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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2555

Monthly archive

Duleep Mendis

Luxury coach entry to relieve Colombo city congestion

Ravi Ladduwahetty reporting from Sri Lanka

In a flagship project aimed at alleviating traffic congestion in the Colombo city, visitors to Colombo will have the option of parking their cars in a suburb and be brought to the city via luxury coach and be able to return in the same mode. The service which has been themed: "Park and Ride" which will be launched at Angulana Junction at Katubedda on March 12 by Transport Minister Dallas Alahhapperuma. The first service will commence on March 16.

Youth refuse to be 'targeted' by the tobacco industry

By Bobby Ramakant

More than 80% of the tobacco use begins before the age of 18 years. The tobacco industry loses more than 5.4 million of its best customers every year as they die of causes attributed to tobacco use. Documents recovered from the tobacco industry reveal that the tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship campaigns are targeted to encourage young people and women to begin tobacco use. Youth refuse to be targeted anymore by the tobacco industry, was the take-home message from the 2nd Global Youth Meet (GYM) held in the lead up to the 14th World Conference on Tobacco or Health (WCTOH), in Mumbai, India (6-7 March 2009). The GYM 2009 is being organized by Health-Related Information Dissemination Amongst Youth (HRIDAY) and Salaam Bombay Foundation.

Sri Lanka’s Head-of-States commissions his son in the Navy

by Ruwan Weerakoon

Acting Sub Lieutenant Yoshitha RajapaksaCreating another chapter in Sri Lankan naval history, the island’s President and Commander-in-Chief of its armed forces Mahinda Rajapaksa commissioned his own son Yoshitha Rajapaksa today, March 7, during a glittering and grand passing out parade at the Trincomalee Maritime Academy. Upon the President and First lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa’s arrival at the base, they were welcomed by Navy Commander Vice Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda and later the president was accompanied to the parade by Navy Commander Vice Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda Trincomalee Navy Base Commander Rear Admiral S.M.B. Weerasekare and parade was commanded by Lieutenant Commander H.N.S. Perera

Practising Fiscal Buoyancy in Worsening Economic Rapids

Hemantha Abeywardena writes from London…..

The unthinkable is no longer a figment of imagination of the sworn-pessimist: the Bank of England has cut its interest rate down to just 0.5% and implied the increase of money circulation, a coded-phrase for printing money – a colossal sum of £75 billion as a first step and a further £75 billion, sometime later. If the series of interest rate cuts that we experienced recently are placed on a bottom-hugging straight line, the next node is at 0% and there is no guarantee that it would not fall even below that – negative interest rates. This is a very freighting scenario, indeed; the Law of Diminishing Returns in its most ominous form, perhaps.

Lalith Kotelawala misguided by ownership of Seylan shares- officials

Ravi Ladduwahetty reporting from Sri Lanka

Lalith KotelawelaCeylinco Group Chairman Lalith Kotelawela, despite a public proclamation that he will sell his personal stake in Seylan Bank to redeem the Golden Key Credit depositors, cannot do it as his Seylan Bank personal stake is a mere 2%, a top official source told Asian Tribune last night. "How can he settle all the Golden Key depositors which amount to Rs. 26 billion with a 2% of stake which is miniscule compared with such a gargantuan liability ?", the source queried on a basis of anonymity while adding that Kotelawela must be under the notion that a certain large stake of the Seylan Bank which was under Employee Share Trusts were his personal property!

TMVP surrenders weapons

A Sri Lankan Tamil militant group which broke away from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam on 03 March 2004 surrendered its weapons to the government on Saturday, a spokesman from the group said. According to reports, some 250 weapons belonging to the Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP, meaning Tamil People's Liberation Tigers), were handed over to the Army Eastern Commander at a public function at Weber Stadium, Batticaloa, some 320 km east of the capital Colombo in the afternoon, TMVP spokesman Azad Moulana said. Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pullikal (TMVP) party, surrendered their arms through the party's Eastern Province Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan in the presence of its senior leaders.

Stocks drift further to the red zone

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

Acuity – the stock-brokering arm of HNB and DFCC in their weekly review indicated that stocks at the Colombo bourse suffered another week of losses as the week saw more disappointing news on corporate earnings. However burst of few large deals on the last trading day of the week boosted the turnover levels drastically. Week on Week (WoW) the All Share Price Index (ASPI) declined by 66.4 points or 3.9% to close at 1627.7 points, while Milanka Price Index (MPI) dropped by 98.6 points or 5.6% to 1675.3 points at Friday’s close.

