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A 118-page special magazine is being distributed today with the Observer on the occasion of the 42nd National Day. Collect your free copy.

THE management and staff of the Oman Daily Observer extend hearty congratulations to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos on the 42nd National Day Sunday, November 18, 2012


Sunday, November 18, 2012/Muharram 4, 1434 AH sÂŞ

HM to preside over military parade

Oman marches ahead MUSCAT — His Majesty Sultan Qaboos, Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, will preside over a military parade marking the 42nd National Day of the Sultanate today. The parade will take place at the grounds of the Sultan Qaboos Air Academy. Various wings of the Sultan’s Armed Forces, the Royal Guard of Oman and the Royal Oman Police (ROP) will be represented at the parade, which will be attended, along with His Majesty the Sultan, by Royal Family members and senior state civil and military personnel. Meanwhile, Oman today celebrates the 42nd anniversary of the launch of the Sultanate’s Renaissance led by His Majesty the Sultan. The tremendous achievements brought about across the country are self-explanatory. Ever since the dawn of the Renaissance, Oman has been taking gigantic strides towards wider horizons of progress and prosperity.

On this occasion, the loyal citizens express their love and gratitude to His Majesty the Sultan and reiterate their allegiance to promote the march of nation building. Thus His Majesty the Sultan has fulfilled the promise he made upon assumption of leadership in 1970 when he vowed to build a modern state. This was not achieved without extensive efforts and great sacrifices made over the past 42 years which witnessed record volumes of progress in all areas, particularly in infrastructure which covered all parts of the country serving as a springboard for major projects and services reaching out to citizens wherever they are. The big success is also credited to all Omani citizens, men and women, who have always met the expectations of His Majesty the Sultan, who reaffirmed this fact in the Royal speech His Majesty delivered before the recent annual session of the Council.

Land of peace Fahmi bin Khalid al Harthy Editor-in-Chief FAHMIALHARTHY OMANOBSERVEROM


HE nation salutes and congratulates His Majesty Sultan Qaboos on the 42nd anniversary of the Blessed Omani Renaissance. The Sultanate has long been recognised as a land of peace, prosperity, security, stability and tranquillity, thanks to the wise leadership of His Majesty the Sultan. „ To page 5

A salient feature of the Omani Renaissance is that each Omani citizen is considered the centre of attention, particularly in terms of human resources development which has been going hand-in-hand with the growth of infrastructure. Due to the relatively harsh terrain of the Sultanate, the second biggest GCC state, there has always been a need to accord attention to infrastructure projects due to their role in social and economic development, as His Majesty the Sultan explained in his recent Royal address before the Council of Oman (Majlis Oman) last Monday. Meanwhile, the government has been instructed to focus, in its future development plans, to expand the scope of social development, with particular emphasis on achieving the welfare of citizens through employment and training programmes, as well as scientific and intellectual development. „ To page 7


World leaders greet HM MUSCAT — At a time the Omani people are celebrating the 42nd anniversary of the National Day in every corner of the country with full manifestations of love and allegiance to the leader of Oman’s Renaissance, His Majesty Sultan Qaboos has received cables of greetings and congratulations from leaders of brotherly and friendly countries, heir apparent and heads of international organisations and diplomatic missions. The well-wishers congratulated His Majesty the Sultan on the 42nd National Day, wishing His Majesty continued good health, happiness and a long life and the Omani people further progress and prosperity.

His Majesty the Sultan received cables of greetings from King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), King Hamad bin Isa al Khalifa of Bahrain, King Abdallah of Jordan, Dr Mohammed al Muncef al Marzouqi, President of Tunisia, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika of Algeria, President Mahmud Abbas of Palestine, President Michel Suleiman of Lebanon, President Dr Mohammed Mursi of Egypt, King Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah of Malaysia, President Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan, President Mohammed Zillur Rahman of Bangladesh, President Maki Sall of Senegal, „ To page 5



Looking for car, flat and furniture? Check out the Observer classified page. It’s where buyers meet sellers.

THE Sultanate’s roads are adorned and illuminated as part of the 42nd National Day celebrations.

HM greetings to World leaders greet HM Morocco, Latvia „ From page 1

HIS Majesty Sultan Qaboos has sent a cable of greetings to King Mohammed VI of Morocco on the occasion of his country’s Independence Day. His Majesty the Sultan wished King Mohammed good health, happiness and a long life. He wished the brotherly people of Morocco further

Direct Àights to Jalooni MUSCAT — A direct Àight route linking Muscat International Airport and Jalooni in the Wusta Governorate will be opened tomorrow (Monday). The event, which marks the Sultanate’s celebrations of the 42nd National Day, will be presided over by Yahya bin Said al Jabri, Board Chairman of Al Duqm Special Economic Zone Authority. Oman Air will operate three Àights a week to and from Al Duqm Special Economic Zone. — ONA

progress and prosperity. His Majesty Sultan Qaboos has sent a cable of greetings to President Andris Berzins of Latvia on the occasion of the Republic’s Declaration Anniversary. His Majesty expressed his best wishes to President Berzins and the friendly people of Lativa. — ONA

President Dr Mohammed Waheed Hussain of the Maldives, Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and North Ireland and Head of the Commonwealth, King Karl Gustav of Sweden, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, Quentin Brice, Governor General of Australia, President Jaochim Gauck of Germany, President Barack Obama of the United States, President Michael D Higgins of Ireland, President Hu Jintao of China, President Benigno Aquino of the Philippines, President Lee Myung-Bak of South Korea and President and President

10-metre painting to be inaugurated on Nov 20 MUSCAT — On the occasion of the Sultanate’s 42nd National Day, a large wall painting will be inaugurated on November 20 at Ghalia Modern Art Museum by His Highness Sayyid Faisal bin Turki al Said, CEO for Operations at the Sultanate’s Marketing and Promotion Unit. The drawings were put up on the façade of the museum’s building. The idea of the piece of art was the brainchild of Omani art-

ist Murtadha bin Abdulkhaliq al Lawati, Director of Ghalia Modern Art Museum. The 10-metre painting, which portrays the achievements brought about during the prosperous reign of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos, was produced by 100 Omani and expatriate artists. The event also comes within the context of the designation of Muscat as the Capital of Arab Tourism. — ONA

DR Yahya bin Mahfoudh al Mantheri, Chairman of the Majlis Addawla, honoured students who excelled in developing educational programmes related to citizenship at a ceremony held at Al Bustan Palace Hotel in Muscat yesterday in the presence of Education Minister Dr Madeeha bint Ahmed al Shaibaniya.

Advertising International Company is now ADINC DDB By A Staff Reporter MUSCAT — Advertising International Company LLC (ADINC), a leading advertising agency in Oman and part of the Omzest Group, has signed an agreement with DDB Worldwide, making the agency the exclusive representative of DDB in Oman, it was announced at a recent

press meet held at their of¿ce in Qurum DDB is part of Omnicom Inc the world’s leading global advertising and marketing communications services company. The winner of 82 Lions at Cannes this year, DDB has consistently been rated as one of the leading creative agencies in the world by the Gunn Report (Novem-

ber 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010), the International Advertising Festival (June 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011), Campaign (November 2007, November 2010), Spikes Asia (September 2010), Campaign Asia Paci¿c (December 2010), BusinessWeek (Feb 2008), and Global Ef¿es/WARC (June 2011) as well as the European AME awards (2011).

Pranab Mukherjee of India. His Majesty also received cables of greetings from Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, UAE VicePresident and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud, Saudi Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, Hamadi al Jebali, Prime Minister of Tunisia, Raja Pervez Ashraf, Pakistan Prime Minister, Mohammed Najid bin Tun Abdul Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia and Hun Sen, Prime Minister of Cambodia. His Majesty also received greetings cables from Royal

Family members, ministers, advisers, wing commanders of the Armed Forces and the Royal Oman Police (ROP), members of the Majlis Addawla and Majlis Ash’shura, Omani ambassadors, judges, governors, shaikhs and dignitaries. They reiterated their allegiance and vowed to pursue the path set forth by His Majesty for the accomplishment of achievements on the benign land of Oman so that the people will continue to enjoy a life full of security, bounty and prosperity. They wished His Majesty good health, happiness and a long life. — ONA

Land of peace „ From page 1

Despite the continued economic crises worldwide and geopolitical changes in the Middle East, Oman continues to be a land of peace, moving ahead con¿dently with its development march. Hence the Arab Council of Ministers declared Muscat as the Arab Tourism Capital for 2012. With the dawn of the Blessed Renaissance 42 years ago, hope and optimism came to this land and its citizens as His Majesty has promised to transform their lives. The core values such as peace, stability, security and welfare have since characterised Oman’s development plans. The Sultanate enjoys a vast coastline as well as hundreds of miles of demarcated territorial borders, which link it closely with several important countries such as Iran, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Oman enjoys cordial relations with all its neighbours. His Majesty the Sultan has said: “Our foreign policy is always on the side of right, justice and peace, and we call for peaceful co-existence among nations and understanding between civilisations and the eradication of the causes of hatred, which breed in the minds of those who suffer from injustice and inequality. This is in the interest of all mankind”. (Speech at the Council of Oman, November 4, 2002). The Sultanate has consistently supported the Palestinian cause for freedom with Jerusalem Al Quds as its capital. It supports every sincere, positive initiative to lift the blockade of the oppressed Palestinian people in Gaza Strip. Oman has put in place a world-class infrastructure in terms of roads, Àyovers, hospitals, schools, universities, ports, airports, industrial estates, transport and communication. The success of the Omani experiment in pursuing economic development, social and political empowerment, within the framework of keeping its Arab and Islamic values intact, has earned the Sultanate a special place in the comity of nations. This is a fruit of the Sultanate’s emphasis on the need to strike a judicious balance between the needs of rapid economic development and the wisdom of protecting the country’s environment, heritage and cultural values. In one of his interviews His Majesty the Sultan said: “Countries without spiritual

values are empty nations and there is nothing more important than the spiritual side in building nations.” Mosques and Quran schools have been built in every nook and corner of the country so that modern development goes hand in hand with spiritual growth. Indeed, Oman’s measured approach to modernisation is a model for other nations. The 42 years of spectacular progress in Oman is a clear manifestation of His Majesty the Sultan’s visionary and dynamic leadership. Oman’s progress during the past four decades has been unparalleled and easy for anyone to see and appreciate. In fact, there is no need for any certi¿cate from anyone to prove this truth. Facts speak for themselves. In 1970, when the Blessed Renaissance began, the country had only two primary schools, two hospitals and a meagre 10 km of paved roads. Today there are over 1,284 schools with around 560,000 students bene¿ting from free education. The country boasts more than 1,035 health centres and 62 hospitals with free healthcare services in government healthcare institutions. The total length of paved roads has increased from 10 km in the 1970s to more than 14,000 km now. The per capita income of Oman has risen from RO 109 in 1970 to RO 4,000 now. The Sultanate’s gross domestic product has increased from a mere $270 million in 1970 to over $71.78 billion now. In today’s Oman, the citizens enjoy free education, free healthcare, free land plots and they also get scholarships for higher education and training. The Sohar Industrial Area has been transformed into a showpiece of development in the Sultanate. Similar projects are under way in Duqm. Oman has been remarkably successful in its attempt to broaden the base of its economy and to provide employment opportunities to its expanding local workforce. Oman’s non-oil exports have increased to RO 3,033.2 million (excluding re-exports) in 2012 compared to just RO 79 million in 1991. The idea that Oman is a land of peace is also clear from the fact that foreign direct investment in the country stood at RO 6.2 billion (around $16 billion) by the end of 2011 and FDI as well as tourist inÀow is constantly on the rise.



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OMAN Arabic daily marks its 40th anniversary today. The picture shows the first issue of the paper on November 18, 1972.



Dreams for a modern state come true

THE new building of the Council of Oman.

REPLICA of the new Muscat International Airport.

A GENERAL view of Wadi Dayqah.

DABA, a Very Large Crude Carrier inaugurated recently.

A VIEW of Sohar Re¿nery.

Sultanate marches ahead „ From page 1

In more than one occasion, His Majesty the Sultan accorded special attention to the empowerment of women and the welfare of youths and people with limited income, both in terms of education and higher education. For example, this academic year (2011-2012), additional numbers of students were admitted at the Sultan Qaboos University, technical colleges and vocational training centres. At the same time 7,000 students were accommodated in internal scholarships and 1,500 others in external scholarships. His Majesty the Sultan also ordered ¿nancial allocations of full and partial scholarships equated, with 340 students studying in 16 Arab and foreign countries bene¿ting from the Royal gesture. His Majesty the Sultan also ordered the waiving of bank service and administrative fees of loans of citizens registered till its date at Oman Housing Bank and reduction of bank and administrative fees for other borrowers till the settlement of their loans. In the meantime, 23 Al Wafa Social Volunteer Centres were added to the Ministry of Social Development, while Grade 5 was cancelled from the salary schedule and its occupants were compensated in

arrears with effect from 2006. Also, His Majesty the Sultan ordered the allocation of RO 40 million for the Social Housing Programme, with the new sum added to the existing one building up to a total of RO 80 million per annum through the current Eighth Five Year Plan. The minimum level of salaries at the private sector was raised by Royal orders. All of these efforts earned the Sultanate a prominent place in the recent Human Development Report of the United Nations issued last February. Oman ranked among top 10 among 187 countries. The Council of Ministers, in implementation of Royal orders, special departments have been opened in ministries and other government units to streamline services offered to citizens by the state’s institutions. A programme began to be implemented for intensifying the visits of ministers and under-secretaries to wilayats and governorates of the Sultanate in a bid to check the progress of work on projects and services rendered to the public. The Council of Minister then began to issue monthly reports of the outcome of implementation of decisions and its study of issues related to citizens’ welfare.

On the activation of citizens’ participation in the decision-making process within the context of Oman’s experience in the ¿eld of democratic practice, the new building of the Council of Oman was opened recently by His Majesty. The edi¿ce comprises the Council’s premises, as well as the buildings of Majlis Addawla and Majlis Ash’shura. An amendment of the Basic Law of the State last year granted the Council of Oman more powers and prerogatives, including auditing and legislative powers which offer wider scope for more co-operation between the Council of Oman and the Council of Ministers towards the achievement of aspirations of citizens. This development coincides with the enhancement of the autonomy of the justice system and the public prosecution system (Royal Decrees 9/2012 and 10/2012) within the framework of efforts to guarantee the sovereignty of law which constitutes the essence of the modern state that His Majesty the Sultan has been working to develop. This year is considered special in terms of development as it witnessed the allocation of the largest budget in the history of the Sultanate (with 23 per cent increase in the volume of spending). Oil revenues

were calculated on the basis of average oil price of $75 and average daily oil production of 915,000 barrels. This year also witnessed the establishment of the Supreme Council of Planning and the setting up of the National Statistics Centre (Royal Decrees 30/2012 and 31/2012, respectively). The budget accords special attention to the social dimension and the level of inÀation (maintained at last year’s ¿gures) to help achieve economic growth of 7 per cent, with mega projects of roads, airports, sea ports, among others, progressing at satisfactory pace, handin-hand with the Eighth Five Year Plan projects. This goes in line with the revision of educational policies to help meet the requirements of the labour market and economic development at large. The Sultanate’s foreign police has been lauded for its moderation which earned the country good reputation in the world arena. Oman maintains a foreign policy based on its permanent stands which advocate peace, co-operation among countries and non-interference in the internal affairs of others, as well as peaceful dialogue for resolving disputes to help achieve for mankind the security, stability and welfare it aspires for. — ONA



$1.1m for education project

NORTHERN Irish Nobel Peace Prize laureate Lord David Trimble (L) talks with Ghazali Jaafar, Vice-Chairman for political affairs of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front(MILF), inside the rebel stronghold in Camp Darapan, Sultan Kudarat, Southern Philippines yesterday. Trimble discussed peace efforts and shared his own experiences in obtaining a peace accord in Northern Ireland with Ghazali Jaafar on Novemner 17. — AFP

7 soldiers die in Philippines clash MANILA — Seven Philippine soldiers were killed and eight wounded yesterday in a clash with communist guerrillas who are waging a decades-old Maoist insurgency, the military said. The army casualties were part of a foot patrol that clashed with New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in a remote area of Isabela province on the main island of Luzon, said Philippine Army spokesman Colonel Cirilito Sobejana. “They were on security operations, combat operations. We have inserted reinforcements by helicopter and are picking up the casualties,” Sobejana told reporters in Manila. He added residents had told the army up to five guerrillas were also killed, but said no bodies of any rebels were found when the army casualties were evacu-

ated. Fighting has broken out in two areas of the northern province of Isabela amid efforts by the government to restart stalled talks aimed at ending one of Asia’s longest-running rebellions. Sobejana said the deadly skirmish occurred during the army’s patrol at dawn near the mountainous town of San Geronimo. NPA rebels also clashed Saturday with another army unit in the adjacent town of San Mariano, but there were no known casualties there, the military spokesman said. Peace talks between the government and the National Democratic Front, the rebels’ front organisation, were due to have resumed in Norway last month. The rebels however called them off

after Manila again rejected their longstanding condition that 18 jailed comrades must be released before negotiations can resume. The communists have been waging a rebellion since 1969, and more than 30,000 people have died in the conflict, according to the government. Both sides announced in February last year, following talks in Norway, that they had set a deadline of June 2012 to sign a final peace deal, but negotiations went nowhere due to the issue of the detained guerrillas. The military estimates the NPA’s current strength at about 4,000 fighters nationwide, significantly down from over 26,000 at its peak in the 1980s. However the NPA retains support particularly in impoverished rural areas. — AFP

ISLAMABAD — The Asian Development Bank will provide Pakistan a technical assistance grant of $1.1 million for boosting access to quality education and vocational training by using Information and Communications Technology (ICT). Sources said here yesterday this will be the ADB’s first private sector-led investment in an education project which is expected to open up new vistas of online learning opportunities for students and teachers who do not have access to quality educational and training resources. The grant will go to the ‘TeleTaleem’ project which aims to set up 500 learning centres and points-of-access in next five years. Around 100,000 students and 10,000 teachers across the country are expected to benefit from the project. ADB Country Director Werner E Liepach and Chief Executive Officer of TeleTaleem Asad Kareem signed an agreement to this effect. The ADB will look into the possibility of expanding the use of ICT by defining strategies, frameworks and financially self-sustaining development and marketing plans for adaptation. TeleTaleem will use the ICT to deliver effective content to students and teachers with an objective to enhancing student achievement and teacher competence. “The project will hugely benefit students and teachers in remote parts of the country who seek access to good educational opportunities,” said Philip Erquiaga, Director General of ADB?s Private Sector Operations Department. — Internews

Mursi enlists Pakistan help to Palestine UN bid

AN Afghan policeman (L) stands guard as a detained suspect and bags containing heroin are presented to the media at a police station in Jalalabad yesterday. Afghan police seized over 58 kilograms of heroin and arrested one man during an operation in the Achin District of Jalalabad, Nangarhar province, police officials said. — AFP

ISLAMABAD — Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi has asked for Pakistan’s support for the non-state bid of Palestinians when the issue is raised at international forums, particularly the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). In a telephone conversation with Prime Minister Pervaiz Ashraf, Mursi expressed concern over Israel’s continueing air raids in the Gaza Strip which have killed dozens of Palestinians and maimed many others official sources confirmed yesterday. He stressed that peace in the Middle East would remain elusive until the Palestine issue was resolved. Condemning Israeli aggression in Gaza, Premier Ashraf said Pakistan considered the air strikes a grave

Rakhine state group facing ‘genocide’: OIC DJIBOUTI — The world’s top Islamic body called yesterday for the international community to protect Muslims in Myanmar’s unrest-hit Rakhine state from “genocide” as US President Barack Obama readied for a landmark trip to the country. “We expect from the United states to convey a strong message to the government of Burma so they protect that minority, what is going on there is a genocide,” said Djibouti Foreign Minister Mahmoud Ali Youssouf, who is the acting chairman of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. “We are telling things how they are, we believe that the United States and other ...

countries ... should act quickly to save that minority which is submitted to an oppressive policy and a genocide,” he said. Two major outbreaks of violence in Rakhine since June between Muslim and Buddhist communities have left 180 dead and more than 110,000, most of them the Muslim Rohingya, crammed into makeshift camps. Security forces are also accused of abuse against the minority. OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu of Turkey also called for a stop to what he called “ethnic cleansing” of the Rohingya, considered among the most persecuted groups in the world by the

United Nations. “We would like the international world to act immediately to stop the ethnic cleansing,” he said. Obama on Monday will become the first sitting US president to visit Myanmar, in a short but hugely symbolic trip that he hopes will spur greater reform in the formerly isolated country and highlight a rare success for his policy of engaging pariah regimes. Ahead of the visit, Myanmar President Thein Sein said yesterday that the communal unrest was hampering the country’s reforms and causing it “to lose face” on the world stage.

violation of international law and humanitarian norms. Israel’s threats of a ground offensive in Gaza are even more disturbing and could plunge the entire region into a conflict, he added. Assuring President Mursi of Pakistan’s support on the issue in the UNSC, Premier Ashraf reminded him that Islamabad was among the sponsors of the council’s first resolution on Palestine. Pakistan believes in Palestine’s quest for statehood and that it cannot be denied that right any longer, he added. The people of Pakistan stand behind the people of Palestine like they have always done in the past. Pakistan is currently a non-permanent member of the UNSC. And its term expires on December 31, 2013.

‘Drop 4.8m unverified entries off electoral rolls’ ISLAMABAD — The disclosure by the Election Commission that as many as 4.8 million Pakistanis had been enrolled as voters without physical verification has prompted some legislators to demand that either a new verification exercise be launched or all such names be removed from the voter lists. Senators and members of National Assembly attending a meeting of the Senate’s special committee on election issues expressed surprise and dismay over the non-verifiable names, sources said yesterday. The legislators said the names could be of ‘aliens who would surface on the election day and leave after swinging voting trends in various constituencies’. Sughra Imam of the ruling PPP party said that on an average 21,000 unverified entries were in each of the 148 constituencies of Punjab, enough to change the entire election scenario.

Election Commission Secretary Ishtiak Ahmad Khan argued that there were 37m unverified entries in the electoral rolls used for the 2008 elections, but nobody had objected to them. He said that it was the Election Commission which had detected the flaw, with the assistance of the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra). Khan said: “Had we not developed the electoral rolls that ensured one vote for one person, the 2013 elections would also be held on the flawed lists. The addresses of the aforesaid individuals could not be physically ascertained due to several reasons. All of them are holders of computerised national identity cards.” Khan challenged the members of the committee to come up with just 48 entries which could be termed ‘bogus’. He said, the names forwarded by Nadra were included in the

voter lists after verification. Leader of Opposition in the Senate Ishaq Dar proposed that Nadra be moved from the interior ministry to the administrative control of the commission to ensure transparency in the elections. Another controversy that cropped up during the meeting pertained to the registration of individuals who could not be contacted at their permanent addresses. Dar said that such people should have been enrolled as voters after being contacted at their current addresses. Anusha Rehman of PML-N raised a question over the preparation of electoral rolls on the basis of new census blocks which were not ratified by the Council of Common Interests. She said the new blocks had drastically affected the population of the provinces. The next meeting of the committee will be held at the Nadra headquarters on Nov 22. — Internews

AFGHAN High Peace Council spokesman Qeyamuddin Kashaf (L) speaks as council chairman Salahuddin Rabbani looks on during a press conference in Kabul yesterday. — AFP

Pakistan urged to free more inmates KABUL — The Afghan government and Taliban said yesterday they wanted to see more inmates released from Pakistani jails, in a move seen as a step to bring insurgents to the table. Earlier this week an agreement was reached at a meeting between Pakistani government officials and Afghanistan’s High Peace Council (HPC) in Islamabad that resulted in the release of a group of Taliban in Pakistan. “We hope the releasing of Taliban prisoners from Pakistani jails continues and more Taliban who are willing for talks are released,” the chief of Afghanistan’s HPC, Salahuddin Rabbani, told reporters yesterday in Kabul. Afghan officials have pressed for release of senior Taliban leaders held in Pakistan believing they could help bring insurgents to the negotiating table. Rabbani said nine members of the Taliban were released but the group did not include the group’s former deputy leader, Mullah Abdul

Ghani Baradar captured in Pakistan in 2010. “Those who were released were also important members and they can help us in peace and negotiations,” he said, however. The Taliban welcomed the move, calling it a “positive step” to “increase trust between two neighbouring nations and people”. They also “requested the rest of the prisoners... to be released”, in a statement posted on one of their websites. The insurgents have always refused to negotiate directly with Kabul, calling the government of President Hamid Karzai a US puppet. Preliminary contacts between the US and the Taliban in Doha were broken off in March when the militants failed to secure the release of five of their comrades held at the Guantanamo Bay prison on the US base in Cuba. Support from Pakistan is seen as crucial to peace in Afghanistan. — AFP

No bye-polls in Pakistan from now on ISLAMABAD — The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is constitutionally bound not to organise bye-elections to National Assembly seats that fall vacant after November 16, according to law, official sources said here yesterday. Likewise, the seats of provincial assemblies would also remain vacant in case any seat falls vacant till next Houses are in place as result of general elections. Officials at Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) referred to Article 224 of the Constitution and, said that the fourmonth time bar would be applicable for the National Assembly session that start-

ed on Thursday. However, this constitutional clause does not apply to those constituencies on which the ECP has scheduled the holding of bye-elections. As many as 50 seats of the sitting members of National Assembly and members of provincial assembly fell vacant from time to time on which the commission organised bye-polls and a few are being held next month as the provincial government requested the ECP for rescheduling due to law and order problem. Article 224 (4) provides: “When, except by dissolution of the National As-

sembly or a Provincial Assembly, a seat in any such (National Assembly or provincial assembly) Assembly has become vacant not later than one hundred and twenty days before the term of that Assembly is due to expire.” In case of the Senate, the National Assembly and provincial assemblies would have at least one month to re-elect a person if a sitting senator’s seats goes vacant. “When a seat in the Senate has become vacant, an election to fill the seat shall be held within thirty days from the occurrence of the vacancy,” reads the same article’s clause. — Internews

End-of-year deadline for Afghan refugees to leave ISLAMABAD — A Pakistani government deadline for voluntary repatriation of 1.6 million registered Afghan refugees living in the country expires on December 31 this year, the National Assembly (NA) has been informed, sources said here yesterday. The house was also informed that 1.649 million Afghan refugees were living in the country. Of them, only 0.608m lived in camps and the rest managed their affairs themselves. Tahira Aurangzeb of PML-N had sought the information during the question-answer session of the National Assembly.

