Sunil Gavaskar demands better treatment for ex-players from BCCI

first_imgECONOMY CLASS: Sunil Gavaskar speaks up for ex-playersMumbai: In a letter to BCCI President A.C. Muthiah, cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar has demanded that the board treat ex-players better, instead of paying fat salaries to foreign consultants.The letter, dated September 11, 2000, came after Gavaskar read recently that former Test captain,ECONOMY CLASS: Sunil Gavaskar speaks up for ex-playersMumbai: In a letter to BCCI President A.C. Muthiah, cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar has demanded that the board treat ex-players better, instead of paying fat salaries to foreign consultants.The letter, dated September 11, 2000, came after Gavaskar read recently that former Test captain Polly Umrigar was given economy class airfare to attend a meeting of the National Cricket Academy committee in Bangalore. He said he was not making a case for ex-players, but “surely economy class travel can be avoided”.Polly UmrigarGavaskar also brought up the issue of the board officials commandeering passes during international games in the country, giving ex-players a raw deal. (Ex-players get a single non transferable ticket while ex-presidents get seven transferable ones.)He suggested that former players and administrators be treated on a par. Writes India’s former cricket captain: “Surely those who have toiled and sweated for India deserve the same consideration if not more than those who have administered the game.”Copies of the letter have been circulated to all the affiliated state associations in the hope that these issues are taken up at the board’s forthcoming annual general meeting. Muthiah will certainly have much to discuss.last_img read more

CJ Perez shrugs off rookie jitters to deliver PBA debut fitting of top pick

first_imgFilipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games PLAY LIST 01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games01:33Leo Austria, SMB wary of ‘more experienced’ Hotshots ahead of PBA Finals rematch00:50Trending Articles02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening MOST READ Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? From shooting bricks in the first half, 1-of-8 to be exact, Perez turned it up a notch and had an efficient 7-of-12 clip including a breakaway layup that gave the Dyip a 114-112 lead with less than three minutes left.Perez said that being the no.1 overall pick brings due pressure to his shoulders and he knows that there’s no other way of going around it.“People have high expectations of me and of course there’s pressure that we all have to handle,” said Perez. “I think it wasn’t just because of me that we won. Every single one of us put in the effort, my teammates never stopped, the energy never dipped, and that I think was the key for us.”“It’s heartwarming for me because this is my first game as a Columbian Dyip player and we won against San Miguel nonetheless, I’m just so happy.”ADVERTISEMENT Perez, though, almost didn’t have a stellar of a game since he battled through rookie jitters the whole first half scoring just two points in the opening 24 minutes.Sensing that things had to change, Perez went to attack mode in the second half in what he described as one of the most exhilarating feelings he’s ever had on a basketball court.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool stars“It’s a tremendous feeling for me to play in the PBA because this is my first game and San Miguel, of all teams, was our opponent,” said Perez in Filipino. “They’re the top team and it’s a pleasure and also an amazing opportunity for me, for the Columbian team, to perform well against the Beermen.”“That first half was different because when I got to the dugout, when I stepped to the court, and when I got called for the starters’ introduction, I felt a sudden surge of being nervous but I think I was just excited for my first game.” Arwind Santos ready to take ‘kind guy’ Terrence Romeo under his wing LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentscenter_img SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion LATEST STORIES SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Columbian rookie CJ Perez during the opening ceremony of the 2019 PBA season at Philippine Arena. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netMANILA, Philippines—CJ Perez dutifully proved that his status as the top overall pick of the 2018 PBA Rookie Draft was well deserved.Columbian’s prized rookie starred in his debut game, putting 26 points and grabbing down five rebounds to lead his team to an upset 124-118 win over defending champion San Miguel in the Philippine Cup Friday at Cuneta Astrodome.ADVERTISEMENT Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviñolast_img read more

Tensions grow in South Asia as India assumes a global role neglecting its neighbours

