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Misc News Folder
<b>US warns Sri Lanka on peace impasse</b>
The United States on Monday delivered a sharp warning that the bitter political struggle between Sri Lanka's Prime Minister and President was denting hopes for peace with Tamil Tiger rebels.

US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, who has taken a close interest in efforts to end Sri Lanka's civil war, held talks with Milinda Moragoda, minister in charge of peace talks with Tamil Tiger rebels.

In a statement issued after the talks, the State Department implicitly criticised President Chandrika Kumaratunga who triggered the crisis during Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's visit to Washington last month.

Armitage warned that the political crisis "would have a negative impact on the peace process until a clarification of responsibilities that would allow the prime minister to resume peace negotiations can be found," Deputy State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said in a statement.

"The deputy secretary said the current political impasse in Sri Lanka cannot be allowed to continue."
05. 01. 2004
by B.Raman

An audiotape purportedly from Osama bin Laden was aired on the Arabic network Al-Jazeera on January 3, 2004. This is the third message exclusively relating to Iraq attributed to him since before the US-led invasion of Iraq by the coalition forces. The first, called a special message to the Iraqi people, was aired on February 11, 2003, and the second, which was described as "a message from Osama bin Muhammad bin Laden to the American people regarding your aggression in Iraq", was aired on October 18, 2003.

2. The voice in the first two messages were subsequently described by US intelligence officials, after examination, as most probably bin Laden's. A similar authentication of the latest message is not yet available. The full text of the English translation of the message is also not yet available. These comments, are, therefore based on a study of only extracts from the message.

3. The first message, which was meant to pep up the morale of the Iraqi people, described how bin Laden and his followers had fought against the US troops in Tora Bora in Afghanistan despite their inferiority in numbers and equipment and said that the Iraqi people could similarly fight against the foreign invaders. Its most significant part was its toning down of bin Laden's past criticism of Saddam Hussein and its emphasis on the need for all Iraqi Muslims to put up a united struggle against the US troops, setting aside their differences.

4. It said:" "Needless to say, this crusade war is primarily targeted against the people of Islam. Regardless of the removal or the survival of the socialist party or Saddam, Muslims in general and the Iraqis in particular must brace themselves for jihad against this unjust campaign and acquire ammunition and weapons. There will be no harm if the interests of Muslims converge with the interests of the socialists in the fight against the crusaders, despite our belief in the infidelity of socialists. The fighting, which is waging and which will be waged these days, is very much like the fighting of Muslims against the Byzantine in the past. And the convergence of interests is not detrimental. The Muslims' fighting against the Byzantine converged with the interests of the Persians. And this was not detrimental to the companions of the prophet. "

5. The second message, probably recorded after the occupation of Iraq by the coalition troops, was bitter in its criticism of the US and Israel and President Bush. It contained the following warning: "We reserve the right to retaliate at the appropriate time and place against all countries involved, especially the UK, Spain, Australia, Poland, Japan and Italy, not to exclude those Muslim states that took part, especially the Gulf states, and in particular Kuwait, which has become a launch pad for the crusading forces. I say to the American people we will continue to fight you and continue to conduct martyrdom operations inside and outside the United States until you depart from your oppressive course and abandon your follies and rein in your fools. You have to know that we are counting our dead, may God bless them, especially in Palestine, who are killed by your allies the Jews. We are going to take revenge for them from your blood, God willing, as we did on the day of New York. Remember what I said to you on that day about our security and your security. Baghdad, the seat of the Caliphate, will not fall to you, God willing, and we will fight you as long as we carry our guns. And if we fall, our sons will take our place. And may our mothers become childless if we leave any of you alive on our soil."

6. There are some significant points about the latest tape:

* In the previous taped messages, a third person used to introduce the speaker as bin Laden. In the latest one, bin Laden introduces himself.
* The message has been recorded after December 14 because it refers to the capture of Saddam , which was announced by the Americans on that day, and to the earlier bomb blasts in Riyadh in Saudi Arabia on November 8,2003, but does not refer to the blasts in Istanbul, Turkey, later that month, thereby indicating that Al Qaeda had probably no role in those blasts. Nor does it make any reference to any of the terrorist strikes in Iraq attributed to foreign jihadi terrorists. There is, in fact, no reference to the ground situation in Iraq. This possibly indicates that bin Laden has had no role in orchestrating the activities of the foreign jihadi terrorists in Iraq, whose activities appear to be co-ordinated by the Lashkar-e-Toiba from its clandestine bases in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

* Whereas the first message was a pep talk to the Iraqi people before the invasion of Iraq began and the second a warning to the USA and its people after the coalition troops had occupied Iraq that the Muslims would wage a relentless jihad outside as well as inside the US till Iraq was liberated, the latest message contains a warning to the rulers of the Islamic countries in the region, who are collaborating with the Americans, and calls for an intensification of the jihad against them. It does not contain any fresh warning of terrorist action inside the US.

* It attributes the capture of Saddam to betrayal and treason without saying who was responsible..

