“I reached the village everything was finished”

If you disturb sacred tribal lands, be prepared to pay a heavy price…including seeing your little child drowning in front of you. Next time, the migrant population must learn from their mistakes and vote for a Bodo leader....who will call for the muslims to be evicted from sacred lands.

The prime accused (by the muslims) Pramila Rani Brahma and the Bodoland People’s Front is allied with the (Axom) Congress govt of Tarun Gogoi. The international community (and the progressive left within India) must hold Gogoi to the same standard that they have (justifiably) applied for Modi. These killings are especially egregious because it is a repeat from 2 years ago. Where are the Teesta Setalvads who will monitor the situation so as to prevent yet one more attack down the road?
……………
“We did not vote for the BPF candidate in Lok Sabha polls, that’s why we were attacked,” alleged 75-year-old Iman Ali.

Bodoland People’s Front, an ally of ruling Congress in Assam, is facing
accusations for the Friday bloodbath that left 36 people –mostly women
and children– dead with the affected families claiming that the
“planned” attack was a reprisal for voting for a non-Bodo candidate.

The victims of Narayanguri in Baksa district, along with the villagers
on East of Beki river, refuted government’s claim that the attack was
carried out by National Democratic Front of Bodoland’s IK Songbijit
faction –NDFB(S)– militants.

The Bodoland People’s Front (BPF), which evolved from the Bodo
Liberation Tigers militant outfit, has denied the allegations of
involvement in the May 2 carnage that targeted Muslim families.

“The killings took place days after BPF leader Promila Rani Brahma said
that Muslims did not vote for BPF. It seems like a planned attack,”
claimed Faridul Islam, who is living in a relief camp after the
violence.

“It is our democratic right to support anyone we wish. Bodos have always
tortured us. Almost every year, they do such kinds of massacre. Why
should we vote them?” asked Iman Ali, who lost his wife in the attack. 

 …….When
Halima Khatun jumped into the Beki river with her five-month-old child
to save his life from terrorists, she never thought it was the last time
she was holding her child.
“Everywhere there was sound of
firing. Some people who ran towards the forest guards’ post were also
fired by them. I had no other option but to jump into the river,” Khatun
(30) told PTI here.

While fleeing, she left behind her
10-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son as she could not find them and
they are still untraceable.

Her husband was at the Bhangarpar market at the time of the attack.

“I tried to swim across the other side of the river, but could not. I
could not hold my infant child and he was washed away by strong current
of the river in front of my eyes. I found a stationary log in the water
and survived by holding on to it,” the inconsolable mother said.

She has not found the body of her child yet. “While in waters, the
gunmen were firing at us. Thankfully the bullets did not hit me, but many
who jumped to save their lives died,”
Khatun said, adding she also lost
her two brother-in-laws in the attack.

The current of the
river was so strong that Khatun’s clothes were also washed away and Army
personnel rescued her after almost two hours and gave a ‘lungi’ to
cover her body.

Same is the story of other victims of the terrorist attacks in Narayanguri and Hagrabari villages of Baksa district.

Except three-four fortunate families, all the remaining 70-odd families have lost their loved ones.

“I lost my three sons and a daughter.Their bodies were lying in the
field when I reached there after an hour of the attack,” Ajimuddin Ali
(50) said.

Ali, who was away in Bhangarpar market along with
most of the men of the villages, ran to the river side after hearing
gunshots.

“But no boat was ready to cross the river fearing the
attack.I had to wait for an hour to cross.And when I reached the
village, everything was finished,” he said.

……………
Link (1): http://zeenews.india.com/news/general-elections-2014/assam-violence-victims-point-finger-at-bodoland-people-s-front_930170.html
Link (2): http://www.firstpost.com/india/killing-children-bodoland-militants-target-the-very-young-in-assam-1510477.html
……….

regards

0

The 51st state

This term as applied to England, Australia, Israel,…has a distinguished lineage associated with long running (benevolent) empires. During British rule this or that city would be referred to as the second city of the empire after London (Calcutta, Edinburgh,…).

There is now physical evidence that the 51st state is actually…Pakistan. No other explanation can satisfy the basic query- why an FBI agent is on active duty on Pak soil?

US officials in Washington confirmed that the agent, who is assigned to the FBI
Miami Field Office, was in Pakistan on temporary duty, the Washington Post
reported.

 
The government of Pakistan has denied issuing any invitations. All this shadowy business only helps sharpen the “dollar-khor” rhetoric espoused by Captain sahib. The USA should come clean on this matter- this is about securing the nuclear complex, right? Not to worry, this is the 21st century, we look forward to Wiki Leaks-II to tell us the whole story.

Final point: an American while traveling should know and respect local laws would never dare to carry live ammunition into an US flight. There seems to be no limit to imperial arrogance.

updates: 1) thanks to Asok for informing that US laws do allow ammunition in checked luggage,
2) it is not clear from reports if the bullets and (3) knives were in checked or hand luggage, either way the agent did violate Pakistani laws (ignorance is not an excuse), so the imperialism charge sticks
3) CNN reports that US agents have permission to be armed in Pakistan but only if authorized but flight luggage rules still apply, however this person was not authorized and clearly on a clandestine mission
4) the agent was not authorized to carry weapons and does not have diplomatic immunity, so shall we now see patriotic americans insisting that the book should be thrown at him (max 14 years in prison), just like that Indian lady a few months ago?
…….

