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Monday, 28 August

19:52

India, China Withdraw Troops, No Clarity on Chinas Road Building Efforts in Doklam "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

China publicly remained silent on pull-out of Chinese troops in Doklam, but explicitly stated that all Indian troops have withdrawn and that it will continue to exercise its sovereign rights.

Credit: Reuters

India and China have withdrawn their troops on territory claimed by Bhutan. Credit: Reuters

New Delhi: Ending the nine-week-long Himalayan stand-off, India and China have withdrawn their troops who were eye-balling each other on territory claimed by Bhutan. However, there is no clarity on the status of Chinas road building efforts in Doklam, which was the original trigger for Indian soldiers to move in and for additional Chinese troops to be deployed to mark them.

India claimed that both countries had reached an understanding on a quick disengagement of border personnel at Doklam, based on diplomatic communications. China publicly remained silent on pull-out of Chinese troops in Doklam, but explicitly stated that all Indian troops have withdrawn and that it will continue to exercise its sovereign rights.

Through the day, there were three statements issued by the two Asian giants on the resolution of the Doklam crisis two press releases by India and one by the Chinese foreign ministry.

17:20

Neither Win Nor Loss, the End of the Doklam Standoff is an Opportunity "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Today, the standoff has opened a route to the resolution of the long simmering boundary question. Can Modi turn the present draw into a victory for both India and China?

China and India have been engaged in a standoff in the Doklam area near the Bhutan tri-junction for past 19 days. Credit: Reuters

The standoff between China and India on the Doklam plateau ended with India withdrawing its 40 troops and one bulldozer from it. Credit: Reuters

Even before news that the standoff between China and India on the Doklam plateau was ending with India withdrawing its 40 troops and one bulldozer was an hour old, the BJPs spin doctors had begun to paint it as certainly Indias win over a bullying neighbour. In an unsourced opinion piece posted by the Economic Times the writer/s claimed that China tried every threat to bully India  from starting a war to sponsoring insurgency within India. These threats make the Chinese climbdown very significant The message that goes to smaller countries is that China might not back its threats with substantial action. While the Chinese retreat can encourage smaller countries to look it in the eye, it will al...

16:59

New Silk Road Shall Bring ASEAN Countries Closer to China "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

It's an undisputed truth that close economic ties can overcome any differences.

Its an undisputed truth that close economic ties can overcome any differences.

It is a well known fact that the New Silk Road project of China (NSR) implies the creation of a wide and dense transport network covering the entire Eurasian continent. However, the further this network shall spread, the more robust shall its central part, located in China and close to it, Asian countries, be. Consequently, one of the most important areas in the development of the NSR for the Peoples Republic of China is the 10 neighboring ASEAN member states (Association of Southeast Asian Nations).

The idea of establishing a railway link with ASEAN arose in China earlier than the time the NSR initiative was put forward. This step became feasible in the 2000s, when economic relations between the PRC and ASEAN began expanding rapidly. In 2002, the idea of establishing a free trade area between China and ASEAN countries was articulated. In 2010, the ASEAN-China Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement was signed. Since then, there has been a gradual liberalization of trade relations between the parties, a move that has multiplied the volume of the turnover, which is expected to reach USD 1 trillion by 2020.

Naturally, under these circumstances, the countries developed a desire to improve their transport communication. To connect China with the ASEAN states located on the Eurasian continent, there is need for an extensive Kunming-Singapore railway, which will cover virtually the entire Indochina Peninsula. Kunming City District is the centre of the southwestern China province of Yunnan. Even in ancient times, this area functioned as the crossroads of trade routes connecting Southeast Asia with India and Tibet. It has maintained its status as an important transport hub until now. Kunming hosts one of the largest airports in China Changshui. In addition, Kunming is the largest railway junction in Yunnan Province from which routes to different areas of China, and also to Vietnam, diverge.

The Kunming-Singapore railway network should connect China and the ASEAN countries located on the Indochina Peninsula. It will pass through Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia and reach as far as Singapore. These roads should become the most important land transport system in Asia. In the spr...

16:38

Meet the Palestinian Israel put on trial for her poetry "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Dareen Tatour has spent over a year and a half under house arrest for publishing a poem on her Facebook page. Since then, she has lost the ability to support herself, and cannot leave the house without a chaperone. Orly Noy spoke to Tatour about the difficulty of living under constant surveillance, her love for Hebrew and Arabic poetry, and the need for Jews and Arabs to learn each others language. 

Dareen Tatour at the Nazareth Magistrates Court. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Dareen Tatour at the Nazareth Magistrates Court. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

One day in the future, when they write the book on the belligerence and aggression of the State of Israel toward its Arab citizens, the story of Dareen Tatour who has been under house arrest for nearly two years, including three months of jail time will have its own special chapter dedicated to it.

[tmwinpost]

Tatour was arrested in October 2015 for both a poem and Facebook post she published. Since then, the state has been waging a legal battle, which has included bringing in a series of experts on both Arabic and Arabic poetry, in order to dissect the words of a young poet who was nearly anonymous until her arrest. Her trial, and the states attempts to turn a poem into an existential threat, has been nothing short of Kafkaesque.

I spoke to Tatour from her home in the village of Reineh, near Nazareth. As part of the conditions of her house arrest, Tatour is not allowed to u...

16:08

HC Upholds Whistleblower Sanjiv Chaturvedis Right to Access IB Report Exonerating Him "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

When the forest service officer had earlier sought a copy of the report, the Intelligence Bureau had objected to sharing it.

File photo of Sanjiv Chaturvedi. Credit: PTI

New Delhi: In a landmark judgment that could have a bearing on the disclosure of information by the Intelligence Bureau (IB), especially in cases of corruption and human rights violations, the Delhi high court has upheld a decision of the Central Information Commission (CIC), where, last year, it had issued directions to the IB to reveal the reason for its refusal to disclose to whistleblower Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer Sanjiv Chaturvedi, its report that cleared his name in a number of cases and to provide a copy of the report to him.

Last year, The Wire had reported how the CIC had questioned the IB on its refusal to disclose to Chaturvedi its report that cleared his name in a number of cases. The IB had objected to the environment ministry sharing the report with Chaturvedi.

...

15:51

Diplomacy Flurry as Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan's Leaders Meet "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The coming weeks will see a flurry of regional diplomacy in Central Asia as the leader of Uzbekistan visits Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstans president heads to Uzbekistan.

Uzbek president Shavkat Mirziyoyev will be dropping in on his Kyrgyz counterpart Almazbek Atambayev next week. 

We have very good relations with him, Atambayev told a crowd in the southern Kyrgyz town of Uzgen. Two weeks ago the prime ministers of our countries met and drew up a document on the [demarcation] of 84 percent of our borders. That was the first visit from an Uzbek prime minister in 26 years.

Much of the heavy lifting appears to have been done in that historic encounter, leaving Atambayev  and Mirziyoyev to bask in the satisfying positive press that will accompany their upcoming talks.

Ambitions have been reasonably contained so far, extending to improving conditions for cross-border traffic and increasing opportunities for trade. But the most ardent proponents of the thaw have visions of a proliferation of Kyrgyz-Uzbek joint companies, settlement of long-standing disputes about how to properly share the regions water resources and the resolution of other thorny topics.

Recent developments in the electricity market serve as a useful illustration of the benefits that more amicable relations can bring.

read more

15:45

Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Sentenced to 20 Years in Jail for Rape, Fined Rs 30 lakh "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The Dera Sacha Sauda chief was convicted of raping two female followers, after which his followers turned violent and 32 people died.

Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in a still from <em>MSG 2</em>.

Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in a still from MSG 2.

New Delhi: A special CBI court on Monday (August 28) sentenced Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh to 20 years in prison 10 years each for two rape cases that will run consecutively and not concurrently, as was earlier understood. The sentencing hearing was held in Sunaria jail, Rohtak. A special court was set up in the jail premises to prevent a repeat of the violence which was witnessed following the announcement of the conviction of the Dera head on Friday. 

The CBI court also fined the Dera chief Rs 30 lakh for three separate offences including attempt to murder and criminal intimidation. The court allowed him a separate cell, but no attendants or special facilities After the verdict, 50-year-old Singh was seen weeping profusely as he sat on the floor outside the courtroom. He was then forcibly taken away by security personnel.

While the CBI lawyer termed it a victory for the process of justice, the defence counsel said the court had given him a light sentence in view of his work for social causes. He also said an appeal would be filed in the high court against the CBI court order.

Judge Jagdeep Singh, along with the court staff, was flown in from Chandigarh by helicopter earlier in the morning. Rohtak was placed on hi...

15:30

Seven Decades of Grappling With Intellectual Property Issues in India "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Create, Copy, Disrupt: Indias Intellectual Property Dilemmas is well-researched and easy to read, especially for a non-legal audience.

Credit: Reuters

Analysis of the clause in Indias patent law that allows for rejecting patents on minor inventions that do not significantly improve efficacy narrowly interpreted by the Supreme Court in the Novartis case as therapeutic efficacy falls short. Credit: Reuters

The book Create, Copy, Disrupt: Indias Intellectual Property Dilemmas (OUP, 2017) is a serious effort by two legal scholars, Prashant Reddy T. and Sumathi Chandrashekaran, to explain some of Indias most controversial intellectual property (IP) issues to a non-legal audience. It is a painstakingly well-researched book that was clearly also aimed at providing new nuggets of information and analysis to IP scholars, thus making it a book that takes on the difficult task of simultaneously seeking approval from two very different audiences. But this is a timely publication as it is high time someone gave us the full background and context of the more interesting IP policy issues that India has had to grapple with over the last seven decades since its independence. Therefore, this book ought to have a wider audience than just IP scholars.

Fortunately for those interested in knowing more about these issues, this book is mostly written in an easy-to-read style, mostly free of jargon and best of all, it tells us some fascinating stories behind some of the legislative and policy decisions taken in this country over the decades. I say mostly because at times the author...

15:30

Is There an Organised Attempt to Scuttle Customs Agencys Probes Against Adani Group? "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The adjudicating authority in the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence case on alleged over-invoicing of power equipment has evidently been sympathetic to the Adani group. But this is just one instance.

Adani group companies have allegedly overvalued equipment for power generation to the tune of Rs 3,974 crore by conniving with an intermediary, Electrogen Infra FZE (EIF), United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Adani group companies have allegedly overvalued equipment for power generation to the tune of Rs 3,974 crore by conniving with an intermediary, Electrogen Infra FZE (EIF), United Arab Emirates (UAE).

On August 22, the adjudicating authority in the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) absolved two Adani group companies, Adani Power Maharashtra Limited (APML) and Adani Power Rajasthan Limited (APRL), of all charges laid out in a showcause notice (SCN) issued by the DRI in May 2017.

