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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2402

Monthly archive

Sri Lankans protesting in Geneva

President Mahinda Rajapakse addressing

“Unity in Diversity and Religious Harmony” – themes of Independence Day Celebrations in New York

The 60th Anniversary of Independence and National Day of Sri Lanka was celebrated in a festive atmosphere in New York on the theme “Unity in Diversity” in a ceremony which saw the largest ever gathering of Sri-Lankan-Americans in the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. The celebration, which was organized jointly by the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the UN and the Sri Lankan-American community, depicted the rich diversity of Sri Lankan culture in song and dance representing all communities. The ceremony also consisted of religious observances guided by the clergy of the Buddhist, Hindu, Christian and Islamic faiths.

Lankans in Europe protest at UNHRC

Sri Lankans in Europe called on the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Loise Arbour not to interfere in Sri Lanka’s justifiable fight against LTTE terrorism. They urged the United Nations denounce Velupillai Prabhakaarn as a war criminal and declare LTTE as a terrorist organization.Hundreds of Sri Lankans from Switzerland, France, Italy and United Kingdom took part in a protest rally in front of the UNHRC headquarters in Geneva on Monday.

Postal voting of the local government elections on the 21st of this month

Sunil C. Perera in Colombo

The Elections Secretariat says postal voting of the local government elections in the Batticaloa district will be held on the 21st of this month. 1400 persons have applied for postal voting. The polls to elect members for 9 local government institutions including the Batticaloa Municipal Council are scheduled to be held on the 10th of next month. Six accepted political parties and 22 independent groups are contesting the election.

Sri Lanka’s Independence Day celebrations held grandly in Chennai

Hoisting National FlagSri Lanka’s 60th Anniversary of Independence was celebrated a grand scale in South India by the Sri Lanka Deputy High Commission in Chennai this year. The celebrations on 4th February 2008 commenced at the crack of dawn with the chanting of ‘pirith’ followed by offering ‘Heel Dana’ to the members of the ‘Maha Sangha’. The formal celebrations for the morning commenced at 9.00am at the Chancery premises with the lighting of the traditional oil lamp by the Deputy High Commissioner P.M. Amza along with other distinguished invitees and representatives of Sri Lankan organizations and institutions in Chennai. The national flag was then hoisted followed by the singing of the national anthem.

Sangaree and Simon Hughes brush shoulder at Sri Lanka Independence Day celebration in London

By Walter Jayawardhana

Sri Lanka’s Tamil United Liberation Front leader V. Ananda Sangaree, Britains Liberal Democratic leader Simon Hughes, Labour Party state Minister Stephen Timms and British parliamentarians Steven Hammon and Andrew George were among the distinguished people who converged on London’s Sri Lanka High Commission to wish Sri Lanka their best wishes on the nation’s 60th Independence Day anniversary. They were guests at a party attended by London’s diplomatic corps and the press hosted by Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner, Mrs. Kshenuka Seneviratne and Mr. Suren Seneviratne. During Sri Lanka’s independence week I wanted to tell British parliamentarians the truth about Sri Lanka and expose the lies uttered by the LTTE, said Ananda Sangaree speaking to some British guests at the party.

Letter to The Edior: Sri Lankan Independence Day in LA Brought People Togeteher

I was so happy to have been invited to the 60th Anniversary of Independence celebration here in the Los Angeles area on February 3rd. It was an excellent evening hosted by the Sri Lankan Consul General, Hon. Jaliya Wickramasuriya, who is doing a wonderfu bringing all elements of the expatriate Sri Lankan community together here in this region. It made me feel that if everyone can come together here - then there is hope that everyone can eventually come together there. I fell in love with your beautiful country when I visited last year with Ven. Walpola Piyananda. He showed me many extraordinary places throughout the island, I made several new and lasting friends, and I truly gained an appreciation for the amazing and varied culture and history of Sri Lanka.

Burma: The Golden Alternative, Not Abrupt Regime Change but Negotiated Settlement

By - Gamanii

As Burma gets into world spotlight with the Saffron Revolution, lots of arguments againstdemocratization are surprisingly heard from many quarter-¬politicians, statesmen, scholars, so-called Burma experts and even some Burmese in exile who have never set foot on the native soil or who have been out of touch with reality for decades¬ absurdly claiming that the substitute for the military junta will be, out of all things, the devil's alternative. One argument is the likelihood of lawlessness, chaos and 'Balkanization' if the junta is gone. So what's the situation now? Isn't there lawlessness already in Burma? There has to be a negotiated settlement and no quick fixes.

