Vehemently opposing the Human Rights violation report submitted by the UN Human Rights Commissioner Navnanethem Pillay, the Sri Lankan (SL) government has recently rejected her call for establishing ‘an international inquiry mechanism to further investigate the alleged rights violations (both Human Rights and Humanitarian Law) and for monitoring any domestic accountability process in Sri Lanka.
After a tumultuous year marked by massive protest rallies and violent confrontations between moderate secularists and Islamic radical forces, Bangladesh’s tryst with religious and political turmoil seems enduring. The detoriating situation has led to fear of the revival of Islamic militancy.
The political crisis in Bangladesh had deepened further with the BNP-led 18-party opposition alliance’s call for “March for Democracy” rally on December 29. More than seven hundred opposition party supporters were detained and many more were arrested at different entry points to Dhaka since December 26. One person died during a clash between opposition party activists and security forces in Dhaka on December 29.
In late November 2013, doctors working for the Kurdish Red Crescent in Syria traced a deadly strain of polio virus to Pakistan. The vectors of the virus are unknown, but the needle of suspicion is on the Jihadi elements who have travelled all the way to Syria from the tribal badlands of Pakistan where a government polio eradication campaign has been marred by Taliban zealots for the past many years.
In his famous 1990 essay in Foreign Affairs, Charles Krauthammer had declared that the unipolar moment had arrived. He had listed a few reasons to support his argument; there was no challenging power, nor was there likely any in the few decades, there was no power dispersion at the international level at that moment, the former Soviet Union’s capacity was in a decline. Thus, Krauthammer emphasised, at that time there was no first-rate power in the world that could match the capacity of the US.
India’s external affairs minister Mr Salman Khurshid went to Sri Lanka substituting Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh to participate in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) conclave. This decision by the government of India speaks volumes about how the regional politics and associated narrow political compulsions adversely impact the national security policy making. Regrettably, the politics of Tamil Nadu is more about tokenism than actually helping the cause of Talmilians in Sri Lanka.
With less than a fortnight left for the second Constituent Assembly (CA) elections, which are scheduled to be held on November 19, uncertainly looms large over their peaceful conduct and the framing of the Constitution. This has resulted in lack of enthusiasm from people towards participation in the elections. People across the country also question the legitimacy of the elections given the boycott of the CPN-Maoist led 33-agitating political parties and their demand for holding the elections under a legitimate government.
After 25 years, for the first time, election was held to the demerged Northern Provincial Council (NPC) on September 21. Though the victory of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) with a thumping two-third majority was predicted, some thought the development route to ethnic reconciliation as relentlessly articulated and pursued by the Rajapakse government, would give it some electoral benefits. It managed to win only 7 seats (18.38 per cent of the votes) in the 38-member council.
Nairobi, the capital of African nation Kenya has witnessed one of the bloodiest terrorist events of recent times. Starting from September 21, the attack at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi which continued till September 24 resulted in more than 60 deaths and scores of people have been injured. Somali Jihadi terrorist group Al-Shabaab, an al Qaeda affiliated and a splinter of the Islamic Courts Union, (ICU) claimed responsibility for this four day long mindless mayhem.
As the September 07 presidential elections are getting closer in Maldives, three out of four presidential candidates and their political parties have been trying to woo the security agencies and indulge in religion based campaigning.