|W O R L D||
Saturday, September 25, 1999
|Jakarta forces battle
JAKARTA, Sept, 25 Indonesia security forces fired plastic bullets at a crowd of protesters in central Jakarta today, the second day of bloody riots over a new security Bill.
Typhoon strikes Japan
TOKYO, Sept 24 Twenty-four persons have been killed and one missing in western Japan in typhoon-related incidents as a typhoon hit the southern main island of Kyushu this morning.
|Pak cracks down on GDA men
ISLAMABAD, Sept 24 In a bid to thwart tomorrows Opposition-sponsored anti-government rally in Karachi, the Pakistani authorities have cracked down on political activists of the Grand Democratic Alliance.
crossing plan, Pak tells JKLF
supports Indias case
rejects bid to free Pinochet
Mars probe missing
Jakarta forces battle student unrest
JAKARTA, Sept, 25 (Agencies) Indonesia security forces fired plastic bullets at a crowd of about 1,000 protesters in central Jakarta today, the second day of bloody riots over a new security Bill.
The protesters hurled stones and molotov cocktails at the troops and anti riot police who had sealed off a section of the main road through the city centre outside Atmajaya university, the scene of deadly anti government protests a year ago.
The protesters say the new security bill, passed yesterday by Parliament, gives the military more power and several analysts have questioned the need to rush the Bill through the current Parliament just as it is about to end.
The government insists the New Bill, renamed as the Prevention of Danger Bill, is in line with a more democratic Indonesia.
Dozens of students and some security forces were injured in the clashes in several Indonesian cities last night. But there have been no confirmed fatalities.
Traffic in the main Jakarta business district was brought to a near standstill, the streets littered with debris from the previous nights rioting, including a burned-out bus.
DPA: More than 10,000 students from various universities and colleges in Jakarta and surrounding areas clashed with the soldiers and riot police.
After battling for hours on Jakartas main streets until late Thursday, several hundred students retreated to Atma Jaya university near the Semanggi Cloverleaf as hundreds of riot police and soldiers formed a tight cordon around the area.
By dawn on today, sporadic gunshots and teargas canisters were fired into the campus. Troops and anti-riot police often pursued the demonstrators, beating many of them with batons. In retaliation, protesters pelted them with any projectiles they could find.
Jakarta police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Zainuddin Lubis said that by just before midnight yesterday, at least 35 protesters had been rounded up.
Meanwhile, Indonesia will hand over control of East Timor to the U.N. international force there, but 4,500 Indonesian troops will remain, Indonesias senior military officer in the territory said today.
Asked about the transfer of power to the U.N. force, Major General Kiki Syahnakri said: According to our plan it should be done sometime next week, but he said no definite date for the handover had been set.
Speaking at a news conference in Dili with the commander of U.N. forces, Gen Syahnakri said the first group of some 11,500 Indonesian troops should be withdrawn by tomorrow. He said the remaining 4,500 would gradually leave over the next month.
He admitted the Indonesian military had not been able to fully restore security to the territory. East Timor has been swept by a wave of violence, unleashed by pro-Jakarta militia, since it voted last month for independence from Indonesia.
CANBERRA: Indonesian troops withdrawing from the bloodied territory of East Timor set fire to the local radio station in Dili as well as army barracks in the devastated capital, an Australian Defence spokesman said today.
Over the same period (the past 24 hours) the TNI (Indonesian military) has continued to withdraw, setting fire to the local radio station in Dili and Barrack accommodation, Colonel Duncan Lewis told a news briefing in Canberra.
disappointing, and makes the task of the commander of
Interfet (Major-General Peter Cosgrove) considerably more
difficult to provide a safe and secure environment for
the people of Dili, Mr Lewis said.
Typhoon strikes Japan
TOKYO, Sept 24 (PTI) Twenty-four persons have been killed and one missing in western Japan in typhoon-related incidents as the seasons 18th typhoon slammed the southern main island of Kyushu this morning and later hit the Chugoku region.
Of the 24, 12 people drowned when their homes were flooded up to the roof by a flood tide at around 7.30 am (local time) in the seaside town of Shiranui, Kumamoto prefecture, local emergency service authorities said, Kyodo reported today.
At Hiroshima, strong winds knocked over a crane at a factory of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd, killing three workers and seriously injuring another. Two more persons were reported dead in the prefecture.
Six other people were reported dead in Fukuoka, Kumamoto and Oita prefectures in Kyushu, including a 50-year-old man who died after strong winds shattered a window and broken glass hit him in the chest. A 93-year-old man died after being electrocuted by a power line snapped by the storm.