An American, arrested on anti-terrorism charges at an
airport here after Pakistani authorities recovered 15 bullets and a pistol clip
from his possession, has been identified as an FBI agent.

Joel Cox was about to board a domestic flight to Islamabad at the Jinnah
International Airport on Monday evening when the Airport Security Force (ASF)
discovered 15 bullets of 9mm caliber and a pistol clip in his baggage.

He was detained by the ASF before being handed over to the airport police
station where a case was lodged against him.

Yesterday, Cox appeared in court on charges that he had violated local
anti-terrorism laws that prohibit carrying firearms or ammunition aboard
commercial flights, which carries a maximum sentence of 14 years in jail.

He was later remanded to police custody till May 10.

“We are aware of the situation that has been reported and we are coordinating
with Pakistani authorities to resolve this matter,” said Meghan Gregonis,
US Embassy spokesperson in Islamabad.
US media reports have identified him as an FBI agent who was in Pakistan to
allegedly train policemen. Karachi police officials have denied knowledge of any such training programme
and said Cox was on a 90-day ‘visit’ visa. 

 

US officials in Washington confirmed that the agent, who is assigned to the FBI
Miami Field Office, was in Pakistan on temporary duty, the Washington Post
reported.
…….
An agent with the US FBI
has been arrested under anti-terrorism laws in Pakistan for carrying
ammunition while trying to board a flight.



The US citizen was detained at Karachi airport after security
staff found 15 bullets for a 9mm handgun in his luggage ahead of a
flight to Islamabad.


American agents operating inside Pakistan have been the cause
of strained relations in the past and have fuelled anti-US feeling in
the country.


In 2011 there was furore when CIA contractor Raymond Davis
was arrested for shooting dead two men following what he said was an
attempted armed robbery in Lahore.


Mr Davis was later released after the families of the dead men accepted “blood money”.

The United States and Pakistan co-operate in the global fight against Islamist militants, angering many Pakistanis.
…….
Link: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-27305754
……
regards

0

Rashid Rahman Khan

One more great soul (muslim) departs under (unwritten) blasphemy laws- even if you defend a client accused of blasphemy you deserve to die.

Repeating after Omar, things will be worse before they become better. We say this because we have hope for South Asia when it may be that most people have already abandoned hope (we cannot say that they are wrong to do so).
………
Human Rights Advocate Rashid Rehman Khan was gunned down by
unidentified attackers in Multan, DawnNews reported late on Wednesday
night.


Initial reports suggest that Khan’s car was
targeted by the gunmen near Kachehri Chowk. The attack also left two
other people injured.

Advocate Rashid Rehman Khan was a
coordinator for the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP). The
senior lawyer was representing a blasphemy accused and had complained
that he had been receiving threats on his life.

The HRCP had voiced serious concern over the threats extended to Khan.
…….
Link: http://www.dawn.com/news/1104788/rights-advocate-rashid-rehman-khan-gunned-down-in-multan
…….
regards

0

Boko Haram burns down Gamboru Ngala

Gamborun Ngala is a town in Borno state, Nigeria, 250km from the capital city of Maiduguri, located near the Cameroon border. Actually it WAS a town, now razed to the ground by Boko Haram. This was a highly coordinated attack. Rumors were floated that rebels have been observed in a nearby area with the kidnapped Chibok girls. The military was under tremendous pressure to arrest the rebels. The moment the security forces left town, the attackers came in with rockets, bombs and guns. The official death toll is 300 for now but he actual count will no doubt be much higher.

Nigeria is about to host the World Economic Forum, and the Haramis (to use the term coined by Omar) have decided to take maximum advantage of the media attention.

 

In a separate attack 8 more girls have been kidnapped as well. Short of an immediate occupation of the northern and western provinces by US/UK forces it is unclear what can be done. But even if that unlikely event happens immediately the cry will go up: America is converting Nigeria into Afghanistan (also it is all about Oil).
……
An
attack by Boko Haram Islamists in a northeastern Nigerian town on the
Cameroon border has killed hundreds of people, a local senator and
witnesses said on Wednesday.


 Senator Ahmed Zanna added that the
town of Gamboru Ngala had been left unguarded because the soldiers
based there to protect the population had been redeployed north towards
Lake Chad in an effort to rescue more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by
Boko Haram on April 14.

Gunmen riding in armoured vehicles and on motorcycles stormed the town on Monday and razed much of the area.

Residents said survivors fled when the attack began, with the
insurgents firing on civilians as they tried to run to safety into
Cameroon.

Casualty figures had remained unclear in the hours
after the attack because the town had been overrun by extremist fighters
and it was not possible to return to assess the loss of life, witnesses
had previously told AFP. “I have been in constant touch with
Gamboru (Ngala),” Zanna said. “From information reaching me from the
town, the death toll from the attack is around 300,” he added.

