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

Monthly archive


Mangala's imminent return delayed only by Rajapakse's nod?

MangalaPolitical circles in Colombo –especially the governing SLFP's- are now abuzz with the rumour of an 'impending return' of sacked former Foreign Minister Managala Samaraweera back to the fold. The rumours first began flying when President Mahinda Rajapakse phoned the rebel Managala Samaraweera to the BIA airport as Mangala was about to take off to Singapore on March 26 with his mother. The Lakvision TV channel’s Chairman Rohan Welivita, a businessman, has reportedly acted as the go between linking Mangala and President Rajapakse at that moment.

The Descent

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

The President wanted to talk to the Pope about terrorism and liberation. The Pope talked to the President about human rights and peace. And our reaction to the Papal response would be predictable – it usually is. We will accuse Benedict X of being a Tiger lover and a closet Nazi. We will castigate a whole array of persons and organisations, from Bishop Rayappu Joseph to the Human Rights Watch, for ‘misleading’ the Pope. We may even gain some satisfaction from our intemperate ranting (we usually do) but at the end of the day nothing would have changed. A deteriorating human rights record, overt militarism and lack of sensitivity to minority concerns have ensured that Sri Lanka is more isolated internationally than she has been since the dark days of the mid to late 1980’s. The Vatican stance is merely a symptom of this general malaise.

Flood victims to probe the disbursement of funds allotted to their welfare

By Quintus Perera - Asian Tribune

The last December flood victims of the areas of Ja-Ela, Gampaha etc are perturbed to note that the authorities have spent around Rs 600 million on supplying the victims food parcels alone and there has been doubts raised as to whether funds were used for the actual purpose. A group of these victims organized under the auspicious of the Gampaha District Committee of the Human Rights Forum have determined to probe these spending.

Sri Lanka President tells Vatican: Committed to peace and human rights - LTTE blocking passage to Madhu

The Sri Lankan Government is committed to a negotiated solution to the conflict in the country as means of achieving peace and to the upholding of human rights, President Mahinda Rajapaksa told Cardinal Tarcisco Bertone, the Vatican Secretary of State, at the meeting after his audience with Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican on Friday. The President emphasized that he did not believe in a military solution to Sri Lanka’s conflict and was always open to negotiations. He explained that it was the LTTE that had consistently walked away from negotiations, including the talks held after his election in November 2005.

Rovik urges LTTE victims to sue Oslo

By Janaka Perera

Falk Rovik founder of Norwegians Against Terrorism (NAT) on Friday urged Sri Lankan victims of the LTTE to sue the Oslo Government. He cited the example of the Lockerbie air disaster victims who successfully sued the Libyan Government for having funded the group that blew up the airliner. According to Mr. Rovik ample evidence was available for LTTE victims to bring a class action suit against Norway, which has provided funds to the Tigers knowing fully the numerous atrocities and terrorist acts they carried out against Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim civilians in Sri Lanka.

Revolutionary turned democrats playing ‘Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’?

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

WeerawansaA Tamil from Baticoloa pointed out that late JVP leader Rohana Wijeweera addressing a meeting accepted that the minorities were being suppressed by the majority race in Sri Lanka, therefore the minorities should be given the opportunity for self-determination. He further added that a book written by JVP member Bopage, has supported that view. But Wimal Weerawansa, JVP Propaganda Secretary and MP rejected it and said the policy has been changed since then and a new comprehensive policy is being drafted now.

Many Women Leaders, Not Much Equality

By Thalif Deen - Inter Press Service

Asia, a sprawling continent which has produced the world's largest number of female heads of government, lags far behind both in gender equality and gender empowerment. "Progress has been made in reducing gender discrimination in Asia and the Pacific, though the pace has been uneven between sub-regions and individual countries," says the 2007 annual regional survey carried out by the Bangkok-based Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).

Jarring Latin America symphonies

By Tukoji Pandit - Syndicate Features

American President George W. Bush and his Venezuelan counterpart, Hugo Chavez, have enacted a political pantomime in Latin America, trying to outsmart each other with various promises while seeking the affections of the people of the large but still underdeveloped continent. Bush, for a change, looked sober in comparison with Chavez, whose choice of words for the US president is becoming increasingly acerbic, if not a bit too colourful to conform to the accepted diplomatic norms.

In the wake of Nandigram massacre: West Bengal’s Stalinist chief minister invited to Washington

In what constitutes a resounding vote of confidence in the pro-investor policies of West Bengal’s Left Front government, the Bush administration has invited Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, the state’s chief minister and a politburo member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPM), to visit the US. United States Trade Representative Susan Schwab issued the public invitation to Bhattacharjee April 14, after she and a high-level US business delegation had discussed trade and investment with the chief minister at his office in the state capital, Kolkata (Calcutta).


Take responsibility for the politicization of the campaign, Sri Lanka tells Amnesty International

Neville de Silva, Diplomatic Editor Asian Tribune

Sri Lanka has told Amnesty International (AI), the human rights body that launched a controversial campaign against Sri Lanka, that it should take responsibility for the politicization that followed its launch last month to coincide with the World Cup Cricket in the West Indies. While AI's secretary-general Irene Khan is now trying to wash her hands off this ill conceived campaign and shift the blame on the LTTE accusing it of misrepresentation, Sri Lanka has said it regrets to note that AI's public statements have failed to lay the onus on the LTTE whereas Khan has only said so in a letter to President Mahinda Rajapakse.