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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2400

Monthly archive

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Deadly cyclone ‘Aila’ hits Bangladesh’s southwestern coastline leaving over 100 dead so far

M.A. Qader-Our Correspondent in Bangladesh

The deadly cyclone ‘Aila’ that hit the country’s southwestern coastline on Monday night left more than 100 people dead so far and at least one hundred missing. It is the second storm in the Bay of Bengal in less than one month. Several people were killed and hundreds of thatched houses destroyed in Cox's Bazar on April 17. Unofficial death counts from cyclone 'Aila' has reached 102 until 8:15pm on Tuesday and local administrations say the figure may rise as more than 100 are missing. Of them, twenty-seven people died in Khulna, 20 in Satkhira, 10 in Bhola, nine in Barisal, six in Patuakhali, four in Narshingdi, 25 in Noakhali, two each in Chapainawabganj, Cox's Bazar and Naogaon, and one in Magura.

Quick remittance scheme launched in Paris

Newly appointed Chairman of Seylan Bank, Eastman Narangoda and the Resident Director General of Banque d’Escompte in Paris Alain Wormser announced a joint remittance scheme exclusively for Sri Lankan expatriate community. Addressing a gathering of expatriate community at the Saint Hippolyte A.P.S.H in Paris, Mr Wormser expressed confidence that the new remittance scheme would be very popular among the Sri Lankan community because of its very low commission rates and the convenience in transfer.

The dilemma of internally displaced persons

By Asif Haroon Raja

In the aftermath of Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in December 1979, Pakistan had to bear the burden of over 3.5 million Afghan refugees; 1.7 millions have still not returned. Besides the economic burden, they have inflicted huge damage to the social fabric of the society particularly where their influx has been the maximum. Large percentage of Afghan refugees who had not been confined to the camps is living in all parts of the country. They are being cultivated by foreign agencies based in Kabul to serve their sinister designs.

Obama announces Supreme Court nominee

By Wajid Ali Syed – Washington Correspondent for Asian Tribune

US President Barack Obama has nominated federal appeals court judge Sonia Sotomayor to replace retiring Justice David Souter on the United States Supreme Court. If confirmed, Sonia will become the first justice of Hispanic descent. With the new nominee at his side, the president went before an audience in the White House and said he made his pick for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court after a rigorous selection process. "Over a distinguished career that spans three decades, Judge Sotomayor has worked at almost every level of our judicial system, providing her with a depth of experience and a breadth of perspective that will be invaluable as a Supreme Court justice."

India: Azhagiri, Maran, Raja, Farooq, Salman to join Singh cabinet on Thursday

By M Rama Rao, India Editor, Asian Tribune

Six days after he constituted his second coalition government, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has decided to expand his ministry by inducting some 50 young and old faces on Thursday. There will be a dozen cabinet ministers, around seven ministers of state with independent charge and some 30 ministers of state. The first lot taken in on May 22 comprised 19 cabinet ministers. The expansion was initially slated for Tuesday evening itself but pulls and pressures from within the Congress forced party chief Sonia Gandhi and her core team of advisors to hold long sessions with the Prime Minister on balanced regional, and caste representation in the council of ministers.

"Winning the War on Terrorism – The New Dawn"

Dr. Palitha KohonaThe critical and central role of defeating the LTTE was played by thousands young men and women who believed in the integrity of their country, who single-mindedly sought to ensure a land free of violence to future generations and who were driven by the single purpose of protecting what was theirs for the future. "Thousands laid down their lives, lives that had not experienced the full range of joys and sorrows of human existence, and thousands were maimed for the sake of unborn generations, so that this land shall be rid of the scourge of barbaric terrorism. Many were left widowed or fatherless. We must never forget, as long this nation remains, those who made the ultimate sacrifice for such a noble cause," said Dr. Palitha Kohona.

Government partnering with NGOs to improve welfare of the IDPs

Hilary Rajakarunanayake, Editor – Sri Lanka, Asian Tribune

Navaratne"The Government of Sri Lanka and the NGOs are now working towards a common goal to serve the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the North and speed up their resettlement". "Senior Presidential Advisor and Parliamentarian Basil Rajapaksha who also holds the Chairmanship of the Special Task Force for Northern Development has instructed the Government Departments and the NGOs to achieve this goal within 180 days". Speaking to "Asian Tribune", the Chairman of the Sewa Lanka Foundation, Dr. Harsha Kumara Navaratne says that at present the Task Force is working with the NGOs, UN agencies and the government institutions to overcome the present difficulties of the welfare camps.

