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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 78

Monthly archive

President Mahinda Rajapaksa

Sri Lanka: ICRC presence at crossing points

The ICRC agreed to extend its presence at the Omanthai crossing point in the district of Vavuniya to five days a week, beginning 27 August. This was done at the request of the government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The Omanthai crossing point, which is on the A9 highway is the main source of access to Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu districts and the northern areas of Vavuniya. The only other point of entry to LTTE-controlled areas is the Uyilankulam crossing point in Mannar on the west coast. During the Madhu festival, which began on 5 August, the ICRC maintained a presence in Uyilankulam for seven consecutive days, from 10-17 August, in order to facilitate the passage of pilgrims. About 14,000 people were able to cross over. In the last four weeks, the ICRC has acted as a neutral intermediary to facilitate the crossing of nearly 40,000 civilians at Omanthai and Uyilankulam.

National Development Bank ups earnings by 73 percent in first half 2007

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

The results released by the National Development Bank indicates that the first half of 2007 showed the profit increasing of 73 percent which is attributable to ordinary shareholders to Rs.855 million when compared to Rs.495 million in the corresponding period last year. Increase in Net Interest Income (NII) and the capital gains made on non-quoted trading securities were the main contributory factors towards the substantial increase in the bottom line.

Government plans to set up regional industrial parks in most difficult areas.

Sunil C. Perera, Reporting from Colombo
The Government of Sri Lanka and the Ministry of Industrial Development have decided to setup number of Regional Industrial Parks in selected areas to cater the local industrialists and create another thousand of employment for unemployed youth in the rural areas. Additional secretary of the Ministry of Industrial Development Mr.R.V.D.Piyathilaka says these Industrial parks will be developed within next eight months.

Wahabist engaged in criminal activities in Sri Lanka

The rise of Wahabism in Sri Lanka and its links to criminal elements in the east of Sri Lanka are causing concern to mainstream Sri Lankan Muslims. Over the years, Wahabism has also grown into a militant organization in the east. Wahabists trained in Sri Lanka are sent to UK and Australia in the guise of students. The Sri Lankan government too is concerned as this militant movement has international ramifications. It is a deviant cult not followed by the majority Muslims in the world and is bankrolled by foreign elements, according to informed Muslims. "Wahabism emerging as a threat to Sri Lanka’s security" – Alavi Moulana, Governor of Western Province

Tips to Save Energy

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

In an initiative to promote energy efficient practices and to facilitate businesses to reduce their energy costs, The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce is organizing a seminar on “Practical Tips to Save Energy and Reduce your Energy Cost” to be held on Friday, the 7th of September 2007 in the Ground Floor Auditorium of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. At a time when fuel prices in the world market are at their highest levels in several decades, energy conservation and reducing energy bills have become of paramount importance for all types of business organizations. It is in response to these concerns that The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce is hosting this seminar. Companies in various sectors of importance that have adopted energy efficient practices and those that offer energy efficiency solutions have been invited to share their experiences with the wider private sector.

Gordon Brown’s historic statement on Burma

The British Prime Minister Gordon Brown issued an unprecedented statement on Burma on 02 September, in which he called on the UN Security Council to consider “the grave situation” in Burma “at the earliest opportunity” and promised to personally raise the situation with other world leaders. The statement comes after a major campaign by Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) and Burma Campaign UK to put pressure on the British Government to lead calls for the UN Security Council to discuss Burma. The Prime Minister also said he is instructing the Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, to discuss Burma with other European Union governments this week, and called for the UN Secretary-General, the UN General Assembly and the UN’s human rights bodies “to give this alarming situation the attention it so patently deserves”.

Genuine Tamil grievances have to be addressed within a unitary state – President Rajapakase

By Walter Jayawardhana

President Mahinda RajapaksaPresident Mahinda Rajapaksa accepted that there were genuine Tamil grievances and those have got to be addressed but refused what is called “a federal solution” due to the mandate he has received from the nation constrained him to be within a unitary state. “I cannot change history or my own political circumstances overnight... You must remember my political legacy and constraints. During my election I received few Tamil votes because of the LTTE-enforced boycott. I was elected primarily by a Sinhala constituency on an election manifesto which made it clear that an ultimate solution to the ethnic crisis could be evolved only on the basis of a unitary state,” he told a New Delhi based reporter when he met him at his official residence, “Temple Trees” for an interview.

Axis of Evil: Norway-LTTE-Eritrea, and call to ‘expose double standard of the West’

Daya Gamage – US Bureau Asian Tribune

While the Ethiopian media highlighted the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee report iterating the Eritrean government’s direct assistance to Sri Lanka Tamil Tiger rebels, Eritrean media has so far maintained a stark silence except the president of Eritrea dismissed the U.S. State Department accusation that his country is assisting terrorists in Somalia and Ethiopia as baseless. An independent daily news media outlet in Ethiopia ‘Jimma Times’ in its September 3 edition highlighted that “reports have accumulated tying the Eritrean and Norwegian governments in the complex politics of Sri Lanka and the Horn of Africa” declaring the combination as ‘Axis of Evil’.