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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2707

Monthly archive

Aung San Suu Kyi

Sangaree on the plight of Tamil civilians in the no-fire zone

In an open letter to Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the TULF President V. Anandasangaree, has lamented over the worsening humanitarian crisis in the no-fire zone located in the Mullaitivu district. In his letter, he pointed out that he was shocked and deeply grieved at the happenings in Mullivaikal, where LTTE is holding to ransom more than one hundred thousand people. He said that the innocent Tamil civilians are now undergoing worse hardships than what they underwent during the period in which they were held under the subjugation of the LTTE. The TULF Leader said, the food they received did not meet their requirements either due to short supply or due to LTTE taking their requirements first or for both." As a result mothers and elders are severely mal-nourished. These days they wait in long queues to receive their quota of "Kanchi"."

All eyes on Tamil Nadu; will it be a kingmaker again?

By Gopal Ethiraj from Chennai

All the political majors at New Delhi—Congress (UPA), BJP (NDA), the Third Front—are waiting for the outcome of Tamil Nadu-Puducherry results, as also the two arch rivals in Chennai—Chief Minister M.Karunanidhi and AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa who are hoping to play key roles in central politics. The 40 seats of the state used to swing one side always, and hence the mantle of kingmaker falls on it. With the counting for the verdict just a day away, people are working on permutation and combinations. Even before the parties could decide, people separate and link parties for a possible government formation at the centre. If coalition government is inevitable, the emergence of "pre-poll alliance" and the same breaking up to form "post-poll alliance" also seems order of the day. (Just a sample: Telangana Rashtriya Samithi (TRS) in Andhra Pradesh contested with TDP (Third Front alliance), and even before the results could come out, it shifted to NDA)

IDPs at Jalozai camp, Nowshera receiving threats from Taliban

By Farzana Shah-Asian Tribune Correspondent in Pakistan

The internally displaced people from northwest Pakistan sheltered at tented camps in Nowshera are faced with threats from Taliban. The Internally Displaced People from Swat, Dir and Buner camped at Jalozai Nowshera have complained that armed and masked miscreants are threatening them. The Swati dwellers of the Jalozai IDPs camp in Nowshera say armed masked men are threatening and harassing them for the last two nights.

Now more IDPs are escaping from LTTE in New Safety Zone despite LTTE sporadic shootings

Hilary Rajakarunanayake, Editor – Sri Lanka, Asian Tribune

According to Army figures released this morning 3765 Internal Displaced Persons (IDPs) escaped from the LTTE in the New Safety Zone and reported to troops at Mullaitivu yesterday. From reports being received today at the moment there is a steady influx of IDPs escaping from the LTTE in the New Safety Zone in spite of sporadic shootings and other deterrents by the LTTE. Military sources said troops were proceeding with extreme caution as the humanitarian operations to rescue civilians reach a final stage. Brig. Shavendra de Silva, General Officer in-charge of 58th Division, was quoted in the media saying "We believe that the LTTE would be left with no option but to let the civilians out of its grip."

Independent UN Human Rights Expert Calls For Release Of Aung San Suu Kyi

The independent United Nations human rights expert on Myanmar has called for the unconditional release of detained pro-democracy leader and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, who was reportedly taken to a special court this morning and now faces new charges. UN Special Rapporteur Tomás Ojea Quintana voiced serious concern regarding the unlawful detention of Suu Kyi, leader of the National League for Democracy (NLD), who has been under house arrest for the past six years. The new charges, according to a news release issued in Geneva, are said to be in connection with the recent intrusion of an American citizen into the home of Suu Kyi.

LTTE's shocking use of white phosphorus targeting fleeing hostages

Hilary Rajakarunanayake, Editor – Sri Lanka, Asian Tribune

Substantial evidence has surfaced from the battlefront that LTTE terrorists are using white phosphorous as a weapon in reprehensible attacks at both hostages fleeing from the LTTE and advancing security forces, an Army source told the Asian Tribune today. According to reliable ground information received, Tamil Tigers are reportedly laying large quantities of white phosphorus surrounding makeshift camps of hostages within the narrow strip of land it still holds, and are burying improvised bombs that would ultimately result in a humanitarian catastrophe, with the bomb explosions leading to phosphorous burns on both civilians and advancing troops.

Civilian rescue mission just 48 hours away- President Rajapaksa

Mahinda RajapaksaPresident Mahinda Rajapaksa, during his official visit to Jordan to attend the G-11 Summit, addressing Sri Lankan migrant workers employed at the 'Casual Wear' garment factory in the Kingdom of Jordon assured on Thursday(14) that the Tamil civilians held hostage by the LTTE in small area of land in the North would be rescued and the Tamils would be saved from the threat of LTTE terrorism. Speaking further President Rajapaksa greatly valued and appreciated the contribution by all Sri Lankans employed in Jordon and the Middle East towards the nation’s economy and pointed out that steps implemented by him as a minister during 1994 and 2000 enabled to attend to the welfare, and find resolutions to the problems faced by Sri Lankan migrant workers

US opposes $2 billion IMF loan to Sri Lanka: LTTE global macro effect displayed

Daya Gamage – US National Correspondent Asian Tribune

United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared on Thursday, 14 May in Washington that until there is a resolution of the conflict this was not the appropriate time for Sri Lanka to receive the $1.9 billion International Monetary Fund loan. The U.S. which has more than 60% stakes in the IMF has almost sweeping powers in the IMF which most developing nations receive stand by loans. On May 1 the UN Security Council refused to withhold $1.9bn funding to Sri Lanka, despite growing international pressure for the funds to be delayed. The LTTE global network was largely responsible for the pressure. Calls to withhold the funding were made to encourage the government in Colombo to do more to help civilians caught up in the fighting with the Tamil Tigers.

