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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 112

Monthly archive

The Awami League President Sheikh Hasina

Thai Prime Minister delivered Government Policy Statement at a changed venue instead Parlaiment

The government policy debate parliamentary session opened at Thailand's Foreign Ministry in Bangkok around Tuesday noon after anti-government protests forced the new Cabinet and legislators to delay the session for one day and move its venue from the traditional Parliament to the Ministry. Prime Minister Abhisit and the Democrat Party members of parliament were already at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at 10 am, after being rebuffed by unyielding protesters at outside the grounds of the Parliament buildings. At a conference room in the Foreign Ministry guarded by heavy police forces, Abhisit read out the policy statements to a group of some 310 senators and MPs, without the presence of opposition.

UN General Assembly isn’t the right Forum

By Nehginpao Kipgen

In a vote of 80 to 25 with 45 abstentions, the UN General Assembly on 24 December 2008 adopted a resolution condemning human rights violations by the Burmese military regime. The resolution called for the release of over 2,100 political prisoners, including Aung San Suu Kyi. The world’s highest body criticized the military regime’s political road-map "are not transparent, inclusive, free and fair, and that the procedures established for the drafting of the (country's new) constitution resulted in the de facto exclusion of the opposition from the process."

India hails Bangladesh verdict, Pranab to visit Dhaka

By M Rama Rao, India Editor, Asian Tribune

India has hailed the victory of AL –led grand alliance as historic, and said the massive participation of a large number of voters and the outcome are a clear manifestation of people's confidence in multi-party democracy. Delhi also expressed the hope that the incoming government of Sheikh Hasina would put down terrorism. 'India looks forward to working with the Sheikh Hasina government in Bangladesh and hopes the new dispensation will address concerns over terrorism emanating from its soil'.

Sri Lanka to celebrate 50 years of diplomatic relations between Cuba and Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka will embark on a joint programme too celebrate 50 years of diplomatic relations between Cuba and Sri Lanka next year. On this regard, Sri Lanka President has extended an invitation to President Raúl Castro Ruz, to pay a visit to Sri Lanka in year 2009, to commemorate this event. As the year 2009 marks the completion of 50 years of formal relations between the two countries which marked with the recognition of the Cuban Revolution in 1959, it was decided that both sides would identify special activities to celebrate this milestone in a fitting manner. Sri Lanka’s Deputy Foreign Minister Hussein Bhaila who led the Sri Lanka delegation to Cuba said that in the international forum, Sri Lanka has always maintained its solidarity with Cuba.

Anandasangaree list out hardships of Jaffna people

In a letter to Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse, it has been pointed out the numerous hardships people of Jaffna are presently undergoing and sought immediate redress. V. Anandasangaree, President – TULF who wrote the letter has urged that Sri Lanka President has to listen to the problems of the civilians from various people without depending on one or two persons. He said, "I have nothing against any individual. But to what extent you can depend on one or two for matters relating to the North and whether you should also consult people like Mr. D. Sithardthan, Mr. T. Sritharan, me and such others is a matter for you to decide."

Regional Task Force to fight terrorism in South Asia says Sheikh Hasina

Our Diplomatic Correspondent from Dhaka

Awami League President and leader of the Grand Alliance Sheikh Hasina said Wednesday her government would work toward forming a regional task force to fight terrorism in South Asia. "We will initiate the move to form a South Asian task force to ensure peace combating terrorism," She emphasized. Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and other nations should jointly work to face the challenges posed by terrorists whether regional and domestic, said the 61-year-old leader who herself was targeted many times by terrorists during her political career which began in 1981. Emphasizing a strong role from India and Pakistan, the two nuclear-armed regional powers, Hasina said terrorism is a big problem in the region and all the countries should work together to root out the problem to ensure peace and security of their people.

We will win, LTTE will be routed in 2009 - Sri Lanka Army Commander

Ruwan Weerakoon from Colombo

Lt. Gen. Sarath FonsekaSri Lanka's Army Commander Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka, in an exclusive conversation with the "Asian tribune" said that the Sri Lanka Army will completely rout the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in 2009. "At the moment troops of our 58 Division led by Brigadier Shavendra Silva has nearly reached Paranthan, and the Paranthan Junction will be taken over tonight. Subsequently, the LTTE's main supply route to Muhamalai, Kilali and Nagarkovil will be cut off," added Army Commander.

Sri Lanka: Polling for the two provincial Councils to be held on the 'Thai Pongal Day'

Provincial elections in the Central and North Western Province has been scheduled for February 14, Saturday, the Commissioner of Elections announced. Nominations for the upcoming provincial council polls in the Central and North Western Provinces closed by noon today. He said 10 political parties and eight independent groups have filed nominations to contest the Kandy district. 12 political parties and eight independence groups have also presented nominations to contest the Matale district. 14 political parties and 10 independent groups will contest the Nuwara Eliya district in the Central Provincial Council.

