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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2960

Monthly archive

Farcical transition to democracy

By Asif Haroon Raja

Gen Pervez Musharraf took the reins of power on 11 October 1999 after axing an elected government of Nawaz Sharif which enjoyed two-third majority at the barrel of the gun. He created a dummy legislature led by Zafarullah Jamali through a thoroughly rigged election in October 2002 but kept all levers of powers in his hands. He thus established an authoritarian one-man rule and brooked no dissent. The arrangement suited Washington with whom he had cultivated a secret understanding that he would do as told to do. Bush Administration could get their wishes implemented on phone calls without any hassle. Mush had befriended Bush for he knew that without Washington?s support he would not last long and his wish of breaking records of his military predecessors would remain unfulfilled.

UNP to censure the Government - Ranil vows in a press meet

By Ruwan Weerakoon – for Asian Tribune

RanilThe leader of the opposition Ranil Wickramasinghe, in a press conference held today pointed out that, they now have all the documentary evidence to prove that all the Cabinet Ministers including the President as the Finance Minister were aware of this story of the "Hedging Deal" before it was signed and therefore, the UNP will move a no confidence motion against the entire government.

Europe has abolished slavery in law - but not yet in practice

Europe has abolished slavery in law, but in practice, people are still being bought, sold and exploited across Europe. However, this year which is now coming to an end has seen a major step forward in our efforts to stop trafficking in human beings in Europe. In statement released by by Terry Davis, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, on the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery on 2 December said "Our main weapon in this fight is the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings which entered into force on 2 February this year.

Accountability for Mumbai attacks: more heads roll in India

By M Rama Rao, India Editor, Asian Tribune

As public outcry continues for accountability of the political class for the 50-hour terrorist siege of Mumbai, more heads have begun to roll. The Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra R. R. Patil who is also the interior minister of the province, has put in his papers. His boss, chief minister Vilasarao Deshmukh is also on his way out. He is on oxygen as his successor is yet to be identified.
The expectation here is that some scalps will be claimed at the administrative level also, The Union Home Secretary and the Chief of Intelligence Bureau will be shifted out.

Obama’s Security Advisors Vow to Fight Terrorism anywhere in the World

By Philip Fernando for Asian Tribune

President-elect Barack Obama announced his team of security advisers who were reportedly bent on fighting terrorism in all forms no matter where they are. Headed by Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, who ran against him in the primary, and Robert Gates, present Defense Secretary under George Bush, the team of experts was considered formidable by most observers. Others in the team were James L. Jones as security adviser to White House, Governor Janet Napolitano as homeland security chief, Eric Holder, senior administrator at the Justice Department for Attorney General; retired Navy Admiral Dennis Blair, director of national intelligence; and Susan Rice, former secretary for African affairs at the State Department as ambassador to the United Nations.

Mumbai Tragedy whether concocted or genuine

By Asif Haroon Raja

On late evening of 26 November, the world was jolted by an event in Mumbai, capital of Maharashtra. The terrorists attacked ten sites which included two leading hotels Taj and Oberoi Trident, Café Leopold, Victoria Terminal Railway Station, Cama Hospital and Jewish Centre Nariman Bhawan. The inmates of the two hotels were taken hostage by the attackers. Within an hour of the unfolding of Mumbai episode, the highly virulent and biased Indian media and officials started pointing fingers at Pakistan unabashedly. Media hype was created as was seen during Kargil crisis and attack on Indian parliament in December 2001

Governments’s war with terrorists is to restore the lost freedom of Tamils– President Mahinda to Pope Benedict XVI

President with PopeSri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa who arrived in Rome on Sunday, visited the Vatican City yesterday and had an audience with Pope Benedict XVI. At the private audience held at the Holy Father’s Library in Vatican, Sri Lankan President apprised the Pope about current situation in the country, especially the government’s efforts in relieving Tamil peoples in the north from the iron clutches of the separatists terrorists and also described efforts undertaken by the government to restore Tamil civilians’ lost freedom and democracy which has been grabbed by the terrorist for the last three decades. President Mahinda Rajapakse also briefed the Holy Father the efforts taken to clear the Madhu area from terrorists and restoring and reopening the Sacred Madhu Shrine for worship.

