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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2403

Monthly archive

Government for sincerity in addressing humanitarian needs commended

Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama welcoming the Japanese Special Envoy Yashushi Akashi at the Ministry on Wednesday, stated that although he has been a frequent visitor to Sri Lanka, the Government is pleased to receive him for the first time in the country after the end of the conflict, in a climate free of LTTE terror. The Minister highlighted the success of the military in countering terrorism and the present challenge faced by the Government to improve the facilities for the internally displaced persons (IDPs) numbering approximately 280,000 who are sheltered in welfare villages and IDP camps in the North, as well as their expeditious rehabilitation and resettlement.

Winning The Peace

By Kumar Rupesinghe.

The territorial battle between the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE is at an end. The entire leadership is no more, killed or has taken their lives. . Over two hundred and eighty thousand people have come into government controlled areas with fear and anxiety in their eyes, some maimed and injured and some separated from their kith and kin. The mass exodus of the people held by the LTTE is a humanitarian catastrophe. They seem like a defeated people without hope. Ending the war, required enormous human sacrifice and costs for future generations and now the task before is to win the peace. It is to this task that all of us should devote ourselves. The nature of the crisis is best addressed by: I quote from a report by the UNHCR.

TN planning panel recommend 'state autonomy';Congress MLAs 'lobby' for berths

By Gopal Ethiraj

Barely hours after Chief Minister Karunanidhi’s favourite policy-maker and state planning commission chairman M. Naganathan submitted a document to the DMK president recommending ‘state autonomy’, several Congress legislators of Tamil Nadu appear to have intensified their lobby with the party high command to win ministerial berths in the ministry. They signed a memorandum and faxed it to party in-charge for TN and Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and AICC top brass Ahmed Patel on Tuesday evening, highly-placed sources disclosed.

Public opinion against Taliban in Pakistan, says Holbrooke

By Wajid Ali Syed – Washington Correspondent for Asian Tribune

The Obama administration's special representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan, Richard Holbrooke, says there is a backlash of Pakistani public opinion against the Taliban because of its attempted seizure of the Swat Valley and acts of terrorism. Holbrooke, who visited Pakistan last week for a first-hand look at fighting-related humanitarian needs, says he observed a dramatic change in public opinion there because of what he called the "outrages" of the Taliban and their supporters. But the US envoy warns that the consensus building in favor of the Pakistani government and its crackdown against extremists might be short-lived unless authorities can meet the needs of the hundreds-of-thousands of people displaced by the recent fighting, get people back to their homes and restore security.

Karunanidhi lists out the contradictions Jayalalithaa is on Lankan Tamils issue

By Gopal Ethiraj

KarunanidhiFor the AIADMK leader Jayalalithaa the Sri Lankan Tamils issue is "only at the time of elections" affair. The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Karunanidhi slammed his arch rival so on Wednesday. In his usual letter to his party cadre in "Murasoli," he alleged Jayalalithaa had justified killings of Tamils in Sri Lanka during the armed conflict by saying civilian deaths were common in a conflict zone.

Will Libyan Leader Make his Maiden U.N. Appearance?

By Thalif Deen, Inter Press Service

Every September, most of the world's political leaders make their annual pilgrimage to New York to address the General Assembly sessions of the United Nations. The 192-member General Assembly, the U.N.'s supreme policy making body, has routinely served as a high-profile international platform for over 150 world leaders who also try to boost their image back home with their political grandstanding in New York. But there are several controversial leaders, including Libya's Muammar el-Qaddafi, the late Hafez al-Assad of Syria, Saddam Hussein of Iraq, and Kim Il Sung of North Korea, who for reasons of their own, scrupulously avoided the world body - or were forced to.

The Great Federal Controversy Resurrected

By Gomin Dayasri

The great federal debate began long before Prabhakaran was born. But it was Prabhakaran who committed the Sri Lanka government to accept it as a matter that requires examination as the solution to the problem in the Oslo Declaration We did so in a state of feebleness before the Norwegians just as when we signed the 13th amendment before the Indians. The UNP is more servile and subjugated to international opinion than any other political party except the Communist Party. Both the UNP and the Communist Party are reined by foreign elements. It is not surprising two parties with so divergent views agreed on a federal concept as the final solution.

