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Muntader al-Zaidi, who threw his shoes at United States President George W. Bush, says he would do it again and that he was forced to write a letter of apology after being tortured in jail, the journalist’s brother claimed on Monday.

The prime minister’s office said last week that Muntader al-Zaidi had written a letter of apology. But Mr. Uday al-Zeidi said that the letter was written against the journalist’s will.

Muntadhar al-Zeidi’s trial on charges of assaulting a foreign leader is to begin December 31, a spokesman for the Iraqi Higher Judicial Court said.

Iraqi parliament members clashed Wednesday over the detention of an Iraqi television reporter who threw his shoes at U.S. President George Bush, officials said.

Disagreement erupted after lawmakers demanded that parliament take up the issue of the detained journalist Muntader al-Zaidi, 29, who threw his shoes at Bush, just missing his head Sunday during a Baghdad press conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, The New York Times (NYSE:NYT) reported.

Parliament ended Wednesday without a consensus on what action to take regarding the reporter, said a spokesman for Speaker of Parliament Mahmoud al-Mashhadani.

Al-Zaidi could be charged with assaulting a foreign head of state under the Iraqi penal code, Iraqi Central Criminal Court sources told CNN Wednesday. Al-Zaidi faces up to seven years in prison if he is charged with, and convicted of, offending the head of a foreign state, the Times reported.

Al-Zaidi met Tuesday with a judge who referred the case to trial, CNN reported. Al-Zaidi’s employer, al-Baghdadia television, confirmed the meeting took place at the reporter’s holding cell in Baghdad.

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_45364971_jex_262219_de32-1Hamas has reasons to fight on too. Like Israel, it has dismissed the ceasefire resolution. It has demanded a ceasefire that opens all Gaza’s crossings to Egypt as well as Israel, and a halt to military action and complete pullout by the Israelis.

Israel’s aim is to stop Hamas rocket fire completely
While it can fire rockets into Israel and mortars and rifles at Israeli troops, Hamas will not consider itself beaten.

Hamas leaders in Gaza have gone underground. But based on the few messages that they have sent out from their hiding places, and statements from Hamas leaders in exile, it is possible to make some reasonable guesses about their thinking. They have an ideology of struggle, resistance and sacrifice. They could have extended the ceasefire with Israel but chose not to do so.

Hamas believed they would have to fight Israel at some time (the feeling was mutual) and it seems that they have decided that the moment has come.

Civilian deaths in Gaza are most likely seen not as reasons to stop but as a reason to go on. I can’t say for sure, but if I was able to sit with Hamas leaders, as I have done quite a bit in the last year, I think this is how their logic would go.

They might say that Israel has shown its real agenda towards Palestinians – not peace, but war and death. And they might go on to say that stopping now would betray the dead and encourage Israel to go in even harder.

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LTTE vs sri lanka

national_leader2006“LTTE is duty-bound to face Sri Lankan Army”

 

Special Correspondent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHENNAI: Human suffering and miseries being witnessed in the war in Sri Lanka should not be used as a pretext to call for a ceasefire since they are part of the LTTE’s strategies, said Arular Arudpragasam, chairman of the Eelam Revolutionary Organisers (EROS) and Eelavar Democratic Front (EDF).

Unstoppable

 

 

“The LTTE is duty-bound to face the Sri Lankan Army. The war cannot be stopped without fulfilling the objectives that actually led to it,” he told reporters on Wednesday.

The London-based Mr. Arudpragasam, now in Chennai, said LTTE leader Prabakaran had agreed to a ceasefire under pressure from India, particularly from Tamil Nadu.

“Let him tell the Tamil community that he cannot continue the war. Then we can think about other strategies,” he added.

Demands

 

 

Mr. Arudpragasam placed three demands, including “recognition and establishment of the statehood of Tamil people within the framework of a united Sri Lanka established over the North-East territory which Tamils claim as their homeland.”

Assuring the due share of Tamil people in the Central government and granting of full compensation to them so that they could restart their life were the other demands.

“LTTE should disband itself”

 

 

Stating that the world had become tired of the LTTE, he called upon the organisation to disband itself and transform itself into a democratic force. “EROS calls upon the LTTE to pave way for the functioning of the EDF in Vanni,” he added.

Colombo: Dual Tamil Tiger air raids on Sri Lanka’s capital and a northern military base show the guerrillas are not out of the fight despite the government’s confidence it is close to ending the 25-year-old civil war.

