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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2399

Monthly archive

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Bangladesh observes 39th Independence Day amid calls for unity and peaceful progress

M.A. Kader-Asian Tribune Correspondent in Bangladesh

Bangladesh on Thursday observed its 39th anniversary of independence amid calls for unity and peaceful progress. The traditional Independence Day parade was cancelled this year in the wake of the border guard Bangladesh rifles (BDR) mutiny that left 72 people killed including 52 army officers. But the day was greeted with a 31-gun salute at Tejgaon old airport in Dhaka. President Zillur Rahman, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the leader of the opposition in parliament Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) chiarperson Begum Khaleda Zia placed wreaths at the National Mausoleum, Savar in Dhaka at dawn for the freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives for the independence of Bangladesh.

Relevance of Bhagat Singh in modern India

By Shobha Shukla

The Kalam Vichar Manch (thinkers’ association) recently organized a thought provoking seminar to commemorate the death anniversary of freedom fighter Shaheed Bhagat Singh, who was ‘hanged to death’ on 23 March 1931. On this occasion, noted historian Dr. Irfan Habib spoke on the relevance of Bhagat Singh in the present times. It was a real treat to hear the renowned professor dwell on the various facets of the personality of the great revolutionary, in his characteristic style.

Thailand urged to help combat terrorism in the region

Bogollagama with Vejjajiva Sri Lanka urged Thailand take appropriate measures to counter terrorism that might spill over to the region and beyond following the military defeat of the LTTE in Sri Lanka received strong support from Thailand today. Also Sri lankan Foreign Minister requested Thailand to keep close eyes on movement of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to prevent them from using the kingdom as launching pad against Colombo. Thailand's Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said that he appreciated Sri Lanka's concerns about attempts by terrorists to operate in the region and reaffirmed that Thailand will not allow anybody to use the country to destabilise friends among whom Sri Lanka was viewed as a close friend with long-standing cultural and religious ties.

United States not clear if LTTE needs be part of peace talks in Sri Lanka

Daya Gamage – US National Correspondent Asian Tribune

Gordon DuguidThe United States was shown vacillating whether Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger rebel outfit should be part of any future political deliberations to find solutions to national issues facing all ethnic communities. This vacillation was clearly manifested when acting deputy spokesman for the U.S. State Department on Wednesday refused to neither reject nor accept if the Tamil Tiger out fit’s participation would bring tangible results to bring a political solution to Sri Lanka’s multifaceted problems.

Nizam-e-Adal in Swat found new supporters in form of local lawyers

By Farzana Shah - Asian Tribune Correspondent in Pakistan.

Be it to save there own skin or be it to make newly implemented Nizam-e-Adal Regulations adhered in Swat, whatever is the case, peace deal and Nizam-e-Adal regulations have found very brawny support; from local lawyers, this time. Swat Bar Association lawyers held a protest and rally in favor of implementation of Nizam-e-Adal in valley. This has been a surprising development by some corner of civil society and intelligentsia as lawyers were considered a direct victim of newly implemented justice system.

Disarm or Perish – UN Security Council tells the Tamil Tigers

Disarm or Perish, was what the UN Security Council told the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam at the conclusion of an interactive discussion. At the discussion held on Thursday, Under Secretary General Sir John Holmes and H.M.G.S. Palihakkara, Sri Lanka Ambassador to UN talked to members of the Security Council concerning the plight of the civilians who are held by LTTE as human shield. At a seminar discussion with Council members, they discussed assistance being provided to the civilians held by the LTTE in safe zone area and on the welfare facilities to the IDPs who managed to escape from the stranglehold of the Tigers. The meeting was described as an 'interactive' one held outside the Security Council’s formal structures as Sri Lanka is not on Security Council agenda and the LTTE should not be given any legitimacy of Council’s consideration.

More drone attacks in planning. Is Islamabad in a fix?

An analysis by Farzana Shah - Asian Tribune Correspondent in Pakistan

"Drone attacks on Baluchistan will be thwarted with full tenacity and valor", Said Shahid Hussain Bhutto, Federal Minister for youth affairs," Drone attacks on FATA are proving lethal for government’s intent to protect civilian lives." He added. This is not first time when a federal minister from PPP government showed irritation over ever growing CIA drone attacks from Afghanistan into Pakistan. Earlier foreign affair minister Shah Mehmood Quraishi and minister for information Qamar uz Zaman Qaira also expressed their concerns over these drone attacks on many occasions.

US Senator Lugar, Secretary Clinton stress non-combatant civilian

Daya Gamage – US National Correspondent Asian Tribune

Jaliya with HillaryUnited States Senator Richard Lugar the Ranking (Republican Party) Member of the Foreign Relations Committee and former chairman of the same committee when Republicans had a majority in the Senate was concerned about the safety of the non-combatant civilians in Sri Lanka’s battle zone in the north and their departure from the zone to safety when Sri Lanka’s ambassador to U.S. Jaliya Wickramasuriya called on him to make representations about the situation in Sri Lanka this week.

Democratic rights will be restored soon: President Rajapaksa assures 11 minority political parties last night

By Ravi Ladduwahetty in Colombo

President Mahinda Rajapaksa last night assured eleven minority political parties that their democratic rights will be restored soon. In wide ranging discussions at a meeting which commenced at 6.30 pm and lasted over two and a half hours, President Rajapaksa had made this assurance following a request from the minorities as to whether Local Government elections could be held in the Vanni District to which the President had assured that he will respond to the request following his consultations with the Commanders of the Security Forces.

Strong, stable, democratic India with global interests enhance international Security system says United States

Daya Gamage – US National Correspondent Asian Tribune

At a time it is construed here in Washington by political pundits and analysts that the new Obama administration is more eager to have closer relationship with China than with India because of secretary of state Clinton chose to make her first overseas visit to China skipping India the administration has spelled out its policy toward this South Asian giant through one of its senior state department official this week. Addressing a major foreign policy caucus at Washington-based The Brookings Institute March 23 James B. Steinberg Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs disclosed the Obama Administration’s India Policy in saying: "The central question facing India in the coming years is how India defines its greatness as it takes an increasingly prominent role in global affairs."

Iran Will Command The Respect Of America, NATO And The IC Nations

By L. Jayasooriya

The nations against Iran have never talked to Iran. They have only talked down at Iran. When President Dr. Ahmadeenjaad was asked whether he would talk to President Obama he replied he would as long as it is based on mutual respect but the offer of talks from President Obama came with a threat probably on the advice of the President’s Republican advisors. There has never been anything to talk about in the first place.

Sri Lankan Forces do not target civilians in 'no fire zone' clarifies Sri Lankan Foreign Minister

In a telephone conversation, Sri Lanka Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama has categorically stated that the Sri Lankan security forces do not direct any attacks on the Government declared no-fire zone along the Mullaitivu coast, notwithstanding the constant artillery barrage launched at the military by the LTTE. He said that the security forces themselves suffered casualties by not returning fire, precisely in order to avoid causing casualties among civilians who are being held hostage by the LTTE in this area. The Minister explained this position to his Danish counterpart Per Stig Moller, who telephoned him yesterday (25 March 2009) and discussed current developments in Sri Lanka, with particular reference to the humanitarian situation in the North.

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R.Sampanthan at the press conference

Jaliya Wickramasuriya with Hillary Clinton