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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 1013


Maldives and Sri Lanka agreed to strengthen bilateral relations

In a joint statement issued after the conclusion of a two state visit to Sri Lanka by Maldivian President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, it was mutually agreed between Sri Lanka and Maldives to enhance the existing close relations between the two countries, and expressed confidence that President Gayoom’s successful state visit to Sri Lanka would further strengthen the friendly relations and cooperation which are at all time high. Presidents of Sri Lanka and Maldives jointly chaired a session of highest-level ‘Bilateral Consultations,’ at Sri Lanka’s Presidential Secretariat. They reiterated their commitment to the promotion of economic development and social progress. They also agreed to expand and diversify the bilateral cooperation and maintain regular high level exchanges.

Human Rights a Matter for Concern in Chittagong Hill Tracts in Dhaka

Last week a 17-member civil society delegation led by Pankaj Bhattachariya, Vice President of Sammilita Samajik Andolon held roundtable conference on their recent visit to Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) and expressed concern about the uneasy situation prevailing there. Numerous allegations, including intimidation and eviction of indigenous people by Bengali settlers, with the from the government agencies and the inability of the Jumma people to get back their land as well as other instances of threats to human rights had surfaced. Tension between the Muslim-Bengali and Buddhist groups was also noticeable according to some reports.

Mahinda Rajapakse renders commendable service for Sri Lanka

Maldivian President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom says President Mahinda Rajapakse has rendered a commendable service for the development of the country while boosting cooperation among different communities. The visiting Maldivian President made this statement when he met the Sri Lankan President yesterday. He extended the support of his country to Sri Lanka's fight against terrorism. Speaking on the occasion, President Rajapakse pointed out the importance of having a cooperative mechanism to resolve problems common to the region.

Nalandians to Offer Scholarships to Children of Veterans

By Philip Fernando in Los Angeles

Nalanda College Old Boys Association of America ( NCOBAA)in association with Seva Vanitha Army Branch in Sri Lanka launch “Ranaviru Kids Fund in USA” to offer financial assistance for the education of needy children of disabled and deceased Armed Forces Veterans. The most deserving eligible children are selected by a committee of Seva Vanitha Army Branch.

Combating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations a challenge - Mahinda Rajapakse

Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse while speaking at the banquet in honour of visiting President Maldivian Abdul Gayoom yesterday evening in Colombo pointed out the challenges of an unprecedented scale, such as combating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. In his speech, Mahinda Rajapakse emphasised to be conscious of the importance of peace and security for the development the region. He added that success in developing a legal framework of cooperation and assistance will help in promoting regional peace and stability. President went on saying “We are also faced with natural disasters of unprecedented scale such as the tsunami of 2004. Our central goal is to face these challenges and usher in social and economic progress and political stability in a manner, which preserves and enhances our natural spiritual and cultural heritage.”

Time to punish parties who use or abuse children in armed conflicts – UN envoy

US Bureau Asian Tribune Presents

Radhika CoomaraswamyThe Security Council must “take concrete and targeted measures” against those parties that persistently use or abuse children during armed conflicts around the world, the United Nations envoy on the issue said today, urging that well-meaning words be transformed into effective actions. Addressing the Council during a day-long open debate on Monday, 12 February, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict Radhika Coomaraswamy noted the ongoing impunity for those persistent violators that use or abuse children during wars.

Potomac Primaries: Obama Takes the Lead and McCain Sails Smoothly

By Philip Fernando in Los Angeles

Sen. Barack Obama The Potomac primaries are over and Barrack Obama and John McCain won them all. After the first 26 contests Obama and Clinton remained neck-and-neck in the pledged delegate count. But by winning the next eight--Washington State, Nebraska, Maine, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Louisiana, District of Columbia, Virginia and Maryland (3 Potomac states), Obama has taken the lead of the pledged delegates for good. To be the of the party either Barrack Obama or Hillary Clinton needs to capture 2,025 delegate votes. So far Obama has 1195 delegates and Clinton 1178. Next round of primaries from March 19th to April 8tth will be decisive for both, when Wisconsin, Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont and Obama’s birth state, Hawaii select delegates.

Sri Lanka Calls for Paradigm Shift in Environmental Thinking

Addressing a meeting of the UN General Assembly on climate change, Sri Lanka's Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Patali Champika Ranawaka said the degree of impact of climate change varies from country to country. "But the stark reality is that the countries with lower economic status and with low emission levels are the most vulnerable to the impact of climate change," he told delegates. The minister said the present generation, "including you, me and all of us together", have the responsibility of ensuring a better life for future generations.

Sri Lanka's Zero Tolerance on Child Soldiers

Addressing the UN Security Council debate on Children and Armed Conflict, Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Prasad Kariyawasam said the Government of Sri Lanka reiterates its long held policy of zero tolerance towards the recruitment and use of children in armed conflict. He said the Government believes strongly in addressing issues of children and armed conflict pursuant to Resolution 1612."And in this context,we reiterate our view that the Security Council must consider this issue on the basis of supporting the establishment of security and consolidating peace in conflict afflicted societies, to enable States to protect their children from non-state actors who violate children with impunity."

Indian fishermen cautioned not to stray and poach in Sri Lanka territorial waters

Indian fishermen were told to avoid entering the Sri Lankan waters and poach in the demarcated High Security Zone. As threats to Sri Lanka’s sovereignty looms large from the sea, Sri Lanka Government is forced to take required actions to defend its sovereignty, pointed out Sri Lanka’s Deputy High Commissioner in Chennai, South India. “Therefore the Indian fishermen should refrain from straying into Sri Lanka’s water demarcated as high security zones,” cautioned P.M.Amza, Deputy High Commissioner.

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