October 21, 2002, Chandigarh, India
blasts caused Bali carnage
lollipop to rebels
MMA to go
soft on US crackdown Pak law on
moving troops amended
Pak law on
moving troops amended
jail under new Pak terror law
be kept away from Pak ultras
Asians to act for Shakespeare Company
Three blasts caused Bali carnage
Denpasar (Indonesia), October 20
One was placed inside the Padi Club near a disc jockey’s stand and two others outside the nearby Sari club in Kuta district, said national police deputy spokesman Brig Gen Edward Aritonang in a statement.
Previously eyewitnesses had spoken of only two blasts in Kuta, with a car bomb outside the Sari club causing most of the carnage.
The spokesman said forensic experts are analysing a motorcycle, two Indonesian identity cards, a crash helmet and a pair of gloves recovered from the blast site.
The official confirmed death toll from the October 12 last is 187 but Aritonang said 97 people are still missing. Australia alone has 73 missing and presumed dead in addition to 30 of its nationals confirmed killed.
Australian Federal Police officer Julian Slater said forensic experts were still recovering human remains from the ruins of the Sari Club.
Meanwhile, two students of British universities have been named as suspects in the bomb attack at Sari Club.
It is suspected that Dr Azhari Husin and Shamshul Bahri Hussein had links with Osama bin Laden’s terror group in Bali.
The police named the two as leaders of a fundamentalist Muslim movement, which is known to have links with Al-Qaida. Both have not been seen since the attack in Bali and the hunt for them is likely to start in Britain as well.
SOLO: Indonesian police today formally detained an elderly Muslim cleric accused of links to terrorism but said they would let him stay in hospital here until he has recovered his health.
“At around noon we officially changed his status into a police detainee,” said the national director of criminal investigations, Brig Gen Aryanto Sutadi Abu Bakar Bashir would be allowed to recover in hospital in this Central Java city and the 30-day police detention period would only begin when he had recovered.
One senior supporter of Bashir said it would be impossible to control `the emotions of the Muslim masses’. Western governments yesterday issued strong new warnings to their citizens in south-east Asia. The Foreign Office said all Westerners in the region should exercise `extreme caution’. The Australian and US embassies told their citizens to consider leaving Indonesia.
About a hundred supporters of the 64-year-old cleric demonstrated noisily but peacefully outside the hospital last night. Lawyers for Bashir said there was no reason to detain the cleric.
An experienced Al-Qaida-linked Indonesian, known as Hambali, is the prime suspect. The 36-year-old militant is thought to have led a small group of fanatical locals who built and planted the powerful device. Hambali, however, belongs to the organisation, the Jemaa Islamiya, which Bashir is alleged to have founded.
The new anti-terrorism regulation, which President Megawati has been reluctant to introduce for fear of alienating many of Indonesia’s 170 million Muslims, allows for suspects to be detained for three days without charge. With a judge’s approval, that can be extended by another six months. The decree has to be ratified by parliament within six months.
AFP, UNI, The Guardian
Saddam’s lollipop to rebels
Baghdad, October 20
The move to free all political prisoners and most other inmates was seen as part of Saddam’s campaign to rally Iraqis behind his leadership at a time when he faces the prospect of U S military action to topple him. Witnesses said they saw scores of prisoners leaving a prison in Baghdad.
“With our blood and souls we redeem you Saddam,’’ prisoners chanted as they were freed. “May God protect Saddam, I’ll never do wrong again,’’ one jubilant prisoner told newspersons.
Other witnesses said inmates were also being released from Abu Gharib jail on the outskirts of the capital, where most political prisoners are believed to be held.
The amnesty, which could lead to the release of thousands of people, is the first time Saddam has pardoned all political prisoners in his 23-year rule. Over the years he had ordered the release of a small number of prisoners or cut jail terms.
“All jailed prisoners, detainees and sentenced fugitives for political reasons are granted a complete, comprehensive and final amnesty,’’ Saddam declared in the decree. The amnesty also covered most criminal prisoners.
“Prisoners and detainees will be set free immediately except in the case of those who are sentenced or detained because of murder, then they would be set free only if the families of victims would forgive them or if they pay back their debts to the government or people,’’ it said.
Official results, dismissed by Washington, showed every one of the nearly 11.5 million Iraqis eligible to vote in Tuesday’s presidential referendum turned out to cast a Yes ballot, giving Saddam another seven-year term in office.
“In light of these results...we show mercy rather than punishment, and amnesty rather that implementing the law and legal persecution,’’ Saddam said in a statement read on Iraqi television by Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf.
Saddam urged Iraqis who were victims of the prisoners to also show mercy and forgive them. Circumstances in Iraq since the 1990-91 Gulf war allowed ‘’some parasites’’ to flourish but dissidents could not harm the “strong ties” between the leadership and the people.
The main opponents of Saddam’s rule are either outside Iraq or in a Kurdish enclave in the north outside his control. The main exiled groups hope to play a role in any post-Saddam era.
MMA to go soft on US crackdown
Islamabad, October 20
Mutthahida Majlis-e-Amal leader and chief of the Jamat Ulema Islamic Maulana Fazlur Rehman told the British High Commissioner to Pakistan that the alliance would let the USA and UK complete their agenda against international terrorism on Pakistani soil, MMA sources said.
However, another major component of the MMA, the Jamat-e-Islami (JI) has demanded that the government release the leaders of LeT, JeM and Sepha-e-Sehbha of Pakistan, an extremist Sunni group which was banned by President Pervez Musharraf in February during the height of the Indo-Pak standoff.
