|W O R L D||
Tuesday, November 9, 1999
President asks Pak to
Massive Aceh rally for freedom
President K. R. Narayanan meeting with the prominent members of Indian community at Imperial Hotel in Vienna on Sunday. Photo by Subhash Chander
China tells USA not to
meddle in Pak affairs
Major shake-up in Lankan Army
111 Falun Gong members held
Worst fighting ahead, says Chechen
President asks Pak to restore trust
VIENNA, Nov 8 (PTI) President K. R Narayanan today said that Pakistan must cease cross border terrorism and restore the trust destroyed by its armed intrusion in Kargil in Jammu and Kashmir for the resumption of the stalled Indo-Pak bilateral talks to settle all outstanding issues.
"India is watching the situation in Pakistan after last months military coup there and is prepared to engage in peaceful discussions...Once the atmosphere of trust destroyed by its (Pakistans) armed intrusion has been restored," Mr Narayanan, who arrived here last night on a four-day visit to Austria, said at a luncheon hosted by Austrian Chancellor Viktor Kalima here.
"We are committed to the peaceful resolution of all differences through a dialogue with our neighbours and to build mutually beneficial forward-looking relationships.
"With Pakistan, the Lahore process that our PM (A. B. Vajpayee) initiated together with his counterpart, received a setback when Pakistani forces violated the Line of Control and mounted an attack in the Kargil sector," he told the Austrian leader.
M Narayanan, who is here on the first-ever trip by an Indian Head of State to Austria, said India was seeking to build stronger links with all its neighbours and strengthening the seven-member regional economic grouping the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).
The President drew attention to the common positions taken by Delhi and Vienna on several important international issues, including restructuring of the United Nations. Mr Narayanan is here at the invitation of his Austrian counterpart Mr Thomas Klestil.
"We both agree that the UN needs strengthening and reforms. India, which is home to one-sixth of humanity, is ready to play its due role in a restructured UN," Mr Narayanan said making out a strong case for Delhis candidature for a permanent Security Council seat.
"We would look forward to working together towards our mutual objectives of creating a truly representative world body, which reflects current realities, which would promote development and security and safeguard human rights and human dignity," he said.
Mr Narayanans visit, aimed at further consolidating bilateral trade and economic ties, coincides with 50 years of establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries.
Turning to bilateral ties, Mr Narayanan said "Austria is a strategic link for India in its relationship with the European Union, which is its (Delhis) largest trade partner in the world."
He talked of the economic reforms undertaken by India and noted that the reforms had provided opportunities to both countries to expand relations in several areas such as steel manufacturing and railway equipments.
Mr Narayanan expressed the hope that trade links would further strengthen between the two countries.
Earlier, upon his arrival here last night, Mr Narayanan, who is accompanied by a high-powered delegation, was received at the airport by Austrian Minister for Justice Nikolaus Michalek.
Massive Aceh rally for freedom
JAKARTA, Nov 8 Separatist rebels in Indonesias restive Aceh province have vowed to keep up their fight for independence despite the new Presidents efforts to placate them.
President Abdurrahman Wahid, who took office only last month, has appointed Acehnese to top government jobs and has overseen a pledge by the military to pull troops out of the north Sumatran province.
But a spokesman for the separatist movement, Free Aceh, told this reporter at the weekend that it would not be deterred from its goal of full independence.
"We dont care if an Acehnese becomes the President of Indonesia, a Cabinet minister or Deputy Armed Forces commander. He then becomes an indonesian, a non-Acehnese," its spokesman Ismail Sahputra said.
"This will not help solve the problem: we want independence."
Mr Wahid has chosen Acehnese for two senior posts: Hasballah Saad as Human Rights Minister, a position newly created to clean up the countrys poor rights record, and Lieut-Gen Fachrul Razi as Indonesias powerful Deputy Armed Forces chief.
More than half a million people flooded the Aceh capital today to demand a referendum for independence in the largest separatist protest in the countrys history.
During a visit to Singapore during the weekend, Mr Wahid said he had written to Free Acehs exiled leader, Hasan di Tiro, in Sweden to seek a political solution and spoke to him on the phone. But Mr Sahputra denied the President had contacted Mr Di Tiro. "Hasan has never received any letter nor has he been contacted by Wahid," the spokesman said.
Separatist tensions have simmered for years in Aceh where people resent what they regard as Jakartas plundering of the areas natural resources. Aceh accounts for a major share of Jakartas oil and gas earnings.