“All economic and business centres have been burnt. The market in the
town which attracts traders from all over the area … has been
completely burnt,” he added.

Speaking by phone from Gamboru
Ngala, resident Musa Abba told AFP that the town was “littered with more
than 100 dead bodies,” adding that the search was continuing and the
toll may rise

.

At
least 300 people were confirmed dead on Monday when Boko Haram gunmen
in armoured vehicles stormed Gamborou Ngala town in Borno state.

According
source the security forces earlier deployed to area, moved to the Lake
Chad axis when they received intelligence report that some gunmen were
sighted with abducted schoolgirls moving to the area.

The
insurgents targetted a local market and fired sporadic shots into the
crowd before proceeding into the town to wreak more havoc.

Gamborou,
which is situated along Nigeria-Cameroon border is the administrative
headquatres of Ngala local government of the state, about 200km from
Maiduguri, the capital city.

Senator Ahmed Zannah, who is from the
area confirmed the killings, said the invaders spent 12 hours wreaking
havoc on defenceless civilians.

He said several other persons were
also injured in the attack, while almost all the houses and shops in
the town were burnt down.

Senator zannah, who spoke in a BBC Hausa
report monitored in Maiduguri yesterday said many people were wounded,
while surviving victims rendered homeless as thousands of houses and
shops were burnt by the rampaging gunmen.

He pointed out that the
attackers were armed with dangerous weapons comprising of Armored
Personnel Carries , (APC), Improvised Explosive Devices, (IEDs), petrol
bombs, assault rifles and Rocket Propelled Launchers (RPGs).

“The
attackers stormed the communities in the night when residents were still
sleeping, setting ablaze houses, shops and residents who tried to
escaped from
the fire, were shot ” Shehu said.

He added also that “ About 300 persons were confirmed dead after the incident,
with several others injured. Almost all the houses in the communities
were destroyed by the hoodlums who threw Improvised Explosive Devices
(IEDs) at the
buidings.

My brother who was at the scene of the
attack told me that the actual number of the dead cannot be ascertained
but at least they are upto 300. In fact as we spoke he wept following
the high number of the dead bodies which littered the market”, he
declared.

According to him, the security forces earlier deployed
to area, moved to the Lake Chad axis when they received intelligence
report that some gunmen were sighted with abducted schoolgirls moving to
the area.

“Initially there were many security operatives in the
town to secure it from possible attacks. However upon receiving
information over the movements of insurgents with kidnapped Chibok
schoolgirls towards Lake Chad area,they withdraw and moved further to
confront the gunmen.

It was just an hour after their withdrawal
that the terrorists indaved the town, shooting everyone at sight and
setting buildings on fire. So far 200 vehicles and thousands of houses,
shops and an outfit of the Nigerian Customs Service, (NCS) were all
burnt”, he explained.

A local government official who declined identification also confirmed the casualty figures.
“It
is really a terrible situation, we had wanted to rush relief materials
to the area to provide temporary succor to the victims. But we were
prevailed upon by security agents to shelve our plans on security
reasons”.

The official appealed to the state and Federal Governmenst to assist the area with resources towards rehabilitating the victims.
– See more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2014/05/boko-haram-misleads-army-kills-300-fresh-borno-attack/#sthash.tGp2d0L4.dpuf

…..
Gamborou, which is situated along Nigeria-Cameroon border is the
administrative headquatres of Ngala local government of the state, about 200km
from Maiduguri, the capital city.

Senator Ahmed Zannah, who is from the area confirmed the killings, said the
invaders spent 12 hours wreaking havoc on defenceless civilians.
He said several other persons were also injured in the attack, while almost
all the houses and shops in the town were burnt down.


Senator Zannah, who spoke in a BBC Hausa report monitored in Maiduguri
yesterday said many people were wounded, while surviving victims rendered
homeless as thousands of houses and shops were burnt by the rampaging gunmen.

He pointed out that the attackers were armed with dangerous weapons
comprising of Armored Personnel Carries , (APC), Improvised Explosive Devices,
(IEDs), petrol bombs, assault rifles and Rocket Propelled Launchers (RPGs). “The attackers stormed the communities in the night when residents were
still sleeping, setting ablaze houses, shops and residents who tried to escaped
from the fire, were shot ” he said.

According to him, the security forces earlier deployed to area, moved to the
Lake Chad axis when they received intelligence report that some gunmen were sighted
with abducted schoolgirls moving to the area.

“Initially there were many security operatives in the town to secure it from
possible attacks. However upon receiving information over the movements of
insurgents with kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls towards Lake Chad area,they
withdraw and moved further to confront the gunmen.

It was just an hour after their withdrawal that the terrorists invaded the
town, shooting everyone at sight and setting buildings on fire. So far 200
vehicles and thousands of houses, shops and an outfit of the Nigerian Customs
Service, (NCS) were all burnt”, he explained.

