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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2865

Monthly archive

Habib Siddiqui

47 militants killed in ongoing military operation: DG ISPR

As many as 47 militants were killed over the last 24 hours of its air and ground offensive against the Taliban in Swat, Malakand, Pakistani military said on Saturday. Chief military spokesman Major General Athar Abbas told a news conference that "47 terrorists have been killed in the last 24 hours". Abbas showed journalists video footage that he said showed militant hideouts and ammunition dumps destroyed by security forces during raids in Swat, a mountainous district once frequented by holidaymakers but now a Taliban hub.

The Gift of Leadership - Lordship in disguise

Hemantha Abeywardena from London….

It may be cliché, but factually and statistically true; leaders are born, not made. By definition, someone who rule or guide others is a leader. The definition can be broadened in the right direction to elevate the leader to the next higher level, a supreme one, if he inspires his subjects to follow him towards a noble goal. On the other hand, a leader can downgrade his status to a disgustingly low level by asking his followers to gear themselves towards illusive goals along the path less travelled, which tantamount to collective suicide in the end.

13 people killed in Peshawar bomb blast

By Farzana Shah-Asian Tribune correspondent in Pakistan

A car bomb explosion in Peshawar killed 11 people, including women and children, near an ice cream shop and Internet cafe Saturday. The explosive laden car exploded in the densely populated Kashkal area of Peshawar—the capital of North West Frontier Province. Those who killed include two women, five men and four minors aged eight to 17 years old. Police had earlier confirmed that nine people died.

TN poll results belied predictions; DMK-Congress combine cadres on cloud nine

By Gopal Ethiraj from Chennai

With the DMK-led UPA alliance in Tamilnadu-Puducherry establishing a resounding victory, there was a festive mood at party headquarters in Chennai and throughout the state. The DMK-Congress combine romped home 28 seats (DMK 18 and Congress 9 that includes Puducherry’s one and Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Party 1). The AIADMK led alliance won on 12 places (AIADMK 9, CPIM one, CPI one and MDMK one). The DMK and Congress cadres burst crackers, distributed sweets. The DMK party workers, both men and women, danced to music and expressed their happiness near Chief Minister Karunanidhi’s house at Gopalapuram and at Anna Arivalayam. The office of AIDMK wore a deserted look.

Letter from America – Our Politicians

By Habib Siddiqui

What’s your opinion about politicians? I personally don’t entertain good opinion about them. Why? Well, I have a null hypothesis about them: politicians are liars. They have to prove me wrong before I accept an alternative hypothesis. As far as I am concerned, they are not trustworthy. Before the election they would promise all the things you care about, but as soon as they are elected it seems that they suffer from selective amnesia. They forget all those promises. When you remind them of any particular promise, they say that either it is no longer in their priority list any more or that they are now better informed why not to fulfill it. You wonder how something could have changed so fast! Were you late in getting to the politician before the lobbyist from the opposing side approached him or her?

UPA Again

By Atul Cowshish & M Rama Rao

In the end the pundits were proved wrong—as usual. The Congress-led UPA did better than the media projections. And the vote is for stability and inclusive policies. The all-knowing media pundits may be counted among the 'losers' of the 2009 Lok Sabha poll, but they have a perfectly viable and acceptable alibi: it is their business to act as astrologers now and then even when knowing that it is not a science. The return of the UPA might satisfy those who think that 'continuity' of policies is important for a country’s progress. The 'continuity' factor will depend a great deal on how the alteration in the character of the UPA plays out.

Love notes from Serendib : War crimes: the professionals, minnows and the innocent

By Malinda Seneviratne

It is said that the Tories in Britain are really luxurious country gentlemen and that those in the ruling Labour party are petty chiselers willing to put anything on the public tab. Well, David Miliband, Britain’s Foreign Minister certainly fits the bill. He wanted the public to pay his a pram worth 199 pounds and ‘baby essentials’ worth 80. He even submitted claims for garden maintenance outside of the rules pertaining to such things. A chiseler, if ever there was one.

