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

Monthly archive

General Pervez Musharraf

Washington Commentary: The Presidential "Presser" – accountability, information and entertainment

By Ernest Corea

For many years, the morning did not start right in numerous American households without the newspaper and a "cuppa joe" (coffee). Now, many American newspapers are in trouble, facing survival problems that have grown worse with the current recession. Some newspapers have closed down. Others are experimenting with various means of prolonging their lives, such as declaring bankruptcy, eliminating staff, or cutting back on printed pages. Some of the Washington Post’s sections are beginning to look anorexic. Despite this sense of crisis, one media-related activity remains intact, its survival unchallenged at present, its status esteemed: the presidential press conference.

PAF to maintain optimum operational readiness: Pak Air Chief

By Farzana Shah-Asian Tribune correspondent in Pakistan

Pakistan Air Force (PAF) will continue to maintain its optimum operational readiness to undertake all types of missions against all internal and external threats to ensure safety and security of the country said Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman. This was stated by the Air Chief while presiding over the Annual Safety review held here Saturday for 2008. It was attended by Principal Staff Officers, Regional Commanders and field officers. The Air Chief said, "Pakistan Air Force is capable to provide instant support to Pak army as and when directed by Government of Pakistan. To keep PAF at the highest state of Operational Readiness’ is my number one priority."

Twit Twit Tweet… – It is Twitter that Makes the Call

Hemantha Abeywardena writes from London…..

When Sir James Young Simpson discovered chloroform in the early nineteenth century, its early use in childbirth and amputations, made him a human equivalent of sandwich: on one hand, the powerful church was up in arms citing the selected versus of the Holy Bible that says, "I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you" – "Genesis, Chapter 3 verse 16" - while reigniting the need of the natural process taking its course, as clearly set out by the Almighty – of course, a punishment for Eve for being naughty in the presence of Adam in the Garden of Eden, while being on their own – without tampering with it, instead; on the other hand, part of the medical establishment embraced it with extreme caution fearing they might lose the vital medical information if delivering mothers are subjected to the inhalation of this particular gas during the laborious process.

Zionism is Racism

By Habib Siddiqui

Israel’s inherent racism has been vividly clear to anyone who had visited the Occupied Territories. As was noted in 2003 by The Foundation for Middle East Peace, a Washington-based institution that has been tracking Israeli settlement-building for decades, Israel's relentless increase in territorial control had "compromised not only the prospect for genuine Palestinian independence but also, in ways not seen in Israel’s 36-year occupation, the very sustainability of everyday Palestinian life."

Problematic Solutions

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

Last week’s mass exodus of more than hundred thousand civilian Tamils from the war zone gave the lie to both the LTTE and the Rajapakse administration. It definitively debunked the preposterous Tiger claim of Tamils civilians staying in the war zone voluntarily. It also conclusively disproved the Lankan government’s oft (and angrily) repeated assertion that no more than 75,000 civilians were left in the war zone. The absolute majority of civilian Tamils were/are in the war zone not because they do not want to leave the LTTE but because the LTTE would not let them leave. The Tigers always set great store by the myth of ‘sole representative’; therefore they need Tamil people to die with them. They also need civilians to blunt the Lankan offensive and to provide indispensable props for their propaganda.

Indian Polls: Jaya asks vote promising to work for Eelam for Lanka Tamils

By M Rama Rao - India Editor, Asian Tribune

Jayalalithaa Jayaram, the AIADMK supremo is the latest convert to the cause of ‘Separate Eelam’ for Sri Lanka Tamils. Vote the AIADMK Front if you want Eelam for Tamils in Lanka, she told election rallies in Western Tamil Nadu. In her address to meetings at Erode and Salem, her refrain was: we will strive for Eelam if we win all the 40 seats at stake in Tamilnadu and Puducherry. Ten days back when she kick started the AIADMK campaign, Jayalalithaa mainly focused on what she called as the failure of DMK, her arch rival, in securing the interests of Tamils in Sri Lanka. She did not sound very categorical on Eelam issue though in her alliance boasts of unabashed Eelam champion Vaiko and his MDMK.

