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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2397

Monthly archive

Taliban seized important government buildings in Mingora, start patrolling

By Farzana Shah-Asian Tribune Correspondent in Pakistan

Militants from Tehrik-e-Taliban of Pakistan have started patrolling Mingora town of Swat on Sunday. According to sources the militants have seized many important government buildings for use as bases and have started patrolling Mingora town. Meanwhile, unknown men blew up a government boys’s school while armed assailants broke into Mingora Grid Station.

Berlin Vihara Draws Many Westerners

The Sri Lanka-based German Dharmadutha Society (GDS) which manages the Berlin Vihara - Europe’s oldest Theravada Buddhist temple – elected new office bearers at the GDS Annual General Meeting held in Colombo last week. They were Dr. Manel Lakdivdas (President) and (Vice Presidents) H.A.V. Soysa, Tissa Weeraratna, J.H.P Guruge and K.G. Sinhasiriweera. Senaka Weeraratne and H. Kalubanda were elected Secretary and Treasurer respectively. The Committee comprises Professor Jayadeva Tilakasiri, Dr. Newton Peiris, Major–General Sardha Abeyratne, T.P.Weerasinghe, W.Panditharatne, M.P. de Zoysa, Mahinda, Karunanayake and M.S. M.Wijeratne.

A third High Court bench admits BNP chief Khaleda’s writ petition

M.A. Kader-Our Correspondent in Bangladesh

A third bench of High Court on Sunday admitted the writ petition of BNP chief Khaleda Zia for ruling out the government notice that ordered her to vacate the Dhaka Cantonment house. The bench of justices Zinnat Ara Sultana and Abdul Hakim adjourned hearing until next Sunday on attorney general Mahbubey Alam's assurance that the opposition leader would not be harassed. However, two benches felt embarrassed to hear the petition, earlier. The bench of justices Syed Mahmud Hossain and Kamrul Islam Siddiqui was the second to decline a hearing.

Nepal Maoist dismiss army chief

Kosh Raj Koirala – Asian Tribune Correspondent in Nepal

Ruling Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) on Sunday unilaterally sacked Nepal Army Chief Rookmangud Katawal. A cabinet meeting held on Sunday morning took a decision to this effect despite protest from all coalition partners in the government. The cabinet meeting decided to appoint second-in-command in the army Kul Bahadur Khadka as acting chief of the national army.

MONLAR calls the South to rise in magnanimity in the hour of need in the North

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

Movement for Land and Agricultural Reforms (MONLAR) issuing a statement coinciding the International Workers Day indicated that the International Workers Day is commemorated in summing up the milestone and victories attended by the working class in their struggle to earn their due right. It is with just pride and honour that they stand in defiance, up against all forces conspiring to undermine their right to life and dignity. MONLAR indicated that since the early 19th century, workers in different nations had opposed enslaved labor extending up to 16 - 18 hours a day. The organized efforts of the labor movements of the United States then, initiated on the campaign demanding a 10 hour work day culminated in bringing about the now infamous struggle for the "the 08 hour workday". in 1884.

Militant commander rejects establishment of Darul Qaza in Malakan division

By Farzana Shah-Asian Tribune Correspondent in Pakistan

The chief of Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat Muhammadi, Sufi Muhammad and Swat Taliban have rejected the establishment of Darul Qaza (final shariat appellate court) in northwestern Pakistan by the NWFP provincial government. TNSM spokesman Amir Izzat Khan said Sufi Muhammad was supposed to be consulted on the makeup of the appeals court but was not. ‘We reject this Darul Qaza and further consultation is on to discuss the future line of action,’ Khan said.

Washington Commentary : Obama’s One Hundred Days of Effort – Pleased but Not Satisfied

By Ernest Corea

The practice of passing judgment on a new American president at the end of his first 100 days in office is an unavoidable political ritual that is buttressed by a national inclination towards doing everything by the numbers. Thus, on President Barack Obama’s hundredth day in office newspaper readers encountered snippets of information on the percentage of presidents in the post-World War 2 years who were left-handed (42) like Obama, the average age of the Obama Cabinet (46), and the number of recent newspaper references (75) to Portuguese Water Dogs, the breed of the puppy gifted to the Obamas by Senator Edward Kennedy.

Sri Lanka: Is the International Community really concerned about civilians caught in the war?

By Raj Gonsalkorale

The LTTE has trapped thousands of civilians in the no fire zone in the small pocket of land in the North East of Sri Lanka. This land mass is reportedly only about 3 square kilometers. The international community estimates the number of civilians there to be more than 50,000. It is assumed they are not counting the LTTE cadres there, although one is entitled to wonder how they are doing this unless the LTTE are wearing their uniforms to distinguish them from the civilians. If this number is accurate, then these trapped civilians probably only have standing space in this small pocket of land. Then, there are over 200,000 internally displaced persons according to Sri Lankan government estimates. The international community claims they are in poor shape.