Buddhists Understand Globalization As Ongoing Change

Shelton A. Gunaratne examines Buddhist interpretation

The Buddhist view of globalization is very different from what the contemporary Western scholars profess it to be. When the current debate on globalization began in the 1960s, the Western oligopoly of social science journals treated it as a new development. Heavily influenced by the works of sociologists like Max Weber and philosophers like Friedrich Hegel, the scholars who wrote to these journals and wrote ‘authoritative’ books were oblivious to the perspectives of Eastern thought or debunked them as metaphysics.

India is sending army medical team to Trincomalee

By M Rama Rao, India Editor, Asian Tribune

Ending weeks of dithering, India is airlifting next week an army medical unit to Trincomalee to supplement local medical aid to the ‘trapped’ civilians there. The decision comes a couple of days after the national poll body, the Election Commission of India, set the dates for Lok Sabha elections. The air-lifts pleases the Congress ally, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) no end as chief minister Muthavel Karunanidhi has been demanding some demonstrable action of going to the aid of ethnic Tamils. The Foreign Office, which works directly under the Congress senior and party’s trouble shooter, Pranab Mukherjee, is coordinating the deployment of medical team to the island in consultation with Colombo

Three Test cricketers yet in hospital: but out of danger- Duleep Mendis

Ravi Ladduwahetty reporting from Sri Lanka

Duleep MendisThree Sri Lankan Test cricketers- opening batsman Tharanga Paranavithana, back- to- back Double- Test Centurion Thilan Samaraweera and spin wizard Ajantha Mendis, injured in the March 3 Lahore bus shoot out, are yet at Colombo’s Nawaloka Hospital recuperating from surgery. These three players – Paranavithana, Samaraweera and Mendis are still in hospital recuperating from surgery where they had the shrapnel removed from their chest, thigh and back of the head respectively on Thursday but they are out of danger, Sri Lanka Cricket Chief Executive Officer Duleep Mendis told "Asian Tribune"

Sri Lankan Youth In Canada To Counter LTTE Propaganda

group of Sri Lankans in Canada have formed a new association to counter the LTTE propaganda. In a letter to the expatriate community, the newly-formed "Sri Lankan Youth from Toronto" says: "Our mission is to counteract the recent negative propaganda, by educating the Canadain media, politician and public in general about the true situation in Sri Lanka and the historical events leading up to the current state of affairs. At the moment our main objective is to counter the false propaganda that is being spread by the youth who have associated themselves with the LTTE's objectives here in Toronto and Canada, as this is causing great damage to Sri Lanka’s image in the West."

Father Commissioning the Son

The son paying obeisance to his parents

Lalith Kotelawela

The UN, World Leaders & Human Rights Groups forget that Tamil civilians are Fleeing LTTE Control !

By Shenali Waduge

So far close upon 40,000 civilians have fled to Government controlled areas. "Fleeing" Tamil Civilians clearly signals to the world that the LTTE has no right of place amongst the Tamil people or Sri Lankan society. Footage of these innocent men, women and children braving days of hardship, minus food and holding whatever possessions they could call their own were accepted with warmth by Sri Lanka’s armed forces – no one can deny the manner in which we viewed army, navy and air force personnel taking these people to safety, feeding and comforting them. What is strange is that very little appreciation was given to these armed force personnel by human rights groups who choose instead to harp upon an "unknown" and unverified number of civilians supposedly still in LTTE "territory".

Australia thanks Sri Lanka for facilitating safe return of Australian nationals

The Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Stephen Smith has thanked the Government of Sri Lanka for facilitating the safe return of 3 Australian members of the Sri Lanka national cricket team, which came under attack by terrorists in Lahore last Tuesday(3rd March 2009).The Minister conveyed the Australian Government's deep appreciation ,when he telephoned his Sri Lankan counterpart, Rohitha Bogollagama in Colombo today (7th March 2009).

Vanni: An Avoidable Tragedy

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

The War against the Tigers is necessary, because the nature and the deeds of the LTTE have made it unavoidable. But the humanitarian tragedy in the Vanni that, according to the UN, is assuming catastrophic proportions is neither unavoidable nor inevitable. True, if the Tigers permitted civilian Tamils to escape, this tragedy would not have happened. But the LTTE would not be the LTTE, if it acted responsibly, with moderation, in a civilised way. Moreover it is in the interests of the LTTE to keep the civilians trapped in the war zone for as long as possible. Vellupillai Pirapaharan needs human sacrifices to turn the final battle of the Fourth Eelam War into a Tamil epic, the psychological and political wellsprings of a future insurgency.