Author Celebrates Sixtieth Independence of Sri Lanka with a Book on Folktales

Author Chandrani Warnasuriya of Duarte, Los Angeles celebrated the sixtieth Independence of Sri Lanka by publishing “Favorite Folktales of Sri Lanka.” She presented her book to the Consular General Jaliya Wickramasuriya at the Independence Day pageant in Los Angeles. The book presents a collection of well-kwon folk tales rendered with a flair for fluency. Her clarity of style is flawless making the book extremely readable. She said “As a child I remember sitting on the lap of my grandma listening to stories. A great storyteller, I could listen to her all day till she finally lulled me to sleep in a peaceful lullaby.” Her book would be a must read for the children born and bred away from the shores of Sri Lanka. The stories selected by the author will definitely bring nostalgia to those familiar with the folklore of Sri Lanka and inspire others to read more.

Sri Lankans in Washington DC Celebrate Sixtieth Independence Day in Grand Style

The State Dance Ensemble added an aura of grandeur to the celebration of Sri Lanka’s 60th Anniversary of Independence in Washington DC, which was almost palpable. The event was held on February 3, 2008, amidst a large gathering of expatriates in the Greater Washington area, and officials of the administration, as well as NGOs, think tanks and media. It was held at the University of the District of Columbia in Washington DC. The highlight of the program, as the audience had been in great anticipation, was the spectacular performance of Sri Lanka’s State Dance Ensemble led by Artistic Director and Choreographer, Ravibandhu Vidyapathy.

Thailand’s New Cabinet Sworn In

Samak Sundaravej King of Thailand endorsed the new cabinet led by Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej on Wednesday afternoon. Mr Samak then led the 35 new ministers for the sworn-in ceremony held at the Chitralada Palace. King Bhumibol Adulyadej on Wednesday urged Thailand’s 36-member Cabinet, under the leadership of Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej, to follow its promise to work honestly for the nation. Indicating that honesty is a sacred word, King told the assembled Cabinet members during a swearing-in ceremony at Chitrlada Palace that the Prime Minister and his Cabinet did not have to make such a promise but “now that you have shown your intention to work with honesty, you will have to follow it, otherwise it is not sacred.”

On US Ambassador expressing doubts of forthcoming elections in Batticalao

By Garvin Karunaratne - A former SLAS, Government Agent, Matara

It is reported that the US Ambassador Robert Blake has expressed doubts if the upcoming elections in the East will be free and fair. This is related to the possibility of one political party carrying weapon. It is strange that the call for free and fair elections comes from the United States of America, a country that does not hold a fair and free election even to elect its own President. US Ambassador has forgotten that his own President has stolen not one Presidential Election in 2000 but also a second election in 2004. What happened in both these elections is well documented by various authors of repute. To add insult to injury the Republicans are about to steal the third 2008 election!

British Foreign Minister condemns recent spate of civilian killings

British Foreign Secretary condemns attacks upon civilians and those responsible. He called for the immediate end to practices which target civilians or put them in peril. He has further urged all in Sri Lanka to take steps to safeguard the civilian population and find ways to reduce the violence. British Foreign Secretary (Foreign Minister), David Miliband, commented yesterday on the 60th Anniversary of Sri Lanka's independence. In comments David Miliband said “Violence can never provide an answer to Sri Lanka's problems. People in Sri Lanka need to find space to realise their many similarities, rather than becoming further polarised by their differences. A sustainable solution to Sri Lanka's conflict can only emerge through a just political process involving all communities”

MOU between Sri Lanka and Malaysia to investigate money laundering

The Financial Intelligence Unit of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Financial Intelligence Unit of the Central Bank of Malaysia i.e. Bank Negara for the exchange of information to facilitate the investigation and prosecution of persons suspected of money laundering or financing of terrorism, a Central Bank press release said. Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs), have been established by many countries as dedicated institutions to collect, analyse and disseminate financial information from mandated institutions to combat money laundering and terrorist financing operations conducted through the financial systems.

Unveiling the portrait of President Premadasa

Hoisting National Flag