Tribune South Asia
The showstopper at IIJW See page 16-17
Show “insulted” and “ridiculed” Islam. A viewer who complained
Khan Insult of Muslims?
Citizen Khan provokes 200 complaints as BBC is accused of insulting Muslims
Arrest warrant sought for Tony Blair
An arrest warrant for former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is being sought by the Society for the Protection of our Constitution (Spoc). “We filed a complaint with the SA Police Service yesterday and a ‘crimes against the state’ docket was opened,” Muhammed Vawda, secretary of Spoc, said on Wednesday. “A case number was issued and it will go to the National Director of Public Prosecutions for a decision.” Blair and former US president George W Bush were found guilty in absentia of crimes against humanity
Former Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, Yousuf Bhailok said the show was “the best thing the BBC has done recently”. • Viewers say the programme ‘takes the mickey out of Islam’ and is guilty of ‘stereotypes about Asians’ • Comedy series follows the fortunes of a Muslim community leader • BBC1 show was watched by 3.6million viewers It was suggested that the programme “takes the mickey out of Islam”, contained “stereotypes about Asians” and that it was “disrespectful to the Quran”. A scene in which a heavily made-up girl, Mr Khan’s daughter, rushed to put on a hijab and pretended to be reading the Koran when her father entered provoked particular ire, the Daily Mail reported. Continued on page 2 >>
Continued on page 3 >>
South Africa: Defense Lawyer Blasted in Dewani Murder Trial
The judge presiding over the Anni Dewani murder trial issued a strongly worded warning to accused Xolile Mngeni’s attorney when his absence delayed the trial for an hour yesterday morning. It was the second time this week that Judge Robert Henney blasted defense attorney Qalisile Dayimani. Visibly angry, Henney threatened to report Dayimani to the Law Society and to in future disregard
his absence and continue with court proceedings. Henney made the threats after Dayimani’s absence meant court
proceedings, set to begin at 10am, only started at 11am. Dayimani was expected to crossexamine Mziwamadoda Qwabe,
who was sentenced to 25 years in prison earlier this month for his part in the murder of Anni Dewani on November 13, 2010.
In testimony on Monday Qwabe detailed how he and Mngeni had carried out the killing after conducting a staged hijacking of the vehicle Anni and her new husband Shrien Dewani were travelling in. As state witness, Qwabe, who pleaded guilty to murdering Anni, said Mngeni had pulled the trigger. Dayimani’s excuse that his Continued on page 7 >>
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 30 August 2012
Assad says more time needed to ‘win the battle’ We’re Engaged in Regional, Int Battle
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says that his country faces regional and international battle, stressing that the Syrian forces were advancing. there should be time in order to end it,” President Assad to the Syrian TV ad-Dounia. Assad wondered: “Do we go backward because of the unawareness of the Turkish officials”? As he slammed the Turkish government, President Assad praised the Turkish people, saying “they have supported us during the crisis and was not affected by propaganda and money which was spent.” Assad was speaking in an interview with Syria’s Addounia Publisher Salah Bu Khamas (UAE) Sabha Khan (UK) UK Office 10 Courtenay Road, Wembley, Middlesex, HA9 7ND UK Phone: +44 20 8904 0619 Fax: +44 20 8181 7575 firstname.lastname@example.org India Office Satya Infomedia Pvt. Ltd. C/O Satya Group. 1st Floor, Avenue Appt., Near Sheth. R. J. J. High School, Tithal Road, Valsad - 396001 Gujarat, India United Arab Emirates Office S.K. Group of Companies P.O. Box 9021, Karama Dubai, United Arab Emirates Tel: +971 4 2659970, 3359929; Fax: +971 4 2659971, 3341609 www.sk-groupofcompanies.com Managing Editor & CEO Mohammad Shahid Khan Group Editorial Managers Gulzar Khan (India) Abdul Khalique (Pakistan) Editorial Board UK Frances Brunner FYI Tribune team Adrian Fellar Misbah Khan Reema Shah Rohma Khan Keziah-Ann Abakah Marketing & Sales Andrew Klugman (Manager) Art Department UK Ali Ansar (Art Director) Mohammad Reazul Islam
television, excerpts of which were broadcast on Wednesday. The president, responding to rumours concerning his whereabouts since a July bombing in Damascus, said he was speaking from the presidential palace in the capital. In an interview with progovernment al-Dunya TV, Mr Assad also dismissed as “unrealistic” the idea of creating humanitarian buffer zones within Syria. “Talk of buffer zones firstly is not on the table and secondly it is an unrealistic idea by hostile countries and the enemies of
Syria,” he said. During the interview Assad appealed to the Syrian people: “The fate of Syria is in your hands.” He also addressed the issue of defection of senior regime officials noting: “The good national man does not flee his country. Practically speaking, this is a positive process as it serves as self purification of the state first and homeland in general.” Assad also admitted that “many mistakes were made,” but qualified his statement by adding that is spite of the mistakes there is a strong link between Syria’s policies and the ideology of the Syrian people.
NAM draft statement opposes foreign intervention in Syria
Foreign ministers of the Non-Aligned Movement issued a draft statement on Tuesday in which they stated the Syrian crisis must be resolved without foreign intervention and welcomed Lakhdar Brahimi as the representative of the UN secretary general for Syria, replacing Kofi Annan. “While studying the draft, there was a little difference between Syria and another country, which of course was resolved with the management of Iran, and all countries present (at the meeting) endorsed the draft,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told reporters on Tuesday. At Tuesday’s meeting, the draft statement, which had been drawn up during the senior officials’ meetings held
on Sunday and Monday, was ratified. The final statement will be ratified during the NAM meetings of the heads of state and government, which are scheduled to be held on Thursday and Friday. Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi also said on Tuesday that the foreign ministers explored ways to help
Continued from page 01 >> The six-part series, created by and starring Adil Ray, a British Muslim, was shown for the first time on Monday at 10.35pm. Among the comments on the BBC’s message board following the broadcast was one which said: “This is terrible stereotyping, ignorant and just dreadful.” Writer and actor (Mr.Khan) Adil Ray was born in Birmingham to his Pakistani father and Kenyan mother. He was brought up in the suburb of Yardley. Adil’s father Abdul was a Bus Driver for almost 40 years and his mother worked for the Civil Service . According to BBC Complaints have risen overnight, however, the BBC said it has evidence of a lobbying campaign. “Insulting” The media watchdog, Ofcom, said it received in the region of 20 complaints about the programme. The BBC released a statement explaining that.. “New comedy always provokes differing reactions from the audience. The characters are comic creations and not meant to be representative of the community as a whole.” One viewer who complained to the BBC said the show “insulted” and “ridiculed” Islam.
resolve the situation in Syria. “The foreign ministers present at the Tehran summit paid special attention to the issue of Syria, and various views were expressed at the meeting of the foreign ministers,” he added. Salehi stated, “Our objective is to facilitate the resolution of Syria’s
problem and to help resolve the problem without others’ interference and through a Syrian-Syrian (solution).” Egyptian Deputy Foreign Minister Ramzy Ezzedine Ramzy delivered a speech at Tuesday’s meeting, in which he said that the termination of foreign interference in the world’s countries is a prerequisite for the establishment of lasting global peace. Egypt currently holds the rotating presidency of the movement, and the presidency will be handed over to the Islamic Republic for three years during Thursday’s meeting. In his speech, Ramzy stated that Egypt is confident that Iran will make every effort to help accomplish NAM’s objectives during its presidency over the movement.
BBC Citizen Khan Insult of Muslims?
“We feel though as if this show has crossed the line and we expected a comedy show but now we have witnessed a mocking show,” said the viewer. Another wrote that the content was “bigoted” and “offensive”. Another said: “HIGHLY disappointed especially when her father walks in and she disrespectfully opens the Koran!!” Comedian Humza Arshad, star of the hit internet comedy Diary of a Badman, told the BBC’s Asian Network that he felt some of the jokes went “a bit too far”. “I wasn’t offended but I think some other people might be. For example, the scene with the Quran. Personally I’d play it safe. Some people might complain about it - I’ve got similar feedback myself by the audience, the Muslim community is one of the most sensitive communities out there.” Former Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, Yousuf Bhailok said the show was “the best thing the BBC has done recently”. “It is good to change the stereotyped image of Muslims always being serious and shouting that has appeared so often in the media,” he said.
“There is great humour among Muslims. I am glad it has been made.” Arifa Akbar, writing in The Independent said it wasn’t a bad comedy, “it just wasn’t new”. The criticism was echoed in the Daily Star, which added: “The show’s weakness isn’t so much that it’s a niche comedy but the fact that its style feels incredibly dated, like an old-fashioned studio sitcom from 20-odd years back.” Meanwhile, a review in The Guardian described the sitcom as “un-bold” and “safe”. The BBC said the first episode of Citizen Khan was watched by 3.6 million viewers, which it described as a “very positive start”. A spokeswoman said: “We’re delighted that so many people enjoyed this new comedy and we have received a number of appreciations from members of the Muslim community and beyond in praise of the show and for creator Adil Ray, who like the family portrayed, is a British Pakistani Muslim. “Alongside these appreciations, a small percentage of viewers have complained to the BBC regarding the show’s portrayal of the Muslim community.
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 30 August 2012
Spain prepares for economic “black September”
As the holiday season comes to a close, many Spaniards are bracing themselves for what could be described as a “black September.” Apart from having to return to work after the summer holidays, this September is set to be tougher than ever for Spaniards for several reasons. To begin with, Spaniards will face an increase in sales tax from 18 percent to 21 percent on goods such as electricity, petrol and water bills from September 1. This will affect many other services with the price of cinema tickets, vet bills and even the cost of funerals rising by three percent. The price rises will hit already struggling sectors such as the car industry, which has seen sales drop consistently for the last two years, while bars, restaurants, cinemas and even attendance at
football grounds are also likely to be hit. The sales tax increase is part of the Spanish government’s efforts to
Spain’s housing market has been in depression since 2008 with a backlog of unsold houses building up.
reduce the country’s deficit to 6.3 percent of its economic output by the end of the year.
Former Spanish rime minister Jose Luis Zapatero reduced the sales tax on new houses to 4 percent in
Tuesday is cheapest day to fly from UK A major study by consumer group Which? found that the second day of the week is the cheapest day to fly out of Britain, and travelling midweek can save people a significant sum of money. Anyone keen to keep the cost of their holiday down will know that the day you choose to fly can make a significant difference to the price of your ticket. Now new research by Which? has revealed that Tuesday is in fact the cheapest day of the week to book your flight out of the UK. Booking an outbound flight midweek can save holidaymakers a significant sum of money, research found. Consumer group Which? looked at 1,174 flights in September from three London airports to three destinations in Europe – Dublin, Barcelona and Alicante, for one person with one piece of checkedin luggage on a return flight. t found that for outbound flights, Tuesday was on average the cheapest day to fly with Easyjet, British Airways and Ryanair, while Sunday was on average the most expensive day to return home. Flights with Easyjet from London Gatwick to Alicante on Fridays were, on average, 35% or £28 more expensive than Tuesday departures, while return flights with Easyjet from London Gatwick to Alicante on Sundays were on average 45% or £56 more expensive than on Thursdays.
The research also found that as well as cheaper days, there are cheaper times of the day to fly, though this varied across different airlines. For example, British Airways’ cheapest outbound flights were in the morning before 7.30am, whereas outbound flights with EasyJet in the mornings between 5.45am and 11am were its most
expensive. Richard Lloyd, Which? executive director, says: “With household budgets squeezed, holidaymakers will want to make sure they are getting a good deal on their flights. “We found people can save a significant sum of money if they shop around and can be flexible, changing the day or time they choose to travel.”
an attempt to clear this backlog. However, that tariff is now set to rise to 10 percent, further depressing the housing sector and the construction industry. Meanwhile, sales tax on foodstuffs and transport will increase from 8 percent to 10 percent. Almost 25 percent of the Spanish workforce is currently unemployed. September is traditionally a bad month for jobs in Spain as it sees the end of many temporary contracts in the tourist sector and also of short-term work in the agriculture sector. After a minor letup during the summer, the jobs market will almost certainly return to reflecting the crude reality of Spain’s economic situation. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy faces a busy month, which will start with the visit of the
President of the European Council of Ministers Herman Van Rompuy on Tuesday. This will be followed on Thursday by a visit by French President Francois Hollande. While Rajoy may find a sympathetic ear with Hollande, he is likely to have a tougher time when German Chancellor Angela Merkel visits Madrid on September 6. With Spain’s GDP continuing to fall, unemployment rising and consumer confidence falling, some argue that it is only a matter of time that Madrid would request an EU bailout. Some analysts say a further round of spending cuts will do nothing to help kickstart the economy, raise production and create new jobs. For Spaniards, September may symbolize the start of a difficult autumn and a long dark winter.
Arrest warrant sought for Tony Blair Continued from page 01 >> by the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal in November last year. They were also found guilty of genocide for their roles in the Iraq War. The tribunal was presided over by five judges. The court acknowledged that the verdict was non-enforceable, but the findings were reported to the International Criminal Court in The Hague. The Daily Maverick reported that the official UK government inquiry into the Iraq War, the Chilcot Inquiry, is only set to release a report late into 2013, which will run to more than 1-million words. It reported that part of the delay was due to a row over whether Cabinet officials were willing to publish certain sensitive documents, such as notes passed between Blair and Bush, and records of their conversations. The inquiry held public hearings between the end of 2009 and the beginning of 2011 on matters including the background to the war. Blair is in South Africa this week as one of
the speakers at the Discovery Leadership Summit at the Sandton Convention Centre on Thursday. Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu withdrew from the summit on Tuesday because of Blair’s attendance. The Muslim political party Al Jama-ah said it planned to protest against Blair when he spoke at the summit. Vawda said South Africa was legally bound to the requirements of international law, as it fell under the United Nations jurisdiction, and therefore was compelled to co-operate. “Legally speaking, we expect to get the warrant...all the grounds are there...there is no obstacle,” said Vawda. South Africa must operate without fear, favour or prejudice, he said, adding that the judiciary, police and National Directorate for Public Prosecutions must not bow down to political pressure. National Prosecuting Authority spokeswoman Phindile Louw said she would comment on the matter after checking on the complaint.
Citizen Khan: Humiliation of Muslims sells Comedy? The persecution of Muslims by the British Media is real, and endorsed by millions. Citizen Khan is’terrible stereotyping, ignorant and just dreadful’ BBC One’s new sitcom Citizen Khan has received around 200 complaints. In a statement, the BBC have defended the show. They told the Daily Mail: “Citizen Khan has made a very positive start, launching successfully with 3.6million viewers and a 21.5 per cent share in a late-night slot. “New comedy always provokes differing reactions from the audience. The characters are comic creations and not meant to be representative of the community as a whole.” The sitcom “Citizen Khan”, produced by the BBC, traces the life of a Muslim community worker in Birmingham. It mocks the Muslim leader’s self-importance, including his delusions about his position in the community and about his standing in the business world. Britain is home to a Muslim community of 2.5 million. A recent government-commissioned study has found that a torrent of negative and imbalance stories in the British media demonize the sizable Muslim minority and their faith by spreading prejudices and portraying them as the enemy within. An earlier British study had accused the media and film industry of perpetuating Islamophobia and prejudice by projecting Muslims as violent, dangerous and threatening people. From The Satanic Verses controversy, also known as the Rushdie Affair, was the heated and frequently violent reaction of some Muslims to the publication of Salman Rushdie’s novel The Satanic Verses, which was first published in the United Kingdom in 1988. Many Muslims accused Rushdie of blasphemy or unbelief and in 1989 Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini of Iran issued a fatwā ordering Muslims to kill Rushdie. Numerous killings, attempted killings, and bombings resulted from Muslim anger over the novel . And the book became a best-seller. People behind the book’s controversy sure knew how to sell books. The events of 9/11 have been described as a turning point for many people, communities and nations across the globe, in particular for Muslims. In Britain the attacks on the World Trade Centre lead to the affirmation of broad brushed references to Islam and Muslims in large sections of the media. Increasingly new attempts were made to understand the views of the Muslim communities in Britain, and then 7/7 suddenly catapulted British Muslims (especially young second and third generation Muslims) into the spotlight. A sense of panic amongst Muslims living in Britain resulted in a societal dynamic of ‘integration’ vs. ‘seclusion’ forcing Muslims to redefine their identities as either ‘moderates’ or ‘extremists.’ And now Citizen Khan is on BBC to ridicule Islam especially Pakistani Muslims. One viewer who complained to the BBC said the show “insulted” and “ridiculed” Islam.
“We feel though as if this show has crossed the line and we expected a comedy show but now we have witnessed a mocking show,” said the viewer. Another wrote that the content was “bigoted” and “offensive”. British journalists with regards to media coverage of Muslim issues for a BBC Radio 4 Analysis programme admitted that mistakes have been made but there is a sense from many of them that it was all worth it. For Muslims themselves, it felt as though they were under siege. Rageh Omaar, formerly of the BBC and now with al-Jazeera, said that he is convinced that what is happening is that “tough liberal” journalists, like Martin Bright at the New Statesman or John Ware at the BBC, are using attacks on Islam to prove their own liberal credentials. Most of those who are distressed with the negative portrayal of Muslims in the media showed no interest in complaining about them. When they are asked why their answers highlight their alienation from society. In coverage of issues concerning Muslims some words i.e. terrorism, bombing, hijacking, extremism, are deliberately inserted which manipulate the public to believe that all Muslims are related to or are supporters of these activities just and reliable representation of Muslims and Islam - the media must be fair and objective towards Muslims. There is a need for reliable writers reporters who are well versed with the Islamic belief system and cultures or Muslim writers and reporters who can understand their subjects *A balanced approach - the media should be balanced in its approach and try to understand what is going on in the minds of the Muslim population and convey it as it is. Conscientious Muslims are not noted for raucous humour and indeed Muslim ethics set much worth in a carefully restrained sense of humour. Unrestrained hilarity depends either on surprise or ridicule, and is invariably the luxury of the secure, well-established majority and its, but the weak, insecure minority singled out for humiliation in circumstances where it cannot answer back. If you don’t know the people well, if you only have general, stereotypical ideas about the subject or the people, the humorous element depends on a twist to the stereotype and plays those aspects up – it depends on prejudged notions about the people, i.e. racialist or xenophobic or Islamophobic notions in peoples minds. In consequence Muslims are beset on several fronts – ethical reluctance to indulge in humiliation, defensiveness of an embattled minority, and reaction to reinforcement of racialist stereotypes. Only when members of the Muslim community are in a strong and culturally secure position will it be possible to make jokes at Muslims’ expense, causing offence perhaps, but without causing real harm. All the fuss and controversy and complaints or reaction will do one thing and for sure the Citizen Khan will sell well.