7. The call for a jihad against the rulers of the Islamic States of the region collaborating with the US says: "It is imperative that those governments have to be brought down, because in working with the infidels they shed the blood of their brothers and sisters. Persian Gulf leaders are not capable of defending the Islamic nation. There is no dialogue except with weapons. The U.S.-led war in Iraq is part of a religious and economic war to control the Arab world. Today, Baghdad; tomorrow, Riyadh." It called upon Muslims to fight all efforts at achieving peace with Israel. "If you don't take them on in Jerusalem, they'll take your two holy sites," it said, referring to Mecca and Medina.
8. This may please be read in continuation of my assessment titled "2004: State of Jihadi Terrorism" and particularly its last para stating as follows: "During the year, there were reports of a debate in the jihadi circles in Pakistan about the wisdom of bin Laden's action in taking on the US directly by launching the terrorist strikes of 9/11 in the US homeland, which have provoked the US to use its military might to crush Al Qaeda and the IIF. Critics of bin Laden's action argue that the initial focus of their jihad should have been on identifying and weeding out the surrogates of the US in the Islamic world. <b>This argument for an initial offensive against the surrogates seems to be enjoying increasing support. The two attacks on Musharraf were an indication of this. Amongst other identified surrogates whom they want to eliminate are interim President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan, the rulers of Saudi Arabia, the members of the Iraqi governing council and the King of Jordan</b>."

(The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Distinguished Fellow and Convenor, Advisory Committee, Observer Research Foundation, Chennai Chapter. E-Mail: corde@vsnl.com )
Army recruitment racket unearthed


LUCKNOW, Jan 4: The Special Task Force of Uttar
Pradesh Police and Army Intelligence have unearthed a
racket involved in recruitment of youth in the Army as
jawans, police sources said today.

Three persons, including two retired Army Hawaldars,
were arrested yesterday in this connection, the
sources said here. The third person was the owner of a
coaching institute.

Army Intelligence was also interrogating two Army
officials working in the zonal recruitment office of
the Central Command, they added.

Police said the arrested people recruited people in
Army through fake documents. Connivance of Army
servicemen in zonal recruitment office could not be
ruled out, the sources said.

Those arrested were retired Hawaldars Dinesh Yadav and
Ashutosh Mihra and a owner of a coaching institute
Maan Pal Singh.

The three allegedly charged Rs 80,000 per recruitment,
the sources said.

Singh was arrested by Uttaranchal Police a few months
back on similar charges. (PTI)
<b>Hundreds of Mumbai police personnel test positive for HIV</b>
Agence France-Presse
Mumbai, January 7

Hundreds of policemen in Mumbai tested positive for HIV in recent health examinations, prompting the police department to launch an AIDS awareness drive, an official said Wednesday.

<b>"Around 450 policemen have tested positive for HIV," </b>Prem Kishan Jain, joint police commissioner for administration, told AFP.

The figure is initial, with medical data not yet compiled for much of Bombay's 40,000-strong police force.

"A comprehensive campaign has been launched and we are educating police officials about AIDS," Jain said.

Jain said the department was studying how the police were infected.

However, it is an open secret in Bombay that police are among the major patrons of sex workers.

Jain said most of the policemen who tested positive for HIV were low-level constables who were not well-educated.

<b>India officially has at least 4.58 million people with HIV/AIDS</b>, second only to South Africa with five million. A US study last year said HIV cases would skyrocket if the government did not move aggressively promote safe sex.

<b>Bombay policemen are known for their long working hours, high stress levels and poor pay.</b>

<b>Police figures show nearly 200 policemen have died of cardiac arrests and hypertension in the last five years and another 200 have been infected with tuberculosis.</b>

Dear Friends,

Since 9/11, you and I both know that terrorism can affect anyone’s family, anywhere in the world, at any time. No one can say who or what will be the next target of terrorism. Young people especially are affected, wondering if the dreams of their youth will ever be fulfilled under this constant threat. For this reason, I created an organization, an adjunct to the Coalition Against Terrorism (CAT2002), to bring students from around the globe together in an effort to positively affect the lives of terror victims and their families. We want to expose the terrorists, their sponsors and supporters. In order for us to accomplish this great undertaking, I need your help. I want to show the world how young people are living in Israel despite the constant fear of terrorism. In addition to this, I want to raise monies that will further help various programs for young terror victims and their families

Now, you may be asking yourself why a young student living in Florida in the United States would want to become involved in such a serious endeavor. Sadly, the effects of terrorism are far reaching. On March 31, 2002, members of my family were dining in a local Haifa restaurant in Israel when a suicide bomber blew himself up directly behind them. My young cousin perished, while my aunt and uncle were severely injured. To this day, my uncle remains in a rehabilitation center, suffering from the effects of a serious brain injury.

Something has to be done to eliminate the threat of terrorism and to provide assistance to its young victims and their families. I urge you to join me now to allow the youth throughout the world its dreams for a better and brighter future. I look forward to hearing from you and until then, I remain

Yours in peace

Amit Schlesinger


CAT - Coalition Against Terrorism
<b>RSS agrees Muslims are also patriots</b>

New Delhi, Jan. 14:<b> The RSS and Jamiat-I-Ulema-E-Hind on Wednesday agreed that the basis of patriotism was “not religion but the country”</b> <!--emo&:thumbsup--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/thumbup.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='thumbup.gif' /><!--endemo--> as the leaderships of the two outfits met here to lay groundwork for a full-fledged dialogue.

RSS leader Indresh Kumar met Jamiat leaders Abdul Hamid Nomani and Niaz Ahmed Farooqui for about two hours at the latter’s headquarters after which a brief joint statement was issued. The talks at Jamiat headquarters marked the first-ever visit by any of Sangh Parivar leaders to the Muslim organisation’s office.

<b>“During the talks, we found that the country, ancestors and culture of all of us is the same</b>. The focus of our discussions was<b> that the basis of patriotism or nationalism is not religion but the country,” </b>said the statement read out by Indresh Kumar.

