Skip to Content

Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 75

Monthly archive

The Monument

Ranil’s last gamble: jumping from the frying pan into the fire

H. L. D. Mahindapala

At the end of the day, there is no way in which anyone take away from Ranil Wickremesinghe his three major attributes: 1) his insensitive capacity to sell the nation to its enemies in the name of peace which he can’t win with appeasement; 2) his proven ability to run down his party until only he is left holding the fort and 3) his knack of picking the wrong political partners and issues in the mistaken belief of saving himself, irrespective of what happens to the UNP or the nation. If you add up all three it amounts to committing political suicide. And he has done it so many times that he now stands out as the nearest thing to a dead man walking.

Ranil heading for more trouble with his party

The head of the UNP, Ranil Wickremesinghe, is heading for stormy session with the Working Committee this week over the secret deal he signed with Mangala Samaraweera, SLFP (M) wing, the two man band who broke away from the Mahinda Rajapakse government. The senior UNP MPs were never consulted before it was signed. Media reports say that only Wickremesinghe’s two closest buddies, Malik Samarawickrema, former chairman of the UNP, and Lasantha Wickrematunga, the editor of The Leader, a Sunday newspaper, were privy to the details.

Musharraf stages a big climb down for a 'mother of all deals' with Benazir

From Malladi Rama Rao reporting from New Delhi for Asian Tribune

The beleaguered Pakistan President Gen Pervez Musharraf has staged a big climb down publicly. He has entered into 'mother of all deals' with a 'willing 'Benazir Bhutto so that he 'survives' and the army moves to 'backstage'. It is a win-win deal for both. The details are still officially wrapped in secrecy. But broad contours are available. Musharraf will dissolve Parliament and invite Benazir or a person acceptable to her to form an interim government. Parliament will meet from Monday for its last session, according to a cryptic announcement made in Islamabad even before Musharraf returned home.

Black July and the Rule of Unreason

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

For Sri Lanka, the cruellest month is not April but July. Reconciliation cannot come without truth. And the truth is that in July 1983 we, Sinhalese, disgraced ourselves beyond words, beyond comprehension, beyond belief. We shamed our history, our culture, our very humanity. And we endangered our future. The Sinhala Only gave birth to Vellupillai Pirapaharan but without the horror that was Black July – and with enough devolution at the right time - the monster may well have become a mere footnote in history. Instead we taught our Tamils, in the most unmistakable and unforgettable manner, that they need a protector who is at least as vicious as we can be on occasion. And Tamils learnt the lesson only too well. The choices they made post-Black July were all coloured and warped by Black July. Those choices have cost and are costing the Tamil community dearly. But this is cold comfort to us, because the plague of extremism has made a triumphant return amidst us; today we are more prone to remaking old mistakes than we have been at any time since July 1983.

Sri Lanka Navy sinks two sea tiger boats close to Mannar killing six

By Walter Jayawardhana

The Sri Lanka military said two Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam ( LTTE) boats were sunk off the country’s North Western coast close to Mannar following a brief sea battle killing six Sea Tiger cadres in the boats. The battle occurred 4.30 p.m., Saturday July 28 when the Tiger boats were headed towards Wedi-thala-thivu close to Mannar, the Sri Lanka Navy said. Navy spokesman Commander D.K.P.Dassanayaka said the fighting occurred about 200 kilometer off the North Western coast where the small LTTE boats were mingling among the Indian fishing boats to escape the naval craft after apparently suspecting the military craft were after them.

Gotabaya Rajapakse unveiled a monument – the symbol of courage and gallantry of Sri Lankan soldiers

MonumentA monument was erected as a tribute to the courage and gallantry of the heroic members of the Sri Lanka Security Forces who liberated the Eastern province. It was unveiled by the Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapakse. The monument that was unveiled by the Defence Secretary was erected at Iluppadichenai junction in Karadiyanaru to commemorate the fallen war heroes during Thoppigala operation. According the Media Centre for National Security, the monument was erected to commemorate the heroic soldiers of the Sri Lankan armed forces who liberated the Eastern province from the domination of brutal terrorists transforming so-called Black July into a Golden July and as a symbol of devotion to the people of the East.

Karuna Facing uphill task in the East

Karuna Tamileela Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP) – the political front of the breakaway group from the LTTE – has so far failed to get recognition from the Elections Commissioner. The TMVP has not even been recognized as a political party. The signs are that TMVP will not be given recognition by the time elections are held towards the end of the year. This will be a severe blow to his future political plans. If he fails to gain recognition before elections are held in the east he will have to contest as an independent group. This will give an advantage to his main political rival Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) headed by Douglas Devananda, the Minister for Social Services.

