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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2962

Monthly archive

Baby in the circle

Sri Lanka: Myth and reality after Thamilchelvan

By Col R Hariharan (retd.)

It is time to take a realistic look at the situation in Sri Lanka's war as well as peace, after all that has been written on the death of Thamilchelvan, the political head of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in a SLAF air strike in Vanni on November 2, 2007. As the chief negotiator of the LTTE in the defunct peace process, he was a familiar face to the international media. So his death was hyped up in the international media. There had been a few speculative stories surrounding his death. In most of the unnatural deaths of political and militant leaders in Sri Lanka, there is always a tendency to see a conspiracy. Thamilchelvan's death is no exception. If we cut the flab around his death, to see the likely effect of his death on the situation, three issues come to the fore: the future of LTTE-Sri Lanka negotiations and peace process, the course of military operations, and the higher hierarchy within the LTTE.

Mahinda presents people oriented budget

Mahinda presents budgetSri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapakse has presented people oriented budget in parliament on Wednesday A special feature of this year’s budget is provision of relief to low income earners and the strengthening of cooperative sector, and state enterprises such as the Laksathosa and the budget shop. The President presenting budget proposal has pointed out that no burdens will be posed on the general public despite the fact that the government is facing rising fuel prices and other national and international challenges. There will be no increase in the prices of diesel and kerosene. The 15 percent tax on petrol will be reduced to five percent from January next year.

Karuna should be tried like commanders of Congo, Liberia and Sierra Leone – Jo Becker, Children’s Division, HRW

Jo Becker, Director of Children Rights Division, Human Rights Watch, is pressing for the prosecution of Col. Karuna to be tried by the United Kingdom in a United Kingdom’s court of law. She in a clarification added that as an example that other child recruiters, commanders of African countries such from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia and Sierra Leone are today brought before International Criminal Court. But she added that it is unlikely in the case of Karuna could be brought before the International Criminal Court, as Sri Lankan government is not party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. She said that however Karuna should be held responsible and Human Rights Watch wants Karuna to be tried by the UK in a UK court of law.

Food to Biofuels a "Recipe for Disaster"

By Thalif Deen, Inter Press Service

A long-held basic human right, the right to adequate food for the world's 854 million hungry people, is being threatened once again -- this time by the conversion of wheat, sugar, palm oil and maize into agricultural fuel. "It is a crime against humanity to convert agricultural productive soil into soil which produces food stuff that will be burned into biofuel," says Jean Ziegler, the U.N. special sapporteur on the "Right to Food".

Working conditions and salary structure of Sri Lankan housemaids to be streamlined

Arrangements are being made to receive Sri Lankan housemaids arriving in Kuwait by Sri Lanka Embassy representatives at the airport. From the airport housemaids are to be taken to Transit Centers which would be run and managed by Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Foreign Employment, Promotion and Welfare in Kuwait before being allowed to go to their respective sponsor’s homes. At present, when female workers are sent to Middle East and Gulf countries, they have to wait and languish at the airports, sometimes for two to three days after their arrival, before sponsors come and take them to their homes.

Child soldier next to Tamilselvan’s coffin speaks loud and clear

By Jaya Rohana

Baby in the circleTigers were caught red handed when they published the photo of a ten-year-old girl in a military uniform just next to Tamilselvan’s coffin, being carried by Tiger cadres in Vanni. The photo appeared in a pro-Tiger website that gave an account of Tamilselvan's funeral. A local English daily (The Island) reproduced it on Page One yesterday (06). The paper also mentioned that the embarrassed Tiger website later cropped the photo to hide the truth. Still many have the unedited version of the photo as evidence to prove that Tigers are continuing their hunt to run their "Baby Brigade".

21 Heroes and One Coward

By Palitha Senanayake

Twenty one LTTE cadres lost their lives during the recent pre-dawn attack on the Air Force base at Anuradhapura. Those 21 were supposed to be from the ‘Elite Black Tigers’ of the LTTE. ‘Black tigers’ are the ones prepared to be enlisted on suicide missions. In the eyes of the LTTE these young men are heroes who made the supreme sacrifice with their lives in the service of their community. It takes years for the LTTE to build a suicide cadre. A lot of brain washing first to build up an inveterate hatred towards the target the mission is aimed at, and then some reasoning to convince the suicide cadre that his mission would be beneficial to the ‘cause’. The LTTE has been saved by the initial preliminaries because the initial ‘ground work’ necessary for such a brain washing had already been done by the Tamil elite politicians of the last generation.

Budget 1.22

Budget 121

Budget 1.2

Budget 1.5

Budget 1.4

Budget 1.3

Budget 1.1

Budget Table

Budget 2008

Mahinda presents people oriented budget

Sri Lanka Budget for 2008 to narrow deficit by 7 percent

The Budget for the Year 2008 presented to Parliament today (7) by President Mahinda Rajapaksa as Minister of Finance and Planning. Delivering the budget for the year 2008 to parliament, he said the budget deficit would be narrowed to 7.0 percent of gross domestic product from an expected 7.2 percent in 2007. He told parliament the island's economy would grow more than 7.5 percent in 2008, up from an expected annual pace of 7.2 percent in the second half of this year and 6.3 percent in the first half. Total revenue next year is expected to be 750.74 billion rupees, up from an upwardly revised 605.31 billion rupees for 2007. Spending for 2007 was a revised 861.95 billion rupees, a budget summary showed.