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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2674


Security Council resolution, Canadian support essential for democracy in Burma

The United Nations Security Council must enact concrete measures aimed at forcing Burma’s ruling military regime (SPDC) to respect human rights and end its use of violence and political repression against its people, Rights & Democracy said today in a letter addressed to UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan. The recent renewal of Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi’s detention under house arrest, which now totals more than 10 years, and the internal displacement of more than 13,000 Karen villagers after recent military assaults are two of the latest developments in Burma that necessitate a firm and unequivocal Security Council resolution in defence of human rights and democracy there.

LTTE reacts negatively to SLMM proposal on naval monitoring

By Munza Mushtaq -- Reporting from Colombo for Asian Tribune

The Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) is likely to put off its decision on resuming naval monitoring, after the LTTE failed to respond positively to their proposal which was sent out to the Government and LTTE Peace Secretariats last month. "The Government has officially responded to our proposals very favorably. But the LTTE has instead of addressing our questions have forwarded more queries, thereby failing to provide us with a positive response," SLMM Spokeswoman Helen Olafsdottir told the "Asian Tribune."

Sri Lanka to participate in Bangladesh Single Country Trade Fair

Sunil C. Perera - Reporting from Colombo

Sri Lanka’s large scale, small and medium entrepreneurs are to attend forthcoming Bangladesh’s single country exhibition with the view to explore business opportunities in the country. The Export Development Board [EDB] says it has already interviewed more than 40 entrepreneurs to select the trade mission. According to Mrs.Ranjani Thudugala, Director of EDB, the exhibition would be held in early July this year .

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.

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