first_imgLike a gossamer-thin web brushed aside by a careless hand, the fragile balance of relations in South Asia has dissolved with frightening suddenness. In the short span of a few weeks, the needle of the tension barometer in the region has jumped into the red area.It is as if some,Like a gossamer-thin web brushed aside by a careless hand, the fragile balance of relations in South Asia has dissolved with frightening suddenness. In the short span of a few weeks, the needle of the tension barometer in the region has jumped into the red area.It is as if some invisible conductor has, with a wave of his baton, galvanised the orchestra into a crashing crescendo. Tensions in the region are nothing new. But this time, the sullen air that habitually cloaks the area wears a more he stile and dangerous cutting edge.Less than a month after the foreign ministers meeting in New Delhi for South Asian Regional Cooperation (SARC) held out its tentative promise of better understanding and, perhaps, a lasting peace, it has been rudely snatched away.India has overnight been once again transformed into the Big Bad Wolf salivating after the seven dwarfs. What, however, renders the situation more alarming is the fact that for the first time it is virtually all the neighbours that have launched verbal broadsides at India almost in concert. India’s oft-expressed fears about its neighbours ganging up may have no basis in fact but suddenly the dominant power in the region has been hemmed in by a wall of hostility.To the south, the long and mutually satisfying record of amicable relations with Sri Lanka have been shattered over the violent and emotional Tamil issue. In the east, Bangladesh simmers in anger at what it terms as India’s efforts to humiliate it by erecting a barbed wire fencing along the borders of the two countries.advertisementTo the north, Nepal is making threatening noises after a series of recent border incidents and is even talking about ending the open border system that prevails between the two countries. In the west, the perennially prickly relations with Pakistan have registered a new high of mutual hostility over India’s official support to the Movement for Restoration of Democracy (MRD). And, in the north-west, the region’s forgotten entity, Afghanistan, broods in solitary unsplendour, a constant symbol of the menacing superpower presence in South Asia.Bad Timing: Viewed superficialy, it would appear to many that India has deliberately embarked on a policy of antagonising its neighbours at a time when it can least afford to.Mrs Gandhi, in her role as chairperson of the Non-aligned Movement (NAM) has just climaxed the most exhaustive diplomatic exercise in the history of the Indian foreign office since the 1971 Bangladesh war by her diplomatic initiatives at the United Nations General Assembly last week. Tragically, it was made at a time when her own backyard was clearly in disorder.That the situation is a matter for considerable concern has already been reflected in the flood of letters and articles that have appeared – and are still surfacing in the national dailies regarding India’s relations with its neighbours and its alleged interference in their domestic affairs. “New Delhi has preferred to keep quiet in the face of the supression of freedom and liberty in Afghanistan. Why was it necessary to react officially in the case of Pakistan? New Delhi has not only been rash but also foolish for it has unwittingly damaged a good cause,” wrote Pakistan-watcher and syndicated columnist Kuldip Nayar.Yet, tragically, there is a powerful element deja vu in the events of the last few weeks. India-baiting, that game the neighbourhood so loves to play, is now a permanent wart on the geopolitical face of South Asia.But in recent times, it is becoming increasingly evident that Indian foreign policy as far as South Asia is concerned, is bedevilled by major constraints. Not the least of them is its giant size and economic and military muscle that generates a tangible fear and suspicion of Indian intentions among the countries of the region. As the Sri Lankan foreign minister noted gravely last month: “When India expresses concern, to us it is a threat.”Blinkered Outlook: Ironically enough, a vast majority of Indians, including some officed in South Block, take insufficient note of this fact. Locked in, as most are, to India’s grinding poverty and its manifold political, economic and social problems, India’s threatening presence rarely manifests itself internally. But viewed from the neighbourhood – as discussions with a wide range of diplomats and foreign office officials in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh reveals – India represents a menacing and aggressive monster that sends nervous tremors through the region every time it shrugs. “It is good to have giant strength.” remarked a top-ranking Pakistan diplomat who is based in New Delhi, “but to use it like a giant is wrong.”advertisementEven in statistical terms, it is easy to see why that fear psychosis and paranoia exists. India accounts for 77 per cent of the region’s population, 72 per cent of its area and 78 per cent of its GNP. Its military strength, in comparison to the rest, is awesome.Mrs Gandhi with Jayewardene: The Tamil factorAccording to the Military Balance for 1982-83, India’s total armed forces strength is around 1.1 million while the rest of the region (excluding Afghanistan) has a combined armed forces strength of 687,025.India heavily outnumbers the region in respect of the number of tanks – 2,300 as against the regional total of 1,386, the majority of those being in Pakistan. In terms of combat aircraft, India posesses 670 as compared to 248 for the rest of South Asia. It also has a powerful navy and the only aircraft carrier in the region.Indian regional preponderance is clearly recognised by the superpowers and its widely believed proximity to the Soviet Union in geopolitical terms, gives India an added air of invisible menace. “It is this double dependence that our neighbours are afraid of,” says former foreign minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, “dependence on India and on those on whom India is dependent.”Admits a senior foreign office source: “The truth of the matter is that we are too big for comfort.” It is a historical and geographical legacy that has not just sown the seeds of fear and suspicion in the neighbourhood but triggered off the expensive indulgence of an arms race in the subcontinent and drawn the big powers into the tangled skein of South Asian geopolitics.Thus it is that Nepal persists in playing China against India, that Sri Lanka and Pakistan flamboyantly flaunt their ties with the US and leave a tantalising question mark hanging over their willingness or otherwise to offer bases to the American rapid deployment force. But it is also India’s size and strength that has undoubtedly bred a certain arrogance and lack of restraint among the political leadership and the upper reaches of the foreign office. It is, in retrospect, a situation that is hardly surprising.It is no great secret that like her father before her, Mrs Gandhi is her own foreign minister. It would be logical to assume that since all political power flows from just one source – Mrs Gandhi, it is she who decides foreign policy often with great distinction and finesse but sometimes with predictable results, particularly when the line between domestic and foreign policy becomes blurred. Her statement of support to the movement for democracy in Pakistan was made at a meeting of Congress(I) legislators and it is obvious that the foreign office was caught unawares as is evident from the watered down “reconfirmation” issued later.India’s decision to send Narasimha Rao and latter G. Parthasarathi to Colombo in the wake of the anti-Tamil riots – a move which angered Colombo and the Sinhalese people – is widely seen as an imperious reaction to the fact that Sri Lanka asked five countries for help and India was not one of them. “We saw Rao’s visit as an unusual step,” says a Sri Lankan official. “It was yet another manifestation of India’s attitude that nothing in the neighbourhood must be done without its approval and knowledge.”advertisementThere is, naturally, a certain security and comfort in being the neighbourhood colossus but India appears convinced that restraint or tactfulness in regard to its neighbours would be immediately taken as a sign of weakness.As Selig Harrison says in a perceptive article on South Asia in Foreign Policy magazine: “India should begin to show a spirit of large-heartedness and magnanimity that it has rarely displayed when dealing with its neighbours. Indeed, in the absence of such a spirit, New Delhi is unlikely to win enduring acceptance of its regional preponderance regardless of the degree of military superiority it achieves.”Even in the case of Bangladesh, it is difficult to fault General Ershad when he complains that “we would have liked to have been consulted” regarding India’s decision to erect a barbed wire fence between the two countries.With Pakistan’s Zia: Perennial problemsDomestic Compulsions: In the current context, however, it is clear that domestic compulsions have outweighed other considerations. With a general election looming threateningly, a shrewd tactician like Mrs Gandhi would hardly be likely to abandon any opportunity to take advantage of external situations to feather her domestic nest. She has done so often enough in the past.Thus, her strident expression of support for the MRD in Pakistan is largely viewed as a populist vote-garnering exercise rather than any desire to be a champion of the free world; her decision to build a barbed wire fence along the Bangladesh border an electoral gimmick to gain popularity in Assam and West Bengal; and her aggressive espousal of the Tamil cause in Sri Lanka an attempt to retrieve lost electoral ground in the south, particularly Tamil Nadu. Said one South Asian diplomat: “We understand there are domestic compulsions – but they must not be at our expense.”There is also the inescapable fact that India has, under Mrs Gandhi’s stewardship, been looking for a bigger role in the international scheme of things and that regional eminence in the eyes of the world has become too cramping for India’s style. In the bargain, our neighourhood has been left in neglect. “Our size demands that we play a certain global role and we will play it regardless of what our neighbours think and do,” pontificates a senior foreign office official.That attitude has clearly been in evidence ever since Mrs Gandhi’s return to power in 1980. Nehru’s India, after Independence in 1947, was an India with a global outlook, participating and playing pivotal roles in such crises as Korea in the early 1950s and Congo a decade later; and such landmark events as the Bandung conference which eventually led to the birth of the NAM.But the 1962 war with China ended India’s period of diplomatic aggressiveness and the country entered a confused, withdrawn period, years of uncertainty and introspection, disturbed by the uncertain war with Pakistan in 1965.Shifting Perspectives: The emergence of Mrs Gandhi as a powerful prime minister after her 1969 split of the Congress Party, changed all that. The crisis in Bangladesh in 1971 abruptly restored India’s focus to its neighbourhood, and the bloody birth of Bangladesh qualitatively changed the diplomatic equations in South Asia. It was a period when India’s preoccupations were its immediate neighbours, tense in the case of Pakistan and China and uncertain – after Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s death – with Bangladesh.The focus once again shifted when the Janata victory in the 1977 election brought Morarji Desai as prime minister and Atal Behari Vajpayee as foreign minister. Talking in terms of “genuine” non-alignment, the Janata regime righted the country’s traditional Soviet tilt and sought to bring it back to equidistance between the superpowers.More important, it also put relations with India’s neighbours on a different footing – seen by some as appeasement and others as more realistic in tone. But the Janata regime floundered before it could consolidate a foreign policy. With Mrs Gandhi’s return to power in 1980, India’s foreign policy was once again set on a new and more ambitious course.The interplay of these changes made for complexities that have yet to be evened out, and may well never be. For one, Mrs Gandhi, thanks to the treaty she negotiated with the Soviet Union in 1971 and her government’s unwillingness to be critical publicly of the Soviet Union – essentially as a quid pro quo for the tremendous diplomatic, military and economic assistance received from Moscow – is widely seen to be