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Showing posts from December 20, 2009

Kathmandu on the boil again

Balbir K Punj Reports from Nepal are anything but reassuring. After being shown the door from power, the United Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), led by former Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, also known as Prachanda, are now upping the ante for a showdown with the mainstream political parties. They are planning a takeover of the country to reduce it to a satellite of China. Nepal’s Maoists had recently launched a three-day, nationwide bandh that had sparked violence across the country. The bulk of the people of Nepal oppose the Left-wing extremists. But the latter are well organised and their armed cadre is like a parallel army. It is with the help of this parallel army that Nepal’s Maoists are enforcing their diktat and even declaring areas under their influence as ‘independent’ with a parallel administration. “Any kind of violence in favour of the people’s rights is justified,” declared United Communist Party

A delicate dance of power

By Robert M Cutler MONTREAL - China's emergence as an important player in the development and use of energy resources found in the Caspian Sea basin, alongside longer established interests emanating from Russia, Europe and the United States, is a reminder of the ever-changing dynamics of the region, too easily overlooked during periods of apparent statis, such as during the late Soviet era. Yet the appearance of this new power in the region also confirms the essential stability of a core group of relationships about which others wax and wane, with a periodicity of possible future importance that China's presence can help us to identify. Two bilateral energy relations, Kazakhstan-Russia and Turkmenistan-Russia, are of such import and duration that we can justifiably speak of the Kazakhstan-Russia-Turkmenistan triangle as the foundation for the evolution of Central Eurasian energy geo-economics. That is the case, even

Recognizing confident India as indispensable

Japan Times Web:: By DOMINIQUE MOISI PARIS — "Do not forget India." That warning made sense 10 or 15 years ago; not any longer. India is now impossible to ignore, much less forget, owing not only to its rapid economic growth but also to the country's increasing geopolitical stature. Europeans often speak of an emerging "Group of Three," implying an international system dominated by the United States, China and the European Union. But this ambition looks more presumptuous and unrealistic every day, particularly given the choices that Europe just made in naming its new "president" — Belgium's Prime Minister Herman van Rompuy — and "foreign minister" — the never-been-elected-to- anything Lady Catherine Ashton from Britain. How can Europe pretend to stand for an ambitious message when it picks such low-profile — indeed, practically anonymous — messengers to deliver it? Given th


B.RAMAN It is too early to assess definitively the failed attempt by a person of Nigerian origin to create an explosion on board a North-west Airlines flight (Airbus 330 with 278 passengers) from Amsterdam to Detroit as it was about to land in Detroit on Christmas Day on December 25,2009. 2.The attack seems to have failed due to the mal-functioning of what was intended by the suspect to be an explosive mixture and the prompt intervention of fellow-passengers, who managed to overpower the suspect after he had unsuccessfully tried to cause a detonation. While official sources in the US have characterised the incident as an attempted terrorist attack, the US Attorney-General has not yet done so. 3. A tentative assessment on the basis of available details would indicate that this could be an attempt by Al Qaeda to cause an explosion on board an aircraft by concealing a powder in the groin of a passenger posing as a diabetic patient and injecting a chemical trigger carried wi


When Mahomed Kasim marched from Mooltan to go to Delhalpoor, 50,000 men, horse and foot, were under his standard. To whatever country he went, he fixed a force there. In this manner he carried the armies of Islam as far as Kanoge. The Rajas and Hakeems in all that space came under the orders of Islam, agreeing to pay yearly tribute in money and produce, and to convey it to Darul Islam. Mahomed Kasim, having quieted his mind, by placing men of confidence and troops in all places of importance, turned homewards. At that time a letter came, written agreeably to the order of the Khaliph Wulleed, to this effect:— “After taking Alore, you sent two daughters of Rais Daher, and some prisoners, in charge of Mahomed the son of Ali Tohman, Humdanee, with Seedee servants, to Darul Khaliphat. The Khaliph called these two sisters to the Harem one night, and gave them in charge of the eunuchs, that they might pay them attention. They were to produce them when they had recovered from the toils of tr

China: Nationalistic Blogs Raise New Issues Concerning Sino- Indian Border

Source: South Asia Analysis Group By D. S. Rajan There is apparently a lull now in the propaganda drive of the Chinese state-controlled media on the Sino-Indian border issue. Epithets like ‘no compromise on territory’, ‘lessons of 1962’ and ‘dangerous consequences for India’, used by them earlier, are carefully being avoided. Adding to the atmosphere is the muted media reaction noticed so far to the Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh’s firm reference (Washington, 25 November 2009) to China’s ‘certain amount of assertiveness of late’ and implied disapproval of that country’s reform path ‘introduced by the writ of the ruling group in a non-democratic set up’. The only critical comment has been in a very brief manner- ‘Unfriendly remarks’, said People’s Daily of 9 December 2009. Similar has been the case with concerns expressed recently by the Indian Defence Minister, Mr. Antony, on China’s military help to Pakistan, with the Chinese media by and large not paying much attention. T

Ruchika’s case: The man who bravely fought molester Rathore

Anand Parkash and his wife took over the fight as Ruchika's family fell silent after her death. Prakash says Rathore offered to settle the case out of court, but his reply was: the only person who had a right to settle it was dead. By appearance, 67-year-old Anand Parkash seems diminutive -- a little over five feet tall and with a voice so soft that one has to strain ears to hear him properly. But it was this man's steely resolve and endurance that brought about the conviction of former Haryana DGP S P S Rathore in the Ruchika molestation case. As the case dragged over 19 years, he visited various courts in different cities, more than 450 times. Ask him about the expenditure and the trouble he encountered fighting the battle for the girl who was his daughter's best friend, he says, "If you start fretting over these things, you cannot fight a battle." "One has to be optimistic and have faith in God. Believe me, there are good people too. For example,

