Talk to me, Suu Kyi asks junta
Parties meet today to end deadlock
In Australia, students outsource homework
Strike paralyses B’desh
India discusses stapled visa issue
Mehdi Hassan loses memory
Talk to me, Suu Kyi asks junta
Yangon, November 14
She spoke to about 5,000 people who crowded around the dilapidated headquarters of her political party, the first stop for the Nobel Peace Prize laureate after leaving the lakeside residence that had been her prison.
“I believe in human rights and I believe in the rule of law. I will always fight for these things,” she said. “I want to work with all democratic forces and I need the support of the people”.
Suu Kyi said her message to junta leader Gen Than Shwe was, “Let’s speak to each other directly”. The two last met in secret talks in 2002 at the encouragement of the UN.
“I am for national reconciliation. I am for dialogue. Whatever authority I have, I will use it to that end. I hope people will support me,” she said.
She entered the small compound of her National League for Democracy as people shouted “We love Suu” amid thunderous applause.
Inside, she met with Yangon-based diplomats and was later scheduled to attend the funeral of a close friend and pay a customary visit to the city’s sacred Shwedagon pagoda. “This is an unconditional release. No restrictions are placed on her,” her lawyer Nyan Win said.
There was speculation whether the charismatic and relentlessly outspoken Suu Kyi would use her freedom to challenge the ruling military head-on, or be more conciliatory.
She did not sound a strident note, saying she bore no grudge against those who had held her in detention for more than 15 of the past 21 years, adding that she had been well-treated.
Suu Kyi thanked her well-wishers and asked them to pray for those still imprisoned by the junta. Human rights groups say the government holds more than 2,200 political prisoners. “If my people are not free, how can I say I am free? Either we are all free together or we are not free together,” she said.
In her first public appearance last evening, Suu Kyi indicated she would continue with her political activity but did not specify whether she would challenge the military with mass rallies and other activities that led to her earlier detentions.
“We have a lot of things to do,” said Suu Kyi, who has come to symbolise the struggle for democracy in the isolated and secretive nation once known as Burma. The country has been ruled by the military since 1962.
But while her release thrilled her supporters, and also clearly thrilled her, it came just days after an election that was swept by the ruling junta’s proxy political party and decried by Western nations as a sham designed to perpetuate authoritarian control.
While welcoming the release, European Commissioner Jose Manuel Barroso urged that no restrictions be placed on her. President Barack Obama called Suu Kyi “a hero of mine”. “Whether Aung San Suu Kyi is living in the prison of her house, or the prison of her country, does not change the fact that she, and the political opposition she represents, has been systematically silenced, incarcerated, and deprived of any opportunity to engage in political processes,” he said in a statement. — AP
Kathmandu, November 14
Subhash Nemwang, Speaker of the Parliament, has stepped up consultations with leaders of various political parties to forge a consensus after he was ordered by the apex court to intervene to end the futile election for a new Prime Minister.
Sixteen rounds of election in Parliament have failed to end the deadlock, with the sole candidate for Prime Minister Ram Chandra Poudyal unable to get the required 301 votes. The next round of election is scheduled to take place on Monday.
Few expect Poudyal, who is determined not to withdraw from the race, to win a majority.
Following the Supreme Court's order, the Nepal Congress has asked the Speaker to declare Poudyal the winner as he is the sole candidate for the top post.
A meeting of the seven political parties called by the Nemwang today ended inconclusively. "We held discussions on various unclear explanations directed by the Court's verdict regarding the PM elections," Nemwang said. "However, no concrete decision was made as leaders presented different interpretations of the verdict." The Maoists, CPN-UML and the Madhesi alliance have been staying away from the election process as they want the formation of a national government.
The Nepali Congress has turned down numerous calls from the Maoists and CPN-UML to quit the 'futile' election and sit for dialogue for a government of national unity.
Nepali Congress has ruled out the possibility of forming the next government with the Maoists' leadership till the former rebels lay down their arms, integrate their combatants with the security forces and dissolve the paramilitary organisation of their youth wing, Young Communist League, so that the peace process could be completed.
Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal has expressed confidence that the meeting scheduled for tomorrow would provide a solution to the crisis that has delayed the country's peace process and brought the nation on the brink of a financial crisis.
Parliament approved an interim budget to allow the caretaker government to run day-to-day activities for four months and pay civil servants, but that expires on November 16. — PTI
In Australia, students outsource homework
Melbourne, November 14 At as cheap as $2, industrious high school and university students in Australia have found out ways to outsource homework projects. An increasing number of websites are offering to write essays, term papers or dissertation writing services, the Sunday Herald said in a report. The websites offer "fixed-price" services or allow students to put work out to tender, promising to tailor their work to display different levels of expertise. Matt Barrie, founder of a website designed to put small businesses in touch with affordable labour in emerging economies, has found homework assignments are often put through his site, the paper said. "We get them all the time and, as a lecturer, I really don't approve, but kids will be kids - they will always find a way to cheat," he said.
