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

Monthly archive

Samak Sundaravej

Tsunami 3rd Anniversary: 114 Km of South Coastal Roads Completed

Philip Fernando in Los Angeles

Mitigating the tsunami destruction became harder due to the overall impact it had on transportation and infrastructure breakdown. Moving heavy equipment yet alone normal transportation vehicles was near impossible in the beginning. The owner driven housing projects, for example for which the World Bank had allotted US$65 million took time to take off. Roads received $33 million while livelihood support got $34 million. Other smaller categories like capacity building and contingency work got $ 9 million. An attempt is made hereto assess how restoration had occurred and not how much of back-slapping by those in charge of doing massive projects indulged in. The ground zero in Sri Lanka covered a massive area.

Archbishop Oswald Gomis castigated those who became inhuman and lost the regard for human life and values

Archbishop Oswald GomisAt a midnight Christmas mass, Archbishop Oswald Gomis said, Once again we celebrate Christmas at the time when the dark clouds of war are enveloping our country. He added, “As we sing and rejoice in some parts of the country there is bitter suffering and agony in others. Apart from the war there are other factors that disturb the normalcy of life and even threaten the life of citizens. There are thousands still left homeless and forced by circumstances to flee into the jungles. Children are deprived of education and many others are displaced from their homes and work places.” Archbishop further said, "We need to change our hearts to bring peace our Motherland, respect human rights, give prominence to human values, accept all as our own brothers and sisters and show God's love to everyone. Jesus Our Saviour said, 'what profit you will have if you love only those who love you? What profit you will have if you orgive only those who forgive you?”

Proroguing the Parliament Government remains undecided

Sri Lanka Government is still not decided on the subject of proroguing the Parliament. Minister Jeraj Fernandopulle, Chief whip when contacted told “Asian Tribune” that the subject is receiving the consideration of the government, but still it is not decided. He said that he will shortly, possibly on this 26th of this month, might take up the subject with President Mahinda Rajapakse.

Sri Lanka: Government to hold elections for nine local councils in the Eastern

The Sri Lankan government has anounced yesterday of holding local council elections in the Eastern Province. "Today I have issued the gazette notification which will allow the Commissioner of Elections to hold elections for nine local councils in the Eastern Province,” said Janaka Bandara Tennakoon, the minister of Local Government. According to the Minister, nominations for the local administrative units will be accepted between Jan. 14 and Jan. 21, 2008 while Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake would decide on the elections date later. The government in mid-July this year claimed that the entire Eastern Province had been cleared of Tamil Tiger rebels through a series of military offensives which began in July 2006.

Understanding and tolerance needed to pave for peace and harmony – Mahinda Rajapakse

Mahinda RajapakseIn Sri Lanka greater understanding and tolerance is what that is needed at this very hour to pave for peace and harmony among the people. Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse emphasized that Christian message of all encompassing love preached by Jesus Christ, who was born on Christmas Day, has an undiminished relevance to this day, in a world faced with bitter divisions among people based on religions, nationality, ethnicity, language, color and caste. He pointed out, “In our own county too, we see the need for greater understanding and tolerance that will pave the way to peace and harmony among people.”

Thailand: Pro-Thaksin People Power Party is confident of forming coalition government

Samak SundaravejA clear picture has emerged in Parliamentary general elections held on Sunday for 480 seats House of Representatives in Thailand, nearly 15 months after the Thai Army ousted the democratically elected Government of Prime Minister Thakshin Shinawatra. At the Parliamentary elections held on 23rd December a record voter turnout of 70.27 per cent was reported by the Election Commission. More than 70 per cent of voters turned out to cast ballots in the first elections since a coup 15 months ago, an Election Commission official said Monday. "There were 32.08 million people, or 70.27 per cent of the total eligible 45.65 million voters, who cast their vote yesterday (Sunday)," said Suthiphon Thaweechaiyagarn, secretary general of the EC.

India, France to Enhance Nuclear Co-operation

Visiting French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner has said that Paris is willing to carry forward the agreement on nuclear matters with India. "We are working towards agreement on civil nuclear power and my country is ready to work on this agreement. I know that you have to align and to implement all the international laws and international nuclear agency," said Kouchner. Calling for concerted efforts by the two nations, Kouchner said, "I am completely convinced that both India and France absolutely look like each other, a sort of strong and determined strength to find a particular way to democracy and peace." Kouchner, who arrived in Delhi on Thursday, is expected to chalk out the agenda for the scheduled visit of French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Musharaff’s Army

By G.S.Bhargav - Syndicate Features

Pakistan is heading for the long-awaited general election early next year. Inshallah, within the next few weeks our neighbour to the west would be a democracy like India. The basic difference between the political systems of our countries would, however, be that Pakistan will have a Presidential form of government, whereas we continue to be under dynastic rule without a directly elected prime minister, but under the rubric of a republic. There is another, not so subtle, variance between our two systems. The salience of the army, with its larger- than- life role in civil society, will continue in Pakistan. Before he seized power, Musharraf had charged the then prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, with endangering the integrity and unity of the army, which has been more vital for keeping Pakistan in one piece than the brittle democratic system.

Pope Benedict

Pope Benedict XVI

Archbishop Oswald Gomis

Mahinda Rajapakse

Pope ushers in Christmas at Midnight Mass: Benedict urges faithful to make room for God, fellow man in modern world

Pope Benedict XVIPope Benedict XVI urged the faithful to set aside time in their lives for God and the needy, as he ushered in Christmas early Tuesday by celebrating Midnight Mass in St. Peter's Basilica. Echoing a theme he has raised about an increasingly secular world, Benedict said that many people act as if there is no room for spiritual matters in their lives. "Man is so preoccupied with himself, he has such urgent need of all the space and all the time for his own things, that nothing remains for others, for his neighbor, for the poor, for God," he said. Benedict also used the homily to link the Christmas message to the church's growing environmental concerns, referring to early theologians who interpreted Christ's role as also a healer of the Earth and universe.