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

Monthly archive

Tigers digging trenches

Good Governance, Corruption and Wealthy Politicians in a Poor Country: Sri Lankan Style

Dr. Siri Gamage, Australia

Good governance, accountability and transparency in the affairs of the state are cornerstones of a vibrant democracy whether they are located in the west or east or indeed north or south. When the masses are going through economic and social hardships due to increasing costs of living and the burden of internal war, fiscal discipline and prevention of corruption in the government ranks assume heightened significance. The parliamentary watch dog appointed to look into the operations of public enterprises in Sri Lanka called COPE has been highlighting a rather significant number of cases of possible corruption involving identified enterprises in its reports recently. In some cases the involvement of politicians currently in the government has been exposed. The sums involved run into billions of rupees.

My Country Which I do not Know

By Aravinthan Santhakumar

Translation: Bhikkhu Mandawala Pannawansa Thero

I am your child though you have never seen me,

In conflict with yourself, you let me flee.

What you have transmitted to me is your skin color,

Your rites & your rituals of which I am so proud.

Everything that I love in me is what comes from you.

Budget 2008 from a Political Economy Perspective

Professor Laksiri Fernando - University of Colombo

There was a significant statement by President Mahinda Rajapakse which highlighted the political economy approach of the budget 2008. “I invite all to join hands to generate an economic growth in excess of 7.5 percent during 2008,” he said in his budget speech. To my reckoning this is the first time that Finance Minister of Sri Lanka, and in this case the Head of State himself, invited the people of the state or country to join hands to achieve the most significant developmental goal of economic growth. He further said at the end of the speech that “I invite the entire public service to mobilize the working class, the entrepreneurs and the taxpayers to work towards country’s development.”

Crisis in Pakistan: Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch want U.S. to Suspend Military Aid to Pakistan

Daya Gamage – US Bureau Asian Tribune

The U.S.-based Human Rights Watch and London-based Amnesty International have urged the Bush administration to suspend military assistance to Pakistan immediately until General Musharaff restore rule of law and democracy. Since 2001 Pakis tan has received ten billion dollars of military assistance to Pakistan to facilitate the U.S. Global War On Terrorism (GWOT). Some critics have already said that this American military assistance to Pakistan is to maintain democracy and peace in the U.S. soil at the expense of Pakistan’s peace and democracy.

Samadhi Buddha Statue Under Construction in the US

The New Jersey Buddhist Vihara has inaugurated the construction of a 25-foot Samadhi Buddha Statue that will be sculpted by Venerable Imbulavitiye Medananda Thero who has already sculpted numerous Buddha statues in Sri Lanka. The high seated Buddha Statue will be enthroned on a 5ft high lotus pedestal and will be modeled on the statue of the Buddha in deep meditation as seen in the Maha Meyuna gardens in Anuradhapura, the ancient 4th century BC capital city of Sri Lanka. The statue will be crafted and engineered in the premises of the New Jersey Buddhist Vihara, along with a meditation centre located in nine acres of virgin land.

Tiger Human Shields Revisited

By Rohan Gajadeera

When going through certain images issued by the tigers, I was lucky enough to get hold of an image that took the attention straight away. Even though Vakarai has been rescued by Security Forces months ago, it is still important to get the message of what exactly the tigers did to the innocent Tamil civilians who lived under terror grip for a long time.

UNICEF staffs work with complete neutrality

UN staffs are recruited under the terms of employment in which they are responsible to the UN Secretary-General and the principles of the United Nations. They are also honour-bound to work with complete neutrality and to receive no instruction from any third party. A statement released by the UNICEF further emphasised “We firmly believe that UNICEF and its staff will continue to enjoy the confidence of the government, and a majority of the people of Sri Lanka.”

Dr Lotha says Shrivastav’s belittling of Vajpayee’s contributions to Nagas unfortunate

Nagaland Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dr TM Lotha criticized PP Shrivastav, Member, North Eastern Council (NEC) for his belittling the unprecedented economic package and contribution made to Nagaland by former NDA Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee. The senior retried bureaucrat, during a public hearing on the North Eastern Vision Document 2020 at the Zonal Council Hall on November 5 last, said “Atal Behari Vajpayee’s commitment of 250 crores and 25000 jobs for Naga youth during his 2003 (Nagaland) visit is a promise unfulfilled and also a shame.”

A Government Parliamentarian Crossover to the opposition

From Sunil C. Perera in Colombo

Government Parliamentarian Wijedasa Rajapkse who is the Chairman of Committee on Public Enterprises, or COPE crossed over to the opposition yesterday at the parliament. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, crossed the floor of the House and joined the opposition demanding tougher action against corruption by politicians and state officials. Rajapakshe, wanted the state to move in and recover a billion of rupees said to have been misappropriated by politicians and officials.

Government to offer shortly a political settlement based on “southern consensus” – Minister Rohitha Bogollagama,

Government of Sri Lanka is not seeking a military solution to the present conflict, and that the All Party Representative Committee (APRC) had come a long way in evolving a “southern consensus” on the political settlement that would be offered. Rohitha Bogollagama, Sri Lanka’s Minister for Foreign Affairs further pointed out that the current preoccupation with the budget debate has necessitated a slight delay, and no sooner this period concludes in mid December, a political settlement will be finalised. In a statement made by Rohitha Bogollagama at the adjournment debate in Sri Lanka Parliament on 14th November he further said that it should be remembered that the political proposals to be announced, are not only to satisfy the LTTE, but to safeguard the interest of all communities in Sri Lanka. While the government was hopeful that the LTTE would use this opportunity to return to the negotiating table, the growing alternate Tamil voices both within Sri Lanka and the diaspora abroad needs greater recognition of the international community.