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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2400

Monthly archive

Sri Lanka President in Jordan

Mahinda Rajapaksa in JordanSri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa arrived in Amman, on a two-day official visit to Jordan. He was received warmly by the Jordanian Minister of Industry and Trade of Jordan, Amer Hadidi at the Royal Pavilion of Queen Alia International Airport today President Rajapkasa was accorded a Guard of Honour by the Royal Jordanian Armed Forces on his arrival at the airport. President Rajapaksa is visiting at the invitation of King Abdullah II of Jordan to participate at the G-11 summit scheduled to be held here.

Situation In No- Fire Zone: Unacceptable to America

A Commentary by L. Jayasooriya

When America, militarily the mightiest nation on earth, says that something happening in any other county is unacceptable it means that that country has to comply with what is acceptable to America. When it is unacceptable they usually do not bother to say it but neutralize it (the language they use) by de-stabilizing that nation and installing a puppet who will comply fully with American wishes or even kill as was done to Lumumba. Every child in America has been brought up to believe that America is the greatest nation on earth and the children have grown up in that belief for generations. Even as recently as a few days ago America said that the situation in the no-fire zone is unacceptable for reasons that they give which we know are false. If what they say is true the war could have been ended in just a few hours.

Calgary Vesak Celebrations on grand scale

Japanese Buddhist dignitary Dr. L. Kawamura, Director of Eastern Religions, Calgary University, was a special guest at the 2553rd Vesak Celebrations organized by the Sri Lankan community in Calgary, Canada on May 9. He delivered a thought-provoking speech on Buddhism and its impact on the modern world, at the event. The Sri Lankan Buddhist society enlivened the festival with a typical Sri Lankan Vesak night atmosphere and an attractive ‘thorana’ that was commissioned for the first time since the introduction of Buddhism to continental America. The celebrations saw the enthusiastic participation of a large gathering. Children of the Ehipassiko Dhamma School conducted a traditional religious procession or "Mal Perahara" at the commencement of the celebrations.

Civilians suffer in Sri Lanka fight

By Wajid Ali Syed – Washington Correspondent for Asian Tribune

As the battle between the Sri Lanka military and the LTTE has intensified, the humanitarian groups around the world are getting concerned about the civilians trapped in the war zone. With each passing day, the situation is getting worse - pushing the groups voice louder to help the local population stuck in the area. The International Committee of the Red Cross said on Wednesday that shelling in Sri Lanka's war zone killed one of its workers. ICRC officials also said that the fighting between the military and Tamil Tiger rebels was so heavy that their ferry could not deliver medical supplies or transport wounded from the combat zone.

Piyara dazzles - Prevention of pollution pays rich dividends

By Quintus Perera - Asian Tribune

Piyara Bakery (Pvt) Ltd, Moragoda, Gampaha is a family owned corporate entity and it won a prestigious award for the promotion of eco-friendly production process presented by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC). The process got the bakery industry closer to the nature, effluent water treatment got bio-gas to avoid the use of three LP Gas Cylinders per day, in addition to the prestigious award winning and winning the hearts of the neighbours.

Gen Kiyani asks army to minimize civilian casualties in northwest Pakistan

By Farzana Shah-Asian Tribune Correspondent in Pakistan

General KayaniPakistani Army chief General Ashfaq Kayani Wednesday ordered troops to minimize civilian casualties even if they had to take risks while battling militants in the northwest. A statement issued by ISPR says the general has instructed the army to ensure minimum collateral damage even at the expense of taking risks, by resorting to precision strikes. The statement said Pakistan Army is acutely aware of the nature of ongoing operations in Swat and elsewhere, and their likely fallouts.

Suspected Tamil Tiger mobs repeats attack on Kingsbury Buddhist Temple-London

By Janaka Alahapperuma-London

A suspected gang of Tamil Tiger supporters has once again attacked the Sri Saddhatissa International Buddhist Centre (SSIBC) popularly known as “Kingsbury Buddhist Temple-London” in the wee hours of Wednesday (Today) May 14th. This attack by Tamil Tiger supporters caused damage to the glass windows, panels and the building. No one, including the residing monks, was injured and London Metropolitan Police were called immediately to the temple premises around 3.15 am. This is the seventh (7th) time Kingsbury temple has come under physical attack and on numerous other occasions, suspects have stolen the Sri Lankan flag which is always displayed on the post in front of the temple, along with the British and Buddhist flags. Previous attacks caused severe damage to the building, glass windows and vehicles parked outside.

