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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2956

Monthly archive


U.S. Government provides scholarships to 18 journalism students from the East

In a ceremony at the Sri Lanka Press Institute U.S. Ambassador Robert Blake presented scholarships to 18 students from the Eastern Province and Monaragala District to attend the Sri Lanka College of Journalism. The scholarships, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), will allow the students to attend the one-year Journalism Diploma Programme, focusing on radio, television, or print media. Courses are conducted in Sinhala, Tamil, and English, and all students receive English language instruction. The USAID scholarship program supports almost equal numbers of Sinhalese, Tamil, and Muslim students, representing Ampara District (7 students), Batticaloa District (4 students), Trincomalee District (4 students), and Monaragala (3 students).

Vigil stepped up along Tamil Nadu coast

Ravikumar Balakrishnan in Chennai

Vigilance along the southern coast of Tamil Nadu has been stepped up by the state police in collaboration with other security agencies to prevent possible infiltration of LTTE cadres in the wake of the fall of the outfit's de facto capital Kilinochchi in Sri Lanka. Highly placed police sources ruled out any security threat to the state and said police and other agencies have been asked to be on "alert", step up vigilance and monitor the situation closely. "Right now, there is no security threat to the state... however, we have asked the police and other agencies to be on alert and post more police personnel in the coastal areas such as Rameswaram, which are in close proximity to Sri Lanka," the sources told.

Taking Forward the National Strategy for Sri Lanka Tourism

Measures are being adopted in the form of a National Strategy for Sri Lanka Tourism ventures to place the profile of the country as an Asian tourism icon. The Tourism Strategic Action Group has discussed key areas of focus, such as promotional campaigns in strategic locations in major receiving countries, examining the possibility of drawing on the resources earmarked from the aid package to be put in place, the availability of airline seats and inbound flights, the issue of travel advisories, the situation about declining service standards, domestic tourism, local transportation, and special train services, and also the dire need for a safety net to rescue the tourism industry.

India - Urged to assist to eradicate LTTE: To intervene militarily in case Sri Lanka fails to devolve powers to Tamils

Dr. SwamyIndia must assist Sri Lanka in eradicating the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, a terrorist outfit. At the end of ridding the LTTE, Sri Lanka must come forward to implement proper devolution powers for the Tamils under the constitution of Sri Lanka. In case Sri Lanka fails to implement such powers to the Tamils, President Mahinda Rajapakse must be told in no uncertain terms that India reserves the right to intervene militarily. Above was the response by Dr. Subramanian Swamy to a question he posed about India’s role – "What should India do now to secure Tamil human rights, since the Tamils are squeezed between the devil [LTTE] and the deep sea [Sinhala chauvinists]."

Congress quietly distances from TN Parties, demands extradition of Prabhakaran

By M Rama Rao, India Editor, Asian Tribune

While there is no jump in the political temperature in Tamil Nadu in the wake of hounding Sri Lankan army is subjecting Velupillai Prabhakaran, here in Delhi, the Congress has picked up the refrain: extradite the LTTE chief. Prabhakaran is an accused in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case and Interpol's red corner notice is pending against him. The Congress party, which is headed by Rajiv's widow, Sonia Gandhi, wants Tiger supremo to be extradited if he is nabbed in the on-going military offensive in the north of Sri Lanka.

Sunday Leader Editor attacked

By Ruwan Weerakoon in Colombo

The Chief Editor of Sunday Leader Lasantha Wickramathunge was shot by unidentified gunmen to day morning around 9.30 a.m. on his way to his office in Mount Lavania. Reports reveal that immediately he was rushed to Kalubowila hospital in critical condition. As his condition is too critical, hospital sourced said he is to be transferred to the Colombo National Hospital.

Government condemns the shooting of Lasantha Wickramatunga

Sunil C. Perera in Colombo

Cabinet Spokesman Anurapriyadarshana Yapa says the government vehemently condemned shooting incident on Editor of the Sunday Leader Lasantha Wickramatunga. He said the government does not wants to kill or assult the mediamen. "Its a unacceptable activtiy of someone, he said. Addressing media in this morning he said the President Mahindhha Rajapaksha has ordered to investigate this incident.

Lasantha succumbed to gunshot injuries

Lasantha Wikramatunga, the chief editor of the English Weekly, succumbed to his gunshot injuries. Earlier, around 9.30 am when he was in his car on his way to his Sunday Leader office was shot by unidentified gunmen. He was rushed to the Colombo South General Hospital, Kalubowila for emergency treatment but succumbed to his injuries this afternoon. According to the Director of the Colombo South General Hospital, Kalubowila, Dr. Anil Jasinghe, Wickramatunga was seriously hurt and was taken for an emergency operation but, the injuries had been extremely critical.

