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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 75

Monthly archive

Sri Lankan Central Bank report covers up economic problems

In presenting his institution’s 2006 annual report last month, Sri Lankan Central Bank governor Ajit Nivard Cabraal congratulated President Mahinda Rajapakse on the country’s high rate of growth. The annual rate of 7.4 percent, Cabraal said, was close to the 8 percent promised by Rajapakse in his Mahinda Chinthanaya (Mahinda Thinking) manifesto for the 2005 presidential election. This year’s Central Bank report reads more like a piece of political propaganda than an objective assessment of the economy.It repeatedly refers to Mahinda Chinthanaya and devotes a special section to explaining its importance. Cabraal was appointed to his post by Rajapakse.

Tamil Tigers launched Tharishanam TV channel in Europe

Tamil Tigers in Europe has launched the second TV pay channel Tharishanam from yesterday by broadcasting via stat elite “Makkal “ Television Tamil channel of Chennai, India, floated by Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) founder S. Ramadoss. Tamil Tigers earlier anounced that they intend to launch a new TV channel called Tharishanam from this week onwards. Accordingly they began broadcasting the Makkal TV channel in the name of Tharishanam. Even though the Tamil Tigers has commenced the broadcast of Tharishanam using the Makkal TV, it is still not clear whether they will continue broadcasting the program of the Makkal TV alone or whether they will also include Tiger propaganda materials in the newly launched channel.

Multiplying NGOs Find Increased Public Scrutiny

By Thalif Deen - Inter Press Service

As international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) continue to spread their wings to the far corners of the world, their social and economic activities, as well as their humanitarian operations in politically-troubled regions, are increasingly under public scrutiny. Jem Bendell, author of a 2006 study on NGOs, cited a global survey conducted by the World Economic Forum (WEF) in 2003 that rated NGOs above politicians, businessmen, teachers and priests in the levels of public trust.

Sri Lankan -Dharshan Wijesooriya organizes international DanceSport

By Quintus Perera - Asian Tribune

Such forms of dancing like Ballroom which has hither to been considered as a form of activity for the affluent to while away the time is now included in all forms of dancing as a dexterous sport involving even gymnastics. Further it has been developed to world championships, like all other major sports. Two travel trade giants – Sri Lankan Airlines and the Colombo Hilton Hotel has joined hands with the main sponsor -Sri Lanka Telecom Mobitel to host the International DanceSport Championships 2007 featuring Ballroom and Latin American forms of dancing, which is scheduled to take place at the Colombo Hilton on June 10, 2007.

Medical students need to quit tobacco first

By Bobby Ramakant

A recent study gives further evidence that prevalence of tobacco use is more in medical students than in general population. This becomes all the more paradoxical when India's 25 crore tobacco users look up at existing healthcare providers for assistance in quitting tobacco. Also it questions how serious are we to prevent needless diseases and deaths attributed to tobacco use, ponders Bobby Ramakant.

President Rajapakse asked to prove his genuineness in eradicating fraud and corruption

By Quintus Perera - Asian Tribune

Anura Dissanayake, MP and Janatha Wimukthi Peramuna Politburo Member challenged President Mahinda Rajapakse to prove his genuineness in eradicating fraud, corruption, bribery and waste, by punishing the fraudsters found guilty after investigation by COPE. Disanayake was addressing a large number of intellectuals gathered at the Mahaweli Centre where a conference was organized by the JVP, speaking on the topic ‘Why the fraudsters revealed by the COPE should be punished?’ last week. He said the amount involved is so massive, computing to about one third of Sri Lanka's income and as it affects the economy drastically and that Neither the Parliament nor the COPE has power to punish them President Rajapakse must punish them.

Junta Condemned For Growing Rights Abuses, Use of 'Brown Shirts'

Nearly 40 members and supporters of National League for Democracy (NLD) were taken into custody by the military rulers of Burma on last Monday. The arrested includes Su Su Nway, winner of John Humphrey Freedom Award for 2006. According to a statement released by the National Coalition Government of Union of Burma, the government exile, the NLD members were on their way to pagodas in Insein and Hlaingthaya Townships where they were to pray for the release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, general secretary of the NLD, as part of the month-long prayer campaign to win her freedom.

LTTE essentially a Sri Lankan group and no "direct" threat to US – Lanka's former US Ambassador

Despite LTTE being banned in the US, the rebel group "was essentially a Sri Lankan group and it did not pose a "direct" threat to the US" said the former US Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Jeffrey Lunstead in a report titled 'The United States' Role in Sri Lanka's Peace Process.' He added "US believed that direct talks with the LTTE was the right thing to do." He also said "Direct US-LTTE links in 2003 would have helped in convincing the LTTE to move away from terrorism and depending on the progress made even delisting it as a foreign terrorist organization."

Iraq surges towards more violence

By Tukoji Pandit - Syndicate Features

The political pantomime being played in Washington over the question of troop withdrawal from Iraq will interest only those who are naïve enough to believe that the Republicans or the Democrats are serious about an early pull out of American soldiers from a country invaded by the US in March 2003 in order to ‘liberate’ it from the clutches of a tyrant and bring it into the fold of egalitarian ‘democracy’. The tyrant may have been sent to his grave but democracy in Iraq is millions of miles away.

Burying the peace process along with federalism

By Col R Hariharan (Retd.)

The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) led by President Mahinda Rajapaksa after discussing its devolution proposals at the party executive meeting on May 14, 2007 has clarified that it would propose a unitary state in its submission to the All Party Representative Committee (APRC) on devolution. On May 1, 2007, the SLFP had circulated its proposal for public scrutiny and discussion. The SLFP proposal is claimed to emanate from the President's platform of "an undivided country, national consensus and an honourable peace," though in its present form it makes a mockery of all these three considerations.