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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 72


TamilEela Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal opposes moves to de-merge Northeast province - Special Commander Pillaiyan

"We do not support any move by anyone to de-merge the single administrative provincial unit of Northeast,” said TamilEela Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP). They added this amounts to majority community continuing with its hegemonic politics to subjugate the Tamils and Tamil speaking people in the country. If Sinhala majority community wishes to have a united country in the future, they should give up such moves forthwith in the interest of unity and national integration. In a move to clarify their position, TamilEela Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal led by Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan nom de guerre Colonel Karuna has categorically stated that they are against any move to de-merge the existing Northeastern province.

Buddhist monks given training to ensure peaceful co-existence in Sri Lanka

By Munza Mushtaq – Reporting from Colombo for Asian Tribune

The United States is working to help build the capacity of monk dedicated to opening dialogs and finding non-violent solutions to the conflict. The Buddhist ethical principles of non-violence and peaceful co-existence can play a positive role in the formation of a multi-ethnic, multi-religious and pluralistic Sri Lanka. The Buddhist clergy will have tremendous influence in educating and shaping the attitudes of Sri Lankans about peace and inter-ethnic relations.

Levy on TV programmes revised with immediate effect

By Ashwin Hemmathagama – Our Financial Correspondent

The levy on imported television programmes will be revised from today as a result of the meeting Television Industry Joint Action Committee (TIJAC) held with the President Mahinda Rajapakse during the weekend. According to industry sources, the levy on English programmes will be reduced by Rs. 65,000/-, (from Rs. 75,000/- to Rs. 10,000/-) for 30 minutes imported programmes. However, Sinhla dubbed imported programmes will continue to be levied Rs. 90,000/- for 30 minutes as proposed in the Gazette notification; number 1451/16 of June 29, 2006. MTV Head of Channel 1 Chevaan Daniel told the “Asian Tribune” that during the meeting, President was accommodative on the industry problems. “We basically spoke on our problems, as a result English television channels were largely exempted from the proposed tax,” Daniel said.

The SAARC Chamber Crafts Village Project launched in Kathnandu

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

The first retail outlet for handicrafts produced by South Asia Women Entrepreneurs was launched recently in Kathmandu and is located at Lazimpat in Kathmandu. It is an affiliate of the SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry and brings together women entrepreneurs of the region, a press release by SAARC Chamber office in Colombo indicated.

Shady CEB deals and corruption root cause of present electricity crisis in Sri Lanka

By Munza Mushtaq - Reporting from Colombo for Asian Tribune

The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) today faces its worst-ever financial crisis, while its bureaucrats and the Power and Energy Ministry keep claiming that the financial calamity the Board faces is due to the excessive usage of oil-generated power plants. The CEB is
also reported to be losing approximately Rs. 45 million a day, while its short and long term debts have passed the Rs. 85 billion mark. Beginning mid 2006, the ministry and the CEB initiated a new ploy to curtail the electricity consumption of the public, including switching off street lamps as much as possible. For a country where many roads are not illuminated, in the coming weeks, Colombo too would possible look like a rural village in some far-off place in the country.

Sri Lanka Government revises interest rates from today

By Ashwin Hemmathagama – Our Financial Correspondent

Sri Lanka Central Bank has increased the key interest rates by 0.125 per cent with effect from today. Reviewing the recent economic developments and prospects, the Monetary Board at its meeting held on 21 July 2006 has taken this decision to adjust the interest rates for the second time during this year. With this adjustment the repurchase (Repo) rate and the reverse repurchase (Reverse Repo) rate have gone up to 9.125 per cent and 10.625 per cent respectively. Ceylinco Stock Brokers (Pvt.) Ltd. Head of Research and Economist Inti Mohamed told the “Asian Tribune” that decision has been taken by the Central Bank as a necessary measure to stay inline with the inflation while facing the continuously increasing fuel prices and is expected to be revised further.

Shrimp production of the Rekawa lagoon has declined

Sunil C. Perera - Reporting from Colombo

Local researcher and writer , Erwin Rathnaweera says prawns fishery in Rekawa lagoon is highly seasonal and extends from October to April of the following year , but productivity of prawns in this lagoon is declining after the construction of Kapuhenwala causeway , which was constructed by the Road Development Authority [RDA]. According to the experts, the most abundant shrimp specie in Rekawa lagoon and commercially most important prawn species is Penaeus indicus (White shrimp). The experts said that water passes under the causeway through twenty-three cm diameter pipes, which greatly reduce the volume and speed of water entering and leaving the lagoon system.

Sri Lankan entrepreneurs considering moving industries to other Asian region due to prevailing unfavorable conditions

Sunil C. Perera - Reporting from Colombo

Numbers of exporters have decided to move their businesses to the Indian sub continent due to the prevailing export barriers in Sri Lanka. A high-powered industrial meeting was held on Thursday at Colombo to overcome these barriers and take steps to maintain their businesses without any barriers. A spokesman of the Exporters Association has confirmed that exporters expect to move their industries into Bangladesh, Vietnam and some other Indian cities to overcome present high air charges, strikes at the sea ports and other high levies impose by the government of Sri Lanka.

Ad -hoc government rulings on advertising violates basic human rights

By Quintus Perera - Asian Tribune

There was sharp reaction by Rohan Rajaratnam, immediate past President of Accredited Advertising Agencies Association (4 A’s) to a query by a journalist on what action would be taken if there would be an advertisement of a nude child. Rajaratnam challenged to bring to their notice of any such advertisement as they have never condoned to such low attitudes either by their members or non-members. This was transpired at a hurriedly arranged Press Briefing organized by 4 A’s, to protest against the alarming trend of continuous and ad hoc regulations imposed by the Government that already beleaguered and adversely affecting the local advertising industry.

SLBFE plans to protect Sri Lankans in Lebanon

Sunil C. Perera - Reporting from Colombo

The Foreign Employment Bureau is looking into the possibility of sending Sri Lankans who are employed in Lebanon to nearby countries such as Cyprus, Sudan and Jordan. Chairman of the Bureau Jagath Wellawatte said the need for this move has arisen because certain employees are reluctant to leave Lebanon even in the present security situation. Special centres are operating 24 hours of the day in Lebanon and Sri Lanka to obtain information on Sri Lankans in Lebanon.

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