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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2555

Monthly archive


Bangladesh elite force seized explosives and busted a banned militant outfit

M.A Qader-Asian Tribune Correspondent in Bangladesh

Bangladesh elite force Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) on Friday morning busted a den of banned militant outfit Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh in the Dhaka city’s Monipuripara area hours after the capture of JMB's explosives expert 'Boma Mizan' from the city last night. The discovery was followed by a confession by Mizan during primary interrogations, said Rab officials. The elite forces recovered 35 kinds of bomb-making materials including a huge amount of plastic explosives, batteries, detonators and grenade bodies from the house. The law enforcers also recovered a pistol from the militant’s den

Indian Polls: DMK will get 30 seats says new forecast, thumbs up for Cong alliance

By M Rama Rao, India Editor, Asian Tribune

Counting of votes in India’s marathon elections will take place on Saturday, May 16. By afternoon, the winner will be known though the counting centres are spread throughout the country. While NDTV exit polls has put the Congress led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) as the front runner, rival channel, CNN-IBN has come up with some ‘shocking’ findings that has brought smile to the Congress and the DMK. ‘Raiding on the crest of a DMK sweep in Tamil Nadu, the Congress led alliance will get 210 – 225 seats. The DMK and its allies could win up to 30 Lok Sabha seats and thus turn upside down all the poll arithmetic’, the CNN-IBN reported Friday night.

UN says war crimes committed in Sri Lanka

By Wajid Ali Syed – Washington Correspondent for Asian Tribune

The UN human rights office says war crimes and crimes against humanity may have been committed during the conflict in Sri Lanka, possibly by both the government and Tamil Tiger rebels. Almost a couple of months ago, the UN human rights official, Navi Pillay, called on the Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tiger rebels to immediately suspend hostilities. She warned the number of civilian deaths could reach catastrophic levels. She put both warring parties on notice that they may possibly have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Clinton steps into US Treasury Shoes:IMF says Sri Lanka needs help

Daya Gamage – US National Correspondent Asian Tribune

Dominique Strauss-Kahn In the heat of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declaration that the time was not yet ripe for Sri Lanka to get the $1.9 billion IMF loan the Fund’s Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said on Friday 15 May that Sri Lanka currently “faces a special situation” which warrants IMF help. Clinton stepped into the shoes of U.S. Secretary of Treasury when she made the statement as IMF and IBRD are within the jurisdiction of the Treasury. It is the US Treasury that nominates the Executive Director to the IMF board to represent the United States. The State Department has nothing to do with these international lending institutes.

No way to flee - Mathivathani, Prabhakaran and two sons holed up in the safety zone

Mathivathani PrabhakaranA latest intelligence report reveals that Mathivathani, along with her eldest son Charles Anthony and youngest Balachandran are holed up in the New Safety Zone along with Prabhkaran. Earlier it was rumored that Mathivathani, the wife of LTTE supremo Velupillai Prabakaran and Balachandran, the second son had slipped out of Sri Lanka . Unconfirmed reports revealed that they were sighted in Bangkok, Thailand. But a senior Sri Lankan intelligence officer speaking with authority under condition of anonymity told Asian Tribune that Prabhkaran’s wife Mathivathani and his second son Balachandran are in the No-fire zone with Prabhakaran and eldest son Charles Anthony.

Sri Lanka is determined to supply sufficient food to civilians who have escaped from the New Safety Zone

Hilary Rajakarunanayake, Editor – Sri Lanka, Asian Tribune

"The Government of Sri Lanka is determined to supply sufficient food to civilians who have escaped from the New Safety Zone and come in large numbers over to the Government controlled areas. The Government has since February facilitated the delivery of over 2,400 MT of food, medicines and other relief items to the no-fire zone", said a spokesman for the Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights in Colombo, this morning. The Government has expressed its appreciation to the World Food Programme (WFP) and other partners for their assistance in supplying food items to the Internal Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the North.

