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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2401

Monthly archive

Building a new Sri Lanka for all people

By Raj Gonsalkorale

The ultimate recognition of the equality of Tamils along with the Sinhalese, was stated so openly, and for the first time in the UN history by President Rajapaksa when he addressed the UN in Tamil in September. The Tamil language has never been heard in the portals of the UN, and it took a Sinhalese leader to do that. One can only hope that the Tamil Diaspora and Tamils living in Sri Lanka will accept the enormity of this gesture, and the hand of friendship and equality that the President offered, and work towards creating a new Sri Lanka alongside their Sinhala and Muslim brethren.

Fasting-unto-Irrelevance – the abuse of a spiritual weapon

Hemantha Abeywardena writes from London……

The good lord Brahma created most of the things, if not all, in pairs and made sure they are complementary: day and night in atmosphere; good and bad in moral-sphere; man and woman in gender-sphere; fiancé and fiancée in romantic sphere; debt and credit in fiscal sphere, to name but a few. At the southern tip of the great nation, India, He raised Jayalalitha and Karunanidhi in political-sphere, as an extension of the divine consistency and the pair have been living up to that great celestial wish, ever since.

Community Outreach Programme launched in Belgium

An outreach programme has been launched by the Sri Lanka Embassy in Belgium. This is, it is said, in line with President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s vision to engage the Sri Lankan expatriate communities abroad through the network of Embassies. The programme was launched recently at a luncheon held at the official residence of Sri Lankan Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and the European Union, Ravinatha Aryasinha in Brussels. The main objective of the programme was to re-integrate expatriates with Sri Lanka and to leverage their capabilities to promote Sri Lanka in Belgium & Luxembourg. Approximately 150 people from the different regions of Belgium and Luxembourg, including Sri Lankan students studying in Belgium Universities; representing the Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim & Burgher communities, participated in this event.

The More Things Change, the more they remain the same

By Palitha Senanayake

For a long time, I entertained the thought that this intense criticism, of Sri lanka’s campaign against terrorism, by the western powers on grounds of ‘discrimination’ and ‘human rights violations’ was due to neo-liberal western attitudes on secularism. I was also aware that there was a massive disinformation campaign against Sri Lanka in general and Sinhalese in particular by the Tamil Diaspora mounted as early as 1960’s. But the events of 9/11should have helped change much of the western perceptions about terrorism.

Need to refrain from communal politics in India

By Bobby Ramakant

India is reeking under increasing communal polarization and urgent steps to check it are warranted. Between 24 August and 2 October 2008, more than 300 villages in 14 districts of Orissa state were affected by communal violence. 4,300 houses were burnt and 57 people were killed. 2 women were gang-raped. 149 churches and 13 educational institutions were attacked. In Kartnataka state, 19 churches in 4 districts were attacked and 20 women sustained serious injuries. In other states of India, like in Kerala 3 churches were attacked, in Madhya Pradesh 4 churches were attacked, and one church was attacked in Delhi and Tamil Nadu each.

Coming out of the Closet

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

Neanderthal utterances about the need to ensure Sinhala supremacy in Sri Lanka would not merit attention when made by Southern extremists on the fringe of polity and society. But when such sentiments are expressed by the Army Commander (and repeatedly), they cannot but cause concern. Because General Sarath Fonseka is not just the Army Commander; he is close to the Rajapaske brothers and a member of the ruling cabal. And here he is, speaking his mind, publicly articulating his vision for a post-War Sri Lanka: “I strongly believe that this country belongs to the Sinhalese but there are minority communities and we treat them like our people… We being the majority of the country, 75%, we will never give in and we have the right to protect this country….. They can live in this country with us. But they must not try to, under the pretext of being a minority, demand undue things”(National Post -23.9.2008).

Prof. Paul Goodwin of Bath University to address Sri Lankan CEOs

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

Prof Paul Goodwin is expected to arrive in Sri Lanka towards the end of October to lead two Master-courses for CIMA Sri Lanka Division. Prof Goodwin is a Professor of Management Science at the Management School of University of Bath, United Kingdom. He has s advised organizations including South Western Electricity (UK), Defence, Science and Technology Laboratory (part of the UK's Ministry of Defence), and the UK’s Departments of Health and Work and Pensions on forecasting and decision making. In 2004 he won the MBA Teacher of the Year award at the University of Bath.

Final Assault on Wanni: UNP Delusional and Not Accepting LTTE’s Impending Defeat!

Sunday Discourse by Philip Fernando for Asian Tribune

LTTE Headquarters in Kilinochchi were bombed by the Sri Lankan forces on Thursday. The army was poised to march on the Kilinochchi town within days if not weeks. UNP’s inability to come to terms with the impending victory of Sri Lanka over the Tigers seemed a pathetic exhibition of self-delusional stubbornness, indicative of outright disloyalty to Sri Lanka. Does the UNP secretly believe that the Tigers are about to turn tables on the armed forces? Do they acknowledge that to all intense and purposes, Sri Lankan forces are now in control of the East, Jaffna and a large section of the Wanni at the same time, a remarkable achievement for our forces. UNP has to make a decision-on which side they are-Sri Lanka’s or Tigers’?