Acehnese are also angry at the governments failure to make the military account for years of human rights abuses. Staunchly Muslm, Acehnese have long fought against central rule first against Dutch colonisers and later against Jakartas rule. Reuters
JAKARTA: Indonesias armed forces said today demands for a referendum on independence for Aceh were unrealistic and bids for separatism unconstitutional.
"The demand for referendum is not realistic," chief military spokesman Major-Gen Sudrajat told newspersons in an interview.
"Aceh is a part of Indonesia. So Aceh is managed by Acehnese people together with the Indonesian people... Thats why the demand for a referendum is not realistic and...Separatism is unconstitutional.
President Wahid said last week he would consider a referendum as an option to resolve tensions in the province, but analysts believe such a move unlikely.
Around 2,000 people are believed to have been killed during a nine-year military campaign to crush the separatist rebels in Aceh, Indonesias westernmost province on Sumatra.
Jakarta said it would bring those suspected of human rights abuses in the province to trial as soon as possible.
Gen Sudrajat said the main demand of the Acehnese was not independence, but fairer treatment.
"These problems can also be solved by having an interactive dialogue between Aceh itself with the central government and also with other cities in Indonesia."
Final status talks start despite blasts
RAMALLAH (West Bank), Nov 8 (Reuters) Israel and the Palestinians started talks today on a final peace treaty by voicing widely different positions on the most sensitive issues in their century-old conflict.
The meeting, in the Palestinian-ruled town of Ramallah, lasted less than two hours. It was held despite a bombing a day earlier in Israel in which at least 14 people were wounded. The Israeli police blamed the attack on Islamic militants.
Israel said the session was aimed at trying to map out an agenda for negotiations both sides hope to wrap up by September. Palestinians said they wanted their demand for a halt in Jewish settlement activity high on the list of talking points.
"I urge our Israeli partners to refrain from illegal acts which will prejudice the outcome of the negotiations in particular I am referring to settlement activities," chief Palestinian negotiator Yasser Abed Rabbo told reporters.
Spelling out his sides bedrock position, Abed Rabbo said the talks must be based on UN Security Council resolutions 242 and 338 of 1967 and 1973, which enshrined the principle of trading land for peace in the West Asia conflict.
Israel put the Palestinians on notice that for its part, the resolutions did not apply to the West Bank. The Palestine Liberation Organisation views them as calling for total Israeli withdrawal from all land occupied in the 1967 war.
Israel and the PLO aim to reach a framework accord on a permanent peace deal by February and a formal treaty by September resolving the issues at the heart of their conflict.
These issues include the fate of Jerusalem and the future of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
"The first talking point, one which the parties have constantly reiterated in past agreements, is the implementation of UN Security Council resolutions 242 and 338," Mr Abed Rabbo said in his opening remarks.
Earlier, Mr Danny Yatom, a top adviser to Prime Minister Ehud Barak, confirmed in a radio interview that the Israeli leader told his cabinet yesterday that he regarded resolutions 242 and 338 as having no standing in the West Bank.
China tells USA not to meddle in Pak affairs
BEIJING, Nov 8 (PTI) China has told the United States of America not to meddle in Pakistans affairs and let the Pakistani people decide the form of government they wanted.
"Pakistan is Chinas friendly neighbour, China believes that the Pakistani people are wise and able to manage their own affairs," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue told PTI here when asked Chinas stand on the military coup in Pakistan during the latest round of Sino-US consultations.
The latest Chinese position on Pakistan was conveyed to Washington during talks between Chinese Vice-Foreign Minister, Yang Jiechi, and US Under-Secretary for Political Affairs, Thomas Pickering, here on October 28.
Mr Pickering had said that he had discussed with the Chinese side the situation in Pakistan after the military coup there on October 12.
"The Chinese side also gave us its views, I believe that they should be the source of information on their views on the situation," Mr Pickering had said.
He said Washington wanted that a civilian government be restored in Islamabad at the earliest and added that economic sanctions on Pakistan would remain in place under US laws.
"Our discussion in that area was also very straight forward," Mr Pickering, who last week met Pakistans military ruler General Pervez Musharrafs emissary, Sahebzada Yakub Khan, in Washington, added.
Zhang said Chinas relations with Pakistan remained strong and added "both countries have always maintained normal and friendly relations."
Major shake-up in Lankan Army
COLOMBO, Nov 8 (AFP, UNI) Intense long-range artillery and mortar bomb attacks raged in northern Sri Lanka today as Tamil Tiger guerrillas slowed an advance into territory held by government forces, officials said.
