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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2523


Big two sign 'Democracy charter' for Pakistan

Former Pakistani Prime Ministers Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif have signed a "charter for democracy" ahead of elections due in 2007. Both say they will return to the country to take part in the campaign and to work for an end to the rule military president General Pervez Musharraf. Mr Sharif is in exile after being deposed in 1999. Ms Bhutto could face criminal proceedings on her return.

Pakistan not involved in arms race in South Asia

By Iqbal Hussain Khan Yousafzai - Reporting from Islamabad

Pakistan Monday said that it is not involved in any conventional or nuclear arms race in the region and reiterated that it will maintain minimum deterrence in the wake of its security concerns. During her weekly briefing here, the foreign office spokesperson tasneem aslam, replying to a question about Agni-III missile test by India, said Pakistan is aware of its security concerns.

Khaleda Zia may go to UAE May 23

Prime Minister Khaleda Zia is likely to pay a two-day official visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from May 23 at the invitation of UAE President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed-al-Nahyan.
She was scheduled to visit the UAE in December last year, but dropped it due to some pressing matters at home.

Sri Lanka: UNDP and private sector to provide livelihood assistances to tsunami-affected women.

Sunil C. Perera - Reporting from Colombo

The UNDP and Sri Lanka’s private sector have entered an agreement to assist tsunami-affected women to become micro and small-scale entrepreneurs in the Matara district.The UNDP spokesman Sanaka Samarshinha says their first project will kick off from the Matara district with financial assistance from SunTel, Sri Lanka’s second biggest fixed telephone line provider.

Dhaka assured of continued WB support

World Bank Vice-President Praful C Patel yesterday reiterated the bank's continued support to Bangladesh's ongoing development efforts. The assurance came when Patel called on Prime Minister Khaleda Zia at her office. Patel said the World Bank would extend its support, if necessary, to any infrastructure development in Bangladesh which would attract more foreign investors.

Solidarity week of the Tigers in Canada a flop

The seven-day solidarity week event organized by the Tigers in Canada failed to rally the Tamil community as in the past. It was attended mainly by the hard core Tigers while the Tamil community, by and large, kept away. Faced with the poor turn out the Canadian Tamils dismissed this 7-day event as a flop. The decline in attendance is seen as a direct result of the action to ban the LTTE by the Canadian government. The Canadian media and the Police too have cracked down hard on the Tigers. After the Human Rights report was published, the national papers - Globe & Mail, Toronto Star and National Post – insisted on banning the Tigers. The Tiger media which used to boast about the thousands attending their events shied away from mentioning the number of attendees.

Ten Stories That Desperately Need to be Told

By Thalif Deen - Inter Press Service

Every year, the U.N.'s Department of Public Information (DPI) unveils its list of the world's 10 most under-reported stories, implying that politics, murder and sex scandals still take precedence over poverty, peace-building or economic development. The list, released by the United Nations Monday, covers a wide range of stories -- from the plight of asylum seekers and refugees in ongoing conflicts to earthquake relief and post-war reconstruction -- that received little or no play in the world media.

JP leader expresses concern at political situation

Presidium member of Jatiya Party (Ershad), Shahidur Rahman Tapa expressed his concern at the present political complexity in the country, which is generating speculations of rise of third force or even a civil coup in Bangladesh. Talking to INS, the JP leader said, people of Bangladesh sacrificed a lot for establishment of democracy in the country. Now, from the present political situation, especially with the dubious game between the two major political parties, it has become clear to many that, Bangladesh’s democracy is in extreme critical situation.

"Return Peace and Democracy to the Burmese peopl" - Thai human rights organizations.

Numerous Thai human rights organizations have jointly condemned all acts of violence by the Burmese military regime against its own people. They further alleged that those who ignore and allow those atrocities on humankinds would be held as criminals. The joint press release urged “We, representing the Thais that respect the rights of human beings, are confirming that the rights of humans are rights without boundaries. Property abuse of every human, of any race or nationality, is a threat and a critical criminal act against humankind. All human beings have the rights to be treated equally with love, happiness, and human dignity.”

Plea to arrange marketing of film locations in Sri Lanka

Sunil C. Perera - Reporting from Colombo

Continuous requests are made to popularize the Sri Lanka’s scenic beauties for international film locations. It was pointed out that the authorities have so far failed to take appropriate actions in this direction. V.Shunmuganathan, President of the Up country Development Organisation [UCDO] revealed that many South India film makers are in the hill country locations, especially in Nuwera-Eliya, Sita-Eliya, Huggala and in many other places to shoot scenes for their films.

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