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

Monthly archive

A Trojan Horse in Human Form: Finding WMDs in a Sand Stack

Sunday Discourse by Philip Fernando in LA for Asian Tribune

The failed attempt to find WMDs in a sand stack in Iraq, as is jokingly referred to by many nowadays, has brought to surface the a story of “A Trojan Horse in human form.” How an Iraqi defector code named Curveball duped the intelligence community to swallow rod, hook and sinker the theory that mobile labs with germ warfare apparatus roamed the streets of Baghdad is now available in black and while. Los Angeles Times writer Bob Drogin has revealed the intricacies of information gathering and unearthed the pitfalls that the Bush Administration walked into prior to the Iraqi war. The claim that biological weapons were being produced in Iraq was nothing but cock and bull. "Curveball: Spies, Lies and the Con Man Who Caused a War" by Bob Drogin (Random House) has sealed the fate of all stories of WMDs in Iraq. The fifth year of the Iraqi war observed last week brought back memories of the pre-war rhetoric that shrouded the facts about the invasion of Iraq.

Film Director to flies back to Chennai to obtain robbed film ‘Prabakaran’ taken by a mob

By Walter Jayawardhana

The director of the film entitled Prabhakaran, gave up his hospital bed protest fast and proceeded to Gemini Color Laboratories, in Chennai, Tamil Nadu to obtain his robbed film by a suspected Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) instigated mob. Sri Lankan government sources said he traveled to Chennai with special security provided by the Indian government on the request of the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama. Sources close to his family said the Indian Central government intervened on behalf of the victim and instructed the Tamil Nadu authorities to obtain the film snatched from the hands of the director, Thushara Peiris at the Gemini Colour laboratories by the mob.

Foreign Ministry expands Consular Services

Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama officially opened the Consular Affairs Division of the Foreign Ministry, today, at its new premises at No. 14, Sir Baraon Jayathilake Mawatha, Colombo 01. The refurbished Consular Affairs Division is geared to provide efficient services to the Public. While addressing the gathering, Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama stated that the consular activities which are now being centralized only to Colombo will be expanded to provincial levels in the future by opening provincial consular affairs offices.

Israel: A Negative Model

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

It might make sense to buy weapons and military technology from Israel but only the congenitally inane would take political advice from a country that has been immersed in a conflict for more than half a century, with no end in sight. Israel has not only brought untold misery to the Palestinian people; she has also endangered her own health and future, as a nation. Her refusal to look at the root causes of the conflict and address them politically, her insistence on reducing the entire issue to a battle against terrorism has brought her not victory but an endless war and unending insecurity. Israel does provide a lesson and an example in what not to do when dealing with an ethnic issue.

Discussing traitors past and present

By Janaka Perera

A new school of academics are busy seeking a re-colonization of Sri Lanka by foreign powers. Social Scientist Dr. Susantha Goonatilake made this observation at the Second Research Conference of the Royal Asiatic Society of Sri Lanka (RASSL) held at the Mahaweli Centre, Colombo on March 28-29. Dr. Goonatilake, who is the Convener of the Research Conference Committee, presented a paper on 'Colonial Knowledge Transactions – Early 20th Century and Early 21st Century.' The paper examines and contrasts the colonial intellectual project of some of the original RASSL European writings with the re-colonization writings of the new school.

Arab League Summit in Syria

By Dr. Abdul Ruff Colachal

Boycotted this year by half of the Arab world's leaders, the Arab League's two-day annual summit has opened in March 29 in the Syrian capital Damascus in the midst of crises in the region. (While Lebanon is reeling under serious "ruling" crisis, Hamas is under virtual siege from Israeli forces with their borders closed down by Israel, followed by air-strikes killing many, resulting in panic situation created in Palestine and Palestinians breached a part of the border with Egypt to buy essential daily requirements). In all, nine heads of state from the Arab League's 22 members are not attending the Damascus gathering. Key leaders are staying away amid signs of a growing regional rift among the Arab states themselves.

Muthulingham, Deputy Chairman of Moneragala, shot and killed by suspected LTTE assassins

By Walter Jayawardhana

A.N. Muthulingam, Deputy Chairman of Moneragala Pradeshiya Sabha, a local government authority bordering Eastern Province has been assassinated by suspected assassins of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Moneragala, although not in the Eastern Province, but in the Province of Uva, where places like Buttala, Katharagama and Moneragala have been the target of the Tamil Tigers who are supposed to be hiding in the adjacent Eastern jungles after the Tigers lost Eastern Province.

Netherlands Ex-MP Williams Got His Facts Mixed Up: Reply from Ira de Silva

In replying to Mr. Paul Williams, Ex-MP Netherlands, “Asia Tribune” reader Ira de Silva writes "The Sri Lankan government ended the ceasefire in January 2008; the LTTE had ended it in 2006 with the statement from its leader. The government merely gave notice that it was formally ending it because there was no ceasefire to maintain which is a fact that all those in the so-called international community had recognized, even the Norwegian facilitators. Paul Williams got his facts wrong.” She adds "In this regard, I am surprised that you missed the fact that the LTTE had asked the foreign monitors to leave, had asked foreign NGO's to leave and declared war over the past two years. Rather than being an "irresponsible policy" it was a responsible policy of the Sri Lankan government as the foreign interventionists would be the first to fault the government if it failed in it's duty to do everything in it's power to combat terrorist acts and do everything in it's power to protect the population.”

