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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 1469


Sri Lanka Fights Back: Fifth Columnists Derailed in Geneva

Sunday Discourse by Philip Fernando in LA for Asian Tribune

The subterfuge waged by a notorious group of fifth columnists vilifying Sri Lanka got a rebuff when U N Human Rights Council met in Geneva last week. These right-wing conspirators who team-up with Taco-eating diplomats, playing international “Dungeons and Dragons” games undermining Sri Lanka’s image, could not distort the picture of human rights in Sri Lanka. Disaster Management and Human Rights Minister Samarasinghe's speech at the UN Human Rights Council's Universal Periodic Review (UPR) meeting in Geneva got unqualified praise. Reports show that it garnered much interest at the forum and was acclaimed by member countries as an effort to explain matters, in a most open and transparent manner. Anti-Sri Lankan lobbying notwithstanding, the picture was a good one for the country.

United States defies Burmese Military Junta

Daya Gamage – US National Correspondent Asian Tribune

After concerns that Myanmar authorities improperly took some previous relief supplies, Myanmar (Burma) military junta is now allowing U.S. government aid workers to give aid directly to private aid groups. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said Friday May 16 at the daily press briefing here there have been questions about whether supplies have reached victims of the cyclone that ravaged the southern part of the nation two weeks ago.

Finlays, AMW and John Keells to construct ‘A Colombo within Colombo’

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

A Major change on the face of City of Colombo – specially Colombo 2 would take place when three well established conglomerates - John Keells Holdings PLC, Associated Motorways PLC and Finlays Colombo PLC undertake to develop an extent of 10 acre land to build ‘A City within the City’ with residential, commercial, retail and recreational facilities built to the most up-to-date standards.

Lord Buddha’s Birth, Death and enlightenment celebrated in Chennai

Vesak celebrated in ChennaiVesak the holiest day in Buddhism celebrated for the birth, Enlightenment, and the death of Lord Buddha. This holiest day was celebrated in Chennai at the Deputy High Commission for Sri Lanka in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. The Deputy High Commission for Sri Lanka in Southern India observed Vesak festival this year by organising the 6th Vesak Commemorative Lecture on 17th May 2008. Vesak, which is an important day in the Buddhist calendar, was declared as a day of observance by the UN.

More aids to East predicts UN and other aid Agencies

By Walter Jayawardhana

The new civil administration installed after the Provincial Council elections in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka would make it more likely for some economic recovery and increased assistance from the humanitarian community said United Nations and other officials who were predicting normalcy and stability to the province once devastated by war and terrorism. "The new civil administration structure now in place could provide the stage for programmes that would allow the people to return to their normal lives and regain lost livelihoods," Zola Dowell, head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Sri Lanka said in a statement.

Sri Lanka President on the importance of communal unity

Mahinda Rajapakse President Mahinda Rajapakse speaking after the swearing-in ceremony of the new Chief Minister for the Eastern Provincial Council Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan, Ministers and the UPFA Provincial Council Members at the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo, reminded the importance of the communal unity and harmony in the country. He said that the Provincial Council system was something set up for the Tamil-speaking people, and yet until today it is something that was implemented in other parts of the country. He added that although Provincial Councils are their for almost two decades it was not possible to establish a functioning provincial council in places inhabited by a large Tamil population.

Burma Fears Politicization of Humanitarian Crisis

By Thalif Deen, Inter Press Service

The United Nations, which has accelerated its pace of humanitarian assistance to cyclone-devastated Burma (Myanmar), is making little or no progress in dealing with the country's military leaders -- both at a political and personal level. The military junta, presided over by Gen Than Shwe, has refused to pick up two phone calls from Ban Ki-moon, leaving the U.N. secretary-general out in the cold. The government has also failed to respond to two letters he sent last week urging cooperation between the United Nations and the Burmese government.

New Provincial Council Ministers

Swearing-in CeremonyFour East Provincial Council Ministers were sworn in yesterday at the Presidential Secretariat after Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan took oaths before President Mahinda Rajapakse as the Chief Minister of the East Provincial Council.

Child soldier turned Chief Minister to build harmonious relationship with Muslims and Sinhalese

Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan "All necessary measures will be taken to bring about peace and harmony in the East. will take all required steps to embrace Muslims and Sinhalese living in the East and ensure their security. As a first step, I will be making arrangements to meet the Muslim leaders of the East to dispel if and any doubts that loom in their hearts and minds about my genuine love and brotherly affection towards them, especially of those in the East, said Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan, the just sworn-in Chief Minister for the Eastern Province. The child soldier turned provincial Chief Minister was speaking to ‘Asian Tribune’ just after he was sworn in as the Chief Minister of the Eastern Provincial Council. Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan, 33 years old youngest Chief Minister, was earlier a child soldier, abducted at his tender age of 14 years and given arms training by Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and trained as another killing machine.

United States Delivers Nearly 100 Tons of Supplies to Battered Burma

Daya Gamage – US National Correspondent Asian Tribune

The U.S. military has flown nearly 100 tons of humanitarian relief supplies into Burma to assist its cyclone-stricken people, a senior Pentagon official said on Thursday. 15 May, five more plane loads of relief supplies were delivered by U.S. military aircraft as part of Joint Task Force Caring Response, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman told reporters. That makes for a total of about 98 tons of U.S. military-delivered supplies to Burma, including water, food, blankets and more, Whitman said.

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