While Kumar did not take any questions from reporters, Nomani said the two sides discussed issues of “nationalism” and “patriotism” and endeavoured to “sort out basic causes of differences”.

“Due to distance between the two sides, they (RSS) had several misconceptions regarding our religion and our patriotism. But we told them that Jamiat is a nationalist organisation and Muslims are also patriots,” he said, adding the RSS had agreed.

<b>Nomani said the RSS leadership was told that his organisation had always opposed the “two-nation” theory. Muslims also “respect” Hindu gods like Rama and Krishna although they could not “offer prayers” to them “as this can be done only in the case of one god</b>”, he said. To a question, he said the talks had gone off well and the dialogue process would proceed further.

Asked whether the Ayodhya issue was discussed during the meeting, the Jamiat leader replied in the negative but said it could be deliberated upon in future meetings. He side-stepped a query on whether other Hindu and Muslim organisations would accept the agreements reached by the RSS and Jamiat, saying this was for others to decide.

About the stand of All India Muslim Personal Law Board regarding the Ayodhya dispute, Nomani said that organisation had “some problems”. Sources said the two sides discussed modalities and identified issues for further talks between them.
<!--emo&:ind--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/india.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='india.gif' /><!--endemo--> <!--emo&:ind--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/india.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='india.gif' /><!--endemo--> <!--emo&:ind--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/india.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='india.gif' /><!--endemo--> <!--emo&:beer--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cheers.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='cheers.gif' /><!--endemo--> <!--emo&:clapping--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/clap.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='clap.gif' /><!--endemo--> Missile news
<b>Sikh forced to remove turban</b>
London, Jan. 22: The protest over the proposed ban on religious headgear in France escalated as Sikhs here claimed a man was forced to remove his turban before entering a government building in Paris.

There is also growing confusion over the French law against the Muslim hijab and Jewish skullcap after the education minister hinted that bandanas and beards could also be banned and <b>Sikhs could wear hairnets instead of turbans</b>. France’s 7,000-strong Sikh community was told that its boys could keep their turbans provided that they were invisible. This was interpreted to mean hairnets and Sikhs say this is unacceptable.

The government had neglected to take account of the Sikhs when the law was prepared. But even before it is passed in Parliament, an incident involving 50-year-old Jagmohan Singh from a Paris suburb has further infuriated the Sikh community here. They had written to French President Jacques Chirac last week highlighting their concerns over such a ban.

French Sikhs appealed to the government again on Wednesday to rethink the ban on conspicuous headdress. “The Sikhs of France want to draw your attention to the injustice which this law on secularity is going to create,” the Gurdwara Singh Sabha Association, the country’s main Sikh body, said.

The French government, meanwhile, was struggling to disown the fresh remarks made to Parliament by education minister Luc Ferry as he tried to explain the logic behind the outlawing of conspicuously manifested religious symbols.
<b>NEPAL: The King makes yet another move to get the political parties together</b>: Update 40
<b>Plea to be filed for return of Shivaji's sword </b>

<b>Police recover fake note from CPI (M) leader's house</b>

The fake money worth around Rs 20,000 was found hidden in the courtyard of the
CPI (M) leader's house.

With the Lok Sabha elections round the corner, the CPI (M) top leadership has
been left red-faced after a leader of the party's agricultural front was
arrested by police in Nadia district for his involvement in a fake Indian
currency notes racket.

A crack team of the district police and CID which made intensive raids in the
district town of Krishnanagar and adjoining places bordering Bangladesh,
detained Mohosin Mandal, a front ranking leader of the party Kisan wing, a
couple of days back and recovered fake notes worth Rs 20,000 hidden in his

Earlier, the investigating team which has been on a trail of the fake note
smugglers across the international border, was tipped off about Mohosin by two
Bangladesh nationals who were arrested last week for working as agents of
Pakistan-based ISI.

The duo who allegedly revealed during interrogation about the vast ISI network
of the fake Indian currency racket in Bangladesh, named Mohosin as one of the
Indian agents.

Prior to that, sleuths detained another suspect, Jamal Sheikh, from a village
and recovered a dozen fake notes of Rs 500.

When contacted, the CPI (M) Nadia district leadership declined to comment on the
arrest of the party leader for possessing huge fake notes.

Meanwhile, police who had recovered fake notes worth Rs 12,500 from the recently
concluded Ganga Sagar mela, suspect that these surfeit notes are in circulation
over a large part of the bordering districts of West Bengal and many innocent
people have fallen victims to this racket.
<b>New Evidence on Nuclear Weapons Effects Shows That U.S. Nuclear War Plans Underestimated Destructiveness of Nuclear Arsenal By Ignoring Firestorms</b>
TIME ASIA MAY 13, 2002/VOL. 159 NO. 18
Return to Year Zero
Nepal's Maoist rebels are murdering, beating, bombing and looting—all
in the name of 'protecting the people'


