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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Girl's family doused with acid over marriage refusal

An Afghan family who refused to give their daughter in marriage to a man they considered irresponsible were attacked at home by gunmen who beat the father and then poured acid over both parents and three children, officials said on Wednesday.

Eighteen-year-old Mumtaz, the oldest daughter, had been pursued by a local gunman who the family considered a troublemaker and bully.

With her parents' support, she turned him down and instead got engaged to a relative.

A few weeks later, six or seven armed men burst into their home in the Bulk Awal area of the northern Kunduz city - the largest in the region - in the middle of the night.

"First they beat her father and then they attacked with acid," said Mumtaz's mother, who asked not to be identified.

All five are now receiving medical treatment, said Abdul Shokor Rahimi, head of the Kunduz regional hospital.

"The father and oldest daughter are in critical condition as they have been attacked all over the body," Dr Rahimi said.

"Their mother and two daughters who are 14 and 13 have some wounds only in hands and faces."

Ghulam Mohammad Farhad, the senior police detective for Kunduz, promised to track down the attackers, who he called immoral and irresponsible.

"We have started an investigation and those who have attacked them will be prosecuted," he told reporters.

Acid is used intermittently as a weapon in Afghanistan. In the conservative and Taliban-influenced south and east, it has been thrown at girls attending schools.

With foreign combat troops set to return home by the end of 2014, some activists inside and outside Afghanistan fear that women's rights may be sacrificed in the scramble to ensure the West leaves behind a relatively stable state.

FRU disrupts Anwar's ceramah

Malaysia’s corruption score falls again

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 1 — Malaysia’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI) score has worsened for the third year running, slipping to 4.3 this year from 4.4 in 2010, according to a Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M) report.
Malaysia’s country ranking also fell to 60 out of 183 countries from 56 out of 178 last year.
It remained the third-least corrupt nation in Asean after Singapore (9.2) and Brunei (5.2), with Thailand (3.4) and Indonesia (3.0) following in fourth and fifth places respectively.
Singapore also placed fifth in the overall country rankings and was the highest-ranked Asian nation this year.
“Singapore is way ahead and I would like to point out that Indonesia is improving very fast and may overtake us because Indonesia has shown some will,” said TI-M secretary-general Josie Fernandez (picture).
New Zealand (9.5), Denmark (9.4) and Finland (9.4) were ranked the least corrupt nations in the world, while Somalia (1.0), North Korea (1.0) and Myanmar (1.5) were the most corrupt.
Malaysia’s Corruption Barometer results were unchanged, with 40 per cent of the public saying graft levels have stayed the same over the past three years and would remain so for the next three.
The Corruption Barometer is a measure of the public perception of corruption.
Members of the public saw the police and political parties as the most corrupt institutions, with the police named as the most likely recipient of bribes in the past 12 months.
But the percentage of respondents who admitted to paying bribes in the past year has fallen to 1.2 per cent from nine per cent in 2010.
Forty-nine per cent also thought the government’s efforts to fight corruption were effective or very effective, up a touch from 48 per cent last year.
However, the number of respondents who felt Putrajaya’s battle against graft was ineffective or very ineffective rose five points to 25 per cent.
“This means the fence sitters have moved to see government’s efforts as ineffective,” said TI-M exco member Ngooi Chiu Ing.
Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) corruption NKRA director D. Ravindran, present at the launch of report, said it was “clearly not very good news” that Malaysia was now further from its 4.9 CPI benchmark.
However, he said it was more a mixed result if seen holistically, pointing out that almost half the public still saw the government’s fight against corruption as effective.
He added the Pemandu would continue its efforts to clamp down on “grand corruption” and increase the successful prosecution of corruption by the national anti-graft agency.
“Some of these other things we are pursuing, we’ve not let it go, and hopefully we’ll see some success going forward,” Ravindran said.

Najib hints 13th GE around the corner

The prime minister calls on all party members to close ranks to face the election.

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak has again hinted that the 13th general election (GE) will be held very soon.

Najib, who is also the Umno president, in his speech at the opening of the Umno general assembly 2011 here today, reminded all party members to close ranks to face the election.

He called on the Umno members to get down on the ground as it was almost time to go to the polls. The call was greeted with loud applause from the delegates.

Earlier, in his message on Nov 29, he wanted the party leadership at the divisional and grassroots levels to put in extraordinary efforts to face the 13th general election.

The prime minister also told the delegates not to take the 13th general election for granted because the challenge would certainly be extraordinary and the most difficult that the biggest political party in the country would face.

The Umno general assembly today was attended by 2,711 delegates.

