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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2961


How to beat the Tigers

By Dayan Jayatilleka

Yes, we can beat the Tigers, and no, we ain’t headed that-away. The way to beat the Tigers has been pointed out by one man who has studied every single suicide terrorist attack, suicide bomber and suicide terrorist organisation on the planet from 1980 to 2003, paying considerable attention to the LTTE. That is the University of Chicago’s Professor Robert A. Pape who produced the volume Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism a year back. Scott McConnell writing in The American Conservative (June 18, 2005) says that “in his [Pape’s] office is the world’s largest database of information about suicide terrorists” and describes Prof Pape as “the man who knows more about suicide terrorists than any other American”.

Future UN Secretary General should withstand the bully of Blairs and Bushes

UN Secretary General should be someone who could stand to the bully of Blair and Bush, writes Laksaman Doole of Melbourne, Australia. In a letter to the Editor, he points out, I have observed Kofi Annan & Brutos Brutos Gali blink and be intimidated, and not being effective when putting their views across to the leaders of the big nations. We need a UN Secretary General who can stand-up to the George Bush's & the Tony Blair's of this world and take them on the big issues, look them in the eye, and tell them off without fear if the thinking & views of these leaders are out-of-date or wrong.

Pakistan taking the US for a ride

By Sarla Handoo - Syndicate Features

Does Pakistan continue to be a key ally of the US in its war against terrorism? On paper yes. Practically, No. What has been going on for a long time now is that Pakistan is thumbing it’s nose on the US and that too in full public glare. Look at the way it has been treating the underworld Don, Dawood Ibrahim who was declared by it as a “Specially designated Global Terrorist” in 2003. The Don organized a lavish marriage function of his daughter with the son of Pakistani cricketer Javed Miandad in Karachi in 2005. Soon thereafter, he threw a gala reception in Dubai, which was attended by several business tycoons. Yet, ironically, for Pakistan he remained untraceable! To this day Islamabad has been sticking to its ‘we don’t know where he lives’ stand. It refuses to admit that Dawood is living a normal life in Karachi.

Miami “terror” arrests—a government provocation

There are many incongruities surrounding the arrest of seven men from the impoverished Liberty City neighborhood of Miami on charges of conspiracy to “wage war on the United States” that suggest it, like so many previous “terrorist plots” announced by the Bush administration, is a government-inspired provocation mounted for reactionary political ends. None of the claims made by the government and repeated uncritically by the media concerning the arrest of these young working-class men can be accepted as good coin. Both the flimsiness of the criminal indictment and the lurid headlines surrounding it mark this event as an escalation in the anti-democratic conspiracies of the Bush administration.

Democracy under stress

By Atul Cowshish - Syndicate Features

While the world by and large continues to acknowledge India’s democratic credentials, we appear to be diluting the spirit behind democracy, namely the ability to express dissent without injecting tensions and violence. There has been a visible surge in intolerance and refusal to accept the ‘other’ view across the board in India, says the author.

Children’s Consultation on Education (CCE) in Tsunami Affected Areas

The Tsunami, hitting the shores of Sri Lanka 18 months ago, resulted in immense damage to human lives and physical assets. In relation to the education sector, the damages were enormous with 3,372 student deaths, 6,610 disabled students and 49,230 displaced students. One hundred and twenty six teachers died in the Tsunami, 331 teachers were disabled and 1,689 teachers were displaced. According to June 2005 school statistics, 74 schools were fully damaged, 108 were partially damaged, and 446 were functioning as camps for the internally displaced. Children are the most vulnerable group in such disasters. They are also the silent majority whose voices are hardly heard or rarely consulted even in the context of their basic rights such as education. In developing countries little attention is paid to ensure the rights of a child and also the role of children in educational planning.

Fiji’s economic conscripts: tragic victims of the war in Iraq

The death of three Fijian security guards in Iraq on June 9 brought the Fijian death toll to 11 over three months and highlighted the little known involvement of more than 3,000 Fijian nationals as soldiers and contractors in the US-led occupation. The tragic deaths have had a terrible impact on the tiny island state of 893,000 people. The Fijians are economic conscripts sucked into the Middle East war through their desperation to escape poverty and unemployment at home. The three latest casualties—Vilisoni Gauna, Penaia Kanatabatu Vakaotia, and Mikaele Banidawa, along with Australian Wayne Schulz—were killed by a road-side bomb 300 kilometres north of Baghdad while escorting a convoy from Basra in the south to northern Iraq. They were contractors for the British security firm ArmorGroup Ltd, which supplies soldiers, security guards, drivers and labourers for the war-torn region.

Post-War Peace Building Still a Boys Club

by Thalif Deen - Inter Press Service

When the 15-member U.N. Security Council unanimously adopted its landmark "Resolution 1325" in October 2000, it conveyed a strong political message to the international community: that there can be no lasting peace in post-war rebuilding without active participation of women. The resolution, described as the first in which the Security Council addressed the role and experience of women in armed conflicts, called on warring parties to adopt "a gender perspective" on peace negotiations and "gender mainstreaming" in all U.N. peacekeeping missions.

Guns and bombs from China

By Tukoji R Pandit - Syndicate Features

It is hardly surprising that the London-based Amnesty International has reported that China has become the ‘most secretive and irresponsible’ exporter of arms which help fuel conflicts in many parts of the world. Sudan, Nepal and Myanmar are among the countries that have received the ‘secret’ consignment of arms from Beijing. In each of these countries the autocratic governments are (or till recently were, in the case of Nepal) suppressing the people’s resistance to stay in power. The clandestine arms trade of China has been in existence for long and in full knowledge of countries such as the US. Despite some ‘sanctions’, which did not have any punitive effect, Beijing was never under any pressure to introduce transparency in its one billion dollar arms export, much less curb it. The Amnesty lament has, therefore, come too late to in the day.

Under the guise of peace, Sri Lankan government accelerates drive to civil war

Amid the descent into all-out civil war, the Sri Lankan government, via its peace secretariat (SCOPP), issued a thoroughly cynical statement on June 18, which has been trumpeted in the international press as a “call for peace talks”. It could be more aptly described as a declaration of war on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The statement denounces the LTTE’s “intransigence” for the breakdown of peace talks, condemns its reliance on “violence and terrorism to achieve its political goals” and, without providing any evidence, blames the LTTE for the killing of 64 Sinhalese villagers in a mine blast near the town of Kebitigollewa on June 15.

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