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 30 August 2012
Russia: Sufi Spiritual leader of Dagestani Muslims killed in suicide blast
Said Atsayev, a 74-year-old Sufi Muslim spiritual leader also known as Sheikh Said Afandi al-Chirkavi, was killed when the woman entered his home disguised as a pilgrim and detonated an explosive belt around her waist, police sources said. ¬According to police officers on the ground, at least six other people died in the blast, including the female suicide bomber. The house has been surrounded, and police are working at the scene. The device, according to sources close to the investigation, was not very powerful, which means officers will be able to identify the attacker. The Republic’s President Magomedsalam Magomedov, has announced August 29th will be a day of mourning. “After suffering multiple injuries, Sheikh Said Afandi died on the spot. Another 5 people, including a child, were also killed. Many were injured. This horrible tragedy has shaken Dagestan, and caused pain and outrage among our people”. 74-year-old Said Afandi, a well-known Sufi cleric, was considered one of the Republic’s top spiritual leaders. His father died when Afandi was just seven years old. Halfway through highschol, he dropped out to become a shepherd
and financially support his family. He served in the Soviet Army and worked as a firefighter before coming to religion at the age of 32. In his last years, Afandi mostly wrote books, many of which were translated into Russian and English. He was also fond of poetry, and was a keen poet himself. Tens of thousands of people have come to pay their respects to the cleric, who was a very revered figure in Dagestan. Attacks against spiritual leaders in Russia have been on the rise recently. Less than two months ago, the mufti of the Russian Republic of Tatarstan was seriously injured in a car bomb, and another cleric was gunned down outside his apartment in the republic’s capital, Kazan. The news of Afandi’s murder came as Russian President Vladimir Putin called for religious tolerance during a visit to the Republic of Tatarstan. “Religious tolerance has been one of the foundations of Russian statehood for centuries,” Putin said before granting a state award to Tatarstan’s chief mufti, who survived a car bombing in July on the same day as one of his deputies was shot dead. “Those who want to destroy this statehood are taking aim at this (tolerance),” Putin said. “But the criminals will never achieve their dirty goals. They have no future. They will not succeed – not here in Tatarstan and the Volga region, not in the North Caucasus, not in any region of our big country.” Said-Afandi is the second prominent Sufi sheikh to be assassinated in Daghestan in the past year. Sirajudin Israfilov, 56, the imam of a Sufi mosque in the town of Derbent, was shot dead at his home in October. Sirajudin Israfilov, the imam of a Sufi mosque in the town of Derbent, was shot dead at his home in October.
British families to be worse off next year
A new research has found that struggling families in Britain will be almost £200 worse off next year amid a sharp rise in the bills. The research commissioned by investment bank Morgan Stanley found that families should allocate their pay rises to soaring energy bills, mortgages and petrol costs. According to the forecast, as far as the inflation rate is concerned, the average family would have £50 less money to spend this year and £200 next year as the prices of commodities continue to rise. Morgan Stanley said soaring energy bills would consume almost £1.3billion of family spending money this year and £5billion next year. “With approximately 25 million households in the UK, this would be the equivalent to about £50 less in real income per household in 2012 and £200 less next year”, said Bank economist Jonathan Ashworth. The findings are a bad news for the Chancellor
George Osborne who should give the hope of a return to economic growth and/or end the tightest squeeze on family incomes for a generation. This comes as the UK’s second biggest energy supplies, SSE, announced a shocking decision last week to increase gas and electricity prices in October by 9 percent. The increase is nearly three times the inflation rate and it will add over £100 to the average annual bill.
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 30 August 2012
Hurricane Isaac Moves Into Louisiana
Hurricane Isaac batters US
Storm Surge Is Main Concern Along Shoreline; Water Tops One Levee
Hurricane Isaac lashed New Orleans with 70-mile-per-hour winds and heavy rain, but the slow-moving storm appeared to be veering west of the hunkered-down city Wednesday morning, seven years to the day after the much more powerful Katrina. About 75% of New Orleans residents were without power and there was some minor street flooding, according to emergency officials. The storm’s surge topped a levee in a sparsely populated community south of the city, closer to the mouth of the Mississippi River. Isaac is beginning to move inland towards New Orleans after a second landfall along the coast of south-east Louisiana. A storm surge driven by the hurricane has topped a rural levee in the state, flooding homes in the coastal parish of Plaquemines near New Orleans. Isaac is expected to pass over Louisiana over the next two days but will weaken over land by Friday when it reaches neighbouring Arkansas, said the National Hurricane Centre in Miami. Isaac reached hurricane strength on Tuesday and went nearly stationary for several hours near the mouth of the Mississippi River before making a second landfall just west of Port Fourchon on Wednesday. The category one storm is on course to hit just west of New Orleans seven years after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city and killed more than 1,800 people
along the Gulf Coast. While not as powerful as Katrina, Isaac threatens to flood the coasts of four states with a potentially deadly storm surge, torrential rain and high winds.
“It is kind of eerie here to see nobody around,” Zach said. Powerful winds knocked over trees and ripped down power lines, leaving some 390 000 people without power, according to Entergy Louisiana, a local
Officials say they are confident that improvements to water defences in New Orleans will prevent a repeat of the 2005 Katrina catastrophe. But despite no mandatory evacuation order being issued for the city, many people have decided to seek safety elsewhere.
utility. More than 4000 members of the Louisiana National Guard had been mobilized, with 48 boat teams deployed around New Orleans, according to the office of Governor Bobby Jindal, who had warned residents to prepare for the worst.
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said Tuesday that the city could expect up to 16 inches (40 centimeters) of rain or more from the slow-moving hurricane. “We have dodged a bullet in the sense that this is not a category three storm,” he said, “But a category one at this strength... is plenty big enough to put a big hurt on you if you fall into complacency. Let’s not do that.” US President Barack Obama urged people to take the threat seriously, warning of the possibility of major flooding and damage. “I want to encourage all residents of the Gulf Coast to listen to your local officials and follow their directions, including if they tell you to evacuate,” Obama said, adding: “Now is not the time to tempt fate.” Obama said he had managed a wideranging effort by federal and local governments to prepare for the storm. A hurricane warning remained in effect for metropolitan New Orleans, a city known as the Big Easy for its jazz and
easy-going lifestyle. The timing of the storm had many here on edge. “It brings back a whole lot of memories,” said Melody Barkum (56) who spent days stranded on a roof without food or water after Katrina struck. “I’m not afraid. If I can survive Katrina, I can survive this.” Katrina left behind a devastating sprawl of destruction and death when it hit New Orleans on August 29, 2005, and a bungled response by the Bush administration tarnished the president’s second term in office. Some 1800 people were killed along the US Gulf Coast and in New Orleans thousands were left stranded on the roofs of their houses for days after Katrina’s storm surge smashed levees long-warned to be inadequate. Those who made it to dry land faced deadly violence and looting as the city descended into chaos and officials failed to provide water and food - let alone security and medical aid - in the sweltering heat.
Moscow warns against further assistance to Syrian opposition Financial, technical and military assistance to the Syrian opposition could lead to
Cyprus are being used to help the Free Syrian Army. “Russia has repeatedly said that
opposition forces continue fighting and refuse to join a dialogue on national reconciliation, which
Britain has two military bases in Cyprus at Dhekelia and Akrotiri. They draw intelligence from the
bases to overhear Syrian officials’ conversations and then pass them to terrorists fighting the Syrian army.
further violence in the country, a statement released by the Russian Foreign Ministry says. It was issued in response to reports that the British military bases on
assisting either side of the Syrian conflict could undermine stability in both Syria and the entire Mideast region”, the statement reads. This kind of assistance lets the
violates the UNSC resolutions, and Kofi Annan`s peace plan, as well as the communiqué of the Action Group on Syria released in Geneva on June 30.
airwaves for GCHQ, Britain’s listening post in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. The British military uses the eavesdropping systems in the Cyprus
Terrorists use British intelligence on Syrian forces’ movements to plan their counterattacks on the forces of President Bashar al-Assad’s popular government.
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 30 August 2012
‘We believe that the USA is the major player against Syria and the rest are its instruments’
Assad’s Foreign Minister gives his first interview to a Western journalist since the conflict began Speaking in an interview on Monday with The Independent, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem said his government believes that the United States is the driving force in the rebel side of the ongoing Syrian civil war, and that he believes that other nations backing the rebels are just America’s “instruments.” Muallem’s interview was by telephone, and was regularly interrupted by the sound of fighting in the capital of Damascus. He said he was saddened by the ongoing fighting, and that he considers himself a Syrian first and a government minister second. The battle for Damascus could be heard inside the Foreign Minister’s office yesterday, a vibration of mortars and tank fire from the suburbs of the capital that penetrated Walid Muallem’s inner sanctum, a dangerous heartbeat to match the man’s words. America was behind Syria’s violence, he said, which will not end even after the battle for Aleppo is over. “I tell the Europeans: ‘I don’t understand your slogan about the welfare of the Syrian people when you are supporting 17 resolutions against the welfare of the Syrian people’. And I tell the Americans: ‘You must read well what you did in Afghanistan and Somalia. I don’t understand your slogan of fighting international terrorism when you are supporting this terrorism in Syria’.” Walid Muallem spoke in English and very slowly, either because of the disconcerting uproar outside or because this was his first interview with a Western journalist since the Syrian crisis began. At one point, the conflict between rebels and government troops in the suburbs
of Douma, Jobar, Arbeen and Qaboun – where a helicopter was shot down – became so loud that even the most phlegmatic of Foreign Ministers in a region plagued by rhetoric glanced towards the window. How did he feel when he
A year ago, I told Muallem, I lunched with the Emir of Qatar, and he was enraged at what he called Bashar al-Assad’s lies, claiming that the Syrian President had reneged on a deal to allow Muslim Brotherhood members to return home.
heard this, I asked him? “Before I am a minister, I am a Syrian citizen, and I feel sad at seeing what’s happening in Syria, compared with two years ago,” he said. “There are many Syrians like me – eager to see Syria return to the old days when we were proud of our security.” I have my doubts about how many Syrians want a return to “the old days” but Muallem claims that perhaps 60 per cent of the country’s violence comes from abroad, from Turkey, from Qatar and Saudi Arabia, with the United States exercising its influence over all others. “When the Americans say, ‘We are supplying the opposition with sophisticated instruments of telecommunications’, isn’t this part of a military effort, when they supply the opposition with $25m – and much more from the Gulf and Saudi Arabia?”
Muallem nodded. “If you met the same Emir two years ago, he was praising Assad, and considered him a dear friend. They used to have family relations, spending family holidays in Damascus and sometimes in Doha. There is an important question: what happened? I met the Emir in Doha in, I think, November 2011, when the Arab League started their initiative [resulting in the sending of League observers to Syria] and we reached agreement … The Emir told me: ‘If you agree to this initiative, I will change the attitude of Al Jazeera and I will tell [Sheikh] Qaradawi [a popular prelate with a regular slot on the television chain] to support Syria and reconciliation, and I have put down some billions of dollars to rebuild Syria…’ . “At the same time, when I was waiting to enter a meeting, there was the head of the Tunisian party Ennahda and the Emir issued
Protesters hold demonstration outside Vedanta’s London annual general meeting Nearly 100 protesters today held a demonstration outside a venue hosting an annual general meeting of mining major Vedanta, demanding an end to British support for the company, accused of malpractices in Odisha. Supporters of Foil Vedanta, South Asia Solidarity Group, Save Goa Campaign and other organisations
participated in the demonstration against the mining company at the Lincoln Centre here. “We call on the British government to stop backing this lawless corporate,” Amrit Wilson of the South Asia Solidarity Group and Foil Vedanta said. Vedanta is owned by leading Indian mining entrepreneur Anil Agarwal.
orders to pay Ennahda $150m to help his party in the elections. Anyway, this was their business. But I asked the Emir: ‘You were having very close relations with Muammar Gaddafi and you were the only leader in his palace when Gaddafi hosted you during the summit – so why are you sending your aircraft to attack Libya and be part of Nato?’ The Emir said simply: ‘Because we don’t want to lose our momentum in Tunis and Egypt – and Gaddafi was responsible for dividing Sudan’.” Of America’s power, Walid Muallem had no doubt. The Americans, he says, succeeded in frightening the Gulf countries about Iran’s nuclear capabilities, persuaded them to buy arms from the US, fulfilling Franklin Roosevelt’s 1936 dream of maintaining bases for oil transportation. “We believe that the US is the major player against Syria and the rest are its instruments.” But wasn’t this all really about Iran? I asked, a dodgy question since it suggested a secondary role for Syria in its own tragedy. And when Muallem referred to the Brookings Institution, I groaned. “You are laughing, but sometimes when you are Foreign Minister, you are obliged to read these things – and there was a study by the Brookings Institute [sic] called The Road to Tehran, and the result of this study was: if you want to contain Iran, you must start with Damascus… “We were told by some Western envoy at the beginning of this crisis that relations between Syria and Iran, Syria and Hezbollah, Syria and Hamas are the major elements behind this crisis. If we settle this issue, they [the Americans] will help end the crisis. But no one told us why it is forbidden for Syria to have relations with Iran when most if not all the Gulf countries
have very important relations with Iran.” For the Syrian Foreign Minister, the crisis started with “legitimate demands” subsequently addressed by “legislation and reforms and even a new constitution”. Then along came “foreign elements” who used these legitimate demands “to hijack the peaceful agenda of the people”. There followed a familiar tale. “I don’t accept as a citizen to return back centuries to a regime which can bring Syria backwards. In principle …no government in the world can accept an armed terrorist group, some of them coming from abroad, controlling streets and villages in the name of ‘jihad’.” It was the duty of the Syrian government to “protect” its citizens. Assad represents the unity of Syria and all Syrians must participate in creating a new future for Syria. If Syria falls, its neighbour countries will fall. Muallem travels to the non-aligned summit in Iran tomorrow to burnish what he calls their “constructive efforts” to help Syria. I asked about chemical weapons, of course. If Syria had such weapons, they would never be used against its own people, he said. “We are fighting armed groups inside Aleppo, in the Damascus suburbs, before that in Homs and Idlib and this means fighting within Syrian cities – and our responsibility is to protect our people.” And the infamous Shabiha militia blamed for atrocities in the countryside? Walid Muallem doesn’t believe in them. There might be local unarmed people defending their property from armed groups, he says. But proregime, paid militiamen? Never. No war crimes charges against the Syrian Foreign Minister, then. But the guns still thunder away outside his windows.
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 30 August 2012
Most prisons are overcrowded - Prison Reform Trust More than half the prisons in England and Wales are too full, but reformers say building more is not the answer to the problem.
Nearly two thirds of prisons in England and Wales are operating at an overcrowded level, new statistics have showed. There are 7,294 more people in the system than it is designed and built to hold, the analysis of prison population statistics by the Prison Reform Trust found. Although the growth in the prison population has slowed down in recent months, 77 out of 131 establishments were over the Prison Service’s Certified Normal Accommodation (CNA) as of July 27, the trust said. CNA is “the good, decent standard of accommodation that the Service aspires to provide all prisoners”, a trust spokesman said. Official figures showed HMP Kennet in Liverpool, Merseyside, is the most overcrowded prison in England and Wales, the spokesman said. Designed to house 175 men, it now holds 337. In second place is Shrewsbury (built to hold 170 men, it holds 326) and third is Swansea (built for 240, it holds 436). The spokesman said: “For people in prison themselves,
overcrowding has a tangible impact. “Figures for 2010/11 show that nearly a quarter of people in prison are being held in overcrowded accommodation, either doubling up in cells designed for one occupant or being held three to a cell in cells designed for two people. “Private prisons have held a higher percentage of their prisoners in overcrowded accommodation than public sector prisons every year for the 13 years to 2010/11. “Overcrowding makes it much harder for staff to work intensively with offenders on resettlement. “Currently 47% of adults reoffend within a year of leaving prison, rising to almost 57% for those who had served a sentence of less than 12 months. “Nearly 70% of children (10-17) released from custody reoffend within a year.” Trust director Juliet Lyon said: “Building our way out of the overcrowding problem is not the answer. “The prison population can be safely reduced by curbing inflation in sentencing, calling a halt to any unnecessary use of custodial remand, dealing with addictions and investing
in effective community penalties. “Court ordered community sentences are more effective, by eight percentage points, at reducing one-year proven reoffending rates than custodial sentences of less than 12 months for similar offences. “Rather than falling back on short, ineffective spells behind bars, investment in more intensive community sentences and public health solutions would cut crime and save the taxpayer money.” A Prison Service spokeswoman said: “All of our prisons provide acceptable levels of accommodation for prisoners, although some prisons hold more people than they were originally designed for. “We are aiming to reduce the existence of crowding alongside reducing the cost of the prison estate.” The 10 most overcrowded prisons in England and Wales (prison, in use Certified Normal Accommodation (CNA), population, percentage overcrowded) Prison
Capacity Inmates % Overcrowded
Kennet (Merseyside) 175 Shrewsbury (Shropshire) 170 Swansea (South Wales) 240 Leicester (Leicestershire) 200 Exeter (Devon) 317 Dorchester (Dorset) 148 Wandsworth (London) 730 Northallerton (N.Yorkshire) 146 Preston (Lancashire) 455 Doncaster (S. Yorkshire) 743
337 326 436 342 530 242 1,191 232 712 1,142
193% 192% 182% 171% 167% 164% 163% 159% 156% 154%
South Africa: Defense Lawyer Blasted in Dewani Murder Trial Continued from page 1 >> consultations with his client was the reason for his absence were not accepted by Henney. Dayimani also said he wanted transcripts of court proceedings in order to go through testimony with Mgneni. “I don’t accept your apology. You are disrespectful,” said Henney. “I was waiting anxiously. Why did you not do this over the weekend?” asked Henney, to which Dayimani responded that he had difficulty in getting access to Mngeni at Pollsmor Prison over the weekend. It was not the first time Henney has rebuked Dayimani since the trial start on August 15, having expressed dissatisfaction of his queries regarding fingerprints lifted from the vehicle in which Anni’s body was found and unnecessary technical delays related to CCTV footage Dayimani wanted to show the court, but which has not yet been viewed.
Mngeni has pleaded not guilty to charges of kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances, murder, and the illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition. Mngeni’s trial has been set down to run until September 21.
We didn’t plan Anni’s killing’ Anni Dewani’s killers never discussed how she would be murdered, the Western Cape High Court heard on Wednesday. Convicted killer Mziwamadoda Qwabe testified that a discussion between himself, shuttle driver Zola Tongo and the man on trial, Xolile Mngeni, only involved a set-up for a faked hijacking in Gugulethu on November 13, 2010. “Zola told us the husband wants his wife to be killed, but we did not plan exactly as to how she would be killed. It would look like a hijacking,” he said. Tongo told them the route he
would be taking, and that both Anni and her husband Shrien would be in the back. Qwabe said Tongo told them no one else was to be harmed, although it was not specifically discussed what they would do with the husband. Various State witnesses had alleged that Shrien masterminded a plan to have his wife killed while on their Cape Town honeymoon. He has repeatedly denied the allegations. Qwabe revealed earlier in the week that the hijackers ordered Shrien out of the vehicle and told him to run to nearby houses, before the van drove off again with his wife still in the back. Qwabe testified that both he and Mngeni had known his firearm would be used as the murder weapon. Qalisile Dayimani, for Mngeni, asked whether they had discussed the firearm after the meeting, on the Saturday she was killed. Qwabe said that although he could
not remember exactly, there must have been such a discussion. Dayimani said Qwabe’s testimony contradicted a statement given by Tongo, as part of a plea agreement in which he was jailed for 18 years. The lawyer said that in this plea document, Tongo said that although he was not present, he understood Dewani was shot as the men had planned. Qwabe said he had testified what he could remember. “This is what I recall from the conversation. Maybe I left some things out, but that is what we discussed,” he said. The trial on Wednesday was beset by a number of delays. A lengthy adjournment had to be taken to repair Qwabe’s faulty portable microphone. A while later, Judge Robert Henney called for an early lunch break to find a new courtroom. He said the present courtroom had poor acoustics and Dayimani continued to speak softly, despite
being told not to. The trial would continue after lunch. He said Tongo told them there was a man who wanted his wife killed, but he never specified how this had to be done. The witness said only the minibus’ route and the hijacking were discussed. Anni’s father and cousin were visibly emotional throughout most of Qwabe’s testimony. The two stared at the floor of the courtroom, while Qwabe detailed his actions. During his testimony on Tuesday, Qwabe said Mngeni fired the shot that killed the bride. He told the court that they were paid R15,000 by Anni’s husband, Shrien Dewani, for the murder. But the British businessman has denied any wrongdoing and is undergoing treatment for posttraumatic stress. His extradition hearing will resume in 2013.
