More in Asia
Came across a very interesting article on Huffington Post: Why doesn’t Asia have Religion? It is a point that is important to make and so difficult to do so in...
Heads of States of various countries came together for a Gala Dinner ahead of ASEAN Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. It was held at Cambodia’s Diamond Island Convention Center on...
Came across a very interesting article about the blogging trends in Japan and India vis-a-vis the Western Blogosphere. It seems, even though English speakers to Japanese Speakers ratio is 5:1...
Japan is a remarkably homogenous country and people have to invent differences for prejudice to find a play. For, differences bring distinctions for some and inferiority for others. So they...
Tensions between China and Japan are running high these days. And from the looks of it, it doesn’t seem like this will come down anytime soon. One of the consequences...
Singapore is a very green and clean city. I took a short hour and a half tour of the city, courtesy the airport tours. The Guide was knowledgeable and funny...
I landed in Singapore early in the morning around 7 am. It was foggy to begin with, and after a long over 20 hours of a flight stopping in Moscow,...
Most people are not satisfied with where they are. They would like to move out of their present countries to “greener pastures”. It seems of all the destinations in the...
If you are an Indian or Chinese student, the chances are you are discriminated when it comes to College Admissions in the US. This is being proved by repeated studies...
The American Classical music scene is a strange and interesting game of musical chairs when it comes to the audiences. The White American audience, which predominated the classical music halls...
A nuclear catastrophe is potentially around the corner. After the earthquake affected the Japanese nuclear plant, three explosions and a fire have occurred in four days.
Yet another earthquake of magnitude 7.7 on richter scale has hit Indonesia.
Humanity demands fairness and goodness. Even in war civility is the way for a more peaceful world. That’s what our instincts say and that is what is most ethical.
However, when one goes back to history, one sees that those who were ruthless and not shy of completing a hostile exercise to its logical end, were more successful. Whether it is right or wrong.. good or bad, the truth is that the in war and in fighting half-way never works. Either you go the full way or don’t start at all.
If you look at the Islamic conquests, the European invaders, including the British and the US in WW-II against Japan, one would see that the reason why they changed the history was because they ruthlessly put the opposition down. They would either kill every body en-mass or they would take them as slaves. All these examples (except to some extent, the US action in WW-II) are examples of aggression and not self defence. Whether the proponents put a cloak of religious expansion and spreading the “love” of their Prophet or Leader, cannot hide the aggressive intent.
Nevertheless, If you are fighting an opposition in a war then civility in war of treating your opposition with humanity has not been a best practice. We, in India, have been the prime exponent of that – from Prithviraj Chauhan (against Ghori) to Indira Gandhi (in 1971 against ZA Bhutto and Pakistan).
Again, I know our culture does believes that being good to your opponent in war IS a virtue but if you would read history you would realize that it is somehow not the best practice.
Sri Lanka has been suffering for decades now from the Tamil terrorism. The Tamil “tigers” were like mad warriors on hire for money as terrorism had seeped deep into their blood. ISI could hire LTTE operatives for a few thousand dollars to do suicide bombings or terror attacks anywhere in the sub continent. Sheikh Hasina’s assassination attempt by LTTE financed by ISI was a prime example of that. There was NO way to clearly separate a “Normal and peace loving” Sri lankan Tamil from a “terrorist Sri Lankan Tamil”.
That terrorist machine has finally come to an end.
Today, the news came that Vellupillai Prabhakaran, the 54-year-old founder-chief of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE); and his son Charles Anthony along with LTTE intelligence chief Pottu Amman, Sea Tiger chief, Soosai were dead.
Many times we do not realize the issues sitting from afar of a country. In Afghanistan there is the threat of Taliban – which is pretty serious – but then where Taliban is not there.. there is corruption. Corruption that is institutionalized by Hamid Karzai and his coterie and also the Western powers, US included.
