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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2343

Monthly archive

Naga Festival

Sri Lanka’s Rajan Hoole and Sritharan win International Human Rights Award

Daya Gamage – US Bureau Asian Tribune

Two Sri Lankans, educationist Rajan Hoole and Kopalasingham Sritharan well known for their life-long passion for the defense of human rights, are the international recipients of the prestigious Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders (MEA). The Amnesty International announced here that the two Sri Lankans will share the award with Pierre Claver Mbonimpa of Burundi. The Amnesty International (AI) says that both Hoole and Sritharan, ethnic minority Tamils, at great personal risk to their lives have monitored and documented in regular reports the human rights abuses committed by the Sri Lanka Government as well as the separatist Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka who are fighting the government for an independent state in the predominantly Tamil northern and eastern provinces in Sri Lanka.

French presidential debate: Royal and Sarkozy spar over right-wing agendas

Wednesday’s two-and-a-half-hour televised debate between Nicolas Sarkozy, the ruling Gaullist UMP (Union for a People’s Party) candidate and former minister of the interior, and Ségolène Royal of the opposition Socialist Party was a contest between two ruthless defenders of the interests of French imperialism and big business. While the debate was viewed by 20 million people—beating the ratings for the World Cup final—opinions are divided as to who won the encounter. Libération’s editorial read, “Nicolas Sarkozy did not lose. But Ségolène Royal won.”

LTTE a killed and abducted Indian Fishermen: “Their denial not strong and convincing” - DGP Mukherjee

D.MukherjeeTamil Nadu Police disclosed that that the 12 fishermen reported to be missing since March 4 are still in the custody of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and not convinced of the denial by the Sri Lanka’s Tamil outfit. The Tamil Nadu Police Chief D. Mukherjee speaking to Asian Tribune told that LTTE’s ‘denial was not a strong and convincing one.' Tamil Nadu Police chief said that LTTE also has told that they will check it up with their formations. He added that he is waiting for their positive response. In the meantime Mukherjee added, “I have already informed my government (Tamil Nadu State Government) to take up the matter with the centre.”

UK will not lift ban on Tiger suicide bomber, murders, torturers and rapists - Dr. Kim Howell

Resisting pressures from the pro-LTTE lobby in the House of Commons to lift the UK ban on Tamil Tigers, Dr. Kim Howells, the Minister for the Middle East, told Parliament yesterday: “I am very much averse to recognizing the legitimacy, if I could put it like that, of suicide bombers, murderers, torturers and rapists. I have been there twice and I have heard these stories myself many times, from NGOs and from Tamils themselves, as well as from Sinhalese and the Sinhalese Government.” He also stated: “The ability of the LTTE to raise funds overseas helps to sustain its ability to carry out violent acts and reduces the incentive to move way from the path of violence. LTTE fundraising activity in the United Kingdom encourages war, not peace.

U.S. "Moral Authority" on Human Rights Rests on Big Stick

By Thalif Deen - Inter Press Service

When the 192-member U.N. General Assembly meets in mid-May to elect 14 new members to the 47-nation Geneva-based Human Rights Council (HRC), the United States will be conspicuous by its absence and missing from the ballot. Justifying its decision, Washington says it will skip the elections because the HRC has lost its "credibility" for focusing primarily on one country -- Israel -- and ignoring "human rights abusers" such as Myanmar (Burma), Iran, Zimbabwe and North Korea.

BJP will win around 15 seats in coming elections: MC Konyak

Oken Jeet Sandham - Asian Tribune

Senior BJP MLA and parliamentary secretary, MC Konyak expressed the hope that his party would win at least 15 seats in the coming crucial Nagaland state general elections and said their party was maintaining the “spirit of alliance” till now. Talking to “Asian Tribune” here, the parliamentary secretary said the DAN government came into being on the basis of the Common Minimum Program, CMP. “This CMP has been still going on smoothly,” he stated. Asked whether the major NPF would come around to their terms of seat sharing for the upcoming general elections in the state, Konyak stated it was up to the “big brother.”

