for All Customers

Sunil C. Perera- Reporting from Colombo

Dialog Telekom, announced that it will be launching "Phone Safe", a Handset Insurance Cover with wide ranging benefits, through an exclusive partnership with six of Sri Lanka's leading Insurance providers. "Phone Safe" in partnership with Union Assurance Limited, Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation, Janashakthi Insurance Limited, Eagle Insurance Limited, Asian Alliance Insurance Limited and Amana Takaful Insurance will be made available to Dialog's entire customer base including Post Paid, Pre Paid and Dialog
PLANS subscribers.

U.S.-India Defense Partnership Grows with American Defense Delegation visit to India next week

Daya Gamage – US National Correspondent Asian Tribune

The U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) will launch an Executive Defense Mission to India to participate in Aero India 2007, between February 4 and February 11, 2007 led by William S. Cohen, former U.S. Secretary of Defense under President Clinton and CEO of The Cohen Group, and Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering of The Boeing Company. The Mission seeks to consolidate the momentum of the recent U.S.-India strategic partnership to showcase American excellence in technology superiority, reliability, and long-term partnership. Aero India 2007 provides a forum for U.S. aerospace companies to build alliances, find partners, and share cutting-edge technology with India.

India has agreed to step up naval surveillance in common waters between India and Sri Lanka

By Walter Jayawardhana

India has agreed to step up its naval surveillance of the common waters with Sri Lanka to check the activities of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in the Gulf of Mannar sea region. Sri Lanka government’s media center for national security quoting the country’s Foreign minister said India has agreed to step up its naval surveillance in the common waters exist between Southern India and Sri Lanka. Sri lanka’s foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama soon after he accepted the new ministry in President Rajapaksa’s reshuffled cabined met for the first time in his official capacity in New Delhi, Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and his Indian counterpart Pranab Mukerjee.

LTTE engineered forgery, forced the temporary closing down of the London based TBC Tamil Radio

Thamil Broadcasting Corporation, a Tamil language radio station operating out of outer- London has been closed down due to an act of forgery, subtly engineered and precipitated by the elements suspected to be belonging to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in London. Though LTTE is a banned organization in Britain since 2001, however the outfit operates out of London and has grown from strength to strength since from the day it was banned in Britain. This time, according to Mrs. Sivajini Rajmaraj, one of the directors of the TBC, she has received an e-mail, as well as a telephone call from the British Company House – British equivalent to Registrar of Companies, demanding why TBC goes on air after informing in writing that TBC is closing down its operations.

EC and UNDP set-up a model dairy village in Kopay

Sunil C. Perera - Reporting from Colombo

European Commission has jointly initiated a Transition Programme to develop model Dairy Villages in the conflicted areas in Sri Lanka. According to the local EC delegation office, the first Dairy Village in Kopay , Jaffna shows successful results. The project has donated milk cows for 'have-nots' and most of housewives came forward to participate in this model diary village concept. A number of villagers attended this project and there are a number of successful stories, said a spokeswoman of the local EC office.

Munich, Germany: Arrest warrants issued against 13 CIA agents

The public prosecutor’s office in Munich on Wednesday issued arrest warrants against 13 suspected CIA agents. The 11 men and 2 women are accused of the kidnapping and mistreatment of German citizen Khaled el-Masri. The warrants accuse them of unlawful detention and inflicting grievous bodily harm. El-Masri was born in Lebanon but acquired German citizenship in 1995. The father of four children had been arrested in Macedonia at the end of December 2003 under suspicion of terrorism and abducted by the US intelligence agents to Afghanistan. There he was interrogated and tortured for a period of four months. When it became clear that his arrest was an obvious mistake, el-Masri was flown in the dead of night to the Balkans and left in a forest close to the Albanian border.

American diplomats meeting TMVP polical heads.

India’s judiciary seeks to burnish its reputation with some belated guilty verdicts

India’s State High Courts have recently delivered guilty verdicts in a number of high profile cases arising from brazen violent crimes committed over a decade ago by wealthy and politically well-connected individuals. Those convicted include a cabinet minister in India’s Congress Party-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, a sitting Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP, the son of a senior police commissioner, and the son of a wealthy Congress Party leader. The guilty verdicts have elicited a torrent of favorable media commentary, with the press congratulating itself for stoking and maintaining public interest in these cases and lauding the courts for having the integrity and courage to convict the rich and powerful