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

Monthly archive

Nine decomposed bodies found in southern Sri Lanka

Nine decomposed bodies have been found this afternoon close to the Dummaladeniya Bridge, Wennappuwa. It is a a small fishing 'Town', lies approximately 50 km north of Colombo. The bodies are in an advanced state of decomposition. One body lies its head severed from it, witnesses said. Of the nine bodies, two belong to women. These two bodies are bullet riddled, sources said.

Is U.S. Eyeing U.N. as Dumping Ground for Iraq?

By Thalif Deen - Inter Press Service

Faced with an unwinnable five-year war in Iraq, the United States may be looking towards the United Nations to extricate it out of the growing military quagmire, according to diplomats and political analysts. "With the war turning out to be a huge political liability for the ruling Republican Party at the upcoming elections in November," an Asian diplomat told IPS, "it is a safe guess the White House may eventually dump Iraq on the United Nations."

Removing Tamils from Colombo is a disgrace -- NGOs

The controversial move of the Sri Lankan Police to expel Tamils from the north and the east who have no valid reason stay in Colombo has come under fire from all quarters. Police and army officers jointly combed the guesthouses in the suburbs of the Colombo city and picked on those Tamils who had come from the north and the east. They were transported to various destinations by the Police in buses. The UNP opposition and the NGOs have jointly protested against this move. Protesting against this act the NGOs have written to President Mahinda Rajapakse saying that the Sri Lankans have a right to choose their own residence (temporary or permanent) under constitutional guarantees and a violation of that right is a “disgrace to humanity”. The open letter to the President added: “Hundreds of Tamils from the Northern and Eastern Provinces, who had been staying in Colombo for a range of reasons were forcibly loaded onto buses and taken to Peliyagoda.

Sri Lanka Expresses Support for Palestinian Statehood

Prasad KariyawasamSpeaking at a ceremony to mark the fortieth year of the occupation of Palestinian lands, Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Prasad Kariyawasam expressed his country's unequivocal and sincere support to the Palestinian people in their just struggle to obtain inalienable rights including the right to statehood and right to return to their lands. Addressing the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, he said: "We appreciate the continuing efforts taken by this Committee since 1975, to promote the full realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian People and the commitment of the Committee to garner the support of the international community to safeguard the interests of the Palestinian People. '

U.S. Senate Bill Allows Terrorism Suspects Access to Courts And Restore Writ of Habeas Corpus denied by Bush Administration

Daya Gamage – US National Correspondent Asian Tribune

The United States Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, June 7 approved legislation to be sent to full Senate for ratification that would allow terrorism suspects to have access to federal courts to challenge their imprisonment at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The bill would also allow prisoners to protest their detention through the Writ of Habeas Corpus.The Bush administration rewrote the laws totally ignoring the universally accepted Geneva Conventions that covered the due process of law for prisoners of war or terrorism suspects, and the Senate Judiciary Committee approved bill, if ratified by the full Senate, will restore the two basic human rights of prisoners who are in the custody of the United States.

Indian company top bidder for Lanka's second largest telecom firm

India's state-run Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd. (MTNL) has bid US $160-$180 million to lead the bidding for Sri Lanka's Suntel, the Reuters news agency reported today. Suntel Lanka is Sri Lanka's second largest fixed line telecom firm (followed by Sri Lanka Telecom) with a presence in seven Districts. 'Reuters' said that a formal announcement on the deal is expected by mid-June. MTNL is a firm providing telecom services to Delhi and Mumbai. MTNL previously lost out its bid for a mobile operator license in Sri Lanka.

Guantanamo: A National Disgrace says The New York Times: “Restore Basic Human Rights and Judicial Process”

Daya Gamage – US Bureau Asian Tribune

"The Gunatanamo camp was created on a myth – that the American judicial system could not handle prisoners of "the war against terror." It was built on a lie – that the hundreds of detainees at Gunatanamo are all dangerous terrorists. And it was organized around a fiction – that Mr. Bush had the power to create this rogue system in the first place. It is time to get rid of it," said The New York Times editorial carried in its June 6 edition. The ‘Asian Tribune’ carries the full text of the editorial which expresses its displeasure of the way in which the Bush administration, since its advent chose to sit on judgment of Global Human Rights, has itself failed to uphold the principles it espouses to the world.

Mass protests in Colombo over forceful Tamil evictions, rally winds up soon as fears of arrests spread

Colombo Protest 2Braving a scorching sun, more than 300 people took part in a mass picket at the Lipton Circus, Colombo today against the forceful Tamil evictions of June 7. The noon rally consisted mostly of political and civil society activists and the general public appeared to stay away out of fear. The rally saw Lankan politicians such as Wickremebahu Karunarathne, Mano Ganeshan MP and Mavai Senadhiraja MP and activists such as Kumar Rupesinghe, Sunanda Deshapriya, Sunila Abeysekera and Ms. Nimalka Fernando engaging in protest.

