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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 1644


Washington Times - on the last days of Ambassador Bernard Goonetilleke

Bernard GoonetillekeDespite a civil war that has claimed 70,00 lives over 30 years, the island the size of West Virginia is especially popular with Israeli surfers, and the government is planning to install cameras along the best beaches so surfers can monitor the waves over the Internet. All this is good news to Ambassador Bernard Goonetilleke, who served as Sri Lanka's envoy in Washington for the past three years and is retiring to his homeland after a 40-year diplomatic career. At 63, however, he is not planning to hit the surf, but he sees its potential for tourism.

U.N. Investigator Blasts U.S. Justice System

By Thalif Deen, Inter Press Service

After a two-week fact-finding tour of U.S. prison and detention facilities, a U.N. human rights investigator has blasted the administration of President George W. Bush for a rash of shortcomings in the country's flawed justice system and continued violations of the rule of law. Unleashing a stinging barrage of attacks, Professor Philip Alston, the U.N. special rapporteur on extra-judicial, summary and arbitrary executions, singles out the existence of racism in the application of the death penalty in the United States, and the lack of transparency in the deaths of prisoners in the Guantanamo Bay detention facility housing suspected terrorists.

Indian PM plays down Left threat, pins hopes on new allies

By M Rama Rao India Editor, Asian Tribune

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is not out of the woods though he played down on Monday the Left parties threat of withdrawing support to his government and declared his intention of facing Parliament before operationalising the controversial nuclear deal with the United States. "There is nothing new in their stand", he said prompting a quick retort from the four Left parties that have been providing life line to his coalition government from outside declared that they would withdraw their support (59 law makers) sooner than later. Immediately they have gone into a huddle to zero in on the timing for their action.

A Muslim Sermon in a Christian Church

By Muqtedar Khan

I was once again reminded of the amazing degree of religious tolerance that many Christians in this country display habitually. Last Sunday, on the 29th of June, I had the rare honor of giving the sermon in a Christian service at the St. Thomas Episcopalian Church in Newark, Delaware. I have given the Islamic sermon (Khutbah) at mosques but giving one at a Church was an extraordinary ecumenical experience. Quran, the holy book of Muslims, teaches that diversity has a divine purpose. God could have created us all the same if He chose to, but in his infinite wisdom he created us as people of different ethnicities, races and beliefs in order that we get to know each other, and compete in doing good (Quran: 49:13, 2:148). It was in this spirit

Veteran diplomat Bernard Goonetilleke– and diplomatic postings

Bernard Goonetilleke, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to USA has completed his tour of duties in Washington and has left for Colombo on 29 June. It is still not clear how Sri Lanka Government is planning to make use of this veteran diplomat, who has served as Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to many countries, and later as Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Sri Lanka Peace Secretariat was the brain-child of Bernard Goonetilleke and when he was the Secretary General of the Peace Secretariat, six rounds of talks were held between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and the Government of Sri Lanka.

Anti- terrorism protest rally in Italy

Sri Lankans and other nationalities participated in a huge anti-terrorism protest rally in Milan, Italy. The demonstration against terrorism was held on 29 June, at Piazza Castello, Milan. The aim of the demonstration according to the organizers was to invite people all over the world to get together to defeat terrorism. More than 5000 Sri Lankans - Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, Italians and other nationalists who live in Italy participated in the anti-terrorists rally. “We are” Sri Lankans, we live in Italy" was the theme of the demonstration. The demonstration was organized by various Sri Lankan committees and organizations in Italy.

Sri Lanka: Jayantha Wickremaratne the New Inspector General of Police

Senior Deputy Inspector General of Police Jayantha Wickremaratne will assume duties as the new Inspector General of Police by taking over the reins from the outgoing IGP Victor Perera who retires today. In the meantime the outgoing IGP Victor Perera met President Mahinda Rajapakse at Temple Trees to bid farewell before going on retirement.

World Bank agrees to support Sri Lanka Tourism

World Bank has agreed to allocate funding to assist the Sri Lanka Tourism. Minister of Tourism, Milinda Moragoda, concluded his recent visit to Washington DC with very productive meetings involving the leadership of the World Bank, where he presented his vision for Sri Lanka tourism & possible ways the Bank could support a pioneering project involving all the stakeholders, including the rural communities & small entrepreneurs.

U.S. Embassy to Reopen for Normal Operations

US Embassy in Colombo to reopen from 1st of July, according to a press release of the Embassy.The U.S. Embassy in Colombo, which has been closed to the public since June 25 after a suspicious powder was found, will reopen for normal operations Tuesday, July 1, after an investigation determined that the powder did not pose a danger. Visa and other appointments postponed by the closure are being rescheduled on an individual basis."

U S Scientist Falsely Implicated in 2001 Anthrax Attack Awarded $5.8 Million

By Philip Fernando in Alaska for Asian Tribune

U S Army scientist Steven Hatfill implicated in the deadly anthrax mailings to Washington offices soon after the terrorist attack of 9/11 in 2001, won his law suit against the Bush administration. U S Justice Department said on Friday it would pay Hatfill over $ 5.8 million to settle his lawsuit accusing officials of violating his privacy rights by talking to the media and unfairly implicating him in anthrax attacks in 2001.

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