UN Chief Calls For Aung San Suu Kyi’s Immediate Release

Suu KyiCalling on Myanmar’s Government to drop all charges against pro-democracy leader and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, the top United Nations human rights official appealed to authorities for her immediate and unconditional release. According to reports, Suu Kyi, who has been under house arrest for several years, and two aides were escorted yesterday morning by security forces to Insein Prison, where they were charged by a special court. They are said to have been charged with violating the terms of her house arrest, after an uninvited United States citizen gained access to their home. Suu Kyi, who leads the National League for Democracy (NLD), and her two aides are currently detained in the Insein compound and her trial has been scheduled for 18 May.

Tamil Nadu Lok Sabha polls: Huge turnout for 49 (o) "No Vote" option

By Gopal Ethiraj from Chennai

The recent general elections saw many, at least in Tamil Nadu, opting for exercising their right to register ‘ not voting for anybody’. In Chennai alone more than 10,000 people opted for Rule 49 (o), which confers right to register “no vote”. Throughout the State registering of such option in large numbers worries the political parties and their candidates. Many voters were not aware of such a provision in our Constitution. Obviously our leaders would not enlighten the voters on this; only NGOs and rights forums should. Still it is surprising so many had opted for this option in the recent elections.

Vijay Nambiar, Under-Secretary-General of the UN due to arrive today in Colombo

Hilary Rajakarunanayake, Editor – Sri Lanka, Asian Tribune

Vijay NambiarVijay Nambiar, the special envoy of the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon is due in Colombo today for discussions with the Sri Lanka Government. Vijay Nambiar is a veteran Indian diplomat and the Chef de Cabinet (Chief of Staff) under UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon since 1 January 2007. He holds the rank of Under-Secretary-General and is a member of the Secretary General's Senior Management Team. The office of the Spokesman to the Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon announced Friday 15 that the purpose of his visit to Sri Lanka was to push forward the Secretary-General’s agenda, which involved asking for restraint, and negotiations to allow the endangered civilians to leave the conflict zone.

Washington Commentary: "Lay Down Your Arms and Let Civilians Go," President Obama Says to the LTTE

By Ernest Corea

President Barack Obama’s formal statement on the situation in Sri Lanka delivered to the press corps at the White House on Wednesday (May 13) afternoon is the first such intervention by a head of state. His decision to comment publicly demonstrates the extent to which the country’s bloodshed has caught public attention internationally and reflects, as well, his personal interest in some of the issues at stake. He has always been deeply concerned about how any group of people interacts with and responds to "the other." He has also condemned the wanton loss of lives in conflicts.

Two media giants' "NDTV-HINDU" goes on air

By Gopal Ethiraj from Chennai

The two corporate giants of electronic and print media -- "NDTV" and "The Hindu" -- have come together with an English news and entertainment channel, 'NDTV Hindu' that is being launched today in Chennai. The channel will cover news, current affairs and other city information. NDTV and "The Hindu" are partners in the Chennai's first and only city-specific English news and entertainment channel, NDTV Ltd said in a statement.

Sri Lanka's entire coastline liberated

Hilary Rajakarunanayake, Editor – Sri Lanka, Asian Tribune

Sri Lankan troops belonging to 58 Division have linked up with the 59 Division soldiers freeing the last remaining coastal stretch under LTTE clutches. The link up marks the total liberation of the coastline of the Island nation reveals Sri Lanka Army sources this morning. Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse has congratulated the Defence Forces for this achievement.

Sathyadevi the wife of Sea Tiger leader Soosai had Rs 600,000 cash and 2 kg in gold

Hilary Rajakarunanayake, Editor – Sri Lanka, Asian Tribune

Sathyadevi the wife of Sea Tiger leader Soosai had Rs 600,000 cash and 2 kg in gold when she was captured by the Sri Lanka Navy while attempting to escape by boat Friday, said Navy spokesman Commander D. K. P. Dasanayaka. Political observers said today that by this it was quite evident that the lifestyle of all the LTTE leaders and their families had been quite affluent, whereas the lives of the other civilians held under the LTTE yoke was one of penury and lacking even in basic facilities in life. "This was most deplorable and crying for vengeance to the heavens", they said.

