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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2992

Monthly archive

Hemantha Warnakulasuriya PC

European Court issues landmark ruling: A Tamil denied asylum in Britain could not be deported to Sri Lanka

The European Court of Human Rights ruled on Thursday that a Tamil denied asylum in Britain could not be sent back to Sri Lanka because he would be at risk of torture there. The ruling could have implications for about 342 Tamils trying to avoid expulsion from Britain to Sri Lanka. Thursday's ruling centred on a 33-year-old man who sought asylum in Britain in 1999 citing fears of ill-treatment by the Sri Lankan authorities, who had detained him six times in seven years on suspicion of involvement with the rebel Tamil Tigers. The man had been released without charge every time. He was ill-treated during at least one of his detentions and his legs bear scars from being beaten with batons.

Sri Lanka: USD 98 million from World Bank for the Improvement of national highways

The World Bank today approved a US$98 million International Development Association credit in additional finance to support the Government of Sri Lanka’s efforts to improve its national highways, designed to lower transportation costs and travel times. The additional financing to the Road Sector Assistance Project, an IDA credit of US$100 million approved by the Bank in December 2005, will continue to support rehabilitation of national roads. The additional finance will be mostly used to cover cost-overruns mainly due to the unprecedented oil price increase in the world market that has led to the escalation of prices in oil-based materials.

‘Why Bruce Fein has come forward to deproscribe the LTTE in the US ?’ - Hemantha Warnakulasuriya

In a letter written by Hemantha Warnakulasuriya, a President’s Counsel has posed pertinent questions to Bruce Fein, the US Attorney said to be representing the Tamils For Justice. One of those questions, ‘How could Bruce Fein who has been retained to deproscribe the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in the United States can appear to deproscribe an organization if at all he is not retained by that particular organization that has been proscribed in the US?” Sri Lankan lawyer further asked, “If as you claim, the TFJ doesn’t represent the LTTE, and neither receives or sends funds to the LTTE, how could you appear on behalf of a terrorist organisation and a Mono Ethnic Dictator, and strive to remove the proscription, unless you are advised by the very organisation that is proscribed.”

Developing Nations Rack up Hefty Foreign Reserves

By Thalif Deen, Inter Press Service

As the global economy continues to be jolted by volatile financial markets, bank failures, a spreading credit crunch, and rising food and energy prices, some of the developing nations have accumulated three-quarters of the world's reserves, amounting to a staggering 4.3 trillion dollars. China alone has increased its foreign reserve holdings from 0.1 to 1.7 trillion dollars between 1999 through end of March this year, according to the latest figures released by the United Nations. Among developing nations, India has been ranked number three with 300 billion dollars in reserves, just below two industrialized nations: Japan at 993 billion dollars, and Russia at 493 billion dollars.

Sri Lanka: New Diplomatic Postings

Former Foreign Secretary H.M.G.S. Pallihakkara is appointed as the Permanent Representative to Sri Lanka Permanent Mission to United Nations in New York. Recently, Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama handed over the appointment letter to Pallihakkara as Permanent Representative designated to Sri Lanka Permanent Mission to United Nations. He is expected to report in New York by the end of this month. In the meantime Prasad Kariyawasam, the outgoing Representative to Sri Lanka Permanent Mission to United Nations is expected to be in Colombo by the end of this month.

An Indian held captive by LTTE for 5 years rescued by Sri Lanka Navy: Plight of three other Indians still not known

An Indian national arrested in the mid-sea while escaping from the clutches of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam was rescued by Sri Lanka Navy. Still the plight of three more Indian who were captured by the LTTE remains a mystery. Indian national (aged 28) who had been incarcerated by LTTE and kept under their custody, had managed to escape and was rescued in mid-sea by the Sri Lanka Navy, while he was making an attempt to flee to India on a boat with seven other Sri Lankans, in the morning on 16th July. According to Sri Lanka Navy sources, he had come to Sri Lanka on 10th January 2003, with three other Indian nationals holding Indian passports and had travelled to Kilinochchi with the hope of visiting some of their relatives.

