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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2787

Monthly archive

Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Mullen, Gates share concern over Pakistan

By Wajid Ali Syed – Washington Correspondent for Asian Tribune

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff expressed deep concern today that "events continue to move in the wrong direction" in Pakistan and that the situation there may be approaching a tipping point. "I think we're certainly closer to the tipping point," Navy Adm. Mike Mullen told NBC-TV's 'Today' show, who is traveling with him in the region. "I don't think that we're there." Mullen said he shares Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's concerns that the Taliban have taken full control of Pakistan's Swat Valley. "I'm increasingly both concerned and frustrated at the progression of the danger," Mullen said.

UNHCR on the displacements in Sri Lanka

UNHCR spokesperson reveled at a briefing that, fresh displacement has topped 100,000 in Sri Lanka’s north as tens of thousands of civilians continue to flee heavy fighting between government forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the north-eastern coastal belt of the Mullaitivu district. Spokesperson further said: UNHCR continues to support the government in managing the intensifying emergency in Vavuniya and Jaffna. A majority of the displaced – an estimated 97,000 people - are in Vavuniya while smaller movements were also recorded in Jaffna during the course of the week.

World Bank to provide $350m for education programme in Punjab

By Farzana Shah-Asian Tribune Correspondent in Pakistan

The World Bank has agreed to provide 350 million dollars during the next three years for Punjab Education Development Programme, says a handout issued Friday. The agreement to this effect was reached in a meeting between representatives of the World Bank and a Punjab government delegation composed of School Education Department Secretary Nadeem Ashraf, the special secretary finance and the P&D Department member (SS). It was stated the Punjab government had also introduced a number of initiatives to ensure universality as well as quality of education.

France to provide 100-bed field hospital for IDPs in the North

Responding to a call to the international community made yesterday by Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama for emergency relief assistance for the large number of civilians who have fled LTTE control and sought sanctuary in the cleared areas in recent days, the French Foreign Minister,Dr Bernard Kouchner telephoned his Sri Lankan counterpart today(24th April 2009) and informed that the Government of France will be providing a fully equipped 100-bed field hospital, backed by a 75 strong medical and support staff immediately. In this regard,an advance team will arrive in Colombo tomorrow to make a field assessment to locate the hospital facility in the Vavuniya district.

Loktantra Diwas - Democracy Day celebrated in Nepal

Kosh Raj Koirala – Asian Tribune Correspondent in Nepal

Nepal celebrated Loktantra Diwas i.e. Democracy Day on Friday to mark the third anniversary of the reinstatement of the democracy in the country. Exactly three years ago, the then King Gyanendra's autocratic regime was brought to its knees following a nationwide mass uprising popularly known as Janaandolan II. Over two dozen pro-democracy fighters had lost their lives and thousands others were injured during the 19-long long popular movement in April, 2006. The government started giving public holiday to mark the historic day since last year.

EU Condemned LTTE for holding civilians as human shield

In a declaration, the European Union Presidency has expressed deep concern about the large number of civilian casualties and deteriorating humanitarian situation in the North of Sri Lanka. The Presidency on behalf of the EU has condemned in the strongest possible terms the LTTE for the use of civilians as human shields. Both the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE must fully comply with international humanitarian law and ensure the protection of civilians at all times. The EU has also called on the Government of Sri Lanka to make steps towards an inclusive and peaceful political process. The statement said that, The EU believes this is the only way in which lasting peace in Sri Lanka will be achieved.

Taliban start pulling out of Buner district in northwestern Pakistan

By Farzana Shah-Asian Tribune Correspondent in Pakistan

Taliban on Friday start pulling out of Buner district in northwestern Pakistan. The pull out starts as a result of an agreement reached between militants, Tahreek Nifaz-e-Shariat Muhammadi (TNSM) and Commissioner Malakand earlier in the day. After the meeting Taliban agreed to vacate the district amid threats of possible military action. Militants on Friday agreed to vacate Buner district in North West Frontier Province, said Commissioner Malakand Division, Syed Muhammad Javed. The meeting was held in Butkhela which was attended by Commissioner Malakand division Syed Muhammed Javed, Naib Ameer Tehrik-e-Taliban, Muhammed Alam, Sheikh-ul-Quran Waliullah and others.

LTTE should surrender to a third party: US

By Wajid Ali Syed – Washington Correspondent for Asian Tribune

The State Department's acting spokesperson Robert Wood has called on LTTE rebels to lay down arms and surrender to a third party. In his daily briefing on Friday, he said, "We remain extremely concerned for the safety of the remaining civilians in the no-fire zone," and called on the Sri Lanka government and Tamil Tigers to end hostilities. He also asked the Sri Lanka government to allow a UN humanitarian team into the no-fire zone, saying that US understand that two Indian government emissaries arrived in Sri Lanka on Friday to convey their government's concerns. We support Indian efforts to stop the fighting, he added. Robert Wood said that the co-cahir countries in the G-8 are working together closely to find a way to end the fighting. "The Tamil Tigers must stop holding civilians and putting them in harm’s way," the spokesperson said.

