June 27, 2001, Chandigarh, India
casts shadow on Sharon-Bush talks
executes 18 drug traffickers
lauds Indo-Pak talks
confident of comeback
arrested in Burnley skirmishes
seek President’s ouster
Violence casts shadow on Sharon-Bush talks
Jerusalem, June 26
While Mr Sharon prepared for his White House meeting with Mr Bush, Palestinian gunmen yesterday opened fire on a Jewish settlement in Hebron, unleashing the fiercest fighting in the divided West Bank city since the ceasefire began 13 days ago.
Twelve Palestinians and five Israelis, including a seven-year-old boy from a Jewish settlement, were wounded in the tense city — often a flashpoint of violence in nearly nine months of a Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation.
Television pictures showed wounded Israeli settlers and soldiers being loaded onto ambulances while gunfire crackled around them.
Troops crouched behind concrete blocks in front of residential homes firing at Palestinians shooting from the hilltops above.
A Palestinian group that is an offshoot of President Yasser Arafat’s Fatah faction said it fired on the Jewish settlement to avenge the killing on Sunday of a militant who died in an explosion in a telephone booth in the West Bank city of Nablus.
Palestinians accused Israel of “assassinating” Osama Jawabreh in the latest of what they say have been some 30 such killings since the uprising erupted in September. But Defence Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer denied Israel was responsible.
Eight Palestinians and six Israelis have been killed since US CIA Director George Tenet’s ceasefire plan took effect on June 13. Each side blames the other for violating the truce.
Israel Channel One television said Mr Sharon and his entourage, in New York to address the America-Israeli friendship league, received reports on the Hebron shootout and repeated vows not to resume peacemaking before violence ends.
Speaking at a reception for Jewish leaders at Israel’s Consulate-General in New York, Mr Sharon again called Mr Arafat “the head of a terrorist gang” and said that the world must relate to him as such.
The remarks reflected the tough line Mr Sharon has taken against the Palestinians since starting his three-day US visit on Sunday.
He made similar remarks several weeks ago in an interview with Russian television in which he called Mr Arafat “a murderer and a pathological liar.”
On his way to New York, during a stopover in London where he met British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Mr Sharon said: “Israel is adamant in its position not to conduct negotiations under fire.”
“Until there is a complete cessation of terror, violence, and incitement, we cannot move on to the second part of the Mitchell plan, which is the cooling-off period,” Mr Sharon said.
He was referring to the report of a committee led by former U.S. Senator George Mitchell that calls for an end to violence, followed by a cooling-off period and confidence-building moves.
Mr Sharon’s White House visit, Arafat has yet to receive an invitation from Mr Bush, comes ahead of a West Asian tour by U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell.
Ms Powell, who is to arrive in Cairo tomorrow for talks with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, yesterday said he would not be taking any new proposals with him.
“There are no new proposals or new political plans. We have a plan that takes us through the entire situation,” Ms Powell said, referring to the Mitchell report.
Powell said violence had to subside further before the Mitchell plan could kick in. The plan calls for Israel to freeze construction in Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza.
Ben-Eliezer yesterday said he had ordered the army to dismantle 15 illegal outposts in the West Bank. Foreign Minister Shimon Peres said Israel had already effective froze activity in Jewish settlements.
China executes 18 drug
Beijing, June 26
All 18 executions were carried out in the south-west China municipality of Chongging yesterday, the reports said, adding that most of the traffickers either sold or transported large amounts of narcotics.
Chongging has cracked down on 7,000 drug traffickers, seizing 100 kg of heroin and “ice” over the past year.
The police in the neighbouring Sichuan province has uncovered a major “ice” drug case involving the trafficking of 1,099 kg of “ice”, known chemically as meta-amphetamine, and an underground drug factory from which the police seized another 50 kg of liquid “ice” and 700 kg of raw material known as Ephedrine.
So far, 22 suspects have been arrested. According to their confessions, they opened underground factories to manufacture “ice” in April and October last year, respectively, in collaboration with some criminals from Taiwan.
lauds Indo-Pak talks New York, June 26 However, he refrained from stating anything further on the Pakistani military ruler’s visit to the country and said, “one has to await the result of the discussion. The taste of the pudding is in its eating.” Mr Manmohan Singh is accompanying Party President Sonia Gandhi on her trip to the USA.
New York, June 26
However, he refrained from stating anything further on the Pakistani military ruler’s visit to the country and said, “one has to await the result of the discussion. The taste of the pudding is in its eating.”
Mr Manmohan Singh is accompanying Party President Sonia Gandhi on her trip to the USA.
Cong not to deviate from secularism: Sonia
New York, June 26
Inaugurating the Indian National Overseas Congress (INOC) here yesterday, she, without naming anyone, criticised self appointed guardians of Indian culture who, she said, in effect had twisted it for their own ends and did not believe that diversity gives the country strength,
But the Congress, she said, was the only party that had for more than century consistently followed the tradition of inclusiveness, social justice, uplift of the poor and empowerment of the vulnerable groups.
Earlier during the day, she had an hour-long meeting with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger but details were not immediately available.
Urging non-resident Indians to carry forward the Congress message and become part of the gigantic organisations which has the country’s welfare at its heart, she said the party always believed in mixed economy and continued to do so. But it also recognised that ingredients of the mix must change to meet the challenges of the time.
Mrs Gandhi asked NRIs to help in the development of the country and said in all Congress ruled states, they were welcomed to contribute their expertise to help meet the goals of spreading literacy, economic progress and eradication of poverty.