It had been alleged in this SCN that the companies overvalued equipment for power generation to the tune of Rs 3,974 crore by conniving with an intermediary, Electrogen Infra FZE (EIF), United Arab Emirates (UAE). The DRI had issued another SCN to the Adani group for Rs 1,526 crore (for a power transmission project) in May 2014 and a third in September 2016 for around Rs 1,000 crore. It is reported that the adjudication is still pending in the last two SCNs.

The order of the adjudicating authority (K.V.S. Singh, the additional director general for adjudication at DRI) ruled against the DRI...

15:11

BJP Wins Both Seats in Bypoll, But Congress Remains Single Largest Party in Goa "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The by-election victory has taken the BJPs tally up by one seat only, to 14 MLAs. With 16 seats, the Congress is still the single largest party in the 40-member House.

BJP won the Panaji and Valpoi seats that went to polls on August 23. Credit: Twitter/@visrane

BJP won the Panaji and Valpoi seats that went to polls on August 23. Credit: Twitter/@visrane

Panaji: The BJP has won both the seats in Goa that went for by-elections on August 23. Chief minister Manohar Parrikar managed to retain the Panaji seat that he had won five times previously and has been with the BJP for 23 years. He defeated the Congress Girish Chodankar by a margin of 4,800 votes.

A BJP MLA had resigned from the Panaji seat for Parrikar to contest after he stepped down from the Union defence ministers post to return to Goa as chief minister.

In Valpoi the other seat that went for by-election the former Congress chief minister Pratapsingh Ranes son Vishvajit, who defected to the BJP, painted the once Congress bastion saffron. Rane Jr (as he is known in media circles here) won the seat with a margin of over 10,000 votes, leaving his Congress opponent, Roy Naik, trailing far behind.

Though Congress supporters were banking on putting up a strong fight, a sense of the inevitable could be felt in the run-up to the bypolls. Parrikar and his health minist...

15:00

Sher Bahadur Deubas India Trip Was Further Evidence of Chinas Influence in Nepal "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Political parties in Nepal want to be seen as standing up to India, the old bully, and appearing close to China, the much-needed counterweight to India.

Nepal's Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Dueba with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Credit: Twitter/@MEAIndia

Nepals Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Dueba with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Credit: Twitter/@MEAIndia

Kathmandu: Should a new Nepali prime minister visit India upon assuming office, before any other country, just to keep alive an outdated tradition? This is a question that is being increasingly asked in Nepal following Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deubas just-concluded five-day state visit to India. Deubas visit, just like those of his predecessors K.P. Sharma Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda, both undertaken after the promulgation of new Nepali constitution, is believed to have achieved little.

Before Deubas state visit, there was a consensus in Nepal that the inundation in the Terai plains  partly attributable to the construction of roads and dams on the Indian side of the Indo-Nepal border should be...

14:30

#PartitionAt70: Restorying Partition Recall "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Publisher Arpita Das and her mother recall a story of mistaken identity when her mothers sibling was grabbed by a refugee woman who was convinced that the child was her lost daughter.

The post #PartitionAt70: Restorying Partition Recall appeared first on The Wire.

14:30

Revisiting Partitions Little Red Book "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Krishan Chanders Hum Vehshi Hain is a humanist response to the trauma and tragedy of 1947, and presents points of view of various characters across class, gender and ideology in colonial India.

Among the short stories is one titled 'Peshawar Express, which is told from the point of view of a train, an inanimate object which was travelling from Peshawar in what became Pakistan to Bombay in what became India. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Among the short stories is one titled Peshawar Express, which is told from the point of view of a train, an inanimate object which was travelling from Peshawar in what became Pakistan to Bombay in what became India. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The Wires #PartitionAt70 series brings a number of stories, through text and multimedia content that will attempt to draw a comprehensive picture of those weeks and months when entire geographies and histories changed forever.


The fire of civil war is raging in India and Pakistan, its flames threaten to burn humans, houses and libraries alongwith our life, freedom, culture and civilisation to ashes. Today after many months these flames have lessened but have not gone cold yet. There are several embers beneath the ash which can be inflamed with just a blow. Those who would fan these flames are also present.

But there is no scarcity too of firefighters. The healthy and progressive elements of India and Pakistan are t...

14:09

Maharashtra Government Apologises to Justice Oka Over Claims of Bias in Noise Pollution Case "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Senior members of the bar and lawyers associations had slammed the governments allegations and claimed that the move was to ensure that no systems of accountability were in place ahead of Ganesh Chaturthi.

The state government said that its intention has been misunderstood and misinterpreted to project that the state is against the judiciary. Credit: Reuters

New Delhi: Days after accusing Justice A.S. Oka who is heading a Bombay high court bench that was cracking down on Maharashtra for its noise pollution norms of harbouring a serious bias against it, the state government on Monday (August 28) withdrew its claims and apologised to the judge. According to ANI, the state government said that its intention has been misunderstood and misinterpreted to project that the state is against the judiciary.

Following the allegations levied against Justice Oka, Bombay high court Chief Justice Manjula Chellur had, upon the governments request, withdrawn the case from him and transferred it to another bench, Scroll.in reported.

However, after the Advocates Association of Western India (AAWI) and senior members of the bar came forward in protest of the governments allegations and claimed that the move was to ensure that no systems of accountability were in place ahead of Ganesh Chaturthi, Justice Chellur formed a larger bench headed by...

14:01

Kenyan Court Orders Scrutiny of Electronic Voter Count Systems "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Kenyan Supreme Court judges attend a hearing of a petition challenging the election result filed by the National Super Alliance (NASA) coalition and Human Rights groups at the Supreme Court in Nairobi, Kenya August 28, 2017. Credit:Reuters

Kenyan Supreme Court judges attend a hearing of a petition challenging the election result filed by the National Super Alliance (NASA) coalition and Human Rights groups at the Supreme Court in Nairobi, Kenya, August 28, 2017. Credit: Reuters

Nairobi: Kenyas Supreme Court ordered the election commission on Monday to allow the opposition, which is di...

13:56

Two Killed as Mountain Collapses on Township in South West China "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Rescue workers search for survivors at the site of a landslide that occurred in Nayong county, Guizhou province, China August 28, 2017. Credit:Reuter

Rescue workers search for survivors at the site of a landslide that occurred in Nayong county, Guizhou province, China August 28, 2017. Credit:Reuters

Beijing: A landslide caused part of a mountain to collapse on to a remote township in Chinas remote southwest on Monday, state media said, killing at least two people with 25 missing.

The landslide sent rubble sweeping over 34 homes in Zhangjiawan township in the city of Bijie, Guizhou province.

Video footage broadcast by media outlets showed large blocks of a mountain collapsing from a great height, leaving a dense plume of grey smoke and a long trail of rubble.

The footage also showed rescue workers pulling survivors from collapsed homes in the aftermath, with shocked residents surveying the scene.

Rescue workers had pulled out four people alive from the rubble by the afternoon, state-run news agency Xinhua said....

13:48

UN Takes Steps to Protect South Sudan Civilians After Years of Criticism "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Chinese Peacekeepers in the United Nations Mission to South Sudan (UNMISS) parade during the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers in Juba, South Sudan May 29, 2017. Credit:Reuters

Chinese Peacekeepers in the United Nations Mission to South Sudan (UNMISS) parade during the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers in Juba, South Sudan May 29, 2017. Credit:Reuters

Kampala: United Nations peacekeepers in South Sudan are moving more aggressively to protect civilians caught in the countrys four-year civil war, after years of criticism for failures that led to the sacking of the missions military chief last year.

This year, the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has rescued aid workers and UN staff during attacks, saved civilians from abduct...

13:13

Pakistan: Another Major Strategic Partner Now Fighting For Its Life "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Can Pakistan survive a military intervention if it is to be announced yet another link of the so-called

Can Pakistan survive a military intervention if it is to be announced yet another link of the so-called axis of evil

So the Trump White House is really on the ball now. After suddenly discovering what North Korea has always been, it has done the same with Pakistan, and is trying to cover its essential ignorance by saying how unhappy it is about it.

Rex Tillerson is threatening to cut aid to Pakistan on the grounds that it is providing safe haven for terrorist groups. He is careful to say however that this is an ongoing problem, and that as relations have been deteriorating for several years the damage was done before his appointment, and is therefore beyond the ability of the present State Department to reverse. This hardly indicates a genuine resolve to counter terrorism, but given the number of terrorists the US sponsors to suit itself this is not surprising.

Pakistan doesnt seem worried, largely because it has been hearing all this for many years. It has never been a secret that since the Soviets took over Afghanistan in 1979 various groups have found shelter in Pakistan and then managed to arm themselves against the invaders. When the Soviet withdrawal was followed by civil war many combatants again based themselves in Pakistan, as they were never sure whether their friends in Afghanistan wouldnt become enemies the following day when the pattern of alliances changed, as it frequently did.

Pakistan was always quick to point out that its various governments have not provided direct support, with funds, arms or personnel, to any of these combatants. This may be disingenuous, as Pakistan has also failed to properly investigate a number of murders of former Afghan combatants who have renounced violence and set up shops in Pakistan, and continues to repatriate refugees to areas where fighting is taking place, thus exporting conflict as they have no alternative but to take up arms to defend...

12:45

Weaponization of History and Journalism "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

In the United States facts, an important element of truth, are not important. They are not important in the media, politics, universities, or the courtroom. Non-factual explanations of the collapse of three World Trade Center buildings are served up as the official explanation. Facts have been politicized, emotionalized, weaponized and simply ignored. As David Irving has shown, Anglo-American histories of World War 2 are, for the most part, feel-good histories, as are civil war histories as Thomas DiLorenzo and others have demonstrated. Of course, they are feel good only for the victors. Their emotional purpose means that inconvenient facts are unpalatable and ignored.

12:15

How the Deep State Ties Down Trump "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Americas Deep State players have tied down President Trump on Russian sanctions and other foreign and economic policies but that doesnt mean the struggle is over, writes ex-British diplomat Alastair Crooke.  

12:11

Bangladesh Denies Thousands of Rohingya Fleeing Violence in Myanmar "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

 

A group of Rohingya refugees takes shelter at the Kutuupalang makeshift refugee camp, after crossing the Myanmar-Bangladesh border today in Coxs Bazar, Bangladesh, August 26, 2017. Credit:Reuters

A group of Rohingya refugees takes shelter at the Kutuupalang makeshift refugee camp, after crossing the Myanmar-Bangladesh border today in Coxs Bazar, Bangladesh, August 26, 2017. Credit:Reuters

Coxs Bazar, Bangladesh: Bangladesh border guards on Monday moved to push back thousands of Rohingya Muslims fleeing the worst violence in Myanmar in five years, with 104 people killed and the United Nations aid groups forced to pull out some staff.

The flight of large numbers of Muslim Rohingya and Buddhist civilians from the northern part of Myanmars Rakhine state was triggered by coordinated attac...