At
least 300 people were confirmed dead on Monday when Boko Haram gunmen
in armoured vehicles stormed Gamborou Ngala town in Borno state.
According
source the security forces earlier deployed to area, moved to the Lake
Chad axis when they received intelligence report that some gunmen were
sighted with abducted schoolgirls moving to the area.
The
insurgents targetted a local market and fired sporadic shots into the
crowd before proceeding into the town to wreak more havoc.
Gamborou,
which is situated along Nigeria-Cameroon border is the administrative
headquatres of Ngala local government of the state, about 200km from
Maiduguri, the capital city.
Senator Ahmed Zannah, who is from the
area confirmed the killings, said the invaders spent 12 hours wreaking
havoc on defenceless civilians.
He said several other persons were
also injured in the attack, while almost all the houses and shops in
the town were burnt down.
Senator zannah, who spoke in a BBC Hausa
report monitored in Maiduguri yesterday said many people were wounded,
while surviving victims rendered homeless as thousands of houses and
shops were burnt by the rampaging gunmen.
He pointed out that the
attackers were armed with dangerous weapons comprising of Armored
Personnel Carries , (APC), Improvised Explosive Devices, (IEDs), petrol
bombs, assault rifles and Rocket Propelled Launchers (RPGs).
“The
attackers stormed the communities in the night when residents were still
sleeping, setting ablaze houses, shops and residents who tried to
escaped from
the fire, were shot ” Shehu said.
He added also that “ About 300 persons were confirmed dead after the incident,
with several others injured. Almost all the houses in the communities
were destroyed by the hoodlums who threw Improvised Explosive Devices
(IEDs) at the
buidings.
My brother who was at the scene of the
attack told me that the actual number of the dead cannot be ascertained
but at least they are upto 300. In fact as we spoke he wept following
the high number of the dead bodies which littered the market”, he
declared.
According to him, the security forces earlier deployed
to area, moved to the Lake Chad axis when they received intelligence
report that some gunmen were sighted with abducted schoolgirls moving to
the area.
“Initially there were many security operatives in the
town to secure it from possible attacks. However upon receiving
information over the movements of insurgents with kidnapped Chibok
schoolgirls towards Lake Chad area,they withdraw and moved further to
confront the gunmen.
It was just an hour after their withdrawal
that the terrorists indaved the town, shooting everyone at sight and
setting buildings on fire. So far 200 vehicles and thousands of houses,
shops and an outfit of the Nigerian Customs Service, (NCS) were all
burnt”, he explained.
A local government official who declined identification also confirmed the casualty figures.
“It
is really a terrible situation, we had wanted to rush relief materials
to the area to provide temporary succor to the victims. But we were
prevailed upon by security agents to shelve our plans on security
reasons”.
The official appealed to the state and Federal Governmenst to assist the area with resources towards rehabilitating the victims.
– See more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2014/05/boko-haram-misleads-army-kills-300-fresh-borno-attack/#sthash.tGp2d0L4.dpuf

…….
Link: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2014/05/boko-haram-misleads-army-kills-300-fresh-borno-attack/
…..
regards

0

The knife attacks in (Chinese) Kashmir

Time flies so fast that most of us have now forgotten that when MH-370 vanished into thin air one of the first questions raised was about the possible role of Uighur militants (there had been a vicious knife attack in Kunming in March, also an Iranian passenger was found to be traveling on a false passport). Well, the knife attacks in China are not stopping, so how will the Chicoms respond? Yes, with overwhelming force, but that does not seem to deter the Islamists.

It is understandable that China does not attract much criticism from Islamic nations on the Uighur problem. This is primarily because Pakistan which benefits significantly from China in all spheres- economic and military in particular- would not like to annoy Big Brother.

The problem now is that Big Brother expects Pakistan to patrol its jihadists so they are not attacking Chinese assets in China and Pakistan (and now in Afghanistan). That is an almost impossible task, since as far as the Islamists are concerned there is no difference between Kashmir and Xinjiang, the infidel rule needs to be replaced with Sharia rule.

If anything the repression in Xinjiang is at a higher level, Chicoms are forcing Uighurs to abandon islamic customs. Even more worrisome is the fact that China has flooded the province with Han migrants to the point where there is actually a Han majority. Here we have  to thank the infamous Article 370, which protects the rights of the Kashmiris against migrant invasions from Bihar and UP.
……………..

The knife attack in which six people were injured
in southern China is the third high-profile incident at a Chinese train
station in a little more than two months. It seems that China is in the
grip of a mounting terrorist campaign, with militants apparently able
to strike when and where they want.

Last week a railway station in Urumqi was attacked with suicide bombs and knives, with at least three killed and dozens injured. The authorities quickly attributed that attack to Uighur separatists.
More jarring, the attack came at the end of President Xi Jinping’s trip
to that city for the explicit purpose of announcing a “get tough”
policy on terrorism.

That incident followed close on the heels of an eerily similar March attack in Kunming.
Details are sketchy, but in that brutal episode approximately nine
militants wielding knives stormed the city’s railway station, killing at
least 28 and wounding about a hundred.

