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

Monthly archive


Dr. Keheliya Rambukwella

Polls of betrayal

By Chandramohan - Syndicate Features

The wind is moving in the direction of polls. Not just at the Centre where most pundits have started the countdown for the fall of the Congress-led UPA government and the states of Gujarat, Tripura and Nagaland where assembly elections are due in normal course, but also in crisis-ridden Karnataka and probably followed by Jharkhand. As the usual mud slinging precedes and follows the unscheduled polls, it is worth pointing out that a common link in all these certain and near likely polls is the failure of coalition partners to stay glued together till the completion of the term of the legislature. The partners are more keen on cheating each other than making their power-sharing arrangement work.

Eid-ul-Fitr: the Muslim Festival

By Dr. Habib Siddiqui

After a month of fasting in the lunar month of Ramadan, Muslims celebrate the Eid-ul-Fitr on the first day of lunar month of Shawwal. Eid is an Arabic term meaning "festivity" or "celebration" while Fitr means "to break the fast" and can also mean "nature" from the word "fitrat". Eid-ul-Fitr, therefore, symbolizes the breaking of the fasting period and resuming the natural state. Like Christmas, Dewali and Hannukah, Eid-ul-Fitr is a joyous occasion that brings family and friends together, giving away gifts. The festive atmosphere is displayed by everyone wearing their best attires, and decorating their homes, and feeding guests and anyone who knocks on the door.

The Role of the Speaker of Parliament: W.J.M.Lokubandara - Lawyer, Poet, Song Writer, Author, Humanist & Philosopher

By Dr.T.C.Rajaratnam

LokubandaraWhen Sri Lanka's 13th Parliament met on April 22, 2004 it took nine hours to elect a Speaker. After the final vote count, the tally was 110 for the candidate of the United National Front (UNF), the main Opposition group, and 109 for the ruling combine. Five Buddhist-monk MPs abstained and one Tamil MP was absent. As a secret ballot was called and the ballot papers were distributed, seven monks of the JHU started to leave the House as they had decided to abstain. As the presiding officer was reading out the Standing Order for voting - that each member should write the name of one candidate and affix his/her signature - procedural points were raised by MPs on whether the signatures were required. Meanwhile, the first of the several interruptions of parliamentary business that day was about to begin.

Comprador Chicanery - INGO Agents of Neocolonialism

By Sesha Samarajiwa

During the heyday of European imperialism, a class of natives rendered the invaders yeoman service. They were the facilitators of colonial penetration and eventual domination of a vast swathe of the planet, from South America to Africa to Asia. They were well rewarded for their loyalty and services. They were called the compradors. And they are still among us, continuing their work for their paymasters.

Western diplomats goose-stepping with fascist horrors of Jaffna

H. L. D. Mahindapala

The Sri Lankan crisis is not something that is unique in the map of global violence. It is just another corner of the world facing the violence common in the 21st century – particularly the violence arising from majority-minority relationships. The world is full of minorities and their relationships with the majorities, or with other minority neighbors, can run into intractable problems, sometimes even violence, primarily because the minorities are deliberately moving in the direction of aggressive assertiveness without working out possible compromises that can be beneficial to all communities. In an increasingly explosive world where lethal weapons and new technologies can escalate violence to unacceptable levels – particularly with the tendency of the armed group to spray bullets indiscriminately in any direction they fancy, locally or abroad -- there is a duty cast on both sides to adjust and learn to co-exist avoiding violence which can spin out of control once it is unleashed.

Sri Lanka offers concessions to South Indian film producers to use Sri Lanka as location to film their movies

Radikaa SarathkumarThe Government of Sri Lanka was favourably considering the request made by South Indian film producers to grant special considerations for Indian film producers who were using Sri Lanka as a location to film their movies. Addressing film producers in Tamil Nadu during an interactive session in Chennai on 12th October 2007, Asoka Serasinghe, Chairman, National Film Corporation of Sri Lanka, who is currently in Chennai in connection with the Festival of Sri Lankan films which is underway in Chennai, also stated that the Government of Sri Lanka was keen to promote filming in Sri Lanka by foreign film makers and was especially keen to attract South Indian film makers and producers to Sri Lanka.

Potential Futures

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

The future is unknown. However some potential dangers are foreseeable and therefore avoidable. The Leahy Amendment which would stop US aid and ban the sale of American weapons and technology to Sri Lanka is awaiting the approval of President Bush. Consequently the fact that the issues raised in the Leahy Amendment were echoed by the US Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns and further reiterated by Ambassador Robert Blake cannot be taken lightly. The US has no moral right to preach human rights to others. The country which invaded Sovereign Iraq, caused a war which has claimed more than one million Iraqi lives, engages in abducting foreign nationals suspected of ‘terrorist activities’ and runs illegal detention centres in which torture is an officially sanctioned practice has no right to preach to others about rule of law and safety of non-combatants.

Louis Arbour asked: Why monitoring mission in Lanka and not in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay?

Third World Sovereignty At StakeU.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour indicated at a press conference held yesterday in Colombo that she would be inclined to support a move to establish a U.N. monitoring mission in Sri Lanka. She said that her office would be willing to help the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) in handling human rights abuses. But Mahinda Samarasinghe, the Sri Lankan Human Rights Minister, who was present at the news conference, dismissed the idea of setting up any type of monitoring mission in Sri Lanka. Expressing a desire to work with her office he said: "The government position is very clear. We are not willing to discuss in any way the U.N. presence in Sri Lanka for monitoring purposes, neither are we ready to discuss the opening of an office of the high commissioner in Sri Lanka."

Third World Sovereignty At Stake


H. L. D. Mahindapala