Even with knives as sharp as razors, it takes time to skin a man.
After 35 minutes, flesh was hanging from Ram Mani Jnawali's shoulders
and cuts crisscrossed his legs, ribs, arms, hands, ears and chin. His
legs were shattered at the shins, broken stumps marking where the
bones had been smashed across the steps of his house. But he was
still breathing. And yet his teenage tormentors kept questioning
him. "Why don't you leave the Congress party?" screamed one
interrogator. "How much do you earn? Where are your daughters?" But
the 54-year-old, whose only offense was that he belonged to the
ruling Nepali Congress Party, was beyond speech. Eventually his
torturers—a crowd of 60 girls and boys in Maoist uniforms and rebel-
red bandannas—grew tired. Selecting a sharpened kukri (a small
machete), one of them stepped forward and sliced halfway through
Jnawali's neck in a single blow. And that's how his wife and son
found him, cut to pieces, head partly severed, when they dared to
venture out
into the yard the next morning. No one knew whether he had died of
shock or bled to death, but the pool of blood around his body
suggested the end had been slow.
Despite his grief, Bharat Mani Jnawali understands why his elder
brother's March 13 death faded from the headlines after a day. "This
is a very common method," he says. "It happens to hundreds. They cut
different parts of the body off and then only at the end, they chop
your head. Shooting would be easier, of course, but this is more
intense. It's for the fear." And it's working. When the corpse
arrived in Kathmandu for cremation, Congress leaders came to pay
their respects. To Jnawali, who had seen his brother's wounds, the
sight of him covered in flowers and bound in white was too much. As
the ministers drew near, he brushed aside the orange and purple
blooms and ripped open his brother's burial cloth to show the
butchered body. "I said, 'Look at him. Look at what they did to him.
Look at how your party suffers.' But none of them could look. They
were too afraid."

Terror, Nepal's 10,000 Maoist guerrillas have decided, is the key to
power. When they first launched their revolt six years ago, the
rebels took care to elicit public support with popular campaigns
against corrupt officials, alcoholism, drug use and chauvinism.
Dismissed by the outside world as poorly armed curios from another
time, their message that the elected government had succeeded only in
lining its own pockets since the end of absolute monarchy in 1990
resonated in the Himalayan hills. But lately, the "people's rebels"
have embarked on an altogether bloodier course, inspired—according to
a former rebel commander—by the tactics of Cambodia's Pol Pot and the
Khmer Rouge. In November, the Maoists broke off three months of peace
talks with Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba by launching 48
simultaneous attacks on army, police and government installations
across the kingdom. This kicked off a whirlwind of atrocities that
has cost nearly 2,000 lives. Strikes by thousands of Maoists
on isolated security force bases left no survivors. Battlefield
beheadings—of army and police, and fallen comrades whose identity
they wanted to protect—became commonplace. And when 5,000 rebels
attacked two police bases in the midwestern district of Dang on April
11, they press-ganged children and old people from nearby villages to
serve as human shields. The tactic failed: the police and army fired
back indiscriminately, even using a helicopter gunship equipped with
American-supplied night-vision goggles. Ninety-two policemen and
about 100 Maoists died in this, the deadliest battle of the war.

But the horrors on the front line find an equal in the nightmare now
unfolding inside the Maoist heartland. Since November, the Maoists
have instituted a systematic "purification" campaign: to reduce their
territory to chaos and rubble and eliminate all opposition. As well
as crippling and killing government supporters, they have turned
their terror on anyone who might represent stability or an
alternative authority. Postmen, health workers, moneylenders,
landowners, teachers, all have become targets for public floggings or
executions. The guerrillas have executed about 200 people in the past
six months and tortured thousands more. Bands of rebels are also
descending on villages and dragooning a child from each family into
joining their ranks or, in the case of young girls, into becoming sex
slaves for the soldiers. State infrastructure—power substations,
telephone exchanges, village administration offices, bridges,
clinics, dams, irrigation and drinking-water projects—and the homes
of the "people's enemies" are being leveled. Their aim, the Maoists
admit, is to achieve Year Zero, a reference to the Khmer Rouge
genocide that was to clear the way for a socialist utopia. "At first,
we just wanted to destroy all the government institutions in the
village," Junge Kuna village leader Ghopal Phandari, 23, told me deep
in rebel territory in Dang. "But then we decided to block any access
to the villages by blowing up bridges—one time we hit 48 in one day.
Inside our land, we also attack the water projects or cut the
drinking water or hit the electricity supplies because it is
symbolic. We have to make these sacrifices to protect the people."

Teacher Mim Bahadur Khada, 28, tells me from his hospital bed in the
provincial capital Nepalgunj how 20 Maoists surrounded his house in
Surket to the northwest, tied his hands behind his back and demanded
$170, his annual salary. They also said he should tear up the
curriculum and start teaching "practical" education classes, such as
giving instructions on how to sow potato seeds or repair a corn
thresher. When Khada refused, they kicked him, shattered his legs
with a stick packed in a rubber pipe and whipped him with a bicycle
chain before leaving him for dead. "They told me they wanted to
destroy all trace of the government and anything outside the party,"
says Khada. "They told me they wanted to break everything down and
then rebuild from chaos with their own Maoist cadres." Adds a Western
diplomat in Kathmandu: "It's classic Year Zero. Kill or drive away
anybody who could possibly be considered an enemy, break down all
state and social fabric and replace it with fear.In the end
the party is the only thing left." The former rebel commander—now
hiding out in the capital after deserting in disgust over the new
tactics—says the Maoists' strategy is an experiment conducted with
the support of left-wing rebel groups across Asia. Three years ago,
he says, communist guerrillas from India, Bangladesh and the
Philippines met Nepalese counterparts in Kathmandu and resolved to
turn the kingdom into a laboratory for various revolutionary game