12:09

Former Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Disappears Before Trial "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Ousted former Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra greets supporters as she leaves the Supreme Court in Bangkok, Thailand, August 1, 2017. Credit:Reuters

Ousted former Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra greets supporters as she leaves the Supreme Court in Bangkok, Thailand, August 1, 2017. Credit:Reuters

Thailands defence minister on Monday said he did not know the whereabouts of former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, days after she failed to show up for a verdict in her trial for negligence for which she faces up to 10 years in prison.

Yingluck, whose government was ousted in a 2014 coup, fled to Dubai via Singapore, sources in her Puea Thai Party said on the weekend. Her departure leaves the populist movement that has dominated Thai politics for more than a decade without a leader.

Her brother, former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted by the military in 2006 and also fled Thailand to avoid a 2008 jail sentence for corruption. He has a home in Dubai.

...

11:51

AAP Retains Bawana Assembly Seat, Defeats BJP By Over 24,000 Votes "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The BJP was hoping that using a candidate who defected from AAP would push them over the edge, but that was not to be.

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal in Bawana after AAP's win. Credit: Twitter/AAP

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal in Bawana after AAPs win. Credit: Twitter/AAP

New Delhi: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) retained the Bawana assembly seat today, with its candidate Ram Chander defeating the BJPs Ved Prakash by a huge margin of 24,052 votes. The seat had fallen vacant after Prakash, who was earlier the AAP MLA from the constituency, resigned in March this year ahead of the civic body elections in Delhi.

The chief electoral officer announced that while the AAP candidate bagged 59,886 votes, BJP polled 35,834 votes while Surender Kumar of the Congress, who is a three-time party MLA from the constituency, finished third with 31,919 votes.

Delhis deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia thanked the voters for electing the party candidate from Bawana.

AAP leader Alka Lamba also tweeted suggesting that in the AAPs win, they had defeated n...

11:45

Trump"s Afghan Strategy Is Riddled with Contradictions "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The widespread opinion is that the way forward in Afghanistan as outlined by the US President Donald Trump last Monday is doomed to fail, since it is basically old wine in a new bottle a rehash of strategies that were tried and discarded by previous US administrations.

11:35

Doklam Stand-Off Ends: Indian Troops Withdraw, China Says Will Exercise Sovereign Rights "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The Chinese statement made no mention of whether its personnel had been removed and the road construction project ended.

Chinese and Indian Army at Doklam. Credit: PTI


New Delhi:
Announcing that the nine-week-long Himalayan stand-off was effectively over, India stated on Monday that New Delhi and Beijing have reached an understanding on a quick disengagement of border personnel at Doklam. China, however, claimed that while all Indian troops have be withdrawn, it will continue to exercise its sovereign rights.

In a press statement, the MEA said an expeditious disengagement of border personnel at the face-off site at Doklam has been agreed to and is on-going.

11:15

We Still Don't Know How Trump's Administration Will Handle Ukraine "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Last December, in these very pages, I warned that a particular danger the new Trump administration would face in the national security field would be the problem of senior figures issuing contradictory statements about U.S. policy, especially in the absence of effective direction from the White House. This would lead to uncertainty both within the U.S. government as well as in the capitals of other nations about American intentionswith potentially destabilizing consequences. Unfortunately, over the last several months, we have seen these worries become self-fulfilling prophecies.

11:05

AIADMK Decides to Expel Sasikala, Reclaim Jaya TV "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

At a meeting today headed by the chief minister, the party resolved to hold a general council meeting where it will remove the jailed leader and nullify all appointments made by T.T.V. Dhinakaran.

V.K. Sasikala. Credit: PTI

V.K. Sasikala. Credit: PTI

Chennai: Amid continued rebellion by 21 MLAs loyal to sidelined deputy party chief T.T.V. Dhinakaran, a meeting of the AIADMK (Amma) headed by Tamil Nadu chief minister E. Palaniswamy, today decided to remove jailed party general secretary V.K. Sasikala. A general council meeting will be called, the party said, to make the decision official.

The meeting, which some party MLAs and MPs did not attend, also discussed the validity of the appointments made by Sasikala before she was jailed in the Rs 66.6 crore disproportionate assets case and those made by her nephew Dhinakaran, AIADMK sources said. The party has decided to nullify these appointments.

Steps would be taken to remove Sasikala as the chief of the party at the meeting of the general council, the apex body of the AIADMK, they added.

Sasikala was appointed the interim general secretary of the party by the general council at a meeting held on December 29 last year, days after the demise of late chief minister and party supremo J. Jayalalithaa.

Earlier, on August 20, when the two factions of the AIADMK led by Palaniswami and current deputy chief minister O. Panneerselvam merged, party MP R. Vaithilingam had said steps would be taken to sack Sasikala fr...

10:56

Police Can Kill If People Resist Arrest, Says Phillipiness Duterte "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte checks the scope of a 7.62mm sniper rifle during the turnover ceremony of China's urgent military assistance given

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte checks the scope of a 7.62mm sniper rifle during the turnover ceremony of Chinas urgent military assistance given gratis to the Philippines, at Clark Air Base, near Angeles City, Philippines June 28, 2017. (Reuters)

Manila: Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte told police on Monday they could kill idiots who violently resist arrest, two days after hundreds of people turned the funeral of a s...

10:45

Moldova Presses Russia over Transnistria: What Next? "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The government of Moldova has called on the United Nations to discuss the withdrawal of Russian peacekeepers from the breakaway Transnistria region at the upcoming 72nd session of the General Assembly to open on September 12. A letter from the Permanent Representative of Moldova to the UN, Victor Moraru, was forwarded on August 22, calling the presence of Russian troops in Transnistria a threat to international peace and security.

10:36

Human Rights Body Urges MHA to Withdraw Advisory on Deportation of Rohingya Muslims "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative pointed to a 1996 verdict of the Supreme Court on Chakma refugees to back its plea.

The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative has asked the home affairs ministry to withdraw its advisory on deportation of Rohingya Muslims. Credit: Reuters/Soe Zeya Tun

The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative has asked the home affairs ministry to withdraw its advisory on deportation of Rohingya Muslims. Credit: Reuters/Soe Zeya Tun

New Delhi: The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) has urged the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to consider withdrawing its recent advisory on the deportation of Rohingya to Myanmar by drawing attention to a 1996 verdict of the Supreme Court.

A Muslim ethnic minority, the Rohingya belong to Myanmars Rakhine State. Since they do not find mention in Myanmars official list of 135 ethnic communities, they are not recognised as citizens. In a bid to drive them out of Myanmar, government agencies reportedly force the Rohingya to take permission for getting married, seek employment, avail health services and even for recording births....

10:25

As Britain Pushes for Talks About the Future, EU Wants Divorce First "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

 A worker arranges flags at the EU headquarters as Britain and the EU launch Brexit talks in Brussels, June 19, 2017. (Reuters)

A worker arranges flags at the EU headquarters as Britain and the EU launch Brexit talks in Brussels, June 19, 2017. Credit: Reuters

Brussels: British officials arrive in Brussels on Monday to push the EU towards talks about their post-Brexit ties, which the bloc refuses to do without an agreement first on Londons exit Bill and other divorce issues.

A third round of Brexit talks takes place more than a year after Britons voted in a referendum to leave the European Union, delivering an unprecedented blow to the post-World War Two European integration.

Chief Brexit negotiators, the EUs Michel Barnier and Britains David Davis, will meet at 1500 GMT before more talks on Tuesday and Wednesday to convene on technical level on expatriate rights, divorce bill and other separation issues.

Senior officials will also tackle the conundrum of the future border between EU, state of Ireland and the United Kingdoms Northern Ireland. A news...

10:10

After Triple Talaq, a Look At the Other Discriminatory Personal Laws That Need to Go "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

If the legislature is serious about introducing gender parity in personal laws, it should not focus all its energies on one particular religion.

If a widowed Hindu woman dies without a will, and without children, her property will go to her husband's heirs. Representative image credit: Reuters

If a widowed Hindu woman dies without a will, and without children, her property will go to her husbands heirs. Representative image credit: Reuters

In light of the Supreme Courts recent decision to abolish instant triple talaq, a number of ostensible protectors of Muslim women in Indian politics came out in open support of the decision, lauding the cleansing of this oppressive religious practice. Of course, the government was the first to praise its ability to rid Muslim women of an evil they had suffered for decades. While the decision is welcome, the selective purging of personal laws of a particular religion does not send out the right message, especially since it is not as if other personal laws in our country are shining beacons. This would perhaps be an apt time to remind the government and the courts of a number of other personal laws that are retrograde, discriminatory and do not apply parity between women and men. That these laws will be noticed and repealed, however, is perhaps a pipe dream, given that they may not all provide the...

10:03

GE May Be Sued Over Fukushima Disaster "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

GE may finally be sued for their role in the 2011 Fukushima Disaster. A second lawsuit filed in the US

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09:38

Beyond the Green Fields of Punjab Lies a Mounting Agrarian Distress "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Punjab exceeds most states in metrics on mechanisation, chemical input and capital investment. What then explains the failure of its green fields?

Labourers work in a paddy field at Thaska village in Punjab. Credit: Reuters/Ajay Verma/Files

Labourers work in a paddy field at Thaska village in Punjab. Credit: Reuters/Ajay Verma/Files

The farms of Punjab, which once sowed the seeds of the Green Revolution, are an eyesore today. According to the state governments own figures, over 1,000 farmers have committed suicide in the last two years. Agrarian distress is mounting and farmer debt stands tall. A 2016 survey by Punjabi University pegs a total outstanding farm debt at almost Rs 70,000 crores.

The incumbent Congress government has joined the political bandwagon and announced a farm loan waiver as a stop-gap measure. However, farmer suicides...

09:13

Jamshedpurs MGM Hospital Blames Malnutrition After Over 100 Infants Die in Two Months "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

A state-level probe has not found any negligence by the government-run facility, but medical staff has alleged serious lapses in infant care.

MGM hospital. Credit: Twitter/@ANI

MGM hospital. Credit: Twitter/@ANI

New Delhi: After Gorakhpurs BRD Medical College came under the spotlight over the deaths of more than 70 children after oxygen supply was cut off at the hospital, over 100 infants including newborns have reportedly died at a government-run hospital in Jharkhand in a matter of just two months.

Over 52 of these newborn deaths at Jamshedpurs Mahatma Gandhi Memorial (MGM) Medical College and Hospital have occurred in the past 30 days. According to The Telegraph, while a state-level inquiry into the high mortality did not find any negligence at the part of the hospital, it has been indicated by...

09:00

August 15 and the North-East Asia Conundrum "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

WWII are among the hardest for the Japanese public.

WWII memories are among the hardest for the Japanese public.

