Category Archives: International

International Affaris

Sulaiman Abu Ghaith buried in US prison alive

“I have not come here today to seek mercy and I would not seek mercy from anyone but God. Today, and at the same moment where you are shackling my hands and intend to bury me alive, you are at the same time unleashing the hands of hundreds of Muslim youths. And you are removing the dust of their minds. They will join the ranks of the free men soon and very soon the world will see the end of these theatre plays “

Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, spokesperson of Al-Queda – 23rd September 2014 in a US court.

_38092682_ghaith_ap150

G7

G4

G6
(From top to down: Photograph from a video, illustration of Ghaith in US custody, an image frame from a video statement by Al-Queda, illustration of trail)

Sulaiman Abu Ghaith is also son-in-law of Osama-Bin-Laden and a founder of Al Wafa al Igatha al Islamia, a charity that acts as a front for al Qaeda’s fund-raising.  The statement was made on Tuesday, 23rd September 2014 through an interpreter before US district judge Lewis Kaplan. Ghaith is a former imam and he chose Stanley Cohen, an orthodox Jewish and a high profile criminal US lawyer to defend him in the US court of law.  Minutes after he made the above statement, the judge Lewis Kaplan imposed the sentence of life in prison.  Earlier, Ghaith was convicted on terrorism charges.

American and European news agencies preferred illustrations of Sulaiman Abu Gahith and avoided real photographs. Some media channels just carried photos or illustrations of Osama-bin-Laden.  Most of the images available on internet are taken from the video footages released by Al-Queda as part of their statements.

US public opposed the lawyer Stanley Cohen who defended Ghaith.  Leaflets handed out near the Manhattan courthouse, where trial was conducted, describe the Jewish attorney as a “traitor” and an “enemy of Jews, Israel and America.” Similar fliers were distributed around his Lower East Side loft. Several family members of the victims of Sept 11 twin tower tragedy attended the trial.

Working of Jewish lobby in US

Lobbies are to be natural parts of pluralist, democratic societies. Lobbying constitutes a mainstream method of influencing government policy, as a means of enhancing representative government. Jewish lobby in America is an ideal example of such a lobby.

Jewish lobby has played a leadership role in formulating American policy on issues such as civil rights, separation of church and state, and immigration, guided by a liberalism that was a complex mixture of Jewish tradition, the experience of persecution, and self interest. It was thrust into prominence following the Nixon Administration’s sharp shift of American policy towards significant military and foreign aid support for Israel following the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

The term Jewish Lobby is a conglomeration of approximately thirty-four Jewish political organizations in the United States which make joint and separate efforts to lobby for their interests in the United States, as well as for the interests of the State of Israel. A group of individuals devoted to supporting the needs and interests of the Jewish community is also considered as a part of jewish lobby. Multiple lobby groups, political action committees (PACs), think tanks and media watchdog groups form Jewish lobby in US.

Logo of CHristians United for Israel

These organizations are most actively involved in lobbying activities at federal, state and local levels of political and governmental institutions.The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is one of a lobbying group that advocates pro-Israel policies to the Congress and Executive Branch of the United States and is stated similarly as its goal by the AIPAC. It is a mass-membership, American organization whose members include Democrats, Republicans, and independents. AIPAC regularly meets with members of Congress and holds events where it can share its views. AIPAC is not a political action committee, and does not directly donate to campaign contributions. However, it wields influence on the potential donars. Web site of the organization details how members of Congress voted on AIPAC’s key issues, and the AIPAC Insider, a glossy periodical is scrutinized by thousands of potential donors. According to one estimate, Pro-Israel interests have contributed $56.8 million in individual, group, and soft money donations to federal candidates and party committees since 1990. Between the 2000 and the 2004 elections, the 50 members of AIPAC’s board donated an average of $72,000 each to campaigns and political action committees.

