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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2401

Monthly archive

Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dipu Moni

Cheney defends torture techniques

By Wajid Ali Syed – Washington Correspondent for Asian Tribune

Dick CheneyFormer Vice President Dick Cheney has said that harsh questioning techniques authorized during the Bush administration helped to stop terrorist attacks that were in the planning stages. Dick Cheney told the CBS program "Face the Nation" that he has no regrets and those techniques were the right thing to do. "I'm convinced, absolutely convinced, that we saved thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of lives. I think if you look at this intelligence program when things are quieter 20 or 30 years from now, you will be able to look back on this and say this is one of the great success stories of American intelligence."

Bangladesh govt. forms high-powered committee to combat militancy and terrorism

M.A Qader-Asian Tribune Correspondent in Bangladesh

Bangladesh government on Tuesday formed a 17-member National Committee on Militancy Resistance and Prevention in a bid to combat militancy and terrorism in the country. State Minister for Home Affairs Tanjim Ahmed Sohel Taj will head the high-powered committee as chairman while representatives from the ministries of Home, Law, Education, Religious Affairs, LGRD, Information and different law enforcing and intelligence agencies will be its members. Talking to reporters in a two-hour-long meeting at the home ministry, Sohel Taj said a three-phase programs will be undertaken in short, medium and long terms to deal with a twin-problem posed by militancy and terrorism.

'Punish all who prolonged the war'

By Janaka Perera

Champika RanawakaEnvironment and Natural Resources Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka told the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation's Sinhala Service this week that the politicians and NGO ‘peaceniks’ who deliberately prolonged Sri Lanka’s armed conflict for 30 years under the pretext of searching for ‘peace’ and ‘negotiated settlements’ with the LTTE should be put on trial at the Galle Face Green, Colombo. The parents and families of thousands of security forces members and police personnel - who perished in vain as a result - should determine the punishment to be given to the guilty.

IOM launches a Project to Reintegrate Former LTTE Combatants

Hilary Rajakarunanayake, Editor – Sri Lanka, Asian Tribune

To help reintegrate and demobilized former LTTE Tamil Tiger rebels into civilian life, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has launched a USAID-funded pilot project in the eastern district of Batticaloa in Sri Lanka. "Reintegrating former combatants into society, retraining them and helping them to find jobs and generate income is not easy, but is an essential first step towards stabilization, peace and economic recovery," said IOM Sri Lanka Chief of Mission Mohammed Abdiker.

Courts send two former lawmakers of opposition BNP to jail in graft cases

M.A. Qader-Asian Tribune Correspondent in Bangladesh

Two separate courts on Tuesday sent BNP’s two former lawmakers M Rashiduzzaman Millat and Nadim Mostafa to jail. Both of them were convicted in graft cases filed during the regime of the immediate past army-backed emergency government. Judge Firoz Alam of Special Court-1 sent Millat to jail as he appeared before the court and sought bail in a corruption case against him. On the other hand, Judge Lutfa Begum of Additional Sessions Judge's Court in Rajshahi sent Nadim to jail after he appeared before the court yesterday afternoon.

Roman Catholic Bishops pledge support to the Sri Lanka Government

Hilary Rajakarunanayake, Editor – Sri Lanka, Asian Tribune

"We pledge our complete support to the Sri Lanka Government in providing relief to the Internal Displaced Persons (IDPs) who have escaped from LTTE held territory and come to Government controlled areas in the Vanni". This statement was issued by a delegation from Caritas, Sri Lanka-Sedec led by the Most Rev. Dr. Oswald Gomis, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Colombo, after a meeting with President Mahinda Rajapaksa, at Temple Trees, on May 11. The Bishops thanked the government for speedy action taken for the welfare of the IDPs who had come in such large numbers, in a very short time.

US expresses 'Deep Concern' over the humanitarian situation in Sri Lanka

United States of America said that it was deeply concerned about the situation in Sri Lanka. Ian Kelly, the US State Department Spokesman said that Secretary Clinton is talking to her colleagues about it. He added that the Secretary had a meeting, with the French Foreign Minister Kouchner yesterday, has another one today (12 May). "And I think the Secretary is very concerned about this and very engaged in it."

The Battle for Supremacy on the Small Screen by Grand Exploitation of the Plight of Islanders

Tamil TV channels are busier than never before with two topical news items playing out to an already weary audience: the forthcoming election in the state of Tamil Nadu and of course, the emotive issue of the plight of Tamil civilians, caught up in the war in Sri Lanka. The G TV channel that telecasts from somewhere in Europe, extensively talks about the ‘killings’ in Sri Lanka while conveniently turning a blind eye to the tormenters who hold them against their will. It does whip up the sentiments of Tiger supporters in the European capitals that in turn lead to the mass protest in European capitols, be it in parliament square in London or streets in Paris.

" Yet another Hospital has been shelled" - another disinformation campaign fabricated by the LTTE for international consumption

Hilary Rajakarunanayake, Editor – Sri Lanka, Asian Tribune

Sri Lankan Army sources describe it as yet another canard and fabrication the news item prominently carried on some international media on Tuesday that a hospital has been shelled inside the conflict zone by the Sri Lanka Army, killing at least 45 persons, according to LTTE and alleged hospital sources. Military sources said they had penetrated LTTE defence lines and were advancing along a coastal strip to the south of the area still held by the LTTE, and where a large number of civilians are still held hostage by the outfit. The military had observed the LTTE cadres laying booby traps to destroy buildings and also carrying out suicide bomb attacks causing considerable injury and damage in the area where they were fast losing control of.