August 15 presents itself as a landmark date in the new history of the Asia-Pacific Region and, in particular, the North-East Asia Sub-Region. On this day in 1945, the then-Emperor of Japan, Hirohito, issued a historical statement in which he agreed to accept the terms of capitulation that the leaders of the United States, Great Britain and the Republic of China had formulated three weeks earlier in Potsdam.

Since then, Japan has always associated the end of the 1937-1945 war, a disaster that was unprecedented in the history of the country, with this date. Suffice it to say that, of the approximately 2.4 million servicemen killed in the wars that Japan had waged since the mid-19th century, over 90 per cent of them were in this last war.

However, the human and material losses incurred by China are incalculably greater. It is rather South Korea that claims the moral and political losses against Japan, which, however, extends to the entire period of the occupation of the Korean Peninsula (1910-1945).

In recent decades, the PRC and the ROK have followed with great attention the events that have marked this sad date in Tokyo, which is in line with the complex context of Japans current political relations with its two Asian neighbors. The negative context of this level in Japans relations with its main enemy in the last war, the US, is now virtually absent. To pay their due homage, people visit the memorials that were erected to commemorate the events of the bygone era, which are now very remote in relation to the current regional problems that are piling up like snowballs, threatening to destroy the entire system of relations across the Pacific Rim.

In view of these circumstances, during these days, both sides try to do various kinds of appreciable gestures for each other. For example, an almost 90-year-old former American marine serviceman who allegedly recovered (and had since been keeping) a Japanese flag from the body of a Japanese soldier who died on the island of Saipan in 1944 finally brought it to Japan. On August 15 o...

08:46

Merkel Says She Has No Regrets Over Refugee Policy Despite Political Cost "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, a top candidate of the Christian Democratic Union Party (CDU), gives a speech during an election rally in Vacha, Germany, August 24, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Kai Pfaffenbach

Berlin: German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she has no regrets about her 2015 decision to open the countrys borders to hundreds of thousands of refugees and added she will not be deterred from campaigning by angry hecklers.

In an interview with the Welt am Sonntag newspaper on Sunday, Merkel denied she had made any mistakes with her open-door policy even though the arrival of a million refugees over the last two years from Syria and Iraq opened deep rifts in her conservative party and depressed its support.

Four weeks before the September 24 election, an Emnid opinion poll on Sunday showed Merkels...

08:41

After Decades of War, Colombias FARC Rebels Debut Political Party "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Colombias Marxist FARC rebel leader Rodrigo Londono, known as Timochenko, and Ivan Marquez seen during the installation of the National Congress of the FARC in Bogota, Colombia, August 27, 2017. Credit: Reuters/ Jaime Saldarriaga

Bogota: Colombias leftist FARC rebel group is introducing its political party at a conference that began on Sunday, a major step in its transition into a civilian organization after more than 50 years of war and its first chance to announce policy to skeptical voters.

The six-day meeting in Bogota of FARC members, who have handed in more than 8,000 weapons to the United Nations during their demobilisation, is expe...

08:33

Dipak Misra Sworn in as Indias New Chief Justice "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Justice Misra was part of the bench that confirmed the death sentence of the convicts in the December 16 rape case and passed the order for mandatory singing of the national anthem in cinema halls.

Justice Misra, 64, assumes office following the retirement of Justice J.S. Khehar. Credit: PTI

Justice Misra, 64, assumes office following the retirement of Justice J.S. Khehar. Credit: PTI

New Delhi: Justice Dipak Misra, who was part of the bench that confirmed the death sentence of the four convicts in the December 16 gangrape case and passed the order for mandatory singing of the national anthem in cinema halls, was today sworn in as the 45th Chief Justice of India.

At a brief ceremony in the Darbar Hall of Rashtrapati Bhawan, President Ram Nath Kovind administered the oath of office to Misra.

Justice Misra took the oath in English in the name of God.

Justice Misra, 64,...

08:33

Muslim Men Lynched in West Bengal Over Cow Theft Suspicions "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The two were dragged out of a van carrying seven cows and killed by a mob in the middle of the night. The driver of the van managed to escape.

A murder case has been lodged but nobody has been arrested so far. Credit: PTI

A murder case has been lodged but nobody has been arrested so far. Credit: PTI

New Delhi: Two Muslim men were killed by a mob who suspected them of being cow thieves in Dadon village, Jalpaiguri, early on Sunday. They were travelling in a pick-up van carrying seven cows, Indian Express reported.

Anwar Hussain (19) and Hafizul Sheikh (19) were beaten to death by the mob, which intercepted their van and pulled them out of it at around 3 am on Sunday, the police said, adding that the pick-up van was also badly damaged by the mob.

Police took Hussain and Sheikh to the Dhupguri hospital where they were declared brought dead. The police also took charge of the animals in the vehicle. A large contingent of police was deployed in the area. The driver of the van, police have said, managed to escape the mob. He later told the police that they had lost their way and were wandering around the village trying to find a way out when the mob attacked them, Hindustan Tim...

08:08

Gurmeet Ram Rahim Sentencing: Rohtak Under Shutdown, Security Heightened in Haryana "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

A special CBI court will begin hearing arguments over sentencing at 2:30 pm in the district jail at Sunaria where the Dera Sacha Sauda chief is lodged.

Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. Credit: PTI

Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. Credit: PTI

New Delhi: With the sentencing of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh scheduled for today (August 28), Haryana and Punjab have shut down schools and colleges, suspended mobile services and increased security around a Rohtak jail, where punishment will be handed out to the Dera Sacha Sauda chief who on Friday was convicted of rape. Shamli and Baghpat in western Uttar Pradesh are on high alert, while heavy police force has been deployed at the Haryana border, Firstpost reported.

According to a Hindustan Times report, a special CBI court will begin h...

08:00

Adani Says to Start Work on Carmichael Coal Project With Own Funds "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Analysts have raised doubts about whether Adani can fund what would be Australias biggest coal mine given opposition from green groups and a global backlash to investment in fossil fuels, while Adani insists the project will proceed.

Indian billionaire Gautam Adani speaks during an interview with Reuters at his office in Ahmedabad in this April 2, 2014. Credit: Reuters/Amit Dave/Files

Sydney: Indias Adani Enterprises said on Monday it will start work in October on its Carmichael coal project in Australia using $400 million ($317 million) of its own funds, even as it looks to lock in financing for the controversial mine.

Adani, which has said previously that it needed to borrow under $2 billion to get the project off the ground, will target first shipments from March 2020 for the first stage of the project which has been trimmed back to a cost of $4 billion.

Analysts have raised doubts about whether Adani can fund what would be Australias biggest...

07:43

Alumni Ask IIM Directors to Address Lack of Diversity Immediately "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The over-representation of dominant caste groups in the teaching and research positions only endorses the belief of suppressing the historically marginalized populace.

The campus at IIM Ahmedabad. Courtesy: insideiim.com

The campus at IIM Ahmedabad. Courtesy: insideiim.com

New Delhi: After a faculty member and research scholar raised the issue of the lack of diversity within the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), alumnus have written to the directors of all IIMs ahead of their meeting today (August 28), asking that the matter be addressed urgently.

Deepak Malghan and Siddharth Joshi from IIM Bangalore, who wrote to the IIM directors last week asking that they take action and have also raised the issue with the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), have collected data on 512 faculty members at IIMs and found that only two of them belong to the SC category and not a single person belongs to the ST category. This serious lack of diversity, they have argued, can be traced back to the homogenous nature of students postgraduate students at IIMs, since thats where most faculty members are chosen from.

The MHRD had written to all the IIMs in April this year asking them to gather information on the representation of margina...

06:31

Stipend Hike Only for IIT and IISc Research Scholars Is Just Academic Snobbery "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

It is high time the government realises that all good researchers should be treated equal, that they dont deserve to become embedded in a rather illogical hierarchical setup.

IISc, Bengaluru. Credit: IISC

IISc, Bengaluru. Credit: IISC

Aswin Sekhar is an Indian astrophysicist who works at the Centre for Earth Evolution and Dynamics, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, University of Oslo.

The recent announcement of special privileges and stipend hike exclusively for IIT and IISc research scholars is a monumental case of academic snobbery. India is a country with tens of top class research institutions in the basic sciences and in the medical and engineering sciences. The combined strength of junior researchers from all these institutions will run into the ten thousands. In such an environment, it is extremely unfair when the stipend is hiked more than twice over (from Rs 25,000 to Rs 70,000) only for a small proportion of this research population, ignoring the rest. Are all the other researchers, from the non-IITs/IISc, children of lesser god?

It has been reported that the primary motivation for this decision from the centr...

05:00

In Indias Right to Privacy, a Glimpse of a Right to be Forgotten "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

While Justice Kauls opinion identifies a right to be forgotten, Indias upcoming data protection framework needs to resolve a number of hurdles before we carve out such a right.

It's clear that there's still a lot more legal work to be done before India can have a workable right to be forgotten. Credit: Reuters

Its clear that theres still a lot more legal work to be done before India can have a workable right to be forgotten. Credit: Reuters

The landmark right to privacy judgment delivered by the Supreme Court in Justice Puttaswamy v. Union of India is significant for a lesser known holding  the right to be forgotten.

The concurring opinion...

04:30

Triple Talaq Verdict: Wherein Lies the Much Hailed Victory? "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Instead of developing jurisprudence based on the intersectionality of gender and religious identity, we are presented with a laboriously lengthy and impotent decision which reflects the judges lack of  knowledge on feminist jurisprudence.

Muslim women celebrate the Supreme Court verdict on triple talaq in Mumbai. Credit: PTI

Muslim women celebrate the Supreme Court verdict on triple talaq in Mumbai. Credit: PTI

Five Muslim women brought a fundamental rights challenge to the practice of triple talaq that confers a right on Muslim men to instantaneously divorce their wives. Last week, the Supreme Court set aside the practice. However, somewhat paradoxically, Muslim husbands still retain the unilateral right to get rid of their wives by pronouncing talaq over a period of a few months. This leaves us wondering wherein lies the much hailed victory?

The verdict could be considered significant as it is the first time that the court has held as unconstitutional a discriminatory practice in the intimate sphere. The striking down of this arbitrary practice is welcome; however, the claim by some that this...

04:30

India at 70: Culture of One-Party Dominance Menacing Democracy "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Under the premiership of Narendra Modi, Indias culture of one-party dominance is violating both standard operating procedures and dharma to get the better of its political rivals.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inspecting the Guard of Honour at Red Fort, on the occasion of 71st Independence Day, in Delhi on August 15, 2017. Credit: pmoindia.gov.in

Seventy years ago, Jawaharlal Nehrus famous Tryst with Destiny speech not only marked Indias independence from British rule but also expressed the vision for a united, democratic, egalitarian and modern country.

Not long after, that vision of the Indias first prime minister, as well as the values that guided the freedom struggle, was written in the constitution that Indians gave themselves. That constitution, its principles and the robust institutional architecture it put in place, helped India weather multiple challenges over the years.