AIPAC Logo

Christians United for Israel, another formal lobby group, is a national grassroots movement focused on the support of Israel. According to its founder, the organization gives every pro-Israel Christian and Christian church the opportunity to stand up and speak up for Israel. The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations is yet another lobby group which is the main contact between the Jewish community and the executive branch of the US government

Apart from these organizations, many think tanks and media organizations have pro jewish individuals as key members. Groups sustaining college campus activism are also increasingly seen promoting Jewish interests and awareness among students about these issues.

Dutch leads the world in containing semetic bigotry

Netherlands appears to be showing the world an elegant way of tackling semetic intolerance, especially of Islamic type. Two developments in recent weeks confirm this interesting developments. In the first week of June, a Dutch court reaffirmed their support to allow public debate over Islamic religion, which is typically avoided around the world fearing backlash from Muslim adherents. In the last week of June, Dutch government initiated a ban on the ritual slaughter of animals, withstanding the pressure from Jewish and Islamic relgious quarters.

Geert Wilders, the Dutch politician from the Freedom Party, was acquitted of hate speech charges by an Amsterdam court, which found that his inflammatory comments about Muslims were protected by rules governing discourse in a free society. bMr. Wilders, 47, had faced a possible one-year prison sentence on five charges of inciting hatred and discrimination against Muslims. He has become an important force in Dutch politics, making provocative statements including comparing the Koran with Hitlers Mein Kampf and calling for an end to Muslim immigration. Mr. Wilders made a short film Fitna in 2008 that portrayed Islam as inherently violent, and he joined Newt Gingrich in New York last year to oppose the building of an Islamic community center and mosque near the World Trade Center site.

Judges observed Mr Wilders comments as “rude and denigrating” and as “on the edge of what is allowed”, while acquitting the politician. Mr. Wilders’s supporters clapped as the judge concluded his remarks. The court gave the plaintiffs 14 days to appeal, but Mr. Knoops said the complainants had little ground for such action.

Ties Prakken, a lawyer who represented immigrant and antiracist complainants said she would instead bring the case to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in Geneva, accusing the Dutch government of failing to protect people from incitement to discrimination or violence.

Dutch government is set to ban ritual slaughter of animals. The new law requires that livestock must be stunned before being killed. The legislation was tabled by the tiny Dutch Party for the Animals but it quickly won cross-party support. The Freedom Party of Gert Wilders supports the bill. Muslim and Jewish ritual slaughte customs require animals to be fully conscious. Representatives of one million Dutch Muslims and 40,000 Jews have condemned the prohibition of halal and kosher meat as a violation of their religious freedom.

Sweden, Luxembourg and non-EU members Norway and Switzerland ban ritual slaughter but the EU, which bans the killing of non-stunned animals, allows religious exemptions.

Ritualistic killing in accordance with Islamic and Jewish customs causes unnecessary pain to animals. Religious freedom cannot be unlimited, according to the Animals Rights Party. “For us religious freedom stops where human or animal suffering begins.” The poltical move has bigger goal of influencing other countries to follow the suit. “By getting this modification in the law, we hope to inspire other countries.” Jews fear that pressure to ban ritual slaughter is growing across the EU. There has been a non-stop campaign by animal welfare activists to have all forms of ritual slaughter banned

Sources:

  1. Dutch Court Acquits Anti-Islam Politician Gert Wilders of hate speech charges
    Newyork Times   
  2. Dutch parliament votes to ban ritual slaughter of animals – Jews and Muslims are upset
    Telegraph

Profile: Lobsang Sangay, elected head of Tibet Government in Exile

Lobsang Sangay(42), international law expert, has been elected as the prime minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile on Wednesday, 27th April 2011.

Lobsang Sangay was born at Lamhatta in a Tibetan refugee settlement in the eastern Indian hill town of Darjeeling. His parents had fled Tibet in 1959, following the Dalai Lama as the Chinese clamped down on an uprising against their occupation. He went to the Central School for Tibetans in nearby Sonada. He had a humble beginning and he lugged wood to light kitchen fire at home as a youngster. He had a spartan childhood, and has often in interviews mentioned his enduring debt towards a cow that was sold to fund his education.