SL Foreign Minister to brief Canadian counterpart on Bob Rae deportation

By Our Colombo Correspondent

Sri Lankan Foreign Minister, Rohitha Bogallagama will today contact his counterpart in Canada to brief him on Sri Lanka's stand to refuse entry to Canadian Liberal Party member Bob Rae, Foreign Ministry disclosed this morning. Rae was briefly detained at the Colombo Airport Katunayake yesterday following information by intelligence authorities that the Canadian MP was a LTTE sympathiser.

A Tamil thanks Mahinda for bringing an end to the war: Thank You Mr. President

By K. Navam, Australia

For decades, I grew up with the Tamil and Sinhala politics. I went through high and low emotions with the political and military events that took place in my country. I experienced people divided Tamils, Sinhalese and Muslims. Finally, I have seen the war, violence, destruction, human loss and loss of the Tamil humanity through the Eelam wars. Always, in my inner mind, I was asking myself a question, that is, if the billions of Indian people can live together under the banner of a federated democracy as Indians within India, why cannot the Tamils, Sinhalese and Muslims live under the banner of a united Sri Lanka?

Clash over LTTE property in Canada

By Our Colombo Correspondent Prasad Gunewardene

Following the demise of LTTE leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran, LTTE's known Financial Controller, K.Pathmanathan alias KP and the Collector of ransom from Tamils in Canada identified as Thava Eliyathambi have clashed last week over the LTTE's properties and share market investments over there, reports reaching Colombo from Toronto revealed. Eliyathambi is reported to have been a close trusted associate of late Prabhakaran and funds collected from Tamils over there through ransom and extortion methods have been placed in the custody of Eliyathamby by Prabhakaran, the reports said. The LTTE has bought a shopping mall named,’ North Finch Shopping Centre' at Jane and Finch area from funds collected by Tamils in the name of Thava Elyathambi.

Slumdog' child star gets new home in Mumbai

From Gopal Ethiraj

The makers of the hit movie 'Slumdog Millionaire' have bought a new home for one of the two child stars handpicked in Mumbai's slums. The purchase of a 250-square-foot (23-square-meter) one-bedroom apartment for the family of Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail, 10, was completed Monday, according to Nirja Mattoo, who helps oversee a trust set up by the filmmakers to help Azharuddin and his 9-year-old co-star Rubina Ali. "They can move in," Mattoo said on Wednesday, adding that the trust plans to deliver the keys on Thursday. Both children lost their homes last month when the corporation authorities demolished their slum.

Private sector partner with the government to remove plastic wastes from the IDP camps

Sunil C. Perera in Colombo

A local plastic recycling company –Kalhari Enterprises Heiyanthuduwa which accepted government offer to remove plastic waste from the IDP camps in Manikfarm, Vauniya says the plastic collection project was launched last week to provide better environment for the IDPs. The Solid Waste Management Unit of the Western provincial council made this offer which was accepted by the Kalhari Company CEo without hesitation to help the Government in their efforts to bring in better Living environment for the IDPs.

Chinese muslim Gitmo detainees moved to new places

By Wajid Ali Syed – Washington Correspondent for Asian Tribune

After months of legal uncertainty, a group of Chinese Muslims who have been held for years at the detention camp for suspected terrorists in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, will be resettled in a third country. Palau President Johnson Toribiong announced Wednesday his government would be "honored and proud" to temporarily resettle the 17 Uighurs being held at the controversial US detention center. Toribiong agreed to Washington's request to accept the Uighurs after talks with US diplomat. President Obama has ordered Guantanamo to be shut down by January of next year.

