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Sunday, 30 December 2012

Police, army turn terror on Jaffna University students


Police, army turn terror on Jaffna University students

11/29/2012 Students wearing black bands were staging the protest rally opposite the university main entrance around 11 am when hundreds of police and military personnel attacked them with poles, wires and cables, seriously wounding at least seven of them.
Two Jaffna journalists who were covering the rally were also attacked, while four students were taken into to military custody during the clash.

Academic sources of the Jaffna University told the JDS that the students were “engaged in a peaceful rally to protest the military raid on the ladies hostels on Heores’ Day when the police, military and state intelligence officials unleashed their terror campaign opposite the University entrance”.

“The soldiers involved in the hostel raid on Tuesday were intimidating our students and at lease two female hostel inmates were threatened at gun-point not to commemorate the Heroes’ Day. That’s why our students organised this peaceful protest to condemn their act of terror,” he told JDS over the phone from the University complex.

'A retaliation for remembering'

“The soldiers were angry that students have somehow commemorated their heroes and lit the commemoration lamp despite many threats and intimidation. Today’s attack was nothing but a violent retaliation on the students for remembering their own sisters and brothers. This simply shows that we don’t have freedom even to cry silently in the North-East,” he said on condition of anonymity.

Meanwhile, Editor of the Jaffna Uthayan newspaper J. Premananth and Jaffna district MP E. Saravanabavan were attacked by the military intelligence personnel on Tuesday while covering the military raid on the university hostels on Tuesday. Speaking to press in Jaffna he confirmed that they were attacked by military intelligence personnel.
Read more »

Casting doubts: Afghan Taliban reject Kabul Ulema moot


Casting doubts: Afghan Taliban reject Kabul Ulema moot

The Afghan Taliban have rejected an upcoming conference of religious scholars, proposed during the Afghan peace envoy’s Islamabad visit last month, maintaining it was nothing short of ‘clear American intrigue’.
“While it appears that this gathering has been convened by the Kabul administration, the real players behind it are the Americans,” read a Taliban policy statement on Thursday.
“They want to survey Afghan religious scholars’ opinion regarding the 11-year jihad,” the statement maintained, adding, “This is clear American intrigue… they want to use the Ulema to clear their own ‘black picture’ and at the same time create mistrust among Mujahidin, paving a way for the US to perpetually control Afghanistan.”
The Taliban urged all religious scholars across the world, particularly those from Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, to boycott what they termed a ‘fraudulent gathering’.
“Participation in this gathering at a time of defeat shows not only your (Ulema’s) support for the US, but also your unfaithfulness towards the Mujahidin, who are your spiritual offspring… You are intellectually and religiously obligated to support your Mujahidin brothers, who follow the footsteps of the companions of the Holy Prophet (pbuh),” the statement said, while addressing the Ulema.

While the Afghan government has started preparations for the conference, the Taliban’s statement raises concerns regarding the attendance of Pakistani religious scholars.
In a veiled reference to the Afghan Taliban, Maulana Samiul Haq, chief of his own faction of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-S), said the ‘main part to the conflict’ should also be invited to the conference.
“There are many Ulema in Afghanistan… If you invite scholars from the whole world but do not accommodate the Afghan Ulema’s opinion, then the conference will not produce any result,” Haq said while talking to The Express Tribune. He stressed, however, that religious scholars can play an important role in resolving the Afghan problem.
According to Afghan sources, a delegation of Afghan religious scholars is scheduled to visit Pakistan for a meeting with their Pakistani counterparts to extend an invitation to the conference and discuss other matters. They added the visit will be announced once Islamabad gives it a green signal.
Meanwhile, the Afghan ambassador in Islamabad, Umar Daudzai, recently met Maulana Fazlur Rehman, the chief of his own faction of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) to discuss the conference, a JUI-F leader told The Express Tribune. According to him, Rehman told the envoy that he would discuss the subject with his party. The JUI-F chief is believed to weild considerable influence on the Afghan Taliban.
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Pakistan puts MFN status for India on backburner


Pakistan puts MFN status for India on backburner

Pakistan is set to miss the target of granting India the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status by December 31, 2012 due to vested interests, officials alleged.
The next possible cabinet meeting will be held on January 2, 2013 and the issue of granting MFN status to India is not on the agenda, the officials conceded. They further added that Pakistan has also missed the deadline of December 15, 2012 to abolish the negative list.

