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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2526

Monthly archive

President Asif Ali Zardari

Bangladesh Finance minister backs public-private crisis-fund to overcome current difficulties

M.A. Kader- Asian Tribune Correspondent in Bangladesh

Finance minister AMA Muhith on Saturday supported the idea of creating a 'recession fund', with contributions from government and the private sector, where businesses could get soft loans to overcome the present difficulties. The finance minister was addressing at the start of a two-day conference, titled 'Development with Equity and Justice: Immediate Tasks for the Newly Elected Government' and organised by the Centre for Policy Dialogue in Dhaka. On the much publicised demands for cash incentives by businesses facing global recession fallout, Muhith said it would be unrealistic to expect the government to just dole out money.

Nadesan: Leading the Architects of Sandcastles towards the Beach

Hemantha Abeywardena writes from London…..

Mr B Nadesan, the political head of the LTTE, did embark upon the most difficult task of his career last week – contradicting everything he had said a few weeks ago - while displaying an essential trait of the Tamil Tigers – the absence of a trace of remorse for doing so. He begged of the international community to broker a ceasefire and emphasized the plea by punctuating it with incompatible adjectives such as "loud and clear." The outcome, as usual, was a foregone conclusion; the appeal landed on deaf ears. The intended audience have had enough of these monologues.

President Zardari addressed to Parliament: Hinted major steps for Pakistan’s future

On beginning of 2nd constitutional year of parliament in Pakistan, President Asif Ali Zardari hinted major steps to be taken for the progress and development of the country in his annual address to joint session to parliament. President’s speech covered all major areas of concern and recommended some steps in each area. In a comprehensive address to the joint house he pointed some immediate steps to be taken to bring the country out of the political and economical crisis and recommended some steps as long term policy.

Occupied by Extremism,

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

The LTTE would have us believe that civilian Tamils crowded into the far from safe ‘safe zone’ are there voluntarily, eager to be at the side of the Sun God in his hour of twilight. Tiger political chief Nadesan takes umbrage at the term ‘trapped civilians’: "it is not appropriate to use the word ‘trapped’… They are not trapped; they are still struggling to get their life back in their land with dignity" (Interview with the CNN – 22.3.2009).The Rajapakse administration would have us believe that despite the intensity of fighting there are no civilian casualties (except the ones killed by the LTTE). Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse is incensed when queried about civilian casualties: "If you want to believe me, believe me, no civilian casualties."

Bangladesh ruling party Awami League forms committee to amend its constitution

M.A. Kader-Asian Tribune Correspondent in Bangladesh

The ruling party Awami League of Bangladesh on Saturday formed a committee headed by the party chief Sheikh Hasina in a bid to amend the party constitution to fulfill the conditions of the Election Commission to be registered as political party. The decision came out from the Awami League Central Working Committee (ALCWC) meeting held at its party office this evening in Dhaka, party sources said.

Coalition partner in the government stages demonstration against its ally in Nepal

Kosh Raj Koirala – Asian Tribune Correspondent in Nepal

The CPN-UML, a major coalition partner in the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)-led government, staged demonstration in various parts of the country including in Kathmandu against the killing of its cadre allegedly by the Maoists. The cadres of two communist parties and allies in the government formed after Constituent Assembly election in April last year briefly engaged in sporadic clashes in Butwal, a small town in southern part of the country where the Maoist-affiliated Young Communist League (YCL) activists had shot dead UML cadre, Prachanda Thaiba, on Thursday night.

PMK, AIADMK seal poll pact, Cong, DMK decide on seat sharing

By M Rama Rao, India Editor, Asian Tribune.

Ramados with JayalalithaaAs expected the Pattali Makkal Katchi- (PMK), has moved into the AIADMK fold and has been immediately 'rewarded' with six Lok Sabha seats in Tamilnadu and the lone seat from Puducherry. Jaya Amma, as Jayalalithaa Jayaram the supremo of AIADMK is known, has also promised another Rajya Sabha term to PMK heir apparent Ambumani Ramdoss, whose present term ends next year.Prime Minister told him that he would forward their resignation letters to the President with 'a heavy heart'. This is not the first time that an ally of the Congress has quit the ruling front, UPA. Already Rashtriya Janata Dal led by Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav and Lok Jansakti Party led by Chemicals Minister Ram Vilas Paswan have parted the company of the Congress in Bihar. The split came over RJD-LJP decision to leave aside only three seats for the Congress in the state.

Will Obama’s new Plan work in Afghan -Pak?

