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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2956

Monthly archive

Outgoing Maldivian President Gayoom assures his successor smooth transfer of power

Asia’s longest serving leader and Maldives outgoing President Gayoom with AnniMaumoon Abdul Gayoom today proved his true statesmanship as well as his unwavering commitment to foster democracy by assuring his successor Mohamed Nasheed (Anni) a smooth transfer of power. This assurance was communicated by Gayoom when he met with Anni after the latter won the Tuesday’s Presidential runoff by garnering 54 per cent of the votes. In a gesture of statesmanship, Gayoom invited Anni to hold his first press conference as President-elect at the President’s Office after their meeting. The nation’s spirits rose as the duo, largely political rivals, held a joint press conference and shook hands in a ceremony televised and broadcast live.

Sri Lanka War Comes To India

By Vinod Vedi - Syndicate Features

The Government of India cannot in any way allow itself to be seen to be rushing to the rescue of LTTE supremo Vellupalli Prabhakaran as Sri Lanka troops close in on his stronghold in Kilinochchi. The fulminations of MDMK chief Vaiko and his deputy to lead armed supporters into Sri Lanka has landed them in jail on sedition and anti-national activities charges. External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee's categorical rejection of withdrawal of non-lethal military support to the Sri Lankan armed forces has set the record straight that India will do nothing to reduce the momentum (an important ingredient in warfare) of the Sri Lanka armed forces in their attacks on Prabhakaran bunkers in Kilinochchi.

Winning the Hearts and Minds of Tamil Civilians Caught up in the War? Need for a Change in Strategy and Approach

Dr. Siri Gamage, Australia

My previous article focusing on the need for safeguarding the safety, security and welfare of Tamil civilians caught up in the war in the north of Sri Lanka drew a range of critical comments and a written reply from Mr. H.M.Liyanage (see 'Asian Tribune' 2008-10-27). Mr. Liyanage draws ‘his own conclusions’ about what I wrote, then criticises me on the basis of such conclusions. Readers need to note that his assertions are incorrect and they are not mine. For example he says, ‘At this point in time too there was enormous pressure brought upon the Government by the likes of Dr. Gamage asking the Security Forces to unconditionally halt the military operations’. Where did I say this in my article (2008.10.25)? It would be very difficult for Mr. Liyanage to point this out.

Sri Lankan journalist, first to publish book on the campaign of Barrack Hussein Obama

By Walter Jayawardhana

Barrack Hussein ObamaSri Lankan Journalist, Philip Fernando's book "Barack Obama Feasting on Freedom" hit the newsstands this week. Former Deputy Editor of the Sunday Observer, currently domiciled in California, became the first commentator to analyze the two-year campaign of Obama in all its details. He had a ringside view of the battle when it all began. He wrote "Barack Hussein Obama burst into the political landscape as the one of the most dynamic personalities of this decade. Obama is really your standard corn-fed kid from Kansas who has a funny name but with unstoppable traction towards greatness” The book contains all aspects of the grueling campaign in an easy to read style.

Serial blasts rock Assam; 66 dead, 470 injured in 13 blasts; HUJI hand suspected

By M Rama Rao, India Editor, Asian Tribune

In 13 blasts that rocked Guwahati, Kokrajhar, Bongaigaon and Barpeta towns of Assam left 66 dead and 470 injured on Thursday Morning. Officials suspect the blasts to be the handiwork of Bangladesh-based HuJi militants with the active support of ULFA. The first of the explosions took place at around 11.30 am near the high-security assembly building complex, followed by explosions at Paltan Bazar and Fancy Bazar in Guwahati - in all six blasts within a span of five minutes. Around the same time, bombs went off in crowded market places of in lower Assam of Kokrajhar, Bongaigaon and Barpeta.

Did President Abbas vist Save the Life of Sri Lanka President

A news item from Palestine poses a question, whether Palestinian President saved the life of Mahinda Rajapakse, President of Sri Lanka? According to the news report, on 10th October President of the Palestinian National Authority Mahmoud Abbas was due to arrive in Sri Lanka on a state visit and on the very same day Sri Lankan President was scheduled to attend a traditional agricultural function. The report went on to say, “However President Mahinda Rajapaksa decided to be at the airport to welcome President Abbas personally as an expression of his close friendship with the Palestinian cause.