However, officials believe that right wing groups, backed by the agriculturist lobby, were opposing the MFN status to India. If the process is delayed by another month, there was delay of another six months due to elections and the settling down of the new government, the officials added.

As the year end nears, right wing groups have spearheaded their campaign against granting MFN status to India, and foremost among them is the Jamaatud Dawa. The leaders of this are holding protest rallies and issuing statements almost daily across the country, maintaining that ‘granting MFN status to India was not beneficial for Pakistan’. Their concerns are related to religious differences and strategic issues between the two countries.

Pakistan announced in October 2011 that it will grant MFN status to India from January 1, 2013. Meanwhile, trade relations improved significantly between the two countries.

India had granted MFN status to Pakistan in 1996. However, non- tariff barriers remained intact on exports from Pakistan and both sides did not make much of progress towards trade liberalisation.

While all mainstream political parties are on board for enhanced and free trade with India, incidentally the move to delay granting MFN status to India is being spearheaded by the parliamentarians belonging to the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).

“Now when everything was in place for final approval, Senator Sughra Imam and MNA Noor Alam Khan both belonging to PPP have approached the top leadership of the country to delay the process,” said a senior commerce ministry official.

The agriculturalists have complained that after granting MFN status to India the local markets would be flooded with Indian goods which are cheap because of low input cost in India.

Meanwhile, experts and independent analysts have discounted concerns by both groups on the grounds that most matters have already been discussed during the past 2-3 years and also resulted in a relaxed visa regime between the two countries.

“The agriculturalists and right wingers are not being realistic – free trade is a reality of coming years,” said Dr Abid Sulehri, Executive Director, Sustainable Development Institute of Pakistan (SDIP).

He said that if Pakistan can survive after signing free trade agreement with China, than there is nothing to fear. Regarding the concerns of the right wing, he said: “They are in small numbers and have their own point of view which should not influence trade and commerce.”

However, the business community has reacted sharply to the visible delay and expressed concern.

“We have been working for more than two years continuously over the matter and huge investments have been made by both the countries in this regard – the delay is like falling back on the commitment,” said Iftikhar A Malik, Vice President Saarc Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

While objections raised by right wing groups are beyond its reach, the commerce ministry is holding meetings with the stakeholders in order to woo the agriculturalists.

“They are asking for more subsidies to make the sector competitive with India,” said Secretary Commerce Munir Qureshi.

“But we need to assess it thoroughly as there are three main branches of agriculture sector – fresh fruits and vegetables, commodities and the dairy,” he added.

It is important to note that the MFN status is to be granted by the Cabinet – the approval would be vetted by the law ministry and finally the commerce ministry will notify India in this regard.
Read more »

Saturday, 15 December 2012

India, Lanka, Maldives to cooperate on maritime security



India, Lanka, Maldives to cooperate on maritime security

India, Sri Lanka and Maldives will soon sign a trilateral agreement on maritime cooperation to pool resources and share data in the region for better control over the territorial waters, and detect suspicious movements.
Revealing this at the maritime security seminar, Galle Dialogue, here, Sri Lankan Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa said that Sri Lanka, India and the Maldives have recently been working on a trilateral agreement for cooperation in carrying out surveillance, anti piracy operations and in curbing illegal activities including maritime pollution. A key aspect of information sharing is Maritime Domain Awareness.

“Meetings have already been held at the Ministerial level and at the technical level, and we hope that the Memorandum of Understanding with regard to the trilateral cooperation between our nations will be signed in the near future. I am confident that multilateral agreements of this nature will be greatly instrumental in curbing many of the issues that the naval powers in the region face,” he said.

Noting that nearly half of the world's containerised cargo crosses the Indian Ocean every year, Mr.Gotabaya wanted better cooperation between the bigger and smaller navies in the region. “Unfortunately, it has to be admitted that there is a degree of mistrust between the major powers in the Indian Ocean region that presently limits the degree to which effective and long lasting multilateral cooperation can be achieved,” he said.

