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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2961

Monthly archive

"Bring Back the Child" - National Campaign against the recruitment of child soldiers

The President of Sri Lanka and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) launched on Thursday a national campaign to prevent child recruitment, and to promote the release of all recruited children. The campaign, "Bring Back the Child", targets armed groups, vulnerable communities and the children affected. The campaign’s call for child recruitment to stop goes hand in hand with the provision of reintegration and rehabilitation services for children who are released. "Bring back the Child" will air on television, radio and through newspapers, billboards and posters across the country, with a focus on the north and east, and in the country’s three languages – Sinhalese, Tamil and English.

Exposition of the Sacred Tooth Relic, to herald in peace

An exposition of the Sacred Tooth Relic of the Lord Buddha will be held from 6 to 16 March 2009, to herald in a new era of peace and unity in Sri Lanka. The exposition is held to invoke the blessings of the sacred relic on the entire population of Sri Lanka, to live in peace and harmony and to shed the differences that have held back the true potential of the island nation, for nearly three decades. The decision to hold an exposition of the Sacred Tooth Relic is based on advice given to Diyawadana Nilame, Pradeep Nilanga Dela, by the Mahanayake Theras of the Malwatte and Asgiriya Chapters, together making up the three custodians of the Sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha.

Has the 21stCentury Overtaken Rajiv Gandhi? - CBK on elite panel discussion

Chandrika Kumaratunga former President of Sri Lanka attended launch of the recent book ‘A Time of Transition’ by Mani Shankar Iyer. Sri Lanka’s former Head of State was later on a TV panel which debated the topic 'Has the 21stCentury Overtaken Rajiv Gandhi?’ Some of the other distinguished persons in the group were former Foreign Minister of Pakistan Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri, BJP leader Arun Jaitley, Sitaram Yechury General Secretary of the CPI, Dr. Shashi Tharoor former UN under Secretary and the Editor in Chief of the Indian Express Shekhar Gupta. NDTV’s Burkha Dutt moderated the discussion.

Sri Lankan Americans For Obama Challenge Ceasefire Request

Dr Lal Fernando, Chairman of the ''Sri Lankan-Americans for President Obama'', has written a letter to Senator Robert Casey, Jr., Chairman of the Foreign Relations Sub Committee on South Asia, appraising him of the recent developments in Sri Lanka. "We ask you to accept a simple fact: why should a small country be asked to negotiate with an accepted terrorist group when we in the USA and the rest of the large democracies, like India, UK, EU, and Australia refuse to negotiate with the terrorist groups they are fighting against."

Climate Change Threatens Right To Housing in Maldives, says UN expert

Rising sea levels and coastal erosion, both wrought by climate change, threaten the viability of Maldives, but overcrowding and other impacts are already felt by the island nation’s 300,000 people, according to a United Nations independent expert. After an eight-day visit to country, Raquel Rolnik, Special Rapporteur on adequate housing, said that "Maldives and its Atolls, because of their unique geological and topographic aspects and their fragile and delicate environmental system, are already experiencing the impacts of climate change." This jeopardizes the survival of the nation, which could be inundated by water, but more immediately, it jeopardizes the right to housing due to the scarcity of land.

Sri Lanka President reiterates Government’s cautious approach to avoid civilian casualties

Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa reiterated his Government’s consistent stand in preventing collateral damage being caused to civilians in the final phase of the current military operations to defeat terrorism in the country. He made this observation during a courtesy call on him yesterday, 26 February, by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Nepal, Upendra Yadav in Colombo. Responding to a query as to the expected time-frame for the present military conflict to end, the President explained that the security forces are adopting a cautious approach in pursuing their operations against the terrorists in order to avoid causing civilian casualties. The visiting Foreign Minister is in Sri Lanka to attend the 31st Session of the SAARC Council of Ministers which will be inaugurated today, by President Rajapaksa.

U.N. Flunking on Gender Empowerment, Women Say

By Thalif Deen, Inter Press Service

The United Nations is coming under heavy fire for the lack of vibrant leadership and the continued absence of adequate structures to advance the long-touted cause of gender empowerment worldwide. The criticisms come on the eve of a crucial two-week session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), Mar. 2-13, which will take stock of the successes and failures in implementing commitments made at the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing.

Avoid Human Tragedy, Declare Ceasefire - Urges Indian Union Muslim League

By K.T.Rajasingham

Khader MohideenTo avoid a human tragedy, declare ceasefire, appeals Indian Union Muslim League. As the terrorist outfit Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam are holding innocent Tamil civilians as human shield at gunpoint, Sri Lanka Government should consider seriously a ceasefire to save the innocent Tamil civilians, it was urged. The Indian Union Muslim League said that LTTE should immediately lay downs their arms and surrender to safeguard the civilians. "We are appealing on a humanitarian grounds to the Government of Sri Lanka, because the innocent Tamil civilians trapped in the war zone have to be saved" said Professor K.M. Khader Mohideen, Member of the Indian Parliament.

Re-double our efforts to combat the menace of terrorism individually and collectively – Sri Lanka President

We, in the region of South Asia, today face several common challenges. Common challenges require collective responses. Terrorism is such a challenge and it requires our immediate and united attention due to the impact it has on all of us, in one way or another" said President Mahinda Rajapaksa addressing the SAARC Foreign Ministers Conference in Colombo today. President Rajapaksa in his address to the SAARC Foreign Ministers in Colombo, today - 27 February Contunued to say, "Our societies bear the brunt of the evil force of terrorism. But, we cannot and should not allow even a single citizen of South Asia to suffer as a result of the brutal violence un-leashed by terrorists."

France expresses interest to provide humanitarian assistance

During a telephone conversation with Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama on Thursday, French Foreign Minister Dr. Bernard Kouchner expressed his happiness at the conflict in the North of Sri Lanka coming to a conclusion and inquired on how best humanitarian assistance could be extended by France. He also expressed concerns at the civilians being held hostage in the conflict area.

US Government and Sri Lanka Create First Energy Efficient Lighting Center in South Asia

Sri Lanka will host the first energy efficient lighting "Center of Excellence" in South Asia, thanks to funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The Regional Center for Energy Efficient Lighting (RCEEL) will serve as a research hub to develop new lighting technology to be used in Sri Lanka and South Asia. Rebecca Cohn, USAID Mission Director, and Dr. Krishan Deheragoda, Chairman of the Sustainable Energy Authority (SEA) of the Government of Sri Lanka, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to launch the project on Tuesday, February 24, 2009. RCEEL is the first in a series of energy efficiency " Centers of Excellence" to be established in countries across South Asia.

CBK on the TV panel discussion

K.M. Khader Mohideen

A section of the audience

Has SAARC Forgotten Palestine

By Fadi Zahran in West Bank

At this moment when SAARC Foreign Ministers are meeting in Colombo this would be the ideal opportunity to draw their attention to the question of the disposition of SAARC towards Palestine. It is true that SAARC is an association for regional cooperation but unfortunately it appeared to have set aside an important international issue like Palestine on technical grounds. SAARC represents 1.5 billion people from 8 countries and if China is admitted it would be 2.5 billion. There is no doubt that vast majority of peoples from these countries are concerned about the situation in Palestine specially after Gaza invasion.