pro-Soviet.In fact, if anything, she is nothing more than pro-Indian, leaning politically neither to the Soviet bloc nor to the opposing panoply of western nations. When asked in Washington last year which way India tilted she answered, “I think we stand upright.”Confused Image: But it is precisely because of this, because her government acts according to its own perceptions of Indian national interests, whether it is in Afghanistan or how to condemn the Soviet action in shooting down a Korean airliner, recognising Kampuchea or voting in UN, that India’s search for an international image seems confused.. There is no doubt that South Block now sees India’s role as global, especially with Mrs Gandhi sitting at the head of the NAM for the next three years, and there is some admission of neglect of the immediate neighbourhood.The Indian Express put it somewhat bluntly, but touched a, nerve of truth when it said recently: “Short-term tactical gains have been given more importance than long-term (strategic) interests in ordering South Asia’s policy. Mrs Gandhi has never hidden her imperial outlook and has repeatedly denounced the Janata government for making up to the country’s neighbours instead of cracking the whip.”Added Bharat Wariavalla of the Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis: “We only dally when it comes to pursuing our regional aims. We keep aspiring for a status in world affairs but pursue it timidly. If the subcontinent is to evolve into a cooperative community, it will only be when we begin to be magnanimous to our neighbours. So far, all we have shown is chicancery and niggardliness.” Vajpayee, understandably, agrees: “She has a one-point policy at home – to remain in power at any cost. She also has a one-point foreign policy-build up her image and get international recognition.”With Bangladesh’s Ershad: Fencing matchEven those in the foreign office will have to concede that since the NAM conference last March, the major thrust of India’s diplomatic effort has been aimed in that direction. Yet, sadly enough, all this has been happening when regional tensions and schisms demanded attention.Nothing has drained India’s resources, disrupted communal feelings, distorted perspectives and crippled India’s role in international affairs more than the running and bloody battle with Pakistan. Nothing has so affected India’s security as the intervention or threat of intervention by the superpowers and nothing has invited this intervention as much as India’s antagonistic relationship with Pakistan.It must be admitted, however, that considering the enormously complex and unique jigsaw puzzle that South Asia represents with its constant domestic crosscurrents, its ethnic and cultural affinities that often prove counter-productive, the wide variance of views on almost everything from security perceptions to regional trade and cooperation, the blame does not lie solely with India. Historically, all large countries have been condemned to live in uneasiness with their neighbours. America is viewed with unnatural suspicion by both Mexico and Canada, and much of Latin America – an image that has scarcely improved after its current intervention in Central America.The Soviet Union lives in constant tension with those of its neighbours it has not successfully subjugated, while China is ringed by states that are with one or two exceptions hostile to its interests.In South Asia, however, the problem becomes more acute owing to historical and political reasons. Among India’s eight neighbours. Afghanistan has been swallowed up by the Soviet Union, to all intents permanently, Pakistan and Bangladesh are severed limbs of what once was a united India; a historical fact that bestows a unique complexity to the tangled threads of triangular relationships; Bhutan and The Maldives pose only minor problems for India’s foreign policy as did Sri Lanka and Nepal till just weeks ago.Ethnic Complexities: More complex and interrelated are the problems of divided communities spread across the region. There are Punjabis in Pakistan who represent the dominant community and more Muslims in India than in Pakistan.The Tamils in Sri Lanka are closely connected to their brethren in India and there is constant shuttling to and fro between relatives on both sided. Two million Afghans have been camping in Pakistan for over four years, many of them clandestinely in India as well. The Baluchis are spread over three countries, Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan.There are more Nepalis in India than there are Indians in Nepal and the open border between the two countries encourages a constant stream of people from one country to the other. Bangladeshis are still pouring into India despite Ershad’s statements to the contrary. Pakistan’s reactions to the killings of Muslims in India are matched by India’s response to the killings of Hindus in Bangladesh.The ethnic situation is getting more serious with the recent influx of Bihari Muslims from Bangladesh migrating to the industrialised areas of Bihar and West Bengal in search of jobs. The ability of political leaderships to exploit ethnic tensions and conflicts for electoral reasons is an ever-constant danger.Further, it is a region plagued by mass poverty and exploitation and yet one of the most ancient cradles of human civilisation. It is also, and this in many foreign policy experts’ view is the most crucial, a region characterised by countries with widely differing political systems; democracy in India and of a different kind in Sri Lanka; military dictatorships in Pakistan and Bangladesh; a monarchy in Nepal and a more liberal version in Bhutan. It is a region of remarkable stability of regimes – India, Sri Lanka, Nepal -and chronic instability – Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan.Bilateral Differences: With almost every one of these countries, India has bilateral problems and five of the eight, in their own manner, intrude into India’s domestic sphere which often blurs the frontiers of domestic and foreign policy in India’s bilateral or multilateral dealings with them.Says veteran diplomat and former special envoy of the prime minister, P.N. Haksar: “The main problem as I see it is that in all these countries there is a narrow-based power structure. In Pakistan, we have a military-bureaucratic structure where there is no public involvement and which prima facie requires externalism, as several regimes have done in the past as regards Kashmir. In Sri Lanka, I have no doubt that Jayevardene’s power structure is only confined to Sinhala hardliners. Bangladesh is again a narrow military structure.”But in the ultimate analysis, it is the symbiotic relationship between India and Pakistan that clearly holds the key to regional peace and amity simply because they represent the two most powerful countries of the region in military and strategic terms. Without a genuine effort on the part of these two countries to mend their many broken fences, SARC is doomed except as a vague Utopian dream.Significantly, India and Pakistan were the only two countries to display initial distrust for the SARC concept when it was first floated by the late Zia-ur-Rahman of Bangladesh in April, 1980. India because it perceived SARC, in its paranoia, as another manifestation of the neighbourhood ganging up against it and Pakistan, as’ one diplomatic source cryptically put it, “because of the India factor”.With Nepal’s King Birendra: No peaceHistorical Irritants: India’s reluctance also stems from a geopolitical situation that history has bequeathed it. Any initiative on India’s part is instantly perceived by the others, particularly Pakistan, as yet another manifestation of India’s “hegemonism”. There are also other volatile domestic factors – Bangladesh’s territorial proximity to the north-eastern states and the Tamil Nadu factor in the India – Sri Lanka relationship – that puts a cramp on the Indian foreign office in its dealings with them.Additionally, as far as South Block is concerned, it has so far found bilateralism a handy instrument with which to tackle problems with its neighbours which considerably dilutes its enthusiasm for the SARC concept.But if India has domestic and other compulsions that intrude into its foreign policy, it is obvious that its neighbours’ anti-Indian stance suffers from the same malaise. General Zia’s clever use of Mrs Gandhi’s famous “foreign hand” diversionary ploy must necessarily be viewed in the context of the current unrest in Sind that poses a major threat to his six-year reign.In Sri Lanka, there are definite signs that Jayewardene is caving into the right-wing hardliners in his own party and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party headed by Mrs Bandaranaike. Similarly, General Ershad of Bangladesh gains much public sympathy and support for his stand that India is out to “humiliate Bangladesh and is attempting to undermine the sovereignity of the country”.Finally, there is the political mismanagement by governments of ethnic minorities like the Muslims in India, as evidenced by the reactions to the Assam carnage of Muslims from Bangladesh and elsewhere to the situation of Hindus in Bangladesh, Tamils in Sri Lanka, Indians in Nepal and Nepalis in India.Further, the militancy of tribals in the north-east and the Pathans and Baluchis in Pakistan often prove too tempting for external support and intervention.It is clear that South Block does not see the necessity for a separate South Asian policy. M.K. Rasgotra, the urbane foreign secretary describes India’s South Asian policy as one of “good neighbourliness without a sacrifice and surrender of our national interest”.But it is precisely that interpretation of national interest that often walks the delicate edge between domestic and foreign compulsions. In fact, as the framers of foreign policy view it, they see nothing wrong with India’s reaction to certain crises and their handling of them.On Sri Lanka, for instance, there is unanimity of opinion that there was a human rights issue involved in the massacre of innocent Tamils as well as the possible threat of having to absorb approximately one million Tamils into Tamil Nadu. “We just could not afford to have that extra pressure on us,” says a senior official. They are also convinced that Mrs Gandhi’s statements and the dispatch of Rao and G. Parthasarathi to Colombo was responsible for saving the lives of hundreds of Tamils and stopping the bloodbath.But the Sri Lankan issue also serves to illuminate the double standards that exist in India’s relationship with its neighbours and the disparity of views. The Indian Government sees nothing wrong with inviting TULF leader Amirthalingam for talks with Mrs Gandhi since, in their eyes, he is a moderate leader who can be persuaded to see reason.The Sri Lankans view it, and understandably so, as interference and provocation. So do other analysts in India. “Inviting Amirthalingam for talks is equivalent to the Sri Lankans or Pakistanis inviting Jagjit Singh Chauhan for official talks. After all, both are on a separatists platform,” says Giri Deshingkar of the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies in New Delhi.Sri Lanka is also convinced that India, or more precisely, Tamil Nadu, is harbouring terrorists and providing them aid. Officials in Colombo and the Sri Lankan embassy in New Delhi point out that India has always denied that any terrorists were living in Tamil Nadu. Yet, in May 1982, five terrorists belonging to the Liberation Tigers were arrested in Tamil Nadu after a shootout over internal differences.The Sri Lankan Government says it produced voluminous dossiers on the five to prove that they were wanted for murder and numerous other terrorist-related crimes and demanded they be extradited to Sri Lanka. The Indian Government, in accordance with the laws, remanded them to judicial custody. Sri Lankans were understandably upset when the terrorists were let out on bail 48 hours after their arrest. Two of the five promptly jumped bail.The Indians believe that they acted in the right legal manner and once the court granted bail, there was nothing the authorities could do. They point to the fact that when the two jumped bail, the other three were promptly re-arrested.Deteriorating Relations: It is also obvious that the Sri Lankan Government has not handled the recent ethnic violence with any great finesse or compassion. The bodies of the 13 soldiers killed in Jaffna – the event that triggered off the violence – were brought to Colombo for a mass burial which was well-publicised and attended, by Jayewardene’s own admission, by 8,000 Sinhalese. The bodies, according to the Indian Government’s information, were merely covered in transparent plastic