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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2340

Monthly archive

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U.S. wants economic participation in Sri Lanka’s Liberated East: But proposes reduced aid package for 2009

Condoleezza RiceThe importance of the United States participation in Sri Lanka’s liberated ethnically-mixed Eastern Province is highlighted in the just announced Foreign Operations Budget for Fiscal Year 2009 but the proposed budget estimates clearly indicate that the US has drastically reduced the overall economic assistance to Sri Lanka. The Budget Document confirms that the : “The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Compact was put on hold in early 2007 pending improvements in the overall human rights and security situations, and in December the MCC decided not to reselect Sri Lanka for 2008 compact eligibility.” The US Foreign Operations Budget jointly prepared by the State Department and the Budget Office of Bush White House was presented by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to the US Congress last week.

Best of Pakistani Political Drama

By Adnan Gill

One can always count on Pakistani politics for being full of entertainment. In fact, its twists and turns can not only rival but beat any of the Holly-Bollywood soap operas or action-packed thrillers. The political drama never fails to keep the pundits at the edge of their seats. The best part is, one doesn't have to know its 60 years old history to be entertained. One can jump in at any time and catch up with confidence, that still it will be packed with plenty of comedy, conspiracies, suspense, cheating, switching of partners, vulgarity, arm-twisting, backstabbing, murders, and unadulterated violence.

Police failed to arrest alleged rapist of his own five year old daughter

Concern is mounting with the information regarding the continued inaction of the police into the alleged sexual abuse of a five-year-old girl by her father. The girl's grandmother has filed a complaint at the Panwila police station in Kandy on 18 June 2007 A court has issued a warrant for the arrest of the alleged rapist who has rape his own tiny five year old daughter. However, it is reported that up to date the police have failed to arrest the alleged perpetrator. It is also reported that the reason of police inaction is that the alleged perpetrator is a friend of the police.

"No Safety, No Escape, Children and the Escalating Armed Conflict in Sri Lanka" – Most deceptive way of communication

The Watchlist launched a report on Children and Armed Conflict in New York yesterday at the UN headquarters. The report is called: No safety, No Escape, Children and the Escalating armed Conflict in Sri Lanka. However the press release seems to be not reflecting the report of January 2008, which is given in the PDF format at the end of this news item. The press release seems to be a very deceptive way of communication. Anyhow, according to the Watchlist, the report is being released against the backdrop of an escalating military build up and fear of deepening warfare in Sri Lanka. It believes that many children in Sri Lanka live in a state of constant fear and insecurity.

The Challenge of Diversity

Shri Eduardo Faleiro

Cultural diversity is a fact of modern life and it exists now in practically all countries of the world. In addition to conventional elements such as race, religion and language, cultural diversity is accentuated by new factors including globalization, the breakdown of the traditional moral consensus, the emphasis on individual choice regarding issues like the place of religion in public life, family discipline, relations between parents and children and other aspects of life today.

Ambassador Warnakulasuriya launches Italy- Lanka Anti-Terrorist Organization launched

An Italy-Sri Lanka Anti-Terrorist Organization was established in Rome under the guidance of Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Rome Hemantha Warnakulasuriya P.C. The first project of this association is a website, in the Italian Language, which will be devoted to the brutal atrocities committed by the LTTE. It will have videos of the attempted killing of Minister Douglas Devananda by a suicide bomber and the killing of Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle. The President of Italian-Sri Lanka Anti Terrorist Organization (ISATO) told the Asian Tribune that until he met some Sri Lankans, he did not know the intensity of the Terrorist Problem that Sri Lanka was facing.

Attempts to discredit Sri Lankan tea trade

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

The Tea Industry here rebuffed the attempts by many astute commentators, both in the print and electronic media, to diminish its landmark achievement in breaching the elusive US.$.1 Billion Value Barrier in the year 2007, for the first time in its 140 years history. In the official statistics released recently, the value of Tea Exports in 2007 is shown to have recorded a 22 percent increase over the 2006 figure, by advancing from Rs.91.7 Billion to Rs.112 Billion; an outstanding performance!

Canadian Government Pounces on World Tamil Movement, a Pretext for Funding Terrorism

Having closely monitored the World Tamil Movement for suspected terrorism-funding activities, the Canadian authorities have pounced on them with a vengeance unprecedented in Canadian history. The WTM's offices in Montreal and Toronto have been under police investigation for six years, and were raided by police in 2006. While no charges have yet resulted, the decision to seek a restraining order suggests Ottawa is now aggressively pursuing the group. WTM movement allegedly supported the terrorist work of Velupillai Prabhakaran who has been unequivocally condemnedd as a ruthless terrorist by the international community. Details of recent action by Canadian government are not known yet but are expected to reveal an underground movement of sizeable proportions.