The NA was informed that repatriation of registered Afghan refugees was guided by a tripartite agreement signed by governments of Pakistan, Afghanistan and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The agreement is called the Management and Repatriation Strategy for Afghan Refugees living in Pakistan for the year 2010-2012. The accord was approved by the cabinet on March 24, 2010, and is valid up to December 31, 2012. In accordance with the agreement and policy in place, all registered Afghan

refugees had been asked to leave the country voluntarily by the end of this year. According to the ministry, the agreement was currently under review and suggestions were being sought from parties concerned to determine the future course of action after the expiry of the agreement. When a new agreement is finalised it will be presented before the cabinet. The NA was also informed that most of the refugees 1.008m lived in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, half of them in refugee camps and the rest on their own. In the Khyber Pa-

khtunkhwa province, refugees are evenly spread out with a few cities sharing a major burden. For example, district Hangu has over 50,000 refugees, Haripur 98,000, Kohat 68,000, Nowshera 99,000 and Peshawar 406,573. Another 334,327 Afghans are living in various cities of Balochistan and most of them — 248,849 — outside the UNHCR camps. In Balochistan, Quetta has maximum number of Afghan refugees — 176,799 — followed by Pishin over 61,000, Killa Saifullah over 18,000, Killa Abdullah over 17,000

and Chaghai over 34,000. Punjab hosts 181,803 refugees and only 14879 of them are in camps and the rest lived at places of their own choices. Their main concentration is in the district of Attock which has over 40,000 refugees, followed by Rawalpindi over 36,000, Mianwali over 31,000 and Chakwal over 26,000. Over 10,000 refugees are in Lahore. Sindh has 68,326 refugees and all of them are outside camps. Most of them — over 40,000 live in Karachi. In Islamabad, 34,295 refugees live at various places on their own. — Internews

AFGHAN refugees arrive at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) registration centre before their departure for their home town, on the outskirts of Quetta yesterday. — AFP



Hamas buildings hit, reservists mobilised Signs of possible invasion z Egypt pursues cease¿re bid

RELATIVES of victims near the train, with bloodstains, after it crashed into a school bus in the southern city of Assuit south of Cairo yesterday. — Reuters

Train ploughs into school bus, 50 killed CAIRO — Fifty people, mostly children, were killed when a train slammed into a school bus as it crossed tracks in a city south of Cairo yesterday, state media and of¿cials said. All but two of the dead were children, aged around four to eight, said a senior security of¿cial in Assiut, near the site. One woman and the bus driver also died, he added. The bus was broken in half by the force of the crash. Blood was spattered on the front of the engine and school bags and text books, some bloodstained, were strewn around. Witnesses said barriers at the rail crossing were open

when the train hit the bus. Transport Minister Mohamed Rashad and the head of the railways authority resigned, and President Mohamed Mursi said those responsible would be held to account. Egypt’s roads and railways have a poor safety record and Egyptians have long complained that successive governments have failed to enforce even basic safeguards, leading to a string of deadly crashes. State media reported that as well as 50 dead, 15 or more people were injured. A medical source said as many as 28 were injured, 27 of them children. “They told us the barri-

ers were open when the bus crossed the tracks and the train collided with it,” said Mohamed Samir, a doctor at Assiut hospital where the injured were taken, citing witness accounts. Assiut Governor Yahya Keshk also said the crossing was open. “The crossing worker was asleep. He has been detained,” he told state television. The doctor said the bodies of many of those killed were severely mutilated, illustrating the force of the crash, which took place in the city of Manfalut, near Assiut, about 300 km south of the capital. “I saw the train collide with the bus and push it about 1 km

along the track,” said Ahmed Youssef, a driver. Of¿cials said the level of destruction and mutilation made it dif¿cult to count and identify the bodies. President Mursi ordered his ministers to offer support to the families of those killed, the of¿cial news agency said. Prime Minister Hisham Kandil ordered investigations into anyone responsible for the crash and travelled to the scene. Victims’ families protested at the crash site, the state news agency reported. Of¿cials sought to reassure them the case would be investigated and they would receive help, it said. Earlier this month, at

least three Egyptians were killed and more than 30 injured in a train crash in Fayoum, another city south of Cairo. In July, 15 people were injured in Giza, close to the capital, when a train derailed. Egypt’s worst train disaster was in 2002 when a ¿re ripped through seven carriages of an overcrowded passenger train, killing at least 360 people. Meanwhile, in another accident, twelve people were killed and three injured when a truck smashed into a minibus near the Egyptian capital yesterday, police said, just hours after 50 nursery school children died in a road accident.— Reuters/AFP

GAZA/JERUSALEM — Israeli aircraft bombed Hamas government buildings in Gaza yesterday, including the prime minister’s of¿ce, after Israel’s cabinet authorised the mobilisation of up to 75,000 reservists, preparing for a possible ground invasion. Palestinian dissident in Gaza kept up their cross-border rocket salvoes. One rocket hit an apartment building in the Israeli Mediterranean port city of Ashdod, ripping into several balconies, and police said ¿ve people were injured. Hamas said Israeli missiles wrecked the of¿ce building of Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh — where he had met on Friday with the Egyptian prime minister — and struck a police headquarters. With Israeli tanks and artillery positioned along the Gaza border and no end in sight to hostilities now in their fourth day, Tunisia’s foreign minister travelled to the enclave in a show of Arab solidarity. Of¿cials in Gaza said 41 Palestinians, nearly half of them civilians including eight children and a pregnant woman, had been killed since Israel began its air strikes. Three Israeli civilians were killed by a rocket on Thursday. In Cairo, a presidential source said Egypt’s leader, Mohamed Mursi, would hold four-way talks with the Qatari emir, the prime minister of Turkey and Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal in the Egyptian capital to discuss the Gaza crisis. Egypt has been working to reinstate calm between Israel and Hamas after an informal cease¿re brokered by Cairo

broke down over the past weeks. Meshaal, who lives in exile, has already held a round of talks with Egyptian security of¿cials. Israel started its massive air campaign on Wednesday with the declared aim of deterring Hamas from launching rockets that have plagued its southern communities for years. The operation has drawn Western support for what US and European leaders have called Israel’s right to selfdefence, along with appeals to both sides to avoid civilian casualties. Hamas, shunned by the West over its refusal to recognise Israel, says its crossborder attacks have come in response to Israeli strikes against Palestinian ¿ghters in Gaza. “We have not limited ourselves in means or in time,” Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Israel’s Channel One television. “We hope that it will end as soon as possible, but that will be only after all the objectives have been achieved.” Hamas says it is committed to continued confrontation with Israel and is eager not to seem any less resolute than smaller, more radical groups that have emerged in Gaza in recent years. The movement has ruled Gaza since 2007. Israel pulled settlers out of Gaza in 2005 but has maintains a blockade of the tiny, densely populated coastal territory. At a late night session on Friday, Israel’s cabinet decided to more than double the current reserve troop quota set for the Gaza offensive to 75,000, political sources said.

The move did not necessarily mean all would be called up or that an invasion would follow. Tanks and selfpropelled guns were seen near the sandy border zone yesterday, and around 16,000 reservists have already been called to active duty. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon is expected to visit Israel and Egypt next week to push for an end to the ¿ghting in Gaza, UN diplomats said on Friday. Israel rushed an “Iron Dome” missile interceptor battery to the Tel Aviv area yesterday after the city, its commercial centre, came under rocket ¿re from Gaza on Friday for the second straight day. The Israeli army said it had zeroed in on a number of government buildings during the night, including Haniyeh’s of¿ce, the Hamas Interior Ministry and a police compound. Taher al Nono, a spokesman for the Hamas government, held a news conference near the rubble of the prime minister’s of¿ce and pledged: “We will declare victory from here.” A three-storey house belonging to Hamas of¿cial Abu Hassan Salah was also hit and totally destroyed early yesterday. Rescuers said at least 30 people were pulled from the rubble. In Washington, US President Barack Obama commended Egypt’s efforts to help defuse the Gaza violence in a call to Mursi on Friday, the White House said in a statement, and underscored his hope of restoring stability there. — Reuters

SE Asia to adopt Conservatives to pick new leader rights platform PHNOM PENH — Southeast Asian nations have agreed to sign their ¿rst joint declaration on human rights, but the document was condemned by rights groups as failing to meet international standards and as leaving the door open for countries to crack down on freedoms. The commitment by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), to be signed today in Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh, comes as several of its 10 member countries come under growing scrutiny over an apparent deterioration in human rights. The Asean Human Rights Declaration, which is not legally blinding, begins with the principle that “All persons

are born free and equal in dignity and rights”. It af¿rms that all citizens are entitled to equal protection by the law and that vulnerable groups such as women, minorities, disabled people and migrants have “inalienable” rights and freedoms. But the declaration quali¿es citizens’ rights by saying they must be balanced with the “performance of corresponding duties”. It adds that human rights must be “considered in the regional and national context.” The International Federation for Human Rights — a grouping of 64 activist organisations — said the declaration “tears at the heart of long accepted human rights precepts”. — Reuters

PARIS — France’s conservatives will elect a new leader today who will determine whether the party ousted in May from a 17-year presidential reign will hold to the centre or move to the right in a quest to regain power in 2017. Moderate ex-prime minister Francois Fillon, who regularly tops political popularity polls, is tipped to narrowly beat Jean-Francois Cope, a disciple of ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy and his hard stance on issues including immigration. Yet with two thirds of UMP (Union for a Popular Movement) members wanting Sarkozy to return for the 2017 election, the result will be close and a Fillon victory would not completely bury an existential crisis in the opposition party. Socialist President Francois

Hollande has a clear majority in parliament and controls most French regions, but a slump in his ratings is giving the right an audience. Fillon, an urbane 58-yearold, appeals more to centreground voters disillusioned with Hollande’s left-wing policies, such as tax hikes on high-earners. Cope, a more polarising ¿gure, is playing to the nearly one in ¿ve people who voted for the far-right National Front in the ¿rst election round in May, betting that rampant unemployment will keep tensions high over immigration. The gulf between them reÀects a split in a party founded by former president Jacques Chirac in 2002 to group several centre-right parties and carry on the legacy of postwar leader Charles de Gaulle, who sought to transcend the

left-right rift. The UMP is still smarting from losing the Senate, the presidency and the lower house within months of each other. “There are two political lines here,” Fillon said this week. “One makes the UMP narrower, the other, mine, seeks to widen it, or at least preserve the project of the UMP’s founders to keep within the same family values which go from the centre through to the party’s right,” he told Le Figaro daily. Cope, mayor of a town near Paris who speaks in the same brash way Sarkozy does and can be more provocative, alleged recently that city suburbs brim with “antiwhite” racism. Unlike Fillon, the younger Cope, 48, has said he would stand aside if Sarkozy decides to make a comeback. — AFP

Dissidents to move quickly on new govt PARIS — Syria’s new opposition coalition signalled yesterday that it intends to move quickly to establish a broadbased alternative government to the government of President Bashar al Assad. After talks with French President Francois Hollande, coalition leader Ahmed Moaz al Khatib assured the international community that the transitional government will be composed of technocrats rather than politicians, and include representatives of all the war-torn country’s ethnic and religious groups. But Khatib appeared to have made little progress on his call for the West to arm the dissidents with Hollande indicating that the major powers remain cautious about such a step. “There is no problem. The coalition exists and we will launch a call for candidates to form a government of technocrats that will work until the government falls,” Khatib told reporters after the talks in Paris. France, which on Tuesday became the ¿rst Western state to recognise the coalition as the sole representative of the Syrian people, is pushing for the dissidents to be given greater support, including some arms.

FRANCE'S Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius (2nd R) with new ambassador for the Syrian National Coalition (SNC), Monzer Makhous (R), and SNC members Suheir Atassi (L) and Riad Seif (2nd L) on the steps of the Elysee Palace in Paris yesterday. — Reuters “I can’t hide the importance of this question,” Hollande said, while acknowledging that France could not act without agreement from its partners in the European Union, which currently has a strict embargo on arms deliveries to Syria. “The (dissident) Syrians need military means but the international community also has to exercise control,” he said.

Hollande also said that France would increase its recognition of the National Coalition by allowing them to appoint an ambassador in Paris. Monzir Makhous, an academic, is to ¿ll the post, although it was unclear if this would happen before the transitional government is formed. EU foreign ministers are set to discuss the arms embar-

go at talks in Brussels on Monday. France’s Laurent Fabius said he would raise the idea of modifying the current EU embargo to exclude defensive weapons for the dissidents to help them protect areas they hold from bombardment by forces loyal to Assad. “The protection of liberated zones can only be done in the framework of the international

community,” Hollande said. “Once an alternative government has been formed it can itself legitimately call for protection and support.” France, Turkey and the Gulf states have so far granted of¿cial recognition to the new Syrian grouping, and British Foreign Secretary William Hague, who met Khatib in London on Friday, said Britain was considering following suit. EU member states Germany, Spain, Italy and Poland have also welcomed the formation of the National Coalition, but have stopped short of recognising it as the sole representative of the Syrian people. The Paris meeting came as ¿ghting continued on the ground, with a car bomb exploding as dissident and government forces clashed in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, while mortar rounds struck near Damascus. More than 39,000 people have died since the uprising against Assad’s government erupted 20 months ago, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Mortar rounds struck Deir al Asa¿r, an area south of Damascus where dissidents and government forces have clashed.— AFP

PALESTINIANS gather at the site of an Israeli air raid in Gaza City. — AFP

War crimes suspect faces extradition SYDNEY — Australia has approved the extradition of a Serbian war crimes suspect to Croatia over allegations of torture and murder during Zagreb’s 1991-1995 war of independence, of¿cials said yesterday. Dragan Vasiljkovic, known as “Captain Dragan”, was a paramilitary commander with a Serbian group opposed to Croatian independence from Yugoslavia. The Belgrade-born Australian citizen denies war crimes. Vasiljkovic’s fate fell into the hands of Australian Justice Minister Jason Clare after losing an appeal against a November 2010 court ruling that he could be extradited. A spokeswoman for Clare’s of¿ce said yesterday that the minister had determined that the war crimes suspect should be surrendered to face prosecution, adding that Vasiljkovic could seek review of the decision. Vasiljkovic was ¿rst arrested in Australia in 2006 after Zagreb requested his extradition and he spent nearly four years behind bars until the Federal Court blocked

his surrender over possible prejudice in Croatia’s justice system. He was released on bail in September 2009 but went missing the following March after a court cleared his extradition to face Croatian justice. He spent more than 40 days on the run before police tracked him down to the New South Wales north coast and sent him to a Sydney prison. He has since fought his extradition in the courts. His lawyer Bruce Dennis said Vasiljkovic, also known as Daniel Snedden, was “just devastated” at the news. “Because he is someone who is a hero in Serbia but a villain across the border in Croatia, it’s very dif¿cult for him to get a fair trial,” he told The Australian newspaper. Australia has never successfully extradited an accused war criminal. In August, a 90-year-old man accused of being a Nazi war criminal won his ¿ght to stay in Australia after the High Court ruled he could not be extradited to Hungary because war crimes were not covered under Hungarian law at the time of the alleged offence. — AFP

Alps murder probe widens LONDON — French police investigating a quadruple murder on a Alpine road two months ago have widened their probe to gun users and mentally disturbed people in the region after failing to ¿nd a motive for the killing, the BBC reported yesterday. Of¿cers plan to investigate hundreds of people ¿tting the pro¿le over the unexplained shooting of three members of a British family and a French cyclist near the village of Chevaline, close to the Swiss and Italian borders. Investigators were looking for someone “who puts no value on human life, so someone who has doubtless killed before,” French prosecutor Eric Maillaud told the BBC, but cast doubt on the theory that the murderer was a professional assassin. Saad al Hilli, an Iraqiborn British engineer, was found shot dead with his wife and mother-in-law in their BMW car on a remote mountain road near the village of Chevaline, with the body of a cyclist, Sylvain Mollier, discovered nearby. They were killed in what appeared to be executionstyle murders. — Reuters




Pak Army wants peace, India should take lead: Musharraf

VENDORS set up stalls as policemen patrol at Charminar in the old city of Hyderabad yesterday. — AFP

Old Hyderabad peaceful, curbs eased HYDERABAD — The situation in the old city of Hyderabad, which witnessed violence on Friday, is peaceful, police said yesterday. The police lifted some restrictions on the movement of people and vehicular traf¿c around Charminar, where a mob indulged in stone throwing and arson after Friday prayers at the historic Mecca Masjid. Ten people including ¿ve

policemen were injured in stone throwing by mob and baton charge and ¿ring of teargas shells by the police. The mob also set a¿re several vehicles. Following the violence, the police had sealed all routes around the historic monument, leading to a curfew-like situation in the communally sensitive area. Police Commissioner Anurag Sharma said the situation

was peaceful and no untoward incident took place since Friday afternoon. The police yesterday morning removed barricades on roads leading to Charminar, providing relief to people reeling under restrictions for last few days due to tension over a temple abutting Charminar. Police also announced that shops can re-open in the area. However, prohibitory orders banning assembly of ¿ve

Liquor baron, brother dead in family feud

Muslims aid Hindu temple construction

NEW DELHI — Liquor and real estate baron Ponty Chadha, who hit the headlines for his political clout and extravagant lifestyle, and his younger brother Hardeep Chadha were shot dead in a family feud in a Mehrauli farmhouse in south Delhi yesterday, police said. “According to the details we have, ¿rst Hardeep shot Ponty and immediately Ponty’s gunmen shot Hardeep. The shooting was a result of a property dispute. The incident happened around 12.30 pm,” a police of¿cial said. According to police, the shootout took place on the lawn of the sprawling farmhouse at 42, Central Lane, DLF, Chattarpur farms, Mali village in Mehrauli on the southern edges of the capital. “Hardeep called on his brother Ponty at around 11.30 am today (Saturday) to discuss a real estate deal. The two had an argument, which turned into an altercation, following which the ¿ring took place resulting in the death of both,” a senior police of¿cial said. “Gurpreet Singh Chadha alias Ponty Chadha and Hardeep Chadha were brought dead to Fortis Hospital in Delhi’s Vasant Kunj and later both the bodies were taken to All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) for post mortem examination,” a police of¿cial said. — IANS

SITAMARHI, Bihar — While violence over the expansion of a Hindu temple near Charminar in Hyderabad’s Old City is hogging media attention, in Bihar’s Sitamarhi district, Muslims have been quietly helping Hindus construct a temple dedicated to diety Shiva, ahead of the Chhath festival. “Muslims are not only donating money for temple construction, they are also actively involved in ensuring that it should come up soon,” Rajkishore Raut, president of the Shiva Temple Construction Committee, said. Raut, a school teacher, said the construction of the temple was a ¿ne example of Hindu-Muslim brotherhood. Mohammad Sadre Alam Khan, a villager, said that dozens of Muslims, including village head Akbari Khatoon, have contributed in one way or another for the construction of the temple. “This is a positive development for the village as a whole,” Khan said. Another villager, Lalbabu Sah, said that villagers of both the communities were working jointly for the construction of the temple. “The construction of the temple will strengthen harmony between the two communities and pave the way for greater co-operation in future,” Sah said. Sitamarhi town, which had a history of communal conÀict, witnessed rioting in the mid-1990s. Muslims comprise around 16 per cent of the 105 million people of Bihar. Just months ago, Muslims observing Ramadhan helped in the construction of a Jain temple in Bhagalpur town in the state. Mohammad Janeshar Akhtar even demolished a portion of his house in Bhagalpur to enable the movement of a 70foot truck laden with a granite stone block meant for an idol in the temple. Other Muslims had helped widen the street so that the vehicle could reach the temple without dif¿culty. Earlier this year, some Muslims had helped in building a Hindu temple dedicated to deity Durga in Bihar’s Gaya district. Muslims there not only donated money but engaged in the actual construction of the temple. Earlier, a Muslim had donated land for a temple dedicated to deity Shiva in Begusarai district. Mohammad Fakhrool Islam had given his land for the temple in the Muslim-dominated Bachwara village. As Charminar and the Bhagyalakshmi temple abutting the 400-year-old monument get so much attention, these instances of collaboration between the two communities in temple construction cannot be ignored. — IANS

or more people would continue in areas falling under seven police station limits. The police commissioner said 40 people were arrested in connection with Friday’s violence. Member of parliament from Hyderabad and Majlis-eIttehadul Muslimeen (MIM), however, alleged that police arrested several innocent youths and demanded their immediate release. — IANS

New dengue cases reported BHUBANESWAR — Health of¿cials yesterday con¿rmed 22 new cases of dengue in Odisha, taking the total number of people in the state infected with the disease to 2,051 this year. The highest number of new cases, seven, was reported from Jajpur district, M M Pradhan, joint director of the state health department, said. The death toll due to the mosquito-borne disease has, however, remained at six with no person dying of dengue in Odisha since the last week of October, Pradhan said. — IANS

NEW DELHI — Former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf yesterday said that the Pakistan Army, widely seen as anti-India, was in favour of resolving the Kashmir issue, “the root cause of dispute”, and stressed that New Delhi should take the lead in creating peace between the two neighbours. Pushing for a new beginning in relations with India, Musharraf, who now shuttles between Dubai and London, stressed that resolving the disputes over the Siachen Glacier and Sir Creek marshlands, were “doable” and added that the right niyat (intention) was needed to solve these issues. “The festering wounds of Kashmir continue. We need to resolve the long-standing disputes. These are the causes of hatred, conÀict and war,” Musharraf said while delivering the lecture ‘Uniting South Asia: The Way Forward’ at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit here. These disputes, which spawn religious fundamentalism, need to be resolved for socio-economic development of both countries, said Musharraf, who didn’t mention 26/11 attack even once in his long speech. Alluding to his four-point formula for resolving the Kashmir issue, that has seemingly been put in cold storage by his successor civilian administration, Musharraf stressed that this roadmap

MUSHARRAF addresses a press conference in New Delhi. was still the best way forward. The formula included, among other things, gradual demilitarisation along the Line of Control (LoC), giving maximum self-governance to the two halves of Kashmir, making LoC irrelevant by opening as many routes along the border as possible. Musharraf said he had proposed this formula to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh when he was in power, and added that there was “some progress” on it. He said the two sides were working on a draft agreement for 15-20 years, but admitted there were “some hitches”. Later, speaking to reporters, Musharraf said he had invited Manmohan Singh to

visit Pakistan in 2007 and sign some agreements, but he didn’t come. However, Musharraf stressed that he did not “feel let down” by Manmohan Singh as he had “the highest esteem for him”. “We were moving forward. There was a sincerity on both sides. In 2007, he was supposed to come to Pakistan. I told him that coming to Pakistan would be meaningless if no agreement was signed. But he did not come,” he said. Calling the resolution of disputes over Siachen and Sir Creek doable, Musharraf said had he come the two sides could have done deals on these issues. Stressing that he was not speaking for the government of Pakistan, he pitched for greater Àow of people and trade between the two countries to create enduring peace. To create the right atmosphere, Musharraf said intelligence agencies of both countries should stay away from damaging activities. In a statesman-like manner, Musharraf, who is better known in India as the architect of the Kargil misadventure, said peace was possible between the two countries if both displayed the right “niyat”, a word he used at least a dozen times during his lecture and a separate interaction with the media. “Compromise should come from the bigger party. India

should have a big heart because it is the bigger country. When the smaller party makes the compromise, it can have negative connotations,” he said. Let India take the lead with a clean, large and magnanimous heart, he said. For creating enduring peace, he outlined three prerequisites that included a “sincere niyat”, downsizing the roles of bureaucrats and intelligence agencies, since they “¿nd it dif¿cult to break from the past” and a strong leadership. Musharraf, however, did not regret the Kargil adventure, indicating that it was a retaliation for India’s role in dividing Pakistan in 1971 by creating Bangladesh. It was the same niyat when you went to East Pakistan and Siachen,” he replied when asked what was the niyat behind the 1999 Kargil conÀict. In candid talk, Musharraf said that despite what India may think, some insurgent groups like the Lashkar-eTaiba and Jamaat-ud-Dawa and other insurgent out¿ts enjoyed tremendous public support in Pakistan. Against the backdrop of the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan, Musharraf, however, warned India against trying to create an anti-Islamabad Afghanistan and underlined that both India and Pakistan “should stop proxy war” in the violencetorn country. — IANS

Four-day Chhath festival begins PATNA — Chhath, the four-day festival of Bihar, began yesterday amid tight security with hundreds of thousands of devotees, mainly married women, thronging river banks and water bodies for a ritual bath before cooking a traditional meal. “The much-awaited Chhath has formally started with the age-old ritual of Nahai-Khai — preparing traditional food after the bath — across thousands of villages and hundreds of towns spread all over the state,” Vinita Singh, a devotee busy preparing the ritual meal of boiled rice and pumpkin on a hand-made earthen hearth after a bath in the Ganga said. Dressed in a new cotton sari, Vinita said “Nahai-Khai” symbolises purity and discipline. “We use only dry wood from mango

trees and bamboo baskets for cooking the traditional meal on the ¿rst day of Chhath,” another devotee, Sarda Devi, said. In Patna alone, hundreds of roadside vendors, mostly poor men and women, sold the items that go into the Chhath celebrations. Today, the second day of Chhath, ‘kharna’, another ritual, is observed, as the sweet dish called ‘kheer’ is cooked and distributed among neighbours, friends and relatives. The main offering — argya — when devotees stand waist-deep in water, offering prayers to the Sun deity on the banks of rivers or other water bodies, will take place tomorrow. Chhath, celebrated six days after Diwali, is a time of worship of the deity Sun.