- Bernama

A warning to stubborn old-school politicians

Gerakan’s Baljit Singh says some are falsely claiming they can win in the coming election.
GEORGE TOWN: A local Gerakan leader has alleged that some of his party colleagues are making false claims that they are winnable election candidates.
Baljit Singh, who heads Penang Gerakan’s Legal and Human Rights Bureau, said these hopefuls were claiming that their confidence was based on intelligence reports. He challenged them to provide the evidence.
He did not name them, but described them as “old school” politicians holding leadership positions in Penang Gerakan.
“Until today, none of them has published these intelligence reports to justify their winning credentials,” he said. “They should stop pretending.”
Baljit said “over-the-hill” politicians in all Barisan Nasional parties should take heed of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s call on Umno elected representatives to step aside for a new breed of candidates. He said the message applied to them as well.
He advised them to emulate Gerakan President Koh Tsu Koon, who recently announced that he would not contest in the coming election.
He said no one should assume that he is a winnable candidate just because he led a party branch or division.
He warned them that young voters were “sick and tired” of old-school politics and were demanding quick changes.
“Only candidates capable of matching the people’s rapidly changing aspirations should stand as BN candidates in the next election,” he said.
“Those who know they can’t should step aside gracefully.
“Sub-standard elected representatives should read the writing on the wall and come down from the stage while the audience is still cheering. They should not wait until the audience jeers them.”
He said they should learn from former MIC president S Samy Vellu’s failure to read the signs, resulting in his humiliation in the last election.

Mahathir-Najib made us debtors

The growing national debt has left oil rich Sabah and Sarawak liable to almost RM80 billion in combined owings.

Umno has seen good leaders and bad ones. How bad is bad leadership depends on what kind of characteristics and value system he picks up.

If he picks the extreme form of negative values then the nation is in deep trouble.

Umno, since Independence and until 1981, saw three late prime ministers who made positive contributions to the country.

They each proved to serve the national interests first which is the essence of good governance.

But things began to change in 1981 after the fourth premier – Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad – took over.

Under his reign good governance took a backseat and things went from bad to worse and now under Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, we’re sinking from worse to the worst.

Over the past 30 years we have witnessed how Umno and Sarawak’s Pesaka Bumiputra Bersatu (PBB) have spewed their bad and evil traits without any feelings of remorse .

Abuses of power, corruption, plundering and looting of state and national wealth were done on a massive scale. The national debt keeps on growing at a rapid pace .

Drowning in debts

In 2009 when Najib took over the reign’s from ex-premier Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, the national debt stood at more than RM362 billion. Now our national debts stands at RM437 billion.

In contrast our expected revenue for 2012 is only about RM186.9 billion!

If the debt is to be shared by all the 13 states of Malaysia, then each state will bear a debt of RM39.7 billion directly or indirectly.

Knowing this, is it worth supporting the Umno /Barisan Nasional government, anymore?

Instead of giving us returns for exploiting our wealth, Sarawakians and Sabahans are now burdened with RM39.7 billion debt each.

Global history has repeatedly shown us how a bad leader had acted alone.

We had (Germany’s Adolf) Hilter, (Iraq’s) Saddam (Hussein) and (Philippines’ Ferdinand) Marcos – all of them acted alone and individually to create havoc upon mankind and their people.

These are called dangerous leaders – which is of the worst kind.

Funds siphoned

In Malaysia we saw Mahathir – on a number of occasions – having acted on his own in the controlling of the judiciary, giving massive projects to cronies, practicing a policy of massive borrowings from banks and the EPF (Employees Provident Fund) and spewing lies as a political tool.

Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud too has literally taken billions of ringgit of state funds.

And under Najib, we see and hear of massive abuse of public funds with little accountability.

And even as you read this commentary, funds from our EPF continue to be siphoned out at an alarming rate as disclosed in the Auditor-General’s 2010 report.

Knowing the characteristic of our leadership why then are we dependent on them? Such leaders must be rejected in totality.

Awang Abdillah is a political observer and a veteran writer in Sarawak. He is an FMT columnist.

‘Anjur Himpunan Bersih 3.0′

NGO WargaAMAN desak diadakan Bersih 3.0 bagi meneruskan momentum Bersih 2.0.

KUALA LUMPUR: Angkatan Warga Aman Malaysia (WargaAMAN) yang mewakili lebih 20 badan bukan kerajaan (NGO kaum India mendesak agar Himpunan Bersih 3.0 segera dianjurkan bagi meningkatkan peluang Pakatan Rakyat untuk mengambil alih Putrajaya.

