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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2346

Monthly archive

US urge Sri Lanka to allow observers

By Wajid Ali Syed – Washington Correspondent for Asian Tribune

The US has urged the government of Sri Lanka to allow international observers to ascertain a more precise figure of civilians trapped in the no-fire zone. It called on the government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE to refrain from indiscriminate fire and shelling into and from the no-fire zone, saying that it has credible reports of increasing casualties as a result of intensified military action.

Indian Elections: Karunanidhi sends SOS on Tamil issue; PM says LTTE is a terror outfit

By M Rama Rao, India Editor, Asian Tribune

Muthavel Karunanidhi, the DMK chief has sent a ‘SOS’ to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to ‘put pressure on Sri Lanka to halt Vanni War’. Going by initial reactions, Delhi is unlikely to do no more than repeat the appeal issued by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee. In fact, the foreign minister, who is busy electioneering in West Bengal, said Tuesday that he had already sent an appeal to President Rajapaksa (to care for civilians held up in the No War Zone). TN chief minister’s SOS coincided with the end of 24-hour ultimatum Colombo had given to Prabhakaran and the failure of LTTE chief to ‘show up’ in response.

Bangladesh PM arrives Saudi Arabia on a five-day official visit to discuss bilateral issues

By Asian Tribune Correspondent in Bangladesh

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina arrived in Riyadh Tuesday morning on a five-day official visit to discuss bilateral issues on her first foreign trip since she took the office on January 6. Dr Saud bin Saeed al Mat’hami, Minister in-Charge of Shoura Council Affairs, received the prime minister at King Khaled International Airport at 3:15am (local time). Bangladesh Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Fazlul Karim and Saudi Ambassador to Bangladesh Dr Abdullah Bin Naser Al Busairi were among others present at the airport. The premier went straight to the Conference Palace in a ceremonial motorcade from the airport.

To promote Sri Lanka a tourist destination: Road Shows were held in Gulf Countries

A high powered Sri Lanka Tourism delegation successfully conducted ‘Road Shows’ in three Gulf countries to promote Sri Lanka the preferable tourist destination. The delegation was led by Sri Lanka’s Deputy Minister of Tourism, Faiszer Mustapha with officials from the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) and representatives from the country’s travel trade, successfully concluded Road Shows in 5 cities in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Kuwait to promote Sri Lanka as a preferred tourist destination in these three Gulf countries.

Obama opens doors to possible legal consequences for interrogation memos

By Wajid Ali Syed – Washington Correspondent

President Obama made a break today from previous White House statement, saying that the Justice Department might bring charges against officials of the Bush administration who devised harsh interrogation policies. He opened the door to possible legal action against the authors of the interrogation policy memos and suggested that if there is any sort of investigation into these past policies and practices, he would be more inclined to support an independent commission outside the typical congressional hearing process. The president made his remarks in the Oval Office during a joint press availability with His Majesty King Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein.

Indian Elections: Advani confident of good show, tells US ‘N-deal will be honored’

By M Rama Rao, India Editor, Asian Tribune

BJP strongman, L K Advani, is confident that his party led NDA would emerge as the largest alliance in the election and BJP as the single largest party. In a series of media interviews in the past couple of days, BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate, who has toured about 80 Parliamentary constituencies, said ‘It seems the single largest party in the Lok Sabha will be the BJP’. Declining to predict the numbers, he added, ‘It seems to me that the BJP along with its allies will be the largest alliance in Parliament’.

Bangladesh main opposition BNP continues protest following the notice to party chief Khaleda to vacate cantonment house

By Asian Tribune Correspondent in Bangladesh

Main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) will hold a protest rally at Muktangan in the Dhaka city today (Wednesday) against the notice served on party Chief Khaleda Zia to leave her Dhaka cantonment house. The student front Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal held a rally at the central party office at Naya Paltan Tuesday afternoon. The leaders including BNP secretary general Khandaker Delwar Hossain reiterated their demand to withdraw the decision of lease cancellation. Other associate organizations would also continue launching protest programmes, party sources said.

Sri Lanka President rejected British Premiers request for a ceasefire

There was no need for pause in the military action, Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said with determination and finality. Also President rejected the British appointed special envoy to Sri Lanka. The request by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown for a pause in military action was deemed as unnecessary by President Mahinda Rajapaksa considering the unexpected exodus of 35,000 civilians to the cleared areas from the No Fire Zone (NFZ). President Rajapaksa told British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. During a telephone conversation initiated by the British Prime Minister, on 20 April, President Mahinda Rajapaksa explained that the people took to fleeing to the cleared areas amidst shooting and other forms of intimidation by the LTTE, now holed up in the No Fire Zone. Subsequently by evening hours, another 5,000 people had moved out of the NFZ along the beach front to the North, he said.

