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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2010


Australia doubles number of scholarships to the Asia and Pacific region

Sunil C. Perera - Reporting from Colombo

The Australian High Commissioner Dr. Greg French says the government of Australia would double the number of scholarships to the Asia-Pacific region.
Under a new 1.4 billion Australia dollar scheme, scholarships will be provided over 19,000 in the next five years for education cooperation in the Asia and pacific region. Leaders in the region will be also be targeted for study in Australia through a new ‘Australian Leadership Awards Scheme.’

Bangladesh industrial sector flares up again

At least 30 people were injured on Wednesday in clashes between workers and officials of a readymade garment factory in the Dhaka export processing zone at Savar. In the morning several hundred workers of A-1 garments factory started a work abstention program to press home their 11-point charter of demands. More than 100 workers from Youngone, Spot-ex and Shine Fashion, a sister concern of Ring Sign Industry of South Korea, expressed solidarity with the demands and also went on work abstention. The workers also staged demonstrations.

Refugees International Calls for More Aid to Displaced People and Vulnerable Populations in Burma

Dire humanitarian conditions in Burma require an increase in aid from the United States and other donors, Refugees International concluded in a new report. Ending the Waiting Game: in Burma argues that the crisis in Burma has reached a point where displaced people and other vulnerable populations simply cannot wait any longer for outside assistance, including health services, education, food production and building the capacity of civil society organizations in the country. U.S. sanctions against Burma's military regime currently prevent the provision of significant humanitarian aid.

Bangladesh people will reject extra-constitutional rule - US State Dept. Official

A United States official yesterday said the people of Bangladesh will reject any military takeover or extra-constitutional rule and work hard to protect democracy. "I trust that the people of Bangladesh will reject that option and work hard to protect its long tradition of democracy,' Oscar DeSoto, a senior US State Department official, said during website chat with some Bangladeshi journalists. His comment came when asked if the US has any role to play in protecting democracy in Bangladesh from any extra-constitutional move in the wake of failure of political leadership to resolve their election disputes.

Orange Electric attracts Australian Investor to Sri Lanka

Kushan Kodituwaku, Managing Director of wholly Sri Lankan owned electrical switch and socket manufacturing giant Orange Electric, has been successful in attracting big time Australian Investors to Sri Lanka. He has convinced Australia’s second largest electrical switch manufacturer, Herman Plastic Moldings Put (HPM) to consider Sri Lanka for a join venture manufacturing plant for export to Australia. HPM, which is a 120-year-old family business in Australia.

Karuna Group slates Co-Chairs for not doing enough to disarm LTTE

It is irresponsible and reprehensible for the Co-Chairs to call for the disarming of the TamilEela Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal led by Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan, (Colonel Karuna Amman) without first disarming the LTTE – the deadliest terrorists group destablising peace in Sri Lanka,” said Thooyavan, the spokesman of the TMVP. "In insisting that TEMVP should be disarmed the Co-chairs are acting under LTTE pressure to protect the interests of the Tigers and not to protect either peace or the Tamil people who have been the victims of their terror,” he said. “In any case, if the Co-chairs insist on this course of action to appease the LTTE they should be held responsible for escalating violence which is not in the best interests either of peace or the Tamil people. The first step towards peace is to disarm the LTTE. The rest will fall into place if this is implemented by the international community,” said Thooyavan.

Rich vs Poor in Power Struggle, Says Top UN Official

By Thalif Deen - Inter Press Service

A new North-South divide between rich and poor nations -- over budgetary control and management reforms -- may be heading for a political showdown at the United Nations. "its numbers versus pocketbooks," says Deputy Secretary-General Mark Malloch Brown, who is hoping that the North-South deadlock will not continue. Asked if the sharp division between developed and developing nations would result in a possible shutdown of the United Nations in the absence of an agreement on the budget, he told IPS: "I definitely hope not. I hope peace and trust is going to break out. If not, it's a defeat for both sides."

International community could do more to tame the Tigers – Mahinda Rajapakse

While welcoming the action of the international community in condemning the LTTE terrorists President Mahinda Rajapakse wrote in the Wall Street Journal of today that “words alone are not enough.” He said: “Foreign governments could do more to crackdown on the Tamil Tigers’ illegal purchase of weapons from places such as Afghanistan and East European and Central Asian republics, as well as their arms-smuggling operations through Thailand. They could also condemn more strongly the Tamil Tigers’ repeated massacres of innocent villagers. The enforcement of proposals already before the U.N. Security Council for sanctions against organizations such as the Tamil Tigers, that force children to carry arms, would be a good first step.”

EU blames LTTE for not heeding its earlier warnings

The official declaration by the Presidency of the European Union listing the LTTE as a terrorist organization has lashed out specifically at the LTTE saying that it did not heed several warnings issued earlier. Putting the blame entirely on the LTTE for the banning, the press release of the Council of the European Union released today (May 31, 2006) says: “The decision of the EU to list the LTTE should come as a surprise to nobody. Several warnings have already been provided to the LTTE, which the LTTE has systematically ignored. In its statement of 27 September 2005 (12669/1/05) the EU stated that “it was actively considering the formal listing of LTTE as a terrorist organisation.

Citizens’ Committee restores normalcy in Kayts

In the other battle to win the hearts and minds of the people the Sri Lanka Navy has set up a Citizens’ Committee in the island of Kayts – a recent flashpoint where civilians were killed and where the LTTE cadres were targeting the Sri Lankan Navy troops and forcing the Tamil population to vacate island. The Peace Secretariat in Colombo said that the first meeting held on May 26 was attended by over 750 citizens of Kayts, Pungudathive and Mandathive. Senior citizens, religious leaders, government officials, the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) and UNHCR officials chaired the meeting.

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