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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2341

Monthly archive

Dr. Benkin

Sexual Abuse on the Public Transport – Catching a Glimpse of Groper’s Paradise

Hemantha Abeywardena writes from London…..

It has been reported that our sensitive women are subjected to sexual harassment that borders on mild molestation, while travelling on the public transport, especially in the urban areas. The suburbs of Colombo and Kandy have been identified as the places where the problem is endemic in Sri Lanka. This may not be pleasant reading for our men, who love to be seen as respectable folks holding the concept of equal rights for women close to their chest, when a tiny section of them indulges in naughty acts in broad daylight, while bringing the good name of the whole tribe into disrepute. The report makes mockery of the complacency that men in general take for granted in this regard.

M.Karunanidhi - Re-elected as DMK president 10 years in a row

By Ravikumar Balakrishnan on Chennai

The General Council meeting of the DMK unanimously elected M Karunanidhi as party president for the 10th consecutive time. Announcing Karunanidhi's unanimous election, party election officer G M Shah, said 41 sets of nominations proposed by district secretaries were filed on his behalf. The ruling DMK recently completed its 13th organizational polls, right from village level and elected district-level office bearers. The newly elected general council members, numbering over 1,900 and district level office bearers will constitute the general council and will be in office for the next five years.

Delusions of Impunity

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

Is President Rajapakse planning a showdown with the judiciary a la Pervez Musharraf? A clash with the judiciary, at this time, and over the issue of fuel prices seems too irrational and excessive an enterprise even for the Rajapakses. Yet the administration has not only refused to abide by the Supreme Court verdict; it has also forced the IOC to follow suit and sell patrol at old and higher prices. With these twin actions the Rajapakses seem to be embarking on a journey, which will undermine democracy and may end in violent systemic instability.

Thailand’s Anti-Government Group to Hold Protest to Force the Dissolution of Parliament

Thailand's anti-government Democratic Alliance Against Dictatorship (DAAD) Saturday threatened to hold protests against Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva nationwide, to pressure him to dissolve the House. The three leaders of the UDD said the group would hold a massive rally on Sunday to oppose what it termed as a "coup in disguise" launched jointly by Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, the military and capitalists.

Awami League may win the Bangladesh Polls

Our Diplomatic correspondent from Dhaka

Prime Minister hopeful Awami League president Sheikh Hasina urged all political parties to put an end to "politics of confrontation and hatred" and unitedly build Bangladesh as a prosperous, developed and safe country. In her televised address to the nation, Hasina said Awami League and their grand alliance do not want to see Bangladesh slipping back into its past confrontational environment. "Now it's extremely needed to work together so people's rights to voting and democracy are not harmed anymore."Let's work hands in hands for building Bangladesh with a clean new political culture to save democracy and ensure peace," she said reports UNB

Karunanidhi re-elected DMK chief, asks PM to send Pranab to Colombo immediately

By M Rama Rao, India Editor, Asian Tribune

Marking his election as the DMK chief for yet another time, party patriarch and TN chief Minister Karunanidhi Saturday told Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to 'immediately' depute Pranab Mukherjee to Colombo on a peace mission. Significantly, Karunanidhi delivered the 'request' publicly, shortly after the Prime Minister telephoned him and congratulated him on becoming DMK President unanimously for the tenth time at the party's General Council meeting of over 1900 members in Chennai.

For Most Americans, Obama no Savior

Sunday Column by Dr. Richard L. Benkin

Dr. BenkinThe arrest of Rod Blagojevich, the Governor of US President-elect Barack Obama’s (and my own) home state of Illinois has been big news for weeks. In the early morning of December 9, 2008, FBI agents arrested Blagojevich at his Chicago home and charged him with what prosecutors described as a "crime spree" of corruption; a corruption so deep and pervasive as to boggle the minds of even veteran cynics. The final straw that forced prosecutors to move against Blagojevich was his attempt to sell Obama’s now vacant US Senate seat for his personal enrichment.

