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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2552

Monthly archive

Burma – New report details deprivation and abuse facing Burmese refugees in Malaysia

Burmese refugees in Malaysia are living in "severe and desperate poverty and deprivation", and face exploitation, abuse and "the widespread risk of arrest, detention, severe mistreatment including caning, and subsequent deportation by the Malaysian authorities", according to a new report released by Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) today. CSW representatives returned last week from a fact-finding visit to Malaysia and the Thailand-Burma border with first-hand testimonies of forced labor, rape, torture, land confiscation and religious persecution. The delegation met Burmese refugees from several ethnic groups in Malaysia, and visited Internally Displaced People inside Burma and Karen refugees in Thailand. CSW interviewed Kachin civil society groups and Burmese Buddhist monks who had fled the regime’s crackdown on pro-democracy protests in September last year. The delegation also met with Padoh Mahn Sha Hla Phan, General Secretary of the Karen National Union (KNU), three days before he was assassinated by gunmen believed to be acting under orders from Burma’s military regime.

Shaheed Dhirendranath Dutta-”The Bangali Nationalist Leader of bygone days

Rabindranath Trivedi for Asian Tribune

That Bangla should be the state language of an independent state was unbelievable in 1947 when Pakistan was founded and East Bengal became a part of that establishment. The demand on which the state language movement was based was not for Bangla to be the sole state language of that unwieldy state of which the majority, indeed 56 per cent, of the population spoke Bangla. The leaders of the language movement were not unaccommodating and would have been satisfied with Bangla accepted as one of the two state languages.

ICC-SCCI Regional Workshop on Trade Facilitation for Custom and Business Community

By Quintus Perera - Asian Tribune

International Chamber of Commerce and SAARC Chamber of Commerce & Industry organizes Regional Workshop on Trade Facilitation and Challenges for Custom and Business Community in Colombo on May 8 & 9, 2008, on the theme “Why Must SAARC Provide Trade Facilitation”. “Make SAARC an attractive regional hub for investment / business". International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) is the world business organization located in Paris, France, the only representative body that speaks with authority on behalf of enterprises from all sectors in every part of the world on trade. ICC promotes open international trade and investment system and market economy. ICC was founded in 1919 in Europe by a group of farsighted business leaders who called themselves “the merchants of peace” Its objective was to promote free trade among countries.

Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in Tamil Nadu open up bank accounts in the Bank of Ceylon branch

Reports revealed that history was made when 15 Sri Lankan refugees living in Tamil Nadu opened bank accounts at the Bank of Ceylon branch in Chennai on 25th February 2008. Apart from encouraging savings and protecting the earnings of the refugees who are either employed or working with Self Help Groups (SHG), the focus was also to explore options of transferring their savings to Sri Lanka with minimum inconvenience and financial implications to the refugees when they eventually return to Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan refugees in Tamil Nadu and the Government of Sri Lanka share a unique relationship with each other which has resulted in the fruitful efforts in the past which have been mutually fulfilling and rewarding.

NGOs Should Not be Allowed to Function as Fifth Columnists Undermining Sri Lanka

By Leel Pathirana

Dr. Rama Mani's deportation as a persona non grata brought to surface the fiercely urgent need for scrutinizing the work of some of the so-called Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) operating in Sri Lanka. The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) few days back took into custody a computer used by Dr. Rama Mani, the former Executive Directress of the International Centre for Ethnic Studies (ICES), to check the related correspondence regarding her push for the controversial Responsibility to Protect (R2P) policy for Sri Lanka. She had no authority to delve into policy matters like R2P which are the exclusive prerogative of an elected government. She reportedly had similar controversial status functioning as Strategy Manager of Oxfam based in Ethiopia and Uganda.

Indian President Pratibha Patil Behind a United Sri Lanka, Hopes for Non-Military Solution

Pratibha Devisingh PatilIndian President Pratibha Patil Behind a United Sri Lanka, Hopes for Non-Military Solution

President Pratibha Devisingh Patil in her address to the Indian Parliament emphasized the need for regional cooperation. Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Afghanistan are mentioned as areas where Indian diplomacy may be vigorously pursued. She specifically stated that "There has been an unfortunate increase in violence in Sri Lanka. We are clear that there can be no military solution to the ethnic issue. It is necessary to find a negotiated political settlement within the framework of a united Sri Lanka that is acceptable to all sections of society.

