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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 950


President Rajapakse discusses Agri-Business in the North and East with FCCISL

By Quintus Perera - Asian Tribune

Eleven member strong Business for Peace initiative (BPI) delegation from the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL) lead by its President Nawaz Rajabdeen, and Secretary General Samantha Abeywickrama, met President Mahinda Rajapakse last Monday at Temple Trees to discussed issues pertaining to agricultural development, with special reference to North, East and border areas. They also discussed several other vital issues.

Amnesty International Condemns Increasing Number of Arrests in Burma

Daya Gamage – US Bureau Asian Tribune

Amnesty International condemns the Burmese (Myanmar) government's continued imprisonment of political activists, which new research reveals now stands at 96 arrests since November 1, 2007. "Four months on from the violent crackdown on peaceful demonstrators, rather than stop its unlawful arrests the Burmese government has actually accelerated them. U.N. Special Representative Ibrahim Gambari was told in early November by Prime Minister Thein Sein that arrests had stopped and that no more would take place. Amnesty International's research contradicts that assurance completely," said Catherine Baber, director of Amnesty International's Asia-Pacific program.

Democracy and Human Rights in Burma: Urged US, UK & France in a Joint Statement

Daya Gamage - US Bureau Asian Tribune

In a joint statement, U.S. Secretary of State and the foreign ministers of the United Kingdom and France have urged for the urgent need for progress towards a transition to democracy and improved human rights in Burma. The statement pointed out, “The fact that we have chosen to write about this issue, with so many competing priorities, should underline the strength of our governments’ determination to support the people of Burma in their pursuit of a peaceful, prosperous and democratic future. We have repeatedly made clear that the situation in Burma cannot continue, and that we remain committed to helping the people of Burma.”

LTTE Transport base raided and destroyed

Sri Lanka Air force bombed and destroyed another LTTE base in Kilinochchi. According to defense sources, Sri Lanka Air Force supersonic jets bombed a LTTE transport base in Kilinochchi around 7.30 am this morning. In the meantime LTTE news websites revealed that when LTTE anti-aircraft guns fired at the attacking fighter jets, they managed to fly at a higher altitude unscathed. The LTTE news websites reported, "Liberation Tigers anti-aircraft unit rushed to the area and opened fire, when SLAF fighter jets swooped over the suburb, forcing the planes to higher altitudes." The LTTE Peace Secretariat in its news release said that in the aerial raid eight bombs were dropped on a small civilian settlement. It added “Attendance at the Kilinochchi schools is very poor today as children kept away from school fearing further bombing.”

JVP not contesting in eastern local elections

Janatha Vimukthi Perumuna while welcoming the planned elections for 9 local government bodies in the East has decided not to contest. Somawansa Amerasinghe talking to "Asian Tribune" said that holding elections is a good democratic move. He said, “We welcome Government holding the elections.” However, he said that the time given to prepare for the nine local body elections was not enough. The Leader of the JVP also said that his party has not been active in those parts of the east earlier and they are yet to build their political bases in those areas where elections were scheduled to be held. He added that it is not the proper political approach to contest for the sake of contesting in the elections.

Minister Devananda welcomes the devolution proposals

Douglas Devananda an elected member of parliament from the Jaffna electoral district, who is also the Leader of the Eelam Peoples Democratic Party and Minister of Social Services and Social Welfare welcomes Sri Lanka Government move to implement the 13th Amendment of the Constitution. While thanking Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapakse for coming forward to implement the devolutionary proposals, he said that implementing the 13th amendment in full may not be the final political solution, but it is a great leap forward towards achieving that goal. He added that it will act as a catalyst for a confidence building process, amongst deferent communities in Sri Lanka.

SAARC Trade Fair launch

By Quintus Perera - Asian Tribune

Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Export Development and International Trade, Ambassadors and High Commissioners of all the SAARC countries and a cross section of Sri Lankan business are expected to gather at Cinnamon Grand Hotel for the official launch of the SAARC Trade Fair on 5th February. The highlight of this day would be the official launch of SAARC Trade Fair, unveiling of the Logo of SAARC Trade Fair and the inauguration of the Official Web site of SAARC Trade Fair.

US Agency for International Development Improves Livelihoods of Kirinda Fishermen

On a hot afternoon in January, hundreds of fishermen paused their midday activities to join local and national government officials, religious and community leaders, and representatives of the US government to officially open the new United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funded Kirinda Harbor Mechanics Workshop at the base of the Kirinda Harbor in the south. Attendees included Mr. Asanga Abeyagoonesekara, Chairman of the Ceylon Fisheries Harbor Corporation (CFHC), Mr. G. Piyasena, Secretary to the Ministry of Fisheries and Water Resources, and USAID Mission Director, Rebecca Cohn. During the ceremony, Chairman Abeyagoonesekara remarked that he was proud that everyone could come together “and work so hard to create a new beginning for the fishermen of Kirinda.”

Sixtieth Sri Lankan Independence Day Celebrations in Los Angeles

By Philip Fernando in Los Angeles

A special ceremony to mark the sixtieth Independence Celebrations of Sri Lanka will be held on Sunday 3rd February 2008 from 5.00 p.m. onwards at the Richard and Karen Carpenter Performing Arts Center, California State University, 6200 Atherton Street, Long Beach, California. Consular General of Sri Lanka in Los Angeles, Jaliya Wickramasuriya has extended the invitation to all patriots to be participants at this ceremony. This is a great day for all Sri Lankans as we focus on the achievements of the country during past six decades, he said. Most observers believe that a new era is dawning as we speak and it is opportune that we look back with pride on the events of the past.

Elephant House to make Sri Lankans go crazy with 'Apple Soda'

Sunil C.Perera in Colombo

In keeping with its zest to titillate the palates of several thousands of Consumers Island wide, Elephant House has introduced the latest addition to its portfolio of beverages - Elephant Apple Soda. This excitingly new apple flavored soft drink gives consumers the chance to savor the perfect apple flavor. Elephant Apple Soda brings with it a certain sense of jubilation and celebration. With its welcome fizz, it bubbles into associations of happiness and partying, thus making it a perfect choice for anyone and at any time.

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