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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2992

Monthly archive

A Blight of Unreason

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

For Ranil Wickremesinghe the volte face must seem irresistible. Killing two birds with one stone is ever an attractive prospect. Responding to the UNP’s plan to ditch its support for federalism, V Anandasangaree made a desperate and impassioned plea not to play into the hands of Mr. Pirapaharan and the LTTE. The last thing Mr. Pirapaharan wants is a political solution to the ethnic problem. His separatist demand is premised on the absence of such a solution. That is why he ditched the Oslo Agreement and federalism years ago, risking the ire of the Co-Chairs. Mr. Pirapaharan’s proven antipathy to a political solution would be well known to Mr. Wickremesinghe. Consequently the UNP leader would be aware that he can dump federalism without, in anyway, displeasing the Tiger Supremo. The abandonment of federalism would cause disappointment to the Tamil people; but, as he proved time and again during the last peace process, Mr. Wickremesinghe aims to appease the LTTE rather than assist the Tamils.

Rajabdeen elected President of Chambers of Commerce for the third consecutive year

By Quintus Perera - Asian Tribune
Nawaz RajabdeenAt the 33rd Annual General Meeting of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka held at its auditorium, in a rare gesture, Nawaz Rajabdeen, the incumbent President was re-elected the President for 2007/2008, for the third consecutive year. This rare honor was earlier bestowed only to Mallory Wijesinghe, Founder President and Patrick Amarasinghe. Samantha Abeywickrama, Secretary General, FCCISL assisted the conducting of the annual general meeting. In his address as the New President of FCCISL Rajabdeen said that his major task during this tenure would be to get a land from the government to construct their own building. He said that extensive lobbying with the government authorities have been carried out to obtain a piece of suitable land and assured the membership that he would fulfill this task before his third term is over.

Eating US$14,500 puddings while a nation burns

By Sesha Samarajiwa

The PuddingAn exclusive hotel in Galle, in southwest Sri Lanka, is offering puddings priced at US$14,500 per serving. The world’s most expensive chocolate pudding is specially designed to titillate the jaded palettes of people who have been there, eaten that – the rich and jaded. But many Sri Lankans find the gimmick in poor taste in a country where so many people are struggling to keep body and soul together, crushed under the unbearable burden of living. They find the gimmick in bad taste. It surpasses bad taste; it’s obscene. But for Axel Jarosh, general manager of The Fortress, the chocolate pudding is “not obscene at all.

End of an era

By H. L. D. Mahindapala

H.L.D. MahindapalaI first met the Army Commander, Lt-Gen. Sarath Fonseka, in bed. Don’t get me wrong. He was lying on a bed at the Army Hospital recovering from the bullets and shrapnesl that had hit him in the Kilali operations. His one arm was in a sling and he was still not quite fit to get up from bed when I visited him with the then Army Commander Cecil Waidyaratne and Lt. Col Lucky Algama. The successful operation in which the Security Forces advanced as far as Kilali and burnt the boats of Kilali exposed the hollowness of the hold the Tigers had even in Jaffna – the heartland of their political centre.

Ram Sethu is too big an issue for science alone

By Janaka Perera

A view is gaining currency in Sri Lanka, particularly in Buddhist circles that the country should support the call emanating in from India for the protection and preservation of Ram Sethu – the historical rock bridge also called by Westerners as Adam's Bridge - linking the island with India. Reasons for this view are apart from (a) serious environmental concerns (b) threats to fishermen's livelihood (c) doubtful economic benefits to India and (d) the possible economic disadvantage to Sri Lanka that would result from the proposed Sethu Samudram canal project, which the British colonialists first mooted nearly 150 years ago for relatively smaller ships of that era.

President Rajapakse: The Greatest Leader that Sri Lanka has ever produced.

By Dr.T.C.Rajaratnam

Dr.T.C.RajaratnamPresident Rajapakse’s address to the 62nd UN General Assemby was a fearless submission of a World Leader. Terrorism should be wiped out completely. President Rajapakse with his legal acumen, skills of political analysis cleared with one sweep the allegations against Sri Lanka by carefully and analytically making a submission about the intricacies of Human Rights and the complexities of Terrorism. Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle Chief Government Whip of Parliament has been the strongest supporter of President Mahinda Rajapakse both in and out of Parliament. Minister Fernandopulle remains a shield and defender of Present Rajapakse with his armory of skilled advocacy and eloquent oration.

Burma on boil

By Allabaksh - Syndicate Features

In the midst of shrill cries against India mortgaging its ‘sovereignty’ to the US the convergence in the opinion expressed by some foreign policy pundits in India and the US-led Western world on New Delhi’s so-called ‘subdued’ government response to the military crackdown on pro-democracy movement in Myanmar appears rather baffling. The Indian critics of the Burma policy, for whom India’s civilian nuclear deal with the US is a national shame, want the government to read a script written by authors in Washington.

Chair of the Los Angeles county board of supervisors tells president Rajapakse of her interst in Lanka nurses

By Walter Jayawardhana
Los Angeles, Acting Chair of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Yvonne Burke told President Mahinda Rajapakse that she was sure about the high caliber of Sri Lanka Registered Nurses and the Sri Lanka government and other California based health care trainers should make a coordinated effort to utilize the Sri Lankan nurses to address the acute shortage of nurses in California. “Judging from the high standards maintained by the other Sri Lankans professionals in the Country I am sure a high quality of service could be obtained from Sri Lankan nurses for the County’s health services,” said Ms. Burke addressing President Rajapakse.

Stock market turnover boosted by few large trades

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

HNB Stockbrokers in their weekly review indicated that the start of the week was reviving with market gaining 2.34 points on Monday but was soon followed by a declining trend, which prevailed throughout the week. Overall the All Share Price Index (ASPI)) went down by 1.09 percent or 28.2 points to 2556.6 points while the Milanka Price Index (MPI) dipped 1.67 percent or 58.8 points to 3459.8 points. Dialog topped the market turnover list this week as Telekom Malaysia sold 1.6 percent of its holding in Dialog to International Finance Corporation (IFC). This comes as part of a $100 million investment IFC has committed for Dialog. The blue chip added Rs.1.7 billion to this week’s market turnover reflecting a share of 44 percent.

Contempt of what?

By Chandramohan - Syndicate Features

In awarding prison sentence to four employees of Mid Day newspaper for publishing in a May 2007 issue of the paper an article that allegedly tried to defame a former chief justice of India, the Delhi High Court held that the impugned article would erode the ‘confidence’ of the general public in the institution of higher courts. Though the issue has moved to the Supreme Court, a question that will arise in many minds is what will be the impact of the sentence on ‘investigative’ journalism, which is essentially about exposing wrongful acts by responsible persons in high profile offices. The issue assumes some urgency after the horribly false ‘sting’ operation by a TV reporter that tarnished the image of a woman school teacher and in the end it was the TV channel and its journalists who suffered loss of face.

Nawaz Rajabdeen

H.L.D. Mahindapala


NESA denies issuing statements on behalf of Ambassador Subasinghe (retd) to Colombo Page

Colombo Page, a Sri Lankan website, rushed to defend (September 27, 2007) the former Sri Lankan Ambassador to US, Devinda Subasinghe, saying that the US Defense Department’s Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies (NESA) has spoken on his behalf in contradicting the news item published in the Asian Tribune about "What diplomats and ex-diplomats do to their country". In this report "Asian Tribune" highlighted the criticisms alleged to have been made against the Mahinda Rajapakse government by Ambassador Subasinghe (retd) at the US Defense Department’s Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies (NESA) on August 31, 2007.