sheeting which clearly revealed their gaping wounds. This naturally aroused Sinhalese sentiments and anti-Tamil feelings, which went out of control.There is also the undeniable fact that Jayewardene expressed not the slightest regret or sympathy for the families of Tamils killed in the slaughter and that the looting and killings and destruction were done in a well planned manner.Tamil refugee camp in Jaffna: Emotional issueIn fact, the riots occurred at a time when India was also considerably worried about the Sri Lankan Government ordinance that permitted unidentified people to be buried without any inquiry. The Sri Lankans were incensed that India should have taken any interest at all in the matter, even though it could have been used to harass Tamils. Indeed, the Indian Government did send a note to Colombo over the issue but it did so privately and it was the Sri Lankan authorities who leaked it to the press, making a diplomatic issue out of it.Top-level sources have confirmed that the Indian Government had actually put a full hand-picked army brigade on alert to send them to Sri Lanka as a peace keeping force, if asked. But in the emotionalism of the moment, that would clearly have been seen in Sri Lanka as an invasion force and confirmed Jayewardene’s publicly-expressed fears. Fortunately, wiser counsel prevailed but it does serve to illustrate the complexities of neighbourhood relationships.On Pakistan, the foreign office does not see Mrs Gandhi’s statement as “interference”. They believe that Mrs Gandhi’s statement was made over the arrest of Ghaffar Khan, the frontier Gandhi, who holds an emotional appeal for India and who is “above politics”. Zia views it rather differently. His letter to Mrs Gandhi, was, in an unusual step, released to the Indian press by the Pakistan embassy even though it was a private missive addressed to the prime minister. “I must point to the inconsistency between the reaffirmation of the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of Pakistan and a distinct lack of regard for that very principle implicit in (Mrs Gandhi’s) statement to which I have referred” said the letter.To buttress the point, Pakistani diplomats in New Delhi point to the fact that India had protested loudly when Pakistan expressed concern about the riots in Moradabad and termed it interference in India’s internal affairs. India, they feel, is guilty of the same crime in the present context.Anti-Zia demonstrators in Karachi: ParanoiaIt is possible that India’s reaction was fuelled by intelligence reports that Zia’s reign was coming to an end but it is obvious that the double standards that exist epitomise the fact that Pakistan and India can never reconcile their respective positions. The Kashmir issue offers yet another example.For India, the yardstick by which to measure Pakistan’s sincerity for peace and good relations has always been whether or not Pakistan will refrain from raising the Kashmir question in international forums.That Pakistan has failed consistently to do so is, in India’s view, a measure of its intransigence. Pakistan, on the other hand, disagrees strongly with this view. They see it as a strategem by India to force Pakistan to accept the status quo in respect of Kashmir as a final solution to the problem.Mutual Suspicions: Both Mrs Gandhi and Zia are viewed with suspicion, Zia in India, because he has failed repeatedly to keep his promises to hold elections and Mrs Gandhi in Pakistan, because she is remembered as the person who ruled India when Pakistan was dismembered in 1971.In Pakistan, she is naturally viewed as a ruthless and ambitious leader who would have no qualms about attacking Pakistan if it were to suit her domestic purposes.Similarly, there is a strong Indian feeling that it is Pakistan that has been stalling on issues such as trade raised in the current Indo-Pak dialogue and the joint commission that has been established. While Pakistan, as Foreign Minister Yakub Khan stated recently in an interview to Nawai Waqt feels that “it is not Pakistan that has put an end to talks on the non-aggression pact. It was, on the other hand, India which had postponed the talks….”An additional factor is the disparity in the military perceptions of the two countries and their twisted involvement with the two superpowers. Pakistan’s acquisition of Exocet and Harpoon missiles are clearly not meant for use against Afghanistan or any Soviet threat from that direction.India’s aquisition of Mirage 2000s amd MiG 23s and T-72 tanks from the Soviets are just as obviously intended for use against Pakistan if the need arises. But a bellicose Reagan in the US floods that country with arms to contain the so-called Soviet spread of influence in the region while the Soviets do the same for India to maintain its dependency and backing on international issues, which India has obligingly given. The result is a crippling and expensive stalemate that even the most optimistic of observers do not see being resolved, in this century at least.BSF men escorting illegal immigrants back across the Bangladesh border: Cross-currentsIn Bangladesh, the current antagonism over the border fencing and the long-standing differences on the sharing of river waters is again a case of two people looking through either end of a telescope. In military terms, Bangladesh offers little threat. Since 1972, India’s strategic calculations have been based on a relatively secure eastern border. But it is the non-military threat that matters in Indian eyes as a result of instability in Bangladesh.The massive influx of Bangladesh nationals into India was a direct cause of the Assam problem and the insurgency in Mizoram would hardly have reached the level it has were it not for the support received from East Pakistan. Bangladesh’s recent military ties with China raises serious worries, especially when Sino-Indian relations are at an abysmally low ebb. Bangladesh also has differences with India over its attempts to bring Nepal into the river water discussions. In fact, it has threatened to question the legal validity of the 1977 Ganga waters agreement on the ground that it did not provide for the inclusion of Nepal. Bangladesh has also refused to take seriously the Brahmaputra canal solution proposed by India.All these are irritants that have so far not reached a serious plane. But India’s tactless handling of the border fencing issue has clearly raised hackles in Dhaka at a time when a confrontationist regime in that country can cause serious problems for India in the troubled North-east.Even officials in the foreign office are convinced that the fencing is merely a political gimmick that will never actually see the light of day. It is unlikely that the Government will be able to mobilise the Rs 500 crore required to erect and maintain the fence or that it will act as any effective deterrent against illegal infiltration.In Nepal, India-baiting has always been a favourite sport but of late the chasm has widened considerably with the recent border incidents that occurred when Indian policemen crossed over into Nepal ostensibly to arrest some criminals. The issue has broken into a major diplomatic row with Nepal threatening to introduce visas and passports and repatriate all illegal Indians from Nepal.That it is again a populist move is obvious from the fact that there are probably more Nepalis in India than Indians in Nepal and any such move will harm Nepal more than it would India. But the hardening of attitudes are worrisome.Nepal is already angered by India’s blunt rejection of King Birendra’s Zone of Peace proposal, endorsed by China, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The Indian view is that Birendra is trying, through the proposal, to tell India that in his global perspective, India is in the same league as Pakistan and Bangladesh.New Delhi obviously believes that since there is already a treaty between the two countries signed in 1950 that ensures the security of Nepal, the fresh moves are unnecessary. But basically Nepal considers India a threat because of the growing clamour for increased democratisation in the kingdom which views India as an instigative and destabilising influence.The SARC foreign ministers meeting in New Delhi: Utopian dream?Delicate Position: Clearly then, India seems destined to live in a paradoxical regional situation. Any attempt to increase its sphere of influence instantly transforms the area into a sphere of suspicion. Any initiatives from the neighbours is viewed by India as a symptom of their ganging up against it.It is a situation where even minor issues are blown out of proportion and there exist set attitudes that will never change no matter what India does or doesn’t do. Added to this is the powerful element of emotionalism that puts considerable pressure on India’s diplomatic afforts.Yet, at the same time, it is becoming increasingly evident that India as the dominant power has failed to display the confidence and maturity that its size demands. There is also very little doubt that India would gain considerably from making a genuine effort to allay the fears of the neighbourhood and increase regional cooperation. The advantages of regional cooperation are manifold and for India to disregard them would be a grave dereliction.For one, India would be seen in the region and outside as a power supporting regional cooperation, thus enabling it to play a larger and more effective role in the international arena. It will also serve as a confidence-building bridge between India and its neighbours which will hopefully ease the growing burden of defence expenditure.Further, it will harness India’s academic and other expertise to work on regional issues and thereby increase India’s knowledge and understanding of regional problems and specific conditions in the neighbourhood and thus enable it to tackle them better. Finally, there is the economic factor which could prove the most profitable of all.Crucial Role: Unfortunately, the prospect of that happening is severely limited. India seems to be seeking a global role in its foreign policy when all its day-today challenges are of a purely regional nature.More dangerous is the fact that regional tensions are increasing at a time when the international environment is becoming increasingly militaristic and superpower presence in the Indian Ocean now becoming a more or less permanent fixture. More worrying is the mutual uncertainty in both Pakistan and India over the response and commitment to threat perceptions from the Soviets and the US.Already, the US presence in Diego Garcia and the Soviet fleet constantly patrolling the sea lanes of the Indian Ocean have raised the tension level to new heights and any confrontation in the area is certain to have a destabilising effect on the region. Since all the Indian Ocean states are non-aligned and do not belong to any structured military alliances, the conflict-probability through proxy wars has never been higher.An anti-Indian rally in Dhaka: Fears of hegemonyThe presence of the Soviets in Afghanistan offers an added incentive for the Reagan Administration to increase its military presence in the area either through bases in Pakistan or Sri Lanka. That would be viewed with considerable disfavour and even alarm in India which wants to keep superpower presence out of the region. In the context of the sudden hardening of attitudes of the superpowers over the Korean aircraft incident and Reagan’s crude dismissal of the Non-Aligned Movement last fortnight, the dangers are implicit. The emerging attitude of either-you-are-for-us-or-against-us threatens to create sharp divisions in the region.In that context, India’s problems in its neighbourhood make for vulnerability. But ultimately, regional stability and increased cooperation can only be ushered in if the political will to do so is in evidence. That, sadly, is not the case in most of South Asia. Lack of political will is the one ingredient that has consistently soured the gruel of regional cooperation.As the biggest country in the region, India seems destined to live with a certain tension with its neighbours. But if it is to pursue its larger goals in diplomacy, if it is to speak with a voice unhindered by problems in its own neighbourhood – which outside powers will undeniably be tempted to exploit – then the initiative rests with New Delhi to put things in order. The weak will always see themselves as vulnerable.The insecure will always try and exploit all means to bolster their self-confidence and image. It is the strong and the big that can afford to be magnanimous. To permit tensions to spawn in its backyard would, for India, be an expensive indulgence that might, in the long run, prove too heavy a price to pay.last_img read more