During the festival, married women observe a fast for 36 hours and devotees offer wheat, milk, sugarcane, bananas and coconuts to the sun. The administration has set to work, along with dozens of voluntary organisations, to clean the roads leading to the banks of rivers ahead of the festival. District authorities have declared 32 ‘ghats’ in Patna unsafe and dangerous. There are over 70 ghats along the Ganges in Patna. “All district magistrates have been directed by (Chief Minister) Nitish Kumar to accord top priority to the safety of devotees,” an of¿cial said. Over the years, Chhath has come to be closely identi¿ed with Bihar — on the lines of Bihu in Asom, Pongal in Tamil Nadu and the Ganesh festival in Maharashtra. — IANS

Old couple shot dead LUCKNOW — An old couple was shot dead in Allahabad late on Friday night, police said yesterday. The aged couple — R B Patel, 70, and his wife Kailashpati, 65, lived by themselves in the Nawabganj area. Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Mohit Gupta said that the couple belonged to Rasoolpur-Chandipur Lakhariya village; the assailants appeared to be members of their family. Patel had a ¿ve bigha plot which he wanted to sell, but his nephews resisted its sale. Prima facie, the needle of suspicion pointed to the nephews, who were also absconding. — IANS

A LABOURER unloads raw bananas from a truck at a wholesale banana market ahead of the festival of ‘Chhat Puja’ in Kolkata yesterday. Bananas are used by devotees as they pray for the betterment of their family and society. — Reuters

Indian-American prof indicted Ireland promises co-operation in probe WASHINGTON — An Indito optimise horizontal and between January 2008 and States in 1991. an-American professor at vertical highway routes, and July 2009, and involved He then earned a master’s deMorgan State University ultimately, to commercialJha’s lying on grant appligree in mechanical engihas been indicted by a fedise the result,” according cations about his intention neering from Old Dominion eral grand jury in an alleged to prosecutors cited by the to take leave from Morgan University in 1993, became scheme to defraud the NaBaltimore Sun. State to work on the proa registered professional tional Science Foundation Jha received $200,000 to conposed project and about the engineer in Maryland in of hundreds of thousands of duct the research but instead University of Maryland’s 1997 and earned a doctordollars in grant funding. allegedly made personal being a collaborating reate in civil engineering in Manoj Kumar Jha, 45, who mortgage and credit card search institution. 2000 from the University of oversees the university’s payments, paid his wife He also allegedly lied about anMaryland. transportation engineering $11,000 for work she didn’t other Morgan State profes- He worked for seven years at graduate programme allegdo and wrote himself a sor’s serving as a scienti¿c the Maryland State Highedly fabricated an elaborate $6,000 cheque, prosecutors adviser on the project and way Administration, where research proposal on behalf said. about receiving $100,000 in he served as the “Year 2000 of a private company he Jha, who is also the founding matching funds from a third Risk Manager,” accordfounded and then applied for director of Morgan State’s party, a requirement of NSF ing to his biography on the funding through the NSF’s Centre of Advanced Transgrants, prosecutors said. Morgan State website. Small Business Technology portation and Infrastructure According to the university’s Jha faces a maximum 20 years Transfer programme Engineering Research, also website, Jha was born in in prison for each of ¿ve “The stated purpose of Jha’s applied for $500,000 more a village in India in 1967. wire fraud counts, a mail proposed project was to for the project but did not After obtaining a bachelor’s fraud count and a falsi¿caenhance current models receive it, prosecutors said. degree in engineering, he tion of records, prosecutors used by highway planners The alleged fraud occurred immigrated to the United said. — IANS

NEW DELHI — Ireland has said it will work closely with the Indian mission and cooperate on all aspects with regard to the death of Indian dentist Savita Halappanavar in an Irish hospital after being denied abortion. This was conveyed to Indian Ambassador Debashish Chakravarti who met Ireland’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Eamon Gilmore on Friday evening in Dublin. Gilmore told the Indian envoy that his country was “sensitive to the impact of the tragedy on public opinion and civil society” and said that an enquiry being conducted on the October 28 death of Savita “would be completed at an early date”.

Savita’s death has sparked outrage in India as well as across the world. Ambassador Chakravarti conveyed “the deep concern of the government of India at the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar and expressed the hope that steps would be taken so as not to allow such an incident to recur”, an of¿cial source said here yesterday. “He conveyed the desire of the government of India for an independent inquiry to be conducted into the matter and requested to be kept updated about progress,” the source added. Gilmore conveyed the “deepest sympathies of Ireland” over the death of Savita and “requested that these be conveyed to the family”.

“He indicated that they were sensitive to the impact of the tragedy on public opinion and civil society. He assured that the enquiry being conducted by the Health Services Executive would be assisted by an independent medical professional. He said that the investigation would be completed at an early date. The Irish side would work closely with the Indian Mission and co-operate on all aspects,” the source said. Savita arrived on October 21 with back pain at Galway University Hospital in Ireland where she was found to be miscarrying at 17 weeks. She died of septicaemia on October 28. Doctors in the hospital refused to abort her foetus on grounds that “this is a Catholic

country”. On Friday, India summoned Irish Ambassador Feilim McLaughlin and hoped that an inquiry into the tragedy would be independent. The Irish envoy was summoned by M Ganapathi, secretary (west) in the external affairs ministry. During his meeting with the Irish ambassador, Ganapathi expressed India’s concern and angst about the untimely and tragic death of Savita, of¿cial sources said here. Ganapathi stressed that people in India were unhappy that “a young life had come to an untimely end”. Overseas Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi also stressed that a high-level inquiry should be done and the culprits brought to book. — IANS



Strategic electronics factory for defence planes opens in Kerala By Ashraf Padanna

AUNG San Suu Kyi and Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh meet women during a meeting at Paapsanipalli village in Ananthpur district of Andhra Pradesh yesterday. — AFP

Suu Kyi impressed by self-help HYDERABAD — The success stories of women’s empowerment in villages of Andhra Pradesh have impressed Myanmar’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who also studied the socioeconomic transformation of people brought about by various government schemes. After nearly three-hour visit to some remote villages in Anantapur district bordering Karnataka yesterday, Suu Kyi said women’s empowerment was playing a key role in India’s development. Before flying back to Bangalore, the Nobel laureate said she was going back with the love and affection of the people of the district. Suu Kyi, who had interac-

EC directive on Rahul affidavit probe NEW DELHI — Acting on Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy’s complaint, the Election Commission has asked Amethi’s returning officer to probe allegations that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi gave wrong information about his assets while filing nomination papers in the 2009 polls. The Election Commission said the returning officer of Amethi Lok Sabha constituency was the competent authority to consider and probe the complaint. R K Srivastva, principal secretary in the Election Commission, wrote a letter on November 15 to the chief electoral officer of Uttar Pradesh, that the representation submitted by Swamy dated October 31, 2012, was being forwarded to it to be sent to the returning officer of Amethi. — IANS

tion with villagers, said the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGREGS) was helping the poor. Accompanied by Union Minister for Rural Development Jairam Ramesh and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar, Suu Kyi met women members of self-help groups in Papasanipalli village and gained first-hand knowledge of how the self-help group movement has changed their lives. Evincing keen interest in the activities of self-help groups, she asked the women questions about their income, savings and living conditions. The Myanmar leader was hosted by Muddamma, a mem-

ber of the self-help group at her small house in the village. The 40-year-old woman explained to the visiting dignitary how she used the loans provided by the government to rear two cows and how the income has helped her strengthen the family’s financial position. Impressed with her success story, Suu Kyi wanted to know if she would like to migrate to the city or prefer to stay in the village. “Do you want women to work after you marry them,” she asked some youths present there. “You should remember that women are equal to men,” she said. The union minister, the chief minister and officials briefed her about the func-

tioning of the self-help groups and pointed out how Andhra Pradesh is leading the movement in the country. Earlier, at Govindapuram village Suu Kyi interacted with people working under the MGREGS. She wanted to know how they were paid the wages and how the scheme is helping them to improve their living conditions. She also met a farmer and heard his story of struggle. Suu Kyi along with her aides, Jairam Ramesh and the chief minister reached Kothulagutta village in three helicopters from Bangalore. The villagers and local officials accorded a traditional welcome to Suu Kyi. — IANS

TC to bring no-trust motion against govt KOLKATA — Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee yesterday announced her party will bring a no-confidence motion against the Congress-led UPA government, in which her party was an alliance partner not too long ago, in the winter session of parliament and asked all parties including BJP and her bete noire CPM to support the move. “It is very important for the sake of the country that this government falls. And so we have taken a unanimous decision to bring a non-confidence motion against the minority UPA government,” Banerjee, the West Bengal chief minister, said after meeting her party parliamentarians here. The winter session of parliament begins on November 22. “This government should

not be in office for a day now. ‘Deshe loot cholche, loot. Jhoot cholche, jhoot.’ (Loot is going on in the country. It’s only lies, and lies). It is an anti-people and minority government,” Banerjee told reporters at state secretariat Writers’ buildings. “This government has robbed people of their sleep. They have no moral right to continue.” She also said her party was open to talks with other parties including Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over bringing the resolution. “This is a bigger issue involving the country and is not a religious issue. For the interest of the people, we must take a stand. I urge all political parties to take a stand against this government,” she said. “We are open for talks with any party — whether the BJP

or the Left. This is not a religious or communal issue. For the sake of the people of this country, we are willing to talk to any political party,” said Banerjee. On the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM) submitting notices in both houses of parliament seeking discussions on the government’s decision to allow foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail, Banerjee said: “I tell my friends in the CPM: You are giving a window to the government by asking for a discussions under rule 184 and 193. This will not serve any purpose”. Banerjee said Trinamool parliamentary party leader Sudip Bandopadhyay would move the no-confidence motion on the opening day of the session. — IANS

Violence toll 11 in Asom district GUWAHATI — The law and order situation in troubled Kokrajhar district of Assam’s Bodoland Territorial Areas Districts (BTAD) seems to be deteriorating further. Suspected insurgents attacked a house in the district late on Friday night, killing four persons — including a minor boy — on the spot, and injuring another minor boy. The fresh incidents took place at Jiaguri village in the district, even though indefinite curfew remains in force in the district. The Army has been carrying out flag marches in all sensitive areas of the district for three days. “A group of armed men sprayed bullets at the house of one Abbas Ali around 11 pm on Friday, killing four people on the spot. Another minor boy received bullet injuries on his hand,” said the police. A woman who was injured after suspected insurgents opened indiscriminate fire at her house at Bamungaon in the district earlier on Friday evening, succumbed to injuries at a local hospital yesterday morning. With five deaths in the last 24 hours, the total death toll in violence in Kokrajhar district rose to 11. The turbulence here began on November 10. Meanwhile, Kokrajhar police have arrested Mono Kumar Brahma, executive member of the Bodoland Territorial Council, which runs the administration in the BTAD, yesterday. The arrest was made from his residence in Kokrajhar town, after illegal arms and ammunition were found in his possession. — IANS

C Joseph, former industries minister Elamaram Kareem, who was instrumental in readying basic infrastructure for attracting defence projects, attended the function. Officials said the workload of this factory was slated for considerable increase in coming years as it would be used in various upcoming HAL projects like their fifth generation fighter aircraft, multirole transport aircraft, light utility helicopter, light combat helicopter, medium lift helicopter and unmanned aerial vehicle. “Considering huge potential of avionics systems in the coming years, a new, state-ofthe-art manufacturing facility for a variety of avionics has been established at Kasaragod” said R K Tyagi, chairman of HAL. “This would result in better operational effectiveness and improved customer satisfaction.”

Bal Thackeray is no more MUMBAI — Shiv Sena chief Bal Keshav Thackeray, the militant flagbearer of Hindu nationalism and regional chauvinism who did not hesitate to resort to mob tactics to have his will enforced, died here yesterday at 3.30 pm. He was 86. His doctor, Jaleel Parker, made the announcement at 4.55 pm outside Matoshri, his residence, that was as much the city’s landmark as a place of pilgrimage for millions of supporters throughout the state. Thousands of them had been standing in vigil outside his home in upscale Bandra East area of Mumbai for the last 72 hours as the news got out about Thackeray’s failing health. He is survived by his sons, political heir and Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray and film-maker Jaidev. A widower, Thackeray’s wife Meena and his eldest son Bindhumadhav passed away in 1996. His nephew, Raj Thackeray, once considered his political heir, broke away to form his own regional party, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), which often competed with Shiv Sena in espousing extreme rightwing views that championed local Marathi pride and exclusivism at the expense of other communities that resided in India’s richest and most industrialised state. The former cartoonist, who in the later years sported a stylish beard and wore twin bead necklaces in the manner of Hindu gurus, Thackeray ran his political party Shiv Sena like a local militia. He leaves behind a legacy of anti-minority poison that has

been scourge of Mumbai, the country’s financial and entertainment capital. Active till the end, Thackeray, who never hesitated to practise his particular brand of street politics, had just days ago on November 5 asked party activists “not to permit” the forthcoming cricket matches between India and Pakistan. In a front-page appeal in the party mouthpiece Saamna, he had lashed out at Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde for his statement “to forget the past” and play cricket with Pakistan. Thackeray was ailing for about two years and was under regular medical treatment at home. In the last week, his health deteriorated sharply. According to party leaders, a virtual ICU had been recreated at Matoshri with all emergency equipment and medical and para-medical staff on duty round-the-clock. His son Uddhav Thackeray was fielding scores of visitors, politicians and showbiz celebrities as this city remained on the edge for the last few days with heavy police deployment outside his residence and in trouble spots around the city. — IANS

The Bangalore-headquartered HAL built the first military aircraft in South Asia and is currently involved in the design, fabrication and assembly of aircraft, jet engines, and helicopters, as well as their components and spares. It has several facilities throughout India including Nasik, Korwa, Kanpur, Koraput, Lucknow and Hyderabad. Kasaragod was short listed on the availability of adequate land, power, water and better logistic facilities and the state government allotted 196 acres of land for setting up the new unit. The foundation-stone for the construction of the factory buildings was laid by Antony in 2008. “Avionics plays a major role in functioning of modern aircraft and contributes significantly to the value of an aircraft or helicopter,” Tyagi said.

Mourning, shutdown in Mumbai MUMBAI — Mumbai and Maharashtra entered a state of mourning soon after Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray’s death was announced yesterday afternoon. Being a Saturday, most offices in the city and suburbs work half day, but those still open closed down and their staff proceeded to their homes. There was no panic or any kind of uncivil reaction anywhere in the city following the 86-year old leader’s demise. Shops and establishments, restaurants and even wayside tea stalls shut down, cinemas and theatres cancelled all their shows for the day, major public and private functions were also called off or postponed as a mark of respect to the departed leader. Outside Matoshri, the Thackeray residence in Bandra East, floods of tears were witnessed as over 5,000 assembled Shiv Sainiks wept unabashedly for their beloved leader. The normally aggressive and feared Shiv Sainiks yesterday grieved in public, tears streaming down their cheeks, voices choked as they consoled each other and prayed for Thackeray’s soul. All over Mumbai, Thane and Raigad — considered Shiv Sena’s traditional bastions — all normal activities ground to a halt, as also in rest of Maharashtra. Baliram Uke, a shocked tailor in Kelshi village in Ratnagiri, downed his shutter for the day, picked up a garland of flowers and went to his home nearby to offer a prayer for Thackeray. — IANS

Tharoor rebuts mayor’s remarks

Digvijaya summoned NEW DELHI — A Delhi court yesterday summoned Congress leader Digvijaya Singh in a defamation case filed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Nitin Gadkari. “Digvijaya Singh has been summoned to face trial for offences under sections 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code to face trial for defamation. He has been summoned for December 21,” Metropolitan Magistrate Sudesh Kumar said. After Gadkari lodged the defamation complaint on October 1, the court October 16 reserved the order to summon Digvijaya Singh. Gadkari in his complaint said the Congress leader dragged his name into alleged irregularities in the allocation of coal blocks. The BJP leader recorded his statement in the court that he was “not responsible for any coal block allocation to anybody”. — IANS

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM — Defence Minister A K Antony yesterday inaugurated the new strategic electronics factory of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, one of Asia’s largest aerospace companies, in the northern Kerala town of Kasargod. The factory, built at a cost of about $12 million, currently produces avionics for the SU-30, LCA and MiG-27 and will be further expanded to produce avionics for medium multi-role combat aircraft. “The factory had started functioning months back but the formal inauguration delayed because of my preoccupations. I have asked the officials to start work on the second phase soon,” Antony said after formally opening the factory. “This will be developed into India’s most im-

portant aerospace firm”. Since he became the defence minister, Antony had brought six major strategic defence projects to his state, including the prestigious BrahMos missile making unit here, which is a joint venture between India and Russia. Asia’s leading Naval Academy was also commissioned in Kerala after he assumed office. “HAL is the defence ministry’s prestigious production unit which meets all needs of the Air Force’s aircraft manufacturing, modifications and electronics equipment making. In the second phase, the facility here will cater to the upgrade needs of (fighter planes) Sukhois and Jaguars,” the defence minister said. Besides top defence officials, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, industries minister P K Kunhalikutty, non-resident Keralite Affairs Minister K

VENDORS sell bamboo baskets at a roadside market in Siliguri, yesterday. — AFP

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM — Shashi Tharoor, the federal minister of state for human resources and lawmaker representing the Kerala capital city, has strongly rebutted the remarks made by K Chandrika, the city mayor, accusing of him of no help for the city. The mayor had the other day alleged that he had not given any funds for the Vilappilsala waste treatment plant and that he should have first visited the waste treatment plants in Delhi which were functioning much more poorly than the Vilappilsala plant. Tharoor termed the remarks as an attempt at merely “obfuscating the real facts about the gross failure of the Left Frontled city corporation”. In spite of central government financial assistance, the Corporation failed in effectively managing the affairs for the past many years and the remarks of the Mayor were “ill-founded and merely political vendetta only serving to pass the buck onto others without first putting her

own house in order”. The Municipal Corporation miserably failed to utilise the Central assistance of Rs196.4 million out of the total project cost of Rs 245.6 million for solid waste management in the Thiruvananthapuram city and the development of the Vilappilsala plant was one of the components of the project envisaged under this central assistance. “Only 47 per cent of the total amount was utilised so far and the physical achievement is recorded as 35 per cent. The Vilappilsala plant was origi-

nally meant to have a leachate treatment facility, a filtration system and smoke-pollution controls,” the minister said in a statement here yesterday. He said it was gross irresponsibility of the Corporation to start the plant’s operations before they were installed. Had they been, the local residents would not have suffered the inconveniences of pollution, toxins and poisoned groundwater, which led to protests. “The moot point here is that the people of Vilappilsala and in other parts had lost faith in the efficacy of the corporation to build, install and run a modern waste treatment plant which would cause minimum damage to the immediate environment,” Tharoor said. According to him, it was the point that the Mayor and the corporation led by her had to ultimately answer to the people. As regards the reported remarks of the Mayor that he had not allotted any funds for the plant, he said projects such as the Vilappilsala Waste

Treatment Plant were integrated projects of a size outside the scope of allotments that could be made from the limited funds available to MPs and MLAs. “It’s clear that in this particular case the issue was not one of lack of sufficient funds but one of gross inefficiency in utilisation of funds allotted for the purpose. The JNNURM (Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission) has provided more than enough funds for the project. In fact 53 per cent of the JNNURM money has not been spent,” he said. The MP in fact sought and obtained additional allocations for Thiruvananthapuram waste management in May 2011 from the Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath. With respect to the Mayor’s remarks that he should have visited the waste treatment facilities at Delhi, he said he was the MP of Thiruvananthapuram and that Delhi had enough MPs and MLAs to look after their problems. — By Our Correspondent




Reform at own pace


Privacy effort at crossroads

By Mark John


RENCH officials angrily rejected a charge by Britain’s The Economist weekly on Friday that France was the “time-bomb at the heart of Europe” and a danger to the euro single currency, accusing the magazine of sensationalism. The Economist’s front cover showed seven loafs of “baguette” bread bound together by a French tricolour with a lit fuse protruding from the centre. Its main article raised concerns that Socialist President Francois Hollande’s economic reforms are not ambitious enough, warning that financial markets could turn against France, and so could jeopardise the future of the euro. The government retorted that the Economist report did not take into account corporate tax rebates unveiled last week which amount to a 6 per cent reduction in labour costs, a measure it believes will add jobs and reduce a ballooning trade deficit. Public spending cuts announced in that package, along with existing budget measures, should add up to 60 billion euros in savings over Hollande’s five-year term, the government says, an effort the Economist has not factored in. “Their analysis is outdated, it’s not accurate anymore,” said Thomas Philippon, an adviser to Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici. “Cutting 60 billion euros in five years is anything but easy and it’s anything but timid.” Ministers slammed the report as one-sided. “Honestly, The Economist has never distinguished itself by its sense of even-handedness,” Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg said. Aside from doubts over the scale of structural reforms, EU officials and many economists are sceptical Hollande can hit his goal of cutting the 2013 public deficit to 3 per cent of output. Failure to do so could prompt financial markets to demand higher yields for French bonds, which are currently around record lows of 2 per cent on the perception that France is, along with Germany, a safe haven in the euro zone.

“We believe consumers should have more control MOVEMENT by over how data about their privacy activists online behavior is tracked, to curb tracking of shared, and used,” Microsoft Internet users’ browsing chief privacy officer Brendon habits scored a major victory Lynch said in announcing last month when Microsoft the move. Advertisers see the launched its new browser issue differently, arguing that with “do not track” as the Microsoft should not make default, or automatic setting. the decision for consumers. But some advertisers are The Digital Advertising in revolt against the move, Alliance, a consortium of certain websites are skirting the largest US media and the Microsoft effort and the marketing associations, debate over online privacy told its members they can and tracking is heating up. ignore or override the default The controversy stems settings in Microsoft or other from practices used by browsers. websites and marketing “The trade associations partners to track browsing that lead the DAA do not activity to be able to deliver believe that Microsoft’s ads targeted to individuals. IE10 browser settings are The ad industry argues an appropriate standard for that tracking is done providing consumer choice,” anonymously without said the alliance, which violating privacy, but some includes the Better Business say it is easy to connect Bureau. the person’s anonymous IP “Machine-driven do not address or mobile device to a track does not represent user real person. choice; it represents browser“It is trivial to make those manufacturer choice.” connections,” says Jim Brock, Yahoo! has also broken a former Yahoo! executive ranks with Microsoft, saying who now heads a venture it “will not recognise” the “do called PrivacyFix which not track” settings by default. offers browser plug-ins for A Yahoo! blog post said privacy and other services to Microsoft acted “unilaterally” consumers and businesses. and that “this degrades the Websites and mobile experience for the majority device use a variety of of users and makes it hard software to determine a user’s to deliver on our value browsing habits. Marketers proposition to them.” can then use that data for Representatives Edward “behavioural ads” designed Markey and Joe Barton, with people’s habits in mind. who head the House In some cases, these privacy caucus, expressed electronic tags can predict if disappointment over the a consumer is price-sensitive, actions by advertisers and allowing sellers to charge Yahoo!, saying they highlight more or less for a product the need for better privacy or service. Privacy activists laws. say a simple Web search can “If consumers want make consumers a target for to be tracked online, they marketers, and that viewing should have to opt-in, not certain websites may identify the other way around,” the them as Aids patients or two lawmakers said in a suffering from another statement. Some analysts disease. argue that wiping out all “That is one of the online tracking would scariest things, and it undermine the economic shakes people’s faith in the model of the Internet. marketing industry,” Brock The Information said. “There is very little Technology and Innovation protection for targeting based Foundation, a Washington on health conditions. This is think tank, recently modified information that can get in the its website to warn visitors hands of insurance companies with “do not track” enabled and employers who might with a pop-up message not use it in a way we would which asks them to enable expect.” tracking. Most Web browsers ITIF analyst Daniel Castro allow users to activate a “do said most consumers do not not track” privacy feature, object to online tracking and Microsoft designed its if they understand that ads Internet Explorer 10 with the support the websites they feature as the default setting. visit.

By Rob Lever


SPEAKER John Boehner (centre) speaks to the media at the White House after meeting President Barack Obama in Washington. — AFP

Possible path to a deal By Richard Cowan


RESIDENT Barack Obama and top lawmakers agreed last Friday to work on a framework for reforming the US tax code and “entitlement” programmes next year, in what could be an important first step in averting the upcoming ‘fiscal cliff.” While the congressional leaders and the president had spoken individually in the past week in public statements about a construct for going forward, on Friday’s session marked the first time they sat in a room together and struck a similar chord. An agreement to discuss tax and entitlement reform, most pressingly Medicare, the health programme for the elderly, would not be sufficient to solve the more immediate problem of averting the fiscal cliff, the broad tax increases and spending cuts set to start in January. But a promise for the future is seen as necessary to convince members to compromise in the here and now, probably by replacing the relatively extreme fiscal cliff measures with less harmful deficit-reduction steps. The development came during the first meeting between Obama and Republican and Democratic congressional leaders since the election. Attending were the president, Boehner, Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Following the hour-long White House meeting, Boehner said at he had “outlined a framework that deals with

A deal to discuss tax and entitlement reform, most pressingly Medicare would not be sufficient to solve the more immediate problem of averting the fiscal cliff reforming our tax code and reforming our spending.” A Boehner aide, who asked not to be identified, said later the spending cuts would cover “entitlements” — the large federal benefit programs that include Medicare healthcare for the elderly and Medicaid for the poor. “This is a construct all present (in the White House meeting) agreed was needed,” the aide said. A Democratic aide, who also asked not to be identified, did not dispute that tax and entitlement reforms had to be worked on next year. The aide added that the “key discussion right now” is what to do about across-the-board income tax rates that will rise in January if Congress cannot agree on a new deficit-reduction deal. “The major development of the meeting was we made it clear our position is ... we should freeze tax rates for

the middle class and raise rates on the top (income) families,” the Democratic aide said. “It was notable that neither Boehner nor McConnell shot that idea down.” While great uncertainty remains, Friday’s steps were not insignificant. Obama’s core supporters, who turned out in droves to ensure his reelection, are already fighting hard to protect benefit programs for the poor, disabled and elderly that Republicans want to cut because of their rising costs. It is therefore meaningful that Democratic leaders at least say those entitlements are open for discussion. Conservatives in Congress bristle at the notion of raising any income tax rates, including for the wealthy. After decades of Republicans insisting that Washington had a spending problem, not a revenue problem, the Republican leaders are at least now

saying they are prepared to put revenues on the bargaining table. Details, which have wrecked deficit talks in the past, are missing. On the entitlement cuts, for example, would they primarily hit middle-class beneficiaries, wealthy participants, or medical providers such as hospitals? In public, the Republican leaders did not say whether the offer to negotiate on revenues meant merely closing some tax loopholes benefiting special interests and counting on future revenue growth from an improving US economy or, whether as Democrats hope, they were signaling they might finally say yes to raising tax rates on the rich. Reid and Pelosi, said a senior Senate Democratic aide, “feel they’re making progress (with Republicans) on tax cuts for the rich.” The aide predicted that “there will be some back and forth” in coming weeks before Republicans finally succumb. How far any of the talking goes will not be known until Congress returns in late November from a Thanksgiving holiday recess and the real, nitty-gritty negotiating begins. Reid and Obama huddled in the White House earlier this week alone, without any aides present. According to a source who did not want to be identified, Reid wanted to gauge Obama’s spine — whether he would stand firm on raising taxes for those families with net incomes above $250,000. For many Democrats, December 2010 was all too painful a memory, as Obama caved in to Republican demands that all tax cuts, including those for the richest.