Another LTTE Stunt Suffered Colossal Fiasco in Australian

From an Asian Tribune Reader in Australia

Wearing red T-shirts, a miniscule protest group of brain-washed Eelam sycophants displaying maps that deceived the world that the Eastern province was still controlled by LTTE were escorted out of the Manuka Oval grounds in Australia. Crest-fallen and disgustingly out of touch with the inhuman activities of their terrorist renegades now escaping from their Wanni hideouts cum-shattered bunkers destroyed by the Sri Lankan air force jets, they did a hasty retreat being ridiculed by the cricket loving Australian crowds. Their attempt to be the voice of humanity could not hide the shame of the pitiful Tiger cadres hiding in Wanni jungles awaiting the illusive Elam.

Who Is Protecting Candidate Barrack Obama?

By Philip Fernando in Seattle

Barak Obama in KenyaPresidential contender Barrack Obama is surrounded by the best security service the country can provide, very much like what a President gets. Yet “worry” is too soft a word to describe what thousands fear to say. There is a “hush” loud and clear said one supporter. The nightmare of 1968 seared into their memories, the pandemonium of Martin Luther King, John F and Bobby Kennedy flashbacks-as Obama fearlessly mingles amidst the thronging crowds that swell like a river overflowing its banks wherever he traveled. Obama was the first contender to get the protection he needed. His secret service code word is “Renegade” as is the usual style adopted by them to quickly locate well protected targets. Obama does not talk about it very much. He just plans his day like any other candidate.

U.N. Plans to Resume Capital Punishment Debate

By Thalif Deen - Inter Press Service

The contentious debate on the death penalty -- which split the 192-member U.N. General Assembly last December -- is refusing to die. A group of 58 countries, strongly supportive of capital punishment, has written to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon "placing on record that they are in persistent objection to any attempt to impose a moratorium on the use of the death penalty or its abolition." Any attempts to place either a moratorium or abolish capital punishment are in violation of existing stipulations under international law, according to their written submission, described in U.N. jargon as a "note verbale", to the secretary-general.

Concerted International Pressure Vital to Bring Democracy to Burma - President Bush

Daya Gamage - US National Correspondent Asian Tribune

George W. BushThe situation in Burma remains deplorable. The regime has rejected calls from its own people and the international community to begin a genuine dialogue with the opposition and ethnic minority groups. Arrests and secret trials of peaceful political activists continue, such as the recent arrest of journalists Thet Zin and Sein Win Maung. Severe human rights abuses by the Burmese Army, including burning down homes and killing civilians, continue in ethnic minority areas in eastern Burma.

Tyrone Fernando Passed away

Sunil C. Perera in Colombo

Tyrone Fernando, Ambassador designate to France, passed away. More details will follow.

Terrorism is the biggest challenge - Mahinda Rajapakse

Sunil C. Perera in Colombo

President Mahinda Rajapakse says biggest challenge faced by the Trade Union movement in present days is terrorism. Terrorists have hindered the blooming of trade union leaders in areas controlled by them. The president stressed that it is the responsibility of trade unions to join forces against terrorism. He made this observation at a felicitation ceremony held at the presidential secretariat yesterday to honor ten trade unionists involved in the trade union movement Sri Lanka. Speaking further, President Rajapakse said that the present government has ensured the rights of workers. It has never harassed workers under the shield of emergency regulations.

"Ranaviru Sandyawa," in LA: A Grand Success and All Objectives Achieved

Dr. Mohan Kumararatne president of the Rnaviru Foundation USA thanked the Sri Lankan expatriate community for making the “Ranaviru Sandyawa” a cultural performance by the Sri Lanka Defense Forces Cultural Troupe held on February 16, 2008 at the Bovard Auditorium of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles a grand success. Dr. Kumararatne added that the show exceeded all expectations and achieved its objectives. The dances, drum performances and vocals were of a very high quality and perfectly executed. The interview of Warrant Officer Upali, a disabled war hero, was especially emotional and brought tears to the audience. The skit by Bhadraji was a perfect introduction to WO Upali. The elegant Bovard Auditorium was tastefully decorated, with a military theme being the background.

Phoenix Ogilvy Sri Lanka Tourism media partner

By Quintus Perera - Asian Tribune

Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau has selected Phoenix Ogilvy as its communications partner to promote Sri Lanka Tourism. Six advertising agencies have participated in the competition to win the communication partnership. The evaluation process entailed analysis of both, technical and financial proposals by a committee consisting of a group of senior marketing and financial experts.

Pratibha Devisingh Patil

In Australia

In Australia 2