No adequate international access to IDP camps in North Sri Lanka – U.S: There is access, they are at work already - Sri Lanka

Daya Gamage – US National Correspondent Asian Tribune

United States UN Ambassador Dr. Susan Rice seems to ignore, under serious military situation, there is adequate international presence and that several international aid agencies are physically present in Temporary Accommodation Centers (TAC) that house minority Tamils who escaped the battle zone in the north of Sri Lanka. Does she use the few words 'do not have adequate' in her 23 April statement to appease the lobby of the Tamil Tigers in the United States?

Peacekeeping Force Not Warranted says India; Emissaries say Rajapaksa was ‘receptive’

By M Rama Rao, India Editor - Asian Tribune

A day after two special emissaries of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met a ‘receptive’ Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Sri Lanka President, Delhi remains under pressure to go beyond mere articulation of India’s concern for the Tamils of southern neighbour. There is no move to send a peace keeping force though. ‘The situation in Sri Lanka is grave but it doesn’t warrant India sending a peace-keeping force’, Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma stated. ‘Lip sympathy is not enough’, M Venkaiah Naidu, who spearheads the Southern campaign of the Bharatiya Janata Party, told Sharma from Rameshwaram. ‘Exert pressure on Sri Lanka to stop the military offensive’, Prakash Karat, the Marxist chief honcho, who is heading an alternative front for the BJP and Congress led alliances (NDA and UPA) demanded.

Bangladesh parliament Speaker urges opposition BNP not to take any decision of parliament boycott over a non-parliament issue

M.A Kader-Asian Tribune Correspondent in Bangladesh

Bangladesh national parliament Speaker Abdul Hamid on Friday in Dhaka said the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) should not stay away from parliament over an extra-parliamentary issue. In the face of a boycott threat from BNP protesting the government notice served on its chief to leave her Dhaka cantonment house speaker Hamid said, "The ruling and opposition parties will have to work together to continue with the democratic process." "Everything could be discussed in parliament, but it would not be right for the opposition to boycott parliament over an extra-parliamentary issue," Hamid told reporters after attending a convention of Lions Club International in the capital city.

Proof of Indian involvement in unrest in Pakistan presented

By Farzana Shah-Asian Tribune correspondent in Pakistan

In a closed-door session of Senate, Pakistani Interior Ministry Adviser Rehman Malik presented 'evidence' of the involvement of India, Afghanistan and Russia in terrorist activities in Pakistan. He told the house that some hostile agencies were involved in creating unrest in the province. During the Senate briefing, the Adviser said that all major incidents of terrorism and suicide attacks were linked to India and Afghanistan, adding that terrorists were being trained by them in those countries and in North Waziristan and being sent to the settled areas.

One-third preventable deaths can be averted by healthy environment

By Bobby Ramakant

In the least developed countries, one third of death and disease is a direct result of environmental causes. Proper environmental management is the key to avoiding the quarter of all preventable illnesses which are directly caused by environmental factors, said Prabha Chaturvedi, President, Exnora Lucknow, in an interface with students of Navyug Public School in Chander Nagar, Alambagh. She stressed on the need to segregate bio-degradable and non bio-degradable garbage, and bury the bio-degradable garbage below the soil so that it can provide us with rich manure, and hand over the non bio-degradable garbage to the rag-pickers.



What the world needs to learn from Sri Lanka’s humanitarian rescue operation

By Shenali Waduge

Instead of appreciating the humanitarian rescue operation being carried out by Sri Lanka and its armed forces, world leaders are exerting pressure upon the Government to enter a ceasefire ….their belief being that a ceasefire would help rescue these civilians. It is more than apparent that the world leaders and even media channels are clueless about the reality of the situation in Sri Lanka & it naturally makes any to wonder whether world leaders, foreign envoys, foreign secretaries etc apart from repeating what is on paper prepared by someone else actually understands the ground situation and seriously believe in what they say – because it is apparent that what they say is nothing but gobbledygook. Why?

Zionism is Racism

By Habib Siddiqui

The subject of racism is a very touchy one for both its current and former practitioners. It was thus expected that some western countries with nasty past records of racism would boycott the UN racism conference in Geneva, scheduled for April 20, 2009. A couple of days before the event, the USA announced that it would sit out the Geneva forum. Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Germany, Poland and the Netherlands soon followed suit. Through their boycotting the session they have sent a blatant message endorsing racism.

Thailand Criminal Court released three protest Leaders

Thailand's Criminal Court on Friday temporarily released three top leaders of the anti-government United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), just hours after Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva lifted the emergency decree in the capital and five surrounding provinces. The trio--Veera Musikapong, Natthawut Saikuea and Weng Tochirakarn--were released on Bt 500,000 bail each on the condition that they must not instigate any disturbance, and that they do not leave the country. They were charged with illegal assembly of more than 10 persons, and with creating a public disturbance, which carry prison terms of up to three years.