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 30 August 2012
Scotland is the most affordable area in the UK
MORTGAGE payments for new borrowers have plummeted to their lowest level as a proportion of disposable earnings for 15 years, with Scotland the most affordable area in the UK, according to a new study. Typical payments for both firsttime buyers and home movers taking out a new loan north of the Border stood at 20 per cent of take-home pay in the second quarter of this year compared a UK-wide average rate of 26 per cent, the Bank of Scotland found. Typical mortgage payments in Scotland as a proportion of earnings have fallen from 37 per cent in autumn 2007, putting the nation at the bottom of the league table alongside Northern Ireland, where payments have dropped by around two-thirds. Along with Wales, Yorkshire and the Humber, payments in Scotland have nearly halved since the peak of the market five years ago.
The study put the increased affordability down to static and falling house prices coupled with low mortgage rates by long-term standards as the Bank of England maintains the base rate at a historic 0.5 per cent low. Even in London, where house
prices have remained relatively strong due to strong overseas buyer demand, potential payments for a new borrower have reached around 35 per cent of disposable earnings compared with 56 per cent five years ago. The ten most affordable areas
are all in Scotland, with potential mortgage payments in East Ayrshire standing at around 15 per cent of disposable earnings. Nitesh Patel, housing economist at Bank of Scotland, said: “Mortgage payments in Scotland account for a lower proportion of disposable
earnings than anywhere else in the UK. In addition, all ten of the most affordable local authority districts are in Scotland, with East Ayrshire the most affordable. “Lower house prices and reduced mortgage rates have led to a significant improvement in housing affordability for those able to fund the necessary deposit to enter the market over the past five years. As a result, mortgage payments for a typical new borrower currently account for the lowest proportion of earnings for ten years. “The low level of mortgage payments in relation to income is providing support for Scottish house prices. The prospect of interest rates remaining at low levels for some time yet is expected to continue to be a key factor supporting the demand for homes, helping to keep house prices around their current level during the remainder of 2012.”
France opens Yasser Arafat murder inquiry
French prosecutors have launched an official inquiry into the 2004 murder of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, after his family claimed he had been poisoned. ¬Arafat’s family initiated legal action in France last month over claims the Palestinian leader died of radioactive polonium poisoning. His widow, Suha Arafat, has asked that her late husband’s body be exhumed for further testing. The Palestinian Authority has already consented to
supplied to Al-Jazeera by his widow. They were then analyzed at the Institut de Radiophysique in Lausanne, Switzerland. Arafat, who led the struggle for Palestinian statehood for nearly four decades, died in a French military hospital after being airlifted there for treatment from his Ramallah headquarters. At the time of his death, Palestinian officials alleged he had been poisoned by long-time foe Israel, but an
File:Yasir Arafat in London the procedure. Earlier, a nine-month investigation conducted by Al-Jazeera concluded that Arafat’s personal belongings contained abnormally high levels of polonium, a rare and highly radioactive element. The items, including his clothing, his toothbrush, and even his iconic kaffiyeh, were
inconclusive investigation in 2005 ruled out poisoning, as well as cancer and AIDS. Israel has consistently denied the allegations. Polonium is a highly toxic substance which is rarely found outside military and scientific circles, and was used to kill former Russian security officer Alexander Litvinenko in 2006.
The city of Dubai is built on foundations that are steeped in history and tradition. From the evocative Dubai Museum to the spectacular Jumeirah Mosque, and from the breathtaking Bastakiya to the imperious Heritage Village. There are many mysteries waiting to be unravelled. Explore Dubai at your pace and relive great traditions from day gone by.
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 30 August 2012
NAM ministerial meeting begins in Tehran
The two-day ministerial meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) has convened in the Iranian capital, Tehran. Iran Optimistic about Success of New UN Envoy on Syria Iran believes that the new UNArab League Special Envoy on Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, has a greater chance of success than his predecessor, Kofi Annan, a senior foreign ministry official said Tuesday. Speaking to FNA about the contents of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) experts meeting in Tehran on Sunday and Monday, Secretary of the NAM experts meeting Mohammad Mehdi Akhoundzadeh described the talks among the member states about Syria as “constructive”. At the opening ceremony of the NAM ministerial meeting, Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi hailed Egypt’s efforts during the past three years which “have had considerable effect on the progress of NAM’s programs.” On Sunday, during the opening ceremony of the NAM expert-level meeting, Iran assumed the rotating presidency of the movement for three years. Egypt’s Ambassador to the United Nations Mootaz Khalil formally handed over the presidency to Iran. More than 100 countries are partaking in the NAM meeting which kicked off at the expert level
in Tehran on Sunday. The foreign ministers of the NAM member states have been arriving
in Tehran to attend the summit since Sunday. The meeting of the heads of state
and government will open on Thursday with an inaugural speech by Leader of the Islamic Revolution
Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei. India is represented by External Affairs Minister S M Krishna, is to review the draft document that would be adopted at the end of the 16th Summit of their leaders, which is slated for August 30-31. The draft statement includes issues like fight against imperialism and racism, avoiding occupation and military aggression against Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) states, stressing on the need for a world free of nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction and respecting the rights of all countries across the globe to pursue peaceful use of nuclear energy. The document has been ratified by experts of some 120 NAM member states. Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar has called for dealing the major challenge confronting the world today to achieve international peace and security on the basis of equity and UN Charter principles. “We all know peace and development are mutually reinforcing and without peace we cannot even think of development and prosperity” Khar said while speaking at the NAM Ministerial meeting during interactive debate on “ Lasting Peace through Joint Global Governance” here in Tehran on Tuesday. NAM, an international organization with 120 member states, is considered as not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc.
Egypt invites Russia, China to join regional group on Syria Egypt has invited Russia and China to join a regional contact group on Syria, President Mohamed Morsi’s press secretary Yasser Ali, said on Tuesday. He is accompanying President Morsi during his visit to China.
Earlier this month, Egypt proposed to form a regional contact group an emergency summit of the Islamic Cooperation Organization. It is supposed to include Syria’s closest neighbors – Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Cairo wants to gather both the friends and foes of the Syrian regime at one table. This year, Russia and China vetoed two UN Security Council resolutions calling for military intervention in Syria.
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 30 August 2012
Aafia’s imprisonment a tragedy: Ramsey
Ex-US attorney general terms drone strikes ‘criminal’
Former Attorney General of United States of America Ramsey Clark on Monday urged the Pakistani media to be more forthright in preaching “the criminality of US drones”. Speaking as chief guest at an award ceremony of the Pakistan American Democratic Forum, Clark stated that the US should cease using this ‘vicious’ technology, adding that the use of drones is primarily a US innovation in warfare and their use is a violation of all international laws. The former US attorney general went on to say that there will be no peace on earth with the looming threat of drone attacks from one country to another. Mr. Ramsey Clark says Dr Aafia Siddiqui is an innocent citizen of Pakistan who has been wronged and denied justice. He was addressing a seminar here, arranged to highlight the need for release of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, Former Chief Justice of Supreme Court of Pakistan, Justice (Retd) Saeed-uz-Zaman Siddiqui chaired the seminar. Clark said he would exchange
views with the US administration on the issue of Dr Aafia Siddiqui. He hoped that Aafia’s release would be helpful in strengthening of Pakistan-US relations. Those who addressed the seminar
an innocent citizen of Pakistan, and had become a victim of international politics. His rejection of the charges against her, were a reminder that the lengthy jail term she is serving is meant to be for
accepting that an injustice has been done to Dr Siddiqui. However, Mr Clark’s declaration should go some way in changing this opinion, especially since he is speaking about a system he personally
sufficient diplomatic measures. The government remains a silent spectator in the Afia Siddiqui case, and does not use all the measures at its disposal. It must, because there can be no greater national
also included prominent lawyers and human rights activities. Vietnam War-era US Attorney General Ramsey Clark, who has developed a formidable reputation as a humans rights advocate, addressing a seminar in Karachi on Sunday by the Afia Siddiqui Movement, said she was
the crime of pointing a snatched weapon at an interrogating officer. Her sister, Dr Fauzia Siddiqui, stated her to be a daughter of the Muslim Ummah, and that she deserved better treatment. Confidence in the justness of the American justice system had been one of the biggest barriers to
presided over. As Mr Clark said, freeing her would help remove an irritant from US-Pakistan relations. It is only officialdom’s stubbornness which is keeping her behind bars. Mr Clark did not mention one of the main reasons Dr Siddiqui was still in jail, and that is the lack of
interest than the freedom of one of its citizens, or of its citizens to be with their children, from whom Dr Siddiqui is still parted. There seems to be no area where the government has succesfully defended the rights of its citizens. Dr Afia Siddiqui is simply another example of this.
Al-Shabaab sympathizers issue terror warnings following the death of Al-Qaeda linked Muslim Cleric in Kenya Killing sparks riots, Three killed
Two Kenyan police officers and a civilian were killed when rioters hurled a grenade at officers in the port city of Mombasa on Tuesday after two days of violence over the killing of a radical Muslim cleric. GUNMEN in Kenya’s coastal city of Mombasa have shot dead a Muslim cleric accused by the United Nations of supporting alQaeda-linked militants in Somalia,
sparking rioting by youths in which one person died. The killing yesterday of Aboud Rogo fits into a pattern of extra-judicial killings and forced disappearances of suspected terrorists allegedly orchestrated by Kenyan police, say Kenyan human rights groups. Rogo’s wife was wounded in the leg in the attack, said Rogo’s father, who was also in the car at the time
of the shooting, along with Rogo’s five-year-old daughter. They were not injured. Rogo’s wife, Khaniya Said Sagar, angrily told police who came to assist her: “It is you policemen who have killed him, we don’t want a post-mortem or any help from you.” She said they were in the car as she was being taken to hospital
for a check-up after she had a miscarriage two weeks ago. Rogo’s killing sparked protests by hundreds of Muslim youths who went on the rampage on the streets of Mombasa, as his body was taken for burial. The Muslim Human Rights Forum called Rogo’s murder an “extra-judicial killing” and called for “an end to targeted killings
and enforced disappearances of terrorism suspects”. The Forum’s chairman, Al-Amin Kimathi, said that last month Rogo and Abubakar Shariff Ahmed, both suspects in a terrorism-related case, survived an abduction attempt by gunmen they claimed were state agents who accosted them as they arrived in the capital city.
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 30 August 2012
Gaza will be ‘unlivable’ by 2020 unless immediate action taken - UN
Gaza will no longer be “livable” by 2020 unless urgent measures are taken to improve the area’s water
growth. At the moment, the region is suffering from its worst-ever fuel
supply, power, health and schooling, according to a UN report. “Action needs to be taken right now on fundamental aspects of life: water sanitation, electricity, education, health and other aspects,” UN humanitarian coordinator Maxwell Gaylard told journalists. Those services are “not keeping pace with the needs of the growing population,” the report states. The document predicts the population of the Gaza Strip will increase from 1.6 million people today to 2.1 million people in 2020 – calling into question whether the region can actually sustain such
shortage and power cuts, as well as unemployment levels of around 45 per cent. But while the population grows, these problems are predicted to only get worse. Gaza’s lack of clean drinking water should be the first thing that is addressed, according to UNICEF Special Representative Jean Gough. The report estimates a 60 per cent increase in Gaza’s future water needs, while urgent action is already needed to protect the area’s existing water resources, Reuters says. At present, only a quarter of Gaza’s waste water is treated. The rest, including raw sewage, goes straight
Gaza stands little to no chance of improving its situation, especially since it doesn’t have an airport or a sea port. “Despite their best efforts, the Palestinians in Gaza still need help. They are under blockade. They are under occupation and they need our help both politically and practically
Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). But it’s not just Gaza’s lack of accessibility to supplies that contributes to its less than promising future. Gaza’s border with Israel is tense, and the area is frequently hit by Israeli air strikes – often leading to civilian deaths.
into the Mediterranean Sea. According to a report released in June by Save the Children and Medical Aid for Palestinians, the levels of water contamination in Gaza are around ten times higher
on the ground,” Gaylard said. Gaza is 80 per cent aid dependent – relying on foreign funding and a tunnel economy which brings in food, construction materials, electronics, and cars from Egypt.
Gaza will need to achieve both peace and security before the lives of its people can be improved, Gaylard said, and “it will certainly have to mean the end of blockade, the end of isolation and the end of conflict.”
than what is deemed safe for consumption. However, many poor families have no choice but to drink the water. The coastal strip is extremely isolated due to an Israeli blockade which Tel Aviv refuses to lift, claiming it prevents arms from reaching Gaza’s governing Hamas organization. And until the blockade is lifted,
But the current amount of outside help won’t be enough to sustain the region’s needs, according to Gaylard, who has called on international donors to increase their aid. By 2020, Gaza will need 440 more schools, 800 more hospital beds and over 1,000 additional doctors, according to Robert Turner, director of operations of the United
But the goal of peace and security isn’t likely to be achieved anytime soon. The Palestinian Authority currently refuses to negotiate with Israel unless the country agrees to a “freeze” on settlement building in the West Bank – something Tel Aviv will not do, even though the UN says the settlements go against international law.
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 30 August 2012
Libya Sufi shrines attacked ‘by WAHABIS
Fighters bulldoze Sufi mosque in center of Tripoli
A shrine in the Libyan capital Tripoli venerating a Sufi Muslim saint has been partly destroyed - the latest in a series of attacks blamed on ultra-conservative Salafi Islamists. Attackers bulldozed a mosque containing Sufi Muslim graves in the center of Tripoli in broad daylight on Saturday, in what appeared to be Libya’s most blatant sectarian attack since the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi. Government officials condemned the demolition of the large Sha’ab mosque and blamed an armed group who, they said, considered its graves and shrines to Sufi figures un-Islamic. It was the second razing of a Sufi site in two days. Ultraconservatives wrecked Sufi shrines with bombs and another bulldozer and set fire to a mosque library in the city of Zlitan in the early hours of Friday, an official said. Libya’s rulers have struggled to control armed groups who are competing for power in the North African country a year after Gaddafi’s fall. The president of Libya’s newly elected National Congress, Mohamed al-Magariaf, called the prime minister to an emergency meeting later on Sunday. “What is truly regrettable and suspicious is that some of those who took part in these destruction activities are supposed to be of the security forces and from the revolutionaries,” Magariaf told reporters on Saturday night. He did not elaborate on how security forces took part. The Arabian Peninsula, the cradle of Islam, is being demolished by hardliners. In countries such as Saudi Arabia almost all of the Islamic historical sites are gone, but this is not the first time they have been destroyed. In 1802, and army led by the sons of Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab (the founder of Wahhabism) and Muhammad ibn Saud occupied Taif and began a bloody massacre. A year later, the forces occupied the holy city of Mecca. They executed a campaign of destruction in many sacred places and leveled all the existing domes, even those built over the well of Zamzam. However, after the army left, Sharif Ghalib breached the truce,
but would repeatedly change their minds. At this time, non-Wahhabi Muslims were
refused permission to perform Hajj, as were the Syrians in 1806 and Egyptians the following year. The Saudi leader at the time wanted the pilgrims to embrace his Wahhabi beliefs and accept his Wahhabi mission. The destruction of the historical sites is yet another way for the Wahhabi sect to show that there is no other form of Islamwhether on the ground, in the past, or in people’s memoriesother than their own. *The house of the companion, Abu Bakr is where the Mecca Hilton Hotel stands today. *The mosque Abu-Qubais (Makka), is where the king’s palace stands today *Dar-ar-Arqam, the first school of Islam is where the escalators
along with the tombs of the holy personalities in Maqbarat’alMa‘la in Mecca, where the Holy Prophet’s mother, wife Khadija, grandfather and other ancestors are buried. Destruction of the sacred sites in the Hijaz continues till this day. Wahhabis say they are trying to rescue Islam from what they consider innovations, deviances and idolatries. Among the practices they believe are contrary to Islam are constructing elaborate monuments over graves and making supplications there. the mosque and tomb of Sayyid Imam al-Uraidhi ibn Ja‘far al-Sadiq, four miles from the Prophet’s Mosque, was destroyed by dynamite and flattened on August 13, 2002. Imam al-Uraidhi is ninth in line from the Prophet. Within the last 10 years, Muqbil ibn Hadi al-Wadi’i, a student at the University of Medina, wrote a thesis titled “About the Dome Built over the Grave of the Messenger,” sponsored by Sheikh Hammad al-Ansari. In this paper, the student demands that the noble grave be brought out of the Mosque. He says the presence of the holy grave and noble dome are major innovations and that they both need to be destroyed! His thesis received very high marks. Last year, the city planning board of Medina painted the famous
prevented from performing the Hajj (pilgrimage). In 1805, Iraqi and Iranian Muslims were
are situated today. *The birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad is a library today, and is next in line to be demolished to make way for a car park and complex. On April 21,1925, the domes in the Baqi’ were demolished once more
green dome of the Prophet’s Holy Mosque silver. After intense protests by the citizens of Medina, the board restored the dome to its original colour. The Wahhabi religious authorities are, unfortunately, on Continued on page 14 >>
inciting the Wahhabis to reoccupy Mecca in 1805. In 1806, the Wahhabi army
grave of the Prophet Muhammad, may the peace and blessings of God be upon him, many times,
occupied Medina. They did not leave any religious building, including mosques, without
demolishing it, whether inside or outside the Baqi’ (graveyard). They intended to demolish the
Saarc international I Thursday 30 August 2012
“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,”
Neil Armstrong dies, his legend lives
Astronaut Neil Armstrong, who in 1969 became the first person in the world to set foot on the Moon, died in the United States. In early August, 82-year-old Armstrong received surgery to reduce the clogging of coronary arteries. Today, the family of the legendary astronaut said that he died due to post-surgery complications. U.S. President Barack Obama made a statement in connection with astronaut’s death. He stressed out that Armstrong had shown the world, what incredible power one small step can have,” Rosbalt said. Obama also called Armstrong “one of America’s greatest heroes.” The statement from Neil Armstrong’s family says: “Neil was our loving husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend.
