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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2610

Monthly archive

Sweden to Close down its mission in Colombo?

Sweden is expected to decide today on the future of its embassy in Sri Lanka. Based on the rationalization committee report prepared in October 2008, Sweden is supposed to review the necessity of keeping its mission in Colombo. The opposition Socialist Party leaders told "Asian Tribune" that they don’t support the government’s move at this juncture to close down its mission in Colombo. They said at present it is the duty of Sweden and the international community to support Sri Lanka in its humanitarian crises. They said closing down the mission in Colombo would send wrong signals to the international community about Sweden. They also said that It may also reflect that Sweden is reluctant to support humanitarian issues.

So far 2979 Jawans arrested in the mutiny case

M.A. Qader- Asian Tribune Correspondent in Bangladesh

Bangladesh law enforcing authorities have arrested around 2,979 Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) Jawans so far at the capital and across the country, after the February’s BDR mutiny. Now only twenty-five members of boarder guard BDR are still absconding since the mutiny at its Pilkhana headquarters on February 25-26, which killed 57 army officers. Chief of the coordination committee Lt Col (retd) Faruk Khan met the media personnel on Tuesday after the 5th meeting of the committee at BDR Pilkhana headquarters and sought mass media cooperation in the arrest of the fugitive BDR men.

Sri Lanka to reopen Embassy in Baghdad

Hilary Rajakarunanayake, Editor – Sri Lanka, Asian Tribune

Sri Lanka would soon reopen its Embassy in Baghdad headed by an Ambassador and diplomatic representation of Iraq in Colombo would be upgraded to Ambassadorial level. The Sri Lankan President and the Iraqi Vice President agreed on this when both leaders met at the sidelines of the G 11 Conference held in Jordan. The Iraqi Vice President Adil Abd Al-Mahadi complimented the President on the success achieved in defeating terrorism in Sri Lanka and the measures taken to rescue the civilians held captive by the LTTE when he met the President Mahinda Rajapaksa in Jordan.

India in touch with SL; Karunanidhi talks with Sonia

By M Rama Rao, India Editor, Asian Tribune

Even as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is putting in place his second ministry, his government is in touch with Colombo to see what help Delhi could render in extending quick relief to the brutalized and traumatized Tamils in the ‘war zone’ President Rajapaksa’s statement to Parliament Tuesday was received as much in relief as in delight and his assurance that the well being of the Tamil minority is ‘his responsibility’. The symbolism of Rajapaksa beginning his address in Tamil was not lost here. It in fact reinforced confidence that the President may indeed deliver on his promise of 13th amendment plus.

US Senate Foreign Relations urges Sri Lanka to help IDPs

By Wajid Ali Syed – Washington Correspondent for Asian Tribune

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee issued a joint statement today to mark the end of fighting in Sri Lanka with the government's victory over the LTTE. Committee chairman John Kerry along with other members stated, “We welcome the news that Sri Lanka’s long-running civil war has been brought to a close. For the past twenty-six years, the people of Sri Lanka have suffered enormously from a conflict that appeared intractable. Some 70,000 were killed, many more injured, and countless others were uprooted and forced to flee the violence. In recent months, civilians in the north-eastern part of the island have faced terrible hardship, and exceptionally difficult conditions still persist for hundreds of thousands that have been internally displaced. The scale of the suffering has been obscured by denial of access to humanitarian workers, journalists, and most other outside observers."

Sustainable Tourism through the Buddhist "Trail of Civilisation"

Minister of Tourism Milinda Moragoda took part in the third annual meeting in connection with the Borobudur Declaration, on the invitation of the Indonesian Minister of Culture and Tourism, Mr. Jero Wacik. The signatories of the Declaration: Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam agreed in 2006 to cooperate on a 5-year plan of action to preserve and promote, through sustainable cultural tourism, a Trail of Civilization, which links prominent Buddhist heritage sites located in these six ASEAN countries.

Kent Härstedt - Swedish Parliamentarian in Colombo

Kent HärstedtA Swedish Member of Parliament Kent Härstedt and the Swedisn Channel 4 TV Crew members are in Colombo today to promote Swedish – Sri Lanka relationship and to explore ways and means of providing humanitarian support to Sri Lanka. Kent Härstedt is from the Social Democratic Party and also the member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee for Foreign Affairs. He has visited Sri Lanka numerous times and also is one of the leading Swedish Parliamentarian in the ‘Swedish – Sri Lankan Friendship organization’.

India to offer Rs. 500 crore more aid to SL, Two special envoys to visit Colombo

By M Rama Rao, India Editor, Asian Tribune

India will provide a Rs. 500 crore package for rehabilitation of displaced Tamils in the Eelam War IV ‘A package of almost Rs 500 crores which will be required for rehabilitation is under preparation’, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who is tipped to move to the finance ministry in the second Manmohan Singh government, told reporters here on Tuesday. This assistance may be in addition to Rs. 100-crore aid announced by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last month. Tamilnadu government is chipping in with an assistance of Rs 25 crore.

Sri Lanka has a plan for peace: Why not tell the world?

By Raj Gonsalkorale

The Western lecture circuit led by British Foreign Secretary David Milliband has begun where they left just prior to the Sri Lankan government’s emphatic defeat of LTTE militarism. True the victory came at a cost. Not only did terrorists, who are also sons and daughters of the Sri Lankan soil die, but many brave soldiers who sacrificed their lives to the motherland they dearly loved, also died. In the crossfire, many innocent civilians also lost their lives and their homes and their livelihoods. No war is clinical and precise to the extent that only combatants perish. Surely David Milliband does not think there is such a world? He could not have such a short memory to have forgotten Iraq, where hundreds and thousands of civilians died in a mindless war that his Labor party prosecuted, and where many civilians are being killed now in Pakistan and Afghanistan?

