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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2702

Monthly archive

Military clears more areas in northwest Pakistan; 21 militants killed

By Farzana Shah-Asian Tribune Correspondent in Pakistan

Pakistani military has cleared more areas of the militants as operation ‘Rah-e-Rast’ is underway in Malakand Division in northwest Pakistan. Whereas army said 21 militants have been killed during last 24 hours. The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Ather Abbas said at least 21 militants have been killed in the last 24 hours in various areas of Malakand. According to ISPR statement, on a tip from the locals, during cordon and search operation, three terrorists were killed in Charbagh by the security forces.

Oath taking by new MPs

By Our Colombo Correspondent Prasad Gunewardene

When Parliament met this morning, two new Members of Parliament took oaths before the Speaker WJM Lokubandara. They were Nandimitra Ekanayake from the Matale district,hill country, and Chandima Weerakkody from Galle District, Southern Province. Ekanayake and Weerakkody were sworn in as members of the ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA).

U.N. Big Powers World's Top Military Spenders

By Thalif Deen, Inter Press Service

The world's biggest military spenders last year were countries which were either permanent members of the Security Council or aspiring to hold that privileged rank, according to the latest figures released Monday by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). The United States, China, France, Britain and Russia - all veto-wielding members of the Security Council - were the top five military spenders in 2008, accounting for a hefty 60 percent of global military spending totaling 1.5 trillion dollars. The four countries desperately knocking at the Security Council door for permanent membership - Germany, Japan, India and Brazil - were not far behind, ranking among the top 15.

The LTTE’s Bruce Fein and the IMF Loan

By Stephen Long - Los Angeles, California

During my recent visit to Sri Lanka I had the occasion to meet with many government officials in many ministries. I also met with several distinguished members of the business community in Colombo. At all of my meetings I asked the question, “Have any of you ever heard of Bruce Fein?” The answer I always received, along with blank expressions, was "No." I couldn’t believe it. I usually said in response, "How can you not be aware of the Washington mercenary attorney, lobbyist, and PR consultant that is paid by LTTE supporters to bury your country?" Usually, there was very little interest in the subject, so we just moved on. How sad, I felt.

Right to vote for overseas Indians soon: Vayalar Ravi

By Gopal Ethiraj

Vayalar Ravi A Bill to grant the right of voting in parliamentary elections to overseas Indians will be introduced in the Parliament soon. Union Minister of State for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi has said this in Kochi on Sunday. He told media persons that the preliminary work on the draft Bill was over and the House committee concerned was vetting it now. The Minister said that the process of establishing a Pravasi university — one soon and three more later — was going on. Children of overseas Indians would have a 50 per cent quota in the university, which would offer technical, engineering, medical and general courses.

The Tamil National Alliance – the worst enemy of the Tamil people

The Democratic Tamil National Alliance considers Tamil National Alliance is the first and worst enemy of the Tamil people. They should take full responsibility for the loss of several thousands of lives and for causing injuries for many more. "One in ten in the IDP camps has some deformity. Many have become widows, widowers and orphans. The kith and kin of some are either dead or still missing. Almost all have lost all their belongings such as house-hold goods, Lories, Vans, Tractors, Trailers, Three-Wheelers, Motor-Cars, Motor-Cycles, their dairy farms, their poultry and their poor children lost their studies. All have become paupers now," said V. Anandasangaree, President of the Tamil United Liberation Front & Secretary – DTNA.

IT professional take out rally on Lankan Tamils issue

Gopal Ethiraj from Chennai

Yet another rally for Sri Lankan Tamils. Now it is by the IT professionals. On Sunday, about 400 IT professionals, including several women, took out a rally in the city demanding an investigation under international law into the war crimes and human rights violations of Sri Lankan forces against Tamils civilians on the Island. The employees of Infosys, TCS, CTS, IBM, Wipro, Ramco Systems, Zylog and Oracle and students from engineering and medical colleges, who participated in the "Rally for Justice", condemned the Sri Lankan government and criticized the Indian government’s inaction. They said thousands of displaced Tamils were suffering in Sri Lanka without adequate basic amenities and urged the UN and the international community to come to their help.

Nepal parties differ on describing Maoist insurgency in new constitution

Kosh Raj Koirala – Asian Tribune Correspondent in Nepal

There has been sharp difference among major political parties in Nepal over how the decade-long Maoist insurgency should be described in the new constitution. While the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) argues that the insurgency should be treated as "people’s war," all other political parties are adamant that it was never a "people’s war" in true sense of the words, but just an "armed conflict." The Maoist was defeated in a voting held in the Constituent Assembly (CA) to decide how should be the insurgency be named in the new constitution being drafted in the country.

