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

Monthly archive

Chief Justice Asoka De Silva And International Law

A Commentary by L. Jayasooriya

I understand from the media that the Chief Justice Asoka de Silva is an expert in Sri Lankan as well as International Law. As I see it, there is no such thing as International Law. It has always been and it will forever be the law of those nations that exploit other nations to maintain their high standards of living by virtue of the fact that they have fire power far superior to those whom they exploit, but for the very first time in the history of land piracy by a coterie of a few nations tiny Sri Lanka was able to stand up to them in their attempt to rescue the world’s most ruthless and sophisticated terrorist organization, namely the LTTE that they planned to use to keep the exploited nations destabilized in perpetuity.

Pak military sends gunships to support Upper Dir tribesmen against militants

By Farzana Shah-Asian Tribune Correspondent in Pakistan

The military sent helicopter gunships to a northwest region of Pakistan Tuesday to support armed villagers who have risen up against Taliban to avenge a deadly mosque blast. According to sources, the local armed tribesmen are positioned on surrounding mountains and keeping a vigil on the movement of Taliban militants. Whereas army helicopter gunships and artillery supporting the local tribesmen pounded suspected militant hideouts in Upper Dir. Upper Dir borders Swat valley where Pakistani military is battling the militants. The local tribesmen on Tuesday were surrounding Shatkas and Ghazigai villages, where militants are believed to be hiding.

Tamils conference: ‘forget differences; create public opinion for devolution of powers’

By Gopal Ethiraj from Chennai

The Sri Lankan Tamils’ rehabilitation conference, organised by International Tamil Centre ("Pannattu Thamizh Naduvam") here on Monday, dwelt on the future of the Eelam henceforth, and urged the Lankan Tamils to forget differences and create public opinion in favour of devolution of powers to the Tamils in Lanka. Dr. Boyle, professor of international law at University of Illinois College of Law, said he was sure the government of Sri Lanka committed genocide of Tamils from January 2009 to May 2009. He said this genocide eclipsed that committed by Serbia between April 1992 and August 2005. “The genocide of over 50,000 Hindu, Christian Tamils by the Sinhala Buddhist regime should be taken up before the International Court of Justice," he said.

Nepal, India to sign boundary map

Kosh Raj Koirala – Asian Tribune Correspondent in Nepal

In the wake of alleged encroachment of Nepali territory from Indian side, the two countries have decided to sign a boundary map. Senior government officials said a Joint Technical-Level Committee on the India-Nepal Boundary is working towards finalizing the signing of a boundary map."We are waiting for the Nepal Government´s nod to sign the boundary map," Indian Ambassador to Nepal Rakesh Sood told media persons. "We have actually waited for over a year to sign it." The envoy said that 98 percent of the boundary has now been demarcated and the maps already finalized. "The only thing remaining is to formally sign the border map," he added.

Jayalalithaa urges Centre for quick rehabilitation of displaced Sri Lankan Tamils

By Gopal Ethiraj from Chennai

JayalalithaaThe AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa has urged the central government to take steps for immediate settlement and well-being of the Lankan Tamils who were internally displaced and suffering in the in IDP camps. In a statement here, Jayalalithaa said the Chief Justice of Sri Lanka, who had recently visited the refugee camps where IDPs were put up, had opined that their suffering cannot be described in words.

Western Powers Should Praise Sri Lankan Military – Not Condemn It

By Ven. Walpola Piyananda - Chief Sangha Nayake of America

Body of Prabhakaran Throughout history, during times of war soldiers have been known to do horrible things. Committing atrocities because of fear, stress, confusion, or unbalanced mental states is not an uncommon occurrence; animalistic behavior has not been unknown. Acts of inhumanity to man are never acceptable under any circumstances, but they are generally viewed by historians as an unfortunate condition, or bi-product if you will, of all military conflicts. Sri Lankan soldiers fought to protect the sovereignty of our country, and they did their job well. During the entire course of the long LTTE conflict I was always impressed by one characteristic that consistently stood out in regards to the way the war was being managed: the compassion and restraint showed by the Sri Lankan military towards the IDP’s and the civilian victims of the war.

