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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2395

Monthly archive

H.L. de Silva

State Restructuring Commission draws flak from opposition, ruling parties

Kosh Raj Koirala – Asian Tribune Correspondent in Nepal

Two opposition parties—Nepali Congress (NC) and Tarai Madhes Democratic Party (TMDP)—and ruling coalition partner CPN-UML in the Nepal’s parliament have objected to the formation of State Restructuring Commission. The parties decided to protest the government decision to form the commission formed without forging consensus with parties as stated in Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and committed repeatedly by Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal to start a politics of consensus.

Bangladesh govt. at last serves notice to main opposition BNP chief Khaleda to vacate her cantonment house by 15 days

M.A. Kader-Asian Tribune Correspondent in Bangladesh

At last the Bangladesh government on Monday served notice to main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) chief Khaleda Zia, also widow of slain army-chief-turned-president Ziaur Rahman, to vacate the 6 Moinul Road residence in Dhaka Cantonment by 15 days, said party sources. Some Cantonment Board officials at around 3:30 pm yesterday handed the notice to Khaleda’s house caretaker at the Moinul Road mansion. However, the BNP leaders rejected this notice terming it has no legal validity.

No Shame Norway & failure of LTTE’s bid for Tamil Eelam & its relocation

By Shenali Waduge

In attempting to understand the conflict in Sri Lanka it is of great relevance that we ascertain the exact status quo given to the LTTE. At times-freedom fighters & at times terrorist leaves little hope to categorize exactly where we ought to place the LTTE especially so when despite a ban by 33 nations LTTE offices remain openly operational in these very countries. What we all know in essence is that the LTTE desires a separate state - what we need to really evaluate is whether the LTTE’s desire for a separate state through terror is the same aspiration shared by the 80million world Tamils?

Govt-army row deepens in Nepal

Kosh Raj Koirala – Asian Tribune Correspondent in Nepal

The already troubled relationship between the Maoist-led government and the state army has deepened further after the government sought clarification from Chief of Nepal Army Staff Rookmangud Katawal within 24-hour. The latest row has drawn main opposition party Nepali Congress in the fray. The government on Monday morning sought Katawal’s clarification on various three issues, warning him of dismissal if he failed to provide satisfactory response.

Bangladesh govt. postpones scheduled announcement of war crime probe agency for not finalising the teams yet

M.A. Kader- Asian Tribune Correspondent in Bangladesh

Bangladesh government on Monday postponed the scheduled announcement of the appointment of war crime probe agency and prosecutors as it was yet to finalise the investigating and prosecution teams for the trial of war crimes, state minister for law Quamrul Islam told reporters on Monday at the law ministry. Qamrul said the government was yet to finalise the investigating and prosecuting teams for trial. But a final decision will come in this regard after the return of law minister Shafique Ahmed.

DHL Global Forwarding offers Asia Pacific’s first-ever GPS tracking service to Sri Lanka

DHL Global Forwarding, the world’s leading air and ocean Freight Company, has chosen Sri Lanka as its Asia Pacific launch pad for two of its latest innovations for ocean freight shipping. DHL today launched a GPS Tracking System for its LCL ocean freight shipments out of Colombo and also unveiled its latest solution for the Fashion and Apparel industry - Garment-on-Hangers Boxes which are now available for LCL services. This follows DHL’s announcement in March this year of its investment of US$8 million in Sri Lanka over three years as well as a state-of-the-art warehouse and distribution center by 2010.

State Bank of Pakistan cuts discount rate by 100 bps to 14 per cent

The State Bank of Pakistan on Monday cut its discount rate, the key policy rate, by 100 basis points to 14 per cent for the rest of the fiscal year ending on June 30. While announcing the monetary policy for the third-quarter of the current fiscal year in a press conference here, SBP Governor, Salim Raza disclosed this. Inflation eased to a yearly 19.07 per cent in March from a record high of 25.3 per cent in August. Raza said inflation was expected to come down to about 14 per cent in the fourth quarter of the fiscal year ending on June 30. Next year, it was expected to be eight per cent, he said.

US army taps immigrant pool to boost recruitment

By Wajid Ali Syed - Our Washington Correspondent

The US Army is stepping up efforts to recruit more and more immigrants for its missions overseas. In addition to a high salary and perks these immigrants are offered a fast track to US citizenship. This move came as the Pentagon prepares to send several thousand more troops to Afghanistan and with the war in Iraq in its sixth year. US army in these troubled areas has been facing difficulty to deal with the culture and language obstacles.

