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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2739

Monthly archive

Japan expressed concern over the withdrawal of CFA, but assured would not use aid to pressure Sri Lanka

Sunil C. Perera in Colombo

Though Japan expressed deep concern over the withdrawal of the Ceasefire Agreement, bur assured that it would not use aid to pressurize Sri Lanka. Yasushi Akashi, Japan’s Special Envoy for Peace Building, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction in Sri Lanka, dismissed as widespread misconceptions that Japan would use aid as a means of pressuring the Government of Sri Lanka against the abrogation of the Ceasefire Agreement with the LTTE. However, Japanese Special envoy Yasushi Akashi expressed the deep concern over the withdrawal of the the CFA by the government of Sri Lanka and said that such decision may lead to an increased level of violence and greater civilian causalities.

Thaipongal in Paris

By Our Correspondent in Paris

The visitors to Sri Lanka Embassy in France were pleasantly surprised yesterday as they were treated to a simple but very impressive Thaipongal celebration. Visitors and the Embassy staff participated in the ceremony conducted at the Visitors Room of the Embassy where a colorful Kolam adorned the centre of floor. Hindu priest of the Ganesha Temple, Sri Manicka Vinayakar Alayam conducted the prayers and placed tradition vermillion ‘Thilaka’ on the forehead of the staff members including Ambassador Chtranganee Wagiswara and visitors, mostly Tamil Hindus who visited the Embassy this morning.

McCain and Romney Battle it out in Michigan: Clinton and Obama Trying to Soften the "Civil Rights" Confrontation

By Philip Fernando in Los Angeles

Hillary ClintonThe economically troubled Michigan voters have a crucial job on their hands: to give the lead to one of the two Republican candidates. John McCain will try to take a formidable lead while Mitt Romney looked to his supporters to salvage his faltering campaign to win the Republican nomination for U.S. president. Hillary Clinton will formally win this state as Barrack Obama and John Edwards have decided to withdraw their names. Polls showed Romney, a millionaire businessman and former governor of Massachusetts, in a tight race between McCain, an Arizona senator and former Vietnam prisoner-of-war. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a preacher-turned-politician popular with religious conservatives, was running third.

Hiroshima Prize for Peace and Culture Awarded to K. V. Wimalawardana and K. Kumaraveloo from Deraniyagala

Two principals from the Southern Sri Lankan City of Deraniyagala will be awarded the pretigious 2008 Edita and Ira Morris Hiroshima Prize for Peace and Culture. They are Principals of Deraniyagala Kanishta Vidyalaya K.V. Wimalawardana and Katirareshan Tamil Vidyalaya’s K. Kumaraveloo. They were recognized for efforts to foster mutual understanding for Tamil and Sinhalese culture. The work of the two principals is the first of its kind in the country. Usually known as the Hiroshima Foundation, the 2008 Edita and Ira Morris Hiroshima Prize for Peace and Culture endowes 50,000 dollars to the recipients of the award.

Ten civilians killed as Burma army increases presence in Karen state

Over 90 Burma Army battalions, comprising between 11,000 and 14,000 troops, are operating in Karen State, potentially poised for another major offensive. At least 10 villagers have been killed in the same State in the last two months as the Burma Army continues to launch attacks against civilians. Hundreds have fled attacks, thousands remain in hiding and living conditions are so extreme that many are unable to return to their villages and farms.

Wake Up Call For Rajapakse

By M. Rama Rao from New Delhi

President Mahinda Rajapakse has scrapped Norway brokered 2002 Ceasefire Agreement with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The decision become effective from today (Jan 16) . The supervision of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission, a group of Scandinavian monitors which reported on truce violations has ended. And the government in Colombo has begun to vigorously pursue 'war for peace' strategy. To certain extent, the Rajapakse decision has something to do with the dynamics of Sri Lanka politics. His government badly needs the support of the Janata Vimukthi Perunuma (JVP) which is opposed to dialogue with Tamil Tigers.

LTTE TV channel tries to hoodwink French telecom

The LTTE published posters in France announcing resumption of Tamil Television Network (TTN) telecast in the near future. Within 8 months of banning the TTN by French authorities and Globcast, a French satellite uplink company, the LTTE came out with the poster campaign announcing, ‘TTN is planning to recommence its transmissions soon based from Paris to the viewers of entire Europe.’