Detailing the Indian efforts in the region, Vice Chief of Naval Staff, R.K.Dhowan pointed out that piracy emanating from Somalia has been confined to an area of 700 nautical miles, largely due to effective patrolling and cooperation between navies. India too had contributed significantly to this effort, and had so far repulsed 40 pirate attacks. In addition, India had also agreements with Royal Thai and Indonesian naval forces to conduct coordinated patrolling in the east, around the region of the Malacca Straits.

India steps up presence in region

Meanwhile, in an effort to ensure better coordination and shorten response timings during a crisis, India has posted a Military Attache (MA) in the Maldives. So far, the MA based in Sri Lanka, was also in charge of Maldives. Captain RS Sunil, who was based at the Eastern Naval Command Headquarters at Visakhapatnam, took charge as MA last week at Male and is the first MA to be based in Maldives. India trains the Maldivian National Defence Forces and its police.

Only five countries – India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and China – have diplomatic posts in Maldives. All the other countries either operate out of Colombo or New Delhi.
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Sunday, 4 November 2012

Balochistan unrest: FC police powers mandate gets one-month extension


Balochistan unrest: FC police powers mandate gets one-month extension

Have conducted 26 operations, arrested many and recovered ammunition during two months, says IGFC.
QUETTA: The mandate for exercising police powers conferred upon the Frontier Corps (FC) for restoring law and order in Quetta was extended for one more month on Saturday, Express News reported.
Inspector General (IG) FC Major Gen Ubaidullah Khan said on the occasion that the FC had conducted 26 operations within the timeframe against terrorists and criminals.
He said that in these operations, they had managed to arrest many terrorists and criminals and had also recovered a great amount of arms, ammunition and explosives.
The Balochistan government had given this mandate two months ago and Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani had been directed by an apex committee to extend it for another two months.
The cabinet, however, had failed to do so despite instructions as Raisani did not bring up the issue before cabinet members and left the meeting due to low blood pressure.
Read more »

Establishment destabilising Balochistan govt: Lashkari Raisan


Establishment destabilising Balochistan govt: Lashkari Raisan

Claims ground is being cleared for favourites in the future government. PHOTO: ONLINE/FILE
ISLAMABAD: 
Baloch leader Nawabzada Lashkari Raisani has said the establishment is actively destabilising Balochistan’s provincial government.
Talking to The Express Tribune on Saturday, he said political and constitutional turmoil in the province has been engineered by anti-democratic forces to create an administrative and political vacuum which their own ‘cronies’ can fill.
Lashkari, who resigned as PPP’s Balochistan chapter president and from his Senate seat in protest a few months ago, said the establishment had always played a negative role in Balochistan. In the past, he has also been very critical of the government and security agencies over the missing persons issue.
“The establishment plays a positive role in the affairs of every country in the world, but it is highly unfortunate that its role in our country has always been negative,” he maintained. Lashkari added that the character assassination of politicians was part of the dirty game it was playing in Balochistan.
Referring to Balochistan Assembly speaker Muhammad Aslam Bhootani’s purported refusal to convene an assembly session, he said the move was nothing more than a ploy to create more political and constitutional chaos in the province. He claimed the Supreme Court’s recent judgments on the province’s law and order situation and Asghar Khan’s petition also added to the prevailing pandemonium.
“I fail to understand the justification for further aggravating the current situation when general elections are about to take place,” he said, adding “it appears as if the ground is being prepared for those who will be toeing the establishment’s line in the future government.” Without naming Balochistan Governor Nawab Zulfikar Ali Magsi, Lashkari claimed the former was behind all plots against his brother Nawab Aslam Raisani. Lashkari also blamed provincial assembly speaker Bhootani and PPP Balochistan president Sadiq Umrani for collaborating with the governor.
When asked who he thought was behind conspiracies in Balochistan, he replied, “You should ask the governor.”
“These people have always been in power and know how to appease the establishment,” he said referring to the governor and provincial assembly speaker.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 4th, 2012.
Read more »