Neil Armstrong was also a reluctant American hero who always believed he was just doing his job. He served his Nation proudly, as a navy fighter pilot, test pilot, and
became a community leader in Cincinnati. [...] While we mourn the loss of a very good man, we also celebrate his remarkable life and hope that it serves as an example to young people around the world to work hard to make their dreams come true, to be willing to explore and push the limits, and to selflessly serve a cause greater than themselves.” Neil Alden Armstrong was born on August 5, 1930. A participant in the U.S. Air Force’s
Man In Space Soonest and X-20 Dyna-Soar human spaceflight programs, Armstrong joined the NASA Astronaut Corps in 1962. His first spaceflight was the NASAGemini 8 mission in 1966, for which he was the command pilot, becoming one of the first U.S. civilians in space. He is the man who said the famous words: “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” In five years after the lunar mission, Armstrong retired from NASA and started his own business. Among the many rumors circulating in the Islamic world, the claim that Neil Armstrong, the famous Astronaut, has become a Muslim seems to be one that will never die. Neil Armstrong participated in the Global Leadership Forum in Malaysia on 6 September 2005. The Star Malaysia, currently the most widely read English newspaper in Malaysia, took the occasion to interview him on his moon landing mission with Apollo 11. In the article, Armstrong recalls moon landing, published on 7 September 2005, both in print and online, (http://thestar.com.my/ news/story.asp?file=/2005/9/7/ nation/11971532&sec=nation ) one finds this statement: Armstrong, also denied he had heard the Muslim call to prayer on the moon and had converted to Islam. Neil Armstrong was a protestant.
astronaut. He also found success back home in his native Ohio in business and academia, and
Egypt rejected U.S. demand to fire on Iranian ship: Suez chief
Speaking to Al Arabiya and Al-Hayat TV networks, Vice Admiral Mohab Mamish, also a former commander of the Egyptian Navy, said the US had requested the Egyptian Navy to attack an Iranian vessel passing through the Suez Canal, but his country’s naval force rejected the request. Egyptian Naval Forces recently rejected a U.S. demand to fire on an Iranian vessel loaded with arms and heading to Syria, the chairman of the Suez Canal Authority has told Al Arabiya. Vice Admiral Mohab Mamish, also former commander of the Egyptian Navy, ruled out the possibility of any military operations in the Suez Canal, to guarantee the security of the international waterway.
“My main goal since I was appointed chairman of the Suez Canal Authority on August 12 is to secure all ships passing through the waterway,” he said in a Saturday interview. “The Suez Canal is a narrow waterway
and it is impossible for military actions to take place there.” In the interview, which touched on a number of concerns about the waterway, Mamish said intensified security in the canal was bound
to increase the number of ships passing through. “Increasing the number of ships also necessitates widening the waterway through digging several tributaries. All this will be done by Egyptian hands and through Egyptian companies,” he said. In response to rumors about the sale or rent of the Canal, Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi had issued instructions that no foreign companies were to be involved in Suez development projects, he added. Mamish also noted that a committee was formed to determine the projects that need to be implemented for the development of the Suez Canal especially ones related to maintenance and fuel.
Regarding the fees paid by ships that pass through the canal, Mamish said they were determined by a committee that took into consideration fees of other international waterways. “The current revenue of the Suez Canal amounts to five billion dollars, and it is not advisable to raise the fees, because this might decrease the number of ships passing through the canal,” he said. Asked about the content of ships passing through the Suez, Mamish said the authority is notified 24 hours in advance of passage about the weight and nature of the items on board each ship. “The Suez Canal Authority verifies this information before giving the ship a permission to pass,” he said.
George Galloway MP I was sacked this week, on Twitter, from a “job” I hardly knew I had. In the interests of liberalism of course. Mandy Rhodes the editor of something called the Holyrood magazine with which you’ll be unfamiliar took to the ether to “withdraw her consent” to my writing a column for her obscure magazine - and was promptly hailed by those champions of womens rights the Daily Star the Sun and the Express (prop R Desmond, publisher of Asian Babes Slut Grannies and Spunk Loving sluts and broadcaster of several X-Rated cable channels) As Ms Rhodes knows however, I have never written a word in her magazine (neither have I read a word anyone else wrote)she has never paid me a single bawbee. She merely used me, my name and my picture. I somehow knew one day I’d pay for my spurning of her constant entreaties in multiple texts to tea, lunch, drinks dinners every time she was in London. Truth is for me, it just wasn’t worth it. Still “sacking” me whilst I was under fire was apparently worth it for her 5 minutes of Sun-light. And it was all on account of my stating the obvious, as every person reading this outside of a convent knows from their own lives.
Continued from page 12
a fast track. In 1998 the grave of Amina bint Wahb, the Prophet’s mother, was bulldozed in Abwa and gasoline was poured on it. Even though thousands of
Lovers rarely “ask” each other for “consent” before coupling at least not verbally. If they had to on pain of prosecution, half the couples in the country would be on trial. If, in such circumstances, one of the partners says she has a headache, or he says not tonight Josephine, or either expresses just a plain no, then anyone continuing to press their attentions is potentialy guilty of rape. No never means yes. This difficult to define but easy to recognise state of affairs is particularly true, surely, where sex has been separated by a nap from a previous session. You know from your own lived experience that this is true. Other allegations, made by woman 2, would if true clearly cross the line though of course no charges were made and Assange told he was free to leave Sweden. Not only do I believe that Assange should be made to answer to these allegations - so does HE! All that’s stopping it is the refusal of the Swedish government to, as it could, give an undertaking not to extradite Assange to the United States. Last week a collective bout of the vapours arose in a great British moral panic, a kind of cult-like mass hysteria and I was denounced from some extraordinary
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 30 August 2012
quarters. Scottish liberal Queen Bee Joyce MacMillan said I was “increasingly notorious” (presumably since I was elected in the most stunning British by-election in modern history just a few months ago) Father Ted, the saintly Eamon McCann took to that friend of liberty the Belfast Telegraph to literally anathematise me and excommunicate me from the left. This from some class of atheist Trotskyite. Harriet Harman who’s lost more votes for Labour than anyone alive except Tony Blair (and justified the killing of more women in wars she fully backed than any feminist in history) was perhaps a more predictable assailant. New Labour still haven’t recovered from the bloody good hiding I gave them in Bradford and before that in east London. It turned into a peculiarly Scottish thing in the week when fellow Dundonian Craig Murray named and identified on Newsnight one of the women involved in the allegations against fugitive whistleblower Julian Assange as being involved in CIAfinanced anti-Castro Cuban activities. Murray, sacked by New Labour’s Jack Straw for denouncing torture - including the rape of women - in Uzbekistan where he was British Ambassador was instantly transfigured into the anti-Christ himself. Mark my words, dear readers, Julian Assange has been set up in a political plot designed to deliver him to fifty years of solitude in an American dungeon as revenge for his real “crime”. Which was to reveal the dirtiest secrets of the Empires which over the last years have raped killed extorted tortured rendered and robbed their way around half the world. For airing cockpit video of the cold-blooded mass murder of Iraqis by American pilots following their controllers orders to “light them up”. Light them up they duly did, a mass incineration of human beings. He revealed documents detailing the US’s controlling interest in death squads in Iraq and murder most foul in Afghanistan. The US agencies will never forgive them for that. This is understandable. Less so is the Pavlovian reaction of many who should,
indeed do know better. It is those latter who should be examining their reactions over the last seven days. Mind you when BBC radio 2 listeners had the chance to phone in about the hysteria, 80% of the callers backed me. The local Bradford rag took down their telephone poll when the figures began to swing in my favour. I have 89,000 followers on Twitter; fewer than 400 used it to attack me, albeit repeatedly and in increasingly offensive and demented terms. I have 90,000 followers on Facebook; fewer than 100 denounced what I said. I have 80,000 electors in Bradford West, again fewer than 100 have written in against me, and most of those hadn’t voted for me in the first place. I mention that as reassurance that those who make most noise don’t always speak for the majority, they just make it sound like they do. And to echo the old saw, that when the British media and political class are unanimous, they are usually unanimously wrong. This all broke when I was thousands of miles away in Indonesia, the local leg of my nuptials took place yesterday in Javanese style. All week I had to watch this from a distance, dealing with one false claim after another, some of them years old some of them so fantastical as to be funny. It was the unspeakable in full pursuit of the uneatable as Oscar Wilde - who knew a thing or two about witch-hunts - described the red-coated toffs in their ancient ritual of chasing foxes. I am not a fox, though there were moments when I’ve felt a bit of a lone wolf. The wolf goes about its business no matter what the climate is around it. This is what I shall do too. If you have a spare moment, actually watch what I said and about whom on the Youtube channel Molucca Red. Even better watch the documentary broadcast by Australia’s ABC - their BBC equivalent - on the Assange case. This has been taken off Youtube (in the interests of liberalism of course) but can still be seen on my facebook at George Galloway MP
Libya Sufi shrines attacked ‘by WAHABIS
petitions throughout the Muslim world were sent to Saudi Arabia, nothing stopped this action. The House of Khadija was excavated during the Haram extensions,
then hurriedly covered over so as to obliterate any trace of it. This was the house where the Prophet received some of his first revelations and it is also where
his children Umm Kulthum, Ruqqaya, Zaynab, F atima, and Qasim were born. Dar al-Arqam, the first school in Islam where the Prophet taught has also been
demolished. It was in the area of Shi’b ‘Ali near the Bab ‘Ali door opposite the king’s palace. It is now part of the extension of the Haram. In Medina, of the seven mosques at the site of the Battle of the Trench (Jabal al-Khandaq), where Sura alAhzab was revealed, only two remain. The others have been demolished and a Saudi bank’s cashpoint machine has been built in the area. Today, the Zam Zam towers stand in place of the Fort. The Zam Zam towers are being leased from £500, 000 to £1,000,000 for a 24 year lease, the prices are very extortionate as during last ten days in the holy month of Ramadan it would cost between £54,000 to £137,500 to rent plus extra annual maintenance charges. Yet another Saudi Wahhabi plot destroying Islamic heritage.
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 30 August 2012
London prepares to welcome the world yet again
Thousands of people have turned out to welcome the Paralympic flame which is en route to the Olympic Stadium for the opening ceremony of the Games. Crowds have lined the route of the 24-hour torch relay which began in Stoke Mandeville on Tuesday night. The flame arrived in north London almost two hours late and organisers said breaks would be cut to save time. The Queen and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are due to attend the opening ceremony which starts at 20:30 BST. Crowds gathered in the market square in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, to watch the start of the relay and thousands more turned out overnight along the route to cheer on the torchbearers. Guard of honour After arriving in London, the flame, which is being carried by 580 torchbearers, was taken up the steps to Britain’s first traditional Hindu temple, the Shri Swaminarayan Mandir temple in Brent, where a torch was lit at about 08:30 BST. Barry Gardiner, MP for Brent, took part in a ceremony which involved pulling apart string made up of different threads and colours to “allow” the Paralympic torch through. He said: “It was a very special moment. We have been waiting since 6.30am and the thrill and excitement is just fantastic. I don’t think there has ever been a setting like this, for an Olympic or Paralympic flame.” London 2012 organisers Locog said of the delay: ‘We are running approximately 1hr 30 mins late due to the late finish of the Stoke Mandeville event and the time required for multiple exchanges of the flame between team members. “Overnight we have refined the exchange process and are making up time.” With only 100,000 tickets left, the Games are on course to be the first Paralympics to sell out. A further 10,000 tickets will be made available each day during the competition. Locog chief executive Paul Deighton said: “We’ve tried to get as many people in as we reasonably can. This is a wonderful illustration of how the British public have said we love the Paralympics and want to be part of it.” The Paralympic opening ceremony will be an
“exquisite journey of discovery” with Professor Stephen Hawking as a guide, its co-artistic director Jenny Sealey has said. Earlier it was revealed the Queen and Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will attend the opening ceremony. Prince Harry’s first public appearance since naked photos of him made headlines around the world will be at the Aquatic Centre on Monday where he will watch the swimming. More than 3,000 adult volunteers are taking part in the opening ceremony, along with around 100 children and a professional cast of 100. Some of the performers have completed a circus skills training programme to prepare for the
success. While competing in international sports events they have secured 55 medals comprising 16 Gold, 19 Silver, 20 Bronze medals.
performance, which will feature a high-wire act. Many details of the show have been kept under wraps but Bradley Hemmings, who has been responsible for its organisation, alongside fellow artistic director Jenny Sealey, promised it will be “both spectacular and deeply human”. The ceremony, signalling the start of 11 days of competition by nearly 4,300 athletes from 166 countries, has been given the theme and title
came third in the Olympics medal table, galvanising wide support for the Games across the country and lifting a national mood hit by lingering economic woes. ParalympicsGB have been set a minimum target of 103 medals from at least 12 different sports -- one better than in Beijing -- and to match their secondplace finish four years ago. For the home team, hopes are highest for athletes
Enlightenment and features deaf artists and those with other disabilities. The world’s top athletes with a disability, including “Blade Runner” Oscar Pistorius, converge on London next week for what organisers say will be the biggest and most high-profile Paralympics in the Games’ 52-year history. A record 4,200 athletes from 166 countries will be in the British capital, with the 11-day Games a near sell-out and expected to be watched by an estimated global television audience of four billion people. Britain is considered the birthplace of the Paralympic movement, after World War II veterans with spinal injuries competed in archery events at Stoke Mandeville in southern England in 1948, 12 years before the first official Games in Rome. The
like Jonnie Peacock, who in June set a new T44 100m record of 10.85secs and is expected to challenge South Africa’s Pistorius for gold in the showpiece track event. With Pistorius’ long-standing rival Jerome Singleton, of the United States, and a host of other lightning-fast sprinters likely to line up in the final, organisers even predict that all eight runners could dip under 11secs.
International Paralympic Committee (IPC) said that history, a desire to see more elite sport after a successful Olympics, increased media coverage and sponsorship have combined to drive up interest and awareness. “There’s a fantastic buzz in the air, waiting for it to kick off and people talking about it,” IPC president Philip Craven told AFP before next Wednesday’s opening ceremony. China held the last Paralympics in Beijing in 2008 and did much to raise the Games’ profile. The previous hosts won 211 medals, including 89 gold, and will be looking to replicate that success this time round. But challenging them will be the current hosts, who
August- 9 September 2012 comprises 2 athletes and some officials.
Pakistani athletes to participate in London Paralympics 2012
The Pakistan contingent participating in London Paralympic Games from 29
The team has been under training in Bedford University for a month before they arrived at the Paralympic village on the 22nd August 2012. Main athlete is Haider Ali (Cerebral Palsy) from Gujranwala- Punjab who had broken the world record in long jump in Beijing in 2008. Second athlete is Naeem Masih from Kasur- Punjab (amputee). The Pakistani athletes with disability have an impressive record of
The National Paralympic Committee of Pakistan (NPCP) is the primary body in the country for the promotion of SPORTS FOR THE DISABLED. The key focus of this organization is to organize, supervise and co-ordinate games, elite sports and competitions for the disabled and to prepare them for participation in national and international events, ultimately participating in the Paralympic Games. NPCP was set up as a trust in 1998 and is affiliated with the International Paralympic Committee. The National Paralympic Committee of Pakistan is headed by former Federal Secretary Mr Tariq Mustafa. All you wanted to know about India’s Paralympic athletes Two members of the Indian Paralympic team are training in Wales ahead of the Paralympic Games. India have ten athletes participating in the Paralympics 2012 which starts on 29th August and ends on 9th September. We are competing in four categories—Athletics, Powerlifting, Shooting and Swimming. While there are separate athletes in each category for Athletics and Powerlifting, shooter and Naresh Sharma and swimmer Sharath Gayakwad will be participating in different categories. Here’s a short profile of the Indian contingent. Girisha Nagarajegowda (High Jump – F42) A 24-year old from Hosanagara in Hassan district in Karnataka. The young man, who has an impairment in his left leg, promises to give it his best shot. For the Paralympics, he won the qualifying event held in Kuwait, with a leap of 1.60 metres. But his best is 1.80 metres. In The Hindu, Girisha was quotes as saying: “I found a job but had to quit since I had to prepare for the Paralympics. The job can wait, what matters now is a medal.” Jaideep Deswal (Discus Throw – F42) Deswal qualified for the Paralympics after clinching gold at the Malayasian Para Athletics C’ships in April 2012. He underwent training at Cardiff Metropolitan University, Wales, for the Games. The para-athlete, was diagnosed with polio at the age of five, but paid no heed to criticism and people’s indifference to rise against all odds.
Amit Kumar (Discus Throw – F51-53) He is ranked third in the world in this category. He finished sixth in the Commonwealth Para Games in the shot put and won a silver at the Guangzhou Asian Para Games in 2010. He suffered a spinal cord injury which affected his lower body. Narender Ranbir (Javelin Throw – F44) Narender, who hails from from Haryana, qualified for the Games when he won the gold medal in the Malaysian Open earlier this year. Jagseer Singh (Long Jump – F46) This athlete from Rajasthan is one of India’s top Continued on page 30 >>
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 30 August 2012
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 30 August 2012
Madhuri Dixit- Juhi Chawla -Nene, the showstopper at IIJW International Jewellery Week 2012. Former Miss India and Bollywood actor Juhi Chawla wowed audience at the recently held India International Jewellery Week 2012, in Mumbai. The actor looked resplendent in bridal jewellery from Kays Jewels collection that showcased their traditional as well as modern designs at the show. Wearing a black a black lehenga ensemble from the Jashn collection, Juhi
The India International Jewellery Week 2012, sponsored by PCJ, came to a close in Mumbai with the dual grand ﬁnales - a ‘Best of the best’ show featuring ornaments from the entire IIJW 2012, and a show by PC Jewellers. Madhuri Dixit-Nene was the showstopper for the latter. She walked the ramp in a polki rani haar collar, with Aaja Nachle playing in the background. She was later joined on the ramp by Balram Garg of PCJ. PCJ’s contemporary collection was
for the modern woman in light-weight gold, while the specially crafted bridal line had exquisite pieces of gold and diamond jewellery. Sonam Kapoor, the brand ambassador of IIJW 2012, closed the show wearing a polki necklace with a tasselled pendant, along with intricate kadas and a maang tika. Indian Bollywood ﬁlm actress Juhi Chawla showcases jewellery designer Kays Jewels creations as she walks the ramp during the third day of India
ended the show wearing a complete bridal set of cummerbund, spread collar choker with polkis and emeralds, earrings, bangles and armlet. The collection showcased ethnic jewelllery that was reminiscent of the Nizam and the Maharaja eras with neckpieces in diamonds, pearls, emeralds and gold dazzling on the ramp. “The Ambe Ambelike” collection that was showcased, is an ode to womanhood has been inspired by the girl child or kanyaa and had jewellery which was a mix of rubies, diamonds, emeralds in kundan, gold and meenakari. The western line too impressed all
Veteran actor A K Hangal passes away
Distinguished character actor A K Hangal, who was best known for his roles in films like Namak Haram, Sholay and Shaukeen, passed away at a hospital here this morning following a brief illness. He was 98. “He passed away at 9 AM at Asha Parekh Hospital. He was not keeping well for quite some time,” Hangal’s son Vijay said adding, “He was on life support initially
but the doctors decided to take him off the ventilator since his condition wasn’t improving.” The veteran was admitted to the hospital in suburban Santa Cruz on August 16 after he slipped and fell down in his bathroom on August 13, fracturing his right femur (thigh) bone. Hangal, who has been in and out of hospital since the last few years, was suffering from several ailments including high blood pressure and kidney dysfunction. Doctors attending to him initially felt that he needed to be operated on for the fracture but considering his advanced age they dropped the idea. “My father was a spirited man....He kept fighting every time till his last breath,” Vijay said, adding the funeral will be held at 1 PM today. The actor was facing severe financial hardship before several celebrities from the film industry chipped in with funds after news of his deteriorating health broke out last year. Hangal had participated in the freedom struggle before turning to acting. He played roles in films like Sholay, Shaukeen, Namak Haram, Aaina, Avtaar, Arjun, Aandhi, Kora Kagaz, Bawarchi, Chitchor, Guddi, Abhimaan, Anamika and Parichay. He was also a regular in Rajesh Khanna’s starrers like Aap Ki Kasam, Amar Deep, Naukri, Thodisi Bewafaii and Phir Wohi Raat. Recently, he returned to face the studio lights after seven long years for TV Series ‘Madhubala’.
