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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 892

News

Sri Lanka President on Eradication of Poverty and Terrorism

President Mahinda Rajapakse declared that the eradicating terrorism and poverty are the two challenges before the country. He said that Government of Sri Lanka has accepted both challenges and working to eradicate them. President Mahinda Rajapakse described how the terrorists earlier had full control of both the Eastern and Northern Provinces at the time he became President and anounced the terrorism has been completely wiped out from the Eastern Province by now and the process of eliminating them from the Northern Province is underway. "The challenge of eradication of poverty was a serious one and the Government was taking steps in this direction. Marching ahead with the development drive while preserving the country's social values is a big responsibility," he said.

Australia concerned at recent developments in Sri Lanka

Sunil C. Perera in Colombo

Australia is concerned about the Sri Lankan Government’s announcement that it intends to withdraw from the 2002 ceasefire agreement with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. This is a step backwards which Australia fears could lead to further escalation of violence, including against civilians, said a statement of the Australian Embassy in Colombo. The Embassy appeals to all parties to the conflict to protect the human rights of all Sri Lankans.

"Nordic Ministers Silent About LTTE Violations and Claim of 10,000 Lives Saved, Dubious" - Sri Lanka Peace Secretariat

By Our Political Correspondent

Sri Lanka Peace Secretariat has debunked the seemingly dubious claim of the Nordic Monitoring Mission that as many as 10,000 lives may have been spared by the Cease Fire Agreement (CFA). The Secretariat also stated that the Nordic Mission was regretfully ignorant of the reality that occurred while the CFA was in operation, and sadly enough, the Nordic conglomeration never saw it fit to make any statement when, in August 2006, the LTTE engaged in flagrant violation of the CFA through two massive military assaults that went far beyond the 3000 odd individual cases of CFA violation that the SLMM had previously recorded.

Jayantha Dhanapala resigns as senior advisor

Jayantha DhanapalaJayantha Dhanapala resigns as senior advisor to Sri Lanka President. Dhanapala, who was appointed to the post of Senior Adviser to Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse on December 1, 2005, has submitted his resignation for personal reasons. Dhanapala, a former Ambassador of Sri Lanka and a former Secretary-General of SCOPP, had served as Senior Adviser in an honorary capacity.

spy-wing leader Charles given a heroes cremation by Tamil Tigers

By Ruwan Weerakoon - in Colombo

Colonel CharlesShanmuganathan Ravishankar alias Colonel Charles, the most ruthless militant, who was the Head of Liberation Tigers Military Intelligence, was killed on Saturday evening around 3.30 PM. He was said to be killed in a Claymore attack by Sri Lanka Army Deep Penetration Unit in Pa'l'lamadu in Mannaar. His funeral took place on Sunday afternoon in Kilinochchi and his body was taken in for cremation to LTTE’s Heroes cemetery located in Puthukkudiyiruppu. The self styled Colonel Charles was killed while he was riding in a van between Iluppaikkadavai and Pa’l’lamadu while on his way to inspect his regular forces in Mannaar.

UN Sees Risks for Asia-Pacific Region in Slowing US Economy

Despite predicted robust growth in 2008, the risks for the Asia-Pacific economies are “tilted to thedownside” as they await an “unraveling of the United States sub-prime mortgage problem and a slowing U.S. economy". So far the economies have been “undaunted” despite global uncertainties but need to tread carefully amid signs of financial market volatility in the coming months. The warnings come from a preview by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), Key Economic Developments and Prospects in the Asia-Pacific Region 2008. The report will be launched on January 9 at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand (FCCT), Maneeya Centre, Ploenchit Road, Phatumwan, Bangkok.

United States is troubled over the decision to terminate Ceasefire Agreement

The United States is troubled by the Sri Lankan Government’s January 2 decision to terminate the 2002 cease-fire agreement. Sean McCormack, State Department spokesman in his daily press briefing said “Ending the cease-fire agreement will make it more difficult to achieve a lasting, peaceful solution to Sri Lanka’s conflict. We call on both the government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam to avoid an escalation of hostilities and further civilian casualties.” He further underlined that all parties to the conflict share the responsibility to protect the rights of all of Sri Lanka’s people. Sean McCormack said, “We urge them to work toward the goal of a just, political solution that ensures the rights of minority communities and benefits all Sri Lankans.”

Iowa Said “Away with Clinton-Bush Presidencies” Giving Barrack Obama and Mike Huckabee Big Wins

By Philip Fernando in Los Angeles

Iowans preferred two slogans “away with 16 years of Bush-Clinton presidencies” repeated often by Barrack Obama and “Having Lots of Money is Not what is all about, I spent the least” stated by Mike Huckabee. Democratic Obama and Republican Huckabee won handily yesterday on what many considered a vote for change. Obama and Huckabee candidatures are off the beaten path but deemed very viable. Obama’s father is from Kenya and his mother from Kansas and he is the first Black candidate to win a primary in America: a microscopic sampling of retail democracy.

South Indian mega stars to raise million pounds for the Tamil Tiger cause in London

By Walter Jayawardhana

Alexandra Palace in London, the venue where thousands of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) supporters converged to pay their last respects to the remains of Britain based leader Anton Balasingham and collect funds will be once again used on the coming Thai - Pongal day to raise one million pounds to procure arms for terrorism, Tamil sources in London said. Brightly Colored posters have gone up at Indian and Sri Lankan shops in the London Metropolitan area, carrying pictures of South Indian mega stars like Sathyaraj, Malayali actress Bavana and Chennai nightingale Chitra advertising an Alexandra Palace musical extravaganza allegedly to raise funds for the banned terrorist organization of the Tamil Tigers targeting one million pounds.

UN, US, Canada, and Norway blast Sri Lanka on CFA withdrawal

The United Nations, the US, Canada and Norway blasted Sri Lanka over its withdrawal from th Ceasefire Agreement. Deploring the withdrawal yesterday, UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon in a statement said that he is "deeply worried" that the withdrawal from the accord comes amidst intensifying fighting in the North and increasing violence across the country, including the capital, Colombo. Moon's spokesman announced "The Secretary-General urges all concerned to ensure the protection of civilians and enable humanitarian assistance to be provided to affected areas."

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