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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2760

Monthly archive

Shaku Soen 1859-1919

Hunger strikers should have first demanded Prabhakaran to let the people go

Anura RajakarunaThe Sri Lankan High Commissioner in South Africa Mr. Anura Rajakaruna giving an interview to Lotus FM radio in Durban said that what the LTTE hunger strikers are trying to highlight is not the plight of the trapped civilians but the demands of the LTTE. He also pointed out that the former TNA MP M.K. Elaventhan launched a hunger strike on 09th April at the "Mariamman Temple" in Durban. He has staged this hunger strike at this temple apparently hoping to attract the attention of the devotees who came to the temple for the annual festival. With the ending of the annual festival and realizing that no more attention could be gained, we now understand, Mr. Elaventhan has quietly given up his much publicized hunger strike.

Indian and US pressure defers decision on the fate of army chief

Kosh Raj Koirala – Asian Tribune Correspondent in Nepal

Cabinet meeting held on Wednesday could not take any decision on the fate of national army Chief Rookmangud Katawal—thanks largely to the diplomatic pressure exerted by the US and the immediate southern neighbor, India. Government spokesperson Krishna Bahadur Mahara told reporters after the meeting that a decision whether to relieve the chief of Nepal Army will be taken after making detailed study about the clarification furnished by Katawal in response to the government’s letter. Ministers representing the fourth largest party in the Constituent Assembly and a key ally in the government, Madhesi People’s Rights Forum -- did not attend the meeting due to the ongoing parliamentary party meeting.

India backing Balochistan Liberation Army: Rehman Malik

By Farzana Shah-Asian Tribune Correspondent in Pakistan

Advisor to Pakistani prime minister on Interior, Rehman A. Malik on Wednesday informed the Upper House of the Parliament that India is backing the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) for fuelling insurgency in the province and creating unrest. Winding up debate on an adjournment motion, to discuss the Balochistan situation in the wake of a recent killing of three Baloch leaders in Turbat, Rehman Malik said "BLA was raised and funded by Russia during Soviet-Afghan war when Pakistan was supporting Afghans and now India is backing its activities." "BLA remained dormant since the Afghan war ended, but it was reactivated after killing of Nawab Akbar Bugti, whose grandson Barhamdagh Bugti has openly sought Indian and American support for independence of Balochistan in a recent interview," he added.

LTTE leaders in disarray

Two senior most men of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) surrendered to the security forces on Wednesday, thus marking the first ever disloyalty to do-or-die diktat of the terrorist organization. Veteran Media Head Daya Master and most trusted interpreter George who attended all rounds of peace talks from Bangkok to Geneva to Oslo surrendered to the forces after escaping from the LTTE held Puthumathalan beach strip. "This shows that Tiger supremo (Velupillai) Prabhakaran has lost his steel grip over his men," said an analyst of guerrilla movements. "No LTTE member is allowed to surrender. They have to take a vow that they would bite into cyanide capsule around their necks and die rather than surrendering. The surrender of Daya Master and George clearly shows that even senior leaders in the LTTE are not ready to blindly follow Prabhakaran’s orders. This is the end of the road for Prabhakaran".

Indo-Nepal border sealed ahead of Lok Sabha election in India

Kosh Raj Koirala – Asian Tribune Correspondent in Nepal

The Indo-Nepal border adjoining to troubled Lok Sabha constituencies in Bihar state of India has been sealed ahead of the second phase of polling for 13 out of 40 Lok Sabha seats on Thursday. Officials at Home Ministry said Indo-Nepal border along the Lok Sabha constituencies of Valamikinagar, east Champaran, west Champaran, Sitamarhi and Madhubani is sealed for three days starting Tuesday afternoon. These constituencies are infested by Maoist guerilla. Police officials from both the countries had held meeting to beef up security along the border to help check infiltration of anti-social elements.

Prabakaran hiding, taking cover among civilians – Sri Lanka Army Commander

By Ruwan Weerakoon in Colombo

Sri Lanka Army Commander Lt. General Sarath Fonseka told "Asian Tribune" that the world’s largest civilian hostage rescue operation was near completion. He further said that within the three days, from Monday April 20, more than 100,000 civilians had arrived into Government controlled areas. Meanwhile, when inquired about the fate of LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, the Army Commander said, "Prabhakaran is in south of the No Fire Zone, taking cover among the civilians. My troops, the Special Forces, Commandos and Infantrymen are advancing towards the area to rescue the rest of the civilians. Prabhakaran can’t escape over the land route as my troops are effectively manning the defence lines. Prabhakaran’s only escape route is only by sea."

Dr. Swamy condemns Karunanidhi for calling bandh today in Tamil Nadu

Dr. Subramanian Swamy, President of the Janata Party has condemned the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Mr. M. Karunanidhi for calling for a bandh to pressurize the Central Government to ensure a cease-fire in Sri Lanka. He has categorically said that “There is no need for a bandh to affect a cease-fire in Sri Lanka because the Tamil civilians in the no-firing zone have already escaped from in the LTTE held areas, to safe areas under the control of Sri Lankan army. Dr. Swamy has demanded President’s rule be imposed in Tamil Nadu and the Union Government dispatch CRPF and BSF to assist the Tamil police in maintaining law and order in the State.

