Category: News

Ballot to end descent into police state

By M Rama Rao As the voting day beckons the Sri Lankans, the question staring at them is: How far the Presidential election will be free and fair.  The election monitors like the People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFE) are unhappy that very little has been done thus far to control poll-related violence. Election law violations are on the rise. The poll monitors have recorded as many as 160 violations till January 19. The police are facing flak increasingly. The complaint against the police, according to D.M. Dissanayake, the national coordinator for the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence

Continue reading

Lanka Poll Rhetoric

By Malladi Rama Rao The Sri Lanka Presidential election has entered the most exciting phase. The outcome will depend on how the main contenders – incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his commander turned challenger Sarath Fonseka manage to swing the voters. In any election the last 48 to 56 hours before polling are very crucial.  This is the period when the electorate more or less firms up its choice.  The Sinhala and Tamil voters may not throw up a surprise though it is the Muslim vote that appears to have become most decisive in the past fortnight. Surprisingly, neither Mahinda

Continue reading

Kumbh Mela begins in Haridwar

Haridwar, Jan 14: Millions have flocked to Haridwar on the banks of Ganga at the foot of Himalayas to join a three-month long festival which comes once in twelve years.  Touted as the largest congregation, Kumbh Mela as it is called locally got underway with over 25 lakh people taking a dip in the Ganga on Thursday. The occasion was ‘Makar Sankranti’ — the day when the sun starts to move northwards marking the decline of winter and start of Uttarayan. The festival’s origins can be traced back to a Hindu myth which saw gods and demons fight over a

Continue reading

Amartithi is special: Bhau Kalchuri

Amartithi, the day Meher Baba dropped his body has unique significance, says, Bhau Kalchuri,  chairman, Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust. The day expresses  Meher Baba’s Universality. It is also a reminder to the humanity that people of different faiths and religions should live like brothers and sisters, he said in his welcome address prepared for the Amartithi celebrations. The text of the address has been released to the media on Monday. Given here is the Text of the Address My dearest Brothers and Sisters, On behalf of the Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust, its Board of

Continue reading

Afghanistan: Barber jailed for ignoring judge’s orders

A high court chief in central Afghan province of Dai Kundi has put a barber behind bars for refusing to visit his residence to trim his beard, says Peshawar daily The Frontier Post. says. Syed Ahmed, 38, a barber in the provincial capital of Nilli, ended up in jail for disobeying the order of Judge Daud Ahmed’s wife said: “Four days back, the judge called my husband to his house to give him a haircut. But my husband could not go to the judge’s residence because of the heavy workload at his shop.” As a result, she said, her husband

Continue reading

Pratibha Patil flys Sukhoi, creates a record

It was a 30-minute sortie. A wonderful and unique experience it was to 74-old-year 0ld Pratibha Patil, President of India. By the time she landed at the Lohegoan air force base in Pune flashing a victory sign, a record was created – she is the first woman head of state to fly in the front-line multi-role Russian made Sukhoi-30 MKI. She was seated in the co-pilot’s seat in the aircraft, with a ‘G-suit’ worn by fighter pilots to counter the gravitational effects due to high speed manoeuvres. The aircraft was flown by Wing Commander Sajan of the 30 Squadron. During

Continue reading

Foneska looks to India for help in his Prez bid

A day after President Mahinda Rajapaksa announced plans to hold Presidential elections next month, two years before he completed his term, General Sarath Foneska is all set to enter the race as the candidate of the combined opposition. Both of them are claiming credit for the victory in the Wanni War. He resigned from the army a week back. Since then, he has been marshalling all his energies to broad base his constituency and to reach out to the ethnic minority, though he had led the war against Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), who had led a bloody campaign

Continue reading

Neoliberalism and Dynamics of Capitalist Development in Latin America

By Prof. James Petras and Prof. Henry Veltmeyer Global Research An analysis of the dynamics of capitalist development over the last two decades has been overshadowed by an all too prevalent “globalization” discourse. It appears that much of the Left has bought into this discourse, tacitly accepting globalization as an irresistible fact and that in many ways it is progressive, needing only for the corporate agenda to be derailed and an abandonment of neoliberalism. This is certainly the case in Latin America where the Left has focused its concern almost exclusively on the bankruptcy of “neoliberalism”, with reference to the

Continue reading

Babri Masjid: Liberhan finds fault with BJP, Sangh Privar

A government-appointed commission of inquiry has found the top leadership of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) allies and mentors bear responsibility for the 1992 razing of the Babri Masjid, a 14th century mosque, in Ayodhya, which BJP claimed stood at the place where Lord Ram was born long long years ago. On Dec. 6, 1992 right wing Hindu activists mobilized by the BJP, the Shiv Sena (a Maharashtra-based right wing Hindu party), the RSS and allied Hindutvaite organizations stormed the 450-year-old mosque and demolished it using pick axes and other hand implements. In the

Continue reading

Obama-Jintao Speak on India-Pak ties to cast shadow on Singh’s Washington visit

New Delhi: The Obama –Hu Jintao speak on India-Pakistan ties, particularly vocal support to ‘the improvement and growth of relations’ between India and Pakistan has not gone down well with Delhi. While Indian spokesman Vishnu Prakash has curtly stated ‘A third country role cannot be envisaged nor is it necessary’ in resolving all outstanding issues with Pakistan, noted American experts like Ashley Tellis termed the Obama – Hu Jintao remarks as ‘most unhelpful and counterproductive’. There is a general agreement in diplomatic circles that the new stand of US would cast a shadow over Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to

Continue reading

Gen Fonseka ‘free’ from army duty to take on Rajapaksa

Colombo: Sri Lanka’s forthcoming Presidential election has become a two-leg race with decks formally cleared for Gen Sarath Fonseka to enter the race and challenge President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is seeking to cash in on ‘war euphoria’ for a second term. Gen Fonseka’s resignation was accepted on Friday, though he had sought to retire from December 1. The Government offered no reasons for relieving him so early. Secretary to the President Lalith Weerathunga merely said: ‘General Sarath Fonseka has been granted permission to retire with immediate effect’. Fonseka, who led the army to victory in the Wanni War against the

Continue reading