Lobsang Sangay greets a woman on the street during his election campaign in Dharamsala

He did his Plus Two at St Joseph’s College (North Point) in Darjeeling before graduating from Delhi University, where he also completed his LL.B, and moving to the US. There, he won the Fulbright Fellowship and earned his LL.M and doctorate from the Harvard Law School. In April 2008, he testified as an expert before the US Senate Foreign Relations Sub- committee on East Asia and Pacific Affairs.

He was associated with Tibetan Youth Congress. Participated in pro Tibetan movements . He spent few days in Tihar jail in the late 1990s after being picked up during a Chinese government demonstration while he was a student in Delhi. China dubbed him as a terrorist for his views and associations for the Tibet cause. He was also involved in Track II talks with Chinese scholars.

He has never visited his ancestral homeland, but he dreams of freedom in Tibet. He regards India a second home. Lobsang Sangay despises the Dalai Lama’s middle way, and calls for self determination, a term often used by young radicals pressing for Tibet independence.

Gaddafi vows ‘long war’ after US, allies strike

The US and European nations targeted Muammar Gaddafi’s forces with airstrikes and dozens of cruise missiles, shaking the Libyan capital with explosions and the sound of gunfire early Sunday. The Libyan leader vowed a long war “with unlimited patience and deep faith.” 

State television said 48 people had died in the strikes, which marked the widest international military effort since the Iraq war. They were aimed at enforcing a UN mandated no-fly zone in support of rebels who have seen early gains reversed by the regime’s superior air power and weaponry.

 In Benghazi, the rebel capital and first city to fall to the uprising that began February 15, people said the international action happened just in time. Libyan government tanks and troops had reached the edges of the city on Saturday.

“It was a matter of minutes and Gaddafi’s forces would have been in Benghazi,” said Akram Abdul Wahab, a 20-year-old butcher in the city.

In the phone call to state television, Gaddafi said he would not let up on the rebel-held city and said the government had opened up weapons depots to all Libyans, who were now armed with automatic weapons, mortars and bombs.

 The US military said 112 Tomahawk cruise missiles were fired from American and British ships and submarines at more than 20 coastal targets to clear the way for air patrols to ground Libya’s air force. French fighter jets fired the first salvos, carrying out several strikes in the rebel-held east, while British fighter jets also bombarded the North African nation.

 President Barack Obama said military action was not his first choice and reiterated that he would not send American ground troops.

 “This is not an outcome the US or any of our partners sought,” Obama said from Brazil, where he is starting a five-day visit to Latin America. “We cannot stand idly by when a tyrant tells his people there will be no mercy.”

 Thousands of regime supporters, meanwhile, packed into the sprawling Bab al-Aziziya military camp in Tripoli where Gaddafi lives to protect against attacks.

 Explosions rocked the coastal cities, including Tripoli, where anti-aircraft guns could be heard firing overnight.

 Libyan TV quoted the armed forces command as saying 48 people were killed and 150 wounded in the allied assault. It said most of the casualties were children but gave no more details.

 The International Committee of the Red Cross said it was deeply concerned about civilians and called on all sides to work to distinguish between civilians and fighters and allow safe access for humanitarian organizations.

 Gaddafi, who has ruled Libya for 41 years, said the international action against his forces was unjustified, calling it “simply a colonial crusader aggression that may ignite another large-scale crusader war.”

 His regime acted quickly in the run-up to the strikes, sending warplanes, tanks and troops into the eastern city of Benghazi, the rebel capital and first city to fall to the rebellion that began February 15. Then the government attacks appeared to go silent.

 Operation Odyssey Dawn, as the allied assault has been dubbed, followed an emergency summit in Paris during which the 22 leaders and top officials agreed to do everything necessary to make Gaddafi respect a UN Security Council resolution Thursday calling for the no-fly zone and demanding a cease-fire, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said.

