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

Monthly archive

Aung San Suu Kyi

Book review: Vannathikulam (Butterfly Lake) – a novelette of understanding and hope

H. L. D. Mahindapala

Dr. Noel Nadesan, the author of Vannanthikulam has careered through many roles: a veterinarian who passed out of the Peradeniya University, a journalist (he is the Editor of the Melbourne-based Uthayam, a Tamil community newspaper in Australia), a Tamil political activist and now as a novelist. All these roles come into play in his novelette Vannathikulam. Naturally, it is not surprising to find a combination of a variety of experiences weaving their way delicately through the novelette, turning it into a rich tapestry. His biography and fiction meld into an enchanting story of understanding and hope. Normally, Tamil literature tends to be infused with bitter hatred, demonizing the majority Sinhala-Buddhists. The surprising element in Vannathikulam is the broad understanding of the complex forces that interacted and produced the over-determining political crisis in which two lovers from two houses (like Montagues and Capulets in Romeo and Juliet) are trapped.

Karunanidhi's daughter Kanimozhi pips elder brother Aligiri to the Rajya Sabha

KanimozhiEnding media speculation, DMK patriarch Muthavel Karunanidhi nominated his poet-daughter Kanimozhi for a berth in the Rajya Sabha. Her election is a formality in the poll slated for June 15 as the DMK and allies are in a strong position to send at least two members from the TN assembly constituency. For the past few days, speculation is rife that DMK would send Karunanidhi's elder son Alighieri who 'reins supreme' over southern Tamil Nadu from his base in Madurai. It is also said in both vernacular and national press that he would be the new point's man of the DMK, a job hitherto handled by Dayanidhi Maran, the grand nephew of Mr Karunanidhi in his capacity as Minister for Communications and IT. Maran and his brother Kalandhi over stepped their Lakshman Rekha by appearing to take on Alighieri and thus fell off their long held perch in the DMK camp.

The Sin of Hubris

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

The candle is being burnt on both ends. The regime, having lost the battle for international public opinion, is in the process of loosing the struggle for national public opinion as well. We did not loose international support because of the war per se but because of the manner in which we pursued that war, with scant regard for the security of unarmed civilian Tamils. Similarly, it is not that the people of the South have become anti-war; it is not even that they are unwilling to bear some hardships for the sake of defeating the LTTE. The problem is the blatant inequality and injustice in the distribution of the costs of war. What human rights violations are to the North-East, cost of living is becoming to the South. And the seeming incompetent impunity with which the regime is handling both issues is making enemies of not just neutrals but also friends.

"Stop lying about the causes of Burma's political and economic crises" - Forum for Democracy in Burma

Forum for Democracy in Burma (FDB) calls on the Burmese military regime to stop lying about the causes of Burma's political and economic crises. The Burmese military has been lying more than usual recently, using propaganda to convince the Burmese people and the international community that the economical crises in Burma is caused by the international sanctions against the military government. Further, according to the military regime, the current people activities are acts of external influence.

Asian Group Felicitates UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki-Moon

Speaking at the felicitation ceremony in the General Assembly Hall Friday, Ambassador Prasad Kariyawasam said that member States of the Asian Group were honored and pleased to host a musical concert to welcome and felicitate Mr. Ban Ki-moon as the eighth Secretary-General of the United Nations and celebrate his appointment to this important post. "The Asian Group which represents nearly 60 percent of humanity is indeed proud that one of our own has assumed this high office for the first time in over 35 years, only the second Secretary-General from the region in the 61 year history of this Organization," said Kariyawasam, who chairs the Asian Group for the month of May.

Nearly 2 lakh minority Hindus lost lands worth about $156 million in Bangladesh

By M Rama Rao - Reporting for Asian Tribune from Delhi

Nearly two lakh Hindus have lost 22 lakh acres of their land and houses during the last six years, a Dhaka University Professor says. The market value of this land is Taka 2, 52,000 crore (about $156 million), which is more than half of the country's gross domestic product (GDP). 'This is a man-made problem contrary to the spirit of humanity. We have to get rid of this uncivilised state of affairs to establish a civilised society. Otherwise, we have to face a bigger historic catastrophe,' Professor Abdul Barkat, who teaches economics, insists in his research paper, 'Deprivation of affected million families: Living with Vested Property in Bangladesh'.

International Finance Corporation facilitates SME Banking

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

In a recently released survey done by the International Financial Corporation (IFC) the private sector arm of the World Bank indicated that in a Research Study, highlighted opportunities for growth in smaller businesses in Sri Lanka and underscored the challenges these companies face, such as lack of access to finance. The study examines businesses in several key industries and suggests concrete steps to improve the local business environment.

How the Tigers beat the Sri Lankan government

By our political correspondent

Today Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam has grown as one of the leading terrorists outfit in the world. Though it operates from the jungle terrains of sprawling Vanni in the North of Sri Lanka, Velupillai Prabakaran has shot his way ruthlessly into the international lime light. In the beginning, the Tamil outfit adopted the guerilla warfare tactics, followed by suicide attacks. LTTE pioneered the suicide attacks through its Black Tigers which is subsequently followed by many terrorists organization especially from the Middle East. Today, Tamil Tigers are in possession of a region to administer with police and law courts implementing the laws of the unelected one-man regime.

NCGUB 'Deeply Disappointed' By 'Shortsighted Decision' of Burmese Generals

Aung San Suu KyiThe National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma, a government in exile has expressed its disappointment with the Burmese military regime for extending the unlawful detention of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi by another year. In a statement National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma (NCGUB) said, “We are disappointed because the Burmese generals remain ignorant of the fact that they need Daw Aung San Suu Kyi as an ally to rebuild unity and reconciliation, particularly now when socioeconomic and political crises are worsening in the country. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is the only person that is accepted as a national icon by the people of all nationalities in Burma and she can help bring national reconciliation and resolve many of the country's problems. In fact, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi may be the only sincere and
Sympathetic friend the military has in the country.”

Sri Lanka Trade and Investment Exhibition in Los Angeles to focus its Potential and Opportunity for US Entrepreneurs

Daya Gamage – US Bureau Asian Tribune

Sri Lanka Consul General in Los Angeles, California Jaliya Wickremasuriya does not want the South Asian nation he represents to be popularly known in the United States for its disasters and calamities such as the deadly tsunami or the separatist Tamil Tiger movement’s terrorist activities. Since he assumed duties in February this year as his country’s top diplomat for eleven western states in the United States, Wickremasuriya’s foremost endeavor was to make American investors and business entrepreneurs aware of the great potential Sri Lanka could offer as a paradise of investor friendly atmosphere.

Sri Lanka: Kusma Rajaratna - one time firebrand woman member of parliament dies of heart attack

By Walter Jayawardhana

One time firebrand woman Member of Parliament Mrs Kusuma Rajaratna who represented the backward Welimada and later Uva Paranagama constituencies in the Sri Lanka parliament died of a massive heart attack, her husband and former parliamentarian K.M. P. Rajaratna said. Kusuma, one of the most attractive and charismatic lady politicians of the Sri Lanka Parliament was 81 years of age at her death. Mrs. Rajaratna’s body lied in state at their family home at 444, Kotte Road , Pita kotte and the funeral is scheduled to take place at Beddagana Cemetery on Sunday, May 27 at 4.30 p.m.

US: FDA accused of negligence over diabetes drug

The US federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has come under sharp criticism this week for its inaction over the diabetes drug Avandia. The FDA apparently failed to implement the recommendation made several months ago by its own experts that the widely prescribed drug should carry the strongest possible warning on its label. In a floor statement placed in the Senate record on Thursday, Senator Charles Grassley, Republican of Iowa, said that some FDA staff members had advised that the prescribing information for the medicine should include a caution framed by a black box, the most serious type of alert.


Dr. Subramanian Sway commends JVP for taking the first step in granting citizenship to Tamil refugees in Indian camps

JVP, the Sri Lankan Marxist party, has been commended by the leader of the Janata Party, Dr. Subramaniam Swamy, for moving a motion to grant citizenship to Sri Lankan refugees In Indian camps. He has hailed it as an “act of statesmanship for which the JVP should be congratulated universally.” The motion to grant citizenship was moved by JVP MP, Ramalingam Chandrasekeran and seconded by Bimal Ratnayake. Both were in India from May 7 to 13 to take part in a summit held by the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), youth organisation of the Communist Party of India (Marxist). Both visited the refuge camps at the invitation of OfERR, an organization of Sri Lanka refugees, headed by S.C. Chandrahasan. On their return, they made a proposal for amendment to the 2003 Citizenship Act.