Now the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) appears is determined to erase Nehrus legacy. To get the better of its political rivals and consolidate itself, the BJP has manipulated national institu...

02:03

Voon supports call for Petros to be headquartered in Miri "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Pakatan Harapan Women Council chief for Sarawak affairs Voon Shiak Ni yesterday urged Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg to consider building Petros headquarters in Miri. Supporting the call made by academician Cr Karambir Singh who had proposed that Miri is the most strategic and constructive location for Petros headquarters, Voon said; We []

02:02

Game of Thrones author posts pic of Sarawak visit with Quentin Tarantino "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

George RR Martin shared a boat ride with cult movie director Quentin Tarantino in Sarawak, according to a picture of the two shared by the award-winning author. Martin posted the photograph of them enjoying drinks together on a riverboat on what appears to be a cruise on Sungai Sarawak near Kuching. Just two guys who []

02:01

Najib wants perfect Umno machinery for GE14 "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Najib Razak said Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN) still had time to fine-tune and perfect their machinery before the 14th general election. The prime minister who is also Umno president said from the feedback he gathered through the Umno Delegates Conferences nationwide, the party machinerys level of preparedness was good but added that there was []

02:01

Dont hope for split in Opposition to win in GE14, says Adnan "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Umno cannot hope for a split in the opposition to win in the coming 14th general election, said Pahang Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob. Adnan, who is also the state Umno liaison chief, said the party members instead needed to strengthen unity, attend to the peoples problems and counter articulately the oppositions slander against []

01:46

Photo from a RAWA orphanage in Pakistan "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Debora Picchi, Italian supporter of RAWA with childern in a RAWA orphanage in Pakistan.

The Women of Afghanistan: Abandoned "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Advocating for womens rights is extremely dangerous in Afghanistan and members of RAWA live in constant fear and must take careful precautions. Kymberlie Adams Matthews recently had the privilege to talk with one of RAWAs leaders and for safetys sake, well call her Sohaila.

Militants behead headmaster in S. Afghanistan "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

In the latest wave of violent attacks, the anti-government militants in Afghanistan beheaded a headmaster of a school in the country's southern Zabul province Tuesday night, director of provincial education department said Wednesday.

Afghan women still live in misery: activist "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

An Afghan rights activist has used a human rights forum to warn that despite the ousting of the hardline Taleban, women in Afghanistan are still suffering discrimination on a grand scale. Contrary to what the world seems to believe, lifting the burqa has not eliminated the oppression, said Mariam Rawi of the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA). She was speaking at last week Kwangju Forum for Asian Human Rights in South Korea.

Dr Najibullah Lafraie: Fundamentalist in the Guise of Academician "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

... but now that Najibullah Lafraie, in a rare show of shamelessness, has threatened RAWA supporters in Australia and is trying to put a mask on his fundamentalist face, I am compelled to write not only about our conversation but also to reject his statement. I hope it will also attract the attention of Mr. Throman Holi who as a lawyer of Najibullah Lafraie has asked our supporters in Australia to remove an article about Najibullah Lafraie from their website and apologies this 'foreign minister' of the criminals and killers.

Secret identity activist visits campus "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Afghani political activist Amena Shams (not her real name) visited Otago University (New Zealand) last week to speak about her experiences as a member of RAWA, the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan.

HRW: Warlords Dominate New Parliament "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

On Monday, Afghanistans first democratically elected parliament in more than three decades will convene in Kabul. But many of the new legislators, including up to 60% of deputies in the lower house, are directly or indirectly connected to current and past human rights abuses. "But many Afghans are worried about a parliament dominated by human rights abusers."

The "Miracle" or a Mockery of Afghanistan? "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

RAWA response to "The Afghanistan Miracle" published in The Seattle Times (October 4, 2005) by Diane Tebelius

Sunday, 27 August

20:04

Israeli society isnt yet ready for a woman in a hijab "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

I am a strong, independent and successful woman. Yet Israeli society is unwilling to understand that wearing a hijab is my choice.

By Seren Khateb Shahbari

Palestinian women sit and study together at Hebrew University. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

Palestinian women sit and study together at Hebrew University. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

Two years ago I decided to start wearing a hijab. I had a feeling that this is what I wanted at this stage of life. The spiritual need pushed me there. I was convinced, despite the social and political reality we live in. I knew that this would be a decision that would change many aspects of my life, affecting my work, my job, my ability to be accepted to an internship, and especially on the behavior of those around me. And yet, I didnt hesitate for a second, even though I knew I was about to pay a price.

[tmwinpost]

I work as a pharmacist, and I recently finished my law degree and currently intern for the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI). I have two children and a loving, supportive husband. I was raised to be a strong, independent woman who knows how to ask question and do everything herself. Yes, even including using a drill to hang photos on the wall. My entire life has been paved with precedents, but the decision to wear a hijab has turned out to be an especially challenging one.

The responses didnt take long. It seems that the customers at the pharmacy preferred a pharmacist without a hijab. Some of my co...

18:00

Manila Hosted Discussions of the Southeast Asian Problems "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

No ammount of preparations is enough when the leading players meet.

No ammount of preparations is enough when the leading players meet.

At the beginning of August, Manila, Philippines hosted a number of international forums including foreign ministers of a number of states. These events played an important role in preparations for a number of summits (planned for the first half of November of this year) that are going to be held for nations directly or indirectly involved in the political, economic, and military-strategic affairs of the Asia-Pacific region (APR) in general and the sub-region of Southeast Asia in particular.

Although the dangerous situation on the Korean Peninsula has been touched upon during these events, a lions share of attention was paid to the South China Sea and matters related to the situation in that strategic area.

By the nature of the assessments of the problems observed in Southeast Asia and South Korea, as well as approaches to the resolution of this crisis, the participants in the Manila summits could be divided into three groups.

The first group consists of the ten ASEAN member countries, all of which together form the political and geographical region of Southeast Asia. Preparation for the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the creation of ASEAN was among the most important topics in Manila.

The second included China, whose leaders consider the nation related directly to this sub-region. Finally, there were ministers from a number of countries that took part in the Manila events, referred to by Beijing and a number of other players as extra-regional forces.

That is an extremely remarkable geopolitical meme. On the one hand, it refers to countries that are not geographically related to Southeast Asia and that allegedly have nothing to do with the political problems that exist within the region in question. But on the other hand, the use of the word forces means that the countries described by this term are trying to project their influence into regions from afar.

Such countries in Beijings understanding are the US, followed by Japan and Australia. It should be noted, however, that...

17:19

Cambodia Exposes, Expels US Network "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

August 27, 2017 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - The government of Cambodia has exposed and expelled a US network attempting to interfere in the nation's political processes. The US National Democratic Institute (NDI) was reportedly ordered to end its activities in the country and remove all of its foreign staff.

Image: US Knows best. NDI "teaches" Cambodians how to run their nation.
Reuters in an article titled, "Cambodia orders U.S.-funded group to halt operations, remove staff," would claim:
In a statement, the foreign ministry accused the National Democratic Institute (NDI) of operating in Cambodia without registering, and said its foreign staff had seven days to leave. 

Authorities were "geared up to take the same measures" against other foreign NGOs which fail to comply with the law, the ministry added.
 The article also noted that:
Prime Minister Hun Sen, who has ruled Cambodia for more than three decades, on Tuesday ordered the English-language The Cambodia Daily newspaper to pay taxes accrued over the past decade or face closure. The paper was founded by an American. 

He also lashed out at the United States and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and accused them of funding groups attempting to overthrow his government.
The American-owned Cambodia Daily newspaper in its own article titled, "NDI Ordered to Halt Operations, Foreign Staff Face Expulsion," would note that:
The announcement comes less than a week after documents leaked on Facebook and circulated on government-affiliated media appeared to show political cooperation between NDI an...

17:19

Cambodia Exposes, Expels US Network "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

August 27, 2017 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - The government of Cambodia has exposed and expelled a US network attempting to interfere in the nation's political processes. The US National Democratic Institute (NDI) was reportedly ordered to end its activities in the country and remove all of its foreign staff.

Image: US Knows best. NDI "teaches" Cambodians how to run their nation.
Reuters in an article titled, "Cambodia orders U.S.-funded group to halt operations, remove staff," would claim:
In a statement, the foreign ministry accused the National Democratic Institute (NDI) of operating in Cambodia without registering, and said its foreign staff had seven days to leave. 

Authorities were "geared up to take the same measures" against other foreign NGOs which fail to comply with the law, the ministry added.
 The article also noted that:
Prime Minister Hun Sen, who has ruled Cambodia for more than three decades, on Tuesday ordered the English-language The Cambodia Daily newspaper to pay taxes accrued over the past decade or face closure. The paper was founded by an American. 

He also lashed out at the United States and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and accused them of funding groups attempting to overthrow his government.
The American-owned Cambodia Daily newspaper in its own article titled, "NDI Ordered to Halt Operations, Foreign Staff Face Expulsion," would note that:
The announcement comes less than a week after documents leaked on Facebook and circulated on government-affiliated media appeared to show political cooperation between NDI and...

16:26

Assam Minister Thanks Modi for Bihu-Themed Plane Though They Existed Well Before He Became PM "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

When Twitter users pointed out Himanta Biswa Sarmas mistake, he quickly replaced the caption on the image he had tweeted.

air india hemanta biswa sarma narendra modi

New Delhi: On Friday, Himanta Biswa Sarma, a minister in the BJP-led Assam government, tweeted a photo of an Air India plane thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi for restoring the pride of Assam.

Neglected over decades, @narendramodi ji @BJP4India have restored pride of Assam. Tail of @airindian plane portrays graceful Bihu dance, read his tweet.

The empennage of the plane in the photo had a depiction of Assams Bihu dance.

...

16:08

BJP Bhagao, Desh Bachao Rally: Is the Oppositions Show of Unity Too Little Too Late? "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

To make sure the unity at display in the anti-BJP rally lasts, the opposition has to first bury its myopic political interests and then re-imagine itself as a broader political alternative to the saffron partys agenda.

Mamata Banerjee (left) with Lalu Prasad Yadav (centre) and Akhilesh Yadav (right). Credit: PTI

New Delhi: The BJP Bhagao, Desh Bachao rally, called by the Lalu Prasad Yadav-led Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) in Patna on Sunday, had assumed great significance, especially after the Mahagathbandhan government in Bihar, comprising the RJD and Janata Dal (United), collapsed last month. Projected to showcase opposition strength in the face of that debacle, it was the first such gathering of various political parties and their supporters. The grand call to oust the BJP and save the country at a time when the saffron party is in power in all the north Indian states, except Himachal Pradesh, Delhi and Punjab, was not only viewed as gutsy but also one of the the first serious attempts to launch a full-scale spirited attack on the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), which has been profiting from a disarrayed opposition.

