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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2399

Monthly archive

The Mansion

“I am not a Wahabist” – Chairman BCAS

A.Rahman, Chairman, of British College of Applied Sciences (BCAS), Colombo, Sri Lanka, has written to the Asian Tribune, denying any connection to Wahabism or any other form of political extremism. (See Asian Tribune of 28 August - Militant Wahabism beats other Islamic fundamentalists in Sri Lanka.) He states: “I am a moderate Muslim who upholds honesty, credibility and integrity in my private and social life. I have never had any association or contacts with the so called Muslim factions such as Washbasin, Sunnis, Shiites or Sufis. Nor do I entertain or endorse the actions of extreme elements however justifiable their cause may be. I always condemned and will not hesitate to condemn violence of whatever forms – religious, political. I have protested against such violence in several forums and discussions.”

JHU on Al Jazeera

By Dushy Ranetunge in London

On Wednesday, Al Jazeera TV aired its second in a series of short documentaries about the Sri Lankan conflict. The focus was on the JHU. Champika Ranawaka, the JHU Member of Parliament and several Buddhist monks were interviewed. Although the program itself was balanced with JHU and anti-war monks and campaigners being interviewed, those representing the JHU and those sympathetic to their point of view did not do any favors for Sri Lanka. Instead they came across championing a point of view articulated by the likes of the racist National Front (NF), the British National Party (BNP) or even the Protestant militant terrorists of Northern Ireland.

Who’s afraid of Gareth Evans?

By Gomin Dayasri

Gareth Evans,the former Foreign minister of Australia has received coverage in Sri Lanka after he threatened international intervention should the Security Forces move to disarm Prabhakaran. A man with an international reputation, Gareth Evans, played a significant role in the affairs of Indonesia and Cambodia in the Asian context. Gareth Evans as the head of the Brussels-based International Crisis Group down played the threats of the another potent terrorist organization operating in Indonesia, Jemaah Islamiyah. In a lecture to a university audience he stated

Internationalization (Privatization) of School Education in Comparison to the Free Public Education in Sri Lanka – Part III

By Dr. Siri Gamage, School of Education, University of New England, Australia

Whether or not the reported decline in standards in public schools is directly related to the expansion of international schools, and the privately run tuition classes/schools, it is necessary to examine the trends in declining standards in order to comprehend the totality of the situation and to achieve a holistic understanding of the issues surrounding internationalizations of education. Those who criticize the operations of international schools do so by comparing them with the standards in the state funded public schools. They argue that it is unreasonable to allow the well-to-do segments of the society to access higher standards of education leading to better employment opportunities, while the state education sector is in a state of decline.

Government to increase gem earnings by US Dollar one billion

Sunil C. Perera in Colombo

Sri Lanka Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama proposes to push up the gem and jewellery sector as a one billion dollar industry in Sri Lanka. Speaking at the FACETS – International Gem and Jewellery exhibition held in Colombo, the minister said at present the government and the exporters develop the gem and jewelley sector to enter new markets, specially in Europe, China, India , Vietnam and Japan. He said Sri Lankan exporters have developed Apparel, Tea, IT and tourism as priority sectors and earn billion of dollars per annum. The legislator said that gem exporters and jewellery makers must improve their designs, add value to their products to win the middle level customers in India.

India's ruling Congress and the Left patch up, end nuclear haggling

By M Rama Rao reporting from New Delhi

The Congress-Left nuclear stand off in India has ended. There are smiles on both sides. And the two sides conceded some ground without appearing to lose face in any way. According to a very nuanced formulation hammered out by Pranab Mukherjee and Sitaram Yechuri, who met for the nth time today afternoon the objections raised by the Left parties will be looked into by a committee and the operationalisation of the nuclear deal will take into account committee's findings.

U.S. Senate Investigation Reveals Eritrea Providing Military Aid to Sri Lanka Tamil Tiger Rebels

Daya Gamage – US National Correspondent Asian Tribune

A United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee report reveals that the Government of Eritrea is providing direct military assistance to Sri Lanka’s separatist Tamil Tiger rebels. The Senate report does not generalize that military assistance is coming from ‘Eritrea’ but authoritatively says ‘Government of Eritrea’ providing ‘direct military aid’ to the Sri Lankan rebels.

Murky Future for Rights Treaty on Water

By Thalif Deen, UN Bureau Chief, Inter Press Service

A proposed international treaty to guarantee water as a basic human right has received mixed reviews from experts, environmentalists and political activists. "If someone thinks that a global convention on water as a human right will solve the world's drinking water problem, I have to say that person is living in cloud cuckoo-land," Professor Asit K. Biswas, president of the Mexico-based Third World Centre for Water Management, told IPS. He pointed out that food has been declared a human right for decades, yet hundreds of millions of people are still hungry.

Sri Lankan born Japanese academic releases a book on Sinhala Grammar

By Sunil C. Perera in Colombo

Sri Lankan born Japanese Professor Dileep Chandralal introduced his latest book g Language and Space h for the local academics to educate them on Sinhala language and the grammar. Prof. Chandralal has already released this book for the international academics and the universities last year. Speaking to media in Colombo the Professor said this book attempts to establish the interrelationship between the category of space and the case categories in language. The localist assumption is that abstract grammatical categories are derived from more basic categories related to the domain of physical space.

Yasodhara's mansion in England

By Dushy Ranetunge in London

The MansionDeformation and distortion are a favourite agenda in relation to Sri Lanka and everyone contributes to this particular gravy train. The latest to do the rounds is an e-mail with lots of photographs of a grand mansion, which is presented as Chandrika’s and/or her daughter’s residence in the United Kingdom. This e-mail is doing the rounds like wildfire and the insinuation is that the grand mansion represents wealth purportedly accumulated by Chandrika while she was in power. It is now regular dinner time conversation here in London amongst the Diaspora, with Victor Ivan’s “objective” (note the emphasis) publication thrown in for good measure.

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Professor Dileep Chandralal

Schools Tables

Schools Tables

Norway hits back by cutting aid to Ethiopia

H. L. D. Mahindapala

Shocked by the expulsion of six diplomats Norway has reacted by cutting aid to Ethiopia. The Minister of International Development, Erik Solheim, told the Norwegian daily Aftenposten that “important aid projects in Ethiopia may be reduced, after six diplomats at the Norwegian embassy in Addis Ababa have been asked to leave.” This is the second time that Norway cut off aid to Ethiopia. The first time was when Norway decided to freeze all bilateral development aid to Ethiopia on 26 May 2000. The declared objective was to promote peace and democracy.