Nightfall brings fear for trapped in Gaza By Sara Hussein


HE air strike begins with a rumble, which grows louder as the people wince, and then bursts into a crash, as though the night sky over Gaza had split open and crumbled. In the three days since Israel began an aerial campaign against Gaza, air strikes have pounded the territory continuously, but after dark the raids intensify. In a third-floor apartment in the Nasser neighbourhood of Gaza City, the family leaves the windows open to try to prevent the glass from shattering when the air displaced by each blast radiates out in a burst. The street in front of the building is already covered in a shimmering carpet of shards from the panes of their unluckier neighbours. The shockwaves from each blast gust into their home, blowing apart the curtains as the building trembles and the fixtures rattle from the force of the impact. Sometimes a single strike sounds, other times multiple blasts, in a terrifying rhythm that leaves residents trembling and holding their breath. At times, the blasts shake children awake, and some begin to cry immediately,

Shockwaves from each blast gust into their homes, blowing apart the curtains as the building trembles. At times, the blast shake children awake, and some begin to cry immediately, reaching for the comfort of a parent’s embrace reaching for the comfort of a parent’s embrace. Others wet themselves with fear, or freeze, too scared even to cry. Laila Saker, 29, is eightand-half months pregnant and the mother of six-year-old Razan and four-year-old Uday. “My daughter Razan hasn’t spoken for the last two days. She rarely makes a sound. My son, Uday, has become aggressive. I’ve been trying to relax them... but I feel like it isn’t working,” she said. “I’m afraid for my unborn baby and my children. I want to cry during the bombing but I’m holding myself together for the children because I don’t want them to be afraid.” A resident of the Nasser

neighbourhood, she cowered in terror in her home throughout dozens of air strikes on Thursday night, and decided to move in with her in-laws on Friday, hoping their home might be safer. “As soon as I got there I began crying uncontrollably,” she said on Friday night, speaking as a new round of strikes knocked out power. “I’ve never experienced such a bad night, it was the worst night of my life. It’s the first time I’ve been that terrified.” The sound of outgoing fire inspires fear too. Smaller rockets whoosh upwards, bigger ones are sometimes loud enough to be mistaken for incoming fire — just without the

crash of an impact. Since last Wednesday afternoon, Israel has carried out hundreds of air strikes, targeting every city in the denselypopulated Gaza Strip, which is dotted throughout with Hamas facilities and rocket launching sites. Families argue about where to go. But for most, there are simply no options. Leaving Gaza is virtually impossible, and there are no bomb shelters and no places to hide. As Friday night turned into yesterday morning, the blasts slowed, and the sound of drones filled the air, buzzing like distant lawnmowers. For a while, there was relative quiet, just one big blast an hour, shaking people awake

PALESTINIAN rescue personnel at a blast site following an Israeli air raid in Gaza City on Friday. — AFP long enough for them to readjust and go back to sleep. But shortly after 5:00 am, two strikes in quick succession hit close enough to make the building vibrate, and bounce the sleeping around in their beds. Shortly afterwards, five sharp blasts shake the building again and the shadows thrown on the ceiling by a lightshade jump back and forth as as the

bulb sways along with the room. The strikes levelled the Hamas government headquarters, and damaged surrounding homes. Panic gripped the neighbourhood, and dust filled the air. “It’s like a real-life horror movie, what I saw today,” said 18-year-old Suha, standing in front of her house with her mother. “It’s a miracle we’re

still alive.” Meanwhile, since the beginning of modern warfare, propaganda has been almost as important as weaponry and strategy in determining the outcome. But the current conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza has raised the use of propaganda to a new level. Thanks to an explosion in of-

ficial and citizen messages moving on social media services, the war is being tweeted in real time. For many who follow the avalanche of tweets, Facebook posts and YouTube videos it can seem almost like an episode from a new video game. But for those caught in the crossfire, the results are often deadly.




Wind power growth to decline

Ex-PM eyes alliance to unseat Orban

By Nina Chestney


HE growth of wind power generation is likely to slow over the next few years, hit by cutbacks in the budget subsidies in the United States and Europe that have driven 15 years of construction, a report published showed. Held back by a struggling world economy and the failure to create commercial conditions which stimulate more green investment, the report by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) and Greenpeace International expected growth of wind power would not accelerate again until after 2020. Global installed wind capacity reached 240 GW at the end of 2011, it said, but 2013 looks like a difficult year for the sector amid a rocky environment for global financing. “Absent a new means for putting a global price on carbon, new demand growth in the OECD borne on a strong economic recovery, or some other unforeseen development, the industry’s rate of growth will slow substantially in the coming few years,” the report said. However, cumulative installed capacity could still reach 759 GW by 2020 — supplying up to 12 per cent of global electricity — and continue to increase during the 2020s to reach 1,600 GW by 2030, the report said. If current market uncertainties are overcome in the near future, capacity could even top 1,150 GW by 2020 and 2,500 GW by 2030. China, the world’s largest wind market, had total installed capacity of over 62 GW last year. Growth will likely slow until after 2015, though it will still be the market leader. “The phenomenal growth in the Chinese wind energy market has outstripped the ability of the grid and system operators to manage it,” the report said, adding that over 10 billion kilowatt hours of wind power were lost last year because the grid had no capacity to absorb it. The International Energy Agency (IEA) has estimated that the Chinese market will see a decline in its rate of annual installations, resulting in total capacity of 179 GW by 2020. GWEC said this was rather pessimistic given the Chinese government’s commitment to developing wind power. Total installed capacity could instead reach 125 GW by 2015.

By Marton Dunai


EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy (R) with President of Latvia Andris Berzins in Brussels recently. — AFP

Austerity, growth co-exist By Helen Maguire


ATVIA’S response to its own economic crisis shows that austerity and investment do not contradict one another, the country’s prime minster said ahead of next week’s showdown over the European Union’s 7-year spending programme. “There is not so much contradiction between austerity and growth,” Valdis Dombrovskis said. “If a country... loses the trust of the financial markets, the first thing to do is to regain this trust.” Having recovered from a deep recession in 2008-09, Latvia now boasts the European Union’s highest growth rate, with gross domestic product increasing 5.3 per cent on an annual basis in the third quarter of 2012. However, while austerity is being preached as the answer to the euro zone’s economic crisis, Latvia insists that this should not mean slashing EU spending during 2014-20, as demanded by net contributor states including Britain and Germany. Besides imposing tough austerity measures as its economy contracted by a staggering 17.7 per cent in 2009, Latvia also introduced fiscal stimuli — for which EU funds were one of the main sources, Dombrovskis said. Latvia was granted a 7.5-billion-euro bailout by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund in 2008, after its real estate bubble burst amid the global financial crisis. “We did just the opposite of what some countries are now doing,” he said. “We understood that this was our opportunity to use this money to stimulate the economy, to invest in infrastructure, to support entrepreneurship.” On top of this, he said the EU’s Social Fund — part of the budget being negotiated — had allowed the former Soviet state to mitigate the social consequences of the crisis among its 2 million people. He said Greece had gone wrong by

Latvia was granted a 7.5-billioneuro bailout by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund in 2008, after its real estate bubble burst amid the global financial crisis choosing a “strategy of trying to delay their (economic) adjustment,” and constantly “arguing with European lenders that they need more time.” “If you are delaying the adjustment you are not regaining financial stability, and if you are not regaining financial stability, you are just getting deeper into recession,” he said. Latvia belongs to the Friends of Cohesion group of southern and eastern EU member states arguing that EU funding should not be cut, while net contributors to the bloc’s budget insist that it should shrink at this time of economic hardship. “I think there are still possibilities to find some savings in the budget,” Dombrovskis said, citing agriculture funding as an example, as well as the way cohe-

sion funds — aimed at boosting underdeveloped areas — are allocated. “This current proposal is not so much about saving money than redistributing money, mainly from east to south,” he said, adding that Latvia and its Baltic neighbours Estonia and Lithuania were among the biggest losers. “This is not so much about the money, we are okay with current level of payments as long as everybody else also receives something similar,” he said. “It is more about ensuring fair competition in the EU internal market.” He said the situation “does not look very encouraging” ahead of the summit starting on Thursday — with no clear end in sight — aimed at reaching a compromise. “We hope that everybody understands that, if 27 countries agree, of course each country will have to give something up from its initial position,” he said. “The question is, will all countries be interested in ... negotiating to find those compromise positions.” Dombrovskis, who is a year into his third term, said if the euro zone’s crisis dragged on, it was “certainly going to affect Latvia” — which is on track to join the currency bloc in 2014. Although the crisis had turned public opinion against adopting the euro, he was confident it was in the country’s best interest. “It is not really a euro-as-acurrency crisis, it is rather a financial and economical crisis in certain euro zone countries,” Dombrovskis said, pointing out that Latvia’s currency was already pegged to the euro. “There are many practical reasons to join — reduced transaction costs, ease for travellers, price transparency and so on,” he said, adding that the worst of the crisis was over. “I think quite a few steps are being taken in the right direction and I do hope that we are heading out of the woods,” he said. “Latvia sticks with its target to join the euro zone as of January 1, 2014.”

ORMER prime minister Gordon Bajnai (right) faces one of the toughest political battles in post-communist Hungary as he forges a coalition to beat Prime Minister Viktor Orban in 2014 elections. Bajnai has set out to build a broad opposition alliance and draft a new programme to help him oust Orban’s ruling centre-right Fidesz party, which has become the strongest political force in the central European country’s recent history. “This government is not governing the country,” Bajnai, 44, said in his first interview with the international press since announcing his coalition last month on the anniversary of Hungary’s 1956 revolution. “They are using their two-thirds majority to build a government,” he said in the interview late last week. “We have to organise a large, strong political centre of people of different values, ideologies who want to live in a normal developing European country and not one that is drifting away from Europe.” Bajnai, whose movement Egyutt (Together) 2014 now ranks second in opinion polls to Orban’s Fidesz, said his alliance would lead Hungary back from economic unorthodoxy and end what he said was democratic foul play in Orban’s government. The most indebted nation in the European Union’s eastern half, Hungary has often been at loggerheads with its Western partners since Orban’s Fidesz swept to a two-thirds parliament majority in 2010. Orban took over from Bajnai, whose caretaker government backed by the Socialists instituted an austerity programme that pulled Hungary back from the brink of default with emergency aid from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the EU. Orban promptly ended talks on renewing that financing deal and embarked on policies that included tax cuts for the middle class, Europe’s highest bank levy, and heavy new taxes on big corporations, most of them foreignowned. Lawmakers rewrote the Constitution to reflect a conservative world view and, in a flurry of lawmaking, cemented Orban’s powers well beyond his four-year term, critics contend. A year ago Orban’s government returned to the IMF seeking a financing backstop to lower the country’s high borrowing costs but has held stop-go talks with lenders ever since, with a deal still a distant and uncertain prospect. A businessman known for a no-nonsense, pragmatic style of governance, Bajnai said an EU/IMF backstop would not replace good governance but it would be needed to allow illmanaged policies to be fixed to restore investor confidence. “Partly because of lack of competence and partly because of political overruling of economic rationale, this government has not been able to present a sustainable economic plan,” he said. “The IMF/EU contract would be a sort of stamp on government economic policy, which is badly needed because the credibility of the country is in shambles.” Never a party member, Bajnai has been in the background since the Socialists who backed his government fell out of favour with voters in 2010. He formed the Country and Progress foundation which compiled policy papers. He also taught at Columbia University and the Johns Hopkins University before the Egyutt 2014 was formed. Egyutt is not registered as a political party. In a poll last week that listed it anyway, it received the backing of 14 per cent

Orban took over from Bajnai, whose caretaker government instituted an austerity programme that pulled Hungary back from the brink of default with emergency aid from the IMF and EU of voters, while Fidesz got 22 per cent. One analyst said Bajnai needs to unite the opposition, which is as big a challenge as unseating Orban will be next year. “So far this is a movement with a huge momentum but without any organisation,” Republikon Institute Director Csaba Toth said. “If the established opposition parties decide to oppose Mr Bajnai then it becomes a very messy situation.” “I think they definitely have a chance against Fidesz even today, even in this fractured state... But the main challenge for Mr Bajnai is now within the opposition.” Though numbers alone make it the strongest opposition grouping, Bajnai said Egyutt had no plans to run alone. It would address undecided voters and engage parties that wished to join, formulate a programme and form a coalition by September 2013. That is needed because recent changes in Hungary’s electoral law ushered in a partly first-past-the-post system that makes it nearly impossible to unseat a strong incumbent. “If you fragment the opposition in this electoral system there is no chance to get rid of the government,” he said. “The electoral system is forcing us to build this alliance as one block... to build a coalition before the elections.” He declined to discuss his own role and said candidates for specific posts, including that of Prime Minister, would not be considered until shortly before the start of the campaign. Asked what he had told his partners in the EU and the United States, Bajnai said: “I tell them the job I endeavoured to do is to be one of the main organisers of a credible opposition alternative to Fidesz. That is the status now.”

Germany’s Greens gear up for election battle EU crisis deepens By Frank Zeller


ERMANY’S Greens, who burst into mainstream politics in the 1980s with a radical anti-nuclear and pacifist agenda, are gearing up for an election fight that could return them to power after an eight-year absence. Latest media polls suggest the party, which started a three-day national congress on Friday, is Germany’s third biggest political force, trailing only Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives and the opposition Social Democrats (SPD). Ahead of the September 2013 polls, the one-time motley crew of peaceniks, ecologists and feminists, who wore wooly jumpers and sneakers when they first entered parliament, is increasingly reaching out to urban and middle-class voters. The party’s key policies, aside from their traditional environmental issues, now include pushing for a minimum wage and raising taxes for the rich while boosting spending on social services and education. One of party’s leading figures, Katrin Goering-Eckardt, born in the former East Germany, has admitted to being a little “spiessig”, a German word that can be translated as either “bourgeois” or “stuffy”. She and the party’s elder statesman, former environment minister Juergen Trittin, could become kingmakers if Merkel’s junior coalition partner, the Free Democrats (FDP), fail to return to parliament next year, as polls have indicated. If the Greens look less radical to-

GREEN Party’s Katrin Goering-Eckardt (R) and Juergen Trittin in Berlin recently. — Reuters day than their founders did during the protest movements of the 1960s and 1970s, it is in part because many of their ideas are now considered mainstream. Within days of Japan’s 2011 Fukushima disaster, for instance, Merkel announced she would phase out nuclear power — effectively making the Greens’ decades-old signature policy her own. As Germany has become greener, the Green Party has moved to the

centre, winning its first taste of power in a coalition with Gerhard Schroeder’s Social Democrats, from 1998 to 2005. Ironically, it was under that “redgreen” government that Germany ended a taboo and deployed troops abroad for the first time since World War II — to Kosovo and later to Afghanistan. The Greens’ then foreign minister, Joschka Fischer — who as a young

activist once famously kicked a police officer — was hit with a paint bomb during one of the party’s rowdy party events. In recent weeks, the grand-daddy of the world’s green parties launched an exercise in direct democracy. Alone among Germany’s major parties, it allowed rank-and-file members to directly elect the top candidates for the 2013 election. The duo of winners, the moder-

ate Goering-Eckardt, 46, and the left wing’s Trittin, 58, are seen as appealing to centrist voters who were once turned off by the party’s revolutionary rhetoric. Both candidates have since played down speculation of a possible political marriage with Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), without however formally ruling it out. No-one doubts the Greens will be a force to be reckoned with. They have scored up to 20 per cent in media polls this year, more than the FDP, traditionally Germany’s third biggest party. The Greens are represented in all state assemblies, and the premier of Baden-Wuertemberg, Winfried Kretschmann, as well as the new major of the state’s city of Stuttgart, Fritz Kuhn, hail from the Green Party. Last week, SPD party chief Sigmar Gabriel publicly urged the Greens to commit themselves to a new coalition. “The SPD is very clear on this,” he said. “We want an SPDGreen government in 2013, not a coalition with the CDU’CSU. Now it’s the Greens’ turn.” Germany’s solid economic performance has helped pave the way for a boom in business aviation across Central Europe, despite the economic threat posed by the euro debt crisis. Over the last five years one new aircraft was delivered on average every week to Central Europe, industry data compiled by the US aircraft manufacturer Hawker Beechcraft Corporation (HBC) showed.

By Sinikka Tarvainen


ORKERS across many parts of Europe on Wednesday vented their anger at austerity policies seen as stifling growth and plunging them into poverty — while the crisis that sparked such policies in the first place only deepened. As national strikes took place across Spain and Portugal, and major walkouts in Greece, Italy and France, the EU statistics office Eurostat announced that euro zone industrial production fell sharply in September, dropping by a more-thanforecast 2.5 per cent. Gloomy figures also came out of Portugal, with the statistics body INE announcing that unemployment had risen to 15.8 per cent in the third quarter, up from 15 per cent in the second quarter. Gross domestic product contracted by 3.4 per cent in the third quarter year-on-year, the INE said. “The focus has to be on employment and solidarity” instead of budget cuts, demonstrator Linda Rackham said outside the European Commission in Brussels, while millions of people participated in simultaneous rallies and strikes in other countries. “We need a change of direction,” Rackham insisted. The focus of the strikes called by national unions and the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) was in southern Europe, where Greece and Portugal have been bailed out, and Spain and Italy are struggling to avoid the same fate. “I want a different kind of healthcare,” said Spanish nurse Manuel Jimenez, who joined a 24-hour “Iberian general strike” staged by Spanish and Portuguese unions in protest at budget cuts in health and education. The plight of the impoverished southern countries sparked a wave of solidarity, with Paris demonstrator Luc Doumont saying he had joined a protest march “mainly out of solidarity” with them. “We must save money, but we should not strangle the purchasing power” of people in crisis-hit countries, said the 53-year-old customs official. France was trying to strike a balance between making savings and maintaining social programmes, Dumont said, but expressed concern that such efforts would not last. “We are prepared to make an effort, but we want to know when we can see the rewards,” he said. The problems of Greece, Portugal or Spain “are coming to us too,” Brussels demonstrator Bouchal Abdulouahad said. The only way to prevent that was to “move together,” the truck driver added.


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CLASSIFIED SECTION RUWI: 24785668 Behind Royal Oman Police Adjacent to Dhofar Building


14 OMAN DAILY Observer z SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2012

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FOR Rent or ONE room, PDO Road, Investment: Industrial Qurum 165. Call: land at Al Masfat 660 m/s 99654530. at distinctive location. Contact 9644291. BAUSHER 37, modern villa for rent. 3 bedroom SANDWICHS & tea + storages, 4 bathrooms, room shwarma & BBQ lobby, large family living, room in excellent location yard, garage and wide car at Athaiba 95489955. parking and split units. Fridge, cooker, oven, washing machine, pool A BEDROOM with table + staff are available. attachments at Al GhuContact the landlord. brah north, RO 130/ 99443529 anytime. 95054077, 99219333. E-mail: yi12cu@yahoo. com A BUILDING at Wadi Al Kabir near the Indian School consists of 36 Àats, 8 shops and basement (luxury ¿nishing) central air-conditions, (A single tenant preferred). Call 24494979, 95098103, 92283444.

VILLA for rent — Ground floor and 1st floor, 7 rooms and 5 bedrooms, 1 kitchen, 3/4 car parking, near Qurum Rose garden, Opposite American Club. Contact 95893858, 99567346.

SPACIOUS 1 hall, 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, car parking, Al Hail area, children’s play area, near International school, close to Indian school, Seeb 99439705.

OFFICES for rent with total space 600 m sq at Al Walja behind Mazda Agency. Contact: 99474088.

FLATS for rent in Darsait near Church, new building, 2 bedrooms. Contact: 93014751, 95347496.

FLATS for rent Wadi Kabir, 2 BHK, sitting room, 3 bathrooms, A/C split, 2 balcony. RO 330/ 99324402.

NEW building, available 2 BHK & 1 BHK at Darsait with split AC z 2 BHK with split AC at Darsait opposite Lulu Hypermarket z1 BHK with split AC near Honda Road, Ruwi. For details contact: Alkhonji Development & Investment LLC 98989287, 98989265, Of¿ce: 24787275

NEW building apartment at Al Wadi al Kabir, consisting of 16 two bedroom flats with living room, 6 single bedroom flats with living room, 3 shops (preferred single tenant). Call 94370030.

COMMERCIAL space for rent: offices, restaurants, health club, car hire, beauty salon, spa, travel agency and many more opportunities available in a brand new hotel in Salalah prime location. For inquires, please contact 99174061, 99600521.

FLAT, 3 bedroom attached bathroom, family hall + kitchen. Al Amerat, near Azooz. 95330209. FLAT for rent in Wattayah behind Honda showroom, 2 rooms, 2 bathrooms, sitting hall VILLA for rent in Maand kitchen with balcony. waleh 7 99462080, GSM 98544508. 99444632, 95975723.

REQUIRED URGENTLY MEDICAL REPRESENTATIVES Pharmacy Graduates minimum 3 years with a reputed National/Multinational Pharmaceutical Company, excellent communication skills in English and with an Omani driving licence preferred. Salary commensurate with the quali¿cation & experience.

Send CV with photograph & copies of certi¿cates to: Fax: 24708671 or E-mail:

SPECIAL Rates on New Cars & 4 WDs RENTING & LEASING Tours and Airport Transfer

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WE at Quick Fix offer a wide range of superior services. Our new services are Smart Maintenance Membership & Attractive Internal/ External painting/ Designs. We also provide Membership in our Special maintenance Programme that will provide you with smart maintenance solutions for your building. Our expert Philippine workers are well-trained to meet your expectations. We also provide electrical repairs, A/C maintenance, plumbing repairs, cleaning solutions, pest control solutions, swimming pool construction & maintenance, gorgeous gardening and landscaping. Please call us on 92849838/ 95790142.



FRIENDS MANPOWER: Filipino housemaids and all kinds of workers. 24489268 Tel/Fax: 24478153.

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IF you are interested in to sell your cars, c send SMS, we pay pa cash 99333088.





1. AC, Fridge id & Washing Machine Servi Servicing & Painting, Repairing 22. P Plumbing, Electrical & Carpentry Works. Contact: 97014234/ 97123569, 24504281. HOOPOE SMART CARD SERVICES Sanad Service Centre We provide the following services: Typing, clearing all transactions related to government departments and private sector, eg labour agreement for Omanis and expatriates, typing of labour card for expatriates, typing of visas and document clearing from immigration department, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Ministry of Manpower, Commercial names reservation, renewal of commercial registration, renewal of OCCI membership, attestation of all documents from OCCI & Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Renewal of labour cards through electronic payment or cash payment. Please note you may deliver your transaction through our e-mail and our representative will deliver it to your of¿ce personally after completion. Our address is: Ruwi, near Gulf Transport Co. (GTC), Fax: 24793331, GSM: 98793665 (Direct) 99231500. E-mail: hoopoeoman@ AL FAHAD TRANSLATION SERVICES Translation of all kinds of legal, medical, and other types of documents, Commercial Agencies, etc. Ruwai, near Gulf Transport Co (GTC), Fax: 24794286. GSM : 98793665 (Direct) 95959838. E-mail: LANDRAIL TRADING & SERVICES (Smart Card) Ruwi, near Gulf Transport Co. (GTC), Fax: 24780244, Tel: 24789117, GSM 98793666 (Dir), 96777170. E-mail:

P.C.O. (PEST CONTROL OMAN CO. LLC) Professionals who specialise in all types of Pest Control Services & Snake control and Guaranteed Termite Control. Also available Gel treatment for Cockroaches. Suppliers of UK Pesticides Chemicals, Snake Repellent, Cockroach Gels and Peripel treated Mosquito Nets. 24787606, 24787503, Fax: 24787607.

AL Khalidiya Financial Consultancy. Market Research, Feasibility Study, Auditing and Taxation, Portfolio Investment and Management (Financial Security) Real Estate and Management. P O Box: 785, Al Azaiba, P C 130, Sultanate of Oman. Tel: (968) 24498975/34; Fax: (968) 24498947; GSM: (968) 99229700. E-Mail: alkhalidiyafinancial@

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MURAHIB HOTEL APARTMENTS APARTMEN welcome l our valuable GUESTS to our excellent location, AL KHUWAIR, near AL ZAWAWI MOSQUE, a single bedroom, a bedroom & majlis, two bedrooms & majlis. 24478087, Fax: 24482454. QURUM BEACH HOTEL. 24564070.



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PEUGEOT 206, 2 207, 1.4 automatic blue, FSH, VGC ffor RO FSH 2,050/-, expat leaving country 96150152.

