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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2787

Monthly archive

Barack Obama - President Elect

Digital divide remains glaring in Asia despite growth in mobile telephones

Despite significant progress Asia and the Pacific has made in utilizing information and communication technology (ICT), such as with the rapid growth of mobile phone subscriptions, a significant disparity still remains in access to the Internet between high-income and low-income countries. How to overcome this "digital divide" is the focus of a meeting being held in Bangkok by the United Nations’ regional arm – the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP). The two-day meeting, has gathered ICT experts from governments, the academia, UN and other international agencies, and the private sector including from Microsoft.

President Mahinda completes third year in office

President Mahinda Rajapaksa today completes three years in office, yesterday he celebrated his 63rd birthday. Mahinda Rajapaksa, the second son in a family of six brothers and three sisters, was born in Weeraketiya in Sri Lanka's Deep South, on November 18, 1945. The fifth Executive President of Sri Lanka, Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa, former Prime Minister, Member of Parliament, lawyer, human rights activist and trade unionist, comes from a family with a long tradition in people-oriented politics. He was elected Executive President in the nation-wide election held in November 2005.

Loyal toasts and 'aliens' in Parliament

By Janaka Perera

JVP Parliamentary Group Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake on Monday alleged that the Indian High Commission in Colombo sent relief items from Delhi directly to the Red Cross for distribution among internally displaced people (IDP) in the North, instead of channeling the items through the Sri Lankan Government. Dissanayake raised this question at the TNL television's "Janahanda (People's Voice)" discussion program, where he also took up the issue of radar equipment for the Sri Lankan Security Forces. He said it was a mystery why Delhi was making Sri Lanka use Indian-made equipment while purchasing Israeli-made radar for India's defence. Does it mean that Indian radar is not that effective in detecting enemy aircraft?

A First Person Revelation: A re-incarnation of King Parakramabahu? Or is it King Dutugemunu?

Raja Arambewela for Asian Tribune.

Minister Silva"Who said there is a war? There is no war in this country. This is not a war but a 'Humanitarian Operation.' For whom is this operation done? Is it only for the Sinhalese? Is it only for the Moslems? Is it only for the Tamils, Malays or Burghers? No. This operation is for the country as a whole, so that, everybody can live in peace without any fear and suspicion of each other." So said Mr. Mervin Silva, the Minister of Labour, speaking to the "Asian Tribune."

Tamils are not terrorists

By Gomin Dayasri

The dissolution and the dismantling of the LTTE is not a defeat for the Tamils. We must ensure after the defeat of the LTTE, the Tamils in the North are brought into mainstream democracy after 30 years of being captive in the hands of the LTTE and have been deprived of the benefits we have enjoyed. Majority of the Tamils are law abiding citizens of whom only a handful is terrorists. They are our brothers and sisters and we have so much in common- this country has a rich cultural ethos that binds us together - we worship together in the same temple kovil and church, we celebrate New Year on the same day same hour, we work in harmony in our work places together, we seek professional guidance from each other,we live in homes peacefully alongside each other and we cheer together in the name of the country whether it is Muralitharan or Mendis who captures a wicket in the cricket field.

Sri Lankan navy arrested 22 Tamil fishermen

B. Ravikumar in Chennai

Reports alleged Sri Lankan navy arrested 22 Indian fishermen from Jakadhapattinam in Pudukottai District for allegedly trespassing into Sri Lankan territorial waters on Monday. It is further said that they were later remanded to police custody at Kankesanthurai, located in the Jaffna peninsula.

Rs. 20 Crore worth Ketamince bound for Malaysia seized

B. Ravikumar in Chennai

Officials of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), Chennai, seized 197 kg of ketamine from a consignment meant for export to Malaysia. Based on reliable information from intelligence source, DRI officials checked a container named ‘Bangalore onion’ which was ready for shipment after customs clearance. When officials broke the seal and opened the container, they found 988 bamboo baskets inside the container and found 920 baskets stuffed with onions and another 68 stuffed with plastic packets resembled like onions in size and color.

Journalism awards mystery

By Janaka Perera in Colombo

Mystery surrounds the presentation of awards to journalists at Hilton Hotel Colombo, reported in the Asian Tribune on November 18 under the headline, 'Awards for journalists betraying Lanka.' When AT spoke to Wijayani Edirisinghe, the Lake House (Dinamina) staffer referred to in the news story, she confirmed that she was earlier invited to the ceremony but at the last minute the organizers had requested her to return the invitation saying that she was not an invitee. She however said that she neither returned the invitation nor go to the Hilton Hotel. The question here is not whether Wijayani deserved an award but the reason for the humiliation.

