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.