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

Monthly archive

Menon & Narayan

TNSM extends deadline to indefinite period

By Farzana Shah-Asian Tribune Correspondent in Pakistan

Maulana Sufi Muhammad, chief of Tehrik Nifaz Shariat-e-Muhammadi (TNSM) has extended deadline for the establishment of Darul Qaza (final appellate court) in Malakand Agency, to an unspecified time. The decision was taken at a meeting of the shura (council) of Tehrik Nifaz Shariat-e-Muhammadi held at its headquarters in Amandara, Malakand on Thursday. The meeting endorses the decision of Sufi Muhammad to extend the deadline for an indefinite period.

Bangladesh Pay Commission hands over report recommending doubling salaries of govt. employees

M.A. Kader-Asian Tribune Correspondent in Bangladesh

The Seventh Pay Commission of Bangladesh has recommended raising the maximum salary of the government employees to Tk 42,000 from Tk 23,000 and minimum to Tk 4,000 from Tk 2,300. The Pay Commission Chairman Mostafizur Rahman handed over the report to Finance Minister AMA Muhith Thursday morning. "The Pay Commission recommended forming a cell to adjust the salary structure every year with the inflation rate in the country," Mostafizur Rahman said.

Indian Foreign Secretary, NSA to Colombo; DMK strike call gets mixed response

By M Rama Rao, India Editor, Asian Tribune

Menon & NarayanIndia is sending foreign secretary Shiv Shankar Menon and National Security Advisor M K Narayanan to Colombo, according to minister of state for external affairs Anand Sharma. The visit followed a high level review of the situation in Northern Sri Lanka, where contrary to assessments of Colombo, more than a lakh of Tamils have already arrived even as some 30,000 are held hostage by the LTTE. India has dispatched a shipload of nearly 40,000 packets relief material after discussions with the Sri Lankan officials, it is said. Last November 1,680 tons of essential supplies were sent for distribution among the internally displaced people.

US calls Sri Lanka to provide support to IDPs

By Wajid Ali Syed – Washington Correspondent for Asian Tribune

The United States has said that its deeply concerned over the existing situation in Sri Lanka and condemns the actions by the LTTE to hold thousands of innocent civilians hostage in this so-called safe-zone. According to the statement issued here, the US's Permanent Representative to the United Nations said, "we think that it is absolutely imperative that both sides cease the fighting and the heavy shelling that is putting many thousands of civilians in immediate danger."

Is LTTE only a Sri Lankan phenomenon and its demise highly exaggerated?

Daya Gamage – US National Correspondent Asian Tribune

The former United Stated ambassador (2003-06) to Sri Lanka Jeffrey Lunstead declared two years ago in an analytical paper to the San Francisco-based Asia Foundation that Sri Lanka’s rebel Tamil Tiger outfit is a "Sri Lankan phenomenon" and that it "has no links to any other terrorist groups in the world." Lunstead analyzed thus: "the U.S. opposes all terrorist groups, but all such groups are not equal in the extent to which they threaten U.S. interests directly."

Sri Lankans in US outraged over Clinton remark on Sri Lanka

Daya Gamage – US National Correspondent Asian Tribune

The Sri Lankan Patriots a Sri Lankan activist group headquartered in Los Angeles in California has written to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressing outrage at her remarks that military action against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam by Sri Lankan forces has caused 'untold suffering.' Sri Lankan Patriots (SLP) in a letter reminded Clinton that many Sri Lankan soldiers have sacrificed their lives to free Tamil civilians from the stranglehold of a 'Pol Pot type regime' run by the LTTE. Clinton told lawmakers in the U.S. Congress on Wednesday 22 April. "I think that the Sri Lankan government knows that the entire world is very disappointed that in its efforts to end what it sees as 25 years of conflict, it is causing such untold suffering."

A Competent Authority Officer and three Coordinating Officers appointed to look into the welfare of war displaced civilians

To look into the welfare of the displaced civilians, Government of Sri Lanka has appointed Army Chief of Staff as Competent Authority Officer and three Government Agents as Coordinating Officers. Army Chief of Staff Major General G. A. Chandrasiri today has been appointed as the Competent Authority officer under emergency law to promote war displaced civilians welfare. All welfare measures aimed at displaced civilians will be under overall supervision of the newly appointed officer. Concurrent with the appointment of the Competent Authority, Kandy GA Gotabhaya Jayarathna, Pollonnaruwa GA D. A. Lal Wimal, and Anuradhapura GA H. M. K. Herath have been appointed as coordinating officers.

Sudar Oli Chief Editor N. Vidyatharan released today

The court released Sudar Oli Chief Editor N. Vidyatharan this morning (24).He was arrested by police while attending a funeral in Mount Lavinia last February 26th. Vidyatharan in his 40’s, was arrested on 26th February while attending a family funeral at Mount Lavinia on the outskirts of Colombo was released today by the Colombo Magistrate Court after the charges against him were dropped.

CCC sponsors Economic Summit to discuss opportunities and challenges

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

The Sri Lanka Economic Summit, a much looked forward to event in the Corporate Calendar, is now underway. This year marks its 10th anniversary. The technical sessions will be held from July 1- 2, 2009 at the Cinnamon Grand, Colombo and the inauguration takes place at the same venue on June 30th. This Summit, organized by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, attracts eminent speakers, political leaders and diplomats for the technical sessions which tackle timely and helpful topics, complete with key note speakers and panel discussions.