Balochistan unrest: Experts see Indian policy endorsement as a cover-up


Balochistan unrest: Experts see Indian policy endorsement as a cover-up

Govt lauds New Delhi’s support for democratic institutions in some insurgency-hit states. PHOTO: INP/FILE
ISLAMABAD: 
Pakistan’s rare endorsement of the Indian approach to tackling insurgency in some of its states is a pretext to intensify operations against Baloch nationalists, say experts.
In a statement earlier the interior ministry lauded India’s policy of allowing democratic institutions to thrive unhindered in Assam, East Punjab, Mizoram and Kashmir as a measure to counter armed insurgency in these states.
It was claimed that the government’s stance of appraising Indian strategy, which comes out as a commitment to democracy, is actually a path to avoid condemnation for various human rights issues surfacing in a province plagued by a deplorable law and order crises since years. “This is the first time they [the government] have publicly praised the Indian pattern, because it provides them a perfect cover-up for mala fide intentions and actions,” says political analyst Muhammad Ali Talpur.
This ‘new turn’ will allow operation against Baloch rights groups to intensify, Talpur said.
Former lawmaker Lashkari Raisani said that a “great game” was being played by law enforcement agencies in volatile areas of the province. “Sanctioning India’s approach is indicative of the government’s weakness,” said Raisani, who had left the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party to protest the government’s failure to quell unrest in the province.
“There is no coordination between the military establishment and the civilian government to resolve the issue in the province. How can you resolve the issue when almost all committees constituted by the government have failed to convene a single meeting?” asked Raisani. He had earlier called for a grand political alliance for setting up a new democratic order in Balochistan for the coming elections.
Involvement of foreign hands in Balochistan unrest, if any, should also be exposed by the government, he added.
Rule of law
The President of Balochistan High Court Bar Association, Zahoor Ahmed Shahwani, said that the apex court made it clear that the provincial authorities have failed to restore peace in the province and it’s now the centre’s responsibility to take up the issue immediately. “People don’t trust the provincial government now. Therefore they vest greater faith in the implementation of the law, which of course, will come through the Supreme Court,” said Shahwani, who is a petitioner in the Balochistan law and order case in the apex court.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 4th, 2012.
Read more »

Nepal bans one-day trip to Khasa upon Chinese request

From 4 to 25 November entry of air is also prohibited in China.

Nepal bans one-day trip to Khasa upon Chinese request
Nepali authorities banned one-day trip to Khasa, small Tibetan bazaar bordering Sindhupalchowk district, in view of Chinese Communist Party's 18th congress starting from November 8.
Chinese authority had been issuing one-day permit to Nepali travelers visiting Khasa.
"We have prohibited one-day trip to Khasa effective from November 4 to 25 upon the request of Chinese authority," Sindhupalchok DSP Pratap Gurung told Kathmandu-based Ujyalo FM. However, entry to Khasa for passport holders will remain open.
The five-yearly meeting of the Chinese Communist Party is the most important political event in China where some 2,270 delegates will choose a new 350-strong Central Committee to make party policy decisions for the next five years.
Read more »

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Beijing clamps down on taxis and model aircraft in run-up to 18th Party Congress.


Beijing clamps down on taxis and model aircraft in run-up to 18th Party Congress.

The Communist Party is under pressure, and it is determined that nothing can be allowed to spoil a smoothly running 18th Party Congress in Beijing.

Beijing clamps down on taxis and model aircraft in run-up to 18th Party Congress.
A window handle on the door at the back seat is seen removed in a taxi in Beijing  Photo: AP
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Officials interact with Web users


