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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2399

Monthly archive

‘Mahatma’ Modi

By Atul Cowhish - Syndicate Features

Much after he won the Gujarat assembly poll more comfortably than any pollster had predicted the state chief minister and an icon of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Narendra Modi, continues to be built up in the media as some kind of an unprecedented political phenomenon in free India. An evidence of this came when one of India’s leading paper (The Hindustan Times) in its January 27th edition carried an article on Gujarati’s ‘perspective’ on its centre page by its former editor, incidentally a Gujarati, who is undoubtedly the paper’s most influential columnist.He seemed to suggest that after a long gap a Gujarati—Modi--has established himself as a leader of ‘national stature’, a position that presumably entitles him to be worthy of consideration for a higher political post in future, and the one who brought back to the Gujaratis their lost sense of ‘pride’.

ICES: an outsider exercises the right to interfere

By Malinda Seneviratne

This is an outsider writing about the ICES (International Centre for Ethnic Studies) and the recent controversy regarding the sacking of Rama Mani from the position of Executive Director, her reinstatement and the canceling of her visa. This is an outsider who sees in this drama certain elements that speak to a larger politics, of ideological bent and relevant praxis (‘practice’ doesn’t sound very academic, neda?). Let me state my bias at the outset. I am not exactly a fan of the ICES, Colombo. It was and still is for the most part an integral part of what Susantha Gunatillake called the ‘Ethnic Studies Industry,’ selective in historical reference and choice of research subject, while its ‘scholarship’ is coloured heavily by political objective.

Manpower Agency Pays Compensation for Maid’s Death

By Leel Pathirana

A diamond necklace worth Saudi Riyal SR 4,000 and SR 3,500 in cash is part of the compensation that will be given to a Sri Lankan woman whose daughter starved to death in October 2005 while working as a maid in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Al-Nashwan Recruiting Company in Riyadh handed over the compensation to W.S.M.S. Wijesundera, charge d’affaires at the Sri Lankan Embassy, yesterday. The money and jewelry will reportedly be sent to the maid’s mother, Ratnaseeli, to help the maid’s impoverished family in Gonapola, a remote village in the Kalutara district of Sri Lanka. Vasanthi came to the KSA in October 2000 and died five years later from complications attributed to malnutrition, according to an autopsy. It was discovered that the maid had not received her salary for the period of her work and compensation for the unpaid labor alone would amount to SR 24,000.

U.N. Peacekeeping in Eritrea Grinds to a Halt

By Thalif Deen, Inter Press Service

A dispute between the United Nations and the government of Eritrea over fuel supplies has virtually grounded the eight-year-old U.N. Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE). The mission was mandated to monitor a peace agreement in the aftermath of a border dispute between the two countries. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has warned that unless UNMEE, which is based both in Addis Ababa and Asmara, receives fuel "immediately", he will be forced to relocate the peacekeeping mission, and move troops out of the Eritrean capital.

Military rule in Thailand officially ended

Thailand’s coup making military council, the Council for National Security (CNS) which ceased power toppling then Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his administration on 19 September 2006 has officially anounced on Thursday that it has ended its mission, following the newly-elected government having taken office on Wednesday. This announcement heralds the end of the Army rule in Thailand. Most key CNS leaders, except for its chief General Sonthi Boonyaratkalin, gathered for the last time before the coup-making body which existed for 16 months to make an official announcement of bowing out. Air Chief Marshal Chalit Pukbhasuk, Air Force chief and acting CNS head, told a press conference here that the military council was leaving with its mission unfinished.

Twenty Five Questions to Attorney Bruce Fein, Representing “Justice for Tamils”

On Januray 30, 2008, The Asian Tribune asked twenty five questions from Ambassador and Attorney Bruce Fein regarding his appearance as attorney for “Tamils for Justice.” In response Bruce Fein immediately replied (January 30, 2008) that he would reply to the same day, in fact, the email stated that “he will be “answering them tonight” Asian Tribune has not received any response from Bruce Fein so far and is publishing the twenty five questions it posed to him, along with all the correspondence relating to this matter.

Attack on Media and Journalists a Worldwide Phenomenon in 2007, Three International Media Rights Groups say

Daya Gamage – US Bureau Asian Tribune

Three internationally renowned rights groups were in agreement in their recently released investigative assessments of the ‘worldwide media scene’ that the year 2007 was devastating, brutal and crippling for the free media and journalists in both print and electronic sectors. The reports highlight that some democratic countries, in the name of rule of law and good governance, endeavor to subject the media as a captive fourth estate. In the annual assessment report released by the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists did not spare the United States, a country to many critics having double standards on human rights, for its part of detaining two journalists for a prolonged period denying them the habeas corpus rights, a fundamental right of any free society.

Mitt Romney Bites the Dust. Four Left in the Presidential Race

By Philip Fernando in Los Angeles

Mitt Romney dropped out of the Republican race today making the race now two on each side. John McCain, unless due to some sheer fluke, is likely to be the winner on the Republican side. Democrats are no way near finality. It is widely anticipated that following primaries scheduled over the next several days—including Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia next Tuesday—Barrack Obama will at least temporarily take a the lead in the delegate count over Hillary Clinton who is slightly ahead now. John McCain is firmer on the delegate count, but Mike Huckabee has not conceded. It seems increasingly likely, however, that the contest will remain unresolved for weeks if not months, and that the outcome may not be resolved until the convention itself. The number of voters at all the primaries had been unprecedented.