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Welcome 2008 saying "NO" to lip service on Anti-Terrorism

http://offstumped.nationalinterest.in/ I assure you that the Government of India will take all necessary steps to safeguard the fundamental rights and liberties of all sections of our society and protect their religious freedoms as enshrined in the constitution. Please be assured that we will not tolerate any efforts aimed at disturbing the communal harmony or secular fabric of our country That was the Prime Minister’s response to a letter addressed to the Prime Minister by Mrs Gladys Staines, whose husband was killed in Orissa a few years ago, expressing anguish at the recent incidents in Orissa. So as the Prime Minister welcomes the new year expressing anguish and concern to a foreigner with promises of zero tolerance it is important to pay attention to how much time the Prime Minister has actually spent all through 2007 in expressing anguish and concern to victims of Terrorism and what specific promises of Zero Tolerance did he make to the kith and kin of these victims. The

Silent Jindal jolts university

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1071218/jsp/frontpage/story_8682190.jsp - Governor sticks to policy of Indians at arm’s length K.P. NAYAR Bobby Jindal Washington, Dec. 17: The bodies of the two Indian students murdered on the Louisiana State University (LSU) campus last week are expected to be repatriated to Hyderabad on Tuesday or Wednesday, notwithstanding a complete lack of support in the case by the incoming state administration headed by Indian-American Bobby Jindal. Three-and-a-half days after the bodies of Komma Chandrasekhar Reddy and Allam Kiran Kumar were discovered in Reddy’s campus apartment, till the time of writing, Jindal has not issued a statement condoling the deaths or nudging investigators into action to solve the case. This is despite the fact that Jindal campaigned against crime as the number one issue for his election as governor in October and devotes several pages of his transition site to this problem in Louisiana. LSU officials privately express disapp

Balance of world power is changing rapidly

Many wished and believed a decade after the Cold War ended that the future world would be a multipolar one. But at the same time, they also believed that as the overwhelming superpower, US hegemony would persist for at least another 50 years or even longer. But recent years have shown that this is not the case. Affected by economic globalisation and the pursuit of profit maximisation, and pushed particularly by “borderless information” and “hi-tech’s invisible hand”, the progress of world multipolarity has not been slow, but has accelerated in recent years. Changes in the international balance of power have taken place faster than some American “futurists” had expected. Who would have ever imagined that China and India could develop at such surprising speed? Who would have thought that China’s (official) foreign exchange reserve could jump to be the world’s No. 1? Who would have thought that Russia would regain its great power status so rapidly? After the quick rise of “BRIC” (B

Indian oil firms to map bigger global footprint

http://www.hindustantimes.com New Delhi, January 01, 2008 First Published: 01:06 IST(1/1/2008) Last Updated: 01:08 IST(1/1/2008) The government would have to do a delicate balancing act as it seeks to thrash out a politically acceptable and economically prudent solution to dangerously high global crude oil prices. In the immediate future though, the government is unlikely to increase the prices of motor fuels. With the ruling alliance suffering reverses in state elections, the petroleum ministry has decided to evolve a consensus among the allies before considering a marginal increase in the prices of petrol and diesel and a reduction in excise duty. Analysts, however, are asking the all-important question: how long can India avoid a pass-through of global crude prices into the domestic market? A targeted GDP growth rate of over 9 per cent implies a four-fold increase in India’s energy requirement over the next 25 years, which is a significant challenge for the country, con

Why Did U.S. Intelligence Expel MI-6 Agents From Afghanistan?

