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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2059

Monthly archive

More parliament sittings

By M Rama Rao & Atul Cowshish - Syndicate Features

The all-party meeting called by the Lok Sabha speaker, Somnath Chatterjee, on the eve of the budget session considered two issues that deserved more attention than they received in major newspapers. There was unanimity among leaders on one issue: to increase the number of parliament sittings to at least 100 in a year. But the meeting failed to arrive at a consensus on the question whether the proceedings of the parliament committees should be opened to the media. The continued bar on the entry of the media to parliament committees might disappoint some but perhaps it is a better decision. One of the unfortunate facts today is that the presence of the media at a gathering can drive away seriousness in purpose as participants are more keen to catch the camera’s eye.

EPDP denies of any involvement in demanding ransom or donations in Vavuniya

Eelam Peoples Democratic Party denied of any involvement in ransom and donation received from anyone, anywhere. EPDP alleged that none of their members were involved in such heinous crimes. Douglas Devananda MP, Secretary General of the EPDP told "Asian Tribune" that since 1990 May, his return from India to Sri Lanka and his involvement in the democratic mainstream, EPDP has either demanded or accepted one cent neither as ransom nor as donation from anyone.

US State Department’s Steven Mann Visits Sri Lanka March 8-9

Daya Gamage – US National Correspondent Asian Tribune

Steven MannPrincipal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the United States Department of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Steven Mann is scheduled to visit Sri Lanka March 8-9 less than two weeks his ambassador in Colombo faced Tamil Tiger mortar fire when he visited the eastern city of Batticaloa. American Embassy media note states that he is expected to discuss the stalled peace process, human rights and access to conflict areas with President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his senior government ministers, civil society leaders and non-governmental organizations.

Steven Mann

Batticaloa refugees increase to 83,000, Vaharai displaced to be resettled from today

As the Government of Sri Lanka announced yesterday that victims and displaced due to LTTE attacks in Batticaloa area will receive Rs. 100,000.00 each, Sri Lanka's television stations reported that the total number of displaced in Batticaloa as reaching 83,000. A considerable number of these are as a result of recent clashes in Vaharai between the Sri Lanka forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

Displaced from Vaharai

U.S. & Sri Lanka Sign Mutual Services Pact

Sri Lankan Defense Secretary Gothabaya Rajapaksa and U.S. Ambassador Robert Blake signed yesterday a logistical agreement between the two countries, providing a framework for increased interoperability. The Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA) will allow the United States and Sri Lanka to transfer and exchange logistics supplies, support, and re-fueling services, either in kind or at cost, during peacekeeping missions, humanitarian operations and joint exercises. The United States has ACSA agreements with 89 other countries around the world.

Brattskar meets LTTE, "Lanka military being moved to Manalaru (Weli Oya) area" reveal rebels

The Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigersb of Tamil Eelam appear to be poised for another round of heavy battle as the LTTE today accused the Sri Lanka Government of moving security forces towards Weli Oya area near Mullaitivu. In its strongest warning to-date since the signing of the Ceasefire Agreement of an impending clash the rebels said that Lanka military is being moved to Manalaru (Weli Oya) area and "we are preparing to face a large scale attack by Sri Lankan military." The rebels made this accusation when the Norwegian ambassador Hans Brattskar's visited Kilinochchi today (Monday March 5). The rebels termed it as a routine visit, and "the visit was to familiarize the Northeast situation".

Map showing location of Manal Aru - Weli Oya

Thai junta’s “reconciliation” fails to stem separatist insurgency

The continuing insurgency in southern Thailand is compounding the deepening problems confronting the military junta that took power last September. One of General Sonthi Boonyaratklin’s stated reasons for ousting Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra was his government’s heavy-handed repression in the country’s predominantly Muslim southern provinces, which inflamed separatist sentiment. The junta has failed to end the violence, however. Coordinated bomb attacks in the four southern provinces on February 18 killed eight and injured more than 50 people. The 29 blasts, along with 20 other attacks, took place within a 45-minute period. It was the first coordinated offensive across the provinces of Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat and Songkhla. Karaoke lounges, hotels, schools, petrol stations and electricity transmissions stations were hit.

Human Rights, the United States and Judging the Judge

Daya Gamage – US Bureau Asian Tribune

The United States Department of State is expected to release the annual Country Report on Human Rights Practices this month on about 190 countries worldwide sitting on judgment of those countries’ human rights practices, abuses and the remedial actions taken to minimize abuses, and judge if they have adhered to internationally accepted norms and UN covenants. In the coming weeks, the Asian Tribune will, once the annual report is released, bring how the United States has judged other countries’ human rights practices, what yardsticks the United States has used to make those judgments and the impact of U.S. conclusions and determinations on those countries, especially the Asian Region, in terms of foreign economic assistance, defense appropriations and its attitude toward regional and home grown terrorism that have least or no effect on the United States.


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