Officials interact with Web users


Senior Party officials stressed that they should be devoted to workeliminate privileges and getalong with residents on the micro-blogging stagein online messages to the upcoming 18thNational Congress of the Communist Party of Chinascheduled to open on Thursday.
CurrentlyParty chiefs of three provinces and a municipality in the country have posted on SinaWeiboChina's largest Twitter-like serviceoffering their best wishes to the globally watchedcongress.
Yu Zhengshengsecretary of the Shanghai Municipal Committee of the CPCshowed hisunderstanding of power and responsibility in words to micro-bloggers on Thursday.
"It is the responsibilityinstead of the powerthat the official position gives to us," said Yualsoa member of the Party's top leadership. "We're not specialWe cannot be above the law."
He added that assuming the responsibility of serving the people is the key of an official's work.
Yu has gone online to speak to the public several times before.
Zhang Qinglisecretary of the Hebei Provincial Committee of the CPCsaid in an online blogthat it is urgent for officials to be energetic and dive into their work.
"We should provide a chance for people who have a desire to worka stage for people withworking capabilitiesand important posts for those who have had achievements before," hesaid.
"What we should do is to encourage diligent officialscriticize the ones who can only deliver lipserviceand deal with those who create disorder on our teamWe cannot arrange idle positionsand feed idlers," he said. "The key is to implement what we say in conferences and write ondocuments."
Zhang Baoshunsecretary of the Anhui Provincial Committee of the CPCalso spoke to thepublic through the platformsaying officials at all levels should be modest and close to thepublic.
"Our posts and power are not for showing off," he said. "We'd better have more closeness toresidents and avoid bureaucracy."
As for fact-finding trips to grassroots areashigh-level officials should not ask people toaccompany themhe said. "Insteadwe should dispense with all unnecessary formalitiesandnot burden and disturb local people."
Although many Chinese officials and governmental departments began to use micro blogs tointeract with netizens two years ago, "it is only now that so many high-level officials interact withWeb users via a popular online platform", said Zhou Xiaopengdeputy editor-in-chief of theonline giant Sina.
He said on Friday that they planned the project since September and will invite more provincialofficials to share ideas during the congress.
"It's good timingbecause it's the year of the leadership reshuffling," he said.
It is rare to see officials at the provincial level to open micro-blogging accounts in their officialcapacity nowhe said.
In March 2011, Zhang Chunxianthe Party secretary of Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygurautonomous regionopened his micro blog account with his real identityarousing the public'sattention at that time.
Hu Mina researcher at the Chinese Academy of Governancewelcomed high-ranking officialsto present their opinions onlineand said it is also a challenge for them.
"With the fast development of the new mediaofficials have to learn how to work online andinteract with netizensOtherwisethey can't keep up with the public's ideas and thoughts," hesaid.
HoweverShan Xueganga researcher at the website of People's Dailysaid that making theofficialswork better and solving real problems of netizens after online talks are more important.
"Speaking online is the first stepbut dealing with issues practically and effectively is the key,"he added.
Many netizens also said that they will pay more attention on the effect of the officialsvoicesinstead of the speaking itself.

