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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 823

Monthly archive

New Zealand: asylum seeker faces secret “security risk” hearing

Algerian asylum seeker Ahmed Zaoui began presenting his case to stay in New Zealand last week in a complex process that involves reviewing Security Intelligence Service (SIS) classified files. Zaoui, a former MP for the Front Islamique du Salut (FIS) in the Algerian parliament, arrived in New Zealand in December 2002 on a false passport and claimed asylum. He was promptly jailed without charge for two years—including 240 days in solitary confinement—with authorities claiming he was a suspected terrorist.

Promising native plant from Sri Lanka and India lowers type-2 diabetes

By Joseph Thavaraja

A native plant popularly known as "Kothala Himbutu" among Lankan Ayurvedic practioners and "Ponkoranti" by Tamil Ayurvedic practitioners, has now been scientifically proven to "lower acute glycemia in patients with type 2 diabetes." According to the latest American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, "the extract of Salacia oblonga lowers acute glycemia and insulinemia in persons with type 2 diabetes after a high-carbohydrate meal." The experiments were conducted by Jennifer A Williams, Yong S Choe, Michael J Noss, Carl J Baumgartner and Vikkie A Mustad. They have concluded "the results from this study suggest that Salacia may be beneficial to this population for postprandial glucose control."

"Mangala–UNP MoU only a dream" says Minister Jeyaraj, "corrupt are now afraid" says Ranil

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Lanka's former Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera and opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe at the Parliament premises today is "only a dream" said government's chief organizer Jeyaraj Fernandopulle in Parliament. Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle was speaking to a heated parliamentary session this afternoon in the aftermath of the MoU between the SLFP (M) faction and the main opposition UNP. "According to the MoU, Ranil Wickremesinghe will be the Prime Minister Mangala Samaraweera will be the Deputy PM. Then what will happen to S.B Dissanayake?"

Etihad Airways pulls out from Colombo

By Joseph Thavaraja

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates and a popular middle eastern airline among Sri Lankans traveling to gulf, will stop flying to Sri Lanka from September 9. "The airline will discontinue flights from September 9. The total passenger volume around 46600 has already fallen by 30%. Also Safety is another concern" said airline representative Kumar de Silva. "It is a sad decision but we cannot help" he added. "Etihad will offer flights to Colombo through its interline partner, Sri Lankan Airlines" said Geert W. Boven, Etihad Airways' executive vice president sales and services.

U.S. Senate Takes Steps to Restore Writ of Habeas Corpus denied by

Daya Gamage – US Bureau Asian Tribune

The United States Senate, in a bipartisan approach, has taken steps to restore the Writ of Habeas Corpus rights to those who have been detained as enemy combatants by the Bush administration since the September 11, 2001 attack on the American soil. The Bush administration’s denial of this right to all those who have been detained in the ‘Global War on Terrorism’ has been internationally and domestically criticized as a violation of basic human rights of a detainee.

Thai Immigration hold 113 Sri Lankans pending investigations

It is now confirmed that 113 Sri Lankan are at present languishing in the overcrowded Thailand’s Immigration Detention Centre located in the Thai Immigration Bureau compound in Soi Suan Plu, Sathorn, Bangkok. Wimal De Silva, Charge de Affaires of the Sri Lanka Embassy in Bangkok told Asian Tribune that he has already obtained the names and the charges against each of the Sri Lankans presently held in the detention centre.

Sri Lanka delegation left for Saudi on ‘Save Rizana Nafeek Mission’

On a ‘Save Rizana Nafeek Mission’ a delegation led by Sri Lanka’s Deputy Minister Hussein Bhaila left for Saudi Arabia today. Deputy Minister Bhaila left today afternoon accompanied by Jammiyathul Ulama Representative Moulavi M.B.M. Zarook and Director General of Middle East and North Africa Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ibrahim Sahib Ansar and the parents (M.S. Sulthan Nazik - father, S.A. Rajeena - mother) of Rizana Nafeek. Before departing to Saudi Arabia, Deputy Minister Hussein Bhaila speaking to Asian Tribune said that they have lined up meetings with important dignitaries in the country to persuade the Mr and Mrs. Naif Jiziyan Khklafal Otaibi, a Saudi government employee in Riyadh parents of the deceased four month old boy to consider clemency for Rizana Nafeek.