General Sarath Fonseka tipped to be Joint Chief of Armed Forces

Hilary Rajakarunanayake, Editor – Sri Lanka, Asian Tribune

The appointment of Army Commander General Sarath Fonseka as Joint Chief of Armed Forces is in the pipeline and is at present under consideration by President Mahinda Rajapaksa after he successfully led the war against the LTTE, a senior official of the Presidential Secretariat told "Asian Tribune." Although the war in the North has ended, the armed forces are kept on alert and are on the lookout for any eruptions or for any pockets of resistance.

UN Human Rights Council to hold on 25 may a special session on Sri Lanka

The UN Human Rights Council is to hold a special session on 25 May to address the human rights situation in Sri Lanka, following a request by several of its members. "It is hoped that the holding of this special session will contribute towards the cause of peace," said the Council’s President, Martin Ihoeghian Uhomoibhi. "The Human Rights Council cannot be silent when innocent civilians are caught up in armed conflicts. The international community must strive to deliver justice to victims of human rights violations wherever they occur and ensure that those found guilty of such crimes are held accountable for their actions," he added.

Sri Lanka: President joins street crowds celebrating the victory

Hilary Rajakarunanayake, Editor – Sri Lanka, Asian Tribune

President paying reverence President Mahinda Rajapaksa surprised the entire nation last night when he joined the ordinary people in the streets of Colombo and participated in the common man’s celebrations on the victory over the LTTE. He disregarded all security safeguards and joined the ordinary folk in the streets partaking of the traditional 'kiribath' (milk rice) and 'kavung' (oil cakes). The people were dancing around him, some women even going down on their knees to show their reverence and gratitude for decimating the LTTE and sweeping the terrorist outfit.

Sri Lanka’s decisive military victory over terrorism no jubilation for United States

Daya Gamage – US National Correspondent Asian Tribune

The United States which strongly encouraged Sri Lanka to engage in political negotiations with Tamil Tigers believing the outfit’s invincibility implicitly and explicitly indicating that their total annihilation will silence the voice of the minority ethnic Tamils had no immediate reaction to the outfit’s total defeat on Monday May 18. The U.S. State Department spokesman Ian Kelly at the daily media briefing on Tuesday side stepped the issue of U.S. Government congratulating Sri Lanka. Instead he was continually referring to humanitarian situation and the internally displayed person’s plight.

Top Indian officials to air-dash to Colombo today

Hilary Rajakarunanayake, Editor – Sri Lanka, Asian Tribune

Menon & NarayanIndia’s Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon and National Security Advisor M.K.Narayan are scheduled to arrive in Sri Lanka today, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said. This visit is a sequel to their earlier visit to the island on April 24, and they will review the post war situation and the various implications. The resettlement and rehabilitation of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the North also expected to surface as an important topic of discussion.

Decimation of LTTE by Sri Lanka armed forces- a cause for rejoicing by Indian people

Dr. Subramanian Swamy, president of the Janata Party said in a statement. "The defeat and decimation of the LTTE by the Sri Lanka armed forces with the firm resolve of President Rajapakse, is a cause for rejoicing by democratic patriotic people of India." A former Union Law Minister of India, Dr. Subramanian Swamy said, "LTTE not only killed Rajiv Gandhi, but was training cadres of ULFA, Naxalites, PWG and Dravida kazhagam. It was smuggling arms and narcotics into India and petrol, diesel and medicines out of our country." He added that the people of Tamil Nadu have several times demonstrated that they do not want to have anything to do with the LTTE.

Karuna and Daya Master help Army to identify LTTE leaders' bodies

Hilary Rajakarunanayake, Editor – Sri Lanka, Asian Tribune

PrabhakaranKaruna Amman who was formerly second in Command of the LTTE and former LTTE spokesman Daya Master have helped the Army to identify the bodies of Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran and other top leaders, Defence sources said today (20). The two were taken under heavy security to Vellamullivaikkal in Mullaitivu around 3.50 pm yesterday by 57 Division commander Maj. Gen. Jagath Dias, 53 Division commander Maj. Gen. Kamal Gunaratne and 58 Division Commander Brig. Shavendra Silva.

Iran commended the success achieved by Sri Lanka in defeating LTTE terrorism

The Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran Manouchehr Mottaki telephoned Foreign Minister Bogollagama on Tuesday (19th May), to congratulate the President, the Foreign Minister and the Government of Sri Lanka on the success achieved by Sri Lanka in defeating LTTE terrorism. The Iranian Foreign Minister said that Iran has maintained close relations with Sri Lanka and has always condemned terrorism and, consistently upheld the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of Sri Lanka. He said that he was speaking on behalf of the President of Iran who has conveyed his best wishes to Sri Lanka and will personally speak to the President of Sri Lanka at a mutually convenient time. Iran has also offered assistance through the Red Crescent, for the emergency relief operations for the IDPs in the North.

US announces $110m humanitarian aid to Pakistan

By Wajid Ali Syed – Washington Correspondent for Asian Tribune

United States has announced 110 million dollar for humanitarian support to Pakistan. This decision was taken after Pakistan requested to help the IDPs which increased immensely in the last few days. The Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton announced the aid amount today at a press briefing at the White House. She started off with the supply of aid saying that the money will help ease the plight of about 2 million Pakistanis who have fled fighting. "Providing this assistance is not only the right thing to do, but we believe it is essential to global security," she said. "And we are prepared to do more as the situation demands." She added that she had a long discussion with President Obama on the issue.

Kent Härstedt