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USED vehicles: Prime movers; Tankers, drinking, brackish, vacuum; Saloon cars; 3 tonne vehicles; Fork lifts; flatbed trailers; cement bulkers. 93906151, 99366545, 92293394.

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Ali al Maashari:



CLASSIFIEDS Continued on P-15






INDIAN male male, l 26 yrs, B.A, M.A, (Arabic) with good Arabic & English Eng Engl + computer literate, having driving licence, seeks suitable placement. Contact 95646785. 95646785. INDIAN male, graduate, having 20 years experience in HR/Administration. Seeks for a suitable placement in senior management. Pls contact 95803243, 95803243, 95803243. INDIAN female, 31 years, fashion designer (B.F.T), fresher, currently staying in Muscat on visit visa, seeks suitable job. Contact 91195107. 91195107.

SITUATION WANTED INDIAN male Business Development Manager with 8 years experience in UAE/Oman in FMCG/ automotive with D/L, seeks suitable opening 97435560. CISCO certified network associate (CCNA) and electronics & communication engineer, fresher from India looking for suitable placement. Currently staying in Muscat with parents. Contact 96021508, E-mail ID: harkirat. INDIAN male, 26 years, B.Tech electrical, presently working in Oman with 1½ years experience on HV, LV & MV, holding Omani D/L, proficient in Primavera, AutoCAD, MS Office, seeks suitable placement 93674899.

FACTORY manager, B. Tech (mech. engg), MBA, PGDHRM, having 25 years experience (1.5 years in Oman) in manufacturing industry, quality control and administration with valid Oman D/L, seeks suitable HSE professional, 2 placement 92935296. 92935296. years experience with Cochin Fire Guard, seeks placement +0091 9809959789, kpereiFINANCE & accounts manager, 9 years Oman experience, finalisation, banking, collection, purchases, ERP, audits, LOOKING for a job, excellent English & crane operator now on a communication, seeks visit in Oman, if anybody managerial role in finance, interested, please contact: commercial admin, 93110127, 99044748. management in MNC. reputed companies, immediately joining INDIAN male (25 years), 99283938. 99283938. MBA with 2 years experience in accounts, seeks suitable placement. INDIAN male BE with 13 Contact 92651573 years experience in MEP works (Tender/Projects), having valid driving TURNER, Indian, welllicence. NOC is available. experienced professional, Contact 95049350. seeks immediate placement in reputed firms. Contact 98452056 98452056 A GRADUATE Sudanese female, IT, an excellent experience in TelecomCISCO certi¿ed network munications companies, associate (CCNA) Co-ordination and follow- and electronics & up with petroleum comcommunication engineer, panies. Human Resources fresher from India and Secretary work for looking for suitable Universities, Electronic placement. Currently marketing for governmen- staying in Muscat tal bodies and oil compawith parents. Contact nies. (Fluent in English and 96021508. E-mail ID: Arabic languages) Contact harkirat.mariwah@gmail. 92308316, Yassir. com

INDIAN male (25 years), MBA with 2 years experience in accounts, seeks suitable placement. Contact 92651573, E-mail: 27 YEARS, male, sales & marketing, B Com, MBA 93260920, 25340219. INDIAN female, 28 years, MBA (¿nance & marketing) having experience of 4 years, looking for suitable placement in reputed Co, having Oman driving licence. Contact 96306845. BE (electronics & communication), Indian male 25 years, on-going MBA, CCNA, experience in India, currently working in Oman. Contact 93807203, E-mail:

INTERIOR Designer 7 years experience, skilled in computer programme, AutoCad, 3Dmax, Adobe Photoshop, expert in execution & ¿nishing, having driving licence, seeks suitable job. Contact: 94372075.

INDIAN male, 52 years seeks job as storekeeper/ shop supervisor on visit visa. Contact: 91167052. 28-YEARS-OLD Indian male, BE civil engineer, 4 years Oman experience in civil projects with Oman driving licence, seeking suitable job openings. Contact: 99489201 e-mail: s.erbbkannan@

INDIAN male, 25 years, B.Tech in Mechanical Production diploma in Mechanical Primavera P6, ACCOUNTANT with 5 2+ years experience in years experience (in BahDubai and in India. rain), seeks placement in 92836317. E-mail: accounts & operation desubyvmathew@ partment. Bachelors degree and diploma in accounts & of¿ce administration. Contact 93773535, E-mail: B COM, ACCA & CMA (Parts qualified) 5 years experience of financial & costing (preparation of ACCOUNTANT with financial statements), 5 years experience upto budgeting variance ¿nalisation in Oman, analysis & project B Com, well versed with costing, looking for Tally, Smart Accounts, suitable placement. Point of Sale, MS Of¿ce 95268040. with Oman driving licence. Contact: 95767094. ACCOUNTANT, Indian female, MCom, 6 years experience, seeks suitable placement. 95112573. INDIAN, female, M Com having 8 years experience in Accounts and Auditing in Oman seeks suitable placement. Contact: 97904954. INDIAN male, 25 years, BBA, MBA (finance, HR) 1 year experience, Bangalore. 94387075. E-mail: kumarsselvan@

INDIAN male, 23 years, B. Tech Electronics Engineer with 1½ years experience. 98257390. E-mail: sherinpm_007@ MECHANICAL Engineer with professional diploma certi¿cate in project planning and management (Primavera and MS Project) with 6 months experience seeks suitable placement. 98947181

ACCOUNTANT with 7 years experience up to ¿nalisation (3 years in Abu Dhabi), on visit visa, seeks placement in accounts/¿nance. 93403591, e-mail:krishna.

INDIAN female, 29 yrs, B.Sc (nursing), having 7 years experience (Bahrain, India) with Oman nursing licence and NOC 97412463.

28 YEARS, female Indian (MBA, Finance) working experience in purchase & accounts looking for suitable placement having Omani driving licence. Contact: 96306845/ 99481132.

Mailing Address: OBSERVER CLASSIFIEDS SECTION, P.O. Box 974, Muscat, P.C. 100 Location: OEPPA HEAD OFFICE, Medinat Al Alam, Near Ministry of Information 24649 593, 594, 594, 595, 596, 597 & OEPPA Ruwi Office, Next to Dhofar Bldg, Behind Ruwi Police Station 24785668

INDIAN male, 29, BCom, 8 years experience in accounts up to ¿nalisation, better knowledge in Focus ERP, Tally & MS Of¿ce, 5 years experience in Oman, seeks suitable placement. Contact: 98496906.

INDIAN male, 23, on visit visa, having knowledge about MS Of¿ce, computer hardware assembling, repairing, installing, Windows package, basic softwares etc, seeks job as secretary/of¿ce assistant, computer technician, safety supervisor. Contact 94363390, e-mail: 27 YEARS, male, sales & marketing, B.Com, MBA 93260920, 25340219. INDIAN male, PG in marketing management, 3 years experience in marketing in Oman, valid D/L, seeks marketing & sales placement. GSM 93456537. INDIAN male Accountant, Tally, MS Office, Peachtree, Daceasy. 5 years experience, on visit visa looking for suitable placement urgently. Contact: 94096710. IRAQI Architect with 22 years experience, more than 6 and half years in Oman in design, site supervision and construction, seeks suitable placement. 97608513. INDIAN male, 24 yrs, B. Tech (Mechanical) having 6 months experience in Oman with certification in Nebosh and with valid Omani driving licence, seeks suitable placement. 95703680 E-mail: caezar007@ MSC computer science, web design system assembling & administrations, 2 years experience, male, 25 years, Indian, visaemployment 2 years, NOC available 93003494, 98288176. INDIAN male, BTech, Electronics & Instrumentation Engineer, 1½ years experience in Oman in instrument installation and maintenance in industries and fuel ¿lling stations. Pro¿ciency in PLC, SCADA and AutoCad. Contact: 94252628. INDIAN male, 35, electronic diploma holder with 10+ years experience in electronic service industry, having Omani D/L, seeks suitable opening 92791680.

SITUATION WANTED BBM (Business Management), 7 years experience in Pharmaceutical companies. Worked with Cadila, Zydus, Fourrts, Moekule and Notus Pharmaceutical companies in various positions, on visit seeks suitable placement. 95288725, 99548260, e-mail: prasadpaniyour@ INDIAN female, 28, BTech with honours (Computers Science), pursuing MBA (HR) Sem, 2½ years work experience, 6 months in Muscat, looking for opportunity in admin, HR, back of¿ce. Contact: 93653426, 95328330.

INDIAN male, 23 years, B.Tech, worked as Graduate Trainee Engineer at Infinite Shipping and Engg Pvt Ltd from 2 August 2011 to 12 April 2012, knowing Autocad, Autodesk inventor, Solidworks, MS Office, Ansys analysis software, seeks suitable placement. in INDIAN male, GNIIT, • Programming Languages • Windows Application Development • Web Application Development• RDBMS • Web Designing & Animation • Scripting Languages • Software Testing, working in NIIT Korba centre as faculty and centre incharge from 1/04/2010, seeks suitable placement,

INDIAN male, 5 years experience in Oman, holding Omani driving licence, seeks placement 95085234. INDIAN female, 5 years experience as nurse in India, holding Oman Ministry of Health licence, seeks placement. 93636234. MALE, 22 years, looking for suitable position in Sales & Marketing. 93904004. INDIAN male, 34 years, MBA (marketing), having more than 7.5 years experience in banking operations, looking for suitable opening in admin/ back of¿ce/insurance operations 92161450.

SUDANESE male, 27 years, BA in civil engineering, 3 years experience, having driving licence, seeks job in any company 97646908.

+91-9770254418/ +91-9713619371, sadeesh. GRADUATE engineer in IT with experience in Oracle Application, Data Base Administration CIVIL Engineer, Iraqi nationality, resident in the cum Oracle DBA with good knowledge in Sultanate, with 10 years INDIAN male, Deck networking & system experience in the Cadet, diploma in Nautical hardware. construction field inside Science, currently on 94388749. Iraq. 91127531. visit visa. 92612404, 92648930. e-mail:

S BE Electrical Engineer with 2-3 yrs of experience in HV, MV and LV, special techinical skills on AutoCad, PLC, SCADA, MS Of¿ce, now on visiting visa, seeks suitable placement. Contact: 94339294. E-mail: QS — Sri Lankan male (1 year visa/NOC available), advance diploma — UK, more than 9 years experience. Contact: 93044123, 94051109, +94774794088 e-mail: INDIAN female, 15 years of teaching exp in India in collage as a lecturer in Business Management and 3 years in Oman in school as a Business studies teacher (Edexcel GCE & GCSE UK), seeks suitable placement in school, collage, training institute. Contact: 96040624. ACCOUNTS Manager, Indian male, 48 years having 22 years of wide experience in accounts, ¿nance and banking, seeks job change. Contact: 92785207.

HSE professional, 2 years experience with INDIAN male, 24 years, B Cochin Fire Guard, seeks placement +0091 Tech in Electronics and Communication Engineer- 9809959789, kpereiing, MCSE, 1 year experi- ence in telecommunication field, excellent communication skills. 93790414. TURNER, Indian, wellexperienced professional, seeks immediate placement in reputed firms. Contact INDIAN male, 22 years, 98452056 98452056 BE in Mechanical Engineering, having knowledge in ProE, AutoCad, fluid mechanics, 5 YEARS experience in UAE with D/L, looking for fluency in English and a job in sales & marketing. Hindi, seeks suitable placement, have visa for 4 Contact 98894200 months. 93498786.


ACCOUNTS ASST. & Surveyor. Forward Quantity Surv CV to Fax 245 24590541 or E-mail:

A REPUTABLE Omani company is looking to hire the following positions: z Administration Of¿cer minimum 2 years experience in Oman and Omani A REPUTED Muscat based driving licence z AC Technician - minimum 3 trading company urgently years experience required requires experienced z AC Foreman - miniSecretary. Interested mum 3 years experience, candidates may send CV’s to Fax 24482231. Tel: 968- minimum 1 year in Oman required z Plumber with 24489812. minimum 3 years experience, minimum 1 year in Oman required. To apply WANTED Electric and please send your CV to: PLC Technician for automatic block factory. For more details kindly call Mr Reji 99365567/ 25542760. PRIVATE school in Muscat requires fully quali¿ed Teachers with a minimum WANTED Housemaid at experience of 5 years in Al Khoudh teaching Math for high 99648654. school (Gr 9-11). Kindly forward your updated CV to: omaniacademy@gmail. OUR private school is com seeking well-quali¿ed and experienced Teachers within the following majors: A Receptionist, a Security Guard, KG English S ALE/RENT/INVEST ALE/REN female Teacher, a Chemistry Teacher, a female INDUSTRIAL land Math Teacher, a Social (1,400m) in Dubai Worker. Please contact me Al Raudah Al Madam. by e-mail: leader9993@ Contact: 99323957, 95490842. REQUIREMENT for the post of HSE Manager. Eligibility for the candidate: 1. NEBOSH diploma or international certi¿cate, 2. 20 years experience in the ¿eld of safety, 3. Experience in oil ¿eld transportation preferred, 4. In possession of Oman driving licence (light). 5. Conversant with Omani laws relating to health, safety and environment, 6. Conversant with PDO (Petroleum Development Oman) guidance, procedures and speci¿cations relating to HSE. Please send your resume at: natasha.



FOR NRI's: SPACIOUS two & half bedroom, hall, kitchen with shaded parking at Mahavir Nagar, Kandivali (West), Mumbai. Total area: 1,130 sq.ft 95220735



PURCHASIN PURCHASING immediately: W We would lik h like to purchase your land at Maabela 95490842, 9323957.


INFORMATION/LEISURE FLIGHT SCHEDULE ARRIVALS ALS — SUNDAY Flight No WY614 WY648 WY682 WY717 WY648 WY824 NL771 IX141 PK223 KU677 QR170 EY384 EK866 FZ041 GF560 RJ600 WY662 WY114 FZ043 WY632 WY602 WY914 WY202 NL669 WY274 WY238 WY102 WY254 WY262 WY218 WY224 EK862 QR166 G9113 EY382 9W530 WY3302 IX549 WY604 WY336 GF562 IX337 WY918 WY606 WY924 WY324 WY3304 MP097 WY654 WY204 WY638 QR164 WY608 WY298 WY664 WY284 GF564 WY3306 TG507 G9117 WY374 WY316 WY620 FZ047 WY124 WY142 KL449 WY134 AI973 BA073 WY616 AI907 LH618 QR168 EY388 LX242 GF566 WY624 WY656 WY668 AI985 WY672 WY636 WY686 WY423 9W534 WY816 9W540

Aircraft B737-8 B737-8 B737-8 B737-8 B737-8 A330-200 B737-2 B737-8 A310 A320 A320 A320 B777 B737-8 E190 A319 E175AR A330-200 B737-8 ATR42 B737-7 B737-8 B737-8 B737-2 B737-8 B737-8 A330-300 B737-8 B737-8 B737-8 B737-8 B777 A321 A320 A320 B737-8 ATR42 B737-8 E175AR B737-8 E190 B737-8 ATR42 B737-8 B737-8 B737-8 ATR42 B747F E175AR B737-8 ATR42 A321 B737-8 B737-8 B737-7 B737-8 A319 ATR42 A330 A320 B737-8 B737-8 E175AR B737-8 A330-300 A330-200 A330 A330-200 A320 B777 B737-8 A319 A340 A320 A320 A330 B737-7 ATR42 E175AR B737-7 A321 B737-8 B737-8 B737-8 B737-8 B737-8 A330-200 B737-8

From om / Via Dubai Kuwait Riyadh Zanzibar-Dar-es-Salaam Kuwait Kuala Lumpur Peshawar Amritsar Sialkot-Peshawar Kuwait-Dubai Doha Abu Dhabi Dubai Dubai Bahrain Amman Doha Frankfurt Dubai Abu Dhabi Dubai Salalah Bombay Sialkot Jaipur Hyderabad London Heathrow Madras Lucknow Trivandrum Cochin Dubai Doha Sharjah Abu Dhabi Trivandrum Mukhaizna Trivandrum Dubai Kathmandu Bahrain Calicut Khasab Dubai Salalah Karachi Mukhaizna Amsterdam Bahrain Bombay Abu Dhabi Doha Dubai Calicut Doha Bangalore Bahrain Mukhaizna Bangkok-Karachi Sharjah Colombo Chittagong Dubai Dubai Munich Malpensa Amsterdam-Abu Dhabi Paris Delhi London Heathrow-Abu Dhabi Dubai Madras Frankfurt-Abu Dhabi Doha Abu Dhabi Zurich-Dubai Bahrain Al Ain Bahrain Doha Ahmedabad-Bombay Jeddah Abu Dhabi Dammam Beirut-Amman Cochin Bangkok Bombay


To / Via


BA072 AI986 WY113 9W539 KQ318 WY253 WY601 WY217 WY237 WY223 WY631 WY261 WY661 WY241 WY201 9W529 WY123 WY141 WY273 NL668 IX816 WY133 WY335 PK224 FZ042 EK867 EY385 KU678 QR171 GF561 WY3301 RJ601 WY603 FZ044 WY315 NL772 WY373 WY297 WY815 WY283 WY323 WY605 WY917 WY923 G9114 WY203 EK863 EY383 QR167 WY3303 9W533 IX554 WY653 WY823 WY423 WY405 GF563 WY663 WY637 IX350 WY101 WY607 WY3305 WY671 WY619 MP097 WY615 QR165 GF565 WY685 WY647 WY681 WY667 WY655 G9118 TG508 WY927 WY635 WY623 WY613 FZ048 KL450 WY817 WY913 AI908 AI974 EY381 LX243 QR169 GF567 LH619

B777 A321 A330-300 B737-8 B737-8 B737-8 B737-7 B737-8 B737-8 B737-8 ATR42 B737-8 E175AR B737-8 B737-8 B737-8 A330-300 A330-200 B737-8 B737-2 B737-8 A330-200 B737-8 A310 B737-8 B777 A320 A320 A320 E190 ATR42 A319 E175AR B737-8 B737-8 B737-2 B737-8 B737-8 A330-200 B737-8 B737-8 B737-8 ATR42 B737-8 A320 B737-8 B777 A320 A321 ATR42 B737-8 B737-8 E175AR A330-300 B737-8 B737-8 E190 B737-7 ATR42 B737-8 A330-300 B737-8 ATR42 B737-8 E175AR B747F B737-8 A321 A319 B737-8 B737-8 B737-8 B737-7 E175AR A320 A330 B737-8 B737-8 ATR42 B737-7 B737-8 A330 A330-300 B737-8 A319 A320 A320 A330 A320 B737-7 A340

Abu Dhabi-London Heathrow Bombay-Ahmedabad Frankfurt Bombay Nairobi Madras Dubai Trivandrum Hyderabad Cochin Abu Dhabi Lucknow Doha Delhi Bombay Trivandrum Munich Malpensa Jaipur Sialkot Abu Dhabi-Mangalore Paris Kathmandu Peshawar-Sialkot Dubai Dubai Abu Dhabi Dubai-Kuwait Doha Bahrain Mukhaizna Amman Dubai Dubai Chittagong Peshawar Colombo Calicut Bangkok Bangalore Karachi Dubai Khasab Salalah Sharjah Bombay Dubai Abu Dhabi Doha Mukhaizna Cochin Cochin-Trivandrum Bahrain Kuala Lumpur Beirut-Amman Cairo Bahrain Doha Abu Dhabi Calicut London Heathrow Dubai Mukhaizna Jeddah Dubai Sharjah-Hong Kong Dubai Doha Bahrain Dammam Kuwait Riyadh Doha Bahrain Sharjah Karachi-Bangkok Salalah Abu Dhabi Al Ain Dubai Dubai Abu Dhabi-Amsterdam Bangkok Salalah Madras Delhi Abu Dhabi Dubai-Zurich Doha Bahrain Abu Dhabi-Frankfurt

0001 0005 0045 0045 0050 0115 0115 0115 0120 0120 0120 0125 0130 0130 0130 0130 0200 0200 0205 0215 0220 0230 0235 0330 0500 0500 0525 0540 0550 0700 0715 0715 0800 0820 0900 0930 1000 1005 1010 1015 1020 1030 1030 1035 1035 1040 1045 1050 1055 1115 1145 1150 1215 1300 1310 1310 1315 1330 1345 1355 1400 1440 1515 1540 1715 1800 1805 1840 1855 1905 1905 1910 1910 1915 1945 2005 2010 2015 2015 2045 2105 2200 2205 2245 2300 2310 2325 2335 2335 2345 2355

And one cannot discharge the duty of loyalty without the patient and an open minded study of the institution that marked the country and defined its character. — Bainbridge Colby

CINEMA FILM INFORMATION AL BAHJA CINEMA: 24540856, 24540855. AL NASR CINEMA: 24831358, 24831809 (after 3pm) AL SHATTI PLAZA: 24607360, 24692656 (after 2pm) STARS CINEMA: 24791641, 24792360

M AJLIS A’SHURA A DDRESSES Keep in touch with Majlis Ash’shura’s news. Log on to the Majlis’s website: and the Majlis’s e-mail:


Muscat ph, Ruwi, 24702542 Al Sarooj, 24695536


Scientific ph, Qurum, 24566601



NATIONAL MUSEUM, Tel: 24701289

Muscat Muscat 24561942 Al Waleed 24538713 Dar Al Shifa 24713736 Seeb 24420294 Sur Ibn Salim 25543770 Buraimi Muscat 25652145 Ibri Al Zayana 25694458 Nizwa Quarn Al Rawdha 25425012 Salalah Abu Al Dhahab 23291303 Sohar Al Rafa 26841202



NAHKAL FORT, Tel: 26781384

CURRENCY MUSEUM, Tel: 24796102 MUSCAT GATE MUSEUM, Tel: 24739005. OMANI-FRENCH MUSEUM (Bait Fransa), Tel: 24736613 BAIT AL ZUBAIR, Tel: 24736688 BAIT A’NAMAN, Tel: 24641300 SOHAR FORT MUSEUM. Tel: 26844758 BAIT AL MAKHAM. Tel: 24641300

Muscat Muscat 24695536 Muscat 24535977 Muscat 24833323 Al Badiya 24425024 Sur Aukadh 25540643 Buraimi Yaas 25653855 Ibri Al Iraqi 25694515 Rustaq Al Ariaf 25691389 Barka Al Farouq 26884553 Samayil Belqees 25352186 Nizwa Badr Al Samaa 25447777 Salalah Al Muasaa 23294400 Ibra Ibn Haitham 25570625 Sohar Muscat 26840211 Saham Scientific 26854302

BAIT ADAM MUSEUM, QURUM, Tel: 24605033, 24605013 OIL AND GAS EXHIBITION CENTRE AND PLANETARIUM, Tel: 24677834. PLANETARIUM, Tel: 24675542. AQUARIUM at the Marine Science and Fisheries Centre (located next to Marina Bandar Rowdha, Sidab). SALALAH MUSEUM, Tel: 23294549 CULTURAL CENTRE, Tel: 23294549. SUR MARITIME MUSEUM, Tel: 24541466. BAIT AL BARANDA, Tel: 24714262.

Private & Other Wards Working Days: 16:00-18:00. Weekends & Public Holidays: 10:-12:00, 16:00-18:00 ICU Working Days: 16:00-17:00. Weekends & Public Holidays: 16:00-17:00 Special Care Baby Unit Working Days: Parents may visit at any time. Weekends & Public Holidays: Parents may visit at any time

Hospital . . . .Board . . . . . Emergency Royal. . . . . . .24599000 . . 24590491 Health Services Department Muttrah . . . . .24797602 Quriyat . . . . .24845001 . . 24845003 SQH, Salalah 23211555 . . 23211151 Police . . . . . .24603988 . . 24603980 Al Nahda. . . .24831255 . . 24837800 Ibn Sina . . . .24876322 . . 24877361 Nizwa . . . . . .25439361 . . 25425033 Al Rustaq . . .26875055 . . 26877186 Sumayil. . . . .25350055 . . 25350022 Izki . . . . . . . .25340033 . . 25340033 Haima . . . . . .23436013 . . 23436055

AQUARIUS (January 21-Feb 19) You will earn the gratitude and co-operation of a newcomer at work if you take the trouble to show him round and help him to get settled.

TAURUS (April 21-May 20) Some people have difficulty in showing their true feelings, and your idea of being loved is a result of knowing such a person who holds you in very high regard. GEMINI (May 21-June 21) You are fully entitled to feel proud of a successful conclusion of a different task, but don’t be content to rest on your laurels for the rest of the year.