Here is an excellent case study of Dr. Mohammed Atash, the former president of Ariana, Afghanistan’s largest commercial airline – and how he was subjected to hell by Karzai, the politically connected managers, and the Western Companies.. to a position that he ran away from Afghanistan back to the US.
Sri Lankan Army has finally entered Kilinochchi, the de-facto capital of LTTE in North East Sri lanka. It was, however, a ghost town that was abandoned as the LTTE moved its operations further in the North East jungles.
In the previous two attempts, Sri Lankan forces face still challenge and aggression from the LTTE and had many casualties. This time they surrounded the town from three sides and then entered.
I applaud the Sri Lankan Army. It is a complete shame that India is not helping the SLA overtly and strongly in routing out the LTTE terrorists from the jungles and towns of Sri Lanka. I feel that if they cannot see or contribute to any good of that society, they have no right to be part of that country.
In the latest “Failed States Index, 2008″ by Foreign Policy, four countries in our neighborhood have ended up in top 15. The list headed by Somalia, has Afghanistan as #7, and Pakistan at #9, Bangladesh and Burma are in a dead heat at #12! Pakistan and Afghanistan are two sometimes-friends-sometimes-enemies are very close to each other. And if Taliban has its way, then they may be together… failed!
China and Pakistan have carefully cultivated Nepal as their territory for last 10 years. And it has been a complete failure of India to not have anything to stop it! At the very least I would have expected the BJP government to have done something about it but even they did not do anything!
I know many in Pakistan have been trying to speak negative about India.. but I came across this interview with the Afghan Ambassador to India where he talks about the Indo-Afghan relations. I think the facts are self evident. Also read the thoughts of Astad Deboo on his visit to Afghanistan where he talks about his performances and the general life in Kabut and Herat. He mentions how the Indian soaps (Kyunki Saas etc) have influenced the women there.. as many have named their daughters Tulsi. Astad Deboo has been awarded Padma Shree and is a top ranking innovative modern dancer of India.
As an ambassador to India for the last nine-and-a-half years, through the different ups and downs of my country, India has played a great positive role
The Afghan people and Indian people should know this. It should be recorded in the history of the two nations. Whether it was the government of I K Gujral, H D Deve Gowda or Atal Bihari Vajpayee or Manmohan Singh. All the institutions of your country, Parliament and others, were indeed keen to help Afghanistan — not because of their problem with Pakistan. Independently.
When I became ambassador here, Commander Masood was in Kabul and Mr (Burhanuddin) Rabbani was the president, I found that they (the Indian government) were cooperative. When the Taliban captured Kabul, (then external affairs minister) I K Gujral announced at the United Nations that India recognised President Rabbani and Commander Masood, though they were not in Kabul then.
The entire Persian belt (Iran and Iraq) is a big mess! Iran had been getting its nuke technology from AQ Khan and the North Korea (well to be precise – from CHINA).. while the US and others in the West had ostensibly no freaking idea. And then when Bush came in to power, he wanted to avenge for his father and so wanted to hit Saddam Hussain. He did. But with that he took down so much – for starters over 4000 American soldiers. The war gave nothing except mess and more terrorists.
For past sometime, Iran has seen a light in that area as they can push up the Shias and control most of the area. It is their backyard for God’s sake! So it finances and helps those Shias. If the US had let Iran remain doing that and leave the place slowly, it would have been fine. But the current generation of US politicians brought up on a staple of Viagara have tried to muddy their hands in Iran as well by threatening it. For a force that cannot handle Iraq, to threaten others in the neighborhood is stupidity! And the funny thing is that Iran is not even close to being the fountain-head of terrorism. That’s Pakistan! So, another sojourn is in the offing for the US soldiers – to a country that has been made to become an enemy!
Israel – correctly so – is worried for its existence as Ahmedinejad is busy issuing threats to that country.
A few years back I had visited Malaysia. It is a very progressive and modern nation by any standards, specially by the Asian standards. I kept wondering what sustained the growth of that small nation (compared to India at least)? What was it besides the palm oil that it exported.