As news came in, the rally, in which thousands of people participated, was indeed a huge success. Joined by the Congress, Samajwadi Party (SP), Trinamool...

16:05

Gap between rich and poor widens in Afghanistan "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The gulf between rich and poor is most acutely apparent in terms of electricity. Most residents have no more than five hours of power every second night, if they are lucky. As temperatures plunge below zero, poor families huddle around wood stoves and make their way to bed by candlelight. In wealthy neighborhoods, diesel generators roar into action.

Speech of RAWA member on gril's education in Afghanistan in an International conference in Lahore "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

... In countries like Afghanistan, issues such as education can not be understood without taking into account the whole political system. But no doubt, the decades of war from 1979 through the present has badly affected the education sector and deprived a generation of the opportunity to be educated...

15:01

Mamata, Akhilesh, Sharad Yadav Take Centre Stage at Lalus Anti-BJP Rally in Bihar "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Launching a scathing attack at the newly-formed JD(U)-BJP government in Bihar, RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav claimed that the entire country will be united against such forces.

RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav with former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav during a rally BJP Bhagao, Desh Bachao at Gandhi Maidan in Patna on Sunday. Credit: PTI

Patna: In a display of opposition unity against the Bharatiya Janata Party, political heavyweights, including West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav, shared a platform at Lalu Prasads mega rally in Patna today.

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad has already said the BJP bhagao desh bachao rally would herald the decline of the BJP-led NDA in the 2019 Lok Sabha election.

Rebel Janata Dal (United) leader Sharad Yadav, who is staring at an expulsion from the party for defying orders of not to attend the rally, was greeted warmly by Prasad who embraced him on the dais.

Yadav was accompanied by suspended JD(U) Rajya Sabha MP Ali Anwar.

According to the Indian Express, criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Lalu Pras...

14:30

Cambodia Exposes, Expels US Network "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

US Knows best. NDI

US Knows best. NDI teaches Cambodians how to run their nation.

The government of Cambodia has exposed and expelled a US network attempting to interfere in the nations political processes. The US National Democratic Institute (NDI) was reportedly ordered to end its activities in the country and remove all of its foreign staff.

In a statement, the foreign ministry accused the National Democratic Institute (NDI) of operating in Cambodia without registering, and said its foreign staff had seven days to leave. Reuters in an article titled, Cambodia orders U.S.-funded group to halt operations, remove staff, would claim:


Authorities were geared up to take the same measures against other foreign NGOs which fail to comply with the law, the ministry added.

The article also noted that:

Prime Minister Hun Sen, who has ruled Cambodia for more than three decades, on Tuesday ordered the English-language The Cambodia Daily newspaper to pay taxes accrued over the past decade or face closure. The paper was founded by an American. 

He also lashed out at the United States and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and accused them of funding groups attempting to overthrow his government.

The American-owned Cambodia Daily newspaper in its own article titled, NDI Ordered to Halt Operations, Foreign Staff Face Expulsion, would note that:

The announcement comes less than a week after documents leaked on Facebook and circulated on government-affiliated media appeared to show political cooperation between NDI and the opposition party, amid increased tension in recent weeks between the government and U.S.-backed NGOs and media outlets. 

NDI could not immediately be reached for comment. 
...

14:30

Key Highlights of Justice Chandrachuds Judgment in the Right to Privacy Case "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The right to privacy judgment not only learns from the past but also sets the wheel of liberty and freedom for the future.

Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, while delivering the main judgment, on behalf of the Chief Justice J.S. Khehar, Justice R.K. Agarwal, himself and Justice S. Abdul Nazeer has held that privacy is intrinsic to life, liberty, freedom and dignity and therefore, is an inalienable natural right. Credit: PTI/Allahabad high court

The nine-judge bench of the Supreme Court has unanimously delivered its judgment in Justice K.S. Puttaswamy (Retd.) v. Union of India holding that privacy is a constitutionally protected right which not only emerges from the guarantee of life and personal liberty in Article 21 of the constitution, but also arises in varying contexts from the other facets of freedom and dignity recognised and guaranteed by the fundamental rights contained in Part III of the Indian constitution.

The bench has overruled its decisions in M.P. Sharma v Satish Chandra, District Magistrate, Delhi (1954), rendered by a bench of eight judges and, in Kharak Singh v State of Uttar Pradesh (1962), rendered by a bench of six judges, wh...

14:30

Its Time to Take the Nazi-Trump Comparisons Seriously "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Its important to recognise the dangerous mix of moral turpitude, dereliction of duty and incompetence in Donald J. Trumps presidency before we fall deeper into fascism and moral tragedy.

Neo-Nazis stand off with anti-racist protesters in Charlottesville. Credit: Flickr/Evan Nesterak

Neo-Nazis stand off with anti-racist protesters in Charlottesville. Credit: Flickr/Evan Nesterak

The slide towards bleak historical periods can be difficult to recognise in the moment often it only seems obvious in retrospect. But its hard to miss in the US in this early part of the 21st century.

Dangerous signs are everywhere. In the New YorkerRobin Wright writes of a coming Civil War. Holocaust survivors are issuing warnings about the similarities of this period to the rise of the Nazi era.

While no two events are the same, there are lessons and events in history that can be used to shine a light on the present. Those lights, if we choose to follow them, can guide us to avoid the tragic errors of the past.

The presidency of Donald J. Trump, hoisted on the shoulders of white supremacists, is a glaringly dangerous period for the US. Its important to recognise this dangerous mix of moral turpitude, dereliction of duty, and incompetence before we fall deepe...

14:05

BJP Bhagao, #DeshBachao: Lalu Prasad Yadav Tweets Morphed Image of Rally, Gets Called out on Twitter "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Left: Photo tweeted by RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav (Middle); Right: Photo clicked from the same angle by news agency ANI

Left: Photo tweeted by RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav (Middle); Right: Photo clicked from the same angle by news agency ANI

New Delhi: While trying to save India from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the opposition seems to have picked up a trick or two usually used by the Bharatiya Janata Party government.

In a display of opposition unity, political heavyweights, including West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, rebel JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav and Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav, joined Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav for a mega BJP Bhagao, Desh Bachao rally in Patna today.

While the mainstream media and Congress president Rahul Gandhi gave the rally a miss, the opposition was able to gather quite a crowd and create a buzz on social media.

As#DeshBachao started trending on the top position on Twitter, Yadav tweeted No Face will stand in front of Lalus Base. Come & Count as much as u can in Gandhi Maidan, Patna.

...

13:27

Violence by Dera Followers Expression of Natural Anger, Says Haryana Minister Manish Grover "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Grover, who holds various portfolios including urban local bodies, cooperation, printing and stationery, blamed the media for creating a sense of panic in the state.

BJP MLA and Haryana minister Manish Grover. Credit: Twitter

BJP MLA and Haryana minister Manish Grover. Credit: Twitter

New Delhi: A day after followers of Dera Sacha Sauda (DSS) chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh went on a rampage, following his conviction, Haryana minister and Bharatiya Janata Partys MLA from Rohtak, Manish Grover, said the violence was natural and it was an expression of their natural anger.

Grover told the Indian Express, When there is a crowd of 50,000-1 lakh and they have devotion towards Babaji, tab unmen ek natural gussa ata hai (they have a natural anger). Wo gussa aya (they got angry), it remained for an hour or two, but the government controlled that.

He went on to add that this was natural.

Grover, who holds various portfolios including urban local bodies, cooperation, printing and stationery, blamed the media for creating a sense of panic in the state.

Ever since it emerged that Babajis date (of judgment) was August 25, it was a topic of discussion in the st...

13:23

Forget Trump: Israels sordid history of supporting dictatorships "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Netanyahus silence in the face of the White Houses anti-Semitism should surprise no one. From Argentina to Rwanda, Israel has a sordid history of providing weapons and support to murderous dictatorships.

By Eitay Mack (translated by Ofer Neiman)

President Donald Trump walks alongside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a ceremony the president, as he arrives at Ben Gurion Airport, May 22, 2017. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

President Donald Trump walks alongside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a ceremony the president, as he arrives at Ben Gurion Airport, May 22, 2017. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

The Netanyahu government was silent in January when the Trump Administration omitted any reference to Jewish victims from its official statement on International Holocaust Remembrance Day. The Netanyahu government was silent in July when Trump chose to be the first U.S. president since the fall of the Communist regime in Poland, to...

13:15

The Possible Education of Donald Trump "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is ratcheting up war tensions in Syria again, but President Trump reportedly is not happy with the threats as he shifts again toward resisting the neocons, writes Robert Parry.

12:45

US Faces Erosion of Its Military Might "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis declared in June that he was shocked upon his return to the Pentagon by the poor state of the US military's readiness for combat. It was widely believed that the statement was just another attempt to convince lawmakers that the military needed more money. Perhaps, it was one of the reasons, but a series of accidents followed to confirm the fact that something is wrong in the state of Denmark. These are not the best days for the US military beset by problems. Some experts believe the United States is facing erosion of its military might.

11:45

Seth Rich, Conspiracy Theorists, and Russiagate "Truthers" "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Say that you want to discredit the idea that Vladimir Putins Russian spies hacked the Democratic National Committee last year and weaponized the data via WikiLeaks. (Leave out, for a moment, whether or not Donald Trumps campaign colluded with the Russians, though thats precisely what special counsel Robert Mueller and the FBI are trying to find out.) Youd need a counter-theory, right?//

10:45

Embracing a Multipolar World Order: How Rodrigo Duterte is Revolutionizing the Philippines "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

In a new global environment, centered on a multipolar world order, the Philippines offers a unique perspective for understanding the changes occurring in international relations.

10:16

UNICEF warns of continued threat facing women and children "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

March 21, 2006: UNICEF's Deputy Executive Director, Ms. Rima Salah, has warned of a continued threat facing Afghan women and children from high rates of child and maternal mortality, low levels of school enrolment and neglect of children's fundamental rights. Speaking at the start of a week-long visit to Afghanistan, Ms. Salah expressed concern at the health, education and protection status of children and women; an estimated 600 children under the age of five die every day in Afghanistan, mostly due to preventable illnesses, some 50 women die every day due to obstetric complications, less than half of primary school age girls attend classes, while a quarter of primary school age children undertake some form of work, and an estimated one-third of women are married before the age of 18.

Christian convert faces death penalty in Afghanistan "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

March 20, 2006: A man could be sentenced to death after being charged with converting from Islam to Christianity, a crime under Afghanistan's shariah laws, a judge said yesterday. The trial is thought to be the first of its kind in Afghanistan and highlights a struggle between religious conservatives and reformists over what shape Islam will take four years after the fall of the Taliban. Abdul Rahman, 41, was arrested last month after his family accused him of becoming a Christian, Judge Ansarullah Mawlavezada told Associated Press. The accused was charged with rejecting Islam.