Sixty-five persons were injured in typhoon-related incidents, according to the national policy agency.
Gusts of up to 238 km per hour were recorded at Ushibuka town in Kumamoto.
At noon, the typhoon was located near Izumo, Shimane prefecture, and was moving north-northeast at 60 km per hour with an atmospheric pressure of 965 hectopascals at its centre and winds of up to 126 km ph, the agency said.
Power went out at 848,000 households today morning in Kyushu, while fear of flooding prompted about 6,900 people to take refuge at nearby public halls. The typhoon disrupted air and railway services in western Japan.
All Nippon Airways suspended 154 flights, Japan Airlines cancelled 32 flights, Japan Air system 63 flights, and Air Nippon 34 flights today morning.
Window on Pakistan
THE US warning to Pakistan that it would strongly oppose and attempt to change the government through extra-constitutional means has evoked a sharp reaction from different quarters. It is not unexpected keeping in view the American decision to disapprove of Islamabads misadventures as could be seen during the Kargil crisis. Newspapers have come out with hard-hitting editorials describing the American declaration as an act of interference in the internal affairs of a Third World country, though they approve of the US stand that no democratically elected government should be dislodged through means other than a democratic one.
Dismissing the US statement as A lecture from Washington, a Dawn editorial said: This advice cannot be faulted either on its timing or on its substance. Pakistan can do without army interventionism in the political sphere... But there is also a related question: who is the State Department or the US government to tell Pakistan what to do?... If it can read human rights lectures to China, it presumably feels itself entitled to deliver similar lectures to smaller countries....
But having said all this, we in Pakistan should pause for a while and take a close look at ourselves. It is the mess we have made of our affairs and also our tendency to strike declamatory postures postures which sit ill with our poverty which put us in a position where foreigners can treat us in a patronising manner.
Most commentators are not surprised at the US statement in view of the messy situation prevailing in Pakistan. If the government tries to prevent the opposition from playing its democratic role, and does not concentrate its energy on economic issues, such developments are unavoidable. The Frontier Post looks at the whole issue in correct perspective when it says: The US warning comes in the wake of continuing political ferment. There are indications that Washington has also asked the Nawaz (Sharif) government not to come down harshly on those elements who are peacefully demonstrating in the streets and expressing their right to free speech.
On the face of it, the US warning amounts to direct intervention in Pakistans domestic affairs. In actual fact, however, there is nothing surprising about it, given that Pakistani politicians regularly seek Washingtons approval for their policies. We do not know whether the beleaguered Nawaz government will perceive the latest US statement as an expression of support for itself. It would be naive if it thought so, for the Americans act only in their own interests.
Contrary to all this, the reaction of politicians reflect their lack of commitment to democratic norms. As reported in The News, the head of the opposition alliance called the Pakistan Awami Ittehad, Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan, has stated that the struggle against the Nawaz Sharif government will continue without mentioning that there is no question of adopting any undemocratic method. That would have been appreciated the world over. This is a sign of a fledgling democracy which is what Pakistan is.
Instead of strengthening its wings, Pakistani politicians do not hesitate to weaken the democratic polity either by facilitating an army takeover of the administration, or by resorting to dictatorial tactics to safeguard their narrow interests as is the case with Mr Nawaz Sharif. If the opposition is not behaving responsibly, Mr Sharif has been handling the opposition campaign against him in the aftermath of the Kargil fiasco like a nervous wreck. Pakistani newspapers are talking of the imposition of a civilian martial law, hints of which they have picked up in Washington. If this comes about, history will remember Mr Sharif as a leader who throttled democracy when his political future was threatened.
According to Nawa-e-Waqt, Mr Sharif has asserted that the opposition cannot harm me. Their designs will fail.... because people are with me. One can clearly understand the meaning of the powerful statement if it is read along with the Pakistan Observer report that Army Chief Gen Pervez Musharraf met Mr Sharif recently not only to allay the fears of an army takeover but also to ask him to lodge a strong protest with the Clinton administration for its sermonising statement, which has kicked up a fierce controversy. The inference is whatever happens to the Nawaz Sharif government, the doer will have the blessings of Uncle Sam.
Pak cracks down on GDA men
ISLAMABAD, Sept 24 (PTI) In a bid to thwart tomorrows Opposition-sponsored anti-government rally in Karachi, the Pakistani authorities have cracked down on political activists of the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA).
