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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2008

News

Bush in Baghdad

George BushPresident Bush’s trip to Baghdad Tuesday has been hailed by the American media and official Washington as something of a political masterstroke. In fact, the sudden trip, conducted in secrecy even from the Iraqi government that holds nominal sovereignty in the US-occupied country, was a demonstration of both the dire state of affairs in Iraq and the political isolation and disorientation of the Bush administration. No amount of “spin” can alter the sense of something degrading and even ludicrous in the spectacle of an American president stealing into a foreign capital, spending five hours on the ground in a series of stage-managed and largely meaningless public appearances, and then flying off under cover of darkness, never having left the safety of the fortified Green Zone in downtown Baghdad.

Musharraf sees pivotal role for Pak in regional commerce

By Iqbal Hussain Khan Yousafzai - Reporting from Islamabad

General Pervez MusharrafPakistan President General Pervez Musharraf Tuesday saw tremendous scope for increased trade and economic relations between members of Shanghai Cooperation Organization and underlined that Pakistan can play a pivotal role in promoting regional commerce. He was speaking to newsmen prior to his departure for China for the SCO Summit, a regional grouping, which brings together China, Russia and Central Asian states with a focus on fostering peace, security and development.

JVP joins in the battle against Sri Lanka's pre dominant Muslim party

By Munza Mushtaq – Reporting from Colombo for Asian Tribune

The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) has also joined hands with several frontline Ministers to voice its disapproval of a possible amalgamation between the Government and the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC). The SLMC, which is being openly attacked by senior Muslim Minister A.H.M. Fowzie, has however decided to refrain from reacting to such attacks. SLMC Secretary General M.T. Hasan Ali told the “Asian Tribune” that his party has taken a decision not to respond to a single statement made by Minister Fowzie. "What is the use of responding to such statements," Mr. Hasan Ali said.

Norwegian pilot jumps out of the plane in mid air

By H. L. D. Mahindapala

Jonas Gahr StoreAfter meeting the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister, Mangala Samaraweera, in Oslo the Norwegian Foreign Minister, Jonas Gahr Stoere, dropped a bombshell at the press conference. He said: “Norway will present no new mediation or peace initiative in the Sri Lanka conflict.”This act is compared to the pilot jumping off the plane in mid air. Analysts state that this could lead to a deepening of the crisis. Analysts also agree that this is an admission of Norwegian failure in peace-building after being engaged in it for over six years.

Kadirgamar’s assassins posed as insurance agents - Investigator

By Our Colombo Correspondent

Some of the accomplices of the assassination of former Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar have posed as agents of a leading insurance agency, investigators have found. Two accomplices of the killing of the Foreign Minister had been issued with identity cards by a leading insurance company, an investigator told the Asian Tribune.

Sri Lanka Presidential Advisory Committee Lacks Tamil specialists

Mahinda Rajapaksa Even the very outset of the move to find lasting solutions to the ethnic conflict has failed to win the hearts and minds of the Tamil community in Sri Lanka. It has been pointed out that by appointing a majority of the Presidential Advisory Committee members - 11 out of 12 belonging to the Sinhala speaking ethnic group, reflects a calculated move that the whole exercise is a forerunner for imposing a Sinhalese solution to the Tamil issues and would not be an acceptable solution to all the ethnic groups in the country. Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa has appointed a committee to serve in an advisory capacity to the committee of representatives, from all parties to be appointed to work out the formalities for a lasting solution to the ethnic conflict, without any Tamil members in it.

Pak hopes US will not cut its promised aid

By Iqbal HUssain Khan Yousafzai – Reporting from Islamabad

Pakistan has hoped that the US administration would ensure restoration of original economic and military assistance for 2007. Responding to a question at the weekly news briefing here on Monday, Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said the Bush administration had proposed aid worth 738 million dollars for Pakistan for the next year. This included 300 million dollars for military and 350 million dollars for economic assistance.

'Sri Lankan police intelligence very low,' claims leading estate political party

By Munza Mushtaq – Reporting from Colombo for Asian Tribune

The Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) has come down hard on the police force, stating that its intelligence capacity is at an extremely low status. CWC's Vice President R. Yogarajan made these statements reacting to a recent regulation imposed in some parts of the country which insisted on all Tamils to register themselves in those respective area police stations due to security reasons. "Our police intelligence is so low that they think they can catch the LTTE cadres as soon as all Tamils register themselves. Such a move will only result in our people getting harassed and further alienated," he said.

Judge Weeramantry appointed to World Future Council

Judge WeeramantryIn the last week of May twenty handpicked international luminaries met in Geneva for the inaugural session of the World Future Council - a body created by the Swedish thinker, Jakob von Uexkull, the founder of the "Alternative Nobel Prize". Von Uexkull's vision is that a celebrated assembly of "the most respected and trusted members of our planetary community" could provide a high-profile think tank whose influence would be felt in "the burgeoning array of issues affecting our global village". "Their moral authority would give legitimacy to promote more enlightened policy relating to our common future and the legacy we leave to succeeding generations who will inherit this ever smaller planet which we all share," he said.

Sri Lanka: Southern Development Authority Chairman murder could be a contract

By Munza Mushtaq – Reporting from Colombo for Asian Tribune

Inspector General of Police Chandra Fernando has dispatched three special police teams headed by Assistant Superintendents of Police to investigate the murder of Southern Lanka Development Authority (SLDA) Chairman Danny Hiththetiya. Although police took action to put up barricades in Matara, Galle and Ratnapura immediately after the incident, they have so far being unsuccessful in their attempt to apprehend the killers.

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