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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 76

Monthly archive

Release of Palestinian Prisoners may save their lives

By Mohammed Mar'i*

Released Palestinian prisoner Murad Ahmad Abu Sakoot, 29, died in a Jordanian hospital of a cancer he has been fighting for a long time. Sakoot, who died on January 13th, 2007, was sentenced by Israeli Occupation Forces to twenty five years imprisonment for accusations of membership of Al Aqsa Brigades, military wing of Fatah. Several local, Israeli, and international human rights organizations pressured Israel to release him after his right lung and part of his left lung were extirpated because of cancer, which led to a severe deterioration in his health.

Sri Lanka : Rupees 5 million to expedite relief programs for victims of landslides and flood

By Vandana Jayasinghe – Reporting from Colombo

In the aftermath of the worst landslides to hit the hill country in the recent 15 years and the floods in the South, the government has taken immediate steps to release over Rs. 5 million to expedite the relief programs in the affected districts. A total of 76,224 people belong to 15,596 families have been affected by floods and landslides in Nuwara Eliya, Hambantota, Ampara and Monaragala districts. Of the total allocation, Rs. 2 million has been released to Nuwara Eliya district where a total of 2,817 families affected, 16 people died and five missing due to landslides.

Indian giant TATA to take over Sri Lanka’s second largest land based telephone company Suntel and starts negotiations

By Walter Jayawardhana

The Indian industrial giant Tata, has initiated to buy out Sri Lanka’s premier telecom operator, Suntel through its international arm VSNL Global. VSNL Global already has obtained Long Distance and Internet Service Provider licenses in preparation for the planned buy out of Suntel. Suntel is currently owned by a joint venture between Swedish telecom giant Overseas Telecom, Metrocorp, Townsend of Hong Kong, National Development Bank, and International Finance Corporation (IFC) — a member of the World Bank Group.

500-yr old temple unearthed in Bangladesh

By M Rama Rao - Reporting for Asian Tribune

Bangladesh archeologists have discovered the remains of an ancient temple in Rajshahi area. Expert view is that the temple is at least 1500 years old. It was built during pre-Pal period. The temple is situated close to Basu Behar, one of the most important archaeological sites in Bangladesh, and about four kilometres west of Mahasthangarh, Abdul Khaleque, Regional Director (RD) of the Department of Archaeology Rajshahi Division, who was conducting the excavations said. The exact site of the excavations is at Behar Dhap of Shibganj upazila in Bogra district. The work began started last December.

Tamil UNP Member of Parliament denies of any involvement in the import of any air craft spare parts for any one

T.MaheswaranT.Maheswaran, the Tamil Member of Parliament belonging to the opposition United National Party, representing the Colombo electoral district, strongly denied of any involvement in the import of any air craft spare parts for anyone, into the country, as alleged. The Tamil MP clarified that he purchased ‘Brithian MV’ which sailed under Pnanama flag for US $1 million and not for US$36 million as reported in the Sri Lanka’s print and electronic media. The Member of Parliament, who is a general trader in Colombo involved in the whole sale business of groceries and other import items, said that he acquired the new ship from the Danish owners and the ship is capable of carrying a cargo of 1,500 MT dead weight.

UNPer's cross-over is not a 'big deal' - Wimal Weerawansa

By Vandana Jayasinghe – Reporting from Colombo

Wimal WeerawansaWhile the government is anxiously awaiting with 20 odd garlands to warmly welcome the 'jumbo' dissidents MPs of the United National Party (UNP) that are expected join government, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) warns the government that majority of these UNPers were against the people's mandate in 2005 and the Mahinda Chinthanaya that put forward in the Presidential election.
JVP Propaganda Secretary Wimal Weerawansa told the 'Asian Tribune' that if the government would strengthen its majority in the Parliament with these UNPers, the desired objective of the government would not be realized as the cross over is against the people's mandate.

Sri Lankan rebels surrender to security forces in Ampara

Munza Mushtaq – Reporting from Colombo

Less than 48 hours after Sri Lankan security forces called on LTTE cadres to surrender at army camps and police stations, five cadres have surrendered at the Special Task Force (STF) Sangamam Kanda camp in Ampara. A spokesman attached to the media centre for national security told the “Asian Tribune” that the five cadres were between the ages of 17 and 20 and were from Ampara.

