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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2992

Monthly archive

Board for Cricket Control in Sri Lanka sues an insurance company for the failure to pay compensation of US Dollar 12 million

By Walter Jayawardhana

Board for Cricket Control in Sri Lanka has charged that they have been denied a US dollar 12 million insurance claim by Ceylinco insurance company based in Colombo, under a policy they purchased from the company for match cancellation due to a terrorist threat, which became due to them, when South African cricket team abandoned their matches and flew home following a bomb blast in Colombo. Ceylinco insurance is headed by a controversial businessman, who came to limelight when he called Tamil Tigers – a Tamil rebel outfit proscribed in India, United States of America, Canada and in all the 27 European Union countries, as ‘freedom fighters’ in a newspaper interview.

Separate Chief Secretaries appointed to the demerged North and East Provincial Councils

Separate chief Secretaries to the demerged North and East provincial Councils are appointed on the recommendation of Rear Admiral Mohan Wijeyawickrema Governor of the Eastern Province. Rear Admiral Mohan Wijeyawickrema was earlier the Governor of the merged Northeast province. The temporary merger of the north and east provinces, which lasted for16 years, ended on the beginning of the new year – 01 January 2007, on the unanimous verdict of the Supreme Court delivered on 16th October last year.

UN Counter-Terrorism Committee express willingness to defeat the scourge of terrorism in Sri Lanka

United Nations Counter Terrorism Committee has expressed it willingness to assist Sri Lanka to defeat the scourge of terrorism in the country. UN Assistant Secretary-General Javier Ruperez, who heads the UN's Counter-Terrorism Committee, has expressed his "deepest condolences" to the people of Sri Lanka for the terrorist attacks which occurred over the weekend. In a letter to Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Prasad Kariyawasam, he says: "The killing of more than 20 individuals in the two incidents near Colombo certainly provokes a sense of anger but it also serves to strengthen our resolve defeat this scourge. "

Sri Lanka: 20,000 people uprooted by new Government-separatist fighting, UN reports

Uncertain futureMore than 20,000 people have fled fighting between the Sri Lankan Government and Tamil separatists in the Indian Ocean island’s eastern costal strip of Vaharai in the past three weeks, but despite reaching relative safety they still they face many problems and an uncertain future, the United Nations refugee agency reported yesterday. “Sites are hosting people at twice their actual capacity, the district is facing a potential food shortage and many families have been separated in flight or during transport to emergency sites,” according to the head of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) field office in the town of Batticaloa, Yoko Akasaka.

Reshuffles and crossovers to strengthen Mahinda and weaken Ranil

From our Political Correspondent

Who will be in and who will be out in the proposed Cabinet reshuffle by President Mahinda Rajapakse is the hottest topic in town. The President Rajapakse announced at a media gathering that a reshuffle is on but not a snap poll. The reshuffle is to take place before the end of this week or next. According to information available from inside sources, Mangala Samaraweera, Foreign Minister, and Anura Bandaranaike, Tourism Minister, both of whom are in the ex-president’s camp, are likely to be demoted to lesser ministerial portfolios.

Sri Lankan President rules out general election this year

Munza Mushtaq – Reporting from Colombo

President Mahinda Rajapaksa has ruled out a general election this year but disclosed an imminent cabinet reshuffle in the near future. During a meeting with heads of government and private media organizations at the "Temple Trees," the President had however made no indication whether he would accommodate any United National Party parliamentarians, but sources have indicated such a possibility.

Burmese Junta Gets Mixed Review from U.N. Chief

By Thalif Deen - Inter Press Service

The military junta in Burma (Myanmar), currently shielded from U.N. strictures by two veto-wielding permanent members of the Security Council, has received a mixed review from Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. While welcoming the decision of the Burmese government to grant amnesty last week to 2,831 prisoners, including up to 40 political prisoners, Ban has asked the Burmese junta to also show compassion to the country's longest serving political prisoner: Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

Sri Lanka's main opposition demands government's stand on ethnic conflict

Munza Mushtaq – Reporting from Colombo

Sri Lanka's main opposition is demanding the government's stand on the North East ethnic conflict. Addressing a news conference in Colombo on Tuesday, United National Party (UNP) Parliamentarian Lakshman Kiriella demanded the government to immediately reveal their proposal which they believe is the best solution to the country's more than two decade long conflict. "The only way out of this problem is by finding a political solution to the conflict, and it is high time the government reveal their own stand on this issue and make public their proposal which emphasizes for a negotiated settlement," he said.

