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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 78

Monthly archive

Wickramabahu demandd the immediate release of LTTE members arrested in Italy

By Walter Jayawardhana

The London based Fourth International, affiliated to a small band of Sri Lanka’s revolutionary Trotskyite Marxists called Left Front led by Wickramabahu Karunaratne demanded that Italy should immediately release the LTTE members arrested all over the country, after the LTTE organized "Ponku Thamil" rally in that country. "We see these arrests as a move to undermine the legitimate demand of the Tamil nation for self-determination and to suppress the Tamil voice against atrocities committed by the Sri Lankan government," the Wickramabahu connected Fourth International, aiming for world revolution said in a statement issued in London

24 Black Tigers and an instructor killed and more than 30 injured on an air raid

By Ruwan Weerakoon in Colombo

At least 24 LTTE suicide cadres who are known as ‘Black Tigers’ and an instructor was reported killed and over 30 injured in the air raid carried out this morning (July 22) at the Uddayarkattukulam LTTE camp located in the Mullaitivu district. According reports, today very early in the in the morning, a squadron of Kfir and MiG fighters took off after a briefing by their superiors. Their target was a well-fortified Black Tiger training base at Udayaarakattikulam, which remains heavily camouflaged.

Government rejects LTTE’s unilateral ceasefire offer

Asian Tribune – Sri Lanka Bureau

Sri Lanka Government rejected unilateral ceasefire offer by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, the separatist Tamil Tiger outfit. Responding to an oral question raised by Parliamentarian Wimal Weerawansa, in the floor of Sri Lanka parliament today, Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama said the government does not response to this offer. He said a number of local and international allies try to stop operations against the rebels.

US Elections: Obama Steals Limelight on Foreign Policy

By Philip Fernando in LA for Asian Tribune

Limelight is what gets you the front runner status. Barrack Obama proved it during the primary season when campaigning against Hillary Clinton. Now he is at to again. Teased by John McCain for his failure to visit Iraq and Afghanistan, Obama made the trip and he has not failed to steal the limelight away from McCain. His front page photos with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki made continuous headlines for days. What was even better was Prime Minister Maliki’s statement that US troops must leave before 2010. Obama’s message resonated with vigor. This was dramatically the opposite of what President George Bush and McCain said-that leaving Iraq meant cut and run, a sign of surrender.

ASEAN Plays a Major Role in Responding to Burmese Cyclone Disaster

Today, the Government of the Union of Myanmar, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the United Nations (UN) released the Post-Nargis Joint Assessment (PONJA) report. This assessment – commissioned as part of the tri-partite cooperation between the Government of the Union of Myanmar, ASEAN and the United Nations – provides the first comprehensive picture and objective analysis of the devastating impact on the people in the Ayeyarwady Delta and Yangon affected by Cyclone Nargis, which struck Myanmar on 02 and 03 May and killed over 84,530 people, with a further 53,836 still reported missing.

Indian PM Singh faces trust vote in Parliament today, likely to scrape through

By M Rama Rao, India Editor, Asian Tribune

The Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will face the first trust vote of his 50-month rule on Tuesday in the Lok Sabha amidst expectations that he could scrape through. By what margin remains unclear though. At the beginning of the trust vote debate on Monday, both the ruling and opposition appeared almost evenly poised in the 541-member strong House to which the executive is answerable under the Indian constitution. Singh's Congress party led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) is banking on at least 10 abstentions from the opposition BJP led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) for a bail out and thus reaches the magic mark of 271 for simple majority.

Sri Lanka laid the foundation, Centre for Intellectual Property

By Leel Pathirana - Asian Tribune

The foundation stone was laid for the construction of the Center for the protection of the Intellectual Property at D.R. Wijayawardene Mawatha in Colombo on the 16th July under the initiative by the President Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse and the estimated cost of the project is Rs.100 million. All the Intellectuals, Authors and the various Artists working in the different field praised the President for his idea and his effort of protecting their creative works and the rights of the Artists.

Ill-omened looming threat on our western border

By Asif Haroon Raja

Both Afghanistan and Iraq that were occupied with ease in November 2001 and May 2003 respectively have now become bleeding wounds for US troops and their allies. Unrelenting resistance put up by Afghan and Iraqi Mujahideen in the face of policy of shock and awe flabbergasted the sole super power and additional 30,000 troops had to be inducted in Iraq in early 2007 to checkmate rising tide of militancy. Today it finds itself deeply sunk in two quagmires of its own making and the myth of American soldier has been shattered by the rag tag Muslim fighters devoid of sophisticated weaponry, air and missile power. Neither it can afford to quit nor continue fighting and losing its soldiers and melting its economy.