 Navy Vice Adm. William E. Gortney, director of the Pentagon’s Joint Staff, told reporters in Washington that US ships and a British submarine had launched the first phase of a missile assault on Libyan air defenses.

 Gortney said the mission has two goals, firstly to prevent further attacks by Libyan forces on rebels and civilians, and secondly, to degrade the Libyan military’s ability to contest a no-fly zone.

Defense officials cautioned it was too early to fully gauge the impact of the onslaught. But a senior defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the mission was ongoing, said the Americans felt that Libya’s air defenses had been heavily damaged given the precision targeting of the cruise missiles.

 Mohammed Ali, a spokesman for the exiled opposition group the Libyan Salvation Front, said the Libyan air force headquarters at the Mateiga air base in eastern Tripoli and the Aviation Academy in Misrata had been targeted.

 About 20 French fighter jets carried out several strikes earlier Saturday, military spokesman Thierry Burkhard told The Associated Press.

 “All our planes have returned to base tonight,” he said, and denied a Libyan TV report that a French plane had been hit.

 He would not elaborate on what was hit or where, but said French forces are focusing on the Benghazi area and US forces are focused in the west.

 The US has struck Libya before. Former President Reagan launched US airstrikes on Libya in 1986 after a bombing at a Berlin disco, which the US blamed on Libya, that killed three people, including two American soldiers. The airstrikes killed about 100 people in Libya, including Gaddafi’s young adopted daughter at his Tripoli compound.

 The rebels said earlier that they had hoped for more, sooner from the international community, after a day when crashing shells shook the buildings of Benghazi and Gaddafi’s tanks rumbled through the university campus.

 “People are disappointed, they haven’t seen any action yet. The leadership understands some of the difficulties with procedures but when it comes to procedures versus human lives the choice is clear,” said Essam Gheriani, a spokesman for the opposition. “People on the streets are saying where are the international forces? Is the international community waiting for the same crimes to be perpetrated on Benghazi has have been done by Gaddafi in the other cities?”

 Saturday’s fighting galvanized the people of Benghazi, with young men collecting bottles to make gasoline bombs. Some residents dragged bed frames and metal scraps into the streets to make roadblocks.

 “This city is a symbol of the revolution, it’s where it started and where it will end if this city falls,” said Gheriani.

Wiped out: Japan wakes up to devastation

RIKUZENTAKATA came into being on January 1, 1955. But in less than a minute on Friday March 11, 2011, it was gone.

The might of nature has no respect for history nor the 24,000 people that called the coastal city home.

Horrified people all over the world watched news footage of the wall of muddy water tearing through its residential district, offices and factories like a steamroller.

It left only a black swamp and the bodies of 400 victims discovered by rescuers yesterday. The apocalyptic aftermath of Rikuzentakata’s destruction was revealed as rescuers warned that 10,000 people may have died in another city devastated by Friday’s earthquake and the resulting tsunami.

READ: Risk of radiation

Minamisanriku had a population of 17,000 but nearly two in three are feared to have perished. The shocking toll has led to predictions that the number of deaths across Japan will be in the tens of thousands.

While rescuers and medics struggled to cope with the quake’s grim aftermath, a massive explosion at a nuclear power plant sparked a radiation alert.

It caused walls and the roof of the Fukushima Number 1 plant to collapse, sending plumes of smoke into the air. Four workers were hurt and there were fears of a Chernobyl-style meltdown.

In Rikuzentakata, rescue teams were faced with the harrowing task of collecting corpses from the debris as survivors stumbled pitifully seeking relatives and friends.

On Friday, the north eastern coastal city had been buzzing with thousands of cars in the evening rush hour. But in moments the monstrous tsunami had crushed all in its path, leaving just a tangled mess of wrecked wooden homes.

The densely populated city, where 102 people packed each square kilometre, became a floating graveyard with some homes swept up to six miles away.

