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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2646

Monthly archive

Son of Sufi Muhammad killed as mortar hits his house in Dir

By Farzana Shah-Asian Tribune Correspondent in Pakistan

Kifayatullah, the son of chief of Tehrik-e-Shariat-e-Muhammadi (TNSM), Sufi Muhammad was killed on Thursday when hit by a mortar shell in Darro village of Maidan as the security force gear up operation against the militants in Lower Dir. The TNSM sources confirm the death of Kifayatullah saying he has died while his brother in-law Fasihullah along with two other people has been injured. ‘I have been informed by the family of Maulana Sufi Mohammad that his son, Kifayatullah, has died and his brother-in-law is seriously injured,’ said the TNSM spokesman, Amir Izzat Khan. Kifayatullah was TNSM Thereek’s Arabic School teacher. He was said to be a well mannered man and was not involved in TNSM activities or any militancy.

"Majority rule actions detrimental to minority Tamils" - Minister Douglas Devananda

By Quintus Perera - Asian Tribune

Douglas DevanandaAssessment of Needs in the Conflict Affected Areas of Northern and Eastern Provinces prepared by Asian Development Bank, United Nations and World Bank has been estimated at US $ 3,085.8 million, said Douglas Devananda, Minister of Social Services and Social Welfare while he was addressing the 21st Business for Peace Forum organized by the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL) at Ceylon Continental Hotel. Kosala Wickramanayake, President, FCCISL welcomed the participants and indicated that the Business for Peace Forum promotes the interaction of the private sector and the distinguished national leaders and other important personalities.

Security Council Silent on Burma’s Child Victims

By Thalif Deen - Inter Press Service

The U.N. Security Council, which has remained virtually paralyzed on Palestine because of strong Western support for Israel, is considered equally ineffective on Burma (Myanmar) because of Chinese and Russian backing for the military junta in that politically troubled Southeast Asian nation. A 60-page study by the New York-based Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict released here says it is time for the Security Council to "move swiftly" to protect the tens of thousands of Burmese children who are "raped, abducted and recruited as soldiers by the country's military and non-state armed groups (NSAGs)." Asked why the Security Council continues to remain silent on Burma, Julia Freedson, director of Watchlist, told IPS there are several possible reasons.

Nepal Maoists step up protest against President Dr Yadav

Kosh Raj Koirala – Asian Tribune Correspondent in Nepal

Nepal Maoists have stepped up their protest activities against President Dr Ram Baran Yadav over his move to reinstate army chief Rookmangud Katawal. On the third day on a row, the Maoist cadres staged demonstration in various parts of the country including in the capital city Kathmandu demanding that the President Dr Yadav revoke his decision. On Thursday morning, the Maoist-affiliated women organization held sit-in protest in front of the President’s office for one hour to press for the demand. Police had to intervene the protest as the agitating women activists enter into prohibited zone

Sri Lanka, A Safer Destination For Tourists – Deputy Minister Faiszer Musthapha

Faiszer MusthaphaSri Lanka Tourism, on Wednesday, introduced the proposed new brand strategy to the Middle East market, highlighting the effective eradication of terrorism which has been a key drawback in developing the country as a tourist destination during the last 25 years. "We have caged the tiger and restricted the terrorists to less than 4 sq. km. Due to the human shield; the Government of Sri Lanka is unable to clear this area in an overnight operation. But soon, LTTE terrorism will have no standing in Sri Lanka which will open-up the entire country for tourism, followed by the much awaited new brand strategy, introduced this month, to the international market," said Deputy Minister of Tourism, Faiszer Musthapha.

Bangladesh experiences first hartal in a district since the present govt. takes office in Jan 06

M.A. Qader-Asian Tribune Correspondent in Bangladesh

Leaders and activists of the Jatiya Party (JP-Manju) on Thursday observed hartal in Bhandaria upazila under Barisal division to press for release of party chief Anwar Hossain Manju. Road communication between Barisal, Pirojpur and Khulna district was snapped since morning yesterday to mark the strike. Bhandaria police chief Motiur Rahman said the JP activists vandalised the office of Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO), upazila social welfare office and upazila accountant office. Aktaruzzaman Dulal, chairman of a union parishad who belongs to BNP, came under attack of the protesters. Dulal was admitted to Barisal Sher-e-Bangla Medical College.

INGOs and NGOs meet President Mahinda Rajapaksa on improving conditions of IDPs

Hilary Rajakarunanayake- Sri Lanka Editor, Asian Tribune

President Mahinda Rajapaksa summoned a meeting this evening of all International NGOs and other NGOs in the country to discuss ways and means of settling the various pressing problems faced by the Internal Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the North. Several suggestions were exhaustively discussed with a view to ameliorating the condition of the IDPs. Among those present at this meeting were Senior Advisor to the President Basil Rajapaksa, Disaster Management and Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe, Defence Secretary Ghotabhaya Rajapaksa, and Minister of Resettlement and Disaster Relief Services Abdul Risath Bathiyutheen.

ICRC warns of intensifying humanitarian crisis in Northwest Pakistan

By Farzana Shah-Asian Tribune Correspondent in Pakistan

The International Committee of the Red Cross warned Thursday that a humanitarian crisis was intensifying in northwest Pakistan, where thousands have fled fighting between militants and troops. The government in North West Frontier Province has said up to half a million could flee the Taliban flashpoint district of Swat and local officials said Wednesday that more than 40,000 left the main town of Mingora in 24 hours. ‘The humanitarian crisis in NWFP is intensifying,’ the ICRC said in a statement, adding it no longer had access to the areas most affected by the conflict and that precise statistics of the displaced were so far unverifiable.

