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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2705

Monthly archive

A New Beginning: President Obama Speaks to the Muslim World from Cairo

President Obama President Barack Obama while speaking at the Cairo University in Cairo, Egypt, on Thursday promised the Muslim world a new partnership with the U.S. based on mutual interest, mutual respect - and a promise to "say openly the things we hold in our hearts and that too often are said only behind closed doors." And he delivered by the bucket, in a speech that first wooed his audience with lavish praise of Islam's contribution to global civilization, and then delivered some bracing messages on key points of conflict between the U.S. and its Muslim critics. US President stressed that the bond between the U.S. and Israel was unbreakable, emphasizing that it was based on "the recognition that the aspiration for a Jewish homeland is rooted in a tragic history that cannot be denied."

Budget session in Bangladesh parliament begins

M.A. Qader-Asian Tribune Correspondent in Bangladesh

The second session of the ninth parliament began on Thursday with the main opposition party BNP choosing not to attend. Presided over by speaker Abdul Hamid, finance minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith is expected to present the budget for 2009-10 fiscal in parliament on June 11. Prime minister Sheikh Hasina and other MPs were present at this second session, better known as budget session.

A New Theme Song for Sri Lanka Tourism

Alston Koch handing over the CD The new theme song for Sri Lanka was presented to Minister of Tourism Milinda Moragoda, on Tuesday 2 June, by Tourism Ambassador for Sri Lanka, Alston Koch. The song will be launched with the new branding and communication campaign, scheduled for inauguration later this month by Sri Lanka Tourism. The song is written with passion only Koch can muster, and depicts attractions of Sri Lanka. Koch said, "We have a 2,500 year old culture, beautiful beaches, alluring nature, and spectacular wildlife, and the song fittingly portrays all such attractions and covers diverse aspects of the island."

Nepal PM expands cabinet; eight new ministers sworn in

Kosh Raj Koirala – Asian Tribune Correspondent in Nepal

inducted eight new faces in his cabinet. Prime Minister Nepal expanded his three-member cabinet by inducting one deputy prime minister and seven new ministers including six ministers from Nepali Congress and one minister from the Communist Party of Nepal (Marxist Leninist) party amidst a special function held at Presidential Palace. The prime minister administered oath of office to Bijaya Kumar Gachchhadar of Madheshi People’s Rights Forum (MPRF) party as deputy prime minister and minister for physical planning and works and Nepali Congress leader Sujata Koirala as foreign minister in the new government.

Sri Lanka Navy intercepted relief ship ‘MV Captain Ali, bound for Vanni

Sri Lanka Navy on Thursday intercepted a freighter funded by Tamil Tiger sympathizers bound for Vanni, which reached Sri Lankan waters three weeks after LTTE was squarely defeated in the war. The war was declared over on 18 May after nearly 26 years of fighting. Navy ships intercepted the ‘Captain Ali,’ funded by a British-based group that calls itself ‘Mercy Mission to Vanni,’ 160 km (100 miles) west of Colombo. Originally 'Vanangaman', a suspected LTTE run vessel, set sail from Ipswich and arrived in France on 20 th April. According to a report, the 'Vananga Mann' ship changed course and set sail to France where it offloaded its cargo at Fecamp.

Journalists with LTTE links can be tried under PTA

The former LTTE spokesman, Daya Master's confession that over 50 journalists were on LTTE's pay roll has created a fresh controversy in political circles in Colombo. Media and Information Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa on Thursday claimed that he was never informed of such a confession that had dragged journalists into a controversy."Frankly, as the Media Minister, I do not know of such list nor any name of a journalist in that reported confession', the minister claimed. Asked why he was being kept in the dark when the reported confession has now become a controversy in political circles, the minister if there was something to that effect, the authorities would certainly bring it to his notice.

Now Mini Polls Time in Sri Lanka

By Our Colombo Correspondent Prasad Gunewardene

As the dust settled on a thirty year terrorist war, all political parties in Sri Lanka are once again geared to test the pulse of the people at another mini election at provincial level. This time, the mini election is due in the Uva Province, in the hill country which covers three districts. The ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance led by President Mahinda Rajapaksa goes to this poll with confidence after defeating the LTTE terrorism.

