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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2614

News

Protestants and Catholics world all over blame LTTE for the killings of bus passengers in Kebithigollewa

Protestants and Catholics world all over have condemned the recent killings of the innocent civilian bus passengers in Kebithigollewa, and openly blamed the killings to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). UCAN – Union of Catholic Asia News Agency, the World Largest Asia Church News Agency which publish news about and interest to the Church of Asia has carried the statements made by Bishop Duleep De Chickera, the Anglican bishop of Colombo, The Commission for Justice and Peace of the National Christian Council and that of the Auxiliary Bishop Marius Peiris of Colombo, secretary general of the Catholic Bishops' Conference in Sri Lanka.

India calls for devolution package and strengthening of ceasefire in Lanka

By M Rama Rao - Reporting from New Delhi for Asian Tribune

Mangala & ManmohanIn what is seen as some plain speak, Indian prime minister conveyed to the visiting Sri Lanka foreign minister Mangala Samaraveera that while Colombo can count on New Delhi's support, it must work towards strengthening the ceasefire with the LTTE and evolve a genuinely consensus based devolution package to usher in ethnic harmony. While it is said that the Prime Minister addressed his appeal to both sides to the conflict in Sri Lanka namely Colombo and the Tigers, a view here is that President Rajapakse should not let in drift of any kind and work with as much speed as possible to restore ethnic harmony in the island nation. New Delhi's concern is that any trouble in the island will have spill over effects on Tamilnadu; it is also keen to see an early end to the bloodshed.

Conflicting reports on the abduction and recruitment of children by Karuna group

In a press statement UNICEF in Sri Lanka has openly condemned the abduction and recruitment of children by the Karuna group. In the meantime the UNICEF allegation has been categorically denied by Pilliyan, Special Commander of the TamilEela Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal, led by its leader V.Muralitharan alias Colonel Karuna Amman. UNICEF in its statement called for immediate action to halt the abduction and forced recruitment of children by the Karuna group. “Over the past week, the agency has verified reports of thirty cases in Batticaloa district. Reports of abduction and forced recruitment of boys under the age of 18 from the area have increased since March of this year,” it added.

Sri Lanka to revive a defunct press complaint body.

By Our Colombo Correspondent

Sri Lankan government plans to resurrect now defunct state controlled press complaint investigation institution, an attempt, media activists described as a step backward in the march to media freedom. Information Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said the defunct press complaint commission would be restored to handle the complaints received against the newspapers. Sri Lanka Press Council, the state controlled press complaint commission was made obsolete by the Ranil Wickremesinghe Administration and was replaced by a voluntary institution set up by the newspapers editors and proprietors.

U.S. Grants 50 Million to support water supply and sanitation in tsunami hit areas

By Munza Mushtaq - Reporting from Colombo for Asian Tribune

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) granted U.S. $561,000 to the Ministry of Finance and Planning of Sri Lanka. Agreement regarding the grant was signed yesterday at the Finance Ministry with Ambassador Jeffrey Lunstead and Dr P. B. Jayasundera, Secretary to the Treasury signing on behalf of the U.S. and Sri Lankan governments respectively. USTDA provided the grant to increase the supply of safe drinking water and adequate sanitation facilities to people affected by the Indian Ocean tsunami.

Sri Lanka to take up Tiger demand for removal of EU nationals from SLMM

By Our Colombo Correspondent

Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry and Peace Secretariat would take up the Tiger guerrilla's rejection of the ceasefire monitors representative of the EU nations. Information Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa told the weekly cabinet briefing said the Norwegian peace facilitators had informed the government of LTTE demand for the removal of Danes, Swedish and Finish representatives from the ceasefire-monitoring mission. "The government does not have any objection either to the facilitator (Norway) or the truce monitors," added Minister Priyadarsana Yapa.

Sri Lankan SME's to be represented across the globe - Minister Bogollagama

By Sunil C. Perera - Reporting from Colombo

Stephen Timms Chief Secretary to the Treasury UK and Mrs. Shiranthi Mahinda Rajapakse declared open the ‘Serendib 2006 Sri Lanka Trade Exhibition’ on Wednesday at New Connaught Rooms Covent Garden, London, The three-day exhibition showcases the creativity, imagination, quality and capabilities of the Sri Lankan export led economy. 60 local exhibitors now display their products at the exhibition.

Lanka Foreign Minister to brief Indian PM on Thursday

By M Rama Rao in New Delhi

Mangala SamaraweeraSri Lanka's foreign minister Mangala Samaraweera will be here in Delhi on today (Thursday) on a brief visit, Navtej Sarna, spokesman of Indian foreign office announced. "The main purpose of the visit", Sarna said, "is to apprise the Indian leadership of the situation in Sri Lanka. Naturally, the peace process will dominate the agenda". He added that the Samaraweera visit might be seen as part of the continuing high level political dialogue between India and Sri Lanka on "matters of mutual interest".

Four feared dead in military chopper crash in Pak

By Iqbal Hussain Khan Yousafzai – Reporting from Islamabad

At least four people are feared dead as military helicopter in Pakistan crashed in dam in the South-eastern part of the country, a government official said. Soldiers and paramilitary militiamen were on board the helicopter when it came down on Wednesday at 7:17 am (local time) in a dam in the tribal region, some 10 kilometers west of Bannu, a major city in the region, said Mohammed Iqbal Khan District Police Officer (DPO) Bannu. Four soldiers in the helicopter are missing and believed to be in the dam water while three others were rescued, he added. He said one soldier received minor injuries. The helicopter came down apparently due to a technical fault in Barani Dam, Iqbal told reporters.

Sri Lankan bridges at great risk owing to sand mining

By Munza Mushtaq - Reporting from Colombo for Asian Tribune

Vehicles and pedestrians travelling on several bridges, which runs over the Deduru Oya and Maha Oya rivers, are facing great risk owing to the weakening structures of some of these bridges, due to over mining of the river bed for sand. The Nikaweratiya Bridge, which runs over the Deduru Oya, tops the danger list due to excessive sand mining in that river. "There is a threat, but it does not mean that the bridge would collapse anytime soon, still chances must not be taken, one cannot predict when it will come to such a state for they are like the climate change," Achala Navaratne, Environmental Scientist attached to the Environmental Foundation Limited (EFL) told the “Asian Tribune.”

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