Congress-National Conference to form government in Jammu and Kashmir

By M Rama Rao, India Editor, Asian Tribune

National Conference, which emerged as the single largest party with 28 seats and the Sonia Congress, which emerged as the second runner up, after the PDP of former chief minister Mufti Md Sayeed, with 17 seats in the assembly elections have decided to form the new government in Jammu and Kashmir. The tie–up was finalized after National Conference leader Omar Abdullah (38), who will lead the government held an hour long meeting with Sonia Gandhi here in New Delhi on Tuesday. The coalition will have one seat more than the number required for a majority in a House of 87.

Sri Lanka Government announces drastic rate cuts to bring down the cost of living in 2009

Ruwan Weerakoon reporting from Colombo

At a special Cabinet meeting held yesterday evening, Sri Lanka Government announced massive rate cuts on many items, including fuel and gas, which will take effect from today. This announcement was made after a special Cabinet summoned by Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse in order to discuss several urgent issues pertaining to the cost of living for the coming year. At the special cabinet meeting 'The Economic Stimulus Package,' for consumers, industrialists, exporters and the plantation sector, worth a total of Rs 16 billion, was decided.

Election Results

Deputy Minister

Holiday mood plays down the market activity

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

Acuity – HNB and DFCC stock brokering arm indicated that Stocks fell further on thin activity levels as the market was heading towards Christmas holidays. After tumbling on the first two days market gained on Wednesday, the last day of the week but was insufficient to recoup the losses it made early during the week thus ended modestly lower Week on week (WoW). During the holiday shortened three-day week the All Share Price Index (ASPI) lost 20.7 points or 1.35% to 1506.1 points while the liquid Milanka Price Index (MPI) edged down by 37.9 points or 2.25% to 1648.2 points to close the week on a negative note.

Beware of invisible forces

By S. Akurugoda

President Rajapaksa, while addressing a commissioning parade at the Sri Lanka Military Academy in Diyatalawa a week ago (Sunday Observer dated 21/12/2008), pointed out that albeit the armed enemies have been well identified as lethal and should be wiped out by our gallant armed forces. But some unscrupulous elements may act in diverse and subtle ways. They could be even disguised in the garb of human rights activists. These parties too, should be recognised and dealt with accordingly. As otherwise, he said, these enemies may ultimately have a greater impact and cause more harm and destruction to our motherland.

Sri Lankan Roads Are The Most Dangerous In The World

By L. Jayasooriya

I have not driven on all the roads in the world but have driven in Europe, Canada and some parts of America. Based on that experience I can say that I have not seen any road more dangerous than our roads. If materially advanced countries have safe roads then why is it that or roads are the most dangerous in the world? There has to be a reason for that and I say that the primary reason is the IGP. This letter is by no means comprehensive because it can never be in this limited space.

Bangladesh Election: "Vox Populi Vox Dui – God's Voice is People voice"

R. N. Trivedi - Diplomatic Correspondent, Asian Tribune Dhaka

Sheikh HasinaThe Awami League-led grand alliance has swept back to power after being seven years out of office with a stunning landslide victory in an environment of free and fair elections, that clearly showed the people's verdict for a change and has consigned the BNP-led four-party alliance to the political wilderness. The grand alliance has clinched two-thirds majority with 262 seats compared to its archrival BNP-led four-party alliance's 32, down from 217 in 2001.

No date as yet for Pranab visit to Colombo

By M Rama Rao, India Editor, Asian Tribune

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee is expected to visit Colombo early in the New Year but no date has been fixed despite pressure from the DMK and other allies in Tamil Nadu. Mukherjee, who is presently in the thick of 'war of words' with Pakistan, stated in an interview to a news agency on Tuesday that no decision had been taken on when he would travel to Sri Lanka. He, however, expressed disappointment at the delay in implementing the devolution package by the Mahinda Rajapaksa government.

India's tough anti-terror laws come into force

By M Rama Rao, India Editor, Asian Tribune

India's tough anti-terror laws have come into force with President Pratibha Patil giving assent on Wednesday to these laws passed by Parliament a fortnight back. President Patil also gave assent to the law seeking to establish India's apex anti-terrorism agency, National Investigation Agency, (NIA). Orders constituting the NIA will be issued on the New Year Day and its chief will be named in the next few days, Minister for Home Palaniappan Chidambaram told a news conference here. He said a Multi Agency Centre (MAC) has been set up in the Intelligence Bureau (IB) as the nodal agency for intelligence in a bid to strengthen intelligence set-up across the country.