Women rights situation in Afghanistan worries AIHRC "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

March 6, 2006: Afghanistan's Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) has voiced concern at the situation of women's rights in the country in 2005. In a report released here on Monday, the leading rights watchdog pointed out that self-immolation and forced marriage cases remained high and there was still a shortage of healthcare and education facilities for the other half.

The Northern Alliance may supply arms to Taliban "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Over the past few months, anti-government groups in the southern provinces have stepped up their attacks on Afghan army units and police as well as international military forces. Most officials and commentators, including President Hamid Karzai, have said the source of the violence is training camps and bases in Pakistan. However, a series of arms seizures in the north indicates that logistical support for the Taleban may be coming from an unlikely source: their former foes in the so-called Northern Alliance.

In Herat, curbs on sports perturb girl students "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Girl students in the western Herat province grumble in spite of their enthusiasm they are not allowed by school administrations to do take part in sports and recreational activities. As a result, they are left with no option but to join private sport clubs. But the director of the provincial education department says there is no hitch in female sports if Islamic veil (hejab) is observed and appropriate playgrounds are provided to schools.

RAWA Marks the International Womens Day "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

March 8, 2006 - Kabul: Over 1,200 women and men participated in an event organized by RAWA in Kabul to celebrate the International Womens Day. The participants included a 12-member delegation of RAWA Italian supporters and a large number of journalists and guests.

Let us rise united and resolute for liberation and against the fundamentalism! "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

RAWA statement on the International Womens Day, Mar 8, 2006: Another Eighth of March has arrived but still the Afghan women are hostage to the fundamentalists claws. The continuation of traitor-loving policies of Mr. Karzai and his sympathetic friends by the indication of US government is still like spears entering deeper and deeper into the injured face of our unfortunate people. Whenever the criminal Emirs and their commanders commit another heinous crime, instead of being sued, they are rewarded and receive higher posts.

Millions of dollars worth of aid money is being wasted "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Ashraf Ghani: "More than 90% of the more than $1bn that was spent on about 400 UN projects in Afghanistan in 2002 was a waste of money"

The Whole Justice System of Afghanistan is Rotten "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

But some Afghan officials worry privately that any change to the composition to the Supreme Court could upset the man who is seen as most responsible for selecting the nine current justices: former militia commander, and current parliamentarian Abdul Rab Rasool Sayyaf. Both Shinwari and his deputy chief justice, Abdul Malik Kamawi, have been members of Sayyaf's militia group, the Ittehad-I Islami, since the anti-Soviet resistance days of the 1980s.

Gunmen attack HBL car, decamp with $320,000 in Kabul "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Six armed men in police uniform attacked the HBL vehicle at the busy Sherpur roundabout in the center of the Kabul city.

Some cabinet ministers in Afghanistan are deeply implicated in the drugs trade "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Some cabinet ministers in Afghanistan are deeply implicated in the drugs trade and could be diverting foreign aid into trafficking, the country's anti-narcotics minister has said.

7-year-old Samia, victim of family violence in fundamentalists-dominated Afghanistan (Photos and movie clip) "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

7 years old Samia has a shocking story, she is one of tens of thousands of Afghanistans girls who fall victims of family violence in the male-chauvinistic society where fundamentalists promote and support dirty misogynistic customs.

Gulbar, an Afghan woman is burnt by her husband (Photos and movie clip) "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Gulbar was admitted to a local hospital in Badghis province in Northern Afghanistan in November 2005. She has been burnt by her husband.

10:09

A Giant Leap for Informational Privacy "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The courts judgment implies that the state will have to be cautious of its activities even before it begins implementing them. Projects or initiatives that involve collection of personal data would have to take into account explicit limitations on how such information can be used.

The recognition of a right to informational privacy cannot be understated in current times. Credit: Reuters

The recognition of a right to informational privacy cannot be understated in current times. Credit: Reuters

In a landmark decision on Thursday, a nine-judge bench of the Supreme Court unanimously held that privacy is a fundamental right. The recognition of privacy as an inherent facet of dignity, personal liberty and individual autonomy has anchored this highly contested right firmly within our constitutional scheme. The vigour with which the court has defended the right, and the clarity of its reasoning is likely to impact judicial decision making for a long time.

Beyond the meaningful addition to the right to choose and the right of self-determination of sexual minorities, the recognition of a right to informational privacy cannot be understated in current times. In an age where data is the new oil has now become a clich, its useful to see how Thursdays judgment bolsters our right to informational privacy. Importantly, the courts treatment of limitations or legitimate interference of the right to privacy must also be scrutinised to understan...

09:45

Chinese-Indians Interned After 1962 War Hold Demonstration in Canada; Want Indian Government to Apologise "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

On August 24, around 53 internees and their families held a peaceful demonstration before the Indian high commission in Ottawa, Canada and publicly shared memories of the camp for the first time.

Chinese-Indians at the peaceful demonstration in front of the Indian high commission in Ottawa, Canada. Credit: By special arrangement/AIDCI

New Delhi: For the first time in 55 years, Chinese-Indians who were interned in a camp in Deoli, Rajasthan for months and even years following the 1962 war, held a public demonstration before the Indian high commission in Canada this week to demand an apology.

At the start of the 1962 Sino-Indian war, almost entire Chinese-Indian communities in Assam and Bengal were uprooted and transferred in trains to Deoli. Leaving behind their homes and business built over generations, they were suddenly corralled into hutments which had once hosted prisoners of war during previous world wars.

They were told that their stay would be only for weeks, but it stretched for two to four years. Out of the 3000 Chinese-Indian families who were taken to the Deoli barracks, 26 did not leave alive.

Once released, most of them found that rebuilding their lives in India was difficult amidst hostility and suspicion. They scattered all over the world and prospered, but remained silent about their treatment for decades.


Also read: Silent for Decades, Chinese-Indians Inter...

09:07

Modi Condemns Violence in Haryana, Says Guilty Will Not Be Spared "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

In his monthly radio programme Mann Ki Baat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said everybody will have to bow before the law.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Credit: PTI

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today slammed the mayhem created by followers of self-styled godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim, saying violence in the name of faith wont be tolerated and asserted that the guilty would not be spared.

In his monthly radio programme Mann Ki Baat, Modi said everybody will have to bow before the law.

He said the constitution provides scope for redressal of all kinds of grievances.

At a time, when the country is in the mode of celebrating festivals, news of violence from any part is naturally a matter of concern, the prime minister said, clearly referring to the mayhem created by the followers of Ram Rahim, chief of Dera Sacha Sauda, in Haryana.

This is a country of Lord Buddha and Mahatma Gandhi. This is a country of Sardar Patel, who devoted his life for the unity, he said.

He went on to say that non-violence has been the foundation of the country for ages.

I had said it from the Red Fort (in Independence Day speech) that in the name of faith, violence will not be tolerated. Whether the faith is religious, political or in favour of a individual or a tradition, nobody has the right to take the law into his own hands in the name of faith, the prime minister declared.

I want to assure the country that no country, no government can tolerate anybody taking law into their hands, whether it is an individual or a group. Everybody will have to bow before the law. The law will determine accountability and the guilty will be p...

08:47

The Life of Labour: Workers in The IT Age, Manual Scavenging as Culpable Homicide "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The Life of Labour, a compilation of important labour developments from around the world, will be delivered to your inbox every Sunday at 10 am. Click here to subscribe.

Illustration by Aliza Bakht

Illustration by Aliza Bakht

The lives of the salt harvesters of Thoothukudi in a warming world

Kamala Thiagarajan, a journalist from Madurai, writes about the lives of salt pan workers in Thoothukudi and the occupational safety and health hazards they face in their daily lives.

Meenakshi, 58, and Mariamma, 45, have been working in the salt pans in varying capacities for 15 years. Their responsibilities involve releasing the borewell brine into the pans and to reinforce the mud borders of the salt pans when required. It involves staying alert and monitoring the density of the brine throughout the day. Their lives have always revolved around the temporary nature of these jobs. Which is why, during the unseasonal rains last year, they found themselves out of employment, bewildered and confused. Usually, this is the time of year when salt harvesting is at its peak.

When the work stopped, they found that no one else was...

08:10

If I Was Attorney General, I Would Have Said We Lost the Privacy Case: Mukul Rohatgi "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The eight-judge bench has been overruled and the Aadhaar issue has been left unresolved. So where is the question of winning?, former Attorney General Rohatgi said.

Former Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi. Credit: PTI

New Delhi: Former Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi has said he was surprised with the governments reaction on the Supreme Courts ruling on the right to privacy.

On August 24, a nine-judge bench of the Supreme Court ruled that Indians enjoy a fundamental right to privacy, that it is intrinsic to life and liberty and thus comes under Article 21 of the Indian constitution.

In an interview with the Indian Express, Rohatgi said, The government should not have diluted their stand in court because the inclusion or exclusion of fundamental rights is only the proviso of parliament Here, the judiciary is taking over the functions of the parliament and it is a very unsatisfactory resolution of the dispute.

He further said that if were still in the office as attorney general, he would have admitted that the government lost the case.

If I was there (as attorney general), I would have said we have lost the case. As lawyers, we are used to winning and losing cases. Because the fact is, we havent won this...

07:49

RAWA Child Sponsorship Program Expands in Afghanistan "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

April 9, 2006: RAWA is expanding its successful child sponsorship program in Afghanistan. As a result of world-wide support, RAWA has substantially increased the number of sponsored children in recent months and immediately needs to add space to house and educate more children.

Defense of Abdul Rahman Misses the Mark! "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

March 26, 2006: When Abdul Rahman, an Afghan Christian convert was arrested in Kabul, the U.S. and many other governments in the West seemed to wake up! Suddenly over this one man, there was an overwhelming --even global-- response to the fundamentalist Chief Justice Mullah Fazal Hadi Shinwari and the other mullahs surrounding him. Suddenly, all eyes in the Western World focused on single freedom while we are fighting for so much more. There are many others in our country that are not as lucky as Rahman to generate such global interest.

07:31

The Dark Price That a Seasnake Paid to Live in a Polluted World "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

This is the first and only evidence of a snake changing its colour in response to industrial contamination.

A black turtle-headed seasnake sloughing its skin. Credit: Claire Goiran

A black turtle-headed seasnake sloughing its skin. Credit: Claire Goiran

Animals do the most amazing things. Read about them in this series by Janaki Lenin.

Turtle-headed seasnakes (Emydocephalus annulatus) in polluted waters are changing colour. Creatures of the Indo-Pacific coast, they usually have high contrast black and white bands or blotches encircling their bodies from head to tail.

While snorkeling in the shallow Nouma lagoon of Grande Terre Island, New Caledonia, more than 1,000 km east of Australia, evolutionary biologist Rick Shine of the University of Sydney and his family observed unusually black turtle-headed seasnakes. Back then, in 2003, males, the smaller of the sexes, seemed more prone to melanism (80%) than females (54%). These waters are polluted by runoff from nickel mining, the largest employer in this French protectorate. Besides the bl...

