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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2736

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Escalating violence in eastern Sri Lanka

Over the past six months, as Sri Lanka has slid toward full-scale civil war, hundreds of people have been killed, including many innocent civilians. Tens of thousands have been displaced and several thousand have fled to India and other countries. The eastern district of Trincomalee is one centre of the escalating conflict. Clashes between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and rival Tamil paramilitary groups, covertly backed by the military, are taking place virtually every day. Trincomalee town has an important harbor and is the site of a major navy base.

India to Field Candidate for Top U.N. Job

By Thalif Deen - Inter Press Service

Shashi TharoorWhen India ran against Japan for a non-permanent seat in the 15-member U.N. Security Council back in October 1996, it suffered a humiliating defeat. The vote was a whopping 142 for Japan and a measly 40 for India in a General Assembly of 191 member states. By U.N. standards, it was a monumental political disaster. As Dharam Shourie, a longstanding U.N. correspondent for Press Trust of India (PTI) news agency would recall, the news took even visiting opposition leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee by surprise.

The Shanghai Summit without Manmohan Singh

By P R Kumaraswamy - Exclusive to Asian Tribune

The conspicuous absence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh from the summit meeting of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) that takes place today in Shanghai conveys the consternation faced by India and its diplomatic community. While the other six members, three ‘observers’ and one special invitee would be represented by their heads of states, India is represented by his Oil Minister Murali Deora. During the last meeting India was presented by Natwar Singh and in the absence of a full-fledged foreign minister New Delhi chose to send Deora. This however, does not explain the larger dilemma facing India. Among others Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would be attending. Given the select nature of the gathering bilateral meetings would be inevitable. Having literally ditched Iran at the very last moment at the IAEA over the nuclear question, it would have been extremely embarrassing, if not difficult for Manmohan Singh to make even a resemblance of a civilized conversation with the Iranian leader.

Great buddies, now sworn enemies

By Mallika Wanigasundara

Let the LTTE go to hell, said V Anandasangaree, TULF leader in an interview with the Sunday Observer, [Colombo] on May 21. Another war will be Prabhakaran’s Waterloo, said Karuna alias Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan, one time Prabhakaran’s great buddy, confidant and military commander of the East, in an interview with the Sunday Times [Colombo] of June 4 2006. The content of these interviews indicate the depth and extent of the dissidence and disillusion, rebellion in fact of leaders of the North and East who once stood up against the government of Sri Lanka and its ‘Sinhala’ armies!

The Curious Khan Investigation

By Tushar Charan – Syndicate Features

Pakistan’s claim that it has completed investigation into the underground nuclear network of A.Q. Khan, the so-called father of its nuclear bomb, came just when the US had started to mount fresh pressure on Islamabad for direct access to the disgraced Khan. Now, influential Pakistanis are rallying behind Khan and also stepping up efforts to restore his glory amidst some alarming reports that Khan is seriously ill, maybe nearing his end. Khan has been under virtual house arrest since February 2004 when he ‘confessed’ to having passed nuclear secrets and material to a number of countries—Iran, North Korea and Libya.

NGOs and Relief Agencies Sign Accountability Charter

By Jim Lobe - Inter Press Service

The leaders of 11 major international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) last week decided to practice what they preach to governments and business by endorsing an "Accountability Charter" for themselves.
The six-page charter commits its signatories to, among other things, comply with the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, ensure "good governance" and transparency, and maintain high ethical standards in their fund-raising and advocacy activities. The charter's debut, which came at the London headquarters of Amnesty International Tuesday, came on the eve of the Jun 21-25 summit of the CIVICUS World Alliance for Citizen Participation in Glasgow, Scotland, a meeting that is expected to draw representatives of NGOs from 100 countries to discuss issues relating to development, and civic and economic justice.

Netaji: Another report, another controversy

Chandra BoseBy Tukoji R. Pandit - Syndicate Features

Once again the controversy surrounding the last days of Subhash Chandra Bose has been revived, thanks to the Mukherjee Commission declaring that there is no evidence that he had died in a plane crash in Taipei on August 18, 1945. The commission, however, does seem to agree that Netaji was in Taipei on August 18, 1945 and also suggests that he is dead but only because the average age of an Indian is 70-75 years and Netaji was born in the last years of the 19th century! Netaji was one of the biggest heroes of India’s freedom struggle, a daring adventurer who made dramatic escapes and decided to take on the might of the British rulers with the help of an army of Indian prisoners in Japanese custody and other foreign volunteers of Indian origin.

Why China Blocks Sanctions on Iran, Sudan, Burma

By Thalif Deen - Inter Press Service

The People's Republic of China, a veto-wielding permanent member of the U.N. Security Council and one of the world's prolific arms producers, continues to remain a major stumbling block to U.S. efforts to impose economic and military sanctions on three countries: Sudan, Burma (Myanmar) and Iran. "The reasons are obvious," says a Southeast Asian diplomat who closely monitors the politics in the region. "Just as much as the United States and other Western powers protect their own political and military interests worldwide, so does China."

Change the attitudes to make peace efforts successful

By Sarla Handoo - Syndicate Features

Apocryphal or true one doesn’t know but an interesting story is doing rounds in Delhi media circles in the context of on-going India-Pakistan dialogue. When his Pakistani counterpart asked the National Security Advisor Mr. Narayanan did India mean to make the Line of Control a permanent border by saying that the borders cannot be redrawn, prompt came the reply that the reference was to the borders that existed in 1947 and not the LOC. If that is a fact, there could be nothing more shocking for the Pakistani official.

Three prisoners commit suicide in Guantánamo gulag

In an act of desperation that underscores the monstrous conditions at the US concentration camp at Guantánamo Bay, three prisoners committed suicide early Saturday morning, hanging themselves with primitive nooses made from bed sheets. The deaths were the first among Guantánamo prisoners to be confirmed by US authorities. Two of the prisoners were Saudi nationals and the third was Yemeni, according to American officials. All three left behind suicide notes written in Arabic, although none were made public.

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