Setiausahanya S Barathidasan berkata cadangan diadakan Bersih 3.0 ialah untuk meneruskan momentum Bersih 2.0 yang telah berlangsung pada 9 Julai lalu bagi menuntut penambahbaikan sistem pilihan raya bagi mewujudkan sebuah sistem yang lebih bersih dan adil.

Beliau berkata terdapat perubahaan senario politik hasil rentetan daripada kejayaan Bersih 2.0 dan pihaknya merasa terpanggil supaya Himpunan Bersih 3.0 diadakan.

“Beberapa tindakan pihak kerajaan khususnya Perdana Menteri dilihat begitu terdesak untuk melaksanakan perubahan demi menjaga survival pemerintahan Barisan Nasional (BN).

“Perkembangan positif ini perlu digunakan sebaik mungkin bagi membolehkan lebih banyak perubahan dilakukan oleh kerajaan,” tegasnya.

Oleh itu katanya, WargaAMAN percaya sekiranya gerakan menuntut pilihan raya bersih dan adil diteruskan dengan pembawaan yang konsisten, peluang untuk lapan tuntutan Bersih 2.0 dilaksanakan sangat besar.

Beliau mengecam peranan Jawatankuasa Terpilih Parlimen (PSC) berhubung penambahbaikan proses pilihan raya yang telah diluluskan oleh Dewan Rakyat pada 3 Oktober lalu.

Bagi beliau, PSC merupakan alat untuk meredakan tuntutan Bersih dan mengalihkan rakyat daripada memberi fokus terhadap tuntutan
pilihan raya bersih dan adil.

Menurut Barathidasan, WargaAMAN bertindak sebagai pendesak terhadap kerajaan agar melaksanakan kesemua lapan tuntutan sebelum Pilihan Raya Umum ke 13 diadakan.

“WargaAMAN juga bertindak memberi kesedaran dan pelajaran kepada rakyat mengenai sistem pilihan raya di Malaysia di samping mendedahkan isu-isu yang berkaitan,” ujar beliau.

Govt to consider higher road accident compensation

The Star

THE Government is considering amending the Civil Law Act 1956 to increase the amount of compensation awarded for injury and death caused by road accidents, said Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Donald Lim.

He said there were grounds to consider a review of the Act in respect of the RM10,000 compensation for the grief suffered by a victim’s bereaved family.

“The Government is aware of this and it has been brought up for discussion at several meetings,” he said when answering a question raised by M. Manogaran (DAP-Telok Intan).

Manogaran had sought a clarification on whether the present laws would be amended to increase compensation awarded to families of those who had lost their lives in fatal road accidents.

Manogaran had sought a clarification on whether the present laws would be amended to increase compensation awarded to families of those who had lost their lives in fatal road accidents.

He said that although no amount of money could compensate the loss of a loved one, the current payment of RM10,000 was very low.

Manogaran said the compensation should be raised to RM100,000.

He also noted that disability compensation, which was calculated up to 55 years of age under the Act, should be reviewed to reflect the changes in the compulsory retirement age of 60 for the public sector and 65 for judges.

Lim said he welcomed any feedback on the issue from relevant parties such as the Bar Council and insurance industry to allow the Government to make the necessary move.

To a question by Datuk Wira Ahmad Hamzah (BN-Jasin), Lim said the Government had introduced a programme to streamline premium payments for third party insurance from January.

India police detain six men over bomb blasts

Delhi security forces arrest six suspected Indian Mujahideen operatives in connection with series of fatal bombings.
In the German Bakery blast in 2010, attackers left a bomb under a table that exploded, killing 17 people [File: AFP]

Indian police have arrested six men said to be members of a homegrown armed group in connection with a series of fatal bombings.

The men, including one Pakistani, are believed to belong to the Indian Mujahideen, a group with suspected links to fighters in Pakistan, police said in a statement on Wednesday.

The men are alleged to have targeted the German Bakery restaurant in Pune, the Chinnaswamy cricket stadium in the southern software hub of Bangalore and the Jama Masjid, the nation's biggest mosque, in New Delhi.

'Investigation under way'

P Chidambaram, India's minister of home affairs, confirmed the arrests at a news conference, adding that an "investigation is still under way" into the actions of the six men.

In the blast at the German Bakery in February last year, attackers left a bomb under a table that exploded, killing 17 people.

Ten people were injured when two bombs went off outside the Bangalore cricket stadium in April 2010.
In the mosque attack in September 2010, two Taiwanese visitors who were part of a film crew were wounded when two men on a motorbike opened fire and a small car exploded.

Police said they recovered guns, cartridges, detonators, doctored documents, fake Indian currency and explosives during their probe.

The Indian Mujahideen has claimed responsibility for numerous bomb attacks in Indian cities in recent years, most recently for a blast outside the Delhi High Court in September which left 15 dead.