When village leader Phandari describes the Maoist system of
execution, he speaks with the ease of a man freed from the burden of
conscience. First, he says, a villager will lodge a complaint about a
person to the People's Militia, a group of seven to 12 cadres that
patrols the village. "We do not execute them immediately," he
says. "The militia gives notice to the person that they must reform.
We can give three ultimatums. But if they do not change, then we
execute them. Sometimes, we use torture—it depends on the interests
of the people." The village authorities make a report, which is
passed up to the district party leadership to rule on the punishment
and who should administer it, he says. "We use the kukri, the bullet,
or beat them to death with a wooden stick. It's the party leaders who

In the nearby village of Pancha Kule, a Maoist leader known as
Commander Hikbat blithely dismisses concerns that innocents are being
killed. "Sometimes what you plan, your intentions, don't always work
out in the field," he says. "One time, we went to attack the police
in the village of Panchakatia and found they were hiding in a house
owned by some local people. We warned the police to surrender but
they did not. So we had to burn the house down and four innocent
people were killed. We take responsibility for that. It just happens
that way sometimes." Phandari, however, has no doubts about the two
people he has seen executed and the 15 he has watched tortured. "They
were all spies," he insists, "enemies of the people."

Shreeram Shankar Yadav, 68, was supposedly one such enemy. A former
Nepali Congress Party chairman in his village of Hasarapur on the
border with India, he refused to pay rebel "taxes" or surrender his
tractor to the guerrillas. In December, he went further, helping his
son and nephew capture two Maoists and take them to a police station.
On Jan. 8, the rebels took revenge. "About 250 of them surrounded the
house," recalls his brother, Bisseswar Yadav. "They came into the
house and tied all the adults' hands. They demanded to know where the
guns were and, when we didn't tell them, they began to kick us and
beat us with iron rods and sticks. While some of them began looting
the house, two men put a wooden box under my brother's legs. As two
men held him down, two others beat his legs, up and down with rods
and sticks until they broke them over the edge. Then they cut him all
over with kukris. All the time they shouted, 'Why do you spy? Why did
you take our comrades to the police?'
Then they asked everyone to be silent and demanded my brother chant
their song, that Mao is the best." After about an hour, says Yadav,
two men laid his brother on the ground, each gripping an iron
rod. "They put one through his stomach and another through his
shoulder." The guerrillas then firebombed the house. Yadav says the
Maoists also beat him, his wife, his sons and his 13-year-old
grandson, Rajman. "They hit me on the head with a wooden stick," says
Rajman. "One of them asked, 'Why are we beating the small one? Maybe
we should get some medicine for his head.' But the woman said: 'No.
Let it bleed.'"

While nobody expects the Maoists to march into Kathmandu and seize
power, the prognosis is grim. Preoccupied with factional fights
within the Nepali Congress Party and in command of a poorly equipped
army of just 45,000, Prime Minister Deuba has little chance of
regaining much land in Maoist hands. All through rebel territory,
police checkpoints, if they exist at all, go unmanned. Deuba came to
power just under a year ago as a peacemaker, promising talks with the
Maoists. But when the guerrillas broke off their truce in November,
he declared a state of emergency and ordered the army into battle.
Deuba—whose ancestral country home was torched by the Maoists last
month—took the collapse of the cease-fire as a personal affront. "I
was betrayed," he says. "I was too lenient. They gave me no option
but to crush them."

Faced with growing opposition within his own party, Deuba gave the
army carte blanche to wipe out the Maoists. I spoke to several young
girls held prisoner in Nepalgunj jail accused of belonging to the
guerrillas' political wing. All told the same story of the police
keeping them blindfolded for weeks, sometimes months, beating the
soles of their feet with plastic piping, then rubbing chili powder
into the wounds. Nor are the security forces above murder. On March
18, a group of 20 policemen arrested five men, including Kanchha
Dangol—a carpenter—in Tokha outside Kathmandu. Four days later
Dangol's body surfaced at a nearby hospital: he had been beaten,
slashed, then shot in the chest and head. The official explanation:
Dangol was killed in an "encounter" with the security forces. Deuba
appears untroubled by such stories. "We will listen carefully to the
complaints and, if there are any mistakes, we will improve," he
says. "But maintaining human rights while trying to control terror
is not an easy job. The army is not superhuman and is not able to
distinguish perfectly who is and who is not a terrorist. Sometimes
there will be mistakes."

Caught between the Maoists and the security forces, tens of thousands
of Nepalese have left their villages and migrated to the cities or to
India. Inside Maoist controlled areas—currently about a third of the
country—farmers are selling or slaughtering their herds and leaving
their homes. Many are living in hiding, moving from house to house
out of fear of assassination. Thousands of others, too poor to
travel, are forced to stay on and run the gauntlet of oppression from
both sides. One doctor in western Nepal, who asked to remain
anonymous, says he has seen about 150 patients tortured by the
Maoists since November. Ten more had been killed. As for victims of
the army and police, he says they're too scared to seek treatment in
the cities, where the security forces are based. "The people are
trapped between the army and the Maoists," he says. "The Maoists come
to them at night and demand food and shelter. If they refuse, the
guerrillas kill them. But in the morning, the army comes
and kills anyone who has helped the Maoists." In February, the army
accused teacher Jeet Bahadur Khatri Chhetri of aiding the Maoists,
beat him so badly he could not walk for a week, then forced him to
sign a declaration supporting the government. Last month, a neighbor
in the village of Pancha Kule was tortured by the Maoists and
denounced Khatri Chhetri as the man who persuaded him to turn against
them. "So now I am waiting for them to come for me too," says Khatri
Chhetri. "They've already said they will."

