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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 942

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Attack on Media and Journalists a Worldwide Phenomenon in 2007, Three International Media Rights Groups say

Daya Gamage – US Bureau Asian Tribune

Three internationally renowned rights groups were in agreement in their recently released investigative assessments of the ‘worldwide media scene’ that the year 2007 was devastating, brutal and crippling for the free media and journalists in both print and electronic sectors. The reports highlight that some democratic countries, in the name of rule of law and good governance, endeavor to subject the media as a captive fourth estate. In the annual assessment report released by the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists did not spare the United States, a country to many critics having double standards on human rights, for its part of detaining two journalists for a prolonged period denying them the habeas corpus rights, a fundamental right of any free society.

Twenty Five Questions to Attorney Bruce Fein, Representing “Justice for Tamils”

On Januray 30, 2008, The Asian Tribune asked twenty five questions from Ambassador and Attorney Bruce Fein regarding his appearance as attorney for “Tamils for Justice.” In response Bruce Fein immediately replied (January 30, 2008) that he would reply to the same day, in fact, the email stated that “he will be “answering them tonight” Asian Tribune has not received any response from Bruce Fein so far and is publishing the twenty five questions it posed to him, along with all the correspondence relating to this matter.

Military rule in Thailand officially ended

Thailand’s coup making military council, the Council for National Security (CNS) which ceased power toppling then Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his administration on 19 September 2006 has officially anounced on Thursday that it has ended its mission, following the newly-elected government having taken office on Wednesday. This announcement heralds the end of the Army rule in Thailand. Most key CNS leaders, except for its chief General Sonthi Boonyaratkalin, gathered for the last time before the coup-making body which existed for 16 months to make an official announcement of bowing out. Air Chief Marshal Chalit Pukbhasuk, Air Force chief and acting CNS head, told a press conference here that the military council was leaving with its mission unfinished.

U.N. Peacekeeping in Eritrea Grinds to a Halt

By Thalif Deen, Inter Press Service

A dispute between the United Nations and the government of Eritrea over fuel supplies has virtually grounded the eight-year-old U.N. Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE). The mission was mandated to monitor a peace agreement in the aftermath of a border dispute between the two countries. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has warned that unless UNMEE, which is based both in Addis Ababa and Asmara, receives fuel "immediately", he will be forced to relocate the peacekeeping mission, and move troops out of the Eritrean capital.

Manpower Agency Pays Compensation for Maid’s Death

By Leel Pathirana

A diamond necklace worth Saudi Riyal SR 4,000 and SR 3,500 in cash is part of the compensation that will be given to a Sri Lankan woman whose daughter starved to death in October 2005 while working as a maid in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Al-Nashwan Recruiting Company in Riyadh handed over the compensation to W.S.M.S. Wijesundera, charge d’affaires at the Sri Lankan Embassy, yesterday. The money and jewelry will reportedly be sent to the maid’s mother, Ratnaseeli, to help the maid’s impoverished family in Gonapola, a remote village in the Kalutara district of Sri Lanka. Vasanthi came to the KSA in October 2000 and died five years later from complications attributed to malnutrition, according to an autopsy. It was discovered that the maid had not received her salary for the period of her work and compensation for the unpaid labor alone would amount to SR 24,000.

‘Mahatma’ Modi

By Atul Cowhish - Syndicate Features

Much after he won the Gujarat assembly poll more comfortably than any pollster had predicted the state chief minister and an icon of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Narendra Modi, continues to be built up in the media as some kind of an unprecedented political phenomenon in free India. An evidence of this came when one of India’s leading paper (The Hindustan Times) in its January 27th edition carried an article on Gujarati’s ‘perspective’ on its centre page by its former editor, incidentally a Gujarati, who is undoubtedly the paper’s most influential columnist.He seemed to suggest that after a long gap a Gujarati—Modi--has established himself as a leader of ‘national stature’, a position that presumably entitles him to be worthy of consideration for a higher political post in future, and the one who brought back to the Gujaratis their lost sense of ‘pride’.

Highest honor bestowed on late leaders of the country is to extend support to eradicate the terrorism

Sunil C. Perera in Colombo

Unveiling the portrait of President PremadasaPresident Mahinda Rajapakse says anybody who respects former President Ranasinghe Premadasa should extend support to eliminate tiger terrorism, as his life was lost due to tiger terrorism. The President made these remarks at the opening of a drawing of former President Premadasa in parliament on Thursday. President Mahinda Rajapaksa unveiled the portrait of late President Ranasinghe Premadasa in the parliament on February 7. Speaker W.J.M. Lokubandara, Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake, Leader of the opposition Mr.Ranil Wickramasinghe, Mrs. Hema Premadasa and Mr. Sajith Premadasa including relations and well-wishers of Late Ranasinghe Premadasa participated at this occasion.

MOU between Sri Lanka and Malaysia to investigate money laundering

The Financial Intelligence Unit of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Financial Intelligence Unit of the Central Bank of Malaysia i.e. Bank Negara for the exchange of information to facilitate the investigation and prosecution of persons suspected of money laundering or financing of terrorism, a Central Bank press release said. Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs), have been established by many countries as dedicated institutions to collect, analyse and disseminate financial information from mandated institutions to combat money laundering and terrorist financing operations conducted through the financial systems.

British Foreign Minister condemns recent spate of civilian killings

British Foreign Secretary condemns attacks upon civilians and those responsible. He called for the immediate end to practices which target civilians or put them in peril. He has further urged all in Sri Lanka to take steps to safeguard the civilian population and find ways to reduce the violence. British Foreign Secretary (Foreign Minister), David Miliband, commented yesterday on the 60th Anniversary of Sri Lanka's independence. In comments David Miliband said “Violence can never provide an answer to Sri Lanka's problems. People in Sri Lanka need to find space to realise their many similarities, rather than becoming further polarised by their differences. A sustainable solution to Sri Lanka's conflict can only emerge through a just political process involving all communities”

Author Celebrates Sixtieth Independence of Sri Lanka with a Book on Folktales

Author Chandrani Warnasuriya of Duarte, Los Angeles celebrated the sixtieth Independence of Sri Lanka by publishing “Favorite Folktales of Sri Lanka.” She presented her book to the Consular General Jaliya Wickramasuriya at the Independence Day pageant in Los Angeles. The book presents a collection of well-kwon folk tales rendered with a flair for fluency. Her clarity of style is flawless making the book extremely readable. She said “As a child I remember sitting on the lap of my grandma listening to stories. A great storyteller, I could listen to her all day till she finally lulled me to sleep in a peaceful lullaby.” Her book would be a must read for the children born and bred away from the shores of Sri Lanka. The stories selected by the author will definitely bring nostalgia to those familiar with the folklore of Sri Lanka and inspire others to read more.

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