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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2787

Monthly archive

Consul General Jaliya Wickramasuriya

Democracy, Presidential Election and the Lobby – Part 2

By Habib Siddiqui

America is now holding its primary elections. With Senator Hillary Clinton's predictable victory in the Pennsylvania primary election, the super delegates may eventually decide who ultimately gets the ticket for the Democratic Party. The election is also bringing to the fore the ugly side of racism that has always been dormant within the society. The three most important issues in the minds of most voters are economy, war and healthcare (in that order). Everyone is feeling the pinch of soaring prices on almost everything from gasoline to milk to meat to bread and rice. The American economy seems to be in recession.

Leading Sri Lankan Thoracic Surgeon Passes Away

By Wakeley Paul

One of Sri Lanka's leading Thoracic surgeons, A T S Paul, passed away at age 94 on Sunday April 27. He was a member of the distinguished medical PAUL family. His father was the illustrious Dr S C Paul who was the Senior Surgeon of the General Hospital for 25 years, assuming that position when he was a mere 30 years old. When a British Governor Sir John Anderson needed to be operated upon, The British medical authorities recommended that Dr Paul be appointed to perform the operation. He was the first F R C S in Ceylon’.

Food Crisis May Get Worse Before it Gets Better

By Thalif Deen - Inter Press Service

The spreading food crisis -- triggered primarily by rising prices, declining outputs and growing scarcities worldwide -- is threatening to impact heavily on the most vulnerable in society: women and children. The United Nations and international humanitarian organizations fear the crisis may get worse before its gets better. "Even temporarily depriving children of the nutrients they need to grow and thrive can leave permanent scars in terms of their physical growth and intellectual potential," warns Andrew Thorne-Lyman, a nutritionist at the Rome-based World Food Programme (WFP).

Sri Lanka army assignes 9th group for peacekeeping missions in Haiti

Sunil C. Perere and Chithralal Jayasinghe in Colombo

The army headquarters say 9th group of the Sri Lanka army that has been assigned to peacekeeping missions in Haiti will leave the country in the next few days. The group comprises 200 security personnel. In addition a battalion of 750 soldiers of the Gamunu regiment of the Sri Lanka army will also be sent to serve in Haiti as UN peacekeepers. A parade of these security personnel was held at the headquarters of the artillery regiment in Panagoda on Monday.

JVP will axe Weerawansa?

Sunil C. Perera and Chithralal Jayasinghe in Colombo

While claiming that the party membership of the dissident MP Wimal Weerawansa would be cancelled constitutionally, JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva yesterday that Weerawasna should contact the party directly without conveying massages through media. He said the Central Committee of the JVP will take a decision regarding Wimal Weerawansa soon. He said at the moment Weerawansa is the Propaganda Secretary of the party and the member of the Politbureau. But during last few days Weerawansa acted on his own free will.

Poor and hungry cannot afford to wait - World Bank President

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

In a Washington date-lined World Bank statement, President Robert B Zoellick after a meeting in Berne, Switzerland of the United Nations System Chief Executives Board of Coordination speaking on the global food crisis has indicated that the Poor and hungry cannot afford to wait. The World Bank President has said that the next few weeks are critical for addressing the food crisis. For 2 billion people, high food prices are now a matter of daily struggle, sacrifice and for too many, even survival. We estimate that already some 100 million people may have been pushed into poverty as a result of high prices over the last 2 years. This is not a natural disaster. Make no mistake; there is nothing natural about this. But for millions of people it is a disaster.

Australia to apply Stronger Sanctions against Tamil Tiger Terrorism

By Sumane Liyanaarachchi Sydney

The International isolation of the LTTE may eventually force it to abandon its campaign of terror and return to the negotiating table. It also would send a message to all terrorist organisations that Australia rejects terrorism in all its forms, and that it applies the same uniform standard when dealing with terrorist groups across the world. Dr Dasarath Jayasuriya, President of Society for Peace, Unity and Human Rights for Sri Lanka, writing to the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Stephen Smith and Attorney General Robert McClelland appeals the Australian government to impose further sanctions on the LTTE and its front-organisations by listing them under the Australian Criminal Code Act of 1995, until it has given up terrorism in word and deed.

Quantum Leap in Sri Lanka-Iranian Relations Foreign Minister Bogollagama

Rohitha BogollagamaSri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama believed that momentum in mutual relations between Iran and Sri Lanka reached a high point, as the two Presidents met this week. It augured well for the future. Sri Lanka’s relationship with the Islamic Republic of Iran has registered a quantum leap. Minister Bogollagama made these observations while responding to his Iranian counterpart Manouchehr Mottaki’s call for the consolidation of bilateral ties, during official discussions between the two Ministers on Monday at the Foreign Ministry.

Rajiv assassin Nalini wants 'freedom'

By M Rama Rao, India Editor, Asian Tribune, New Delhi

Nalini SriharanAmidst mounting demands for Delhi's intervention in the Sri Lankan imbroglio from Manmohan Singh government allies like the Communist Party and the Dravidian DMK party, the lone surviving assassin of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi wants freedom from jail in Vellore where she has spent the past 18 –years in a high security cell. Nalini moved the Madras High Court through her lawyer Duraimurugan. Her writ makes two points. One she has had a 'blemishless' good conduct in the jail where she has been lodged as a life convict. Second 18- years is a long stint for a life convict. Indian government and also courts generally provide a reprieve to convicts with good conduct on occasions like Independence Day and Republic Day, both national days.

