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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2902

Monthly archive

Palestine – SL tourism to receive boost through trade promotion

Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

Dr Anwar Al-Agha, Ambassador, State of Palestine expressed his hopes in improving tourism between Sri Lanka and Palestine, based on the positive response received from a tour group which visited Sri Lanka recently. He expressed this view when he paid a courtesy call at the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC), where he met Prema Cooray, Secretary General/CEO, Mahen Dayananda, Chairman and Harin Malwatte.

Will Indian government arrest those who discuss government decisions?

By Bobby Ramakant

A human rights activist was arrested in Manipur for discussing a state government's decision in a public forum. Sapam Kangleipal Meitei, 27 years, was discussing the impact of arming the civilians with weapons on the conditions prevalent in Manipur state. The state government had decided to give 500 gun licenses to natives of two villages in Manipur state. State government decided to hand over 500 gun licenses to civilians because armed cadres of People Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (PREPAK), an armed opposition group in Manipur, had reportedly shot-dead two girls and a boy while seriously injuring the eyes of another girl on 24 March 2008. So the civilians of these villages were demanding arms for self-defense.

Sri Lankans Honored by Consul General Wickramasuriya in Los Angeles

By Philip Fernando in LA for Asian Tribune

Consul General Jaliya Wickramasuriya feted Hassina Leelaratne on the occassion of the 25th anniversary of the publication of the Sri Lanka Express, the only newspaper for expatriates published in USA. A crowd of well-wishers watched the ceremony to honor Hassina Leelaratnna, the Editor, who said that it was her late husband's inspiration that made her to continue this venture.

Child Soldiering Driven by "Unequal Power Equation"

By Thalif Deen, Inter Press Service

The growing phenomenon of child soldiers -- long prevalent in African countries such as Uganda, Somalia, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo -- is also taking root in Asia, specifically in Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Burma (Myanmar) and the Philippines. The United Nations says that of the estimated 250,000 child soldiers worldwide, a sizeable proportion is in South and Southeast Asia. What are the primary causes of forced military conscription in Asia? Is it driven by ideology or by poverty? Or both?

No police and land powers to EPC says JHU

Sunil C. Perera and Chithralal Jayasinghe

While Minister Maithripala Sirisena yesterday said that Eastern province will be given land and police powers, the Jathika Hela Urumaya told media today that they are against the idea of giving these powers to the Eastern Provincial Council. The JHU further said the people of the East have defeated terrorism in the Provincial Council Election. Speaking a press conference in Colombo today JHU Leader Venerable Ellawala Medhananda Thera said the people have comprehensively defeated attempts to spread terrorism in the province. Also speaking at the press conference Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka assured the constant support of the Party to the government’s drive to develop the eastern province.

Is Sri Lanka a Feudal Democracy?

By Raj Gonsalkorale

If one examines political developments since 1970, they smack of a form of raw feudalism, perhaps a modernized form of feudalism which one may describe by an oxymoronic term, democratic feudalism. The power and influence of the Executive Presidency today is very reminiscent of the power and influence of Sri Lanka’s Kings of past. One’s rise and fall is at the Presidents pleasure or displeasure as the case might be. The United Peoples Front Alliance (UPFA) victory at the Eastern province election may not be a victory for the UPFA in a real sense considering the many allegations of violence, intimidation and vote rigging that have been reported. However, independent monitors have stated that the there were no violent incidents in more than 80% of polling booths, indicating the possibility that the election was relatively fair in those polling booths.

Sri Lanka: PM insists the government is not prepared for any ceasefire

Sunil C. Perera and Chithralal Jayasinghe

Prime Minister Rathnasiri Wickremanayake insists that the government is not prepared for any ceasefire whatsoever. He pointed out that history has evidence that when under pressure the LTTE attempts to bring about a ceasefire with local and foreign influence. However, the present President looks at the terrorism issue through a new dimension creating the day of the eradication of terrorism close at hand. The Premier stressed that therefore, at this point the soldiers must not the isolated and the public must extend its strength to them.

If Sri Lanka fails against LTTE then the world fails against Terrorism – Mahinda Rajapakse at Oxford Union

By Walter Jayawardhana

Mahinda RajapaksaCalling it the plain truth President Mahinda Rajapaksa said if Sri Lanka failed in her war against the LTTE the world will fail in its fight against terrorism and democracy will be victim addressing the Oxford University Student Union. “The LTTE is the most brutal terror outfit the world has ever seen and defeating them requires global support. What Sri Lanka is doing is fighting the terror outfit single handed to ensure that democracy and respect for human life prevail in the world,” the President said. Calling the LTTE the main obstacle to development in Sri Lanka the President said, it is time the world raising its united voice express its utter revulsion of the barbaric practice of suicide bombings and that form of political expression, if it could be described as such is utterly unacceptable in the civilized world.

Tamil Chief Minister for East, Just and Fair Decision

By Philip Fernando in LA for Asian Tribune

PillaiyanThe Chief Ministership stakes are now being fought in the East. To any impartial observer, it is crystal clear that any attempt to bypass a Tamil for the post of Chief Minister would be a travesty of justice. What is of paramount importance is that the government must not give the impression that the support it got from the Tamil voters who were earlier in the clutches of the LTTE, were not taken for granted.

