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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2556

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Refugees International Calls for More Aid to Displaced People and Vulnerable Populations in Burma

Dire humanitarian conditions in Burma require an increase in aid from the United States and other donors, Refugees International concluded in a new report. Ending the Waiting Game: in Burma argues that the crisis in Burma has reached a point where displaced people and other vulnerable populations simply cannot wait any longer for outside assistance, including health services, education, food production and building the capacity of civil society organizations in the country. U.S. sanctions against Burma's military regime currently prevent the provision of significant humanitarian aid.

Bangladesh people will reject extra-constitutional rule - US State Dept. Official

A United States official yesterday said the people of Bangladesh will reject any military takeover or extra-constitutional rule and work hard to protect democracy. "I trust that the people of Bangladesh will reject that option and work hard to protect its long tradition of democracy,' Oscar DeSoto, a senior US State Department official, said during website chat with some Bangladeshi journalists. His comment came when asked if the US has any role to play in protecting democracy in Bangladesh from any extra-constitutional move in the wake of failure of political leadership to resolve their election disputes.

Orange Electric attracts Australian Investor to Sri Lanka

Kushan Kodituwaku, Managing Director of wholly Sri Lankan owned electrical switch and socket manufacturing giant Orange Electric, has been successful in attracting big time Australian Investors to Sri Lanka. He has convinced Australia’s second largest electrical switch manufacturer, Herman Plastic Moldings Put (HPM) to consider Sri Lanka for a join venture manufacturing plant for export to Australia. HPM, which is a 120-year-old family business in Australia.

Karuna Group slates Co-Chairs for not doing enough to disarm LTTE

It is irresponsible and reprehensible for the Co-Chairs to call for the disarming of the TamilEela Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal led by Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan, (Colonel Karuna Amman) without first disarming the LTTE – the deadliest terrorists group destablising peace in Sri Lanka,” said Thooyavan, the spokesman of the TMVP. "In insisting that TEMVP should be disarmed the Co-chairs are acting under LTTE pressure to protect the interests of the Tigers and not to protect either peace or the Tamil people who have been the victims of their terror,” he said. “In any case, if the Co-chairs insist on this course of action to appease the LTTE they should be held responsible for escalating violence which is not in the best interests either of peace or the Tamil people. The first step towards peace is to disarm the LTTE. The rest will fall into place if this is implemented by the international community,” said Thooyavan.

Rich vs Poor in Power Struggle, Says Top UN Official

By Thalif Deen - Inter Press Service

A new North-South divide between rich and poor nations -- over budgetary control and management reforms -- may be heading for a political showdown at the United Nations. "its numbers versus pocketbooks," says Deputy Secretary-General Mark Malloch Brown, who is hoping that the North-South deadlock will not continue. Asked if the sharp division between developed and developing nations would result in a possible shutdown of the United Nations in the absence of an agreement on the budget, he told IPS: "I definitely hope not. I hope peace and trust is going to break out. If not, it's a defeat for both sides."

International community could do more to tame the Tigers – Mahinda Rajapakse

While welcoming the action of the international community in condemning the LTTE terrorists President Mahinda Rajapakse wrote in the Wall Street Journal of today that “words alone are not enough.” He said: “Foreign governments could do more to crackdown on the Tamil Tigers’ illegal purchase of weapons from places such as Afghanistan and East European and Central Asian republics, as well as their arms-smuggling operations through Thailand. They could also condemn more strongly the Tamil Tigers’ repeated massacres of innocent villagers. The enforcement of proposals already before the U.N. Security Council for sanctions against organizations such as the Tamil Tigers, that force children to carry arms, would be a good first step.”

EU blames LTTE for not heeding its earlier warnings

The official declaration by the Presidency of the European Union listing the LTTE as a terrorist organization has lashed out specifically at the LTTE saying that it did not heed several warnings issued earlier. Putting the blame entirely on the LTTE for the banning, the press release of the Council of the European Union released today (May 31, 2006) says: “The decision of the EU to list the LTTE should come as a surprise to nobody. Several warnings have already been provided to the LTTE, which the LTTE has systematically ignored. In its statement of 27 September 2005 (12669/1/05) the EU stated that “it was actively considering the formal listing of LTTE as a terrorist organisation.

Citizens’ Committee restores normalcy in Kayts

In the other battle to win the hearts and minds of the people the Sri Lanka Navy has set up a Citizens’ Committee in the island of Kayts – a recent flashpoint where civilians were killed and where the LTTE cadres were targeting the Sri Lankan Navy troops and forcing the Tamil population to vacate island. The Peace Secretariat in Colombo said that the first meeting held on May 26 was attended by over 750 citizens of Kayts, Pungudathive and Mandathive. Senior citizens, religious leaders, government officials, the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) and UNHCR officials chaired the meeting.

Pak, India renew commitment to fight terrorism in all forms, manifestations

BY Iqbal Hussain Khan Yousafzai - Reporting from Islamabad

Pakistan and India have reiterated their commitment to fight terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and emphasized the need for effective steps for the complete elimination of this menace. This was stated by Pakistani Interior Secretary Syed Kamal Shah and his Indian counterpart V.K. Duggal at a joint news briefing after their two days talks on cooperation to combat terrorism, drug and human trafficking under the composite dialogue here Wednesday.

Government and LTTE Peace Secretariats still silent on SLMM's sea monitoring proposal

By Munza Mushtaq – Reporting from Colombo for Asian Tribune

The Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) has still not received any reaction by either the Government Peace Secretariat or the LTTE Peace Secretariat with regard to their proposal, which laid down several conditions if the Mission was to resume its naval monitoring again. The SLMM suspended its sea monitoring activities following an LTTE attempt to attack a troop carrier 'pearl cruiser' early this month, during which two Dvoras were put out of action along with several tiger crafts.

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