Tuesday, May 29, 2001, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

G-15 summit opens amid turmoil

Jakarta, May 28
Foreign Ministers from Asia, Africa and Latin America shrugged off the political turmoil in host Indonesia as they opened long-scheduled meetings today to hash out plans for poor countries to get more out of information technology and globalisation.

Countries participating at the summit are India, Algeria, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Jamaica, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Peru, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.

Soldiers and barbed-wire barricades were evident in the streets of Jakarta and at the convention centre where the ministers gathered to set an agenda for a summit by their leaders on Wednesday and Thursday that will coincide with steps in Indonesia’s Parliament to impeach President Abdurrahman Wahid.

But Foreign Ministers of the Group of 15, an affiliation of 19 developing countries, said they were unconcerned by the upheaval confronting their host.

“We didn’t come here to discuss the domestic problems of countries,” Nigerian Foreign Minister Alhaji Sule Lamido told AP. “We came here to discuss the G-15” he added.

Malaysian Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar said, “The internal politics of Indonesia is not on our agenda”, but told reporters that “peace and stability in Indonesia” are essential to ensure the well-being of South-East Asia.

At least six Heads of State are expected to show up for the two-day economic summit, which will address technological cooperation, debt relief and how the countries can play a stronger role in world financial institutions. AP


Clash over running gurdwara

London, May 28
A clash between rival factions at a Sikh gurdwara in Coventry led to 20 arrests and the seizure of ceremonial swords and daggers, the police in the city in the English Midlands said today.

The police said several persons received minor injuries during the disturbances at the Srihar Gobind gurdwara in Coventry Street, Coventry on Saturday.

“There has been a long-standing dispute involving two factions at the gurdwara,” a police spokesman said. The dispute is over the running of the temple.

Approximately 40 weapons, including ceremonial swords and daggers were seized. Those arrested ranged in age from their late teens to early sixties.

OLDHAM: Britain saw a second night of race riots overnight as Asian and white youths clashed in the town of Oldham, northwest England, the police said today.

The police made 28 arrests overnight — half white and half Asian youths — news reports said, but the violence was not on the same scale as on Saturday night when 500 youths rampaged through the town, injuring a number of policemen.

The outburst of rioting has pushed the issues of race and immigration to the top of Britain’s campaigning for the June 7 general elections.

Yesterday, an Asian supermarket was set on fire, barricades were set alight and a petrol bomb was hurled through a plate glass window at the office of the local newspaper, BBC reported.

There were, however, no injuries.

Oldham, a former mill town, has become a flashpoint for racial tension between young men in the town’s Asian community and local white youths, fanned by far-right extremists.

The trouble happened in the town’s Glodwick estate, where 90 per cent of the population is of Asian origin.

Home Secretary Jack Straw said the violence was “serious and it is unreservedly to be condemned.”

Former Pakistani cricket captain Imran Khan and one opposition lawmaker charged that some politicians had contributed to racial tensions by using incendiary language in campaign debates about race and immigration. Agencies Back

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