Only a few months before, that there was a high-profile attack
on the most visible symbol of Chinese political authority – Tiananmen
Square in Beijing.
In that case, aggrieved Uighurs apparently drove
across the country and mowed down tourists at the edge of the square
with their Jeep before setting it on fire.

While these incidents
have set China on edge, they have received relatively little attention
from the outside world. Western analysts tend to draw on the “low-tech”
weaponry and comparatively low death tolls to conclude that these are
minor incidents. Even specialists often miss the potential for broader
international implications, seeing only an internal separatist struggle.

Both
of these instincts are wrong. Attacks like those in Urumqi, Kunming and
Beijing are serious, and their increasing sophistication indicates a
growing threat. If they continue to escalate, there is potential for
far-reaching consequences for China and the world.

Despite their
reliance on relatively unsophisticated weapons, Uighur militants seem to
have already mastered some of the most challenging problems that
extremist organisations face. The ability to conduct complex,
co-ordinated attacks like those in Urumqi and Kunming are hallmarks of
organisational strength.

Timing an attack
to coincide with Xi’s visit to Xinjiang, explicitly to demonstrate his
toughness on the separatist question, is a clear act of defiance and it
set Chinese social media ablaze before the censors stepped in. The
attackers dramatically undermined any remaining confidence that the
authorities have this situation under control.

Indiscriminate attacks on civilians
always warrant attention, but the evolving violence in China has
under-appreciated potential to develop into global concern. When
al-Qaida struck the United States on 9/11, it reshaped global politics,
culminating in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.  

More troubling still, some of the most
militant among the Uighurs have been active at high levels with jihadi
organisations fighting in Afghanistan and Pakistan. As the west winds
down its presence in Afghanistan, it would be prudent to anticipate that
these militants will return their attention to China. 

……..
Link: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/may/06/terrorism-china-uighur-militants-afghanistan-pakistan
……
regards

0

Patience Jonathan is (only a lesser) evil

The elites are incapable of protecting the poor from the cruelties of life, not because of lack of resources but because of lack of humanity- they simply feel that the poor are not human beings.

Nigeria is literally burning, the churches, mosques, schools are all on fire, yesterday an entire town was burnt to ashes. The least that is expected from a first lady is to listen patiently to women in distress. But apparently Patience Jonathan has no patience to spare. She is spending her time shouting down the women and threatening them with arrest. The most memorable accusation made against (activist) Naomi Mutah is that she is falsely claiming that her own daughter has been kidnapped!!!
……..
Adding to the growing frustration within Nigeria over the abductions are
reports that Patience Jonathan, Nigeria’s first lady, bizarrely ordered
the arrest of two of the leaders of the protests that had erupted after
the kidnappings of the girls in April, and had even denied the
kidnappings had taken place. 

Patience Jonathan’s office has denied the
reports, but she was quoted by the News Agency of Nigeria as saying, “You are playing games. Don’t use schoolchildren and women for demonstrations again.”

…….


A woman leading protests
over the abduction of more than 200 girls in Nigeria has been detained
on the orders of the president’s wife, activists say. Naomi Mutah took part in a meeting called by First Lady Patience Jonathan and was then taken to a police station, they say.

Mrs Jonathan reportedly felt slighted that the mothers of the abducted girls had sent Ms Mutah to the meeting. Analysts say Mrs Jonathan is a politically powerful figure.

Ms Mutah, a representative of the Chibok community where the
girls were seized from their school more than two weeks ago, last week
organised a protest outside parliament in the capital, Abuja.

The AP news agency quotes another community leader, Saratu Angus
Ndirpaya, as saying that Mrs Jonathan accused the activists of
fabricating the abductions to give the government a bad name.
She also said the First Lady accused them of supporting Boko Haram.

…….
Link (1): http://edition.cnn.com/2014/05/05/opinion/bergen-boko-haram-stakes/index.html
Link (2): http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-27283278
……
regards

0

Jalliikattu ban

Finally, in one more way (and a bit incrementally) India enters a more civilized world where torturing animals* (response to comments questioning torture: see below) is not accepted in principle (though it will continue in practice). “Centuries old” tradition is well and fine but even Devadasi culture was a “centuries old” tradition and no one defends it (as far as we know). Animals deserve our respect (at least not our abuse) and that is also very much part of our tradition.

The true hero in this battle was Union Minister (for environment) Jairam Ramesh who first initiated a ban in 2011.
The Tamil Nadu govt played politics (no surprise here) and the Ministry of
Environment and Forests (aka Delhi Durbar) was playing coalition politics. The MOEF
made a petition that cruelty to animals was permissible because of
“historic, cultural and religious significance of
the event.”
So what other backward practice shall we re-instate (de-criminalize) by virtue of this special considerations?

Incidentally we @ BP had called for a ban when the bull abuse (as well as spectator injury) stories surfaced and we are delighted that the Supreme Court agrees. Well done!!
…..
The Supreme Court on Wednesday banned Tamil Nadu’s centuries-old Jallikattu bull fights.
A bench of Justice KS Radhakrishnan and Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose
also asked the centre to amend the law on preventing cruelty to animals
to bring bulls within its ambit.

