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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2613

Monthly archive

Whither Democracy in America?

By Dr. Habib Siddiqui

The word democracy derives from the ancient Greek 'd?mokratia'(literally, rule by the people) formed from the roots d?mos "people," "the mob, the many" and 'kratos'"rule" or "power." To understand its history, we should look at Athenian Greece where it all began nearly 2500 years ago. Athenian democracy evolved out of the revolt of organized peasants against the abusive power of oligarchic rulers who redistributed wealth upward – from demos to the privileged few. It transformed those abused peasants into active citizens who demanded public accountability of their elected officials. Socrates is the towering figure of this democracy precisely because he challenged the chauvinistic thinking of his day. As we shall find out below, he was also its major casualty.

Noritake showcase its internationally famous Bone China tableware by presenting a set to Sri Lanka President

Motoyasu Nakanishi with PresidentMahinda Rajapakse By Walter Jayawardhana

Noritake Lanka Porcelain, which produces table ware, for the most distinguished dinning tables across the globe has added to its collection Bone China tableware of the highest quality available anywhere in the world, ceramic experts said. As the new addition to its production line which is so good to serve a meal fit for a king, Mr.Motoyasu Nakanishi, Deputy Chairman of Noritake handed over the first set of Bone China Porcelain table ware set to President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Temple Trees, official residence of the President on February 28.

Global day of prayer for Burma

Christian Solidarity Worldwide is to co-host a Day of Prayer for Burma at the Emmanuel Centre, London, from 10am-4pm on Saturday 8 March, as part of an international initiative. The Global Day of Prayer for Burma is an annual event initiated in 1997 by Christians Concerned for Burma at the request of Burma’s democracy leader, Nobel Peace Prize recipient Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. On Sunday 9 March churches around the world are urged to pray for Burma during their services. On Saturday 8 March, it is hoped that several hundred people will join in the prayer day hosted by CSW, Partners Relief and Development, Karen Aid and the Committee for Internally Displaced Karen People (CIDKP).

Telling America’s Story: the new “” web site

The US State Department has launched a new website – “America gov.” This new website gives information about America. In case, if someone is interested in knowing more about what Americans are thinking in this historic election year or to what extent regional or social-economic or other factors might play in their voting patterns; or would like to get the latest on U.S. foreign policy concerning a particular country or region or issue; or want information on American arts and culture or its education system, then check out the new web site “” Produced by the U.S. State Department, the site delivers current information about all these subjects, and more.

Son of a slained Saudi woman seeks death sentence to five convicted Sri Lankans

The son of the slained elderly Saudi woman Maiam is now seeking death sentence on everyone connected with his mother's murder. Five Sri Lankans had already been sentenced to five year in prison and 500 lashes by High Court of Jeddah. Earlier in November 2005, Mariam was killed in an armed robbery and a total of seven Sri Lankans and an Indian migrant workers were arrested in this connection. High Court of Jeddah confirmed its sentence delivered on 11 June 2007 and subsequently handed over the written verdict to the accused persons on 20 January 2008.

Stay or Not to Stay in Iraq?

By Adnan Gill

Stay or not to stay in Iraq is the question, that may very well decide who will be the next American president? The Republican presidential candidate John McCain wants to continue Bush administration's Iraqi policy, while the Democratic hopefuls want to pull the American troops out almost immediately. The Republicans believe prematurely pulling out of Iraq would amount to giving in to the terrorists, who will follow the Americans to the United States. For their part, the Democrats argue, that the Iraqi war is unwinnable and eating up precious American resources. Before answering that question, it might be prudent to glance over how Americans got stuck in the Iraqi war and what's at stake now?

Memorial service held in memory Tyronne Fernando in Chennai

Mr. P. M. Amza addressing the gatheringThe Sri Lanka Deputy High Commission in Chennai organised a Memorial Service in memory of Tyronne Fernando, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka at the Chancery premises on 29th February 2008, who passed away on 26th February 2008. The Memorial Service began with a prayer by the Rev. Manual S. Titus, Bishop’s Chaplain of the Church of South India-Madras Diocese, which was followed by the reading of a passage from the Holy Bible. Thereafter, Rev. Titus followed with another prayer and described the life and contributions made by the late Hon. Minister.

We can make the world a better place – Swedish Students Who Visited Sri Lanka

By Anna Andersson and Pontus Fridheimer

Swedish students and teachers The twelve sttudents who visited Sri Lanka recently expressed the hope "”All of us together can make the world a better place.” The students from Sweden helped a school in Bentota along with two of their teachers Anna Holmlin and Monikar Linder. While on tour they combined lectures and actual observations of peole and things in Sri Lanka, visiting temples and museums. They were able to assist the school in numerous ways and raise funds also bakng cookies, selling them at the school caferetia and organizing discos. Fun time was had by all according to the group who visited Sri Lanka

Somalia's Leadership: substance or rhetoric?

By Sadia Ali Aden

These are serious times with serious challenges that require serious leadership capable of envisioning free and united Somalia based on peace, justice and equality. Devoid of that, the current bloodshed will only continue and the humanitarian crisis will worsen. Despite the disillusionment with the process that produced the current Transitional Federal Government (TFG) October of 2004 in Kenya, war-fatigued Somalis, those in the homeland and the Diaspora alike were willing to give the benefit of the doubt to a government formed neither by its vision nor capacity to deliver, but by the clan one belongs to or by the brutal reputation or the deadly arsenal one possesses.

Insecure India

By G S Bhargava - Syndicate Features

With the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, L.K.Advani, making internal security the thrust of his campaign while launching his 'Sankalp Yatra' at Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh, the issue has become a political football. But it is too crucial to be obfuscated or hijacked. The Government's record of ensuring internal security speaks for itself. Secondly, although Advani has centred on the Prime Minister, the main architect or culprit, is the Union Home Minister, Shivraj Patil, who like the Prime Minister, is technically 'not responsible' (under the Constitution the government is answerable to the Lok Sabha) being a member of the Rajya Sabha.The Upper House does not vote money bills, much less the Budget under the Westminster system, which India has adopted.

Bone China Tableware 2

Bone China Table ware 3

Playing volley ball at the school grounds


Shift in Pakistan's politics?

By Dr. Abdul Ruff Colachal

February 18 poll in Pakistan with a split verdict denying the opposition parties majority has not brought about any tangible prospects for the nation or any visible hopes for a bright future for the people. Bhutto’s Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) won 88 seats, the former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League- Nawaz (PML-N) 66 and the ANP 10 in the elections. But the newly formed PPP-PMLN coalition has intensified their horse trade to acquire two-third majority in the Parliament required to impeach the President. Further, 27 independents also seem to have expressed their willingness to join the coalition. But the fact remains that Musharraf-backed PML-Quaid could win 39 seats against all odds.

Prabhakaran not in Command

V.PrabakaranReports reaching Colombo reveals that Velupillai Prabakaran, leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam has lost his commanding position in the separatist outfit. It is reliably learnt that LTTE leader is suffering very badly from his fluctuating chronic diabetes. According to Minister Dr. Keheliya Rambukawella, Government spokesperson for Defence and National Security, Sri Lankan intelligence personnel monitoring LTTE's daily acitivities have not heard the voice of LTTE leader since the middle of November 2007. Dr. Rambukawella further stated that according to reports reaching Colombo, reveal Velupillai Prabakaran, leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam has lost his commanding position in the separatist outfit. According to Dr. Rambukawella Prabakaran is seriously ill and has been affected by his fluctuating diabetic conditions.