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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2341

Monthly archive

Sri Lanka’s Development Prospects

By Dhammika Herath

59 years have passed after Sri Lanka attained independence from the British colonial master. At the time of independence, Sri Lanka had a promising development record and was on the right track. Several countries which had similar per capita incomes, such as Singapore and South Korea, however, have surpassed us in gigantic steps. It is the informed opinion of many a development theorists that Sri Lanka, although it has faired very well in some human development indicators, has not lived up to its true development potential. The development strategies of a country are crafted with the influence of the dominant development paradigms of the time, especially, those fashioned in the West, for the obvious reason of the latter’s overwhelming economic, political and military power over the rest of the world.

14th SAARC summit opens with India offering unilateral concessions

By M Rama Rao - Reporting from Delhi for Asian Tribune

Dr. Manmohan Singh The 14th SAARC summit opened here on Tuesday with India offering duty free access to the goods from the least developed countries of south Asia (Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Maldives and Afghanistan) and Sri Lanka advocating a single currency for the region while Pakistan preferred to harp on the K-word even as it blamed the grouping not making the desired progress. Afghanistan, which joined as the eighth member, called for an end to terror in all forms. The 'grand old man' of SAARC, President Abdul Gayoom of Maldives said the grouping should become action-oriented.

200 Sri Lankan peacekeepers decorated by the United Nations

Sri Lankan soldiers decorated for their peacekeeping efforts in Haiti. The Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Haiti, Luiz Carlos Da Costa, expressed appreciation for their “professionalism and spirit of sacrifice shown by the members of this contingent by their work in a difficult and dangerous environment to attain peace, stability and hope for a better future for the people of Haiti." According to United Nations, Two hundred members of the Sri Lankan contingent in the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) were decorated with the United Nations peacekeeping medal at a solemn ceremony organized at its contingent base in Léogane on the 29th of March 2007.

Working with INGOs to Eliminate the Threat of Landmines in Sri Lanka

United States of America has come forward to observe the second annual International Day of Mine Awareness and Mine Action today with Sri Lanka. In this occasion .S. Ambassador Robert Blake has said "We are proud to be a close partner with Sri Lanka in increasing the local capacity to detect and clear mines." Ambassador Robert Blake in a statement released regarding the observance of the annual International Day of Mine Awareness and Mine Action has further added“Despite the return to violence, dedicated de-mining squadrons from the Sri Lankan Army, INGOs such as the Humpty Dumpty Institute and the HALO Trust and private partnerships from Land O’ Lakes are still dedicated to removing mines and economic redevelopment. We hope we will be able to assist the government in making the Sri Lanka mine-safe and productive so Sri Lankans can go about their daily lives free from the fear of mines.”

Shaukat Aziz, Karzai stick to familiar rhetoric at SAARC

By M Rama Rao - Reporting from Delhi for Asian Tribune

Shaukat AzizPakistan Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai here to attend the SAARC summit did not disappoint the hawks back at home. Aziz made an oblique reference to the bilateral disputes with India in his address to the plenary session and touched upon the K –word at his media interaction, saying that 'an environment of disputes and mistrust' are at the root of SAARC's failure thus far and that from the Pakistan perspective, 'Kashmir is a key dispute'. Hamid Karzai's was as blunt a speech as can be expected from a Pathan.

Norwegian police arrest Tiger credit card racketeers

Øystein Kilde and Nils Kenneth Brustad, two Norwegin Customs Officers, were suspicious of the unusually large consignment of "After Eight" and "Sphinx" chocolate boxes in the luggage of Selvakumar Yoganathan. He and Rahim Kahn were at the Gardermoen airport, Oslo about to embark on KLM flight 1142 to Amsterdam. After a thorough search the Customs Officers found stacks of cash and 43 debit cards of the type TRUMH. These cards can be programmed to operate as VISA cards, Master cards and American Express cards.

Tamil Tigers plan another TV channel, if France closes down TTN TV

In an attempt to dodge the impending closure of the illegal transmission of the TTN TV - Tamil Television Network televised from France, the Tamil Tigers are planning to launch another TTN TV channel. They have already announced their plans recently on their IBC radio. The case for the closure of the TTN Television is pending in a French court. The case is scheduled for hearing on the 15th of May.

Rajapakse calls for single currency for SAARC

By M Rama Rao reporting from Delhi for Asian Tribune

Mahinda RajapakseCalling for a single currency on the pattern of EU, Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse told the SAARC summit here on Tuesday that a single currency will enhance the productivity of the region and improve trade without barriers. He expressed his disappointment that SAARC had failed thus far go beyond rhetoric and said, "I strongly believe in practicality. While endorsing and fully subscribing to the values of SAARC, we badly need to be action-oriented". He told the fellow SAARC heads of state and government that merely saying good things about each other and ignoring the reality will take us 'nowhere'. Rajapakse, for whom this is the first SAARC summit said "all what we have endorsed over the years, must without any further delay, be transformed into action".

Sri Lanka: Looking beyond consolidation

By Col R Hariharan (Retd.)

The consolidation operations of Sri Lanka Security Forces are now nearing the final stage. During the last four weeks Security Forces have made good progress both in Trincomalee and Batticaloa sectors. However, two recent incidents in the east have highlighted the type of threat the Security Forces and the public would face from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) even when the consolidation process is completed because LTTE in the east is now in the insurgency mode after losing territory in the east.

Arab Leaders Resurrect Land-for-Peace Deal

Thalif Deen - Inter Press Service

A legendary anecdote of wishful thinking relates to a Jewish merchant who keeps praying to God hoping to win a multi-million-dollar lottery. As he implores before the Almighty every night, he complains that the prize money evades him, although his friends, his neighbours and even his business associates keep winning. Why is he the only one who doesn't win the lottery? he asks sullenly. When God finally responds, he says: "Why don't you give me a break, Solomon? Why don't you go buy a ticket first?"

French crackdown on Tigers will lead to similar police action in other countries too

In its crackdown on Tamil Tiger operations which began on April Fools Day, the French Interior Ministry’s anti-terrorists officers arrested two more Tamil Tiger yesterday. At the same time it released two members who were earlier arrested on the April Fools day. Informed sources told the "Asian Tribune" that more arrests are likely as the investigation deepens. Police sources said that the arrested LTTE cadres might be produced today in the courts. Fench Police sources said that they have received numerous complaints against the LTTE activities in Paris and in the suburbs. They have also received complaints of LTTE collecting monies from Tamils in France under duress and threats.

Italy Fiat Cars back in Sri Lankan roads.

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

Fiat Cars that were started running on Sri Lankan road around 100 years ago have re-entered the Sri Lankan Market with a bang through Euro Motors (Pvt) Ltd with three new generation Fiat models – Panda, Doblo and Grande Punto. Their target sales for 2007 and the distributors are too sure of the sales of these very popular fuel economy, low priced vehicles they expect to sell more than 600 vehicles during the year that would claim 2 ½ percent market share. The launch of these three Fiat models took place at BMICH Exhibition Hall, last week. Fiat cars were popular in Sri Lanka earlier when they have first entered around 100 years ago.

International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action

Sunil C. Perera - Reporting from Colombo

Landmine Ban Advocacy Forum (LBAF) is marking the second International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action at a time when Sri Lanka is rife with conflict again. Approximately 4,000 civilians are known to have lost their lives at the close of 2006, as a result of the recent upsurge of violence. The security situation has also severely affected the lives and livelihoods of thousands of civilians, the work of organizations involved in relief, reconstruction and development, and increased the potential for the laying of new anti-personnel mines.

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Shaukat Aziz

Shaukat Aziz


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