The US state department has designated the group a "terrorist" organisation, noting its "close ties" with Pakistan-based armed groups such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba, which was blamed for the 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people.

Girl gets a year in jail, 100 lashes for adultery

JEDDAH – A 23-year-old unmarried woman was awarded one-year prison term and 100 lashes for committing adultery and trying to abort the resultant fetus.
The District Court in Jeddah pronounced the verdict on Saturday after the girl confessed that she had a forced sexual intercourse with a man who had offered her a ride. The man, the girl confessed, took her to a rest house, east of Jeddah, where he and four of friends assaulted her all night long.
The girl claimed that she became pregnant soon after and went to King Fahd Hospital for Armed Forces in an attempt to carry out an abortion. She was eight weeks’ pregnant then, the hospital confirmed.
According to the ruling, the woman will be sent to a jail outside Jeddah to spend her time and will be lashed after delivery of her baby who will take the mother’s last name. – Okaz/SG __

Himpunan Aman: Jangan salah guna kuasa majoriti

Perkasa, Mamak group bring traffic to a standstill

Protesters accuse CM's political secretary Ng Wei Aik of humiliating Bangladeshi married to a local and call for his sacking.
GEORGE TOWN: About 300 protesters from Perkasa and Suara Anak Anak Mamak Pulau Pinang caused a massive congestion when they marched against the flow of traffic at noon today.
Their target: Komtar assemblyman and Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s political secretary Ng Wei Aik who has been accused of humiliating a Bangladeshi married to a local woman.
The protesters demanded that Ng quit immediately as Komtar assemblyman and also called on Lim to sack Ng as his political secretary.
Police detained 11 people including the protest leader, Perkasa’s north-east district chief Mohd Rizuad Mohd Azudin, for the commotion.
All were released after having their statements recorded at the city police headquarters.
Anak-Anak Mamak leader Mohamed Ghani Abdul Jiman, who was his usual boisterous uncouth self, however, was not detained.
The protesters gathered outside Continental Hotel in upper Penang Road at 12 noon before marching  against the flow of traffic in the direction of Komtar, a kilometer away.
Once they reached the Komtar in Lebuh Teck Soon, the protesters, with some sitting on the road, chanted anti-Pakatan Rakyat, anti-Ng and anti-Lim slogans for over an hour.
Ng denies allegation

About 100 police personnel, including two Light Strike Force (LSF) units, were at the scene. The demonstration caused massive traffic congestion all over the city at peak lunch hour.
Sarimah Packeer Mohamed, 43, lodged a police report last week alleging Ng humiliated her husband, a Bangladeshi national, in public during Ng’s visit to a fire site in Jalan Gurdwara.
The fire razed three shophouses on Nov 22. Ng allegedly accused Sarimah and her husband of masterminding the fire which originated from a nearby unit owned by a senior citizen.
Ng denied Sarimah’s allegations, claiming that he only demanded Sarimah and her husband to close their illegal goods recycling business.
Police recorded a statement from Ng to assist in the case investigated under Section 500 of the Penal Code. This was not the first time Ng had been a target.
Earlier this year, Ng was accused of telling off a Nasi Kandar restaurant operator to “go back to India.”
After the protest today, Rizuad, accompanied by colleagues, handed over a memorandum to Chief Minister’s official representative Zuliana Aziz.

HRP wants temple demolishers heads to roll

The Indian councillors in MBSA also want the menteri besar to act against the enforcement officers.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Human Rights Party (HRP) has urged the Selangor state government to sack the enforcement officers involved in the demolition of a Hindu temple in Glenmarie, Shah Alam, if they are found to have abused their powers.

According to a witness, some 30 policemen and 10 enforcement officers from the Shah Alam City Council (MBSA) smashed the shrine, including the statues of six Hindu deities last Thursday without issuing any prior notice.

However, state exco Dr Xavier Jayakumar defended MBSA, saying that several notices had been sent to the temple management.

He blamed the temple management for not checking the status of the land as the temple was sited on a road reserve area.

Councillors see red as well

Speaking to FMT, HRP central council member S Thiagarajan criticised the exco and the state government for not keeping their promise.

According to Thiagarajan, after Pakatan Rakyat took over the state in 2008, Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim sent a circular to all local councils barring them from demolishing any temple without the exco’s knowledge.

“What happened to the letter? Is that letter invalid or did Jayakumar himself give permission to MBSA to carry out the demolition?” he asked.

He pointed out that this was the fifth temple demolished by the Pakatan state government since coming into power.

He said the state government always blamed the local councils for not informing them about the demolishment.