The LTTE overnight pounded the new military defence lines but failed to capture any further ground after the army lost 10 key bases to the rebels, official sources said.
A probe is under way into the armys worst defeat yet at the hands of the Tiger rebels while the authorities attempted to lift troop morale with a major shake-up in the high command.
The LTTE said over its underground Voice of Tigers radio yesterday that its fighters were moving southwards from the town of Puliyankulam which they took on Saturday, but military sources said the army had been resisting.
Army units were setting up a new defence line just south of Puliyankulam while the Defence Ministry said 35 Tiger rebels and seven troops died in a clash on Saturday.
Military-held towns in northern Sri Lanka have crumbled at an astonishing rate since Tuesday, when the LTTE launched a ferocious counter-offensive against the armys earlier offensive code-named "Watershed."
Meanwhile, the Sri
Lankan Governments decision to re-impose censorship
on war news reporting in the face of a string of recent
military reversals has drawn condemnation from several
political parties and newspapers.
111 Falun Gong members held
BEIJING, Nov 8 (Reuters) The Chinese police has formally arrested 111 members of the outlawed Falun Gong spiritual movement on charges ranging from obstruction of law to stealing state secrets, a Cabinet spokesman said today.
Li Bing, Deputy Head of the Information Office of the State Council, or Cabinet, told a small group of foreign reporters he did not know how many Falun Gong members were under other forms of detention.
Is the world upside down?
LONDON, Nov 8 (Reuters) Is the world the wrong way up? A new atlas just published in Britain questions the conventional logic that the north, and consequently Europe and the USA, are undisputed king of the world.
"Why should north always be at the top of the map?" asked Andrew Heritage, chief cartographer for Dorling Kindersley (DK) Educational Publishers.
"It is an irritating orthodoxy, which is obviously rather handy as Europe and North America then appear to dominate the much larger land mass of the southern hemisphere," Heritage said. "But that is certainly not bought into by many cultures."
Heritage sets out to redress the balance in DKs "Atlas of World History", which, along with the companys new millennium atlas, seeks to offer "the most detailed portrait of the world yet attempted in print".
Previously unmapped worlds such as the subterranean land of organised crime are newly charted and satellite images show the North Pole by night, fires blazing as big as cities over the deserts of Africa and an enormous arc of Argentine oil prospectors circling the Falklands Islands exclusion zone.
"We have not hesitated to use unconventional map projections if it helps to clarify world events," said Heritage. "We re-examined all established conventions of map making."
Heritages eagle-eyed maps offer a new perspective on everything from the effect of mass tourism on the Canary Islands to the sooty aftermath of the Gulf war.
From politics to ecology, military history to diplomacy, new techniques are used to plough old ground.
"We felt, for example, that Japans situation in World War II maintaining a 35,000 km (21,750 miles) front-line that dwarfed the western front became more understandable when mapped with Australia towards the top," said Heritage.
Satellite imagery reveals changes in the sea colour around Marseilles in the north Mediterranean, caused by deadly algae killing off Plankton, while data from Interpol and beyond builds a chilling picture of the underworlds now global reach.
Alongside conventional regional maps in the millennium atlas are dazzling, cloud-free satellite images representing spring in every part of the world. Plankton fields can be spotted in the seas.
"Its the richest possible image you could ever achieve from a space-like perspective," said Heritage.
"We have also reproduced the very different world views of over 200 past societies, including Arab maps where north always appeared at the bottom," Heritage said.
If Arab maps are "upside down", Heritage said Chinese maps tend to be radial, working out from a central core with surrounding places holding ever less significance.
Mother hid infants body for 20 years
NEW YORK, Nov 8 (DPA) A woman has been charged with committing a murder 20 years ago after her young daughters body was found in a bedroom closet at her Brooklyn apartment, The New York Times reported.
The skeleton of three-year-old Latanisha Carmichael was found on Friday evening hidden in a parcel wrapped inside a newspaper dated November 4, 1979, the report said yesterday.
The police was led to the apartment by the daughters twin brother, who grew up in a foster family. The brother was looking for his natural mother when he learned that he had a twin sister, whom he had never seen.
The mother had told friends that she had been unable to support the child and sent her to relatives in the south. But a relative told the brother she believed the child was dead.
Worst fighting ahead, says Chechen warlord
ON THE CHECHEN-INGUSH BORDER, Nov 8 (Reuters) Russian planes and artillery pounded targets in Chechnya today as crowds of refugees queued up on the border of the breakaway region in the hope of fleeing.