Melbourne, November 14
At as cheap as $2, industrious high school and university students in Australia have found out ways to outsource homework projects.
An increasing number of websites are offering to write essays, term papers or dissertation writing services, the Sunday Herald said in a report.
The websites offer "fixed-price" services or allow students to put work out to tender, promising to tailor their work to display different levels of expertise.
Matt Barrie, founder of a website designed to put small businesses in touch with affordable labour in emerging economies, has found homework assignments are often put through his site, the paper said.
"We get them all the time and, as a lecturer, I really don't approve, but kids will be kids - they will always find a way to cheat," he said. — PTI
Dhaka, November 14
Hundreds of policemen in riot gear patrolled Dhaka’s streets during the strike observed from dawn to dusk and detained 34 persons in sporadic incidents of clashes.
Shops downed their shutters, businesses and schools remained closed in all major cities, and millions of people were stranded ahead of the festival of Eid-ul-Azha as they could not reach their villages as transport operators halted services.
Baton-wielding policemen chased picketers in several areas of the city as they pelted stones on vehicles that defied the strike call and set on fire a police van at the downtown Sadarghat river port terminal.
The police, which, detained 34 persons in sporadic incidents of clashes said the protesters also set on fire a police bike at central Bangla Motor area and damaged dozens of vehicles overnight.
“The hartal (strike) has been observed successfully... we will launch tougher programmes after the Eid ul Azha,” BNP secretary general Khandakar Delwar Hossain, flanked by party leaders, told newsmen at the party’s central office at Naya Paltan at the end of the strike.
The BNP leader said his party activists were hounded away and assaulted by the police. He reiterated his earlier comments alleging that the “eviction” of Zia from her cantonment residence was “illegal” since the case was pending in the Supreme Court.
He insisted that Zia did not voluntarily vacate the house, rejecting the army’s claim that she left on her own to honour the court verdict.
Hours after her eviction from the cantonment residence, Zia had told newsmen that she was humiliatingly dragged out of the house in single clothing.
The house, where Zia has been living for the past 40 years, was allotted to her under a controversial lease agreement 29 years ago after her husband, the then president Ziaur Rahman was assassinated in 1981. — PTI
Wuhan, November 14
External Affairs Minister SM Krishna, who arrived here today on two-day visit to attend the meeting of Foreign Ministers of Russia, India and China (RIC), held separate bilateral talks with his Russian and Chinese counterparts on its sidelines.
In a 70-minute meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jeichi, Krishna sought China's support for India's bid for UNSC permanent seat, stressing the need for the international community to focus "intensively on this issue".
During the meeting, Yang gave "positive" indicators over supporting New Delhi's bid for the membership of the powerful world body, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao told journalists.
While seeking China's support, India also asked it to be sensitive to its concerns relating to Jammu and Kashmir just as it is alive to Beijing's concerns over Tibet and Taiwan.
Referring to the issue of stapled visas being issued by China to residents of Jammu and Kashmir over which India has raised strong objections, Krishna told Yang that as India- China relations evolved and grow both sides should show mutual sensitivity to each other's concerns.
"In the contest of Jammu and Kashmir issue, he (Krishna) expressed hope that China would be very sensitive to our concerns on this very vital issue for India, just as we have been sensitive to Chinese concerns, for instance on the Tibet Autonomous region and Taiwan," Rao said. — PTI
Mehdi Hassan loses memory
Islamabad, November 14 Hassan, who once enthralled the entire world through his melodious voice, was admitted to Sir Agha Khan Hospital in Karachi on government expenses after the media raised the issue of his disease and none of the authorities was taking keen interest in providing him financial support. A sector in-charge in the City Traffic Police Sajjad Mehdi, son of Mehdi Hasan, has requested the latter’s fans to pray for his early recovery. Sajjad said Khan Sahib had visited Lahore some four months back and was feeling well.
Islamabad, November 14
Hassan, who once enthralled the entire world through his melodious voice, was admitted to Sir Agha Khan Hospital in Karachi on government expenses after the media raised the issue of his disease and none of the authorities was taking keen interest in providing him financial support. A sector in-charge in the City Traffic Police Sajjad Mehdi, son of Mehdi Hasan, has requested the latter’s fans to pray for his early recovery. Sajjad said Khan Sahib had visited Lahore some four months back and was feeling well. — ANI
UK ‘will run out of web addresses by 2012’
Soon, Facebook e-mail service
Iran holds defence drills at N-plants
One in four Bali prostitutes HIV+
More ash-buried bodies found