Indian Election: 55 per cent turnout in second round; Cong allies keep options open

By M Rama Rao, India Editor, Asian Tribune

Severe heat wave sweeping through India limited the turn out to 55 per cent in the second phase of Lok Sabha elections covering 222,350 polling stations in 140 constituencies across 12 states. There were 2,034 candidates in the fray. The Thursday polling marked the mid-way mark for the Lok Sabha election as fortunes of candidates for half of the seats at stake have been sealed by now. With projections that the Congress may not be doing as strongly as pollsters expected at the very outset, though it is still going to be the front runner in seat sweepstakes, the Congress led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) has come to resemble United Prime Ministers Alliance with so many contenders for the top job.

Bangladesh main opposition BNP chief Khaleda sends legal notice asking govt. to withdraw its notice to vacate her house

M.A. Kader-Asian Tribune Correspondent in Bangladesh

With a legal notice Bangladesh main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist party (BNP) chairperson Khaleda Zia responded Thursday to the government's notice to vacate her Dhaka Cantonment residence by 15 days. BNP chief Khaleda's lawyer barrister Mahbubuddin Khokan sent the notice through courier service and registered post giving the government five days to withdraw its notice to vacate. The Directorate of Military Lands and Cantonments served the notice on Khaleda on April 20, asking the opposition leader Khaleda, who is former three-time prime ministers, to leave the Moinul Road mansion within 15 days.

Foreign Minister hails armed forces for successful hostage rescue mission

Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama has praised the country’s armed forces for carrying out the largest hostage rescue operation in history by facilitating the flight to freedom of over 100,000 civilians who had been held captive by the LTTE in the no-fire zone (NFZ) on the Mullaitivu coast. The Minister remarked that 102,790 ordinary civilians by voting with their feet to free themselves from LTTE tyranny, have not only demonstrated their total rejection of the LTTE, but also signalled their clear endorsement of the underlying humanitarian objective of the armed forces.

13 army men killed fighting forest fire in Nepal

Kosh Raj Koirala – Asian Tribune Correspondent in Nepal

At least 13 Nepal Army personnel were killed on Thursday afternoon while fighting forest fire in Ramechhap district in central part of the country. Ramechap is about 100 miles (160 kilometers) northeast of the capital Kathmandu. Public Relation Directorate of the state army said the army men died while trying to prevent the fire from engulfing a hospital located near the forest. The soldiers from nearby Srijung Battalion were trapped from all sides after wind changed direction. The deceased were among 150 army personnel who had been fighting the fire.

Impeach all those who sanctioned torture

By Habib Siddiqui

The subject of an old report by the International Committee of Red Cross and a newly released memo from the Department of Justice has recently become a hot political topic across America. These reports showed how the Bush-Cheney Administration had authorized brutal torture techniques over the last several years. Former Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee was the primary author of "legal" memos purporting to justify torture. He served from 2001 to 2003 in the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel. Bybee's signature is on the August 1, 2002 memo that justified and authorized acts of torture by the CIA.

France Contemplating Military Intervention?

A Commentary by L. Jayasooriya

Reports in the media say that when the French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner who was threatening to carry out a "humanitarian operation” in Sri Lanka was asked whether France was contemplating military intervention has replied in the negative and has added "We certainly have not reached that point". That later statement is a message to the government of Sri Lanka from the Foreign Minister of France that unless Sri Lanka complied with the orders given by Kouchner military intervention will follow.

Scarred and Shunned, the Girl Still Struggling for Survival

By Anjali Singh

Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh (India): A lone tear drop flowing down her faceless visage is the only indication of the pain and humiliation Saukari Devi has been forced to live with for so long. For forty four years, she has been living a life none of us can imagine even in our worst nightmare. Her ordeal began when she fell into the kitchen fire in her village home in Kinora, Tehri Garhwal as a six months old baby. Her face completely destroyed by the fire and with no specialized medical help available in village then, she had no option but live with a disfigured face.

UK is ready to help Sri Lanka reach a political settlement, says British Prime Minister

By Janaka Alahapperuma - London

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said that his government is ready to offer not only humanitarian help, but also help to bring about a ceasefire and a political solution to the problems in Sri Lanka. He made this statement at the parliament when Liberal Democratic MP Simon Hughes put forward a question at him on Wednesday 22nd April. Simon Hughes MP from a South London constituency (North Southwark and Bermondsey) asked the Prime Minister whether he can put the Sri Lankan problem on the agenda of the Commonwealth, the United Nations and the European Union Foreign Ministers meeting. He further requested the PM to bring about a ceasefire immediately.

Clinton criticizes, harsh on Pakistan

By Wajid Ali Syed – Washington Correspondent for Asian Tribune

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has harshly criticized Pakistan's government saying it has abdicated to the Taliban, adding the potential collapse of the Pakistani state would pose a mortal threat to global security. The remarks, coming in response to questions from lawmakers on the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, are some of the sharpest words any US official has had for Pakistan. In her prepared testimony to the committee, Secretary Clinton said Pakistan "poses a mortal threat to the security and safety of our country and the world."

Microsoft empowers Universities with IT tools

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

Microsoft Sri Lanka recently unveiled a project entitled ‘Software for the 21st Century’ recently in Colombo which was attended by university vice chancellors and faculty deans from a number of universities. The unveiling was presided over by Chris Atkinson, Vice-President, Microsoft South East Asia. ‘Software for the 21st Century’ will provide all Sri Lankan Universities with the latest software that will enable each of these institutions to expose their students to the best of world-class technology.


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