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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2590

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Sri Lanka: UNDP partners with Brandix in the water and sanitation sector

UNDP and Brandix Lanka Limited, the single largest apparel export company based in Sri Lanka, signed recently a two cost-share agreements worth US $23,810 [LKR 2,381,400] at the UN Head Quarters in Colombo. These funds will be utilized in the water and sanitation sector in post-tsunami recovery and reconstruction. Mr. Abu Selim, UNDP’s Country Director and Mr. Feroz Omar, Board Director of Brandix Lanka, signed the partnership agreement. The funds raised by these two cost-share agreements would benefit tsunami affected communities in Kattankudi in the Eastern Province and Lunawa Moratuwa in the Western Province.

Sri Lanka Parliament extends condolences to the victims of Kebbitigollawa massacre

By Sunil C. Perera - Reporting from Colombo

Wimal WeerawanseParliament of Sri Lanka extended condolences to the victims of the Kebbitigollawa massacre. A one minute silent was observed in the Sri Lanka parliament on Tuesday, as a mark of respect to those persons killed in the claymore mines attack, despite opposition by the Parliament Members of the Tamil National Alliance. When the parliament resumed sittings on Tuesday, Wimal Weerwanse Member of Parliament and the Parliamentary Group Leader of the Janatha Vimukthi Perumuna made statement on the Kebbitigollawa massacre.

Dr. Salai Tun Than Denied Permission to Return to Burma

Dr. Salai Tun Than, a former political prisoner and retired professor, was refused permission by Thai Airways International (TG) to board a plane headed to Burma on Monday morning at the Bangkok International Airport.The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) has learned that Thai Airways International denied boarding, fearing pressure from the Burmese Embassy in Bangkok. It was feared that Burmese authorities could potentially suspend flights to Burma by this airline in the future if the Professor is allowed to fly with them.

Tamil rebel Tigers attacked Ancient Buddhist temple in the East

The Somawathiya Chaithya, one of the ancient Buddhist temple was the latest to come under attack by the suspected Tamil Tiger rebels, on Monday at 6.00 p.m., according to Sri Lanka’s Army. However, Liberation Tigers in a statement posted in their Peace Secretariat website denied any involvement in the attack and added they believed the attack is by "Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) operated forces aimed at creating ethnic tensions." According to reports LTTE attacked Somawathiya, the Buddhist temple in the Eastern part of the country on Monday and they had fled after security forces guarding the shrine returned fire, a government statement said.

Can Pakistan Live with a U.N. Chief from India?

Shashi TharoorBy Thalif Deen - Inter Press Service

India's formal announcement of its candidate for the next U.N. secretary-general has threatened to trigger a nomination from neighboring Pakistan -- possibly turning the race into an all-too-familiar Indo-Pakistan political battle in the world body. Ambassador Munir Akram of Pakistan told reporters last week that the announcement of his country's own candidate, if any, will come only from Islamabad. But he was not willing to give credence to any of the names floating around at the United Nations.

India sees 'reasonable prospects' of Tharoor winning the UN race

Shashi TharoorBy M Rama Rao - Reporting from India

Notwithstanding the long ‘ifs’ and heavy ‘buts’ on his way, Shashi Tharoor, the Indian nominee for succeeding Kofi Annan at the United Nations, is the toast of the town since his arrival here on a three day visit on Sunday night. He met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his aides and their thirty minutes session worked on the broad contours of a winning strategy. One imponderable that was examined at close range was how China, a permanent member, which enjoys exceptionally close relations with south-east Asia would vote. Also given a deep thought was the danger of Pakistan playing a real spoil sport given its India centric foreign policy. On both counts India did some deft foot work and feels that there are reasons 'not to explicitly worry'. More so after the Indian announcement fielding Tharoor coincided with American media giving top billing to India growth story.

LTTE has decided to quit peace process – Peace Secretariat

By Our Colombo Correspondent

Exposing the myths of the LTTE that (1) it runs a “de facto State of Tamil Eelam exercising jurisdiction over 70 percent of the Tamil Homeland” and (2) that it is the “authentic representative of the Tamil Nation” the Peace Secretariat in Colombo states that “the LTTE has decided to exit from the peace process and its strategy appears to be one that aims at an ethnic backlash as a justification for opting out of the peace process.” The Peace Secretariat cites three reasons for the LTTE’s decision to quit the process: 1) “its persistent refusal to resume the Geneva 2 Talks, (2) its refusal to talk to the Government delegation in Oslo and 3) statements in its frontal website “Nitharsanam” warning of an imminent and devastating strike, and War-mongering and jingoism by key LTTE leaders in public meetings.

Kuwaiti Amir arrives to a red carpet welcome in Pakistan

By Iqbal Hussain Khan Yousafzai – Reporting from Islamabad

The Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al Jaber Al Sabah Monday arrived in Islamabad on a two-day state visit to Pakistan, during which he will hold talks with Pakistani leadership on bilateral, regional and international issues. He was accorded a red carpet welcome when arrived at the Chaklala Air Base in Islamabad. Pervez Musharraf received the distinguished guest. A twenty-one gun salute boomed out as he alighted from the plane. Two small children dressed in traditional costumes presented bouquets to the distinguished guest.

Local hurdles delay Sri Lanka's first ever budget airline take off

By Munza Mushtaq -- Reporting from Colombo for Asian Tribune

Recruiting local personnel has delayed HolidayAir, Sri Lanka's first ever budget airline, from taking off as scheduled, with the company now hoping to get off the ground by the first week of December. "Although HolidayAir initially scheduled to takeoff by May/June 2006, and despite the finances are in place, the process is a long one and we have now tentatively scheduled to take off during the first week of December this year to several Indian cities including Trichy, Trivandrum, Cochin and Calicut," Chief Executive Officer for the airline company Arjun Ruzaik told the “Asian Tribune.”

Samaraweera exposes Prabhakaran’s myths and lays down the line to the Norwegians

Addressing the Norwegian Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs Mangala Samaraweera, Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister, said that Velupillai Prabhakaran is not a freedom fighter like Nelson Mandela but a “brutal guerilla leader who has crushed all democratic voices of dissent within the Tamil community”. He added that Prabhakaran has eliminated almost all democratic Tamil leaders (over 70) and “today the democratic franchise enjoyed by Sinhalese, Tamil and Muslims living elsewhere in Sri Lanka does not extend to these (LTTE-controlled) areas. The right to dissent is no more.”

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