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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2960

Monthly archive

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt

Operation against Taliban displaces 30,000 people in Lower Dir

By Farzana Shah-Asian Tribune Correspondent in Pakistan

About 30,000 people have been displaced in Lower Dir district in Northwestern Pakistan due to a military offensive to flush out Taliban militants.‘Up to 30,000 people have left Maidan in Lower Dir district over the past few days,’ Iftikhar Hussain, the NWFP information minister, told a news conference here on Tuesday. The minister said that provincial government was making arrangements to shelter these displaced people in Peshawar, Nowshera and Timargarah districts.

US lawmakers discuss aid to Pakistan

By Wajid Ali Syed – Washington Correspondent for Asian Tribune

US lawmakers are weighing the possibility of providing emergency aid to Pakistan with the Omaba administration as concerns about the country's stability increase, said Democratic majority leader in the US House of Representatives, Steny Hoyer. He did not give further details on how much assistance was being considered, but he said "we are very concerned about what is happening in Pakistan."

Sanction is an essential for Orwellian Regime of Burma

By Zin Linn

Burma's military rulers have repeatedly described the U.S. and the EU sanctions as "unjust and inhumane act" that will cause chaos and anarchy. The junta also used to say that economic sanctions are the unilateral actions taken only by the big powerful countries on developing countries, ignoring the equality among the nations, which the international community accepts. Especially, it is aimed at outbreak of unrest following the difficulties faced by the people in a state of anarchy. Nevertheless, the Burma's rogue military regime does not put into practice self-criticism on the question of sanctions done by itself upon its own population.

Allegation of the denial of entry visa to Swedish FM “baseless” – Sri Lanka

Carl BildtSri Lanka says no visa application received for visa to Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt to visit Sri Lanka. It also pointed out that Sri Lanka did not even receive any official notification about the proposed visit of the Swedish Minister. In a statement, Sri Lanka has clarified that no formal application for visa to Foreign Minister Carl Bildt to visit Sri Lanka was received by the Sri Lanka Embassy in Stockholm. The statement by the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry said that the allegation of visa being denied is baseless and it also pointed out that an invitation had been extended by Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama, to his Swedish counterpart to visit Sri Lanka in early May.

India request to extradite Prabakaran renewed

By M Rama Rao, India Editor, Asian Tribune

PrabhakaranIndia has renewed its request to Sri Lanka for the extradition of Velupillai Prabakaran in case the LTTE supremo is captured alive from the narrow strip of land where is said to be hiding. Prabhakaran is a proclaimed offender under the Indian law and he has been tried in absentia for his role in the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi at Sriperumbudur near Chennai in May 1991. It is understood that foreign secretary Shiv Shankar Menon renewed the request on Prabhakaran when he called on President Rajapaksa as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s special emissary last week end.

President Rajapaksa assures India of political package for Tamils

By M Rama Rao, India Editor, Asian Tribune

Mahinda RajapaksaSri Lanka leadership is understood to have assured India of its serious intention to provide political package to the Tamils and thus bring them into the mainstream of the island nation. Informed sources said the assurances came at the highest level. While the broad contours of the Colombo plan for ethnic Tamils remains still wrapped in mystery, with all the focus geared towards relief and rehabilitation of thousands of displaced families, indications are that there would be something more than the 13th amendment on the table

British, French Foreign Ministers arrive in Sri Lanka

British, French FMs arrive in Sri Lanka

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and British Foreign Secretary David Miliband have arrived in Sri Lanka for a one-day visit. Kouchner and Milliband are expected to hold talks with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse, Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama during their stay in the island, officials from Sri Lanka's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. They are also scheduled to visit the camps of the Internally Displaced People in the northern town of Vavuniya where more than 100,000 civilians fled the LTTE controlled areas and are being camped in the transit welfare villages.

Thakshin denies charges of involvement behind public disorder

Thaksin Former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has denied, in a statement , Thai government charges that he was behind public disorder earlier this month, which led to government forces clashing with protesters of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), a staunch supporter group. The statement sent to media offices on behalf of Thaksin on Tuesday by Noppadon Pattama, a former Thai foreign minister and a close ally of the ex-premier, said he was charged unfairly by Thai Government "supported and agreed with the violence" with an aim to achieve political goals.