Senior Party officials stressed that they should be devoted to workeliminate privileges and getalong with residents on the micro-blogging stagein online messages to the upcoming 18thNational Congress of the Communist Party of Chinascheduled to open on Thursday.
CurrentlyParty chiefs of three provinces and a municipality in the country have posted on SinaWeiboChina's largest Twitter-like serviceoffering their best wishes to the globally watchedcongress.
Yu Zhengshengsecretary of the Shanghai Municipal Committee of the CPCshowed hisunderstanding of power and responsibility in words to micro-bloggers on Thursday.
"It is the responsibilityinstead of the powerthat the official position gives to us," said Yualsoa member of the Party's top leadership. "We're not specialWe cannot be above the law."
He added that assuming the responsibility of serving the people is the key of an official's work.
Yu has gone online to speak to the public several times before.
Zhang Qinglisecretary of the Hebei Provincial Committee of the CPCsaid in an online blogthat it is urgent for officials to be energetic and dive into their work.
"We should provide a chance for people who have a desire to worka stage for people withworking capabilitiesand important posts for those who have had achievements before," hesaid.
"What we should do is to encourage diligent officialscriticize the ones who can only deliver lipserviceand deal with those who create disorder on our teamWe cannot arrange idle positionsand feed idlers," he said. "The key is to implement what we say in conferences and write ondocuments."
Zhang Baoshunsecretary of the Anhui Provincial Committee of the CPCalso spoke to thepublic through the platformsaying officials at all levels should be modest and close to thepublic.
"Our posts and power are not for showing off," he said. "We'd better have more closeness toresidents and avoid bureaucracy."
As for fact-finding trips to grassroots areashigh-level officials should not ask people toaccompany themhe said. "Insteadwe should dispense with all unnecessary formalitiesandnot burden and disturb local people."
Although many Chinese officials and governmental departments began to use micro blogs tointeract with netizens two years ago, "it is only now that so many high-level officials interact withWeb users via a popular online platform", said Zhou Xiaopengdeputy editor-in-chief of theonline giant Sina.
He said on Friday that they planned the project since September and will invite more provincialofficials to share ideas during the congress.
"It's good timingbecause it's the year of the leadership reshuffling," he said.
It is rare to see officials at the provincial level to open micro-blogging accounts in their officialcapacity nowhe said.
In March 2011, Zhang Chunxianthe Party secretary of Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygurautonomous regionopened his micro blog account with his real identityarousing the public'sattention at that time.
Hu Mina researcher at the Chinese Academy of Governancewelcomed high-ranking officialsto present their opinions onlineand said it is also a challenge for them.
"With the fast development of the new mediaofficials have to learn how to work online andinteract with netizensOtherwisethey can't keep up with the public's ideas and thoughts," hesaid.
HoweverShan Xueganga researcher at the website of People's Dailysaid that making theofficialswork better and solving real problems of netizens after online talks are more important.
"Speaking online is the first stepbut dealing with issues practically and effectively is the key,"he added.
Many netizens also said that they will pay more attention on the effect of the officialsvoicesinstead of the speaking itself.
Read more »

CPC Congress matters to China, the world as well

CPC Congress matters to China, the world as well
BEIJING - The upcoming 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) has drawn wide attention both in China and overseas, as the outcomes of the congress will influence matters around the globe.
The growing influence of the national congress is evidenced by the number of reporters registered for the congress. An official in charge of the media center for the congress said Thursday that the number saw a remarkable increase from the previous congress and it was still growing.
In 2007 a total of 1,135 journalists from 55 countries and 310 media organizations covered the 17th CPC National Congress, compared to 859 journalists who turned out for the 16th CPC National Congress in 2002.
The upcoming congress is expected to make strategic arrangements for the overall advancement of China's reform and opening up, the country's socialist modernization drive and the overall advancement of the new grand project of the Party building.
A new CPC Central Committee and a new Central Commission for Discipline Inspection will be elected at the national congress.
In a time of economic globalization and political multi-polarization, countries around the world have linked up, and changes in one country can quickly influence others, especially for a major power like China.
As China has become the world's second-largest economy, a major engine for global economic development and a powerhouse among newly emerging markets, a congress that can decide the future of the world's most populous country should, of course, matter to the rest of the world.
Over past decades, the country has made significant achievements, but it continues to face a series of challenges that can only be addressed through further reforms. The upcoming congress will be convened under such circumstances.
Despite some twists and turns since the 2008 global financial crisis, the Chinese economy has kept growing amid the country's massive stimulus plan. Recent economic statistics show that China's economy has stabilized, as observers believed it would, while the world continues to grapple with the eurozone financial crisis.
China's economic performance in the future will, to some extent, depend on what guidelines the congress will adopt, and this will have a direct impact on world economy.
Problems have emerged in the country's economic development, including unreasonable energy consumption and environmental pollution, causing some to doubt whether the world can survive a China living an American lifestyle.
In a bid to address this issue, China has implemented the scientific outlook on development and is seeking to build a conservation culture. What China will do in this regard is far more than a domestic issue.
China's political development and foreign policy in the following years are also hot topics for world media.
The CPC has a thorough understanding of the experiences it has gained over past decades and the challenges it is currently facing, but there is ample evidence showing that China will make new achievements under the leadership of the CPC after its national congress.
Read more »