Sri Lanka Foreign Minister Spells Out Benefits of Hosting SAARC

Neville de Silva Diplomatic Editor Asian Tribune

Responding to critics who have accused Sri Lanka of spending nearly three billion rupees on the SAARC summit in times of economic hardship, Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama gave a positive spin to the benefits that could accrue from hosting regional leaders. Holding the first of a series of meetings with the media in connection with the SAARC conference starting later this month and culminating with the summit in the first days of August, the minister said that only regional summits allow Sri Lanka to bring together leaders of South Asia so frequently.

Karunanidhi Delusionary on Katchativu

By Philip Fernando in LA for Asian Tribune

The article by K T Rajasingham was an eye opener about the factual situation regarding the status of Katchativu that dispelled all canards perpetuated from time tot time by Tamil Nadu politicians bent on arousing chauvinistic tantrums among their followers. Those who followed the talks between former Prime Ministers Sirimavo Bandaranaike and Indira Gandhi witnessed a classic example of amity that prevailed between Sri Lankan and Indian leaders on a thorny issue at that time. Kudus to Rajasingham for recording the way the Katchativu agreement was brought to fruition.

South Asia Maps Its Own Development Destiny

By Thalif Deen, Inter Press Service

When Pierre Trudeau, a former prime minister of Canada, was once asked what it was like to share space with a "giant" neighbor like the United States, he said the Canadians always felt they were living next to a monstrous elephant. "One feels the beast's every twitch," said Trudeau, even as the United States continues to influence its neighbor politically, economically and culturally.

Breaking News: LTTE announce of a unilateral ceasefire during SAARC Conference period in Colombo

Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam has declared a unilateral Ceasefire announcement during the period the SAARC Conference and 15th SAARC Summit being held in Colombo. The press release put out by the LTTE’s Political Wing anounced that, “As a sign of goodwill, our movement is glad to inform that it will observe a unilateral ceasefire that is devoid of military actions during the period of the SAARC conference from 26th July to 4th August and give our cooperation for the success of the conference.”

LTTE in Britain to observe Candle Light Vigil to remember Black July of 1983

Liberation Tigers in London are planning to hold a ‘Candle Light Vigil” on 23 July, between 8pm and 10pm, at the Parliament Square. This event is being organized by the British Tamils Forum in association with the Tamil Councilors’ Association. The press statement released by British Tamil Forum said that “This is organized to mark respect and in remembrance of over 3,000 Tamils who were killed as part of the Sri Lankan State sponsored riots back in 1983. July this year marks 25 years since this genocide and 50 years since the 1958 communal riots in Sri Lanka.”

Foreign Minister of Japan to Visit Sri Lanka

Asian Tribune – Sri Lanka Bureau

Foreign ministers of Japan, China and South Korea are expected to visit Sri Lanka during the SAARC Summit. According to the Japanese media Foreign Minister, Masahiko Komura is considering visiting Sri Lanka, India and Uzbekistan for eight days from August 1. In Sri Lanka, Komura plans to attend a summit meeting of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation that will be held in Colombo.

High Level Sri Lankan delegation to attend 15th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in Singapore

Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama will lead the Sri Lanka delegation to the 15th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in Singapore from 23 to 24 July 2008. He will be accompanied by Defence Secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and senior officials from the Foreign Ministry. Sri Lanka was admitted to the prestigious ASEAN Regional Forum as its 27th member during the 14th ARF held in Manila in August 2007. The ARF is the highest level forum in the Asia-Pacific region which deliberates on the full gamut of issues concerning defence cooperation and security, including terrorism, money laundering, illicit trafficking of narcotics and weapons and human smuggling, as well as cooperation between armed forces of Member States.

Troops are successfully marching towards Kilinochchi and Mullativu to free innocent Tamils

Asian Tribune – Sri Lanka Bureau

Government media spokesman and Minister Keheliya Rabukwella said troops are successfully marching towards Kilinochchi and Mullativu to liberate innocent Tamil people from clutches of the LTTE terrorists. Speaking at a press briefing in Colombo he said yesterday (Sunday) peace-loving citizens celebrated the first anniversary of the liberation of the Eastern province. People of the eastern province lived with the terrorism for last 25 years, but at present they live in a peaceful environment.

Parliament approved SAARC Budget

Asian Tribune – Sri Lanka Bureau

Parliament of Sri Lanka approved supplementary budget of the Foreign Ministry without any division. Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama presented this supplementary budget while UNP did not ask any division during the debate. Participating the debate on Wednesday Minister Bogollagama said the forthcoming SAARC summit would bring immense opportunities to Sri Lanka. The minister said USA, Japan, China, South Korea, Iran , EU, Mauritius Islands and Australia will participate as observers.