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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2429

News

Norway condemns attack on bus load of civilians without blaming terrorists

Sri Lanka’s The Foreign Minister, Mangala Samaraweera, went on Norwegian TV yesterday and pinned the blame on the LTTE for the massacre of a busload of Sinhalese passengers. The Norwegian Foreign Ministry issued a condemnation without mentioning either the word “terrorism” or the LTTE. Erik Solheim, the failed facilitator, offered his condolences to the families of the victims of the latest LTTE attack on civilians. Norwegians Against Terrorism (NAT) told the Asian Tribune that when a bus or a train is blown up in London it is condemned as brutal terrorism. But when a bus load of Sinhalese passengers are blown up in Sri Lanka it is condemned merely as “a gruesome attack” by the Norwegian facilitators.

Pak in looking for new envoy to India

By Iqbal Hussain Khan Yousafzai – Reporting from Islamabad

Pakistan is sorting out several names for the slot of new High Commissioner to India to replace Aziz Ahmed Khan whose extended term expires in August this year. The Foreign Office is currently preparing a list of in-service diplomats who qualify to fill the high-profile slot. Informed sources said names of four career diplomats are being considered for the key diplomatic posting.

Sri Lanka will increase cess on palm oil imports

Sunil C. Perera - Reporting from Colombo

The government of Sri Lanka will increase cess by four per cent on palm oil imports to protect the local coconut oil industry. Coconut Development Minister Salinda Dissanayaka says the will forward a cabinet memorandum to obtain its approval to increase the cess. He said due to bulk palm oil imports, local coconut oil products have faced number of barriers.

Mass burial of 64 victims of claymore mines attack

The government sponsored mass burial took place at the Kebithigollewa cemetery yesterday evening for the 64 civilians who were killed in a claymore attack on Thursday morning. Earlier, Sri Lanka Government decided to hold the funeral yesterday evening at the Kebithigollewa cemetery. Accordingly, all the 64 bodies had been taken to the Kabithigollawa Maha Vidyalaya. Religious ceremonies commenced at 2 pm before the burial.

Guns Don't Kill People, Bullets Do

By Thalif Deen - - Inter Press Service

The National Rifle Association, one of the most influential pro-gun lobbies in the United States, has philosophically argued that "guns don't kill people, only people kill people". But Oxfam, the international relief organization based in London, raises that argument to a more realistic level: it's bullets that kill people. "The bullet trade is out of control," says Oxfam, and "it is fuelling conflict and human rights abuses worldwide."

Pak for promoting inter-civilisation harmony

By Iqbal Hussain Khan Yousafzai – Reporting from Islamabad

Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz has emphasized the need for promoting inter-faith, inter-civilization and inter-cultural harmony for peace and development in the country. Addressing the seminar on Islam and Sikh religion in historic prospective in connection with 400th death anniversary of Guru Arjan Dev in Lahore on Thursday, Mr. Shaukat Azizi said Islam is a religion of peace, understanding, tolerance and harmony and it has great links with Sikh religion which also believes in these things.

India, Norway and international community retreating under LTTE violence

By H. L. D. Mahindapala

H.L.D.MahindapalaAfter sabotaging the Norway-sponsored talks in Oslo the LTTE waited till its delegation led by S. P. Tamilselvan returned to Killinochchi to launch its latest attack that killed and wounded a bus load of Sinhalese passengers yesterday morning in Kebbitigollawa. Latest bulletins reveal that 64 passengers were killed, including a Buddhist monk and eight school children. Analysts conclude that this is a clear signal of the LTTE intensifying its undeclared war. The Sri Lankan Air Force retaliated by hitting LTTE targets in Killinochchi – the headquarters of the LTTE military machine. Pro-LTTE websites said that people in the area are fleeing.

Commonwealth Chief slams civilian killings as callous terrorism

Neville de Silva - Diplomatic Editor, Asian Tribune

The Commonwealth Secretary General yesterday slammed the killing of over 60 civilians in a bus in north central Sri Lanka as a "callous act of terrorism." The bus ran over a landmine resulting in over 60 deaths and injuring some 40 others in one of the worst incidents in the last four years. The Sri Lanka Government blamed the LTTE for the incident and later launched bombing raids in Tiger-held areas as what was described as an act of "deterrance".

Sri Lankan rebels hoping for a backlash to fulfill their evil designs - Media Minister

By Munza Mushtaq – Reporting from Colombo for Asian Tribune

Sri Lanka's military spokesman Brigadier Prasad Samarasinghe has called upon the masses not fall pray to the series of LTTE triggered rumours, which has been instigated in a bid to escalate tensions in the North and East. A fresh set of rumours was set off allegedly by the LTTE soon after the Tigers attacked the bus carrying more than a hundred civilians in Kebitigollawa in a bid to provoke the civilian, which they hoped would lead to a tensed situation and backlash. "However LTTE hopes were dashed because the civilians had not reacted to the rumours as they would have preferred," sources said.

Sri Lanka government to setup Multi Purpose Gamma Irradiation facility

Sunil C. Perera - Reporting from Colombo, Sri Lanka

The government of Sri Lanka will setup its modern multi purpose Gamma Irradiation facility to assist exporters to irradiate and sterilize their products to compete with global competitors. Sri Lanka’s Science Minister Prof. Tissa Vitharana says the government has allocated a reasonable amount of funds to set up this plant at the Biyagama Export Processing Zone. The total cost will not exceed Rs.350 million, said the Minister at a press briefing held in Colombo on Thursday.

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