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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2061

News

Australian Government funds UNICEF supported projects in Sri Lanka.

Thousands of Sri Lankan women and children are expected to benefit as Australian Government provides US$1.9 million for UNICEF-supported projects in the North and North West. According to a UNICEF press release, “The new funding will go towards improved health facilities, education for school drop-outs, and protection for vulnerable children.”

Offshore to Sri Lanka: Finding Sri Lanka’s off shoring niche launched this week

By Ashwin Hemmathagama – Our Financial Correspondent

An in-depth report on taking the advantage of the potential benefits of the newly established global trade services, branding as an off-shore destination of choice for international visitors and government policy measures will be launched this week. The 40 paged international report was co-authored by Ismail Radwan of the World Bank and the Gihani Fernando of University of California HAAS Business School. Off shoring, or the process whereby one company delegate responsibilities performing a function or series of tasks to another company based in another country, now represents a US $ 100 billion market that is growing at more than 30 per cent per annum. In India, a global leader in this area, IT exports account for close to US $ 20 billion and almost half of total export revenues. The total number of jobs created in the Indian IT industry is close to one million, many of them filled by women.

Pak-India begin talks on Wullar Barrage

By Iqbal Hussain Khan Yousafzai – Reporting from Islamabad

Pakistan and India held Secretary level talks on the contentious Wullar Barrage issue talks on Thursday, with both sides hoping for "fruitful discussions". The Wullar barrage is one of the eight issues being discussed under the Composite Dialogue process between Pakistan and India and the two sides have had 10 rounds of talks since 1988. Secretary Water and Power, Ashfaq Mehmood led the Pakistani delegation and Indian Secretary Water J Hari Narayan represented Indian side. Both hoped to hold talks in "goodatmosphere".

Indo-US Civilian Nuclear Cooperation enters new phase: Vice President Cheney to persuade Congress

Daya Gamage – US National Correspondent for Asian Tribune

Dick CheneyIn a growing environment of skepticism about the Bush Administration’s U.S.-India civilian nuclear cooperation among its own Republican Party lawmakers in the United States Congress, the administration yesterday, June 22, released the draft bill which is scheduled to go before the US House of Representatives’ International Relations Committee next Tuesday, June 27 for scrutiny while Vice President Dick Cheney took the lead in persuading the Congress of its merits. Before lobbying both the Senate and the House, addressing the U.S.-India Business Council’s Leadership Summit in Washington June 22, the American vice president endeavored to dismiss the arguments of the critics, both administration-aligned Republican senators and House members, and opposition Democrats in the Congress, saying “They (India) have acted more responsibly than some countries who have signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).”

LTTE is called to put away arms and Security Forces urged to maintain highest standards of conduct - British High Commissioner

Dominick Chilcott British High Commissioner in Sri Lanka, Dominick Chilcott exhorted the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam to put away their weapons and their attachment to violence and join the family of civilized, democratic peoples who sort out their differences through negotiations, not terror. The High Commissioner pointed out that the Tamil rebel outfit must try to attain their political aspirations through the democratic institutions of the state, not through bombs and bullets. At a Party to celebrate the 80th Birthday of her Majesty the Queen, the British High Commissioner, Dominick Chilcott, spoke to an audience of 700 Sri Lankan, British and other nationals drawn from government, diplomatic missions, the business community and civil society.

Replacement of SLMM monitors from EU countries – Norwegian Government

Norway’s Foreign Ministry has confirmed that “The Norwegian Government has received answers to the questions” they have sent on 8 June to the Government of Sri Lanka and also to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. Norwegian Foreign Ministry further said, “The Government of Sri Lanka has responded affirmatively to all five questions.” But in the case of the Tamil rebel outfit, “The LTTE has responded positively to questions 1, 3 and 4.”

Protestants and Catholics world all over blame LTTE for the killings of bus passengers in Kebithigollewa

Protestants and Catholics world all over have condemned the recent killings of the innocent civilian bus passengers in Kebithigollewa, and openly blamed the killings to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). UCAN – Union of Catholic Asia News Agency, the World Largest Asia Church News Agency which publish news about and interest to the Church of Asia has carried the statements made by Bishop Duleep De Chickera, the Anglican bishop of Colombo, The Commission for Justice and Peace of the National Christian Council and that of the Auxiliary Bishop Marius Peiris of Colombo, secretary general of the Catholic Bishops' Conference in Sri Lanka.

India calls for devolution package and strengthening of ceasefire in Lanka

By M Rama Rao - Reporting from New Delhi for Asian Tribune

Mangala & ManmohanIn what is seen as some plain speak, Indian prime minister conveyed to the visiting Sri Lanka foreign minister Mangala Samaraveera that while Colombo can count on New Delhi's support, it must work towards strengthening the ceasefire with the LTTE and evolve a genuinely consensus based devolution package to usher in ethnic harmony. While it is said that the Prime Minister addressed his appeal to both sides to the conflict in Sri Lanka namely Colombo and the Tigers, a view here is that President Rajapakse should not let in drift of any kind and work with as much speed as possible to restore ethnic harmony in the island nation. New Delhi's concern is that any trouble in the island will have spill over effects on Tamilnadu; it is also keen to see an early end to the bloodshed.

Conflicting reports on the abduction and recruitment of children by Karuna group

In a press statement UNICEF in Sri Lanka has openly condemned the abduction and recruitment of children by the Karuna group. In the meantime the UNICEF allegation has been categorically denied by Pilliyan, Special Commander of the TamilEela Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal, led by its leader V.Muralitharan alias Colonel Karuna Amman. UNICEF in its statement called for immediate action to halt the abduction and forced recruitment of children by the Karuna group. “Over the past week, the agency has verified reports of thirty cases in Batticaloa district. Reports of abduction and forced recruitment of boys under the age of 18 from the area have increased since March of this year,” it added.

Sri Lanka to revive a defunct press complaint body.

By Our Colombo Correspondent

Sri Lankan government plans to resurrect now defunct state controlled press complaint investigation institution, an attempt, media activists described as a step backward in the march to media freedom. Information Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said the defunct press complaint commission would be restored to handle the complaints received against the newspapers. Sri Lanka Press Council, the state controlled press complaint commission was made obsolete by the Ranil Wickremesinghe Administration and was replaced by a voluntary institution set up by the newspapers editors and proprietors.

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