Lanka Supreme Court stops minority Tamil evictions following CPA Rights petition

A three-judge Bench of the Supreme Court issued the order following a petition filed by Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA), a non-profit organization which argued that yesterday's Tamil eviction action was a violation of basic human rights. The Police Inspector General Victor Perera and four Officers in Charge of police stations have now been restrained from carrying out any eviction, pending the court hearing. The court will now hear the case on June 22. More than 500 minority Tamils from the North and East residing at lodges and rests houses in Colombo were evicted and deported in 50 buses back to their native places in North & East on June 7.

Lanka political parties slam government's degrading eviction of Tamils,

The main political parties of Sri Lanka including the United National Party, the Tamil National Alliance, the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, the Marxist JVP, the TULF, the New Left Front and have severely condemned Government of Sri Lanka's action of force eviction of Tamils from the capital Colombo. Only the Sinhala party JHU has come out in support of minority Tamil evictions. And the evicted Tamils, now said to be around 500 packed in 50 passenger buses were to arrive in the cities of Vavuniya, Batticaloa and Trincomalee.

Sri Lanka Conflict: Hiding behind Administrative Devolution to Circumvent Political Devolution

By Raj Gonsalkorale

The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), the major constituent of the current Sri Lankan government, and its head, President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is also the President of the SLFP, appears to favour a devolution model that focuses on administrative devolution rather than political devolution. Making the District the devolved unit rather than the province and reserving extensive powers for the central government gives one that impression considering that little or no effective political devolution is possible at district level.

Hans Gruber, a German Indologist and Buddhist scholar, defends Ven. Nyanatiloka Mahathera

Comment by Hans Gruber, German Indologist and Buddhist author

I would like to give the following commentary on the two matters of the present discussion, Nyanatiloka and the Buddhistisches Haus in Berlin. It would be very strange indeed if Nyanatiloka’s not giving full ordination to Nyanaponika and his not assisting in the Nyanaponika’s full ordination by Singhalese monks had something to do with a "bowing" to Nazi-pressure of the German consulate. Under the British rule of Ceylon the influence of the Germans must have been very limited. Other reasons are possible for Nyanatiloka’s behaviour which have nothing to do with what Marianne Wachs and Volker Zotz suggest (in his careful words: "facts like this deserve a careful treatment").

Prasad Kariyawasam

Colombo Protest 2

Colombo Protest 1

Colombo Protest 3

Report challenges US claims of Iranian sponsorship of Iraq insurgency

The think tank British American Security Information Council (BASIC) has published a discussion paper titled “Iranian support for violence in Iraq: a review of the evidence.” Authored by Jacob Halpin, former National Grassroots coordinator at the international development advocacy organization RESULTS, the paper focuses on the Bush administration’s accusations that Tehran is seeking to destabilise Iraq by providing support for armed groups fighting the American-led occupation of that country.

Vasundhara in cross fire

By Chandra Mohan - Syndicate Features

If a section of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is to be believed Rajasthan is uniquely blessed with an extraordinary chief minister, Vasundhara Raje. There are Vasundhara Raje Fan Clubs and a Vasundhara Raga, which alas, has yet to make its debut at any reputed classical music soiree. She can walk the ramp as easily as wear the mantle of a ‘goddess’ who, naturally, enjoys ‘divine powers’. One ministerial colleague of hers had publicly admitted that he had a framed picture of the chief minister in his private temple before which he prayed everyday. As an exclusive party of the majority, the Rajasthan BJP has taken idol worshipping to new heights!

Vidya Jothi Professor V.K. Samaranayake passes away

The ICT industry in Sri Lanka lost its most valued member after Professor V.K. Samaranayake passed away on Tuesday, 06th June 2007 aged 68, in Stockholm whilst attending a review of the Swedish government’s ICT development assistance programme. Prof. Samaranayake was the Chairman of the Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka from 2004. He was also the Emeritus Professor of Computer Science of the University of Colombo. He was the founder Director, University of Colombo School of Computing (UCSC) of the University of Colombo.

Canadian Parliament calls for Suu Kyi’s release

Aung San Suu KyiThe House of Commons, in a unanimous vote Wednesday (06 June) evening, called for the immediate release of Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi. The motion stated: “That this House request that the Government of Burma release the Leader of the National League for Democracy and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Aung San Suu Kyi, from house arrest, which has been imposed on her since 1989.” “We are very proud to announce that our motion requesting the Burmese Government to release Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest was passed with the unanimous consent of the House,” said Larry. Bagnell, Chairman of Parliamentary Friends of Burma.