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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 880


Clinton, McCain and Romney Win Big: Front Runners Emerging After Nevada and S. Carolina

By Philip Fernando in Los Angeles

Hillary ClintonTwo political stalwarts and one new comer won handily today in Nevada and S. Carolina. It was Hillary Clinton, John McCain and Mitt Romney. Hillary Rodham Clinton took her message door to door in Hispanic working-class neighborhoods trying to beat the endorsement given by Union bosses to Obama. John McCain won a big victory against Mike Huckabee in S. Carolina, which has a large percentage of evangelical voters. Mitt Romney, the new comer had a great win in Nevada. The delegate count in Nevada is on a county by county basis and thus may result in Obama picking up number of delegates. Edwards fared very badly but may try to be a spoiler and go all the way. Mitt Romney beats all others hands down with his massive organizational showing.

LTTE on the Run with Heavy Casualties: Government Warns People: Rumours Mongers trying to Instill Fear

Lakshman HulugalleIn a very candid assessment of the security situation, Director General of the Media Centre for National Security (MCNS), Lakshman Hulugalle at a media briefing asked Sri Lankans to reject rumors, which are being circulated by a few with the intention of creating a state of fear amongst the public at a time the Security Forces are successfully engaged in eliminating the menace of LTTE terrorism. He also stated that a Security Plan has been implemented to provide security for the people. He appealed to the people to inform the police, the Security Forces, Grama Niladharis, or the Provincial Council regarding any rumor mongers as the Government will initiate strong action against those responsible for spreading rumors.

Pro-LTTE Simon Hughes and Priyath Liyanage lament over the dead ceasefire agreement and discuss interference

By a special correspondent in London

Pro-LTTE British parliamentarian Simon Hughes told BBC’s Sinhala language program producer Priyath Liyanage disclosed that many international players trying to influence in Sri Lankan affairs are not trying to interfere in the island nation’s internal affairs, but are helping the country to find a lasting solution to prevent the bloodshed. Hughes led an adjournment debate on Sri Lanka in the British parliament and accused Sri Lanka for leaving the Norwegian sponsored ceasefire agreement under which 98 percent violations were by the Tamil Tigers.

Partisan British MPs blame Sri Lanka for abrogating Cesefire Argreement

A press release issued by the British Tamil Forum, a pro-Tiger front in London, said that several British MPs expressed their regrets about the Government of Sri Lanka abrogating the Ceasefire Agreement. None of them, however, mentioned that the CFA (2002 - 2008) was abrogated because the Tamil Tigers who were a signatory had violated 98% of its terms and conditions making it totally dysfunctional. This meeting, which was organised by the British Tamils Forum, a front of the banned Tamil Tigers, was chaired by Keith Vaz MP. They met with the Tamils in the Parliament premises on 16 January 2008 to discuss the formal abrogation of the Ceasefire Agreement in Sri Lanka. All these MPs and the Tamils spoke of the escalation of the war and blamed the Government for violations of human rights.

Retiring Nicholas Burns Was Not Afraid to Condemn Terrorism in all its Manifestations

By Philip Fernando in Los Angeles

Richard BurnsSri Lankans remember Under-Secretary of State, Nicholas Burns as the U S States Department spokesperson who knew that a terrorist by any other name was always a terrorist. He was not afraid to say so. The Diaspora in Los Angeles who followed Burns during his overseeing of the U S foreign policy saw a forthright diplomat. The Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, the third ranking official in the States Department resigned after almost a three year spell. He was asked the question in 2006 “Does the United States feel the LTTE is genuinely interested in peace?”

U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander Visits Sri Lanka to Review Maritime Cooperation

Admiral Robert Willard with Mahinda RajapakseAdmiral Robert F. Willard, Commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, visited Sri Lanka January 17-18 as part of a regional trip to south Asia to meet with his naval counterparts. Admiral Willard reviewed ongoing maritime cooperation, including naval training and exchanges, between the United States and Sri Lanka. In Colombo, he met with senior military officials as part of a regional trip to south Asia also met his Naval counterparts called on President Mahinda Rajapakse at Temple Trees yesterday. Admiral Willard reviewed ongoing maritime cooperation, including naval training and exchanges, between the United States and Sri Lanka. He met senior military officials.

U.N. Force in Darfur Grounded Even Before Takeoff

By Thalif Deen, Inter Press Service

A proposed 26,000-strong joint U.N.-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), described as potentially the world's largest single peacekeeping force, has been virtually grounded even before it could take off due largely to lack of troops and military equipment. "It's absolutely frustrating," says a senior U.N. official, as the Secretariat makes little progress in finding troops and securing helicopters, armoured vehicles and other logistical equipment urgently needed for the full deployment of the force.

Bush Proposes Stimulus Package of $140 billion or $ 800 per person in US.

By Philip Fernando in Los Angeles

President’s George Bush proposed a stimulus economic package of one hundred and forty billions dollars, which may translate into about $ 800 per person in the coming months according to many analysts. The U S Congress has to approve the package. Bush White House, the Democratic congressional leadership and the Federal Reserve Board chairman, strange bedfellows: the alarming economic downturn brought them together. The outcome was the stimulus package announced by President Bush today, which is about 1 percent of the U S gross domestic product (GDP), currently estimated at 14 trillion dollars.

Stocks of essential food items sufficient for 3 months have been stored in Jaffna

Sunil C. Perera – Asian Tribune

District Secretary to Jaffna K. Ganeshan says stocks of essential food items sufficient for 3 months have been stored in Jaffna. He strongly dismissed speculations that the people in the peninsula are not receiving ample stocks of food items and the prices of essential items are very high in the region. The Jaffna District Secretary made this statement attending a meeting yesterday at the Essential Services Commissioner’s office. The meeting was called under instructions by Sri Lanka President to look in to the needs of the people in Jaffna. Ganeshan said the government has provided all facilities to the Jaffna residents.

U.S. Government’s Humanitarian Assistance Funding in Sri Lanka for 2007 totaled more than USD 26 million

US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Robert O. Blake has announced that over the past year, the US Government has provided the people of Sri Lanka with over USD 26 million to support ongoing humanitarian efforts. The funding has been provided for a variety of purposes to meet the requirements of internally displaced persons (IDPs) including water, sanitation and hygiene; humanitarian coordination; and direct food and logistics assistance. Since early 2006, renewed conflict between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has displaced more than 300,000 people. While most have been resettled by the government, these returnees also require support for economic recovery, as do more than 200,000 IDPs who remain displaced from previous years of conflict or from the December 2004 tsunami.

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