As for the latest incident, Thiagarajan said if the MBSA officers had abused their powers then they must be sacked.

“We will see what action will be taken against the enforcement officers who brutally smashed the statues into pieces,” he added.

Meanwhile, he said HRP would also send a letter to the attorney-general regarding this matter.

“According to the Penal Code, defiling a place of worship with the intent to insult the religion of any class shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years or fine or both,” he added.

Terming it as a “serious case”, Thiagarajan said HRP would urge the AG to take stern action against MBSA.

Contaced later, MBSA councillor V Vembarasan said that all five Indian councillors in the city council would also urge the menteri besar to take action against the enforcement officers.

“We held a meeting this morning and reached an agreement on this,” he added.

China In India's Missile Range

India's ICBM
New Delhi risks upsetting Asia’s delicate weapons balance
Sometime over the next three months,perhaps as early as December, Indian defense officials are scheduled to test the country‘s first truly intercontinental ballistic missile, the Agni-V, which theoretically brings India’s weapons program within range of most of China.

Officials insist that India has a no-strike-first policy and that the weapons are no threat to any other country in the region. Said VK Saraswat, the chief of the Defense Research & Development Organization, the federal body that oversees the country’s indigenous arms development: “We are not looking at how many missiles China or Pakistan has. With a 'no first-use' nuclear weapons policy, we only want a sufficient number of missiles to defend the country in the event of a crisis. Ours is a defensive-mode strategy, even if others have offensive postures.”

However, as governments have pondered during the missile age, how much is a sufficient number? Tthe implications for the balance of power in the region are obvious. India’s two-decades-old missile program has mostly been aimed at nullifying nullify the threat from its immediate and unremittingly hostile neighbor, Pakistan. That appears to be changing. While shorter versions of the Agni missile series cover Pakistan, Agni III and beyond are part of India’s efforts to guard against China.

The ICBM, named for the Hindu god Agni, the god of fire and the acceptor of sacrifices, is referred to by Indian officials and scientists as the “China killer,” hardly a peaceable phrase, due to its ability to target cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and reach the northernmost tips of the country.

Yet with only a handful of missiles and believed to possess only 70 nuclear weapons, India has a long way before it couldmatch up to China’s arsenal, with its missiles capable of delivering payloads up to 14,000 km, covering much of the globe. China is believed to possess at least 410 nuclear weapons.  This is probably a race the world does not need, as the western powers proved from the 1960s on.  The United States and Russia have slowly and reluctantly been reducing their missile capacity for almost a generation, although both retain a vast suf ficiency enough to wipe out the planet several times over.

Nonetheless, Agni-V allows India to join a select group of nations including the US, China, the UK and Russia, which possess ICBMs with the capability to strike targets at least 5,500 km away. India’s program director, Avinash Chander, said that Agni-V would be ready for incorporation into the armed forces by 2014.

Agni V’s predecessor, Agni IV, which is capable of carrying nuclear warheads with a range of 3,500 km, was tested two weeks ago, almost a year after a previous test was unsuccessful. New Delhi called the test a “stupendous success” and suggesting the test puts India’s missile capability a notch higher than Pakistan’s.

Although India’s record in developing indigenous weapons --tanks or fighter jets -- is abysmal, such as not been the case with its ballistic missile program. Some of this is due to progress in launching and installation of broadcast and remote sensing satellites in space under the aegis of the Indian Space Research Organization.

This is despite sanctions US sanctions imposed on India’s dual-use technologies. The advances in missile technology have occurred concomitantly with strides in space research as the motors used in the launch vehicles of satellites have been incorporated into missiles.

The Defense Research & Development Organization, which has an otherwise spotty record of weapons development, claims Agni-V is built almost fully with indigenous technology, although Indian scientists are known to copy readily available blueprints from Russia.

Agni-V must undergo two to four more “repeatable” tests before the weapon goes operational, Avinash Chander said. “Our aim is to take just two to three years from the first test to the induction phase.”

In June, the now-retired Air Chief Marshal PV Naik said India's rising global stature demands developing the ICBM and long-range attack capability possessed by elite nations.

“India should pursue an ICBM program to acquire ranges of 10,000 km or even more,” Naik said. “Breaking out of the regional context is important as the country's sphere of influence grows. We have no territorial designs on any country, but India needs the capability to match its sphere of influence.”

India’s deepening interest in ICBM’s has occurred even as the US has opened its defense armaments market, including dual-use technology, for Indian use, definitely moving away from a sanctions-ridden policy paradigm that harkened back to the Cold War era when India was aligned with the erstwhile Soviet Union.