The court also struck down a 2011 Tamil Nadu law regulating the conduct of Jallikattu. The law provided for conducting Jallikattu from January to May in
various places in Tamil Nadu to ensure the protection of not only the
participants but also of the spectators. The law was enacted in the wake of a large number of deaths and injuries that took place during the sport.

The ban order came as the apex court allowed an appeal by the Animal
Welfare Board of India challenging a Madras high court verdict. 

….. ……. *****Animal
rights groups in India on Wednesday welcomed the Supreme Court order,
banning use of bulls for entertainment like ‘Jallikattu’ (a rural sport
of taming bulls in Tamil Nadu), and called it a landmark judgment.

The groups also praised the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) for
refusing to go by the stand taken by the Tamil Nadu government, the
‘Jallikattu’ Federation and the Union ministry of environment and forest
(MoEF) in the apex court.

The PETA has vigorously campaigned against the use of bulls in these
cruel events. “Its investigators have found that terrified bulls are
deliberately disoriented, have their tails twisted and bitten and are
stabbed, punched, jumped on, and dragged to the ground. During races,
bulls are often hit with nail-studded sticks. In bull fights, the round
ends when one of the bulls is either killed or manages to flee”,
said
Valliyate.

The PETA’s campaign to end this abuse was vocally
supported by Bollywood actors Hema Malini and John Abraham, who had both
written to the MoEF calling for Jallikattu to be stopped.

Stating that “May 7, 2014 will go down in the history of India for this
landmark verdict”, Nanditha Krishna, chairperson of the Humane Society
International-India (HSI-India),
noted the crucial role played by the
then environment minister Jairam Ramesh for issuing a notification
banning use of bulls as “performing animals” in 2011.
  
In its affidavit in the SC, the MoEF had stated:
“In order to strike a balance and to safeguard the interest of all
stakeholders including the animals, while keeping in mind the historic,
cultural and religious significance of the event
and with a view to
ensure that no unnecessary pain or suffering is caused to the animals,
participants and spectators, the government of India proposes to exempt
‘bulls’ participating in ‘Jallikattu’ in the state of Tamil Nadu from
the purview of the 2011 notification.”

Reacting to such
contention, HSI-India chairperson said, “There is nothing intellectual
or cultural about fighting bulls. Jallikattu owes its origin to man’s
domestication of cattle, which gave him the draught power of the bull
and milk from the cow…But culture is not static. Just as we have
evolved and given up sati, human sacrifice and child marriage, we must
give up bull baiting and racing bulls too.”

According to the
HSI-India, during Jallikattu, bulls are deliberately terrorized and made
to suffer for entertainment. They are taunted by crowds, their tails
twisted and broken, hit, wrestled to the ground and beaten and prodded
with nail studded sticks, not to mention the chilli powder that is
thrown into their eyes to craze them or the alcohol poured down their
throats.

The Court on Wednesday also noted the penalties for
cruelty to animals under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960
are weak and that the act requires an update.

……..

Link: http://www.firstpost.com/india/sc-bans-jallikattu-bull-fights-in-tamil-nadu-1512583.html
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regards

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Yingluck runs out of luck

Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has been ordered out by the Constitutional Court on corruption charges. However fingers are being pointed at the judiciary for having acted with prejudice.

“[The decision] shows you how politicized and compromised the Thai
judicial system has become over the last decade,” Thitinan Pongsudhirak,
professor of political science at Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University,
tells TIME. “In most other countries the sitting government has
authority to make transfers of officials.”

Thailand is a dream come true for people who prefer orderly (read non-democratic) rule thereby ensuring economic (but not political) freedom for all.Yet at the end, unless you are prepared to kill off millions like the Chicoms, political freedom is a must for ensuring the dignity of the people. The best illustration of the problem is in Kashmir- some polling booths today have not recorded a single vote, while others in the 10-20 range.

This titanic battle of the red shirts vs. yellow shirts will have no easy resolution as the (yellow) elites in the south want their less well off (but more numerous) red brothers to the north to remain power-less. There are no language/religion markers to be exploited as in South Asia. But if things continue to slide like this then it may not stop with military rule (as before)- people may call for partition. It is something to watch out for.
…………

Thailand’s
prime minister was ordered to step down Wednesday along with part of
her Cabinet after the Constitutional Court found her guilty in an abuse
of power case, pushing the country deeper into political turmoil. 
 
 

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra was charged with abusing her
authority by transferring a senior civil servant in 2011 to another
position. The court ruled that the transfer was carried out to benefit
her politically powerful family and, therefore, violated the
constitution — an accusation she has denied.


“The Constitutional Court has ruled unanimously that (Yingluck) has
used her status as the prime minister to intervene for her own and
others’ benefits to (transfer) a government official,” which violated
Article 268 of the Constitution, and ended her rule as prime minister,
the court said in its verdict.

It was not immediately clear who
would become the new acting prime minister. The ruling also forced out
nine Cabinet members who the court said were complicit in the transfer
of National Security Council chief Thawil Pliensri.