US Embassy to educate public on "Diversity Visa Lottery Program – 2010"

The 2010 Diversity Immigrant Visa Lottery which was formally declared open in Washington, DC on October 2, 2008, will select 50,000 individuals through the lottery worldwide will win Green Card. Sri Lankans are eligible to apply for the lottery. Individuals wishing to participate in the visa lottery are strongly urged to apply early to avoid any possible delays. U.S. Embassy officials will hold a presentations to educate the Sri Lankan public on the “Diversity Visa Lottery Program – 2010”'

The Government urged to be flexible in dealing with the extension of GSP+

Kelly Senanayake, General Secretary of the Prayathna People’s Movement (PPM) has called upon the Sri Lanka government to show flexibility in dealing with the extension of GSP+ facility which is decisive for the economic development of the country. In a press statement Kelly Senanayake said, “We are compelled to make this request to the government as the Foreign Minister has officially informed the European Union that Sri Lanka will not agree for an investigation on granting the GSP+ facility. He added that this announcement of the government has brought a serious situation that could trigger a negative impact on the GSP+ facility to Sri Lanka.

Term of Sri Lanka’s Ambassador in Japan to end by 31 December

Sri Lanka’s Foreign Ministry has notified Ambassador Ranjith Uyangoda that his term in Japan would expire by the end of 31 December 2008. It was only on 20th October, Ranjith Uyangoda was given extension. But Asian Tribune reported quoting reliable sources in the Foreign Ministry that Ambassador Ranjith Uyangoda’s stay in Japan has been "extended indefinitely." Now it seems that the Director General of the Overseas Administration has informed that his term expire by end of this year. Sources in the Foreign Ministry said that at present the Ministry is considering the appointment of ambassadors to Myanmar, Pakistan, Nepal, Maldives and Brazil.

United States Congratulates Maldives on Elections

The United States congratulates the people of Maldives on the successful completion of their first multi-party elections. Today's results mark a historic milestone in the transition to political pluralism for Maldives. State Department Office spokesman Sean McCormack that this election is the culmination of decades of effort, including four years of work to rewrite the Maldives constitution, introduce a multi-party system, and conduct free and fair elections.

Australian Senate condemns Anuradhapura suicide bomb attack

The Upper House of the Australian Parliament, the Senate has passed a Resolution condemning the LTTE suicide bomb attack in Anuradhapura on 06th October, in which 28 people were killed, including the former Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Australia, retired Major General Janaka Perera and his wife. The President of the Senate, Senator John Hogg has in a letter dated 20th October, transmitted the text of the Resolution to the Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Australia, Senaka Walgampaya PC.

SOS from Starving Rohingyas in Bangladesh-Burma border

By Ahmedur Rahman Farooq

On June 09, 2008, a vernacular daily of Bangladesh ‘Dainik Purbokone’ ran a report saying that 18 Rohingya children died of hunger and lack of medical treatment in previous two days (June 7th and 8th) in Ukhiya Koto-Palong area of Cox's Bazar, the southern district of Bangladesh. The report also said that about 10,000 Rohingya families with about 100,000 members gathered at east-south Koto-Palong Rohingya refugee camps and in areas adjacent to Ukhiya TV relay center and they are living under open sky. They are passing their days without shelter, adequate food and medical treatment. The Rohingyas particularly their children are suffering from various diseases causing death almost every day due to the lack of medical treatment and adequate food. The report also said that the Bangladesh Government is not taking care of their plight.

Gayoom with Anni

Barrack Hussein Obama

Singaporean National sentenced to 37 months for aiding Tamil Tigers to purchase of Surface to Air Missiles

US District Judge Catherine C. Blake sentenced Haniffa Bin Osman, age 57, a citizen of the Republic of Singapore, today to 37 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for conspiracy to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization and money laundering, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein. United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said, "Haniffa Bin Osman conspired with others to provide material support to the Tamil Tigers, a designated foreign terrorist organization, and attempted to illegally export arms, including state of the art firearms, grenade launchers, night vision devices, surface to air missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles. We will use all available legal tools to prevent terrorism, including undercover operations targeting people who attempt to obtain military weapons in violation of American law."