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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2403

Monthly archive

Archbishop Oswald Gomis

Grand Celebration of the Feast of Our Lady of Tindary in Italy

By Fr.Shiran Fernando from Italy.

As the community of Sri Lanka has been blessed with the grand celebration of the feast of Our Lady of Thinday over the past years, the annual event was celebrated this year too on the 10th of May in the island city of Cicily, Italy. The Festival of the Black Madonna of Tindari, as it is widely called, is one of the many historical mysteries of this beautiful island of Cicily. At the end of a drive of 50 km on the Mesina-Palermo highway from the main city, one finds the village of Tinday. Tindari is mostly known for being the home of one of the most famous 'Black Madonnas' of Europe, the "Madonna di Tindari."

27 militants, 3 soldiers killed in Swat: ISPR; Military consolidating positions

By Farzana Shah-Asian Tribune correspondent in Pakistan

27 militants, including three top militant commanders, have been killed in the last 24 hours of ongoing military operation in Swat, DG ISPR told Monday. Briefing the newsmen on the latest situation of the insurgency-hit areas of Malkand division, Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas said that three security personnel have also lost their lives while 17 others were injured in the last 24 hours of operation. Military’s top spokesman said that the operation is presently underway in Kanju and Peochar areas of Swat, while Matta town has been cordoned off by the troops and the search operation to locate the miscreants is underway in the town.

Obama takes on abortion debate

By Wajid Ali Syed – Washington Correspondent for Asian Tribune

President Barack Obama delivered the commencement address to graduates of one of America's leading Roman Catholic universities, the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. His visit and acceptance of an honorary degree angered religious protesters, who strongly disagree with his support of abortion rights and stem cell research. With several hundred anti-abortion protesters gathered outside Notre Dame's front gates, President Obama was greeted inside the Joyce Center on campus with long and thunderous applause. But his speech was interrupted a number of times by anti-abortion hecklers, with most graduates drowing out the hecklers in support of Obama.

Prabhakaran's death evokes mixed feelings in Chennai

From Gopal Ethiraj in Chennai

As news came in that Tamil Tigers chief Velupillai Prabhakaran had actually been killed, it evoked a mixed feeling in Tamil Nadu’s capital and throughout the state. For some it was a relief; for some it was disbelief. Some said it was to happen one day or the other, "good the curtain has come down; let peace prevail." Others simply refused to believe it was true. "If the news is true, the last hope of Tamils in Sri Lanka who once ruled that island nation, is lost forever. Whatever may have been his shortcomings, he will always be hero to us," said a sympathizer. Some believe it was his double that was killed, and Prabhakaran would surface either in Germany or France.

US to send humanitarian aid to Pakistan

By Wajid Ali Syed – Washington Correspondent for Asian Tribune

The US Department of Defense is ready to send aid to help the internally displaced people in Pakistan, a senior official said today. Pakistan has requested the assistance, and that request is working through the State Department for validation, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said. Once the Defense Department receives the request, Whitman said, the military will begin delivery. About 800,000 to 900,000 people are refugees inside Pakistan from the government's fight against the Taliban in the Swat Valley, Buner and Dir, according to Pakistani estimates.

DMK council authorizes party president to decide

From Gopal Ethiraj in Chennai

KarunanidhiThe DMK, which lead the UPA alliance in Tamil Nadu, has authorized the Chief Minister and party president to decide about its participation in the new government at the Centre. The executive council of the party met today and passed a resolution in this respect. The meeting also congratulated Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and general secretary Rahul Gandhi for piloting the UPA to victory for a second successive term. Later in the day, Karunanidhi has left for the capital to have discussions with the UPA leaders and he would decide about berths for DMK elected members in the Central cabinet.

US welcomes Sri Lanka end of war

By Wajid Ali Syed – Washington Correspondent for Asian Tribune

The quarter-century civil war in Sri Lanka has come to a dramatic end when the army wiped out the entire leadership of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, including the leader who founded the rebel group. It is an ending all but unimaginable just a few years ago when the rebels ran a virtual Tamil state, controlling much of the north and east under their control. It took a little time for the international community to respond to the event, partially because of the weekend.

India to airlift another Rs. 3 crore medical aid to war ravaged Sri Lanka

By M Rama Rao, India Editor, Asian Tribune

India will provide another Rs. 30 million worth medical aid to Sri Lanka, the foreign office announced on Monday even as a local TV channel, CNN-IBN reported that external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee spoke to President Mahinda Rajapaksa for a confirmation on Velupillai Prabhakaran’s end. An Indian Air Force IL-76 aircraft carrying about 25 tons of medicines will leave Delhi for Colombo on Friday, May 22, the official statement said. This will be disbursed to the sick and wounded Internally Displaced People (IDP) in northern Sri Lanka. The Indian Armed Forces have set up a fully equipped 50-bedded hospital close to an IDP Camp at Pulmodai, a town on Sri Lanka’s northeast coast.

