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

Monthly archive

Blair & Brown

Lanka rebel Ministers open new political office, begin talks with opposition camps

Former Lankan rebel Ministers Mangala Samaraweera and Sripathy Sooriyarachchi launched talks with political parties this morning when they met opposition leader, UNP's Ranil Wickremesinghe. Amidst allegations by government that SLFP (M) faction is heading a conspiracy against the government, the convener of SLFP (M) faction Mangala Samaraweera said "Our talks are aimed at forming a broad front against the current government." The SLFP (M) faction also announced the opening of their political offices at No 175, Castle Street Rajagiriya, on the immediate outskirts of capital Colombo.

Boucher sees no military solution for Sri Lanka

In an interview with Dagsavisen, a Norwegian newspaper, Richard A, Boucher, US Assistant Secretary, for South and Central Asian Affairs, said that banning the LTTE is not only necessary but also crucial. He stated this in reply to a question: "Norway has not listed LTTE as a terrorist organization, but the USA has, and we asked Boucher if this is required to find a solution." Boucher also said that USA is working on a power-sharing formula and he is optimistic. But Erik Solheim, the chief peace facilitator, told TV2 in a short interview that he is not optimistic.

The reasoning of Gen. Henricsson, head of the Peace Monitors in Lanka, “bizarre” – Prof. Wijesinha

Prof. Rajiv Wijesinha, Secretary General of the Sri Lankan Peace Secretariat, has taken to task the head of tbe Sri Lankan Monitoring Mission (SLMM) Gen. Henricsson and dismissed his rulings as “frivolous” and his reasoning as “bizarre”. Citing an example Prof. Wijesinha says that Gen. Henricsson quickly withdrew SLMM monitors from Sri Lankan naval vessels when the LTTE issued threats of sinking the Sri Lankan vessels if they traveled in them but expresses suspicion when the SLMM was advised not to go to war-torn Muttur as it was dangerous. Gen. Henricsson had also said that journalists were allowed in the area but not SLMM and therefore there was something to hide. Prof. Wijesinha argues:”Since such journalists were amongst those who highlighted the killing of the ACF workers, suggesting that GOSL had nothing to hide in taking them in, Gen Henricsson seems to have lost all control of logic in his prejudice against the Sri Lankan government as well as its armed forces.”

Law cracks down on Tiger terrorists in UK and Australia

Yesterday the Tamil Tiger terrorism faced two severe blows – 1) in UK and 2) in Australia – when the law enforcement authorities slammed the leading Tamil Tigers of both countries with the full force of law. In UK, Scotland Yard charged Arunachalam Chrishanthakumar, of Norbury, south London, the head of the Tamil Tiger organization in UK (better known as A. C. Shanthan) under the provisions of the Terrorism Act 2000. One of the charges relate to organizing a meeting of Sri Lankan Tamils in London Hyde Park on July 25 last year where a number of speakers spoke against the Sri Lankan government. Another charge is possessing materials that may have been received for the purposes of terrorism.

Two men charged under Terrorism Act

Two men have been charged under the Terrorism Act with providing support to a "proscribed organisation." Arunachalam Chrishanthakumar, also known as AC Shanthan, 50, of Upwood Road, Norbury, and 29-year-old Goldan Lambert, of Bramley Hill, south Croydon, are accused of giving support to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. The pair will appear at City of Westminster Magistrates' Court on Thursday, police said.

Dissolve Karuna Group - Richard Boucher

Richard BoucherRichard Boucher has insisted that Karuna Group has to be dissolved. The US Assistant Secretary, for South and Central Asian Affairs urged ‘to dissolve the Karuna group’ as they continue to recruit child soldiers. In an interview with Dagsavisen in Oslo Boucher said, "Both the Tamil Tigers and the Karuna group - who has defected from the Tigers and who today supports the Government forces, continues according to UNICEF to recruit child soldiers." Boucher said that the USA is aware of Karuna recruiting underage children and involved in other illegal activities.

