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

Monthly archive

Mahinda Rajapakse

SAARC Cultural Centre to be established in Sri Lanka

The Cabinet has granted its approval to a Memorandum submitted by Cultural Affairs Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana on the construction of SAARC Cultural Centre. A decision was taken by the Heads of SAARC countries at their meeting held in Colombo in July 1998 to establish a Cultural Centre in the SAARC Region for the enhancement and enrichment of cultural activities within the region. Having accepted the proposal made by Sri Lanka at the SAARC Ministerial Meeting held in 1999, to provide a suitable block of land for this purpose, the Summit granted its approval to construct the Cultural Centre in Sri Lanka. Even though a period of ten years has already elapsed, the task could not be accomplished upto this date.

Sri Lanka: European Union Condemns Terrorists attack

“The European Union condemns Wednesday’s terrorist attacks in Colombo and deplores the deliberate targeting of civilians. In statement issued by British High Commission in Colombo, on behalf of the European Union said “These callous attacks can have no political justification and serve only to add to the suffering and grief of ordinary Sri Lankans. We extend our condolences to the victims and their families and friends. “

Belgium Funds Local Sea Sand Mining Project

Sunil C. Perera in Colombo

The Government of Sri Lanka, local private sector and the international partners have agreed to enter the sea sand mining business to end environmental problems and reduce sand prices in the country. The proposed sea sand mining and washing project in Muthurajawela will reduce current sand prices and provide over 500 employment opportunities, specially for the Western Province and the rest of the country. At present the construction sector needs over 10,320,000 Metric tons of sand per annum and the Western province needs 4,334,400 metric tons of sand annually. The entire sand supply is fulfilled by extracting sand from river beds.

Sri Lanka: USAID Seeks Dairy Industry Solutions

More than thirty representatives of the private and public sectors discussed strategies to improve the dairy industry in Sri Lanka so it can reduce dependence on imported milk powder and encourage economic development in the conflict-affected East. The discussion was hosted by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which will launch a new project next year called Connecting Regional Economies (CORE) focusing on improving rural value chains in the Eastern and North Central Provinces. Dairy industry participants at the roundtable reported that Sri Lanka imported 70,000 metric tons of milk powder at a cost of 17 billion rupees last year, a figure expected to double in 2007.

The Israeli Attack in Syria and The State Department Response

By Herbert London

The veil of secrecy surrounding the Israel invasion of what is alleged to be a Syrian nuclear facility on September 6 is understandable. Israel is not willing to disclose its military capabilities and technical advantages. On the other hand, the secrecy is having and will continue to have a profoundly negative effect on United States' diplomatic credibility. Since North Korea was involved in one way or another with the Syrian facility either by providing enriched uranium, nuclear technology or plutonium, it makes sense to discuss Kim Il Jung's pernicious role in exporting nuclear material.

Plagiarism of The Economist type

By Professor P. Radhakrishnan

In a country like India which continues to be dominated by the west and by American Imperialism academics are often at the receiving end; and what may be termed academic or intellectual colonialism and exploitation persist in one form or another. Plagiarism by the western and American academics and journalists is only one aspect of this. A few years ago I was a victim of plagiarism by a European scholar. Though he and his publisher admitted as much he managed to get away with it. All that I could do was publishing a two-part article on the issue in the Sunday Magazine of a leading daily (“Plagiarise or Perish” The Hindu, July 7 and 14, 2002). That story is available in my latest book, Religion, Caste and State (Rawat Publications 2007).

Hijacking 'Human rights' to trample others' rights

By Janaka Perera - Asian Tribune

The tragedy of human rights today is that there is an army of professionals in NGOs and academia labouring to manufacture arguments in defence of terrorism, elevating it to a level higher than that of its victims. Veteran Journalist and Asian Tribune Editorial Adviser H.L.D. Mahindapala made this observation yesterday (Nov. 29) delivering the D.A. Rajapaksa Commemorative Oration at the BMICH, Colombo today (Nov. 29). He said: "Every exploding point on the globe has become the happy hunting ground of these hired professionals in NGOs and academia who are skilled in blurring the lines of human rights. Armed with theories of human rights these professionals trot the globe professing to be holier-than-the state. But their morality is wearing thin because they are seen increasingly as hired agents serving political goals of the power-brokers in the West "

EU, Rajapakse condemn violence, SLMM says current violence similar to pre-2002 CFA days

The European Union as well as President Rajapakse have separately condemned latest escalation of violence in Sri Lanka. Meanwhile, the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) announced that "the violence witnessed now was similar to what was seen prior to the signing of the Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) in 2002. The suicide killer attack targeting the Minister of Social Services and Social Welfare Douglas Devananda and the attack at the Nugegoda junction clearly targeting innocent civilians, calls for the greater attention of the international community to these attacks that demonstrate the true nature and unchanging ways of terrorists and terrorism," President Rajapakse said in a statement.

