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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2221


U.N.'s Second in Command Vows to Leave Along with His Boss

By Thalif Deen - Inter Press Service

With seven months before a new secretary-general takes office, the 191-member United Nations remains sharply divided over several politically-contentious issues: a disputed slate of potential candidates for the job, regional geographic rotation as a criterion for selection, and even a proposed change in the routine procedure for the election of the next U.N. chief to succeed incumbent Kofi Annan.

Parliamentarians chastise Indian Government to take stronger stand against Burmese Army rulers.

The Indian Parliamentarians’ Forum for Democracy has urged the Burma’s State Peace d Development Council to release Aung San Suu Kyi immediately from the house arrest and start meaningful dialogue with National League for Democracy to solve the political problems in Burma. In a statement, the Indian Parliamentarians Forum emphasized its strong support for the Aung San Suu Kyi-led democracy movement and for a national reconciliation in Burma.

Let’s start working on the games!

By Ramu Sharma - Syndicate Features

India has made a successful if also a costly bid for the Commonwealth Games of 2010. That is a fact. But beyond that there is a big question mark. Will Delhi be ready in time for the event? Though four years are left and there does occasionally appear some news in the media about the preparations afoot, contradictions seem to be the theme of the progress report.

LTTE runs berserk - 4 policemen killed, 1 police sergeant and 3 soldiers wounded.

This morning about 6.45 a.m., Police Constables Jayaratne and Navaratne and auxiliary policemen Ramanathan and Badurdeen were killed while they were on duty near the Failvan Mosque at Uttukathankudi located on the Batticaloa – Kalmunai Road, when the suspected cadres belonging to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) activated claymore mine.

President Rajapakse takes Lanka back to the Dark Ages of the Catholic Church

Colombo, 25 May, ( The state-run Daily News announced yesterday that President Mahinda Rajapakse has "ordered the Public Performances Board to ban the screening of the movie ‘The Da Vinci Code’ in local cinemas and on local television channels. The decision to ban the film was taken on an appeal by the Catholic Bishops Conference in Sri Lanka, President Rajapaksa told the Daily News yesterday. This is an abominable political decision to please the Vatican," said a leading film critic. "It is not based on any merit or demerit of the film."

Solheim down in the polls; no hope either of re-starting talks

The Norwegian Peace facilitator. Erik Solheim, is scheduled to arrive in Colombo today with a huge question mark hanging over his head: how far can he go with kick-starting the stalled peace process? He himself has hosed down high expectations. S. Pulidevan, head of the Tamil Peace Secretariat, too has confirmed this. Jon Hanssen-Bauer, the special envoy who has replaced Solheim, will also be with Solheim in conducting this new round of talks in Colombo. According to latest media reports, he is not even going to Killinochchi. According to informed sources, the LTTE is cheesed off with his failure to prevent the EU ban. They were depending on him to do the trick but he failed.

Sri Lankan Navy spokesman denies extortion charges, but investigations continue

By Munza Mushtaq – Reporting from Colombo for Asian Tribune

Amidst allegations that navy personnel stationed in the North and East are extorting money from civilians currently fleeing to India, Sri Lanka Navy spokesman Commander D.K.P. Dassanayake, has categorically denied these allegations claiming them to be 'baseless'.

Pak arrests four Afghan suspects including intelligence official

By Iqbal Hussain Khan Yousafzai – Reporting from Islamabad

Pakistani security forces have arrested four Afghan nationals, including an intelligence official, for entering the country without valid travel documents.

Japan funds to improve rural roads in Moneragala District

By Ashwin Hemmathagama - Asian Tribune Financial Corespondent

Government of Japan yesterday provided a sum of US $ 78,711 (approximately Rs. 8.2 million) towards the "Project for Rehabilitation & Improvement of Rural Infrastructure Facilities for the Benefit of the Disadvantaged Rural Poor in Remote & Vulnerable Areas of Moneragala District". The Project is to be implemented by the Samastha Lanka Praja Sanwardana Manadalaya (SLPSM), an NGO engaged in facilitating self-help oriented development to the poor and disadvantaged communities in remote areas of Sri Lanka

Peace process deadlock likely to continue

By Munza Mushtaq – Reporting from Colombo for Asian Tribune

The Sri Lankan Government's Peace Secretariat Chief Palitha Kohona has expressed optimism that the latest visit of the Norwegian facilitators would be a turning point to the current stalled peace process.

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