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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 949

Monthly archive

Fiji: Public sector workers strike against junta’s austerity measures

In defiance of threats by the Fijian military regime, more than 10,000 government workers began an indefinite strike on August 2. The strikers are members of the Public Employees Union (PEU), Fijian Teachers Association (FTA) and the Viti National Union of Taukei Workers (NUTW)—all affiliates of the Fiji Islands Council of Trade Unions (FICTU). The strikers joined more than 1,600 nurses who walked out on July 25 over the same issues—the government’s budget decision to cut the pay of public sector workers by 5 percent and axe jobs by lowering the retirement age from 60 to 55. In the small Pacific island state of just less than a million people, the strikers represent a significant section of the organized workforce.

Sri Lanka’s Diplomacy: a Response to Kalyananda Godage

Professor Laksiri Fernando, University of Colombo

Kalyananda Godage, a former senior diplomat in Sri Lanka’s Foreign Service, in several of his recent articles, seemingly questioning Sri Lanka’s current diplomatic thrust in its fight against LTTE terrorism, has in fact centered his barrage against the current Foreign Secretary, Dr. Palitha Kohona, the motive of which might not be so difficult to guess. I am in particular referring to the article titled “Sri Lanka is Making Enemies of Friends through Amateurish Diplomacy” (by Kalyananda Godage Island 30 July). The article raises several issues in respect of diplomacy in general and professional ethics of diplomats in particular, former or current. The question of ethics seems to appear much grubbier when former diplomats turn third class journalists combining fact with gossip or judgment with personal animosity.

Human Rights Watch report a baseless canard, reflects very badly on its credibility - Department of Information

Sri Lanka’s Department of Information snubbed the New York based Human Rights Watch for publishing a misleading report, rife with contradictions. It alleged that Human Rights Watch report was based on largely unconfirmed and unsubstantiated allegations and outdated information. The Human Rights Watch alleged in its 129-page report, "Return to War: Human Rights Under Siege,” that Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa has shouted at an editor of the newspaper at an Editors’ Meeting held at the Temple Trees in August last year.Director of Sri Lanka’s Department of Information strongly alleged that the recent report by the Human Rights Watch as baseless canards in the website reflects very badly on the credibility of the organization.

Indo-Bangladesh relations and coup in august 1975 –part- VI

By Rabindranath Trivedi - for Asian Tribune from Dhaka

It is interesting to note that from the 16th December1972 to the 16th December 1973-within this one year, Bangabandhu in his address to the nation on December 15, 1973, said, “Our achievements in the national and international fields are by no means insubstantial. This was the time for the enforcement of our Constitution. .. The Delhi-Agreement was signed to reduce tension in this sub-continent. Bangalees stranded in Pakistan have started to return home. Upto the 14th December ’73 more than 64 thousand Bangalees have returned. Bangladesh has participated as an honoured member in the Commonwealth Conference at Ottawa and the Non-Aligned Conference (NAM) in Algiers. By admitting Bangladesh at the Algiers Non-Aligned Conference, the majority of the Arab and African states have acknowledged and recognized our sovereign state.”

Vanishing Tribe of Sri Lanka

The Vanishing Tribe of Sri Lanka, Vanniyeley Aetto (Indigenous People) met yesterday 08th in order to Celebrate the World Indigenous Peoples Day due on tomorrow 09th August. Their annual meeting or the festival called "Wariga Sabha" commenced yesterday with colorful Tribal Dancing and songs at Dambana. Wariga Sabha was to be represented by four main tribes, which are "Uru Warigaya, Morana Warigaya, Unapana Warigaya and Thala Warigaya." There are seven regional Deputy Chiefs of Vanniyeley Aetto participated representing 18 villages and the meeting, Wariga Sabha was presided over by the Chief of all Tribes, "Uruwarige Wanniya." At the meeting they discussed various issues mainly relating to Deforestation and Industrialization. Due to these causes, they have lost almost their traditional hunting paths.

Vanishing Tribe of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka: U.S. Treasury Completes Capacity Building Mission

The United States Department of the Treasury, in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Institute of Development Administration (SLIDA), recently completed a two-year mission that presented a wide range of education and training seminars and workshops for 900 Sri Lankan professionals. Professionals from U.S. Treasury, the Sri Lanka Ministry of Finance and Planning and SLIDA presented the seminars and workshops. According to Dr. Regis Chapman, U.S. Treasury’s resident budget advisor in Sri Lanka, “the workshops, seminars and class lectures were aimed at exposing participants to concepts and practices in public sector budgeting, program and policy analysis, and principles and practices of good governance.”

SME Bank assists Big oinion farmers in Sri Lanka

Sunil C. Perera in Colombo

A special project to assist big onion cultivators would be implemented by SME Bank in collaboration with the Agriculture Department of the Central Province during the Yala season. Under this project selected big onion cultivators will receive a grant of Rs.50,000/- from the government, the required technology and assistance from the Agriculture Department, and a soft loan of Rs.70,000/- at a concessionary interest of 9% p.a. from SME Bank, with refinance provided by the Central Bank, to construct storage barns for preserving the harvests. The total cost of a storage barn is estimated to be around Rs.150,000/- and the balance Rs.30,000/- will be the borrower’s contribution.

US-Burma Scholarship Program enters a new chapter

By Nehginpao Kipgen

Sixteen years (1991-2007) of the 1990 congressionally mandated Burma Refugee Scholarship Program (BRSP) comes to an end paving the way for a new direction. This happens at a time when the U.S. government is mulling over possible means to Burma’s problems. Fulbright Program, established in 1946 under legislation introduced by the then U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, is to take over the US-Burma Scholarship Program. Interestingly, both BRSP and Fulbright programs are sponsored by Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State.

Indian Muslims: 'A big disappointment' to Al Qaeda

By M Rama Rao - Syndicate Features

American intelligence experts too have now given a certificate to Indian Muslims. They (Indian Muslims) are a 'big disappointment' to Al Qaeda, these experts said in a signed terrorism intelligence report. Reason? India has strong Sufi traditions. Therefore, Muslims in India are 'far more moderate' and 'far more integrated in India than elsewhere, say Fred Burton and Scott Stewart, who have authored the report. These comments must come as a big relief to the Indian Muslim community who are facing 'the heat' in the wake of arrest of two Bangalore born Muslim doctors in the UK in connection with a terrorist plot in Glasgow. Surprisingly, the Burton-Stewart report found very little mention in the Indian media.

Peace Secretariat and Peace Monitors agree emerging understanding to mutually enhance peace monitoring role

A cordial working relationship has emerged between the Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process (SCOPP) and the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) after their weekly meeting, which has subsequently led to greater understanding mutually on issues relating to the Ceasefire Agreement and the peace process. SLMM agreed that a closer relationship between SLMM and the LTTE Peace Secretariat would further strengthen its peace monitoring role. A Peace Secretariat statement revealed that SLMM and SCOPP have discussed the recent report of the U.S. based Human Rights Watch on Sri Lanka and both sides noted that recent positive developments in Sri Lanka such as the training of police in human rights matters and the creation of citizen committees in the districts in the North and the East needed to be highlighted more.


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