Skip to Content

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

Monthly archive

Chavez cannot be Castro

By Tukoji R. Pandit - Syndicate Features

Despite the brave face that he put up after the verdict became known, the Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, the newest symbol of aggressive anti-Americanism, may be a little worried by the just concluded country-wide referendum that showed that the people in his country do not want him to go full steam with his ‘socialist’ policies by overhauling 69 articles of the constitution. The widely held belief is that he wants to concentrate more powers in his hands. He undoubtedly thinks that he alone can save humanity from the US Empire run by a ‘terrorist’. Among the powers that he had sought was removal of restrictions on the number of terms he could enjoy as the head of the country, authority to declare emergency for long periods and introduce fresh ‘socialist’ economic policies some of which like more nationalisations are causing concern in the business class.

Many Messages: Budget Vote

By Gomin Dayasri

The message has been transmitted loud and clear – the government cannot be dismantled provided the struggle against the LTTE is properly directed. The credit should go more to Brother Gothabhaya than to the President. It’s the war that saved the day for the PA government. Whatever the foreign funded NGO’s may say majority of the people support the war as reflected in the vote in Parliament. It is indeed a vote more to show loyalty to the Forces- an obvious patriotic phenomenon during an ongoing war.

Burma: An Inquiry Commission of duplicity?

By Zin Linn

Believe it or not, on 11 December 2007, the SPDC's ambassador to Geneva, Wunna Maung Lwin made a deceitful complaint - the junta has already established the Investigation Body chaired by the Home Minister to investigate human rights violations during the September protests - at the UN Human Rights Council, in response to the human situation report of the UN Special Rapporteur on Myanmar (Burma), Professor Paulo Sergio Pinheiro. The UN Special Rapporteur Pinheiro's report prepared for the 47-member Council revealed that at least 31 people were killed when Myanmar's military rulers tried to suppress the September monks' demonstrations. Official junta's media have reported that only 10 people died. The U.N. envoy has also indicated about some suspicious happenings in his findings that a large numbers of corpses including some of monks were burnt down at Ye-way graveyard, to conceal the real death toll.

JR’s Constitution, Chilcott, Crossovers and Alluringly Sri Lankan Idiosyncrasies

Sunday Discourse by Philip Fernando in LA

Wafer thin Parliamentary majorities deriving from J R Jayewardene’s 1978 constitution continue to breed crossovers with a vengeance. Some pundits have called them an esoteric phenomenon, an alluringly Sri Lankan depiction of political idiosyncrasy. Others called it the bane of legislative excesses. It has assumed mythical proportions, prompting the British High Commissioner Dominic Chilcott to note in a recent speech that official vehicles, bodyguards, fuel allowances can be used to persuade MPs to cross the floor. A more serious charge was leveled by the well respected politician and former deputy Leader of the UNP, Karu Jayasuriya that millions were being spent to topple the Rajapakse government. Could a constitutional impasse corrode standards of political life to such an alarming degree? So let us go through two score and ten or so crossovers since 1951 and examine what happened.

Beyond the Budget

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

It was a repeat performance of an old movie. The JVP can be depended on to prop up the PA so long as Ranil Wickremesinghe remains the leader of the UNP. There would have been supplementary reasons for the JVP’s decision to abstain from Friday’s voting: the certitude that its parliamentary strength would be reduced by more than half in any future election and the fear of losing the Sinhala hardline soul to its bête-noir, the JHU, may have prompted the JVP to abstain from voting in any case. But the primary reason for the UNP’s failure to defeat the government at the third reading of the budget was the JVP’s determination to prevent a Ranil victory, at any cost.