Russias most wanted man, renegade Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev, earlier said in a videotaped remarks obtained by Reuters today that the worst fighting lay ahead.
"The real battles have not yet begun, Basayev said on a Grozny street at the weekend. Bombs could be heard in the distance as he spoke and plumes of smoke covered the city. "The flatlands, only a few big open spaces, is all that is left for the Russians, he said, referring to the northern areas already seized by Russians troops.
"There are places where we cant get up to them, because they have so much armour.
From the border checkpoints, heavy artillery fire could be heard hitting the western Chechen stronghold of Bamut.
The Russian advance and bombings have driven nearly 200,000 Chechens from their homes to try to get to safety in the neighbouring region of Ingushetia. Thousands are queuing up at the border, unable to cross through a narrow corridor periodically closed by the Russians.
A Reuters reporter at Chechnyas border with Georgia to the south saw planes bomb the mountain area of Itum Kale overnight.
Russias Interfax news agency said they also struck targets at the centre of the capital Grozny, ripping 12-metre craters in the ground.
Russian troops moved into Chechnya in September to attack Islamic rebels who invaded a neighbouring province and whom Moscow blames for apartment bombings in Russia that killed nearly 300 people. The guerrillas and Chechnyas President Aslan Maskhadov deny the allegation.
Interfax quoted Maskhadov as saying yesterday he had written to US President Bill Clinton appealing for help in stopping what he described as the genocide of his people. European and US Leaders have pressed Russia to find a political solution.
HAMBURG, Nov 8 (DPA) Australian researchers have found that small male octopuses use their camouflage skills to steal anothers bride. Disguising themselves as females, they approach an existing pair. While the male of the couple is temporarily distracted by yet another rival, the small octopus in disguise takes the opportunity to mate with the genuine female, reports the Hamburg magazine "Geo".
The Giant Australian octopus seems to be a true master of disguise, capable of changing both its shape and its colour. Up till now, however, experts had assumed that it made use of its skills to protect itself against enemies or to home in on its prey unnoticed.
Mark Norman (James Cook University), Julian Finn (University of Tasmania) and Tom Tregenza (University of Leeds) observed the behaviour of the octopuses, whose scientific name is "sepia apama", in Spencer Gulf, southern Australia, where numerous couples assemble to mate every year between April and July.
Some of the couples preparing to mate were pursued by a third octopus that looked like a female. This animal swam alongside the couple with apparent disinterest until a larger rival appeared and distracted the male of the pair.
The scientists were
astonished to note that the "female
accompanying the couple turned out to be a male with very
clear intentions. While the bridegroom was fighting with
the new rival, it approached the unguarded bride and
began an often successful attempt at rapprochement.
Furore over nude Diana
LONDON, Nov 8 (ANI) A nude picture of Princess Diana being published in a new book "20th Century Dreams" is set to be at the centre of a stormy protest here.
The new book is the fictional diary of an artist, accompanied by more than 70 fantasy pictures of celebrities.
The illustrations published by Random House are a mixture of retouched photos and paintings that include a naked Madonna and the British Queen touching Idi Amins hand as she lights a cigarette for the former Ugandan dictator.
According to The Sunday Times, the author defends the graphic picture because of "what we know about Dianas life. There are so many rumours but also, it seems, several lovers."
Fresh unrest between Christians, Muslims
CAIRO, Nov 8 (PTI)
Tension is brewing between Muslims and Christians
in Israel with militant Islamic groups threatening to
"escalate the size and nature" of attacks on
Israelis even as the Roman Catholic Church expressed its
displeasure over the governments decision to allow
a mosque in Nazareth.
|Floods claim 527 lives in Vietnam
HANOI: The death toll from floods in central Vietnam has risen to 527 even as helicopters and trucks filled with emergency supplies were continuously being moved into the devastated parts of the country on Monday. Official reports, however, said water levels were falling but added that large numbers of people were still hungry and in danger of getting sick following the week-long floods across eight provinces that stretch for some 600 km. The Radio Voice of Vietnam said around one million homes were damaged, while other state media said the property damage so far from the floods was to the tune of over $ 50 million. ANI
| Punjab | Haryana | Himachal Pradesh | Jammu & Kashmir |
| Chandigarh | Editorial | Business | Sport |
| Mailbag | Spotlight | 50 years of Independence | Weather |
| Search | Subscribe | Archive | Suggestion | Home | E-mail |