Shivering in a rescue centre, one survivor in her seventies said: “My husband is missing. Tsunami water was rising to my knees and I told him I would go first. He is not here yet.

“I’m waiting for my son to come here but I cannot call him because mobile phones aren’t working.”

Rescued... a man who was trapped is carried by a Japan Self-Defense Force soldier in Kesennuma City in Miyagi Prefecture Rescued… a man who was trapped is carried by a Japan Self-Defense Force soldier in Kesennuma City in Miyagi Prefecture Reuters

Pictures from the air showed military helicopters lifting people from rooftops and submerged buildings surrounded by water and debris.

Mothers carried tots on their backs as they searched for loved ones amid the spiralling death toll.

Dozens of towns and villages along a 1,300-mile stretch of coastline were shattered by the violent tremors. Some remained inaccessible last night.

Police said as many as 300 bodies had been found in Sendai, the city closest to the epicentre. A further 137 were confirmed killed with 531 people missing.

Its airport was inundated with thick, muddy debris including cars, trucks, buses and even light planes. Large parts of Kesennuma, a town of 70,000 people, burned furiously into the night.

In nearby Iwanuma, terrifed staff and patients spelled out S.O.S. on a hospital roof.

In the city of Minamisoma, mud-soaked residents searched frantically for members of their families. A 40-year-old woman found the name of her parents on a list of evacuees – but her husband’s name was not there. Chusei Sato, a 61-year-old farmer who is searching for two relatives, watched from the top of a hill as the waters surged over the city. He said: “The tsunami devoured all the farm fields in a moment.”

Akira Onoda, 74, a hospital worker, told how he was trying to get home after the initial quake when he saw a woman rushing his way screaming “Tsunami!” He saw the massive waves trailing her but managed to escape by car.

Disaster... all that remains of Rikuzentakata Disaster… all that remains of Rikuzentakata

Quake survivors turned to internet sites such as Twitter and Google in a desperate bid to locate missing loved ones. Meanwhile the hunt continued for four trains including a bullet train carrying 300 passengers.

The quake was almost 8,000 times stronger than one that struck New Zealand last month and the resultant tsunami scattered fishing boats and trucks as if they were toys.

The tsunami roared over embankments, washing anything in its path inland before reversing directions and carrying cars, homes and other debris out to sea. A local official in Futuba, in Fukushima prefecture, said more than 90 per cent of houses in three coastal communities had been washed away. The official local death toll was 703 with 784 missing and 1,000 injured.

But it was feared these figures wildly underestimated the scale of the disaster.

Unconfirmed reports said 200 bodies had been transferred to gymnasiums in Iwanuma and Natori. The number of partially or completely destroyed buildings was put at 3,400 with more than 200 fires still raging. Around 5.57 million households had lost power.

The 8.9 magnitude quake, which struck at 2.46pm local time on Friday, left one of the world’s most advanced nations struggling to cope with its aftermath.

Yesterday help began to arrive from more than 60 countries. In capital Tokyo, hundreds of thousands remained stranded by the suspension of plane and train services.

With hotels full, hundreds of schools in the city took in stranded commuters. Yokohama Arena and Saitama Super Arena, normally used by concerts and events, were also being used as temporary shelter. A refinery in nearby Chiba caught fire.

Japan was last night braced for further tsunamis sparked by aftershocks. One with a magnitude of 6.7 yesterday rocked an inland area northwest of Tokyo.

Tragic toll from wave of death

Map of death... Japan Map of death… Japan

Our map shows the area of north-east Japan that was devastated by the tsunami following Friday’s powerful earthquake beneath the ocean.

Towns, cities and villages along the coast suffered destruction on an unimaginable scale and massive loss of life as a terrifying wall of water swept several miles inland.

The unforgiving wave crushed everything in its path. Last night the horrendous toll across Japan from the quake and tsunami stood at 1,300 dead, 1,280 injured and 12,000 missing.