Mojimi corporation introduces cloth sanitary pads to Sri Lanka

Asian Tribune: Sri Lanka Bureau

Sri Lankan women will receive smooth and technically developed cotton sanitary pads after facing a number of health issues due to the available disposable sanitary pads. Director of the Momiji Natural Corporation Japan, Mrs.Rie Ito who recently introduced Cotton sanitary pads to local women said disposable sanitary pads make a huge impact on human health. The impact on human health can be illustrated by looking at a small part of the production process of these products. The chlorine that is used to bleach the cotton is toxic to workers and may cause cancer.

Two sides of the same coin

By Asif Haroon Raja from Pakistan

Soon after Partition, apart from irascible hostility of India, Pakistan had to contend with unfriendly Afghanistan. Besides being the only Muslim country to oppose Pakistan’s membership to the UN, it had demanded certain parts of Baluchistan and NWFP. It had repudiated all treaties signed between Afghanistan and the British Government before the birth of Pakistan and rejected Durand Line as an international border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. It maintained a consistent hostile policy towards Pakistan and subjected it to vile propaganda and urged the tribes residing on Pakistani side of the Divide to create independent Pakhtunistan. It always provided refuge to dissident and anti-Pakistan elements and supported 1973 insurgency in Baluchistan. Conversely, it always maintained friendly ties with India.

Oken Jeet Sandham created history by taking Indian Muaythai in Olympic recognized Games for third time

Indian Muaythai Team under the leadership of Oken Jeet Sandham has created history as his team could represent India in the Olympic recognized Games for the third time. This time, the Indian Muaythai team from the Muaythai Federation of India (MFI) was recognized and approved by the Organizing Committee of 2008 Busan World Sports For All Games under the direct patronage of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), highest sporting body in the world, to represent India.

War! What next-indeed!! - A Clarification

As a point was raised by my critics as to my career, I must say that I was the Chief Internal Auditor of the Ceylon Plywood Corporation before I was appointed as Director Finance/Administration/Board Member of the Sri Lanka Foundation at 100 Independence Avenue Colombo 07 and the Sri Lanka Television Training Institute, Director Finance of the then Human Rights Commission and the Institute of Judges. Presently I am retired aged 72 obtaining an Honors Diploma in Journalism from the London School of Journalism subsequent to retirement. - Oscar E.V. Fernando

The Banking Debacle Explained

By Antonio Graceffo

I did not go into banks and do an audit. Neither did I do an in-depth analysis of the current banking industry dilemma. I wrote this piece, however, just to explain in simple terms, how a bank can become insolvent because of poor credit policies and over-inflated assets. Banks make money by making loans to people. The largest loans most consumers will ever take are home loans. The more home-loans a bank makes, the more profit they make. When a bank loans money, for example $100,000, to a consumer to buy a home, that loan is carried as an asset on the bank’s balance sheet. The value of the loan is the loan, plus the interest. This seems simple, but there is one more fact that has to be calculated in.

Nervousness of investors pushes indices further down

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

The combined research of HNB and DFCC Stockbrokers in their weekly review indicated that the market plunged further this week as negative investor sentiment continued to push indices further into the red zone. Market experienced sharp falls during early part of the week, however managed to recover some lost ground on Thursday and Friday. Overall the All Share Price Index (ASPI) edged down for the week losing 53.5 points or 2.42 percent at 2155.5 points while the liquid MPI (Milanka Price Index) fell by 67.3 points or 2.71 percent to close the week at 2416.9 points.

Bangladesh: back to square one?

By Atul Cowshish & M. Rama Rao - Syndicate Features

It may be back to square one in Bangladesh despite the announcement by the election commission that the much-delayed parliamentary polls will be, finally, held on December 18. The state of emergency will be lifted ahead of the polls. Perhaps it is no more possible to postpone the polls further as the Western powers had given a time of about two years for the army-backed caretaker government to clean up the dirt in the political scene marked by deep antagonism between the Begums heading the two main parties and high levels of corruption, both of which had rendered the country nearly ungovernable.

In Brussels

New ISI Chief no guarantee of change in the spooky outfit

By Chandrahasan - Syndicate Features

Given its tag as the ‘state within state’, any change at the top in Pakistan Army’s Inter-Services Intelligence is a matter of considerable interest to many countries in the world, including the US and Pakistan’s eastern and western neighbours. When this change comes in less than a year of the last appointment the interest is bound to be all the greater because to be effective in carrying out all the dirty work ISI chiefs usually have a much longer tenure.