Otara animal lover programme first anniversary

By Quintus Perera - Asian Tribune

Project – Embark – was launched to prevent cruelty to animals by Ms Otara Gunawardena, Chairperson, Odel and Patron, Embark one year ago. At the Press Briefing held to announce the anniversary celebrations at Odel Colombo Ms Gunawardena said that the intention of the project has been to protect and prevent cruelty to animal. She said that she was impressed of the support that Embark has received from the public, animal welfare groups and the corporate sector. She said that 1363 cats and dogs were treated through sterilization and vaccination campaigns, during the last one year and she was happy of the high number and said that it was the determination and hard work of their Team.

Italians Rally Round Sri Lankan Ambassador Warnakulasuriya to Fight LTTE Propaganda

Italians have expressed full confidence in the Sri Lankan Ambassador Hemantha Warnakulasuriya who had done a marvelous job in countering LTTE propaganda in Italy. He has summoned the support of the Sri Lankans and they have all responded very well. The LTTE propaganda machine has met its match. “Asian Tribune” is able to report that the embassy in Rome has taken the correct stand in fighting LTTE propagandists. How the ambassador has acted is a lesson to all others in trying to ward off the LTTE menace of blatant lies and deception.

A UNICEF Consultant found with possession of Heroin fined by a Sri Lankan courts

A UNICEF staff, a US national was fined by courts in Sri Lanka for in possession of heroin and she subsequently left the country. Accordingly, the Country Office of UNICEF in Sri Lanka informed the Foreign Ministry that the service of Ms Lisa Woods, a Communication Consultant who was fined by the Courts for being in possession of 80 mg of heroin was terminated. Consequently she left the country on 28th March 2008. Ms Wood, a US national, had arrived in Sri Lanka on 5th March this year to work with the UNICEF on a 4-month assignment to assist the updating of the UNICEF website and to write donor reports.

They hate US-West too

By Sunita Paul

A front ranking leader of Bangladesh Caliphate Movement, Kazi Azizul Huq said: "People of Bangladesh in general dislike Anglo-American Occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq. At the same time most of them would like to see their children to go to Europe and US to earn money for solvency. Those who get education from western type schools usually are infected with vices such as ego, selfishness, hatred, revenge, arrogance, cruelty, etc. On the other hand those who get education in traditional religious schools normally learn to get rid of ego, selfishness, hatred, revenge, arrogance, cruelty etc. So, I think, western type general education system in our countries is mainly responsible for it. Anti-Semitism is a European phenomenon. But since the creation of Israel and continuous propagation of Jewish oppression of Muslims in Palestine have turned Muslims to be prejudiced against the Jews. Secret British policy seems to be deliberately fueling this confrontation between Muslims and Jews."

Activity levels expected to be high

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

HNB Stockbrokers in their weekly review on the stock market indicated that the stocks see-sawed within a narrow range throughout most part of the week, opening low on Monday and rising at midweek to close considerably high on Friday on the back of few blue chip counters gaining ground for the day. The All Share Price Index (ASPI) closed much higher at 2564.9 points, advancing by 28.7 points or 1.13 percent, while the more liquid Milanka Price Index (MPI) edged up 6.9 points or 0.22 percent to close at 3202.7 points for the week. The larger increase in ASPI was lead by the substantial price increases of the two illiquid stocks Ceylon Theatres and Cargills after the announcement of a share split on Tuesday.

Bio-fuel: End or Beginning

By Chandra Mohan - Syndicate Features

Though bio-fuel is touted as one of the better and cheaper environment-friendly alternatives for motor vehicles, it has been attracting a rash of negative publicity particularly after corn-derived ethanol produced in the US has driven up corn prices as a result of which tortilla, a must food item in Mexican homes, is becoming unaffordable in Mexican homes. So, the question is will the honeymoon with bio-fuel be over even before it has begun? Bio-fuel has been painted as a villain that will inflict a more serious problem on the hapless planet earth. A report prepared by British members of parliament says that bio-fuel often increases greenhouse gas emissions and exacerbates the climate change that it is supposed to avoid. Merely increasing the use of bio fuels will not mitigate the problem of climate change and the harm it is causing to man and his planet.

A scene from Prabhakaran

Consular Service

Latest in Canada's Attempt to Round-up "Tigers in Sheep's Clothing

Canadian government's attempt to round-up Tigers in sheep's clothing reads more like a spy thriller with details of clandestine activities, disguises and secret fund-raising. However, Royal Canadian Mounted Police Corporal Paul Huston found more. The details are intriguing. Thambuthurai an alleged Tiger proxy had revealed that he was active in the Vancouver chapter of the World Tamil Movement (WTM), which came under police investigation in 2003 as an alleged Tamil Tigers front organization. Here is the profile as stated in the search warrant: nside the office, behind the counter was a large picture of Velupillai Prabhakaran, the leader of the LTTE, with the logo of the WTM on the picture, a large flag of the LTTE was positioned by the front door beside the flag of British Columbia; inside a glass cabinet were LTTE compact discs and flags for sale; on a bookshelf beside the glass cabinet were videos and books for sale or rent; behind the front counter were WTM newspapers for sale.