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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2909

Monthly archive



HC 4

Robert Blake

Carl Bildt

Tv ‘Gag’ On Poll Eve

By Tushar Charan - Syndicate Features

With the five-week long poll process for the 15th Lok Sabha poll underway, the electronic media is gnashing its teeth at the Election Commission for denying it the right to telecast poll forecasts. In the living memory of the young first-time voters, who are perhaps the most important segment of the 71 million voters in the country, it will be the first election that will take place without the electronic media pundits being able to display their self-acclaimed intuitive skills on the poll outcome.

All the Fuss about the "Settlers" of the Hilly Districts: Whose Interests Are the Activists Protecting?

By Habib Siddiqui

The subject of minorities is a very touchy one in any country, especially in nation-states where a national heritage or culture or identity (often dictated by the majority population) defines the characteristic of the state. Such modern concepts of states get complicated if there are other minorities that live in the state, each claiming to be a separate "nation" by virtue of its religion, language, culture, etc. Bangladesh has about 12% minorities, including approx. 10% Hindus, the remainders being Buddhists, Christians and animists. Most of the latter groups live in the high hills, e.g., Jayintia, Garo Hills and Chittagong Hill Tract (CHT) districts. Historically the Bengal delta was husbanded by people who resorted to wet cultivation while the people in the hills, who mostly were outside tax collection from ruling authorities, resorted to dry cultivation for their staple food. In the olden days of the Mughal rulers the authority of the state sometimes ended where the hills began.

Why do Co-chairs want Lanka to negotiate with LTTE

Ruwan Weerakoon in Colombo

Why do Co-chairs want Lanka to negotiate with LTTE? It is no secret that Norway’s International Development Minister Eric Solheim has direct links with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) fighting for a separate state in Sri Lanka. LTTE leader V. Prabhakaran is said to pass on messages to Solheim through Kumaran Pathmanadan a.k.a 'K.P', the LTTE’s international arms procurer. There is reason to believe that Sri Lanka’s ‘Tokyo donor Co-chairs’ – the USA, UK Norway and Japan – are attempting to use Norway as a third party in the Sri Lankan conflict again to urge for a stop to the ongoing operations against the Tamil Tigers and press for negotiations.

Crisis in Sri Lanka: UNICEF airlifts 50 tonnes of emergency supplies as numbers in urgent need swell

UNICEF said that 50 metric tonnes of airlifted emergency relief supplies landed today in Colombo. The supplies will immediately be sent to northern Sri Lanka to meet some of the most urgent needs of more than 100,000 people who have fled fierce fighting over the past week. The emergency airlift includes nutritional supplies, water treatment units for safe water, oral rehydration salts, and medical supplies. An additional airlift will follow on Tuesday. "Sri Lanka is facing a humanitarian crisis that requires a rapid response,"said UNICEF’s Representative in Sri Lanka, Mr Philippe Duamelle. "We estimate that there are approximately a quarter of a million people who need help and they need it quickly."

Bangladesh govt. appoints a panel of lawyers to run the bloody BDR mutiny case

M.A. Kader-Asian Tribune Correspondent in Bangladesh

The Bangladesh government on Monday appointed a three-lawyer panel to conduct the boarder guard Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) mutiny and massacre case. Of the lawyers panel, advocate Annisul Haq has been appointed as 'chief public prosecutor' in the BDR mutiny case and advocates Syed Haidar Ali and Mosharraf Hossain as public prosecutors to deal with the case. They are expected to get the official notifications Tuesday, law ministry sources said.

Sri Lanka denies entry visa to Swedish Foreign: Sweden expresses annoyance

Carl BildtSweden took exception to Sri Lanka’s alleged indifference over the denial of visa to its Foreign Minister to visit Sri Lanka. It is learnt that in a bizarre circumstances, ‘Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt has not been granted an entry visa to visit the country.’ Therefore he has been forced to cancel his participation in the planned visit to the country with his British and French colleagues, a Swedish Foreign Ministry statement revealed. Statement further revealed that Sweden is to recall its Chargé d'Affaires in Colombo for consultations today.