Cultural program in support of the families of Sri Lankan armed forces

The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Japan in collaboration with Sri Lanka Association in Japan organized a cultural/musical programme in support of welfare of the families of the armed forces. The event was held at Nova Hall in Tsukuba City on 4th January 2009. Over 1200 Sri Lankans attended the event. Well known artistes from Sri Lanka were flown by courtesy of Sri Lankan Airlines to perform at the event. It was possible to raise a donation of Rs 4 million from this event which will be channeled to an appropriate relevant welfare institution in Sri Lanka.

Pro-LTTE parties to meet on Jan 10

Ravikumar Balakrishnan in Chennai

Viduthalai Chiruthaikal Kadchchi supremo, Thol. Thirumavalavan, in a statement, said that a meet would be convened on January 10 to discuss the atrocities of the Lankan Government against the Lankan Tamils and the means to put an end to it. Thirumavalavan has appealed to all pro-LTTE parties to set aside political differences and join hands in the battle to save the Lankan Tamils from extinction. He added that the PMK chief, Dr. Ramadoss and DK chief Veeramani and Nedumaran have been briefed and consulted. And that other party chiefs too would be met with shortly

Sri Lanka Prabhakaran’s Tryst With Destiny

By Vinod Vedi - Syndicate Features

Now that Kilinochchi, supposed "capital" of the non-existent Tamil Eelam has fallen to Sri Lanka Government troops, will peace finally descend on the war-torn nation? Not just yet. Much will depend on the sagacity and farsightedness of political leadership in Colombo. In the near future Sri Lanka will once again descend into the sporadic terrorist bomb attacks that saw the beginning of the struggle by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) for a homeland for the Tamils in the north and the east of the island before it evolved from a guerrilla structure into a very successful military machine in its conventional framework to be able to capture and hold territory that could be termed a "nation" within the context of the term as described in civics textbooks.

Dr. Subramanian Swamy

The Perfect Financial Storm: An Anatomy of the U.S. Credit Crisis that Affected World Economies

By Sanjeewa Karunaratne

The U.S. officially declared a recession in late 2007. Since 2000, the world has lost an estimated 10 to 20 trillion dollars of investments relating to the U.S. housing market. Some became extremely rich by providing loans to less creditworthy borrowers. Souring housing demand, fierce competition and pressure from Wall Street forced mortgage lenders to loosen their lending standards to the lowest level. These “toxic-waste” sub-prime mortgages created a classic speculative bubble that burst in late 2006, triggering havoc in world economies. Millions of low-income, migrant or minority families, who received the majority of these mortgages, tasted a small piece of the American pie and woke up to a pile of debt and shattered dreams.

A Post Card from Sri Lanka: Challenges for 2009

By Raj Gonsalkorale

Presidents and Prime Ministers are supposed to lead, not just in military battles, but even more importantly in forging a vision for the people they are leading. George W Bush has failed very badly on both accounts. Tony Blair has left a mixed legacy. John Howard from Australia blew chances to make Australia great and wasted ten good years making the country more racist and intolerant. Barak Obama will inherit a near bankrupt America, a fading empire that thinks he could change everything by the 21st January, the day after his inauguration. George Bush’s failure has made China the next super power, and we will have a lead country who cares little about its own human rights, caring much less about human rights in other countries. Dictators will have a field day as long as they make sure China’s commercial interests are kept uppermost as their policy objectives.

Citizens of India-Pakistan stand-up for peace

By Bobby Ramakant

To confront the present war posturing between India and Pakistan, the citizens of both countries are launching a joint signature petition campaign on 9 January 2009, to voice their mandate against terrorism, war posturing and to promote mutual cooperation and peace. This signature petition campaign shall conclude on 8 February 2009, after which these signatures shall be handed over to the heads of both the nations along with other prominent stakeholders.

Military families need more houses, schools

By C.P. Kuruppu

The Sri Lanka Army is launching a scheme of 5000 housing units. These houses come under projects scattered in different parts of the island – including a housing project of 1622 units at Ipologama Kekirawa. The other two forces- the Navy and the Air Force – too have their own land allocation and housing projects but all three services have found it difficult to cope with the demand. The armed forces are providing loans to buy land and build houses at very low interest rates. The Defence Authorities hope that financial institutions which give loans to civilians to purchase land and construct houses ought to be magnanimous by coming forward to help military personnel.

UN Organizations expresses grave concern over attacks against Gaza UNRWA schools

UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura and UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Radhika Coomaraswamy, expressed grave concern over the recent attacks against UNRWA schools and associated facilities. These facilities had been set up by the UN as places of refuge for civilians fleeing the fighting in Gaza. Their statement follows the shelling by Israeli military of three schools operated by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). A large number of civilians, including children were killed, particularly in the third strike, and many more were injured.