CBCradio

May 20, 2009

Pt 1: Tamil Diaspora - Today is a national holiday in Sri Lanka. In an address to the nation, the Sri Lankan president declared the holiday as a tribute to his military for crushing the final remnants of the Tamil Tigers and putting an end to the decades long civil war.

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Pt 2: Al-Qaeda Watcher - Eight months after that act of terror on Islamabad's Marriott Hotel, there is still no conclusive evidence of who was behind the attack. But Pakistan's intelligence service was quick to blame Al Qaeda or one of its allied terror cells for the bombing. For governments around the world, that spectacular attack, was a reminder of how Osama Bin Laden's network of extremists continues to project its influence.

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Pt 3: Mexico Water - While life seems to be returning to normal in Mexico City in the wake of the Swine flu outbreak, officials there are still urging people to be vigilant about hygiene. But extra cleaning and hand washing is straining the water supply in a city of more than 20 million people, already struggling with a serious water shortage.

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It's Wednesday May 20th.

Former US president Bill Clinton has been named UN special envoy to Haiti

Currently,

Reached for comment, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated: "wow, I like-ee".

This is The Current.

Part One: Tamil Diaspora - Canada

Today is a national holiday in Sri Lanka. In an address to the nation, the Sri Lankan president declared the holiday as a tribute to his military for crushing the final remnants of the Tamil Tigers and putting an end to the decades long civil war.

Yesterday, the Sri Lankan military released pictures of what they claim is Tamil Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, calling it proof that he's dead. However, many Tamils both in and outside Sri Lanka are not convinced.

We aired some reaction to that news from Tamils protesting outside the US consulate in Toronto.

To look at how Tamils here and overseas will carry on this new fight for Tamil independence, we were joined by Sri R Ranjan President of the Canadian Tamil Congress and he was in our Winnipeg studio this morning.

Tamil Diaspora - Exile

Nirmala Rajasingam is a former member of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam - the LTTE - but she abandoned the paramilitary group accusing them of being undemocratic and committing human rights abuses. She is now a member of the steering group for the Sri Lanka Democracy Forum. She wan London, England.

Al-Qaeda Watcher - Barrett

Eight months after that act of terror on Islamabad's Marriott Hotel, there is still no conclusive evidence of who was behind the attack. But Pakistan's intelligence service was quick to blame Al Qaeda or one of its allied terror cells for the bombing. For governments around the world, that spectacular attack, was a reminder of how Osama Bin Laden's network of extremists continues to project its influence.

But Europe and North America have been relatively terrorist free in the past few years where the anxiety of terrorism has been replaced by the angst of recession.
One person who still watches the morphing threats posed by Bin Laden's followers and the armed insurgents in Afghanistan is Richard Barrett, the co-ordinator of the United Nations' Al-Qaeda and Taliban Monitoring Team. He was in our New York studio.

Mexico Water- Resident

While life seems to be returning to normal in Mexico City in the wake of the Swine flu outbreak, officials there are still urging people to be vigilant about hygiene. But extra cleaning and hand washing is straining the water supply in a city of more than 20 million people, already struggling with a serious water shortage.

Three times this spring, regulators temporarily shut down the water flow to parts of the city, all the while keeping an eye on dangerously low reservoirs. Water officials say the last scheduled shut-down was postponed because of cleanliness concerns related to the flu.

This morning we continued our Watershed series, looking at the water shortage facing Mexico City, and other cities at risk of going dry. Carlos Saldana lives in a poor neighbourhood in the Iztapalapa district of Mexico City. He says water to his neighbourhood has been cut off for more than three weeks... even though the cuts were supposed to be suspended. He and his family are relying on water they have saved in a storage tank under their house.

Freelancer Lara Rodriguez visited Carlos Saladana, his wife Elizabeth and their 8 year-old son Samuel in Mexico City.

Mexico Water - CONAGUA

As Mexico City struggles through its punishing water shortage, many are looking for salvation from June's rainy season to replenish the depleted reservoirs. But even significant rainfall won't solve the water problems created by the city's faltering water infrastructure. Mr. Saldana referred to pipes being repaired.

Well an estimated forty per cent of the water running through the city's pipes leaks out before it reaches its final destination. Jorge Villalón Efrén Figaredo is a director with Mexico's National Water Commission, know by its Spanish acronym CONAGUA. We reached him at home in Mexico City.

Water Shortage: Overview

While the water shortage is acute in the Mexican capital, there are plenty of other thirsty cities around the world, facing the threat of a persistently parched future. Piet Klop is a Senior Fellow, Markets & Enterprise Program with the World Resources Institute - an environmental think-tank. He was in our Washington studio.

Last Word - Conrad Black

We wanted to leave you this morning with a word from one of Canada's most colourful and erudite former citizens ... Conrad Black. Lord Black of Crossharbour took an unexpected legal step forward Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear an approval of his fraud conviction.

In 2001, Mr. Black famously decided he would rather be a British Lord than a Canadian citizen. It was a decision he would later try to reverse. We ended the program this morning with a very Canadian tip from the former Canadian, courtesy of the Rick Mercer Report.

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