During night-long raids at different offices and hideouts, the police and security forces rounded up more than 100 political activists of the two main Opposition parties, Benazir Bhuttos Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), PPP sources said here today.
The recently launched 19-party anti-government GDA had announced its public rally in commercial capital of Karachi earlier to protest against Nawaz Sharif Governments policies towards the troubled Sindh province.
The government had earlier banned political meetings and rallies in Sindh province following a complete strike on September 4 and later another attempt of the Opposition parties to hold a meeting there had been foiled by either arresting most of the leaders or refusing to allow them in the province.
Drop LoC crossing plan, Pak tells JKLF
ISLAMABAD, Sept 24 (PTI) Pakistan yesterday appealed to the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) to call off its planned crossing of the Line of Control (LoC) on October 4 saying it would lead to a bloodbath as Indian forces might open fire on the marchers.
The government of Pakistan has appealed to the JKLF to avoid this kind of action as it Would lead to unnecessary loss of life and a bloodbath because the Indian forces are likely to open fire on the marchers, a foreign office spokesman said here.
The spokesman, however, avoided any answer when asked whether Pakistan would resort to use of force to prevent the marchers from crossing the LoC.
The appeal to the JKLF comes a day after the Pakistani High Commissioner in Delhi was summoned by the External Affairs ministry and told Islamabad would be responsible for the consequences if it failed to stop the JKLFs planned crossing of the LoC.
France supports Indias case
UNITED NATIONS, Sept 24 (PTI) France has expressed strong support for Indias claim to permanent membership in an expanded Security Council, saying it sees Delhi as an essential ingredient in any such exercise.
During wide ranging discussions in a highly conducive atmosphere yesterday, the External Affairs Minister, Mr Jaswant Singh, and his French counterpart Mr Hubert Vedrine, found common ground on several major international issues.
These included need to firmly fight terrorism, Pakistan being seen as the centre of terrorism, drugs and agent of destabilisation of neighbourhood, futility of sanctions and urgency to break the rigidity of the United Nations imposed embargo on Iraq to make it reasonable and the ensure that the future Iraqi generations are not blighted.
They also agreed that the Secretary General, Mr Kofi Annans, proposal for humanitarian interventions needs a closer look.
After the meeting, a senior diplomat remarked that the two leaders felt that Pakistan needs to be shown a mirror to see for itself how rest of the world looks at it centre of terrorism, centre of drugs and centre of destabilisation of neighbourhood and something needs to be done to resolve this.
Court rejects bid to free Pinochet
MADRID, Sept 24 (Reuters) An appeals court today rejected a request by the Spanish state prosecutors to order the release of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, ruling that a Spanish judge had the right to seek his extradition.
Just days before the start of extradition proceedings in London, a three-judge panel upheld a decision by the Spains High Court that Judge Baltasar Garzon, has jurisdiction prosecute Pinochet on human rights charges, court officials said.
State prosecutors had contended earlier this week that the 83-year-old General, who was arrested last October at Garzons request, enjoyed immunity as a former Head of State.
But the appeals court rejected that argument and expressed support for garzons order which has kept the ex-dictator under house arrest in London for nearly a year.
The judges ruled there would be a clear risk of flight if Pinochet were set free. Human rights attorneys have alleged Pinochet has access to $ 1 billion in funds from Chile.
The appeal, formally
filed last month, was the latest attempt by Spanish
prosecutors to block Pinochets extradition to
Madrid to face trial for alleged human rights abuses
during his 1973-90 rule. Extradition proceedings are
scheduled to begin next Monday in London.
NASA Mars probe missing
WASHINGTON, Sept 24 (AFP) Engineers of NASA tried unsuccessfully throughout the day yesterday to re-establish contact with an unmanned spacecraft that disappeared from monitoring systems after moving in take a closer look at Mars.
|Baby survives fall into canyon
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA: Canadian media on Thursday dubbed a 17-month-old girl a miracle baby after she survived a 70-metre plunge into a canyon in British Columbia. The girl somehow slipped out of her mothers hands and fell from the Capilano suspension bridge, a popular tourist destination in north Vancouver with 8,00,000 visitors annually, news reports said on Thursday. Trees apparently slowed the childs fall, and the girl was conscious after landing on the ground. DPA
Press curbs sought
Medal for Solana
| Punjab | Haryana | Himachal Pradesh | Jammu & Kashmir |
| Chandigarh | Editorial | Business | Sport |
| Mailbag | Spotlight | 50 years of Independence | Weather |
| Search | Subscribe | Archive | Suggestion | Home | E-mail |