A short drive away in one village that I visited, a 50-year-old man
approached me in tears. He and his son had been beaten a few days
before, he said, pointing to the house about 50 meters from his own
where the Maoists lived. They were sure to torture them again, he
said, adding that the rebels were also demanding that a neighbor give
up his 13-year-old daughter to them. Incoherent and distraught, the
man pleaded with me to take him and his son away to the city. When a
Maoist leader came to investigate, we decided to leave rather than
draw suspicion to him. As I climbed into my car, the man held onto my
arm, eyes wide with fear, and hissed in my ear, "Terror. Terror,"
before running back to his house.



..... a growing insurrection by Maoist rebels, 10,000 fighters whose
ongoing civil war has claimed 7,500 lives in the past two years

In terms of its daily body count, the Maoist uprising is currently
the deadliest conflict in Asia. It is also the most brutal. While
human-rights groups accuse the 15,000-strong Nepalese paramilitary
police and 72,000-strong Royal Nepalese Army of executing hundreds of
Maoists, the rebels themselves are even more savage. An October 2003
report by relief group Mercy Corps relates how crowds of Maoists
would watch their leaders break every bone in a "class enemy's" body,
then skin him and cut off his ears, lips, tongue and nose, before
sawing the body in half or burning it. The study concluded that
the "almost identical pattern" of such atrocities suggested this
was "a policy coordinated at senior command levels."



New Delhi's concerns about Nepal have intensified since it emerged
that the Maoists were trying to coordinate with India's own left-wing
guerrillas, intent on creating a "revolutionary zone" combining
Nepal, eastern India and parts of Bangladesh.


Nice letter to the editor in washington timesWashington

Indian secularism: A model for Asia
Since September 11, world attention rightly has focused on the dangers of Islamic extremism. Paul Marshall is worried that Hindu extremists and their so-called allies in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are encouraging religious violence ("Make the tough decisions," Op-Ed, Jan. 14). But the world has never seen, nor will it see, Hindu suicide bombers, Hindu holy warriors hijacking planes, or the Indian equivalent of the ayatollahs.
The BJP governs India in a coalition with a number of smaller parties — not all of which share Hinduism's historical religious tolerance. Israel also has a coalition government. It would be outrageously unfair to attribute the words and deeds of some of his coalition partners to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
Mr. Marshall indicts India and the BJP by citing incidents of religious extremism. He would have us believe that attacks on religious minorities in India are a matter of state policy — or state acquiescence. Nothing is further from the truth.
The murders of Australian missionary Graham Staines and his sons were horrific, as were subsequent reports of the burning down of two Hindu temples in Australia. Is the Australian government responsible for those atrocities? The murderers of Mr. Staines and his sons were brought to justice. Twelve of the accused were convicted and sentenced. The main accused has been sentenced to death.
Mr. Marshall misrepresents facts. The reported rape of four nuns by "Hindu extremists" in Jhabua, Madhya Pradesh, is a case in point. Francois Gautier, a French journalist, interviewed the nuns. He reported that the nuns and the local bishop told him that a gang that "had nothing to do with religion" had committed the rapes. In another case, Hindus supposedlyburneddownchurchesinAndhra Pradesh, but Hindu culpability has been disproved.
The Gujarat riots and the loss of innocent lives, Muslim and Hindu, are not among Indian democracy's finest hours and must be condemned. However, Mr. Marshall, while quoting the Indian chief justice, failed to note that court's ruling, in response to petitions filed by various citizens groups, demanding that the Gujarat courts establish a registry for reporting such cases and that they be prosecuted actively. Many of the trials have resulted in lengthy prison sentences.
Mr. Marshall did not note that Diwali, Eid and Christmas all are federal holidays in India. Christians, Muslims, Sikhs and other non-Hindus serve in the highest levels of government, the armed services and the police. India's president is a Muslim. Defense Minister George Fernandes is a Christian. Both enjoy the support and confidence of the BJP. At the dawn of the new Christian millennium in 2000, when many of the non-Christian countries of Asia, including China, refused to allow the pope to visit, it was the BJP-led Indian government that welcomed him.
Like other multiethnic, multireligious societies, India has its problems, but to portray it as a simmering cauldron of sectarian hatred and violence, as Mr. Marshall does, is a grave injustice to an American ally.

U.S. India Political Action Committee ,Washington
<b>Terrorist groups stepping in behind Al-Qaida</b>, officials say
By Raymond Bonner and Don Van Natta Jr.
New York Times

JAKARTA, Indonesia - The landscape of the terrorist threat has shifted, many intelligence officials around the world say, with more than a dozen regional militant Islamist groups showing signs of growing strength and broader ambitions, even as the operational power of Al-Qaida appears diminished.

Some of the militant groups, with roots from Southeast Asia, Central Asia and the Caucasus to North Africa and Europe, are believed to be loosely affiliated with Al-Qaida, the officials say. But others follow their own agenda, merely drawing inspiration from Osama bin Laden's periodic taped messages calling for attacks against the United States and its allies, the officials say.

The smaller groups have shown resilience in resisting the efforts against terrorism led by the United States, officials said, by establishing terrorist training camps in Kashmir, the Philippines and West Africa, filling the void left by the destruction of Al-Qaida's camps in Afghanistan. But what is also worrisome to counterterrorism officials is evidence that, like Al-Qaida, some of them are setting their sights beyond the regional causes that inspired them.