Dec. 30, 2007 (EIRNS)—Senior Afghan government officials have told reporters that two MI6 agents were expelled from the country last week, at the behest of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), after they were caught funding Taliban units. The two alleged MI6 agents, Mervyn Patterson and Michael Semple, left Afghanistan on Dec. 27, on charges that they posed a threat to the country's national security. Patterson worked for the United Nations, and Semple worked for the European Union. Both men were Afghan specialists, who had been operating in the country for over 20 years. An unnamed Afghan government official told the London Sunday Telegraph that "this warning," that the men were financing the Taliban for at least ten months, "came from the Americans. They were not happy with the support being provided to the Taliban. They gave the information to our intelligence services, who ordered the arrests." The Afghan government source further added, "The Afg

INTERVIEW : Russian Deputy economics minister on on the structure of Russian energy exports

31/ 12/ 2007 http://en.rian.ru/analysis/20071231/94740748.html Deputy economics minister shares views on the structure of Russian energy exports At the end of 2007, Deputy Economic Development and Trade Minister Kirill Androsov expressed satisfaction with the course of the year. In an interview with Rossiiskaya Gazeta, he outlines the main developments. How is the structure of Russian petrocarbon exports currently changing? Is there any move away from crude? Producers will export crude as long as it is more profitable to do so, and the profitability of the domestic petrochemicals market in Russia remains lower than crude export revenues. In this situation there is little reason to build refineries in Russia. But this reasoning holds only so long as there are enough petrochemicals on the domestic market. As far as I know, some 230 million metric tons of oil out of the 492 million metric tons produced in Russia are refined in this country. Of the total, 50% is used in the domest

Bye-bye Tora Bora, hello subprime mortgages

By Leon Hadar The conventional wisdom de jour in Washington, D.C. can be summed up in a catchphrase popularized by Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign: “It’s the economy, stupid!” The former Arkansas governor was challenging then president George H.W. Bush, who had led the United States into a military victory against Saddam Hussein during the first Persian Gulf War, criticizing Bush senior for focusing too much attention on foreign policy as opposed to dealing with the economic recession of the early 1990s. Clinton and his aides were suggesting that American voters were sick and tired of Iraq, the Middle East, and other global policy issues and wanted the election campaign to concentrate on the economy. According to pollsters and pundits, it’s déjà vu all over again at the end of George W. Bush’s presidency, with the aftermath of another Persian Gulf War, the U.S. economy entering a recession, and Democrats seeming to have a chance of regaining the White House. The promoter

Occupied Somalia

Tehran Times By Gwynne Dyer It is exactly a year since Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, fell to Ethiopian troops (28 December), and the occupation has been one of the most brutal on record. The resistance started at once, and Ethiopian counter-insurgency tactics are not gentle. As early as last April, Germany’s ambassador to Somalia, Walter Lindner, wrote a public letter condemning the indiscriminate use of air strikes and heavy artillery in densely populated parts of Mogadishu, the systematic rape of women, and even the bombing of hospitals. By now, the Ethiopian army’s attempts to terrorize the residents of Mogadishu into submission have driven 600,000 of them -- 60 percent of the population -- to flee the city. The Ethiopians and their local allies indignantly deny these figures, but they come from the United Nations aid coordinator for Somalia, Eric Laroche, and the makeshift camps along the roads leading away from Mogadishu are there for all to see. It is, says Laroche, the wor

LTTE shifting base to TN

CHENNAI: AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa on Sunday said the LTTE was looking at Tamil Nadu as a future base as their strength was getting weakened in Sri Lanka. "As all party leaders in Tamil Nadu, except me, are ready to welcome the LTTE with a red carpet, the atmosphere is conducive for the banned outfit to shift its base to the state," Jaya told journalists at the party headquarters. With law and order being pathetic because of a "weak" (DMK) Government, this is an alarming and disturbing development, she cautioned. The stand taken by the State and Central Governments regarding the Tigers is different from what is happening in reality, she charged further. On the one hand the government warns of strong action against people supporting the LTTE but on the other, pro-LTTE rallies are permitted. Supply of materials and commodities to the Tigers continues as well, she said. Commenting on the statement of the National Security Advisor that the LTTE was not tryin