The
judgment marks the latest dramatic twist in Thailand’s long-running
political crisis. It was a victory for Yingluck’s opponents who for the
past six months have been engaged in vociferous and sometimes violent
street protests demanding she step down to make way for an interim
unelected leader.

But it does little to resolve Thailand’s
political crisis as it leaves the country in limbo — and primed for more
violence. Since November, more than 20 have been killed and hundreds
injured.
 

……….
Thailand is no stranger to political tumult. Since the end of absolute monarchist control in 1932, the country has experienced 18 coups, 23 military governments and nine military-dominated governments, according to a Human Rights Watch count.



A clear pattern of protest and unrest has emerged since the ouster of
former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra eight years ago.



An amnesty bill that would have allowed Thaksin to return to Thailand
sparked the current protests, and even though that bill has been
shelved, protests against Yingluck’s government have continued unabated.



Thaksin, who has been in self-imposed exile since 2006 when he was
ousted by the military in a bloodless coup, remains the central divisive
figure in Thai politics.




Elected in 2001, Thaksin, a telecom billionaire, instituted a range
of policies popular in rural Thailand, including microfinance schemes
and fuel subsidies. Thaksin quickly became venerated by much of
Thailand’s rural poor, especially in the densely populated north and
northeastern parts of the country.




As a result, Thailand’s power center began to shift from the cities
and the south to the country’s north and northeast. Thaksin’s supporters
became known as red shirts.



Opponents of Thaksin, who wore yellow shirts, say Thaksin’s five-year tenure was marked by nepotism, corruption and the creation of an unprecedented rift in the country.
 

In 2006, following massive street protests from yellow shirts and an
election win for Thaksin’s party, the military staged a coup, setting
the stage for a nearly decade-long, sometimes bloody back-and-forth,
power struggle.




The protest leaders are boycotting the upcoming elections and demanding nothing less than “wiping out the Thaksin regime.” They have called for an unelected “people’s council” to replace the current democratically elected government.


Protesters, experts say, want to create such disorder that either Thailand’s military or judiciary intervenes, and tensions have been rising.

So far, the military has been sitting on the sidelines, at least
publicly. But pressure is mounting for them to end the political crisis,
which threatens to keep foreigners away from the country’s lucrative
tourism industry. In 2013, Bangkok was the world’s most visited city.




Thailand’s army chief, Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, told reporters on Jan.
22: “If the situation escalates to a level where it cannot be
resolved, the military will have no choice but to solve it.”




With Thailand averaging a coup every four and half years, this should
sound familiar. If this happens, supporters of the Shinawatras, a clear
majority of the still largely rural country, would likely vent their
anger — probably in the streets of Bangkok. And so the cycle of protest
and unrest would continue.

…………
Link: http://time.com/90445/after-six-months-of-fighting-thai-pm-yingluck-is-finally-ousted-by-court/
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regards

0

Who is Malik Riaz Hussain?

After seven years of brutal struggle the Red Mosque is resurgent again and General Musharraf, the man who had been instrumental in its (temporary) destruction is in a soft prison.

The New York Times looks into the background of a tycoon by the name of Malik Riaz Hussain who has donated millions to bring back the red mosque to its original glory. When the question was raised about his motivations, he had this to say:“I have huge interests in Islamabad and Rawalpindi,” the businessman,
who has close ties to the military, told The New York Times in a 2010
interview. “Bad law and order is bad for my business.”

……
“If
Pakistan truly has freedom of expression, then we should be able to
express our love for our heroes,” said Mr. Aziz,
a willowy, bespectacled
man with a wiry gray beard, in a room with the sign “Martyr Osama bin
Laden Library” on the door. “And we love Osama bin Laden.”

But
the Red Mosque’s resurgence is about more than publicity stunts.
As a
jihadi brand, it has burnished its credentials as a citadel of Islamist
revolt. And, just as they did seven years ago, the mosque’s clerics are
exploiting the government’s failure to offer an alternative vision of
Pakistan’s future.



Today,
Mr. Aziz delivers thunderous Friday sermons from the lavishly
refurbished Red Mosque, a stone’s throw from the Parliament building.
And he oversees a network of madrasas that teach 5,000 students.

Only seven years ago, the mosque was in the throes of a pitched battle
against the authorities. Mr. Aziz tried to escape the siege under the
cover of a burqa, a purse clutched in his gloved hands, but was captured
and paraded by the intelligence services on national television, still
wearing the black cloak.

The cleric’s brother, Abdul Rashid
Ghazi, and his elderly mother died in the firefight. After the siege was
over, Mr. Aziz was charged with murder, abduction, arson and terrorism.
Yet within a couple of years, the mosque and Mr. Aziz were back in
business.

Malik Riaz Hussain, a sympathetic property tycoon,
provided a temporary home for hundreds of madrasa students and spent at
least $150,000 on refurbishing the bullet-pocked mosque. He attributed
his generosity to pragmatism rather than to religious conviction.