CANCER (June 22-July 21) When visiting a sick friend concentrate on his own troubles. You should realise that he is in no condition right now to be interested in other people’s affairs. LEO (July 22-August 21) Although you and other friends can see that your love-sick colleague is in danger of appearing foolish, don’t interfere because it will only cause resentment. VIRGO (August 22-Sept 22) You would be well advised to treat an influential person with utmost tact, no matter how much his condescending attitude may grate on you. LIBRA (September 23October 22) Don’t encourage a person who is strongly attracted by you if you are of the opinion that you will never be able to reciprocate his feelings.


by Brian Basset

Or write to the Majlis’s postal address: P O Box 981 Postal Code 111, Muscat Tel: 24510344 / 24521427/ Fax 24510560

INFORMATION M INISTRY WEBSITES Ministry: Oman TV: Oman Radio: Omani Centre for Traditional Music: www.


by Bill Watterson

4 Do they exclude fellows from drinking places? (6) 7 Colourful little pieces (8) 8 One hitting the ball softly and early, perhaps (6) 10 A dashed dotty signalling system? (5) 13 Put up with a big-headed listener (4) 14 Swing round as the Welsh start a comeback (4) 15 Protection being needed, they often take note (4) 16 Lay some mousetraps? (3) 17 The shape of Kennington (4) 19 An original killer (4) 21 Evidently curvaceous heroine (4,2,3) 23 Where, in Germany, to hear good French? (4) 24 Despot, but he showed some generosity (4) 26 Minimised in diet, it may well be chewed (3) 27 An act defended heartlessly (4) 29 Places to drink to one’s health (4) 32 Gray’s forename? (4) 33 Beauty with a heart of stone (5) 34 What you need for a hot meal? (6) 35 Made a collection for the benefit of crossword lovers? (8) 36 She’ll finish up in something feminine (6) DOWN 1 Shifty manoeuvres of a ship around a river (5) 2 Accustom one to being almost ruined, perhaps (5) 3 And now? (4) 4 Any creature supported by twins (5) 5 Get one’s back up? (4) 6 A team I can get cross with (6)



by Jim Davis

OMAN RADIO 06.00 am Opening, Royal Anthem, The Holy Quran, Preview of Morning Programme, Weather Forecast, Pharmacies on Duty; 06.15 Good Morning Oman; 07.00 News Bulletin; 07.10 Good Morning Oman (Sat-Wed); 10.00 News Headlines; 10.02 Piano; 11.00 Instrumental Music; 11.30 Light Classical Music; 12.00 News Headlines; 12.02 Artist of the Day (June); 12.07 Mid Day Edition - June; 02.30 News Bulletin; 02.40 Behind The Wheel (Laxmi); 04.00 News Headlines; 04.02 Omanesque (Laxmi); 06.30 News Bulletin; 06.40 Out in Oman; 07.00 Premium League (Murtadha) Live; 08.00 News Headlines; 08.02 The Oasis (Frank); 10.00 News Bulletin; 10.10 Euro Hits; 11.00 Selector Part 1 (Repeat); 12.00 Selector Part 2 (Repeat); 12.40 News Summary; 12.45 The Holy Quran; 01.00 National Anthem, Close Down.

Sohar . . . . . .26840022 . . Al Buraimi . . .25650855 . . Sur . . . . . . . .25440244 . . Tanam. . . . . .25499011 . . Masirah. . . . .25404018 . . Ibra . . . . . . . .25470533 . . Adam . . . . . .25434167 . . Bidiya . . . . . .25483535 . . Ibri. . . . . . . . .25491011 . . Saham . . . . .26854427 . . Khasab . . . . .26830187 . . Dibba . . . . . .26836443 . . Burkha . . . . .26828397 . . Sinaw . . . . . .25474338


IF IT’S YOUR BIRTHDAY: Do not make extravagant plans for the coming months, but make up your mind to enjoy the many small pleasures which an orderly life brings. Before getting involved in anything without proper preparation, think carefully and only act after due consideration of all risk entailed. PISCES (Feb 20-March 20) You need variety in your work to do your best, and you ought to seek an occupation, which provides the chance of interesting activities. ARIES (March 21-April 20) You are inclined to give way to minor pessimism when things aren’t exactly right for you. Don’t give way to these feelings, they only last for a short while.


R OYAL O MAN P OLICE EMERGENCY 9 9 9 9 DG of Passports & Residency, 24569603 DG of Customs, 24714626 Traffic offences, 24510227/228 ROP Public Relations, 24569270 Consumer Complaints Cell, 24817013 Muscat Governorate Headquarters, 24560021 Muscat, 24736611 Wattayah, 24677990 Ruwi, 24701099 Muttrah, 24712211 Bausher, 24600099 Al Amerat, 24875999 Qurayat, 24845555 A’Seeb, 24420099 Al-Athaiba, 24521099 AI-Khodh, 24425012 Directorate of the University Security, 24513999 Directorate of Traffic Muscat, 24567898 Al Batinah Headquarters, 26840096 Al Rustaq Division, 26875099 Al Dakhiliyah, 25425099 Nizwa Division, 25425099 Samayil Division, 25350099 Al Sharqiyah Headquarters, 25545070 Ibra Division, 25570100 Al Dhahirah Headquarters, 25650099 Al Buraimi Division, 25650199 Ibri Division, 25689099 Al Wusta Headquarters, 23436099 Haima Division, 23436211 Special Task Force, 24560088 Coastguard Headquarters, 24714888 Dhofar Governorate Headquarters, 23234599 Salalah Police Station, 23290099 Thamrait Division, 23279099 Musandam Governorate Headquarters, 26730299 Khasab Division, 26731502 ROP websites:, www.ropoman. net and e-mail:



SCORPIO (October 23November 21) A friend’s thoughtless and somewhat offensive remark may upset you for a while, but try to forget it and resist the temptation to retaliate. SAGITTARIUS (November 22December 21) A person who may have the right to tell you what to do in your working hours should not be allowed to influence your private life in any way. CAPRICORN (December 22-January 20) An involved financial transaction will need your careful attention today. You should therefore deal with it while your mind is fresh and alert.


Tel: 24641650

Al Hashar ph, Ruwi 24783334






Flight No

All of us should have free choice when it comes to patriotic displays... a government wisely acting within its bounds will earn loyalty and respect from its citizens. A government dare not demand the same. — Jesse Ventura



DEPARTURES STA 0005 0015 0015 0015 0015 0100 0130 0140 0230 0230 0315 0350 0355 0415 0425 0505 0700 0725 0740 0800 0800 0800 0800 0830 0840 0850 0900 0920 0920 0925 0925 0930 0950 0955 1000 1045 1045 1050 1100 1140 1235 1255 1315 1330 1440 1440 1445 1600 1615 1655 1655 1735 1740 1750 1800 1800 1810 1845 1900 1905 1905 1910 2020 2020 2030 2040 2045 2045 2125 2130 2145 2200 2215 2235 2235 2235 2250 2305 2305 2310 2310 2315 2315 2320 2325 2330 2335 2340


by Jan Eliot

1 Javelin (5) 5 Hand-gun (6) 8 Store (5) 10 Cave (6) 11 Harvest (4) 14 Gift (6) 15 Secret (7) 18 Golf-peg (3) 19 Spike (3) 21 Cart (4) 23 Wrath (5) 24 Track (4) 27 Number (3) 29 Rank (3) 31 Denial (7) 32 Fated (6) 34 Facts (4) 35 Ascertain (6) 38 Pattern (5) 39 Erase (6) 40 Principle (5) DOWN 2 Equality (3) 3 Working (6) 4 Rodent (3)

26840099 25652319 25461373 25499033 25404018 25470535 25434055 25483535 25491990 26855148 26830187 26836443 26828397


9 Mark goes to Los Angeles with a sailor (6) 11 Former contributor to school discipline (3) 12 Now so upset as to fall in a faint! (5) 13 By going out unaccompanied, creates foolish talk (7) 15 Ancient god of all? (3) 16 Surprisingly accurately quoted! (3) 18 Destructive lad jumping up on the back of a vehicle (6) 20 Cropped up as a ceiling fitment (5) 21 One little bit, note (3) 22 Supplied out of the safe deposit (3) 23 One wearing a special suit in the bar? (6) 25 The garment for a masterly company head? (3) 28 A growing girl, like Heather (5) 30 Pig-headed associate, but not unfriendly (5) 31 Somewhat dishonest, shy about publicity (5) 32 Close imitation of a valley! (4) 33 Dad’s double (4)

EASY PUZZLE ACROSS 4 Themes (6) 7 Vegetable (8) 8 Charm (6) 10 Percussion instruments (5) 13 Baby carriage (4) 14 Facility (4) 15 Stage performance (4) 16 That man (3) 17 Group of three (4) 19 Hotness (4) 21 Therapy (9) 23 Region (4) 24 Large book (4) 26 Insect (3) 27 Pace (4) 29 Cooked animal flesh (4) 32 Not rich (4) 33 Wild animal (5) 34 Aureole (6) 35 Final permission (8) 36 Road (6) DOWN 1 2 3 4 5 6 9 11

One’s home (5) Sham (5) Experts (4) Jewelled headdress (5) Fruit (4) Belief (6) Violent disorder (6) Tup (3)


5 Saucy (4) 6 Stopped up (6) 7 Finally (6) 9 Satisfied (7) 12 Consume (3) 13 Nobleman (4)

16 17 20 22 24 25

Roster (4) Keen (5) Renovated (7) Atmosphere (4) Cushioned (6) Trampled (4)

12 13 15 16 18 20 21 22 23 25 28 30 31 32 33

Unit of length (5) Conspirator (7) Woman’s name (3) Fedora, say (3) Motive (6) Foe (5) Attempt (3) Cleaning utensil (3) Nearly (6) Pallid (3) Browned bread (5) Weird (5) Tarnish (5) Sit for an artist (4) German wine (4)

YESTERDAY’S CRYPTIC SOLUTIONS ACROSS: 1, Baffle 7, Vegetate 8, Lore 10, Whiten 11, Ur-gent 14, Alf 16, Today 17, Ware 19, To leg 21, Seven 22, Fine-D 23, Lo-rd 26, Pupil 28, MI-d 29, I-mogen 30, Covent 31, Ho-es 32, Rock cake 33, Way out. DOWN: 1, Bow-wow 2, Foot-le 3, Even 4, Hear-ten 5, Fat-e-d 6, Meaty 8, Liar 9, Ref 12, (Ma-) Gog 13, Nadir 15, L-over 18, Album 19, Ten 20, LED 21, Silence 22, Fig 23, Livery 24, O-des 25, Detest 26, Pie-r-s 27, Pouch 28, Moo 30, Chew. YESTERDAY’S EASY SOLUTIONS ACROSS: 1, Pliant 7, Elongate 8, Purr 10, Prison 11, Deform 14, Ted 16, Gores 17, Toss 19, Auger 21, Rider 22, Talon 23, Sire 26, Baton 28, Tar 29, Arrest 30, Dilate 31, Icon 32, Indicate 33, Tennis. DOWN: 1, Puppet 2, Abuses 3, Tern 4, Integer 5, Manor 6, Seems 8, Pits 9, Rod 12, For 13, Recur 15, Kudos 18, Oscar 19, Ail 20, Gen 21, Ransack 22, Toe 23, Saloon 24, Iran 25, Elects 26, Basic 27, Trade 28, Tic 30, Diet.

26 28 30 33 36 37

Respect (6) Struggle (6) Damp (3) Title (4) Entrap (3) Regret (3)

YESTERDAY’S QUICK SOLUTIONS ACROSS: 1, Depict 5, Rank 8, Hover 9, See 10, Load 11, Vile 12, Speed 13, Wedged 16, Rear 18, Edge 20, Any 22, Tie 23, Dig 24, Urge 25, Erne 28, Tremor 30, Truth 32, Loan 33, Iota 34, Use 35, Meant 36, Need 37, Statue. DOWN: 1, Disown 2, Pleading 3, Caller 4, Godparent 5, Revered 6, Arid 7, Knew 8, Has 14, Detesting 15, Egg 17, Air 19, Dismount 20, Arm 21, Yearned 26, Errant 27, Breeze 29, Clan 30, Tame 31, Hot.




Samoa inflict Wales’ fifth straight defeat Welsh victory

SAMOA’S Johnny Leota scores a try against Wales during their match at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on Friday. — Reuters CARDIFF — Six-Nations Grand Slam champions Wales suffered a fifth straight loss when they were humbled 2619 at home by Samoa on Friday, causing consternation in a proud rugby country with world champions New Zealand up next. The Pacific islanders were bright from the off in the November international and Fa'atoina Autagavaia scored a try after just over a minute following a flowing drive marked by missed Wales tackles. The hosts went in 13-10 ahead at the break, albeit against the run of play thanks to Ashley Beck's breakaway try after an interception well inside his own half. Wales started with usual captain Sam Warburton on the bench and with Mike Phillips recalled as scrumhalf but eight

changes from the defeat by Argentina last weekend failed to spark the home side under interim coach Rob Howley. The Welsh, who host the All Blacks next Saturday when coach Warren Gatland returns from British and Irish Lions' duties, clung on after the break thanks to the boot of Leigh Halfpenny. However, an early secondhalf try from George Pisi and Johnny Leota's late touchdown sealed a deserved victory for the Samoans. Wales, on a high after March's grand slam triumph, lost all three tests in Australia in June before going down to Argentina and Samoa in a stark reminder to the Six-Nations sides of how far behind the southern hemisphere they have fallen. In Warburton's absence,

former skipper Ryan Jones took over the armband for a record 29th time but was far from happy. "What could have been the greatest day of my career has turned into one of the worst," he told the BBC. "We came second best in quite a few facets of that game. It was a game that slowly slipped away from us and we didn't have enough in the end. But that's not taking anything away from Samoa, who turned up with a physical edge and a gameplan that stopped us playing again." Samoa, who also beat Wales in the 1999 World Cup when their more celebrated opponents were hosts, travel to France next Saturday seeking another scalp. Wales flyhalf Rhys Priestland was also dropped to the

bench but was called into action amid a raft of Wales injuries during the game, which did not help their cause. "They got some big boys, physical boys," Priestland said when asked about Samoa. "It's going to be tough (against New Zealand). It's the toughest match in world rugby. We've got some injuries. We've got to look in the mirror." Meanwhile, Wales interim coach Rob Howley insists the prospect of facing world champions New Zealand can lift the gloom hanging over his team after Friday’s loss to Samoa. Wales may have won the Six-Nations this year but are veering towards crisis point after Samoa subjected them to a fifth straight defeat. That has seen Wales, World Cup semifinalists this time last

year, slump to eighth in the world rankings with the All Blacks due here at the Millennium Stadium next Saturday. Howley said: “Many of us have been here before and we know what it’s like as players and coaches. “Over the past 12 months this team has been to a World Cup semifinal and a Grand Slam, we’ve had many highs and now we’re going through a low point. We have to look at ourselves individually and collectively. “Rugby gives you an opportunity to do that and I’ve told the players to look forward to when they’re winning again. We will stick together and we have two good games to come in new Zealand and Australia.” Ashley Beck gave Wales a 13-6 lead with an interception

try on his home debut only for Fa’atoina Autagavaia, George Pisi and Johnny Leota to cross as Samoa evoked memories of their famous World Cup victories over Wales in 1991 and 1999, then as Western Samoa, with a combination of ferocious tackling and clinical finishing. That was in stark contrast to Wales who failed to put together any sustained pressure due to basic errors and a lack of composure and led to Samoa captain David Lemi branding the European champions as “predictable”. Lemi said: “We’ve been watching Wales since the World Cup. They used the same tactics in the Six-Nations and against Argentina. If you stop their go-forward man then you stop them playing. “Wales’ strength is in their tight five but we controlled the scrums and lineouts and their talented backs did not get the ball to play. “We were bitterly disappointed to lose in the World Cup and this was a bit of pay back.” Howley responded: “We have changed things so if they (Samoa) want to say we’re predictable then it’s up to them. “We are disappointed as a coaching team and players. International rugby is about discipline and making the most of opportunities when they come along. “We were out-performed by a Samoa team able to keep the ball for longer periods than we were, which was the most disappointing aspect. We were not smart enough with the ball.” Wales lost trio ospreys trio hooker Richard Hibbard (shoulder), fly-half Dan Biggar (shoulder) and lock Ian Evans (knee) before half-time and all three now look set to join the growing casualty list that already includes Adam Jones, Dan Lydiate and Alun Wyn Jones. Samoa now head to France for next week’s Test in Paris. — Reuters

Lakers race to 114-102 win over the Suns LOS ANGELES — Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers gave their fans a taste of the 'Showtime' basketball promised by their new coach Mike D'Antoni with a rousing 114-102 home win over the Phoenix Suns on Friday. Though D'Antoni was not courtside to take charge of his first game as he recovers from knee replacement surgery earlier this month, his players thrived with the up-tempo approach as they posted their highest score of the season. Five-time NBA champion Bryant scored a game-high 31 points, center Dwight Howard contributed 18 points and 12 rebounds and Spanish forward Pau Gasol also recorded a double-double, with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Metta World Peace poured in five-of-10 three pointers to finish with 22 points and Jordan Hill, off the bench, also reached double figures with 10. Guard Goran Dragic led the way for the Suns with 22 points and forward Luis Scola weighed in with 18 but the visitors paid the price after being out-rebounded 48-38. "We're just getting started, but it will make a lot of things easier," Bryant told reporters of the strategy already instilled in the team by D'Antoni after his first practice session with them the previous day. "The whole offense has to find their position. He (D'Antoni) knows how to direct his offense and he's been directing it for a long time. The

main thing is it's very simple." The Lakers dominated free throws, making 22-of-28 compared to just seven-of 15-by the Suns."We made shots tonight," six-time All-Star Howard said. "Metta was on fire, Kobe hit some tough shots and we got to the free-throw line a lot. When we do that, we win." D'Antoni, appointed as Lakers coach on Monday after his predecessor Mike Brown was fired three days earlier, watched Friday's action approvingly from the team locker room. Los Angeles are next in action on Sunday when they host the Houston Rockets and D'Antoni, who has already urged his players to score 110plus points per game, is expected to take charge for the first time courtside. In front of a sellout crowd at the Staples Center, the Lakers made an encouraging start and a World Peace three-pointer on the buzzer gave them a 35-30 lead after a high-energy opening quarter. The Lakers briefly moved 10 points clear midway through the second quarter after Antawn Jamison poured in a three-pointer but the Suns surged back to tie it at 50-50 before Los Angeles again pulled away to lead 62-57 at half-time. Both teams continued to score freely and the Suns again drew level at 82-82 after a Dragic three-pointer, but Bryant ended the third quarter with six unanswered points to put the Lakers ahead 92-84.

LUIS Scola (right) of the Phoenix Suns and Dwight Howard of the Los Angeles Lakers battle for the ball at Staples Centre in Los Angeles, California, on Friday. — AFP There was no way back son to 4-5. "The second half, his short stint in charge with ing 112-106 in overtime to the for the Suns after that as Los down the stretch in the fourth a 3-1 record. "Our ball move- Chicago Bulls on Wednesday, Angeles maintained control quarter, our defense was re- ment was good and we started slipped to 4-6. Results: Indiana to complete their third win ally, really good," interim Lak- to control the boards." Pacers bt Dallas Mavericks 103in their last four games and ers coach Bernie Bickerstaff The Suns, who struggled 83, Philadelphia 76ers bt Utah improve their record this sea- said after likely completing defensively at home while los- Jazz 99-93.— Reuters

is history, says Pumas coach

SANTIAGO PHELAN LILLE, France — Argentina were focused solely on playing France here in the second of their November Tests and had put behind them their splendid 26-12 victory over Six-Nations Grand Slam champions Wales last weekend, insisted Pumas coach Santiago Phelan. The 38-year-old former international flanker, who has been in his present role since 2008, said his side would need to have their wits about them up against one of the best teams in the world. "We gained in confidence from the Wales win but now we have analysed this performance it is finished with," said Phelan, who guided the Pumas to the quarterfinals in last year's World Cup. "We have forgotten Wales. We watched France play Australia (the French won 33-6). "We know that we are about to confront one of the best teams in the world. "The fact we have been together for three months has given us the best possible conditions to play them. When you have most of the players in the squad having been involved in the matches,

that only serves to improve the spirit and the pride to wear the shirt." Phelan, whose side drew a two-match home Test series with a largely inexperienced French side in the summer, said there were areas where his side needed to sharpen up on for the French encounter. "In fact there are a lot of things we need to improve," said the 44-times capped Phelan, who captained the Pumas twice. "Firstly we must continue to do what we did well against Wales. "We know it will be a very competitive match. We must win a lot of possession. The difficulty for both Argentina and for France will be to win the ball and not turn it over." Whilst Phelan is only too aware of the Pumas' excellent record against the French — they have won eight of their last 12 meetings — he knows that France at home and their crushing win over the Wallabies makes his side's task a tough one. "We have often beaten the French but in June, in the second Test, France were clearly superior to us (they won 4910)," said Phelan. — AFP

Still no sign of NHL play as lockout passes two months NEW YORK — The bitter labour dispute between the National Hockey League (NHL) and the players' union shows no sign of thawing. Now, with Thanksgiving just days away and the North American winter rapidly approaching, time could be running out for the feuding sides to reach an agreement and save the season. No-one knows exactly when the cut-off point is but the clock is ticking with the lockout already more than two months old. The NHL have already postponed more than 300 games and cancelled the showpiece Winter Classic. The league is almost certain to announce another batch of postponements, possibly as early as next week. There was some hope the two sides might be on the verge of cutting a deal when they held a series of closed-door meetings in New York last week. But they ended without any significant progress and the rhetoric from both sides remains gloomy. "I think the process is stalled right now," NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly told the Los Angeles Times. "We are done with making proposals and we don't have any new ideas."

The Canadian Press reported that the NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman called the players' association (NHLPA) and suggested they take a two-week cooling-off break before resuming talks. NHLPA counsel Steve Fehr said the players wanted to keep negotiating. "We believe that it is more likely that we will make progress if we meet than if we don't. So we are ready to meet," Fehr said in a statement. "If indeed they do not want to meet, it will be at least the third time in the last three months that they have shut down the dialogue, saying they will not meet unless the players meet their preconditions. What does that tell you about their interest in resolving this?" Labor disputes are not uncommon in America's professional sports and the NHL is well accustomed to work stoppages, with this the fourth in 20 years. The first dispute, in 1992, lasted just 10 days and was resolved without any games being lost but the next two escalated. The second stoppage, in 1994, went for three months and wiped out nearly half the season, while the entire season was scrapped in 2004-05. — Reuters

Former Czech tennis great Lendl awaits the return of Nadal PRAGUE — Former Czech tennis great Ivan Lendl said on Friday that he is awaiting the return to tennis of Rafael Nadal as the Spaniard recovers from knee injuries which have kept him off court for five months and counting. Lendl, now an American and based in Florida

as coach of Britain's Andy Murray, said that while Nadal is sorely missed by the current Spanish Davis Cup team contesting the weekend final with the Czechs, his possible presence on the team might have well been counter-productive for the visitors. "I think you have to look at Rafael Nadal," said the

52-year-old during a media conference of members of the 1980 Czechoslovakia Davis Cup winning squad comprising himself, Pavel Slozil, Jan Kodes and Tomas Smid. "If you have the Rafael Nadal who played all year and was healthy all year, it's obviously much better player than Rafael Nadal who

would be coming back as the first match after six months off. That would be very, very difficult, even for a player like Rafa," said Lendl, always a master of logic and understatement. "I hope he can come back at full strength," Lendl said of Nadal, who is due to begin training in Majorca after last

playing in a Wimbledon second round loss to Czech Lukas Rosol on June 28. "I'm looking forward to him coming back. He is a great champion and a very nice person. I always enjoy seeing him and I hope he's well and coming back soon." Lendl, who excelled at golf after his retirement nearly

two decades ago from tennis, only returned to the game a year ago when he came on board as coach of Murray, leading the Scot to a breakthrough US Open title in September, Lendl said that with current Czech tennis success, the weekend can be a PR winner even in case of a home side loss.

"Anytime you have success, as Czech tennis has had over the last few years, with Petra (Kvitova winning 2011) in Wimbledon, two other girls playing doubles (finalist, Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka), the girls winning Fed Cup two years in a row, the boys being in the (Davis Cup) final

twice in three years, so on and so on, I don't think it's going to be necessarily any different whether there is a win or a loss. "I think it's going to be good for Czech tennis to have that much exposure. Hopefully it will be a very good match." — dpa




Arsenal cruise to 5-2 win over Spurs

ARSENAL’S Per Mertesacker (centre) rises above the Tottenham Hotspur’s defence to score during their match in London yesterday. — Reuters LONDON — Emmanuel Adebayor made a nightmare return to the Emirates Stadium yesterday, his 18th-minute dismissal proving decisive as Arsenal cruised to a 5-2 win over Tottenham Hotspur in the north London derby. The former Arsenal forward had already fired his side into a 10th-minute lead when he jumped in on Gunners midfielder Santi Cazorla to earn a straight red card. That transformed the game, with Arsenal establish-

ing a two-goal half-time lead through Per Mertesacker, Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud. Cazorla and Theo Walcott added to the tally after the break, with Gareth Bale claiming one back for the visitors. The result provided a timely boost for Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who has come in for growing criticism following a string of inconsistent performances. For Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas, there was only frustration, as he suffered

an embarrassing reverse in his first experience of this local derby. Villas-Boas had admitted in the build-up to the game that Tottenham would attempt to exploit Arsenal's recent frailties at home, when nerves appeared to have affected Wenger's side. The Spurs manager's decision to pair Jermain Defoe and Adebayor up front for the first time in the Premier League this season confirmed the visitors' intention to take the

game to Arsenal. And for the 17 minutes prior to Adebayor's dismissal, the plan worked perfectly. William Gallas had an eighth-minute effort ruled offside, but two minutes later the visitors went ahead when Jan Vertonghen's routine long ball forward exposed the Arsenal backline. Mertesacker and Bacary Sagna were both caught sleeping as Defoe beat the offside trap before firing in a left-foot shot that Wojciech Szczesny

could only palm into the path of Adebayor, who finished from four yards out. It was the ideal start for the striker, but did nothing to calm him and eight minutes later, referee Howard Webb brandished a straight red card after he lunged in foolishly at Cazorla with his studs showing. The momentum of the game shifted completely, with Tottenham immediately forced onto the back foot as Arsenal made the most of being handed an unexpected route back

into the game. It took the home side just seven minutes to level, with Mertesacker making up for his earlier error by heading home Theo Walcott's right-wing cross. This time it was the Spurs defence that was all at sea, with Gallas guilty of allowing the Germany centreback to rise unchallenged. That set the pattern for the remainder of the first half, when only goalkeeper Hugo Lloris kept Tottenham in contention. The France international — unexpectedly selected ahead of Brad Friedel — produced two outstanding saves to deny Giroud headers. But the Spurs defences were breached again two minutes before the break when Podolski cleverly used Mikel Arteta's run as a decoy before turning and shooting beyond Lloris with the help of a deflection off Gallas. Then, seconds before the interval, Arsenal well and truly took control when Giroud turned home Cazorla's leftwing cross at the near post. Villas-Boas made two changes at half-time and switched to a back three in an effort to restore his side's attacking threat. But it was Arsenal who soon established their dominance once again and when Cazorla made 4-1 on the hour, it was impossible to see a way back for the visitors. Walcott and Podolski combined on the left before the German drilled in a low cross that found Cazorla unmarked at the far post. Bale pulled one back for Tottenham in the 71st minute when he cut in from the left and struck right-footed, but Walcott completed the win in added time after being set up by substitute Alex OxladeChamberlain. — AFP

Hamza leads Indian School Al Seeb to victory MUSCAT — Defending champions Indian School Al Seeb aided by a brilliant unbeaten 120 off 68 deliveries studded with 15 fours from opening batsman Hamza Yunus and a haul of 3 wickets for 26 runs off 5 overs helped Indian School Al Seeb (ISAS) register a 28 run win against their counterparts from Muscat. The Khimji Ramdas sponsored U-19 Junior League 25 overs a side high scoring match was played on Thursday morning at the Municipality Ground No.1 at Al Amerat. Electing to bat after winning the toss ISAS were precariously placed losing 2 wickets for 10 runs in the second over but recovered well to pile up 219 runs for the loss of 5 wickets at the end of their quota of 25 overs. The other batsmen to make valuable contributions were skipper Aadil 52 (36b, 9x4) and Gautham K. 33 (30b, 4x4). ISM requiring a fraction of under 9 runs per over did well to reach 191 for the loss of 9 wickets at the end of the 25th over. Major contributions coming from Yash Raj 81 (89b, 1x4), Arvind Singh 44 (23b, 7x4),

Irfan 25 (31b, 3x4) and Ajay Kishore 24 (11b, 4x4). Brief scores: ISAS 219 for the loss of 5 wickets off 25 overs (Hamza Yunus 120 n.o., Aadil 52 and Gautham K. 33; Mohammed Yasar 2/16 and Sanjot Singh 2/19) bt ISM 191 for the loss of 9 wickets off 25 overs (Yash Raj 81, Arvind Singh 44, Irfan 25 and Ajay Kishore 24; Hamza Yunus 3/26 and Aadil 2/51). Points: ISAS 4 pts and ISM 0 pt (3 games, 5 pts).