Kandhamal incidents caused by "Dalit Christians" demand for ST status

BACKGROUND Kandhamal and Bauddh districts were carved out of the Phulbani (or what used to be called the Bauddh-Kandhamal) district during the last decade. There were about 75,800 Christians (constituting 8.8% of the total population) in the composite Phulbani District in 1991, and this number has risen to 118,200 (constituting 11.6% of the total population) in 2001. While carving out the Kandhamal District, it seems care was taken to ensure that it encompasses almost all the Christians of the erstwhile composite district. While Kandhamal has 118,000 Christians constituting about 18.2% of its total population, the Bauddh district has only 239 odd Christrians left in it. As per the 2001 Census, the Scheduled Tribes constitute about 52% of the 6.5 lakh population of the Kandhamal District. The Scheduled castes constitute about 19% of the population. Now, it is said that more than 60% of the Christians are from amongst the Pana community who are classed as Scheduled Castes. The

Former Orissa Minister Behara a Pana Christian

TRUTH BEHIND CHRISTIAN - HINDU CLASHES Padmanabha Behara, the former Minister in Orissa Government who was trying to wangle Scheduled Tribe status for the Panas is actually a (Pana) Christian. That really is the crux of the whole story. http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?newsid=1142438 The ongoing clash in Orissa between the Christians and Hindus has resulted in steel and mines minister Padmanabha Behera, who hails from this district, getting the sack. Now, the Kui tribals and Pana Christians are up in arms against each other. Behera is a Pana Christian.

Gandhian award to a “Naxalite”! JOKE OF THE YEAR

PUCL activist Dr. Binayak Sen in detention was honoured with gold medal (Ch. Narendra) http://www.mynews.in/fullstory.aspx?storyid=1608 Publication Date 31/12/2007 8:18:15 PM(IST) Dr. Binayak Sen, General Secretary, People''s Union Civil Liberties (PUCL) - Chhattisgarh has been given the prestigious RR Keithan Gold Medal instituted by the Indian Social Science Congress at the SNDT University, Mumbai on December 29, 2007 in recognition of his service to the community. The Award was given at a function chaired by Dr. B N Mungekar, Member, Planning Commission, and Chairperson of the Indian Academy of Social Sciences, and received by his wife, Dr. Ilina Sen, on his behalf who also made the acceptance speech. Dr Binayak Sen was kept in the prison since seven months by the Chhattisgarh government. He was arrested on May 14, 2007 under the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act, 2006 (CSPSA) which gives the state sweeping powers, for allegedly being in contact with

Numbers on Gujarat’s wall

http://www.indianexpress.com/story/255991.html Arun Jaitley Posted online: Monday, December 31, 2007 at 0000 hrs IST The past few days witnessed the results of elections to the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh assemblies. The Bharatiya Janata Party won convincingly in both states. There was, however, a fundamental difference between them. Himachal witnessed a routine election where the government in power lost on account of anti-incumbency against it. The general practice of the electorate is to vote out an unpopular government. Unhappy people do not repeat in power those who cannot govern well. Globally, more governments in power lose elections than they win them. An opposition party, when it comes to power on the strength of an anti-incumbency, claims credit for its victory. These victories are easier since they require the opposition to merely channelise the discontent against the government. The net aggregate of the discontent is the shift in the popular vote which influences the

The Modi charisma

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/ 30 Dec 2007, 0154 hrs IST, SWAPAN DASGUPTA An amusing feature of the editorial class is its ability to shift tack shamelessly. Till 10 am last Sunday, Narendra Modi was portrayed as the Indian equivalent of the Great Satan; by 10:30 am he was being projected as a future prime ministerial candidate who would nevertheless fail because "Gujarat isn't India". In the US, presidential hopefuls unknown to the East Coast Establishment are invariably pelted with snooty condescension -- remember how Ronald Reagan was vilified? As someone who was abruptly catapulted from one-roomed anonymity in Delhi's Ashoka Road to the chief minister's bungalow in Gandhinagar six years ago, Modi is an outsider to the Indian Establishment. Unlike the Gandhis, he doesn't have 'connections' in the right places and unlike many BJP leaders he hasn't bothered courting respectability. Modi doesn't release coffee table books on polo a

