|Thursday, January 13, 2000,
by Japan irritant to relations
unfit to stand trial: UK
|No let-up in Spice isles clashes:
AMBON, Jan 12 At least 21 persons were killed in the latest round of fighting between Christians and Muslims in eastern Indonesia, witnesses and reports said today.
team to visit Pak after coup
with Syria in two months: Barak
Timor border deal signed
on women in army unlawful
is still trailing: poll
Sanctions by Japan irritant to relations
TOKYO, Jan 12 (PTI) Japan has agreed to initiate a dialogue with India on security and defence issues even as New Delhi today asked Tokyo not to allow the single issue of CTBT to cloud the relationship between the two countries.
There are reasons to be more than satisfied with the current state of Indo-Japan ties with Tokyo now agreeing to initiate a dialogue with New Delhi on security issues, Defence Minister George Fernandes told Indian journalists after meetings with former Prime Minister and senior adviser to the government on foreign policy Ryutaro Hashimoto, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Yuki Yamamoto and other Japanese leaders.
Expressing optimism over his efforts to make the Japanese understand Indias security concerns, Mr Fernandes said, I told the Japanese leadership that we should not allow the single issue of CTBT to cloud our relationship.
Japans decision to enter into a security dialogue with India following the talks Mr Fernandes had with Senior Cabinet Affairs Minister Mikio Aoki and Defence Minister Tsumoto Kawara is being seen here as a major positive achievement to bring the relationship between the two countries back on rails after it had nosedived following the May, 1998, nuclear tests.
Mr Fernandes, who arrived here on Monday for a five-day official visit, the first by an Indian Defence Minister, said the Japanese Government raised the issues relating to the CTBT and sanctions.
Pinochet unfit to stand trial: UK
LONDON, Jan 12 (AP) After nearly 15 months, former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet may finally be winning his legal fight against extradition to Spain thanks not to a court victory, but his poor health.
British Home Secretary Jack Straw said yesterday that an independent medical examination was unequivocal and unanimous in finding the 84-year-old General unfit to stand trial, and he was, therefore, inclined to take the view that no purpose will be served in continuing the present extradition proceedings.
This opens the door for General Pinochet to return home to Chile within weeks, ending the detention on charges of human rights abuses, which activists contend set a universal precedent and put dictators around the world on alert.
But before Mr Straw makes a final ruling, he has given everyone involved in the case including Spanish Judge Baltazar Garzon, who brought the extradition request, and Chile, which has lobbied for the General to return home seven days to submit arguments for his consideration.
Mr Straw also invited France, Switzerland and Belgium, which have extradition requests pending against General Pinochet, to respond. They all claim that citizens of their countries, who may in some cases be Chilean exiles, suffered abuses under General Pinochet.
Mr Straw did not say how long he would take after those seven days to rule.
General Pinochet has been detained in Britain since his October 16, 1998, arrest in a London hospital on a Spanish warrant. He is accused for using torture to intimidate and silence political opponents throughout his 1973-90 dictatorship.
His supporters say since his arrest, General Pinochets health steadily deteriorated. He remains under police guard in a rented mansion outside London, suffers from diabetes, wears a pacemaker and has difficulty in walking. His doctors have said he suffered two minor strokes in September.
The Chilean Government urged Mr Straw in October to allow an independent medical team to examine General Pinochets health. Mr Straw consented and on January 5, two geriatricians, a neurologist and fourth doctor spent seven hours examining the former dictator.
Following recent deterioration in the state of Senator Pinochets health... he is at present unfit to stand trial and that no change to that position can be expected, the doctors concluded. Their exact findings remained confidential.
The announcement cheered General Pinochets supporters, who have been watching the General fight the difficult legal battle to win freedom. Last October, General Pinochet lost his case before a London magistrate, who ordered him extradited to Spain. But his lawyers appealed and a hearing was scheduled for March 20.
General Pinochet was said by friends to be delighted by the latest twist in his case.
