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

Monthly archive

Palmyrah palms

Scarred Sinhala conscience

Dushy Ranetunge

Driving from Colombo to Kandy last week with a Sinhalese passenger from Ampara revealed some disturbing aspects of Sri Lanka’s conflict. The man is married with two small children and lives in an interior village about 3 km from Tamil villages in Ampara. He states that during a particular military offensive in the area against the LTTE in the late 1990’s, the Sinhalese villagers decided to treat the soldiers who had camped near a Tamil village. The Sinhalese villagers had organized a convoy of tractors and local Sinhalese had filled the trailers of these tractors with various food stuffs, predominantly, “kurumba” from the coconut trees for the soldiers to drink.

Vendors of war, peace and the country advertise themselves!

From Mallika Wanigasundara

Some piquant one-page advertisements in Sinhala have been appearing in the newspapers with a circular logo which carries an identification legend which says: "We who sell peace are not Sri Lankans." At the bottom of the page is an explanatory description of the name, the aims and purposes of this organization. It says: Some years ago the Sinhalese were silenced by the accusation of racism chauvinism which was flung at them the moment they opened their mouths to defend themselves. It is no longer so. NGOs said to be supporting peace have in fact been driving for a continuation of the war and they have had a free run. They arouse LTTE mouthpieces, proxies, backers and the LTTE supportive world community doling out dollars to them, to pressure governments for peace negotiations.

Karunanidhi asks PM to take urgent action to demonstrate firmness to find a lasting solution to attacks on fishermen

As the death toll in the firing on Indian fishermen off Rameswaram –Kanyakumari belt has risen to five, with a fisherman succumbing to bullet injuries on Friday, Tamil Nadu chief minister Muthavel Karunanidhi.has cautioned Delhi that the situation was likely to go out of control unless "some stern measures are taken to make Indian waters safe for fishing by Indian fishermen". He asked the Prime Minister to take 'urgent' action to 'demonstrate the firmness' of the Government of India to find a lasting solution to attacks on fishermen. Naval Chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta has taken up the issue with his Sri Lankan counterpart, who assured him 'Sri Lankan boats will not open fire on Indian fishing boats'.

The Flying Tigers

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

The most surprising thing about the first ever Air Tiger attack was our own surprise at it. That the Tigers possess one or more light aircrafts was an open secret. Obviously the authorities should have expected the LTTE to use these aircrafts against a Lankan target any time (why else would the Tigers bother to acquire them?). Equally obviously the authorities did not expect such an attack and were taken unawares when it happened. Monday’s raid proves that in our unrestrained air war we either did not try to neutralise or were unsuccessful in neutralising the LTTE’s air capacity. Even more worrying is our manifest failure to respond adequately to the attack, even after it happened; the Tiger plane/s escaped safely while we assuaged our wounded pride by dropping some more bombs someplace in the North-East.

Tamil Nadu in strike slumber on Sunday for a 'cause'

By M Rama Rao for Asian Tribune from Delhi

Life remained paralyzed on Saturday morning to evening as the ruling Dravida Munnethra Kazhagam called for day long general strike to make a politically correct point. Arch rival Anna Dravida Munnethra Kazhagam (AIADMK) was not amused. Its supremo Jayalalithaa Jayaram said the strike was’eyewash.' But Chief Minister Muthavel Karunanidhi, disagreed. The strike, he said, symbolised the 'teardrops of the oppressed classes', who have been deprived of their right for reservation under a Supreme Court stay on earmarking 27 per cent seats for other backward classes in elite educational institutions.

Lantos Calls for Calm, Return to Negotiations in Sri Lanka

Tom LantosCongressman Tom Lantos (D-CA), Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, calls for calm and return to negotiations in Sri Lanka. Congressman Tom Lantos (D-CA) issued the following statement on 30 March, regarding the recent resurgence of violence in Sri Lanka: "I am dismayed to learn of the continued escalation of violence in Sri Lanka. The past several months have been abhorrently violent and rife with civil unrest, punctuated this past week by the first aerial bombing ever conducted by the LTTE, a recognized terrorist group.

