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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2344

Monthly archive

Mahen Dayananda, Chairman, CCC handing

The breakdown of civil society in Sri Lanka: A leading businessman’s lament

By Raj Gonsalkorale

In an open letter to business leaders, the former chairman of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and a well respected accountant, a business leader and a social worker in Sri Lanka, and the Sri Lankan of the year in 2001, Mr Chandra Jayaratne, has sought the counsel and guidance from his fellow businessmen how he could reconcile business activity with silence in the face of some terrible atrocities that are going on in the country. In his letter, he appeals to his fellow business leaders as well as fellow citizens, to do their bit even in whatever little way they could, to speak and act against such atrocities especially when those who are suffering and have suffered are innocent children and the elderly.

Sri Lanka: Douglas and Karuna agreed mutually to avoid clashes in the East

Two hostile Tamil groups have agreed to avoid hostility in the future. Leaders of the Eelam People’s Democratic Party and the Karuna Group have agreed to avoid hostilities in the future and work peacefully in the East. Reports revealed that Minister Douglas Devananda, Secretary General of Eelam People’s Democratic Party and Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan, also called as Karuna has on 09 July have agreed to work separately avoiding confrontation in future. This agreement has been worked out between the leaders of the two Tamil groups after the clashes between the two rival factions erupted at Chenkalady. On 04 July a group of 60 Karuna Group cadres marched into the EPDP’s office and started firing, charging with grenades and attacking the EPDP members which resulted in the killing of two Karuna Group cadres.

Is New British Portfolio a Tribute to U.N.?

By Thalif Deen, UN Bureau Chief, Inter Press Service

Mark Malloch Brown, a former U.N. deputy secretary-general, recently anointed with the newly-created portfolio of British "minister of state for Africa, Asia and the United Nations", was a devoted loyalist who stood by the beleaguered former Secretary-General Kofi Annan right to the end. "I loved it here. But I am longing to get back to something in the area of development," Malloch Brown said in an interview with IPS last year, just before he stepped down as the U.N.'s second highest-ranking official after Annan. "Come Dec. 31, I am done. I am carrying the boss's bag down to the car when he leaves (the U.N. building)," he said famously, as he brushed off rumors of a possible extension of his term of office as part of a deal with incoming Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Number two LTTE man in Australia, accused of directing 600,000 Australian dollars and meeting Prabhakaran

By Walter Jayawardhana

Australian prosecutors accused a soft spoken accountant Arumugam Rajeevan who was allegedly working for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) terrorist group of overseeing the dispatch of 600,000 Australian Dollars for terrorist activities in Sri Lanka and visiting the terrorist leader Velupillai Prabhakaran for related purposes. The court heard the accusations when the 41 year old Tamil man who is a resident of Sydney and believed to be the Number Two man was brought to the Melbourne magistrate court. Rajeevan was charged with being a member of and providing support or resources to a terrorist organization and making an asset available to a prescribed entity, court papers said.

Lions International President Amarasuriya is Sri Lanka’s Best Public Diplomacy Envoy to the World

Oswin SilvaDaya Gamage – US National Correspondent Asian Tribune

The newly inaugurated president of the International Lions Movement Mahendra Amarasuriya, the first Sri Lankan in the ninety-year history of world’s Lionism to attain the most influential and coveted post, is in a privileged position to explain to the international community the threat to sovereignty, territorial integrity and the democratic system his country is facing from terrorism, is the interpretation a former Lions Governor of Sri Lanka Oswin Silva gave to Amarasuriya’s election.

Lanka Army captures LTTE's Eastern headquarters after 14 years

The Baron's Cap in the Eastern Sri Lanka, known as the Thoppigala mountain region, the long held Eastern bastion of the LTTE rebels, fell to the hands of Sri Lanka armed forces at dawn today. "The troops are still clearing the Thoppigala area. But there are rebel pockets still in west of Thoppigala. Therefore this area has to be cleared" announced Brig. Prasad Samarasinghe, the Military Spokesman this morning. The Thoppigala mountain is in the jungle area in Batticaloa and is located 220km east of Colombo. It was the long held Eastern bastion of the LTTE rebels –the headquarters of Eastern LTTE command. "Narakamula, and Tharavikulama areas are where the LTTE leadership had its Eastern headquarters and other fortifications.

As LTTE-East falls, Norwegian Ambassador Brattskar arrives in Vavuniya en-route to nothern LTTE HQ

Norwegian Ambassador Hans Brattskar has arrived in Vavuniya at 9:00 am today en-route to Kilinochchi to meet representatives of the LTTE rebels. As he holds talks with the LTTE, rebels' eastern cadres are on the run. LTTE's Eastern headquarters "Thoppigala" mountain region has fallen to SL security forces at dawn today. If on schedule, the talks between Brattskar and rebels should be on "right now" sources said. The Army announced that they have recovered many vehicles belonging to the LTTE along with ammunition caches.

