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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2792

Monthly archive

KP then and now

UN Refuses To Reveal Location Of Staffers & Families Caught In Crossfire

The United Nations says that for security reasons it will not reveal the names of UN staffers-- both local and international-- or their families caught in the crossfire between the LTTE and the Sri Lankan military forces in the ongoing battle in the north. Fielding a series of questions on Sri Lanka, UN Associate Spokesman Farhan Haq formally clarified the UN position.

Nepal starts nationwide school enrollment campaign

Kosh Raj Koirala – Asian Tribune Correspondent in Nepal

Keeping in view of bringing all children to schools, Nepal Government has started a three-week long school enrollment campaign starting Wednesday. The government has set a slogan—Hopes of New Nepal, Free of cost, qualitative and inclusive education to all—to make the nationwide enrollment campaign started in new academic session a success. Officials at Department of Education (DoE) said they have directed all regional and district education offices to form a separate committee comprising representatives of guardians to effectively organize the campaign.

SL trade delegates promote business in Libya

By Quintus Perera - Asian Tribune

Presidential Trade Delegation to Libya was accompanied by Sri Lankan business leaders led by Nawaz Rajabdeen, Coordinator for National Chambers and they have discussed about business potential in Libya with Moosa Mahamed Kosa, Libyan Foreign Minister. Mr Rajabdeen said that during the discussions Libyan Foreign Minister has informed the Sri Lankan business leaders that beside the export of Tea to Libya their are plenty of opportunities in the service sector, in health, IT sector and educational sector. He said that Libyan people are very hospitable and

Bangladesh‘s local govt. body upazia council chairmen warns to declare MPs unwanted at their councils

M.A. Kader-Asian Tribune Correspondent in Bangladesh

Bangladesh Upazila Parishad (Council), a tier of local government chairmen on Wednesday warned to declare local Member s of Parliament (MPs) "persona non grata" if the chairmen’s authority is not restored to the local councils in line with a 2008 ordinance passed by the past caretaker government. The chairmen, who were elected in direction election, at a press conference in Dhaka yesterday demanded cancellation of the much-debated Upazila Parishad Act 2009, passed by the parliament on April 6, which restored powers of MPs over the councils and made it mandatory for chairmen to accept MP recommendations as ex-officio advisers to the country's 481 upazila parishad.

ENDLF urged for an immediate permanent Ceasefire and cessation of hostilities

Eelam National Democratic Liberation Front (ENDLF) has urged for permanent ceasefire and cessation of hostilities between the Sri Lankan Armed Forces and the LTTE, followed by the rehabilitation of the over 250,000 Tamil civilians internally displaced in Vanni itself or in other areas of Northern Sri Lanka under the supervision of India or the UNHCR and other international agencies, and peace talks headed by India with the participation of a unified Eelam Tamil leadership. In the meeting with MK Narayanan Chennai based ENDLF has insisted on a Peace talks between the Sri Lankan Government and a unified Eelam Tamil leadership chaired by India to be concluded within a fixed time frame to find a final settlement of the Tamil problem in Sri Lanka.

16 killed in suicide attack in NWFP including 10 police men

By Farzana Shah Asian Tribune Correspondent in Pakistan

16 people including 10 police men were killed in a suicide attack on a check post in Charsadda NWFP. Attack took place at Harichand check post in Tangi area of Charsadda in which a police inspector Jahangir Khan and DSP Buhadar got killed along with other 13 people and one suicide bomber. According to report inspector Jhangir was on hit list of terrorists as he foiled an attempt of suicide bomb on public meeting of Skhinder Sher Pao, son of former interior minister Aftab Sher Pao, last month by shooting down suicide bomber before he could detonate his explosive belt.

Nepal’s House resumes after two weeks

Kosh Raj Koirala – Asian Tribune Correspondent in Nepal

The meeting of the parliament stalled for two weeks resumed on Wednesday following Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s assurances to meet the demands of the main opposition party Nepali Congress and the second largest ally in the government, CPN-UML. The agitating parties let the House enter into its regular business on Wednesday after the Prime Minister Dahal reiterated his commitment to end culture of impunity and doing away with the Maoist culture of taking unilateral decisions on the issues of national importance. The ongoing winter session of House had failed to enter into its formal business even as the House was first called for March 29.

Bangladesh PM to announce a combined financial package worth Tk 3000 crore on April 22

M.A. Kader-Asian Tribune Correspondent in Bangladesh

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will announce a 'combined financial package' for recession-hit sectors before she tours Saudi Arabia on April 22, the finance minister AMA Muhith said Wednesday. "The special package is almost at the final stages. It will be announced before Sheikh Hasina's Saudi tour," finance minister told reporters after a meeting with the representatives of the Association of Development Agencies Bangladesh (ADAB) at the Secretariat. While the commerce minister Faruk Khan hinted that the bailout package could be worth Tk 2500-3000 crore (one crore= BDT 10 million).

