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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 74


Bangladesh honors "Hezbollah" with bridge naming

Dr. Richard Benkin – Asian Tribubne

The Bangladesh government named a new bridge Hezbollah. The bridge is located in the southern part of the South Asian country, spanning the Batakhali River in an area known as Cox's Bazaar. Junior communications minister Salahuddin Ahmed named the bridge after the Lebanese group at the height of Hezbollah’s war with Israel. "I named the bridge Hezbollah because of our love for the Lebanese resistance group," Ahmed told the French news agency, AFP. "Hezbollah is the only group which is fighting Israel and the bridge is named after the group as a mark of honor."

Tigers hijack Lorries carrying food to victims of war in the east

Col. Karuna’s group yesterday accused the Tamil Tigers of hijacking 15 of the 17 lorries which carried food and essential items for the displaced Tamils camped in Vakarai in the eastern part of the Sri Lanka. The camps in Vakarai accommodate displaced persons who fled to escape the escalating violence. Tamil MPs made representations to President Mahinda Rajapakse urging him to deliver food and other essentials. Pillaiyan, Special Commander of the TMVP told the Asian Tribune that the Tigers hijacked the lorries transporting food and essentials meant for the victims of the war and unloaded in their camps to feed the Tiger cadres.

Parties must return to the negotiating table for the sake of children

"The latest shocking developments in Sri Lanka show once again that children continue to bear the brunt of this conflict," said United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy, calling on all parties in Sri Lanka to cease all hostilities and return to the negotiating table. "Independent sources have verified that a compound in Kilinochchi was bombed reportedly killing around 50 adolescent schoolgirls and injuring 100 others. These schoolgirls were injured while taking part in a training course on first-aid. Fearing reprisal, the Government has closed all schools disrupting the education of children throughout the island," she said.

LTTE bomb in Colombo disrupts Sri Lanka - S. Africa one-day match

Sri Lankan cricketing authorities decided at the last minute yesterday to cancel the opening game in the tri-series after S. African team expressed concerns about the Tamil Tiger bomb blast which occurred close to their hotel in Colombo. Visiting cricketers told media that they had often been shopping around the area where Tigers exploded the bomb that nearly killed the Pakistani High Commissioner in Monday's bomb blast. Sri Lankan sources said that this was a temporary postponement and the match could be rescheduled for another date.

Countries in the region must unite to confront terrorism - appeals Dr. Manmohan Singh.

Dr. Manmohan SinghDr Manmohan Singh appealed to the countries in the region to cooperate together to confront terrorism. He urged the countries to recognize that terrorism anywhere is a threat to peace and prosperity. "It must be confronted with our united efforts. There is a large constituency for peace and shared prosperity among our people and we must work together to build on that," he emphasized. India's Prime Minister yesterday, in his address to the Nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort in Hindi on the occasion of the 60th Independence Day pointed out that one of his Government's main concerns is national security.

UNICEF: Children are victims of the conflict in Sri Lanka

In a statement, UNICEF in Sri Lanka pointed out, The bombing on Monday of a Vallepuram compound in Mullaitivu district that reportedly killed dozens of girls and wounded many more is a shocking result of the rising violence in Sri Lanka. "These children are innocent victims of violence," said Ann M. Veneman, UNICEF Executive Director. "We call on all parties to respect international humanitarian law and ensure children and the places where they live, study and play are protected from harm."

Norway provides relief to IDPs in the East

The Norwegian Government in a press release revealed that it has already provided Sri Lankan Rupees 150 million for immediate humanitarian relief operation for the people affected by the recent violence in Trincomalee district. The press release further adds that "The funds will be used to provide food, water and other essential items for IDPs in welfare centres and camps. Special attention will be given to the needs of women and children."

Sri Lanka: Woes of cattle farmers of in Monaragala

Sunil C. Perera - Reporting from Colombo

Cattle farmers in the Monaragala district face a number of hardships due to the lack of marketing, milk storage facilities and lack of necessary grass lands to feed their cattles. According to a recently completed research by an University academic in Ruhuna, these reasons would affect productivity of the animal husbandry. During the dry season, we have to roam everywhere to feed our animals, said Withanage Rambanda, a resident of Monaragala suburbs, when the media asked about cattle farming.

Curfew in Jaffna temporarily lifted in selected places

The 24 hour curfew imposed in the Jaffna peninsula has been temporarily relaxed in some selected places today. The curfew has been lifted in Valikamam area from 10.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. and in Thennmarchchi and Vadamarachchi areas with effect from 12.00 noon to 3.00 p.m. This is to facilitate the general public of those areas to obtain necessary medical treatments and for them to buy their daily needs.

Government will continue to commit itself for peace - Govt. Media Minister

Sunil C. Perera - Reporting from Colombo

Minister YapaSri Lanka Government’s Media Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa says the government will continue to commit itself for peace. Addressing a media briefing in Colombo on Monday, he said the Government has never moved away from the peace process or the ceasefire agreement. The minister stressed that as a responsible government, they must safeguard lives of innocent civilians. For this reason only armed forces retaliated and defend whenever the LTTE had initiated offensives and the government action is not a declaration of war. Government still has optimistic hopes for peace talk with LTTE. The Minister added government has never imposed restrictions on the transport of essential food items to the north.

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