LTTE suicide bomber exploded in Wattala, 5 killed 4 injured

By Ruwan Weerakoon in Colombo

A suspected LTTE suicide bomber exploded himself in front of the Civil Defence Force office located on the Church Road, close to St Ann's Catholic Church, at Hekitta, Wattala this morning around 8.45 am. According to the available information, 5 people have been killed and at least 4 others suffered injuries in the attack. Military spokesperson Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara confirmed that 5 killed in the blast including one officer and 4 home guards and 4 home guards were wounded and admitted in the Ragama Government hospital.

Death toll of the Sunday suicide bomb attack increased

Government Military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara says eight people have been killed and 17 others suffered injuries in the Sunday suicide bomb attack close to St Anne's Catholic Church, at Hekitta, Wattala. A suspected LTTE suicide bomber exploded himself in front of the Civil Defence Force office located on the Church Road on Sunday morning. An Army officer and 6 other CDF personnel were among those killed in the bomb blast. 13 CDF personnel and 4 civilians including a woman were reported injured due to the bomb blast.

Lankan Ministers’ bumpy pilgrimage

By Ravikumar Balakrishnan from Chennai

Sri Lankan Deputy Minister of Fisheries Neomal Perera had come to Chenni with family members to visit the Holy Shrine of Velankanni. They spent the night at Karaikal Guest House, within the Collector Office premises, Karaikal. They left for Velankanni in the morning around 9 am with the Tamil Nadu Police for protection. With the news of the Ministers’ arrival and travel schedule reportedly having reached MDMK and VCK cadres, the Deputy Minister’s vehicle was blocked by MDMK cadres assembled at Madhakady. Holding black flags in hand and chanting the slogan "Don’t kill Lankan Tamils", the MDMK party cadres created a tensed atmosphere.

Post-Mumbai scenario: What does India talk to deaf, dumb, blind Pakistan?

By A Syndicate Features Special Correspondent

Undoubtedly, it will be better for both India and Pakistan to talk to each other instead of talking at each other as they have been doing now in the wake of Pakistan's Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) attacks on Mumbai. But who does India talk to a deaf neighbor? Also, what does India talk about? Events since the dastardly Nov 26 attacks have established that the civilian government in Pakistan has totally surrendered before the country's Army, one of the three 'A's who in the popular conception have been the real rulers of the land of the pure: the other two being Allah and America.

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Indian Bluff

By Adnan Gill

Will India launch punitive strike(s) against Pakistan? Highly +unlikely. India would have already struck if it had a choice. It doesn’t have a choice for two major reasons: 1. Indians know, they can start a conflict, but where and how the war ends will not be in their control. 2. By tangling themselves in a war, they run a too realistic risk of delivering a mortal blow to their service-based economy, which may not even survive the brinksmanship Indians are engaging in.

Will Ajmal be able to replicate Assam success in Maharashtra?

By M. Burhanuddin Qasmi

There is an urgent need to cobble together a political alternative to the Congress-NCP and Shiv Sena-BJP formation in the upcoming Lokh Sabha polls in Maharashtra considering the disenchantment of the minorities and the depressed classes with the ruling dispensation in the state. In the last sixty years of India's independence, only two incidences of political courage by Muslims can be cited as true coming of age of Muslim consciousness. One was the success of Maulana Badruddin Ajmal's United Democratic Front (AUDF) winning 10 MLA seats in Assam, directly challenging Congress hold over Muslim votes.

Japan’s action changes Asia’s image

By Nehginpao Kipgen

Japan’s humanitarian decision on 18th December 2008 to accept refugees from the military-ruled Burma has significantly changed Asia’s image. The move, which is unprecedented in the history of Japan, conveys a message to the international community that there is a country in Asia which opens its doors to asylum seekers and refugees. Japan’s policy toward Burma has traditionally been engagement. This principle was stated in uncertain terms by the then Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto to leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in January 1997 as: "Japan does not feel international isolation is the optimal way for the improvent of domestic situation in Myanmar."


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