Britain issued an angry rebuke for public demonstration

Hilary Rajakarunanayake, Editor – Sri Lanka, Asian Tribune

Britain has issued an angry rebuke to the Sri Lankan Government after protesters held a massive demonstration outside the British High Commission in Colombo yesterday. The High Commission said it was an "outrage" that the demonstration was allowed to turn violent and damage British property. The protest came after an effigy of British Foreign Secretary David Miliband was set on fire by the angry Sri Lankan demonstrators who demanded that the British Government should not interfere in the internal affairs of Sri Lanka. The demonstrators also accused the British Government of supporting the LTTE in spite of it being banned in the UK.

House obstruction by Maoists delays government formation

Kosh Raj Koirala – Asian Tribune Correspondent in Nepal

The formation of new government in Nepal has become uncertain as the lawmakers belonging to Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoists) have continued disrupting regular proceedings in the parliament. The Maoist lawmakers obstructed house proceeding for the seventh time in a row on Monday, making the Speaker of the House to put off the meeting yet again. The continuing House obstruction has pushed the process of electing a new prime minister into further uncertainty, along with the tabling of his resignation by caretaker Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal.

We do not consider the victory over terrorism as a defeat over the Tamil community - Mahinda Rajapaksa

Hilary Rajakarunanayake, Editor – Sri Lanka, Asian Tribune

In future no one will be called minorities in Sri Lanka. Tamils, Muslims, Sinhalese and Malays – all of them are hereafter Sri Lankans and enjoy equal rights in Sri Lanka, declared President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Whilst addressing the Sri Lanka Parliament and reporting the conclusion of the war against Terrorism in Sri Lanka, he categorically told that the victory over terrorism is not a victory over the Tamil community. He pointed out that Tamils are brothers with whom the Sinhalese lived together for centuries.

The dead body of LTTE leader Prabhakaran shown on TV

Hilary Rajakarunanayake, Editor – Sri Lanka, Asian Tribune

PrabhakaranThe dead body of LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran has been identified by the Army today, said General Sarath Fonseka, Commander of the Army. His dead body was shown this afternoon on National TV – Rupavahini. The dead body was with wide open eyes, but the head was covered with a towel, perhaps due to the head injury in the shooting by the Army. There was a deep wound on his forehead. The rest of the bulky body was intact. His identity card was also shown. General Sarath Fonseka said the finding of the dead body of Prabhakaran was an event of pride to the Army because of the mayhem and destruction caused by him to the people of Sri Lanka for the last 30 years. Meanwhile the Government of India has requested an official confirmation from the Sri Lanka Government about the death of Prabhakaran and Pottu Amman to enable India to close Court proceedings in the Rajiv Gandhi murder case in India, stated a Foreign Ministry official.

Sri Lanka Post – LTTE

Dr. Subramanian Swamy – Former Union Law Minister

The outcome of the recent elections in Tamil Nadu has been the defeat of the most faithful of the LTTE touts in India. These financial orphans of the LTTE have been thoroughly exposed because Tamilians do not care for the LTTE, contrary to media projections. The common joke today is that ‘Puligal’ (Tigers) have been reduced to ‘Eligal’ (Rats) because they (the LTTE) have had to hide in holes in the ground to try save themselves. But the end of LTTE does mean the end of Sri Lanka’s human rights crisis. The Sri Lanka crisis is the consequence of a festering wound from the past, which however fortunately, is neither malignant nor cancerous.

Sweden to contribute SEK 43 million in humanitarian support to those affected in Sri Lanka

Gunilla CarlssonSweden is to contribute additional humanitarian assistance to support the civilian population affected in Sri Lanka. "The humanitarian situation in Sri Lanka is still very serious. We urge the Sri Lankan authorities to ensure free humanitarian access to the refugee camps and to the former conflict zone so that assistance can reach those affected," says Minister for International Development Cooperation Gunilla Carlsson. In a press release Minister Gunilla Carlsson said, the war in Sri Lanka essentially appears to be over but the humanitarian needs remain. According to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) the conflict has resulted in a total of more than 265 000 internal refugees. Most of the internal refugees are in one of the 43 refugee camps controlled by the Sri Lankan Government and a smaller number are in the former conflict zone.

We have won the battle, but the war is not ended - Archbishop Oswald Gomis

Archbishop GomisArchbishop of Colombo Oswald Gomis has congratulated the Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Chiefs of the Defence Forces who supported him with deep commitment and self-sacrifice to bring an end to the war in Sri Lanka. In a press release he expressed his happiness that the war is ended and that the government’s Security Forces have been able to release all the innocent civilians who were trapped in the battle. He added, "We could say that we have won the battle but the war is not ended. The war would end only on the day that we grow in nationhood realizing that we are all one people in one country with equal rights."

Sri Lanka: Time to heal the wounds of conflict and war

By Raj Gonsalkorale

Sri Lankan Armed Forces have done what was unthinkable a few years ago. President Rajapaksa has done what none of his predecessors even dared to imagine was possible. The military battle with the LTTE is over. One has to pinch one self to believe this has happened. Much will be written about this battle, and the bravery of the Sri Lankan Forces. They need to be written about and admired for their courage. Their Commanders led by the Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and the Army Chief General Sarath Fonseka need to be recognized and praised for their leadership, stead fastness and single minded determination to defeating Sri Lanka’s greatest enemy, the LTTE.

Feast of our Lady

M. Karunanidhi