Foreign secretary William Hague urged UK nationals in Japan to make contact with the British Embassy in Tokyo on +(81) 3 5211 1100 or the Consulate-General in Osaka on +(81) 6 6120 5600.

A number of charities are accepting donations for tsunami victims including the Red Cross.

  • To help find loved ones missing after the quake, use Google’s person finder.

Will a Dalai Lama succed another Dalai Lama?

Talking about his rebirth in 1996, the Dalai Lama quoted one of his favourite prayers: “So long as space remains and suffering of sentient beings is there, I will remain in order to serve.” Then he contradicted himself. “Regarding the institution of the Dalai Lama, whether that institution should remain or not is not my business. The people of Tibet, they have the right. If they want to keep it, it will remain. If it’s not relevant for them, it will cease,” said Tenzin Gyatso, better known as the 14th Dalai Lama, the spiritual and temporal head of all Tibetans.

In recent years, the Dalai Lama has often spoken about his next reincarnation. At times, in conflicting terms. In 2008, when asked if he would be the last Dalai Lama, the monk told Germany’s “Der Spiegel”: “Everything is possible: a conclave, like in the Catholic church, a woman as my successor, no Dalai Lama anymore, or perhaps even two, since the Communist party has, astonishingly enough, given itself the right to be responsible for reincarnations.”

Thursday’s announcement by the Dalai Lama seems to have settled the political part of his institution but the future of his spiritual role remains open to speculation. After Tenzin Gyatso is gone, there are four possibilities:

* No Dalai Lama

* Two Dalai Lamas: one in Tibet, another somewhere in exile

* A woman Dalai Lama appointed by him

* A leader of another Tibetan Buddhist lineage inheriting his spiritual role

Beijing is at least partly responsible for this confusion. In 2007, China enacted a law that asserted the Chinese government was the final authority in the process that recognizes a reincarnated lama. In February, Hao Peng, a Chinese Communist Party official told a group of foreign journalists that rebirths of “all Tibetan spiritual leaders, including the Dalai Lama, must be approved by the Chinese central government.”

An official of the Tibetan government in exile explains the community’s nervousness about it all. “China has plans to select a 15th Dalai Lama. That’s why it’s important for the Dalai Lama to put clear guidelines about his next reincarnation and designate people who will be responsible for finding the next one”.

Will there be another Dalai Lama? According to Tibetan Buddhist belief, the Dalai Lama is the embodiment of Avalokitesvara, a Bodhisattva of compassion, who stays on earth to help people. In this tradition, reincarnated lamas control their rebirth. When high lamas such as the Dalai are involved, the identification of the next reincarnation is a complicated procedure. China claims the authority to choose the Dalai Lama because it possesses the Golden Urn, a relic that was used by the Manchu emperors to anoint Tibetan lamas in their efforts to exert control over Tibet. In 1995, China used the urn ceremony to appoint the 11th Panchen Lama, rejecting the boy identified by the Dalai Lama as the reincarnation of the 10th Panchen Lama.

Tibet’s Future Scenario

So far, events have followed the script. On March 10, an emotional day for Tibetans in exile because it was the 52nd anniversary of a failed uprising in Lhasa, their head lama announced he would abdicate political responsibility. The announcement was followed by sentimental appeals for him to stay on as political leader.

Some supporters started a signature campaign to force him to change his mind. But the Dalai Lama appeared determined. He had firmly put the ball in the court of the Tibetan parliament in exile, which will start discussing his proposal tomorrow.

Events may run foul of the script from tomorrow. The situation might change completely after March 20, when Tibetans in exile elect their next kalon tripa or prime minister of their government in exile. What is likely to unfold?

SCENARIO ONE | STATUS QUO

Highly unlikely but the Tibetan parliament could reject the Dalai Lama’s proposal or ask him to reconsider it. A Tibetan MP, one of the 43 who will vote on the issue, admits “it’s a big dilemma for us. On one hand, we don’t want him to go and on the other hand, we can’t reject his offer. Maybe we will ask the next parliament to take the decision.”