His opponents, meanwhile, expressed dismay at what they see as the now inevitable collapse of their best chance of making the General stand trial.
We are reacting with horror, said Mr Carlos Reyes, spokesman for Chile Democratico, which represent Chileans living in exile.
Human rights groups also admitted disappointment, but said human rights law had been strengthened by General Pinochets detention, even if he does eventually return home.
No let-up in Spice isles clashes: 21 dead
AMBON, Jan 12 (AP) At least 21 persons were killed in the latest round of fighting between Christians and Muslims in eastern Indonesia, witnesses and reports said today.
The worst of the fighting was on Seram Islands, 2,600 km east of Jakarta, where clashes in Masohi town left nine dead and scores injured yesterday, said military spokesman Lt Col Iwa Budiman.
He said the warring factions clashed throughout the day, burning buildings and forcing thousands of people to flee their homes.
On Halmahera Islands, in North Maluku, seven persons were killed on Monday and five yesterday, witnesses and newspapers said.
The military managed to separate the two sides after fighting yesterday, but thousands were fleeing the island fearing an increase in bloodshed, said Achmad Ali, a non-commissioned officer stationed in the south of the island.
Nearly 2,000 persons have died in a year of sectarian violence in the Maluku Islands, known as the Moluccas or the Spice Islands during Dutch colonial rule.
Meanwhile, Indonesias military said today it was searching for up to 800 persons hiding in forests to escape violence between Christians and Muslims in the eastern Spice Islands.
Between 700-800 people are hiding in forests in Buru Islands after clashes which erupted in December. We are searching for them to give them medical aid and to evacuate them to safer places, Colonel Iwa Budiman told Reuters.
Meanwhile, a sociologist with contacts in the large northern island of Halmahera said 18 Muslims were killed in clashes there yesterday.
First US team to visit Pak after coup
ISLAMABAD, Jan 12 (AP) The first US legislators to visit Pakistan since the military staged a bloodless coup and took power three months ago will be seeking a timetable for a return to democracy, a US Embassy spokesman said today.
The four Democratic Senators Mr Tom Daschell of South Dakota, Mr Christopher Dodd of Connecticut, Mr Harry Reid of Nevada and Mr Daniel Akaka of Hawaii are to arrive tomorrow for a two-day visit.
Discussions with Pakistani officials will try to determine when this poor country of 140 million people will return to democratic rule, said Mark Wentworth of the US Embassy.
The USA was muted in its criticism of the military take-over of October 12, limiting its criticism to demands for a timetable for a return to democracy.
Russia admits mistakes
MOSCOW Jan 12 (Reuters) A Chechen rebel Internet web site said guerrillas had established control of some key roads and highways, as well as buildings in several previously Russian-held towns.
Both sides also described clashes in and around the shattered capital Grozny and in the southern mountains, where Russias military said it also carried out air strikes.
Following the weekends Chechen counterattacks, Russias top commander in Chechnya, Gen Kazantsev, said the brass had learned from its mistakes.
Defence Minister Igor Sergeyev said acting President Vladimir Putin had approved new methods to press on with the three-and-a-half-month campaign. Guerrillas announced that they would now switch to a tactic of constant partisan raids.
In another move, the Kremlin has imposed a 24-hour curfew in Chechnya to crush the rebel resistance quickly. Officials said refugees returning home would have to undergo strict scrutiny to prevent the terrorists from mingling with them, the Voice of Russia reported.
Meanwhile on the war front, Russian federal troops have wiped out 150 Chechen rebels from the Shali settlements, which the latter tried to capture in a surprise assault a couple of days back, the commander of Eastern Forces in Caucasus, Gen Sergei Markov, announced today. The advancing Chechen guerrillas fled from the scene after suffering enormous casualties, Novosti adds.