Manmohan describes PV as truly a sanyasi in politics and modernizer

By M Rama Rao reporting for Asian Tribune from Delhi

Giving away the Sitha Prajna awards for life time achievements instituted in memory of PV Narasimha Rao, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh described the late leader as 'truly a sanyasi in politics' and a 'truly pan-Indian personality'. Recalling his association with Rao, who brought into politics by inducting him as finance minister, Manmohan Singh said, "I will always cherish the unique opportunity I had to work with him. He was a friend, philosopher and guide in many ways."

Thailand agrees to suppress arms trading of the LTTE and share intelligence with Sri Lanka

At a meeting, Thailand has agreed to take all measures to suppress arms trading and smuggling of the LTTE in its soil and agreed to share mutually intelligence reports. Thai Prime Minister Gen. Surayud Chulanont has held talks with his visiting Sri Lankan counterpart Ratnasiri Wickremanayake, aimed at strengthening cooperation in the fields of security, exchange of intelligence, trade, investment and energy. During the meeting two premiers discussed about variety of bilateral issues and political developments between Thailand and Sri Lanka. The purpose of the meeting is also to strengthen the bilateral ties and to cooperatively suppress arms trading of the LTTE.

Ramakrishna Mission's Delhi head dead

By M Rama Rao - Reporting for Asian Tribune from Delhi

Head of Ramakrishna Mission, Delhi, Gokulanand Maharaj died on Saturday. He was 79 and has been unwell for a while. The monk was admitted to the Gangaram Hospital here for treatment after suffering from intra-cranial haemorrhage on March 20, and was operated upon immediately. He had slipped into coma since then.

The Palmyrah Palm of Jaffna

By S. Katiresu

The Palmyrah palm (Borassus fabelliformis) retains the name palmeria brava bestowed on it by the Portuguese. It grows not only in the Northern part of Ceylon but also in the Southern part of India. It is also to be met with as a natural curiosity in the Straits Settlements in some of the Islands of the Malay Archipalago, in Arabia and even in the Gibraltar where travelers say there is a solitary tree. It requires but little labor and cultivation, except that of planting the nuts and protecting them from cattle till they grow above reach. The growth of the tree is very slow and it takes from 15 to 30 years to bear. It is a very useful palm. There are two kinds of the palmyrah viz, the male and the female. The male tree bears no fruit, but both are used for drawing toddy.

The Debauchery of American Womanhood: Bikini vs. Burka

By Henry Makow Ph.D.

On my wall, I have a picture of a Muslim woman shrouded in a burka.
Beside it is a picture of an American beauty contestant, wearing nothing but a bikini. One woman is totally hidden from the public; the other is totally exposed. These two extremes say a great deal about the clash of so-called "civilizations." The role of woman is at the heart of any culture. Apart from stealing Arab oil, the impending war in the Middle East is about stripping Arabs of their religion and culture, exchanging the burka for a bikini.

Britain: Multimillionaire warns poverty threatens “violent reactions”—but don’t tax the rich!

One of Britain’s richest men, venture capitalist and Commission on Unclaimed Assets Chairman Sir Ronald Cohen, warned recently that the gap between rich and poor is now so deep that it threatens to provoke “violent reaction” in society. Speaking before an audience of Treasury officials and key players in UK charities at a meeting in London, Cohen was asked whether the huge wealth and bonuses going to the City of London elite and their entourage were disfiguring society. He indicated he believed that was the case, adding, “I think we’re at the top of the cycle. I think the pendulum has swung too far.”

Tom Lantos

Dr. Manmohan singh addressing a meeting

Thai Sri Lanka PMs meeting 3

Sri Lanka Thai PMs meetings

Sri Lanka Thai PMs meetings

LTTE leader Prabakaran's son ran the now famous air-bombing operation, LTTE spy-wing angry

LTTE leader V.Prabakaran's son, Charles Anthony has planned and oversaw the execution of the recent air raid in the Katunayake airbase. He is also now placed in the ranks in par with "deputy leader" of the LTTE, considerably disturbing the rank and file of the LTTE's spy wing, reported the Sunday Lankadeepa, the weekend broadsheet published in Colombo. The LTTE's spy leader Pottu Amman is reportedly angry that the LTTE leader V. Prabhaharan's has appointed his eldest son Charles Anthony to run LTTE's now famous airwing "'Vaan Puligal' (Air Tigers). He is even more angrier that Charles Anthony has been given a leadership post, ranking higher than Pottu Amman himself, it is reported.