Karunanidhi backtracks on LTTE, faces flak from Amma, Vaiko; Cong feels relieved

By M Rama Rao, India Editor, Asian Tribune

Muthavel Karunanidhi, known widely as the "Chanakya" of Dravidian politics, has backtracked on LTTE. On Sunday he called Prabhakaran a good friend and not a terrorist. He also said LTTE did not start as a terror group it has become now. But on Monday, he clarified these remarks, which have brought relief to the Congress even as Vaiko dubbed him as a traitor to Tamil cause and his bitter rival, Jayalalithaa Jayaram of AIADMK publicly taunted Sonia Gandhi, saying ‘Why Rajiv’s widow is silent on Karunanidhi’. Appearing before a host of TV cameras in Chennai, Tamil Nadu chief minister said, ‘I never said LTTE is not a terror group. We cannot forgive the LTTE for killing Rajiv Gandhi. Sriperumbudur cannot be forgotten’.

The state of state! Humanitarian situation in Sri Lanka- " It’s dire "

By Wajid Ali Syed – Our Washington Correspondent

In Today’s (Monday's) news briefing at the US State Department, the grim news focused on 35,000 civilians escaping the war zone in Sri Lanka. There are still millions stuck. The United Nations has estimated that 100,000 civilians remain trapped inside the no fire zone, and the Tamil Tigers have been widely accused of holding the civilians to use as human shields. When asked about the 24 hours deadline declared by the Sri Lanka government to Tamil Tigers to surrender or die, Wood's reply was: "I haven't seen those comments, but again, we continue - well, let me just say, first and foremost, that we recently issued a statement on the conflict in Sri Lanka."

"Not to bow down to international pressure for a ceasefire" - Canadian Tamils Peace organization

Canadian Tamils have told the Government of Sri Lanka not to bow down to the pressures exerted by the international community. Canadian Tamils for Peace and Democracy has urged Sri Lanka to reject all NGOs and multinational supervision on Sri Lankan soil and allow only state mechanism to oversee the welfare of the Internally Displaced People (IDP). "We believe the NGOs pose a threat to democratic governance and a challenge to the National interest." The Peace organization of the Tamils in Canada said, "We request our political leadership to protect Sri Lanka's Sovereignty!" Freedom is not free, it comes with a price. We demand that our Government to honor the sacrifices of our brave soldiers who laid their lives and shed their blood to protect Sri Lanka’s Sovereignty and freedom."

LTTE’s Era of Sea Piracy Has Ended

By Sanjeewa Karunaratne

Operating the most comprehensive naval networks among the designated foreign terrorist organizations by the U.S., the LTTE’s Sea Tigers were considered, until recently, as "untouchable" pirates who feared no nation. They were one of the leading pirates in the world, though little known, because of their unfortunate targets were often Malaysian, Jordanian, Philippine, Maldivian Chinese and Sri Lankan ships and the crew often disappeared. At the LTTE’s final hour, let’s look into what could have been a "Nightmare in the Indian Ocean."

Western Hypocrisy and LTTE Terrorism

Professor Laksiri Fernando - University of Colombo

It is difficult to generalize, but at least in the case of Sri Lanka it is clear that Western hypocrisy has strengthened terrorism. The most recent example is the way that they have behaved on the issue of rescuing Tamil civilians from the 'no fire zone.' It has in fact been an arduous task for the Sri Lankan government to circumvent the Western pressure and finally act decisively without allowing the LTTE to regroup and restart their acts of terror under the proposed 'ceasefire' by some of the Western governments. The 20th of April will go into the history of at least this country as the Government of Sri Lanka could 'say no' to the Western 'advice' and decided to rescue the Tamil civilians on its own against the LTTE terror.

20 Militants killed in Orakzai Operation

By Farzana Shah Asian Tribune Correspondent in Pakistan

In ongoing operation in Orakzai agency, in FATA, security forces step up their assault against terrorists as Cobra gunship helicopter fired rockets on militant hideouts. Some 15 people including 12 militants have been killed in current operation launched after a deadly attack on convey of security forces in Hangu near a check post few days back in which more than 20 security personnel were got killed.

UN Secretary General welcomes thousands of civilians crossing into Government controlled area

The UN Secretary-General welcomes the escape by tens of thousands of civilians from the conflict zone in Northeastern Sri Lanka over the last three days. While the departure of civilians to safer areas is welcome news, he remains deeply concerned about the circumstances of the civilians that remain in the conflict zone and the potential for large-scale casualties. He deplores the continued use of heavy weapons in the vicinity of civilians, and the use of force by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in preventing the departure of civilians from the conflict zone.

H.L. de Silva

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