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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2038

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Koirala’s India visit amidst rebel trouble at home

By Malladi – Atul - Syndicate Features

Nepal Prime Minister G P Koirala’s visit to Delhi so soon after he took over the reins of his country helped India gain a better in sight into his problems and his plans to address them in a way there is room for less discord in the trouble torn Himalayan country. It also helped to set at rest speculation as to what his government meant when it declared Nepal a secular country and had upset it’s the Hindutva forces here in India. Koirala’s rhetorical question when we were not secular really stumped L K Advani, the erstwhile strongman of the BJP.

India’s foreign policy: Where is the Minister?

By P R Kumaraswamy - Exclusive to "Asian Tribune"

The most remarkable aspect of the foreign policy of the current Indian government has been the absence of a full-fledged Foreign Minister. Since the days of Jawaharlal Nehru many prime ministers had dabbled with foreign policy. In addition to be the final authority of official policy, some had indeed functioned as full-fledge Foreign Ministers. Persons like Atal Behari Vajpayee and I K Gujral earlier served as foreign ministers before becoming prime ministers.

Hated Mamun continues to swallow Bangladesh

By Sunita Paul

Bangladesh is now under the sharp jaws of a hated man named Giasuddin Al-Mamun, who is certainly doing everything to simply put the country’s economy and face in international arena into dock. Everyone knows about Mamun, but, possibly in today’s Bangladesh, there isn’t anyone in the small South Asian nation with the guts to even express anger openly against this man, because he continues to get support and patronization of some very influential figures in country’s politics. This man has virtually placed the image of Khaleda Zia’s political office, Hawa Bhaban into worst ever criticism.

Global ‘yacker’ to save Lanka!

By Vasantha Raja

Thanks to the international community’s timely intervention, Sri Lanka has once again been narrowly saved from a runaway killing spree that was drifting fast towards a ‘suicidal’ war. Better to keep the fingers crossed still though, for the situation is still not totally out of dire straits. The fact that both sides have come to Oslo to discuss the possibility of reviving the crisis-ridden ceasefire agreement, however, is a clear breakthrough. It is a positive sign that Norway, Japan, the US and the EU - the peace process’s ‘global guardians’ - have come out as never before to strictly warn both sides (like parents would to quarrelling children) to behave themselves, or else.

Australian foreign minister unveils plans for the colonial occupation of East Timor

Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer visited East Timor last weekend and laid out the broad outlines of Canberra’s plans to establish a long-term colonial-style occupation of the country. Downer arrived in Dili on Saturday amid continuing looting and violence by rival street gangs, despite the presence of an Australian-led force of more than 2,000 troops and police. It is now clear that Canberra’s military intervention was aimed, not at ending the disorder in Dili, much less at assisting the estimated 100,000 displaced persons living in squalid camps.

South-South Migrant Flows on the Rise, Says U.N.

By Thalif Deen Inter - Press Service

Traditional assumptions about international migration are gradually changing, as an increasing number of migrant workers and skilled professionals move from South to South -- from one developing country to another, says a new U.N. study released here. "No longer do the vast majority of migrants settle in just a small number of industrial nations (in the West)," says U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, in the 90-page report titled "International Migration and Development".

Combined arms warfare vs terrorism

By Vinod Vedi - Syndicate Features

Given what is happening in Jammu and Kashmir demilitarization is out of the question. And, in the face of repeatedly stated threats of first use of nuclear weapons by Pakistan it is best to refine the conventional military capabilities in a manner that makes it possible achieve quick politico-military objectives. The latest series of terrorist attacks show they have the advantage of choosing their targets according to their own convenience. A thinning out of the Indian Army would result in the consolidation of control by the terrorists of significant portions of territory in Jammu and Kashmir. It is a risk best not taken, says the author.

Australia, Timor and oil: the record

In all the Australian media coverage of the Howard government’s latest armed intervention in East Timor, the words “oil” and “gas” are hardly mentioned. Yet control over the vast reserves beneath the Timor Sea—now valued at more than $30 billion due to rising world oil and natural gas prices—lies at the heart of the dispatch of troops and police. Together with the wider strategic and commercial calculations of the Australian ruling elite, domination over the Timor Sea—and blocking access to all foreign rivals—has been the overriding concern throughout every cynical twist and turn in Canberra’s policy toward East Timor over the past three decades.

Sack Truce Monitors - Tigers demand

An angry LTTE team led by S. P. Thamilchelvam, head of the Political wing of the LTTE, will be filing into the Oslo meeting tomorrow with one main item on their agenda: change the composition of the Nordic Truce Monitors (officially known as the Sri Lankan Monitoring Mission (SLMM)). Their main objective will be to get rid of three out of the four Truce Monitors: Sweden, Finland and Denmark who joined the EU in banning them. Only Norway declined to join the other three countries. Head of LTTE Peace Secretariat, S Pulithevan said the organization will raise the issue of Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) having three EU countries as its members. He added: “We are going to discuss about the SLMM activities and the future of the SLMM,” he told BBC Sinhala language service

Daya Dissanayake preaches new 'Buddhism'

By Janaka Perera - Asian Tribune

Is elephant `rights’ champion Daya Dissanayake trying to preach a new Buddhism? At least that is the impression I got reading his comments unless I am mistaken. Responding to `Crocodile tears for elephants,’ he says that when Buddha preached against the torture of living creatures, it also meant domestication of elephants and other wild animals. This is indeed to new to Buddhists. I challenge Dissanayake to prove in which Buddhist text say so? When and where did the Buddha equate domestication of wild beasts with torturing them? To me this appears more like baloney than Buddhism.

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