Colombo welcomes Indian stand on Sri Lanka

By Our Colombo Correspondent

The Sri Lankan government today appreciated sentiments expressed by Indian Foreign Secretary, Shiv Shankar Menon who had claimed in New Delhi yesterday(9), that President Mahinda Rajapaksa was "in a way right", when the Sri Lankan President has said he had fought India's war since the LTTE killed Rajiv Gandhi. Menon has said that it was a welcome statement from the Sri Lankan President because the security of Sri Lanka was interlinked with that of India. The Indian Foreign Secretary has further pointed out that the Indian security would not remain safe if Sri Lanka's security was threatened as the spillover effects of terrorism would certainly affect India.

Sri Lanka India to launch campaign to promote Chinese tourists to Indian sub continent

For the first time in the history of Sri Lankan Tourism industry, Sri Lanka and India have decided to launch a joint extensive tourism promotion programme to promote Chinese Tourist market attraction more and more tourists to Indian sub continent. Minister of Tourism, Milinda Moragoda and Nirupama Rao current Indian Ambassador in Beijing had a discussion on this proposal and Indian Embassy will support to campaign Sri Lanka as a tourist destination and Sri Lankan Tourism will provide special campaign based on "Aubowan Sri Lanka" for developing the destination awareness. Ministry of Tourism and the institution under the Ministry are planning to organized a jointly coordinated event with the Indian Embassy by end of this month (last week of June 2009) for develop the Chinese relationship.

Where in the world is there no Discrimination?

By Shenali Waduge

Sri Lanka has become an unfair pastime for some world leaders who are taking their condemnations against Sri Lanka a little too far. A country that has managed to eliminate the world’s worst terrorist outfit – its entire 3-tiered leadership deserves more respect than it is getting and it is a shame that even the UN and some of its heads are taking a personal vendetta against Sri Lanka and this needs to stop. The accusations against Sri Lanka are not only unfair it is overrated and fabricated and Sri Lanka deserves an apology for the manner it has been treated.

SL President to visit Myanmar

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa will make his first overseas visit tonight after eliminating LTTE terrorism followed by a few celebrations at national level to mark the military victory. It was last week that Sri Lanka and Myanmar marked sixty years of bilateral relations where the Sri Lankan Head of State and the Chairman of the State Peace and Development Council, Myanmar, Senior General Than Shwe exchanged greetings. The visiting Sri Lankan President will call on Senior General Than Shwe and Prime Minister of Myanmar, Gen.Thein Sien during his brief visit. Myanmar was an Observer at the 15th SAARC Summit held in Colombo last year at which the Sri Lankan President took over the Chairmanship from his Indian counterpart, Dr.Manmohan Singh.

Government to speed up resettlement of IDPs as family units

By Our Colombo Correspondent

Following representations made to the Government through respective Government Agents in the North and Divisional Secretaries on the desire of displaced families, now in welfare centres to return home, a high level government team will meet in Colombo tomorrow (11), to discuss modalities of resettling those persons as family units at the earliest, well informed sources disclosed. At present, it is reported that only the elderly are being allowed to return to their former places residence, while other age groups are screened for security reasons. Sources said that Special Presidential Adviser and Parliamentarian, Basil Rajapaksa who spearheads the Northern rehabilitation is in constant contact with the rehabilitation authorities in the North and Tamil intellects, has issued instructions to conclude the screening of civilians on security matters at the earliest for them to return to their homes.

EU delegates express concern over BDR deaths in custody

M. A. Qader-Asian Tribune Correspondent in Bangladesh

The visiting European Union delegation on Tuesday expressed "strong concern" at the "numerous deaths" of border guards held in custody in connection with the Feb 25-26 BDR mutiny. Ending a two-day visit in Dhaka, delegation head Helena Bambasova told media personnel that such deaths of BDR personnel in custody should be "thoroughly investigated". According to sources, a total of 13 BDR jawans died in custody since March 09 and of them seven reportedly committed suicide and six died of cardiac arrest.

Eight Indians pilgrims die of altitude sickness while on way holy Mansarovar

Kosh Raj Koirala – Asian Tribune Correspondent in Nepal

At least eight Indian pilgrims who were on the way to holy Mount Kailash in Tibet and the nearby Mansarovar lake, have died due to altitude sickness. Two separate groups of pilgrims had set off to the holy sites via Simikot of Humla district and Kodari route of Sidhupalchowk district at the end of May. According to local police, one of the pilgrims died on June 1 while five other breathed their last after two days due to altitude sickness. Police confirmed that two additional pilgrims died in the following days.