“I have huge interests in Islamabad and Rawalpindi,” the businessman,
who has close ties to the military, told The New York Times in a 2010
interview. “Bad law and order is bad for my business.”

The city
provided land worth millions of dollars in central Islamabad for the
rebuilding of Jamia Hafsa, a women’s madrasa that was bulldozed after
the 2007 siege. The madrasa, whose construction is not complete, is home
to the Osama bin Laden library.

But it is the courts that have
been most indulgent toward Mr. Aziz and his followers. Over the past
year, judges have dismissed all of the 27 criminal charges against Mr.
Aziz, who at times has used the courtroom as a pulpit to call for the
imposition of Shariah law.

Instead, the court’s attention has
mostly focused on Gen. Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan’s former military
ruler. A judicial inquest determined that General Musharraf, not Mr.
Aziz, was responsible for the deaths during the siege of the Red Mosque,
even though armed jihadis from banned militant groups had joined the
students inside.

In October, a senior judge, prompted by Mr.
Aziz’s lawyers, charged General Musharraf for his role in the siege and
placed him under house arrest. In recent weeks the Martyrs Foundation, a
group that represents the families of students who died in the siege,
petitioned the Supreme Court to prevent General Musharraf from leaving
Pakistan until the completion of his treason trial, underway now.

The police, however, are more skeptical of Mr. Aziz. In a
recent court hearing, the Islamabad police chief argued that the
cleric’s name should remain on an official schedule of suspected
terrorists for his longstanding links to Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan, a
sectarian militant group known for violence against Shiite Muslims.

At the Bin Laden library, Mr. Aziz offered a qualified denunciation of
violence — it was justified only in self-defense, he said — and denied
accusations that his reverential gesture toward the onetime enemy of
America was a publicity stunt.

“A majority of Pakistani people love Osama bin Laden,” he said.

Opinion polls do not support that assertion, but it is true that many
Pakistanis — torn among Taliban violence, anger toward America and
continued uncertainty about the place of Islam — harbor ambiguous
feelings toward Bin Laden.

At Jamia
Hafsa, Mr. Aziz has named a dispensary after Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani
woman who is serving an 86-year prison term in the United States on
charges of attempting to kill an American soldier and an F.B.I. official
in Afghanistan.

Whatever its direct ties to militancy, the Red
Mosque remains a powerful battle cry for extremists. The nominal leader
of Al Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahri, has issued statements in support of the
Red Mosque, while former students have carried out bomb attacks on
Westerners and Pakistanis.

The Red Mosque has also staged a
comeback on the Internet: Its Facebook page is named after the 313
Brigade, a fearsome band of armed female students
that conducted raids
on suspected brothels and video stores in Islamabad in 2007, in the
months before the siege.

Early this
year, the government inducted Mr. Aziz into the talks with the Taliban,
hoping to use him as a militant interlocutor. But in February the cleric
abandoned the process. No talks are possible, he said at a news
conference, before Shariah law replaces Pakistan’s Constitution.

……
Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/07/world/asia/paying-homage-to-bin-laden-mosque-re-emerges-as-bastion-of-militancy.html
…….
regards

0

“What this will cost me, I will soon find out”

The first shot is fired in what promises to be an epic battle between (Hilary) Clinton and (Jeb) Bush for the throne in 2016.

Monica Lewinsky explains in Vanity Fair how her boss took advantage of her (before) and how she was made a scapegoat (after). Will these revelations cause a set-back for the Clintons or improve their standing? There are only 730 days (approx) left to find out!!
………………..
Monica
Lewinsky says she became reclusive during Hillary Rodham Clinton’s
campaign for president in 2008 for fear that she would be used for
political purposes and that she feels “gun-shy” even now as Clinton
considers another run in 2016.

Despite Lewinsky’s trepidation,
she writes in a forthcoming issue of Vanity Fair that she now feels
compelled to emerge from the shadows because, “Should I put my life on
hold for another eight to 10 years?”


It is time, she writes, to
stop “tiptoeing around my past, and other people’s futures. I am
determined to have a different ending to my story. I’ve decided,
finally, to stick my head above the parapet so that I can take back my
narrative and give a purpose to my past.”

She continues: “What this will cost me, I will soon find out.”

Lewinsky, now 40, broke her years long silence about her affair with
President Bill Clinton in the article to appear in the May 8 issue of
Vanity Fair.

Indeed, Lewinsky writes that the scandal continues to affect her
ability to pursue a career despite her master’s degree in social
psychology from the London School of Economics, because employers do not
want to attract the attention of the news media. But she says she has
turned down eight-figure offers to exploit her celebrity status because
“they didn’t feel like the right thing to do.”

She writes that
she regrets her affair with Clinton, but says the popular view that the
president pressured her into it is wrong.

“Sure, my boss took
advantage of me,” she writes, “but I will always remain firm on this
point: it was a consensual relationship. Any ‘abuse’ came in the
aftermath, when I was made a scapegoat in order to protect his powerful
position.

…………..
Link: http://www.vanityfair.com/online/daily/2014/05/monica-lewinsky-speaks
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regards

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