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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 912

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Amnesty International Gravely Concerned about Protection of Civilians amidst Increased Hostilities after CFA Abrogation

Amnesty International expressed grave concern that the end to the Ceasefire Agreement between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) today may lead to increased in hostilities that will jeopardize the safety of the civilians or a rise in indiscriminate attacks. AI called both parties to the conflict to uphold the protection of civilians at all times and work towards a negotiated settlement of the issues. ”, said Catherine Baber, Programme Director for Asia-Pacific. She added that “the withdrawal of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission leaves a vacuum in independent investigation and monitoring of human rights abuses. The establishment of a United Nations field operation with a strong monitoring mandate is now more urgent than ever” she said.

UN Watch Expresses Concern after Sri Lanka Rejects UN Human Rights Monitoring as ‘Unqualified’

UN Watch expressed concern today after Sri Lanka’s representative in Geneva called the office of High Commissioner Louise Arbour “unqualified” to report on the island's bloody conflict. Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based NGO, said it was legitimate to debate statements by the world body but was “disappointed that a vice-president of the Human Rights Council would negate a core duty of the UN’s highest human rights official.”

Buttala attack bears all the hallmarks of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam – US Embassy

The United States of America has strongly condemned yesterday’s vicious terrorist attack on a civilian bus in Uva Province that killed at least 24 persons, including many women and children, and injured more than 60 others. While expressing the condolences to the victims and their families, the US Embassy in Colombo has pointed out that though no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, it bears all the hallmarks of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. It further added, “The targeting of civilians serves to foster fear and cause further suffering among the Sri Lankan people. Only a political solution to the country’s conflict offers a way out of the current cycle of escalating violence.”

Sangaree condemns the Buttala bombings

The brutal and cowardly act of the LTTE which caused the death 26 innocent civilians and also left over sixty-five people injured came under condemnation. The President of the Tamil United Liberation Front V. Anandasangaree has condemned the LTTE for yesterday’s claymore mine attack at Buttala. He has admonished that it was high time the LTTE stop killing innocent civilians, which is not going to serve any purpose other than infuriating the International Community which is fast losing its patience. Anandasangaree pointed out that there should be no place for ferocious animals in the human society. He said “We as humans have a sacred duty to perform.” He also emphasized that without playing hide and seeks; every one should express their deep concerns.

Government will compensate the families of dead and wounded persons in Buttala bomb attack

Sunil C. Perera in Colombo

Buttala BlastThe government will compensate the families of dead and wounded persons in the claymore mine attack in Buttala. Minister Rizhard Badurdeen says a maximum of one hundred thousand rupees will be paid on behalf of a dead person while a maximum of 50 thousand rupees has been approved to pay for an injured person. In the first stage 25 thousand rupees will be granted as compensation for the family of an unmarried dead person. An injured will receive 10 thousand rupees under the first stage. In addition, an allowance of 15 thousand rupees each will be provided for funerals. Minister Badurdeen said three million rupees have already been given to the district secretary of Moneragala to be disbursed among victims.

Buttala bomb blast: Sri Lanka President instructs to take immediate measures

Sunil C. Perera in Colombo

Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse has instructed the relevant authorities to take immediate measures to treat the victims of the claymore bomb blast in Buttala this morning. Accordingly, all facilities including specialist physicians, medicine and blood have been sent to the hospitals where the injured are receiving treatment. Earlier in the morning around 7.35 AM the LTTE exploded a claymore mine targeting a bus plying from Buttala to Okkampitiya, killing 23 persons, and injuring 67. The explosion had occurred near Thelimbugastenne, Buttala.

British Tamils urge boycott of Sri Lankan Airlines

Neville de Silva - Diplomatic Editor Asian Tribune

The British Tamils Forum yesterday appealed to Tamils and others to boycott Sri Lanka's national carrier SriLankan Airlines claiming that its revenue is being used to buy arms to use against the Tamil people. BTF, an umbrella organization of several Tamils organizations based in the UK, said at a press conference in London yesterday that some 30,000 of the 300,000 persons of Tamil origin living in the UK, use Sri Lanka's national carrier to fly to the country each year from the UK providing the airline with some £12 million which goes into the "war chest" of the Sri Lanka Government.

Mitt Romney Wins Michigan, Republicans Still Looking For Front Runner: Nevada Caucus on Saturday

By Philip Fernando in Los Angeles

Mitt Romney had a good win in Michigan primary, a first for him and so far, McCain and Huckabee each won one primary, thus keeping the race open. In Michigan John McCain came second and Mike Huckabee third. Hillary Clinton, Barrack Obama and John Edwards will continue to battle it out in Nevada, South Carolina and Florida. Romney was able to ward off McCain’s surge as the traditional Republican voters came in large numbers while the independent vote was less than in 2000 when McCain won this primary against George W. Bush. Huckabee came in third. Even though, Hillary Clinton won the Michigan primary handily, the delegate count is subject to approval by the party as Michigan went against the party directive not to hold the election so early. Obama and Edwards had withdrawn their names.

LTTE also target Unicorn military truck in Butala

Just Two hours after massacre of twenty-three innocent passengers on a Butala bound bus Wednesday (16) morning at around 7.30 a.m., suspected Tiger terrorists targeted a military Unicorn truck, about 2 km north of Galge , on Butala – Katargama road, in Moneragala district, at about 9.45 a.m., triggering one more claymore mine. According to the defence sources, four soldiers suffered injuries in the explosion. The injured have been taken to Hambanthota hospital. The Army and the Police have launched a combined search in the area after the incident.

Schools closed in Uva Province due to the bomb blast

Sunil C. Perera in Colombo

Provincial Educational Ministry of the UVA province closed schools due to the today's bomb blast. A total of 23 civilians, including school children, were killed and 67 wounded in a Claymore blast that targeted a bus in Helagama in Buttala DS division in Monaragala district in Uva Province at 7:35 a.m. Chief Minister of the Province said the closing down schools was a temporary measure. Meanwhile Acting Director at the Moneragala Hospital Janaka Prasad says blood is urgently needed to treat those injured in the Buttala claymore bomb blast. He says O Negative and O Positive types of blood are especially in demand and requests prospective donors to come forward to donate blood.

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