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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 108

Monthly archive

UN Official Voices Concern After Another Aid Worker is Killed in Sri Lanka

The top United Nations humanitarian official in Sri Lanka today called on authorities to mount a thorough investigation into last week’s murder of an aid worker in the east of the violence-wracked country – the third staff member from the same relief group to have either disappeared or been killed in the Asian island nation. Neil Buhne, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Sri Lanka, issued a statement condemning the shooting death of A. Vigneswaran, who worked for the Norwegian Refugee Council, by unknown gunmen in Batticaloa. He urged authorities to “vigorously pursue” the perpetrators.

TMVP agrees to end Child recruitment - Action Plan on Child Recruitment Signed

The Government of Sri Lanka, the TMVP, and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) signed an Action Plan on Monday to ensure that the recruitment and use of children by the TMVP comes to an end, and that all children currently with the TMVP are released and provided with reintegration assistance. The Action Plan – which gives a clear timetable of required actions by the signatories over the next three months – was signed by the leader of the TMVP, V Muralitharan, in the presence of Chief Minister of the Eastern Province, Sivanesathurai Santhirakanthan; and by the Commissioner General for Rehabilitation, Suhada Gamalath; and the UNICEF Representative in Sri Lanka, Philippe Duamelle.

Muthuvel Karunanidhi to meet Manmohan Singh today

By M Rama Rao, India Editor, Asian Tribune

The Dravidian strongman Muthuvel Karunanidhi is meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here Thursday. Ostensible talking point is Sri Lanka Tamil issue but the discussion will be overshadowed by the 'unprecedented, massive show of tri-color waving solidarity' as "The Hindustan Times" terms the nationwide roar for change in the wake of Mumbai siege. To what extent there will be some dovetailing of Delhi and Chennai concerns is unclear. In fact, political pundits are unwilling to hazard a guess putting a pun on the physical distance between the two metros.

People in Muslim Nations Conflicted About UN

A poll of seven majority Muslim nations finds people conflicted about the United Nations. On one hand there is widespread support for a more active UN with much broader powers than it has today. On the other hand, there is a perception that the UN is dominated by the US and dissatisfaction with UN performance on several fronts, particularly in dealing with the Israel-Palestinian conflict. These are the findings from a survey in Egypt, Turkey, Jordan, Iran, Indonesia, the Palestinian Territories, and Azerbaijan. Muslims in Nigeria (50% of the general population) were also polled. The survey was conducted in two waves over January 12-February 18 and July 21-August 31, 2008. Margins of error range from +/-2 to 5 percent. Not all questions were asked in all countries.

Blessed Rosaries for the Sri Lankan Soldiers

On behalf of the Catholic Communities of Ramallah and Bethlehem a consignment of rosaries made of olive wood of the holy land of Palestine were handed over to Dr. T. Jayasinghe, Representative of Sri Lanka in Palestine by Mr. Issa Husary, to be given to the Catholic Christians soldiers in Sri Lanka. Rosaries were blessed at the church of Nativity in Bethlehem at a special ceremony.

Merchant Credit income up by 20 percent

By Quintus Perera - Asian Tribune

The income for the last 10 months has grown by 20 percent compared to 2007, despite the difficult economic period. This was revealed at a press conference held to announce its 25th Anniversary, held at Cinnamon Grand Hotel. Janaka Ratnayake, Chairman, Merchant Credit said that their deposit base has grown to Rs 2.2 billion and the income derived from loans and advances have grown by 81 percent compared to the corresponding period in 2007. He said that they expect to end the year on a positive note in terms of profitability.

US Government donates $100,000 for flood relief

The United States Government will provide $100,000 for emergency relief to assist people affected by the flooding in the North and the East. This action comes in response to a request for assistance to USAID from the Sri Lankan Disaster Management Centre. The US donation will be used for non-food relief items and targeted to victims in Jaffna and in the Vanni, where particularly serious flooding has occurred in recent days. UNICEF will administer the donation in coordination with local authorities. Ambassador Blake requested funds from the US government after Major General Hettiarachchi of the Disaster Management Centre asked for American assistance.

European Commission and Colombo Friend in Need Society jointly launched Donate a Limb Campaign

A spokeswoman of the EU delegation said "Donate a Limb Campaign" to assist local disabled community campaign was launched to mark the World Disability Day which falls today. She said since 1985, the Colombo Friend-in-Need Society has donated over 20,000 limbs to accident, conflict and other victims. On average each year 750 – 900 limbs are required for the disabled who visit the free clinic situated in Colombo.

Pusa says any PAC should have broad consensus of all parties

Oken Jeet Sandham for Asian Tribune

NPCC president KV Pusa said any Political Affairs Committee working for the unity or reconciliation or any matter relating to the Naga issue should have broad consensus of all political parties. Because Naga issue does not belong to any party but belongs to the Naga people, he told the NEPS here at his Office Chamber, Congress Bhavan today. The NPCC president said the current PAC of ruling DAN government could not represent all the Naga people. Because it is restricted to certain political parties, he said. "If we are going to have such Political Affairs Committee to work for the oneness and unity among the various sections of the Naga society, it should have broad consensus of all political parties," he pointed out.

The Usual Suspects

By Sanjeewa Karunaratne,

After sixty hours of siege by ten gunmen left 172 dead in Mumbai; straining Indo-Pakistan relations to the breaking point and taking global terrorism to a new height, the blame game is on. Finally, the finger has pointed to the Pakistan’s Inter-Service-Intelligence (ISI), and its alleged creation "Lashkar-e-Taiba," sidelining the medieval response by the Indian government to the 21st century terrorism. Equally important as the investigations and the revelation of the perpetrators behind the attack are their motives.

Recognising Sri Lankas’ Strenghts

"Protect Lanka" believes that Sri Lanka has entered a critical milestone in the history of its war against terrorism. For the first time, there is a well focused, planned strategy with adequate resources to dilute and eventually eliminate the forces of terrorism which has maintained a stranglehold on our nation. We are able to exercise our right to protection from terrorism.

Com-Bank and Hayleys top winners at ICASL Annual Reports Awards

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

President of the ICASL Nishan Fernando said, "In addition financial reporting standards are in place to fall in line with the regulatory demands in the world, Chartered Accountants have taken proactive steps to preserve relevant and useful reporting to the stakeholders well before IFAC scientifically identified those issues said Nishan Fernando, President, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (ICASL) speaking at the occasion of the ICASL Annual Reports Awards 2008.

Janaka Perera, Chairman, Merchant Credit

Sri Lanka not signatory to Cluster Bomb Pact: Did she adopt U.S. position in effort to counter LTTE terrorism?

Daya Gamage – US National Correspondent Asian Tribune News Analysis

The South Asian island-nation of Sri Lanka which is in a serious military offensive against a lethal Tamil Tiger separatist movement, a micro group which has proved over the years to have a macro effect, largely responsible since the late eighties influencing the national agenda of the country threatening its sovereignty, territorial integrity and democracy came closer to the position of the United States in not being a signatory to the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) when the treaty came up for ratification on December 3 in Oslo, Norway. The United States fighting her own Global War on Terrorism with two fronts opened one in Iraq and the other in Afghanistan was not at Oslo. So were China, Russia and India. "Although we share the humanitarian concerns of states signing the CCM, we will not be joining them," the State Department said in a statement.