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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2524


Special team to investigate Batticaloa prison breakout

By Munza Mushtaq – Reporting from Colombo for Asian Tribune

Commissioner General of Prisons, retired Major General Vajira Wijegunawardana will dispatch a special team to investigate the escape of eight prisoners from the Batticaloa prison on Monday, the escapees included seven Tiger cadres. The incident had occurred on Monday morning when prison guards had gone to serve the meals to these prisoners. It is learnt that one of these LTTE cadres had pointed a pistol at a prison guard and had escaped.

Killings and forced labor continue in Karen state as Burma army captures civilians

The Burma Army is continuing its offensive in Karen State, the biggest since 1997. Eyewitness’s reports of further killings, burning of villages, the capture of civilians, including children, and the use of forced labor. Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), a London based Burma advocacy group in a statement released to the press stated that according to the latest reports from the Free Burma Rangers, a relief team working in eastern Burma, the number of displaced people in Karen State has risen to over 18,000. In one area, over 800 civilians have been captured and forced to work as porters for the military, along with over 1,000 prisoners.

Tiger gunman shot policeman guarding truce monitors

By Our Colombo Correspondent

Tiger guerrilla gunmen shot a policeman providing security to the local office of the Scandinavian truce monitors in the Northern town of Vavuniya evening in the eve of a meeting on the security of ceasefire monitors scheduled for tomorrow in Oslo.

Claymore blast in Wattala: Intended target was a Navy convoy of 60 sailors.

By our Colombo Correspondent

The intended target of the claymore fragmentation mine blast early this morning was a Navy convey of 60 naval personnel, but the Tiger guerrilla operatives missed the naval convoy and instead hit a civilian bus. A navy bus was expected to leave from the Welisara naval camp at 4.05 am today carrying 60 naval personnel to Ratmalana Airport; from there they were to be flown to Trincomalee.

Bomb blast rocks Sri Lanka navy base in Welisara

By Ashwin Hemmathagama reporting from Colombo

A bomb exploded today at 4.10 am (Sri Lankan time) close to the Sri Lanka Navy camp in Welisara, missing target of trop transport. The bomb had gone off injuring a driver and a conductor of a public transport vehicle which was starting its day’s routine. According to local authorities LTTE is suspected for this powerful explosion which has seriously wounded two persons.

Sri Lanka to fight the small arms war.

Sunil C. Perera - Reporting from Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the UN, Prasad Kariyawasam, will chair in June the first Review Conference for the UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat, and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All its Aspects (UN PoA). The PoA is an agreement reached in 2001 amongst member states to prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons. It is estimated that nearly 5,000,000 small arms are circulating throughout the world. These small arms are used by individuals or groups fighting their private wars. Like most other nations Sri Lanka has not monitored successfully of the free flow of arms. Easy access to small arms has created a culture of impunity. It was also revealed that arming the politicians in Sri Lanka began prior to the 1989 elections, at the height of the JVP insurrection. It is estimated that 15,000 arms were distributed to politicians for their protection. It is now revealed that most of these weapons were never returned.

FTA between Pak, ASEAN to boost trade, economic ties: Kasuri

By Iqbal Hussain Khan Yousafzai - Reporting from Islamabad

Pakistani Foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmood Kasuri has highlighted the need for Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Pakistan and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for further enhancement of bilateral trade and economic ties. Addressing the inaugural session of ‘ASEAN Joint Sectoral Cooperation Committee’ here on Monday, Mr. Kasuri said that 710 million people would gain economic advantages of a free trade pact between Pakistan and ASEAN member countries.

Pak promises relief in new budget

By Iqbal Hussain Khan Yousafzai – Reporting from Islamabad

Pakistan Monday announced 1.5 trillion federal budget for the next financial year that provides the highest ever allocation for development to fight poverty and includes a number of relief for the salaried and the common man. Presenting the annual budget in the National Assembly this evening, Minister of State for Finance Umar Ayub Khan said special focus of the budget is to improve socio-economic conditions of the common man by generating more job opportunities and provision of improved social services.

Mamun's Khwab and TATA deal

By Sunita Paul

Most hated and corrupt name in Bangladesh, Giasuddin Al-Mamun has become fabulously rich by limitless corruption and abusing power of being the friend of Tareq Rahman. And most interestingly, this notorious man even does not care in showing his evilly earned wealthy face to the Bangladeshi nation, because he continues to get sympathy and support from ruling party’s senior joint secretary general and Prime Minister’s son, Tareq Rahman. Clippings from Dhaka’s press would evidently prove the amount of money this swindler has bagged during BNP’s rule. Dhaka’s leading English newspaper The Daily Star, reported on 15th May 2004 that Tarique Rahman's friend Giasuddin Al Mamun's has built a palatial pleasure house named Khwab (Dream in Arabic) in city’s suburb with a huge amount of money.

Australia announces new scholarship scheme for education

By Ashwin Hemmathagama – Financial Correspondent

Australian High Commission in Colombo recently introduced a new scheme which would double the number of educational scholarships awarded for the Asia-Pacific region.In this new scheme; Australia Leadership Award (ALA), Australian $ 1.4 billion would be spent on 19,000 scholarships within the next 5 years for education corporation in the region. Australian High Commissioner for Sri Lanka, Dr. Greg French said: “This newly announced scheme is expected to build Australia’s reputation as a provider of high quality education for the international students. The important part of this program is that it would target the future leaders in the region including Sri Lanka for advanced study in Australia.”

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