LTTE forcibly recruiting civilians as fighters

The LTTE rebels have begun to "forcibly recruit civilians as fighters" the latest Reuters update said. As a result, people "are living in hiding to avoid being forcibly recruited by the rebels and sent to fight in a Sri Lankan civil war they don't believe in" it added. The report further added "Tigers are demanding every family contribute at least one member."

A daylight white-van abduction in Colombo claims a Sinhalese

Another daylight white-van abduction has been reported in Colombo during the last hour. The victim, Weera Arachchilage Ranga Indika Perera, a Sinhalese, was abducted this evening by a group of unidentified men who arrived in a white van. He was abducted from Maligawatte, close to Colombo 8. "They did not wait---they took him and left at once" said the abductees associates who was with him at the time of the incident.

Sri Lanka: Children still forced to fight for Tamil Tigers

For four years, R. Ganesh and his wife Lakshmi have held out hope that one day they would see their son safely return to his home in Trincomalee District in eastern Sri Lanka. Lakshmi has hardly stopped crying since the day her only child, Jeggan, then nine years old, was taken away by members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and forcibly recruited as a soldier. Jeggan was abducted on 14 December 2002 by four LTTE soldiers, dressed in combat uniforms, who forced their way into the family’s house. “They stuck guns to our foreheads and told us not to scream,” Lakshmi told IRIN. “They blindfolded the three of us and told us that we had to fight for the Tamil struggle,” she added. “They then took my son away and we have not seen him since.”

Communists, Leftists Defy Indian Politics of Liberal Economics India’s Non-Alignment on the Balance, Communists on Alert

By *Nicola Nasser

The accelerated pace of India’s liberal economics and pragmatic ties with the United States and Israel risks polarizing Indian domestic politics and invoking a deep-seated communist as well as Islamist anti – Americanism with a realistic potential for a foreign policy strategic shift leading unintentionally and indirectly to creating an internal political environment that could be receptive for the first time to the agitation of the extreme violent Islamists who have been waiting on the sidelines for such a “golden opportunity” in the turbulent Afghani and Pakistani neighborhood, as well as for the agitation of the violent Indian Maoists.

Monarchy under siege … ….

By Vinod Vedi - Syndicate Features

King Gyanendra of Nepal must have heaved a sigh of relief: Things could have been worse on his 60th birthday than the demonstration of about a thousand republicans at a barricade far from the Narayanhiti palace in Kathmandu. It was tokenism just as that of the pro-monarchists who carried the king’s portrait and danced to drumbeats that did not carry the conviction of yester years. In 2001 after crown prince Dipendra killed the ruling family and then shot himself dead, the man who on an earlier occasion had been Regent of Nepal must have felt that fate had smiled on him a winning hand and ascended the throne.

Sri Lanka: Malnutrition rising in Jaffna, aid deliveries struggling

Nutrition surveys by the Sri Lankan government and international agencies show rising levels of acute malnutrition in the northern Jaffna district. Livelihoods and markets have been disrupted by conflict and displacement, the closure of a major highway, and security-related restrictions on farming and fishing. Food assistance for the internally displaced and other vulnerable groups has been in short supply for months. The Jaffna District Government Agent, K. Ganesh, says 96,500 families, 51 percent of the Jaffna population, are farmers or farm labourers. Their productivity has been hit hard by the lack of fertilizer and other farm inputs and because land is out of production in high security zones.

