Daily Archives: May 12, 2007
Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene will lead Asia in three one-day internationals against Africa for the Afro-Asia Cup in India next month, the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) said on Friday.
Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar, who missed the World Cup due to injury, has been included in the 14-member squad that also features axed India spinner Harbhajan Singh.
The one-dayers, which have been granted official status by the International Cricket Council, will be played in Bangalore (6 June) and Chennai (9 and 10 June).
The series will be preceded by a Twenty-20 match between the reserve players of the two continents in Bangalore on 5 June, ACC chief executive Ashraful Haq told reporters.
Asia’s one-day squad features five Sri Lankans who reached the World Cup final in the Caribbean: Jayawardene, Sanath Jayasuriya, Chaminda Vaas, Lasith Malinga and Upul Tharanga.
Two other Sri Lankan stars, Kumar Sangakkara and Muttiah Muralitharan, were not available for the series due to commitments in English county cricket, Haq said.
The squad includes five Indians in Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Harbhajan. Indian captain Rahul Dravid opted out due to personal seasons, Haq said.
Pakistan will be represented by Mohammad Yousuf, Mohammad Asif and Akhtar while Mohammad Rafique is the lone player from Bangladesh which qualified for the second round of the World Cup.
The Asian squad was picked by the ACC’s four man selection panel of Chetan Chauhan (India), Mohsin Khan (Pakistan), Lalith Kaluperuma (Sri Lanka) and Abdul Farooque (Bangladesh).
Former India all-rounder Roger Binny was nominated coach of the continental team.
Africa will be captained by South Africa’s Graeme Smith, Haq said. The inaugural Afro-Asia Cup, which was played in South Africa in 2005, ended at 1-1 with the third match rained off.
Asia’s one-day squad: Mahela Jayawardene (SRI-capt), Sanath Jayasuriya (SRI), Sachin Tendulkar (IND), Virender Sehwag (IND), Mohammad Yousuf (PAK), Yuvraj Singh (IND), Mahendra Singh Dhoni (IND), Harbhajan Singh (IND), Chaminda Vaas (SRI), Shoaib Akhtar (PAK), Lasith Malinga (SRI), Mohammad Rafique (BAN), Mohammad Asif (PAK), Upul Tharanga (SRI).
Asia’s Twenty-20 team: Shoaib Malik (PAK-capt), Tamim Iqbal (BAN), Imran Nazir (PAK), Mohammad Ashraful (BAN), Tillekeratne Dilshan (SRI), Shahid Afridi (PAK), Kamran Akmal (PAK), Abdur Razzak (BAN), Farveez Maharoof (SRI), Mashrafe Mortaza (BAN), Munaf Patel (IND)
Powered by Post2Blog Express
UN REPORT SAYS THE WORLD BODY WOULD SEND A STRONG MESSAGE TO LTTE AND KARUNA FACTIONS AGAINST THEIR USE OF CHILD SOLDIERS
By Walter Jayawardhana
A statement issued by the United Nations said the Security Council working group on Children and Armed Conflict has decided to send a strong message to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and its rival Tamil Makkal Vidutalai Pulikal (TMVP) or Karuna Faction against their engagement of child soldiers in Sri Lanka.
“They have to stop grave violations of children’s rights, especially the recruitment and the use of children in the conflict in Sri Lanka”, said the statement quoting Radhika Coomaraswami, UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict.
Unlike during on a previous occasion, in a report by Alan Rock the press release did not drag the name of the government of Sri Lanka, that led to angry demonstrations then in Colombo in front of the UN offices there.
The release from the UN said, Ms. Coomaraswamy, UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict welcomes the recommendations adopted by the Working Group. “These recommendations send a strong message to the LTTE, a repeat offender who has been on the Secretary General’s list of violators for four years and to the Karuna faction-TMVP.”
The statement dated May 11 further said, the Security Council Working group on Children and Armed Conflict adopted its recommendations on the situation in Sri Lanka and in Nepal and examined the Secretary General’s reports on Somalia and Uganda on the previous day.