The Congress, she said, was committed to creating an economic environment which encouraged innovation, entrepreneurship and individual initiative. But public investment was needed in building rural infrastructure and development of backward areas.
She said the economic growth in 1990s had been 6.5 per cent but it was known that the country required a minimum of 7-8 per cent growth. She said the Congress would work for that.
Mrs Gandhi said the Congress rule in eleven states showed that in a large part of the country people had trust that it could provide an efficient administration capable of solving their problems.
The economic policies of the Congress, she said, were not based on any dogma but on a vision of India free from poverty, illiteracy and malnutrition, capable of participating in the global economy from a position of strength.
Mrs Gandhi said the Congress did not play politics with sensitive issue facing the country, adding that “it is clear from its record.”
The president of the INOC, Dr Surinder Malhotra, said the party planned to establish chapters all over the USA to galvanise secular and democratic forces to further the interests of the country.
Because of lack of an organisation like the Congress, he said, these people were feeling frustrated as they had no platform to voice their feelings. They were the silent majority of the Indians but now things would change.
Mrs Sonia Gandhi, on a four-day visit here, will meet US Vice-President Dick Cheney tomorrow, besides holding talks with US National Security Adviser Condeleezza Rice, senior party leader Murli Deora said.
Chaudhry confident of comeback
Suva, June 26
General election to restore a democratic government will be held from August 25 to September 1.
In an interview with the Fiji Times, Mr Chaudhry said he was optimistic that his Fiji Labour Party (FLP) would win the elections convincingly.
“We are confident of retaining our support, even of increasing the number of seats we had the last time,” said Mr Chaudhry.
“Our economic policies are sound, aimed at building a base for sustainable growth over the years. We demonstrated in our 12 months in office that we were capable of taking Fiji’s economic prospects to new heights.”
It was the first time Chaudhry has spelt out his intentions and it is likely to increase political tension with splits in the FLP and questions about the nature of Chaudhry’s leadership and character.
During his tenure as Prime Minister, Mr Chaudhry was accused of being insensitive to the needs of the indigenous community particularly on land issues, one that is close to the heart of the natives.
22 arrested in Burnley skirmishes
Burnley (England), June 26
Twentyone persons were arrested after minor skirmishes between the police and gangs of White and Asian youths in the industrial town overnight, a police spokeswoman said.
“There was no property damage and no fires this time. It is all pretty quiet out there now,’’ she said.
More than 200 Asian and White youths clashed here on Saturday and Sunday nights, throwing petrol bombs and leaving a trail of destruction, including several burnt out cars, a fire-bombed pub and looted shops.
Burnley is the third northern English town to be hit by rioting involving ethnic minorities in recent weeks. About 5 per cent of Britain’s 57 million population is made up of ethnic minorities, mainly from the Caribbean, the Indian sub-continent, Africa and China.
The police appealed for calm after the weekend, violence, but groups of youths began congregating on the streets last evening. Officers on horseback and in riot gear tried to disperse the groups, leading to sporadic clashes.
The BBC reported that a senior Asian member of Britain’s ruling Labour Party was injured during a skirmish with the police and had been arrested.
Mr Shahid Malik, a member of Labour’s National Executive Committee and son of the town’s deputy mayor, was treated for minor injuries before being taken to a police station for questioning, the BBC said.
Yesterday, Home Office (Interior) Minister John Denham said the weekend violence had been triggered off by an argument between an Asian family and their White neighbours over a noisy late night party.
Many residents were at a loss to explain the violence, describing their mixed-race community as harmonious. The police said the town had no history of racial tensions.
Of Burnley’s 92,000 residents, 4,000 are Pakistani and 2,000 of Bangladeshi descent. Most of them arrived in Britain in the 1970s to work in the textile mills and factories of this industrial region. However, the police did note a strong showing for the far-right British National Party in the area in Britain’s general election earlier this month.
Demonstrators seek President’s ouster
Skopje, June 26
As police stood by, a section of the crowd gained entry to the building which houses Trajkovski’s residence.
One protester armed with a Kalashnikov rifle emerged onto a balcony and fired celebratory bursts into the air to the cheers of the crowd below.
Trajkovski was inside, meeting with the leaders of the main Macedonian and ethnic Albanian parties in a bid to kick-start negotiations on political reforms, which stalled last week amid renewed fighting.
At least a dozen people, including a policeman, soldiers and civilians, fired in the air from amongst the crowd.
Dr Najma to visit China
HAIR-DRYER SAVES DOCUMENTS MAN MEETS WIFE IN BROTHEL UNSEEN MAGRITTE PAINTINGS SOLD HEADS OF SLAIN HOSTAGES FOUND MILOSEVIC TO BE EXTRADITED FIRST PERU QUAKE DEATH TOLL 97 FRESH RIOTS IN
NORTH IRELAND FREE SCHOLARS: US HOUSE TELLS CHINA MICK JAGGER IS HEARTBROKEN
MAN MEETS WIFE IN BROTHEL
UNSEEN MAGRITTE PAINTINGS SOLD
HEADS OF SLAIN HOSTAGES FOUND
MILOSEVIC TO BE EXTRADITED FIRST
PERU QUAKE DEATH TOLL 97
FRESH RIOTS IN
FREE SCHOLARS: US HOUSE TELLS CHINA
MICK JAGGER IS HEARTBROKEN
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