Thursday, February 02, 2006

Highlights 2nd February 2006

  • The threat from Bangladesh
These organisations are inter-linked and virtually every one of their leaders has a JeI or Shibir background. The cadres are often members of more than one of these organisations or shift from one to the other whenever asked to do so. According to a report headlined 'Galib tape reveal his int'l network' by Anwar Ali in The Daily Star (Internet Edition) of November 22, 2005, tapes of Galib's speeches delivered in the 1990s indicated that he used the JMB as his operational wing and the HUJIB as his training outfit. Also, they have close links with fundamentalist Islamist elements in India. Thus an Indian, Abdul Matin Salafi, who came to Bangladesh as a Muballig (religious preacher) in the 1980s, began to supervise the functioning of both RIHS and HI. His activities and his extremist views alarmed the Bangladesh's authorities who expelled him 1988 on three hours' notice. According to reports, Salafi left behind a vast amount of Saudi and Kuwati currencies which Galib and his associates used to expand their Salafi is alleged to have kept in touch with him and sent him money even after returning to India....more in The Pioneer
  • Bangladesh: The Fraud Continues
It is intriguing that, amidst what is evidently a very reluctant fight against terrorism, a significant section within the Bangladeshi regime believe that India has a role to play in the rise of terrorism in that country. These allegations are not only confined to the opinions of traditionally anti-India forces like the Jamaat-e-Islami, but have percolated to other sections of the polity and administration. Theories abound, claiming that the Research and Analysis Wing has propped up the Islamist outfits and is providing them with arms and explosives. A report on January 24 indicated that the Bangladeshi authorities were compiling a report linking an ‘Indian arms ring’ with the supply of explosives like power gel, ammonium nitrate, detonators and some other chemicals to the JMB. This, despite the well documented seizures of large consignments of illicit arms in circumstances that clearly demonstrated the complicity of Bangladeshi authorities in different parts of the country.......more in South Asia Intelligence Review

  • Bangladesh to take up matter if explosive found rooted to neighbour
''We are examining the recovered explosives to see from where and how they came. We have seen some of them came from a neighboruing country. We've seen it in newspapers as well. If it comes from a neighbouring country, we will discuss it through an appropriate agency,'' she said answewring a supplementary question by treasury bench member Moazzem Hossain Alal....more in WebIndia
  • Missionary's Death Will Not Stop Bangladeshi Ministry
Laxman Das, a native Christian missionary in Bangladesh, was recently murdered by a gang of Muslim extremists. The 25-year-old was found on the side of a highway earlier this month near the capital city of Dhaka in Bangladesh. Laxman was working full time as a missionary. Eyewitnesses say he was riding a bus home when it was stopped and he was singled out, forced off the bus, and beaten to death. K.P. Yohannan, president of Gospel for Asia, says the murder took place during Islamic religious holiday festivities. "This is the season of Eid, which is one of the high Muslim holidays and [a time of] celebration," he notes. "Some people tell me that [during this] season there’s no law and order in the country. [They say] if you are angry with someone or you want to take revenge, this is the time to do it."....more in Crosswalk
  • IISc attack: police examining Dhaka link
Responding to reports about Bangladesh-based jihadi outfits operating in India, Mr. Singh said: "We have received information in this regard. As it relates to Bangladesh and another country (he did not specify the name), it takes enormous time [to correlate and analyse information.] But we are at it," he said....more in The Hindu
  • Anti-obscenity law in Bangladesh carries jail term for film maker
'It is a law against obscenity and vulgarity and is not aimed at curbing freedom of expression in any form,' said Information and Broadcasting Minister Shamsul Islam who had introduced the bill in the assembly and sought the support of the lawmakers for its approval. The new law, which bans smut in films, updates a half a century old legislation to prevent vulgarity on celluloid. Kissing on screen as well as scenes of physical contacts between a man and a woman are snipped off the reels by the censor authorities before the films run in cinema halls across the moderate Muslim country. ....more in M&C

  • Burma on brink of coup
India fears a coup in Burma because the power-sharing arrangement between its two competing top generals, Than Shwe and Maung Aye, is coming frayed.Than Shwe’s candidate, Brigadier General Hla Htay Win, replaced Brigadier General Myint Swe as the all-important Yangon commander....more in News Insight
  • Newspapers challenge Muslims over cartoons of Mohammed
A slow-burning row over the cartoons, originally published in Jyllands-Posten in September, exploded after they were denounced by a senior Saudi Arabian cleric last week. Protests have included street demonstrations, flag burnings, death threats, bomb scares and a crippling consumer boycott of Danish goods by businesses in several Gulf states. That anger spread across Europe after the cartoons were published yesterday in France, Germany, Spain and Italy. Syria became the latest nation to withdraw its ambassador from Copenhagen, after Saudi Arabia and Libya. In France the front page of the France-Soir tabloid carried the headline "Yes, We Have the Right to Caricature God" and a cartoon of Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim and Christian divinities floating on a cloud. Inside, the paper re-ran the Danish drawings....more in Telegraph, UK
  • The Baluchi battlefront
Is Pakistan's western region of Baluchistan burning? Are its bitterly contested gasfields aflame? Are fuel supplies to Pakistani cities, which rely wholly on the national Sui gas grid, being cut off? Baluchi insurgents manning half a dozen websites, and some of their Indian propagandists, claim it is so. Reports of attacks on the major port project at Gwadar on the Arabian Sea coast – whose principal funder is (who else?) China – spread. Pakistanis say it is "another little local difficulty" and they are dealing with it. Gas supplies are being maintained despite the attacks. The huge plant at Sui, smack in the centre of "hostile" Bugti territory from where the rest of the country gets more than 60% of its gas, is apparently intact and "well protected"....more in Open Democracy
  • Executions to take place at Guantanamo Bay
Previously military executions were authorised only to take place at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, however changes to the rules now mean that the location of execution can be set by the military if it is imposed by military courts and authorised by the president.....more in OD Blog
  • Annexing Khuzestan: Battle-plans for Iran
Bush has no intention of occupying Iran. Rather, the goal is to destroy major weapons-sites, destabilize the regime, and occupy a sliver of land on the Iraqi border that contains 90% of Iran’s oil wealth. Ultimately, Washington will aim to replace the Mullahs with American-friendly clients who can police their own people and fabricate the appearance of representative government. But, that will have to wait. For now, the administration must prevent the incipient Iran bourse (oil-exchange) from opening in March and precipitating a global sell-off of the debt-ridden dollar. There have many fine articles written about the proposed “euro-based” bourse and the devastating effects it will have on the greenback.......more in ICH
  • CrisisGroup : Brief 1st February 2006
Six conflict situations around the world deteriorated in January 2006, according to the new issue of CrisisWatch. Nepal’s political turmoil continued ahead of planned 8 February municipal elections and amid a major escalation in violence between security forces and Maoists. The situation in Sri Lanka is approaching outright civil war. Tensions increased over Iran’s nuclear program as Tehran broke UN seals on three nuclear research facilities. The situations also deteriorated in Kyrgyzstan, Côte d’Ivoire and Nigeria. Three conflict situations showed improvement. Somalia’s peace process saw a breakthrough with the signing of a declaration uniting rival factions of the transitional government. There was cautious optimism for Liberia after the inauguration of Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf as president. And Kuwait became the first Gulf state to democratically replace a leader using a constitutional process. For February 2006, CrisisWatch identifies Nepal and Sri Lanka as Conflict Risk Alerts, or situations at particular risk of new or significantly escalated conflict in the coming month. Conflict Resolution Opportunities are identified in Northern Ireland and Sri Lanka....more in Crisis Watch

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