Western View of U.N. Vote on Burma a Hogwash

By Thalif Deen - Inter Press Service

As the only politically-influential U.N. organ with powers of enforcement, the 15-member U.N. Security Council is considered the final arbiter in the world body. And all Security Council resolutions -- which are mandatory, if adopted -- are valid only with nine positive votes and no vetoes. So when a joint U.S.-Britain sponsored resolution critical of the military junta in Myanmar (Burma) received nine favorable votes last week, both the United States and Britain virtually claimed moral victory -- despite the fact it was hit by a rare double veto from Russia and China and therefore failed to pass muster.

International Bohra leader arrives in Sri Lanka

Munza Mushtaq – Reporting from Colombo

Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin SahebHis Holiness Dr. Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin Saheb, leader of the International Dawoodi Bohra Community arrived in Sri Lanka on Monday to participate in a ten day long ceremony 'Ashara Mubaraka'. The Bohra leader arrived in Sri Lanka as a State Guest. This is his second visit to the country; the first was in 1999 also to commemorate the Ashara Mubaraka. More than thousand Bohra followers are expected to arrive in the country to participate in the Ashara ceremony, for which the Sri Lanka Tourism Ministry has already made arrangements to issue visas on arrival to all foreign nationals who will be arriving in the country to attend this ceremony.

Extreme Wahabism and 'Moududism' are spreading to Nepal

By M Rama Rao - Reporting for Asian Tribune

As Nepal took the first formal steps towards becoming a Republic by notifying the Interim Constitution on Monday, strident voices are being heard from a section of Muslim community. There are calls for 'a separate identity for Muslims' and 'enforcement' of Shariat laws. These demands are coupled with warnings of nationwide protests if the Muslim community goes unrepresented in the interim government and the Constituent Assembly.

China and Russia veto UN Security Council resolution on Burma

A resolution on Burma proposed by the United States and supported by the United Kingdom was vetoed on Friday 12 January by China and Russia. South Africa also voted against the resolution. The resolution, which called on the military regime in Burma to cease its military attacks on civilians in the ethnic minority regions, to end the violations of human rights and to open up the country to international humanitarian organisations, won the support of the majority of members of the Security Council but was defeated by China and Russia. It urged the regime, known as the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), to release all political prisoners and begin “substantive political dialogue” with pro-democracy and ethnic groups, leading to a “genuine democratic transition”.


Wimal Weerawansa

Map showing the location of Panichchankerni

Bangladeshi president postpones election and imposes state of emergency

In a desperate bid to end weeks of political turmoil, Bangladesh’s president Iajuddin Ahmed announced last Thursday that he was postponing national elections due on January 22, imposing a state of emergency and stepping aside as head of the interim caretaker government. The president had been the target of weeks of protests by opposition parties, which accused him of being a stooge of the ruling Bangladesh National Party (BNP). The main opposition party—the Awami League—had demanded that Iajuddin Ahmed step aside and the election be postponed to enable the drawing up of accurate electoral rolls. According to the opposition, the current list contains more than 10 million fake or deceased voters.

Manmohan reaches out to BJP

By Tukoji R. Pandit - Syndicate Features

Much bruised during the successive sessions of Parliament that followed its licking at the hustings, the BJP ego must have been messaged when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh began the New Year with a lunch exclusively for the top brass of the Bharatiya Janata Party. The meeting was seen by some observers as another attempt by the Prime Minster to reach out to the largest Opposition party which has started attacking him personally on matters of both domestic and foreign policies.

A delegation of Sri Lanka businessmen to attend the Europeasia Business Convention in Lyon

Sunil C. Perera - Reporting from Colombo

A number of Sri Lankan businessmen will attend forthcoming the Europeasia Business Convention 2007 to be held in Lyon, France this year. It will be held on April 2nd, 3rd and 4th and the event will focus on 3 main sectors – environmental technologies and chemicals, transportation systems and healthcare.