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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2250

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UNDP disburses Rs 5.6 Million for tsunami recovery in Matara

This assistance to Community Based Organizations is part of UNDP’s efforts to support and strengthen local communities in post tsunami recovery activities. The project “Sustaining Tsunami Recovery by Organizations Networking at the Grassroots level through Promoting Local Accountability and Capacity Enhancement Systems” or (STRONG PLACES Project) is being funded by the Government of Germany. The United Nations Development Programme [UNDP] formally handed over material and financial assistance worth Rs.5.6 Million, to 79 selected Community Based Organizations (CBOs) in the Southern District of Matara on Friday June 9th.

Indian PM sending his emissary to MK to discuss Lanka issue

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

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is sending his emissary to Chennai to discuss with DMK chief M Karunanidhithe ‘burning’ situation in Sri Lanka. Singh himself told this to the chief minister who spoke to him on phone and apprised him of the views of the DMK and its allies on the issue. Prime Minister, who is keeping himself abreast of the developments in Lanka and related matters, told MK that he had read the resolution adopted by the DMK and its allies. He promised to send his national security advisor M Narayanan to Chennai to discuss Tamil Nadu concerns.

Sri Lankan and Maldivian Cadets earn appointments to prestigious U.S. Military Academies

By Munza Mushtaq – Reporting from Colombo for Asian Tribune

Three military cadets received Certificates of Appointment from U.S. Ambassador Jeffrey J. Lunstead to begin undergraduate studies at the U.S. Air Force Academy and the U.S. Military Academy in September of 2006. Radhika Ranaweera of Sri Lanka will enroll in the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Ali Ihusaan and Ahmed Mooman, both of the Maldives, will enroll in the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York. The three students will pursue Bachelor of Science degrees and receive military training alongside students from the United States and around the world. "I am excited about going to study aeronautical engineering, hopefully learning to fly," said Cadet Ranaweera.Cadet Ihusaan will study computer sciences and Cadet Mooman will study civil engineering before retuning to serve as lieutenants in the Maldivian National Defence Force.

SL government is to introduced tough laws on Coconut tree fellers

Sunil C. Perera, Reporting from Colombo

The government of Sri Lanka expects to impose high penalties on illegal coconut palm fellers and wish to introduce new strategies to replant bare land in traditional and non-traditional coconut growing areas in Sri Lanka. Coconut Development Minister Salinda Dissanayaka said maximum penalty is to be imposed who illegally uproot or fell coconut palms. He said the government also hopes to introduce stern legal structure to minimise block coconut lands. Addressing media in Colombo, Mr.Dissanayaka said that land auctioneers use illegal methods to avoid the current land law when they want to auction a coconut land.

Sri Lanka: UNDP partners with Brandix in the water and sanitation sector

UNDP and Brandix Lanka Limited, the single largest apparel export company based in Sri Lanka, signed recently a two cost-share agreements worth US $23,810 [LKR 2,381,400] at the UN Head Quarters in Colombo. These funds will be utilized in the water and sanitation sector in post-tsunami recovery and reconstruction. Mr. Abu Selim, UNDP’s Country Director and Mr. Feroz Omar, Board Director of Brandix Lanka, signed the partnership agreement. The funds raised by these two cost-share agreements would benefit tsunami affected communities in Kattankudi in the Eastern Province and Lunawa Moratuwa in the Western Province.

Sri Lanka Parliament extends condolences to the victims of Kebbitigollawa massacre

By Sunil C. Perera - Reporting from Colombo

Wimal WeerawanseParliament of Sri Lanka extended condolences to the victims of the Kebbitigollawa massacre. A one minute silent was observed in the Sri Lanka parliament on Tuesday, as a mark of respect to those persons killed in the claymore mines attack, despite opposition by the Parliament Members of the Tamil National Alliance. When the parliament resumed sittings on Tuesday, Wimal Weerwanse Member of Parliament and the Parliamentary Group Leader of the Janatha Vimukthi Perumuna made statement on the Kebbitigollawa massacre.

Dr. Salai Tun Than Denied Permission to Return to Burma

Dr. Salai Tun Than, a former political prisoner and retired professor, was refused permission by Thai Airways International (TG) to board a plane headed to Burma on Monday morning at the Bangkok International Airport.The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) has learned that Thai Airways International denied boarding, fearing pressure from the Burmese Embassy in Bangkok. It was feared that Burmese authorities could potentially suspend flights to Burma by this airline in the future if the Professor is allowed to fly with them.

Tamil rebel Tigers attacked Ancient Buddhist temple in the East

The Somawathiya Chaithya, one of the ancient Buddhist temple was the latest to come under attack by the suspected Tamil Tiger rebels, on Monday at 6.00 p.m., according to Sri Lanka’s Army. However, Liberation Tigers in a statement posted in their Peace Secretariat website denied any involvement in the attack and added they believed the attack is by "Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) operated forces aimed at creating ethnic tensions." According to reports LTTE attacked Somawathiya, the Buddhist temple in the Eastern part of the country on Monday and they had fled after security forces guarding the shrine returned fire, a government statement said.

Can Pakistan Live with a U.N. Chief from India?

Shashi TharoorBy Thalif Deen - Inter Press Service

India's formal announcement of its candidate for the next U.N. secretary-general has threatened to trigger a nomination from neighboring Pakistan -- possibly turning the race into an all-too-familiar Indo-Pakistan political battle in the world body. Ambassador Munir Akram of Pakistan told reporters last week that the announcement of his country's own candidate, if any, will come only from Islamabad. But he was not willing to give credence to any of the names floating around at the United Nations.

India sees 'reasonable prospects' of Tharoor winning the UN race

Shashi TharoorBy M Rama Rao - Reporting from India

Notwithstanding the long ‘ifs’ and heavy ‘buts’ on his way, Shashi Tharoor, the Indian nominee for succeeding Kofi Annan at the United Nations, is the toast of the town since his arrival here on a three day visit on Sunday night. He met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his aides and their thirty minutes session worked on the broad contours of a winning strategy. One imponderable that was examined at close range was how China, a permanent member, which enjoys exceptionally close relations with south-east Asia would vote. Also given a deep thought was the danger of Pakistan playing a real spoil sport given its India centric foreign policy. On both counts India did some deft foot work and feels that there are reasons 'not to explicitly worry'. More so after the Indian announcement fielding Tharoor coincided with American media giving top billing to India growth story.

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