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

Monthly archive

Formula for victory in the battle of the ballot

By Tushar Charan - Syndicate Features

With four states gearing up to elect new assemblies, there must be a great deal of curiosity or anxiety to know which way the wind will blow at poll time. The concern spreads to political pundits too who base their prognosis of the destiny of participating parties on the poll results. It is a different matter that this can be an unreliable exercise, unless one takes only a short-term view of a party’s future. Will the parties in power who have so carefully chosen candidates, not on merit but on the basis of their caste and money-cum-muscle power, retain their hold or will the voters in Punjab, Uttarakhand, UP and Manipur dethrone the ruling parties and hand over power to the Opposition parties?

India, China, Russia criticise 'double standards' in the fight against terrorism

By M Rama Rao - Reporting from New Delhi

Two Asian Powers, India and China and Euro-Asian Power Russia Wednesday held a trilateral meeting here in New Delhi, which while putting on notice the United States for its 'selective approaches and 'double standards' in the fight against terrorism, decided to close ranks for the security and stability of the region and the world at large. India's External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and their Chinese counterpart Li Zhaoxing in the joint communiqué issued at the end of their three-hour long discussions did not identify the United States in the course of their criticism of the on-going war against global terrorism.

Human Rights Watch and TMVP led by Karuna clash head-on on child recruitment

Ms. Joe Becker, Advocacy Director, Children’s Rights Division,of the Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Ms. S. Padhmini. Secretary, Tamileelam Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP), headed by V. Muralitharan (Karuna Amman) have locked horns on the issue of child recruitment. Padhmini says that Becker is wrong in accusing TMVP of forcibly recruiting children. And Becker says that Padhmini is wrong in denying it. Padhminin says: "I am at a loss to understand, why you all fail to comprehend the basic fact that if we have any single underage child with our armed forces, we are fully aware that we would be exposed one day or other and our credibility would be tarnished. Taking it into fully cognizance, we make today public our declaration that we have not one single underage cadre with us."

Is Halutz still sleeping well at night?

By Mohammed Mar'i

Israeli Occupation Forces chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz left office for his successor Gabi Ashkenazi. Halutz resigned in the wake of the failures of last summer's war in Lebanon is charged as war criminal due to his brutal and bloody targeted killings policy. Halutz who participated in the Israeli wars against Arab countries since 1968, was the first chief of staff to come from Israeli Air Force. During his tenure as Air Force Commander between the years 2000-2004, Halutz approved and oversaw operations that caused the death of many Palestinian civilians, including numerous children.

Concept of Unitary State and its Roots in the Sinhala Consciousness - Historical Hints from Michael Roberts's 2003 book

Dr. Siri Gamage - University of New England

At a time when the political opinion in Sri Lanka is divided between the concepts of federalism vs. unitary state as a solution to any form of devolving power to resolve the conflict with the LTTE, it is important to take a step back and examine the origin of these concepts and the contexts which gave meaning to them. There is a common understanding that these concepts are 'modern' concepts deriving their meanings -theoretical and operational- from the Western European political histories and thoughts.

What does “Union Day” mean to Burma Ethnic Minorities?

By Nehginpao Kipgen

Burma’s 60th Union Day was celebrated inside and outside of the country, but many people question why the event is celebrated at all, since the ideals expressed in the Panglong agreement have never been achieved. Union Day history starts at Panglong in southern Shan State on February 12, 1947, when 23 representatives from the Burman government, Chin Hills, Kachin Hills and Shan States signed an agreement in the presence of representatives from the executive council of the governor of Burma, to form an interim government.

Sri Lanka Telecom makes robust revenue and profit growth

By Quintus Perera - Asian Tribune

Sri Lanka Telecom Ltd (SLTL) has announced a record breaking increase in its net profit of Rs 5.4 billion, for the fiscal year ending in 31 st December 2006 and the percentage increase thus is 76 percent. The company announced that a gargantuan growth in its revenue, EBITDA and net profit for the 2006 financial year. Financial highlights for the year ending 31st December 2006: Net profit of Rs.5.4 billion up by 76 percent: EBITDA of Rs.22.7 billion up by 34 percent; Revenue of Rs.40.7 billion up by 25 percent: Operating margin of 31 percent and net margin of 13 percent; and earnings per share of Rs.3.01 up by 76 percent.