Blair bows out, Brown steps in with all smiles as new British Prime Minister

By M Rama Rao - Reporting for Asian Tribune

Blair & BrownA new resident entered the most famous landmark in London, 10 Downing Street in what marks the end of '10- year -long' New Labour' dream and the beginning of 'a new era of change'. It was a smooth transfer of power from Tony Blair (54), who was forced to bow out of office with the follies of Iraq war over shadowing his legacy of economic prosperity, to Gordon Brown, who, as the Daily Mirror said, has been waiting for the past 13 years to move into the hot seat of British politics. Opposition parties want him to call a general election immediately but he is unlikely to oblige them. He has until May 2010 at the latest to call a general election.

World's Poor Abandon Rural Past for Big Cities

By Thalif Deen - Inter Press Service

A dramatic population explosion in the world's urban centres will be the single largest influence on development in the 21st century, the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) says in a new report released Wednesday. As the world begins to leave its traditional rural past behind, more than half the global population, projected at 3.3 billion, is expected to be living in towns and cities by 2008. "The battle to reach the Millennium Development Goals, halving extreme poverty by 2015, will be waged in the world's slums," predicts UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Obaid.

Sri Lanka: Of success and credibility

By Geoffrey Evarts

The deteriorating human rights situation or the enhanced abuse of power/bribery & corruption situation notwithstanding, President Percy Mahinda Rajapakse’s “war on terror” is achieving results. However the erosion of credibility is a very dangerous factor. (Especially when you are running an elected, legal government) When one’s credibility is lessened or lost completely, people (including the international community) tend to disbelieve you at face value. Hence, whatever you say - be it a fact or the gospel truth – will be dismissed as lies. Hopefully President Percy Mahinda Rajapakse will understand this before his credibility erodes to such an extent that he is placed in the same category as Velupillai Prabhakaran.

Howard's New Tampa - Aboriginal Children Overboard

By Jennifer Martiniello

Howard's new Tampa children overboard are our Aboriginal children. The Little Children are Sacred report does not advocate physically and psychologically invasive examinations of Aboriginal children, which could only be carried out anally and vaginally. It does not recommend scrapping the permit system to enter Aboriginal lands, nor does it recommend taking over Aboriginal 'towns' by enforced leases. These latter two points in the Howard scheme hide the true reason for the Federal Government's use of the latest report for blatant political opportunism.

The Presidential Race

By Chandramohan - Syndicate Features

The road to the magnificent palace on Raisina Hill in Lutyen’s New Delhi is straight and smooth though a bit steep. The incumbent after July would have, however, reached. Rashtrapati Bhavan after negotiating many twists and turns, rather like the daily travels of Delhiites amidst scenes of chaos and confusion on the city’s broad avenues. In the end the much-hyped ‘Shekhawat vs. Shekhawat’ fight may well be an anti-climax, with ‘Mrs Shekhawat’ emerging a clear winner. If the race is triangular it might be ‘tough’ for Pratibha Patil. But both the arithmetic and the politics of the Presidential poll hint that the UPA-BSP-Left nominee, Pratibha Patil, would be able to trounce the BJP-NDA’s independent candidate, the Vice President, Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, in a direct fight and if there is one more candidate in the fray it might be even easier for her.

Iraqi general “Chemical Ali” condemned to death

General Ali Hassan al-Majid, one of the late Iraqi president Saddam Hussein’s top associates, was sentenced to death by the Iraqi High Tribunal (IHT) on June 24, after being found guilty of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity as leader of the 1987-88 Anfal campaign against Iraqi Kurds. At the time, his indiscriminate use of poison gas earned him the nickname “Chemical Ali.” While Ali was certainly guilty of heinous crimes, his sentencing is an exercise in victors’ justice, a clumsy attempt to boost the US occupation’s prestige while covering up criminal behavior by Washington both linked to the Anfal campaign and during the ongoing American occupation of Iraq.

Richard Boucher

Exit Blair

Gordon Brown and Wife

Britain Tamil diaspora participated confab with British MP - a non-starter as he switches to defensive mode

The London Tamil diaspora meeting with Keith Vaz MP, Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils in Britain ‘ended in a fiasco,’ described a participant and the Labor MP was right throughout on the defensive. The meeting was held at Portcullis House instead of a room in British Parliament. According to an insider, Keith Vaz actually was present in the meeting for a total of about 20 to 25 minutes. While the meeting was on, he excused himself on more than two occasions and left the meeting to attend to some thing else. While he excused himself from the meeting, his political secretary Vernon Hunte was left to hear harangues of the British Tamil diaspora.