India Election: Bofors issue resurfaces; Cong says the row will not hit its prospects

By M Rama Rao, India Editor, Asian Tribune

Ottavio QuattrocchiThe long forgotten Bofors scam resurfaced on the Indian political scene with Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi, taken off the CBI’s list of wanted persons in the case. 'The withdrawal of the Interpol red corner notice against Ottavio Quattrocchi at the behest of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is another step to bury the Bofors gun case by the Manmohan Singh government', the CPI(M) politburo said in a statement here. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) declared that if voted to power it would appoint a commission to investigate the Central Bureau of Investigation itself for acting as the ‘master of cover-ups’ and ‘political tool in the hands of the government’.

A critical report by UNHCR on the deepening emergency in Sri Lanka

The UNHCR, the UN refugees’ agency has airlifted 3000 family size tents yesterday from its stockpiles in Dubai and also 103 metric tons of aid. UNHCR says so far it has airlifted 5000 family tents and a large consignment of relief items. A statement released by the UNHCR was highly critical and said, "As tens of thousands of civilians continue to make their way out of the conflict zone, UNHCR is responding to the deepening emergency unfolding in Sri Lanka’s north. So far, we have confirmed that some 160,000 people have been displaced by fighting into the government controlled areas, of which, more than 140,000 are being accommodated in 32 sites in Vavuniya, another 11,000 in Jaffna and some 5,000 in Trincomalee." The statement further reveals that according to the reports of the UNHCR staffs on the ground, "the present situation in the north is critical. The conditions at the sites have reached breaking point, placing severe strains on the humanitarian services available. People without shelter are staying out in the open in the blazing sun and sweltering heat."

Operation to rescue civilians continues, while Praba and his senior leaders plans to flee

By Ruwan Weerakoon in Colombo

An operation to rescue the trapped Tamil civilians, who are held hostages by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, are continued by the Military, said Sri Lanka Government’s Defence spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, during the Defence media briefing held this morning. During the same briefing, Military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said that they had received intelligence reports of five boats being kept in readiness, complete with food and transmission equipment for the LTTE leader, as well for the outfit’s leaders to escape. "Asian Tribune" learnt that LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, his heir apparent Charles Anthony, intelligence Chief Pottu Amman and Naval chief Soosai are all holed up in the no-fire zone area. Reports further reveal that they are exploring ways and means to flee, most probably to Malaysia.

Warnings of blood bath unreal - Sri Lanka Foreign Minister

"As you all know we are poised on the threshold of defeating terrorism and embarking on an era of lasting peace and security for all our people…The dire warnings by some of our friends in the international community of a blood bath, if the security forces entered the NFZ, did not come to pass." So said Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama making a presentation on the progress of operations to rescue civilian hostages and the related humanitarian situation to visiting British Foreign Secretary David Miliband and French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner in Colombo this morning.

Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina says, military intervention disrupts due development of the country

M.A. Kader-Asian tribune Correspondent in Bangladesh

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday said Bangladesh could not attain its desired development yet as military and military-backed forces ruled the country frequently disregarding people’s wellbeing. The PM said the unconstitutional governments used the administration and the country’s institutions at their will. That’s why transparency and accountability was not established in the administration, which resulted in lack of development in the country.

Sri Lanka takes precautionary against Swine Flu

Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa , with reports indicating the possible threat of Swine Flu in the Asian region, has ordered the Health Ministry Officials to take swift measure to prevent the virus entering the country. He also instructed to take adequate measures to quarantine all the foreign objects that are imported to Sri Lanka, including plants and crops arriving from suspected locations of having been effected. Furthermore, President Mahinda Rajapaksa at a meeting with the Secretaries of the Ministries this afternoon (28), instructed that measures be taken to ensure that disabled person have access the premises of all Government Institutions.


Mahinda Rajapaksa

Former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shina

Ottavio Quattrocchi