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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 74

Monthly archive


Save my niece abducted by Tigers," appeals Canadian citizen, Gajan Kanagaraj

Gajan Kanagaraj, a Canadian citizen of Tamil descent, has exposed for the first time, the latest terror tactics adopted by the Tamil Tigers to abduct Tamil civilians -- including unmarried girls. In an desperate e-mail sent to the Asian Tribune he is urging the international community to save his 27-year-old niece, Pathmaseeli Kanagarajah, who was dragged out of the house by Tamil Tigers cadres to be trained and thrown as cannon fodder in the planned "Final War" of Velupillai Prabhkaran. Pathmaseeli was living with her mother and sisters at Vinayagar Lane, Vaddakachchi, Kilinochchi in Sri Lanka.

Resettlement of the displaced persons from Vaharai and Trincomalee in full swing

Sri Lanka Government is making speedy arrangement to resettle the displaced people in Vaharai as well as in Trincomalee. Ameer Ali Sihabdeen, Minister of Disaster Relief Services told the "Asian Tribune" that there are 7432 families consisting of 26, 212 displaced persons from Trincomalee and about 4,400 families of 16,650 displaced persons from Vaharai are now living in numerous camps all over the Batticaloa district. The Disaster Relief Minister told that the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse after his visit to Vaharai on last 03 February has instructed officials to take immediate steps to resettle all those displaced persons languishing in the temporary camps in the Batticaloa district.

Sri Lanka: Anura and Deputy Speaker of Parliament are to be sworn in today as ministers

Anura Bandaranaike is expected to be sworn in as the Minister of National Heritage with Cabinet status today. He is also expected to be made Special Presidential Advisor of International Relations, a position that would take him around the world capitals. Furthermore, according to political sources, it is learnt that along with Anura Bandaranaike the present Deputy Speaker Geethanjana Gunawardena is expected to be also sworn in today as State Minister without cabinet status.

V.Ramaraj back with London based Tamil Broadcasting Corporation

V.Ramaraj of the Tamil Broadcasting Corporation based in London is back in London again with the Tamil Radio station. In a statement released to the press Ramaraj pointed out, that while he was in the protest rally Chelliam Kulasekeram alias Kulam, Switzerland’s chief of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, came with the Swiss police and one of the two miscreant who tried to disturb the protest rally, “pointed out me to the police as I was the person responsible for threat and intimidation, which lead to my arrest by the Police of Switzerland.”

FAO promotes new coconut water preservation process

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has come with a simple cold preservation process to bottle coconut water that protects the natural taste for up to three weeks while avoiding the loss of nutrients and almost all the delicate flavor entailed in commercial canning. The UN organization FAO has published a training guide promoting a simple cold preservation process that could increase sales of bottled coconut water.

United Nations to investigate the situation of the Maldivian judiciary system.

United Nations is to conduct a first-hand investigation of the situation of the Maldivian judiciary system and make recommendations for strengthening and guaranteeing its independence, a principle which is not enshrined in the present Constitution. In this context, the Government of the Maldives requested the assistance of the United Nations in the implementation of the “Roadmap for the Reform Agenda.” Earlier, in March 2006, the Government of Maldives adopted a “Roadmap for the Reform Agenda”, an extensive programme of reforms which will guide the transition of the country towards democracy.

U.S. Diplomacy Misses Opportunity, Shuns Peace Prospects

By Nicola Nasser*

Instead of building a diplomatic momentum on the political breakthrough mediated by their Saudi Arabian ally who succeeded in developing an Arab and Palestinian consensus on going along with the U.S.-steered Quartet efforts to revive the deadlocked peace process, the American diplomacy has turned their sponsored Palestinian – Israeli summit meeting in Jerusalem on Monday from a promising event into a missed opportunity, thus shaking off a burgeoning potential for a more coordinated regional U.S. – Arab front.

Sri Lanka: Colombo Katunayake Expressway to take off

Sunil C. Perera - Reporting from Colombo

France's giant conglomerate , Vinci, the integrated concession construction group, specialized in financing, designing, building and operation of major infrastructure projects all over the world, have signed a Contractual Framework Agreement CFA) the Ministry of Highways of the Government of Sri Lanka to commence construction activities of the Colombo Katunayake Expressway in May 2007. The expressway is expected to be completed in 33 months with the first phase being commissioned for use in 26 months. The importance of constructing a 26 km. 4 lane expressway linking the country’s only international airport to the capital city needs no emphasis. It is the gate way to Sri Lanka.

Flip side of Baglihar verdict

By Arabinda Ghose - Syndicate Features

Baglihar Verdict may please both countries. But don’t forget the sacrifice India had made for ten years under the Indus Water Treaty says the author. The February 12, 2007 verdict on the Baglihar Project has made India concede the Pakistan demand that the freeboard should be reduced by 1.5 metres. This is a minor matter because freeboard is a safety measure against overflowing of the dam by impounded river waters. Every modern dam has this provision. In case of the Tehri Dam, the freeboard is of eight metres, above the highest expected flood level.While welcoming the Swiss expert’s verdict, Indian engineers and political leaders should not lose sight of the considerable sacrifice India made in the years immediately after partition for making the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) a reality and winning for India the right to utilize the entire flows in the three “eastern” rivers of Ravi, Beas and Sutlej.

BBC reports on US military plans to strike Iran

Despite its menacing naval build up in the Persian Gulf, the US has repeatedly denied any plans for war against Iran. Last Thursday Defence Secretary Robert Gates brazenly told a Pentagon press conference: “For the umpteenth time, we are not looking for an excuse to go to war with Iran. We are not planning a war with Iran.” The statement is another of the Bush administration’s lies. A BBC report on Monday made clear that the Pentagon has completed contingency planning for extensive air strikes on Iran that go “beyond nuclear sites and include most of the country’s military infrastructure”. The article continued: “It is understood that any such attack—if ordered—would target Iranian air bases, naval bases, missile facilities and command-and-control centres.”

Erik Solheim

Eric Solheim praises his own tail

Erik SolheimErik Solheim, the Norwegian go-between who brokered the Ceasefire Agreement five years ago (February 22, 2002), has hailed it as "a tremendously positive development for Sri Lanka." On the one hand, he talks of the "silencing of guns (that) stopped the bloodshed" and, on the other, he states that "One killing was followed by another, and the violence escalated.." He adds: "The problem started when the parties decided not to implement the agreement into which they themselves had entered." He has, however, faled to mention that: the problem started not when the "parties" but when one single party (namely, the LTE) walked out of the peace talks for no valid reason one year after the CFA was signed.