Bangladesh signs MoU with Russia to set up nuclear power plant

M.A. Qader-Our Correspondent in Bangladesh

Bangladesh on Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding with Russia-- the first step towards the installation of a nuclear power plant in the country. Chairman of Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission Dr. Mosharaf Hossain and deputy director general of Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation (Rosatom) N N Spasskiy signed the deal in Dhaka. State minister for science Yafes Osman and prime minister's energy affairs adviser Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury and high officials from both sides were present at the ceremony. Spasskiy led a high-powered delegation from Russia, a global leader in nuclear technology, to Dhaka on Tuesday to sign the deal.

LTTE Money Collector is in a "Fat" loosing mission

By a special correspondent from Toronto

When doctors ask them to exercise most people don’t want to follow because exercising is not their favorite subject. A well known LTTE money collector in Toronto Mr. Gunapalasundaram Veeragathipillai also known as Guna Veeragathipillai found a new method to loose his troubling fat in an easy and respectable way. Few days ago he sat in front of Toronto Queens Park area and told his Tamil Tiger friends that he is fasting until his leader Prabakaran rescued by International community.

Three arrested for attack on Sri Lankan cricket team

By Farzana Shah-Asian Tribune Correspondent in Pakistan

Three men belonging to Lashkar-e-Jhangvi group have been arrested for their alleged involvement in the March 3 attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team that claimed the lives of eight Pakistanis and injured six players. A private Pakistani news channel quoting sources said the accused are members of banned militant outfit Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and hail from Southern Punjab. The sources said that two of the arrested persons were directly involved in armed attack on Sri Lankan players. While the third accused have provided logistic support to the attackers in the city.

Lok Sabha polls end in TN; all camps hopeful

By Gopal Ethiraj from Chennai

Polling to 39 parliamentary constituencies in Tamilnadu and for one in Puducherry ended today, and it is said to be moderate and somewhat peaceful, except for two incidents—one at Triplicane in Chennai and at Dindigul. Unofficial record says votes polled was more than 60 per cent. Polling was brisk throughout the day and there were failure of electronic voting machines (EVM) as soon as polling started in the morning in about 40 booths in the city and a few others across the State owing to malfunctioning the machines. However they were set right, and some time was lost. Many voters, including political leaders, most of whom claim to rationalists, choose to bid the inauspicious time, the yamagandam, that is from 7.30 am to 9 a.m., and came to vote after 9.

"Protesters in Canada represent the terrorist group and not the Tamil People of Sri Lanka" – High Commissioner Daya Perera

"Sri Lanka should not receive a verdict of ‘guilty’ from various nations without the deliberation of a jury when facts are so stubborn and visible," said Daya Perera P.C, High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in Ottawa. He said that the mass demonstrations in Toronto in the last two days with placards depicting that they are LTTE and their leader is Prabhakaran clearly indicates that, the protesters represent the terrorist group and not the Tamil people of Sri Lanka. In a media release, Daya Perera, Sri Lanka’s Higgh Commissioner in Canada pointed out that in the pursuit of peace, the Government of Sri Lanka, with the assistance of foreign nations continuously attempted to negotiate peace that was scuttled by the terrorists. "Hence, the Sri Lanka Government was compelled to fight a fierce battle single handed, while some major nations identified the terrorists in Sri Lank with duplicity while vehemently protesting, fighting and condemning Al-Qaida, Hamas and Taliban," said Sri Lankan diplomat.

Statement By President Obama On The Situation In Sri Lanka

Daya Gamage – US Bureau Asian Tribune

Barrack ObamaThe United States president Barrack Obama made the following statement on the situation in Sri Lanka in the White House lawn Wednesday, 12 May. The President: Hello, everybody. Sorry to keep you guys waiting. Good to see you. I want to take a few moments at the top to talk about something that, with all the big issues going on, hasn't received much attention, but I think is worth talking about briefly. As some of you know, we have a humanitarian crisis that's taking place in Sri Lanka, and I've been increasingly saddened by the desperate news in recent days. Tens of thousands of innocent civilians are trapped between the warring government forces and the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka with no means of escape, little access to food, water, shelter and medicine. This has led to widespread suffering and the loss of hundreds if not thousands of lives.

