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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2856


Talking with the Satan

By Tukoji R. Pandit - Syndicate Features

At last some influential Americans have started to question the Bush administration’s aggressive posture against Iran. The chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Richard Lugar, a Republican member, has said that he would like the US to engage Iran in direct talks over the thorny issue of Iranian nuclear programme. He also wants the US to talk Iran with both Russia and China, the two veto-armed members of the UN Security Council who have openly announced opposition to the US threat of getting the Security Council to impose sanctions against Tehran.

Sri Lankan Central Bank attempts to cover up deepening economic contradictions

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka Annual Report 2005 issued on May 1 painted a rosy picture of the country’s economy and government policies. It emphasised that the growth rate of 6 percent last year had “exceeded expectations” and backed government forecasts of even higher growth rates for 2006 and beyond. Inflation was down and the balance of payments was in surplus. This optimistic view does not stand up to critical examination.

Victims of a Surrogate War

The brutal killing of Indian engineer K Suryanarayana clearly shows that Pakistan is using the Taliban as its foot soldier in Afghanistan to gain a new strategic advantage. Since Gen Pervez Musharraf pretends that the Taliban cadres have just disappeared from the face of earth, India must bring the reality to the notice of the US and the rest of the world, even Pakistan for that matter, says the author.

Escalating killing of civilians and army harassment in northern Sri Lanka

In the war zones in the East and North of Sri Lanka, there is a rising toll of unsolved “disappearances” and murders of Tamil civilians as the government and the military prepare for a renewed war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Despite denials, it is not credible that the armed forces and police, which enforce stringent security measures in these areas, are not colluding with the pro-government paramilitaries in killing suspected LTTE sympathisers.

Indian state election results: a distorted expression of popular opposition to neo-liberal reform

The results of the five state and Union territory elections held in April and early May point to continuing mass disaffection with the neo-liberal agenda of the Indian bourgeoisie. However, this disaffection could find only distorted expression in the polling, since all the contenders fully support the bourgeoisie’s drive to make India a center of cheap-labor manufacturing, research, and business-processing for international capital.

Britain: Sunday Times “Rich List” celebrates unprecedented wealth accumulation

The publication of this year’s annual Sunday Times “Rich List” records the enormous enrichment of a tiny layer at the very apex of British society. The rich are now so much wealthier than ever before that the Time raised the threshold for entry to the list by a further £10 million since 2005, to a record £60 million.

Too Young To Run So Far!

By Ramu Sharma - Syndicate Features

During the middle of last month (April) a four-year-old boy named Budhia Singh ran from Puri to Bhubaneswar, a distance of 65 kilometres, in a little over seven hours and, as reports go, entered the Limca Book of Records. Both the written and visual media in India went ga-ga over the performance. Nobody mentioned whether the boy, who is from a very poor family, received any money for the performance. It is also not known whether his coach, a martial law expert, was honoured for the boy’s feat.

Japan kicked in the pants by the LTTE

By H. L. D. Mahindapala

Yashushi Akashi, one of the four Co-chairs (Norway, EU. USA being the other three), represents Japan's diplomatic arm extended across Asia to make its presence felt in the region as a significant player. Japan's role was made more explicit in the latest editorial of Japan Times (May 9, 2006). In a rather assertive tone it editorialized: "Japan has a central role to play in Sri Lanka. It is the largest single donor to the country, providing 45 percent of all external aid. Former U.N. Undersecretary General Yasushi Akashi has been appointed Japan's representative for peace building and
reconstruction." Clearly, Akashi comes highly recommended to play Japan's "central role". In fact, the Japan Times, added: "Mr. Akashi has a long record of work on peace building and can, with real support, help bring the sides together.

The Tigers’ Indirect UDI

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

The final act of the tragicomedy that was the Third Peace Process commenced with the Tigers making their Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI), albeit indirectly. Subsequent to the latest attack on the Lankan Navy by the Black Sea Tigers, the SLMM Chief rushed to Killinochchi to protest against the LTTE’s gross CFA violation, which placed the Nordic truce monitors in grave danger. A non-contrite SP Tamilselvam told Maj. Gen. Henricsson that no one has the right to call the Tigers a non-state actor and emphasised the “sovereign rights of our access to the adjacent sea and airspace of our homeland”. The message could not have been clearer – as far as the LTTE is concerned the (as yet unofficial) state of Tiger Eelam, with its army, navy, air Force, administration and judiciary, is an existential reality.

Mother's day - a day of grief

By Daya Dissanayake

We have a mother's day which only benefits the businessmen who make a good profit. No one else benefits out of it. We try to fool ourselves that we are doing a good deed but it is only a shameful and cowardly act to cover our own guilt. Having a Mother's day itself is a sign of how much the relationship of a mother and her children had deteriorated. We should be ashamed to have a day set aside for our mothers, because we have neglected them for the other 364 days.

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