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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2558

Monthly archive

Australia Deputy Ambassador

Obama and Clinton On to the Final Stretch

By Philip Fernando in Seattle

It was amazing to see Washington State, considered safe HillaryClinton territory, veer towards Barrack Obama in an unbelievable manner. Wisconsin also showed a similar shift with Obama gaining on Clinton’s core constituencies like middle-aged whites, blue collar workers and even sections of the Hispanic vote. The TV debate scheduled for Thursday would provide a good opportunity for Clinton to stem the tide gone against her. Obama had the momentum do the work for him in an amazing way. The ten in a row of victories that Obama amassed has to be stopped if Clinton hopes to be in the presidential race. The two are now heading into Ohio and Texas on March 4, two weeks from today.

Two Sri Lankans sentenced to death, appealed against their sentences

Two Sri Lankans, a mother Halemma Nissa Cader, and K.M.S. Bandaranaike who were sentenced to be beheaded by the High Court of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on charges of armed robbery and murder of an old woman in Jeddah, has appealed against their convictions in the Supreme Court of Jeddah. According to sources in Saudi Arabia, the two of them have managed to file their appeal before the stipulated period of 30 days, which expired on 19 February. It is unclear whether Naushad filed his appeal, who is an India national from Tamil Nadu and the husband of Halemma Nissa Cader of Trincomalee, who too was sentenced to be beheaded in the same case.

Libya-Sri Lanka Cooperation Came to a Grinding Halt

The high-powered talks between Sri Lanka and Libya that took place at Tripoli, in August 2007 had not produced any worthwhile results so far. Libya has moved its embassy in Sri Lanka to India and hopes to appoint a cousul here soon. Talks about economic cooperation, hiring of 100,000 Sri Lankans to work in Libya, the prospects for oil drilling and other crucial economic and trade aspects of the Sri Lnalkan-Libyan co-operation seemed to be on hold.

Will Senator Barak Obama help the Republicans to retain the White House?

By Raj Gonsalkorale

Although his avalanche of primary victories continues unabated, Senator Barak Obama’s support amongst the middle and lower middle class voters, especially the more liberal minded, may wane if he beats Senator Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Party nomination. The increasingly acrimonious campaign of Senator Barak Obama, where he has even questioned the performance and policies of the much revered and very successful President Bill Clinton, has fuelled the bitter campaign and begun to divide the Democrats as never before. Senator Obama has deviated from all previous norms where candidates never challenged or questioned the policies of past Presidents from their own party, with the result that some liberal minded democrats may even vote for the liberal minded Senator John McCain rather than the man who has done the unthinkable. If this happens, Senator Obama would have been instrumental in delivering the White House to the Republicans for another 8 years.

U.N. Budgeting Bypasses Women

By Thalif Deen, Inter Press Service

When the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) holds a two-week session beginning next Monday, one of the lingering issues high on the agenda will be the continued under-funding of women’s activities at the United Nations. The primary theme of the two-week CSW session -- Feb. 25 through March 7 -- is "financing for gender equality and the empowerment of women." "We believe it is impossible to discuss financing for gender equality without discussing the structural mechanisms including within the United Nations system to deliver needed resources to improve women’s lives on the ground," said June Zeitlin, executive director of the New York-based Women's Environment and Development Organization (WEDO).

Screening process urged for academics and officials travelling abroad to participate in workshops, seminars and conferences

Australian based Society for Peace, Unity and Human Rights (SPUR) has urged the Sri Lanka President to screen properly academics and government officials going abroad for workshops, seminars and conferences before granting permission for their overseas journeys. The SPUR has insisted that before such permission is granted, it is necessary that measures are put in place to ensure that there is a thorough investigation on the organisers of these seminars, as well as of those who apply to attend such seminars, whether in an official or private capacity, while being in the service of the Government of Sri Lanka. Ranjit Soysa, Spokesperson of SPUR in an open letter to Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapakse has pointed out that foreign funded NGOs are trying to subvert the country by invoking R2P (Right To Protect) to bring in foreign troops.

International Crisis Group Takes a Close Look At Sri Lanka

The International Crisis Group, has reviewed the situation in Sri Lanka with a view to getting some realistic way to bring about a solution. Crisis Group, an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organization covering some 60 crisis-affected countries and territories across four continents, working through field-based analysis and high-level advocacy to prevent and resolve crises is currently exploring the costs and likely course of the crisis in Sri Lanka and how best to protect the civilians from the war’s worst effects and supporting those working to preserve its embattled democratic institutions. The Crisis Group acknowledges that government’s desire to defeat the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and end the war definitively is understandable. But due to the failure to protect human rights or share power with moderate, unarmed Tamil and Muslim political forces, its military approach has strengthened extremists on both sides in an escalating cycle of violence.

Sullen economic situation and escalating costs drastically affect the apartment construction industry

By Quintus Perera - Asian Tribune

At the Media Briefing jointly held by a group of Real Estate Developers and Building Contractors the country's economic situation, security situation high costs of building materials, high labor costs and senseless government taxation affect the apartment building construction drastically. Even though they have come down to the lowest possible prices for these apartments they are not selling as people are speculating to prices to come down further. Overall building construction cost has increased by 60 to 100 percent over that prevailed about three years ago and the property developers who have invested in apartment construction are in a critical situation of finding it difficult in selling these apartments.

Australia grants Rs 5 million for rural development

Sunil C. Perera in Colombo

The Acting Australian High Commissioner, Dr Matthew Hyndes presented funds worth Rs 5 million to six local organizations under the Australian Government's Direct Aid program (DAP) in a ceremony on 19 February. Speaking at the occasion Dr Hyndes emphasized that "The High Commission takes great pride in the Direct Aid Program which allows us the opportunity to work with organizations such as the six organizations gathered today, each of which is working in their communities, in different parts of the country to assist disadvantaged people"

Hilton continues anniversary celebration with a difference

Hilton Colombo is ready to offer its customers the 1987 prices at the Echelon Pub February 25 to March 20 from 6.00 p.m. to 10.00 p.m. on selected items. As part of its 21st anniversary celebrations, the Echelon Pub will offer customers a selected range of beverages – at 1987 prices. Ms Gigi De Silva, Marketing and Communications Manager, Colombo Hilton said that from time to time Hilton comes up with attractive packages and promotions to offer its customers with the best deals and services, and with the hotel celebrating its 21st year in Sri Lanka they have thought it would be apt to offer our customers with this special deal.

Human Rights Watch urges UN to sanction LTTE, and Karuna Group for continuing to use children to fight their battle

Human Rights Watch has urged the UN Security Council to impose sanctions on armed groups in Sri Lanka for using children in their forces. Also the New York based human rights organization has alleged Sri Lanka Government has failed to investigate its forces complicity in Child abductions. Human Rights Watch also has called upon the UN Security Council to publicly condemn the Sri Lankan government for failing to investigate cases of child abduction and recruitment in government-controlled territory, and the complicity of its security forces in abductions by the Karuna group.