Well, Malaysia’s exports are now around USD 305 billion. And although Palm oil is a major part of its exports.. it is not the main thing. The main exports are electrical and electronics and manufactured goods. Here is the break up:
Look at this scenario.. and imagine the economic effect of this scenario! Can you imagine if the rising and the growing societies of Asia united just as European societies have? How powerful would that block be!
A direct drive from anywhere in India to Vietnam. A train line from Delhi to Hanoi. Countries sharing energy resources — not just petroleum products, think foreign help during an electricity grid failure. Trade, financial bonding, cooperation in education, information-technology.
This is what the Indian PM Dr. Manmohan Singh is in Philippines for!
Malaysian consortium is offering to build (and then operate and transfer – or BOT) the highways in India… some especially important and significantly useful highways. This is what is lacking in India currently. Malaysia, on the other hand, has nice looking highways in their country with wonderful work having been done in terms of their infrastructure… specially their metro and the airport at KL!!
The project, to be executed on a build-operate-transfer basis in a phased manner, envisages two expressways: one linking Thiruvananthapuram, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Pune; the other connecting Delhi and Kolkata.
Here is LG’s new “Shine” phone. Man, North America’s world in electronics is in pre-historic times compared to South Korea and Japan. Even stuff in India looks high-tech now compared to the US!
This is a pretty scary scenario!! If a few telecom lines under-sea are cut off that can disrupt the communications of a country big time!! The disruption here was caused by the damage to the lines under the sea in Taiwan due to the earthquake of the magnitude of 6.7 richter. But the point is that someone’s enemy could have done this too…
With one blow, Mother Nature triggered the largest telecommunications outage in years, cutting off or slowing telephone and Internet traffic in Asia from Beijing to Bangkok.
“If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside… and the cats come and eat it… whose fault is it, the cats’ or the uncovered meat?”
This is what the Australian cleric Sheikh Taj el-Din Al-Hilali said to a congregation of Muslims during Ramadan. Transcript of his speech:
Those atheists, people of the book [Christians and Jews], where will they end up? In Surfers Paradise? On the Gold Coast?
Where will they end up? In hell. And not part-time. For eternity. They are the worst in God’s creation.
Who commits the crimes of theft? The man or the woman? The man.
That’s why the man was mentioned before the woman when it comes to theft because his responsibility is providing.
But when it comes to adultery, it’s 90% the women’s responsibility. Why? Because a woman possesses the weapon of seduction.
It is she who takes off her clothes, shortens them, flirts, puts on make-up and powder and takes to the streets, God protect us, dallying. It’s she who shortens, raises and lowers.
Thanks to Atanu of Deeshaa.org about the hat tip.
Here is an article where the author reproduces the comment from Pakistan’s Manager. While there is little doubt that Hair has had decisions and behavior that does show his racist leanings, but this remark from Shahriyar is about as stupid as it could possibly get!!
Pakistan Cricket Board is now looking towards the BCCI (Indian Cricket Board) for help.. but I think BCCI folks remember too well the incident of Sachin Tendulkar, the giant of modern cricket, being hauled up for ball tampering. He is one guy who would never indulge in such a thing.. but he was called up for that and India was furious.. of course, we never walked out of the match or made it as HIndu vs Christian fight.. but its doubtful that BCCI will forget that in a hurry…. lets see how this drama unfolds.. the signs are not so good!
I just got this pop up on my screen from the Google dektop news – Tsunami Death Toll Hits 531 – which set me thinking. I have been getting regular updates as the number has risen from somewhere in the hundreds to over 300 yesterday to over 500 now! What is the significance of reporting the ever increaing numbers? Is it being done to catch our attention? That now since this is >500 which means it is itself a fourth of the toll of the last tsunami … so guys… this is SERIOUS!!
It goes without saying that this Tsunami hasn’t got even a quarter of the coverage that the last Tsunami got! And THAT is a serious issue! Either we all are too numbed by the death tolls.. or we take the deaths in poorer nations to be a regular or undisturbing occurence!