AIR election specials in air; first time on Internet for the sake of NRIs

By Gopal Ethiraj from Chennai

Counting for 40 Lok Sabha seats in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry has commenced at 8 a.m. today. In Chennai the counting for the three seats are at Queen Marys College for North Madras, Llyola College for Central Chennai and Anna University for South Chennai constituencies. Elaborate arrangements are being made for the counting. It will be in 14 rounds. In about two hours time leading position would be trickling down. All electronic media will swing into action with their specials.

Tigers blowing up their arms and ammunition

Hilary Rajakarunanayake, Editor – Sri Lanka, Asian Tribune

Tamil Tiger are now trying their maximum to do damage control even at this last moment of their losing battle," the Army said, adding that there was heavy fighting overnight. Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse has vowed to take the last territory from the Tigers by Sunday, ending the separatists' 37-year armed campaign for the division of the country. "Several young LTTE cadres, both male and female, in their early teens, most as young as 14 years of age were seen to have thrown away their guns into the lagoon in utter frustration in the face of defeat, and joined the mass movement of civilians into Government controlled areas," said an Army source.

Speculation ripe that Prabhakaran dead; End came as AT predicted

By Asian Tribune Team

The end ? There is heightened speculation that Velupillai Prabhakaran, the megalomaniac responsible for the death of hundreds of thousand of innocents is dead. Just as the Asian Tribune’s on-line poll predicted. The speculation gained currency after reports trickled in from the War Zone that two army divisions marching different directions in the north on Saturday captured the last strip of the coastline held by the LTTE, killed many rebels in the confrontation and cut off all sea escape routes for the beleaguered rebels who are now confined to just 1.5 sq km territory encircled by the security forces. There has been a buzz of explosions in and around the New-Safety Zone (NSZ) as the military and the Tigers engaged in a no-holds-barred battle.

Indian Election: Congress - DMK in, BJP, AIADMK, PMK, MDMK down; Another Term to Manmohan

By M Rama Rao, India Editor, Asian Tribune

Manmohan - RahulProving all forecasts wrong, Indian voters have returned the Congress led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) to power. Manmohan Singh is all set to stake his claim on Monday for his second stint as the Prime Minister of India, shattering the Prime Ministerial ambitions of BJP heavyweight L.K. Advani and BSP supremo Mayawati and a host of other leaders. The icing on the UPA victory cake is the drubbing the to the AIADMK led front which effectively punctured once for all the myth of LTTE sway over Tamil Nadu electorate. A media dispatch summed up the mood in Chennai thus: Celebration in DMK headquarters; guns fall silent in AIADMK - HQ Jayalalithaa’s pro-LTTE allies MDMK and PMK too fared badly with firebrand leader Vaiko (MDMK) tasting defeat in Virudhunagar. PMK settled for one seat.

Obama to restart military tribunals at Guantanamo

By Wajid Ali Syed – Washington Correspondent for Asian Tribune

The Obama administration is expected to revive military-run trials for terror suspects being detained at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba -- but with new legal protections not provided under the Bush administration. Senior US officials say the new system will limit the use of hearsay, ban evidence gained through harsh treatment, give defendants more freedom to choose their own counsel, and provide more protections for detainees who refuse to testify.

Dire need for a unified stand to confront multiple challenges

By Asif Haroon Raja

The terrorist attacks in New York and Washington on 9/11 gave a readymade excuse to George W. Bush led neo-cons and the Jews to pick up cudgels against the Muslim world. Terrorism was bloated into a Frankenstein monster and propagated that if not bottled up it would devour the whole world. They forgot that they had nurtured the monster of terrorism themselves in the 1980s and had left it unbridled once their objectives were achieved. As long as this monster killed Soviet troops, the Americans were mighty pleased with its performance and kept feeding it. They didn’t bother about it even when after pushing out Soviet forces from Afghanistan in 1989 it started to suck the blood of people of Afghanistan and Pakistan and the whole region got radicalized and traumatized.