From the canvas of consciousness

By Nasim Zehra

It is hard to recall another event in Pakistan's non-war days which captured the hearts, minds, time and attention of the entire nation, as did the 10-day-long Lal Masjid siege and operation. It was one event which suddenly flared up so much around us and within us. There are countless questions. What are our values and principles as a nation? Where have we journeyed? Who is managing us? Where are we headed? Are we destined to be divided? Who is the enemy? Was the one that killed 45 innocent people in Karachi less deadly than the one inside Lal Masjid? Why do we insist on calling these armed militias Islamic militants? Why don't we see their politics as an extension of the failure of our politics? Why don't we understand the processes by which these militias were eased into the power fray in our public spaces by all those who now want them extinguished? Can we extinguish the 'other' let alone our own?

The Legacy of the plight of Hindus in Bangladesh Part IV

By Rabindranath Trivedi - for Asian Tribune from Dhaka

In February 1950, there was again a communal flare-up in which thousands of Hindus killed, followed by an unprecedented level of Hindu migration from East Bengal .The riots in 1950 killed thousands and pushed 35 lakh Hindus to take refuge in India. On the day of division of India in mid August 1947, there were around 42 million populations of whom 29.5% were counted as to around 12.5 million minorities in the eastern part of Pakistan. Here Hindus are the majority with around 98% among the minorities and rest of them are Buddhists and Christians. However, number of minorities in this part started declining rapidly since then due to 2-nation theory.

Electronic Trade Link by FCCISL to facilitate business community

By Quintus Perera - Asian Tribune

The publishing of a monthly online electronic international trade Bulletin - ‘e-Trade Link’ by the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL) would enable the Sri Lankan business community who subscribe to this e-Trade Link to enable their products and services to reach a wider international audience. Sujeevan Perera, Director Foreign Trade and Export Promotion, FCCISL explaining the benefits that the e-Trade Link would accrue said that this international trade link would provide an ideal vehicle to achieve the objectives of the local entrepreneurs.

Youth appeal to United Nations to prioritise health

By Bobby Ramakant

Ban Ki Moon, the United Nations (UN) Secretary General will receive concerns of over a million youth from around the world, including Thailand, voicing concern on health issues in September 2007. The young people of the world have raised vital concerns for UN to act upon. These concerns include, nearly one-third of the children in the developing world remain under nourished or stunted, while 30% of the developing world's population suffers from deficiencies of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals)

Burma Army continues to rape and kill as national convention re-convenes

Rape, torture, forced labour and killings continue in Burma as the military regime this week re-convened its National Convention to draft a constitution for the country. According to the latest report from the Free Burma Rangers, a relief organisation working in the conflict areas of eastern Burma, the Burma Army’s offensive in Karen State has continued throughout May and June. In Mon Township, Nyaungelbin District, six villagers were killed on 2 June. Three weeks later, in P’Na Ner village, the village headman was captured by Burma Army troops who slit his throat. Since the beginning of the year, the Burma Army have constructed at least 10 new military camps in Nyaunglebin District alone.

Ceylon Chamber of Commerce sponsored Trade Mission to Russia

By Quintus Perera - Asian Tribune.

Sri Lanka Russia Business Council operating under the aegis of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce is organizing a Trade and Investment Promotion Mission to Russia and Ukraine from 6th to 12th September, 2007. The Mission is coinciding with 50 years of bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and the Russian Federation. The Mission will be lead by Prof G L Peiris, Minister of Export Development and International Trade. The main objective of this mission is to strengthen trade ties, source suitable business partners, promote investments and joint ventures between the two countries and offer an opportunity for participants to obtain a better understanding of the business environment in Russia.

Early morning minor quakes wake up Sri Lanka's deep-south, several more coming– GSMB

There can be "several more minor earthquakes in the Hambanthota area of Sri Lanka in the coming days" said the Lankan Geological Survey and Mines Bureau this morning, following two early-morning tremors in the region. The two minor quakes were felt in Beralihela and Lunugamvehera in the Hambanthota region and they took place at 5:54 and 6:54 am. They damaged seven houses causing ripples in their walls.


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