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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 83

Monthly archive

The Gates Foundation and the rise of “free market” philanthropy

A number of revealing details have surfaced in recent weeks concerning the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the world’s largest charitable concern. According to a report published January 7 in the Los Angeles Times, the Gates foundation invests its assets in companies whose operations induce some of the health problems it seeks to combat. The report notes that 41 percent of the foundation’s holdings are invested in corporations whose policies “countered its charitable goals.” It also claims that the foundation has holdings in over 60 of the highest-polluting companies in the US.

As NGOs Multiply, Study Urges More Public Scrutiny

By Thalif Deen - Inter Press Service

Just after the coastal regions of South and Southeast Asia were devastated by a disastrous tsunami in December 2004, hundreds of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) descended on Thailand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and the Maldives armed with relief supplies -- and good intentions. The massive humanitarian effort, according to a new study, was "testimony to the skills and power of many NGOs."

Norwegian Foreign Ministry bombarded with protests after NAT exposes funding for Tamil Tigers

After the Oslo-based Norwegian Against Terrorism (NAT) exposed the Norwegian government as the largest contributor to the Tamil Tiger funds other angry recipients have bombarded the Foreign Ministry with phone calls. NAT told the "Asian Tribune" that a source from the Norwegain Mnistry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) had confirmed that a number of phone callers had protested against their names being exposed. The detailed payment list was accidentally released on the internet by the MFA webmaster. After NAT exposed the payments the detailed list was removed and replaced with a new list with only a summary of the paments with details. The old and the new list have the same web address.

New Tamil alliance to replace the defeated Tigers in the east

After the rout of the Tamil Tigers in the east, the main Tamil parties opposed to the Tamil Tigers -- PLOTE, EPRLF – (Nabah Group), Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP) and EPDP, met yesterday and agreed to work on a common program in the east. This is a new development in Tamil politics. A spokesman of the group told “Asian Tribune” that they have for the first time laid the foundation for the Tamil groups to come to terms with each other and work united as one group initially in the east.

“Legacy of chasing the shadow politics in Bangladesh”

By Rabindranath Trivedi

The People’s Republic of Bangladesh is under the Constitutional Emergency provision of Article141A, Article 141B, and Article 141C since 11January 2007. As such the present government of Dr.Fakhruddin may be considered more as an emergency government or an interim government created as the need of the hour than a non-party caretaker government as per constitution (Article 58B). The non-party Caretaker Government (CG) has a growth and death with in 90 days, but interim government does not. It is based on the ‘doctrine of necessity’. This doctrine of necessity is necessitated for free and fair elections in the country.

Tamil Tigers threaten international shipping and food supplies to Jaffna

The Tiger attack on the cargo ship "City of Liverpool MV” that transported food to Jaffna signals a serious threat to (1) international shipping in the Indian Ocean and (2) the supply food and essential items to the people of Jaffna through the sea route, according to analysts. This is the second Tiger attack on ships within two weeks. On 23 December 2006,.the Tigers hijacked FARAH III carrying 14,000 MT of rice from India to S. Africa. On Sunday, (21, January 2006) a cluster of Tigers boats aproached "City of Liverpool MV” berthed in the Point Pedro Sea in an attemp to sink it. But a three pronged attack from air, land and sea drove the Tigers away. Two Tiger boats were completely destroyed. One Tiger boat managed to break through and hit the hull causing it to leak. Navy has rushed to repair the damage and take it to Kankesanthurai.

U.S.-tailored Iraqi Oil Alarm for Producers, Consumers

By Nicola Nasser

While the Iraqis were busy counting their death toll of more than 650,000 since March 2003, the United Nations busy counting their dead of more than 34,000 in 2006 only, the Pentagon counting more than 3,070 American deaths and the U.S. treasury counting more than $600 billion of taxpayer money spent so far in Iraq , stealthily and suddenly the U.S. occupation’s oil prize rang louder than the war drums to alert the regional oil producers as well as the major world consumers to guard against the looming threat coming out of Iraq.

United Nations supports Sri Lanka flood response

United Nations in a statement highlighted that the recent floods and landslides and various small- to medium-scale disasters in Sri Lanka over the past few years have brought back into focus the fact that Sri Lanka is a disaster-prone country. However, the mechanisms put in place after the tsunami is proving to be effective in dealing with such disasters. Furthermore, United Nations in a statement pointed out that it is undertaking a number of initiatives to support the Government of Sri Lanka in response to recent flooding and landslides that have struck Hambantota, Ampara and Nuwara Eliya districts on the Southern/Eastern slopes and Central Hills of the country.

CCI inaugurates Construction Craftsmen Training Centre

Sunil C. Perera, Reporting from Colombo

The Chamber of Construction Industry (CCI) in its capacity as the accredited representative of the domestic construction industry is focusing its prioritised attention on training as an effort to mitigate the shortage of construction craftsmen plans to open today its second Construction Craftsmen Training Centre in Madihe, Matara. CEO of the CCI , Dakshitha Talgodapitiya says this center will provide training on masonry and carpentry crafts.

"Katyusha" love song to protest Israeli Checkpoints in the West Bank

By Mohammed Mar'i*

In the second activity of the 'Thirty Days against Checkpoints Campaign' a musical band of Palestinian children (under the age of 16 years old) will perform the popular Russian folk song 'Katyusha' at Huwwara checkpoint, south the West Bank city of Nablus on Wednesday 24th January at 12 noon. Katyusha is a Russian Soviet wartime song about a girl longing for her beloved, who is away on military service. The music was composed in 1938 by the Jew Matvei Blanter and the lyrics were written by the Russian poet Mikhail Isakovsky. It was first performed by the celebrated folk singer, Lidiya Ruslanova.

Buyers and sellers violate FSC system in Rajanganaya area

Sunil C. Perera - Reporting from Colombo

A recent survey on forward Sales Contract system for Rice marketing revels over 30 percent of buyers and 45 percent of sellers violated the contract. A team of scientists from the University of Ruhuna , Ministry of Agriculture and the Mahaweli Development have completed their survey mission on Forward Sales Contract system and said drastic price fluctuations occur in the rice market between the harvesting season and the off season and creates a serious problem of marketing farmers’ paddy production at a stable and reasonable price.

China moves Towards 'Star Wars'

By Allabaksh - Syndicate Features

As a gesture that checks a further rise in global temperature, already heightened by the failing ‘war’ on terror and the endless Middle East conundrum, the Indian silence and the muted reaction in the US and other Western capitals to the Chinese testing of anti-satellite weapon may be welcome. But the lay Indian, if not the Westerner, would perhaps like to be reassured that the ballistic missile fired by China into the space to destroy one of its ageing weather satellites was a very pacifist activity. The signals emerging from that test do not point in that direction. The US and Russia have tested anti-satellite missiles but they shelved the future plans in the face of global criticism. China has a history of pursuing its goal of constantly sharpening its military teeth unmindful of protests from the rest of the world.

India: Tackling the ULFA Monster

By M Rama Rao - Reporting for Asian Tribune from India

Clearly there are two dimensions to the situation in Assam. One relates to the easy manner in which urban clusters of "Hindi-speaking" peoples can be targeted; and the other relates to the back channels and jungle hideouts that are both lines of escape and lines of sustenance for the terrorist organisation from bases and sanctuaries mostly in Bangladesh, where ULFA has emerged as a major financier of political parties and in fact opened war chest of Rs. 30 crores to fund selected candidates entering the parliament election due in another six months.