The MPs will have to consider the negative fallout of putting the ball back in the Dalai Lama’s court or passing it on to the new parliament. It would give credence to China’s allegation that the Tibetan leader’s announcement was a “trick”. In the event of such high drama, leading Tibetan officials admit, the main issue – the Tibetan struggle – could become a casualty. This is why their current prime minister, Samdhong Rinpoche, made clear on Friday that the Tibetan movement would continue even after the Dalai Lama’s retirement from politics. “It is a struggle for a nation,” he said.

However long the Tibetan parliament and the new prime minister takes to write the rulebook that devolves the Dalai Lama’s powers, his political retirement is sure to mean a new set of worries. “Our government is not recognized by any nation in the world. So in what capacity the all powerful Kalon Tripa and other ministers meet the world leaders? Right now, the Dalai Lama performs this role because of his stature of being a Buddhist leader and a Nobel laureate. The prime minister will not have this privilege,” says a member of the kashag or cabinet in Dharamsala.

SCENARIO TWO | ALL CHANGE

Whatever the Tibetan parliament’s decision on the Dalai Lama’s proposal, there are likely to be new headaches for Delhi. India is cautious about the Dalai Lama’s decision to become a simple spiritual refugee. An official of the ministry of external affairs said on condition of anonymity that “we would rather prefer no change in the present system. China has repeatedly asked us to shut down the Tibetan government in exile. Now, this pressure may increase”.

New Delhi is also thinking about other practical problems for when the Dalai Lama withdraws from the political scene. The Tibetan leader has representatives in 11 capitals, including Delhi. They serve as unofficial ambassadors of the government in exile. “If the kalon tripa is the new political head, will these representatives continue to represent the Dalai Lama or will they be called ambassadors. How will China react to it?” says an Indian official, suggesting the Tibetans move with caution.

However they move, the Tibetan parliament has a huge task on its hands. The MPs have to make laws for the appointment and dismissal of officials. Till now, the Dalai Lama was in charge. “This development will bring massive changes in our systemic changes. This will truly challenge the community,” says the kashag member.

SCENARIO THREE | COSMETIC CHANGE
It’s entirely possible that the government in exile may implement cosmetic change and the centre of power will continue to be the Dalai Lama. “Let one thing be clear, till he is around he will call the shots. The change he has proposed is his way of preparing us for the post-Dalai scenario,” says a Tibetan MP. Others agree that the planned change is part of a larger issue – who, if anyone, succeeds the 14th Dalai Lama (see accompanying story).

This is why, the process of transition may take a long time. In this fluid scenario, there are only three constants: the Tibetan movement will continue as before; China will continue to spit fire at the Dalai Lama and India will watch developments with anxiety.

This script is clearly work in progress.

SM Qureshi dropped as Pakistan foreign minister

A new, smaller group of Cabinet ministers took an oath of office Friday in Pakistan, where the ruling party recently agreed to shrink the prime minister’s circle of advisers to save the cash-strapped country some money.

 

 

 

The swear-in ceremony was carried live on state-run Pakistan Television, and most of the incoming ministers appeared to be holdovers from the previous Cabinet dissolved earlier this week. Notably absent was the former foreign minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani presided as about 20 officials sat around a table designated for the new Cabinet — though it was not immediately clear if that will be the final number of members.

http://ibnlive.in.com/news/sm-qureshi-dropped-as-pakistan-foreign-minister/143063-2.html

PM warns Islamists could take control in Egypt

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned during his meeting yesterday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Jerusalem that the continued upheaval in Egypt may bring to power radical Islamic elements, a repeat of the scenario that occurred during the Iranian revolution in 1979.

Netanyahu relayed a similar message in a telephone conversation with U.S. President Barack Obama on Saturday night, and in conversations with other world leaders in recent days.

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/pm-warns-islamists-could-take-control-in-egypt-israel-approves-sinai-troops-1.340452