Africa is the final frontier. I somehow feel that India has a huge headstart given that Indians are already well-enconsed within that continent and a huge trade goes on. But Chinese are very diligent when it comes to forging ties in Business.
I was reading Tom Friedman’s article the other day as to how should the Latin American countries look at economic growth. He cited a “Chinese Model” and an “Indian Model”. Since China’s main concentration is on manufacturing, its hunger is for the cheap and abundant raw materials from Africa. India, on the other hand, according to him has invested and concentrated – not so much on infrastructure and manufacturing – on Human Development as developing its citizens so more people are better educated. I am not sure how much of that claim is correct (I believe China has a better literacy ratio than India).. but given the off-shoring of intellectually oriented work to India – so it is not surprising that perceptions are on those lines.
Observers will watch Dr Singh’s visit to Africa keenly as the region is considered the hottest emerging economy after Asia.
Begani Shaadi mein Abdullah Diwaana
(Abdullah is getting crazy during the wedding of a stranger)
Basically, this phrase means that the event is occuring with relation to total strangers – but you are getting worked up.
Something like that has been happening – and happening repeatedly in Bangladesh.. The news byte below was from June 17th. It happened again last night during the Germany vs Argentina match. Latin American teams are favorite with the Bengalis in India and Bangladesh – so it aint surprising for one who understands how crazy the Bengalis can be! Funny thing is two totally stranger teams are playing (and your country is not even in the tournament ANYWHERE) and these folks end up destroying their own public property!!!
Read these two stories:
- - Kazakh head to Delhi: tap our Caspian Sea oilfield
- - ONGC-Mittal Combine win Nigerian Oil Blocks!!
These two stories amply demonstrates the importance of Mittal and his "alliance" with the Indian Govt.!! While Mittal has links with the Central Asian Companies which are strong in Oil and Gas – which helps GOI win against the Chinese. Remember the Chinese beat India in Kazakh Oil Deal.. Its then that Govt of India joined hands with Mittal in its Oil endeavors! Govt. of India can pressurize the Europeans into such deals as Arcelor! Its a winning alliance!! Now this story:
India had taken strong exception to Arcelor’s largest shareholder Luxembourg’s “unprincipled opposition” to Mittal Steel’s bid and had warned that their double taxation accord might not be ratified unless the deal came through, sources told FE.
It seems the D-company of Dubai and Karachi fame is not entirely done.
India and US have been moving ahead in their relationship fast and furious! Is it good for India or not is a good question. US is not very reputed when it comes to maintaining long term friends. Its friendships are more short term and strategic… unlike that with Soviets/Russians. The truth however is that at the end of it all – India will be better off by being the regional power in the Indian Ocean and Asia.
The United States is grooming India into a junior partner in a bid to make New Delhi break out of its shell and exert enough influence in the Indian Ocean region to at least annoy China and a recalcitrant Pakistan, a US think tank has suggested.
Saudi Arabia’s Internet Service Unit runs the country’s web-censoring system that is set up to defend Saudi citizens from “pages of an offensive or harmful nature to the society, and which violate Islamic religion or societal norms.” All Internet Service Providers in Saudi Arabia must, by law, route through the Internet Service Unit. The Unit is also the registrar for the country’s .sa domain, and is the agency for any Internet-related matter in Saudi Arabia.
Just wanted to record this fact here on my blog.. the bird flu finally seems to be growing on into a human to human disease.. these are the first indications!
Health officials in Indonesia are still struggling to track down the source of a worrying family cluster of H5N1 bird flu infections as tests showed that two more people have died of the same disease.
One of the latest victims belonged to a Sumatran family, which lost several members earlier this month to bird flu, sparking fears of human-to-human transmission.
While H5N1 is still regarded as a bird disease, experts have warned for more than a year that it might mutate and pass efficiently between humans and cause a global pandemic.