Death Toll in China Earthuake Exceeds 12,000: Olympics not affected

Fattened buildings reduced to match wood and mountains of debris dotting the landscape marked the deadly earth quake that hit China this week, the worst in 30 years. Desperate attempts to rescue thousands still believed to be trapped inside collapsed buildings continued by thousands of Chinese. The toll of the dead and missing soared as rescue workers dug through piles of concrete. The official death toll climbed past 12,000 in Sichuan province, where emergency workers reached the epicenter of the massive quake as night fell according to latest reports. Soldiers were digging to get people out. About 2,300 of the 9,000 people of Yinxiu, a town near the epicenter in Wenchuan county, had been recovered the report said.

Winning West Virginia Clinton Vows to Go on until June

By Philip Fernando in LA for Asian Tribune

Hillary Clinton won a widely-expected landslide victory-two to one over Senator Barrack Obama. Her tough rhetoric highlighted a growing concern that a mortally wounded Democratic party might lose the battle to Senator John McCain in November. Clinton, however, may face new fundraising woes as she is in debt to the tune of over $ 20 million. She has to win the next five states- Kentucky, Oregon, Montana, South Dakota and Puerto Rico by the same margin as she did yesterday if she were to clinch the nomination. Obama who was campaigning elsewhere yesterday said that “Clinton victory is not expected to change the dynamics of this race.” Meanwhile, Obama picked up four more super delegates earlier to offset the loss. He has picked up 27 super delegates since his victory in North Carolina a week ago, negating some of what Clinton gain.

Quo Vadis, Sri Lanka’s Eastern Province?

By Rajmohan Gomez

A few more months will usher in the 21st anniversary of the signing of the Indo-Lanka Peace Accord. That agreement, akin to a shotgun marriage forced on Sri Lanka by India, and signed by President J.R. Jayewardene in his capacity as the Executive President of Sri Lanka, entailed the hasty amalgamation of the Northern and the Eastern Provinces of Sri Lanka. The Indo-Lanka Peace Accord is reminiscent of the equally famous, or as some may argue, the equally infamous, agreements of 1957 and 1965, between Premier S.WR.D. Bandaranaike and S.J.V. Chelvanayakam of the Federal Party, and Premier Dudley Senanayake and Chelvanayakam, respectively. These agreements aimed at resolving the Federal Party’s demands on behalf of the Ceylon Tamils, who comprised approximately 12% of Sri Lanka’s population.

National Freedom Front of Wimal Weerawansa inaugurated

Sunil C. Perera and Chithralal Jayasinghe

The inaugural general meeting of the representatives of National Freedom Front is now being held at the BMICH under its President Wimal Weerawansa. The founding members of the Front, intellectuals, artistes and senior leaders representing patriotic forces are participating in the meeting. Addressing the meeting, Mr. Wimal Weerawansa said the front could be introduced as a new political movement needed for the present society. This movement crops up to provide solutions to challenges facing the country at present.

Pink city blasts cast shadow on India-Pak dialogue

By M Rama Rao, India Editor, Asian Tribune

The Pink City blasts that have claimed nearly 70 lives – the death toll may go up as many injured are battling for their life- has cast a shadow on the India-Pakistan dialogue the External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee is set to resume in Islamabad at the head of a high level Indian delegation. Only last week end Pak based militants made an infiltration bid in the Samba sector of Jammu and Kashmir and carried out a deadly attack that had claimed the life of a Photo Journalist as well. The Border Security Force (BSF) has lodged a stiff protest to its Pak counterpart. And the defence minister A. K Antony warned the country to gear up for more similar infiltration bids from across the border. "Don't expect any let up

Tell the world the real situation in Sri Lanka – President urged the Sri Lankan expatriates

President Mahinda Rajapaksa speaking to Sri Lanka Freedom Party supporters in London yesterday, said that it is the due responsibility of all patriotic Sri Lankans to convey to the international community the real situation in Sri Lanka as the LTTE is carrying an international false propaganda campaign distorting the image of the nation.

Crime against Humanity Vs Humanitarian Intervention

Prof. Kanbawza Win

It seems that that the civilized international community will have to choose between the brute (the Burmese Junta) that is committing a crime against humanity or to launch a humanitarian intervention. Even though the Burmese army had been killing its people and committing gross human right violations for the past 46 years (since 1962) their figure could not top more than 100,000. Now by withholding the massive aid donated by the international community to the storm victims, it is in a position to kill millions of the people of Burma, a clear case of crime against humanity.

Ceyva Fund expands its services to serve rural masses

Sunil C. Perera in Colombo

Ceyva Fund expands its arm to serve rural masses providing energy, clean drinking water, basic healthcare, and affordable housing coupled with business solutions .Its CEO Mr. Arvind Navaratnam said the Ceyva Fund empowers and strengthens underserved segments of the Sri Lankan population by using entrepreneurial solutions to catalyze rural development while providing philanthropists and the Sri Lankan Diasporas an opportunity to transparently invest in and support apolitical, sustainable, rurally-oriented enterprises.