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

Monthly archive

Professor Asoka Bandarage

Karuna group adopts Prabhakaran’s terror tactics to suppress Tamils of the east

Sivarasa Uthayakumar (19 years) from Araiyampathi, a former member of the Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal led by Colonel Karuna was shot dead yesterday in broad daylight in the Kaluwanchikudi market, Batticoloa, located in the east of Sri Lanka. Sivarasa Uthayakumar was a former militant cadre in the TMVP military wing. When TMVP split into two and factional fighting erupted in the first week of May, he left the outfit for good and was living with his parents at Ariyampathi. Yesterday he went to Kaluwanchikudi market to buy vegetables and other provisions for the family. In the market he was arrested by Veera, TMVP organizer for Kaluwanchikudi.

Amnesty International Condemns Aung San Suu Kyi’s Extended Detention

Daya Gamage – US Bureau Asian Tribune

The extension of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's detention highlights the need for urgent action on Myanmar's deteriorating human rights situation, Amnesty International said today. The detention order for the leader of the National League for Democracy had been due to expire on Sunday, May 27, but the Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) authorities today renewed it for a further year.

Ambassador Goonetilleke and Prof. Bandarage rips Saravanamuttu’s ‘kuttus ‘ apart in Washington

Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, the director of Colombo-based think tank, Center for Policy Alternatives (CPA), who spoke at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington DC, on May 24, 2006, was supposed to discuss “Sri Lanka's Elusive Peace Process – a Role for the United States Government?” but talked about “Sri Lanka’s Human Rights and Humanitarian situation” as the board at the CSIS indicated. In fact, there were two main points that Dr. Saravanamuttu referred to US involvement in Sri Lanka. One was that there should be a curtailment of US military aid and assistance. He did not outright say such assistance should be stopped but implied it in the statement that such assistance should be tied to benchmarks.

House of Lords proceedings: Oral questions on Burma and Aung San Suu Kyi

Foreign Office Minister, Lord Triesman, answered Parliamentary Questions to the House of Lords on Wednesday, 24 May, on the situation in Burma. In responding to a question on the attack against the Karen people inside the Karen State, Lord Triesman said that the United Kingdom has been in the forefront of international efforts to highlight human rights abuses, including the attacks on civilians in conflict areas. On 23 April, European Union Foreign Ministers issued a statement calling for an end to the military campaign. We intend to set out our concerns directly to the Burmese Foreign Minister at the Asia-Europe meeting of Foreign Ministers in Hamburg next week.

Buddhism, Peace and Development in Sri Lanka

Professor Asoka Bandarage - Georgetown University

Professor Asoka Bandarage“We are not separate, but apart of each other. Our unity is greater than our separateness. Buddha’s teachings begin with awareness of the reality of impermanence All mental and physical phenomena are impermanent; nothing is static. We are in a constant process of evolution. Buddha showed that our attachment to impermanent phenomena and the notion of a separate self cause imbalance and suffering. He taught people through meditation and other methods how to cultivate equanimity –mental equilibrium- the path to peace, human and happiness, that is, human development, advancement. Professor Asoka Bandarage of the Georgetown University pointed out at the Conference on ‘Civilizations and the Challenge for Peace: Obstacles and Opportunities,’ United Nations General Assembly, 61st Session, New York.

Minority could enjoy equal rights but homeland claim not sustainable

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

Though the business community prefer to continue peace process, as during that time they could find more and more business opportunities, what really happens is that all peace processes fail and during peace initiatives LTTE augments their fire power and the disaster caused by the rebels once the peace process fails would be greater than what it was before the peace process began, said Udaya P Gammanpila, Deputy General Secretary, Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU). He was speaking on the topic “Maintaining the Balance of Peace Building and Economic Growth: The JHU Standpoint” as the guest speaker at the 6th Business for Peace Forum of the Business for Peace Initiative, a part of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka, held at JAIC Hilton, last week.

Sri Lanka: International community urged to assess freshly following the resettlement of IDPs in the East

International Community has been urged have a fresh look of the development in the Eastern province after the successful resettlement of the internally Displace Persons. Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama expressed the hope that the ongoing settlement of IDP’s in their homes in the Batticaloa District following the successful security operations to clear the area, would enable the international community to make a new assessment of developments in the Eastern Province. He also pointed out that the international community will assess whole situation based on the manner in which the Security Forces and other agencies of the Government have worked to restore normalcy in an area which was once terrorized by the LTTE.