JI’s deputy leader Liaqat Baloch said JeM leader Masood Azhar, who was released by India to end the hijack of the Indian Airlines flight in 1999, former LeT chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed and SSP chief Azim Tariq should be released as the government “failed” to produce any evidence against them, the ‘Daily Times’ quoted him as saying.
“We will press for their release. The state says they’re involved in terror, but these people are behind bars without justification. This is state-sponsored terrorism,” Baloch said adding that there was no justification to ban the outfits.
Pak law on moving troops amended
Islamabad, October 20
Previously the federal government could do so when requested by the province or in the case of war.
Musharraf also amended the electoral law, requiring a candidate seeking election to the Senate, the upper house, to submit his nomination paper “in person’’.
Political observers think the amendments in the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1898 and the Senate (Election) Act, 1975, were designed to deal with the problems thrown up by last week’s Parliamentary polls.
No party won absolute majority in the elections which were held under internal and external pressure for a transition from military to elected rule — the fourth such attempt since the country gained independence from the UK in 1947.
Instead, the split mandate won by rival liberals and the formidable rise of the united religious party in the elections has created a situation where an uneasy coalition is foreseen at the Centre while the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) alliance of six Islamic parties will rule the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) on its own and may be in coalition in Balochistan province.
Both provinces are crucial to the US fight against terrorism as Taliban and Al-Qaida fighters who fled Afghanistan are suspected to be hiding there.
The political observers said the new requirement of a candidate to the Senate submitting his nomination paper ‘’in person’’ was apparently a move to save the military regime the embarrassment it suffered during the just concluded elections when the nomination papers of the wife and brother of former premier Nawaz Sharif filed from the family’s exile in Saudi Arabia were first accepted and then rejected after wranglings in election tribunals.
The suggestion from the PPP Chairperson is also believed to be an attempt to find a common ground within her party which is divided on the question of having truck with parties which support the amendments made by General Musharraf.
As none of the major players are in a position to form a government, they said Ms Bhutto’s suggestion should be considered, as major anti-regime players had already declared that Parliament would consider the package of amendments and retain what they think was in the interest of people.
1-yr jail under new Pak terror law
Islamabad, October 20
The law “empowers the government to keep somebody who is a terrorist or is suspected of being a terrorist for a longer period of time,” a spokesman said. Under the existing law, the authorities can detain a suspect for up to three months without filing any charges.
Under the new presidential ordinance, which is expected to come into effect this month, the police and other security agencies can detain suspected religious extremists for one year, as well as probe the assets of their wives, children and parents.
Nukes to be kept away from Pak ultras
Islamabad, October 20
“Each and every resource of Pakistan, particularly the nuclear assets, is under the custody and strict vigilance of our armed forces and will never fall in the hands of extremists,’’ the News quoted the minister as saying. Mr Memon’s comments credited to a news agency by the English daily followed reports that US intelligence officials accused Pakistan of helping North Korea develop its nuclear weapons programme. “Pakistan has never indulged in such kind of activity,” he said.
Mr Memon said the world need not have fears about Pakistan’s nuclear programme. “We are even in the favour of declaring South Asia a nuclear-free zone,’’ he said. “Nobody will ever be able either to attack or take them away,’’he said, adding that Pakistan’s religious parties were not “extremists and fundamentalists and the nuclear programme would remain in the custody of the armed forces even after the transfer of power to a new government.
Two Asians to act for Shakespeare Company London, October 20 Nina Wadia and Kulvinder Ghir, stars of the BBC’s award-winning comedy show, Goodness Gracious Me, have been selected to appear in the company’s stage adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s novel Midnight’s Children. The cast of the multimillion pound production will comprise mostly Asians and the dramatisation of Rushdie’s Booker Prize-winning novel will provide many with their first opportunity to work with the world’s most prestigious theatre company. Ghir (34), who has worked at the Royal National Theatre and is an outspoken advocate of equal casting, said Rushdie’s masterpiece should not be used by the RSC to disguise the fact that the vast majority of black and Asian actors were still marginalised. The show will have its world premiere in London and will then move to Michigan and the Apollo Theatre in Harlem, New York.
London, October 20
Nina Wadia and Kulvinder Ghir, stars of the BBC’s award-winning comedy show, Goodness Gracious Me, have been selected to appear in the company’s stage adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s novel Midnight’s Children.
The cast of the multimillion pound production will comprise mostly Asians and the dramatisation of Rushdie’s Booker Prize-winning novel will provide many with their first opportunity to work with the world’s most prestigious theatre company.
Ghir (34), who has worked at the Royal National Theatre and is an outspoken advocate of equal casting, said Rushdie’s masterpiece should not be used by the RSC to disguise the fact that the vast majority of black and Asian actors were still marginalised.
The show will have its world premiere in London and will then move to Michigan and the Apollo Theatre in Harlem, New York.
NOD TO EU EXPANSION SINGAPOREANS ENCOURAGED TO MATE, MULTIPLY NEW HEAD OF FRANCOPHONE STATES 8
FEET ALGERIAN THE TALLEST MAN CLINTON
INDUCTED INTO BLACK HALL OF FAME 12 KILLED IN MAOIST-LINKED VIOLENCE
SINGAPOREANS ENCOURAGED TO MATE, MULTIPLY
NEW HEAD OF FRANCOPHONE STATES
FEET ALGERIAN THE TALLEST MAN
INDUCTED INTO BLACK HALL OF FAME
12 KILLED IN MAOIST-LINKED VIOLENCE
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