Is the Pacquiao-Spence fight good as gone?

first_imgMOST READ Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Pacquiao, who made a side trip to Texas from Europe, got the spotlight in Arlington where he was called out by Spence from atop the ring.Pacquiao replied positively—“Why not, that would delight the fans”—to the delight of boxing circles, including various book makers, that readily pegged Spence a big favorite.It’s odd, but the next time they heard from Pacquiao, the eight-division world champion had excluded Spence in a Twitter survey of whom he should be fighting next.The Spence fight had seemed so near and very doable, thus making many Filipino fans wonder what had caused the turnaround.Was Pacquiao’s exclaimed acceptance of the Spence dare merely a slip of the tongue? Or did Pacquiao suddenly come to realize on his way back home his age and size disadvantage against Spence?ADVERTISEMENT Google Philippines names new country director LATEST STORIES Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Colombia protesters vow new strike after talks hit snag Trump tells impeachment jokes at annual turkey pardon event Fernandez has also brushed off the possibility of Pacquiao fighting sensational IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence.Spence was an early main choice for a Pacquiao foe by Hall-of-Fame trainer Freddie Roach.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsTwo-time world champion Gerry Peñalosa, a Pacquiao ally and confidante, had also said Spence was tailor-made for Pacquiao. Peñalosa has found Spence, who scored a one-sided massacre over Mikey Garcia in Arlington, Texas, on March 16, slow and predictable.Veteran sportswriter Nick Giongco, who attended the Spence-Garcia fight, reported how Pacquiao “drooled over the possibility of fighting Spence.”center_img Wintry storm delivers US travel woes before Thanksgiving A very reliable report says Team Pacquiao considers picking veteran warrior Danny Garcia of Puerto Rico for Manny Pacquiao’s next opponent.Chief trainer Buboy Fernandez said he would prefer Garcia, 30, a former WBC welterweight champion whose come-forward style is suited for Pacquiao.ADVERTISEMENT Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess There were also those who felt Pacquiao could’ve had a misreading here, claiming that Spence did look super and invincible in Arlington only because Garcia was nothing but a lame duck bet who did not come to fight and win.So far, there has been nothing from Spence.The other day, veteran promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank made a startling offer to Al Haymon of Premier Boxing Champions to pit Spence against the unbeaten WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford.It was generally believed Arum and Haymon were not on speaking terms.Arum took to Twitter and said, “Errol Spence said that he is ready to fight Terence Crawford. We are ready to do that next once Bud is successful against Amir Khan on April 20. It’s what fight fans want. Al should I call you or will you call me?”Meanwhile, Team Pacquiao has been insisting the battle-scared eight-division world champion did not intend to duck Spence.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Cardona shines anew as Knights oust Capitals, reach North finals Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Bloomberg: US would benefit from more, not fewer, immigrants View commentslast_img read more