Pakistan and Sri Lanka to expand the scope of free trade agreement

By Walter Jayawardhana

Following the successful talks between President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Pakistani President Pervez Mushrraff in China the bilateral trade between the two South Asia countries will be greatly expanded, Pakistani officials said. The two presidents met with their respective Foreign and Trade Ministers in high level talk on the sidelines of Boao Forum in the Southernmost Chinese city of Hainan last week. After the People’s Republic of China Sri Lanka is the second country with which Pakistan has signed a Free Trade Agreement.

Global Hot Spots of Hunger Set to Explode

By Thalif Deen - Inter Press Service

As food prices continue to escalate worldwide, some of the poorest nations in the developing world are in danger of social and political upheavals. The unrest, which is likely to spread to nearly 40 countries, has been triggered largely by a sharp increase in the prices of staple commodities, including wheat, rice, sorghum, maize and soybeans, according to the United Nations. Following last week's food riots in Haiti, which claimed the lives of four people, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appealed to international donors for urgent assistance to one of the poorest countries in the Caribbean. A meeting of the world's finance ministers in Washington over the weekend warned that rising food prices were more of a threat to political and social stability than the current crisis in global capital markets.

Thondaman, Jayalath Jayawardane, Vaiko ask India to end Lanka imbroglio

By Asian Tribune special correspondent

Arumugam Thondaman, Jayalath Jayawardane and MDMK's V. Gopalasamy (Vaiko) have picked up a new refrain: it is time India takes the initiative to end the Sri Lanka conflict. Sri Lanka minister and one of the UNP leader and the pro-LTTE leader articulated the new view at a two-day international conference organized by Art of Living Foundation in Oslo over the week end. Bangalore based spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar heads the foundation. Significantly, the appeal comes a week after the LTTE had urged Oslo to use its leverage with Colombo to stop the on-going military operations in Sri Lanka's north.

A Paradox of Bulletocracy and Representative Democracy in Burma

By Naing Ko Ko

Whilst in the post Saffron Revolution period the military regime in Burma has announced referendum in May 2008 for a new constitution and an election to be held in 2010, it is really a model for continuation of the ‘bulletocracy’ dominated by military generals for more than a decade. Simultaneously, both pro and con debates on the referendum /constitution have occurred in the horizon of Burma domestic politics, with statements welcoming and rejecting from foreign policy elites, particularly from neighboring countries of China, Thailand, India and Western liberal democracies.

Burma's Referendum and Election Woes : Is there a way out for the opposition?

By Sai Wansai

It shouldn't be a surprise for the Burmese military juntas exclusion or barring of Aung San Suu Kyi from participation in the forth-coming election, which is due to be held in 2010, following the constitutional referendum targeted in May of this year. "The Fundamental Principles and Detailed Basic Principles", adopted by the National Convention, under chapter 3, The Head of State, sub-heading Qualifications of the President and Vice-Presidents states, The President of the Union himself, parents, spouse, children and their spouses shall not owe allegiance to a foreign power, shall not be subject of a foreign power or citizen of a foreign country.

FCCISL Business for Peace Initiative spends Rs 11.6 Million in war affected business rehabilitation

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

Business for Peace Initiative (BPI), Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL) has rehabilitated 315 businesses destroyed by war in the Mannar, Trincomalee and Batticaloa District and for these rehabilitation work a total of Rs 11.6 million was spent. Recently BPI has completed rehabilitation of 93 enterprises and livelihoods in the district of Mannar to a value of Rs.4.5 Million with the partnership of Mannar District Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Agriculture.

Nalini

Priyanka

Condoleezza Rice

Priyanka confirmed meeting with Nalini, one of Rajiv Gandhi assassins

PriyankaNaliniPriyanka Vadra, daughter of Rajiv Gandhi, whom the LTTE suicide bomber Dhannu, killed in May 1991, has confirmed media reports about her meeting Nalini, one of the conspirators, now languishing in Vellore Central Jail. "It is true that I met Nalini Sriharan in Vellore central jail on March 19, 2008. It was my way of coming to peace with the violence and loss that I have experienced", she said in a statement here on Tuesday. Her brother, Rahul Gandhi also confirmed the meeting. "We don't carry hatred. We don't carry anger. It's not an exercise...She (Priyanka) felt that she wanted to go and see the person. She has been feeling it for sometime."


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