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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 1227

News

Sri Lanka Army unequivocally rejects baseless allegations that they killed Rev. Fr. Karunaratnam

By Walter Jayawardhana

The Sri Lanka Army said in a special communique issued that it unreservedly denies and condemns the “attempt of the Liberation tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to blame the army for the assassination” of a Catholic priest in the control area of the rebel terrorist group. “The Army categorically and unreservedly ridicules LTTE's blatant attempts to discredit and blame its troops for Sunday (20) afternoon murder of the Rev Fr M.X. Karunaratnam when he was on Mallavi-Vavunikulam road in un-cleared areas, about 50 kms to the north of Wanni in Mullaithivu district,” the communique said.

Dr. Jayalath Jayawardana denies meeting LTTErs in London

Dr. Jayalath Dr. Jayalath Jayawardana, one of the leading UNP leader says that he was on a private tour to London and there he was met with both by his Sinhala as well as Tamil friends, who are Sri Lankans. He further writes in a statement released to 'Asian Tribune' that he has given interviews to several media institutions including the BBC World Service. According to his statement to 'Asian Tribune,' “There has been a malicious attempt to label me as a LTTE spy and a link between the UNP and the LTTE since 1994, but all these attempts have failed." He further stated, “I don’t associate with people according to their ethnicity or religion.”

Vaiko meets Pranab; says Colombo too must declare ceasefire

By M Rama Rao India Editor, Asian Tribune, New Delhi

V Gopalasamy, Vaiko to his MDMK followers, and a pro-LTTE Tamil Nadu leader, met the Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee here on Monday to make out a strong case for ceasefire by Colombo as well. He told Pranab Mukherjee, the number 2 in the Manmohan Singh government and a trusted aide of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi that India should pressurize Sri Lanka to declare a ceasefire and ensure food supplies to the 'suffering' Tamils there. "It is for Colombo to declare a ceasefire as the LTTE had announced unilateral truce for 30 days and extended it by another 30 days", he told reporters after meeting Mukherjee.

Millions of Children Falling Through the Cracks

By Thalif Deen, Inter Press Service

A significant proportion of the world's 2.2 billion children, many of whom are victims of violence, sexual abuse, labor exploitation and preventable diseases, are from the crisis-plagued African continent. As the United Nations points out, too many of the world's children, largely African, have been "bought and sold, exploited and abused, harmed and orphaned." Of the 11 countries where 20 percent or more of children die before the age of five, 10 are in Africa: Angola, Burkina Faso, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger and Sierra Leone. The only non-African country on that list is Afghanistan.

Sri Lanka: Political parties plan to hold May Day rallies in several locations

Sunil C. Perera and Chithralal Jayasingha in Colombo

Major political parties excluding UNP will organize May Day rallies in various locations in Sri Lanka. Speaking to "Asian Tribune" General Secretary of the UNP Tissa Attanayake said that their party has decided to refrain from holding rallies or processions on May Day, in view of the prevailing security situation in the country. Accordingly, the UNP has cancelled its public events planned in Kurunegala, instead, it will hold religious observances at Kelaniya Raja Maha Temple on May 01st. According to our sources, the United National Freedom Alliance will hold their May Day at Dehiattakandiya and the JVP plans to organize its rally in Colombo.

Karachi’s Curse!

By Adnan Gill

Karachi is the financial heart of Pakistan that generates about 65% of revenue mainly through taxes, customs and surcharges. It's world's twentieth largest metropolitan spread over 3,530 km². It hosts a whopping 12.5 million of humanity consisting of a rainbow of ethnicities. Karachi’s racial distribution is: Urdu/Mohajirs 48.52%; Punjabi 13.94%; Sindhi 7.22%; Pashto 11.42%; Balochi 4.34%; Saraiki 2.11%; others: 12.4%. Ideally, ethnic diversity generates ingenuity and creativity that translates into positive progress, like in the case of the United States. However to Karachi’s misfortune, racial diversity has only brought it a never ending curse. But the fault doesn't lay with the Karachiites, who happen to be the victims; rather it’s the politicians with their vested interests who should be blamed for its volatile curse.

Killing of Rev Fr. Karunaratnam – mystery deepens

Latest reports from Vanni revealed that Father M. X. Karunaratnam, the Chairman of the NorthEast Secretariat on Human Rights (NESOHR), was a victim to the claymore mine, laid by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. Reports further revealed that with the view to counter any sudden thrust by the Sri Lankan armed forces, LTTE has mined the entire Vanni region and due to human error their cadres detonates them at times, which used to cause the death of civilians as well as notable LTTE dignitaries.

Distribution of poll cards for the Eastern Provincial Council has begun from yesterday

Sunil C.Perera and Chitralal Jayasingha in Colombo

The distribution of official poll cards of the eastern provincial council elections has begun from yesterday. The cards will be distributed by post until 2nd of next month. If anyone does not receive the poll card, the person will be able to collect it from the relevant post office by proving the identity. Casting postal votes of the election will commence on 28th and 29th of this month. Meanwhile, the United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance says they will intensify its propaganda campaign for the Eastern Provincial Council Election from yesterday . Public rallies have been organized in the districts of Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Ampara.

Ceylon Cold Stores lauded for efforts to nurture locally vanilla industry

Sunil C. Perera in Colombo

The Kandy Vanilla Growers’ Association (KVGA) recently felicitated Ceylon Cold Stores at it 08th anniversary celebrations, in recognition of its efforts to nurture and promote Sri Lanka’s vanilla industry. Present on the occasion were, President of Ceylon Cold Stores Ltd Jith Goonarathna, Vice President of Ceylon Cold Stores Ltd Neil Samarasinghe and several other officials from the KVGA.

Karunanidhi, Vaiko want India to become "peace facilitator" in Lanka amidst concerns over 'peace perfidy vs peace dividend'

By M Rama Rao, India Editor, Asian Tribune, New Delhi

Sri Lanka's ethnic issue is going to dominate the political discourse in Tamil Nadu once again. Interestingly, this new phase comes at a time when the Rajapakse government has mounted a campaign to woo Indian tourists to the island, projecting the ‘Ramayana’ related sites as the biggest attraction. Major Indian TV channels like Aaj Tak and Zee have been showing interview and research based programmes on Sri Lanka's ‘Ramayana’ angle. The Indian tourism trade is quick to pick up the refrain and is targeting the government officials availing leave travel concession facility and newly married on their honeymoon. Low air fares offered by Sri Lankan airways from Trivandrum and Cochin to Colombo have become an added attraction.

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