Sri Lanka Government condemns statements made by Ranil Wickremesinghe in Belgium and London

Hilary Rajakarunanayake, Editor – Sri Lanka, Asian Tribune

Ranil "The Sri Lanka Government vehemently condemns the statements made by Leader of the Opposition Ranil Wickremesinghe in Belgium and London regarding Sri Lanka. It is nothing short of political treachery". This was stated by Minister of Mass Media, Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena at a press conference in Colombo today. "The Sri Lanka Government is conducting military operations against the LTTE terrorists in such a manner that they do not inflict any harm on innocent civilians held hostage by the LTTE. The international community has commended the Sri Lanka Government for this. At a crucial moment like this, what the Opposition Leader Wickremesinghe should do is to support the Sri Lanka Government in its endeavor to eradicate terrorism from the country, and not indulge in making treacherous statements against the Sri Lanka Government".

Indian Polls: Exit polls give Cong slender edge, bookies root for Manmohan Singh

By M Rama Rao, India Editor, Asian Tribune

Now that Indian electorate has delivered and sealed its verdict, guessing game has begun on who would be the next prime minister. The bookies are rooting for Manmohan Singh for the top job and are putting the odds against BJP strong man L K Advani though exit polls have put the Congress only slightly ahead of its rival BJP. Several other leaders like Sharad Pawar, Mulayam Singh, and Mayawati are also said to toying with plans to enter the PM race. Both parties are projected to fall short of the half way mark to form a single party government in 545 member lower house of Parliament. (Two of these seats are filled by nomination of Anglo-Indians). ‘Times Now’ television’s exit poll gave Congress 154 seats and its alliance, UPA, 198 seats. For the BJP, its count is 142 seats and its alliance, NDA 183 seats. CNN-IBN television projected 185-205 seats to the UPA, 165 to 185 to the NDA.

To the West, Sri Lanka is Exhibit A

Daya Gamage – US National Correspondent Asian Tribune

We produce here three statements made about the situation in Sri Lanka. When one goes through these statements one may arrive at the conclusion that to the West, Sri Lanka has become ‘Exhibit A’. The following statement was made by the U.S. State Department spokesman Ian Kelly Tuesday, 12 May at the daily press briefing. On Sri Lanka, there continues to be some serious incidents involving civilian deaths. I know that the U.S. put out a couple of statements yesterday. Is there anything going on so diplomatically beyond the rhetoric to try to deal with that situation?

UN Security Council strongly condemn LTTE for using civilians as human shield

The UN Security Council has strongly condemned the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) for its acts of terrorism over many years, and for its continued use of civilians as human shields, and acknowledges the legitimate right of the Government of Sri Lanka to combat terrorism. In a press statement on Sri Lanka was read out today by Council President Vitaly Churkin, which said that the members of the Security Council has demanded the LTTE to lay down its arms and allow the tens of thousands of civilians still in the conflict zone to leave. The statement further said that the members of the Security Council has also expressed deep concern at the reports of continued use of heavy calibre weapons in areas with high concentrations of civilians, and expect the Government of Sri Lanka to fulfill its commitment in this regard.

US frustrated on situation in Sri Lanka

By Wajid Ali Syed – Washington Correspondent for Asian Tribune

The State department has said that the United State is frustrated along with the international community on the situation in Sri Lanka. In a daily briefing, the spokesperson said that the US is disturbed by the killings of civilians and shelling in the safe zone. "We’re working with the international community to maintain pressure on all sides, we’re also working with the UN and allies to develop a humanitarian response" he added. The spokesperson maintained that US is pressurizing LTTE and Sri Lanka to honor their commitments and allow civilians to leave the zone where they’re trapped. "We’re calling on the government to stop use of heavy weapons into the so-called safe zones."

Will U.S. Make a Difference on Human Rights Council?

By Thalif Deen, Inter Press Service

Will the election of the United States to the 47-member Geneva-based Human Rights Council (HRC) make a significant difference to the cause of human rights worldwide, or will Washington be thwarted by the Council's politically-repressive countries accused of being serial abusers? Both questions will be put to a test when Washington takes a seat on the HRC for a three-year term beginning Jun. 19. Elizabeth Sepper, U.N. advocacy fellow at Human Rights Watch, told IPS: "We expect to see the United States bring energy and enthusiasm to the Council's work."

Sri Lanka President appoints Task Force for Resettlement, Development and Security in the Northern Province

Hilary Rajakarunanayake, Editor – Sri Lanka, Asian Tribune

Basil Rajapaksa Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa has appointed a 19- member Presidential Task Force for Resettlement, Development and Security in the Northern Province. It is mandated to prepare strategic plans, programs and projects to resettle internally displaced persons, (IDPs), rehabilitate and develop economic and social infrastructure of the Northern Province. Senior Presidential Advisor Basil Rajapaksa MP has been appointed as the Chairman of the Task Force with Essential Services Commissioner General S.B.Divarathne as the Secretary.