Amnesty International’s Credibility Challenged: “Biased Against Democratic Governments Relative to the Guerrillas”

Daya Gamage – US Bureau Asian Tribune

Amnesty has almost no professional researchers, many of the "factual" claims in these reports were provided by "eyewitnesses," whose political affiliations and credibility can be only guessed, says Executive Director of NGO Monitor and Professor of Political Studies at Bar Llan University Gerald Steinberg in a special article to The Sun, a New York newspaper in response to Amnesty International’s just released 2007 human rights report.

Leo Burnett Solutions scoop 26 metals at the Chillies 2007 Advertising Show

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

Some top award winners at the Chillies 2007 the grand advertising awards show said that Chillies has really opened the gates of Sri Lankan Advertising to compete internationally and they said that their next immediately step would be to pose their products for international competitions. The Chillies Awards night was on the last 13th May and it was Leo Burnett Solutions Inc that bagged the highest number of metals and they have vowed that they now take step in moving ahead by ensuring creativity would be further developed.

Sri Lanka: Free higher education in total mess

By Janaka Perera – Asian Tribune

A view is gradually gaining currency that the time has come to see an end to the prevailing `free' university education system. A statement that President (then Prime Minister) Mahinda Rajapaksa made during the last Presidential Election campaign has given food for thought in this connection. Addressing members of students unions at Temple Trees in 2005 he said that the government would not privatize education but around 96,000 students with the required qualifications had no opportunity of having a university education due to limited accommodation and facilities. Only about 15,000 students had been fortunate enough to gain university admission.

Technical visit Vanni to assess humanitarian situation

From Sunil C. Perera in Colombo

Technical Humanitarian Officers will visit the Vanni to evaluate ongoing projects and assess the humanitarian situation in the area. During the past months the bilateral donor group visited all districts in the north and east to assess the ongoing humanitarian assistance projects as well as the overall humanitarian situation. In order to obtain a full picture of the situation, technical representatives will also now visit and assess the humanitarian situation in the Vanni.

France: Sarkozy selects Socialist Party’s Bernard Kouchner as foreign minister

France’s new right-wing Gaullist president Nicolas Sarkozy, a victor in the second round run-off May 6 against his Socialist Party opponent Ségolène Royal, has recruited Bernard Kouchner, a member of Royal’s presidential campaign team, as foreign minister in his first government. The invitation to Kouchner and his acceptance reveal a great deal about the new regime and the official “left” camp. Sarkozy officially took over from retiring President Jacques Chirac in an elaborate “coronation” ceremony May 16 at the Elysée Palace. He named his close collaborator in the ruling UMP (Union for a Popular Movement), François Fillon, as prime minister. Sarkozy has made a nod in every possible direction. He conspicuously named seven women, unprecedented in France, to his compact ministerial team of 15, which also includes a member of the centre right UDF (Union for French Democracy), François Bayrou’s former party.

People’s War in Nepal: Genesis and Development

By Anand Swaroop Verma,Ggautam Navlakha

Maoist understanding, People’s War (PW) is 80 per cent politics and 20 per cent warfare. The decisive factor in a war o f this genre is not guns but the mobilization of people for seizing power through protracted war. This is not to underplay the significance of armed struggle in Maoist politics or to delink one from the other, but to stress that the mark of Maoist success lies in their emergence as the dominant political and ideological force in Nepal. The remarkable political consistency and dexterity displayed by them in sticking to their strategic goals and making their agenda (a democratic republic through an elected constituent assembly, interim government, under an interim constitution, etc) the basis, if not the rallying point, for ending the civil war, and attempting to win the mandate to constitutionally transform the state, are its articulation.

LTTE hit Delft for anti-aircraft guns, Delft navy officers frantically asked for SLAF air strikes but Colombo did not give it

"The LTTE attacked the Delft Island Naval base islet to capture anti-aircraft guns and to dismantle its anti-aircraft defences. During the two hour raid, officers at the base frantically kept asking for an air strike against the raiding Sea Tigers and their boats, but the Sri Lanka Air Force did not come to their help. Later, SLAF claimed it went into action and attacked the Sea Tiger boats as they were withdrawing but there has been no corroboration of this so far" wrote the well known Indian Defence Analyst B. Raman on May 26.