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

Monthly archive

Dayan Jayatilleka

Dr. Thavarajah

Sri Lanka: Conflict zones lag behind in housing reconstruction

Siribopura rises up from nowhere. Amidst the parched shrub in Hambantota District, southern Sri Lanka, all of a sudden neat rows of houses appear as if laid down with precision by a giant conveyor belt. Five kilometers from the coast, Siribopura ("beautiful town" in Sinhalese) is something of a success story in the massive post-tsunami reconstruction effort in Sri Lanka. It is an entirely new township covering 240 hectares, with its own preschool, town hall and other amenities, symbolizing the country's resilience. Located in what was formerly a crossing ground for elephants, it was built by a number of donors and private organizations. Most of the over 1,600 housing units are already occupied. But like many post-tsunami reconstruction projects, Siribopura faces some teething problems.

Lanka Parliament approves controversial interim funding to the tune of 6.5 m dollars

By Joseph Thavarajah

Sri Lanka government this afternoon managed to wrest essential interim funding from the Parliament to the value of Rs 650 million (Approx 6.5 m dollars) thanks largely to the minority parties such as the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), Ceylon Workers'Congress (CWC), the nationalists Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) and the Up Country People's Front (UPF), that voted along with the ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP). Parliament yesterday afternoon gave approval for the closely watched and highly opposed interim funding called "supplementary estimates" to the value of over Rs 650 million (Approx 6.5 m dollars) for seven government Ministries.

Buddhist contribution to environmental protection – Judge Weeramantry

Presenting the Buddhist perspectives on the inter-relationships between all living beings and the environment, Judge C. G. Weeramantry, former Vice- President of the International Court of Justice, told the World Future Council in Hamburg that Buddhist teachings and Buddhist kings have been in the forefront of pioneering laws on environmental protection.

Ambassador Dayan Jayatilleka elected Vice President of the UN Human Rights Council

Dayan Jayatilleka, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations Office in Geneva , was elected Vice President of the Human Rights Council, yesterday (19 June). The Asian Group unanimously endorsed Ambassador Jayatilleka as its representative to the new Bureau of the HRC. Sri Lanka is a founding member of the new HRC, which is a subsidiary body of the United Nations General Assembly. Currently Sri Lanka is the Co-ordinator of the Asian Group.

A response to Prof. Nalin De Silva and Mr. Udaya Gamanpila by Dr. S. Thavarajah on behalf of EPDP at the APRC

Dr.S. ThavarajahI had already informed this committee that I do not intend to delve into the past history or on the issue of Tamil grievances and aspirations; rather I preferred to address on the subject of how to solve the problem of the Tamil Speaking People, in particular to those living in North and East. I had also said that the Tamil leaders for more than five decades in the past have expounded the grievances and aspirations to the leaders in the South and even agreements were reached to overcome those issues that were identified, though they were subsequently either abrogated or not implemented. I very clearly stated that it was not the time to argue whether the Tamils have a problem or not (in response to questions raised by few committee members)."

Sorry, says Dr. Marianne Wachs

In a letter to the "Asian Tribune," Dr. Marianne Wachs has apologized for having wrongly accused Ven. Nyanatiloka of being anti-Semitic. She hopes that the reputation of Ven. Nyanatiloka will be restored with the publication of this letter. “I send you a text in which I apologize for having wrongly accused Ven. Nyanatiloka on the ground of wrong informations I have had. I hope that you`ll publish my apology and that with this apology the reputation of Ven. Nyanatiloka is restored,” Dr. Marianne Wachs

Tigers sink Indian boats and kill Indian fishermen while Delhi doodles

H. L. D. Mahindapala

Manmohan Singh’s government is paralyzed by Tigers ploughing into Indian fishermen in mid-sea, blowing Indian boats to bits, hijacking Indian vessels, abducting Indian fishermen and even killing some. Once again last Sunday five Tamil Tiger boats sped across the sea between Dhanuskodi and Katchchateevu – an area controlled by the Tamil Tigers -- and attacked the Indian fishermen in mid-sea. They hurled five hand grenades and sank an Indian mechanized boat. Quoting Tamil Nadu Fisheries Department, Press Trust of India reported that the attackers also hijacked three boats along with 12 fishermen. Indian Express said: “One of the survivors, 20-year-old R Premkumar told reporters in Rameswaram that six boats came towards them from the direction of Nachikuda in North Sri Lanka which is under LTTE control.”