World Bank urges Nepal to make her development strategies realistic

Kosh Raj Koirala – Asian Tribune Correspondent in Nepal

The World Bank on Wednesday urged Nepal to make her development strategies more realistic as the targets set by the National Development Strategy Paper (NDSP) are ambititious. Addressing an interaction organized in Kathmandu, the World Bank’s Nepal representative, Susan Goldmark, said that the economic growth targets in the NDSP have failed to recognize ground realities. She said that the targets set in the NDSP are difficult to attain as the strategy paper seems to have ignored the impact that the global financial meltdown might have on the already ailing domestic economy.

US troops could stay in Mosul past deadline

By Wajid Ali Syed - Washington Correspondent

US soldiers could remain in Mosul, Iraq, past June 30 - when Iraqi forces are scheduled to assume full security responsibilities for the entire country, said Army Col. Gary Volesky, commander of the 1st Cavalry Division's 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, in a video news conference from Iraq. He, however, said that the Iraqi government will make that determination. "We are conducting an assessment right now with our Iraqi counterparts to determine what the way ahead is for security in Mosul," Col. Volesky said. "If the Iraqi government believes we should stay in Mosul to continue the security progress, we'll support our Iraqi counterparts past 30 June."

Diplomatic furore in Colombo: US Ambassador Robert Blake attempts escape mechanism for LTTE through UN, Norway

By Ravi Ladduwahetty – Sri Lanka Editor – Asian Tribune

Ambassador BlakeTop international diplomatic source revealed that the LTTE has established contact with the United States of America through Norwegian facilitation to get safe passage for the LTTE Leaders by way of a surrender, through the United Nations. The surrender of the LTTE through the United Nations has been a move which has been suggested by the current LTTE leadership and has been endorsed by Robert Blake, United States Ambassador in Sri Lanka, who has been actively persuading the Government of Sri Lanka to allow the LTTE Leadership and cadres to obtain safe passage to another country using the good offices of the United Nations. It now appears that Ambassador Blake is now only interested in creating a safe passage for Tiger Supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran, his son Charles Anthony and his most vicious intelligence operative Pottu Amman and other senior leaders who are collectively wanted for genocide and other crimes against humanity in Sri Lanka.

Two-Day Truce Insufficient To Alleviate Sufferings In Sri Lanka - Says UN Officials

At the end of a two-day humanitarian pause in Sri Lanka’s military offensive against separatist rebel Tamil forces, the head United Nations humanitarian official said the ceasefire was inadequate in easing the plight of more than 100,000 civilians caught up in the conflict. "It’s clear that 48 hours was not long enough to allow us to get in significant amounts of aid, or indeed to allow visits by humanitarian workers to the area," Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes told reporters in New York, warning of the possibility of a “blood bath” on the beaches of the South Asian island nation. "Unfortunately, it is also clear that not only did this not allow more civilians to get out, there seemed to be less civilians getting out during the pause than before."

Washington Commentary: Tracks to New Directions in US-Cuba Policy Open in Both Countries

By Ernest Corea, - Formerly Sri Lanka’s ambassador to Cuba

A glimmer of hope that sanity could determine official attitudes towards Cuba flashed over Washington this week when the Obama Administration took some initial steps towards reshaping the US Government’s Cuba policy. The glimmer was slight, and the steps have already been described as "very small." Yet, they signaled the beginning of what could be a process that eventually changes the US Cuban relationship while also changing perceptions of America among its closest neighbors. How President Obama is received at the forthcoming fifth Summit of the Americas (April 17-19 in Trinidad and Tobago) will no doubt influence the next phases of that process.

President Mahindha Rajapaksa visits Kilinochchi

President Mahinda President Mahindha Rajapaksha made a visit to Kilinochchi today and attended simple ceremony organized by the Sri Lanka Army. He is the first Head of State to visit Kilinochchi after 30 years of LTTE war. In Kilinochchi, Army officials who received Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is also the supreme Commander of the armed Forces, handed over a report on the war situation.

Prabhakaran May Not Go On Trial

Comment by L. Jayasooriya

Whether Prabakaran lives to go on trial or not will be decided by the government troops now closing in on him. The killing of innocent villagers a few days ago in the remote areas of Uwa in retaliation for the liquidation of a terror group in the jungle that has been systematically killing innocent civilians in these remote areas for many years may prompt the government troops to kill Prabakaran even if it became possible to catch him alive.

Subtle ways of Indian propagandists

By Asif Haroon Raja

One of the most read English newspaper of Pakistan, "The News", controlled from Karachi projects mainly the views of liberals and so-called enlightened moderates. The bearded Muzaffar Iqbal is one of the lucky ones to find space in this prestigious paper. Articles of Masooda Bano are published under sub-heading ‘dissenting note’. Writers like me who at times show mirror to the liberal brigade cannot think of getting even one article published particularly after Omar Qureshi took over the charge of editorial wing in mid-2006.

US Ambassador Robert Blake

Ernest Corea