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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 1772

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Explanation by the Norwegian Aid Group raises more questions

By Walter Jayawardhana

The explanation of the notorious Norwegian aid group NPA regarding its heavy equipment and vehicles being used by the Tamil Tigers has given rise to some more questions about their credibility than answers, analysts in Colombo said. The aid group, Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) with a controversial past of receiving allegations of aiding an African insurgency with arms and ammunition has denied it has also given heavy equipment and vehicles to the liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) engaged in war and terrorism with the government of Sri Lanka.

Tobacco Ban Remains Elusive at U.N. Headquarters

By Thalif Deen, Inter Press Service

When a state-wide ban on smoking came into effect in New York in July 2003, perhaps the only institution outside that stringent law was the United Nations, primarily because its headquarters premises is deemed international territory. At the U.N. Secretariat, smoking is "discouraged" but not banned -- although virtually all agencies in New York, including the U.N. children's agency UNICEF and the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA), have barred smoking in their premises. Last week, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), comprising 54 member states, adopted a resolution recommending that the 192-member General Assembly, the highest policy-making body, "consider" taking steps towards a smoke-free United Nations.

Irrelevance & Relevance of Black July’83

By Shenali Waduge

There have been many articles, lectures & even photo exhibitions to mark 25 years since "Black July" – many of these organizers have labored to portray the brutality of a month that led to deaths, destruction of property & looting. Overnight Sri Lanka & most importantly the Sinhalese were branded as "racists" & the world labeled the situation in our country as an "ethnic conflict" & whatever who is privy to what really happened may say in history’s books what happened that July is written as a barbarous attack on innocent Tamils as a result of the deaths of thirteen soldiers. That was the relevance of the taint upon the image of the Sinhalese.

School Uniforms: Are They Discriminating Technique of Power

By Edward Theophilus Wanigasekera

It is quite agreeable view that the garment system of which they are a part, are a significant cultural force, they help to frame the body and to inscribe personalizing functions (Symes and Meadmore, 1996). Obviously, the garment reflects some cultural identity in any country. When we see a couple, the man is wearing a long sleeve top without a collar and a sarong and the woman wearing an osari we are quite right in identifying them as Sri Lankans. In the same way a person with a grown beard, who wearing a jata on the head, we assume that the person has a link to Indian sheiks. The garment reflects not only the cultural identity but also some kind of power in the society.

SAARC Sits Down To Catalogue Key Issues

By Neville de Silva Diplomatic Editor Asian Tribune

Officials of the 8-nation South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) will continue to discuss Tuesday some of the contents of the final summit declaration that would be signed by the heads of the member countries on August 3, the last day of the 15th SAARC summit which began yesterday in the Sri Lankan capital. While the final declaration would only be ready when the leaders of the member-countries have provided their input during the summit discussions and their wishes have been reflected in it, the general contents were being put into shape. A document incorporating basic ideas already known to officials would be ready to go to the foreign ministers when they meet later this week ahead of the leaders’ gathering.

Indian Navy advises fishermen to fix GPS to their gear

By M Rama Rao, India Editor, Asian Tribune

In the context of firing Indian fishermen are coming under in the Indian ocean, the Indian Navy has advised that the fishermen should fix Global Positioning Systems (GPS) to avoid crossing the maritime boundary. It (GPS) is not very costly and is affordable, the naval advisory says. GPS provides the fastest and most accurate method to navigate, measure speed and determine location for fishermen. The Tamil Nadu government is working on a pilot project to equip fishermen with country boats in Ramanathapuram district with handheld GPS devices. The Naval advisory assumes significance as fishermen particularly of Rameswaram area went on a strike and received local political backing over alleged firing on their vessels by Sri Lanka Navy.

Liberating the North is not far away – Sri Lanka President

Addressing a rally on Saturday, in Anuradhapura in support of the United People's Freedom Alliance candidates contesting the North Western Provincial Council election, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that no period in history since the time of King Parakramabahu the Great has seen a development drive as the present one launched by the Government. The President also pledged that just as the East was liberated from the clutches of terrorists, so too will the last remaining strongholds of the LTTE, KIllinochchi and Mullaitivu, be liberated so that people living in those areas too can benefit from the Government's overall development strategy.

SAARC Official meeting commenced

Asian Tribune – Sri Lanka Bureau

Rohitha BogollagamaSenior Officials of the Foreign Ministries of the SAARC countries attended their official meetings under the Chairmanship of Sri Lanka in Colombo with the tightest security on Sunday. A heavy security blanket was setup by the Sri Lankan security forces and a number of roads were closed due to the meetings. The SAARC officials formed a Steering Committee and Director General of SAARC and South Asian Affairs Mrs. Grace Ashirwatham was appointed to the post of Chairmanship.

Maliban rises from the ashes of near ruination, to compete to be market leader

By Quintus Perera - Asian Tribune

The perennial family favorite - Maliban Cream Cracker was relaunhed with a new taste as well as a new look at a media briefing held recently at Trans Asia Hotel, where the Chairman and the Board of Directors of the House of Maliban were present. A G R Samaraweera, Chairman, Maliban said that the Company's key strength right throughout in its long history has been its emphasis on quality. From the insception Maliban has focused on quality which has in turn built trust and loyalty among generations of consumers. He said that this was possible, due to Maliban has always been a brand close to the consumers' heart and today's launch is a further reinforcement of their commitment to giving the consumer a quality, great tasting Cracker which is on par with any international product.

LTTE used notorious Norwegian NGO’s vehicles for military activities

By Walter Jayawardhana

Property belonging to Norwegian People's Aid - One of Norway's biggest non-government organizations which was accused of secretly smuggling is weapons for at least another insurgency in Sudan in the past - is being used by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) for its military activities , Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Defense charged. The Defense Ministry said, "heavy earth moving vehicles, four trucks, a tractor, several land cruiser jeeps and a number of motor cycles," belonging to the Norwegian People’s Aid are being used by the LTTE, quoting unnamed sources, believed to be the Army’s intelligence services.

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