Asia Cup 2018- India vs. Afghanistan Preview: India aim to attain victory over testing…

first_imgAdvertisement AdvertisementImage Courtesy: Indian ExpressThe last fixture of the Super 4 stage awaits with defending champions India set to face the challenging Afghanistan side. While the Men In Blue have sailed over the obstacles so far, Afghanistan failed to make it through courtesy of a few close encounters.India vs. Afghanistan Preview: India aim to attain victory over testing AfghansThe openers have clicked for the Blues with Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan thriving against the bowlers in the competition. Having established a core so far, it is highly unlikely that the skipper will go for a change with the confidence high in the dressing room after a second successive win over Pakistan, which Pakistan coach terming the loss as one of the worst performances under his regime.Meanwhile, after close defeats against Pakistan and Bangladesh, the Afghanistan side would look to bow out of the competition on a high with a win over the No. 1 ranked ODI side.When: September 25, 2018, 3:30 PM Local time, 5:00 PM ISTVenue: Dubai International Cricket StadiumWhere To Watch: Star Sports Network, HotstarIndia Predicted XI: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit BumrahAfghanistan Predicted XI:  Mohammad Shahzad, Ihsanullah Janat, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Asghar Afghan, Mohammad Nabi, Samiullah Shenwari, Rashid Khan, Gulbadin Naib, Aftab Alam, Mujeeb Ur RahmanRead Also: Cup 2018- India vs. Pakistan Review: Rohit-Dhawan show ensures smooth sailing for the Men In Bluelast_img read more


first_img(REOPENS FGN 22) (REOPENS FGN 22) Later, Pakistan lost three of their four group stage games, including a high-voltage clash against arch-foes India, to bow out of the tournament. Amid the dismal on-field run, Afridi stirred up another controversy by specifically thanking Kashmiris for cheering his team in Mohali. The remark was criticised by the BCCI with Board Secretary Anurag Thakur saying that the cricketer should avoid making political statements. Post the World T20 debacle, Afridi had sought forgiveness from the people of his country for failing to live upto their expectations. “I dont care what other people say about me but I am answerable to you (people of Pakistan). I, Shahid Afridi, seeks forgiveness from the people of Pakistan for not living upto the expectations that you had from this team and me,” Afridi had said in a brief video message on his Twitter page. PTI AT PM PMlast_img read more

BSP protests atrocities against Dalits; RS adjourns briefly

first_imgNew Delhi, Jul 18 (PTI) Rajya Sabha witnessed a brief adjournment on the opening day of Monsoon session as BSP members trooped into the Well alleging atrocities on dalits in BJP-ruled Gujarat. Soon after laying of papers when the Question Hour began, BSP chief Mayawati raised the issue of recent incident in which some members of the dalit community, engaged in skinning dead animals, were beaten up in Gujarat. She said some anti-social elements tied their hands, stripped them and beat them up in a market in broad daylight. The police did not take immediate action and the crowd too did not intervene, the BSP leader alleged and blamed the state government too for not taking prompt action against the culprits. Accusing the ruling BJP of being anti-dalit, she said the state police swung into action only after the incident was highlighted by the media. This shows the “anti-dalit mindset” of the BJP, she said and alleged that such incidents of atrocities against dalits have increased ever since the BJP-led government has come to power at the Centre. Countering the allegations, Urban Development and Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the “saviour” of the entire country and said that as per convention, name of any political party should not be taken while raising issues. As Mayawati was speaking on atrocities against dalits, some BSP members trooped into the Well raising slogans. Chairman Hamid Ansari adjourned the House for ten minutes. Earlier, Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M) pointed out that he has given a notice for adjournment of Question Hour for taking up the issue of rising prices. PTI NKD ARCadvertisementlast_img read more

Masuaku gets six-game ban for spitting

first_imgWest Ham United West Ham’s Masuaku stung with six-game ban for spitting Joe Wright 20:29 1/29/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) arthur masuaku - cropped Getty Images West Ham United FA Cup Wigan Athletic v West Ham United Wigan Athletic Premier League The FA have issued a stern punishment to the Hammers defender after he spat at Wigan Athletic’s Nick Powell during an FA Cup fourth round clash West Ham defender Arthur Masuaku has been banned for six matches for spitting at Nick Powell in his side’s FA Cup fourth-round defeat to Wigan Athletic on Saturday.The 24-year-old was sent off for the incident, which came in the 49th minute of the Hammers’ 2-0 defeat at the DW Stadium.Masuaku apologised for his actions in a statement released on Sunday, admitting it was a “totally unacceptable” reaction that was “out of character”. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player The Football Association confirmed the former Olympiakos man will be suspended for six matches, meaning he will sit out games against Crystal Palace, Brighton and Hove Albion, Watford, Liverpool, Swansea City and Burnley, returning for the home game against Manchester United on March 18.Manager David Moyes described Masuaku’s conduct as “despicable” and confirmed he would face additional punishment from the club.”He will get something off us,” Moyes said after the match.”Let me not hide behind it. The referee didn’t see it, he was influenced by the players, but it was the right decision [to send Masuaku off].”We gave him a chance, we like him, he’s a good boy around the club and I’ve enjoyed him. It is out of character.”last_img read more

ESPN Names Team With The “Most To Lose” In Week 1

first_imgGeorgia's cheerleaders waving pompoms.ATLANTA, GA – DECEMBER 02: Georgia Bulldogs cheerleaders on the field prior to the game against the Auburn Tigers in the SEC Championship at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 2, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)We’re a little more than three months away from the start of the 2018 college football season. Week 1 will be here before you know it.In anticipation of this, ESPN has published an early preview for the 2018 season’s opening weekend.Which team has the “most to lose” Week 1?According to ESPN’s Football Power Index, it’s last season’s national title runner-up.Team With Most to Lose: Georgia (vs. Austin Peay)If you’re wondering why we use an adjusted leverage (and not just regular leverage) to determine the most important games for the playoff race, this is the reason. If we strictly consider what a team’s chance to finish with a top-four SOR is now versus if that team lost its Week 1 game, no one has a bigger difference (38 percent now, 10 percent with a loss) than the Bulldogs. But something tells me Georgia fans won’t be sweating the 0.2 percent chance they have to lose this one.A Week 1 loss would obviously be devastating for Georgia, but the chances of that happening are extremely slim.You can view ESPN’s full preview here.last_img read more

Ministry of Health Urges Caution Against Pink Eye

first_imgPRESS RELEASE – The Ministry of Health is issuing a caution to the public as our surveillance network has received reports of cases of conjunctivitis, otherwise known as ‘pink eye’, in some communities.The signs and symptoms of pink eye include redness of eyes; watery eyes itchy and/or burning eyes; grainy feeling in the eyes and hypersensitivity to light.To avoid being infected:Do not share eye makeup; eye drops; wash rags; towels and pillow cases,Refrain from coming into contact with persons who have pink eye,Wash hands often.Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Winston De La Haye says, “we are cautioning the public to take preventative steps to decrease their risk of becoming infected with conjunctivitis and urging those who are affected to have their condition managed appropriately by a physician and avoid spreading to others.”If you are currently experiencing symptoms of pink eye you are being urged to:Wash hands with soap and water regularly,Avoid rubbing eyes,See a doctor,Do not attend school, work or other crowded places until infection clears up.Pink Eye is caused by viruses, which enter the eyes through contaminated:HandsWash-ragsCosmeticsHandkerchiefsContact lensesOther personal itemslast_img read more