When, Where the Pope Inspires No Hope

By Nicola Nasser

Pope Benedict XVI is scheduled to be the third pontiff to visit the Holy Land from 8 – 15 May, following in the footsteps of Paul VI in 1964 and John Paul II in 2000, on a mission officially described as a "pilgrimage" and one of "peace and reconciliation." However, the Pope will be stepping into "a diplomatic minefield," where the Catholic highest spiritual authority will be unmercifully scrutinized by the protagonists of the one hundred year old Arab – Israeli conflict for the Holy Father’s every step, word and handshake, which would force him into the defensive in an impossible balancing act that will rule out any hope his presence is supposed to inspire, especially among the down-trodden Arabs of Palestine, whether those who are "Israelis" living as second class citizens since 1948 or those Palestinians living under the Israeli military occupation since 1967.

Taliban behead two Pakistani government officials in Swat

Taliban have beheaded two government officials in the northwestern Swat Valley in revenge for the killing of two insurgent commanders by security forces, a militant spokesman said on Sunday.The two government officials were kidnapped and beheaded on Saturday evening in Khuwaza Kheil, a village 18 km north of the valley's main town of Mingora, said town police chief Danishwar Khan. Their bodies were dumped beside a road. 'They beheaded the officers. We've sent an ambulance to pick up the bodies,' Khan said.

Bangladesh local govt. minister denounces the statement of BNP chief Khaleda on militancy control

M.A. Kader-Our Correspondent in Bangladesh

Denouncing the statement of opposition BNP chief Khaleda Zia, Bangladesh local government Minister Syed Asharful Islam on Sunday said Bangladesh would face the destiny of Pakistan if the country was not prepared to tackle the growing spate of terrorism. Talking to reporters at Secretariat in the Dhaka city capital Ashraf said Bangladesh needed to work seriously to tackle the issue since terrorism is a global phenomenon. The main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) chief on Saturday at a rally said that there was no militant in the country as they had controlled of the militants by arresting and executing all the militants. Khaleda accused the four-month-old government of the Awami League of plotting to bring foreign troops in the country in the name of anti-militancy fight.

Ernest Corea

Shame Capital: Delhi Punishment Without Crime

By Tushar Charan - Syndicate Features

Delhi is a shame capital where flouting the rules and going against the law is flaunted without hesitation by the high and mighty as well as the lowly. Corporal punishment was ‘banned’ by the Delhi High Court in 2001. The latest instance of how this court order is being brazenly abused came in the horrible form of the death of an 11-year-old girl, Shanno Khan, who was a Class II student of a school run by the Delhi Municipal Corporation. That her ‘crime’ was merely her inability to spell some words in English makes it more shameful. Not because it shows a ‘colonial’ mindset of our schools but because the education policy remains deeply flawed, unrelated to the ground realities.

Small Miracle : Sri Lanka ready to take off and to reach its full economic potential

"Sri Lanka is ready to rebrand itself and to talk off at this time to reach its full economic potential, when the challenge of terrorism was ending and Sri Lankans are seeing light at the end of the tunnel" said Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha. Noting that despite adversity, in recent years, Sri Lanka sustained economic growth at around 6%, and continued to draw steady flows of foreign investment and tourists, he said Sri Lanka was better prepared to shift gears in its race towards prosperity. Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and the European Union (EU) made these observations when he addressed the launch of a comprehensive Sri Lanka Economic Promotion Programme in Brussels, which commenced with a 3 day Sri Lanka Sea Food Festival on 27 April 2009 at the Raddison BLU Hotel, under the patronage of the Governor of Brussels Hugo Nys.

Stocks down on profit taking

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

Acuity – the stock brokering arm of HNB and DFCC in their weekly review indicated that the week started off on a negative note as profit taking dragged indices lower following last week’s healthy gains. Nevertheless market bounced back on Wednesday after two consecutive days of losses fuelled by falling rates on government securities subsequent to Central bank’s rate cuts last week. Indices closed the week almost flat with All Share Price Index (ASPI) dropping 6.6 points or 0.36% to 1838.5 points while the liquid Milanka Price Index (MPI) ended 8.2 points or 0.41% lower at 1963.1 points.

Military offensive continues against militants in Pakistan; 80 killed so far

By Farzana Shah-Asian Tribune correspondent in Pakistan

So far 80 militants have been killed in military offensive against Taliban in northwest Buner district, says Pakistan army sources.‘In the Buner operation so far, 80 militants have been killed while three soldiers embraced shahadat (martyrdom) and eight others were injured,’ the military said. ‘Reportedly militant commander Khalil has been killed in the Buner operation. His real name is Alam Buneri and he was a mainstream leader of the banned organization TTP (Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan).’


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