Shah Rukh, Aamir restart Kashmir romance Bollywood superstars shoot in the valley; Will Salman Khan follow soon?
Kashmir was Bollywood’s favourite outdoor shooting location until violence reared its head in the 1980s and made the ‘Paradise on Earth’ a troubled spot. With the situation improving now and stability returning, the pictureseque valley, its beautiful land, lakes and mountains are once again in the spotlight. According to latest reports from the Mumbai-based Hindi film industry, Shah Rukh Khan is currently shooting in Pahalgam in Jammu and Kashmir for his upcoming, yet untitled, film. He has returned to the valley after almost 20 years. He plays the role of an army officer - Samar - in the love-triangle with Anushka Sharma and Katrina Kaif. The first trailer of the film is released and it shows Shah Rukh Khan strumming a guitar as he romances Katrina Kaif in the UK. According to Yash Raj Films production sources, the movie’s title will be revealed on director Yash Chopra’s 80th birthday bash.
The film is scheduled to in cinemas around Diwali, the Indian festival of lights. Well, Kashmir could not have asked for a better brand ambassador or for a mightier boost to its fledgling tourism industry than a King Khan
film under the Yash Raj banner. But to give credit where it is due, Bollywood’s Mr Perfectionist, Aamir Khan, marked the return of Bollywood to Kashmir when he shot for the Incredible India campaign in Srinagar, the state capital, earlier this year. Once the Khans head to Kashmir,
the rest of Bollywood is not likely to stay far behind. The audience can soon expect a slew of producers and directors to make a beeline to shoot by the scenic Dal Lake, houseboats, Mughal gardens, snowy peaks and ski resorts of Gulmarg and some of the world’s prettiest backdrops. Some of the most popular Bollywood movies of yesteryears were often associated with romantic scenes in Kashmir. Some of those films include ‘Kashmir Ki Kali’, ‘Junglee’, ‘Andaz’, ‘Aarzoo’, ‘Betaab’ and ‘Mere Sanam’ to name a few. Post-insurgency, only a handful of films such as ‘Mission Kashmir’,
‘Yahaan’, ‘Tahaan’ and ‘Shaurya’ were filmed in the state. Shah Rukh Khan’s shooting in Kashmir this week heralds the official return of Bollywood to the land of gurgling mountain rivers, lush green meadows, pristine white peaks and tall Chinar trees.
Saarc international I Thursday 30 August 2012
My wedding has become a Rajya Sabha debate: Kareena Kapoor to NDTV
Fresh and upbeat after a holiday in London and Paris with beau Saif, Bollywood’s 100 crore Heroine Kareena Kapoor has no Khan to help her carry the weight of her latest film. Carrying the weight of Heroine on her slim able shoulders, the actress says critical acclaim apart from box office success is more important. But takes a firm stance that that the heroine is far from being the hero of a film. “It’s a male dominated industry. One Dirty Picture and a Heroine can’t change the tide. It’s not the actor alone but even the director needs to change his mindset,” Kareena said. And regarding the tired question on the big fat Kapoor-Khan wedding the actress had a rather humorous take on it. “It’s a Rajya Sabha debate. Everything I do, becomes a national issue, I could well be married you know. How would that make a difference? I
could have been married three years ago and still done a Heroine. But yes you will know when I do,” the actress said. Bebo is rather upset about A certificate films not being allowed to telecast. She says if foreign movies can be viewed on TV then why not Hindi films. With Heroine all set to release on her 32nd birthday she has close competition with cousin Ranbir whose Barfi! releases a week ahead of her film. And it seems the Kapoor cousins will soon be sharing screen space. “Yes it’s in the pipeline,” she said. And why should we go watch Heroine? For three things, piped in director Madhur Bhandarkar: “Kareena Kareena Kareena.” Watch the complete interview with Kareena Kapoor and Madhur Bhandarkar on Sunday (September 2, 2012) at 7.30 pm on NDTV 24x7.
Bollywood hunk Hrithik Roshan is jobless
The star has no project in hand after ‘Krrish 3’
Actor Hrithik Roshan is considered to be one of the top Bollywood actors. Others who are up on the ladder are Salman Khan, Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan and Akshay Kumar. The foursome seem to have their diaries full with a host of big projects. Shah Rukh Khan is busy wrapping up Yash Chopra’s next, while he has Rohit Shetty’s ‘Chennai Express’ going. Aamir Khan is wrapping up ‘Dhoom:3’ in Chicago. After which he
will start work for Rajkumar Hirani’s ‘Peekay’ opposite Anushka Sharma. Salman Khan after a record breaking ‘Ek Tha Tiger’ opening is close to finishing work on ‘Dabangg 2’. Then he will start Sajid Nadiadwala’s ‘Kick’, followed by a film with younger brother Sohail. Action hero Akshay Kumar is busy with ‘OMG’ (Oh My God), followed by ‘Khiladi 786’, ‘Once Upon A Time Again’, ‘Special Chabbis’, ‘Boss’ and Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Ramana’ remake.
Saarc international I Thursday 30 August 2012
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India: Supreme Court confirms death sentence for Kasab
Pakistan pins hope on Zardari, Manmohan meeting in Tehran
‘Conspiracy hatched across border to wage war against India’ element of conspiracy as no other case. The appellant was part of a conspiracy hatched across the border to wage war against the government of India, and lethal arms and explosives were collected with the intention of waging war against the government of India.” The Bench rejected Kasab’s argument that he was not given a fair trial. It accepted the Continued on page 20 >>
Observing that the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attacks had shocked the collective conscience of Indian people, the Supreme Court on Wednesday confirmed the death sentence awarded to the prime accused, Ajmal Kasab, by the trial court for waging war against India. In its 398-page judgment, a Bench of Justices Aftab Alam and C.K. Prasad said: “This case has the
Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar on Wednesday said that Pakistan is looking forward to upcoming talks between President Asif Ali Zardari and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on sidelines of Non Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit in Tehran to resolve most important issues. Speaking to media representatives, she said environment between the two countries was now moving
towards trust building. The minister said all previous talks between the two leaders have been “very useful particularly in New Delhi and we hope same spirit would continue in Tehran.” Khar said both sides need to show commitment to move forward. “As far as Pakistan is concerned it was committed to moving forward beyond any other issues that might arise between the two countries,” she added.
Indian court convicts 32 in 2002 Gujarat riots Narendra Modi rules out apology for 2002 Gujarat riots
An Indian court convicted a former state government minister and 31 other people Wednesday in connection with deadly antiMuslim riots that shook the western state of Gujarat in 2002. The violence, which killed more than 1,100 people, almost all Muslims, began after a train fire on Feb. 27, 2002, that killed 60 Hindu pilgrims. Hindu mobs, convinced Muslims set the fire, rampaged through towns and villages burning Muslim homes and businesses. Rights groups and survivors have accused the state government, controlled by the Hindu right-wing
Bharatiya Janata Party, of not doing enough to stop the violence and even stoking it. The convictions Wednesday, on charges ranging from rioting to murder, stemmed from an attack
in Naroda Patiya, a small industrial town on the outskirts of Gujarat’s capital Ahmadabad, that killed 95 people. Those convicted included Maya Kodnani, a state legislator at the time who later became minister
of education and child welfare in the Gujarat government. She was arrested in 2009 on charges of murder and criminal conspiracy and has been in prison since. The court, which acquitted 29
others, did not immediately announce the sentences or who was convicted of which crime. The convictions were not the first linked to the rioting. Continued on page 20 >>
Saarc international I Thursday 30 August 2012
Karachi mayhem : Violence claims 10 lives
Ten people, including two women, were killed in different incidents of violence in Karachi, report on Wednesday. A person died of gunshot wounds by unknown persons in New Karachi area of the city. In another incident, two office bearers of a political party were wounded in a firing incident in Orangi Town’s MPR colony in Karachi. Both persons were shifted to hospital where they succumbed to their wounds during treatment. Police claimed to have arrested six suspects from the area after the incident adding that weapons and narcotics were recovered from the arrested suspects. Police sources further said that the incident seemed to be the result of a monetary dispute. A woman was killed by firing in Baldia Town area of Karachi. Moreover, a 60-year-old man was shot to death in Karachi’s Orangi Town area near Nishan-e-Haider chowk. The body of a woman was found near the Korangi Crossing creek in Karachi.
A political activist was shot dead in Martin Quarters area of Karachi. The situation in the area turned tense after the killing and some unknown armed men set a bus on fire. Rangers entered the area after the incident and an exchange of fire took place between the armed men and the Rangers personnel. Additional Rangers personnel later reached the spot and conducted a targeted operation in the area, arresting 20 suspects. Sources said that six AK-47 rifles
156 dengue virus cases reported in Karachi
A total of 157 cases of dengue virus have been reported in Sindh, of which 156 cases were reported in Karachi while one from Hyderabad. This was stated at a meeting of Health Department which reviewed the precautionary arrangements to protect people from the attack of dengue virus in the province here Tuesday. Special Secretary Health Dr Suresh Kumar,
Director General Health, Medical Superintendents of all hospitals, representative of WHO attended the meeting. The victims hail from North Nazimabad Town, Lyari Town, Clifton, Gulshan-eIqbal and Malir Town. Secretary Health Aftab Khatri, while presiding over the meeting, said that on the instructions of Sindh
Health Minister Dr Saghir Ahmed, all hospitals of Sindh have been asked to reserve dedicated beds for dengue virus patients. He pointed that arrangements have been to ensure availability of dengue test kits and medicines at these hospitals. Similarly, private hospitals have been obligated to report dengue virus cases to dengue surveillance cells, working round-the-clock at the office of Director General Health Hyderabad and Civil Hospital Karachi to prepare a data about this disease. The meeting decided to launch awareness campaign about dengue virus in the province in collaboration with Local Government. Under the campaign, college and school students will be informed about the virus as well as safety measures. Pamphlets will be distributed in the entire province while media campaign will be launched for creating awareness about dengue virus. The meeting was informed that anti-mosquito spray campaign has been started in several areas.
and 14 pistols were recovered from the suspects during the operation. Enraged residents took out a protest against the arrest of suspects, claiming that the arrested suspects were innocent and demanded their release. Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain condemned the worker’s killings. Moreover, two political workers who were wounded on 14th and 26th August respectively succumbed to their wounds on Tuesday.
Three suspected bandits were killed in an alleged police encounter in Karachi’s Malir area. According to police sources, the suspects were busy looting citizens in Malir area of Karachi when a police party reached the spot. An encounter ensued during which all three suspects were killed. Police claimed to have recovered two AK-47 rifles and a repeater shotgun from the suspects. In a similar incident, police in Karachi’s Mubina Town claimed
to have arrested two suspects after an exchange of gunfire. According to police sources, the suspects were busy fleeing after looting some citizens in Mubina Town area of the city adding that a motorcycle used in the crimes, two pistols and stolen mobile phone were recovered from the suspects, the sources added. The CID police claimed to have arrested an extortionist linked to the outlawed Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan. According to police sources during the initial investigations the suspected confessed to his involvement wth the banned TTP and claimed to provide the organization with funding through the criminal activities. The suspect also disclosed that one of his brothers had been killed in Waziristan some time ago, and that two of his brothers were already in the custody of the CID. A case was registered against the suspect as investigations went underway. Authorities were conducting raids for arrest the suspected accomplices.
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India: Supreme Court confirms death sentence for Kasab
argument of senior counsel for Maharashtra Gopal Subramanium that he was given legal assistance right from the stage of trial, and said Kasab’s plea (that he was not given legal assistance from the beginning), by itself, would not vitiate the proceedings. Writing the judgment, Justice Alam said: “The conspiracy was to launch a murderous attack on Mumbai, regarding it as the financial centre of the country; to kill as many Indians and foreign nationals as possible; to take Indians and foreign nationals… hostages for using them as bargaining chips in regard to the terrorists’ demands; and to try to
incite communal strife and insurgency, all with the intent to weaken the country from within. In short, this is a case of terrorist attack from across the border. It has a magnitude of unprecedented enormity on all scales. The conspiracy… was as deep and large as it was vicious. The preparation and training for the execution was as thorough as the execution was ruthless. In terms of loss of life and property, and more importantly in its traumatising effect, this case stands alone, or it is at least the very rarest of rare to come before this court since the birth of the Republic. Therefore, it should also attract the rarest of rare punishments.”
Indian court convicts 32 in 2002 Gujarat riots
In July, a special court found 21 people guilty in the murders of 11 members of a Muslim family in the town of Visnagar and sentenced them to life in prison. Last November, 31 Hindus were sentenced by the same court to life imprisonment for killing dozens of Muslims by setting a building on fire in the state’s Mehsana district. The courts are expected to issue verdicts
in six other cases within a year.
Modi rules out apology
Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi has refused to apologize for the 2002 riots in the state. “One only has to ask for forgiveness if one is guilty of a crime. If you think it’s such a big crime, why should the culprit be forgiven? “Just because Modi is a chief minister, why should he be forgiven? I think Modi
should get the biggest punishment possible if he is guilty. And the world should know that there isn’t any tolerance for such political leaders,” he told The Wall Street Journal. He was asked whether he would apologize for the riots which his critics demand. Modi parried a question whether he sees himself as a future prime minister, saying he was concentrating on Gujarat.
16 Rohingyas held with fake passport
The law enforcers arrested 16 Rohingyas and seven Bangladeshi nationals while they were trying to depart from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on fake Bangladeshi passports on Wednesday. Five Bangladeshi nationals were also arrested by the Armed Police Battalion (APBn) for helping the Rohingyas go abroad. The APBn members also recovered foreign
currencies worth about Tk 26.21 lakh from one of them. Police detained three Rohingyas at the at departure gates and later following the detainees information detained three more Rohingyas from car parking area of the airport. As per the detainees’ information, police arrested five others, Atiqur Rahman, senior assistant superintendent of police of APBn told The Daily Star.
Saarc international I Thursday 30 August 2012
WEEKLY REVIEW OF AFGHANISTAN NEWS
Afghanistan intelligence chief Nabil removed by Karzai
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has removed the head of the intelligence service, Rahmatullah Nabil. Mr Karzai’s office said a decision had been taken to limit the term of the office to two years. However, there are reports that Mr Karzai was unhappy with the agency’s performance in combating the militant Taliban movement. Mr Karzai is also expected to announce replacements for two security ministers who were dismissed by parliament. Interior minister Bismillah Khan and Defence Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak were removed by MPs for failing to tackle insecurity and over corruption allegations. A statement from Mr Karzai’s office thanked Mr Nabil for his service and said he would take up a post as ambassador to a foreign country. Security concerns Reports say that Mr Khan will be reintroduced to the cabinet as defence minister. Senior officials told the BBC that the current deputy interior minister
Mujtaba Patang will be promoted to replace Mr Khan as interior minister. Both appointments have to be approved by parliament, which may cause friction between parliament and
Assadullah Khalid, the minister of tribal and border affairs, would replace Nabil. Another official close to the president’s office said the Cabinet reshuffle could
authorized to release the information. Lawmakers dealt Karzai a blow when they voted to remove two of his top lieutenants on Aug. 4 — Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak, one of
submit names for replacements “today or tomorrow,” said Abdul Qadir Qalatwal, a lawmaker from Zabul province. One of the nominees is Mohammadi,
Mr Karzai. statement from Karzai’s office Wednesday said Rahtamullah Nabil would step down as National Directorate of Security director because he had finished his two-year term. It did not name a replacement. However, two senior Afghan officials told The Associated Press that
also include replacing the finance minister, the attorney general and the head of the Independent Election Commission. Finance Minister Omar Zakhilwal faces allegations of corruption over large deposits in his Dubai bank account, although he denies any wrongdoing. The three officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not
the top Afghan officials most trusted by Washington, and Interior Minister Bismullah Khan Mohammadi. They cited past security lapses, corruption allegations and outrage at reports of Pakistani cross-border shelling as reasons for the noconfidence vote. Karzai’s office told parliament Wednesday that the president will
who would become defense minister, while Deputy Interior Minister Mushtaba Patang would become interior minister, Qalatwal said. A spokesman for Karzai, Hamid Elmi, confirmed that the president would send nominees for the defense and interior ministries, as well as for a new intelligence chief, “in the near future.”
No charges in Afghanistan Quran burning US soldiers and marines receive administrative punishment but no criminal charges for incident that led to protests. Six US army soldiers and three marines have escaped criminal charges for burning copies of the Quran and urinating on the corpses of Taliban fighters in Afghanistan, but have received administrative
punishments, according to US military officials. A military investigation concluded on Monday that miscommunications, poor guidance and soldiers’ decisions to take “the easy way
instead of the right way” resulted in the burning of Quran copies and other religious books at a US base in Afghanistan early this year. US military leaders widely condemned both the Quran burning and the urination, which was captured on video. The Quran burning triggered Afghan riots and retribution killings,
including two US troops who were shot by an Afghan soldier and two US military advisers who were killed at their desks at the interior ministry. The exact punishments were not
disclosed on Monday, and it was not clear whether the lack of criminal charges would trigger any protests in Afghanistan. Administrative punishments could include demotions, extra duty, forfeiture of pay or a letter in their file. They also could stall future advancement and end military careers. Afghan response awaited Aimal Faizi, a spokesman for Afghanistan’s president, said Hamid Karzai’s office would review the decisions and wait until Tuesday to respond. The news on the punishments came late at night in Afghanistan. Afghan officials have claimed the Quran burning was intentional, and the incident reinforced perceptions in the country that Americans are insensitive to the Afghans’ religion and culture. Discipline against a Navy sailor in the Quran burning was dismissed. The navy said the sailor was found not guilty of any alleged misconduct. The Marine Corps said it will announce discipline against additional marines in the urination case at a later date.
Kandahar, Afghanistan, Police Chief Abdul Raziq survives bombing
Kandahar Police Chief Abdul Raziq, one of the most powerful men in southern Afghanistan, survived a massive bombing late
Monday that appeared to have been aimed at him, a provincial spokesman said. At least four civilians died in the blast, apparently set off by a suicide
bomber in a minivan, and 20 people were hurt, including Raziq, whose injuries were described as minor. The bomb exploded about 10 p.m. as Raziq’s convoy was driving past on a main road on the city’s outskirts, said spokesman Jawed Faisal. Raziq, who was installed as police chief after his predecessor was assassinated, is credited with many in Kandahar with helping contain the Taliban presence in the city. Previously the head of the provincial border police, he is a favorite of the American military, which helped boost his power and prestige. However, he has also been dogged by allegations of human rights abuses and corruption.
