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

Monthly archive

Report Card of Asians Living in the United States: Excellent, beating Whites, Blacks and Hispanics in all fronts

Daya Gamage – US National Correspondent Asian Tribune

Asian, domiciled in the United States about 13 million or 4.3% of the overall population of 300 million, have a larger proportion of university graduates, and higher median income. A large population of Asians is employed in management, professional, and related occupations. Asians generally spoke only English at home or spoke English very well, and about 7 out of 10 of them are U.S. citizens, whether by birth or naturalization.

Preying on Children

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

Despite its significance it is a story that went largely unreported and unnoticed in Sri Lanka – the Tigers have flatly rejected a UN demand to increase their minimum recruitment age to 18. The LTTE’s insolent response to the UN comes at a moment when the Security Council’s Special Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict is considering the imposition of targeted measures against the LTTE for persisting in child conscription. In this context the nihilist Tiger reaction is a boon to us, since it can be used to worsen the international isolation of the LTTE. As Philip Alston, the UN Special Rapporteur on Extra-Judicial Killings, pointed out the Eelam project cannot succeed without international legitimacy. And no other issue has hurt the LTTE’s quest for international recognition as that of child soldiers. It would be no exaggeration to say that the issue of child soldiers is the Achilles Heel of the Tiger.

Gunshot at the house of Palestinian Minster

By Mohammed Mari

Whereas Prime Minister designate started consultations with Palestinian factions to form the Palestinian national unity government, unknown gunmen have shot at the house of planning minister and acting finance minister Dr Samir Abu Aisheh, in the West Bank city of Nablus early Saturday. Sources close to the minister said that several armed men shot at the house of the minister, located at An Najah National University employees' resident. The sources added that many bullets hit the bedroom of the minister, but no casualties were reported. It is understood that this is the first time the minister or his house have been attacked since the Hamas government was formed last year.

Xerox to capture 300 percent market share in Sri Lanka

By Quintus Perera - Asian Tribune

Andrew Horn, Managing Director South Asia Region, Xerox outlining the Xerox local expansion plans said that they look forward to increase their market share in Sri Lanka by as much as 300 percent. He was speaking at a media conference held at the Hilton Hotel, Colombo He said that printing industry could be improved with modern technology, in Sri Lanka, it would be an income generating source to by-pass even the garment industry as today more than Rs 3 billion worth of printing work is outsourced to other countries.

‘Invoking History’ - an Intellectual Bad Habit: A Response to Dr. Siri Gamage

Professor Laksiri Fernando - University of Sydney (Visiting)

In early January, I had to rush to the Emergency Department of the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney, twice at mid night, with a severe right renal colic. Both times only large doses of morphine could pacify my pain. Even after several tests done, the house doctor at the first time could not find a plausible reason for my pain. He came back to me again and again, and questioned about my ‘medical history,’ and I revealed an irregular bowel syndrome (IBS) which I suffered from, almost ten years back. The doctor jumped on the fact and invoked the history! He had at least to give a provisional diagnosis in the discharge referral and what he wrote was “R renal colic due to IBS.” I am not saying that Dr. Siri Gamage’s article, “Concept of Unitary State and its Roots in the Sinhala Consciousness” (Asian Tribune, 15 February 2007) is completely the same as that doctor’s erroneous diagnosis, but very much similar.

Anura to be sworn in today? Disciplinary action against the other two ex ministers.

One of the three dissident former ministers who were removed from their ministerial portfolios is to be sworn in again as minister while the ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party is considering seriously to take disciplinary actions against the other two. According to reliable sources, Anura Bandaranaike is to be sworn in again as a minister with cabinet status today. It is learnt that he will be given back his National Heritage portfolio and also expected to be made Special Presidential Advisor on International Relations, a position that would take him around the world capitals.