Coomaraswamy was quoted having said, “. They have to stop grave violations of children’s rights, especially the recruitment and the use of children in the conflict in Sri Lanka. In regard to Nepal, we hope that the children who remain in the ranks of the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-M) will be demobilized and reintegrated in their communities without delay”.
In his report on Somalia, the Secretary General estimates that more than one third of the victims who were killed and injured in fighting there in 2006 were children. Insecurity and violence in Southern and Central Somalia is characterized by grave child rights violations. Continued fighting in and around Mogadishu between the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and remnants of the Union of Islamic Courts forces has resulted in more casualties and violations against children in 2007. Humanitarian access has been severely compromised and has had serious implications for children. In the absence of a functioning police and judiciary, crimes against civilians, including women and children, are committed with impunity. The recruitment and use of child soldiers by the TFG and other armed groups is a significant concern.
The Secretary General’s report on the situation in Uganda highlights the preliminary steps taken by the Government of Uganda to address violations against children, in particular the drafting of an Action Plan to eliminate the use and recruitment of children in armed conflict. It also contains a series of recommendations with a view to securing strengthened action for the protection of war-affected children in Uganda. The Secretary General urges the leaders of Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) to take immediate steps to end child recruitment and the use of child soldiers, and immediately release all children
Powered by Post2Blog Express
The JVP has started a new battle in the South against alleged foreign direct interference in our local affairs. The provocation for this is that the British parliament debated our national issue and condemned both parties to the conflict. JVP feels that he British government has no right to comment about our internal affairs. But this has been happening for a while. The UN many times has debated the Sri Lankan issue. Then we had the Co- chairs one time actively engaged in the peace process telling us what we should do and not do. So this is not something new for Sri Lanka to worry about.
By Dinesh Weerakkody
Therefore we should not unduly worry about what the British parliament said about Sri Lanka. Also Rohitha our foreign man has assured the people of this country that Mahinda will not tolerate even a semblance of foreign interference in the internal affairs of the country.
The tragedy is that some of our politicians in the South talk about the importance of the country being independent and self-reliant without leaving room for succumbing to pressures from outside. But what they forget is that we have very low saving and investment rates, huge infrastructure deficits and poor productivity levels. Therefore we need outside help to cover our shortfalls. Therefore to become independent we need to firstly address these issues and do something to reduce our budget deficit. Then to find solutions to these issues we need to have a competent government and a strong opposition. The same way an individual cannot ever think of being independent without a sound income, it is futile to imagine a country without the ability to generate the required income to supply the basic needs of its people. Therefore when a government cannot fulfill the needs of its people, they have to look to those affluent countries to obtain funds to fund its development programs and also to provide the basic necessities of their people. Thus succumbing to whatever terms or demands put forward by the lender. Very few politicians understand this dilemma. So it is abundantly clear that our desired goal of independence depends on the progress the country makes to improve its economy. Politicians who talk so much about independence and so on without giving priority to economic development should not be taken seriously. Because either they are ignorant or not genuine in their intentions. Therefore, it is the duty of our leaders, be it Ranil or Mahinda to care for the people, find out what their problems are and work for the welfare of its people rather than whipping up nationalism.
Sri Lanka’s economic development has today reached a critical juncture. Failed socialist experiments, economic mismanagement, lack of proper training and the conflict have created an economy without a sound economic foundation on which to build. As a result today we have poverty throughout the country. In fact, the World Bank Report on “Poverty and Vulnerability in South Asia” has said that South Asia is the home to the largest number of the World’s Poor; this most certainly includes Sri Lanka. Main contributing factors are the haplessness of the rural poor, who fall victim to economic downturns, unemployment, crippling illness, death, conflict and natural disasters, most often without the social protection programmes such as insurance, and economic safety nets such as unemployment relief and food stamps. The global oil price heightened by a war-ravaged economy has affected the Sri Lankan economy. The government according to the Central Bank has managed the economy well to contain the fallout. But the ordinary people of this country do not seem to have benefited at all from this 6% growth. Their buying power by no means has increased. Many blame the Southern forces for the situation in the North. However, the impact of the political crisis and the killings in the North and East is being felt in all sectors and if we don’t find a speedy solution in the near future we will end up running a huge budget deficit, pushing inflation to record levels. While we all agree that we need to defeat terrorism. Peace is the number one, two and three priority and that will be the foundation to find solutions for the problems such as overcoming poverty.
