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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2307

News

Despite Global Efforts Against AIDS, 40.3 Million Infected with HIV Virus

By Thalif Deen - Inter Press Service

The AIDS epidemic, described by the United Nations as the "most destructive in human history" and accounting for more than 25 million deaths so far, is still a growing threat to global progress and stability. "AIDS is one of the greatest leadership challenges of our time," says U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan in a new report released here, in advance of a U.N. special session on AIDS scheduled to take place next week. "Without urgent and long-term action," he warned, "the epidemic will continue to take an unacceptable toll of death and suffering in countries and communities throughout the world."

US Appeal Court rules Online Journalists are protected by Constitution

Daya Gamage - US National Correspondent for Asian Tribune

The United States Court of Appeal in the State of California on Friday ruled, overturning a lower court decision, that online journalists are protected by the same confidentiality laws that protect traditional journalists under the First Amendment of the Constitution. The First Amendment guarantees the freedom of speech, dissent, assembly and other basic rights which cover freedom of the press.

Fiji : Elections Accentuate Racial Divide

By Alok Bansal

The recent elections in Fiji have highlighted the deep rooted racial divide within the country. The ruling Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua (SDL) scampered home with a narrow majority of 36 in a house of 71 as against 31 seats won by opposition Fiji Labour Party (FLP). The two seats were won by United Peoples Party (UPP), an ally of the FLP and two by the independents and like in most developing countries the independents have agreed to join the government, thereby giving the government a slightly enhanced majority of 38 in a house of 71.

Big birthday bash for Prabhakaran's daughter in London

Moves are a foot to celebrate the 20th birthday of Duwaraha, the only daughter Velupillai Prabhakaran, in London. Invitations have gone out to VIPs to attend the function. Only selected invitees will receive the invitations. Hush-hush preparations are going on for this event. Her birthday falls on June 04. Her brother Charles Anthony is expected to participate in the lavish birthday party.

Another fuel price hike expected in Sri Lanka

By Ashwin Hemmathagama - Asian Tribune Financial Correspondent

Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (Ceypetco); state owned petroleum giant has recently recommended an increase of retail fuel prices to be inline with the international oil prices. Ceypetco Chairman Jaliya Medagama explaining the possible price hike told the Asian Tribune: “These price increases are recommended according to pricing formula. During the month of April our petrol refining cost was Rs. 100/- per liter which was sold at Rs. 88/-. Diesel refining cost was Rs. 69/- where it was sold at Rs. 58/-. This gives a clear-cut loss for the government. Kerosene, mainly used by factories, is to nearly double to around Rs. 67 per liter from the current Rs. 38 per liter.”

Tokyo conference on Sri Lanka to meet after EU’s ban on the LTTE

Tokyo donor conference on Sri Lanka gains added importance, as it is expected to convene just a day after the proposed ban on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam by the European Union. Extra-importance is added to the co-chairs’ meeting, which is expected to discuss the international political ramifications that may arise in case the 25-member country of the European Union decides to ban the Sri Lanka terrorists outfit on 29 of this month as being widely expected.

Asian states vow to coordinate efforts for social development

By Iqbal Hussain Khan Yousafzai – Reporting from Islamabad

The South Asian countries have agreed to create an Asian Network of the Sub Regional Networks of Social Development Ministers with an objective to coordinate efforts for social development and speed up development activities. It was announced at the end of two-day Forum of Ministers of Social Development from Asia on Saturday held at the Pakistani resort of Bhurban under the auspices of UNESCO.

UK and EU emergency aid to help earthquake-struck Indonesia

By Neville de Silva - Diplomatic Editor Asian Tribune

Britain is to rush emergency aid to Indonesia where over 3000 persons have died and at least 200,000 displaced following the devastating earthquake that struck the island of Java early on Saturday morning. Britain's Minister for International Development Hilary Benn was cited by the news media as saying that the government would send emergency aid but no details were immediately available.

Churches in Meghalaya opposed 'Da Vinci Code'

By Raymond R Kharmujai - Asian Tribune

Church elders of various denomination in the predominantly Christian Meghalaya has opposed screening of the film version of Dan Browns ‘Da Vinci Code’ saying the content is “blasphemous.” "We are against screening of the film ‘Da Vinci Code,’ as the content is blasphemous”, said the Archbishop of the Roman Catholic church, Rev. Dominic Jala and Senior Administrative Secretary KJP Assembly Rev (Dr) J F Jyrwa.

Minister Douglas Devananda exposes LTTE’s chicanery to an international audience in Pakistan

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, Sri Lanka’s separatists’ outfit, has created a state of anarchy in the North-East part of the country. Part of this province is under their de-facto administration. Extortion goes on un-abated. Every single activity is subjected to a levy. Those, including Government officials, who refute their orders, are treated mercilessly. Two Divisional Secretaries were gunned down by them recently for non-obeying. The fear psychoses created by their terror tactics have made the Tamil community voiceless. Government officers are forced to allocate a part of the welfare measures to the LTTE.

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