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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2706

Monthly archive

Veteran Comedian Nagesh passed away

Veteran comedian Nagesh, a 1000-film veteran, passed away in Chennai on Saturday. Nagesh, who was suffering from prolonged illness, breathed his last at his residence. He carved a niche for himself in the Tamil film industry both in humorous and character roles. According to family sources, his wife Regina passed away a few years ago leaving behind three sons. One of them, Anand Babu, is also an actor, suffering from cancer. Born as Gundu Rao in 1933 in Erode district of Tamil Nadu, 400 km south of here in an orthodox Hindu Brahmin Vaishnavite family, Nagesh relocated to Chennai in the fifties in search of a career. Tamil film director K Balachander, was responsible for Nagesh coming into movies from the theatre.

Latvia – Lanka to establish bilateral relationship on a firm foundation

Latvia being an emerging country in the world arena and a member state of the European Union (EU) is an important link in its foreign policy, which would enhance Sri Lanka’s relations both bilaterally and within Europe, observed Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama, during the bilateral talks held recently in Riga, Latvia with his counterpart Maris Riekstins. Minister Bogollagama is on a two day visit to Latvia, which marks the first such visit at a high political level. He elaborated that Sri Lanka looks forward to strengthening of bilateral relations with Latvia and sharing of that country’s synergies, with Sri Lanka.

The War, the Tigers and the People

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

The Second JVP Insurgency ended on the day Rohana Wijeweera (and the entirety of the politbureau, bar one) was killed. Had he remained a free man, the Insurgency would have survived, albeit with less effect and virulence. The Rajapakse administration is expected to announce the end of the war on the Independence Day. But the Eelam War will not be over so long as Vellupillai Pirapaharan is alive; instead it will merely shift to a different mode – from a conventional war to a guerrilla war. As the LTTE reverts to hit and run tactics, a new spiral of violence will begin.

The Dam(n) Builders , Fee-masons and Wanni Eyesore

Hemantha Abeywardena writes from London….

Tamil Tigers have become an endangered species in their own habitat, a small jungle patch of the northern Sri Lanka. The plight of a cornered Tiger is not a pleasant one; nor is it a sign of defiance. Acts of desperation lays bare every ugly thing that it has at its disposal for the simple game of survival – growling, profuse dribbling and pounding are all too familiar gestures. The collapse of the once-majestic tail between the legs is an indication that the beast has met its match before the duel for dominance. When a species is on the verge of extinction, the help comes from many quarters, to reverse the trend, with certain media organizations and rights groups at the forefront.

Greater understanding and the need to continue to engage in a dialogue on GSP+ - Sri Lanka Minister Rohitha Bogollagama

Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama has said greater understanding of the respective positions and the need to continue to engage in a dialogue was achieved, through his interactions in Brussels aimed at supporting Sri Lanka’s continued retention of the GSP+ facility with the relevant European Commissioners. He said while Sri Lanka would not agree to subject itself to any intrusion of its sovereignty, it was ready for continued engagement and dialogue on any concerns the EU might have regards Sri Lanka benefitting from this facility.

United Nations provided US $ 125 Million for Sri Lanka’s Development in 2008

The United Nations in Sri Lanka has provided US$125 million in development aid to Sri Lankans in 2008. Speaking after the first joint Annual Review of the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), Mr. Neil Buhne, UN Resident Humanitarian Coordinator said that the funds represented the collective efforts of the UN to support the Sri Lankan government over 5 years in its efforts to meet the Millennium Development Goals and the National Development Plan.

15-minute silence marks Meher Baba's Amartithi at his tomb shrine

By M Rama Rao, India Editor, Asian Tribune

The contrast is difficult to miss, more than 30 thousand followers of Meher Baba have assembled at the His tomb shrine on a low lying hillock here. They have come from all over the globe, from Argentina to New Zealand, United States to Britain and Russia and from Iran and Pakistan to China and Japan. For them, January 31 is an important day. It marks the 40th anniversary of the day Meher Baba dropped his body and the body was interned in the crypt at the tomb. And exactly at 12 noon, almost all of them without an exception stopped talking, singing and bhajans. Wherever they were at the appointed hour, they quietly slipped into silence. For full 15-minutes as a mark of their respect to their Master, who had observed silence and spoke through silence for years!

War on Gaza: Israeli Action, Not Reaction

By Nicola Nasser

Stubbornly insisting on getting the carriage before the horse as the approach to a "durable and sustainable" ceasefire in Gaza Strip, U.S. and European diplomacy in particular is building on an Israeli misleading premise that the 22 – day military operation, dubbed "Cast Lead," against the Palestinian Gaza Strip was a reaction and not a premeditated long planned scheme that found in the change of guards in Washington D.C. an excellent timing. It was "not simply a reaction," but "a calculation," Daniel Klaidman wrote in Newsweek on January 10.

The damage India & LTTE have caused to Sri Lanka

By Shenali Waduge

If we are confused as to why Sri Lanka was indiscriminately projected as suffering from "disunity", "ethnic rivalries" "genocide" there is only one answer to a proper understanding of the problem – India. "India's covert operation camouflaged a terrorist movement to promote ethnic tensions." To how many occurred the need to wonder how Sri Lanka can be categorized as a nation suffering from an "ethnic" problem when there is enough evidence to prove India's involvement in arming LTTE and other militants in Sri Lanka? The covert operation allowed India to take diplomatic leverage of the situation and advance the opportunity to advocate a "political solution" in the form of an Indo-Lanka Agreement and the 13th amendment to the Constitution that amalgamated the North and East to India's advantage and later to secretly author a Cease Fire Agreement brokered by Norway. Yet, despite all the political bullying Sri Lanka has undergone the nation & its people are still magnanimous enough to call India "our friend" and mean it too.

D. Sutharsanam

K.V. Thangabalu

Tamil Nadu Congress Leaders’: Last ditch appeal to free Tamil civilians held by the Tamil Tigers

By K.T.Rajasingham

Tamil Nadu leaders of the Indian National Congress have showed serious concern over the safety of the innocent Tamil civilians held as hostages by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, as the 48-hour time limit provided by the Sri Lanka President expires. Tamil Nadu state Indian National Congress Leader K.V.Thangabalu and D.Sutharsanam, the Leader of the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly, when talking to "Asian Tribune" separately, they emphasized that Tamil Tigers should release the innocent Tamil civilians held by them without any further delay.