President Gaddafi supports Sri Lanka’s humanitarian mission in rescuing civilians from LTTE strongholds

President GaddafiLibyan President supports Sri Lanka in bringing out peace in the country by ending terrorism. In a telephone conversation, Libyan President Colonel Muammar Gaddafi has expressed his fullest support to bring peace in the country. The Libyan President further said that he will give the first priority to visit Sri Lanka as per the official invitation given by Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa. This was revealed at a telephone conversation he had with President Rajapaksa on Saturday evening.

Landslide victory for President Rajapaksa’s ruling party in the Western Provincial polls.

President RajapaksaThe ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance led by Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, recorded a landslide victory in Saturday's Western Provincial Council election by winning 68 out of a total of 104 seats. In the final results, Rajapaksa's United People's Freedom Alliance recorded over 60 percent of votes. In the three districts, UPFA polled a total of 1,506,115 which amounted to 64.73 percent. The main opposition United National Party has managed to win 30 seats and polled 688,253 votes which amounted to 29.58 percent of the total votes polled.

UN humanitarian chief arrives Sri Lanka: Called on the LTTE to let out the remaining civilians and lay down their arms

Sir John HolmesUnited Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes arrived in Colombo this morning at the start of a two-day visit to Sri Lanka seeking increased humanitarian access. Mr. Holmes called on the LTTE to let out the remaining civilians and lay down their arms. "I call on the LTTE with all the urgency I can to let out the remaining civilian population and lay down their arms; and on the Government to exercise maximum restraint including no use of heavy weapons. We need a new humanitarian pause to get aid and aid workers into the combat zone. We must have access to all IDPs wherever they are, including in the conflict zone, and the screening process must also be made more transparent," said Mr. Holmes.

Grant Amnesty To Most Tamil Tigers - The Tokyo Co-Chairs

The Tokyo Co-Chairs have urged Sri Lanka Government to offer amnesty to most Tamil Tigers. They have also asked Sri Lanka to devise a clear resettlement plan and to open the way for a political dialogue. According to Robert Wood, representatives of the Tokyo Co-Chairs (U.S., European Union, Norway and Japan) spoke on Wednesday, April 22 to discuss the humanitarian situation in northern Sri Lanka. Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Richard Boucher participated for the United States.

LTTE Announces Unilateral Ceasefire

Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam has anounced a unilateral ceasefire, whilst being surrounded in all sides, in a 12 sq km land area, by battle hardened Sri Lankan troops. The Political Headquarters of LTTE in a statement released to the press anounced that they have decided on a unilateral ceasefire. The statement said, "In the face of an unprecedented humanitarian crisis and in response to the calls made by the UN, EU, the governments of the USA, India and others, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam has announced a unilateral ceasefire. All of LTTE’s offensive military operations will cease with immediate effect."

ILO DG says ‘poverty anywhere is a threat to prosperity everywhere’

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

The International Labour Organization (ILO) commencing on 21 April launched global celebrations on its 90th anniversary. In a statement released the message of Juan Somavia, Director General of the International Labour Office by the ILO Sri Lanka to coincide the celebration. In his message Mr Somavia has said that events around the world will bring together the ILO’s tripartite constituents —governments, workers and employers— and others who are mobilizing for decent work for all. These local dialogues will have global significance and impact.

Nepal Prime Minister shelves his visit to China

Kosh Raj Koirala – Asian Tribune Correspondent in Nepal

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal has shelved his upcoming visit to China—thanks to the ongoing feud between the chief of the Nepal Army and the ruling Maoist party. Prime Minister Dahal, who is also Chairman of Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), was scheduled to tour Lhasa, Beijing and Shanghai from May 2. "Another date will be set after consulting with the Chinese government," he said.

Sri Lankan official appeals for aid

Sri Lanka's minister of resettlement and disaster relief, Rishad Bathiudeen, met yesterday with former president Bill Clinton and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to request assistance for some 170,000 displaced civilians who have made their way out of areas held by Tamil rebels battling the Sri Lankan government. We want to resettle them immediately," Bathiudeen said in a telephone interview. "We want all the activities to treat them, to give them food and water."

Ernest Corea

Libyan President Colonel Muammar Gaddafi

President Mahinda Rajapaksa

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.