EU funded post tsunami construction and waste management project marks completion

The European Union funded construction waste management project, commonly referred to as the COWAM project marked its successful completion on 5 June 2009. Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, Minister of Urban Development and Sacred Areas Development was also present. Referring to this project, Ambassador of the Delegation of the European Commission to Sri Lanka and Maldives Bernard Savage said "this project has indeed made a remarkable contribution to the city of Galle through a pioneering effort in utilizing construction and demolition waste for the development of the city".

Karunanidhi seeks action against Vaiko

Gopal Ethiraj from Chennai

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on Monday filed a complaint at the Egmore court seeking action against MDMK leader Vaiko for his alleged defamatory remarks against the DMK leader published in a Tamil daily on May 31. The complaint filed by DMK's Principal Secretary Arcot N Veerasami on behalf of the party chief will be taken up by the Metropolitan Magistrate on June 16. Charging Vaiko with using defamatory and derogatory language against Karunanidhi regarding the attack on film director Bharathiraja's office, the complaint alleged that the "malicious" remarks were made to tarnish the image of the DMK leader.

South Asia needs to work for better regional integration, says EU Troika Mission

M.A Qader- Asian Tribune Correspondent in Bangladesh

The European Union Troika mission on Monday urged Bangladesh and its neighbors in South Asia to work for better regional integration and cooperation to serve mutual interests. "We have been speaking about cooperation of Bangladesh with India, about the relations with Pakistan and Myanmar also and about SAARC and the possible cooperation with ASEAN," the Troika mission, head, also Czech Republic's deputy minister for foreign affairs Helena Bambasova told reporters on Sunday, after meeting foreign minister Dipu Moni. The Troika mission headed by Bambasova arrived in Dhaka on Sunday on a two-day visit.

US Embassy joins hands to train English teachers from different parts of Sri Lanka

After successful completion of a three - week training program, thirty English teachers from the districts of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Jaffna and Batticaloa received their certificates on May 29, 2009 . This pilot program on English teacher training is a component of the Government of Sri Lanka’s "Cities of Excellence Initiative." The Ministry of Education with the assistance of the Presidential Task Force on English and IT implemented the project. It was coordinated by the Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process (SCOPP) and supported by the US Embassy, Colombo and the Sri Lanka National Commission for UNESCO. The United States Embassy provided the trainers -- Mr. Daniel Ringold and Ms. Frances Westbrook—in addition to financial assistance.

National Sovereignty and UN baloney

By Janaka Perera

What about Sri Lanka’s sovereignty? This is what really concerns us. A thug has no sense of shame because he is a thug. However much you insult him citing his past and present global criminal records he does cares not a hoot. "What I do in any part of the world is my business. But when it comes to you, I am the arbiter. You have no right to challenge me. This is the message that Western governments and their bootlicking Asians have been conveying to us mostly through the UN since the last days of the LTTE." Despite Sri Lankan Government repeatedly rejecting calls for probing alleged human rights violations and war crimes in the process of crushing the Tiger terrorists the suave, neat dressed thugs keep on coming back to us like bouncing rubber balls – all the while turning a blind eye to the endless human rights violations being committed in Afghanistan, the Afghan-Pakistan border and in Iraq.

A Point Of View on IDP re-settlement

By A Development Strategist

The villages that were controlled by the LTTE terrorists have been heavily mined as well as barriers erected which are dangerous to life and limb. Therefore, it is necessary to comb every square inch of land so that all such obstacles are cleared and the area declared safe for people to move in. If this is not done, "the possible discontented individuals around the world will opine" that the Government Of Sri Lanka (GOSL) is irresponsible and have sent the civilians back to virtual death by explosions and accidents.

Time is fast running out for the PPP

By Asif Haroon Raja

During the eight-year rule of Gen Musharraf, steps that were undertaken by our adversaries to enfeeble Pakistan from within and achieve its objectives were as under: One, break Taliban led Afghanistan and Pakistan alignment and disrupt euphemistical concept of strategic depth and make fun of it through pseudo intellectuals in Pakistan. Two, dope Musharraf and elect King’s Party to power through horse trading and rigging, and make the band of puppeteers dance to its tunes. Three, impose an imported PM, make economy consumer oriented and show false progress of economy through fudged indicators. Four, secularize education and society under enlightened moderation and undermine concept of Jihad.

LTTE made mistakes says Anti War expert

Sunil C. Perera in Colombo

Kumar RupasingheDr. Kumar Rupesinghe , an anti-war expert and a rights activist and Chairman of the Foundation for Co-Existence claimed that the LTTE made a big mistake when it tried to use civilians as a human shield to pressure the international community to intervene in Sri Lanka. However the government was able to defeat their objectives. Speaking to media in Colombo Dr.Rupesinghe said at present the government has a vital responsibility to resettle the IDPs within its 180 days programme. "I think it will take more time," said Dr.Rupesinghe.