Despite Thoppigala capture, Eastern region may still not be under full military control

Despite the capture of Eastern LTTE headquarters and the Thoppigala jungles, Sri Lanka Military does not want to directly say that the East is now under their full control. Asked by the press whether this capture now leads to full control of East by Lanka military, Defence Spokesman Brig. Prasad Samarasinghe refused to give a definite answer. "The military has captured all the main LTTE camps in East. Overall military control of East is in the hands of Military. However, there are still pockets of LTTE rebels in the East" he replied. Military also said "loads of anti-personnel mines were also captured. Several bulldozers, Cantor lorries, many mo-bikes and fleets of LTTE vehicles have been found" the military said.

Ceylinco Securities and Financial Services PLC reports strong growth

Sunil C. Perera in Colombo

Ceylinco Securities & Financial Services has posted satisfactory performance for the twelve months ended March 31, 2007, with strong growth in business volumes and healthy improvements in key financial indicators, despite the turbulent external environment. The turnover of the company for the year under review reached Rs. 1098 million as against Rs. 921 million in 2006, which was an increase of 19%. In un-audited results released, the Company reported a pre tax profit of Rs. 68.48 million, an increase of Rs. 6.05 million which was 10% over last year.

Two Sri Lanka Air Force Cadets Gain Admission to United States Air Force Academy

Two young cadets of the Sri Lanka Air Force recently received Certificates of Appointment to the prestigious United States Air Force Academy in Colorado. Mr. James Moore, the U.S. Embassy’s Deputy Chief of Mission, presented the documents to Viludani Yatawara – the first Sri Lankan woman cadet officer to get selected to the program – and to Chamara Wijesinghe. The United States Air Force Academy offers a four-year program of instruction and experience designed to provide cadets the knowledge essential for leadership and the motivation to serve as Air Force career officers. Each cadet graduates with a Bachelor of Science degree and a commission as a Pilot Officer in the Air Force.

Oswin Silva

New Zealand widens sanctions on Fiji following high commissioner’s expulsion

In response to the expulsion from Suva last month of its high commissioner, the New Zealand government announced last week that its travel ban on Fijians associated with the December 2006 military coup has been extended. The new ban covers all senior officials, including heads of government departments, agencies and statutory boards, and their immediate family members. It also applies to transit visas, and to high-level contacts with Fiji’s interim government. Any such contact will now require NZ Prime Minister Helen Clark’s personal permission or that of Foreign Minister Winston Peters.

Lacking investor confidence tumbles Share Market

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

The HNB Stockbrokers weekly market review indicated that the market decline witnessed during the last couple of weeks accelerated as both indices lost ground during all five days of trading this week. All Share Price Index (ASPI) shed 48.2 points to close the week at 2524 points while Milanka Price Index (MPI) dropped by 82.6 points to close at 3501.4 points. Market activity remained low during the week as retailers opted to stay in the sideline due to uncertainty in the macro environment.

Australia celebrates indigenous culture

Sunil C. Perera in Colombo

Australia celebrates its indigenous heritage this week (8-15 July) in annual National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) Week celebrations. NAIDOC Week is the outcome of a long history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander efforts to bring issues of interest and concern to indigenous peoples to the attention of Governments and the general public.

Sri Lanka Pakistan Business Council to strengthen trade ties

By Quintus Perera - Asian Tribune

The Sri Lanka Pakistan Business Council held its Annual General Meeting at the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce last week with High Commissioner of Pakistan in Sri Lanka, Shahzad A. Chaudhary as Chief Guest. Addressing the Business Council AGM, Gulam Chatoor, President of the Council stated that the Secretariat had compiled statistics shown in the Annual Report which indicated that there was a scope for Sri Lanka to export large quantities of Tea, Rubber and Betel Leaves to Pakistan and import more Cotton, Plastic, Fish, Glass and Fruits from Pakistan following the tariff connections introduced by the FTA between the two countries.

Somalia: the Ethiopian occupation, the reconciliation pipedream, and the way forward

By Abdulkadir Abdirahman

For some everything that could go wrong for Somalia has came to pass, for others, considering how rapidly Mogadishu is turning into Baghdad, the worst, both for Somalia and the region, is yet to come. However, there is no dispute that each day that passes makes it more evident that occupation leads neither to "reconciliation" nor to a "way forward." Seven months after disrupting what was widely recognized as "semblance of peace" that enabled Mogadishu to experience glimpses of normalcy, the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) who arrived in the Somali capitol on top of Ethiopian tanks continues on its brutal and self-sabotaging path.

November elections in East is not possible– Lanka elections monitoring group

By Joseph Thavaraja

Despite the military capturing LTTE headquarters and other rebel strongholds in the East, proposed elections in coming November in this region "is not plausible", a leading elections monitoring body in Sri Lanka said today. Mr. Kingsley Rodrigo, Chairman of the independent elections monitoring group People's Action for Free and Fair Elections' (PAFFREL) speaking to the media said "There are 42 local government bodies including town councils in the region. But it is not possible to hold any elections in November."


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