Soldiers of (Mis) Fortune

Thalif Deen - Inter Press Service

The United Nations is increasingly critical of the use of deadly force, including indiscriminate shooting of civilians, by private security guards in some of the world's battle zones. Considered “mercenaries” by U.N. standards, these security personnel have been involved in a rash of recent killings in Iraq and Afghanistan. “The trends towards outsourcing and privatizing various military functions by a number of (U.N.) member states in the past 10 years has resulted in the mushrooming of private military and security companies,” says a new U.N. report on mercenaries.

U.S. Government condemns cycle of escalating violence

The Government of the United States strongly condemns the deadly attacks on civilians that occurred in a shopping mall and a government office on November 28 in Colombo and on a bus carrying schoolchildren on November 27 near Kilinochochi. We extend our heartfelt condolences to the victims and their families. Incidents such as these will lead to further loss of life, destruction, and suffering for the people of Sri Lanka. Only a political solution, not a military one, offers a way out of the current cycle of escalating violence.

Japanese Commerce and Industry Association in Sri Lanka 20 years old

By Quintus Perera - Asian Tribune

The Japanese Commerce & Industry association in Sri Lanka (JCIA) held it’s 20th Anniversary Celebrations at the residence of His Excellency Mr. Kiyoshi Araki ambassador of Japan to Sri Lanka, on the eve of 5 November 2007. It was well attended by local business leaders, senior government officials, top diplomats, local chamber representatives, foreign chambers in Sri Lanka like Korean Businessmen’s Association (KBA), Japanese related associations such as Japan Sri Lanka Technical and Cultural Association (JASTECA) and Japanese Graduates Alumni Association of Sri Lanka (JAGAAS), and the members of JCIA. The gala event was honored by the presence of Hon. Prof. G.L.Peiris the Minister of Export Development and International Trade.

Sea-sand dredging ship

OIC, Kurdistan and Kashmir

By Tushar Charan - Syndicate Features

The problem of ‘Kurdistan’ is in many ways not very different from our own Kashmir problem. One dimension of the Kashmir problem is that whenever it raises temperatures in Islamabad and Delhi it leads to anxieties in the world—lately because of the nuclear bombs in the possession of India and Pakistan. But the ‘problem’ refuses to go away, not the least because of double standards of some of the self-appointed local and foreign arbiters in Kashmir. So it was that a recent threat of serious confrontation between Turkey and Iraq, following surprise attacks on Turkish soldiers by Kurdish insurgents, had Washington worried. Since both the countries are its close allies the US was mainly concerned with defusing tension, not finding a solution.

American Connection

By Asif Haroon

American connection has all along remained a key element of our foreign policy and has experienced several vicissitudes. All our political and military leaders apart from Quaid-e-Azam have pursued US centric policies. Major reasons for this tilt towards US camp have been our security concerns coupled with economic woes. Pakistan joined the US sponsored defence treaties in the early fifties to thwart Indian as well as Afghanistan and former Soviet Union aggressive designs and to possibly find a solution to the Kashmir dispute. The SEATO and CENTO pacts were in actuality meant to contain the spread of communism in this region and not to provide a security umbrella to Pakistan against India.

Felicitation for the SL team who took part at the International Abylimpics

Sunil C. Perera in Colombo

Abilympics is an event that is held to give an opportunity for people with disabilities to demonstrate their vocational skills at a global level. A four member team from Sri Lanka participated at this event for the first time with the support and blessings from the Ministry of Social Services and Welfare. Development with Disabled Network, Handicap International and Practical Action too collaborated for representing Sri Lanka in this event.

Shifting Policy or a Face-saving Gimmick, Somalia Cannot be Ignored

By Abukar Arman

By all standards, the situation unfolding in Somalia is horrifically grim, and according to the UN, it is the worst crisis in Africa; worse than the crisis in Darfur that outraged the world’s conscience in an unprecedented way. However, unlike Darfur, Washington has a role in the creation of this massive humanitarian crisis and therefore must have a role in rectifying it. As Washington was claiming to care about winning the “hearts and minds of the Muslim world” in order to curb the ubiquitous Anti-Americanism around the world, it was stubbornly pursuing that same ill-tempered foreign policy that considers all “Islamists”-- euphemistically understood as all Muslims who believe that their religion is a comprehensive way of life-- potential enemies; that same policy that has proven miserable failure everywhere it was implemented.

UN Conference on Climate Change in Bali: Sri Lanka hopes to make a strong impact

By Mallika Wanigasundara

One of the biggest obstacles to the implementation of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol for the reduction of the levels of carbon dioxide emissions and other green house gases into the atmosphere was the refusal of three of the biggest polluters, the US, the European Union and Australia to sign the Protocol.The agreement stipulated that carbon emission levels be reduced by five per cent between 1997 and 2007 on a voluntary basis. Against these almost intractable giants Sri Lanka hopes to make a strong impact with certain proposals and recommendations at the upcoming UN Conference on Climate Change due to be held at Bali between Dec.3rd and Dec. 14th. Sri Lanka will be represented by Central Environment Authority Chairman Udaya Gammanpila, Director Environmental Economics and Global Affairs Aruna Jayatilleke and other officials.