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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2786

News

Fisheries cooperatives received equipment worth Rs. 115 Million from UNDP and Japan

Fisheries cooperative societies in the Tsunami affected areas received equipment from the United Nations Development program. Among the equipment gifted were 19 refrigerated trucks, 31 large and small tractors and 8 diesel generators. At a ceremony on Friday 30th June at the BMICH in Colombo, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) handed over equipment worth US$ 1,125,548/- for the use of Fisheries Cooperative Societies in Jaffna, Ampara, Galle, Matara, Killinochchi, Mullaitivu, Trincomalee and Batticaloa districts.

European Commission provides €7 million aid for displaced people by the ongoing conflict

Sunil C. Perera - Reporting from Colombo

The European Commission has allocated €7 million to provide assistance to around 300,000 people displaced by the ongoing conflict in the north and east of the country. Funds will help to meet emergency needs resulting from the present conflict as well as the vital needs of those returning to their places of origin or relocating to new land and those displaced people living in "welfare centres". All funds are channelled through the Commission’s Directorate-General for Humanitarian Aid, ECHO, under the responsibility of Commissioner Louis Michel.

2006 Nansen Refugee Award goes to Japanese man with global vision

The U.N. refugee agency on Tuesday announced that the 2006 Nansen Refugee Award will go to Dr. Akio Kanai, a Japanese optometrist who over more than two decades has improved the quality of life of over 100,000 uprooted people around the world by testing their eyes and providing them with spectacles. The Nansen Refugee Award Committee selected Dr. Kanai, chairman and CEO of Fuji Optical Co. Ltd., for his practical commitment to humanitarian work and dedication to easing the plight of refugees by improving their eyesight. The committee found Dr. Kanai had "rendered exceptional service to the refugee cause" and had made a huge and genuine contribution to uprooted people in human as well as financial terms. Dr. Kanai's company is based in Japan's northern island of Hokkaido.

Government experience accelerated growth in first 4 months 2006

By Ashwin Hemmathagama

Fiscal developments during first four months of this year has contributed 19 per cent growth in Government revenue due to the buoyant performance in both direct and indirect taxes which increased by 21 per cent. Deputy Minister of Finance Ranjith Siyambalapitiya yesterday reveled this announcing the mid year fiscal position report 2006. “During the period in focus we have experienced 21 per cent growth in revenue. However, the Government expenditure too has gone up by 24 per cent which was spent on state sector salaries, human resources development, agriculture and health.”

Rajpakse pushes the ball into LTTE court

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

MahindaAfter the readiness of Sri Lanka's President Mr Mahinda Rajapakse to hold direct talks with LTTE leader Velupillai Pirabhakaran and his decision to set up a committee of intellectuals to work out a roadmap for devolution of powers, the ball is literally in the court of Velupillai Pirabhakaran. Will he respond with enthusiasm or will be put under the scanner the Rajapakse comments particularly his remark that the Tigers are seized by a sense of insecurity to perform his usual rope tricks to wriggle out of a dicy situation? These questions have no ready answers. But the significance of Rajapkse decision cannot be denied. It is timely as well. The Lankan President utilized the visit of Indian foreign secretary to Colombo and an interview with NDTV to put across his plans.

Northern LTTE puts command changes to the east on hold

Col. BahnuThe Vanni high command of the Tamil Tigers in the north has put on hold the changes in their command and control structure of Batticalao - Amparai district—the central area vital for the defence of the eastern flank. In the month of June, LTTE leadership seriously decided to change the command structure of Batticaloa – Amparai district after the Karuna Group cornered and killed Commander Ramanan of the Tigers.

Sri Lanka to get a Bus Rapid Transit System courtesy Japan

By Munza Mushtaq – Reporting from Colombo for Asian Tribune

Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA), has proposed a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system for the Colombo metropolitan Region, the Board of Investment said. This project, which is expected to reach completion by September 2009, is estimated to cost Rs. 12 billion. Speaking at a presentation on the system, D.S. Jayaweera Chairman UDA stated that BRT is a flexible and integrated package consisting of technology, customer interface and an operating plan. This project which will cover a 6.5km priority bus lane from Dematagoda to Battaramulla, and will reduce the massive traffic congestion.

Bangladesh intimates the need for better naval cooperation with Sri Lanka

By Munza Mushtaq – Reporting from Colombo for Asian Tribune

Bangladesh Navy Commander Rear Admiral Hasan Ali Khan currently in Sri Lanka on a five day visit has stressed upon the need for improved naval cooperation between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. He expressed this sentiment during a meeting with President Mahinda Rajapakse at the Temple Trees in Colombo. The Bangladeshi navy Chief who arrived in the country on July 3rd, also held discussions with Sri Lanka's Navy Commander Wasantha Karannagoda and Air Force Commander Air Martial Roshan Gunathilaka where the same sentiments were expressed.

Australia celebrates indigenous culture

Sunil C. Perera - Reporting from Colombo

In Sri Lanka, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags will be displayed in the Australian High Commission grounds to mark NAIDOC Week. The Australian Aboriginal flag is a recognizable symbol of the Aboriginal people in Australia - black represents the Aboriginal people of Australia, the color red represents the red earth, the red ochre used in ceremonies and Aboriginal people’s spiritual relation to the land, while the yellow disk represents the Sun, the giver of life and protector.

U Win Tin – Burmese prominent dissident today enters his 17th year of captivity

U win TinU Win Tin(born March 12, 1929) is continuously held as prisoner in Burma sincen 04 July 1989. So far he has spent 16 years in the Burmese notorious prisons and this months he will be stepping into his 17th year of captivity. In 2001, U Win Tin was awarded the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize for his efforts to defend and promote and right to freedom of expression. That year, he was also awarded the World Association of Newspapers' Golden Pen of Freedom prize.

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