Sea Tiger Chief's Soosai’s family arrested

Hilary Rajakarunanayake, Editor – Sri Lanka, Asian Tribune

Sri Lanka Navy sea units have arrested the family of LTTE's Sea Tiger wing leader Soosai this morning (May 15). According to Naval sources, the arrested persons include Soosai's wife, son, daughter, sister in law and her son. The sailors have found the suspects on a boat along with another 6 civilians fleeing the LTTE hold. The suspects have been identified Sathyadevi (Soosai's wife), Suresh (16 year old Soosai's son), and Madhi (17 year old Soosai's daughter).

More IDPs are fleeing from the New Safety Zone despite LTTE sporadic shootings - Update

Hilary Rajakarunanayake, Editor – Sri Lanka, Asian Tribune

According to the Sri Lanka Army figures released this afternoon a total of 4500 Internal Displaced Persons (IDPs) have escaped from the LTTE in the New Safety Zone and reported to troops at Mullaitivu during the last 48 hours. Reports being received today and at the moment there is a steady influx of IDPs escaping from the LTTE in the New Safety Zone in spite of sporadic shootings and other deterrents by the LTTE. Outside the New Safety Zone the Sri Lanka Armed Forces 58th Division captured another kilometer hitherto under the control of the LTTE. In this area there was a huge camp of the SeaTigers. The Armed Forces have also found 12 sea craft used for suicide missions along with 2 radar equipment.

Intra-party differences delays new govt formation in Nepal

Kosh Raj Koirala – Asian Tribune Correspondent in Nepal

The formation of new government in Nepal is delayed as Madhesi People’s Rights Forum (MPRF), which holds key to form any coalition, failed to make clear whether it would support the coalition led by CPN-UML or the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoists). A serious division has surfaced within the MPRF after the Maoist Chairman and caretaker Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal offered the post of premiership to the MPRF Chairman Upendra Yadav. While about half of the party´s lawmakers, led by parliamentary party leader Bijaya Gachchhadar, are in favor of joining a coalition led by the CPN-UML, half other lawmakers led by the party chairman Yadav and party co-chair J P Gupta have advocated for supporting the Maoists.

Berman asks Burma to release Suu Kyi

By Wajid Ali Syed – Washington Correspondent for Asian Tribune

The chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee today called on the military government of Burma to release human rights leader and democracy advocate Aung San Suu Kyi, who was brought before a Burmese court on short notice and sent to prison. "Aung San Suu Kyi has devoted her life to the peaceful struggle for democracy and freedom for the Burmese people," said Chairman Howard Berman and Ranking Member Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. "The military junta should immediately release her, allow greater political freedoms in the country, and respect the human rights of all of Burma’s citizens."

Tamil Nadu defends Rajiv killer's non-release

By Gopal Ethiraj from Chennai

The Tamil Nadu government on May 12 defended in the Supreme Court its decision not to permit the premature release of P R Ravichandran, a convict in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, stating that the current Sri Lankan conflict may only generate further passion in him. "The crime is grave and the former Prime Minister was killed along with 15 others, and the petitioner did the same with known intent. The current fight between LTTE and Sri Lankan government may again infuse passion in him to act against law," the government said in an affidavit before a Bench of Chief Justice K.G Balakrishnan, justices P.Sathasivam and Deepak Verma.

U.S. Government provides training scholarships for 500 youth in the East and North

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is providing training scholarships to 500 young people from the East and North through the Unlimited Potential Partnership program (UPP). Scholarships were awarded to 100 youth from Ampara, Batticaloa, Trincomalee, Jaffna and Vavuniya districts today. USAID, the development agency of the U.S. Government, partnered with Microsoft and its UPP program to deliver high-quality technology instruction to students through a curriculum that is nationally recognized. Infoshare designed the curriculum for each of the four sectors and implements the program, while IDM delivers technology instruction to the students.

Providing Safe Haven For Prabhakaran

A Commentary By L. Jayasooriya

There was a posting in yesterday's (14/05/2009) “Asian Tribune” by a writer on the above subject who made a very logical argument why no country that has declared the LTTE a terrorist organization could provide a safe haven to Prabhakaran according to International Law. What the writer of that posting does not realize is that logical arguments are not valid legal arguments in the High Court of Justice of the International Community if such arguments erode their power to exploit the rest of the world.

Aung San Suu Kyi currently moved to Insein prison

Aung San Suu KyiBurmese Democratic leader Aung San Suu Kyi, has been moved from her home, where she has spent 13 years under house arrest, to the infamous Insein Prison earlier yesterday , and put on trial for breaking the terms of her house arrest. She was charged after an American John Yettaw, reportedly swam across Inya Lake to her house, and refused to leave. In the meantime Amnesty International has demanded the UN Security Council, notably China, Japan, and ASEAN countries; urgently intervene to secure Aung San Suu Kyi’s release from Insein prison. "The government of Myanmar must free Daw Aung San Suu Kyi at once, without condition, and not return her to house arrest" said Benjamin Zawacki, Amnesty International’s Myanmar expert.

Pakistani COAS Gen Kiyani visits troubled Swat valley

By Farzana Shah-Asian Tribune Correspondent in Pakistan

Army chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani on Thursday visited frontlines in the northwest Swat valley, where Pakistani troops are battling against Taliban militants, the military said. The army chief of staff met field commanders and troops, saw ‘firsthand certain operations being carried out against the militants’ and reiterated his resolve to defeat the extremists, the armed forces said in a statement. He appreciated high morale of the troops. He also saw at first hand certain operations being carried out against the militants.