Events such as the Kargil war of 1999, during which the country nearly went to war with Pakistan and the November 2008 Mumbai terror attacks orchestrated by the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorists have only heightened India’s insecurities and led to efforts to refine its ability to attack and protect itself.

Since the Mumbai attacks in November 2008, India has also accelerated its ballistic missile defense program with help from its newly friendly defense partner America, to protect against a sudden missile attack, possibly nuclear tipped, particularly from rogue elements in Pakistan.

The defense expertise can also be extended to space to protect India’s remote and communication satellites, especially after China conducted an anti-satellite test in 2007, in what is seen as a potential “Star Wars” arms race between the two Asian nations, with America strategically siding with India.

Given the closed nature of China’s polity, nobody is quite sure what kind of investments and developments are happening in China’s defense sphere. Some analysts believe that China’s military capabilities today could be superior to America’s although US defense expenditure dwarfs that of the rest of the world combined.

Pakistan is no patsy either, with a missile program that is actively promoted by China, and with the country having developed its own nuclear capability. Several of its attack ballistic missiles with the potential to destroy Indian cities are a copy of those in possession of China.

The country has test-fired the Shaheen-2, a 2000-km range missile. Pakistan, meanwhile, continues to receive military largesse from America as a partner in the global war against terror, though India has long held that such stockkpiling of weapons only adds to instability in the region.

New Delhi feels that US-supplied armaments to Pakistan are more potent against a conventional enemy rather than the amorphous terror networks that also spread over Afghanistan and need effective intelligence and pinpointed operations, such as the one that killed Osama Bin Laden, to neutralize.

India has thus been implementing a massive defense modernization effort over the past few years. Given the country’s incipient domestic inability to manufacture military hardware, most arms are imported despite the fact that the missile program remains an indigenous effort that breeds off the successes in India’s space program.

In its latest report, Swedish think tank Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, has said that India has become the biggest arms importer in the world and in the process overtaken China, though Indian observers say that a major portion of Beijing’s arms budget continues to be hidden, secret and unknown to the world.

(Siddharth Srivastava is a New Delhi-based journalist. He can be reached at

Speech by Lim Chee Wee, President, Malaysian Bar – Sri Lanka, Human Rights and the Commonwealth of Nations: National Reconciliation on the Basis of Justice and Accountability

Speech delivered at the International Conference on Human Rights and the Commonwealth of Nations, organised by the Global Tamil Forum (Sydney, Australia; 20 Oct 2011)

The President of the Global Tamil Forum, Reverend Dr S J Emmanuel; the President of the Australian Tamil Congress, Professor Rajeswaran; distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.

I thank the organisers and am honoured to have been invited to address this conference.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr famously pointed out in his Letter from a Birmingham Jail that “an injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere”. 

We have all seen from the Channel 4 “Killing Fields” documentary, and from the Report by the UN Secretary General’s Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka1, the evidence of the “credible allegations” of heinous war crimes having been committed in Sri Lanka.

Yet, despite the end of the war more than 2 years ago, there is still no credible international investigation into the situation in Sri Lanka. Rather, we appear to see a situation of international complacency and a tendency to brush these allegations under the carpet ostensibly with a view to “national reconciliation”.

But the United Nations (“UN”) Panel of Experts found that tens of thousands of civilians, who took refuge in government-demarcated no fire zones, were targeted and killed by the Sri Lankan armed forces.

Taking into account the monumental proportions of the killing, injury and damage to property, I am compelled to infer that it must have been carried out with the cognisance, support and possibly or even probably under directions from high authority.

The Report also states that the Sri Lankan armed forces were almost entirely made of ethnic Singhalese. It also states that the civilians were ethnic Tamils.

In the premises, applying the definition of genocide in the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide 1948, what happened in Sri Lanka could well have been genocide.  Under that definition, killing or destroying even a part of an ethnic group, amounts to genocide, if there was an intention to kill or to destroy them.

The fact that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (“LTTE”) was using the civilians as a shield, even if it were true, or that they used child soldiers, is no excuse for the targeting and killing of civilians.

There seems to be an international dimension to this war. 

In the last stages of the war, western nations had requested a cessation or a softening of the attacks in the Tamil areas by the Sri Lankan armed forces. 

India’s leading Hindu newspaper pointed out that based on confidential US Embassy cables accessed by The Hindu through WikiLeaks, “India played a key role in warding off international pressure on Sri Lanka to halt military operations and hold talks with the LTTE in the dramatic final days and weeks of the war in 2009”.2 

The individuals in the top hierarchy of authority in India, who supported with these terrible crimes, if they did so, must own up and resign to save their entire nation from ignominy.