Bangladesh’s Khaleda Zia party under cloud, split likely

By M Rama Rao reporting from India

The on-going drive the Caretaker Government (CG) in Bangladesh to cleanse the political system is taking its toll of the two main parties in the country. Many leading lights of Khaleda Zia’s BNP have been rounded up in the past fortnight. Some senior leaders of Awami League of Begum Sheik Hasina, like former lawmaker Sharfuddin Ahmed Jhontu and his brother Abu Asghar Ahmed Pintu, who is also the Awami League leader in the Zaker district, are in the net. But the damage inflicted on the BNP is far greater what with the police and army seizing weapons besides relief material meant for flood victims in the houses of its seniors like Shahidul Alam Talukdar.

NGO scams to run a parallel state with foreign aid

H. L. D. Mahindapala

Recently the Western diplomats stood up together to defend the NGOs. Obviously, they felt that the NGOs, who were their local partners in directing the domestic agenda of the host country, were under attack. It was a rare display of public solidarity which confirms the symbiotic relationship between NGOs and Western embassies. Normally, both parties acknowledge their mutual you-scratch-my-back-I’ll-scratch-yours arrangement only tacitly each time a diplomatic function is held in town. Prominent among the guests are the usual suspects picked from the NGO circus, parading with a glass in hand, with this or that drink, as if they are the Sultans of High Morality, or the Cabinet Ministers for Omniscience.

Reviving the Moribund Concept of the Merger: A Betrayal of the National Interest

By Silva

There have been in recent weeks somewhat forlorn attempts to revive the idea of a merged political unit, comprising the Northern and Eastern Provinces, for the ostensible purpose of vesting the elected representatives of this territory with autonomous powers of government. This move is currently sponsored by (1) Members of Parliament of the Tamil National Alliance ( the alter ego pf the LTTE) (2) the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Ranil Wickremasinghe) and some M.Ps of the residual UNP and (3) incessant promptings of the present Indian Administration whose predecessor originally coerced President Jayewardene to consent to such a device under the Indo-Sri Lanka Agreement of July 1987. It is the active interest displayed by the 2nd and 3rd parties that would cause concern and apprehension to many Sri Lankans.

We Palestinians Will Honor Our Word

By Afif Safieh

I know of no way to measure suffering, no mechanism to quantify pain. All I know is that we Palestinians are not children of a lesser God. Had I been a Jew or a Gypsy, I would consider the Holocaust to be the most atrocious event in history. Had I been a Native American, it would be the arrival of the European settlers and the subsequent near-total extermination of the indigenous population. Had I been an African American, it would be slavery in previous centuries and apartheid in the last. Had I been an Armenian, it would be the Turkish massacre.

Rebel Sufis of the Punjab

By Prof Ishtiaq Ahmed* -Syndicate Features

The Sufi brotherhoods that arrived in South Asia from the Middle East and Central Asia had already been influenced by the pantheistic traditions of South Asia, and in some cases the result was theist fusions or unitarian views of God. It is, however, important to point out that some Sufi orders were quite conservative such as the Suhrawardia and Naqshbandia. They had a strong presence in the Punjab. The Naqshbandi Sufi, Ahmed Sirhindi or Mujadid Alf-Sani, who lived during the 16th century and is buried at Sirhind, played an important role in the revival of strict Islam in the Mughal Empire and, indeed, in the Punjab.

UK government steps up assault on asylum-seekers

The British Labor government is ratcheting up the pressure on asylum-seekers and refugees in Britain. Deportations are being pursued regardless of the consequences for the deportees. This policy reflects an increasingly belligerent government attitude towards refugees.

British Minister snubs proxy Tamil Tiger MPs

During his 4-day visit to Sri Lanka British Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Minister Kim Howell met V. Anandasangaree, the leader of the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) leader and the leader of the People's Liberation Organization of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE) T. Siththarthan but not the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MPs, the proxies of the Tamil Tigers. This snub came after the TNA MPs asked for an interview with Howell. A Tamil daily reported tht the TNA MPs requested a meeting but it was turned down because Howell had no time.