 

Analysts said the raids by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam’s (LTTE) ramshackle air wing followed a familiar pattern of giving the rebels a morale boost when they appeared under pressure in the northern war zone.

 

The military has been steadily advancing into Tiger-held territory in northern Sri Lanka with the aim of ending one of Asia’s oldest insurgencies.

 

The military on Wednesday said troops had captured the Jayapuram area after heavy clashes. The Tigers are fighting to create a separate homeland for Sri Lankan Tamils, many of whom complain of marginalisation by successive governments led by the Sinhalese majority since independence from Britain in 1948.

 

“When the Tigers are under pressure militarily up north, they try to divert attention to southern or central parts and hit where the government is weak,” Eurasia Group analyst Maria Kuusisto said.

 

“They understand that these are going to be psychologically and strategically good targets to attack.” The rebel raid at the Kelanitissa power station in Colombo late on Tuesday started a fire and killed one person who died of a heart attack and wounded two, hospital officials said. The military said an attack on the Thalladi army camp an hour earlier wounded three people.

 

Primitive planes, as a plane appeared on radar heading south to Colombo, authorities shut off the lights and scrambled jets then anti-aircraft fire streaked the sky off the capital’s shoreline.

 

The pro-rebel web site http://www.TamilNet.com on Wednesday said the Kelanitissa raid killed a turbine operator and knocked out two turbines and two air coolers, citing unidentified sources.

 

The government earlier had said only two coolers were hit. TamilNet also said the attack at Thalladi, in Mannar district near the war zone about 250 km (155 miles) north of Colombo, caused heavy damage. The military said it barely caused any.

 

Colombo-based defence analyst Iqbal Athas said the latest strike by the Tamileelam Air Force, or “Air Tigers”, showed the resilience of what is widely regarded as one of the world’s most ruthless and effective guerrilla groups. “However primitive, their air ability remains.

 

They have been able to demonstrate nine times that they can carry out a sortie and get away, and on all of those occasions the air force has not been able to neutralize them,” Athas said. The air force has been embarassed and frustrated by its inability to stop the propeller-drive two-seater planes despite vastly superior supersonic jets and radar.

 

The military has said it believes the Tigers’ air wing, which debuted in March 2007 with a bombing run on the military air base inside Colombo’s international airport, consists of three Czech-made Zlin-143 aircraft.

 

The last raid was in September, when the military said it had shot down one of the planes after it attacked a military base in Vavuniya, near the frontlines. The Tigers denied that and no evidence has ever been made public by either side.

Political leaders of Tamil Nadu, including Chief Minister Kalaignar M. Karunanidhi, condemned Monday Sri Lanka Army (SLA) Chief Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka for his derogatory comments on Tamil Nadu leaders in an interview to a Sri Lankan state-owned newspaper on Sunday. Vaiko, the General Secretary of the MDMK has announced a protest in front of the Sri Lankan Deputy High Commission in Chennai on December 10 demanding unconditional apology from the Sri Lankan Commander-in-Chief Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Army Chief Sarath Fonseka to the latter’s astonishing remarks in the Sunday Observer newspaper.

“If Sri Lanka fails to extend apology, the Indian Central government should expel the Sri Lankan High Commissioner from India,” Mr. Vaiko has demanded.

The Sri Lankan army chief had labeled Tamil Nadu leaders who were seeking a ceasefire in Sri Lanka as ‘political jokers’ and accused them of being ‘corrupt’.

Fonseka’s comments follow an all party delegation to New Delhi headed by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Muthuvel Karunanidhi seeking a ceasefire in Sri Lanka.

Fonseka had expressed confidence that the Indian government “is not interested in a ceasefire in Sri Lanka” as it has listed the LTTE as a terrorist organisation and added that the Indian Government would never influence Sri Lanka to restore the ceasefire with the LTTE and it would not listen to the “political jokers” of Tamil Nadu whose “survival depends on the LTTE”.

When asked by the newspaper reporter about allegations of Sri Lankan security forces’ disregard for civilian casualties, Fonseka replied: “These allegations are made only by the corrupt politicians in Tamil Nadu who have been bribed by the LTTE. Though they are very much aware that the civilians are not getting killed in any of these military operations they try to utter some words on behalf of the LTTE as their survival depends on the LTTE.”