The Planned Killing of Benazir Bhutto

This article appears in the January 4, 2008 issue of Executive Intelligence Review. by Ramtanu Maitra The gruesome killing of Benazir Bhutto in the evening hours of Dec. 27 in Pakistan's garrison town of Rawalpindi is yet another step in the process of weakening, and eventual break-up, of Pakistan. Despite the crocodile tears shed in Washington and London over Bhutto's assassination, it was a disaster waiting to happen and therefore, was altogether expected. Those who believed, naively, that Bhutto's mission was to reinstate democracy in Pakistan and put its usurpers, the Pakistani military, in the background, do not realize why she was inserted into the scene, which was already rife with violence. The truth is that the British imperial circles, with their stooges in Washington, set up Bhutto's execution, to advance their scheme to break up Pakistan, and create chaos throughout this strategic region. (See Lyndon LaRouche's statement on British role.) Bhutto, no

Pakistan: The Post-Bhutto PPP

AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images December 30, 2007 | 1826 GMT Source: STRATFOR Asif Ali Zardari (left) and Bilawal Zardari, the husband and son of slain former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto Summary Bilawal Zardari, the 19-year-old son of slain former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, has been named the new leader of her Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), and Bhutto’s husband, Asif Ali Zardari, will co-chair the group. Given Zardari’s reputation for corruption and relative unpopularity, and Bilawal’s inexperience, the PPP is going to have trouble maintaining its position as Pakistan’s largest and strongest opposition force. Analysis The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) on Dec. 30 held its first leadership meeting to decide its future in the wake of the assassination of leader and former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. Bhutto’s will appoints her husband, Asif Ali Zardari, as her replacement. However, during a press conference the same day, Zardari declined the

BHUTTO : Grotesque feudal charade

My heart bleeds for Pakistan. It deserves better than this grotesque feudal charade By Tariq Ali, Pakistan-born writer, broadcaster and commentator Published: 31 December 2007 http://comment.independent.co.uk/commentators/article3295851.ece Six hours before she was executed, Mary, Queen of Scots wrote to her brother-in-law, Henry III of France: "...As for my son, I commend him to you in so far as he deserves, for I cannot answer for him." The year was 1587. On 30 December 2007, a conclave of feudal potentates gathered in the home of the slain Benazir Bhutto to hear her last will and testament being read out and its contents subsequently announced to the world media. Where Mary was tentative, her modern-day equivalent left no room for doubt. She could certainly answer for her son. A triumvirate consisting of her husband, Asif Zardari (one of the most venal and discredited politicians in the country and still facing corruption charges in three European courts) and two

INDIA : Azamgarh to host Islam’s largest global meet

Anurag Singh Expressindia.com ; Dec 29, 2007 Sherwan (Azamgarh), December 28 Ever imagined 300 hotels, 14 dispensaries, a hospital, four towers of cellular service providers and a perfect accommodation for lakhs of pilgrims at a single village? Not a poll promise, it is just the scene at Sherwan, a nondescript hamlet in this corner of Uttar Pradesh. The village has turned into a makeshift pilgrimage for Muslims who will gather from December 29 to 31for the Alami Ijtema (the largest international congregation) of global Islamic movement Tablighi Jammat. The jammat is likely to be attended by devouts from across the globe, including Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, the UK, France and Canada. “I cannot give the exact figure, but we are expecting the around 15 to 20 lakh people. This congregation is basically to judge the effectiveness of the Tablighi Jamaat, whose network preaches Islam across the world,” said chief coordinator of the Ijtema, Dr Anwar Ahmad. Similar congregations were

The Destabilization of Pakistan

by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky Global Research, December 30, 2007 The assassination of Benazir Bhutto has created conditions which contribute to the ongoing destabilization and fragmentation of Pakistan as a Nation. The process of US sponsored "regime change", which normally consists in the re-formation of a fresh proxy government under new leaders has been broken. Discredited in the eyes of Pakistani public opinion, General Pervez Musharaf cannot remain in the seat of political power. But at the same time, the fake elections supported by the "international community" scheduled for January 2008, even if they were to be carried out, would not be accepted as legitimate, thereby creating a political impasse. There are indications that the assassination of Benazir Bhutto was anticipated by US officials: "It has been known for months that the Bush-Cheney administration and its allies have been maneuvering to strengthen their political control of Pakistan, pa