Bangladesh to send expert and parliamentary team to report on India’s planned Tipaimukhi dam

M.A. Qader-Our Correspondent in Bangladesh

Bangladesh will soon send an expert and parliamentary team to visit the dam at Tipaimukh of India, commerce minister Faruk Khan said on Tuesday. The government will send an expert and parliamentary team within some days to visit the dam at Tipaimukh and they will report what was happening there and how much benefit Bangladesh stand to gain from the project, the commerce minister told reporters emerging from a seminar on 'Regional Connectivity: Potential for Infrastructure Development and Energy in South Asia' in Dhaka. Government will only support the construction of the dam at Tipaimukh if Bangladesh benefitted, Khan added.

On Lankan issues India’s decision should be correct: Karunanidhi to PM

By Gopal Ethiraj from Chennai

KarunanidhiMillions of Tamils all over the world believe that the draft resolution now presented by the Sri Lankan government to the United Nations Human Rights Council is largely against the interest of Tamils in the island nation, said Tamil Nadu CM Karunanidhi today. Karunanidhi made this statement in his letter sent a letter to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the Sri Lankan Tamils issue, drawing his attention that India takes correct decision in the matters relating to Sri Lanka. The letter was sent on Tuesday after finalizing the seven names for the ministerial berths in the union cabinet yesterday, the copy of which was made available to the media persons.

Interpol casts worldwide net for Kumaran Padmanathan

Hilary Rajakarunanayake, Editor – Sri Lanka, Asian Tribune

Interpol has intensified the search for the arrest of Kumaran Padmanathan, better known as KP, the International Leader and arms procurer of the LTTE. The search for him has been broadened in Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, Canada and Thailand where he is supposed to be present from time to time. KP for whom there is a warrant for arrest has been dodging Interpol for a long time is said to have an Eritrean passport. Both India and Sri Lanka have expressed concern to Interpol to nab him, said a high ranking Police official in Colombo.

LTTE under KP

By Gomin Dayasri

Exit of Prabhakaran has caused weird consequences- a meeting of minds between the Government and the Tamil Net. Both deem K.Pathmanathan(KP) as the anointed heir apparent. Nothing could have been further away from the mindset of Prabhakaran. He did not foresee or foretell a life for the LTTE after him. He was larger than the LTTE and he presumed there was no existence for the LTTE after his death. He was immortal, at least, until Elam was achieved. In the volatile shrinking small world of the LTTE, probably Prabhakaran was correct. But the Diaspora cannot afford to evaporate into thin air, with plenty of funds at their disposal. There are no replacements to find in the refugee camps. Operations have to originate from an overseas base from where terrorism has to be exported to Sri Lanka to activate the few sleepers currently anesthetised.

State of emergency and enforcement of Prevention of Terrorism Act to continue in Sri Lanka

Hilary Rajakarunanayake, Editor – Sri Lanka, Asian Tribune

Although terrorism has been completely wiped out, the state of emergency and enforcement of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) will continue to be enforced in Sri Lanka. This was stated in Parliament by the Leader of the House, and Minister of Healthcare and Nutrition, Nimal Siripala de Silva. He told Parliament that terrorist activists are still at large prowling every corner of the country. "The Opposition Leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe had demanded the removal of the emergency laws and the PTA. Does he want to see any revival of terrorism in this country? The government is duty bound and has to be responsible to the people. We have to assure people of this country that there will be no chance for terrorism again.

Polythene/Plastic use endangers the environment

By Quintus Perera - Asian Tribune

Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka(FCCISL) in collaboration with the National Cleaner Production Centre (NCPC) held a workshop on Polythene/ Plastics . Tissa Jayaweera, Senior Vice-President, FCCISL inaugurated the workshop and the following resource persons discussed the various aspects of Polythene/Plastics: Ms Batuwitage, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources spoke on Why Plastic Management is necessary; Jayanetti, Central Environment Authority spoke on National Policy Regulations & Enforcement on Plastic & thin film; Nihal Cooray, Technical Manager, Indexpo Certification Pvt Ltd spoke on Application on CP & 3R Concept and Jagath Deva, National Cleaner Production Centre spoke on The Sri Lankan Cleaner Productions activities.

Unhindered Access - Sri Lanka Beware!

A Commentary by L. Jayasooriya

Events that have taken place over the years with regard to the behavior of the militarily and economically powerful Western nations were a puzzle to the people of Sri Lanka who are simple people mostly with a Buddhist background who accept a person on trust but as the years passed they began to notice contradictions in the behaviour of those we took on trust and terms like "double standards", "double talk", "double speak" etc. began to arise. When we were on the point of militarily defeating the LTTE and ending the 30 year curse the very same people asked us to hold a ceasefire in order that the innocent Tamil civilians held by Prabakaran as a human shield could escape. They could not possibly have had any respect for us to say such a thing. When that failed the American spokesman ordered us to hand over Prabakaran to a third party. This is treating us with absolute contempt and still expecting us to comply.

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Dr. Palitha Kohona

Dr. Harsha Kumara Navaratne