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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2399

Monthly archive

Letter from America - Torture of Detainees

By Habib Siddiqui

If there is one way to measure how a person might fare in a new job, a sure thing is to check him or her out after a few days. For the President of the USA it is 100 days. Why 100 and not 30 or 60? No one really can answer satisfactorily. But that is how it is with the topmost job in the USA – that of the President. Well, so how did President Obama fare in the first 100 days of his presidency? Is he the right man for the job or did the voters pick the wrong guy?

Indian PM pooh-poohs Jaya talk of sending army to Sri Lanka and the pitch for Eelam

By M Rama Rao, India Editor, Asian Tribune

Manmohan SinghTo the obvious relief of Colombo and to the dismay of Jayalalithaa Jayaram of AIADMK, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Saturday poured cold water on the talk of India sending army to Sri Lanka. He stuck to the Delhi stand that solution to the ethnic Tamil problem should be found within the framework of United Sri Lanka. And pooh-poohed the TN parties pitch for 'Eelam for Lanka Tamils'. Dr Singh, who was in Chennai to canvas for the Congress and DMK led alliance partners in the Lok Sabha elections, told a news conference that any talk of sending army to Sri Lanka ignored ground as well as geopolitical realities.

Pakistan army claims to corner Taliban; militants’ hideouts pounded

By Farzana Shah-Asian Tribune Correspondent in Pakistan

A full-scale military offensive has forced the Taliban 'on the run' in northwest of country but militants are stopping civilians from leaving the conflict zone, the army said on Saturday. "They are on the run," the army said in a statement, adding that Taliban fighters were "trying to block the exodus of innocent civilians by preventing their departure through coercion, IEDs (improvised explosive devices), road blocks with trees and even (making them) hostages".

LTTE attack on naval cordon foiled off Mullaitivu seas

Hilary Rajakarunanayake, Editor – Sri Lanka, Asian Tribune

The Sri Lanka Navy destroyed a sea tiger suicide boat when it attacked the well protected Naval cordon in the seas off Vellemullivaikkal in the wee hours of Saturday morning. The Sri Lanka Navy also destroyed another LTTE attack craft and captured another LTTE suicide boat with an attack craft, killing 14 sea tiger cadres on board. A Navy spokesman said that the Sri Lanka Navy has intensified its vigilance in the Mullaitivu seas to prevent LTTE leader Prabhakaran escaping by sea.

Inflation – the Illusive Fiscal Rascal

Hemantha Abeywardena writes from London…..

We are in deep recession and it is official. The world has gone into a fiscal equivalent of hibernation and shows the corresponding signs of a disturbing slowdown on many fronts: air lines report reduced traffic and falling passenger numbers; high street traders moan about lack of spending by the public; hundreds of jobs are lost everyday as firms go bust on daily basis; industry giants, ranging from car makers to steel giants, go cap in hand for state bail-outs after drastically curtailing the output. In a desperate attempt to give the crisis a moral dimension, extravagance was downgraded to vice and prudence hastily elevated as virtue, by those who holds – or a bit more precisely, manipulate – the levers of power.

Russian Navy frees Pakistani fishermen from Somali pirates

Twelve Pakistani fishermen who were taken hostage by Somali pirates have been released after a dramatic series of events at sea. The Pakistani fishermen have been freed after being held hostage by Somali pirates in a pirate vessel in the Gulf of Aden. A Russian Navy ship captured a vessel carrying both Iranian and Pakistani fishermen as hostages in the Gulf of Aden on Friday. Russian naval officials initially detained the fishermen along with the pirates before handing them over to a ship belonging to Pakistan’s Maritime Security Agency.

Bangladesh PM Hasina’s husband nuclear scientist Dr. Wazed passes away

M.A Qader-Asian Tribune Correspondent in Bangladesh

Bangladesh prime minister Sheikh Hasina’s husband Dr M A Wazed Miah, 66, died on Saturday afternoon after prolonged illness. The nuclear scientist Wazed slipped into coma and died of multiple complications 4:25pm on Saturday, at the Square Hospital in Dhaka, doctors said. Dr Miah had been under treatment at Square Hospital for the last one year. He had also received treatment in Delhi and Singapore. In the most recent spell, he was admitted to the hospital on April 7. The body was taken yresterday evening to his Sudha Sadan home at Dhanmandi 5, in an ambulance.