Quantum Leap in South-South Investments and Trade

Thalif Deen, Inter Press Service

The world's emerging economies -- including China, India, Brazil, South Africa, Malaysia and Thailand -- have made a quantum leap in their investments in the global South and in trade with developing nations. "Clearly, today there is growing economic complementarity and capacity for developing countries to advance their development through mutual cooperation," says Ambassador Munir Akram of Pakistan, the outgoing chairman of the 130-member Group of 77 developing nations. He says this is already happening through regional economic integration in Asia, Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean.

Bomb blast - Kills 23 in Buttala Sri Lanka

Sunil C. Perera in Colombo

A bomb blast at a civilian bus on this morning in Buttala killing 23 people and wounding 67 others, the military said. Military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara, who provided the casualty figures, said it was unclear if the bomb was on the bus or planted by the roadside. A local police official said it was a roadside bomb and that gunshots were fired at the vehicle after the blast.

Schools closed in Uva Province due to the bomb blast

Sunil C. Perera in Colombo

Provincial Educational Ministry of the UVA province closed schools due to the today's bomb blast. A total of 23 civilians, including school children, were killed and 67 wounded in a Claymore blast that targeted a bus in Helagama in Buttala DS division in Monaragala district in Uva Province at 7:35 a.m. Chief Minister of the Province said the closing down schools was a temporary measure. Meanwhile Acting Director at the Moneragala Hospital Janaka Prasad says blood is urgently needed to treat those injured in the Buttala claymore bomb blast. He says O Negative and O Positive types of blood are especially in demand and requests prospective donors to come forward to donate blood.

LTTE also target Unicorn military truck in Butala

Just Two hours after massacre of twenty-three innocent passengers on a Butala bound bus Wednesday (16) morning at around 7.30 a.m., suspected Tiger terrorists targeted a military Unicorn truck, about 2 km north of Galge , on Butala – Katargama road, in Moneragala district, at about 9.45 a.m., triggering one more claymore mine. According to the defence sources, four soldiers suffered injuries in the explosion. The injured have been taken to Hambanthota hospital. The Army and the Police have launched a combined search in the area after the incident.

Mitt Romney Wins Michigan, Republicans Still Looking For Front Runner: Nevada Caucus on Saturday

By Philip Fernando in Los Angeles

Mitt Romney had a good win in Michigan primary, a first for him and so far, McCain and Huckabee each won one primary, thus keeping the race open. In Michigan John McCain came second and Mike Huckabee third. Hillary Clinton, Barrack Obama and John Edwards will continue to battle it out in Nevada, South Carolina and Florida. Romney was able to ward off McCain’s surge as the traditional Republican voters came in large numbers while the independent vote was less than in 2000 when McCain won this primary against George W. Bush. Huckabee came in third. Even though, Hillary Clinton won the Michigan primary handily, the delegate count is subject to approval by the party as Michigan went against the party directive not to hold the election so early. Obama and Edwards had withdrawn their names.

British Tamils urge boycott of Sri Lankan Airlines

Neville de Silva - Diplomatic Editor Asian Tribune

The British Tamils Forum yesterday appealed to Tamils and others to boycott Sri Lanka's national carrier SriLankan Airlines claiming that its revenue is being used to buy arms to use against the Tamil people. BTF, an umbrella organization of several Tamils organizations based in the UK, said at a press conference in London yesterday that some 30,000 of the 300,000 persons of Tamil origin living in the UK, use Sri Lanka's national carrier to fly to the country each year from the UK providing the airline with some £12 million which goes into the "war chest" of the Sri Lanka Government.

Buttala bomb blast: Sri Lanka President instructs to take immediate measures

Sunil C. Perera in Colombo

Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse has instructed the relevant authorities to take immediate measures to treat the victims of the claymore bomb blast in Buttala this morning. Accordingly, all facilities including specialist physicians, medicine and blood have been sent to the hospitals where the injured are receiving treatment. Earlier in the morning around 7.35 AM the LTTE exploded a claymore mine targeting a bus plying from Buttala to Okkampitiya, killing 23 persons, and injuring 67. The explosion had occurred near Thelimbugastenne, Buttala.

Buttala Blast5

Buttala Blast

Buttala Blast3

Pongal in Paris