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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2058

Monthly archive

Britain heightens confrontation with Iran over detained sailors

The Blair government, backed by the Bush administration, yesterday stepped up diplomatic pressure for the release of 15 British sailors and marines detained by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRG) last Friday. In an already tense situation in the Persian Gulf, US aircraft carrier battle groups have held a major military exercise over the past two days, while British ministers in London called for Iran to be further diplomatically isolated. In a statement to parliament, Prime Minister Tony Blair condemned Iran’s detention of the British naval personnel as “completely unacceptable, wrong and illegal”. He warned: “It is now time to ratchet up international and diplomatic pressure in order to make sure that the Iranian government understands their total isolation on this issue.”

Douglas Devananda to sign Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in New York today

Douglas DevanandaDouglas Devananda Sri Lanka’s Minister of Social Services and Social Welfare is in New York is scheduled to sign the new Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities at a solemn ceremony to be held at the UN General Assembly hall today ( Friday, 30 March.) Fifty other countries too will be signing this Convention in New York today. The following countries have so far announced they will sign the Convention on Friday: Algeria, Armenia, Austria, Chile, China, Republic of Congo, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Ecuador, El Salvador, Finland, Germany, Ghana, Honduras, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Niger, Nigeria, Panama, Paraguay, Portugal, Republic of Korea, San Marino, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Sweden, Thailand, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania and Yemen, as well as the European Community.

Douglas Devananda

Malaysian company admits training Jaffna Tamil pilots

Dr.T. Dorai, Principal of Advance Aeronautics Training Centre located in Perak as well as in Ipoh , Malaysia, told the Asian Tribune that his organization is giving training on flying as well as on aircraft maintenance engineering to Tamil students from Jaffna, Sri Lanka. When asked whether those students who undergo courses in his training centre are from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam – the separatists Sri Lanka Tamil Tiger organization -- Dr. Dorai said that he is not aware of their political affiliations, but he said they are Tamils from Jaffna. Dr. Dorai. a Malaysian of Sri Lankan Tamil origin, said that their training centre conduct two types of aeronautical courses – 1. Flying and 2. Aircraft maintenance engineering course.

The LTTE Air Farce

H. L. D. Mahindapala

Without underestimating the impact (mainly psychological) of the Tamil Tigers dropping three bombs at the Katunayake military air base it is necessary to trace and place in its proper perspective the daring drama enacted by the Vanni hierarchy to impress that they are in command of the air space now. That is the intended message of the Tigers. In other words, the Tigers are saying that they can do what the Sri Lankan Air Force (SLAF) do and get away with it. But that is not the reality. The reality is that it was not the act of an air force but an air farce. This episode can be dismissed as a pin-prick in the broad theatre of war that has recorded a series of defeats to the Tigers. For the Tigers to make a significant dent in the Sri Lankan military machine it has to score decisive victories in land and sea. This one-off flying mission has not achieved any such victories. In fact, flying is one of the most riskiest gambles for the Tigers.

Arab Leaders: Peace Making Could Not Be Unilateral, Divisible

By Nicola Nasser

Flanked by international and regional non-Arab dignitaries representing the UN, EU, OIC, NAM and the leaders of Turkey, Malaysia and Pakistan as well as the foreign minister of Iran, the leaders of the 22-member League of Arab States on Wednesday re-launched in Riyadh their five-year old Arab Peace Initiative, determined to reactivate it with mechanisms and a follow-up diplomatic campaign that will again take it to the United Nations Security Council despite a U.S. veto, which aborted a similar move in the bud last year.

Burma Army Launches New Attacks Against Karen Civilians

The Burma Army has launched fresh attacks against villages in northern Papun District, Karen State in recent days, killing at least three people and displacing more than 1,000. On 20 March, Burma Army troops attacked Tha Da Der and Hta Kaw To Baw villages, causing more than 400 civilians to flee into hiding. On 18 March, villages in Toungoo District were shelled, and on 15 March troops from Burma Army Infantry Battalions 379 and 380 attacked Saw Ka Der in southern Mon Township, causing at least 600 villagers to flee into the jungle.

Huska denies hobnobbing with governor Datta to topple Rio ministry

By Oken Jeet Sandham – Asian Tribune

MLA Huska Sumi denied that he was hobnobbing with the then Governor Shyamall Data to topple Rio Ministry. The Chief Minister's charge that he had revealed a very serious issue of grave public importance as to how he had been hobnobbing with the Governor to topple his (Rio) Government was "far from truth," said Huska in a statement supposed to be raised during zero hour on the concluding budget session of the Nagaland Assembly on Thursday. Huska's plea to take the opportunity of zero hour to rise his point was however turned down by the speaker. But the statement was made available to the press.

Billion Dollar U.S. Military Aid to Pakistan Revealed:Congress Faults State Department failing to consult it

Daya Gamage – US National Correspondent Asian Tribune

In a key finding of an investigative study by the Washington-based organization that does investigative reporting and research on significant public issues Center for Public Integrity, the U.S. military aid to Pakistan soared to $4.2 billion after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack compared to $9.1 million in the three years before the attack boosting Pakistan to the top tier of countries receiving military funding. The Center for Public Integrity revealed the U.S. military support to Pakistan using data assembled through Freedom of Information Act requests.

UNDP

Sri Lanka: The women leaders of a remote hamlet

Forty one year old housewife Iruthayamary possesses remarkable leadership qualities and is accepted by all in her village of Periyamurippu. In a comparatively short period of time Iruthayamary has grown in stature and is now a much sought after community leader. Iruthayamary is also conversant with several aspects of construction projects. She liaises with organizations and aid agencies to improve the lives of the people in her village…most importantly to get houses and basic sanitation facilities for them. Her village Periyamurippu is nestled in the jungles of Mannar about 12 kilometers off the main road to Vavuniya. The protracted conflict has not spared this small community of around 200.

The Terrorist Within

By *Prof Ishtiaq Ahmed - Syndicate Features

The past couple of weeks have seen terrorism acquire proportions that must begin to be unbearable for Pakistanis. A doctor shot dead for bringing the polio vaccine to remote rural areas in the NWFP, a woman minister shot dead at point blank range by a fanatic for allegedly not wearing proper Islamic dress (whatever it means) and then potential suicide bombers blown to smithereens in Chichawatni by the same device they were carrying on a bike to strike some target: and one wonders who is no longer on the hit lists. These brutal crimes occurred a few days after suicide bombers had blown up 15 persons, including a senior civil judge, in a court in Quetta, and an earlier attack had taken place at Islamabad Airport causing several casualties.

Trustee of Tiger charity in London suspended and bank accounts restricted

After opening an inquiry into the Sivayogam Trust -- a controversial trust linked to the Tamil Tigers -- the Charity Commission in London has suspended one of the trustees. It has also restricted certain transactions including the bank accounts of the Trust. This Trust manages the Muttumari Amman Temple in Tooting, which is considered to be on the biggest money-making temples in London. The Chairman of the Board of Trustees is N. Seevaratnam whose daughter was to marry "Castro", the overseer of overseas operations in Vanni. But the marriage didn't go through because he sustained injuries to the lower part of his body which has confined him to wheel chair. Anti-LTTE parties have been challenging the authority of Seevaratnam and questioning whether the funds collected have been applies properly.


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