Pakistani cabinet endorses operation against militants - Fund set up for IDPs

By Farzana Shah-Asian Tribune Correspondent in Pakistan

Pakistani Cabinet on Saturday endorsed the ongoing military operation in Swat and Malakand. Addressing a news conference after the cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said that the federal cabinet has endorsed the government's decision to launch a military operation in Malakand Division. Gilani said the operation will continue until the militants and terrorists have been defeated. The prime minister added that session of the National Assembly has been called on Monday to discuss the security

Sri Lanka Railway National Museum to be inaugurated on May 11

Hilary Rajakarunanayake, Editor – Sri Lanka, Asian Tribune

The Sri Lanka Railway National Museum will be inaugurated jointly by Minister of Cultural Affairs and National Heritage Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena and Minister of Road Passenger Transport Lasantha Alagiyawanna on May 11. Lots of valuable information on the heritage of the Sri Lanka Railway is vividly depicted in this Museum. The railway network in Sri Lanka was introduced to the country by the British in 1864. The Railway, then known as Ceylon Government Railways, was conceived in the 1850’s as an instrument to develop and unify the country. The 1st sod of the Sri Lanka Railways was cut by Sir Henry Ward, the Governor, in August in1858. The 1st Train ran on 27th December 1864, with the construction of the Main Line from Colombo to Ambepussa, 54 kilometers to the east. This line was officially opened for traffic on 02nd October 1865.

Defending Canadian Charter of Rights and Offending other Minorities

Lenin Benedict in Toronto for Asian Tribune

The recent burning of National Flag of Sri Lanka by Tamil Tigers in Canada spoils the image of peace loving Canadians in other parts of the world and shows the spreading of violence, hatred and disrespect to other Nationalities on Canadian soil. It should be also noted that the Tamil Tigers who are famous for violence throughout the world, might burn the Canadian Flag in response to its request to the Canadian Government not being fulfilled. The question that arises here is in such circumstances, which law will protect the respect and dignity of Canadian Flag, the symbol of Canadian individuality and identity?

Russia pledges support for Sri Lanka’s counter-terrorism measures

The Government of the Russian Federation strongly supports the efforts of the Government of Sri Lanka to eradicate the menace of terrorism from the island. This pledge was made by the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov to his Sri Lankan counterpart, Rohitha Bogollagama during a telephone discussion between them last Wednesday. Minister Bogollagama, who initiated the telephone call, gave a comprehensive account to the Russian Foreign Minister of the action taken by the Sri Lankan security forces in recent weeks to liberate thousands of civilians entrapped by the LTTE as hostages in the no-fire zone (NFZ).

CIMA through MTV telecasts revision lectures

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

In a new venture Chartered Institute of Management Accountants Sri Lanka (CIMA) has made arrangements to telecast the Revision Lectures on TV. CIMA bi-annually organizes revision lectures for its students to ensure that they are well equipped to succeed in their exams which helps the vast number of students who are unable to attend these lectures to better prepare for the examinations. Bradley Emerson, Regional Director, CIMA said that at CIMA they continuously look for innovative ways to meet the needs of their students. This year, with this objective CIMA in partnership with MTV piloted this project to conduct a series of revision lectures for students of the Managerial level.

Goodbye to 14, Welcome to 15

By D.P. Kamat - Syndicate Features

In the next few days, the verdict of Indian voters in the 15th Lok Sabha elections would be out. In case of a fractured mandate, like minded leaders would have to come together to provide a government to the country. There are over five dozen parties in the fray. They include national, regional, recognized and 'unrecognized' (by the poll body) parties. In addition to this, a number of individuals are also testing their luck. Going by the public mood, it is evident that the country is again heading for another coalition government. UPA and NDA are two fulcrums to which other parties are likely to cling. Right now, both the coalition compendiums are in disarray. They are looking for new partners for the post-poll phase. It is all a game of one-upmanship.

Habib Siddiqui

Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh

Jacob Zuma sworn in as Fourth President of South Africa

Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma is sworn in On Saturday, Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma took the oath of office as the President of South Africa . He was sworn in as South Africa's fourth democratic president on Saturday at a glitzy inauguration attended by heads of state, tens of thousands of supporters, and his three wives. Zuma was accompanied to the stage by the first of his three current wives, Sizakele Khumalo, with nearly 30 visiting leaders among the 5,000 invited guests at the Union Buildings, the hilltop complex that is the seat of South Africa's government in Pretoria. Thousands of supporters gathered in the wintry rain from before dawn to watch the proceedings set up with televisions showing the proceedings.