ICRC deplores attacks on passenger buses: Also expresses grave concern over civilians trapped in Vakarai

International Committee for Red Cross, has deplored the recent two attacks on passenger busses which were responsible for the death and injury to civilians. In a press release, ICRC also expressed it grave concern over the 15,000 displaced people in the Vakarai area located in the restive Sri Lanka’s Eastern Province, who are presently trapped in the conflict zone with hardly any food, medicine or clean water. The press release adds, “The ICRC is closely monitoring the situation. It stands ready to do whatever possible to protect and assist people not, or no longer, taking direct part in the hostilities, by providing them with health care, shelter and other vital necessities.”

Federalism: A Solution More for Israel than for Iraq

By Nicola Nasser

Revealing both the double standards of U.S. policies and the propaganda-oriented Israeli advocacy of “minority rights” in the Arab world, the U.S.-allied Iraqi Kurdish and sectarian leaders reacted angrily to James Baker-Lee Hamilton report because it recommended what they perceived as a possible American retract from federalism in Iraq and the Israeli Jews condemned as a catastrophic declaration of war an Israeli Arabs’ “future visions” because those visions could lead to a “federal” Israel. Israel is still not “Jewish” neither in the demographic nor in the religious sense and the “Jewishness” of the state is still a strategic Zionist goal; hence the Israeli mainstream calls for the “transfer” of “non-Jews” and the Israeli official policies that boil down to nothing less than being ethnic cleansing practices.

Sri Lanka: US condemns bomb attacks on civilian buses

Munza Mushtaq – Reporting from Colombo

The United States has condemned the bomb attacks on civilian buses that took place on January 5th and January 6th that claimed the lives of numerous innocent civilians and wounded many more. Attacks that
deliberately target civilians are clear acts of terrorism. The United States extends its deepest sympathy to the families of the victims. "We reiterate that there can be no military solution to this conflict. 25 years of terrorism has not improved the lives of the Tamil people. Similarly, the on going violence in Vakarai has caused significant hardship for Sri Lankans living in that area," U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Robert O. Blake said.

SME ceramic manufacturers face big difficulties due to the imported goods

Sunil C. Perera - Reporting from Colombo

The Sri Lanka Ceramic Council states small and medium ceramics manufacturing companies in Sri Lanka are unable to carry on their business due to the low priced and inferior goods being imported into the country. The council notes that on top of the rising cost of energy, raw materials and other pressing issues, the unfair competition from cheap imported products has resulted in a large number of companies having to close down their operations.

One Stop Shop support service in Japan for foreign firms

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Colombo office indicated that it operates six Invest Japan Business Support Centres (IBSCs) across Japan to provide one-stop support and service to foreign firms seeking to set-up business in Japan. The centres linked into relevant government ministries and agencies, provide free temporary office space, consultation with exert advisors and access to a wealth of business information. IBSCs include basic equipment including desks, chairs, cabinets, telephones and fax machines (with private lines). All rooms have broadband connections.

Hundreds missing after Indonesian ferry sinks

Nine days after the Indonesian ferry, Senopati Nusantara or Archipeligo Commander, sank in stormy conditions in the Java Sea, 15 people who had been drifting in a life raft were rescued on Sunday by a passing ship. One of the survivors, an 18-year-old suffering from asthma, died within hours. The others, who had survived by sharing water and emergency rations, were weak and sunburned, but otherwise safe. This latest group brings the number of survivors to about 245. More than 400 passengers and crew, however, are missing, feared dead. Bad weather and the lack of a precise location for the sinking have hampered rescue efforts. Only 13 bodies have so far been retrieved.

Arms seized by the TMVP

TMVP chased and killed four LTTE cadres in the Sri Lanka East

Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal told the ‘Asian Tribune’ today that they chased and killed four ‘Vanni Tigers’ who came to attack yesterday around 8.15 pm, their unarmed cadres in their political office, located at Vivekanda Street, Valaichenai. Denying the LTTE’s claim that they have killed ten TMVP cadres, Azad Moulana the spokesman for the TMVP said that LTTE killed only two and injured two unarmed cadres working in the TMVP’s political office. He added that when the TMVP militants came to know of this attack, they pursued the ‘Vanni Tigers’ and charged them near Kinniyadi Murugan Thievu, and killed four of them.