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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2787

Monthly archive

Abdullah Abdullah

Elephant pass falls: Sri Lankan Government control of A-9 Road completed

From Ruwan Weerakoon in Colombo

Tigers' control of Jaffna – Kandy A – 9 Road has been brought under the Government control today. It has become a reality after the fall of Elephant Pass on the Jaffna side. According to a reports from the Northern Theatre of war Sri Lankan forces have taken control of the entire area from Muhamalai to Elephant Pass. Troops belongs to 53 Division commanded by Brigadier Kamal Gunarathne and 55 Division Commanded By Brigadier Prasanna Silva from Jaffna - Muhamali and Kilali advanced from north to south and have linked with troops located in the south of Elephant Pass belongs to 58 Division commanded by Brigadier Shavindra Silva, thus bringing the entire Jaffna – Kandy A 9 Road under the Sri Lankan Government’s control.

US Stands for 'de-legitimacy' of Sri Lanka’s LTTE: Talks with them not encouraged

Daya Gamage – US Bureau Asian Tribune

In the heat of the fall of Tamil Tiger administrative capital Kilinochchi to Sri Lanka armed forces in the north with the dawn of the new year Robert Blake American Ambassador in Sri Lanka in a special statement issued January 06 stated that the U.S. “does not advocate that the Government of Sri Lanka negotiate with the LTTE”, a remarkable turn-around of previous policy which pushed successive governments to bring the separatist/terrorist movement to the negotiating table. Advocating talks with non-LTTE Tamil groups to "reach a political solution" Ambassador Blake attributes such resumption of talks to the "further de-legitimization" of the LTTE.

Murder of Lasantha Wickrematunga: Another Nail in the Coffin of a Free Country?

By Raj Gonsalkorale

Mr Lasanatha Wickrematunga may have, as some seem to be saying, been one of the worst kinds of gutter journalists. He may have been a mud-raker who exposed many shady deals of various government ministers and officials. Others may accuse him of a vendetta against the current President and his government, forgetting that he was an absolute irritant to the former President and her government as well. He may have been, as some would say a brave investigative journalist who was alone in exposing scandals that otherwise would have been swept under the carpet. Some would say he was a fool and had he been more accommodating, he would have been still living and enjoying a luxurious lifestyle.

European Union express its concern over the killing of, Lasantha Wickrematunga

The European Commission has said that it was deeply concerned by the assassination of the chief editor of the Sri Lankan Sunday Leader newspaper, Lasantha Wickrematunga, who was shot this morning near Colombo and who has subsequently passed away. It said, "The Commission extends its profound sympathy to the family of Mr Wickrematunga."

Israel must stop bombing then Hamas and Palestinians would stop their resistance - Abdullah Abdullah

For Asian Tribune by Laila Habash in Gaza

Abdullah AbdullahThe Israel must stop bombing the Gaza region forthwith. They are bombing and killing our people. Once they stop their attacks then Hamas and Palestinisns would stop their resistance, said Abdullah Abdullah. When asked that there is an allegation that some Arab countries want Hamas defeated. What is the reason behind this allegation and is there any truth? Abdullah Abdullah, Chairman of the Political Committee of the Palestinian Legislative Council (Parliament) forcefully denied the allegation. He said, "No, not at all. Hamas is part of the Palestinian political fabric; defeat of Hamas is weakening the Palestinian political fabric. Of course we want to coordinate and include Hamas in the political system; this can be done through the National Dialogue that our President called for in last June and Egypt is still working on it, too."

We will capture Kilinochchi – P.Nadesan

Ravikumar Balakrishnan in Chennai

The political head of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam has vowed to recapture Kilinochchi soon. He said that this was not the first time Kilinochchi has been captured. Kilinochchi has been in the possession of the LTTE and that of the Lankan army alternately in the past. P.Nadesan said that history repeats itself. When asked whether the loss of Kilinochchi a setback, P.Nadesan, the Head of the LTTE’s political Division said "We do not consider it a setback." In an interview with "Junior Vikatan" a Tamil language news magazine published twice a week from Chennai, Nadesan said retreating from areas control by them is a tactical move adopted to reduce the loss in the war.