By Asian Tribune Correspondent, Farzana Shah, From Pakistan

On March 27th US President Barak Obama announced new plan for Afghanistan and Pakistan after a lengthy consultation with members of his cabinet, military commanders, department of defense and representatives of Afghanistan and Pakistani governments. "It has been more than seven years since the Taliban was removed from power, yet war rages on, and insurgents control parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan." Said Mr. Obama in his opening statement What is new in this plan? How applicable it is? Can US/NATO win in Afghanistan and region with this new plan? It is worth to dig little into this plan before analyzing all possible outcomes of this plan for region in general and for Pakistan in particular.

Nepal PM left for Europe visit

Kosh Raj Koirala – Asian Tribune Correspondent in Nepal

Nepal's Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Saturday afternoon left for a week-long visit to Norway and Finland. The PM left for Norway at 5 pm by a special flight leading a 19-member government delegation. He is scheduled to come back home on April 4. PM Dahal is scheduled to meet his counterparts, government officials and business leaders in Norway and Finland. An agreement on cooperation is expected to be signed between Norway and Nepal during the visit.

Ministry of Education to Continue Successful USAID Program for Training Unemployed Youth

On March 20 the Ministry of Education announced it will provide workforce readiness training to thousands of Sri Lankan youth, thanks to funding from the Asian Development Bank. The Accelerated Skills Acquisition Program, a program started with funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), will provide the training using a specialized curriculum that targets unemployed youth, ages 15 – 25. High unemployment rates for youth who do not enter university continue to be a national concern. To better prepare young people to find jobs and be successful in their careers, the Ministry of Education considered a wide range of job skills programs, finally selecting the USAID-funded ASAP.

Chairman Lalith Kotalawela, 14 suspects in Golden Key case refused bail: Further remanded till April 23

By Ravi Ladduwahetty- Sri Lanka Editor- Asian Tribune

Mount Lavinia Chief Magistrate and Additional District Judge Harsha Setunga has refused applications for bail in respect of 15 suspects who had been remanded in connection with the Golden Key Credit Card alleged fraud and remanded them till April 23. The Judge reserved the order in respect of the bail application of Chairman Lalith Kotelawala for April 23. The Judge also directed Prison authorities to produce the suspects on April 8 to extend their remand orders.

Ramados with Jayalalithaa

V. Anandasangaree

China And Russia: Please tell us how we can thank you

Comments by L. Jayasooriya

We are overwhelmed by the dramatic way you came to our rescue from the IC nations manipulating the UN to carve up this country. We are so overwhelmed that we do not know how even to begin to thank you. Does it not make you sick to hear us being told everyday that we should hold a ceasefire to enable the Tamil civilians to escape from the clutches of the LTTE that is holding them as a human shield? Have you not noticed the blatant incongruity in the calls for any form of devolution of powers to the LTTE at this juncture in the middle of the tragedy of the innocent Tamil civilians? That also implies the IC nations maintain that the LTTE represents the Tamil people.

Market gains by heavy treading on JKH

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

Acuity - the Stock Brokering arm of HNB and DFCC in their weekly review indicated that Colombo bourse ended higher for the week led mainly by top listed blue chip counter JKH. The week was dominated by large transactions on selected counters, boosting up the overall trading activity with JKH grabbing limelight during the week. On Friday the All Share Price Index (ASPI) closed at 1648.4 points up modestly 1.6% compared to last week, while the Milanka Price Index (MPI) gained by 5.1% to close the week at 1757.7 points.

End of Governor's Rule in Punjab: When?

By Farzana Shah - Asian Tribune Correspondent in Pakistan.

President ZardariPresident Asif Ali Zardari did much awaited address to parliament on 28th March in a joint session of national assembly here in Islamabad. It was speculated that he will clear many doubts regarding political and economical crisis. Major political crisis emerged in the country after imposition of governor’s rule in Punjab. President Zardari, though made his intent to clear about revoking governor’s rule, but at the same time declined to give a clear indication about time period to end the Governor’s rule in Punjab.

Washington Commentary: The Union Remains Imperfect

By Ernest Corea

A question on race at President Obama’s most recent press conference held on March 24 stood out clearly, in the midst of a cascade of questions on the current economic recession, with two questions on foreign policy. The question on race was, of course, personal to Obama. He ran for election as a Democratic Party candidate who happens to be black, rather than as a black candidate, unlike, for instance, Rev. Al Sharpton or Rev Jesse Jackson who tried unsuccessfully for the party nomination before him. Obama gave a short answer that did not lend itself to any follow-up questions.