Ruchika molestation case needs to be revisited: Law minister

IANS 25 December 2009, 04:41pm IST NEW DELHI: Law minister Veerappa Moily on Friday said the molestation case of teenager Ruchika Girhotra needs to be "revisited". He, however, added that the "rule of law should not be interfered by any one". "The case of this nature has been mistreated and whoever is responsible has to be appropriately dealt with. And a case of this nature needs to be revisited," Moily told reporters on Friday. Fourteen-year-old Ruchika was molested Aug 12, 1990 by S.P.S. Rathore, who rose to become Haryana's police chief. The girl committed suicide three years later. A Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) special court convicted Rathore in the molestation case and sentenced him to six months' imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs.1,000. Rathore was immediately granted bail by the court. Moily said he had discussed the matter with the Solicitor General of India. "I have discussed it with the solicitor general of India

American perversion: PEW report is based on fiction

The Pioneer Edit Desk Foreigners who visit India are struck by the fact that ours is an open, plural and liberal society with a remarkably high level of tolerance for others. True, there have been instances of bigotry (no country, least of all the US and its trans-Atlantic allies, can claim to be entirely free of them) but these are at best aberrations which by no means suggest that social and religious orthodoxy guides daily life in India. In fact, our cultural ethos, though rooted in our civilisational identity, is defined by its many hues; unlike the West’s, our culture is neither monochromatic nor is it religion-specific. Our traditions and the values we cherish transcend selfish concerns. Yet, we now have the Washington-based think-tank, PEW Research Centre, slamming India for social hostility and religious discrimination perpetrated by individuals and groups as well as imposed by Government-induced restrictions. It

I was treated like a dog: Ruchika's brother to court

Fri, Dec 25 05:25 AM The Indian Express Narrating the inhuman treatment meted out to him by the Haryana Police at the behest of S P S Rathore, Ruchika Girhotra's brother, Ashu, had filed an affidavit in the Punjab and Haryana High Court on December 3, 2001. Ashu was implicated and picked up for six false cases of auto theft — all the charges later fell flat in court. "Hell was let loose on me. I was treated like a dog. I was slapped, given fist blows and had to further undergo more inhuman torture which I cannot explain in this affidavit. I was not given any food or water to drink for various days. Whenever I used to ask for a glass of water, the police officials used to give me filthy abuses," he said in his affidavit. Saying that he tried to console Ruchika, who was suffering from depression, he added: "Life was made more miserable for the entire family. Ruchika was literally living under house arrest. As and when Ruchika used to come out of our residence, som


B.RAMAN Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping visited Myanmar on December 19 and 20,2009, during the course of a four-nation tour covering Japan, South Korea, Myanmar and Cambodia. He went to Cambodia from Myanmar. Xi, who undertook the visit at the invitation of Vice Senior-General Maung Aye, Vice-Chairman of the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), called on SPDC Chairman Senior-General Than Shwe in Nay Pyi Taw. 2.Xi is believed to be in the run to succeed President Hu Jintao, when he completes his tenure. His visit to Myanmar was significant for three reasons. 3.Firstly, through the importance accorded to the visit, the Myanmar military junta sought to reassure Beijing that despite recent moves for increased contacts between the junta and the Obama administration, the junta continued to give priority to Myanmar’s relations with China. Improved relations with the US will not be at the expense of the relations with China. Xi as well as his Myanmar hosts described the relatio

India outrage over girl molestation sentence

Ruchika was a budding tennis player By Geeta Pandey BBC News, Delhi "DGP Rathore should be lynched, or simply, someone should pay off a criminal to take care of him." a comment in Youtube Outrage is growing in India over a six-month jail sentence handed out to a former senior police officer convicted for molesting a 14-year-old girl. Ruchika Girhotra complained in 1990 that she was assaulted by SPS Rathore. After Mr Rathore used his influence to harass the Girhotra family, Ruchika committed suicide three years later. Earlier this week, a court found Mr Rathore guilty, but Ruchika's family and activists say he has got away with a "very light punishment". Mr Rathore sentenced in jail for six months and ordered to pay a fine of 1,000 rupees ($20). Exclusive: Aradhana on Ruchika molestation case National Commission of Women has finally decided to set up a panel to look into Ruchika molestation case verdict. This must be music to the ears of A

ABUSE OF POWER :What Ruchika said about her molester

NDTV Correspondent , Wednesday December 23, 2009, New Delhi A top cop molesting a 14-year-old girl, the trauma driving her to commit suicide and the cop getting away with just 6 months in prison, and on top of that getting bail immediately, this verdict has shamed the nation. (Read and Watch: Senior cop molested teen who killed herself) Ruchika Girhotra's story has led to public outcry. NDTV now has a copy of the affidavit signed by Ruchika, in which she clearly says she was shocked and nervous with the behaviour of Mr Rathore, the former DGP of Haryana. (Watch: Ruchika's story on The Buck Stops Here) She was traumatised, confused and clueless about what to do after the incident and how she and her friend Aradhana were afraid of Mr Rathore because of his position. (Watch: Justice for Ruchika: Friends seek public support Read: Her best friend's crusade for justice I Watch: NDTV speaks to Aradhana ) The CBI says Rathore could not be charged for abetment to suicide, as it