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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2344

Monthly archive

US remains committed to Iraq: Clinton

By Wajid Ali Syed – Washington Correspondent for Asian Tribune

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton assured Iraqi leaders that as the United States draws down its troops in Iraq, it remains committed to to Iraq's government and people. The secretary met yesterday with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari and Iraqi citizens to get their perspectives on Iraq's political, security and economic progress. Newly confirmed US Ambassador to Iraq Christopher Hill also participated in the discussions.

Sri Lanka Tourism gears up for post conflict strategies

The conflict with the LTTE which has affected the north of the country for over two decades is rapidly nearing its end. When the President of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapakse assumed office in 2005, the LTTE had over 16,000 square kilometres under its control. Within two and a half years since the recommencement of the conflict in mid 2006, the government has managed to take control of the LTTE strongholds in the north-east of Sri Lanka, restricting them to a narrow 8 kilometer strip in the north- east of the country.

Britain providing £10m to train Pak agencies against terrorism

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has anounced that Britain will be providing 10 million pounds to train Pakistani intelligence agencies. He stated this while replying to a query at a press conference after meeting with Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani at PM House here on Monday. Reiterating pledge to fight against militancy in cooperation with Pakistan, Brown said "Today we have agreed a stronger and vital relationship between the two countries to combat terrorism."

Bangladesh opposition BNP to go for further legal action if govt. doesn’t reply to Khaleda’s legal notice

M.A. Kader-Asian Tribune Correspondent in Bangladesh

Leaders of the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) on Monday said they would take further legal action if the government does not reply to the notice issued by BNP chief Khaleda Zia over her Dhaka Cantonment house. On the other hand , law minister Shafiq Ahmed yesterday told reporters that the government would not respond to the notice, and the law would take its own course if Khaleda does not vacate the house within the given 15 days deadline.

Resettlement of IDPs in the shortest possible duration is a high priority of Sri Lanka - Minister Rohitha Bogollagama

Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama outlined to David Miliband, Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs of the UK when they spoke yesterday, that the foremost priority of the Sri Lanka Government is to ensure the safety of civilians entrapped in the North, and combat operations had reached its conclusion. The telephone call was initiated by Foreign Secretary Miliband. Minister Bogollagama explained that the security forces hitherto had been engaged in a rescue mission of the entrapped civilians and would continue to do so since the LTTE had not made any attempts to release the persons being held hostage.

Animal SOS: Return to Buddhist values

By Janaka Perera

Sensitive people in the West are awakening to values that Buddhists and Jains have cherished for centuries. It is that all sentient beings have the right to life and animals and other creatures are not there in this world purely for the purpose of serving the interest of humans. The belief that earth’s resources and its creatures were created purely for exploitation by man is an idea that is being increasingly rejected by people in western societies no matter what their elders were taught in schools and churches in the past. It is solely due to the dedication of one such European that Animal SOS Lanka (Pvt) Limited (www.animalsos-sl.com) has emerged. She is Kim Cooling of the United Kingdom and the organisation’s founder-president.

A Sri Lankan Offers Advice To Barack Obama

By K.C. Somaratna

A Sri Lankan who has worked with US conglomerates has written to President Barack Obama offering a set of five proposals to help jolt a beleaguered American economy. Imploring the US president to invest heavily on infrastructure, K. C Somaratna, who heads his own Management Consultancy firm in Colombo, says there is a need to make battery powered cars and also exchange spent batteries for ones recharged using solar energy collected off solar panels placed above the highway itself. He says the US should also research and develop a mechanism to use these same panels to prevent snow falling on the highways there by saving the expenditure on clearing of roads of snow.

Nepal on high alerts over swine flu; decides to screen visitors from US, Mexico at Int’l airport

Kosh Raj Koirala – Asian Tribune Correspondent in Nepal

As a precautionary measure to check possible outbreak of deadly swine flu, Nepal has decided to deploy health officials at the country’s only international airport to screen passengers coming from Mexico and the US. An emergency meeting of the Technical Sub-Committee on Avian Influenza at Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives held on Monday made a decision to deploy a team of health professional at Tribhuvan International Airport. The doctors’ team will give a health related questionnaire to each passenger returning from Mexico and the US and take necessary measures if anyone is suspected to have contracted with the deadly flu.

Pak-US reps discuss trade, economic issues

By Wajid Ali Syed – Washington Correspondent for Asian Tribune

The Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) members of Pakistan and United States met here today and announced to continue cooperation on Economic and trade issues. Both countries signed the TIFA agreement in 2003 and this was the third meeting they had since then.

