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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2399

Monthly archive

US Student Wins, Sri Lanka Runner-up, for Stockholm Junior Water Prize

Joyce Chai from the United States was awarded the prestigious 2008 Stockholm Junior Water Prize yesterday in a formal ceremony in the Stockholm International Fairs and Conference Center during the World Water Week in Stockholm. The student from Palos Verdes Peninsula High School in Rolling Hills Estates, California, received the Prize from the Crown Princess Victoria on behalf of the Stockholm Water Foundation. She also received a USD 5,000 scholarship and a crystal sculpture.

First South Asia Economic Summit alongside SAARC Trade Fair in Colombo

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

While the 15th SAARC Summit successfully completed in Colombo, the first ever South Asia Economic Summit (SAES) picks up at the BMICH from 28th to 30th August and it will be held parallel to the SAARC Trade Fair 2008 which will also be held at the BMICH. The need for regional economic cooperation is paramount with traditional trade partners of South Asian Countries at a time there is global economic turmoil and at a time countries struggling in the wake of financial market crises coupled with soaring costs of energy and food.

Canadian Red Cross to spend SLR 400 Million to upgrade buildings of Polonnaruwa General Hospital

By Walter Jayawardhana

The Canadian Red Cross Society will spend 400 million Rupees to upgrade Polonnaruwa General Hospital to a three story hospital with the most modern facilities, A Red Cross website has announced. The Relief web of the Red Cross said, “The Canadian Red Cross (CRC) Society will spend 366 million rupees for the construction of new building and Rs. 50 million to provide the required medical equipment. There will be an outpatient department, X-ray room, clinics dispensaries, an auditorium and administration area in this new building.”

Prachanda: the new PM of Nepal

By Leel Pathirana

Pushpa Kamal Dahal Pushpa Kamal Dahal aka Prachanda, chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-Maoist), was elected as the first Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal on August 15 by a huge majority. In the election in the Constituent Assembly (CA), he won 464 votes against his rival, Sher Bahadur Deuba of the Nepali Congress, who got only 113 out of the 577 votes cast. Though the CA comprises 601 members, 594 are valid voters. The seats of six members, who had won from two constituencies in the CA elections, were reduced to one each. One member is still to be sworn in. The remaining 17 did not take part in the prime ministerial election.

End of Musharraf Era

By Asif Haroon Raja

On 18 August President Musharraf abdicated his second seat also with wet eyes. Removal of his second skin was really painful for him but he had to ultimately vacate his chair of COAS with a heavy heart in November last under pressure exerted by lawyers movement. He had however hoped to retain president’s seat for the next five years on the basis of having won controversial presidential election on 6 October 2007, and then getting it validated through PCO Supreme Court and rubber stamp national assembly few days before the expiry of its five-year tenure. He had assured his King’s Party and the MQM that he would ensure their return to power in the next elections. His patron in Washington who had scripted the new game plan of power sharing with Benazir Bhutto had also lent him his full support.

Sri Lanka seeks enhanced relations with Iceland

Rohitha Bogollagama with Geir HaardeIceland’s relations with Sri Lanka should transcend the Ceasefire Agreement (CFA), and move into broader areas of co-operation for a more structured and enhanced relationship between the two countries. This was pointed out by Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama during his meeting on Monday (18 August) with Geir Haarde, Prime Minister of Iceland. Earlier in the day, bilateral talks were held with his counterpart, Ingibjörg Solrun Gisladottir at the Foreign Ministry in Reykjavik. It may be recalled that the CFA gave rise to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM), in which Iceland was a member. Minister Bogollagama observed that both his meetings at the highest level with the Icelandic dignitaries were productive and important for enhancing bilateral relations on a meaningful agenda, which would be people-centric. He acknowledged that the discussions highlighted the importance of tapping the two countries’ synergies, for mutual benefit.

World Tamil Movement, LTTE’s Proxy organization in Canada Sent 3 Million Canadian Dollars to Tamil Tigers – National Post

By Walter Jayawardhana

The World Tamil Movement officials, who at one time wined and dined with Canada’s powerful Liberal Party politicians, sent three million Canadian Dollars to the terrorist group - Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Stewart Bell reported. Quoting court documents marked "secret" but now released for publication, Bell said in his "National Post" that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police has alleged that most of the money has been sent through the Bhumiputra Bank in Kulalumpur in Malaysia to bank roll LTTE activities. Bell said in his report the World Tamil Movement, according to this police document, was only a vehicle to transfer money to the terrorist movement.

The Blazing Amarnath Yatra

By M. Rama Rao, Sarla Handoo & Allabaksh

The Amarnath land transfer row is getting worse by the day. If it was Kashmir Valley first to oppose the transfer of land to the Shrine Board, Jammu followed by protesting the decision of the State Government to revoke the land transfer. By now both Jammu and the Valley have been engulfed in violence that has taken several innocent lives in the two regions. One would have hoped that the all party delegation headed by the Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil that visited the state for two days would be able to sooth the feelings of the people and come up with some solution. But that was not to be. Instead it only led to hardening of stands making things more complicated. What went wrong with the delegation’s visit?

Obama to Pick V P Candidate Tomorrow: Joe Biden Heads the List of Five

By Philip Fernando for Asian Tribune

Senator Barrack may announce his running mate tomorrow. Five names are in the list: Senator Joe Biden of Delaware, Virginia Governor Tim Kaine, Indiana Senator Evan Bayh, Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius and New York Senator Hillary Clinton. There are no surprises but the order seems to favor Joe Biden, a strong foreign affairs performer who just returned from Georgia, which was invaded by Russia recently. Some believe that Biden’s strong credentials as a good debater on foreign policy would ultimately clinch him the nomination. Senator John McCain would wait for the Obama pick before making his choice.