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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2967

Monthly archive

Shoe-Gate Politics

By Tushar Charan - Syndicate Features

Union Home Minister, P. Chidambaram, might have forgiven journalist Jarnail Singh for hurling a shoe at him at a Press conference but that does not guarantee that this objectionable form of protest will not be repeated henceforth. It is a valid fear that there may be many more ‘shoe-gates’ in coming months of elections, given the heat that polls generate. There are many reasons to apprehend chances of more 'shoe-gates'. Some of it may have to do with the profession of journalism and journalists. But the more likely cause may arise from the way certain politicians or political parties have looked at India’s first 'show-gate' incident.

Pak-Saudi bilateral trade volume crosses $4b

By Farzana Shah-Asian Tribune Correspondent in Pakistan

Trade between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia has crosses four billion US dollars per annum. Saudi Arabia is among the 15 export partners of Pakistan with which bilateral trade volume is above four billion US dollars which is expected to rise further. This was stated by the President of the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mian Shaukat Masud during a meeting with Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Pakistan, Ali Awadh Assari, who paid a farewell visit to ICCI here Wednesday.

Whither Japan? - A Sri Lankan Buddhist connection

By Dr. Janaka Goonetilleke

When two Japanese Buddhist monks Shaku Soen and Shaku Kozen arrived in Galle, Sri Lanka in 1887 little did we realise that these two priests could represent the dilemma that Japan could face in a span of 125 years. Following the collapse of the Tokugawa era and the start of the meiji period in 1868-1911 Japan opened up to the rest of the world on a philosophy of Strong economy and military. This was a defined period in Japanese history when two major issues engaged the Japanese mind, each struggling to dominate Japanese society.

Militants take control of Buner district in Pakistan

By Farzana Shah-Asian Tribune Correspondent in Pakistan

Taliban militants from Swat have taken control of Buner district in North West Frontier Province of Pakistan on Tuesday. The militants equipped with advanced weapons have extended their control to almost all tehsils of the district and have started patrolling bazaars, villages and towns. They are advancing towards border areas of Swabi, Malakand and Mardan, the hometown of NWFP Chief Minister Amir Haider Khan Hoti. According to reports the militants have set up check-posts and camp bases in Kangar Gali village, along the Malakand border; Naway Dhand village, along the Mardan border; and Tootalai village, along Swabi border.

Down to earth from ‘Tamil Eelam’

By SinhaRaja Tammita Delgoda

From Paranthan, the road to Vallipuram is rich and green. Great expanses of paddy stretch out before you, clumps of palmyrah dot the land and little streams of water trickle by. As we near the fighting, paddy fields give way to broken buildings and blasted vehicles. Twisted trees and uprooted trunks line the way. Here, in an area formerly controlled by the Tamil Tigers but now in the hands of the Sri Lankan army as they besiege the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in a last assault to end a 25-year-old civil war, everything is covered with a layer of brown dust.

US House Foreign Affairs Committee concern about Pakistan

By Wajid Ali Syed – Washington Correspondent for Asian Tribune

The House Foreign Affairs committee has showed its deep concern about the rapidly deteriorating security situation in Pakistan. The committee chairman, Howard Berman, said today that extremists based in the west region have turned their guns on the Pakistani state, where as Pakistan government has cut a deal with the extremists too - which emboldened the radicals. In his opening remarks at the very first hearing with the secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, the chairman mentioned that United States has an enormous stake in the stability and security of Pakistan. He said, "We cannot allow al Qaeda or any other terrorist group that threatens our national security to operate with impunity in the tribal regions. Nor can we permit the Pakistani state – and its nuclear arsenal -- to be taken over by the Taliban or any other radical groups, or otherwise be destabilized in a manner that could lead to renewed conflict with India."

General strikes paralyzes normal life in southern Nepal

Kosh Raj Koirala – Asian Tribune Correspondent in Nepal

Normal life in various 22 districts in southern part of Nepal remained adversely affected on Wednesday due to indefinite general strike called by Tharuhat Swayatya Rajya Parishad, an ethnic organization. Agitators obstructed vehicular movement along the east-west highway and other road leading inner parts of the districts in Chitwan, Dang, Nawalparasi, and Udayapur, among other districts, demanding that the government implement six-point agreement reached with them last week. Demonstrators torched at least two vehicles and vandalized several others to enforce their general strikes, according to police.

Prabhakaran’s Escape

A Commentary by L. Jayasooriya

The GOSL is well advised to pay attention to the warning sounded by Wimal Weerawansa about his suspicions with regard to the unauthorized presence of ICRC vehicles in the "no-fire" zone. Mr. Woods of the State Department has stated that he is in constant touch with Robert Blake. Put the two together and see what you can make out of it. Now Mr. Woods has threatened to involve many more nations to get the GOSL to accept observers to make sure that the needs of the IDPs are adequately looked after. Who knows whether Prabakaran could be taken in the boot of one of their vehicles and released to the jungle from where he will meet the ICRC at a designated spot?.

UN appeals for funds to relieve Sri Lanka civilian plight

The UN today issued an urgent appeal for funds to meet the critical needs of an exodus of thousands of people who are fleeing fighting. Speaking from Colombo after returning from camps in the town of Vavuniya where around 80,000 exhausted civilians who escaped the combat zone are being held, the UN’s Humanitarian Coordinator in Sri Lanka said that teams are scrambling to feed, clothe, shelter, and provide water to "crowds of weary and hungry people." "I saw infants with dysentery, malnourished children and women, untended wounds, and people dressed in the ragged clothing they’ve been wearing for months," said Neil Buhne. "We need funds for all the basics like food, medicine, water, sanitation, nutrition, shelter, and clothing. And we want to try to get kids as soon as possible back into school in order to give them some semblance of normality."