Tamil Tiger supporters attacked both Sri Lanka and Indian High Commissions in London

Janaka Alahapperuma from London

Tamil Tiger supporters have attacked and smashed the windows, glass panels and caused damages to the buildings at India High Commission, Aldwych, London and Sri Lanka High Commission, Hyde Park Corner, London, on Monday 27th April Scotland Yard said. There were nearly 150 violent demonstrators staged an illegal demonstration in front of Sri Lanka High Commission without prior permission. The area is highly residential and Westminster Police do not allow more than fifty people to hold a demo outside Sri Lanka High Commission.

U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Robert Blake nominated for South Asia Bureau in Washington

Daya Gamage – US National Correspondent Asian Tribune

Robert BlakeWhite House last Friday announced President Obama’s intention to nominate current U.S. ambassador to Sri Lanka Robert Blake to be the assistant secretary for South Asia in the State Department in Washington. The official White House communiqué did not include Central Asian Affairs to the portfolio offered to Mr. Blake. At present Richard Boucher hold both South and Central Asian Affairs as the assistant secretary in this State Department bureau. When asked about this division of the State Department Bureau the Department spokesman Wood did not have a clear answer at hand but instead said "I’ll take a look and see what – if there’s some discrepancy, I’ll take a look at that."

Swat agreement a cause of worry for USA and western elite in Pakistan

By Asif Haroon Raja

The US is extremely annoyed with some elements in the army and ISI for being soft on Afghan Taliban with whom Pakistani Muslims have religious and cultural affinities as well as blood relations. It however doesn’t feel the slightest pinch about intensely growing relations between non-Muslim India and Muslim Afghanistan and both using Afghan soil to destabilize Pakistan through covert means for the last seven years right under the prying eyes of US military.

U.S. encouraged by Sri Lanka decision to end combat operation

Daya Gamage – US National Correspondent Asian Tribune

Department of State spokesman Wood expressed U.S. reaction to Sri Lanka government’s decision to end combat operation in the north of Sri Lanka saying it is an encouraging development and should allow humanitarian operation to take full swing.

ILO urged to take measures against all forms of terror - President Rajapaksa

Terrorism is widespread the world over today. It affects the rich, developed and the poor developing world. This is also a threat to the conditions of work of the people that the ILO will have to take note of. Its commitment to social justice for the working people must put the ILO against all forms of terror, not only in the workplace, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa addressing the ceremony to mark the 90th anniversary of the International Labor Organization at the Presidential Secretariat today. In his address Sri Lanka’s President pointed out, "As we set about this enormous task we were also faced with another major challenge, a challenge that affected our entire society both rural and urban, one that sought to sap us of our energies for progress, for poverty eradication, for the assurance of gender equality, for more improved working conditions, a challenge that drew on our resources that could have been set apart for development. I refer to the challenge of terrorism."

Sinhala and Hindu New Year Celebrations in Stockholm, Sweden

The Sri Lankan nationals and the Swedish friends of Sri Lanka flocked together to celebrate the Sinhala and Hindu New Year in Stockholm. The celebration was held at the Kista Traff in Kista which is a suburb of Stockholm. More than 300 Sri Lankan nationals belonging to various ethnicities and Swedish friends of Sri Lanka joined this joyous event. Sri Lanka Ambassador to Sweden, Ranjith Jayasooriya marked his presence as the Chief Guest of the event. Chief incumbent of the Stockholm Buddhist Vihara, Ven. Kirindigalle Dhammaratana Thero and Maratugoda Maniratne Thero of the Dharma Pradeepa Buddhist Vihara Ven.Imbulane Dhammasiddhi of the Stockholm Buddhist Vihara, were also present at this occasion.

Militants halt talks with Pakistani government over Swat

By Farzana Shah-Asian Tribune Correspondent in Pakistan

Talks between Taliban and Pakistani government have been suspended over restive Swat valley on Monday. The militants while suspending the talks demanded immediate halt to the ongoing military operation in Dir lower. ‘We are suspending talks with the government until the military operation in Dir is halted,’ said a spokesman for Sufi Muhammad who negotiated a peace deal between the two sides in February. ‘Our council of leaders met on Sunday night and decided to suspend peace negotiations with the government in North West Frontier Province,’ TNSM spokesman Ameer Izzat Khan told media on Monday

Was Prabhakaran taken for a ride by the Tamil Diaspora?

By Shenali Waduge

What could be on the mind of a man who has spent 35 years of his life hidden in the Wanni jungles to create a separate homeland for the Tamil people now that the armed forces are but a few kilometers from capturing him? With very few cadres left and having to hide behind the very people he was supposed to protect is it too late to wonder whether or not Prabakaran was nothing but a pawn for the Tamil Diaspora? Prabakaran’s killing spree was first directed at Tamils and not the Sinhalese when Tamil police officers stationed in the North while on duty ended up being shot at. Not many also seem to want to remember or recall that all other Tamil groups who also shared Tamil nationalist thought were gunned down ruthlessly to enable Prabakaran’s LTTE to be able to refer to itself as the "Sole" representative of the Tamil people.

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