|W O R L D||
Tuesday, September 8, 1998
|Diplomatic win for India at IPU meet
MOSCOW, Sept 7 The inter-parliamentary union conference today rejected separate proposals by Britain, Japan and Iran to identify Kashmir as a "flashpoint" in West Asia and discuss the nuclear standoff in the region.
Yeltsin signs pact to
Reds for Primakov as compromise
MOSCOW, Sept 7 President Boris Yeltsin has signed a political power-sharing agreement ceding some of his vast powers to Russias Prime Minister, Itar-Tass quoted a Kremlin aide as saying.
A resident rows a raft as a passenger train goes on a submerged railroad track near Narsindhi district, 40 km south of Dhaka on Sunday. Two months of floods in Bangladesh submerged 44 districts out of 64. AP/PTI
Crackdown on Opposition ordered
Hun Sen escapes grenade attack
PHNOM PENH, Sept 7 Cambodian Premier and strongman Hun Sen today ordered a crackdown on opposition demonstrators and the arrest of rival Sam Rainsy after an early morning grenade attack at his residence.
Annan admits failure on
affair caps Clinton-Yeltsin summit
Hutu rebels die in jailbreak
Diplomatic win for India at IPU meet
MOSCOW, Sept 7 (PTI) The inter-parliamentary union (IPU) conference today rejected separate proposals by Britain, Japan and Iran to identify Kashmir as a "flashpoint" in West Asia and discuss the nuclear standoff in the region.
The anti-India proposals, which also called for unconditional signing of non-proliferation treaties, were rejected by 1,131 to 835 votes of the delegates representing Parliaments of 137 countries. India, which has 23 votes under the IPU constitution, abstained.
Observers dubbed the defeat of the proposals as a "major diplomatic victory" for India and credited it to lobbying by Lok Sabha Speaker G.M.C. Balayogi and Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairperson Najma Heptullah.
Conference sources said British and Danish proposals for discussions on alleged human rights violations in Kashmir might take place in camera at the level of the working group during the five-day meeting which began today.
Moving its proposal, Japan had named Kashmir as the key issue for resolving the nuclear standoff in West Asia.
Opening the conference attended by more than 700 parliamentarians, including 90 Speakers and Deputy Speakers, Russian President Boris Yeltsin indirectly attacked India and Pakistan for their attempt to join the nuclear club.
Without naming the two
nations, Mr Yeltsin censured the "states striving to
enter the nuclear club" and described the
proliferation of nuclear weapons as one of the main
threats faced by the world in the post-cold war era.
Yeltsin signs pact to share power
MOSCOW, Sept 7 (AFP, Reuters) President Boris Yeltsin has signed a political power-sharing agreement ceding some of his vast powers to Russias Prime Minister, Itar-Tass quoted a Kremlin aide as saying.
The agreement, designed to ease the way for acting Premier Viktor Chernomyrdins confirmation as Prime Minister by Parliament, will broaden the powers of the Russian Cabinet, the aide Sergei Yastrzhembsky, was quoted as saying.
The state Duma (Lower House of Parliament) is seeking to limit Mr Yeltsins immense power in exchange for the confirmation of Mr Chernomyrdins candidacy in a vote scheduled later.
President Boris Yeltsin in the meantime stood by his candidate for premiership, Mr Viktor Chernomyrdin, in talks with Opposition leaders at the Kremlin today, his chief spokesman said.
The President is insisting on Chernomyrdin, Kremlin spokes-man Sergei Yastrzhembsky was quoted as saying by Interfax news agency.
The spokesman added that other candidates for Russian Prime Minister who suited the opposition were also being discussed.
The communists intend to present President Yeltsin with a series of alternative candidates, including the surprise choice of Acting Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov.
The NTV station yesterday broadcast a video of Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov talking to party members in Parliament and mentioning five possible alternative candidates to Mr Chernomyrdin, including Mr Primakov.
The TV used a powerful long-range microphone to record Mr Zyuganov, who apparently was unaware he could be overheard.
Mr Primakov (68) former head of Russias external spy service and a long-time diplomat, is acceptable to the Communist-dominated state Duma, the Lower House of Parliament because of his efforts to promote Russia as a great power and lessen its reliance on the west.
Mr Primakov is expected to keep his position as Foreign Minister if Mr Chernomyrdin is confirmed by the Duma either in the day possible third and final vote a week later.
Mr Yeltsin met parliamentary leaders earlier to try to resolve a crisis over the next Prime Minister. He met leaders of the Federation Council Upper House and the state Duma in the Kremlin to seek a compromise, hours before the Dumas second vote on confirming the Premier.
Yeltsin (67) has vowed to stand by his choice of Acting Prime Minister Chernomyrdin, who attended the talks. But the Communist party, the dominant force in the Duma, has refused to back him.
The stakes are high. Mr Yeltsin must dissolve the Duma if it rejects his candidate three times, plunging Russia into deeper political chaos as it tries to end an acute economic crisis in which the rouble has sunk and inflation as soared.