Success or failure in Afghanistan, Pakistan linked, says US official

By Wajid Ali Syed – Washington Correspondent for Asian Tribune

The United States cannot afford to ignore the challenges in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and success or failure in one country likely means the same for the other, Michèle Flournoy, undersecretary of defense for policy told a gathering at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "Instability in Pakistan threatens our efforts in Afghanistan," Flournoy said adding that "Failure in Afghanistan would increase the risk of failure in Pakistan. And recognizing this interaction must be central to every dimension of our strategy."

A high level meet in Delhi on ‘Wanni catastrophe’, DMK calls a general strike, BJP for UN intervention

By M Rama Rao, India Editor, Asian Tribune

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has convened a high level meeting here in Delhi to come to grips ‘catastrophic' situation’ as the International Red Cross likes to term the post-war scene in Wanni. The meeting is taking place against the backdrop of announcement in Colombo that Sri Lanka President Rajapaksa is sending his brother Basil Rajapaksa as his special emissary to India to discuss the humanitarian situation and the DMK’s call for a general strike on Thursday to force Singh to ‘sympathize with the plight of Tamils’ in the island nation.

UN Security Council Strongly Condemns LTTE Terrorism

"The LTTE is a terrorist organization and should be condemned for its use of civilian as a human shield. The LTTE should immediately lay down arms and renounce its terror tactics", said Ambassador Claude Heller, the President of the UN Security Council summing up the views expressed by the Members of the Security Council at an informal briefing today. The informal briefing to the Council was a follow-up to the visit of UN Under-Secretary General Vijey Nambiar to Sri Lanka earlier this week.

Obama admin lacks Pak strategy: Sen. Kerry

By Wajid Ali Syed – Washington Correspondent for Asian Tribune

Senator John Kerry has said that President Obama's Afghanistan Pakistan plan "is not a real strategy." In an interview session with the USA Today, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said "Pakistan is in a moment of peril, and I believe there is not in place yet an adequate policy or plan to deal with it." He also advised the administration not to use the term "Af-Pak," to describe a unified strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, claiming that it does a disservice to both countries and to the policy. He said, both governments are very sensitive about it and don't see the linkage.

Delhi to Colombo: 'Protect Tamils; Tells LTTE to stop its barbarism of holding civilians'

By M Rama Rao, India Editor, Asian Tribune

Pranab MukherjeeAfter a high level review of the 'catastrophic' situation in Northern Sri Lanka, India has asked Rajapaksa government to protect innocent Tamils and told the LTTE to end its 'barbaric' attempts of holding civilians as hostages. External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Defence Minister A K Antony, National Security Adviser M K Narayanan and Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon attended the meeting held at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s residence here late Wednesday night. Pranab and Antony cut short their electioneering in West Bengal and Kerala to join the consultations Singh wanted to have at very short notice.

Saudi Arabia to allow Bangladeshi workers to switch jobs with same work permit

M.A. Kader- Asian Tribune Correspondent in Bangladesh

Saudi Arabia will allow Bangladeshi workers to switch jobs on same work permit, Bangladesh foreign minister Dipu Moni said Wednesday. Dipu Moni who is with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on the tour to the kingdom told a local news agency on telephone that the prime minister and her entourage performed Umrah on Tuesday night. The foreign minister quoted the Saudi king as telling the prime minister that his government would allow increasing number of Bangladeshi workers to go and work in Saudi Arabia.

Sri Lanka Tourism to participate in the Arabian travel market in may 2009

A Sri Lanka Tourism delegation, led by Deputy Minister of Tourism, Faiszer Mustapha with officials from the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) and representatives from the country’s travel trade, will participate in the Arabian Travel Market (ATM), which will take place from 5th to 8th May 2009 at the Dubai International Exhibition and Convention Centre. Being held for the 15th consecutive year, ATM 2009 is the industry’s leading travel and tourism exhibition dedicated to unlock the business potential within the Middle Eastern and Pan Arabian regions. Uniting key market players from six continents, ATM 2009 will consist of intensive meetings, seminars, press conferences and social networking opportunities.

Bangladesh govt. not to allow any foreign NGO to work in the country without first registering

M.A. Kader- Asian Tribune Correspondent in Bangladesh

From now on Bangladesh government will not allow any foreign NGO to work in Bangladesh without registering first. he country’s social welfare minister Enamul Haq Mostafa Shaheed on Wednesday told reporters at the Secretariat, "We will not allow any foreign-registered NGOs to operate in the country. They'll only be allowed to operate after registering here." he government in this regard has taken steps to form a single body proposed to be styled ‘Social Security Council, which will register, monitor and regulate NGOs in future, he said.

Shaku Kozen.( Kozen Gooneratne Thero)

Anura Rajakaruna

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee

Swat: Taliban threatens peace deal

By Farzana Shah Asian Tribune Correspondent in Pakistan

Peace in restive Swat region is once again losing hopes as Taliban continue their armed march in Bunner, threats are received in Shangila district lawyers and TNSM chief gave ultimatum to NWFP government to establish Dar-ul-Qaza till 23rd of April. Though no armed clash has happened in region but Taliban are once again trying to provoke some sort of conflict in region despite all the steps taken by ANP government in NWFP and are not ready to put their weapons down which they agreed to do in 14 points peace deal with government.