Sri Lanka rejects ICP report on IDP disappearance

By our Colombo Correspondent

The Sri Lankan government today totally rejected a claim in a Inner City Press (ICP) quoted by a pro LTTE website, that 13,000 people from Internally Displaced camps have disappeared, and described it as a malicious attempt to discredit the Colombo government. Highly placed government sources said that the Tamil Diaspora overseas working for the LTTE were now engaged in a disinformation campaign to discredit the Government unable to bear the crushing defeat of the LTTE and its' terrorism. Rehabilitation Ministry sources expressed anger and surprise over the pro-LTTE canard that is being spread through internet websites misquoting figures of the number of displaced persons.

First MMI- sponsored free Tamil language course for police officers

Milinda Moragoda addressing A ceremony to distribute certificates to the first batch of police officers who completed a six-month Tamil language course was held recently under the patronage of Milinda Moragoda, Minister of Tourism, Mr. Wickram Nishri, Deputy High Commissioner of India; and IGP Mr. Jayantha Wickramaratne at the Police Welfare Centre, Colombo. The language-training course was organised by the Milinda Moragoda institute in collaboration with the Colombo Police In-house Training Unit and the Indian High Commission and is free of charge for police officers in the Colombo DIG Division. The six-month course is specifically targeted at police officers who man the inquiry desks at police stations and who interact with the Tamil-speaking population in the city, enabling more effective communication and interaction.

Military option always launched in haste

By Asif Haroon Raja

The military operation was launched in Lower Dir on 25 April suddenly and hastily as if Islamabad was really in danger of getting captured by militants and nuclear weapons in jeopardy of getting stolen. The haste was not because of looming danger of militants but to make the visit of President Zardari to USA successful. In their exuberance to cool down raised tempers of the American leadership and to appease them our rulers forgot the fallout effects of IDPs. Or else, they never imagined that the strength of IDPs would shoot up to the astronomical figure of near 3 millions.

Milinda Moragoda addressing to the police

Singapore hails Sri Lankan victory over LTTE terrorism

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Singapore, George Yeo has congratulated his Sri Lankan counterpart, Rohitha Bogollagama and the Sri Lankan Government on the victory over LTTE terrorism. This was conveyed to the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister at a meeting on the sidelines of the 8th Shangri – La Dialogue held in Singapore. Minister Yeo welcomed President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s address to the Sri Lankan Parliament on 19th May 2009, in which the President had pledged that a political solution should be "a solution acceptable to all sections of the people".

Down with the down under

By M. Rama Rao - Syndicate Features

"Curry bashing" seems to be becoming a popular Australian sport. According to some reports over 70 incidents of grievous attacks on Indian students have been reported in the past one year. Some other reports have spoken of much higher figures. Taking the lower figure to be true, it still works out to an average of more than one assault a week on Indians in Australia. It is natural and right to be angry at the Australian authorities for their incredibly callous attitude towards the safety of Indian students—reported to be 90,000-- who make a hefty contribution to their coffers. The Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, may have to do some explaining to do whenever he embarks on his postponed visit to India. The Government of India must also share the blame for a callousness of almost equal nature.

Global Integrity: Unregulated Money in Politics Is Greatest Corruption Threat Globally

By P. Radhakrishnan

Tracking governance and corruption trends is a global imperative. But doing that is easier said. Important among the prerequisites to it is the availability of huge amounts of relevant and reliable sensitive data and the huge amount of material and human resources required for the task. Seen against this formidable obstacle, Global Integrity, an international, non-profit, non-partisan organization, has been a very important global trend-setter. Among other things, its "Integrity Indicators" approach to assessing key national anti-corruption mechanisms has been described by the World Bank as "a 'best practice' methodology for governance indicators." These indicators are: (1) Civil Society, Public Information and Media; (2) Elections; (3) Government Accountability; (4) Administration and Civil Service; (5) Oversight and Regulation; and (6) Anti-Corruption and Rule of Law.

Suicide blast in Mosque kills 32 in northwest Pakistan

By Farzana Shah-Asian Tribune Correspondent in Pakistan

Over two dozen people were killed when a suicide bomber ripped through a mosque packed with worshippers in northwest Pakistan Friday, killing 32 people and wounding dozens more in the deadliest such attack in more than two months. The suicide bomber struck a mosque in village of Hayagai Sharqai in Upper Dir packed with people offering Friday prayer. According to top government official of Upper Dir, Atifur Rehman thirty-two people are confirmed killed and more than 40 were wounded in a suicide blast inside the mosque.