Maoist decision to relieve army chief draws flak from ruling, opposition parties

Kosh Raj Koirala – Asian Tribune Correspondent in Nepal

Differences among ruling political parties coupled with the threats of over half of the total political parties representing in the Constituent Assembly (CA) to launch a fresh stir against government plan deferred the cabinet meeting supposed to dismiss Nepal Army chief Rookmangud Katawal. Amidst controversy all around, the Maoist-led government had earlier announced to relieve Nepali Army Chief Rookmangud Katawal through the Cabinet meeting scheduled to be held on Wednesday. The next Cabinet is likely to be held on Wednesday, but it is not clear whether the government would take decision to this effect, given the growing differences within coalition partner and protest from 17 of the 24 parties representing in the CA over the issue.

Indian Elections: Second Phase of Electioneering ends; Cong-Lalu relations touch a low

By M Rama Rao, India Editor, Asian Tribune

Even as the second phase of electioneering for 15th Lok Sabha ended Tuesday evening, Indian voters are nowhere near the clue as to who will be the Prime Minister. Also unclear is who will form the government on the Raisina Hill. Altogether 2041 candidates, 121 of them women, are in the fray for 141 seats spread over 13 states. The first phase of polling took place on April 16. Three more rounds of polling will take place on April 30, May 7 and 13 with results expected on May 16. A significant development that is bound to have a bearing on government formation next month is the new low in the Lalu-Congress relations. Pranab Mukherjee, the one-man think tank of the Congress has ticked off the RJD leader saying that he might not even find a place in the next government.

U.N. Chief Deplores Iranian Statement on Racism

By Thalif Deen, Inter Press Service

The secretary-general of the United Nations rarely, if ever, lashes out at world leaders - at least not in public - because he is a perceived as a political servant who owes his existence to member states. Nor do world leaders lambaste the Secretariat or its chief administrative officer. They are both known to pull their punches. But in recent times, both protocol and caution have been thrown to the winds, as ground rules are apparently changing. First, it was Robert Mugabe, the beleaguered president of Zimbabwe, who implicitly accused Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon of playing politics.

French police to charge 184 Tamil rioters

French police will file criminal charges against most of the 184 Tamil Tiger cadres and sympathizers detained for rioting, possessing of weapons and damaging public property. On Monday police arrested 211 Tamils who fought policemen after attacking several busses and cars at La Chapelle area in Paris. After preliminary investigations, 27 of them were discharged. Police is conducting investigations to ascertain the links between the detained Tamils and the LTTE, which is a banned terrorist organization. On Monday Hundreds of demonstrators blocked an intersection in central Paris, throwing bottles at passing buses as they demanded that Sri Lanka end its military assault on Tamil-held areas.

Obama And The Muslim World

By Sarla Handoo - Syndicate Features

The US President Barak Obama’s first visit to a Muslim country - Turkey- followed by his Iraq visit has raised hopes among the Muslims and set the stage for a turn around in the America’s relations with the Muslim world. Obama has done every thing to say that he is a friend to the Muslims. In his address to the Turkish Parliament he announced that "the US state is not and will never be at war with Islam." His mention of Muslims in his family and also the comment that he had to wrap up a meeting with the Turkish students "before the call of prayer" was enough to show that he was no stranger to Islam. The trip to Turkey did suggest that it can open doors for a re-look at the US relations with Muslim world. Libyan leader Gadhafi described the visit as "light in imperialist darkness." So did many other leaders representing the Muslims, the world over.

LTTE media Coordinator Daya Master and interpreter George surrenders to Sri Lanka Army

Latest report from Puthumathalan reveals, that Velayutham Thayanithi alias Daya Master originally from Thambasiddy, Puloly West, Point Pedro, who is LTTE’s Media coordinator and Late Tamilselvan’s interpreter George (Postmaster) have surrendered yesterday to the Sri Lanka Army after returning to Government controlled area in the company of the fleeing civilians. In the meantime, in the past twelve hours ending Tuesday (21) at 8.30 p.m. another total of 21,534 trapped civilians in Puthumathalan, the "No Fire Zone" entered the cleared areas, held by Army troops, thereby increasing the entire total escapees to 62,609 during 20-21 April 2009.


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