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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 921


U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander Visits Sri Lanka to Review Maritime Cooperation

Admiral Robert Willard with Mahinda RajapakseAdmiral Robert F. Willard, Commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, visited Sri Lanka January 17-18 as part of a regional trip to south Asia to meet with his naval counterparts. Admiral Willard reviewed ongoing maritime cooperation, including naval training and exchanges, between the United States and Sri Lanka. In Colombo, he met with senior military officials as part of a regional trip to south Asia also met his Naval counterparts called on President Mahinda Rajapakse at Temple Trees yesterday. Admiral Willard reviewed ongoing maritime cooperation, including naval training and exchanges, between the United States and Sri Lanka. He met senior military officials.

U.N. Force in Darfur Grounded Even Before Takeoff

By Thalif Deen, Inter Press Service

A proposed 26,000-strong joint U.N.-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), described as potentially the world's largest single peacekeeping force, has been virtually grounded even before it could take off due largely to lack of troops and military equipment. "It's absolutely frustrating," says a senior U.N. official, as the Secretariat makes little progress in finding troops and securing helicopters, armoured vehicles and other logistical equipment urgently needed for the full deployment of the force.

Bush Proposes Stimulus Package of $140 billion or $ 800 per person in US.

By Philip Fernando in Los Angeles

President’s George Bush proposed a stimulus economic package of one hundred and forty billions dollars, which may translate into about $ 800 per person in the coming months according to many analysts. The U S Congress has to approve the package. Bush White House, the Democratic congressional leadership and the Federal Reserve Board chairman, strange bedfellows: the alarming economic downturn brought them together. The outcome was the stimulus package announced by President Bush today, which is about 1 percent of the U S gross domestic product (GDP), currently estimated at 14 trillion dollars.

Stocks of essential food items sufficient for 3 months have been stored in Jaffna

Sunil C. Perera – Asian Tribune

District Secretary to Jaffna K. Ganeshan says stocks of essential food items sufficient for 3 months have been stored in Jaffna. He strongly dismissed speculations that the people in the peninsula are not receiving ample stocks of food items and the prices of essential items are very high in the region. The Jaffna District Secretary made this statement attending a meeting yesterday at the Essential Services Commissioner’s office. The meeting was called under instructions by Sri Lanka President to look in to the needs of the people in Jaffna. Ganeshan said the government has provided all facilities to the Jaffna residents.

U.S. Government’s Humanitarian Assistance Funding in Sri Lanka for 2007 totaled more than USD 26 million

US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Robert O. Blake has announced that over the past year, the US Government has provided the people of Sri Lanka with over USD 26 million to support ongoing humanitarian efforts. The funding has been provided for a variety of purposes to meet the requirements of internally displaced persons (IDPs) including water, sanitation and hygiene; humanitarian coordination; and direct food and logistics assistance. Since early 2006, renewed conflict between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has displaced more than 300,000 people. While most have been resettled by the government, these returnees also require support for economic recovery, as do more than 200,000 IDPs who remain displaced from previous years of conflict or from the December 2004 tsunami.

Speedy measures to provide relief to the injured in terrorist attacks in Thanamalwila

Sunil C. Perera - Asian Tribune

Minister Rizhard Badurdeen says speedy measures have been taken to provide relief to the injured in terrorist attacks in Thanamalwila. A sum of three million rupees has been provided to district secretary Moneragala in this regard. The government will provide compensation subjected to a maximum of one hundred thousand rupees on behalf of each person killed in the attack. An injured person is liable to receive compensation up to 50 thousand rupees. The police and the army are launching combined operations in Thanamalwila with the intention of normalizing civilian life. Army spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said nine killings have been reported in the area at around 10’O clock last night. Three injured persons are receiving treatment at the Karapitiya and Thanamalvila hospitals.

Tobacco advertisements of Philip Morris' brands removed as per law

Bobby Ramakant

Tobacco advertisementThe point-of-sale tobacco advertisements that were violating the Indian tobacco control Act in Goa, India, were removed by the evening of 16 January 2008.In the lead up to the removal of these advertisements, activists and media had reported that the advertisements of a cigarette brand of world's largest tobacco company - Philip Morris' Indian subsidiary were blatantly violating 'The Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act 2003" and the rulings for the point-of-sale tobacco advertising. Clearly due to the mounting pressure, these tobacco advertisements were removed by last evening.

LTTE massacre innocent civilians in Thanamalwila

Sunil C. Perera , and Ruwan Weerakoon , Reporting from Colombo

A group of LTTE terrorists have carried out an attack at the civilians at Kalawalgala, a remote village in the Thanamalwila area located in the Uva province, around 10 PM, last night. According to the available information 9 innocent civilians have been butchered during the night raid carried out by the terrorists. Initially, it was reported only three civilians were killed and another three suffered injuries when the terrorists opened fire at the civilians in the village. However, latest reports indicate that those civilians were assisting the civil defence force's personnel after having alerted by the terrorists' presence.

Simon Hughes wants Sri Lanka to return to the Ceasefire Agreement violated (98%) by the Tamil Tigers

Simon HughesIn a carefully nuanced speech Simon Hughes, the Liberal Democrat MP, told the House of Commons yesterday while speaking at the adjournment motion, that the Ceasefire Agreement should be reinstated for the peace process to continue. In a tight rope walk he has done his best to appear to be balanced but the thrust of his speech was to blame the government for abrogating the Ceasefire Agreement which had been violated (98%) by the Tamil Tigers. He is President of the Liberal Democrats and sits in the Liberal Democrat Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Leader of the House of Commons. He said he can understand the reasons for abrogating the Ceasefire Agreement but he added that they "are ultimately misguided."

Tigers Lose Support With Exploding Bombs

From our Political Correspondent

Predictably, the Tamil Tiger set off their explosives targeting civilian on 16th January, the last day of the Ceasefire Agreement (CFA), to grab the national and international headlines conveying their main message that they want the CFA to continue even though they had reduced it to an unworkable farce. Predictably, they avoided confronting the Security Forces because they do not have the strength to combat them man-to-man. So they took the cowardly way out by targeting unarmed civilians.

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