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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 856

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Three years after Tsunami

On this third anniversary of the Tsunami disaster, Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) remembers with great sadness all those who lost their lives and their family members, who survived them. It is these individuals that showed us the way to tread a path for better Sri Lanka. At this juncture, TISL recognizes with gratitude all the public and private partners who contributed to the reconstruction process in Sri Lanka. Whilst acknowledging the positive contribution and progress, TISL would like to draw the attention of the public and the government to certain unresolved issues and lessons that the nation could learn, with special emphasis to issues within the transparency and accountability framework.

JVP attacks the Kamikaze ideology of UNESCO

In critical statement of the role played by the Director General of the UNESCO, K. Matsura, the Janatha Vimukti Peramuna (JVP - People's Liberation Front) ), the third largest party in Sri Lanka, has questioned "the Kamikaze ideology and the partisan posturing for selective bombing of radio stations." Matsura released a statement criticizing the Sri Lankan Air Force bombing the Voice of the Tigers (VOT, also known as the Voice of Terror). This statement raised a howl of protest from Sri Lankans who objected to the partisan role played by Matsura.

Ousted Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra vowed to return to Thailand meanwhile Thai general upset over election results

Thaksin ShinawatraThaksin Shinawatra, the ousted Thai Prime Minister announced Tuesday that he would return to Thailand, possibly within weeks, after the victory of his allies People Power Party, (PPP) in weekend elections. Meanwhile reports emerges that the result of the election has upset the military's top brass, including army chief Gen Anupong Paojinda, who are worried about the People Power party (PPP) taking revenge for the Sept 19 coup last year. But the former Prime Minster, who was forced out of office by the military in September 2006, also said he would prove himself innocent of corruption charges laid against him by the military junta after he was deposed. Thaksin, who has spent much of his time in Hong Kong since last year's coup, was speaking after the victory Sunday of the People Power Party in the first elections since the military takeover in Thailand.

CIA firmly rooted in Sri Lanka’s Rajapakse Administration

There was very little reference to Sri Lanka’s military operation which has partially de-stabilized the once invincible Tamil Tigers. As to why the United National Party took a step or two back from its once declared policy plank of ‘Federal Solution to Sri Lanka’s National Question’, the Sri Lankan expatriates here in Las Vegas were told that the party was not in favor of labeling the unit of devolution but will decide on the unit as political developments progress. The visiting stalwarts of Sri Lanka’s political opposition the United National Party (UNP) highlighted President Rajapakse’s governing style, how his regime is corrupt to the core, that he is utterly inefficient in handling affairs of the nation, according to the UNP stalwarts, ruined the economy and the arrogance of the regime had led to the erosion of civil liberties and media freedom

Tsunami 3rd Anniversary: 114 Km of South Coastal Roads Completed

Philip Fernando in Los Angeles

Mitigating the tsunami destruction became harder due to the overall impact it had on transportation and infrastructure breakdown. Moving heavy equipment yet alone normal transportation vehicles was near impossible in the beginning. The owner driven housing projects, for example for which the World Bank had allotted US$65 million took time to take off. Roads received $33 million while livelihood support got $34 million. Other smaller categories like capacity building and contingency work got $ 9 million. An attempt is made hereto assess how restoration had occurred and not how much of back-slapping by those in charge of doing massive projects indulged in. The ground zero in Sri Lanka covered a massive area.

Archbishop Oswald Gomis castigated those who became inhuman and lost the regard for human life and values

Archbishop Oswald GomisAt a midnight Christmas mass, Archbishop Oswald Gomis said, Once again we celebrate Christmas at the time when the dark clouds of war are enveloping our country. He added, “As we sing and rejoice in some parts of the country there is bitter suffering and agony in others. Apart from the war there are other factors that disturb the normalcy of life and even threaten the life of citizens. There are thousands still left homeless and forced by circumstances to flee into the jungles. Children are deprived of education and many others are displaced from their homes and work places.” Archbishop further said, "We need to change our hearts to bring peace our Motherland, respect human rights, give prominence to human values, accept all as our own brothers and sisters and show God's love to everyone. Jesus Our Saviour said, 'what profit you will have if you love only those who love you? What profit you will have if you orgive only those who forgive you?”

Sri Lanka: Government to hold elections for nine local councils in the Eastern

The Sri Lankan government has anounced yesterday of holding local council elections in the Eastern Province. "Today I have issued the gazette notification which will allow the Commissioner of Elections to hold elections for nine local councils in the Eastern Province,” said Janaka Bandara Tennakoon, the minister of Local Government. According to the Minister, nominations for the local administrative units will be accepted between Jan. 14 and Jan. 21, 2008 while Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake would decide on the elections date later. The government in mid-July this year claimed that the entire Eastern Province had been cleared of Tamil Tiger rebels through a series of military offensives which began in July 2006.

Understanding and tolerance needed to pave for peace and harmony – Mahinda Rajapakse

Mahinda RajapakseIn Sri Lanka greater understanding and tolerance is what that is needed at this very hour to pave for peace and harmony among the people. Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse emphasized that Christian message of all encompassing love preached by Jesus Christ, who was born on Christmas Day, has an undiminished relevance to this day, in a world faced with bitter divisions among people based on religions, nationality, ethnicity, language, color and caste. He pointed out, “In our own county too, we see the need for greater understanding and tolerance that will pave the way to peace and harmony among people.”

Thailand: Pro-Thaksin People Power Party is confident of forming coalition government

Samak SundaravejA clear picture has emerged in Parliamentary general elections held on Sunday for 480 seats House of Representatives in Thailand, nearly 15 months after the Thai Army ousted the democratically elected Government of Prime Minister Thakshin Shinawatra. At the Parliamentary elections held on 23rd December a record voter turnout of 70.27 per cent was reported by the Election Commission. More than 70 per cent of voters turned out to cast ballots in the first elections since a coup 15 months ago, an Election Commission official said Monday. "There were 32.08 million people, or 70.27 per cent of the total eligible 45.65 million voters, who cast their vote yesterday (Sunday)," said Suthiphon Thaweechaiyagarn, secretary general of the EC.

India, France to Enhance Nuclear Co-operation

Visiting French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner has said that Paris is willing to carry forward the agreement on nuclear matters with India. "We are working towards agreement on civil nuclear power and my country is ready to work on this agreement. I know that you have to align and to implement all the international laws and international nuclear agency," said Kouchner. Calling for concerted efforts by the two nations, Kouchner said, "I am completely convinced that both India and France absolutely look like each other, a sort of strong and determined strength to find a particular way to democracy and peace." Kouchner, who arrived in Delhi on Thursday, is expected to chalk out the agenda for the scheduled visit of French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

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