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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2702

Monthly archive

Mahela Jayawardene

Afghanistan, the Next U.S. Quagmire?

By Thalif Deen, Inter Press Service

The United States is planning to send an additional 17,000 troops to one of the world's most battle-scarred nations - Afghanistan - long described as "a graveyard of empires". First, it was the British Empire, and then the Soviet Union. So, will the United States be far behind? "With his new order on Afghanistan, President (Barack) Obama has given substantial ground to what Martin Luther King Jr., in 1967 called 'the madness of militarism'", Norman Solomon, executive director of the Washington-based Institute for Public Accuracy, told IPS.

Animal Welfare Bill introduced, Act amended

By Janaka Perera

JHU (National Heritage Party) Parliamentarian Venerable Athuraliye Rathana placed the Animal Welfare Bill on the Order Paper of Sri Lanka's Parliament on Thursday February 19. The Bill provides the framework for the protection of animals from cruelty; to foster kindness, compassion and responsible behaviour towards these creatures and to establish a National Animal Welfare Authority; among other matters. In another development the same day a significant amendment to the Animals Act, No 29 of 1958, was adopted in Parliament without a division. The Ministry of Livestock Development introduced this amendment by which the punishment for slaughtering cows and cow calves, including female Buffaloes and calves, has been increased from Rs. 250 to Rs. 50, 000 plus the imposition of three year sentence of imprisonment. Further any illegal use of a vehicle for transport of cows and female buffaloes for slaughter would result in the confiscation of both the animals and the vehicle.

Sri Lanka Cabinet reaffirmed the decision to reject Britain’s appointment of a Special Envoy

Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama apprised the Cabinet of Ministers on Wednesday on the discussions with his British counterpart, David Milliband regarding the United Kingdom's appointment of a Special Envoy to Sri Lanka. He explained to the Cabinet that it was not possible for a re-consideration of the matter in the light of the deficiencies associated with the said appointment. Accordingly, the Cabinet re-affirmed the decision taken by it on 12th February to reject the appointment of a Special Envoy to Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka stars in the Dream Hotel TV series

Its lights, camera, action, for Sri Lanka as it stars in the popular German television series "Dream Hotel." The 90 minute TV series tells a story about unusual, elegant, and spectacular locations around the world, focusing mainly on the positive aspects of each country, its highlights, traditional features, and exceptional qualities. With the involvement, of the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB), Sri Lanka was selected as a location in March 2008, and the tele film is expected to be viewed by millions of people from Germany, Switzerland, and Austria, to name a few.

US Government-funded Emergency Medical Services Launched in Jaffna Peninsula

U.S. Embassy and Jaffna District representatives opened an emergency ambulance service and communications center on Wednesday, February 11, 2009. The event also marked the expansion of the emergency access phone system to the entire Jaffna District. Previously it was available only in Colombo, Kandy and Galle. Regional Director of Health Services Dr. Ketheeswaran and Jaffna District Secretary K. Ganesh were present, along with chief guest James R. Moore, Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy, who placed the inaugural 1-1-0 call to the communications center.

The donors' cat is out the bag at last

By Dimuth Gunwardena

In the wake of the 'Des Browne' fiasco and Senior Presidential Advisor Basil Rajapaksa ticking off Britain, Norway for criticising 'transitional' villages in the North, a blatant attempt to covertly interfere in Sri Lanka's internal affairs has been well and truly exposed. This is revealed in a document that the so-called Task Force on IDP of the Bilatereral Donor Group has prepared without the knowledge of the Sri Lanka Government. The conspirators - needless to say - are Britain, Australia, Britain, Norway, Canada, European Union, France, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and the USA. The real culprit however appears to be Britain.

Ongoing civil war in Somalia

Brig. Asif Haroon Raja

The war-ravaged Somalia situated in the volatile Horn of Africa is a scene of infighting since 1991, when warlords overthrew Siad Barre and then clashed with each other. Autocratic Siad had ruled the country effectively and kept it united. The two warlords Farah Adid and Ali Mehdi controlling south and north Somalia respectively fought for power till as late as 2005. The country has been torn apart by clan-based warring faction leaders and militias and hundreds of thousands have been killed in the senseless conflict.

30 Questions to Rehman Malik

By Chandamohan - Syndicate Features

Ever since terror attacks on US soil in September 2001 Pakistan has been springing surprises on the world by its frequent U-turns, which turn out to be exercises in self-deception instead of a real change of heart. Despite renouncing terror, Pakistan is now the acknowledged haven for terrorists. India will have to wait and see if there is any sign of change of heart in Pakistan after its latest U-turn, admitting nearly three months after the Mumbai siege that some ‘elements’ in Pakistan did have a role in perpetrating the dastardly crime in India’s financial capital. The statements by Indian officials that it is a ‘positive’ development cannot be seen as anything other than diplomatic nicety or taking a politically correct stand.

The king and his knight …… the saga continues

Ganeesha David

Mahela JayawardeneThis piece was somehow never released ….. the time has come to do so. There was this yarn spun a while back about two friends and their involuntary adversity with each other. The narration, 'a tale of two friends' was stalled almost mid-sentence as the duo’s journey had only just begun. Now, an attempt to rekindle! The gentlemen in question reign in the pinnacle of fame; captain and vice-captain of the Sri Lankan cricket team. The story captured Mahela Jayawardena’s and Kumar Sangakkara’s rise to the top and how they became unintentional rivals to command.

DreamHotel CrewGetTogethe

Dream Hotel Crew Get Together

Kumar Sangakkara

Sri Lankan Author Claims He Predicted US Financial Meltdown

A new book by a Sri Lankan author-- titled 'Indispensable Bad Debt'-- points out that if the government and the Federal Reserve Board had realized that the current economic crisis stemmed from the failure of bridging the economic system gap, they could have invented better monetary and fiscal policy tools to revive the bridging mechanism to stop the financial meltdown. The New York-based author, Hema Senanayake, says that as far back as December 2007, he wrote to Clete Willems, the chief of staff of Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, predicting that most likely Citibank, the largest bank in deposits, would collapse. "I categorially said that Wall Street will not be able to save it," Senanayake told a gathering of diplomats and UN staffers during the launching of his book.