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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2964

Monthly archive

Karuna charged with violations of immigration laws not human rights -- Maxwell Keegal, Sri Lankan diplomat

By T.Jeyapalan

A Tamil newspaper based in London, said that Karuna had been offered political asylum by another country, but he decided to come to London because his family has been given ‘leave to stay’ pending review of their case. A Senior diplomat attached to Sri Lanka High Commission in London told “Thesam,: a Tamil website in the UK, "Col. Karuna", the renegade rebel commander who split with the LTTE and was arrested on November 2 in London in a British joint operation. He also said that he has no confirmation about Karuna seeking asylum in the UK.” Karuna is being held for traveling on under a false name and a passport that did not belong to him.

Portrait of Indian-American Congressman Unveiled in U.S. Capital Building

Dalip Singh SaundThe 6-year-old great-granddaughter of Dalip Singh Saund, the first Indian American elected to the U.S. Congress, pulled back a blue curtain to uncover his portrait in the U.S. Capitol as more than 225 people applauded. The image they saw was of a handsome, dignified man standing beside a marble pillar in the Cannon Building of the House of Representatives, reports U.S. State Department Web Portal USINFO about the unveiling of a portrait of the first Indian-American to enter the United States Congress. The portrait, unveiled November 7, is part of a series dedicated to historic members of Congress. Saund, who died in 1973, is recognized not only as the first Indian American to hold a seat in Congress -- he was elected in 1956 and served three terms -- but also as someone who helped pave the way for Indian immigration to the United States.

Schools, Academics in the Gun Sights

By Thalif Deen, Inter Press Service

A "dramatic increase" in targeted violence against schools and educational institutions, mostly in conflict zones, is having a devastating effect on students, teachers, trade unionists, administrators and education officials, according to a new U.N. study released here. In 2006, militants killed 85 students and teachers, and destroyed 187 schools in battle-scarred Afghanistan.

There’s no such thing as a free lunch

By Sesha Samarajiwa

There’s no such thing as a free lunch. That’s how the pithy American saying goes. But US Senator Patrick Leahy didn’t use that colloquialism. Instead, he put it another way. He said that the US$11 million allocated to Sri Lanka by the Millennium Fund – an American aid fund giving money to various needy countries –“is not a blank cheque”. Presenting a situation report on Sri Lanka to the US Senate, Senator Leahy made it clear that they won’t give the money unless Sri Lanka behaves as they decree. The money, as usual, would serve as a carrot or a stick. So what does the inadequately informed Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Chairman of the Senate Sub Committee on Foreign Assistance and Appropriations want Sri Lanka to do? Several things.

Authorties sitting ducks, while the confectionery industry collapses

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

Due to some state agencies ignoring the complaints and grievances of the Lanka Confectionery Manufacturers Association (LCMA) the industry is faced with dire consequences even to the extent of laying off hands involved in the confectionery manufacture, as several large and small factories were closed down. For these consequences LCMA has blamed some of the state agencies for applying double standards – stricter one for them and a more lenient one for the importers of finished items.

Dhanapala wins Macbride Prize

The International Peace Bureau announced today that it will award the organisation's annual Peace Prize to Jayantha Dhanapala, "a highly-respected Sri Lankan diplomat, who has devoted his career to disarmament and global justice". The award will be made during the international seminar entitled Books or Bombs? Sustainable Disarmament for Sustainable Development, to held in collaboration with the Institute of Peace Studies at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina from Nov. 11 12.

Sri Lanka: Sinhala Nationalism and the Elusive Southern Consensus

Sinhala nationalism, long an obstacle to the resolution of Sri Lanka’s ethnic conflict, is again driving political developments on the island. Nationalist parties, opposed to any significant devolution of power to Tamil areas of the north and east and to negotiations with the Tamil Tigers, help set President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s agenda. The government takes a hardline stance, responding in part to opposition to the flawed 2002-2006 ceasefire and peace process. Would-be peacemakers need to better understand Sinhala nationalism, which is too often dismissed as merely irrational and racist. With little likelihood of a new formal peace process soon, the long-term challenges it poses to the conflict’s resolution need to be addressed.

U.S. Government Enhances Sri Lanka’s Maritime Security Capability

U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Robert O. Blake, Jr. formally handed over a radar-based maritime surveillance system and several Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIBs) to the Sri Lankan Navy on November 8 at the Naval Dock Yard in Trincomalee. Vice Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda, Commander of the Sri Lankan Navy, received the equipment on behalf of the Sri Lankan Government. The equipment was provided under Section 1206 of the U.S. National Defense Authorization Act, which provides authority for the U.S. Department of Defense to assist in equipping and training partner nations to deter global terrorist activity.

Eagerly awaited Sri Lanka Entrepreneur of the year on 30 November

By Quintus Perera - Asian Tribune

The Sri Lanka’s most eagerly awaited entrepreneurial contest -The Sri Lankan Entrepreneur of the Year 2006 organized by The Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL) for the 12th year running, will climax on 30th November at the BMICH with the grand- finale of selecting the Sri Lankan Entrepreneur of the year. As a prelude to the finals, the regional Chambers affiliated to FCCISL such as North and East, Uva, North Central, Wayamba, and Southern also select the best entrepreneur in their respective regions and they too compete in the national competition.

Some little known Hindu traditions of marriage

By Syndicate Special Correspondent

The other day some newspapers reported that tribals from Lahaul valley in Himachal Pradesh had protested against the police registering criminal cases against their young men who had abducted girls of marriageable age. The custom of abduction, it was claimed, was well established by long tradition and sanctified by scriptures. According to tradition, the abductors would be pursued by the father and other relations of the girl and, if caught, would receive severe beating and would be left bleeding. The girl would be recovered.

Dalip Singh Saund

Egypt says, US Practices Double Standards on Human Rights

Daya Gamage - US National Correspondent Asian Tribune

The questionable human rights practices of the United States, the sole super power who sits on judgment of human rights practices of other countries, is now under scrutiny by its own allies: The latest being Egypt. Bush administration's nominee for the U.S. Attorney General retired judge Mucasey could not tell the Senate Judiciary Committee which testified him last week whether "waterboarding" which is suspected to be widely used by U.S. intelligence officials when interrogating terrorist suspects under their custody amounts to torture. The practice of "waterboarding" is prohibited by the Geneva Convention as a form of torture, and a century ago the U.S. court system admitted it as a form of torture.