Southern tourists hotel owners ask promotional campaign to boost tourism in Sri Lanka

Sunil C. Perera - Reporting from Colombo

Owners of the local tourist guesthouses and hotels who are located in the Southern province say the government must launch a promotional program in selected countries to attract tourists. Speaking to media, one hotel owner of the Kosgoda area P.G.Mendis said a number of guest house and hotel owners now diverted their places to cater local masses, especially for weddings and other public functions.

To safeguard the Eelam Tamils Pirapaharan should apologize to India and Tamils for his past misdeeds.

Will Pirabakaran’s “Baby Brigade, stand up against the unstoppable air power of the Sri Lankan Air Force and the beefed up heavy weaponry of the Sri Lankan Military? LTTE Leader Pirapaharan, having announced that he is ready for the final war for Eelam, is recruiting children to face the Sri Lankan Armed Forces in the North, questioned G.Gnanasekaran, President, Eelam National Democratic Liberation Front. In a statement released to the press G.Gnanasekaran, President, Eelam National Democratic Liberation Front said, “LTTE Leader Pirapaharan did not want a unified Eelam liberation front or the existence of other Eelam liberation groups."

Finlays shows how timber life to be extended by preservatives

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune -

Finlays Rentokil (Ceylon) Ltd, a subsidiary of James Finlay & Co (Colombo) Ltd, started its pest control department 25 years ago involved in termite control, and gradually expanded its services to the industrial, commercial and domestic sectors to cover general pest control services. It started its treating timber by Vacuum Pressure impregnation technique with Celcure A (P) wood preservatives under license to Celcure Ltd UK in 1992 as a service provider to the timber based industries in its applications such as construction, furniture and wooden transmission poles in electrification projects with an investment of approximately 13 million.

Australia supports victims of crime in Sri Lanka

Sunil C. Perera - Reporting from Sri Lanka

The Australian High Commissioner, Dr Greg French, presented six million rupees to The Asia Foundation as part of the Australian Government’s Human Rights Small Grants Scheme to support the development of a "Psychosocial Resource Network for Victims of Crime". A further four million rupees was given to four small non-government organizations as part of the High Commission’s Direct Aid Program.

US Securities and Exchange Commission moves to further limit liability for corporate fraud

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has taken further steps to limit the liability of corporations and accounting firms that engage in fraud and corruption. According to an article published in the New York Times Tuesday, the SEC has filed a brief in a Supreme Court case urging the court to adopt a legal standard that would make it more difficult for shareholders to win lawsuits charging corporations and executives with fraud. The agency is also considering placing caps on the liability of accounting firms for facilitating fraud. The SEC is the federal agency responsible for administering securities laws and overseeing corporate regulation.

Alleviating poverty in India: Can it ever be done?: A Lesson for other Third World Countries

By Garvin Karunaratne Ph.D.(Michigan State),

India’s Finance Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram has said that in India, “poverty is vast declining and could be wiped out by 2040.”(BBCNews:3/2/07). An year ago the Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh said : “the country must be rid of chronic poverty and steps taken to ensure that farmers, workers, weavers, minorities and the weaker sections had a bright future.His aim was to transform the face of India and the lives of ordinary people”.(The Hindu:24/1/06) The aim of the Tenth Five Year Plan is to not only absorb all additions to the labour force generated over the Tenth Plan in a gainful manner but also reduce the level of unemployment by nearly half and will eliminate it completely by the end of the Eleventh Plan.(p.146) The end of the Eleventh Plan is in the year 2012.

NGOs Campaign for New U.N. Women's Agency

By Thalif Deen - Inter Press Service

When the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) holds a two-week session beginning Feb. 26, a coalition of over 150 international non-governmental organizations will use it as a platform to urge Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to help implement a proposal for the creation of a new U.N. women's agency. We are hoping that when women from around the world are present in New York for the CSW, we will have an opportunity for the secretary-general to hear firsthand how critical this reform is, not only for improving women's lives, but also for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (which includes the eradication of poverty and hunger) and improving the well-being of all," says June Zeitlin of the Women's Environment and Development Organization (WEDO).