Beijing stalled on top of traffic jam list


Beijing stalled on top of traffic jam list


If you want to be on time for an important meeting or a date in a crowded city like Beijing, it's wise to leave home early.
But just how much time do you need to set aside for traffic congestion?
On Wednesday, the sustainable development strategy research group under the Chinese Academy of Sciences published China's New-Urbanization Report 2012, the fourth annual report focusing on development strategies amid the country's fast urbanization.
In the previous report, researchers used mathematical models to figure out the average time people spend going from home to their workplaces.
Beijing stalled on top of traffic jam list
Passengers transfer between subway lines at Huixinxijie Nankou station in Beijing in the evening rush hour on Wednesday. Kuang Linhua / China Daily
But the report immediately triggered controversy because researchers did not count the time spent in traffic congestion. Instead, they were mainly concerned with the distances between residential regions and business regions, and the transportation tools people choose.
This time, the report listed anticipated travel time and actual time spent, and ranked cities accordingly.
Average time wasted in traffic by a passenger in one day is 14 minutes in Beijing, 13 minutes in Tangshan and 12 minutes in Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Shenyang, Taiyuan and Shijiazhuang, putting these cities at the top of the ranking.
"Traffic congestion in peak hours is a kind of urban disease - as cities expand and people gather into cities, there are serious problems we are facing," said Niu Wenyuan, chief scientist and leader of the sustainable development strategy research group under the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
"The cost of traffic congestion is huge. We surveyed the top 15 densely populated cities in China, and found that the time spent in traffic congestion each day in these cities could have been used elsewhere to create 1 billion yuan ($160 million) of wealth," Niu said.
In Shanghai, the actual commuting time is 47 minutes on average, with 11 minutes wasted in traffic jams.
"I think the actual time spent going to work, unless you take the subway, could be at least one hour," said Chen Meng, 30, a Shanghai resident.
"But congestion depends on the direction you are going - if you head north during the morning peak hours, there will be less of a traffic jam than the opposite direction.
"So I think 11 minutes are just a reference, you have to plan your own time according to the distance and direction of your trip," Chen said.
On Oct 15, the Beijing Municipal Commission of Transport reported that the traffic congestion index for September rose 10.3 percent over the same period last year.
Each car in Beijing is banned from traveling inside the Fifth Ring Road on one weekday, depending on the last digit of its license plate.
The commission is now considering restricting 50 percent of cars from the road, which triggered heated debate.
"Traffic control has already brought inconvenience to people, and it is ridiculous that the government wants to increase the inconvenience further," said Zhao Xiaotong, 22, from Beijing.
"If public transportation is convenient enough, people will stop driving cars immediately," she said.
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Two Chinese nationals detained in Nepal


Two Chinese nationals detained in Nepal


KATHMANDU - Nepal Police on Friday detained two Chinese nationals on charge of possessingexcessive amount of China's currency Yuan.
Yo Linglin and Yong Yang were held at Dolalghat--a town close to Chinese border  alongArniko Highway that connects Kathmandu with its northern neighbor when they were headingtowards Khasaa Chinese market bordering Nepalpolice said.
Both were carrying the Chinese currency worth more than $6,000 and they  have been taken toDepartment of Revenue Investigation (DRIfor further questioning,  Kavre District Police Officesaid.  
"Two Chinese nationals have been detained for interrogation after they were found possessing37,600 Yuan in cash," Tilak Bahadur Karki of the DRI told Xinhua over  telephone. "A probeinto the matter has been initiated," he said.
Under Foreign Exchange Regulation Act of Nepalforeigners must declare if they were carryingmoney exceeding $2,000 to and from NepalThose failing to do so may have to go throughinterrogation for further legal actions.
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Pakistan, China to close ranks to face challenges: Chinese FM

The response diplomacy did not drive long distance . First China fix their dialogue in Eastern Hind Mahasagar (Ocean). 

Pakistan, China to close ranks to face challenges: Chinese FM

Pakistan and China have successfully completed the 5th round of strategic dialogue here on Friday.Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani represented Pakistan while Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying held dialogue on behalf of China.
This was stated in a report in a Pakistani daily newspaper. While warmly greeting the Foreign Secretary to Beijing, Vice Foreign Minister Fu said the latest round of the strategic dialogue would further strengthen the “all-weather Pakistan-China partnership”. She said that the complex international environment necessitated deeper cooperation between the two countries.

