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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 922


Bomb blast - Kills 23 in Buttala Sri Lanka

Sunil C. Perera in Colombo

A bomb blast at a civilian bus on this morning in Buttala killing 23 people and wounding 67 others, the military said. Military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara, who provided the casualty figures, said it was unclear if the bomb was on the bus or planted by the roadside. A local police official said it was a roadside bomb and that gunshots were fired at the vehicle after the blast.

Quantum Leap in South-South Investments and Trade

Thalif Deen, Inter Press Service

The world's emerging economies -- including China, India, Brazil, South Africa, Malaysia and Thailand -- have made a quantum leap in their investments in the global South and in trade with developing nations. "Clearly, today there is growing economic complementarity and capacity for developing countries to advance their development through mutual cooperation," says Ambassador Munir Akram of Pakistan, the outgoing chairman of the 130-member Group of 77 developing nations. He says this is already happening through regional economic integration in Asia, Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean.

LTTE TV channel tries to hoodwink French telecom

The LTTE published posters in France announcing resumption of Tamil Television Network (TTN) telecast in the near future. Within 8 months of banning the TTN by French authorities and Globcast, a French satellite uplink company, the LTTE came out with the poster campaign announcing, ‘TTN is planning to recommence its transmissions soon based from Paris to the viewers of entire Europe.’

Ten civilians killed as Burma army increases presence in Karen state

Over 90 Burma Army battalions, comprising between 11,000 and 14,000 troops, are operating in Karen State, potentially poised for another major offensive. At least 10 villagers have been killed in the same State in the last two months as the Burma Army continues to launch attacks against civilians. Hundreds have fled attacks, thousands remain in hiding and living conditions are so extreme that many are unable to return to their villages and farms.

Hiroshima Prize for Peace and Culture Awarded to K. V. Wimalawardana and K. Kumaraveloo from Deraniyagala

Two principals from the Southern Sri Lankan City of Deraniyagala will be awarded the pretigious 2008 Edita and Ira Morris Hiroshima Prize for Peace and Culture. They are Principals of Deraniyagala Kanishta Vidyalaya K.V. Wimalawardana and Katirareshan Tamil Vidyalaya’s K. Kumaraveloo. They were recognized for efforts to foster mutual understanding for Tamil and Sinhalese culture. The work of the two principals is the first of its kind in the country. Usually known as the Hiroshima Foundation, the 2008 Edita and Ira Morris Hiroshima Prize for Peace and Culture endowes 50,000 dollars to the recipients of the award.

McCain and Romney Battle it out in Michigan: Clinton and Obama Trying to Soften the "Civil Rights" Confrontation

By Philip Fernando in Los Angeles

Hillary ClintonThe economically troubled Michigan voters have a crucial job on their hands: to give the lead to one of the two Republican candidates. John McCain will try to take a formidable lead while Mitt Romney looked to his supporters to salvage his faltering campaign to win the Republican nomination for U.S. president. Hillary Clinton will formally win this state as Barrack Obama and John Edwards have decided to withdraw their names. Polls showed Romney, a millionaire businessman and former governor of Massachusetts, in a tight race between McCain, an Arizona senator and former Vietnam prisoner-of-war. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a preacher-turned-politician popular with religious conservatives, was running third.

Thaipongal in Paris

By Our Correspondent in Paris

The visitors to Sri Lanka Embassy in France were pleasantly surprised yesterday as they were treated to a simple but very impressive Thaipongal celebration. Visitors and the Embassy staff participated in the ceremony conducted at the Visitors Room of the Embassy where a colorful Kolam adorned the centre of floor. Hindu priest of the Ganesha Temple, Sri Manicka Vinayakar Alayam conducted the prayers and placed tradition vermillion ‘Thilaka’ on the forehead of the staff members including Ambassador Chtranganee Wagiswara and visitors, mostly Tamil Hindus who visited the Embassy this morning.

Japan expressed concern over the withdrawal of CFA, but assured would not use aid to pressure Sri Lanka

Sunil C. Perera in Colombo

Though Japan expressed deep concern over the withdrawal of the Ceasefire Agreement, bur assured that it would not use aid to pressurize Sri Lanka. Yasushi Akashi, Japan’s Special Envoy for Peace Building, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction in Sri Lanka, dismissed as widespread misconceptions that Japan would use aid as a means of pressuring the Government of Sri Lanka against the abrogation of the Ceasefire Agreement with the LTTE. However, Japanese Special envoy Yasushi Akashi expressed the deep concern over the withdrawal of the the CFA by the government of Sri Lanka and said that such decision may lead to an increased level of violence and greater civilian causalities.

Norwegian Foreign Minister survived unscathed in a luxury hotel bomb attack in Kabul, one journalist killed

By Philip Fernando in Los Angeles

Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoeres survived unscathed as gunshots and a major explosion ripped through a hotel in Kabul yesterday night, shortly after a Norwegian delegation had arrived for meetings with Afghan officials. A respected Norwegian journalist was among six persons killed in the attack, while a Norwegian foreign ministry official was severely wounded. According to Aftenposten, Carsten Thomassen, age 38, died at a military hospital Monday evening after being shot in the lobby of the Serena Hotel in Kabul. Thomassen, a respected reporter for Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet and was part of the press corps traveling to Afghanistan with Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre.

Prorogation of Sri Lanka Parliament in Early February Likely

By Our Political Correspondent

Parliament will be prorogued most likely after its February session according to official sources. Observers believe that scheduled local government elections in the newly liberated Eastern Province was a determining cause of the prorogation. The main business to be conducted in February before prorogation will be the reenactment of the emergency regulations. The traditional 'state of the nation" President's Speech will herald the resummning of Parliament. President will most likely detail his government's progress on many fronts, including the war in the north. A summary of achievements by the various ministries and the economy of the country would be among the highlights to be included in the President's Speech.

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