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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2785

Monthly archive

Sri Lanka Government deeply concerned over the plight of trapped civilians

The Government attaches the highest priority for the safety and welfare of the civilians, who are currently being held hostage by the LTTE in the narrow coastal strip in Mullaitivu. Thus, the military operations to free the entrapped civilians have been painstakingly slow, in order to avoid causing civilian casualties. Despite enormous logistical and other operational constraints, the Government has been sending an uninterrupted supply of food, medicine, fuel and other essential items for these civilians. Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama made these observations when the Representative of the UN Secretary General on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons, Prof. Walter Kaelin called on him at the Foreign Ministry on Friday.

Sri Lanka : Ban Ki-Moon Says Civilians Must Be Allowed To Leave Conflict Area

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is deeply distressed by continuing reports from the Vanni region of Sri Lanka that civilians are at extreme risk, with heavy casualties, and that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) are keeping civilians in a very small area of active conflict against their will. While some have been able to leave or escape, reliable reports indicate that the LTTE have prevented others from leaving, including by firing at them. Farhan Haq, Associate Spokesperson for UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said: "The Secretary-General calls upon the LTTE leadership to allow civilians to leave the conflict area of their own free will. The severe restrictions of the LTTE on their freedom of movement violate international law. The Secretary-General also deplores the forced recruitment of civilians, particularly children.

Dr Lester James Peiris, Father of Sri Lankan Cinema –celebrates 90th Birthday.

By T.K.Premadasa

The pioneer who dedicated his wide knowledge of cinematography for amelioration of cinema industry reaches 90th birthday on April 05, 2009. The inestimable contribution made by this great son of Sri Lanka to bring Sinhala cinema to the pinnacle of its glory is historical. At the time Indian film industry had the influence in Sri Lanka monopolizing their power of technology on production of Sri Lankan films, the cultural background was almost South Indian. Sri Lankan producers were inclined to produce films on commercial basis caused by the want of technical infrastructure. It was this young cameraman contemplated to exert his cinematic know how toward resilience of the film industry by his influence of productions depicting indigenous culture. He is the world acclaimed cinematographer Dr Lester James Peiris who established the global image of Sri Lanka in cinema industry.

500 foreign expedition members arrive Nepal to climb Mount Everest, others peaks

Kosh Raj Koirala – Asian Tribune Correspondent in Nepal

About 500 climbers belonging to various foreign expedition teams have arrived Nepal to scale snowy mountains including the highest peak in the world, the Mount Everest, during spring season. fficials at Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoTCA) said some 500 members of 49 foreign expedition teams have already left for their destinations. "It seems that the number of foreign mountain climbers will still go up this year," said Joint Secretary Purushottam Poudel, chief of Tourism Industry Division at the MoTCA.

Weells Meat Processing to Setup US$ 1 billion processing plant in Pamunugama

The Board of Investment of Sri Lanka (BOI) granted investment approval to Weells Meat Processing (Private) Limited to set up a US $ 1 billion processing plant in Pamunugama. Mr. Dhammika Perera, Chairman/Director General signed the agreement on behalf of the BOI and formally presented the BOI Certificate of Registration to the investor. A BOI Media Release said : “The Agreement with Weells Meat Processing (Private) Limited is for a project to process fish, meat and fruits for the export market. The project represents an investment of US$ 1,000,000 and is expected to provide 50 new employment opportunities.”

Proceedings initiated against judge for links with criminals

For the first time in the history of Pakistan, Supreme Judicial Council has initiated suo moto proceedings against Mohammad Bilal, a high court chief justice over allegations of involvement in murky activities including connections with the crime underworld. According to sources, Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Mohammad Bilal Khan against whom the proceedings are initiated, is in the knowledge of the SJC proceedings. The SJC is mandated to check misconduct, moral degradation and corruption in the higher echelon of the judiciary.

Ultimatum To Tigers To Free Civilians – United Nations

In a strongly worded statement read out by the UN Spokesperson Michelle Montas today, the UN Secretary-General again warned the LTTE leadership to allow civilians to leave the conflict area of their own free will’ adding that the ‘severe restrictions of the LTTE on freedom of movement violates international Law’. The former Secretary General of International Alert, and the outspoken Human Rights activist Dr. Kumar Rupasinghe accused Tigers of planning a humanitarian catastrophe and said that use of civilians as hostages is a grave crime against humanity.