Meanwhile, in an afternoon match played at the same venue Indian School Al Ghubra (ISG) registered a 46-run win against Indian School Darsait (ISD) in a high scoring U-16 Junior League match sponsored by Al Turki Enterprises. Winning the toss and deciding to bat ISG scored a colossal 261 for the loss of 5 wickets at the end of their stipulated 25 overs. The feature of the innings was the contributions from the top order. Opening the batting skipper Shreyas Malhotra made a top score of 89 (40b, 14x4) and together with his partner Hari Menon 23 (1b, 4x4) put together 67 runs for the first wicket. Shaurya Dadhwal coming in at the fall of the first wicket made 35 (28b, 5x4) whilst Mohammed

HAMZA YUNUS Danish remained unbeaten on 26 (2b, 1x4) and Manthan Shinde scored 20 (18b, 1x4). ISD faced with a daunting 262 for a win made a bold reply scoring 215 for the loss of 9 wickets at the end of 25 overs. Opening batsman Sakib Hussain 55 (37b, 4x4), Tabrej Akhter 29 (24b, 2x4), Siddharth K K M 27 (4x4) and Malik Rashid 26 not out all made valuable contributions. Brief scores: ISG 261 for the loss of 5 wickets off 25 overs (Shreyas Malhotra 89, Shaurya Dadhwal 35, Mohammed Danish 26 n.o., Hari Menon 23 and Manthan Shinde 20) bt ISD 215 for the loss of nine wickets off 25 overs (Sakib Hussain 55, Tabrej Akhter 29, Siddharth 27 and Malik Rashid 26 n.o.; Hari Menon 2/40). Points: ISG 4 pts (4 games ,

overs. Opening batsman skipper Mohammed Shaijad Yunus chipped in with 57 (50b, 7x4) whilst Rathan Acharya batting at No 5 made a useful 33 (27b, 1x6 and 4x4). MCCC in reply lost their first wicket in the first over with 5 runs on the board before a 102 run 2nd wicket partnership between opening batsman Miyuru Wickremaratne 43 (42b, 6x4) and Gayash GAYASH DIAS helped the team reach 152 for 9 pts) and ISD 0 pt (3 games, 0 pt). the loss of 6 wickets off 20.2 Also, Muscat Cricket overs. Brief scores: ISWK 150 for the Coaching Centre (MCCC) aided by an excellent allround loss of eight wickets off 25 overs Shaijad Yunus 57 and performance from skipper (Mohammed Rathan Acharya 33; Miraj Hossain Gayash Dias who made a top 2/13, Biplab Nath 2/16 and Gayash score of 63 (55b, 6x4) and Dias 2/30) lost to MCCC 152 for thereafter claimed 2 wickets the loss of 6 wickets off 20.2 overs conceding 30 runs off 5 overs (Gayash Dias 63 and Miyuru Wickhelped lead his team MCCC remaratne 43; Mohammed Shaijad Yunus 2/29 and Rathan Acharya to an emphatic 4-wicket win 2/34) Points: MCCC 4 pts (2 against Indian School Wadi games, 9 pts) and ISWK 0 pt (4 Kabir (ISWK). The Khimji games, 9 pts). Ramdas sponsored Under 19 Earlier, in an Al Turki EnJunior tournament match was terprises sponsored Junior played in the morning session League Under 16 match played at the Municipality Grounds at the same venue during the No. 2 at Al Amerat. afternoon session Bangladesh Winning the toss and bat- School Muscat (BDSM) regting first ISWK were restricted istered a thrilling 5 run win to 150 for the loss of 8 wickets against Indian School Wadi at the end of their stipulated 30 Kabir (ISWK).

Deciding to bat after winning the toss BDSM were bowled out for 187 off 24.3 overs with good contributions from No.7 batsman Ariful Islam 48 (50b, 6x4), No.3 batsman Md Asifuddin 47 (40b, 8x4) and Arafadul Alam Kayes 28 (30b, 3x4) batting at No 8. The bowlers to impress were Abhishek P C 3 for 26, Brijesh Gandhi 3 for 36 and skipper Leslie Monis 2 for 38 off 5 overs each. Requiring 188 for a win ISWK lost wickets at regular intervals and were restricted to 182 for the loss of 9 wickets at the end of 25 overs with a top score of 46 (26b, 6x4) from Dhruv Parmar. The other batsmen to make notable contributions were Rohan Koshi 38 Not Out (40b) and opening batsman Arsh Khalifa 23 (22b, 2x4). Brief scores: BDSM 187 all out off 24.3 overs (Ariful Islam 48, Md Asifuddin 47 and Arfadul Alam Kayes 28; Abhishek P C 3/26, Brijesh Gandhi 3/36 and Leslie Monis 2/38) bt ISWK 182 for the loss of 9 wickets off 25 overs (Dhruv Parmar 46, Rohan Koshi 38 n.o and Arsh Khalifa 23; Mahbub Hassan 2/25 and Sharior Nur Fahim 2/30). Points: BDSM 4 pts (3 games, 14 pts) and ISWK 0 pt (4 games, 5 pts).

Aussies not giving up on Beckham SYDNEY — Australia soccer chief David Gallop was not surprised David Beckham's management denied he had any interest in playing in the A-League but said that did not mean there was no possibility of it happening. Football Federation Australia (FFA) said yesterday they had been approached by the former England captain's management only for Beckham's representatives to respond by saying the 37year-old had "absolutely no plans to play in Australia". Gallop, who only recently took over as FFA chief executive, said such counterstatements were common when it came to negotiations concerning big players, as Sydney FC had discovered during their wooing of Juventus great Alessandro Del Piero. "A similar thing happened with Del Piero in terms of the contact and, as we all know, that came to be. So let's just see how this one plays out. It's certainly an exciting proposition — no one would deny that," he told local radio yesterday. "We're not counting our chickens in relation to this but obviously people would prefer negotiations to happen behind closed doors. "At the mere mention of Beckham's name, it did leak out and there's been a mushroom of interest. "There would have to be a fair few hoops that would have to be jumped through and getting a deal with one of the clubs is the first step. "There's definitely been

some contact made and let's just see where it gets to." According to FFA officials, the approach was made in relation to Beckham playing in the ALeague during the current 2012-13 season. Beckham could fulfill his obligations with the LA Galaxy in Major League Soccer in the United States and then play 10 games as a guest player in Australia. Melbourne Victory have said they are not interested in the former Manchester United and Real Madrid midfielder, leaving the Melbourne Heart and league-owned Western Sydney Wanderers as the most likely bidders for his services. "I think the connection points now are going to be between the A-League clubs that are interested and Beckham's management, so we'll just have to let that dialogue happen," Gallop added. "But the timing is pretty good in terms of him being able to come in on a guest stint from the middle of January for 10 games. "I think it's a bit of a wait-and-see situation. Of course, it would be fantastic but let's not get ahead of ourselves at this point." Beckham, on the west coast of the United States preparing for the Western Conference Championship against Seattle, flatly denied any interest in heading Down Under. "That's the first I've heard of that this morning," he said. "But no, definitely not true." — Reuters

Barca captain Puyol fit to return after injury

MADRID — Barcelona captain Carles Puyol was passed fit to return to action yesterday, 45 days after dislocating his left elbow, the La Liga leaders said in a statement. "Everyone knows how important he is," Barca coach Tito Vilanova told a news conference. The 34-year-old Spanish international is ready in time for the visit of Real Zaragoza on Saturday, and should help restore some stability to the

Barca backline after a shaky couple of months without him and his centre-back partner Gerard Pique. Pique returned to action only last week after seven weeks on the sidelines with a foot problem. Barca conceded only 29 goals in 38 matches when they finished runners up to Real Madrid in La Liga last season, but have already shipped 14 in 11 games so far this term. — Reuters

OCT Muscat stay unbeaten with exciting win against Sinha Assarain ‘A’ triumph CRICKET By Rex Berhardt MUSCAT — OCT Muscat maintained their unbeaten record when they registered an exciting five-run win against Sinha in a Khimji Ramdas sponsored ‘B’ Division 30 overs a side match played in the morning session during the week end at the Municipality ground No 1 at Al Amerat. Winning the toss and deciding to bat OCT Muscat rattled up 220 for the loss of 6 wickets at the end of their quota of 30 overs with good contributions from Rafeeq Mohammed 59 (31b, 9x4), Ali Akbar 55 (48b, 4x4), opening batsman Ahmed Mohammed 48 (31b, 5x4) and Shakeel Mahmood 21 (22b, 2x4). Requiring a 221 runs a win Sinha were off to a flier with openers Rangajeewa Perera 37 (20b, 8x4) and Nalaka Pathum 27 (20b, 5x4) scoring 64 runs for the first wickets off 7 overs. With their depar-

MARH team members pose after their victory. ture at the same score Sinha lost wickets at regular intervals and were restricted to 215 for the loss of 9 wickets at the end of 30 overs. Dileepa Wanasinghe top scored with 55 (51b, 9x4) whilst Prathapa Sithira 35 (28b, 4x4) and Omani batsman Miyuri Wickremaratne 20 (27b, 1x4) all made useful contributions. Brief scores: OCT Muscat 220 for the loss of 6 wickets off 30 overs (Rafeeq Mohammed 59, Ali Akbar 55, Ahmed Mahmood 48 and Shakeel Mahmood 21; Nalinda Kularatne 2/42, Suresh Janaka 2/45

and Dileepa Wanasinghe 2/51) bt Sinha 215 for the loss of nine wickets off 30 overs (Dileepa Wanasinghe 55, Rangajeewa Perera 37, Prathapa Sithira 35, Nalaka Pathum 27 and Miyuri Wickremaratne 20; Mohammed Aslam 2/31 and Ali Akbar 3/24). Points: OCT Muscat 4 pts (5 games, 22 pts) and Sinha 0 pt (5 games, 14 pts).

GHAYOOR SHINES Ghayoor Abbas batting at No.6 with a magnificent 93 (58b, 1x6 and 8x4) and bowling figures of 2 for 34 off 5 overs excelled for Al Hail in their Al Ansari Group

AL Hail players after defeating Galfar. of Companies sponsored ‘C’ Division 25 overs tournament. The match was played in the afternoon at the same venue Electing to field after winning the toss Galfar would have regretted their decision when their opponents Al Hail amassed 220 for the loss of 7 wickets off the stipulated 25 overs. Requiring 221 runs for a win Galfar who had remained unbeaten in their last 3 outings could only muster 169 for the

loss of 5 wickets at the end of 25 overs. Brief scores: Al Hail 220 for the loss of 7 wickets off 25 overs (Ghayoor Abbas 93, Chaudry Haroon 35, M G Shankar 32 and Mohammed Sharif 21; Munas P K 2/39, Khalil Ahmed 2/40 and Zafar Iqbal 2/42) bt Galfar 169 for the loss of 5 wickets off 25 overs (Khalil Ahmed 46 n.o, Zafar Iqbal 43, Sohail Iqbal 24 and Asif Al Balushi 24; Ghayoor Abbas 2/34) Points: Al Hail 2 points (3 games, 6 pts) and Galfar 0 pt (3 games, 4 pts).

MARH TRIUMPH Omani cricketer Khalid Moosa with a top score of

63 (35b, 1x6 and 10x4) and bowling figures of 5 for 18 off 4.5 overs helped Moosa Abdul Rahman Hassan (MARH) register a massive 7 wicket win against Carillion Alawi in an Arabian Industries sponsored 25 over ‘E’ Division match played in the morning session at the Municipality Ground No 3 at Al Amerat. Batting first after winning the toss Carillion Alawi were bundled out for miserable 119 runs off 19.5 overs. Murtaza Ismail 25 (26b, 1x4) and opening batsman Sreejith Moolayil 20 (12b, 3x4) were the only batsmen to make any noteworthy contribution. MARH thanks to the valuable contribution from Khalid replied with 121 for the loss of 3 wickets off13.5 overs. Brief scores: Carillion Alawi 119 all out off 19.5 overs (Murtaza Ismail 25 and Sreejith Moolayil 20; Khalid Moosa 5/18) lost to MARH 121 for the loss of three wickets off 13.5 overs (Khalid Moosa 63, Issam Othman Mahmood 3/33). Points: MARH 2 pts (4 games , 6 pts) and Carillion Alawi 0 pt (4 games, 4l pts).

MUSCAT — Assarain ‘A’ registered a comfortable sixwicket win against Passage to India — thanks to a brilliant 104 (87b, 1x6 and 14x4) from skipper Arif Hussain, following his 150 last week and an excellent spell of bowling from Muhammad Nadeem who ended with bowling figures of four for 58 off 10 overs including a maiden over. The 50-overs-a-side ‘A’ Division match was played during the weekend. Winning the toss and batting first Passage to India (PTI) were tottering with the scoreboard reading 137 for the loss of seven wickets off 34.5 overs. PTI — thanks to a 123run eighth wicket partnership between No 5 batsman Abdulahad Malik 143 (104b, 1x6 and 19x4) and Aamir Ali batting at No 8 making a valuable 63 (76b, 6x4) reached 267 off 49.3 overs. Muhammad Abbas 2 for 43 off 10 overs including 4 maiden overs and Sindo Michael 2 for 54 off 9 overs lent valuable support to Mu-

ARIF HUSSAIN hammad Nadeem. Assarain in reply were off to a solid start with openers Arun Poulose 71 (98b, 7x4) and Zeeshan Maqsood 48 (44b, 7x4) being associated in a 78 run partnership for the first wicket off 14 overs. Thereafter Arun together with Arif put together 103 runs for the second wicket to help reach the target with 14 deliveries to spare losing 4 wickets. Brief scores: Passage to India 267 all out off 49.3 overs (Abdulahad Malik 143 and Aamir Ali 63; Muhammad Nadeem 4/58, Muhammad Abbas 2/43 and Sindo Michael 2/54) lost to Assarain ‘A’ 268 for the loss of four wickets off 47.4 overs (Arif Hussain 104, Arun Poulose 71 and Zeeshan Maqsood 48; Jaymin Tailor 2/65). Points: Assarain ‘A’4 pts (5 games, 17 pts) and Passage to India 0 pt (4 games, 5 pts).




Jimenez grabs share of HK lead

MICHAEL Campbell of New Zealand smiles after playing a shot during the third day of the Hong Kong Open at the Hong Kong Golf Club yesterday. — AFP HONG KONG — Spanish veteran Miguel Angel Jimenez, bidding to become the oldest player to win on the European Tour, grabbed a share of the lead after the third round of the $2 million UBS Hong Kong Open yesterday. He was 10-under-par on 200, level with overnight leader Michael Campbell. Matteo Manassero, winner of the Barclays Singapore Open last week and less than half Jimenez's age, moved ominously into contention with a sparkling six-under 64. The Italian, 19, was joint third with China's Zhang Lianwei, a shot behind the co-leaders. Next up, another shot adrift, was Swede Fredrik Andersson Hed. Peter Lawrie of Ireland and the Dane Anders Hansen were three off the leaders. With world No 1 Rory McIlroy on the plane home after failing to make the cut, the 48-year-old Jimenez made his move on the Kiwi Campbell, who is hitting the kind of

Campbell’s ‘hilarious’ accident HONG KONG — Michael Campbell was involved in a bizarre incident yesterday that could have cost him the third-round joint lead at the $2 million UBS Hong Kong Open. The 43-year-old New Zealander, who won the US Open in 2005, was practising his swing at the 10th tee, but in doing so accidentally knocked the ball off the tee. It plopped a few feet away from him.

He picked it up and replaced it on the tee — a move that could have incurred a two-stroke penalty had it been deemed he had addressed the ball. "Ever since I started playing golf — the last 38 years of playing golf — I've never ever done that," he said. "I was practising my swing, and teed the ball up, and as I practised my swing I knocked it off the tee. I

knew it wasn't a penalty. J P (John Paramor, chief referee with the European Tour) was there and confirmed it. "It wasn't an intentional swing, so I was allowed to replace the ball on the tee. It was hilarious, wasn't it? So funny. "I knew the rules, but I wanted to double-check it. When JP walked towards me with a big smile on his face I knew I was OK." — AFP

form that saw him lift the US Open in 2005. Jimenez, who carded a 68, is chasing a hat-trick of titles at the Hong Kong Open, which is co-sanctioned between the European Tour and Asian Tour. "I love to be in contention and it's been a long time since I've been

there," said the pony-tailed Jimenez, whose last victory came in 2010 at the European Masters. "I like this golf course. I like to be in contention. On this course you have to have patience and let everything happen. And that's what's going to happen tomorrow, stay patient, because anyone can win."

Campbell, who clung onto the joint lead with a 15-foot putt on the 18th to save par, said: "Today was a bit scrappy. "I managed to grind out a score, which is important when you are not playing so well. I turned a 73 into a 69, which is always nice, and I've still got a chance to win tomorrow.

"Miguel has played some great golf once again. He's obviously won this twice before, so he's the man to beat, and also Matty (Manassero) is playing some great golf again after winning last week, then there is the local favourite Zhang." Manassero, whose scorching 64 included an eagle at the 13th and five birdies, said: "Everything is coming together. Last week really made me relax a lot on the golf course. "These three rounds and my position coming into this Sunday are certainly due to last week (victory in Singapore) and what happened last week. I've got more freedom. "I'm just more relaxed on the golf course and I take it the way it comes," added the rising star, who had said he was suffering from fatigue after his heroics in Singapore, where he triumphed after three play-off holes. "It's going really well because everything, the game is coming together. I have to say, this is a great moment." — AFP

Life begins at 40 at Hong Kong Open HONG KONG — All the talk beforehand was about Rory McIlroy and teenager Matteo Manassero, but it is a group of fortysomethings who are leading the charge at the $2 million UBS Hong Kong Open. At the end of the second round, the world No 1 McIlroy, 23, was out of the tournament after he failed to make the cut. At the top of the leaderboard instead were five men all aged 40 or over. Kiwi Michael Campbell, who won the US Open in 2005, is coming back into form at the age of 43. He led at the halfway stage at nineunder-par 131, and said afterwards that he had drawn inspiration from the sport's elder statesmen. "There have been times where I wanted to throw it in, but what's really inspired me — particularly over the last four or five years — is seeing my friends around the same age bracket as me, the 40-plus club," he said. "The likes of Ernie (Els, now aged 43) winning his fourth Major, Thomas Bjorn (41) winning three times last year. "So not just me: Paul Lawrie (43), a wonderful last couple of years. Padraig Harrington, he's 40 (actually 41). Jim Furyk (42) winning the FedEx Cup. And the list goes on. So being 40 isn't that bad playing golf. "Seeing my friends win tournaments left, right and centre definitely inspired me to not give up and keep on playing." A shot behind Campbell after two rounds were veteran Miguel Angel Jimenez, 48, Sweden's Fredrik Andersson Hed, 40, and Zhang Lianwei from China. They were followed in outright fifth by the Dane Anders

Hansen, 42. Zhang, 47, the first Chinese to win on the European Tour, in 2003, said: "I'm glad to see several 40-plus players at the top of the leaderboard. "Jimenez and Michael Campbell, like myself, have played at Fanling (Hong Kong) before. And on this course, you don't need a lot of power but you do need accuracy and you have to have patience, and your overall game has to be on-target to be able to score well." Jimenez will be the oldest winner of a European Tour event if he finishes top of the leaderboard today. It will also be a hat-trick of Hong Kong Open titles for the wily Spaniard, who seems to always hit form in Hong Kong. "I just want to enjoy myself," the pony-tailed Jimenez said after his second-round 67 on Friday. "That's the only way to play your best golf." Going into the Hong Kong Open, which is cosanctioned between the European Tour and Asian Tour, Scotland's Lawrie was clinging on to a lucrative 10th place in the Race to Dubai. He was tied 20th at the halfway stage. The strapping Campbell said that Lawrie, who is enjoying a surge in form in the twilight of his hugely successful career, was a 'prime example'. "He's bounced back the last couple of years fantastically, and to me that's very inspirational," said Campbell. "He's about the same age as me. One thing about this game is that age is no barrier. That's one thing that makes me keep coming back." — AFP

Woods visits did nothing for Poulter in Australian Masters Aussie golf, says Thomson showdown with Scott MELBOURNE — Tiger Woods's taxpayer-funded visits Down Under did nothing to help Australia's ailing golf tour, which is stuck in a losing battle for relevance unless it does more to embrace Asia, according to five-times British Open champion Peter Thomson. Woods's tournament appearances in Sydney and Melbourne over the last three years brought crowds and media attention to Australian golf courses not seen since former world No 1 Greg Norman was in his prime. Any hopes that Woods had put Australia back on the golfing map, however, were specious, Thomson said. "I think Tiger Woods's impact was minimal barring the few days he was here," the 83year-old said. "It cost heavily and it changed nothing, fundamentally. "The tour still struggles to attract top players because we can't afford the appearance fees." Once a drawcard for the likes of Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus, Australia's tour has been relegated to a nursery for locals with occasional visits by top foreign players for appearance fees. The expansion of the US and European Tours into Asian

markets has also crimped Australia's room in the crowded golf calendar, leaving the tournaments struggling to attract sponsorship. Local media reported that Victoria's state government shelled out A$1.5 million ($1.55 million) — or 50 per cent of Woods's appearance fee — to attract the 14-time Major champion to Melbourne for the Australian Masters in 2009. Woods won and returned to defend his title in 2010, before warming up at the Australian Open for last year's Presidents Cup in Melbourne, a gathering of golfing talent unseen Down Under since the 1998 edition of the biennial tournament. Australia added the A$2 million Perth International, a European Tour co-sanctioned tournament with heavy backing from the Western Australia state government, joining the three local showpieces — the Australian Masters, Australian Open and Australian PGA. "At this stage in the economic cycle, these events remain very dependent on state government support," Australian PGA CEO Brian Thorburn said at the Australian Masters in Melbourne yesterday. "But in that sense they're no different to other major events like the Grand Prix," he

said, referring to the Formula One race in Melbourne, which has cost taxpayers more than A$50 million to hold in recent years. Maintaining the momentum remains a challenge. The Perth International drew South African former major winner Charl Schwartzel along with American world No 10 Jason Dufner. Packed galleries at the Australian Masters for Woods's visits are a distant memory at this year's $1 million tournament at Kingston Heath, where more modest crowds have turned up to see local favourite Adam Scott and Ryder Cup hero Ian Poulter. The A$1.25 million Australian Open's headliners are Scott and seventh-ranked Briton Justin Rose, while Northern Irishman Darren Clarke and former world No 1 Norman are booked for the Australian PGA Championship in Coolum, Queensland. "From an international perspective, on an annual basis we're not going to get eight to 10 world top 20 ranked players down here," Thorburn said. "The competitive forces and opportunities in Asia and elsewhere and the long distance mean that it's just impractical.” — Reuters

MELBOURNE — Title-holder Ian Poulter trumped Adam Scott in a thrilling shootout at the Australian Masters yesterday to take a one-stroke lead over the local favourite into the final round. The 36-year-old Briton, riding high after his Ryder Cup heroics in September, went toe-to-toe with playing partner Scott in a 17-birdie rout of Melbourne's Kingston Heath Golf Club to set up a mouthwatering finish today. Trailing overnight leader Matthew Guyatt by five strokes, Poulter carded a sparkling eight-under 64 for a 13-under 203 total, signing off with a tap-in birdie on the 18th after landing a 163-yard nine-iron within a foot of the pin. World No 5 Scott faltered with bogeys on the 16th and 17th to gift Poulter the lead but rolled in a 20-foot putt on the last for birdie to keep up the pressure and spark thunderous cheers from an enthralled gallery. "Collectively we've had 17 birdies which is a lot of birdies on that golf course, when at times, there was a nice breeze," Poulter told reporters. "It's nice to play with someone who you know really, really well. You can feed

off them, as much as they feed off you. I think that's exactly what we did today. There was a great vibe on the course. There were good shots being played, nice putts being holed and it's always nice to be in a good two-ball like that." Daylight separates Poulter and Scott from the rest of the field with Guyatt slipping down the leaderboard to be six strokes off the lead in third place after slumping to a three-over 75. Poulter will bid to join Australian former world No 1 Greg Norman as only the second player to successfully defend the Masters in its 33year history. TAKING CHANCES A formidable match-play opponent, the world No 16 compiled a 4-0 record against United States to spark Europe's Ryder Cup victory in Chicago and has been in top form since, clinching his second World Golf Championship title at Shenzhen earlier this month. The prospect of another shootout on Sunday should entice the Englishman, who won last year's tournament at nearby Victoria Golf Club after reeling in playing partner and local favourite Geoff Ogilvy. Trailing by two strokes in

blustery conditions, Poulter won that tournament by three, and was pleased with today's forecast for mild weather and strong breezes at Kingston Heath. "It's all about not making mistakes and taking your chances... It would be an honour to (defend). I'm in a good position right now and I'm very much looking forward to trying to do that. It would be great." On even-par after five holes as Poulter charged up the leaderboard with three birdies, Scott said he had to lift himself for fear the Englishman would leave him for dead. "I realised at some point in there that I need to get in that same kind of rhythm or he's going to run away from me today," said Scott, who is chasing his first tournament win for the year after a number of frustrating near-misses. "Sometimes when you're playing well, you can get in the rhythm of the other guy and you're seeing good shots and just kind of follow his lead, so I did that a little bit today and we both played nicely. "Ian made just a couple less mistakes and hit a couple more good shots early on, so fantastic round from him today." — Reuters

Karan and Areeb clinch doubles title at ISC tennis tourney MUSCAT — The team of Karan Negi and Areeb Usman won the men’s doubles title at the on-going annual tennis tournament organised by the Indian Social Club Muscat and sponsored by Falcon Insurance Company. Winners of the title in 2009 and 2010 before moving to India to pursue higher studies, Karan and Areeb joined forces once again during their mid-semester break to torment their opponents and once again win the men’s doubles title. In a thrilling and well-contested final, the top seeded duo of Karan and Areeb faced stiff resistance before overcoming the third seeded team of Mohan Kannan and Nevil MEN’S doubles winners (right to left) Karan Negi and Areeb Usman Philips 7-5, 6-4. with runners-up Nevil Philips and Mohan Kannan. Karan and Areeb banged their powershowed brilliant touches at the net cordon. Nevil broke back for five-all. Karan and Areeb packed ground strokes but were equally Karan and Areeb broke Mohan in the sev- broke Mohan’s next serve and served out the matched by Nevil Philips on the baseline who complimented veteran Mohan Kannan, who enth game and held for a 5-3 lead. Mohan and first set.