Miliband snubbed for interference in Sri Lanka’s IMF Loan issue

Hilary Rajakarunanayake, Editor – Sri Lanka, Asian Tribune

David MilbandDavid Milband has been snubbed for his interference in the Sri Lanka’s IMF loan issue. Also his knowledge of Sri Lanka has been questioned. The Central Bank of Sri Lanka has expressed its s deep distressed over the recent media reports, where David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom have "raised doubts about whether Colombo could be trusted to use a US$ 1.9 billion loan from the IMF appropriately," points out a communiqué issued by the Economic Research Department of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.

A hero’s welcome to President Rajapaksa

Hilary Rajakarunanayake, Editor – Sri Lanka, Asian Tribune

Kissing MathurubhumiSri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa received a hero’s welcome , at the Bandaranaike international airport, amidst the din of crackers all over the country. He returned to the island from Jordan after attending the G11 summit and World Economic Forum there. A visibly moved President, no sooner he got down from the plane, knelt down, kissed the mother earth- an act of paying obeisance to motherland, Sri Lanka which was ultimately freed from the scourge of terrorism.

Asia’s valuable coral reefs will be gone forever by the end of this century

Hilary Rajakarunanayake, Editor – Sri Lanka, Asian Tribune

The International Environment Organization states that by the end of this century the valuable coral reefs in Asia will be gone forever. The world has already lost over 40 per cent of the famous coral reefs around the Komodo islands of Indonesia. More than 75 per cent of all the coral reefs in the world exist around Indonesia. The main reason for the dwindling and extinction of coral reefs is due to climatic changes and due to man’s destructive actions. Coral reefs are the most diverse and beautiful of all marine habitats. Large wave resistant structures have accumulated from the slow growth of corals. The development of these structures is aided by algae that are symbiotic with reef-building corals, known as zooxanthellae. Coralline algae, sponges, and other organisms, combined with a number of cementation processes also contribute to reef growth.

USA Opposes IMF Loan to Sri Lanka: Why not negotiate a long term loan facility from China, Russia and other friendly countries?

By Raj Gonsalkorale

The West led by the USA has opposed an IMF standby facility to Sri Lanka at present. Although the IMF is outside her official jurisdiction as it is a subject under the US Treasury Secretary, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has announced this after talks with David Milliband, the British Foreign Secretary. If the USA opposes the loan, then that will be the end of the matter, and Sri Lanka will not get the loan. Political double speak that Hillary Clinton and David Milliband has been engaging in, leaving the door half open for the loan to be given "when conditions are right" should not deceive Sri Lanka.

18000 civilians have crossed over into the Government controlled area

Hilary Rajakarunanayake, Editor – Sri Lanka, Asian Tribune

"A total of 18000 civilians have crossed over from LTTE to the Government controlled sector within the last three days from the New Safety Zone," said on Saturday, Brigadier Nanayakkara spokesman of the Sri Lanka Army. "The 57th and 58th regiments of the Sri Lanka Army have surrounded the LTTE leaders, and they are now trapped in a small plot of land. They are being protected by a circle of suicide bombers and innocent civilians. Every attempt is being made to take over the civilians to the Government side, but they are deterred by the ruthless shooting by the remaining few LTTE cadres guarding the LTTE leaders".

Malinda Seneviratne

David Milband

President being welcome at the airport

Two senior leaders of the LTTE killed in battle

Hilary Rajakarunanayake, Editor – Sri Lanka, Asian Tribune

Swarnam and Shashi Master, two senior leaders of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels were killed in the battle with the Sri Lanka Army, defence sources said Saturday evening. Their deaths were confirmed by Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara, the military spokesman. The two leaders were killed at Kariyalamullavaikkal west in the northeastern Mullaithivu district. The other rebel leaders who are facing certain defeat are currently trapped in a patch of land of around 2 sq kms.

Sri Lanka: Ranil behind the war crime charges against Rajapaksa duo?

By Nanda Kodi from London

The speech delivered recently [on 10th of May 2009 in London] by Steven Key, the QC, who is going to be appointed to the war crimes committee advisory board of the international bar association hints strong possibility of bringing war crime charges against President Mahinda Rajapakse and the Secretary Defense Gotabaya Rajapakse before the International Criminal Court [ICC] for alleged war crimes committed in the northern war zone. Recently, the UK Foreign Minister told Sri Lanka that it may face a potential war crimes probe over deaths of civilians in the island's conflict.