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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2373


Co-Chairs issue the same old warnings after three years of failure in Sri Lanka

By H. L. D. Mahindapala

After three years of work since the original Tokyo Conference the four Co-Chairs – Norway, EU, Japan and US -- met in Tokyo “at a time when Sri Lanka is on the brink of war” and ended by issuing predictable warnings to both the Government and the LTTE. Confessing in a press release that “the international community can only support but cannot deliver peace” the Co-Chairs warned the LTTE they should act to (1) re-enter the negotiating process; (2) renounce terrorism and violence; (3) show a willingness to make political compromises needed for a political solution within a united Sri Lanka and (4) respect the democratic rights of all peoples of Sri Lanka. “Failure to do so will lead to deeper isolation of the LTTE,” it said.

Third force formula and the people of Bangladesh

By Sunita Paul

Each day, with the delay in preparing voter list as well with the nasty activities of Chief Election Commissioner Abdul Aziz, possibility of general election in 2007 is becoming uncertain. On the other hand, due to exorbitant rise in the price of essentials, people of Bangladesh are gradually becoming angry with the ruling government. Their anger is further boosted with the serious shortage of power as well continuation of corrupt ministers in the cabinet.

Sri Lankan government bans local film Aksharaya (Letter of Fire)

In a serious attack on freedom of speech, Sri Lanka’s United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) government has banned screenings of Aksharaya (Letter of Fire) and threatened legal action against the film’s producers. Written and directed by Asoka Handagama, the movie depicts a series of psychosexual traumas within an upper middle class Sri Lankan family—a female magistrate (Piyumi Samaraweera), her elderly husband, who is a former High Court judge (Ravindra Randeniya), and their 12-year-old son (Isham Samzudeen). It explores the questions of incest, rape, murder and other dark secrets within the family and their impact on the young boy.

Earthquake kills more than 5,100 on Indonesian island of Java

A major earthquake struck the heavily-populated Indonesian island of Java early on Saturday morning, leaving a terrible trail of death and destruction near the city of Yogyakarta. Major buildings and thousands of homes have been flattened, rail and road transport disrupted and the city’s international airport was closed after the runway cracked. According to the latest official tally today, the death toll has reached 5,115, but the final figure could be much higher.

Unauthorised Delhi

By Tushar Charan - Syndicate Features

In days long past Delhi was known by many names, a reminder of the city’s rich history and its cultural mosaic. Various rulers might have chosen different names for Delhi, but none of these had any derogatory connotation. In contrast, recent years have seen the national capital collect epithets indicative of the city’s degeneration due to a multitude of reasons not the least of which is an unholy politician-bureaucrat-criminal nexus that has ravaged the city’s beauty and charm.

War, Nation and Relgion

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

The Tigers need Tamil refugees, as recruits, as service providers, as propaganda props, as justification. But an exodus of Tamils either to the Tiger territory or to India cannot happen without the full cooperation of the Lankan Armed Forces, Sinhala mobs and anti-Tiger Tamil parties. Unfortunately there are signs (such as the murder of five students in Trincomalee, the Pararajasingham killing and possibly the Kayts massacre) that this cooperation, in the form of anti-civilian violence, will be forthcoming.

A Holy War For Shehnaz Sani !

Advocate Amit Kumar Bhowmik from Pune, India

Through the last two decades, I had, off and on, followed Shehnaz Sani’s numerous expeditions through the Courts. Like a jack-in-the-box, every now and again would pop-up a news-item, reporting that she had bagged yet another order in her favour. But these were phyric victories since, apparently, according to her, she has not been able to enforce them !

The State of Israel versus love

Blitz-Asian Tribune

Israel has declared war on family life and, by extension, on its very ethical foundations. The Supreme Court's decision to uphold the provisional law denying spouses of Israel's Arab citizens the right to reside in the country comes on the heels of the coalition agreements that preclude any change in the prohibition on non-religious unions. Israel has become the only country in the democratic world where not all those who marry can live in its territory and where many of those who live in its territory cannot marry.

Bangladesh garment industry on dormant volcano

BY Sunita Paul

That the four days of violent agitations by garment workers near the capital has inflicted enormous amount of damage on the readymade garment industry on the one hand and the national economy as a whole on the other is not a matter in doubt. The agitated workers had reportedly set 14 factories on fire and damaged some 70 others, including about 30 in the Export Processing Zone in Gazipur between May 20 and May 23. The labor unrest caused deaths to three workers, injuries to 150, arrest of another hundred, and a halt to production in several hundred factories in the area, burning down thousands of pieces of finished products along the way.

Charter to topple Musharraf

By Allabaksh - Syndicate Features

Timing chosen by Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif to strike at Pervez Musharraf with their ‘charter of democracy’ might appear to be right as the General’s popularity, like that of his American mentor, has been dropping fast. But to actually oust Musharraf from power is going to be an altogether different ball game. The unlikely political duo has an appealing agenda against the General, drawing attention to the security mess he has created in Pakistan’s tribal belt and Balochistan, the well-entrenched institutional corruption in the military and the short shrift he has given to democracy. They have fond hopes of heralding ‘democracy’ that has become so elusive in Pakistan, perhaps because the country has not been able to build strong parliamentary institutions and the people are easily persuaded to believe that politicians are not necessarily a better option than the military.

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