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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2398

Monthly archive

By Ernest Corea

"Now no one should feel belonging to minority" - An Interview With Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith

By Fr.Neville Joe Perera from Rome.

Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith with Pope Apparently there is great relief as the guns have been silenced indicating the end of the ethnic war, but there is also concern, anxiety and confusion for the future, because true peace is still far off ': these are the first impressions of Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith, secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments. He is always attentive to what happens in his country of origin, where he has been auxiliary bishop of Colombo and the bishop of Ratnapura, before moving in 2001 to serve the Holy See.

Bangladesh: Death toll in cyclone ‘Aila’-hit districts continues to rise

M.A. Qader-Our Correspondent in Bangladesh

Waterborne disease like Diarrhea has taken an alarming turn in Cyclone ‘Aila’-hit Satkhira, Khulna and Barisal districts of Bangladesh as the cyclone-affected people have been forced to drink contaminated water. At least four people have been reported to have died of diarrhea in the cyclone affected district of Satkhira on Thursday, said local officials although the district administration did not confirm any death due to the disease, so far. Union parishad chairmen and local leaders and journalists said diarrhea and skin diseases were breaking out in the area as flood waters became stagnant and polluted.

Domestic political and security vicissitudes

By Asif Haroon Raja

Effects of ongoing military operations in Malakand Division are being felt all over the country in the form of human displacement and bomb attacks. While Balochistan is festering, Karachi has also become restive because of motivated clashes between MQM activists and Pakhtun settlers. During the bout in April, out of 35 killed, only two belonged to MQM. ANP wanted to refresh memories of people of Karachi about massacre of its 38 political activists allegedly at the hands of MQM goons on the fateful day of 12 May 2007 by observing it a black day.

Actor Kamal’s workshop on screenplay writing

By Gopal Ethiraj from Chennai

Kamal HasanA six-day international workshop on screenplay writing, jointly organized by Raaj Kamal Films International and Indian Institute of Technology (IIT-Madras), was inaugurated in Chennai on Thursday. "It has been my dream to conduct such a symposium for screenplay writing,” said Kamal Hasan, the brain behind the workshop, inaugurating. "It is a celebration that marks our payback to the industry". The actor, who dedicated the workshop to the memory of screenplay writer and his mentor Ananthu, said that he and the acclaimed scenarist Anjum Rajapalli had fought with the faculty at Pune Film Institute to create separate department for screenplay writing.

Nepal marks first Republic Day

Kosh Raj Koirala – Asian Tribune Correspondent in Nepal

Nepal observed the first anniversary of Republic Day on Friday amidst various functions across the country. The first sitting of Constituent Assembly had declared Nepal a Federal Democratic Republic on May 29, 2008, making the country the youngest republic in the world. The decision had abolished the 240-year long monarchy deemed as feudal institution from the Himalayan nation sandwiched between China and India. A special function was organized at the army pavilion in the capital city, Kathmandu, to mark the first Republic Day. President Dr Ram Baran Yadav, Vice-President Paramananda Jha, Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal, leaders of political parties and other dignitaries including representatives of foreign diplomatic missions attended the function.

How the West aided LTTE to ravage Sri Lanka for three decades.

By Don Wijewardana

The end came fast. By Saturday the last of the remaining 50,000 hostages were rescued. And by Monday it was all over. After having rescued 250,000 hostages earlier it was thought releasing the last lot held as a human shield by the terrorists could not be accomplished without much bloodshed. The whole world was watching with baited breath. Clinton, Brown, UN’s Pillay and the European Union as well as the INGOs waited to see a ‘blood bath’ and a ‘human catastrophe’. They warned the government of “severe consequences for its actions”.

Tamil youth to be recruited to Sri Lanka Army

Hilary Rajakarunanayake, Editor – Sri Lanka, Asian Tribune

"We intend to recruit Tamil youth to the Sri Lanka Army from the areas that have been liberated from the LTTE in the North shortly," said Army Commander General Sarath Fonseka today. Army Commander said, "The youth living in the liberated areas could be an asset to national security, because they have a firsthand knowledge about the area they are living. We have already recruited about 800 Tamil youth to the Sri Lanka Army from the Eastern province and they are doing quite well".

IMF standby loan to Sri Lanka should not be delayed any longer - US Congressman Shuler

Hilary Rajakarunanayake, Editor – Sri Lanka, Asian Tribune

"The International Monetary Fund standby loan to Sri Lanka should not be delayed any longer because it was of paramount importance for the economic development of the country ravaged by civil war". This was stated on Friday, by US Representative Heath Shuler (Democrat from North Carolina) just before leaving Sri Lanka after visiting the country to obtain a firsthand knowledge about conditions prevailing in the North of Sri Lanka. Shuler was leading a visiting delegation from the US which arrived in the country for a four-day visit. He had discussions with President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Government officials and Opposition UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe during his visit here.

