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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 732


Historical places in the North Central Province lack tourists

Sunil C. Perera in Polonnaruwa

Historical and religious sites of the Sigiriya and the Polonnaruwa areas has come to a standstill due to non arrival of local or foreign tourists and most of the small scale traders who run their businesses in the Cultural Triangle , Polonnaruwa say that they cannot manage their day to day expenses. At present number of foreign countries have imposed travel warnings to their citizens on Sri Lankan security situation. Due to this there are no tourists at these historical sites. “However some foreigners who work in local NGOs and other institutions visit these sites, but not many opportunities for us, said vendors.

United States Announces Annapolis Conference on Middle East Scheduled for November 26-28

Daya Gamage – US National Correspondent Asian Tribune

Forty-nine nations, organizations and individuals have been invited to attend the U.S.-sponsored international Middle East conference November 26-28 in Annapolis, Maryland in the U.S., State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said. "The Annapolis Conference will signal broad international support for the Israeli and Palestinian leaders' courageous efforts and will be a launching point for negotiations leading to the establishment of a Palestinian state and the realization of Israeli-Palestinian peace," McCormack said at a State Department briefing November 20.

Sri Lanka bans Tamil Rehabilitation Organization

By Ruwan Weerakoon in Colombo

Sri Lanka Government has banned the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) a rehabilitation arm of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, a separatist outfit fighting for a separate Tamil state of Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka since the latter part of 1970s. According to Media minister Anura Yapa, "The cabinet decided yesterday to ban the TRO and also ask other governments to do the same," Anura Yapa when contacted further said that ministers met on Wednesday and decided to proscribe the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) whose bank accounts were frozen by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka last year.”

A total of 31 LTTE cadres killed in the last 3 days

By Ruwan Weerakoon in Colombo

Sri Lanka Army’s Special Infantry Orients trained troops and Army’s special forces infiltrated into LTTE territory and destroyed LTTE bunkers and killed 31 LTTE cadres in Vavuniya District west of Omanthi in the past 3 days, meanwhile one army soldier died and six soldiers were wounded. Sri Lanka Army Commander Lt Gen Sarath Fonseka after assuming duties as army commander, he had given specific instructions to his officers to train soldiers in strategy and tactics. After completion of training, soldiers are mobilized to the battle front. Well-trained officers and soldiers can combat with LTTE minimizing death and casualties to the army.

USAID Partners with Microsoft to Unleash Lanka’s ‘Unlimited Potential’ in IT

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is partnering with Microsoft to introduce a new training curriculum developed with the assistance of the American information technology giant for four key sectors of the Sri Lankan economy. USAID and Microsoft are co-financing the $236,000 project, which will be implemented by InfoShare, a nonprofit firm that develops IT solutions to nonprofit development organizations. Microsoft specially tailored the worldwide curriculum, known as Unlimited Potential, to boost Sri Lanka’s agricultural, apparel, tourism, and media/journalism sectors using IT.

Hewitt study reveals key trends in salary increases across the region

According to the 8th annual Asia-Pacific Salary Increase Survey conducted by Hewitt Associates, a global human resources services company, external inequity of pay was cited as the top reason for employees leaving jobs. The Asia Pacific region witnessed the highest salary increase in the world with Sri Lanka reporting the highest release within the region. Asia was followed by Latin America with Venezuela leading with 18.8 percent. Europe reported the third highest salary increase globally with Hungary leading the region with an increase of 7.5 percent. Nishchae Suri, head of Hewitt’s Talent and Organization Consulting Analytics practice in Asia, says: “The pull is on the side of the people today. With more opportunities and avenues, organizations are increasingly at the mercy of employees making a choice. A salary increase is the most perceptible way of enhancing the employment deal but, of course, not the complete deal itself.”

Rebel UNP MP sworn in as Minister of Textile Development

Rebel U.N.P Member of Parliament Mr. Mahinda Rathnathilaka was sworn in yesterday as Minister of Textile Development before President Mahinda Rajapakse at Temple Trees. Mahinda Rathnatilake, crossed over from the UNP and supported the government, has been offered the non-cabinet Textile Development portfolio. Rathnatilake defected two days before the budget vote, claiming that he wanted to support the president who was waging war in the correct manner. His admission to government ranks has met with some opposition, with Justice Minister resigning from the Centre Committee of the SLFP in protest.

Sri Lanka: Mahahalmillawewa farmers receive water to continue their farming

Sunil C. Perera in Mahahalmillawewa, Polonnaruwa

The government of Sri Lanka has assisted farmers of the Mahahalmilawewa of Medirigiriya to continue their farming activities without facing a long prolonged water crisis in their area. The Ministry of Irrigation together with the JBIC have jointly granted rupees 61 million to reconstruct the abandoned Mahahalmillawewa tank. At present the tank has 900 acre storage water capacity to serve 350 acre paddy lands and also provide indirect employment for fishing families of the area. Minister Jayatissa Ranaweera has commissioned the renovated tank on last Sunday at a simple ceremony and said the President wants to assist rural masses to become self sufficient.

The Sunday Leader printing press burned

Sunil C. Perera in Colombo

The printing press of the Leader Publication was destroyed early Wednesday by an armed gang who stormed the building on the outskirts of Colombo and set the machines on fire, police said. At least 12 masked men carrying T-56 automatic weapons threatened the staff at the building located in Ratmalana and set it on fire. "The printing press is located within a high-security zone adjoining an Air Force airport, and this raises the question how could the attackers escape without being detected," said the managing director of the group, Lal Wickrematunga.

We will vote against the third reading of the budget unless.........---- Somawansa Amarasinghe

Highligting corruption and mismanagement as the main causes for the JVP's decision to vote against the budget Somawansa Amarasinghe, leader of the JVP, told the Asian Tribune that the government can;t defeat the LTTE with rampant corruption. He told “As far as the budget is concerned the 'first part of the drama is over.' These words are not mine. These words belong to one of the pro-government national newspaper.” Somawansa Amarasinghe warned “ The final moment of this drama is yet to come. In the scenario that is yet to unfold at the third reading of the budget if six to eight people decide to change their votes then it would be a very sad ending.“

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