U.S. Weaponry Facilitates Killings in Gaza

By Thalif Deen - Inter Press Service

The devastating Israeli firepower, unleashed largely on Palestinian civilians in Gaza during two weeks of fighting, is the product of advanced U.S. military technology. The U.S. weapons systems used by the Israelis -- including F-16 fighter planes, Apache helicopters, tactical missiles and a wide array of munitions -- have been provided by Washington mostly as outright military grants. The administration of President George W. Bush alone has provided over 21 billion dollars in U.S. security assistance over the last eight years, including 19 billion dollars in direct military aid as freebies.

"Where are we heading to?" - Anandasangaree on the assassination of Lasantha Wickrematunge

"Where are we heading to? Is it not the responsibility of all of us, as citizens of this country, to help to track down the culprits responsible for this cowardly act? It is a shame on all of us, if the culprits are not arrested immediately and brought before the court of law and punished," said V. Anandasangaree, President – TULF.

'Deny funds to anti-national NGOs'

By Janaka Perera

The World Alliance for Peace in Sri Lanka (WAPS) has urged the Rajapaksa Government to deny foreign funds to any organization that has questioned the country's sovereignty and advocated power sharing with the LTTE. WAPS representatives made this appeal at a media briefing held at the Royal Asiatic Society office at Mahaweli Centre, Colombo on Wednesday – the same day the government banned the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

US condemns the assassination of Lasantha Wickrematunge and the attack on Sirasa TV

The United States strongly condemns the murder of the Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge yesterday and the January 5th attack on Sirasa TV. The US State Department in a statement said, "These deplorable acts mark the latest in a series of attempts to quell independent voices in Sri Lanka. The murder of Lasantha Wickrematunge is a shocking blow to independent media in Sri Lanka. "This is the second attack in 48 hours against individuals or media outlets and just the latest in a string of incidents against journalists. The United States is deeply concerned that such attacks undermine efforts to build a united and democratic Sri Lanka where the rights of all people are protected.

Commitment to a political solution reiterated in the aftermath of LTTE proscription

Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama has emphasized that the Government does not believe in a military solution to address the genuine grievances of the minority communities in Sri Lanka. On the contrary, it is firmly committed to a political solution in finding answers to these issues, which should be done in a spirit of give and take by all democratic forces in the country. The Minister made these remarks yesterday, while addressing the diplomatic corps based in Colombo at the Foreign Ministry.

Any organizations associated with LTTE too would be banned

Provisions regarding the banning of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam pointed out that it also provides for the banning of other organizations that are connected with or which are representing or acting on behalf of the banned organization known as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. The provisions banning the LTTE clearly says,"in order to eliminate the scourge of terrorism from the world, it is necessary for all sovereign states to criminalize terrorism and proscribe without exception organizations engaged in the perpetration of terrorism."

Irony of Kashmir Elections

By Sarla Handoo - Syndicate Features

It is an irony that the two political parties which gained seats in the recently concluded elections in Jammu and Kashmir have been sidelined in government formation leaving the floor to the parties which received a drubbing and lost ground. The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, improved its position from 16 to 21 seats in the new House. In fact, earlier it had all its 16 seats from Kashmir only. This time it opened its account in Jammu also. Likewise, the BJP which had just one seat in the previous house hit the figure of 11 this time.

Sri Lanka Foreign Minister condemns the killing of Sunday Leader Editor

Sri Lanka Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama has strongly condemned the murder of the prominent media personality and Editor of The Sunday Leader, Lasantha Wickrematunga on 08 January 2009. He denounced the killing unreservedly and said that the Government will leave no stone unturned to pursue the perpetrators of this heinous crime and will seek to bring them to justice.

Sri Lanka President announces the capture of Elephant Pass and the opening of the A9 Route

Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse announced to the Nation the completion of the capture of Elephant Pass region and the freeing of A 9 Road from the terrorist elements. President said, "I address you today at a time when our heroic forces have achieved another great and historic victory. By this evening our troops have completely freed the Elephant Pass area from the LTTE. Similarly, bringing Point Pedro and Devundara (Dondra Head) together the A-9 route has been completely freed from the clutches of the LTTE." In his address to the nation he proudly announced that he was able to evict the terrorists from 90 percent of the territories held by the terrorist elements, and said, "We are now engaged in giving a new life to the unitary status of our country. We are enlivening democracy in our land. The defeat of terrorism means giving life to an honorable peace and freedom. We are dedicated to give our children the opportunity to travel freely from Devundara to any part of the country and for all our people, whether Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim Burgher, Malay or of any community to live together and in unity."