Radhika Visits Nepal to Probe Release of Former Child Soldiers

Radhika Coomaraswamy, a senior United Nations official, began a six-day visit to Nepal, focusing on the release and reintegration of former child soldiers as well as the current use of children by armed groups and their participation in political violence. In August, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict Radhika Coomaraswamy called on Nepalese authorities and Maoist forces to immediately free nearly 3,000 children who have still not been formally released from Maoist cantonments despite the end of the armed conflict in the Himalayan nation.

India turns heat on Pak, summons HC, gives him a demarche

By M Rama Rao, India Editor, Asian Tribune

India-Pak relations are hitting a low in the wake of terrorist strikes in Mumbai last week which claimed nearly 200 lives and left over 300 injured. The Pakistan High Commissioner, Shahid Malik was summoned to the Foreign Office on Monday and Joint Secretary (Pakistan) in the external affairs ministry, T C A Raghavan issued a demarche to him over the Mumbai strikes. The demarche accused Pakistan of failing to curb terrorism emanating from its soil, according to informed sources. The demarche (a written note) is diplomatic tool to register a protest; and signals that the five-year-old peace process with Pakistan is on the verge of being frozen.

Acting FM elaborates on action taken to evacuate stranded Sri Lankans in Bangkok

Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hussein A. Bhaila has told Parliament that a scheduled SriLankan Airlines flight from Hong Kong to Colombo was diverted to a military airbase in Thailand yesterday to evacuate 110 Sri Lankans who had been stranded in Bangkok, following the closure of the main airports there, consequent to the current unrest in the Thai capital. Making a Statement on the floor of the House today (02nd December 2008), the Acting Minister disclosed that a second SriLankan Airlines flight is also due to pick up more passengers from Bangkok today and bring them home.

The Muslim predicament: some reflections on local and international challenges

Dr. A.C.L. Ameer AliAn oration delivered by - Dr. A.C.L. Ameer Ali

It was during a school holiday weekend in the year 1957 that "marhoom" Al-Haj Dr. A.M.A.Azeez travelled to Badulla to visit his lifelong intellectual friend and a great poet, the late Abdul Cader Lebbe, who was, at that time, the Head master of the then Government Muslim Mixed School in that town. That school has now been renamed as al-Adhan Muslim Maha Vidyalaya. The name Adhan was the "nom de plume" of that great poet during his early days. That name was given to the school by Lebbe's former students, to demonstrate their lasting gratitude to Lebbe's eighteen years of uninterrupted service to the Muslims of Badulla.

Whose Who of the Hindutva Army?

By Adnan Gill - for Asian Tribune

Before the self-loathing Pakistanis jump on the Indian bandwagon of 'Pakistan is bud of all evils', we need to wait to see if the terrorists involved in the (deplorable) Mumbai attacks were, as usual, carrying their Pakistani national identity cards in their pockets, or if they turn out to be Bajrang Dal’s shinning stars, like Anti-Terrorism Squad’s (serving) Indian Army Lt Col Prasad Shrikant Purohit? However, the purpose of this column is not to pin blame, rather to familiarize ourselves with the heavyweights of the Hindu extremist parties, who are training and using thousands of terrorists to systematically use terror as means of coercion.

Sri Lankan expatriates in Vienna express support to Ranaviru families

The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Vienna, Austria has launched a Ranaviru Assistance Programme on Sunday 30th November 2008 at the official residence of Ambassador to support the Ranaviru families. The event began with one minute silence for the fallen heroes and followed by religious observances from Buddhist, Christian, Hindu and Islamic religious faiths to invoke blessings on SLDF members and the country. The Buddhist religious event was presided by Ven. Dr. Wijayarajapura Seelawansa Thero of Austria Buddhist Vihara.

Ranil Wickramasinghe

Dr. A.M.A. Azeez

President Mahinda to Pope Benedict XVI