US, UK call for political solution in Sri Lanka

By Wajid Ali Syed – Washington Correspondent for Asian Tribune

US and UK have expressed their concern about the humanitarian crisis in Sri Lanka. Both were also alarmed by the reported civil causalities over the past few days in the safe zone. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and UK Foreign Secretary Miliband met here today on the issue and called on all sides to end hostilities and allow for the safe evacuation of the tens of thousands of civilians trapped within the safe zone, according to the joint statement issued here today. The statement adds that "The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam must lay down their arms and allow civilians free passage out of the conflict zone. Whereas, the government of Sri Lanka must abide by its commitment of April 27 to end major combat operations and the use of heavy weapons.

British parliamentarians furious at pro Tamil Tiger demonstrations in London city

By Janaka Alahapperuma from London

"Our Capital city has been brought to a standstill by a bunch of demonstrators who have, in effect, occupied Parliament Square" MP for Aldershot, Mr Gerald Howarth angrily told at the House of Commons debate in British Parliament on 11th May 2009. Mr Howarth was supported by many other British Parliamentarians including the Speaker of the House of Commons, Michael Martin. House Speaker Martin said "demonstrating is part of a democracy, but no one has ever expected a demonstration to hijack Parliament square and the roads, and thereby stop others performing their democratic duties". He also promised the House to provide more information regarding this matter, later in the week.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa appeals to bankers to lower interest rates in Sri Lanka

Hilary Rajakarunanayake, Editor – Sri Lanka, Asian Tribune

In the wake of the various incentives granted by the Government to stimulate the economy, President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday called for the interest rates to be further brought down and that this benefit should be passed onto small and medium scale investors as well as directly to the public. He was addressing a delegation from the Central Bank as well as representatives from both the State and Private Banks at Temple Trees Tuesday evening. President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that although certain individuals are spreading various canards for political gain, there has been no decline in the flow of financial aid to the country from abroad adding that steps should be taken to ensure stability in the exchange rate.

CPN-UML leader Nepal to head new government

Kosh Raj Koirala – Asian Tribune Correspondent in Nepal

Madhav Kumar NepalIt is now almost certain that senior leader of CPN-UML Madhav Kumar Nepal will be new prime minister of Nepal as all three regional parties that are key to form a new coalition, agreed in principle to support a new government led by the UML. At a meeting of 18 of the 24 political parties representing in Constituent Assembly held on Tuesday, the Madhesi People’s Rights Forum (MPRF), Sadbhawana Party (SP) and Tarai-Madesh Democratic Party (TMDP) extended support to the UML-led government. However, they have not decided yet whether they would join the coalition government to hold ministerial portfolios. They are expected to make their stance clear on the issue by Wednesday.

Dayanidhi Maran files criminal case against Jayalalithaa

By Gopal Ethiraj from Chennai

Former Union Minister Dayanidhi Maran, who is seeking re-election from South Chennai Lok Sabha constituency, has filed a criminal case against AIADMK General Secretary J Jayalalithaa for her charge that he had secured 323 telephone connections and used them for Sun TV network, while in office. Dismissing the charge as "false:, he said in a statement in Chennai that Ms Jayalalithaa had made the charge during electioneering, based on "half-baked" information.

A conference of South Asian countries to improve TV and Radio in South Asia being held in Beijing

Hilary Rajakarunanayake, Editor – Sri Lanka, Asian Tribune

A conference of South Asian countries to improve TV and Radio in South Asia was inaugurated Monday 11 in Beijing. Sri Lankan Minister of Mass Media and Information and Minister of Enterprise Development and Investment Promotion, Anura Priyadharshana Yapa, SLBC Chairman Hudson Samarasinghe, and Rupavahini Technical Advisor Saman Ediriweera are the participants representing Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka and Indonesia to promote tourism

Minister Milinda Moragoda with Minister Jero WacikSri Lanka and Indonesia to share their experience in promoting tourism in their respective countries. Recently Sri Lanka’s Minister of Tourism Milinda Moragoda who was on a three-day official visit on an invitation of Government of Indonesia for participate the Trail of Civilization he met his counterpart Mr. Jero Wacil with senior leaders of the Tourism sector on the sideline of the conference for a bilateral discussion on the promotion of tourism in their respective countries. Minister Moragoda and Minister Jero Wacik discussed issues and the new development of the Tourism sector and he urged Minister of Tourism and Culture Jero Wacik to provide expert help to Sri Lanka in strengthening the sector.

Bush focused wrong issues, says Holbrooke

By Wajid Ali Syed – Washington Correspondent for Asian Tribune

The US special representative to Pakistan and Afghanistan says a proposal to triple nonmilitary aid to Pakistan "corrects" previous policies that focused too heavily on aid to Pakistan's military. Richard Holbrooke told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the Bush administration focused on the "wrong issues" and provided Pakistan with what he described as a "pathetic" amount of aid, considering the threat that extremists in the region pose to the United States. A bill proposed by the top two senators on the panel, chairman John Kerry and Richard Lugar, seeks to triple nonmilitary aid to Pakistan to $1.5 billion annually for the next five years.

.Maheswary Velautham