There's full media freedom in Sri Lanka-Media Minister

The Minister of Media and Information, Anura Priyadharshana Yapa told Parliament on Wednesday, that there was full freedom for the media to express views and opinions in the country. Responding to an adjournment query on the assault on journalist Poddala Jayantha, the minister regretted the incident and added that President Rajapaksa has provided necessary facilities to the injured journalist now hospitalised. Speaking further Minister Yapa noted that the government had no intention to control or curb media freedom. He pointed out that there were neither laws nor regulations to strangle the media and assured that the government would not resort to any draconian measure to stifle the media and its' freedom

"Small Miracle" tourism re-branding strategy introduced in The Hague

"Small Miracle" tourism re-branding strategy introduced in The Hague

"Having successfully defeated terrorism, the Government of Sri Lanka is in the process of devising dedicated plans to address the post conflict issues to create a peaceful and prosperous nation for all Sri Lankan citizens to live in harmony" said Mrs. Grace Asirwatham, Ambassador to The Netherlands at a function organized to brief the travel operators and travel writers on the current situation in Sri Lanka as well as to introduce the proposed re-branding strategy of tourism in The Hague. Ambassador Asirwatham further said that although Sri Lanka was affected by terrorism for nearly 30 years, the country was resilient enough to maintain the economic development through pragmatic policies.

17 including UN employees killed in PC Peshawar blast: UN suspends activities in northwest Pakistan

By Farzana Shah-Asian Tribune Correspondent in Pakistan

The United Nations Organization has cancelled all the activities in Peshawar following the blast at a five-star hotel here on Tuesday that left 17 people including UN officials dead. After the blast UN suspended its activities for an unspecified period. It is to be mentioned here that all the employees of UN World Food Program that is working on the supply of food for affected people of Malakand, were staying at the hotel. All the three WFP personnel lost their lives in the blast. Also, two employees including a woman of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) were killed in the blast.

12 cases against prime minister Sheikh Hasina to be dropped

M.A. Qader-Our Correspondent in Bangladesh

Twelve cases against prime minister Sheikh Hasina will be dropped on the grounds of 'political harassment', the state minister for law Kamrul Islam said on Wednesday. The decision came from the first meeting of the scrutiny committee on petitions for cancelling 'political harassment' cases, Kamrul Islam told reporters after attending the meeting at the home ministry yesterday. The Anticorruption Commission filed ten of the cases against Hasina during the immediate past caretaker government on various charges. The committee also decided to repeal another 50 cases against leaders of the ruling Awami League that include nine against Tofael Ahmed, 13 against Kamal Ahmed Majumdar, six against Abul Hasnat Abdullah, four against Bahauddin Nasim and two against Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir, said Islam.

Bandipur National Park: ban on night vehicular traffic upsets traders

From Gopal Ethiraj

The Chamrajnagar Deputy Commissioner Manojkumar Mishra has ordered banning of vehicular movement between 9 pm and 6 am along the 29 km stretch of the national highway through Bandipur National Park, which in the last four years has seen 91 cases of wild animals being killed by speedy vehicles. The order has brought a sense of relief among wildlife activists. The Forest department district forest officer (DFO) Dr. Raju, who has conducted a detail survey of the Bandipur National Park had recommended closure of vehicular movement during nights and also shifting of the national highway to prevent road killing of animals.

Pakistan on US-India talks agenda

By Wajid Ali Syed – Washington Correspondent for Asian Tribune

The US Undersecretary for political affairs has reached Delhi on a four-day trip for rounds of talks with top Indian government officials. The visit of William Burns marks the first formal talks between the Obama administration and the new Cabinet of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. It came ahead of an expected official visit next month by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meant to deepen the relationship between the world's oldest democracy and the world's largest one. The US Undersecretary said his trip to India comes at a time of "extraordinary promise" for the relationship between Washington and New Delhi. Burns said President Barack Obama and Secretary Clinton sent him here with the message India is a top foreign policy priority for the United States and a crucial global partner for the 21st century.

China And Japan To Expand Business, Investment In Conducive Sri Lanka Climate

By Neville de Silva

The military defeat of the LTTE and the resultant post-war climate have aroused foreign interest in expanding business and investment in Sri Lanka, a Sri Lankan minister said. Prof GL.Peiris, Minister of Export Development and International Trade who was returning from visits to Japan and China said that there was genuine interest to further business opportunities and investment now that earlier uncertainties had ended with the defeat of the LTTE. Minister Peiris was transiting Bangkok on his way to Colombo after a major gathering of the Asia-Pacific Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Yokohama and the 4th China-South Asia Business Forum in Kunming, China.


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