The commanding officer
of the Russian troops in South Caucasus, Gen Viktor
Kazantsev asserted that the quick successes of Russian
forces were possible due to the refusal of the local
population to support the militants. He announced that
federal troops were now in full control of Shali,
Gudermas and Argun and added that Russian forces were
aggressively in mounting offensives against Chechen
Peace with Syria in two months: Barak
JERUSALEM, Jan 12 (AP) Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak today said a framework for a peace treaty with Syria can be reached in two months.
It is not presumptuous to think that we can have a framework agreement within two months, Mr Barak said on Army Radio, may be two weeks more or less.
Mr Barak returned yesterday from eight days of US-sponsored talks with Syria at Shepherdstown, (USA).
Mr Barak said although he made no promises about new borders, past commitments made by the Israeli governments since the start of West Asia peace talks in 1991 in Madrid cannot be ignored.
Syria claims that previous Israeli governments pledged to return all of the Golan Heights for peace.
Mr Barak, told Israelis their negotiations were reaching a decisive stage that would require some tough soul-searching.
Having failed to achieve a public handshake from Syrian Foreign Minister Farooq Al-Shara let alone confidence-building measures, Mr Barak yesterday said he was protecting Israels security and future not dabbling in courtesies, smiles and hugs.
The talks, hosted by US President Bill Clinton, will resume in the USA on January 19.
There is no doubt that the peace talks with Syria are reaching the decisive stage... sooner or later I dont know whether its in this round or the next or the one after that we will reach the tough decisions, Mr Barak told Israels Channel Two television.
When it becomes clear the other side is ready for peace, we will have to ask ourselves tough questions before we reject a true opportunity to strengthen Israel in peace agreements in the future, he told Israels Channel One.
DAMASCUS (Reuters): Syria will not take part in multinational West Asia talks in Moscow next month unless there is progress in bilateral negotiations with Israel, an official Syrian source has said.
Syria will not take part in such talks until there is some tangible progress in its own peace talks with Israel and after agreeing on the land issue, the source told Reuters yesterday.
Russia plans to host the first multinational West Asia peace talks in more than three years on February 1. Moscow and Washington are nominal joint sponsors of the West Asia peace process launched in Madrid in 1991.
E. Timor border deal signed
MOTAAIN (Indonesia), Jan 12 (Reuters) Indonesia and the international forces in East Timor today signed a deal designed to prevent clashes on the sensitive Timor border.
The deal was signed by Maj-Gen Peter Cosgrove, commander of the multinational force known as INTERFET, and Maj-Gen Kiki Syahnakri, who heads the Bali-based Udayana Military Command which includes Indonesias West Timor.
It was signed at the border village of Motaain, where an Indonesian policeman was killed in a border clash in October, shortly after the Australian-led international forces arrived in East Timor.
General Cosgrove said the agreement would be respected by a new UN peacekeeping force due shortly to replace INTERFET.
Ban on women in army unlawful
Luxembourg, Jan 12 (Reuters) The European Court has ruled that a ban on women bearing arms in the German Army was unlawful in a verdict likely to boost moves to integrate female soldiers within armed forces across Europe.
Defence Minister Rudolf Scharping promptly announced the Army would accept women for a broad range of military tasks from next year.
Hillary is still trailing: poll
NEW YORK, Jan 12 (Reuters) A poll taken days after First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton moved house to New York showed she still trailed New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, her likely Republican opponent in this years US Senate race.
In results that were unchanged from a December poll, Giuliani had the support of 49 per cent of New York States registered voters and Democrat Clinton received 40 per cent, according to the January 9-10 survey by the Poughkeepsie, NY-based Marist Institute for Public Opinion.
The poll revealed that
11 per cent of voters were undecided, but when they were
asked which candidate they were leaning toward, 53 per
cent opted for Giuliani and 42 per cent for Clinton with
5 per cent undecided.
forces kill 60 looters
to 172 yrs in prison
document for sale
mansion for sale
|| Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
| Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh Tribune | In Spotlight |
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
| 119 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |