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Quakes spark panic as Japanese warships arrive

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					6        INTERNATIONAL                                                                                                                                                                                    Tamil Guardian Wednesday January 26, 2005



Quakes spark panic as Japanese warships arrive
FRESH earthquakes in Asia         person, and a tremor rattled       president Martti Ahtisaari.       that was all but closed to         ing some 950 military perso-        Tokyo to give the Self-Def-       U.N. operation in Aceh, told      6.2 earthquake struck east-
Monday rattled traumatized        the provincial capital Banda           Indonesian President Su-      outsiders before the tsunami.      nnel in Japan's biggest over-       ense Force a greater over-        reporters Monday.                 ern Sulawesi island early
survivors of last month's         Aceh, sending frightened           silo Bambang Yudhoyono                The province's military        seas deployment since Wor-          seas role, which some critics         Despite efforts by Indon-     Monday and a quake after-
killer tsunami, while Indo-       tsunami survivors running          reiterated an offer of "special   commander         complained       ld War II.                          say violates Japan's pacifist     esian and international aid       shock hit Banda Aceh.
nesia and rebels in Aceh          into the streets.                  autonomy" for the Acehnese        Monday the Indonesian mil-              Two of the ships were al-      constitution.                     officials to move from emer-          Indonesia, an archipel-
agreed to hold talks, seeking         Another quake, measur-         and amnesty for GAM mem-          itary was being snubbed.           ready anchored off the coast            With the United States        gency relief operations to        ago of 17,000 islands and
to turn the calamity into a       ing 6.5, was recorded west         bers willing to lay down the-     "Many foreign teams have           of Banda Aceh, the provin-          and other foreign militaries      reconstruction and rehabili-      the world's fourth most pop-
chance for peace.                 of Great Nicobar island in         ir guns. The rebels want in-      been naughty in their aid          cial capital, Aceh's northern       set to reduce forces commit-      tation, scenes of hunger and      ulous nation, lies along the
    Japanese warships anch-       India's Andaman and Nico-          dependence or at least a ref-     operations and they do not         coast at the entry to the Mal-      ted to helping tsunami sur-       desperation are widespread.       volcano-strewn "Pacific Ri-
ored off the coast of Aceh        bar Islands, which were bad-       erendum on self-determina-        follow the coordination that       acca Strait and the third was       vivors, aid workers prepared          In Krueng Raya village,       ng of Fire," where plate
Monday, the last of the for-      ly hit by the Dec. 26 tsuna-       tion, like the former Indone-     has been decided," Aceh mi-        on the way, a Defense Agen-         for a shift to civilian control   about 40 kms (25 miles) east      boundaries intersect.
eign military relief missions     mi, but there were no reports      sian territory of East Timor      litary commander Major Ge-         cy spokesman in Tokyo said.         of a relief operation that is     of Banda Aceh, scores of              Authorities said the qua-
to arrive, even as civilians      of casualties or damage. The       was given. Aceh is under a        neral Endang Suwarya told               The military contribution      feeding and providing med-        people were begging along         ke killed one person and da-
groups began taking control       talks between the Indonesian       civil emergency, following a      Indonesia's Antara news ag-        is on top of $500 million in        ical care for hundreds of         the side of the road, many of     maged buildings in Palu, Ce-
of the unprecedented aid          government and the Free            year of martial law.              ency. "This has made things        grants Tokyo has pledged to         thousands of people in Aceh.      them children waving empty        ntral Sulawesi's provincial
effort, reported Reuters.         Aceh Movement (GAM) –                  Concerns about clashes        difficult for us who must pr-      the Indian Ocean countries              "I believe there is a con-    boxes or plastic basins at the    capital. Police calmed resi-
    Almost a month after the      locked in a conflict that has      between the Indonesian ar-        otect these foreign parties."      hit by the Dec. 26 disaster         sensus on the need for the ci-    few cars passing by.              dents who, with TV images
tsunami killed as many as         killed more than 12,000 peo-       my and the rebels have stal-          The Japanese embassy           that killed more than               vilian authorities here at the        The trauma of the tsuna-      of the tsunami fresh in their
234,000 people across the         ple in the last three decades      ked tsunami relief efforts in     said a destroyer, an amphibi-      234,000 people across the           provincial level and the nati-    mi, less than a month ago,        minds, thought giant waves
Indian Ocean, a strong earth-     – were expected to take            Aceh. Indonesia's military is     ous ship and a supply ship         region. While the deployme-         onal level to really take full    was still close to the surface.   were on the way. Some pati-
quake hit Indonesia's eastern     place in Helsinki this week,       sensitive about the huge for-     were due to arrive Monday          nt in Aceh is for disaster reli-    control of this operation,"       Terrified residents ran into      ents fled a Palu hospital car-
Sulawesi island, killing one      mediated by former Finnish         eign presence in a province       off the coast of Aceh carry-       ef, it comes during moves by        Joel Boutroue, chief of the       the streets when a magnitude      rying intravenous drips.



Iraq election teeters on cultural split
THE voice of the influential      pressed for decades by             of dread: "To avoid this trag-         Even so, candidates are
imam poured forth as it does      Saddam Hussein's Sunni-led         edy again, vote for the Unit-     largely confined to visiting
each week, but this time it       regime, are motivated by           ed Iraqi Alliance, No. 169."      the mosques and living roo-
carried not just spiritual        their fundamental loyalties.           But across town, in the       ms of their supporters or
counsel but a political com-           "For the moment, you          Sunni stronghold of Adham-        communicating through the
mand: Iraq's most revered         can't expect people to vote as     iyah, campaign banners are        television channels and new-
Shiite cleric declares that       nationalists. For 35 years,        hard to spot. The area's cen-     spapers that cater to them.
"voting for list No. 169 is a     people had no real connec-         tral plaza has fewer than a       Some candidates have turn-
religious duty."                  tion with the government be-       dozen signs on the walls and      ed to funerals and wakes as a
     If there were any doubt      cause the government was           lampposts, and few of the la-     prime and safe location for
left among the devout at the      an enemy," said Adnan Ali, a       rge banners common elsew-         talking to voters.
Buratha mosque, photos of         senior official in the Dawa        here in the city. Four posters         Pulling a page from Am-
the white-bearded Grand           Party, part of the leading Sh-     for one of the few prominent      erican campaigning, the race
Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani pap-     iite alliance. "So, real loyalty   Sunnis still in the race, aging   is rife with accusations of
ered the walls beside posters     is to the tribe or the party."     former Foreign Minister Ad-       financial wrongdoing and
from the United Iraqi Alli-            Rebel attacks intended to     nan Pachachi, are partly torn     abuses of power.
ance, the coalition of power-     disrupt the election have on-      down.                                  Rivals have ridiculed
ful Shiite clerics and parties    ly deepened the divide by              "Most of the people think     Allawi after his campaign
known as "No. 169", reports       stifling the chance for candi-     that it has already been deci-    was caught handing $100 bi-
the Chicago Tribune.              dates to venture beyond their      ded by the Americans and          lls to journalists who attend-
     This is the campaign tr-     religious, ethnic and politic-     that Mr. Allawi will be the       ed its news conference. Opp-
ail, Iraq-style. In barely five   al constituencies. Shiites talk    next prime minister," said        onents have also complained
weeks, the country has emb-       to Shiites, Sunnis talk to Su-     Wamidh Nadhmi, a Sunni            after uniformed Iraqi sol-
raced the trappings of the        nnis, and Kurds talk to Ku-        political scientist who is        diers were spotted putting up
modern political campaign,        rds. That means the campai-        boycotting the election.          Allawi campaign posters.
from slick television adver-      gn has strengthened solidari-          The latest polls indicate     Allawi disputes the allega-
tising to spirited mudsling-      ty within sectarian and polit-     that 32 percent to 50 percent     tions.
ing. But in the final week        ical blocs rather than broug-      of Iraq's Sunnis say they are          Disparities in funding are
before Iraq's first free elec-    ht disparate groups together,      likely to vote, though some       dramatic, though there is no
tion in decades, nothing do-      heightening concerns among         surveys could not be condu-       oversight system to measure
minates the race more than        Iraqis who fear a controver-       cted in the most violent and      it. By all appearances, the ri-
age-old and volatile ques-        sial vote could nudge the co-      Sunni-rich areas of the coun-     chest slate belongs to the pri-
tions of religion, tribalism      untry a step closer toward ci-     try. That reluctance on the       me minister, who has placed
and ethnicity.                    vil war. The battle lines in       part of the Sunnis frustrates     polished ads on al-Sharqiya        Iraqi Navy recruits train in the southern city of Umm Qasr, where Sunni insurgents have been escalating their cam-
     Sunni Muslims, who ma-       the campaign are easy to see.      Iraqi and U.S. officials who      and Al-Arabiya satellite           paign of bloodshed in a bid to disrupt an election it fears will hand power to the Shiite majority.     Photo AFP
ke up a fifth of Iraq and form    At bustling Tahrir Square, a       have tried to woo Sunni can-      channels. He has also bene-
the heart of the 2-year-old       diverse area in the heart of       didates not only into this        fited from a lengthy biogra-
insurgency, are largely disaf-
fected, opinion polls sh-ow,
                                  the capital, a sprightly hodg-
                                  epodge of posters and ban-
                                                                     race, but into the new Iraqi
                                                                     political culture.
                                                                                                       phy running this month on
                                                                                                       the Al-Arabiya channel.
                                                                                                                                          Turnout, cohesiveness may give Kurds leverage
and they lack any major con-      ners competes for attention.           "One of the problems out           Most candidates, howev-       IN the Kurdish mountain             est-ranking Kurds in the cur-     should give them a key role       of Kirkuk.
tenders in the Jan. 30 el-        Most bear the face of interim      there is disbelief that this      er, must content themselves        capital of Sulaymaniya, Iraq,       rent government. "Our aspi-       in selecting the new govern-          Kurds are angling for one
ection. Nobody knows how          Prime Minister Ayad Allawi,        election will be the first of     with free, low-tech spots on       pictures of candidates app-         rations are very high. It's an    ment.                             of the top two positions in the
many Sunnis plan to vote,         who stares down in profile         many," a senior U.S. Embas-       Al-Iraqiya, the U.S.-backed        ear in newspapers. Election         exciting moment in our histo-         The Shiite vote could spl-    new government, either pri-
much less for whom: The           over the slogan, "Strong Le-       sy official said. "There's a      national station. In those ca-     day celebrations are being          ry. This is the first time we     it between the United Iraqi       me minister or president. In
most populous Sunni areas         adership, Safe Country." It is     sense that what is being          ses, the subject sits at a desk,   planned. The biggest worry is       Kurds have been allowed to        Alliance, which is backed by      June, Kurds were bitterly dis-
are too dangerous to survey.      a message that Allawi, a sec-      decided is a permanent dis-       backed by a gray screen, and       whether bad weather on Jan.         take part in deciding the         the main Shiite Muslim reli-      appointed that they failed to
     Shiites and Kurds, how-      ular Shiite and former Baat-       tribution of power."              talks into the camera. The         30 might clog the roads.            future of Iraq."                  gious parties, and the Iraqi      nab either post when the U.S.
ever, are revelling in the ca-    hist operative, knows will             Even down to the race's       ads have no music, no video            It's all in stark contrast to       Political experts predict     List, a secular alternative led   handed over sovereignty.
mpaign as a long-deprived         appeal to other largely secu-      final days, violence has kept     montage.                           the rest of the country, where      that Kurds will emerge as         by interim Prime Minister             Salih, Iraqi deputy prime
chance to win power through       lar members of the deposed         much about the contest a               Conspicuously absent          the political hopefuls are          major winners on election         Iyad Allawi. Low turnout in       minister and a PUK leader,
the ballot box.                   Baathist regime.                   secret: the location of polli-    from Iraqi television, or any      afraid to be identified, cam-       day thanks to a combination       the rest of the country becau-    said the jostling over leader-
     Both Shiites and Kurds            By contrast, a nearby po-     ng places, the names of most      other channel for that matter,     paigning is underground and         of factors working in their       se of violence could also         ship posts would serve as a
have urged more Sunnis to         ster for the major Shiite slate    candidates, the places to wa-     are prominent Sunni candi-         millions of voters are expect-      favour, including strong vot-     result in a better performance    test of whether Kurds were
join the political process.       explicitly taps a deeply divi-     tch them campaign. Despite        dates. "It's almost like they      ed to steer clear of the polls      er turnout because of better      for Kurdish candidates.           considered full-fledged Iraq-
Leading Shiite politicians        sive chapter of Iraqi history:     mounting assassinations – at      will cut off their noses to sp-    in protest or in fear.              security in their region and a        Either way, the Kurds         is or "second-class citizens."
are trying to allay concerns      photos of mass graves and          least six candidates have         ite their face," said a Western        "There's a sense of gath-       unified candidate slate that      should be in a strong position        "If a Kurd — just for
by downplaying their ties         anguished old women from           been slain in the last month –    diplomat. "There's a lot of        ering excitement among the          removed any threat of a split     to help select the next prime     being a Kurd — cannot get a
with Iran and promising that      the 1991 Shiite uprising bru-      election officials have prom-     emotion in the Sunni com-          Kurds over elections," said         vote.                             minister, draft the constitu-     top position, that is tanta-
no Islamic clerics will hold      tally suppressed by Husse-         ised that entrants' names will    munity right now, and I am         Barham Salih, Iraq's deputy             Kurds may not get the         tion and settle such hotly dis-   mount to discrimination," he
senior government posts.          in's Baathist regime. The sl-      be published in newspapers        not sure everybody is think-       prime minister for national         most votes, but they are like-    puted issues as who will con-     said. "Either we are full-
     But most Shiites, sup-       ogan carries more than a hint      in the race's final week.         ing straight."                     security and one of the high-       ly to win a sizable bloc that     trol the oil-rich northern city   fledged citizens or not."




Liberia’s peacekeeping legacy                                                                                                             China, India hold first strategic talks
                                                                                                                                          CHINA and India held their          addressing the outstanding        to hold the next round soon       outcome of the discussions
ONE of the legacies the for-      assist them in finding out the         But the response from         Liberia's fatherless genera-       first strategic dialogue in         differences, including the        in China.                         and feel that these (discus-
mer West African peace-           soldiers' genuine home             the women's partners has          tion - a result of the terrible    New Delhi on Monday and             boundary question, in a               There was also an excha-      sions) have further increased
keeping force for Liberia         addresses.                         been slow, he said. "So far       14-year civil war.                 exchanged views on both             “fair, reasonable and mutual-     nge of views on terrorism         mutual trust and understand-
(Ecomog) left behind in the           "We have told the girls        only 19 peacekeepers have             Some of the UN peace-          international and regional          ly satisfactory'' manner.         and the possibility of wea-       ing,'' he said.
1990s was more than 6,000         seeking our assistance that it     given us what they say are        keepers in Liberia today           issues of mutual concern.               Both sides agreed that        pons of mass destruction and          The Chinese Vice-Mini-
fatherless children. Most of      is better now for them to          their appropriate home addr-      served under Ecomog a                  China conveyed its sup-         there was a need to make the      sensitive technologies falli-     ster later called on External
the soldiers left their part-     press the soldiers and get the     esses."                           decade ago.                        port for India playing a more       conduct of international rel-     ng in the hands of terrorists.    Affairs Minister K Natwar
ners no means of future con-      proper addresses, and if pos-          Rev Cole and his wife,            But they are reluctant to      important role in the United        ations a more democratic af-      The two sides agreed that         Singh and reviewed with
tact and many of their chil-      sible the pictures of the          Sia, run a school at the cen-     talk about the abandoned           Nations and, in this context,       fair and for this purpose, it     these dangers could not be        him the health of the bilater-
dren are being supported by       peacekeeping boyfriends,"          tre - located in the New          children and distance them-        appreciated India's aspira-         was important to encourage        tackled unilaterally and that     al relationship. He also exc-
a local charity in the capital,   said Reverend Abraham              Georgia Township of the           selves from issue. "I've           tions for a permanent mem-          the trend towards multi-pol-      this presented a grave global     hanged notes with him from
Monrovia, reports BBC             Cole, head of the Ecomog           battered Liberian capital -       heard it - that some of our        bership to the UN Security          arity by furthering the cause     threat. But more importantly,     the dialogue earlier in the
Online.                           Children Centre.                   for a few hundred of the          colleagues left children           Council, reported the New           of UN reforms.                    the talks marked the launch       day and discussed the man-
     Now, with new peace-             Then it is possible to         children whose mothers are        here," said a Nigerian check-      India Press.                            According to South Blo-       of a new dialogue mechani-        ner in which the 55th anni-
keepers in the country help-      locate the men when they           unable to take care of them.      point soldier who served in            At the opening round            ck officials, both sides brie-    sm between both countries         versary of the establishment
ing in Liberia's peace            return home and organise for           "We are children of           Ecomog. "But for me what           India and China also agreed         fed each other on their res-      as they looked to intensify       of diplomatic relations will
process - this time serving       their new families to join         Ecomog," the children sing        brought me here is to give         on the need for UN reforms.         pective foreign and security      bilateral ties in the coming      be celebrated from April 1
under the United Nations -        them, he said. "Or if they         for any guests that arrive.       peace."                            During their discussions, Fo-       policies, as they shared per-     months.                           onwards.
the Ecomog Children Centre        want the babies to stay with       "We are left alone; we need           The UN force of more           reign Secretary Shyam Sar-          ceptions on various regional          The MEA spokesperson              Meanwhile, a senior op-
is trying to avoid a repetition   us here to help them -             fathers; we need friends; we      than 14,000 troops is due to       an and visiting Chinese Vi-         and global security issues.       said the dialogue indicates       position leader in the south-
of past mistakes.                 because they are married at        need sponsors and you may         scale down their operation         ce-Foreign Minister Wu Da-          There was a “broad conver-        the readiness on both sides       ern Indian state of Andhra
     Ninety-five women preg-      home - we can use the              be one."                          after the war-torn country's       wei also underlined the imp-        gence'' of views, the Indian      to look at the bilateral rela-    Pradesh, Paritala Ravi of the
nant by UN peacekeepers           addresses to get them to send          Their voices represent        presidential and general           ortance of improving the bil-       Ministry of External Affairs      tionship in a long-term and       Telugu Desam Party, and an
have asked the charity to         child support every month."        what could be called              election in October this year.     ateral relationship at various      (MEA) spokesperson said,          strategic perspective. “Both      acquaintance, have been
                                                                                                                                          levels and in all areas, while      with both officials agreeing      sides are satisfied with the      killed in a bomb attack.


South Sudan’s unlikely capital                                                                                                            23 at Guantanamo attempted suicide in 2003
                                                                                                                                          TWENTY-THREE terror su-             Miami said in a statement.        tions provided Monday by          suicide attempt in which a
WITH no multi-storey build-       years of civil war, almost         group.                            also have to get used to
ings or paved roads and a         everything will have to be              "We are going to have        another new currency - to be       spects tried to hang or stran-      Ten detainees made a mass         military officials at Guanta-     detainee could have died wit-
population of under 100,000       built from scratch.                roads; we are going to have       introduced throughout Sudan        gle themselves at the U.S.          attempt on Aug. 22 alone.         namo Bay and the U.S.             hout intervention and a "ges-
- the ramshackle town of              The airstrip is a dirt track   roofs; we are going to have       - promised as part of the          military base in Guantanamo              U.S. Southern Command        Southern Command.                 ture" they considered aimed
Rumbek has been chosen by         where goats graze alongside        nice buildings - if the imple-    peace agreement.                   Bay during a mass protest in        described it as "a coordinated        Alistair Hodgett, a spoke-    only at getting attention.