The organization Ansar al-Islam, for example, has largely fled its base in northern Iraq and elements of the group have moved to several European countries where they are believed to be actively recruiting suicide bombers for attacks in Iraq and Europe, officials said.

The mutation of the cells was illustrated in October when the authorities in Australia arrested a Caribbean-born French citizen who they believe was sent by a little-known Pakistani group to scout possible targets. The group, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, was previously thought to be focused only on the struggle of Muslims in Kashmir.

The activity of such organizations is one reason intelligence officials believe that the threat of terrorism against the United States and its allies remains high. But the mobility and murky associations of the groups, most of which were operating before the Sept. 11 attacks, makes it difficult for agents to monitor their communications or follow their money.

``They are like little time bombs that have been sent out into the world,'' said Gwen McClure, an FBI agent and the director of counterterrorism at Interpol, the international police organization. ``You never know where it might go off.''

The deepening concern about the strength of the regional groups comes as Al-Qaida is described by officials as having been hobbled by the capture or killing of its top lieutenants and less capable of mounting an attack like the one on Sept. 11. But evidence of Al-Qaida's activity continues to set off alarms, like the cancellation of several recent trans-Atlantic flights from Britain and France to the United States because of security concerns.

Beyond the recent concerns about Al-Qaida, counterterrorism officials in a dozen counties say they are trying to understand the workings of obscure groups that appear capable of carrying out attacks without the financial or logistical support of bin Laden.

``Al-Qaida's biggest threat is its ability to inspire other groups to launch attacks, usually in their own countries,'' said a senior intelligence official based in Europe. ``I'm most worried about the groups that we don't know anything about.''

That view was reflected at a meeting of police officials from the Asian-Pacific region and Europe organized by Interpol in late January in Bali. In conversations there and in interviews throughout Europe, officials voiced concern about the threat of regional terrorist networks, which they said would not be reduced even if bin Laden was captured or killed.

Many officials said they doubted that bin Laden was directing operations, although several officials said they believed that he was using couriers to deliver handwritten messages to associates in Pakistan.

The officials said their view of Al-Qaida had changed. The terror network today is different from the Al-Qaida that existed before Sept. 11; a ``credible argument can be made that it's finished,'' said a senior Australian official.

``However,'' he added, ``to talk about it being finished is to ignore what it is.'' He said it was more accurately described as a movement of individuals who view the United States and the West as the enemy. ``Every day around the world, we are discovering Al-Qaida members and cells previously unknown,'' he said
Explosion goes off inside bus in India
<b>India all set to test-fire Agni-III this year: Fernandes </b> <!--emo&:thumbsup--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/thumbup.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='thumbup.gif' /><!--endemo-->
Sujit Chatterjee (PTI)
New Delhi, February 15


India is all set to test-fire this year its new longer-range 'Agni-
III' surface-to-surface missile capable of carrying nuclear weapons.

"Yes, the missile should be test-fired this year. We have so far not
zeroed in on any date for its launch. This is just the beginning of
the year," Defence Minister George Fernandes told PTI in New Delhi.

On whether the missile would have a strike range of over 3,000 km,
Fernandes said, "I will not make any commitment on that."

He also parried a question if the missile would be test-fired from a
mobile launcher like other such weapons in the country's
arsenal. "At the appropriate time one will know about it," he said.

India has already operationalised 700-km range Agni-I and 2000-km
range Agni-II, which are both capable of carrying nuclear weapons.
Agni-III is being developed to have a range longer than Agni-II.

Replying to questions on acquisition of 'Phalcon' airborne
surveillance systems, Fernandes said a memorandum of understanding
has been reached with Israel and Russia and "things are moving". The
Phalcon system would be mounted on a Russian-made IL-series aircraft.

"We are producing our own airborne warning and control system. Work
is on for the production of indigenous AWACS," he said.
<b>Pakistani Hindus win India rights</b>

<b>The Indian government has decided to grant citizenship to Hindus from Pakistan who have been living in India for more than five years.</b>
Hindu Singh Sodha, president of the Pakistani Hindu National Organisation, said the move would benefit several thousand Pakistani nationals who now live in the western Indian states of Rajasthan and Gujarat.

Mr Sodha said most of these people had travelled to India on valid travel documents, but they refused to go back because they feared religious persecution.

The government said district magistrates of states bordering Pakistan would be given the power to grant citizenship.
Why are we so timid about this that we have to learn about this from the BBC. Are we so stricken with fear everytime we do something humanitarian for Hindu refugees. Ah but i forget , we are secular, such acts are not mentionable in polite company in India.

In any event this is better than deporting them


The plight of Pakistani Hindus

The human rights abuses of Pakistani Hindus
Publication: State of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan
Date: 1999
““The Hindus remained under double jeopardy ¡V from their not only being non-Muslim but also sharing the religion with the Indian majority. During times of tensions with India ¡V as over Kargil during 1999 ¡V they became even more vulnerable. The plight of the so-called scheduled castes adds a third jeopardy of extreme poverty. A minority member of the parliament and parliament secretary, Kishen Bheel, once told the National Assembly that the Hindus were being looted wherever they were: in Sindh it was generally the dacoits, elsewhere the police. If the government wanted to drive out Hindus, he said, it should say so.