Russia has been without a Prime Minister since Mr Yeltsin sacked young reformer Sergei Kiriyenko on August 23.
Here we have Russia, an entire country, with no leader for two weeks. You want Chernomyrdin, with his hands tied, to deal with these problems in a matter of days? he cant, Mr Chernomyrdin said on NTV television yesterday.
We need a team, we need a government and action. And have none of these.
110 Suu Kyi's partymen held
YANGON, Sept 7 (AP) Myanmars military government has arrested 110 members of Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyis political party, the party said today.
The National League for Democracy said 50 elected members of Parliament were among those detained in a wave of arrests that began today. The arrests so far were mainly in provinces outside the Capital, Yangon, and included officials of the partys organising committees and members of its youth and womens wings.
The crackdown had been anticipated after the NLD announced last month it would convene the Parliament elected in 1990.
The arrests also followed the first street protests against the military rule in two years. Last week as many as 3,000 students protested to demand the convening of Parliament and greater democracy.
The NLD won 82 per cent of the seats in Parliament. Despite promising before the poll that it would hand over power to the victors, the military refused to honour the result.
Ms Suu Kyi and the NLD set August 21 as the deadline for the military to convene the 1990 Parliament. When the deadline passed with no action from the government, the party announced it would convene Parliament on its own.
The military had warned that it would be illegal and result in the arrest of NLD members and possibly revoking of the partys legal status.
Crackdown on Opposition ordered
PHNOM PENH, Sept 7 (AFP) Cambodian Premier and strongman Hun Sen today ordered a crackdown on opposition demonstrators and the arrest of rival Sam Rainsy after an early morning grenade attack at his residence.
Hun Sen squarely blamed the morning drive-by attack on his unoccupied City Centre home and on leaders of a nearly two week-old opposition sit-in, protesting against alleged fraud in the July 26 elections which he had won.
In a press conference here minutes after he dashed in from the northern town of Siem Reap, he said the police investigating the drive-by attack were seeking to arrest Rainsy, holed up in a United Nations office.
Demonstrators must disperse by midnight. After that the demonstration will be closed down, he announced, accusing leaders of the protest of plotting to destroy his victory in the July 26 elections.
Four or five grenades do not destroy the elections. They are trying to destroy it by provoking me into using force, he said.
The head of the ruling Cambodian Peoples Party (CPP) said the countrys borders had been sealed to prevent those wanted for arrest from leaving the country.
The Sam Rainsy Party immediately denied any link to the grenade attack, and asserted an attempt to arrest him would violate the Cambodian and international law.
Earlier, grenades were hurled at his home in the capital from a passing motorcycle. Authorities reported that no one was hurt.
The tension-filled capital immediately came alive with speculation that Mr Hun Sen, who was not at the house, had staged the attack as an excuse to crack down on his opponents and crush weeks of protests against his continued rule.
Mr Hun Sen immediately broke off the last day of stalled negotiations in the northern city of Siem Reap with representatives of opposition parties that have bitterly contested his victory in parliamentary elections July 26.
Before flying back to the capital, where the police was deployed in force, Mr Hun Sen said the attack marked the end of his patience in dealing with challenges to his victory, which have been marked by a round-the-clock protests by thousands of people.
Mr Hun Sen called opposition leader Sam Rainsy, who has been the most instrumental in the protests, a terrorist.
This is the real nature of coup detat, Mr Hun Sen said. They called for soldiers, the police to shoot me, to overthrow me. They called on the USA to fire missiles at my house, Mr Hun Sen said.
But when he could not succeed, he used this act of terrorism, Mr Hun Sen said. So I think it has come to a stage where legal action must be taken against this terrorist leader.
Two grenades were hurled on house of Hun Sen.
Mr Hun Sen was attending talks mediated by King Norodom Sihanouk with opposition representatives in the northern city of Siem Reap when the attack occurred. A bodyguard, speaking on condition of anonymity, said he was returning to Phnom Penh.
Hun Sens father was in the house at the time of the attack, the bodyguard said. Hun Sen himself seldom stays there, preferring his fortress-like compound, known as the Tigers Lair, outside the capital.
Mok Chito, one of Phnom Penhs police chiefs, said that two men were seen riding a motorcycle against traffic in front of the house and throwing the grenades over the four-metre high gates.
Annan admits failure on Afghan war
UNITED NATIONS, Sept 7 (PTI) United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has admitted that the United Nations diplomatic efforts had failed to produce any effect on the conflict in Afghanistan and criticised outside powers for egging the warring groups on to continue their fight.
The hostility between the factions is so intense and distrust so pervasive that no amount of skillful diplomacy would achieve a breakthrough, he said in a report released on the eve of 53rd session of the General Assembly.
Despite best efforts of the UN Special Mission and other diplomatic efforts, the warring Afghan parties have continued to pursue the military option at great humanitarian cost, he added. Without naming any country, he blamed outside forces for encouraging the parties to continue on the path of war.