Foreign Secretary Jilani said that the strategic dialogue was the most important interaction between the two countries.He said maintaining strong strategic cooperation with China was the cornerstone of Pakistan’s foreign policy.

The Foreign Secretary agreed with Vice Foreign Minister Fu that the two countries needed to close ranks to face the extraordinary global and regional challenges. Vice Foreign Minister Fu said China and Pakistan shared the same concerns on a host of regional and global issues, ranging from the question of UN Security Council reforms to the crisis in the Middle East.

Both countries were united in their desire to see peace and stability restored to Afghanistan.

China appreciated Pakistan’s vital role in the global war on terrorism and urged the international community to recognize Pakistan’s contribution and sacrifices in this struggle.

She thanked Pakistan for its unwavering support on issues that related to China’s core interests, including Taiwan, Tibet and Xinjiang. The Foreign Secretary pointed out that the two countries indeed enjoyed complete convergence of views on all important regional and global issues. He said that Pakistan regarded any threat to China’s interests as a threat to its own interests. Pakistan supported China’s efforts to resolve the South China Sea issue through peaceful means and diplomacy.

Foreign Secretary Jilani appreciated China’s firm and forthright support for Pakistan’s efforts for safeguarding its sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity. He said Pakistan was looking forward to working with China and the Afghan government to push forward the political reconciliation process in Afghanistan. The Foreign Secretary also expressed Pakistan’s appreciation for China’s consistent support for major infrastructure and development projects in Pakistan.

Foreign Secretary Jilani also asked Vice Foreign Minister Fu to convey the president’s and the prime minister’s best wishes to the Chinese leadership ahead of the upcoming 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China. The two leaders later conducted a comprehensive review of the bilateral and multilateral cooperation between the two neighbours and close allies.
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Wednesday, 31 October 2012

3,000 Muslims stranded as Bangladesh turns away refugees fleeing Burma unrest


3,000 Muslims stranded as Bangladesh turns away refugees fleeing Burma unrest

Thousands of Burmese Muslims fleeing deadly attacks on their homes were stranded in the Bay of Bengal after Bangladesh barred their entry to the country over fears many of them are illegal immigrants.  80 per cent were found to be trafficked people and only 20 per cent genuine refugees fleeing violence.
As many as 3,000 Rohingya Muslims were reported to be waiting off the coast of Cox's Bazaar in Bangladesh in around 50 boats after fleeing attacks by Buddhists in Burma's Rakhine state. According to official reports, 84 people have been killed and more than 28,000 displaced in a wave of attacks in which hundreds of homes have been torched.

Several thousand Rohingya - one of the world's most persecuted minorities - fled to a mountainside to escape the violence while thousands more took to boats heading for the state capital Sittwe and to Bangladesh.

Last night (MON) senior Bangladeshi officials said while they sympathized with the Rohingya's plight in the current communal violence, they believe many of those heading for its coast are not genuine refugees but migrants being smuggled in by human traffickers.

Of the 800-1000 "Rohingya" who arrived in Bangladesh by boat in June, when just under 100 were killed in the first wave of attacks, 80 per cent were found to be trafficked people and only 20 per cent genuine refugees fleeing violence, said senior Ministry of Foreign Affairs official Saida Muna Tasneem.

No groups of boats had yet arrived from Burma, she said, but Bangladesh is "not looking forward to more illegal people coming from Myanmar (Burma)."
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"80 per cent were part of regular human trafficking by well-organized groups which took advantage of the sectarian violence," she said.

"Bangladesh is a very small state and one of the most densely populated countries in the world. Whilst we sympathise, the international community should reflect on why these people are being persecuted.

"As far as Bangladesh is concerned we don't have the capacity for illegal people from Myanmar (Burma). Whether they are refugees needs to be assessed," she said.

Some Muslim migrants from Burma have been blamed for 'retaliatory' attacks on Buddhist temples in Bangladesh. "We have a large number of these people and tremendous national security problems because if it," she added.

There are 800,000 Rohingya living along Burma's border with Bangladesh but they are stateless because they are not accepted as Burmese nationals. Rakhine Buddhists regard them as illegal Bangladeshi migrants.
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