The Legacy of the plight of Hindus in Bangladesh - Part-XII

By Rabindranath Trivedi - for Asian Tribune from Dhaka

The Hindus are sidelined, since 2001 their position has become more critical: if they cast vote, they would be targeted for abuse of constitutional rights and if they don’t, some political parties would feel the Hindus had abused the trust by not casting votes. In both the cases, the word “abuse” is the fate of the minority in Bangladesh. Hindus are the victims of fate and history and abusive treatment of humiliation after August 1975.

Ashamed to be an ASEAN

By Prof. Kanbawza Win

Providence has destined us to be born as an ASEAN, but still one can chose to drop its ASEAN characteristics, adopt a new citizenship outside of Southeast Asia and chose a country of his choice reside and die there. This is what the majority of the Burmese in Diaspora are doing for it is a disgrace to continue to survive as a Southeast Asian, because the national character of this regional grouping is so low that no democrat desire to identify with Southeast Asia any longer. The ASEAN values initiated by the core leaders of ASEAN especially Lew Kuan Yew (Harry) of Singapore and Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad of Malaysia, is such abasement in the international community that the international community has come to the rescue often. Its hypocritical "Constructive Engagement" policy towards the Burmese Military Junta clearly paints the national character of ASEAN countries.

Defection politics in Goa revive debate on advisability of small states

By M Rama Rao in New Delhi

The 'defection' politics in Goa have reopened the debate on the viability of small states in India even as the BJP is trying to reoccupy the high moral ground and knocked at the doors of Rashtrapati Bhavan here on Saturday afternoon in a repeat of its Jharkhand show. BJP President Rajnath Singh, who led the party delegation to Rashtrapati Bhavan told President Mrs. Pratibha Patil that Kamat government should go and Manohar Parrikar be invited to form the new government In the same breath, he demanded 'a trial of strength' on the floor of the assembly on Monday.

Indo-US Agreement to Build Nuclear Fuel Repository in India Almost Finalized: US Congress Approval Pending

Daya Gamage – US National Correspondent Asian Tribune

The U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) today hailed the statesmanship inherent in the emerging details of the "123 Agreement" that will enable implementation of the U.S.-India Peaceful Atomic Energy Cooperation Act, passed last December 2006 by wide bipartisan majority in the U.S. Congress, enabling civilian nuclear cooperation between the United States and India. The USIBC supports Congressional approval of the agreement, which on Wednesday, July 27 was cleared by India's Union Cabinet, and which must now be cleared by the U.S. 110th Congress.

10,000 refugees leave Thailand in biggest resettlement programme

More than 10,000 refugees – mostly from Myanmar – have now left their temporary homes in Thailand to start new lives in third countries, as the world's largest resettlement programme picks up steam. "After many years of living in closed camps with limited opportunities for education and no opportunities to work, finally refugees have hope for a new life filled with exciting opportunities in a new country," said Jeffrey Savage, Resettlement Officer in the UN refugee agency's regional office in Bangkok.

Sri Lanka CIMA Division to help students and members

By Quintus Perera - Asian Tribune

Chartered Institute of Management Accountants Sri Lanka Division (CIMA) taking into consideration that undertaking a professional qualification represents a significant financial investment for families, has initiated to establish preferential finance packages with three leading local banks to be made available to all CIMA members and students. CIMA is a leading membership body that offers an internationally recognized professional qualification in Management Accountancy which focuses on accounting for business.

Hundreds die in Eastern Europe heat wave

While Great Britain has experienced heavy rainfall and flooding with catastrophic results, high temperatures during recent days and weeks in the east and southeast of Europe have resulted in hundreds of deaths, including an estimated 500 in Hungary alone. Broad areas of Italy, Greece and the Balkans have been hit by a multitude of forest fires, resulting in numerous fatalities as well as massive damage to property. Temperatures of up to 45°C (113°F) were measured in Bulgaria, Bosnia and Macedonia. In Serbia and Greece, the thermometer climbed to 46°C (115°F). In Romania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary, the average temperatures ranged between 35°C and 40°C (95°F and 104°F). In Slovakia, temperatures registering at times higher than 40°C were the highest ever recorded in the country.

Army top brass

Hopes fade for teenage housemaid sentenced to be beheaded in Saudi

The fate of the teenage housemaid, Rizma Nafeek -- sentenced by a Saudi court to be beheaded on charges of killing a four-month-old baby who was in her care -- seems to be sealed after the failure of the mission led by Deputy Foreign Minister Hussein Bhaila to save her life. Media reports state Bhaila could not get an appointment with the key officials who could have given them some hope. Arab media sources reported that the Saudi parents of the baby from whom the parents of Rizma were seeking clemency too have refused to meet them.