Saarc international I Thursday 30 August 2012
WEEKLY REVIEW OF BANGLADESH NEWS
Govt to clear stance in 48 hours
The government is expected to make a statement in next 48 hours on the latest developments over the stalled Padma Bridge project and the issue of its funding in a bid to prevent policymakers from making frequent comments on the issue, officials said. Prime minister Sheikh Hasina held a meeting with key cabinet members, including finance minister AMA Muhith and LGRD and cooperatives minister Syed Ashraful Islam after the weekly cabinet meeting on Monday at the secretariat. The prime minister reviewed the latest situation with the senior ministers and instructed them to be more cautious in talking about the bridge project which ran into problems after the World Bank pulled out of its commitment to provide $1.2 billion in loan on allegation of corruption. A Malaysian delegation led by special envoy to South Asia on infrastructure S Samy Vellu has submitted its final proposal on construction of the bridge as part of an alternative funding sought by the government. They submitted the proposal to the communications minister Obaidul Quader at the Bridge Division office on Monday afternoon. The communications minister remained tight-lipped about the latest proposal by the less-known Malaysian consortium. He told reporters that the proposal would be sent to
the technical committee for scrutiny. The communications minister said he would not make any further comments before a report was submitted by the technical
It is also expected that Muhith’s statement would also put an end to speculations about removal of the prime minister’s economic affairs adviser Mashiur Rahman.
committee. Finance minister AMA Muhith said on the day he would clear the position of the ruling party on the Padma Bridge project on Wednesday. He told journalists at his secretariat office that he was not ready to talk on the bridge project. ‘I will make a statement on Wednesday,’ he said. The finance minister’s statement will not only clear the government’s position on the WB and the others donors, but also focus on the Malaysian proposal.
Mashiur Rahman, also the integrity adviser to the bridge project, could not hold a single meeting to address the WB concerns and the alleged graft in the bidding process. He declined comments despite repeated queries by reporters whether he had already resigned on Sunday. The economic affairs adviser said it was the government’s spokesperson or the finance minister who would give a statement about the matter. ‘I will give my reaction only after the government makes a statement...,’ he said.
A source close to Mashiur said that he had met prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Friday and offered to resign. But the prime minister told him that the government had not yet made a decision on his resignation. It was reported that the WB had attached a number of conditions, including removal of two ministerial-level government officials before finally scrapping its committed $1.2 billion credit to the bridge project in July. As Syed Abul Hossain has already stepped down as the ICT minister to fulfill one of the WB conditions, speculation was rife with the deadline approaching that the economic affairs adviser would follow suit. Asian Development Bank and Japan International Cooperation Agency, two major co-financers of the bridge project with a $1 billion commitment, extended their loan deal for one month that would expire on August 31. The government is in a tight corner over ways to manage funding for construction of the 6.1 kilometre rail-cum-road bridge across the River Padma. Starting the construction work of the bridge before January 2014 was an election pledge of the ruling party. The government is looking for alternative funding sources for financing the bridge project. It is even weighing the idea of building the bridge with self-finance and has sought voluntary funding from the private sector.
Myanmar formed Bangladesh: 665 jawans commission on riot, PM told jailed for Pilkhana mutiny against the Sadar Rifle Battalion Unit. Once that verdict is delivered, the mutiny trial will be complete. Meanwhile, trials of all the 46 cases filed over the mutiny outside Dhaka have been completed. The Dhaka Judge’s Court is separately trying the case filed over murders and loot during the mutiny. Witnesses’ deposition is Myanmar told the Bangladesh Prime Minister it had formed a high-powered commission to investigate the causes of recent sectarian violence between Muslim Rohingya and ethnic Rakhine Buddhists at Rakhine State. Myanmar’s Ambassador to Bangladesh U Myint Than informed Sheikh Hasina of latest situation of Rakhine state after the riot at a meeting at her office, PM’s Press Secretary Abul Kalam Azad said. The envoy said the tension in violence-hit Rakhine state had eased after the Myanmar government sincerely tackled the
situation, which was now under control of the authorities. “The high-powered commission will dig out the cause of the violence and recommend necessary measures,’ Azad quoted him as saying. Hasina hoped the Yangon will soon start repatriating refugees from the refugee camps in Bangladesh. Otherbilateral interests were also discussed at the meeting. Ambassador at-Large M Ziauddin, PM’s Principal Secretary Sheikh Wahid-Uz Zaman and Office Secretary Mollah Wahiduzzaman were present.
A special court has sentenced 665 members out of 673 of the 44th Battalion of the erstwhile BDR to various terms in jail for their role in the 2009 bloody Peelkhana mutiny at the then Bangladesh Rifles headquarters. Colonel Ehiya Azam Khan, heading the court set up at the Border Guard Bangladesh headquarters, delivered the verdict on Tuesday. Of them, 113 got the highest seven years in jail and others to various terms. The court also acquitted eight members of the battalion of the charges. All the sentenced members have also been fined Tk 100 each. The trial for the mutiny began on
Apr 26, 2010. The plaintiff of the case is Subedar Ismail Hossain. Though charges were framed against 675 members of the battalion, two of them died while undergoing trial. This was the 10th case completed out of 11 filed over the mutiny in Dhaka. The only case left is the one
going on in the case. The Peelkhana mutiny on Feb 25 and 26 had seen 73 people including 57 army officials dead. The name of the country’s border watchdog was changed to Border Guard Bangladesh after the mutiny.
Saarc international I Thursday 30 August 2012
WEEKLY REVIEW OF BHUTAN NEWS
Bhutan seeks to move out of isolation, gears up for global profile The Bhutan government is acquiring an international profile with plans to contest the Asian seat for a nonpermanent member at the United Nations Security Council. The government in Thimphu and its tiny band of diplomats and top officials have been on overdrive, lobbying with governments and diplomats around the Asian region. The hermit kingdom, tucked along the northeastern corner of India, also borders the Tibetan region of China with which its shares close civilisational ties. The country has been going through a series of fastpaced events in recent years, shedding its isolation from the outside world
and transiting from monarchial rule to an elected government. Bhutan began its transition towards democracy and modern governance in 2008 when the first ever elections were held in the country and an elected government formed. The Bhutan government expressed its intention to contest the Asian seat during the UN session in September 2010. A two-year membership of the Security Council would propel the tiny Himalayan kingdom into the epicentre of high international diplomacy. At present, Bhutan has diplomatic relations with barely 40 countries; diplomatic ties with 15 countries were established in the past two years. Bhutan has Indian and Bangladesh resident missions in Thimphu, and has consular relations with its other large neighbour, China. Bhutan’s prime minister Jigme Y Thinly lobbied with all the South Asian countries with varying results at the last SAARC summit held in Maldives last year. Bhutan hopes its smooth transition towards democracy and its concept of ‘gross national happiness’ would act as a USP for showcasing its capacity to contribute to the councils of the UN. In case Bhutan wins the contest it will take up the seat vacated by India on completion of its twoyear term. The election is due this October. As Bhutan moves out of its isolation, it is inevitable that it would seek to
establish bilateral relations with other countries, including China. Bhutan does not have diplomatic ties with China as relations have been strained between them ever since China took control of Tibet in 1951. Prime minister Thinly and Chinese premier Wen Jiabao had a historic meeting on the sidelines of the Rio+20 UN conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro in June, when both leaders spoke about the possibility of establishing diplomatic ties. The Bhutanese leader also sought Chinese support for the prestigious UN seat during his discussions with premier Wen. The subject came up again when Bhutan and China held border talks in Thimphu recently. The two countries have a festering border dispute and have held 20 rounds of talks to try to resolve the issue. In 1998, the two sides signed an agreement to “maintain peace and tranquillity on the Bhutan-China border areas”. India has welcomed Bhutan’s opening up to the outside world. Under the Treaty of 1949, India handled all of Bhutan’s external relations. In 2007, the two sides signed a new treaty reflecting a new contemporary relationship based on mutual cooperation. India is Bhutan’s main trade partner and Indian built hydel power projects provide Bhutan its main revenue source based on sale of power to India. China’s plans to build a road network in Tibet reaching up to the Bhutan border has raised concerns in Thimphu. There have been incidents in the recent years when Chinese troops have entered Bhutanese territory close to Bhutan army posts. China claims Bhutanese territory towards the west, bordering the Chumbi valley in Doklam, Charithang, Sinchulimpa and Dramana pastureland. The narrow Chumbi valley ends at the strategic trijunction between Bhutan, India and China. The area is of immense importance to India for it lies a few hun dred kilometres north from the Siliguri corridor or the chicken’s neck corridor that connects Assam and the northeastern states to the rest of India. China has indicated keenness to engage Bhutan while there are sections in Bhutan that would like to explore bilateral ties with China. Chinese goods are available in Thimphu and many would like to reopen border trade with Tibet that thrived many decades ago. The Bhutan government has taken measured steps in its relations with China, but it may hasten the pace as it lobbies for the UNSC seat.
PM off to Tehran for 16th summit
Non-Aligned Moment Prime Minister Jigmi Y Thinley yesterday left for Tehran, the capital city of the Islamic Republic of Iran, leading the Bhutanese delegation for the 16th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement that began on August 26 and continues until August 31. Themed “Lasting peace through Joint Global Governance”, the Summit of the Heads of States and Government will be held between August 30 and 31. The Summit will be preceded by the ministerial meeting of the foreign ministers between August 28 and 29 and that of the senior officials meeting from August 26 to 27. Minister-in-charge for foreign affairs Khandu Wangchuk will lead the Bhutanese delegation at the ministerial meeting and permanent representative of Bhutan to the UN in Geneva ambassador Daw Penjo will head the senior officials meeting. At the Summit, Iran will assume the rotating Presidency of the Non Aligned Movement for the next
three years. The movement was formed in 1961 and comprises 120 states and 17 observers, representing nearly twothirds of United Nations and about 55% of the world population. The largest grouping of states outside the UN, the movement’s main objective is to ensure national independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and security of
non-aligned nations. Bhutan joined the movement in 1973 and has participated in all previous summits. The Bhutanese delegation will take the opportunity to discuss Bhutan’s candidature for non-permanent membership in the UN security council with members of the NonAligned Movement and other observer states.
Three-day fungus festival begins Apart from other reasons, what brings the community of Ura in Bumthang together around this time of the year is a fungus, that grows abundantly in their pine forests, and which is cherished by the Japanese for its health benefits.
Bumthang dishes like putta (buckwheat noodles) and khuley (pan-fried bread), as well as local drinks like ara, bangchang and singchang are also available at the festival. “The festival is a good time for farmers like us to show and sell
said the programme was organised, mainly for the farmers to take equal responsibility in preserving Thrumshingla national park, which falls in their gewog. “Public should think that the park belongs to them, so that they take responsibility and support in nature conservation,”
To celebrate its popularity, the three-day annual Matsutake festival began yesterday at the gewog centre in Ura. Thrumshingla national park’s ranger Pema Thinley said the festival is organised to showcase mushroom products and other organic products of Ura, as well as some from Chamkhar town. There are 27 stalls, displaying a variety of products from Ura gewog.
our farm products,” a farmer from Shingnyer, who was busy selling her local drinks, said. Ura gup Dorji Wangchuk said the festival would not just benefit the locals, but also promote interaction between guests and farmers. The three-day festival also has traditional games, treks and hot spring bathing on offer. Agriculture minister, (Dr) Pema Gyamtsho, who joined the festival,
lyonpo said. The festival is also expected to help farmers understand the management of mushroom harvesting, as well as making it sustainable, said lyonpo. As a part of programme, visitors and guests, on paying a nominal fee, will also be collecting mushrooms from the nearby forest areas, which TNP officials have identified and saved for collection.
Saarc international I Thursday 30 August 2012
WEEKLY REVIEW OF INDIA NEWS
43 Indians in custody of Somali pirates: Govt
Shipping minister G K Vasan on Monday informed Lok Sabha that 43 Indian citizens were in the custody of Somali pirates. He said the Centre has taken several steps for the release of hostages and to deal with the menace. These steps include setting up of an interministerial group of officers (IMGO) to deal with hostage situation arising out of the hijacking of merchant vessels with Indian crew on board. The shipping ministry has issued guidelines for deployment of armed security guards on board Indian flagged merchant ships. Indian ship owners can also deploy armed security guards. Naval escort is provided to the ships in the Gulf of Aden. The Indian Navy is providing enhanced vigil in the Indian EEZ and westward up to 65 degrees east longitude. Moreover, the government has banned sailing of vessels in waters south or west of the line joining Salalah and Male.
Chidambaram remains accountable, BJP
Unfazed by the Supreme Court’s dismissal of a petition seeking to name Finance Minister P. Chidambaram a co-accused in the 2G spectrum case, the BJP maintained that Mr. Chidambaram remains “constitutionally and politically accountable.” The party’s chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said: “The loss has been caused to the government. [Mr.] Chidambaram was a part of the decision-making process. He is constitutionally accountable, remains politically accountable and that is what we are seeking inside Parliament and will continue to seek in JPC.” On Wednesday, the BJP members
on the Joint Parliamentary Committee had walked out of it after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Mr. Chidambaram were not included in the list of witnesses to be examined by the panel. Mr. Prasad contended that the huge difference in the pricing of 2G spectrum in 2008 and 2012 left little doubt that the exchequer suffered a huge loss. “It is well known that the base price of 2G in 2008 was determined at Rs. 1,600 crore, disregarding the advice of Finance Ministry officials to go for auction. In 2012, when the market conditions are adverse the base price has been fixed at Rs. 14,000 crore by a Group of Ministers headed by [Mr.] Chidambaram,” he said. On the Supreme Court judgment, Mr. Prasad said he would not like to comment without going through the details. He said, “[Mr.] Chidambaram as the Finance Minister was involved along with the then Telecom Minister A. Raja in the determination of 2G spectrum pricing. Dr. Manmohan Singh in Parliament, in our presence, has stated that [Mr.] Raja and [Mr.] Chidambaram came on the same page with regard to spectrum pricing. I accepted that.”
Judges should not rule nation, says CJI
Chief Justice of India S H Kapadia today said judges should not govern the country or evolve policies and apply the enforceability test on some verdicts like making “right to sleep” a fundamental right. Doing some frank introspection on judiciary’s functioning, he also wondered what would happen if the executive refuses to comply with judiciary’s directives that may not be enforceable. “Right to life, we have said, includes environmental protection, right to live with dignity. Now we have included right to sleep, where are we going? It is not a criticism. Is it capable of being enforced? When you expand the right, the judge must explore the enforceability. “Questions which judges must ask are if it is capable of being enforced. Judges must apply enforceability test. Today if a judge proposes a policy matter, government says we are not going to follow. Are you going by way of contempt or implement it?” he asked. Delivering a lecture on “Jurisprudence of Constitutional Structure”, he was making an apparent reference to the recent Supreme Court judgement in the Ramlila Maidan police action against Ramdev’s supporters in which “Right to Sleep” was declared a fundamental right. “Judges should not govern this country. We need to go by strict principle. Whenever you lay down a law, it should not interfere with governance. We are not accountable to people. Objectivity, certainty enshrined in the basic principles of the Constitution has
to be given weightage,” he said. Kapadia said judges should go strictly by the Constitutional principles which has clearly demarcate the separation of powers among the judiciary, the legislature and the executive. The CJI said judges must abide by the principles of Constitution while dealing with Centre-State relations and federal policy while dealing with matters arising out of scams and made it a point to clarify he was not mentioning the “coalgate” scandal. Quoting Justice B P Jeevan Reddy in the SR Bommai case, the CJI said the Constitution was not federal but tilted in favour of the Centre. But at the same time Justice Reddy, had cautioned that it should not mean that States powers are to be whittled, he said. “Let me give an example. I don’t want to mention anything about the coalgate, Let it be understood. “When we analyse whether the Centre seeks to whittle the powers, if land is a State subject what is the implication, if State has reservation on a policy can the Centre, override it?” he asked, saying judges must keep in mind
the principles of Constitution while deciding the issue. Justice Kapadia cited the apex court direction for suspending mining activities in Karnataka’s Bellary district to say that environmental concerns should be balanced with sustainable development. “At the same time there is unemployment. Economy will suffer. Therefore, we have to strike a balance,” he said, stressing the need for judges to consider the sustainable development of the country. He referred to his speech on August 15, when he had told the Union Law Minister that the Constitution should not be tinkered with including the collegium system of appointment for judges unless a better alternative was available. Laying great stress on the importance of Constitutional law not only for the legal fraternity but for the common man too, the CJI said the subject should be taught to every student in the country so as to enable every individual to know his or her rights and duties.
Saarc international I Thursday 30 August 2012
WEEKLY REVIEW OF PAKISTAN NEWS
Charges Against Pakistani Prime Minister Are Delayed
In a rare conciliatory move toward the civilianled government, Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Monday delayed until at least Sept. 18 the pressing of contempt charges against Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf that could lead to his dismissal from office. Appearing in court, Mr. Ashraf sought more time to resolve the issue of a court order requiring him to write to the authorities in Switzerland and ask that they reopen dormant corruption charges there against his party’s chief, President Asif Ali Zardari. A similar court order led to the undoing of Mr. Ashraf’s predecessor, former Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, who was ousted in June after he refused to comply. Behind it all is a bitter rivalry between Mr. Zardari and the chief justice of the Supreme Court, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, who has pushed
his court to new heights of judicial activism in a campaign against Mr. Zardari and other officials of the governing Pakistan Peoples Party. Supporters of the chief justice see him as a bold campaigner against the corrupt and powerful. But he has come under increasing fire for so intensely targeting P.P.P. officials that it could topple a democratically elected government well ahead of next year’s expected general elections. As Mr. Gilani had been, Mr. Ashraf was widely expected to be charged with contempt on Monday, and he appeared in court after a debate inside the Pakistan Peoples Party about whether he should even attend the hearing. But at a private meeting on Sunday evening, Mr. Zardari ordered Mr. Ashraf to appear before the court, Pakistani officials said, and the prime minister turned up on Monday morning flanked
by senior political allies, including several federal ministers. Citing the pressures of government, Mr. Ashraf asked the presiding judge, Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa, to delay the proceedings by six weeks.
“This case has created a situation of uncertainty in the country,” Mr. Ashraf said. “The government and the office of the prime minister are under a lot of pressure.” At first, Justice Khosa insisted that the court’s position was clear and that Mr. Ashraf comply. “You do not have a choice to implement or not to implement,” he said. But then he sounded a conciliatory note, telling Mr. Ashraf: “This is not as big a problem as it has been made out. Please take our word. We want to solve it.” And he delayed contempt charges until the middle of September. Before the court hearing, the information minister, Qamar Zaman Kaira, told reporters that the government continued to respect the judiciary “even though we have reservations on most of its judgments.”
Korea keen to invest in PTI unveils its “Economic Plan” water, power projects
This was stated by Myung-Pil Shim, Minister for National Restoration, Republic of South Korea, during a meeting with Federal Minister for Water and Power Ch Ahmed Mukhtar here Monday. Koreans have expressed their keen interest to invest in hydropower and water sector projects in Pakistan. The meeting was also attended by Special Secretary, Additional Secretary, Joint Secretary (Water) of Ministry of
of mutual cooperation to further enhance economic ties between the two countries. Later, a presentation on Four River Restoration Project was given by the Korean side regarding flood protection and river management. While welcoming the delegation, Minister for Water and Power appreciated the Koreans for showing their interest to invest in the power sector. He said that Pakistan had great potential in the hydropower generation. He said Pakistan was now focusing on indigenous resources to generate cheap electricity. Work on number of hydel power and water storage projects was in progress, he added. The Koreans were offered to invest in the Neelum Jhelum hydropower projects of 969 MW and DiamerBasha dam project of 4500 MW.The
Water and Power, Chairman Wapda, MD, PPIB, Chairman Federal Flood Commission and senior officials of the Ministry and Wapda. Shim said that Korean companies were already working in different water and power sector projects and more investors were keen to invest here. Korea had expertise in the field of flood mitigation and interested to share their experience and technical know-how with Pakistan. He also discussed various issues
Minister assured that the government would support and facilitate the Korean investors and welcome their investment in the water and power sector projects. Earlier, a detailed presentation was given by the Chairman Wapda on the hydel power potential, ongoing and future projects. He said that five hydel power projects of 1422 MW will be completed within three years while eight hydel projects of 21015MW were ready for implementation.
Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI) on Friday unveiled its economic plan which envisages more then doubling the growth rate of economy through investment and trade driven growth strategy. It foresees significant reduction in current back breaking levels of inflation, creation of ten million new jobs over five years and to move Pakistan to ideal of a sovereign welfare state where fruits of development are shared by the entire nation and not just the elite. PTI Senior Vice President Asad Umar, while presenting the policy compared the growth of Pakistan with other countries, he said, “Pakistan’s solution is not administrative, it is political.” The PTI leader castigated Federal, Provincial governments for misplaced priorities, incompetence and greed. He pledged to improve livelihoods of the masses, create jobs for youth through a radical reforms program. A five-pillar emergency reforms program has been drafted in consultation with key stakeholders including businessmen, academics, technical specialists, labor unions, farmer associations and the youth, said Umar. Despite momentous challenges ahead, the PTI’s reforms program will not only rescue crumbling state but also meet aspirations of citizens, particularly youth, he said. He said that last five years have been unmitigated disaster for the people with status quo ruling parties (PPP, PML-N, allies) setting new records of bad governance and incompetence. The PTI leader said that average growth of three per cent in last five years is lowest growth period in Pakistan’s history. In same period India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka posted growth rates more then double of that of Pakistan, he added. The Five-Pillar Emergency Reforms Program of the party will address critical challenges facing Pakistan today and break free from vicious cycle of low growth, high inflation, rising poverty, said Umar. It aims at deep institutional reform and takes on powerful entrenched vested interests head on to break status quo. He said that energy reforms are focused on reducing cost of producing electricity from indigenous resources. It will resolve circular debt and make Pakistan an energy secure state. Umar said that expenditure reforms include shutting down of PM, CM & Governor Houses, slashing budget for the Presidency by 50 per cent, reducing ministries to 17 from 37, abolishing free and subsidized plots, reducing spending by all state institutions including the armed forces and releasing funds for welfare of the citizens. Tax all incomes regardless of source and create just,
equitable tax system, impose minimum asset tax adjustable against income already paid, end soft amnesty schemes, Umar suggested. He said that provincial governments must take responsibility, collect property and agriculture tax from large landholders. Revamp FBR and make it autonomous insulated from political pressures. Reforms will increase tax revenue to 15 per cent of GDP in 2018 from 9.9 per cent in 2012, he suggested. Carry out deep reforms that make state institutions empowered, accountable and transparent, he said. Devolve power from central, provincial capitals and empower local communities at grass roots level. The PTI senior vice president recommended forming a special task force to recover looted national wealth stashed outside the country. All recovered assets of corruption will be used for educating the youth of the country, he said. He said that there will be only one standard modern education system for all Pakistanis. He said that the party will increase education spending by five folds to Rs 2,195 bn by 2018 to achieve 80 per cent enrollment. Umar said that the party will introduce free health care system for poor and spending pn health will be increased by five folds to Rs 1,142bn by 2018. He said the PTI’s economic policy envisages indigenous investment and trade driven growth strategy for sustaining a welfare state. It targets to ramp up investment spending to 21.4 per cent of GDP by 2018 after collapsing to 12.4 per cent under current rulers. The PTI leader said that investment will be ramped up by resolving energy crisis, increasing credit access to private sector credit by reducing crowding out by large government borrowings, bringing down interest rates and by placing special emphasis on inviting overseas Pakistanis to invest in Pakistan.
Saarc international I Thursday 30 August 2012
WEEKLY REVIEW OF MALDIVE NEWS
Maldives President to visit China
Maldives President Mohamed Waheed will travel to China next week on an official visit during which he will meet top Chinese leaders and hold bilateral talks with them. Waheed, who returned from Sri Lanka’s visit on Saturday, highlighted the significance of China to Maldivian interests. “China is a fast developing nation and most products are being made there. Both small and larger countries are trying to establish trade ties with China. Hence we should also follow suit,” Waheed told reporters. The last official state visit by a Maldivian President to China came in May 2010 when Mohamed Nasheed visited the Shanghai World Expo. Over two hundred thousand tourists have visited Maldives from China alone this year to the present date.
Meanwhile, the Commission of National Inquiry will on Thursday disclose its final report on what happened during the February 7 unrest when President Mohamed Nasheed resigned from the Presidency. Deputy Commissioner of Police Hussain Waheed told media that Maldives Police Service will not give the chance to anybody to make
unrest on Thursday. Human Rights commission of the Maldives has revealed its report saying that it was not a coup and the actions of President Nasheed himself led to his resignation. A statement issued today by the Commonwealth SecretaryGeneral’s Special Envoy to Maldives, Sir Donald McKinnon, advises Maldivians to “reflect
carefully on how to act upon’ the decisions of the CNI.” “I look forward to the imminent completion of the work of the reconstituted Commission of National Inquiry and to its being able to agree on its Report,” he said in the statement. McKinnon asked all stakeholders to respect the Commission’s findings and to take time to reflect carefully
on how to act upon them in a manner that maintains harmony in Maldivian society and helps strengthen democratic practice. “There will no doubt be many issues to address emerging from the Commission’s report. I encourage political leaders to increase their efforts towards engaging in genuine dialogue, in order that consensus may be achieved, in a constructive and peaceful manner, on the path forward,” the statement said. McKinnon said that he is in regular contact with both President Waheed and former President Nasheed, and would continue to do so in the days ahead. Furthermore, former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom has left for India yesterday on an unofficial medical visit. During this visit, he will meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and hold talks with him.
Maldives president rejects Maldives on alert ahead of Commonwealth vote deadline report on coup allegations
Maldivian President Mohamed Waheed, who faces accusations of seizing power in a military coup, rejected Friday as “premature” the Commonwealth deadline to hold elections before the end of this year. Waheed, who is on an official visit to Sri Lanka, said he was not against elections, but that the poll deadline set by the 54-nation Commonwealth could not be met because of constitutional impediments. “Since they made the demand, these people (the Commonwealth) have come to their senses,” Waheed told reporters in Colombo. “The Commonwealth has realised that they made a demand that cannot be met. It was a premature demand.” Waheed was vice president to Mohamed Nasheed who stepped down in February after weeks of
street protests capped by a police mutiny. Nasheed later said he was forced out in a military coup. The new president insisted Nasheed was not under duress to resign, and said the earliest a fresh vote could be held was July next year. He added he was “contemplating” running for re-election in the nation of 330,000 Sunni Muslims. Nasheed has already been nominated by his Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) as their choice in the poll. Two weeks after the alleged coup, Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma urged Waheed and Nasheed to agree on a date for an election to be held before the end of 2012. The European Union as well as the United States and neighbouring India have called for early elections to end the political turmoil in the Indian Ocean archipelago, which is better known for up-market tourism. India had also engineered a behindthe-scenes truce between rival parties in the tiny nation to clear the way for an early vote. Nasheed, the Muslim nation’s first democratically elected leader who came to power in 2008, has refused to recognize the government, and has demanded early elections and a referendum to test the legitimacy of the new leadership.
The Maldives has tightened security in the capital Male ahead of the release of a report into this year’s transfer of power on the Indian Ocean islands that former President Mohamed Nasheed labelled a coup, officials said on Wednesday. The Commonwealth-backed Commission of National Inquiry was appointed to look into the circumstances that led to the crisis in the tropical beach paradise on February 7 when Nasheed said he was asked to resign at gunpoint. The report will be made public on Thursday. Police in Male have started searching boats and people arriving in Male, fearing potential unrest. Nasheed’s Maldivian Democratic Party nominee on the commission has already said some evidence likely to support Nasheed’s allegations of a coup is missing from the report. “Everybody knows what happened on that day. If the commission says it’s not a coup, then it’ll
be big shock to all Maldivians. Nobody is going to believe it,” Hamid Abdul Gafoor, Nasheed’s Maldivian Democratic Party spokesman, told Reuters. “People are arriving from other islands despite police trying to block them and send them back.” Police said they would not allow any unrest and asked people to stay away from planned protests. Superintendent of Police Abdulla Nawaz said eight people have been taken into custody. President Mohamed Waheed’s office said peaceful protests would be allowed. The Maldives, for almost nine centuries a sultanate before it became a British protectorate, held its first fully democratic elections in 2008. Nasheed defeated Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who at 30 years in power was then Asia’s longest-serving leader and accused of running the country as a dictator.
Saarc international I Thursday 30 August 2012
WEEKLY REVIEW OF NEPAL NEWS
Transparency needed to end Nepal crisis
The good news is that Nepal’s major political parties have resumed talks to end the three month political crisis following dissolution of the Constituent Assembly without a constitution. But the bad news is that there’s every possibility of these talks remaining confined to party offices and luxury hotels and failing to give any solution like so many times in the past. On Wednesday, leaders of ruling Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) and opposition Nepali Congress and Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist) met after an interlude. They agreed that decision on fresh polls to elect a new CA or revival
of the old one to promulgate the constitution would be taken by senior leaders of these parties. However there’s no guarantee that whatever decision these leaders take behind closed doors would be implemented or even accepted. Earlier Madhesi parties, an important part of the ruling coalition, and nearly two dozen smaller parties from the dissolved CA were left out. They could disagree with the big three. One important reason why Nepal’s lawmakers failed to deliver the new constitution through the Constituent Assembly despite taking four years was lack of clarity and transparency.
Nepal parties to forge consensus for having consensus: Report
Nepal’s top three parties, United Marxist Leninist, Nepali Congress and United Marxist Leninist leaders held a rare meet on Sunday, August 26, 2012, and decided to hold a ‘serious meeting’ on Monday, August 27, 2012, it is reported. Reports have it further, leaders held consensus to be important in that consensus between parties have become a must. Agreed to have agreed? The word consensus must have been feeling ashamed. Thus they agreed to hold series of such meetings in the days ahead at least to maintain cordial relations between the parties. The meeting took place at the in Singhdurbar. Thanks it was not at Gokarna safari Resort. “Beginning tomorrow we have decided to hold series of meetings to create favorable atmosphere to hold talks over contentious political issues. We need to quickly lift the country out of crisis”,
said Minendra Rijal of Nepali Congress. With Delhi’s support as usual? “We found no magical solution today but I have to accept that we did something,” added Minendra. Perhaps they forget about the NOIDA potion. “Where lay the problems between parties”, said Maoists leader Narayan Kaji and added, “This was the topic of discussion today. Beginning tomorrow we will hold discussions on various issues one by one. We have also decided that there will be no mudslinging between parties henceforth.” “Since dissolution of Constituent Assembly there was no dialogue between parties. The beginning of talks is a positive signal”, also said Naryan Kaji. Interestingly, the Indian Ambassador Jayant Babu was absent. He did not attend this meet. The leaders must have missed him.
Though the elected body comprising 601 representatives was entrusted with the job, it was
hijacked by UCPN (M), NC, CPN (UML) and the conglomeration of Madhesi parties.
As these players took the process of constitution drafting outside the CA and got busy with deals on power sharing, lawmakers became insignificant and instability set in. The numerous deals, statements and counter-statements made by leaders from these parties added to the confusion. Dashing hopes of some last minute miracle, these political players failed to cross the final hurdle and deliver the constitution. Attacks and counter-attacks on who is to be blamed have continued since. These parties have again embarked on the same path. But unless they show transparency, the fresh talks could fail to end the impasse.
Nepal ‘risks handing power to extremists’ A leading international think tank warned yesterday that Nepal risks handing power to extremists unless its major political parties act urgently to revive its dissolved parliament or vote in a new chamber. The Brussels-based International
“Otherwise they risk ceding political space to extremists who might appear more action-oriented or sympathetic to a frustrated polity.” In May Nepal’s political leaders failed after years of wrangling to meet a deadline to write the constitution
Crisis Group (ICG) said the country’s warring political parties had failed to communicate with voters and each other over plans for its first postwar constitution and future federal structure. “To get the constitution-writing process back on track, mainstream politicians have to manage their parties better, listen to diverse opinions and clarify their own agendas,” said Anagha Neelakantan, ICG’s senior analyst for south Asia.
and parliament was dissolved, leaving the restive Himalayan nation with no legal government and no roadmap for elections. Nepalis had voted in the 601member Constituent Assembly in 2008 to draw up the constitution for a new social and political order in a country that remains deeply unequal six years after the end of a decade-long civil war which claimed 16,000 lives. Nepal has more than 100 different
ethnic groups, and marginalised lower castes are looking for a greater say in running the country and increased access to jobs and education four years after the abolition of Nepal’s Hindu monarchy. Ethnically-driven organisations with varying demands have organised increasingly violent protests, with recent deaths in bomb attacks in Kathmandu and in the southern plains, known as the Terai. While the Maoists want the creation of up to 14 states named after ethnic groups, their rivals say dividing Nepal along such lines will fuel unrest. In two reports released yesterday the ICG said Nepal’s political parties had often not listened to their own members and done very little to explain their “sometimes haphazard” proposals for federalism to the public. The think tank called on the country’s leaders to urgently start transparent and inclusive negotiations on a roadmap to peace. “Nepal is undergoing a democratic transition and its political parties must use this to enhance the practice of participatory democracy at all levels,” said Paul Quinn-Judge, ICG’s acting Asia program director. “Negotiating a broadly acceptable constitution is at the heart of this process. Difficult as it might be, this project cannot be abandoned.” AFP
Saarc international I Thursday 30 August 2012
WEEKLY REVIEW OF SRILANKA NEWS
Several Police Officers are hospitalized after Sri Lankan government asks opposition parties not to being attacked by student demonstrators hamper national reconciliation
Police fired teargas and water cannons at a protest organized by university students in front of
Colombo Fort Railway Station this afternoon (Aug. 29). Amidst heavy rains, the IUSF-led students numbering around 2,000 staged the demonstration to protest the government’s actions with regard to the education field. Certain roads leading to Colombo Pettah remained closed during the agitation. The IUSF said the protestors demanded the immediate reopeniong of universities, granting demands of teachers and students, a halt to privatization of education, a reasonable solution to the z-score issue etc. The Inter University Students Federation staged a demonstration
Wednesday. The Police who attempted to disperse them due to their unruly behaviour were
attacked by the protesters. Several Police Officers including the Maradana OIC were injured in this attack and admitted to Hospital. Police Media Spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana revealed more details of the incident. The Police Media Spokesman said a demonstration was staged opposite the Colombo Fort Railway Station today. The Inter University Students Federation staged the protest. He said that by about 1.00 p.m. the demonstrators behaved violently and in an unruly manner. The demonstrators were also obstructing the Olcott Mawatha. They attempted to enter the High Security Stone. As a result the Police
Wanted: Sri Lanka seeks hangman
Sri Lanka began interviews today for the post of hangman a year after two positions fell vacant, with at least 480 convicts on death row. But it was not quite clear how the two successful candidates would fill their days - the death penalty has not been used in Sri Lanka, a predominantly Buddhist country, since 1976. “About 176 applicants are there and interviews are going on today and tomorrow,” Gamini Kulatunga, commissioner operations at the Prisons Department, told Reuters. “Only males will be eligible for the post.” The two posts fell vacant after one hangman was promoted and the other retired. At least 480 people convicted of murder and drugs offences could potentially be executed, Mr Kulatunga said. There has been an alarming rise in child abuse, rapes, murders, and drug trafficking since the 25-year war against Tamil Tiger separatists ended in May 2009, prompting some lawyers and politicians to push for the death penalty to be reintroduced.
had to fire water canons. They did not disperse but began hurling stones at the Police. Thereafter the
Police had to fire tear gas. The Maradana OIC, a Chief Inspector and five other Police officers were injured due to the stones pelted at them by the demonstrators. They are being treated at the Colombo National Hospital. The Police Spokesman mentioned that anyone had the right to stage an agitation. It has also been consolidated in the Constitution. The Police respected and honoured this right. SSP Ajith Rohana pointed out that the law does not permit the staging of demonstrations on highways. No one in the world had a right to fight for their rights obstructing the rights of others. The Police are compelled to take action if any demonstration
Colombo: The Sri Lankan government today requested the opposition parties not to shatter the national reconciliation built with great difficulty by inciting communal passions during election campaign in the Tamil and Muslim dominated Eastern Province. Addressing a media conference today the Youth Affairs and Skills Development Minister Dullas Alahapperuma said the ruling party United Peoples Freedom Alliance stand for representing all Sri Lankans in the country. He accused the major Tamil party, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) of espousing communalism among the people saying that the election is another step of the Eelam War. The Minister also criticized the
government ally Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), which is contesting the Eastern PC election independently, of trying to raise communal passions to win votes in the East. Minister Alahapperuma charged the main opposition party UNP also of espousing communalism to win votes. He recalled how the people in the East rejected the UNP at the last election. He deplored the opposition party’s attempt to take political advantage over the exposition of Kapilavastu relics in the country by saying that the government was using the relics as part of its election propaganda for the elections. Minister Johnston Fernando at the media briefing said the UNP is using drought and paddy purchases as their election slogans.
President to lead Sri Lankan delegation to NAM summit in Teheran Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa will lead a delegation to the 16th Non-Aligned Movement summit currently being held in the Iranian capital of Teheran from August 26 to 31. The President and the Sri Lankan delegation including External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris will attend the summit on Thursday and Friday, the Secretary to the Ministry of External Affairs Karunathilaka Amunugama has told the state-run radio SLBC. The heads of state and governments of the 120-member organization are to meet on August 30 and 31 to discuss nuclear disarmament, human rights and regional issues at the summit. The foreign ministers conference will be held today and tomorrow. The most important international developments including the violence and crisis in Syria, nuclear disarmament, violation of human rights by the imperial powers, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Iran’s nuclear program will take
center stage at the discussions. The United Nations SecretaryGeneral Ban Ki-moon will also attend the summit defying the requests by the United States and Israel asking him not to attend the NAM summit in Teheran. The Iranian media reported that a wide security network will be in operation for the heads of state summit and over 100,000 police officers will be deployed to provide security for the attendees.
At the Tehran summit, Iran will take over the presidency of NAM from Egypt for the next three years. NAM is an international organization with 120 member states that is not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc. Nearly two-thirds of the countries of the United Nations are also NAM members. NAM is the biggest international organization after the United Nations General Assembly.