07:06

What Do Bombs, Bibi, Bezos and Business Have in Common? "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Some people are constantly way out of line.

Some people are constantly way out of line.

From somewhere in deep space keen alien observers poke elbows and giggle over the state of humanity on Earth. One tiny nations hidden leadership pulling powerful titanium stings to cause ongoing crisis for billions of people, the idiocy of rule by the 0.1% must befuddle even big brained beings from Andromeda. ISIL, Putin the archvillain, Trump, a man nicknamed Bibi, George Soros and other evil oligarchs, will humankind ever break free?

I read this morning the headline from the Jerusalem Post Netanyahu to Warn Putin Not to Cross Red Lines and rolled my eyes. As a southern boy from Americas South, I could not help asking myself the question; How is it this tiny piss ant nation emerged to direct on the world stage? Looking at Israel from a rational point of view, is all the western worlds money, media, investment, and propaganda really that powerful? Clearly it is, for the rivers of blood and the blinding chaos coming out of the Middle East never seem to either stain or darken Zion. At the behest of the Israeli lobby, Russia gets rolled into a trio of enemies the US Congress and our president rubber stamped. Washington insiders tell me the AIPAC lobby twisted every arm on Capital Hill to sanction Russia, Iran, and North Korea in one fell swoop. But I ponder the inability of my fellow humans to spot the blatantly obvious. These wars and crises around the world serve only two purposes. First and foremost, profit buys the perpetrators political and economic leverage. Secondly, Israel (and a few other nations) strengthen their own validity and security, while undermining that of neighbors and adversaries.

Looking at defense spending and the coinciding profits since 9/11, its not difficult to make the connection in between profit and policy. Israel spending more of its GDP than almost any other nation in the world on defense also bears watching. The SIPRI Military Expenditure Database contains a wealth of data on military spending of countries for the period 19492016, and Israel is at the top of many categories. Factor in gifts from the United States, and the Zionists look more like a military junta than a democracy. Not only has Israel been one of the worlds top spen...

06:59

France Pledges Support to Stabilise Post-Islamic State Iraq "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian (R) and French Defence Minister Florence Parly (L) speak during a news conference in Baghdad, Iraq August 26, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Khalid al Mousily

Baghdad: France will help reconstruction and reconciliation efforts in Iraq as it emerges from a war against Islamic State, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Saturday after talks with Iraqi officials in Baghdad.

France is a main partner in the US-led coalition helping Baghdad fight the militants who seized parts of Iraq and Syria in 2014. The coalition provided key air and ground support to Iraqi forces in the nine-month campaign to take back Mosul, Islamic States capital in Iraq.

The citys fall in July effectively marked the end of the caliphate declared by Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi over parts of Iraq and Syria. Iraqi forces were close to taking back full control of ISs northweste...

06:53

Paul Ryan Says Trump Was Wrong to Pardon Controversial US Sheriff "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Donald Trump is joined onstage by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio (L) at a campaign rally in Marshalltown, Iowa January 26, 2016, after Arpaio endorsed Trumps cacndidacy. Credit: Reuters/Brian Snyder/File Photo

Washington: US President Donald Trump should not have pardoned a former Arizona sheriff who was convicted of criminal contempt in a case of racial profiling, the Republican speaker of the House of Representatives, Paul Ryan, said on Saturday.

Trump announced on Friday he was pardoning Joe Arpaio, an anti-immigration hardliner found guilty last month for flouting a 2011 court order that barred officers from detaining Latino motorists solely on the suspicion they were illegal immigrants.

Law-enforcement officials have a special responsibility to respect the rights of everyone in the United States. We should not allow anyone to believe that responsibility is diminished by this pardon, Ryan said in a statement.

The speaker does not agree with the decision,R...

06:48

UK Opposition Labour to Offer Alternative Soft Brexit in Policy Shift "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Britains opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn stands in the garden at the Olive Tree Cafe in Swindon, Britain August 11, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Peter Nicholls

Edinburgh: Britains main opposition Labour Party is announcing a policy shift which opens the possibility of the country remaining in the European Unions single market and customs union for several years as part of a soft Brexit, a spokesman said on Saturday.

The party would propose the same basic terms as Britains current relationship with the EU during a transition period following Brexit in 2019, and after that for all options to be open, said the Labour spokesman, who declined to be named.

He was confirming a report in Britains Guardian in which shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer backed continued membership of the EU single market beyond March 2019 in an attempt to offer a clear alternative to the Brexit currently proposed by Theresa Mays Conservative government.

After months of uncertainty and division on Labours position, this new offer is aimed at providing a springboard for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to potentially defe...

06:36

Looking at Ways to More Actively Support Indias NSG Bid: White House "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

A plenary meeting of the elite nuclear club in June failed to take a decision on Indias application for its membership, but decided to discuss in November the issue of entry of non-NPT signatories.

US President Donald Trump arrives for a joint news conference with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington. Credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

Washington: The US is looking at ways to more actively support Indias membership bid to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) as the Trump administration considers it a very important matter, a top White House official has said.

A plenary meeting of the elite nuclear club in June failed to take a decision on Indias application for its membership, but decided to discuss in November the issue of entry of non-NPT signatories.

China, a key member of the NSG, has been stridently opposing Indias bid primarily on the grounds that New Delhi is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Its opposition has made Indias entry into the 48-member group difficult as the NSG works on the principle of consensus.

...

04:30

Why Do People Go to the Dera? "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Apart from the mythic value and the personal charismatic appeal of the babas, deras in Punjab  also offer a sense of security to their followers.

 

Following of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, now convicted of rape, gathers in Panchkula before the court's decision was announced. Credit: PTI

Following of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, now convicted of rape, gathers in Panchkula before the courts decision was announced. Credit: PTI

Why do people go to the dera? Without undermining the spiritual value that a visit to a dera has for a devotee, some of the more mundane reasons too are by no means insignificant. The most frequently stated reason for going to the dera is the fact that it fulfils ones mannat, literally meaning a wish or desire. If you have pura vishwash (complete faith and trust), your wish will certainly be fulfilled. The most important of these mannats is the desire to have a male child. The patriarchal ethos of agrarian Punjab not only helps prenatal sex determination clinics to flourish, but also seems to sustain the babas and deras.

An equally important reason is the code of conduct that the gurus at deras insist upon for their followers, the most attractive of these being the insistence on giving up consumption of liquor and oth...

04:30

Hospitality Industry Must Woo the Parents of the Women It Hopes to Employ "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

There is high demand for skilled women in the hospitality trade, but women face stiff familial opposition, right from the moment they enroll in courses.

Swati Shinde, an assistant food production trainer at the Pace Hospitality Training Centre, teaches a class that at present has no women students. Swati was married soon after she completed grade VIII but she was soon back home with a newborn son and hasnt looked back. Today she earns enough for her mother to lead a retired life. Credit: IndiaSpend/Namita Bhandare

Swati Shinde, an assistant food production trainer at the Pace Hospitality Training Centre, teaches a class that at present has no women students. Swati was married soon after she completed grade eight but she was soon back home with a newborn son and hasnt looked back. Today she earns enough for her mother to lead a retired life. Credit: IndiaSpend/Namita Bhandare

Aurangabad: Banudas Sonawane is an angry man: Angry that his eldest daughter, a 19-year-old, joined a hospitality course without his permission. Angry that the girl, Anita, didnt call home often enough while she was at the two-month long residential course even though he had given her a paid up SIM card. Angry that the job she was offered after the course was, in his eyes, low in status. Angry that a government job did not come her way.

Most of all, Banudas is angry by an apparent correlation between girls who get jobs and love marriages.

Father of five girls and one boy (the youngest), Banudas drives a truck for a living and is pretty sure of what is going on in the country.

One of my relatives daughter got a job in the polic...

02:02

Special court for sexual crimes against children to be extended to Sarawak "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Minister of Women, Family and Community Development Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim hopes the special court for sexual crimes against children can be extended to Sarawak before end of this year. Lets pray that we will get it this year. I will push for it, she said when met by reporters at Parti Pesaka Bumiputera []

02:02

Najib: Malaysia will not become bankrupt with prudent financial management "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Malaysia will not become bankrupt, as frequently claimed by the Opposition, as the country adopts prudent financial management pratices, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak. He said Malaysia was on a very firm economic footing and was able to spearhead the countrys transformation which will greatly benefit the people. If there are people who []

02:02

Dayak party questions racial makeup of Petros board "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak Baru (PBDSB) is questioning the racial makeup of the board of directors of the newly formed oil and gas company Petroleum Sarawak Berhad or Petros. The party said there were many highly qualified Iban and Bidayuh holding various prominent positions in Sarawak Shell Berhad, and Petronas, reported the Borneo Post Online. []

02:02

Dayak NGOs want greater roles for Dayaks in O&G "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Local Dayak-based non-governmental organisations (NGOs) want to see members of the community play active roles in the oil and gas (O&G) industry through Petros. This was highlighted in a joint statement issued by Sarawak Dayak Graduates Association (SDGA), Dayak Think Tank Group (DTTG), Miri Unity Chapter (MUC), Aum Besai Dayak Selangor (ABDS), SMK Saratok Alumni []

02:02

Petronas raises payout to government as profit surges "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

State-owned energy firm Petroliam Nasional Bhd today raised its dividend payment commitment to the government after reporting that second-quarter profit quadrupled because of higher oil prices and improved margins. But Petronas, as the company is known, maintained a cautious outlook, saying its overall year-end performance is expected to be fair as oil price volatility continues. []

Education ministry reminds schools to verify textbooks obtained from private distributors "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The education ministry has reminded schools not to obtain educational materials from private distributors without verifying its contents with the ministry. Deputy minister Datuk Chong Sin Woon said the ministry never encouraged schools to simply obtain textbooks or workbooks from the private sector without checking the accuracy of the facts contained in the books. Our []

02:02

Kit Siang claims Pakatan can take Kelantan, Terengganu with Malay vote swing "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Pakatan Harapan (PH) can win the Kelantan and Terengganu state governments if it manages to obtain a 15 per cent swing in Malay votes towards its favour, DAPs parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang said today. In a statement, Lim said that such a swing would enable the four-party federal opposition coalition to form governments in []

02:02

State govt mulls tourism as agenda in MA63 discussion "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The state government is considering tourism as part of its agenda in the ongoing discussion with the federal government on devolution of state rights. According to Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, when the Malaysian Agreement 1963 (MA63) was signed, tourism was not listed under the federal constitution. It []

02:01

PKR, PAS to discuss the latters intention to contest 42 state seats in Selangor "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) will hold a discussion with Selangor PAS over the latters intention to contest 42 state seats in Selangor in the 14th general election (GE14). Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, who is also PKR deputy president, said the matter would be solved easily as PKR was open for discussion with []

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