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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2992

Monthly archive

Christopher Weeramantry

Assistance and protection to victims of crime and witnesses

The Cabinet has granted its approval to a Memorandum submitted by President Mahinda Rajapakse on the drafting of a Bill to provide for assistance and protection to victims of crime and witnesses. Legal analysts have repeatedly pointed out that there exists a need to provide assistance and protection to victims of crime and witnesses in criminal proceedings. The absence of such assistance and protection to victims of crime and witnesses affect not only them, but adversely affect the efficacy of the criminal justice system as well.

Council of Europe states must 'firmly oppose' the teaching of creationism as a scientific discipline, say parliamentarians

Creationism could be a threat to human rights. "Creationism ... was for a long time an almost exclusively American phenomenon," the parliamentarians pointed out. "Today creationist ideas are tending to find their way into Europe and their spread is affecting quite a few Council of Europe member states." Parliamentarians from the 47-nation Council of Europe have urged its member governments to "firmly oppose" the teaching of creationism - which denies the evolution of species through natural selection - as a scientific discipline on an equal footing with the theory of evolution. In a resolution passed by 48 votes to 25 during its plenary session in Strasbourg, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) declared: "If we are not careful, creationism could become a threat to human rights."

Global Day of Action for Burma

A Global Day of Action for Burma will be held on Saturday 6 October in support of peaceful protestors in Burma and in protest at the military regime’s crack down. The initiative is supported by Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), along with Burma Campaign UK, Crisis Action and a range of religious and human rights organisations. In London the march will begin at the Tate Britain at 11am on Saturday 6 October, and will end with a rally at 12.45pm in Trafalgar Square. The march will pass the Houses of Parliament and Downing Street.

Inter-ethnic Relations - The Barometer of a Nation's Health

Dr. Siri Gamage, University of New England, Australia

Looking at what is happening in Burma, Sri Lanka, Sudan and other trouble spots around the world, one cannot help but to emphasize the need for healthy inter-ethnic relations as a foundation for harmonious societies. When societies carry a multitude of peoples from different ethnic, cultural and identity groupings it is not possible to govern such countries by the power of the gun or the application of dominant ethnic/political ideologies and systems only for the long run. The state has to take into account the aspirations and needs of minority ethnic/cultural communities and make them part of the governing system. However, the success of inter-ethnic relations regime does not depend solely on the actions of the governments.

Petition to Indian Parliament and to Tamil Nadu Assembly by Dravida Peravai

Dravida Peravai had sent Petitions to Loksabha Speaker, Rajyasabha Chairman and to the The Speaker Tamilnadu Assembly. All are identical petitions except in first para where special focus is made on Tamilnadu assembly given in italics in first para. The concept of petitioning for redress of grievances now finds an indirect recognition in the Constitution also. [ Art.350]. Dravida Peravai exercises its right to petition the Parliament on the question of judiciary over stepping its limits to usurp the powers under Article 356 empowered with the Parliament and the Contempt threats posed against duly elected State Government of Tamilnadu.

Weeramantry wins the alternate Nobel Prize

Justice WeeramantryChristopher Weeramantry (Sri Lanka) was awarded the Right Livelihood Award for outstanding vision and work on behalf of our planet and its people. This is the alternate Nobel Prize. According to an announcement made last Tuesday, by 'Right Livelihood' a Swedish Institute, that two others - Dekha Ibrahim Abdi from Kenya for her “effective peace work and conflict resolution" in many divided countries”, and a Bangladeshi solar electrification scheme have been selected for this year’s awards.The Company known as Grameen Shakthi has been promoting solar energy among rural households in Bangladesh. The awards also have been given to Percy and Louise Schmeiser of Canada for their courage in defending biodiversity and farmers’ rights and Dekha Ibrahim Abdi from Kenya for her “effective peace work and conflict resolution" in many divided countries”.

Associated Airways Entrepreneur 2007 at SL-MBC Awards

By Quintus Perera - Asian Tribune

The Sri Lanka – Malaysia Business Council (SLMBC) which functions under the aegis of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, along their 13th Annual General Meeting held the third Annual Awards Presentation last week at Galadari Hotel with Malaysian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka, Rosli Ismail as Chief Guest. K D C E Wickramaratne was elected the President, SLMBC for 2007/2008 and Wan Zaidan Wan Mahyuddin (Dialog Telekom) and Kevin De Silva (Malship (Ceylon) Ltd) were elected Vice Presidents.

State BJP breaks silence on lawlessness

By Oken Jeet Sandham – Asian Tribune

The coalition partner of DAN Government, BJP has broken its silence on the spurt of lawlessness and the Government’s indulgence in nepotism and corruption in various areas. In a statement issued here on Thursday, BJP State General Secretary Eduzu Th Vadeo said the BJP State Office Bearers had in their meeting on Tuesday expressed unhappiness on the State Government’s “miserable failure” in maintaining law and order in the State. There had been on the rise in the incidence of killing, extortion, looting and illegal taxation. But the Government had justified its “inability and helplessness” by terming it as “political problem and not a law and order problem.”

Musharraf, Benazir, US make mockery of democracy in Pakistan

By M Rama Rao reporting from New Delhi

Pervez MusharrafEvents in Pakistan have taken an interesting turn on the eve of Presidential election. Firstly, Musharraf himself has gone the TV to tell the nation and of course the world that he is all for national reconciliation, a euphemism for his willingness to offer political space for Benazir Bhutto. Secondly, Benazir has managed to secure the concessions she was after from a Musharraf who is on the horns of a dilemma – of whether to go by his gut instincts or to be allowed to be guided by the wily Chaudhry brothers, who have their own survival agenda. Thirdly, Musharraf has formally anointed his successor as the head of the army and he in turn had paid the obligatory obeisance to Washington by calling on the Secretary of State during a quiet visit and thus secured his place at the top of the military hierarchy at home.

Sri Lanka President Rajapakse Declares no Human Rights Violations, Affirms fairness to Minority Tamils

In the heat of his overseas public diplomacy campaign to erase many misconceptions about Sri Lanka on issues such as human rights, disappearances and minority rights, President Mahinda Rajapaksa penetrated to his comfortable terrain, the village, to declare that, unlike some of the country’s previous rulers, there is no blood in his hands and appealed to ultra-nationalist JVP to join hands with him to give the minority Tamils the rights they rightly deserve. Rajapakse was speaking at the National “Wap Magul” ceremony, the traditional beginning of the paddy cultivation season, held at Nikaweratiya in the North Western Province Oct 04. This was a typical village setting in which the President joined other farmers in the rice field knee deep in mud. Sri Lanka’s president was not only addressing his countrymen but also the international community and its representatives based here.

Burma’s struggle for democracy - What needs to be done?

Last month, we saw protests inside Burma. Dozens of people were killed. On September 25, 2007 President Bush announced “new” sanctions against the military government of Burma, symbolically joining hands with tens of thousands of protesters in the streets of Yangon and challenging the United Nations to join him in a broader "mission of liberation." However, as I see it, the older sanctions imposed by the USA and some western countries did not really bite deep into the skin of the SPDC regime that is ruling Burma. There is also crass hypocrisy in how the sanctions have thus far been imposed by the Bush Administration. A multi-national oil company like Chevron was apparently exempted from adhering to the sanction rule book and is allowed to do business as usual in the oil and gas exploration sector with the SPDC.

Jeyaraj Fernandopulle

Ploughing Ceremony 11

Pervez Musharraf

Ploughing Ceremony

Ploughing Ceremony - Arrival

Ploughing Ceremony - Dancing

Ploughing Ceremony - 4

Ploughing Ceremony 5