““Violations against temples In Karachi, a tenant of a part of the 200-year-old Shri Punch Mukhi Hanuman Mandir, Ghulam Rasool, got the piece leased in his name with his name with the connivance of some KMC officials, and then started construction on it. The pujari (priest) of the temple petitioned the court which ordered an enquiry. In Mirpur, a fire was started in Darbar Guru Nanak Saheb Mandir in Goth Garhi Chakar. The roof was burnt down, religious literature was gutted Hindus put all shutters down and called off Holi celebrations.

In Lahore the official auqaf department decided to convert Krishna mandir on Ravi Poad into a dispensary.(¡K) When in reaction to the destuction of the Babri Masjid in India in 1992, a large number of Hindu temples in Pakistan were sacked, the government had promised to reconstruct and restore them. The historic Prahlad Temple in Multan, amongst many others, still remain in debris.

Pg 127

““Violence against Hindus rarely made even local newspaper headlines. Few of a dozen or so incidents that occurred in the space of one-and-a-half months in July and August did. On July 17, dacoits hijacked a bus with 56 passengers in the Guddu police stations jurisdiction. A ransom was only demanded for the release of the abducted Hindus ¡V a price of one million rupees was paid by their family for their release.

On July 27th Nikal Chand, 18, assistant at a medical store in Umerkot was kidnapped and killed. Two days laterin Khaan city in Mirpurkhas a boy called Gagan Mingwar was raped by the factory owner Latif Ramgar and then killed. Another boy, Ranjhan Oad was held in Khaanji or Nijj Jail, a private jail of Haveli Arisar near Chhor in Umerkot. He was released when the SDM raided the place on July 28th.

On July 29th, Bhiman Das Eidanman, 28, was murdered in Kandhkot, reportedly by dacoits. Mashau Kolhi, 16, was raped before and after her marriage by her zamindar and kamdar in Deh 255, village Chonro Bhurgri near Digri. They also made pictures and video cassettes of her without dress, and had her husband and father-in-law arrested on false charges of possessing hashish.

Daanu Weenjholi was robbed of all valuables in his home and then killed by dacoits who posed as policemen, in Ghotki village in Nagar Parkar, on August 8. Ratri and her pregnant daughter- in- law were raped in Qadir Bux Talpur village in Matli in Badin in August 12th. Three armed men had entered the house and tied up the male members.

Chanu Wishram, a farmer boy, was kidnapped by armed men of a Digri feudal. On August 26th Pushpa, 45, a widow, was robbed and murdered in her house in Naudero. Two days later, Teekarn Das, a business man, was kidnapped for ransom near Kandhra, in Sukkur. Raju, an intermediate student kidnapped with four others while worshipping in a Mandir in Pir-jo-Goth, was killed for the demanded ransom not being paid for him. Jaivan, 10, was kidnapped, raped and killed in Kunri. Early in August minority MPA from Sukkur, Mehru Mal Jagwani, said that in addition to these four Hindus picked up from Pir-jo-Goth, four months earlier, three Hindus had been abducted from each of Kashmore and Sanghar. They were all missing and fear had gripped all Hindus. Three of them were later reported to have been released on a ransom of Rs, 1 million.

There were no reports of serious pursuit of such cases by the police or of any redress provided to the victims.

Pg 128

““The Kargil crisis fuelled anti-Hindu suspicions. A word was once spread that Indian agents were looses in the border areas of fairly high minority-concentration, such as Bahawalpur and Rahimyar Khan.

In July, four Hindus of Sindh, Sajan, Qaisariya, Rura Ram and Gekha, came to Islamabad to obtain visas for India and stayed in a temple. The CIA rounded them from there claiming suspicion of their being spies. After prolonged interrogation, and after extorting heavy bribes, it released them late in the night. Earlier in the same month, (Pakistani) Intelligence services were reported from Dharki to have sent a report claiming ¡¥anti-state activities¡¦ relating to Kargil against 200 Hindus of Sukkur and 28 of Gotkhi. Including several businessmen.

A constitutional petition was filed in the Supreme High Court against Hindu judge, Justice Rana Bhagwandas, arguing that a non-Muslim could not be a member of superior judiciary in an Islamic republic. The petition was referred to a full bench. The judgemnet was still reserves wgen the judge, who was in fact next in line to be the chief justice of the Supreme High Court, was transferred to the Supreme Court.

““Kavita, daughter of a cloth mercahnt of Jacobabad, Ghanumaf, was kidnapped, converted, then married to a Muslim, Jusuf Rajput. She was brought out in a procession to the court and made to read out a statement that she was in love with Yusuf and had converted to his faith. There was no effort by the court to ascertain her independent will, or circumstances of her initial abduction.

“Triumph of love,” chanted an ecstatic crowd showering rose petals on the couple. “Where was this devotion to love just four or five months ago,” asked Hindu Dr. Heera Lal Lohano, an anguished but devout Pakistani citizen, “when a Muslim girl, Shabana Mahar, had fallen in love with a final year Hindu MBBS student of Chandka Medical College, Pawan Kumar. The boy and girl were both killed (¡K) and disappeared without a trace.
Pakistani Hindus win India rights

The Indian government has decided to grant citizenship to Hindus
from Pakistan who have been living in India for more than five
Hindu Singh Sodha, president of the Pakistani Hindu National
Organisation, said the move would benefit several thousand Pakistani
nationals who now live in the western Indian states of Rajasthan and

Mr Sodha said most of these people had travelled to India on valid
travel documents, but they refused to go back because they feared
religious persecution.

The government said district magistrates of states bordering
Pakistan would be given the power to grant citizenship.

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