Sudan's former southern           the rusting remains of an air-     mentation is done."                   Funds for the reconstruc-      2003, the military confirmed        effort to disrupt camp opera-     sman for Amnesty Internat-            Army Gen. Jay Hood,
rebels as the unlikely admin-     craft which once crash-land-            One of the smarter build-    tion of towns like Rumbek          Monday.                             tions and challenge a new gr-     ional's office in Washington,     who succeeded Miller as the
istrative capital of the south.   ed.                                ings in Rumbek is the town's      should arrive soon. Under the          The incidents came dur-         oup of security guards from       was critical Monday of the        detention mission's comman-
    But there is plenty of            The brick buildings along      newly opened bank. When           terms of the peace deal, the       ing the same year the camp          the just-completed unit rota-     delay in reporting the inci-      der last year, has said the nu-
optimism around the town,         the untarred roads are now         the north introduced a new        government of southern             suffered a rash of suicide          tion."                            dent.                             mber of incidents has decre-
with the peace deal - which       empty shells - testament to        currency - the Sudanese dinar     Sudan will share oil revenue       attempts after Maj. Gen. Ge-             Guantanamo       officials       "When you have suicide        ased since 2003, when the
gives the south a greater say     the intense fighting the area      - in 1999, the south rej-ected    equally with the mainly Arab       offrey Miller took command          classified two of the incide-     attempts or so-called self-       military set up a psychiatric
in running its affairs - still    saw during the war, which          it. In Rumbek it is possible to   government in the north.           of the prison with a mandate        nts as attempted suicides and     harm incidents, it shows the      ward.
fresh in the memory, reports      left an estimated 1.5 million      spend Kenyan shillings, US        Hundreds of millions and           to get more information from        informed reporters. But they      type of impact indefinite             In 2003, there were 350
BBC Online.                       dead.                              dollars, Ugan-dan shillings       perhaps even billions of dol-      prisoners accused of links to       but did not previously release    detention can have, but it al-    "self-harm" incidents, inclu-
    "Rumbek will be like a            People live in traditional     and Sudan's old currency -        lars will flow to SPLM leader      al-Qaida or the ousted Afg-         information about the mass        so points to the extreme mea-     ding 120 "hanging gestures,"
small London," Makok, a           thatched huts and hardly any-      the pound.                        John Garang's new adminis-         han Taliban regime that shel-       hangings and stranglings dur-     sures the Pentagon is taking      according to Lt. Col. Leon
smiling legal officer, told me    one has electricity or running          "There is no confusion at    tration.                           tered it, reports Associated        ing that period.                  to cover up things that have      Sumpter, a spokesman for the
as he gave us a lift on the       water.                             all," bank manager Samson             "This country ought not        Press.                                   Those incidents were me-     happened in Guantanamo,"          detention mission.
back of his motorbike - one           "There has been no             Arab Efrem said from his          to beg around the world in             Between Aug. 18 and             ntioned casually during a vi-     he said.                              Last year, there were 110
of the few in town. "It will be   rebuilding because we only         computerless office. "We          the long run," Jan Pronk the       Aug. 26, the 23 detainees           sit earlier this month by three       "What we've seen is that      self-harm incidents, he said.
like America even, because        reached a [peace] settlement       have all the rates fixed. As      head of the United Nations in      tried to hang or strangle the-      journalists, but officials then   it wasn't simply a rotation of        The military has reported
America is the top in the         the other day," said Gordon        people get used to the eco-       Sudan said on his first visit to   mselves with pieces of cloth-       immediately denied there had      forces but an attempt to          34 suicide attempts since the
world," he said.                  Mappel, an administrator           nomic environment here they       Rumbek this week. "Money           ing and other items in their        been a mass suicide attempt.      toughen up the interrogation      camp opened in 2002, inclu-
    But the reality for the       from the Sudanese People's         get to know all the different     for development and invest-        cells, demonstrating "self-         Further attempts to get deta-     techniques and processes."        ding one prisoner going into
town is that although peace       Liberation          Movement       rates."                           ment finally should come           injurious behaviour," the           ils brought a statement Frid-         Officials said Monday         a coma and sustaining mem-
has finally come after 21         (SPLM) - the former rebel               But in time, people will     from domestic resources."          U.S. Southern Command in            ay night, with some clarifica-    they differentiated between a     ory loss from brain damage.

				
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Description: Quakes spark panic as Japanese warships arrive