Mohan and Nevil gained an early break in the second set and held on for a 4-2 advantage. Karan and Areeb settled down and broke back twice and served out to win regain the men’s doubles title. Lakshmi Narayan had to toil hard in the second round of the under-12 singles for a narrow 8-6 verdict against Hassan Haider to enter the quarterfinals. Third seed Sabharish Kumar proved too strong in his 8-1 win over Amey Sawant and fourth seed Anurag Kumar had no difficulty in his 8-0 mauling of Piyush Sivakumar. In other second round matches of the under12 singles, Ankith A R defeated Nihal M 8-1, Amaan Kazi beat Arvind Venkataraman 8-1, Sanjana Girish socred a confident 8-2 win over Avigyan Bhattacharya to line-up a quarterfinal date against top seed Yash Tanna.

IAN Poulter of England putts during the third round of the Australian Masters at the Kingston Heath Golf Course in Melbourne yesterday. — AFP

Sussex confirm players approached to fix match LONDON — English county team Sussex confirmed yesterday that some of their players were approached about fixing a match against Kent last year, but said an investigation had yielded no evidence of wrongdoing. A recent book, Bookie Gambler Fixer Spy: A Journey to the Corrupt Heart of Cricket's Underworld, by Ed Hawkins, made reference to the televised 40-overs match in 2011, which Kent won by 14 runs. "The club can confirm ap-

proaches were made to players regarding this game," read a statement from Sussex. "Working with the PCA (Professional Cricketers' Association), the club investigated and reported the issue at the time, passing all the information promptly to the ECB after the match. "In conjunction with the ICC (International Cricket Council), a full investigation was undertaken with nothing untoward coming to light, and the club's prompt action receiving praise.” — AFP




Best haul gives Windies victory in first Test

WEST Indies captain Darren Sammy (left) leaves the field with team-mate Tino Best after their victory in the first Test against Bangladesh at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka yesterday. — AFP

DHAKA — Tino Best picked up his maiden five-wicket haul in Tests as West Indies fought back to beat Bangladesh by 77 runs in the first Test in Dhaka yesterday. The home side caved in under pressure and were all out for 167 runs in their second innings, having been set a target of 245 runs in a maximum of 78 overs to win on a fifth day track. Best provided the killer blows to finish with a career best five for 24 as Bangladesh lost the test match despite scoring 556 in their first innings replying to West Indies' 527 for four declared. Bangladesh had the upper hand when a six-wicket haul by debutant off-spinner Sohag Gazi helped them dismiss the visitors for 273 in the second innings. Gazi took all four West Indies wickets in the morning after the visitors resumed on 244 for six and returned with figures of six for 74 in the innings for a match haul of nine scalps, the best ever by a debutant for Bangladesh. West Indies clawed their way back to reduce Bangladesh to 44 for two before lunch and maintained the pressure after it as they shackled the batsmen. Best began his haul with the wicket of opener Junaid Siddique (20) after Ravi Rampaul made the first breakthrough by dismissing the other opener Tamim Iqbal for five. West Indies captain Darren Sammy said they had seen something in the pitch during the last session of the fourth day that made them believe they could bowl the hosts out cheaply.

draw from that position if not a win." West Indies opener Kieran Powell was adjudged man of the match for his centuries in both innings. Khulna, a new venue, will host the second and final Test from November 21.


KIERAN Powell of West Indies poses with the man of the match prize after the conclusion of the first Test against Bangladesh at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka yesterday. — AFP "There was something for the spinners and also our guys are much quicker, so I backed my bowlers to go out and put the ball in the right areas," Sammy told reporters. "It was a hard fought test match. Obviously winning brings a good feeling in the dressing room. To see that we battled and came out victorious definitely boosts our confidence." Right-arm pacer Best had a rich haul in the second session when he took the wickets of Shakib Al Hasan, Shahriar Nafees and Mushfiqur Rahim to leave Bangladesh limping at 85 for five.

Shakib (2) got a snorter which bounced awkwardly from good length to take the edge for wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin to complete the catch. Shahriar Nafees (23) was the next to go offering Best a return catch before the bowler trapped Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim (16) lbw to dampen the hosts' chances of a win. Bangladesh's remaining hopes were over when debutant leftarm spinner Veerasammy Permaul dismissed Naeem Islam lbw for 26 and bowled Nasir Hossain for 21. Gazi (19) tried to counter attack with some lusty blows but

Permaul ended the fight when he had him caught out by substitute fielder Narsingh Deonarine at mid-off. Shahadat Hossain survived only two balls as Best returned to take the final wicket of Mahmudullah, the top scorer for Bangladesh in the second innings with 29, to complete his fivewicket haul and the victory that left the hosts dejected. "It's really disappointing to see how we batted in the second innings against the same attack, who gave us 556 runs in the first innings," said Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim. "We could have at least got a

West Indies 1st innings 527 for 4 declared Bangladesh 1st innings 556 West Indies 2nd innings (overnight 244 for 6) D Sammy lbw Gazi ...........................16 S Narine (not out) .............................22 R Rampaul b Gazi ...............................5 T Best b Gazi ......................................0 S Chanderpaul lbw Gazi .....................1 Extras: (b-1, lb-3, nb-4) .....................8 Total: (all out; 74.2 overs) ..............273 Fall of wickets: 1-20, 2-209, 3-212, 4-218, 5-225, 6-244, 7-249, 8-265, 9-265. Bowling: Sohag Gazi 23.2-2-74-6, Rubel Hossain 19-4-53-2 (nb-2), Mahmudullah 3-0-12-0, Shahadat Hossain 7-1-34-0 (nb-2), Shakib Al Hasan 112-56-2, Naeem Islam 8-0-22-0, Nasir Hossain 3-0-18-0. Bangladesh 2nd innings T Iqbal c Ramdin b Rampaul ..............5 Z Siddique c Ramdin b Best .............20 S Nafees c&b Best ............................23 N Islam lbw Permaul ........................26 S Al Hasan c Ramdin b Best ...............2 M Rahim lbw Best ............................16 N Hossain b Permaul ........................21 Mahmudullah b Best .........................29 S Gazi c sub b Permaul .....................19 S Hossain c Powell b Rampaul ...........4 R Hossain (not out) .............................0 Extras: (b-1, nb-1) .............................2 Total: (all out; 54.3 overs) ..............167 Fall of wickets: 1-10, 2-44, 3-51, 4-55, 5-85, 6-106, 7-119, 8-155, 9-159. Bowling: Rampaul 11-1-32-2 (nb-1), Narine 18-1-56-0, Best 12.3-2-24-5, Permaul 8-0-32-3, Sammy 3-0-13-0, Samuels 2-0-9-0.

Indian spinners force Five-star Herath puts Lanka on top England to follow-on AHMEDABAD — A brilliant spell of spin bowling by Indian bowlers saw England follow-on after being dismissed for 191 in their first innings on day three of first Test at the Sardar Patel Stadium, Motera, here yesterday. England though fought back valiantly in their second and ended the day at 111 for none, but still 219 runs adrift of India’s first innings total of 521 for eight declared. Captain Alistair Cook (74 not out) and Nick Compton (34 not out) put on an unbeaten 111-run stand as England finally managed to negotiate India’s two spinners. Earlier, Pragyan Ojha picked five wickets to help India dismiss England for 191 in their first innings and enforce the follow-on for an early tea break. Ojha (five for 45) and Ravichandran Ashwin (three for 80) exploited the conditions well to make life tough for the English batsmen, who struggled against the guile of the two spinners. Ojha bowled Matt Prior

(48) to end the innings and take his fourth five-wicket haul of his 16-match career. The follow-on looked very much on the cards after England were reduced to 110 for seven at lunch. Resuming the day on 41 for three, England lost Kevin Pietersen (17), Ian Bell (0) and captain Alistair Cook (41) in quick succession. England failed to come to terms with India’s spin attack with Ashwin and Ojha both taking their wicket tally to three. Except for Cook, no England batsman inspired confidence. They showed no faith in their defensive technique. Pietersen was the first to go, castled by Ojha. He looked completely at sea against the Indian’s accurate bowling. Bell was caught at mid-off off the very next ball. Cook, was foxed by a conventional off-spin delivery from Ashwin and was caught by Virender Sehwag at first slip. Samit Patel (10) was the last English wicket to fall in

the morning session. The allrounder would count himself unlucky as he was adjudged lbw off a Umesh Yadav delivery that appeared to have missed the leg-stump.

SCOREBOARD India 1st innings 521 for 8 declared England 1st innings (overnight 41 for 3) A Cook c Sehwag b Ashwin ....... 41 K Pietersen b Ojha ...................... 17 I Bell c Tendulkar b Ojha .............. 0 S Patel lbw Yadav ....................... 10 M Prior b Ojha ............................ 48 T Bresnan c Kohli b Ojha ........... 19 S Broad lbw Khan ....................... 25 G Swann (not out) ......................... 3 Extras: (b-5, lb-12) .................... 17 Total: (all out; 74.2 overs) ........ 191 Fall of wickets: 1-26, 2-29, 3-30, 4-69, 5-69, 6-80, 7-97, 8-144, 9-187. Bowling: R Ashwin 27-9-80-3; Z Khan 15-7-23-1; P Ojha 22.28-45-5; Yuvraj Singh 3-0-12-0; U Yadav 7-2-14-1. England 2nd innings Alistair Cook (not out) ................ 74 Nick Compton (not out) .............. 34 Extras: (lb-3) ................................ 3 Total: (no loss, 38 overs) .......... 111 Bowling: U Yadav 7-1-15-0; P Ojha 14-3-34-0; R Ashwin 14-3-49-0; V Sehwag 1-0-1-0; Z Khan 1-0-1-0; S Tendulkar 1-0-8-0.

Australia’s Quiney on standby to back up his ‘good nine’ SYDNEY — Australian top order batsman Rob Quiney is desperate to get another taste of Test cricket and will be ready to go if Shane Watson is unfit for next week's second match against South Africa. Quiney made his Test debut in last week's drawn first Test in Brisbane and is on standby to replace Watson again if the allrounder fails to recover from a calf injury. The 30-year-old Quiney made just nine runs batting at No 3 at the Gabba before being caught out on the boundary by a brilliant Dale Steyn catch. Coach Mickey Arthur joked that it was the 'best nine' he had seen and that Quiney had not looked out of place in Test cricket, but the

batsman himself was naturally disappointed with his effort. "I'd rather make a scratchy fifty than a 'good nine'," he told reporters in Adelaide, laughing. "I'm a batter, my job is to make runs and I didn't make runs," he added. "Cricket is a funny game — it can turn around pretty quickly. "I have only had one innings in test match cricket so, if I get another couple of innings, hopefully I can turn that around and score some runs for the side and, more importantly, help out to contribute to a win as well." Despite Quiney's disappointment, Australia finished the first Test on a high after forcing the tourists to bat through most of the final day to save a draw.

Dr Ibrahim bin Ahmed al Kindi, Chief Executive Officer

Fahmi bin Khalid al Harthy, Editor-in-Chief

The return of 35-Test veteran Watson would undoubtedly strengthen their top order, in experience if nothing else, but only if he passes a fitness test early next week. "It's going to be beneficial to the team if he can bat and bowl, it's such an important series, especially with the first match ending in a draw," Quiney said. "But if he doesn't get up or is still unfit, I feel like the last test was a bit of a dream and I have got a job to do now. "If I do get the chance, obviously I have to knuckle down and get some runs." The second Test at the Adelaide Oval begins on Thursday and the series concludes at the Waca in Perth from November 30 to December 4.

GALLE, Sri Lanka — Rangana Herath bagged a five-wicket haul to put Sri Lanka in a strong position on the opening day of the first Test against New Zealand in Galle yesterday. The left-arm spinner finished with five for 65, his 11th haul of five or more wickets in a Test innings, as Sri Lanka dismissed New Zealand for 221 in the first innings before reaching nine for one in reply at stumps. Nightwatchman Suraj Randiv was unbeaten on three while opener Tharanga Paranavitana had yet to open his account. Debutant opener Dimuth Karunaratne was trapped leg-before by fast bowler Tim Southee for no score. "I made my Test debut in Galle and I love this place as most of the time I have played here I have done well. I have had a great time at this ground in the last two or three years," said Herath. "The ball is going to turn on the fourth and fifth days and we need to get a lot of runs. Our plan should be to bat tomorrow and even day after and get as many runs as possible." Sri Lankan paceman Shaminda Eranga, playing only his second Test, was the other bowler to impress as he took two wickets off three balls in a lively opening spell to eventually finish with three for 51. New Zealand squandered the advantage of batting first on a good wicket at the Galle International Stadium after winning the toss as they faltered

Ahli-Sidab to take on Muscat in HM’s Cup hockey final MUSCAT — Defending champions AhliSidab will clash with Muscat in the final of the 2012 His Majesty’s Cup Hockey Championship at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex on Tuesday night. The final of the Sultanate’s premier hockey tournament, to be presided over by Minister of Oil and Gas Dr Mohammed bin Hamad al Rumhy, is scheduled to begin at 7.00 pm. Former champions Seeb and Al Nasr will clash in the thirdplace play-off at 7.00 pm tomorrow.

cracked eight fours in his 125-ball knock. Herath got his third wicket when he had Flynn caught behind after the batsman had hit seven fours in his 152-ball knock. Sri Lanka's fast bowlers did the early damage when they took three wickets in the first session, with Eranga striking twice and Nuwan Kulasekara once. Eranga had opener Martin Guptill (11) and Kane Williamson caught in the slips, while Kulasekara bowled skipper Ross Taylor (9) in his fifth over.


SRI Lankan bowler Rangana Herath (second right) celebrates with teammates dismissing New Zealand’s Kruger van Wyk during the first day of the opening Test against New Zealand in Galle yesterday. — AFP against pace in the morning and then against spin. Opener Brendon McCullum (68) and middle-order batsman Daniel Flynn (53) were the only batsmen to apply themselves well on a slow turning track before both fell to Herath in the afternoon session. "It was not the batting performance we were after. At Galle when you win the toss and bat first, you're after a total in excess of 400. We weren't able to do that today," said McCullum. "I thought the pitch was good. It turned a lot more than we probably an-

ticipated it would on day one of a Test match, but that's what you expect when you come over to the sub-continent. It was slow turn." New Zealand were struggling at 40-3 following Eranga's double-strike in the morning before McCullum and left-handed Flynn steadied the innings with a 90-run stand for the fourth wicket. McCullum played some aggressive shots in the afternoon, hitting off-spinner Suraj Randiv and Herath for sixes. He fell immediately after hitting his second six, bowled by Herath. The New Zealand opener also

New Zealand 1st innings M Guptill c Mathews b Eranga ...................11 B McCullum b Herath .................................68 K Williamson c Paranavitana b Eranga .........0 R Taylor b Kulasekara ...................................9 D Flynn c P Jayawardene b Herath .............53 J Franklin lbw Herath ....................................3 K van Wyk b Herath ....................................28 D Bracewell c M Jayawardene b Herath .....12 T Southee c Mathews b Eranga ...................16 J Patel (not out) ............................................12 T Boult b Kulasekara .....................................7 Extras: (lb-1, nb-1) .......................................2 Total: (all out, 82.5 overs) .........................221 Fall of wickets: 1-29, 2-29, 3-40, 4-130, 5-142, 6-155, 7-181, 8-196, 9-207. Bowling: Kulasekara 12.5-5-31-2 (nb-1), Eranga 16-5-51-3, Mathews 3-0-11-0, Herath 30-5-65-5, Randiv 21-1-62-0. Sri Lanka 1st innings T Paranavitana (not out) .................................0 D Karunaratne lbw Southee ...........................0 S Randiv (not out) ..........................................3 Extras: (b-4, lb-2) .........................................6 Total: (1 wkt, 5 overs) ...................................9 Fall of wicket: 1-2. Bowling: Boult 3-2-2-0, Southee 2-1-1-1.

Czechs take 2-1 lead over Spain PRAGUE — Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek combined for a battling doubles win to thrust the Czech Republic into a 2-1 lead over Spain in the Davis Cup final yesterday. The result after three hour and 20 minutes ended 3-6, 7-5, 7-5, 6-3 on a third match point in favour of the hosts over Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez. Spain must now fight back in today's reverse singles as the tennis powerhouse bids for a sixth Davis title since 2000. The holders are playing without Rafael Nadal, who has been out of the game for five months with a knee injury. Berdych and Stepanek showed their value as a unit as they ran their doubles record together to 12 wins and one loss. On Friday, Berdych brought the hosts level at

1-1 with the holders with a battling five-set victory over Nicolas Almagro. The top Czech player used his booming serve to good effect and drew inspiration from the vocal home support to get win 6-3 3-6 6-3 6-7 6-3. Earlier, Spain's top player David Ferrer beat Radek Stepanek 6-3 6-4 6-4 in a hard-fought opening match. World No 11 Almagro pusehd Berdych all the way and won the fourth set tiebreak with one of 21 aces but the Spaniard's brave resistance was finally broken by the 6'5" (196 cm) Czech. "I messed it up a bit," Berdych said regarding the fourth set. "I gave him too much of an advantage in the tiebreak. So I was really looking forward to playing with this crowd at my back (in the final set). It is an amazing feeling."

CZECH Republic’s Tomas Berdych (right) and Radek Stepanek chat during their double match against Spain’s Marc Lopez and Marcel Granollers in the Davis Cup final tie in Prague yesterday. — Reuters

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Sunday, November 18, 2012




Bank Muscat’s al Mazyona North Batinah customers celebrate RO 1 million grand prize campaign

MUSCAT — The RO 1 million al Mazyona year-end grand prize campaign from Bank Muscat was celebrated in Sohar by North Batinah customers following similar celebrations in Dhofar, South Batinah and Muscat governorates. With only six weeks to go for the grand prize draw, momentum has started building up for the Sultanate’s flagship savings scheme. A large turn-out of customers and bank officials attended the event. The celebrations included exciting entertainment programmes, including folklore music and theatre play educating people on prudent savings habits. Ali Jama, Regional Manager — North Batinah, said: “The series of big prizes from Bank Muscat is the major attraction of al Mazyona which offers fair and transparent winning chances for all segments of customers. Following on the three quarterly prize draws offering RO 300,000 each, the focus now shifts to the climax

of al Mazyona’s RO 1 million year-end grand prize.” Ali Jama added: “al Mazyona reaffirms the bank's vision and constant efforts to fulfil the aspirations and ambitions of the largest banking family in Oman. The popular savings scheme has won the hearts of people and succeeded in linking to issues benefitting society. The bank attaches great importance to inculcating prudent savings and spending habits and has tailored al Mazyona scheme with this objective in mind.” For the RO 1million grand prize eligibility, customers are required to maintain RO 1,000 minimum balance for all months. The grand prize is earmarked for customers who consistently maintain a healthy savings of at least RO 1,000 every month. Their chances keep on increasing month after month with a minimum of 10 chances every month. An added attraction is that the winning chances get multiplied by the number of years

customers are associated with al Mazyona savings scheme. For example, a customer who has been saving for 5 years will multiply his winning

chances by 5 times, while another customer who has been saving for 20 years will be able to multiply his winning chances by 20 times and so

on. This benefit is unique only to al Mazyona savings scheme holders and no other bank offers this, as on date. This provides high savers with the best

chance to win the year-end RO 1 million prize. Al Mazyona offers one of the biggest prize money in the savings scheme history in

Oman. This year, Bank Muscat sprung a big surprise, taking the total prize money to a whopping RO 6 million with unparalleled winning chances for all segments across the Sultanate. Notably, the 2012 al Mazyona stands out as 'My scheme' for all individual segments as attractive prizes are earmarked for ladies, children, salaried employees and high savings balance customers in all regions. As on date, the scheme offers the biggest prize money in Oman and the region. Al Mazyona 2012 scheme reflects innovative customer segmentation based on two principles — region and demographics — ensuring a higher winning chance to all customers across the Sultanate, including ladies, children and salaried employees. The 2012 al Mazyona scheme offers exciting weekly, monthly, quarterly and grand prizes. Winning with al Mazyona has never been simpler as customers are not required to block

their money for long or wait for a long time to win the big prize. The weekly prizes include RO 3,000 each for 10 guaranteed winners from the governorates, including one lady customer holding Zeinah savings account. Customers are required to maintain RO 100 minimum balance for the weekly prize. Keeping in mind the large percentage of customers from Muscat and Batinah, three weekly prizes are given away to customers from Muscat, two prizes to customers from Batinah and one prize each to Dakhiliyah+Wusta, Dhahirah+Musandam, Dhofar and Sharqiyah governorates. The monthly prize is an exciting RO 30,000 each for nine winners covering the governorates. For eligibility, customers are required to maintain RO 1,000 minimum balance for one month. Three prizes are given away to customers from Muscat, two prizes to customers from Batinah and one prize each to Dakhiliyah+Wusta, Dhahirah+Musandam, Dhofar and Sharqiyah governorates. In order to maintain the tradition of providing complete transparency of the scheme, al Mazyona prize draws are conducted at public places and certified by external auditors — Ernst & Young — a member of the Big 5 consulting firms. Bank Muscat pioneered this proactive step and is proud to continue this tradition in Oman which communicates good governance and transparency. Over the years, al Mazyona has succeeded in inculcating a strong savings culture in Oman. The flexible scheme makes regular saving easier and is available across the largest network of 135 branches in Oman.

Fea ures Sunday, November 18, 2012

Grand Dame of Arabic Opera to perform this weekend in Muscat T

HE Royal Opera House Muscat audience is sure to experience a night of pure magic with one of the most remarkable women in the world of music, the Lebanese composer and opera singer Hiba al Kawas. She performs at the Royal Opera House Muscat (ROHM) on November 22 at 7.30 pm. Accompanied by the internationally renowned guitarist Jose Maria Gallardo Del Rey and The National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, conducted by Karl Sollak, Al Kawas performs pieces from her repertoire, which includes a song composed by Al Kawas especially for ROHM, which will be a world premiere. Members of Royal Oman Symphony Orchestra will also take part in the performance. Inspiring opera singer, moving soprano, talented composer, brilliant educator, pioneering artist, compassionate person and gentle soul — these are all words used to describe Al Kawas, considered a gem from Lebanon. She will light up the Royal Opera House in Oman with

her voice and cross-cultural compositions, which mix lyrical Eastern melodies with the grandeur of the Western orchestral tradition. A programme in two halves, Al Kawas will perform selected poems from the traditional Arabic repertoire of Hassan el Zein, Nada el Hage, Al Hallaj, Hussa,

Ounsi el Hagem Abdul Aziz Khoja, Houda Naamani, Zahi Wehbe and Kamal Jumblat. Hiba al Kawas’s rich repertoire shapes the backbone of her intrinsic concept of Arabic Opera. Her mastery of melody and harmony, combined with brilliant orchestration, demonstrate how Arabic language and melody

Hiba al Kawas’s rich repertoire shapes the backbone of her intrinsic concept of Arabic Opera. Her mastery of melody and harmony, combined with brilliant orchestration, demonstrate how Arabic language and melody enrich the world of Bel canto and beyond enrich the world of Bel canto and beyond. The works of Al Kawas have been performed by the Lebanese National Symphony Orchestra, the Cairo Symphony Orchestra, the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra, the London Sinfonia, the Krakow Symphony Orchestra and the Bolshoi State Theatre Symphony Orchestra, among others. Prof Dr Issam el Mallah,

Adviser to the Board of Directors for Programming & Events, commented: “Having the Grand Dame of the Arab world performing at the Royal Opera House in Oman is simply humbling. We invite the Omani audience to be part of this grandiose evening and get to know Hiba al Kawas and her remarkable talent, creativity, artistic and intellectual personality.”

Oman Observer  

Oman Observer