Sri Lanka provides maximum security for the forthcoming SAARC summit

Asian Tribune – Sri Lanka Bureau

Government of Sri Lanka plans to launch a special security programme during the forthcoming SAARC Summit.This security plan will be kicked off from 26th of this month to 4th August. According to the programme four high security zones will be set up to launch this programme. However Indian security authorities also decided to provide special security for their leaders during the Summit. Last week news wire services said India, Pakistan and the Afgan government would send helicopters to protect their leaders and provide better air transport.

Jigsaw puzzle of India's Sri Lanka policy

By Janaka Perera

Can India clearly define its policy vis-à-vis LTTE-TNA links with Tamil Nadu politics? It is a small wonder if Delhi cannot answer this question. In an interview with the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation's Sinhala Service on July 15 Sri Lanka's Army Commander Lt. General Sarath Fonseka said according to military intelligence sources the LTTE plan was to capture the whole island, instead of merely capturing the North and East for establishing the so-called Tamil Eelam. In disclosing this, Lt. Gen. Fonseka recalled Prabhakaran's lament that 80 million Tamils have no country of their own.

Labor Minister Mervin Silva on insurance scheme to journalists

Asian Tribune – Sri Lanka Bureau

Popular local politician Labor Minister Mervyn Silva plans to initiate an insurance scheme for the journalists in Sri Lanka. "This would protect the journalists and the media freedom of the country," he said at a press briefing held in Colombo. Speaking to media on Wednesday he said that it is important for the journalists. He added that some journalists were attacked by certain elements. He stressed that the government is committed to safe guard the media freedom. But certain elements are trying to violate the media freedom.

Indian government fears of possible attempt on the life of Manmohan Singh by Tamil Tigers – Australian

By Walter Jayawardhana

The Indian government feared an attempt on the life of the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and has already deployed warships and guided missile destroyers to protect him when he arrives in Colombo, the "Australian" reported. “Indian warships, including two frontline guided-missile destroyers, were being deployed in the waters off Sri Lanka last night, as part of a massive security operation aimed at protecting Manmohan Singh when he arrives in Colombo to attend a key regional summit,” the "Australian" said.

The ACF Report: Unfolding the Untold Story

By Gomin Dayasri

A damning report has been issued by Action Contra Farm (ACF) a French based NGO which employed the 17 workers who were killed in Mutur in early August 2006 against Sri Lanka - titled “Muttur Massacre: a Struggle for Justice”. This is emblematic of reports originating from some foreign funded NGO outfits which are packed with inspired tales slanted with spin and swerve. The noteworthy characteristic is the role played by the ACF before and after the death of the 17 workers. Here is the unfolding of the untold story. This article proposes to deal with extracts from the chapter titled “Facts surrounding the Killing” in the ACF Report but does not propose to deal presently with the other Chapters in the Report as there is an ongoing inquiry and the recording of evidence before a Commission of Inquiry which is a quasi judicial proceeding

Are we on the verge of another betrayal?

By Shenali Waduge

Our soldiers & civilians share the burden of service to the Nation but why is it that both these entities end up shoddy victims of political weakness, political manipulations & even foreign political dictatorships? For 60 years as a nation we have been “celebrating” our independence following 443 years of colonial rule yet increasingly we can but wonder whether we have anything to really celebrate.

Fundamentalists derail pilgrims’ progress in Kashmir

By J. N. Raina - Syndicate Features

The divisive politics in Jammu and Kashmir have taken a turn for the worst. The communal outrage, as never so before, is outpouring on the streets in the Kashmir valley, on a mere pretext of the diversion of 39.88 hectares of forest land, to Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board, for pilgrims’ welfare. The Muslim fundamentalists and leaders of mainstream political outfits, like the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), behave like demagogues. They befool people, making the entire situation confusing. The separatist politics has had its devastating effect on the masses.

Sri Lanka Aims to Rescue Children Trapped in Armed Conflicts

Addressing the Security Council debate on Children and Armed Conflict, Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Prasad Kariyawasam said that Sri Lanka remains committed to working closely with the Council and its Working Group to rescue children trapped in situations of armed conflict for the cause of making the world safer for children. With our rich long-held traditions of promoting the welfare of children including provision of free healthcare and education from primary to tertiary level, we seek nothing less, he added.