Caution Sri Lanka: New U.S. Ambassador Patricia Butenis – a meddler in internal affairs

Daya Gamage – Asian Tribune US Bureau Investigative Report

In her June 12, 2008 farewell speech at the Gulshan Club, Dhaka, the outgoing American ambassador to Bangladesh Patricia Butenis told the distinguished gathering "I know that some Bangladeshis believe that I was sometimes too outspoken," but she rationalized that by suggesting that in a fast and complex world of diplomacy, "Ambassadors must be clear about their country's interests and viewpoints to avoid misunderstanding."

Sri Lanka urges Malaysia to ban the LTTE

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka, Rohitha Bogollagama, is currently attending the 8th Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore. The Shangri-La Dialogue is a high-profile global conference, primarily focusing on security and security related aspects and is participated by Ministers of Defence, Ministers of Foreign Affairs, military strategists and top brass, academia, diplomatic corps, think-tanks and senior bureaucrats from world over. Sri Lanka is participating at this three day Conference for the 3rd consecutive year. The fundamental objectives of this event are to assess and deliberate on new developments and dynamics in the realm of global and regional security.

Foreign help sought to track down LTTE Leaders contacts

Hilary Rajakarunanayake, Editor – Sri Lanka, Asian Tribune

The Army Intelligence Unit has sought the help of Pakistan and other countries to trace persons who communicated with LTTE leaders through their satellite phones which have been recovered in Mullaitivu by the Army. Although several LTTE connected persons living abroad said that they have no reason to fear because there are no SIM cards in satellite phones, the Pakistani ISI Intelligence Service has taped all satellite phone conversations, it is reliably learnt. The satellite phones of the LTTE leaders have been activated through a network in Malaysia.

Now that the LTTE is Crushed – Some Advice for the "Western Powers"

By Stephen Long - Los Angeles, California

I just returned from a lengthy visit to Sri Lanka, and I witnessed first-hand the Government’s splendid victory over the LTTE terrorists. Every day I read with great interest the many comments and opinions that were written on the conflict by both Sri Lankan and international journalists. From my perspective, I can assure you that the Government acted with restraint and compassion throughout the entire ordeal. I also saw that the so-called "Western Powers" were totally misinformed on the situation, which resulted in their passing a hasty judgment that condemned the Government’s conduct toward the IDP’s and the human shields still trapped in the No Fire Zone.

Yal Devi to run to Thandikulam on June 6

Hilary Rajakarunanayake, Editor – Sri Lanka, Asian Tribune

Colombo, 30 May, ( "After a lapse of 30 years recalling nostalgic memories for Tamils in the North, the Northern train Yal Devi will run beyond Vavuniya up to Thandikulam on June 6th . The railway track and the signal network has already been completed up to Thandikulam". This was stated by Minister of Transport, Dallas Alahapperuma today. The restoration of the rail track in North Sri Lanka which was vandalized by LTTE terrorists 20 years ago, is undertaken by the Sri Lanka Government under the “Uthuru Mithuru” Scheme at a projected cost of 14 billion rupees. The Minister has invited public contributions towards the completion of the project.

Outrage in India at student bashing in Down Under, PM Rudd says 'sorry'

By M Rama Rao, India Editor, Asian Tribune

There is outrage in India amidst demands for recall of all students from Down Under over a spate of racial attacks on Indian students including a petrol bomb attack in what have been termed as 'curry bashing'. Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd who telephoned Manmohan Singh to congratulate him on taking over as India Prime Minister for a second term, heard firsthand the heightened concern, shared the outrage, termed the attacks as 'appalling in every sense', and said 'sorry' for these ‘criminal acts’. By the time Rudd called Singh, both countries had witnessed a flurry of diplomatic activity, with South Block here summoning the Australian envoy to give an earful and Indian diplomats High Commissioner Sujata Singh and Consul General in Melbourne, Anita Nayar, met the top brass to lodge a strong protest and to goad them to make the police to quickly nab the culprits.

Another medical team from India for IDPs

Hilary Rajakarunanayake, Editor – Sri Lanka, Asian Tribune

A medical team of 27 doctors including a surgeon and a pediatrician and paramedics have been sent to Sri Lanka by India for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in North. This was stated by a Health Ministry source said. The team brought with them about 30 tons of medicines worth over Rs.30 million to replenish stores at the field hospital in a camp for the Internal Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the North.

Washington Commentary: Looking (Again) For That Evasive Middle East Peace Deal

By Ernest Corea

If "M" usually is for May, in Washington DC this year it also stands for the Middle East, with three key political figures from that region invited to the White House for an exchange of ideas on "peace in our time." Heightened interest in the Middle East peace process, or lack thereof, unfolded against a background of concerns that "there is going to be another conflict between Arabs or Muslims and Israel in the next 12 to 18 months" if peace negotiations are not resumed, as Jordan’s King Abdullah has warned. President Obama expressed a similar view, saying that: "Time is of the essence. We need to get this thing back on track."

Kamal Hasan

Dr. Ahamed Ajmeer