Saarc international I Thursday 30 August 2012
Indian, Pakistani MPs propose new CBMs Parliamentarians from Pakistan and India wrapped up their fourth round of dialogue on Friday with appeals for several confidence building measures, specifically to ease the visa process between the two neighbours. They proposed that citizens from both countries be able to obtain visas exempt from police reporting to avoid harassment during their stay. Delegates at the parliamentary dialogue also highlighted the importance of health-related travel and religious tourism between the countries, suggesting that it be treated as a priority. The group also encouraged acceleration in the exchange of artists and media persons by the two sides and suggested that both countries lift a ban on airing each other’s news and entertainment channels. They also insisted that educationists and senior citizens from both sides of the border be allowed visa-free access. It was suggested that the two sides move towards allowing citizens to
travel across the border in their own vehicles. The two-day dialogue began with discussion on developments
specific recommendations have been made by the parliamentarians, which was turned into a joint statement issued upon the
technology, as well as general issues such as strengthening democracy and promoting accountability in public life.
in the official Pakistan-India dialogue process. More specifically, parliamentarians discussed the themes of visas, education, health, local government and the role of media. On each of these themes,
conclusion of the two-day dialogue. For future dialogue, parliamentarians have agreed to focus on issues such as agriculture and irrigation, energy (including renewable energy) and information
Dialogue co-chair, Yashwant Sinha, senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and a former foreign minister and dialogue co-chairs Pakistani Senator Muhammad Jehangir Bader, Leader of the House and
MNA Khurram Dastgir Khan, Chairman, National Assembly standing committee on commerce, addressed a press conference upon the conclusion of the dialogue. According to The Times of India, Sinha said the meeting was held in an “extremely cordial” atmosphere and all issues which have a bearing on the Indo-Pak relations were discussed. “The feeling among people of both countries is of friendship and peace… it is quite clear that the people of the two countries want to live in peace and prosper together,”he said. Responding to a question, Khan said Pakistan would respond if evidence is provided on allegations that elements based on its soil uploaded inflammatory content on the internet linked to Assam violence. “I think the evidence is yet to be seen and I don’t think that even the Indian media has seen it. If evidence is given to the Pakistan government, it will respond,” said MNA Khurram Dastgir Khan.
Pakistanis allowed to Iran, India, Pakistan plan economic buy Indian shares cooperation
India has opened up its doors to Pakistani citizens and entities incorporated in this country to invest in shares and convertible debentures of an Indian company under the Foreign Direct Investment Scheme. According to a circular released by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Wednesday and a press release issued by the Indian High Commission in Islamabad on Friday, such investment would have to be made after prior approval of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board of the Government of India. It will also be subject to certain terms and conditions. “The Indian company, receiving such FDI, must not be engaged in sectors/activities pertaining to defence, space and atomic energy and sectors/activities prohibited for foreign investment,” the RBI said. The move comes quickly on the heels
of the Aug 1 decision by the Indian commerce ministry that overturned a ban on foreign investment (in industrial ventures) from Pakistan, permitting a citizen or entity from Pakistan to make such investments in India. The decision to accept the FDI from Pakistan was taken in April this year when the two trade ministers met in New Delhi and was thought to be in response to Pakistan’s decision to grant India the `Most Favoured Nation (MFN)` status by the end of the year. Traders and investors on this side of the border were glad over the second step in ‘trade diplomacy’ in a single month as they believed it would help tackle troublesome issues such as Kashmir which has soured relations between the two countries, since their creation 65 years ago. A senior stock broker, however,
thought the Indian decision to be “symbolic”. He did not expect an imminent rush of funds to equity markets on the other side of the border. The Managing Director of Karachi Stock Exchange, Nadeem Naqvi, however, commented that the decision by RBI to allow investment in shares and debentures of Indian companies was a welcome step. He said that it was a natural evolution of the thawing of relations between the two neighbours where the potential for bilateral business and investment relationship was huge. An industrialist said: “Now that India has permitted Pakistani nationals and corporates’ investment in industrial ventures and equity markets, everyone looks forward to the RBI to remove a Pakistan-specific regulation that bars Indian companies from investment in Pakistan.”
Iranian, Indian and Pakistani foreign ministry officials Sunday agreed to form a task group for strengthening joint economic cooperation. The agreement was reached during a tripartite meeting held in the Iranian southeastern city of Chabahar to discuss grounds for promotion of joint economic cooperation, reported the Islamic republic news agency. Located in the Iranian Sistan and Balouchestan Province, Chabahar is a free port (Free Trade Zone) on the coast of the Gulf of Oman. The officials also agreed to follow up efforts to develop joint trade activities, investments and transit
of goods among the three capitals during a meeting which would be held in Chabahar three months later. Given their joint cultural viewpoints, Tehran, Islamabad and New Delhi could further serve their common interests through cooperation at the international and regional circles, Deputy Foreign Minister of Iran Abbas Araqchi said after the meeting. Meanwhile, the Indian and Pakistani officials voiced their countries’ readiness to boost joint economic cooperation with Tehran referring to the tripartite meeting as a good opportunity to move in that direction.
Saarc international I Thursday 30 August 2012
India, Pakistan agree to talk out Siachen
India and Pakistan have agreed to continue dialogue on Siachen for early resolution of the outstanding issues there, and have reaffirmed the resolve to make serious, sustained and result-oriented efforts to seek an amicable solution. India and Pakistan have agreed to continue dialogue on Siachen for early resolution of the outstanding issues there, and have reaffirmed the resolve to make serious, sustained and result-oriented efforts to seek an amicable solution, the Lok Sabha was informed on Monday. In a written reply to the House, Indian Defence Minister A K Antony also said that since 1984, a total of 846 soldiers had lost their lives in Siachen glacier. “During the 13th Round of Siachen Talks between the Defence Secretaries of India and Pakistan held in Pakistan on 11-12th June 2012,
both delegations reaffirmed their resolve to make serious, sustained and result-oriented efforts for seeking an amicable resolution of Siachen,” he was quoted as saying by PTI. It was agreed to continue the dialogue on Siachen in keeping with the
desire of the leaders of both the countries for early resolution of all outstanding issues, Antony added. On resolution of Sir Creek issue with Pakistan, he said the meeting between the Surveyor Generals of the two countries
was held here on June 18-19. “The two sides discussed the land boundary in the Sir Creek area and also delimitation of International Maritime Boundary between India and Pakistan. They reiterated their desire to find an amicable solution of the Sir Creek issue through sustained and result-oriented dialogue,” he said. Denying reports of withdrawal of troops from Siachen Glacier, Antony said, “There has been no decision to withdraw troops from Siachen Glacier. Any deployment/ redeployment of troops in the area is contingent upon the threat perception, ground situation and other operational aspects.” On benefits provided to soldiers deployed in Siachen, Antony said that several measures had been initiated by the government to improve the conditions for troops there.“The composite package
of welfare for soldiers deployed in Siachen comprises Siachen allowance, provision of Separated Family Accommodation anywhere in India, free warrant to travel hometown twice in a year, special ration and food developed by DRDO and evacuation by helicopter during medical emergencies,” he said. On the number of casualties there, he said, “A total of 846 armed forces personnel have made supreme sacrifices on the Siachen glaciers since 1984. The death during the course of duties on Siachen glaciers is treated as battle casualties.” Replying to a separate question on deployment of troops in Kashmir, he said, “The deployment of security forces as part of the security grid in the Northern sector, including J&K, is based on the threat perception and is periodically reviewed.”
Darkening days in Afghanistan
THE Taliban’s barbarity in beheading 17 people, including two women, for attending a party at which music was played is a grim reminder of how enormous the challenge remains for coalition forces in Afghanistan ahead of planned troop withdrawals scheduled for 2014. So is the disclosure that another two US soldiers have been gunned down by someone they saw as a colleague from the Afghan National Army. The surge in internecine green-on-blue attacks is escalating, with 42 NATO troops killed by their putative allies in the Afghan army so far this year compared to 31 last year. As a monstrous act of savagery, the massacre of party-goers in southern Helmand province could hardly be more telling. It sums up what the Taliban in its medieval madness is all about, and why we are fighting in Afghanistan. It is also revealing. Helmand, long a
Taliban stronghold, was one of the two main targets of President Barack Obama’s much-vaunted 30,000-strong troop surge. Yet,
Continued from page 15 >> medal prospects. He finished seventh in the Beijing Paralympics four years back and will be looking to do much better this time round. The Arjuna award winner won the gold medals in two international events in the run-up to the London Games and that should boost his confidence a great deal before the Paralympics. According to a report in the Hindustan Times, Jagseer trains for almost 5-6 hours daily. Farman Basha (Powerlifting – 48kg) The veteran in India’s squad. He has been competing
with the surge about over, the Taliban continues to act with apparent impunity. And it’s not just in volatile provinces
such as Helmand where the Taliban is on the offensive: even in what was the comparatively stable northeast Bamiyan province, there
London prepares to welcome the world yet again
for almost 18 years now. Along the way, he has won the Arjuna Award (2007) and Eklavya Award (2008). At the 2008 Beijing Paralympics, he finished fourth and count on him to go at least one better this time. He also won a gold and a silver in IWWS World Games in 2009 and 2011 respectively. Rajindersingh Rahelu (Powerlifting – 67.5kg) Another senior. He has won several international medals and is an Arjuna awardee as well. He won a bronze at the Athens Paralympics in 2004.
Sachin Chaudhary (Powerlifting -82.5kg) The ‘relative’ newcomer in the Powerlifting team. He competed in the 2010 Commonwealth Games as well. He won silver medals in the APC Cup as well as the IWAS World Games. Both events took place in 2009. Naresh Sharma (Shooting) Another veteran — these are his fifth Paralympics. He will be representing India in three separate events — Men’s 50m Rifle 3 Positions SH1, Men’s
is an upsurge in Taliban action. The security challenge to coalition forces remains undiminished. If anything, it is more complicated, with the frequency of greenon-blue attacks and distrustful coalition forces sometimes left with no alternative but to use toy weapons to train members of the Afghan National Army for the vital role they are supposed to shoulder as coalition soldiers prepare to leave. An investigative team of US military psychologists has found that after a decade of fighting alongside each other there is deepseated loathing between the two putative allies. It is a daunting and depressing scenario. But the challenges it presents must be met. A successful handover by coalition forces to a properly trained and loyal Afghan National Army is pivotal if the country is to avoid more dreadful massacres such as the Helmand beheadings.
10m Air Rifle Standing SH1, Mixed 50m Rifle Prone SH1. He is already 40 and trained under German coach Manfred Goras. Sharath Gayakwad (Swimming) The swimmer from Karnataka is taking part in four events — 50m freestyle S8, 100m breaststroke SB8, 100m butterfly S8, 200m individual medley SM8. He won two gold medals, four silver and a bronze in the 2009 IWAS World Games in Bangalore. In March this year, he won two silver and as many bronze medals in the Danish Open swimming
Saarc international I Thursday 30 August 2012
Media accountability commission
SC issues notices to 58 TV channel owners * Seeks reply on September 6 in Quetta
ISLAMABAD: Hearing a senior journalists’ petition seeking formation of an accountability commission for the media, which will also form a code of conduct, the Supreme Court has issued notices to 58 TV channel owners to submit their response on September 6 in Quetta. A two-member bench comprising Justice Jawwad S Khawaja and Justice Arif Hussain heard the petitions filed by journalists Hamid Mir, Absar Alam and others with a request to form a commission to probe the alleged distribution of money by business tycoon Malik Riaz to senior media persons. During the hearing, counsel for Bahria Town, Zahid Bokhari, rejecting the petitioner’s claim, told the bench that Malik Riaz had never given any plot or money to any journalist and such insinuations were “a pack of lies”. Upon this, Hamid Mir argued that if this was untrue the court should seek PTA record and see who released the list of journalists on the Internet. Justice Khawaja remarked that several important
questions had been raised in the petitions and it is imperative that they be argued in the court. Bokhari further told the court that Mir filed
towards anyone. If he had filed the petition due to any differences with the private TV channel then its anchor Arshad Sharif would not
He said they were under constant pressure form TV channel owners as well as other elements. Mir further said no TV channel had
the petition due to his opposition of a private TV channel. This is a fight of an individual that is being fought through channels. Mir said he is a professional journalist and bears no animosity
have been party to the petitions. He said besides him, Asma Sherazi and Mazhar Abbas were also correspondents and they were all professional journalists and had no links with any media house owner.
its office in Quetta. “They don’t know what is happening there. It would be better if they are summoned to Quetta and hearing is conducted there so they would see what is happening in the city,” Mir added.
Continued from page 32 >>
Cricket: India win Under-19 World Cup India their third Under-19 world title, after emerging champions in 2000 and 2008. N. Srinivasan, the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India said: “Many congratulations to the Indian team for the winning the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup. We won the ‘senior’ World Cup last year, and now our boys have triumphed in the junior version of the tournament. This is a great day for Indian cricket.” The Indian cricket board today felicitated the triumphant Indian Under 19 World Cup winning team at a suburban hotel here after their arrival in the afternoon and the players were awarded a cheque of Rs 20 lakh each by the BCCI. The team management and support staff, who were given Rs 15 lakh each, along with chief selector Abey Kuruvilla were also honoured at the function. Victorious team skipper Unmukt Chand thanked the team and the support staff for realising the victory down under. Unmukt Chand became only the third batsman in history to score a century in an ICC Under-19 World Cup final as India defeated Australia by six wickets at Tony Ireland Stadium in Townsville on Sunday. Scorecard: India vs Australia, Under-19 World Cup final Chand, who had scored only 135 runs in the lead up to the final, thoroughly displayed his temperament, talent and shot-selection to score a masterly 111 not out as India achieved the 226 runs target for the loss of six wickets
Upon this, the court ordered the government to take measures for security and adjourned hearing until September 6 and asked for detailed replies from the 58 TV channel owners. It is to be noted that two senior anchors, Hamid Mir and Absar Alam, had requested the SC to form a commission to probe the alleged distribution of money by Malik Riaz to senior media persons. The petitioners requested the court to direct FBR to produce the assets and income statements of all media persons. They further pleaded the SC to order Riaz to appear along with proof of all the persons: journalists, military officials, bureaucrats and any other individuals whom they had tried, directly or indirectly, to buy favours from. Media persons prayed that the FIA should be directed to inquire as to who spread the list of media persons on social media. “There should be an impartial investigation into why the huge scam of Rs 640 million has been hushed up by the Anti-Corruption Department in Punjab,” they added.
Misbah rues Pakistan batting failure
here on Tuesday after another batting collapse saw them bowled out for 198 in 45.1 overs, their last six wickets going for 38 runs. In contrast Australia fought hard through skipper Michael Clarke’s resolute 96-ball 66 and George Bailey’s responsible unbeaten 57 off 88 deliveries, winning in 48.2 overs after Pakistan spinners threatened to spoil the chase. Misbah showed disappointment over not scoring big despite including seven regular batsmen in the side. “I think the strategy (to include seven batsmen) was obvious from the collapse, we are struggling in batting since the England series and then in Sri Lanka so that is why we kept seven batsmen,” said Misbah. Pakistan are now 1-0 down in the three-match series. They have lost their last two one-day series 4-1 against England here and 3-1 in Sri Lanka. Misbah said Pakistan were 30 runs
short. “At one point we thought we can make 230 and considering our spin bowling it’s a good total but a lot of players are new and, maybe, because some senior players are not there so we couldn’t reach that point,” said Misbah. Pakistan left out experienced batsman Younis Khan from the series after he managed just ten runs in four oneday innings in Sri Lanka in June. Misbah singled out lower order batting as the main cause of concern. “We are not able to read the match situation well. Our lower order is not contributing which is essential. We needed 30-40 from the lower order and that is why we kept Kamran Akmal and Shahid Afridi in lower order,” said Misbah. Pakistan were cruising along nicely at 159-4 with Asad Shafiq (56) and Umar Akmal (52) at the crease but lost three wickets in the five batting power-play overs, scoring just 16.
Lanky left-arm paceman Mitchell Starc returned career best figures of 5-42 to derail Pakistan batting. Pakistan hit back through off-spinner Saeed Ajmal who took 3-30 and when Mohammad Hafeez (2-29) dismissed Clarke with Australia still needing 78, they were in with a chance. But Baily and Glenn Maxwell (38) added an invaluable 63 for the sixth wicket which helped Australia achieve the target. “When we got Clarke we tried everything, kept attacking fielding but credit must be given to them. The way Bailey and Maxwell batted, it showed maturity even though they were playing their third fourth matches,” said Misbah. The second match will be played in Abu Dhabi on Friday followed by the third in Sharjah on Monday. Both teams will also play three Twenty20 internationals -- all in Dubai -- on September 5, 7 and 10.
He paid tribute to Strauss by saying: “Andrew’s contribution to England cricket in recent years is evident to everyone who follows the sport but only those of us who have been lucky enough to share a dressing room with him are fully aware of his immense contribution to our success.
“He has been a fantastic captain, has led from the front for three-and-ahalf years and is a true ambassador for the game. “To have played 100 Tests for your country is a phenomenal achievement and I want to congratulate him on a superb career. I know this can’t have
been an easy decision for him and everyone in the dressing room will be sad to see him go. “I’m very excited by this new challenge, it is a huge honour to be appointed Test captain and I am very much looking forward to captaining the side in India this winter.”
Strauss resigns as England captain, quits cricket Strauss said he’d spoken to England coach Andy Flower about retiring “before the Kevin Pietersen situation reared its head”. His last Test was a 51-run defeat by South Africa at Lord’s, his Middlesex home ground where he made his Test debut in 2004, earlier this
month that saw England surrender their number one Test ranking to the Proteas. Strauss scored 21 hundreds – one shy of England’s all-time record. Cook’s first Test as captain will be the first of a four-match series in India in November.
South Asia Tribune I Thursday 30 August 2012
Misbah rues Pakistan batting failure
As Misbah-ul-Haq arrived in Abu Dhabi today, for Friday’s second match of their one-day international series against Australia, the Pakistan captain was still searching for solutions to his team’s batting woes, an ailment that shows no signs of improvement. Skipper Misbah-ul Haq Wednesday regretted his
team’s long term problems in batting and said he hoped his players learned quickly to avoid another series defeat. Pakistan lost the first limited overs internationals against Australia by four wickets Continued on page 31 >>
Strauss resigns as England captain, quits cricket
Andrew Strauss resigned as England’s Test captain and annnounced his retirement from professional cricket with immediate effect on Wednesday. “After much thought over the last few weeks, I have decided to step down as England Test captain and announce my retirement from all forms of cricket,” Strauss said in an England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) statement issued ahead of a news conference at Lord’s. “It has clearly been a tough decision to make, but I believe that it is both in the best interests of the England cricket team and myself to step down at this stage,” the 35-year-old, who
told the news conference. “It’s one of these decisions when you know when your time is up.” Alastair Cook, already England’s one-day captain and Strauss’s opening partner in the five-day game, was announced as the new skipper of the Test team. Strauss insisted his retirement had nothing to do with the ongoing England exile of star batsman Kevin Pietersen.
England dropped Pietersen, who hasn’t played international cricket in any format since making 149 in the drawn second Test at Headingley, after he admitted sending “provocative” texts to South African players. Some of these were alleged to have been critical of Strauss, who succeeded South Africa-born and raised Pietersen as England captain in 2009. Continued on page 31 >>
played exactly 100 Tests, added. “The driver to all this is I haven’t batted well enough for a long time. I wasn’t going to improve battingwise, I’ve run my race,” Strauss later
BCCI felicitates triumphant Under 19 World Cup squad
Cricket: India win Under-19 World Cup
Indian lifted the Under-19 World Cup defeating Australia by six wickets at the Tony Ireland Stadium in Australia. Chasing Australia’s total of 225 runs, India’s victory came in 47.4 overs.
The hero of India’s victory was skipper Unmukt Chand, who cracked an unbeaten 111 runs well supported by Baba Aparajith (33) and Smit Patel (62n.o) to secure Continued on page 31 >>
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