Bangladesh govt. to check the controversial acts of Anticorruption commission in last two years

M.A Kader-Asian tribune Correspondent in Bangladesh

Bangladesh Commerce Minister Faruk Khan on Friday said the government will look into the controversial actions of the Anticorruption Commission (ACC) over the last two years. On the other hand in a separate talk the Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Barrister Shafique Ahmed, a day after the ACC chairman resigned, said the government would audit the 'unusual' spending over graft cases by the ACC in last two years. The ACC spent Tk 13 crore (130 million taka) on lawyers to run the cases against politicians in two years, which is unusual. So the government will audit the matter, the minister told reporters at his residence in Dhaka on the day.

BJP turns ultra populist, promises sops to every section, pledges to save 'Ram Sethu' and build Ram temple

By M Rama Rao, India Editor, Asian Tribune

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Friday turned to populist platform, returned to its Ram temple agenda though in passing and promised to save 'Ram Sethu'. In a 49-page manifesto, which has something on offer for every section from soldiers to farmers and from youth to women and middle classes, the party said it would be tough on matters national security. A tough anti-terror law and a thorough overhaul of Intelligence Bureau and Research and Analysis Wing and Intelligence Bureau are amongst the promises in the manifesto drafted by nuclear physics professor turned Hindutva ideologue Murali Manohar Joshi.

Pak authorities order investigation into girl’s flogging incident

By Farzana Shah-Asian Tribune Correspondent in Pakistan

As a video showing a man flogging a screaming woman in northwest Pakistan sent shockwaves across the country, the Pakistani authorities ordered an investigation Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry taking a suo motu notice of the incident has also ordered probe. An eight-member larger bench has been formed which will initiate hearing of the matter in question on April 6. The bench will be headed by CJP himself. According to a press release issued by the SC, the CJP ordered for the matter to be taken by the larger bench under Article 184 of the Constitution.

Tacit support from Pak army and ISI sustains Mehsud, al Qaeda, Kashmiri militants’

By M Rama Rao, India Editor, Asian Tribune

More and more experts are expressing doubts on the credit advanced by Baitullah Mehsud for the March 29 attack on Pakistan Police academy at Manawan outside Lahore. The latest to voice reservations is Texas based Stratfor though it grudgingly remarks that it is a good bet that the TTP was in fact involved in the Manawan attack. Pointing out that a little-known group, Fedayeen al-Islam (FI) also took responsibility for the attack, Stratfor experts Fred Burton and Scott Stewart said it is not clear at this point if the two claims of responsibility for the Manawan attack are indeed contradictory.

Militants flog teenage girl in Swat

17-year-old screaming, burqa-clad girl was whipped by militants in Swat for coming 'out of her house with another man who was not her husband', a two-minute video shot through a mobile phone showed. The video received by the media showed the girl facedown on the ground. Two men held her arms and feet while a third, a black-turbaned militant whipped her repeatedly. "Please stop it," the girl begged repeatedly. "Either kill me or stop it now." After 34 lashes, the punishment stopped and the wailing girl was led into a stone building. The spokesman for the banned militant organization Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Muslim Khan claims responsibility for flogging the girl. "She came out of her house with another guy who was not her husband, so we must punish her. There are boundaries you cannot cross," Muslim Khan said.

Unprecedented suffering leads to unprecedented spiritual growth, unshakable foundation of the Truth’.

By M Rama Rao, India Editor, Asian Tribune

The collection of the painted Easter Eggs.

Baba in Guruprasad, Poona


Plenty Of Justification : Blank Cheque For Pakistan

By Nazir - Syndicate Features

All through the cold war era and much beyond that the US was notorious for leaning on dictators while publicly rooting for democracy. When 9/11 made it conscious of the danger of terrorism it started crying hoarse against the scourge of terrorism. Yet it continues to gloss over the pernicious activities in what it itself calls the ‘safe havens’ for the terrorists situated inside Pakistan. The alleged American policy of carrot and stick for Pakistan has bags full of carrot and a token stick. That impression is not easy to erase. One is prepared to take a bet—that the complaints against Pakistan continuing to provide ‘safe havens’ to terrorist organisations would be heard again a year down the line and so will be empty threats of US stopping aid to Islamabad if it doesn’t eliminate the terrorist network on its soil.