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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 2994


Sri Lanka's predominant Muslim party emphasises 'No smoke without fire' on Muslim massacre

Munza Mushtaq - Reporting from Colombo

Sri Lanka's predominant Muslim party has emphasized that its community will never fear to point its finger at the LTTE who have incessantly battered the Muslims living in the North and East. Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) Deputy Secretary General Nizam Kariapper has pointed out that the Muslims will never forget the LTTE's barbaric act at the Kathankudy mosque where 103 Muslims worshippers were slayed while observing prayers in 1990, and the ethnic cleansing of Muslims from the North, also in 1990. "Muslims have never supported the LTTE, but if 30,000 people claim that it is the Special Task Force (STF) behind last week's incident where ten Muslims were killed in Panama, Pottuvil, it is something everyone must mull over," Mr. Kariapper noted.

Hell to Hell no charge

Exclusive to Asian Tribune from the Hell

Hell to HellRonald Reagan, the former president of the United States, François Mitterrand, the former president of France and Junius Richard Jayewardene, former president of Sri Lanka are now joined in the Hell. Reagan was talking about his grave mistake in giving weapons to the Contra Rebels in Nicaragua, Jayewardene was telling about erecting the famous barbed wire fence surrounding the Kandy Getambe Temple to teach a lesson to the head priest and Mitterrand was taking about his mistake his anti-socialist Prime Minister Valerie Giscard d'Estang to politically survive.

A regional party quits India ruling coalition

By M Rama Rao reporting from New Delhi

A small, numerically insignificant regional party Saturday quit the Congress led United Progressive Alliance of prime minister Manmohan Singh after it failed to have its way on the creation of a new state out of Andhra Pradesh. The Telengana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), after formally announcing its decision to from the UPA, is getting ready to join the opposition alliance of BJP led National Democratic Alliance (NDA). BJP is in favor of smaller states. An announcement on the new alignment is expected shortly.

Top Sri Lankan official hits out at 'extravagant lifestyles' enjoyed by NGOs

Munza Mushtaq - Reporting from Colombo

Local and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs and INGOs) have come under flak by Reconstruction and Development Agency (RADA) Chief Operating Officer Shanti Fernando who has pointed out that the 'extravagant lifestyles' enjoyed by these organizations especially in the background of a huge human tragedy have angered tsunami victims, the majority of whom continue to live in temporary camps sans even basic facilities. "On the matter of housing, the communities are rightfully impatient and often angry. And more so, when they see the NGOs and INGOs who have raised abundant funds from the developed countries for the tsunami-affected, living it high, entertaining extravagantly,
travelling in luxury vehicles, paying themselves astronomical salaries and lavish allowances, -- specially in the background of a huge human tragedy, and in the view of some observers, spending more than 40% of the tsunami funds on themselves, their travel and their administration.

Kurunegoda Piyatissa Nayaka Maha Thera says that President is now leading the country on the correct track

By Walter Jayawardhana - reporting from New York

New York Buddhist TempleThe Nayaka Mahathera of the United States told the visiting President Mahinda Rajapaksa that he was tackling the country’s terrorist problem cleverly. Venerable Kurunegoda Piyatissa Nayaka Mahathera said in a reception accorded to Preesident Mahinda Rajapaksa at the New York Buddhist Vihara that he felt for the first time after a long a period of time, the Country’s President was on the correct track in solving the terrorist problem that has been agonizing Sri Lanka and he was leading the country properly. He said his actions were reminiscent of another leader who hailed from Rajapaksa’s native Ruhuna, namely the Great Dutugemunu.

No Open Visas issued by Norwegian Embassy in Colombo

There is no such thing as ‘Open Visa’ and Norwegian Embassy in Colombo is not issuing any so called ‘Open Visas.’ This clarification was made by the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Colombo. In a press release, Royal Norwegian Embassy in Colombo informed that the Embassy is receiving numerous inquiries by telephone and those who call personally with regard to open visa. "The Embassy reiterates that, apart from the standard Schengen Visa, there is no category as ‘open visas.’"

Sri Lanka's electricity board losing big time despite massive hike

Munza Mushtaq - Reporting from Colombo

The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) continues to lose approximately Rs. 2 for every unit of electricity it sells, despite the 22% tariff hike it imposed on the consumers early this month. Energy expert Dr. Tilak Siyambalapitiya told the "Asian Tribune" that the CEB was still to break even despite the tariff hike. "Before the tariff hike, the CEB sold an unit of electricity at an average Rs. 8.30, however, following the hike, the CEB now sells a unit at approximately Rs. 10.80. But it costs the CEB around Rs. 12.50 to generate a single unit of electricity mainly because the board relies on oil-based plants which are the most expensive," he said.

Indian major general jailed for smuggling liquor

By M Rama Rao - Reporting from New Delhi

In what is certainly a first of its kind for the Indian army, a top officer of the rank of Major General, has been court martialed and given a three-year jail term. He is held guilty of smuggling liquor and misappropriating funds of the canteen. G I Singh, whose sentence needs to be confirmed by the Army chief to become effective had commanded a Division. Army officials said the case was a sequel to the seizure of four liquor laden trucks some time ago. The allegation is that these liquor stores meant for supply to soldiers at low rates was sought to be sold in the market.

Norway supports the Peace Secretariat for Muslims

Norway has granted Rs. 27 million to fund the Peace Secretariat for Muslims in Sri Lanka for the next year. The Norwegian Government appreciates the Peace Secretariat's commitment to facilitate dialogue and build consensus among Muslim political parties and interest groups to develop a co-ordinated position for Muslims as input to the peace efforts in Sri Lanka, a press release from the Norwegian Embassy in Colombo revealed.

Lanka Tamil leaders make their pitch for India's support

By M Rama Rao reporting from New Delhi for Asian Tribune

R Sampanthan While waiting eagerly for the audience with the Indian Prime Minister here, the delegation of Sri Lankan Tamil leaders is meeting intellectuals, opinion makers and political parties to make their pitch for India's support. The way the meetings are taking place though on a very low key, it is clear that the delegation led by R Sampanthan enjoys some official patronage of sorts. This by itself makes their mission some what less unwelcome. And they too are making the 'right noises' to win over their hosts. Like for instance the LTTE should properly express regret for the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi.

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