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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2788

Monthly archive

Amnesty International urges Thai Government to stop Use of Torture in counter-terrorism campaign

Daya Gamage – US Bureau Asian Tribune

Thai security forces pursuing a counter-insurgency campaign in the country's violence-plagued southern provinces systematically engage in torture and other ill-treatment, Amnesty International revealed in a report released January 12. The human rights organization called on the Thai government to crack down on such practices immediately and to ensure accountability for any security forces engaged in torture. The report, "Thailand: Torture in the southern counter-insurgency," documents people being brutally beaten, burnt with candles, buried up to their necks in the ground, subjected to electric shocks and exposed to intense heat or cold.

U.N. Chief on Grim Peace Mission to Middle East

By Thalif Deen, Inter Press Service

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who admits he is "very frustrated and deeply anguished" about the grave military and humanitarian crisis in Gaza, is leaving on a grim peace mission to the Middle East, including visits to Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Turkey, Lebanon, Syria and Kuwait. But the ultimate success of his weeklong visit will depend on whether or not he can persuade both the Israelis and Hamas to implement last week's Security Council resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire to end the three-week-old fighting.

God is Great: Faith and Public Diplomacy at Work

By Dr. M. A. Muqtedar Khan

On January 10th 2009, about hundred Delawareans shared a unique spiritual and cultural experience. They participated in a dialogue on the role of faith in Middle Eastern and American communities. A delegation of Islamic and social science scholars from Saudi Arabia and Egypt, joined with twelve leaders of various faith communities – Catholic, Jewish, Methodist, Muslim, Hindu, Presbyterian and Christian Fellowship – to engage in a conversation that neither focused on the commonalities of their faiths nor on its differences. They instead celebrated the role that their faith played in their lives and in the life of their communities.

"Our key objective is to re-establish democracy and democratic governance throughout the country" – Dr. Palitha Kohona

Bringing A-9 Road and the railway line under the control of the Government after a lapse of many years was a historic event. Though the victory on the battlefield gives comfort and reassures of the future direction of the country, but must also be aware of the challenges that will confront, particularly from the perspective of this Foreign Affairs Ministry

Final Solution of the Palestinian Question

By Adnan Gill

The 'Final Solution' was Nazi Germany's plan of systematic elimination of the European Jewry. Hitler termed it: "the final solution of the Jewish question" ("Endlösung der Judenfrage"). Instead of throwing Hitler’s playbook down in the deepest bowls of Earth, the Jewish leadership took a page out of it and applied to the Palestinians. Joseph Hell quoted Hitler: "…my first and foremost task will be the annihilation of the Jews. …I will have gallows built in rows... Then the Jews will be hanged indiscriminately, and they will remain hanging until they stink... As soon as they have been untied, the next batch will be strung up, and so on down the line, until the last Jew in Munich has been exterminated.

Winners and Losers in Crushing the LTTE

By L. Jayasooriya

The most obvious winners in this are the genuine indigenous native born Tamil Hindu people who have from time immemorial been living off the land working all day in the fields and drawing water by hand from deep wells. It is hoped that the government will supply electricity to these people so that water could be pumped to their fields as is being done throughout the Ganges plain.

Sri Lanka Foreign Minister briefed the current situation and urged the Ruler of Qatar to invest in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s Minister Bogollagama when he met the Emir of Qatar, pointed out that LTTE was on rapid retreat militarily and no longer enjoyed the goodwill of the Tamil people who he said had been alienated from the national democratic and development agenda for an extended period of time by the LTTE. He underlined that the current military campaign of the Sri Lankan security forces had a zero tolerance policy on civilian casualty. Referring to developments in the Eastern Province, the Minister said that following the defeat of the LTTE in the province, democracy had taken strong root and the rule of law was very much in evidence there.

Gaza: What "Moral Clarity"?

By Abukar Arman

Hillel the Elder is a prominent figure in Jewish history. He is perhaps one of the most quoted Rabbis. One day, a man approached him with a challenge. "Teach me all the Torah while I stand on one leg," the man demanded. The Rabbi wisely responded "What is hateful to you, don't do unto others - that's the whole Torah. The rest is commentary. Go and learn." How are Hillel’s words, shared by all Abrahamic faiths (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) as well as many other faiths, relevant to our profoundly volatile world? And what role can people of conscience play in cultivating justice and peace around the world?

France: the world's favourite film set!

By Anne-Laure Bell

The French Parliament has recently adopted a fiscal measure designed to support the production of foreign films made in France. In addition to the financial incentive, France has a network of professionals who are able to provide highly valued logistical assistance in the audiovisual arena, and as a result has further confirmed the country’s position as a great place for making movies. From 2009 onwards, foreign film production companies will be able to benefit from a 20% tax rebate on their expenditure in France. To be entitled to the rebate they have to spend just five days filming in the country and spend at least one million euros here.

SFA Staff Meeting

After Prabhakaran-what next?

By Gomin Dayasri

A Prabhakaran dead can be more menacing than a Prabhakharan alive. Prabhakaran missing could be still worse. The call to surrender laying down arms is to place the pill under his tongue - Prabhakaran fears to face Tamils without arms and ammunition. Prabhakaran dead or alive would not matter, if the legitimate grievances of the Tamils are attended, without leaving it in the freezer. Tamils fleeing the northern sector (except those planted by the LTTE as moles to cause economic and military damage) know Prabhakaran better than those in the South. They had to escape from him to tell the sorry story. To the parents- Prabhakaran is the prime child snatcher; to the children-Prabhakaran has ruined their future; to all- the man has rendered them homeless by ethnically cleansing his own creed.