UPFA General Secretary praises SLFP Paris branch

Education Minister Susil Premajayantha, who is the General Secretary of United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) praised the activities of the Paris Branch of Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and urged the SLFP members to work in close coordination with like-minded political groups to assist the development work in the country, especially the development plans in the northern province and the eastern province. "As you work in harmony with all groups of expatriate Sri Lankans, you will be able to coordinate activities in order to ensure maximum support for the motherland from the expatriate community," Mr Premajayantha advised members of SLFP Paris Branch held in Paris on March 5, 2009.

Trade union agreements for the protection of Sri Lankan migrant workers’ rights in Arab States signed

Hilary Rajakarunanayake, Asian Tribune Editor in Sri Lanka

The protection of the rights of Sri Lanka migrant workers in Arab states is at the centre of a major cooperation agreement signed on Thursday in Colombo by the leaders of the Sri Lanka trade unions and their counterparts from Bahrain, Jordan and Kuwait - three important destination countries for Sri Lanka migrant workers. The agreement was aimed at granting Sri Lanka migrant workers "the full panoply of labour rights included in internationally-recognized standards"

Mention of "Genocide”" makes US Ambassador to UN Susan Rice to get emotional

Daya Gamage – U.S. National Correspondent Asian Tribune

Susan RiceEarly April CNN reported 'The 15th anniversary of the genocide in Rwanda brought American U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice to tears as she reflected on her personal memories surrounding the slaughter." Rice visited Rwanda as a staff member in former President Bill Clinton's National Security Council six months after the ethnic cleansing. She explained how even months after the violence she encountered decomposing bodies at one of the massacre sites. "For me, the memory of stepping around and over those corpses will remain the most searing reminder imaginable of what our work here must aim to prevent," she said last April 7 at a special commemorative event at United Nations headquarters in New York.

Treat Tamil IDPs with kindness and benevolence says Sri Lanka President

Hilary Rajakarunanayake, Editor Sri Lanka , Asian Tribune

Mahinda Rajapaksa"The way to tread the path of the Thathagatha is to treat the hundreds of thousands of our citizens pushed by terrorism into welfare centres as the internally displaced, with kindness and benevolence, President Mahinda Rajapaksa stated in his Vesak message this morning. "LTTE terrorism has succeeded in pushing hundreds of thousands of our citizens into welfare centres as the internally displaced. The way to tread the path of the Thathagatha in this instance is to treat them with kindness, offering all help possible, to be generous and benevolent.

Boarding the Sri Lanka Bashing Bandwagon – London Telegraph Doing a Very High Jump

The anger of Jeremy Page, the South Asian correspondent of "The Times" is understandable: his application for the journalistic visa was rejected; when he tried to make the entry as a bogus tourist incognito, was caught at the Katunayake airport and then deported from Sri Lanka. Since then Jeremy Page has been doing the obvious; he spread venom in his writing against Sri Lanka in "The Times". One of his fans found his obsession with the war against Tamil Tigers funny, by expressing, "Jeremy goes nuts after his visa denial."

The Greatest Teacher Who Taught The Danger Of Defiled Mind

By Ven.Horowpothane Sathindriya Thera, Samadhi Buddhist Vihara, Campbellfield – Victoria, Australia

Twenty five centuries ago the unprecedented epoch was dawned to the globe with the Fully Enlightenment of Siddhartha Gotama the Buddha. The birth as a prince to the royal family was a unique reward and the greatest incomparable gift to the human society. Though King Suddhodana, his father was extremely careful to prevent him from seeing the reality and the true nature of things, his pre-destined energy and the prolonged practice opened the avenues and the path to see the true nature of the world. In the prime of his youth, he left all comforts and facilities which ordinary people pursue to multiply and accumulate with insatiable desire.

Another LTTE's plan to assassinate Minister Douglas Devananda foiled

Hilary Rajakarunanayake, Editor – Sri Lanka, Asian Tribune

Douglas DevanandaPolice have traced a plan to assassinate Social Services and Welfare Minister Douglas Devananda. A Police source said that several CID sleuths had been recently employed to catch the culprits. According to Police, Rs. 20 million received from the LTTE has been promised to the suspected contract killer to assassinate Minister Devananda. A married couple residing in the first floor of the Pettah Fish Market was used by the LTTE to carry out the plan.

Hue and cry made over threat of Taliban

By Asif Haroon Raja

The initial plan of occupying Afghanistan had been conceptualized by Clinton Administration in 1997. Final shape to this gory drama of blood, death and destruction in this region was given in Washington in the aftermath of 9/11 by George W. Bush led team of neo-cons. Britain, Israel and India were also the architects of the game plan. The real purpose behind the bloody venture was not to seek revenge of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, but to fulfill commercial interests. USA had for long eyed the vast oil, gas and mineral resources of Central Asia.

European Union members observe whether the ruling Awami league govt. fulfills its election pledges

M.A. Qader-Asian Tribune Correspondent in Bangladesh

The ambassadors of European Union member states on Thursday said they will "observe" how the Awami League government delivers on its election promises. At a press conference in Dhaka marking the Europe Day , European Commission mission head Stefan Frowein said the ruling Awami League government could not perform faster than the caretaker government. He said the EU countries would inject more development aid into Bangladesh despite economic recession in Europe.

Nine soldiers killed as Pakistan army continues offensive in Swat, Buner

By Farzana Shah-Asian Tribune Correspondent in Pakistan

About nine soldiers were killed as Pakistani military intensified operation against the militants in northwest Pakistan. Nine soldiers were killed, seven in one ambush, during clashes over the past 24 hours in the northwest district of Swat, ISPR spokesman Athar Abbas said on Thursday. Seven of the soldiers were killed when militants ambushed a convoy at the entrance to Mingora. "The troop carrier was coming and there were seven soldiers killed in that. Two soldiers were killed somewhere in the valley north of Matta," Abbas said.