CMU President says Hub Transformation has Already Started

first_imgPresident of the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU), Professor Fritz Pinnock, says the transformation of Jamaica as a logistics hub has already started. In an interview with JIS News, Professor Pinnock said the transformation is taking place globally and also locally.“We are going to see more and more of his happening in Jamaica. In fact, it has already started. The beauty about it is that it is happening in the private sector,” he said.   Professor Pinnock pointed out that the recent passing of the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Act now gives leverage to the establishment of SEZs in the country.  “These are specialised areas in which offshore value added can take place, because it is about the international production chain. It is not defined by geography, so if it comes to our shore it is not about necessarily being in Jamaica, but it is for Jamaica to take part in the value added process,” he explained. “We have to see that globalisation has no nationality, so it’s a new way of thinking. It is for us to see that it is better to share five per cent of $1 billion than 100 per cent of $1,000. That is the mindset as a country we now have to adopt,” Professor Pinnock emphasised.The President argued that Jamaica has to stop seeing nationalities and start seeing productivity.He pointed out that there are projects taking place in Jamaica that are testament to the logistics transformation, such as the JISCO-Alpart project in St. Elizabeth, which is an integrated development and for which an SEZ will be established. “For the first time we are not just extracting the bauxite and selling it. We are going to be producing aluminium here, so this is an industry that requires processes of logistics. Here we are seeing a development around an industry,” he explained.    According to Professor Pinnock, Jamaica is an attractive proposition right now and the international private sector are very interested in investing in the country. “The logistics master plan is now developed and it is time we stop thinking in small silos and start seeing Jamaica as part of the global investment community,” he said.Professor Pinnock recently announced that approximately one half of the soon to be established St. Thomas campus of the CMU will be dedicated to the setting up an SEZ.last_img read more

Now shop at Dubai airports using Rupees

first_imgDubai: The Indian Rupee will now be accepted for transaction at all airports in Dubai, according to a media report, in a good news for tourists from India who form the highest number of international overnight visitors in the emirate. According to a report in the Gulf News, the Indian currency is now acceptable at all three terminals of the Dubai International Airport and at Al Maktoum Airport. “Yes, we have started accepting the Indian rupee,” a Dubai duty free staff was quoted as saying by the paper. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in SepThe acceptance of Indian currency is good news for Indian tourists as earlier they lost a sizeable amount due to exchange rates, sources said. Out of the nearly 90 million passengers passed through Dubai aiports last year, 12.2 million were Indians, the report said. Indian travellers had to earlier convert the Rupee into Dollar, Dirham or Euro before they could shop at Dubai’s duty free shops. The Indian rupee is the 16th currency to be accepted fo r transaction at Dubai Duty-Free since its opening in December 1983, said the report. In 2018, Dubai Duty Free recorded an annual sales of $2.015 billion with Indian passengers accounting for 18 per cent of its business.last_img read more

Egypt constitution vote begins as bomb underscores divide

first_imgCAIRO- Egyptians were voting on a new constitution on Tuesday amid high security in a referendum likely to prompt a presidential bid by the army chief who overthrew Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.The military-installed government implored voters to turn out en masse to ratify the constitution, with the country’s lingering polarisation underscored by the explosion of a small bomb in Cairo that caused no injuries.An Islamist coalition led by Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood has called for a boycott and “civilised peaceful protests” during the two days of polling, and the interior ministry has pledged to confront attempts to disrupt voting. Defence Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the general who overthrew Morsi in July, visited a polling station at a north Cairo school after voting began to survey the security preparations.“Work hard. We need the referendum to be completely secured,” he told soldiers guarding the school.Shortly before polling stations opened, a small, improvised bomb exploded outside a Cairo court, damaging the facade but causing no injuries, police said.It again highlighted the government’s precarious grip on the most populous Arab country, still reeling from the ouster of Morsi and a bloody crackdown on his Islamist supporters.The government hopes a large turnout in favour of the charter will bolster its disputed authority, while Sisi will monitor it for an “indicator” of his popularity, an official close to the general said.Interim prime minister Hazem al-Beblawi entreated voters to cast their ballots.“Our country needs every vote from Egyptians,” he said after casting his ballot, state media reported.The police and army have deployed hundreds of thousands of police and soldiers to guard polling stations amid fears that a spate in militant attacks and protests would keep voters at home.At one polling station for women at a school, dozens lined up to cast their ballots, some waving Egyptian flags and chanting pro-military slogans.While it is uncertain how many Egyptians will vote amid concern over violence, the constitution appears certain to pass.Charter removes much of Islamist-inspired wordingThe charter has done away with much of the Islamist-inspired wording of Morsi’s constitution, which was suspended on his overthrow, and its supporters say it expands women’s rights and freedom of speech.But it has bolstered the military’s powers, granting the army the right to appoint the defence minister for the next eight years and to try civilians for attacks on the armed forces.The run-up to the vote has been marred by a deadly crackdown on Morsi’s supporters, and arrests of activists who campaigned for a “no” vote.At least seven activists have been detained in the past week as they distributed posters or leaflets critical of the new constitution, prominent rights lawyer Ragia Omran told AFP, adding that most were released after a few days.The capital has been festooned with banners urging Egyptians to vote “yes”, often featuring military motifs such as a general’s hat, an allusion to army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.Many Islamists revile Sisi as the man who overthrew the country’s first freely elected and civilian president, but the general is adored by the millions who took to the streets in July to demand Morsi’s resignation.The army chief is widely expected to run for president, and has said he would stand for election if he felt there was “popular demand,” state media reported this week.The authorities are worried that a low turnout would empower their Islamist opponents in Morsi’s Brotherhood movement and cast further doubt on their legitimacy, analysts say.Backers of the constitution are hoping for at least a 70 per cent vote in favour of the constitution as a satisfying majority.Morsi’s heavily Islamist influenced constitution passed with 64 per cent of the vote, but on a turnout of barely 33 per cent of the country’s 53 million voters.At least 1,000 people, mostly Islamists, have been killed in street clashes, and thousands have been imprisoned since the ouster of Morsi, whose supporters continue protests almost every day.last_img read more

Housework Moroccan Brand Flips the Script on Gender Roles

Rabat – The Moroccan detergent brand “Mio” has addressed the issue of sharing domestic chores between the sexes in an advertisement, a narrative scarcely seen on Moroccan television.The timely campaign, which Mio ran in collaboration with Rapp Morocco agency, comes just days before the holy month of Ramadan when housework piles up especially.Raising awareness about the burden many Moroccan women carry when it comes to housework, from cooking and dishes to doing the laundry and much more, Mio’s advertisement shows the reaction of men to pictures of dried, coarse hands. The general director of Rapp Morocco, Tarik Guisser, stated that, unlike Mio’s 2018 advertisement, the experiment sets a tone of authenticity because the participants were not actors but real people.Read also: Abdellah Boussouf: Morocco’s Stability is Due to its Model of ReligiosityGuisser noted that the reactions of men in the video are spontaneous and real. Directed by Santiago Zannou and produced by Videorama, the awareness-raising campaign had men comment on the pictures. The men replied with great sympathy.The men were surprised to learn the hands in the pictures were those of their mothers and sisters. They appeared to be more struck when their mothers and sisters walked up to them with their hands stretched out. The video hit more than 190,000 views and was shared on Facebook more than 6,400 times. Social media users greeted the video with positive comments. The social experiment is “unprecedented,” according to the Rapp agency. But the idea of tackling the widespread social script of women being the ones responsible for housework is not new to the Mio brand. In May 2018, the same brand released its first advertising campaign addressing the same gendered social roles, titled “Let’s Partake in House Chores!” The advertisement displayed men doing day-to-day housework. read more

More than 15 million needed to help Azerbaijans displaced – UN food

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) will run out of supplies in a month for more than 130,000 Azerbaijanis displaced by the conflict with neighbouring Armenia over the disputed region of Nagorny-Karabakh unless it receives an urgent injection of funds, the agency said today.In a statement issued in the capital Baku, WFP launched an appeal for $15.6 million to provide those Azerbaijanis, mainly women and children, with 27,000 tons of food aid over the next two years through June 2008.The agency noted it has already been forced to cut rations twice this year because of funding shortfalls, and last September the WFP assistance programme was briefly brought to a complete halt.WFP Executive Director James Morris said Azerbaijan’s displaced population has been largely forgotten as international media attention and relief efforts focus on other conflicts.“These are people who had normal lives one day and nothing the next,” he said, referring to the armed conflict ending in 1994 that forced more than 600,000 Azerbaijanis to flee the region and head to remote areas in their country’s west, where job opportunities are extremely limited.A survey conducted by WFP last year found that only 40 per cent of affected households have access to agricultural land and in those that do most of the produce grown is for basic subsistence only. read more