“This is the time for them to realise the truth. And they should also realise their attempts to save the LTTE would not be successful as the LTTE is on the brink of extinction. Most importantly, they should realise that LTTE is an internal problem of Sri Lanka and need to honour the sovereignty of Sri Lanka.”

Warning that the LTTE’s separate state ideology is a “threat” to India, the Sri Lankan Army chief said: “If you consider the overall thing, the LTTE’s separate state ideology is a threat to India, because this ideology will spread in Tamil Nadu too. It is now proved by Tamil Nadu by staging protests against the Indian government and seeking help to take the side of the LTTE”.

This is not the first time for the SLA commander to come up with such remarks. In an interview to Canada’s National Post in September this year, Sarath Fonseka had said he “strongly believed that Sri Lanka belongs to Sinhalese,” and that the other communities “must not try to, under the pretext of being a minority, demand undue things.”

The SLA commander or his C-in-C failed to extend a public apology despite his comments had drawn protest from many political quarters.

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pakistan1The word Pakistan creates anger among the world countries, especially India, in the present scenario. This country which was created during the partition has remained a mystery till date. It is a country which was formed as a separate state for Muslims, similar to India. But since then India has thrived from its diversity and today has become the largest democracy in the world.Pakistan, on the other hand has become an example for a failed state.
If I could analyze and find reasons for the present state of Pakistan, the first thing that comes to my mind is their politicians and the army. The politicians are power-hungry and most of their rule has come to an abrupt end, either by military take over or by assassination. The politicians are corrupt like their Indian counterparts but they seem to have their heads bowed down to army. The army unlike their Indian counterparts is power hungry. They could coup against their government and capture power at the drop of the hat. Surely the people of Pakistan deserve better treatment.
The next thing that strikes me is the level they can go to capture Kashmir from India. Their intelligence agency (ISI) provided the place where the so called jihad’s can train in their freedom struggle. But what we are seeing now is their army is fighting the war on terror in their homeland. The greatest comedy or tragedy as I can say is that the terrorists are conducting trial runs across Pakistan so that they are better prepared to attack India. The ISI instead of providing intelligence about the attacks in their country, is more curious to devise plans to attack India.
Finally, The Pakistan people should understand that their problem is not India but their own government. They have to understand India has become a superpower and should stop sowing seeds of hatred and should concentrate on their own development. If they are going to continue in the same way as of now they will become history sooner rather than later…

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Both India and Pakistan achieved independence from Britain in 1947. The British policy of ‘divide and rule’ yielded in formation of two countries. Nearly 62 years have passed since. India has become one of the major powers of Asia and today it is the largest democracy in the world. Along with china it is touted as the next world power. India has developed in to a major software power of the world. All these achievements have come despite the multi-lingual, multi-ethnic culture. We are a secular country and also the home of many religions. Our people speak nearly 18 languages and numerous dialects. Although poverty, unemployment are some of the worrying problems, the aspect of ‘Unity in diversity’ has made India a force to reckon with.
Now coming to another nation which got

A terrorist nation

A terrorist nation

independence along with us, the situation is nothing to ponder about. Pakistan has numerous advantages over India but could not capitalize on it. Pakistan has relatively less landscape than India which should be a great advantage because it would mean easy governance. Also it is not a secular nation but an Islamic republic which would mean eradication of religious conflicts. Despite all this Pakistan is considered as a failed state and migraine of whole world.
Going deeper, Pakistan could not enjoy stable democracy because of the power hungry army. There have been numerous military coups and this has ruined the country’s development. Another point is their hatred towards their counterpart, India. This hatred has resulted into formation of terrorist groups within Pakistan who proclaims themselves as freedom fighters of Kashmir. The terror elements were well supported by the government and the army and were given right to attack India. The seeds of hatred were sowed at very young age among Pakistanis by madrasas and they madly jump in to jihad.
All changed after 9/11. The US made Pakistan its partner in the so called war against terror and this angered the long time friends of Pakistan, the terrorists. They started attacking the country which gave them birth and till now the attacks are carried out claiming more than one famous casualty. Most of their bordering areas with Afghanistan have become a sanctuary for terrorists and it is up to Pakistan to clean them up or else get isolated from the rest of the world.
I am hoping for a stable Pakistan because an instable Pakistan would be great headache not only to India but also to the whole world.

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