Monica affair caps
WASHINGTON: President Clintons personal and political problems, especially his acknowledged affair with Monica Lewinsky, continue to dominate public debate with amazing fury, reducing the summit he had with his Russian counterpart Boris Yeltsin to a non-event.
If presidential aides had thought the Moscow show would be a diversionary tactic, they have, by all accounts, failed. As before, speculations about Clintons political survival are rife.
The Washington Post dismissed the Clinton-Yeltsin meet as an irrelevant summit, while the New York Times preferred to call it an event teetering on the slippery brink of self-parody.
Not unexpectedly, the right-wing Washington Times made it a point to mention: The leaders of the two supreme nuclear powers met for two days (September 1 and 2) in Moscow with serious doubts about whether either of them will be able to complete his term. In addition, they resolved almost nothing.
Instead of displaying the outcome of the summit, the New York Times had on its front-page two stories about Clintons indiscretions involving the 25-year-old former White House intern Lewinsky. Its rival, the Washington Post, led with allegations of campaign fund irregularities against the President in addition to a couple of stories on his affair with Lewinsky.
Both dailies could accommodate the summit in a single column. Most of the papers had prominently displayed Clintons reply to a question at his joint press conference with Yeltsin in Moscow pertaining to his August 17 live address to the nation in which he had expressed my profound regret to all who were hurt by his affair with Lewinsky and his false denials.
Clinton said he thought his speech was clear enough despite criticism that he appeared more resentful than remorseful. The President said he asked to be forgiven and spent very valuable time on his vacation, immediately before his departure for Moscow, making amends with his wife Hillary and their 18-year-old daughter Chelsea.
According to observers, Clintons comment, described as the latest attempt to put the Lewinsky matter behind, did little to calm the troubled political waters in Washington.
Political leaders, including his own partymen, believe that he did not go far enough. If the statement was meant to be an apology, Democratic Senator Bob Graham felt, it was a failure. The general impression is that the President stopped short of saying, Im sorry.
Instead of allowing him a respite, Clintons absence in the capital added to the political odds he faced. On Wednesday, he became subject of a new Justice Department probe to determine whether an Independent Counsel should investigate allegations that he personally violated campaign-spending rules during his 1996 re-election bid.
The review was prompted by new information suggesting that Clinton and his top political aides controlled advertising that was paid for by the Democratic National Committee, but was aimed at advancing his re-election effort, thus circumventing the spending limits on individual federal campaigns.
In another development, District Judge Susan Webber Wright in the southern state of Arkansas has threatened a contempt charge against Clinton for his misleading answers under oath in the now dismissed Paula Jones sexual harassment lawsuit against him.
The Lewinsky controversy was a by-product of the Jones suit. Jones lawyers called Lewinsky as witness and in her sworn affidavit she denied any kind of sexual relationship with the President. Clinton too denied having an affair with Lewinsky.
However, the most damaging development in Clintons absence here was criticism of the President on the Senate floor yesterday by Joseph Lieberman of his own Democratic Party. A long-time Clinton friend, the Senator condemned the Presidents marital infidelity as immoral, disgraceful and damaging to the country but stopped short of demanding his resignation. In his view, such a demand was premature before Congress receives a report from Starr.
Lieberman said he was angered and disappointed at Clintons behaviour and his premeditated deception. Clinton apparently had extramarital relations with an employee half his age and did so in the workplace in the vicinity of the Oval office. Such behaviour is not just inappropriate. It is immoral, he said.
What worries the White House most is that Liebermans statement might encourage other Democrats to speak up. Till now they have adopted a wait and watch attitude. Two other Democratic Senators Christopher Dodd and Bob Graham are also stated to be dissatisfied with the manner in which Clinton sought to explain his behaviour vis-a-vis Lewinsky.
According to observers, the growing uneasiness among Democratic lawmakers about the Presidents conduct is a source of concern for the White House. Any erosion in his support within the party would prove fatal for Clinton. In the seventies, Republican President Richard Nixon had to go after his partymen in the wake of lack of support for its ranks.
Presidents Clinton faces a piquant situation. Currently, he enjoys the backing of over 63 per cent of Americans.
100 Hutu rebels die in jailbreak
HARARE, Sept 7 (ANI) More than 100 Hutu rebels were killed by Rwandan forces after the rebels raided a prison and freed about 350 inmates at Kibuye.
Reports from Kigali quoted a minister in the Presidents office, Patrick Mizimhaka, as saying that the rebels were killed by the Rwandan army, supported by local inhabitants, after they tried to storm the local prison and set fire to local government offices. Earlier, a state radio report said that more than 2,000 militiamen took part in the attack, releasing 5,000 prisoners.
|Swissair jet recorder found
HALIFAX: Divers have retrieved one of the two flight recorders from Swissair-flight MD 11 which crashed into the ocean with 229 persons on board, VIC Gerden, chief investigator of the Canadian Transport Safety Board, told a news conference on Sunday. Gerden said the recorder would be sent to laboratories in Ottawa for examination by an international team. The recorder was found five miles off Canadas Nova Scotia Coast. The plane crashed on Wednesday night. Reuters
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