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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2223

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EPDP condemns “the irresponsible” statement of the Amnesty International.

Douglas Devananda, General Secretary of the Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP), has condemned the latest statement of Amnesty International (AI) linking its cadres to the recent attacks on Tamil civilians in Kayts as an “irresponsible” utterance. Urging the AI not to issue such statements without going through a proper investigation into incidents Devananda states that “irresponsible” statements by AI would encourage the LTTE to wipe out alternative voice of the voiceless people and unarmed people who dare to dissent.

Swiss recalls diplomatic staff from Pak after visa scam

By Iqbal Hussain Khan Yousafzai – Reporting from Islamabad

Switzerland has recalled its entire diplomatic staff, including the ambassador, posted in Islamabad and Karachi mission, following the confirmation of massive visa fraud at its Islamabad Embassy. The issuance of visas to Pakistani nationals has been stopped forthwith for an indefinite period till the process of replacement was completed. However, the Swiss government has not given any date by which process staff replacement will be completed and visa section re-opened in Islamabad.

World Bank pledges continuous support to Sri Lankan peace process

By Munza Mushtaq – Reporting from Colombo for Asian Tribune

Colombo, 20 May, (Asiantribune.com): The World Bank (WB) has pledged its continuous support to the Sri Lankan peace process, the country's enhanced economic growth, and the harnessing of community empowerment and local initiative for poverty reduction. This was intimated to President Mahinda Rajapakse and the Government's chief peace negotiator Nimal Siripala de Silva by Praful Patel, Regional Vice President of the World Bank for South Asia at a meeting this week. Patel, who ended a three-day visit to the country yesterday emphasized that the Bank's interest in Sri Lanka achieving peace was not political but rather a relationship to the prospects for sustainable development and poverty reduction

Bangladesh: Kuwait emir arrives next month

Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah will visit Bangladesh next month at the invitation of Prime Minister Khaleda Zia. The Emir's visit is taking place less than a month of the Prime Minister's official visit to Kuwait on May 7-8. The Emir is expected to lead an 80-member high-power delegation, which will include all the important cabinet ministers, Foreign Minister Morshed Khan told the diplomatic correspondents.

UNDP constructs over 200 houses for the tsunami victims of Sri Lanka

Sunil C. Perera, Reporting from Colombo

The United Nations Development Programme [UNDP] said that it has planned to handover 236 housing units for the tsunami victims who lost their houses in the 2004 Asian tsunami. UNDP spokesman Sanaka Samarasinha says these houses have been built in Galle, Moratuwa, Kuchchaveli and Point Pedro.The total expenditure exceeds US$ four million.

SLMM Chief leaves for Norway to attend crucial meeting

By Munza Mushtaq – Reporting from Colombo for Asian Tribune

Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) Head Ulf Henricsson will leave for Norway today (Saturday) to take part in a meeting, which will be attended by the five nations, which contributes to the Mission. The Mission's Spokesperson Helen Olafsdottir told the “Asian Tribune”that the meeting which would be attended by Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden will be a 'regular meeting' where the ground situation in Sri Lanka would be discussed and internal matters concerning the Mission will be taken up.

Bangladesh Biman suspected as 'alien' at New York

State Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism Fakhrul Islam Alamgir Thursday said the US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) did not allow the Bangladesh Biman flight in New York as they suspected it as an alien flight similar to that like the evil-fated 9/11. At a press briefing held at the PID auditorium, the state minister said they were discussing with the US lawyers for demanding compensation from the FAA. But the assessment in this regard was yet to be completed.

High powered Chinese delegation in Sri Lanka to explore investment and business climate

By Quintus Perera - Asian Tribune

Colombo, 20 May, (Asiantribune.com): In a bid to explore business opportunities and joint ventures in Sri Lanka, a high powered Chinese Trade Delegation comprising of 13 members of the Chinese Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) led by Yu Ping, Vice Chairman, CCP has met a delegation of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL) last week. The Chinese delegation was interested to have a good understanding of the investment climate and investment incentives available to foreign investors in Sri Lanka. FCCISL and CCPIT meeting at FCCISL office signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in providing information and consultation services, receiving visiting groups from the either country, organizing member enterprises to attend large scale economic and trade activities held in two countries and annual mutual visits for high-level personnel to discuss mutual trade matters.

Crisis in Karen State, Burma, continues to escalate as thousands more face attacks

The Burma Army is continuing its attacks on civilians in Toungoo District, Karen State, Burma, as it appears poised to unleash a fresh offensive against civilians in Papun District. Tens of thousands more could be displaced. The total number of Karen people displaced in Western, Northern and North-western Karen State is now over 16,000, according to the Free Burma Rangers.

Indian Air Force revitalizing up for long-range engagements: Tyagi

From: Raymond R Kharmujai – Asian Tribune

The Indian Air Force (IAF) is gearing up for long-range engagements in air, while considering India's long term security needs, said the Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal S P Tyagi. "Our aim is not to engage in inter-continental warfare. But we do want to increase our operational capabilities to longer distances and we don’t wish to go and attack a different country”, Air Chief Marshal Tyagi stated

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