Recently, I am informed that India refused the Reverend Dr S J Emmanuel, the President of the Global Tamil Forum, entry into India despite him having a visa. 

India also previously refused a visa to enter India to a Malaysian Member of Parliament, Dr. Ramasamy, who is also the second Deputy Chief Minister of the Malaysian state of Penang. 

It is hard to imagine, but India (and sadly also Malaysia) also voted in the United Nations Human Rights Council in May 2009 not to carry out any investigations into possible war crimes in Sri Lanka3.

This active interest of India in Sri Lanka, in connection with these war crimes, gives this problem an international complexion. 

It may also be timely to investigate India’s role in the war crimes and the continuing allegations of human rights infringements in Sri Lanka. 

The fact that a country is a regional superpower, does not give them any license to support such heinous crimes.

The plight of the many Tamil refugees from Sri Lanka who still continue to flee the country (many of whom are now in Malaysia seeking relocation through the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR) is a cause for legitimate concern for the entire Commonwealth.

In these circumstances the United Nations will not be held in high regard unless it intervenes under Chapters 6 and/or 7 of the United Nations Charter to investigate these heinous war crimes. 

There exists an international institution which is gaining more and more credibility as the place for achieving justice for the most heinous of these war crimes. The International Criminal Court is able to take jurisdiction over cases even where the State involved is not a party through a resolution of the UN Security Council. This was done for the situation in Darfur, Sudan4.  I therefore propose that this Conference support a call to ask that the Commonwealth Heads of Government, who will be meeting in Perth next week, insist that the United Nations Security Council refer the situation in Sri Lanka to the International Criminal Court.  This will be the only way the UN will credibly show that it seeks to act on the recommendations of the Secretary General’s Panel of Experts.

I intend to give a copy of this speech to the Malaysian government, and ask them to seriously review their own policies of continuing with major investments and friendly relations with a country alleged to have carried out such heinous war crimes.

The grave allegations against the Sri Lankan government and its current leaders, and the continuing refusal by them to allow a credible and independent international inquiry in these allegations, suggests also that Sri Lanka should be suspended from the Commonwealth of Nations.

I urge the Global Tamil Forum, the Australian Tamil Congress and other Eelam Tamil organisations throughout the world to continue their tireless advocacy for a complete international investigation on what happened in the last days of the war in Sri Lanka as the only way to achieve justice. 

Only when justice is done, and seen to be done credibly and effectively, can there be genuine reconciliation in that island nation. 

Lim Chee Wee
Malaysian Bar

Pengedaran 25,000 risalah Cincin dan Pemborosan Imelda Rosmah selesai

Kenyataan Terbuka
Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia (SAMM)

30 Nov 2011

25,000 booklet penerangan isu Cincin dan Pemborosan Imelda Rosmah selesai diedarkan terus ke rumah pengundi di kawasan tumpuan Melayu

Sejak kali pertama membuat pendedahan mengenai isu Cincin RM24 juta pada 8 Julai lalu, pemuja wanita yang menyamar sebagai Wanita No.1 negara telah bertungkus lumus untuk mengelirukan fakta-fakta bagi menyelamatkan imejnya.

Pada peringkat awal pemuja beliau telah membuat penafian dangkal segera seperti menyatakan yang tidak wujud cincin semahal itu malah ada yang mengatakan che'GuBard membuat penipuan kerana tidak mungkin masuk akal ada cincin semahal itu.

Kemudian ada pula seorang yang merupakan bekas setiausaha Anwar Ibrahim yang diberi ruang dalam masa perdana siaran TV3 menjawab dengan mengakui pula cincin itu masuk tetapi digambarkan hanya sebagai hadia bila disebut nama besan najib yang membawa masuk cincin tersebut.

Maka beraburlah dan makin panik kerana orang makin keliru. Mula kata tak masuk, tak wujud dan tak masuk akal. Kini kata masuk dan wujud pula tetapi hadiah. Ketika inilah Harakah telah menyiarkan keratan dokumen Kastam yang membuktikan cincin ini masuk.

Maka dalam panik pemuja pun menjawab cincin itu masuk untuk satu pameran. Makin ramai tertawa, semua ingat bagaimana perempuan itu diakitkan dengan pameran busana Muslimah yang terdedah dan pelik. Acara peragaan busana Muslimah tersebut didesak perbagai media membuat liputan. Mustahil cincin RM24.45 j dibuat pameran di tempat yang sulit, pada masa yang sulit dengan tetamu yang sulit tanpa ada yang tahu.