President Rajapaksa: We Appreciate Workers' Aspirations for Peace and Prosperity

Mahinda RajapaksaPresident Mahainda Rajapaksa expressed optimism that the workers would unite in bringing about peace to Sri Lanka. In his May day Message he said that "The cooperation extended by the working people towards our efforts to build a prosperous Sri Lanka in keeping with the policies of the Mahinda Chinthana, that give priority to the aspirations of the people to take the country towards major development, is very much valued by me."

One Eight Base of LTTE in Mannar falls to advancing Sri Lankan troops

By Walter Jayawardhana

The one eight base of Tamil Tiger’s fell to the Sri Lanka security forces amidst intense fighting, killing 42 Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam cadres in the Mannar Front making the rebels suffer another inglorious defeat, military sources said. Sri Lanka Army sources said, “Troops have captured the LTTE's stronghold called "18 Base" (One-Eight Base) located at north of Parayakulam in Mannar front inflicting heavy damages to the enemy today, April 30.” The Sri Lanka Army troops deployed in KarukkaKulam, and kattankulam started advancing towards the enemy’s defence line at dawn at 5.15 a.m. , the same sources said.

Iraq must spend more on basic services, particularly for children, says UN envoy

Radhika CoomaraswamyRadhika Coomaraswamy, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, has called on the Iraqi Government to spend more on basic services, noting that a large portion of the strife-torn nation’s children are going to school or receiving proper care. “The government of Iraq must use a large portion of its budget – that is the surplus – to deal with the provision of basic services to its population,” Coomaraswamy told reporters in New York today, after a six-day visit to Iraq. She said the “situation is quite intolerable for children, especially in central and south Iraq.”

UN worker arrested having a Pistol

By Leel Pathirana

A Sri Lankan Tamil National working for World Food Programme (WFP) on of the UN was arrested Wednesday with a possession of Micro Pistol when he tries to pass a security roadblock at Irattaperiyakulam in Vavunia the defence officials said on Wednesday. The suspect has been identified as Thiagaraja Prabhakaran a resident in Batticaloa and currently working under the UNDP office in Kilinochchi, the main stronghold of the LTTE of the northern Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka Suffers From Violence From Ill-Gotten Small Arms

Prasad KariayawasamAddressing a Security Council meeting on Small Arms, Sri Lanka's Ambassador to the UN Prasad Kariayawasam said that Sri Lanka, like several other countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America, suffers from violence and terrorism perpetrated by a non-state actor using ill-gotten small arms and light weapons, as well as ammunition. This terrorist group wreaks havoc in some parts of the country and their campaign of terror has continued unabated, despite all efforts by the Government to seek a solution to the conflict by political means of dialogue and democratic accommodation.

Terrorism Remains Serious Problem in South Asia: Latest US Terrorism Reports says

Daya Gamage – US National Correspondent Asian Tribune

The United States Department of State annual congressionally mandated "Country Reports on Terrorism 2007" released here on Wednesday, April 30 in its South and Central Asia Overview section says that terrorism remains a serious problem in the South Asia region directly and indirectly threatening American interests and lives. "Country Reports on Terrorism 2007" is submitted in compliance with Title 22 of the United States Code, Section 2656f (the "Act"), which requires the Department of State to provide Congress a full and complete annual report on terrorism for those countries and groups meeting the criteria of the Act.

Indian democracy in Action: Secret Grave-yards in Kashmir

Dr. Abdul Ruff Colachal

The current era of so-called terrorism perpetrated by the USA has enboldened countries across the globe to torture and kill Muslims, at their levels, at will without any accountability. In Kshmir not only the freedom fighting patirots are killed regularly, but they are also branded as "terrorists" by New Delhi to earn strategic partnership of the USA. A few lines on what has been happening to Kashmiris would, perhaps, throw some light on the impact of Indian policy in Kashmir life since India occupied the valley in 1947. Not only India converted Kashmir valley into a well-knit cantonment of New Delhi, it has also unleashed terror on the defenseless Kashmiris and killed thousands and thousands of Kashmiris, including the freedom fighting ones. Now freedom fighters are called the “terrorists”.

Consular General Wickramasuriya Excelled as Diplomat: Supervisor Burke of LA County

By Philip Fernando in LA for Asian Tribune

Jaliya Wickaramsurya with Yvonne BurkeLos Angeles County Board of Supervisors feted Consular General Jaliya Wickramasuriya who is expected to assume duties as Sri Lankan Ambassador to Washington D.C. in June, at a special ceremony for his outstanding collaboration with the citizens of Los Angeles. Yvonne B. Burke, Chairperson of the County Board lauded his presence in the area and his willingness to be a conduit for the good of the people. When he came here first, he promised us cooperation and he lived up to his word, she said.

Interest and exchange rates

By Quintus Perera - Asian Tribune

A timely, useful and educative seminar on ‘Managing Risks on fluctuations in interest and exchange rates’ is organized by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) and is aimed at private sector on how these risks could be managed effectively. Specialists on the subject with practical knowledge will share their expertise on different areas. The seminar will be held on May 9 at the Chamber auditorium.