Mayor of oilpatch capital says stop blaming industry for everything

Mayor of oilpatch capital says stop blaming industry for everything FORT MCMURRAY, Alta. – The mayor of Alberta’s oilpatch capital says she wishes Edmonton’s mayor and police chief would stop blaming her area for the city’s rising crime rates.Melissa Blake, mayor of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, says she’s disappointed with Edmonton Police Chief Rod Knecht and Mayor Don Iveson and would welcome their apology for comments they made this week.Knecht said he will be asking city council for 80 more officers, saying a spike in crime could be linked to a downturn in the oilpatch.He said a lot of people are coming back to Edmonton from Fort McMurray and Cold Lake and are sitting around in Edmonton waiting for the price of oil to go back up so they can go back to work.Iveson said the downturn in the economy means Edmonton ends up policing “northern Alberta’s problem children.”Blake calls their comments “unjust.”“To say the stuff that happens in Fort McMurray causes impacts here in Edmonton directly is just not right,” she says. “When it comes to crime rates in 2015, overall our crime is down.“It seems like we’re an easy target but I’m here to say we’re not that easy to blame. Prove it.”(CTV Edmonton) by The Canadian Press Posted Oct 1, 2015 9:46 pm MDT Last Updated Oct 2, 2015 at 9:20 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

Energy company Petrolia to meet Quebec government about Anticosti Island drilling

QUEBEC – Energy company Petrolia says it will meet Wednesday with the Quebec government to discuss oil and gas drilling on Anticosti Island.Premier Philippe Couillard said last month that it was a “serious error” for the previous Parti Quebecois government to set aside public money towards drilling several exploratory wells on the island located in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.Petrolia president Alexandre Gagnon has called on Couillard to meet with him as soon as possible to alleviate the “confusion” and “uncertainty” caused by the remarks.Gagnon has said the company (TSX-V:PEA) has been going through tough times since Couillard began distancing himself from the project last December.Petrolia has applied for drilling permits ahead of exploratory work that is scheduled to begin this summer.The government is a financial partner in a joint venture with a mandate to explore a hydrocarbon deposit on Anticosti Island. by The Canadian Press Posted Mar 7, 2016 10:29 am MDT Last Updated Mar 7, 2016 at 11:20 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Energy company Petrolia to meet Quebec government about Anticosti Island drilling read more

Job advert jargon puts off applicants survey finds as thought shower and

The firm surveyed 2,000 adults. Georgina Brazier, of Milkround, said: “Our research shows the need for businesses to offer concise information and clarity so top talent isn’t put off by jargon, abbreviations and buzz-phrases.”Gone are the days of limited characters within a newspaper job ad. Employers have the scope to include clear outlines and expectations, offering budding candidates full details of the role on offer.”Recruiters have previously come under criticism for using jargon-filled job adverts while overly “honest” adverts have even made national headlines. Steve Jenner, from the Plain English Campaign, has said: “Fill your job descriptions with jargon and – strangely enough – you’ll attract candidates who think you need to speak like this to get the job. This will in the first instance lead to candidates presenting themselves for gobbledygook-filled job interviews.”Worse still, it increases the likelihood that a candidate will be appointed who thinks it is a requirement to speak to the public like this. Perhaps even worse still, someone who hasn’t really understood what the job entails is more likely to be appointed.”Plain English Campaign believes that using this kind of jargon in job descriptions increases the chance of poor appointments and all the consequences that stem from these. We would urge all who produce job descriptions to say what they mean – and mean what they say.”Restauranteur Justin Valmassoi made headlines when he announced he was seeking a colleague who is “fast, progressive, and not a total p****” to work alongside him in his new American diner in Glasgow in 2015. Jargon used in job adverts is putting off potential applicants, a new survey has found, as firms have been urged to stick to plain English. New research shows around half of university graduates have been dissuaded from applying for jobs because of “deliberately ambigious” language in descriptions.The worst terms identified include “blue-sky thinking”, or being open-minded and “thought shower”, which stands for brain-storming sessions.Phrases said to be the most misunderstood were said to be  “growth hacking”, “brand architecture” and “low hanging fruit”, according to the study.According to Milkround, a London-based graduate recruitment firm, around half of jobseekers said they had not applied for a job because they did not understand the advert. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

Capital Safety ExoFit STRATA redistributes weight in mining tasks

first_imgBu using innovative LIFTECH™ weight distributing technology, Capital Safety, a global player in fall protection equipment and rescue systems, says it has created “the lightest-wearing safety harness yet”, the ExoFit STRATAM™. As part of the DBI-SALA® portfolio, the new harness incorporates many of the existing features that make the range successful in the mining and other industries. The new ExoFit STRATA is designed to take the weight off workers shoulders and redistributes it to where the body is better suited to carry it: the hips.It features PolarMesh™ padding, which keeps users’ backs cooler with greater air flow alongside a Revolver™ Vertical Torso Adjuster and Tri-Lock Revolver™ Connectors that provide added security around the legs. Capital Safety has partnered with ergonomics specialists at North Western Health Science University in Minnesota to test several key aspects of the ExoFit STRATATM and compared it with alternative full body safety harnesses on the market. Using thermal sensors, load calls and motion capture cameras, a series of rigorous lab tests were performed resulting in an advanced harness solution.“During testing, the ExoFit STRATATM demonstrated the least amount of force on shoulders while the wearer is standing stationary, reducing forces on subject’s shoulders by up to 85% compared with other competitive harnesses.With more than 20 years expertise in designing products to ensure the safety of thousands of men and women who work at height, Capital Safety’s latest offering represents the culmination of years of design, research, and manufacturing know-how. Capital Safety has helped shape and define what the modern safety harness looks like and how it performs. Previously the development of safety harnesses has focused on protection rather than comfort and productivity. This led Capital Safety to create the ExoFit STRATATM, literally taking the weight of workers’ shoulders.”Sandra Paiva, EMEA Product Manager at Capital Safety commented: “Safety and functionality are of limited use if harnesses cause the user discomfort. Having real industry experience means we understand issues workers face day in day out. We have developed the lightest-wearing harness in the industry to address the needs of our end user.”last_img read more

EHF CL Round 6 Horvat broke ambitious SG Flensburg

C.O Zagreb handballZlatko Horvat Again outstanding performance of C.O Zagreb’s right wing, Zlatko Horvat (10/10) gave a wings to Croat champion, C.O Zagreb to beat the biggest rival for the second place in Group D of the Champions League, SG Flensburg 31:26 (14:12). In front of 9.500 home spectators in “Arena Zagreb”, Croats made higher win than three goal difference, what was the score of the first match with a Germans, seven days earlier – 28:31.Ciudad Real has no problems with Bosna Sarajevo 32:17.At Thursday, Sankt Petersburg celebrated second win in the Champions League against HCM Constanta 29:26.1. Ciudad Real 6 – 112. Flensburg-Handewitt 6 – 83. Croatia os. Zagreb 6 – 84. Sankt Peterburg 6 – 45. Constanta 6 – 46. Bosna Sarajevo 6 – 1 ← Previous Story EHF CL (Round 6): Kadetten and Medvedi wins as a visitors Next Story → Seriously injured Nikola Kojić (video) read more