6 orang ahli Parlimen telah masukkan soalan mengenai cincin RM24.45 juta. Menteri berkenaan pun menjawab dengan menjawab dengan mengakui cincin itu memang wujud dan masuk ke Malaysia. makin celaru lagi maknanya penafian yang mengatakan cincin itu tak wujud dan tidak masuk ialah usaha terdesak semata-mata.

Persoalan kini muncul kenapa cincin itu masuk ? bagaimana nama perempuan itu boleh ada dalam borang Kastam cincin itu masuk.... dia bukan agen kargo atau pegawai kastam... dan kenapa cincin itu keluar semula dan mana borang Kastam cincin itu keluar.

Sebenarnya ikut jadual propagandis pemuja perempuan itu sepatutnya beberapa hari selepas jawapan menteri di Parlimen, media perdana akan siarkan borang kastam cincin itu keluar dari Malaysia. Cuma mereka tidak boleh berbuat demikian kerana SAMM telah memperolehi borang yang dikatakan cincin itu keluar dan menyiarkan dengan mengenengahkan beberapa kekeliruan yang wujud dalam borang tersebut.

Regim sebenarnya panik dengan imej wanita yang menyamar sebagai wanita pertama negara ini yang semakin merudum hingga memberikan kesan kepada populariti regim itu sendiri. Mereka menjawab isu cincin ini dengan perbagai cara termasuklah dengan membuat video dan seumpamanya. mereka menuduh kami menipu.

Kami bukan dengki perempuan itu nak pakai apa, persoalanya ialah mana dia mendapat duit sebanyak itu. kami bukan bercakap kosong maka pada 15 Oktober yang lalu telah dilancarkan satu booklet 16 mukasurat yang mengandungi penjelasan isu cincin tersebut dan menyenaraikan pemborosan Imelda Rosmah yang antaranya disahkan dalam parlimen Malaysia.

Sebanyak 25,000 dicetak. Ingin ditegaskan pencetakan risalah ini tidak mendapat bantuan mana - mana pihak. Ada Umno yang tanya che'Gubard sendiri jika ada sesiapa yang dalam Umno yang taja che'GuBard atau SAMM dalam menyerang Rosmah. Jawapanya tidak ada. Kami tidak menerima mana - mana khususnya dalam projek risalah ini. Tidak dari Umno dan juga mana - mana pihak dari pakatan rakyat.

SAMM bergerak dan risalah ini dicetak dari hasil jualan buku yang che'GuBard gerakkan ke seluruh negara. kalau nak kata ada penaja maka rakyat yang bantu beli buku kamilah penaja kami.

SAMM diuruskan melalui akaun Bank Islam bernombor 050120010074930. Akaun inilah yang kami iklankan dalam risalah ini dengan harapan dapat membantu kami menanggung kos yang masih terhutang. Namun jujurnya cuma RM1560 sahaja wang yang masuk ke akaun tersebut dan penyumbang terus yang bertemu di tempat ceramah pula berjumlah RM650. Manakala Cabang PKR Seremban membantu kami dengan mendapatkan beberapa 'bundle' booklet untuk mereka edarkan dengan mereka membayar kos percetakan yang kami bayar pada pencetak. Walaupun masih berhutang lagi sedikit namun kami masih merancang untuk mencetak lagi kerana kesan risalah tersebut amat kuat khususnya di kawasan pendalaman majoriti Melayu.

Selama ini mereka ingat bila 'pembangkang' membuat pendedahan cuma cakap kosong tetapi bila membaca booklet ini mereka terpegun kerana ini contoh pendedahan dengan bukti sekali. cuma kami sedang mencari dan mengumpulkan sedikit-sedikit dana yang kami ada untuk meneruskan usaha ini.

Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia (SAMM) dengan ini mengumumkan kami telah selesai mengedarkan 25,000 booklet tersebut. 15,000 diedarkan terus ke rumah - rumah kawasan majoriti Melayu oleh jentera SAMM termasuk Pekan Pahang. 3,000 diedar di tempat ceramah melibatkan SAMM atau che'GuBard dan 2 ribu lagi diberikan terus kepada individu atau organisasi tertentu yang membantu edaran.

Cetakan edisi kedua akan pasti menyusul dan booklet pendedahan terbaru akan tetap diusahakan. Pengedaran bahan seperti vcd, risalah dan seumpanya yang diedar terus ke dalam rumah pengundi antara usaha pemangkin kesedaran SAMM. Kami percaya dan yakin ini antara usaha penting dalam memberikan kesedaran bagi melawan propaganda media perdana yang diperkuda regim. Cuma kami harap jika ada pihak yang sudi tampil sama membantu kami meringankan beban dalam kos menghasilkan bahan - bahan seperti ini.

Sekian dan terima kasih

Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia (SAMM)

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