Chennai Lok Adalat settles Rs 60L compensation for techie son’s death

By Gopal Ethiraj from Chennai

The Tamil Nadu Legal Services Authority (TNSLSA) settled a motor vehicle accident case through its Lok Adalat with a compensation of Rs 60 lakh, highest ever awarded so far. The compensation was given to the aged parents of a software professional, who was killed in a road accident at Ulundurpet in Villupuram district last year. The 31-year-old B. V. Kesav Sharma, a top-notch SAP consultant, was drawing an annual salary of about Rs 48 lakhs at the time of his untimely death. After migrating to Australia in 2003, he acquired that country’s citizenship in 2007. He then moved to the US for a higher salary package.

Bangladesh won’t accept any outside interference in war crimes trial - FM says

M.A. Qader-Asian Tribune Correspondent in Bangladesh

Bangladesh Foreign minister Dipu Moni on Tuesday told parliament that the government would not accept any country's interference in the planned war crimes trial. She also said Bangladesh's relations other country’s would "not influence" the trial. The foreign minister’s comments came a day after a ruling coalition MP demanded a statement from the foreign minister on the remarks of a senior Pakistan government official who said trial of the war criminals would ‘bitter Dhaka's relations with Islamabad’.

Judiciary back to the North

By Our Colombo Correspondent

The government has given priority to establish courts of law in all liberated areas of the North, and courts would be shortly set up in Mullaiitivu and Kilinochchi districts, official sources said. Sources said the Justice Ministry was now in the process of finalizing administrative matters regarding the setting up the court structure in the two districts. Accordingly, the courts will begin to function with the setting up of local police stations in the two districts. The court houses in the two districts ceased to function two decades ago due to LTTE terrorism.

Political and cultural relationship between Sri Lanka and Portugal reminded

Sri Lankan Ambassador Lionel Fernando presented his credentials to Portugal President Anibal Cavaco Silva at the Presidential Palace in Lisbon. Ambassador Fernando, who is the Ambassador to France and Permanent Representative to UNESCO, and is also concurrently accredited to Portugal and Spain. The ambassador Lionel Fernando, during his discussion with President Silva recalled the political and cultural relations between Portugal and Sri Lanka running back to 500 years. He pointed out that Portuguese influence in Sri Lanka was very much evident in many spheres and mentioned that Galle Fort is among the several cultural heritage sites named by the UNESCO.

First Guantanamo detainee enters US for trial

By Wajid Ali Syed – Washington Correspondent for Asian Tribune

US authorities have moved a Guantanamo Bay terror suspect to the United States for the first time to face trial. The Justice Department says alleged al-Qaida conspirator Ahmed Ghailani arrived in New York Tuesday for prosecution in the 1998 US embassy bombings in Africa that killed 224 people. The Tanzanian national faces 286 charges, including conspiring with Osama bin Laden and other members of al-Qaida to kill Americans, as well as separate charges of murder for each death from the bombings. Twelve Americans were among those killed in the August 7, 1998, attacks in Kenya and Tanzania.

Madras High Court: Novel verdict for disrespect to National flag

By Gopal Ethiraj from Chennai

The Madras High Court on Monday delivered a novel verdict in a case related to the desecration of Indian National flag in Coimbatore on April 25. The High Court in its verdict imposed a condition to the accused who burned the "National Flag" to "erect a flagpole in front of your house and hoist the national flag daily for one week." This was the condition laid down by the Court to release eight persons, who were arrested for having attempted to burn the Indian Tricolor in Coimbatore, at the height of anti-Sri Lanka demonstrations in Tamil Nadu.

A National Research Centre on Countering Human Trafficking Opens in Sri Lanka

The Immigration and Emigration Department (IED) of Sri Lanka has opened a National Resource Centre to counter human trafficking with support from the International Organization for Migration (IOM). The centre, which is housed at the IED, is to offer comprehensive training to IED staff, promote research and enhance information sharing among stakeholders on human trafficking. To provide appropriate assistance and redress to victims of human trafficking, it will also enable the development of a referral system. "Human trafficking is becoming a major issue in Sri Lanka and the government works closely with state, non state and international agencies to combat it. This resource centre will add to government’s efforts in trying to curb this global phenomenon",