In that context, today we need to ask ourselves what development strategy are we comfortable with? The “Trickle down” approach, with government mobilizing all the savings and capital which can be borrowed and letting the group of entrepreneurs invest them in infrastructure, industry and commerce to productively to churn out goods and services that people in the country and in other countries will want and pay for. This increase in capital and value to companies leading to competitive advantage has to necessarily leave the working classes to make sacrifices and be happy with the pittance coming their way, until the wealth that is accumulating trickles down to them. This approach certainly has lost its supporters. While another set of thinkers advocate the alleviation of poverty, total human development and equity as the government’s primary goal. Promoting the decentralization of Government, privatization of certain public enterprise, improving the quality of education and training of people, technological upgrading, and “private sector as the engine of growth” are core strategies we should focus on. This also envisages the participation of the private sector, voluntary organizations and other key institutions in implementing Government’s policies and programmes. In Sri Lanka however using this mantra most governments have quietly abdicated much of the government’s own responsibility for enhancing economic growth. In Sri Lanka growth should be a joint effort between the government, the private sector and the NGOs. In this effort the government should be a facilitator for FDI and growth. This is why this country desperately needs good governance. Projecting Sri Lanka as an attractive investment and business location would also require the government to improve its track record, provide constitutional guarantees, invest in developing its human capital, improve our human rights record and manage the security risks effectively.
In Sri Lanka one sees certain obstacles to achieving these goals which mainly is a mindset of some of the entrepreneur classes in the private sector, an inertia ridden senior rungs of the Government’s Policy making machinery, selfish politicians and weak implementation in general. The budget deficit is expected to hit record levels this year due to escalating defence expenditure. This certainly places enormous pressure on external debt. The trade deficit is on the rise while Public Debt had risen. In simple terms we are very happy making future generations indebted. This is not the first time we had opted for this solution. What irks the common man most is the unbalanced spending on non-food imports, for example imports of non-essentials had increased at a time we are still struggling with infrastructure issues. Also, above all the vulgar abuse of state resources by their elected representatives is also helping to lose confidence in their political leaders. We must get our act together in building the highways, the power plants and other social infrastructure we need for economic prosperity, for which the ADB and many other donors have come up with the funding but reluctant to release due to governance issues.
Productivity is another issue, which is more on our collective lips than in reality. Imagine the “creative” minds of our people propounding the productivity theory”1/2X2X 3″ that is half as much people paid twice as much produce three times their output.
This sort of thinking can only get us near NIC status . We wish our pay is increased but have no commitment to productivity. Unions bolt at the mere mention of the “word”. We need to link Performance to pay. One reason which makes even a man whose income is as big as a country’s GNP, Bill Gates to call up 400 computer programmers personally at a time, to encourage them to join “Microsoft is because he values talent and knows that his company’s future lies in innovation and upgrading. We must be bold to challenge ourselves in meeting higher goals, add greater value. But it is not all-labour productivity . The private sector as much as the public sector must invest in human resource development, process methodology, R&D and worker training, while conserving energy and economizing on luxuries, so that capital accumulation is rapid and we vindicate ourselves in the eyes of our future generation. In the final analysis, if are truly to become independent like what the JVP wants, firstly we need a competent, credible government, secondly a private sector that does not isolate themselves to their boardrooms and people who are conscientious about our work ethic and helps to create an environment where private capital can thrive. For all this to happen we would need an assertive society that has the self-confidence.. As the World Bank observed recently strong growth has created an unprecedented opportunity a chance for ending poverty in a generation in South Asia. So if we can all get our act together we could provide an opportunity and a real chance for the poor of this country to emerge from destruction, helplessness and want. So the challenge for us is to stick to what is good for this country and its people. -Wijeya Newspapers
Powered by Post2Blog Express