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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2859


Chautala’s crores

By Tushar Charan - Syndicate Features

After an early May CBI raid on his houses and properties, former Haryana chief minister Om Prakash Chautala, a big fish among Indian politicians, was accused of amassing wealth ‘disproportionate to his known source of income.’ People’s first reaction was: Wait and see, nothing will happen to Chautala. This scepticism is because charges of corruption and scandal among politicians have been reduced over the years to a public spectacle with the accused rarely, if ever, coming to grief for looting and playing ducks and drakes with taxpayers’ money, says the author.

Major naval battle: Sri Lanka plunges toward open civil war

In a major escalation of the conflict in Sri Lanka, the military and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) fought a pitched naval battle on Thursday in the seas near the northern fishing village of Vettilaikerni. Up to 50 are estimated to have died on both sides. In retaliation, the military launched a series of air strikes and artillery attacks on LTTE positions, including near the rebel headquarters of Kilinochchi.

Hu snubs US on visit

By Atul Cowshish - Syndicate Features

Much of the anger or disagreement between China and the US appears to be exaggerated, if not fake with neither country really changing its ways. The two countries are now so firmly bound by economics that they would not go beyond a point to accuse each other, much less seek a forceful change in the other. The hollowness of this ‘disagreement’ contrasts with the rising crescendo of anti-Indian noises from the US, following the so-called Indo-US deal over civilian nuclear cooperation, says the author.

Israel: Labour Party backs Kadima’s austerity budget

The Israeli Labor Party voted for the new coalition government’s austerity budget in parliament on Wednesday. Labor’s support for the bill sent a clear signal that it is prepared to do everything it can to prop up the coalition led by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s Kadima Party, including supporting measures that further erode the living standards of the workers, youth, students and pensioners who voted for it.

U.N. Staffers Subject to New Ethical Guidelines

By Thalif Deen - Inter Press Service

The U.N. Secretariat, which faces ongoing charges of mismanagement and corruption, will provide advice and guidance to staff members on ethics and public morality. The newly-created Ethics Office, which came into existence last January, has pledged to protect whistle-blowers against retaliation for reporting fraud and malfeasance in the U.N. system worldwide.

Arab nationalism at cross roads

By Prof J. P. Sharma - Syndicate Features

Arab nationalism refers to a common nationalist ideology in wider Arab-African world. It is a concept based primarily on emotional and sentimental attachment to a nationalist entity called ‘the Arab Nation’ which doesn’t exit though all Arabs are united by a shared history, culture, religion and language. Arabism, as Arab nationalism is also called often, is an attitude of mind which almost all Arabs share. It is unique. It is linked to memories of a glorious past. It is a pan-Arab aspiration.

Another unexplained death of a Sri Lankan worker in Saudi Arabia

By Dayananda Ratnayake and Priyadarshnee Dissanayaka – World Socialist Web Site

Each year hundreds of Sri Lankans die while working abroad, mainly in the Middle East. Official inquiries are rarely conducted, either in the country where the death occurred or by the Sri Lankan government. According to the Sri Lankan Foreign Employment Bureau, 245 workers died while working in the Middle East in 2004, an increase by 12.9 percent from the 217 deaths in 2003. In 2005, 203 deaths were reported, of which 104 were women.

Hostilities in Sri lanka

By Malladi - Syndicate Features

One message that comes from Foreign Minister Samaraweera’s India sojourn is that the Lanka government will keenly pursue the political options to face the LTTE threat. Obviously, it expects to derive better dividends over time than the recent air attacks which have resulted in an exodus of several thousand ethnic Tamils from the Trincomalee area. Colombo wants India to use its clout to get a global ban on LTTE and chock the ‘donations’ from Canada and the US with similar action by the European Union and thereby severely affect the LTTE’s ability to purchase weapons, says the author.

Pesticide as Sweetener – 'Say no to Sugar'

By Daya Dissanayake

Say no to Sugar. That is a new slogan among those worried about life style diseases and obesity and all other problems. Avoid sugar like it is poison. Instead use a pesticide in your tea, in your fruit drink, in your cake. Die of cancer. In May 2005, The Idaho Observer asked the question, if DDT were sweet, would you put it in your tea?

Fijian elections could ignite social and political tinderbox

Voting commenced in the Fijian elections on May 6 under tight military and police security. The poll is being conducted over a week amid considerable tension, including threats of a coup if the Labor Party emerges as the winner. The campaign has been dominated by appeals to race and ethnic identity to divert attention from the increasing economic and social instability facing the Pacific island state.

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