The Great White People Or Why Can’t We?

Raja Arambewela - for Asian Tribune.

Barack ObamaSo much have been talked about Mr. Barack Obama; the President elect of the United States of America. In fact, this victory is of such great significance; how much ever the world talks about him and this event may not be enough. This in fact is a great victory for the Black People who have fought for the cause down the line for along time and for the Black People in general and the country as a whole. Burt, this, in my opinion is more a victory of the White People than a victory of the Black People. Considering how White Americans looked down upon the Black People only a couple of decades ago, this action, most definitely is an exemplary one.

India agrees that Tobacco industry puts “pressure” to relax health policies

By Bobby Ramakant

The Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare revealed before the Central Information Commission that tobacco industry is putting "pressure" to relax the tobacco control policies The Hindu, 14 November 2008). The tobacco industry interference has times and again weakened and delayed the enforcement of the public health policies – for example, the tobacco industry, Indian Hotel Association and other allied agencies had filed more than 70 court cases against tobacco control policies in Indian courts in September 2008, and due to aggressive lobbying by such agencies, the Group of Ministers (GoM) formed earlier to review the pictorial warnings on tobacco products, diluted the pictorial warnings provision and postponed the implementation of pictorial warnings on tobacco products at least six-times.

Minister Mervin Silva

Junior Vikatan - 23 November 2008

The U.S. Government and AmeriCares provide safe water to Ampara communities

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the international relief organization AmeriCares today marked the completion of the Pottuvil/Ulla Water Treatment Plant and Ulla Supply System, to give the residents of these coastal villages safe and clean water for the first time since the tsunami. "With the introduction of advanced water treatment technology and equipment, the new system can provide 4,000 liters per minute of clean water, benefiting over 40,000 residents, as well as local businesses and hotels," USAID Mission Director Rebecca Cohn said at the opening ceremony. "In addition to safeguarding the health of the communities, it will contribute to stabilizing the tourist industry and help boost the local economy," she continued.

Countering Terrorism in Sri Lanka: FM highlights key role of Foreign Ministry

Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama has emphasized the important role that the Foreign Ministry has been playing in gaining the support and confidence of the international community in combating terrorism in the country. Yesterday, the Minister made this observation when speaking during the Committee Stage of the Debate on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Parliament.

US Auto-makers Struggle to Keep Afloat and Major Layoffs Predicted

By Philip Fernando for Asian Tribune

US Senate came back after a six week break hoping to give the struggling auto makers a break. Last year, about 16 million vehicles were sold in the U.S. Next year, that number is expected to fall to 12 million. Simply put, there are too many workers making too many cars for too few customers. Senate Majority leader Harry Reid of Nevada has proposed an economic stimulus package. A 25 billion dollars worth of federally guaranteed loans may ultimately be needed to keep the three car makers going. One condition of support may be a strong restructuring plan for the industry which each of the recipients would be asked to guarantee.

Beware of The Many "Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing"

By Darmitha-Kotte

It seems that "un-winnable wars" are "winnable" and naturally, this creates discomfort to many stakeholders who have through a period of thirty years been trying to brainwash the Governments of Sri Lanka that the LTTE is invincible and therefore "do not attempt to proceed to defeat them militarily"- Beware! From 1980s onwards until 2005 Sri Lankan citizens have been brainwashed with a "LTTE Phobia" and manipulated into submission by western pro-LTTE elements and our leaders were "instructed" to cow down to their demands and stay back while they committed atrocity after atrocity and continued to lay booby traps & claymores, dispatch suicide bombers to murder, plunder, destroy State Property, kidnap, extract taxes at random from businessmen operating in the North and East and our Army was instructed to withdraw at extremely crucial stages of their operations in order to obey instructions from those western powers!

“Give up violence, enter non-violent path of Democracy, Sri Lanka President appeal to Prabakaran through ‘Junior Vikatan’

Junior VikatanPresident Mahinda Rajapakse has one more time appealed to Velupillai Prabakaran and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, a sepaeratist Sri Lankan Tamil terrorists outfit, which is banned in India since 1992, to give up violence in the interest of the Tamils of the country and enter into a negotiation with the Government of Sri Lanka. In an interview with a Tamil Language bi-weekly magazine "Junior Vikatan" he said "LTTE uses such ceasefire to force unwilling civilians and also conscript little children into its fighting cadre. It has also been established, that the LTTE uses the ceasefire period to eliminate the alternate Tamil political voices. My government does not wish to commit the same mistake of the past and this stance has in no way hampered our determination and commitment to find a political solution to the conflict."