|Saturday, March 11, 2000,
not core issue in Simla pact
clashes leave 30 dead
Adams talks fail
policy on India flawed: Senator
|21 killed in Lanka blast
COLOMBO, March 10 At least 21 persons were killed and over 40 injured when an LTTE suicide bomber made an abortive bid to assassinate Sri Lankan Deputy Defence Minister Gen Aurudha Ratwatte in central Colombo today.
film draws Anglo-Indian ire
demobilises 5 lakh troops
J&K not core issue in Simla pact
ISLAMABAD, March 10 (PTI) India has said Jammu and Kashmir has not been mentioned as core issue either in Simla Agreement or the Lahore Declaration and asserted it would not be found wanting in settling all differences with Pakistan once Islamabad restored the trust undermined by Kargil intrusions.
I often hear references in Pakistan to Jammu and Kashmir being the core issue between India and Pakistan. At the same time there are frequent references and actions to suggest that Pakistan even today questions the accession of Junagarh and Hyderabad to India.
All this is claimed to be a part of so-called unfinished agenda of Partition. There is, however, no reference to any so-called core issue either in the Simla Agreement or the Lahore Declaration, Indian High Commissioner to Islamabad G. Parthasarathy said in an interview to Pakistani magazine Herald.
India committed itself to a process of building of trust and confidence, creating a stable structure of cooperation and addressing all outstanding issues, including the issue of Jammu and Kashmir in the Lahore Declaration, he said.
Asked about New Delhis attempts to declare Islamabad a terrorist state despite Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayees public statement that a strong Pakistan was in Indias interests, he said Article (II) of the Simla Agreement specifically stated that both India and Pakistan would seek to prevent organisation, assistance or encouragement of any acts detrimental to peaceful and harmonious relations.
The Harkatul Mujahideens involvement in the recent hijacking of the Indian Airlines plane is well known ... I was personally told by a senior Taliban official in Islamabad that (freed militant) Masood Azhars brother, a Pakistani national, was one of the hijackers, he said.
Stating that these groups were viewed as fostering terrorism not only in India but also the USA, the High Commissioner said, Regretfully, we have found that rather than such activities on Pakistani soil being prevented, they receive active support from agencies of the Pakistan Government.
Asked to respond to the allegation that India was behind the recent bomb blasts in Pakistan, Mr Parthasarathy said: We have not been given a shred of evidence of any Indian involvement.
The media in Pakistan, he said often claimed that these developments flow from the activities of armed sectarian organisations within Pakistan which were linked to cross-border terrorism.
Indonesian clashes leave 30 dead
JAKARTA, March 10 (AP) Religious fighting has broken out in eastern Indonesia leaving at least 30 persons dead and dozens injured, news reports said today.
Christian and Muslim gangs clashed on Halmahera Island, 2,600 km northeast of Jakarta, the official Antara news agency said.
The fighting started two days ago. The report did not say what triggered the violence.
At least 2,000 persons have been killed in over a year of religious violence in the Maluku and north Maluku provinces, collectively known as the Spice Islands, or Moluccas, during Dutch colonial rule.
The fighting, triggered
by a minor traffic accident involving a Christian and a
Muslim in the Maluku provincial capital Ambon in January
last year, has since spread throughout the archipelagic
Trimble, Adams talks fail
BELFAST, March 10 (Reuters) Protestant unionist leader David Trimble and Sinn Feins Gerry Adams yesterday failed to bridge a yawning gap between them that has left Northern Irelands peace process in tatters.
The two, once arch foes in the British provinces 30-year sectarian conflict, were equally gloomy after their hour of talks aimed at restoring momentum to the flagging process.
We cannot point to any particular progress that has been made. The difficulties remain, said Trimble, whose Ulster Unionist Party seeks to keep Northern Irelands ties to Britain.
There has been no progress, said the leader of the Sinn Fein, the Irish Republican Armys political, which seeks all-island unity with the Republic to the South.
The war-weary province was plunged into crisis last month when Britain suspended the fledgling home-rule government over the IRAs reluctance to disarm.
Peter Mandelson, Britains Secretary for Northern Ireland, urged the feuding parties to take a few more risks in the search for peace and warned of the fallout should politics fail.
I have little doubt that if politics are not allowed to work in Northern Ireland, further instability and the risk of violence will result, Mandelson said in a speech to a business audience in Dublin.
The London and Dublin Governments, with Washingtons backing, brought the squabbling Northern Ireland parties together for talks on Wednesday and sought to bring the blame same of mutual recriminations to an end.
Trimble said after Wednesdays talks there was consensus among the parties about the need to implement the landmark 1998 Good Friday accord that sought to end one of the worlds longest-running guerrilla conflicts.
political leaders plan to fly to the USA for the March 17
celebrations of St Patricks Day, Irelands
National Day. The Clinton administration has been pivotal
in seeking some kind of compromise.
US policy on India flawed: Senator
WASHINGTON, March 10 (PTI) Senator Sam Brownback has strongly criticised US President Bill Clinton for his refusal to acknowledge Indias need for nuclear weapons against a potential threat from China.
Speaking at the US Institute of Peace, Mr Brownback, author of the Brownback amendment for waiver of the US sanctions against India, said New Delhis decision to go nuclear had its roots in the collapse of the Soviet Union and the growth of Chinese military power.
He criticised the dualism inherent in American policy towards India and China saying that we ourselves are questioning our relationship with China. Yet, the USA rushes to reward China, a country that has openly and continually challenged US interests and values, while at the same time ignoring and punishing (by sanctions) India.
