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Posts Tagged ‘Sri Lanka’

Biometric Identity: The Great Divider

July 6, 2011 1 comment

inclusion

The use of Biometrics in national identity cards has spliced the globe into two with people in developed nations looking at it as infringement of their privacy and civil liberties, reports Team Inclusion

A debate has been raging in India since Manmohan Singh government broadened the sphere of MNIC (Multi-purpose National Identity Cards) to National Population Register (NPR) appending into it a biometrics-based Unique Identification (UID) number. The opponents of the scheme have accused the central government of snooping into privacy of residents. They fear that the project would prove to be the death of right to privacy implicit in Article 21, which guarantees protection of life and personal liberty. They apprehend that the governmental Read more…

Beijing Agrees to Operate a Key Port, Pakistan Says

May 23, 2011 Comments off

wsj

BEIJING—Pakistan’s defense minister said China has agreed to take over operation of the strategically positioned but underused port of Gwadar, and that Islamabad would like the Chinese to build a base there for the Pakistani navy.

Ahmad Mukhtar gave no clear timetable on the possible change at Gwadar, on Pakistan’s western coast, which is currently managed by a Singaporean government company. But his statement Saturday is the latest illustration of how Pakistan is portraying China as a powerful alternative ally and aid source if the U.S. scales down military assistance for Islamabad in the aftermath of Osama bin Laden’s killing.

China is eager to expand its influence in Pakistan over the long term, but is wary of the country’s chronic instability, which was highlighted late Sunday when a Pakistani naval base was attacked in the western port of Karachi, about 300 miles southeast of Gwadar.

Mr. Mukhtar made the announcement after accompanying Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani on a visit to China last week. During that visit, Pakistani officials say, Beijing agreed to expedite delivery of a second batch of 50 jointly developed JF-17 fighter jets to Pakistan, possibly within six months.

The fighter agreement prompted India’s defense minister, A.K. Antony, to express serious concern in a meeting with reporters late Friday about the growing defense ties between China and Pakistan, and to assert that India’s only possible response was to build up its own military arsenal.

Attempts on Sunday to contact Mr. Antony and other Indian officials for comment about Gwadar were unsuccessful. In the past, Indian officials have expressed concern Read more…

WikiLeaks cables reveal a disturbing picture of India-U.S. relationship: Prakash Karat

March 25, 2011 Comments off

thehindu.com

T+  ·   T-

Prakash Karat

“They are a sad commentary of where Manmohan Singh and Congress leadership have landed the country”

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) said on Thursday that the WikiLeaks exposé laid bare the nature of India-U.S. relationship during the UPA and NDA regimes and revealed a disturbing picture.

“The publication and analysis of the U.S. embassy cables accessed by The Hindu through WikiLeaks is ongoing; but what has been made available so far reveals a disturbing picture… the cables are a sad and revealing commentary of where Manmohan Singh and the Congress leadership have landed the country,” general secretary Prakash Karat said an article in the latest edition of the party organ, People’s Democracy.

Washington’s reach

Commenting on the influential reach of Washington in India’s strategic affairs and foreign and economic policies, he said the U.S. had access to the bureaucracy, military, security and the intelligence system and successfully penetrated them at various levels.

Mr. Karat marks out specific areas — foreign policy, defence cooperation, security and intelligence cooperation, penetration and espionage, political influence and political corruption — where American Read more…

After the ecstasy of revolution, the Bankers quietly begin carving up Egypt and North Africa

February 26, 2011 Comments off

21stcenturywire.com

By Richard Eastman
21st Century Wire
Feb 25, 2011

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is ready to lend one billion EUROS a year to Egypt for reconstruction and “free-market reform”- even as Egypt’s Minister of Finance Samir Radwan has gone begging to the City of London bankers and the British Ministry of Trade and Investment  for relief on debt payments that are about to throw Egypt into bankruptcy.

All this, as Egypt has been such a good boy with regards to privatization and austerity, measures which awarded Egypt its celebrated 7 percent growth rate- mostly in investments that will end up in international hands as ventures fail to pay out with ever diminishing Egyptian domestic purchasing power.

FRESH CYCLES OF DEBT

First EBRD will lend at interest and build what they want backed by Egyptian collateral and the value of the projects themselves.  Then when it turns out they can’t make the debt payments because of all the interest we have sucked from them, we take over all of the assets we have developed.  That’s freedom and EBRD is really going to give it to them.  After all EBRD is  experienced at this.  In 1991 the EBRD was organized to financially lead  Russia and Eastern Europe in their transition from paternalistic socialism to sustainable  free-market economies open to international Read more…

Rising world food prices may soon hit Africa hard, but could be a future boon

February 21, 2011 1 comment

Damaged rice is seen in a paddy field destroyed by flood- waters near a village in Manmunai West in Batticaloa district, about 199 miles east of Colombo, Sri Lanka, on Jan. 26. The floods inundated rice paddies, and according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, at least 15.5 percent of the main annual rice harvest could be lost.

Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Reuters

Johannesburg, South Africa

Global food prices reached a historic high last month, a fact that may cause even the most comfortable of Americans to cinch in their belts and cut back on spending.

But what about the world’s poor?

“Global food prices are rising to dangerous levels and threaten tens of millions of poor people around the world,” World Bank Group President Robert Zoellick said Tuesday as he announced the bank’s findings that about 44 million people in developing countries have been pushed into poverty since Read more…

Sri Lanka Flooding; nearly 900,000 Displaced

February 5, 2011 Comments off

At least 13 people have been killed and more than 800,000 affected by fresh floods across Sri Lanka that have swept away homes, roads and vast swathes of agricultural land. Renewed heavy rainfall across several districts in Sri Lanka have forced army and navy personnel to fan out in teams to reach relief to the affected.
The incessant rains in several parts of the country have called for more humanitarian assistance for those who have lost their homes and livelihoods.
The prevailing weather conditions in most parts of the country have once again left thousands homeless for the second time in two months.

This time, however, the number of people that have been affected is somewhat lesser than last time. The people in the North Central and Eastern Provinces have been warned of the situation and have been advised to be on alert.
The situation has forced many schools to once again temporarily halt their activities for the safety of the children and the teachers. Some of them have been converted into temporary shelters for those who have been displaced.
While priority has been given for the well being of the affected people, the focus has also been on unprecedented effects of climate change.

The Meteorological Department admits that this was the worst weather condition experienced by Read more…

Sri Lanka flooding forces more than 300,000 to flee homes

January 13, 2011 Comments off

Mudslides bring death toll to 21 as government says more than 1 million people affected by rains

    Sri Lankan rescuers evacuate residents of the eastern district of Batticaloa by boat as floods rise Sri Lankan rescuers evacuate residents of the eastern district of Batticaloa by boat as floodwaters rise. Photograph: AFP/Getty ImagesMore than 300,000 people have been forced out of their homes by flooding in Sri Lanka, with no sign of a let-up in the torrential rain on the island nation’s east coast. 

    Three more people were killed by mudslides today, bringing the death toll to 21, officials said.

    The government’s Disaster Management Centre said more than 1 million people had been affected by the rains, with 325,000 made homeless.

    Many villages remain cut off from supplies despite a huge relief effort i Read more…