Tiger run risky campaigns against Sarkozy, French Presidential candidate

In alliance with the left-wing trade unions running the May Day rally in Paris the Tigers attempted to play French politics. They were trying to pretend that they could swing the French presidential elections by running campaigns against the right-wing Presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy. The second round of voting for the Presidential election is due to be held on the 06th of this month. In the second round of voting the Rightist Presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy from Union For Popular Movement will be challenged by the Left Wing candidate Ms. Segolene Royal from the Socialist Party.

LTTE Aircraft fly sorties “Three times in One month”, targeting vital installations to the country’s security and economy

By Geoffrey Evarts

The Solution – Island-wide blackouts without warning. Citizens suffer (while the country’s ruling elite will have the use of their generators and air conditioners of course); tourists (now on the endangered species list) have to pull the curtains in their hotels shut and light candles. And the country’s defence establishment fire wildly into the blackness of the night, causing panic and consternation among the public – Reports stated that armed soldiers and policemen on duty had even blindly fired their machine guns into the night sky! Such was the confusion and panic that reports indicated civilians had gotten injured in this unnecessary firing! The Tigers are flying Czech made propeller driven Air Craft with home made bombs, while the Sri Lanka Air Force uses fighter jets and helicopter gun-ships, using rockets and other advanced weaponry (amongst other armaments in the SLAF arsenal).

Factions seem sidetrack the “real Naga issue”: Dr Lotha

Oken Jeet Sandham - Asian Tribune

Nagaland Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dr TM Lotha expressed pain and anguish on the prevailing state of affairs amongst the various Naga underground groups in the State. Speaking as Chief Guest at the Moatsu Festival here on Wednesday, the Minister came down heavily on the senseless fratricides amongst the Naga underground factions, and asked, “What do they gain if they kill their brothers and sisters.”

Australian FM Downer admits that some funds were raised for LTTE

Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer on Wednesday May 2 said that "some" amounts were being raised in his country to finance the operations of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). "The Hindu" reporting on this said "Mr. Downer was commenting on the issue in the context of Tuesday's arrest of two Melbourne residents for their alleged fund-raising activities on behalf of the LTTE. The two accused were later produced in court." The Hindu added: "The Minister characterised the amounts that were suspected to have been transferred to the LTTE from Australia, over some time, as "small" quantities."

Law Makers vs. Judiciary

By Sarla Handoo - Syndicate Features

Nothing could have been better music to the ears of politicians of all hues, than the recent remarks of the Supreme Court Judge, Justice Markandeya Katju. He made no bones about expressing himself against the practice of Special Leave Petitions coming up before the apex court on all and sundry issues and went on saying he would even lodge a formal complaint against the practice. Justice Katju advised his fellow judges to exercise some self- restraint in entertaining PIL’s. The timing of the remarks too has been ideal for the politicians. For quite sometime, the debate about judicial activism has resurfaced once again, with politicians alleging that the courts have been overstepping their jurisdiction.

Turkey: Constitutional Court stops presidential election

Following a thinly veiled threat of a coup by the military, the Turkish Constitutional Court issued a ruling on Tuesday halting the country’s presidential election. The head of the government, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, immediately responded by proposing new parliamentary elections. The Constitutional Court declared that the first round of the presidential election held last Friday was illegal, because less than the necessary two thirds of all parliamentary deputies were in attendance for the vote. This judgement is politically motivated. There is no basis for such a decision in the Turkish constitution. According to the media, even the judge responsible for writing the decision advised against issuing it on the grounds that it lacked any legal foundation.

Black Hole

D.Mukerjee

Breaking News: Eight dead and 6400 displaced in Sri Lanka as incessant rains lash Colombo and Kalutara

Incessant torrential rains lashing Western and Southern Sri Lanka this morning have killed eight people and displaced more than 6400. At 8:45 am today, a 15 feet diameter block of road on the Colombo-Galle main arterial route suddenly sunk, giving way to a black hole on the highway and creating a traffic block of several kilometers. And City of Colombo this morning alone reported a massive 156 mm of rainfall. Many roads were inundated, especially in the capital city of Colombo. At the Colombo entry point of Galle - Colombo route, the main artery to the southern Sri Lanka, traffic blocks extending more than several kilometers were seen in the morning hours.


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