21 killed in Lanka blast
COLOMBO, March 10 (PTI) At least 21 persons were killed and over 40 injured when an LTTE suicide bomber made an abortive bid to assassinate Sri Lankan Deputy Defence Minister Gen Aurudha Ratwatte in central Colombo today.
Among the dead were four policemen and three LTTE rebels as a series of bomb blasts shook Borella on way to Sri Lankan Parliament at 5.30 p.m. when the House was debating extension of emergency in disturbed areas.
General Ratwatte, figuring on top on the LTTEs hit list, was not present in the convoy and was believed to be in Parliament.
Police eyewitnesses said one LTTE suicide bomber jumped on the advanced vehicle of General Ratwatte and exploded.
An official statement on
the incident tonight made no reference to a suicide squad
targeting General Ratwattes convoy and said 18
persons, including six policemen and three LTTE rebels,
were killed and 30 injured.
Merchant film draws Anglo-Indian
ISMAIL MERCHANT, whose period dramas with James Ivory have adorned British cinema for two decades, has come under vicious attack for his latest film from one of Indias most venerable communities.
The film, Cotton Mary, has been lambasted by Anglo-Indians, a term used to cover anyone of mixed Indian and European descent. They accuse Merchant of portraying them as lazy, promiscuous and obsessed with all things British.
Set in 1954, Cotton Mary tells the story of an Anglo-Indian nurse who insinuates her way into a English family, adopts their manners, and finds herself ultimately rejected by both her British and Indian neighbours.
Madhur Jaffrey stars as Cotton Mary, and James Wilby and Greta Scacchi play the English couple who take her in.
The film has already been withdrawn because of local Anglo-Indian pressure in the south-western state of Kerala, where it was shot. It was also facing a sticky reception last night at its premiere in Chennai, capital of Tamil Nadu.
The film is a terrible caricature of our community and shows as if our girls are easily available and the men are lazy drunkards. Cotton Mary is portrayed as a petty thief and her niece Rosie as a tart, flirting even inside a church, Beatrix DSouza, a Tamil Nadu MP who is Anglo-Indian, said in an interview. There have been earlier stereotype films showing us in a poor light but this one is really too much.
Ms DSouza, who has called on the Indian censor to re-examine the film, and has vowed to raise the controversy in Parliament, added: We are a 500-year-old community which is dynamic and evolving and growing. They should realise we would not have lasted this long time, with a separate identity, if we did not possess certain basic values, such as having a strong family structure.
Mr D.K. Francis, president of the Anglo-Indian Association of South India, yesterday added to the protest, saying Merchant should withdraw the film and apologise: Cotton Mary is terrible in denigrating our entire Anglo-Indian community. Every one of us is furious. The films producer, Nayeem Hafizka, hit back, calling the movies critics pathetic and small-minded. The movie, he said, was not a naturalistic picture of India: it is a fictional story.
Following the films recent Delhi premiere, Ismail Merchant struck a more conciliatory note. We never wanted to portray Anglo-Indians in a bad light. He added: It [the film] talks about how the Anglo-Indian community at a specific point in history - 1954 - had been brainwashed into believing, like many other Indians, that the British were the best. There is no attempt to demonise them.
India, with a population of close on 1billion, has around 100,000 Anglo-Indians, some of whom can trace their ancestry back to the Portuguese settlers who arrived in the 16th century.
Most live in south India, though there is a large Anglo-Indian population in West Bengal, where moves are also afoot to have the film banned. Nostalgia for Britain persists, despite denials. In Cochin, for example, Anglo-Indians still play bingo in a church hall, where the cry goes up Number 10 ... Downing Street.
Cotton Mary opened in Britain last month. In the Observer, Philip French described it as clumsy and overacted; the Evening Standard, a long crawl through the worst of all post-colonial worlds.
PLA demobilises 5 lakh troops
BEJING, March 10 (PTI) The Chinese Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) has taken a decisive step to emerge as a leaner but meaner force by successfully demobilising 5,00,000 soldiers, President Jiang Zemin has announced.
Now we can declare to the world that by the end of last year, the target to demobilise 5,00,000 PLA soldiers set at the 15th national congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) had been realised, Mr Jiang, also Chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC), the nations top military organ, said.
This, he said was a sign that the PLA, the worlds largest standing army with a strength of over 2.5 million, has made a big step towards the goal of building itself into a lean, combined and highly-efficient army.
Bradley, McCain pull out of race
WASHINGTON, March 10 (AFP) Mr Bill Bradley and Mr John McCain, the upstart presidential hopefuls who roiled the early campaign, bowed out of the race, leaving Mr Al Gore and Mr George W. Bush to face each other in the November 7 election.
Democrat Bradley and Republican McCain yesterday announced they were halting their campaigns after suffering bruising defeats in the super Tuesday primaries.
Their announcements left Vice- President Gore and Texas Governor Bush the only realistic candidates for the White House and virtually assured their respective partys nominations.
Republicans will hold their nominating convention in Philadelphia in late July-early August, while Democrats will gather about two weeks later in Los Angeles.
Reagan-era diplomat Alan Keyes still remains in the
Republican race. But he has failed to win any primaries
so far, garnering between 3 and 5 per cent of the vote in
seize Communist HQ
Four killed as
19 die in school
grows outside womb
War poet accused
kills UK peacekeeper
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