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Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category

By: Malathi de Alwis
guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 4 May 2010 09.00 BST

It was heartening to hear President Mahinda Rajapakse identifying reconciliation and development as the priorities of his new government. However, it is crucial that both processes should unfold with the active involvement of Sri Lanka’s citizenry, rather than being imposed from above by an omnipotent state. We seem to already have plenty of intimations of the latter. (more…)

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By KATHY GANNON
Associated Press
2009-08-02 08:14 AM

In a recent debate leading up to the presidential elections here, the first question was not about terrorism, or violence, or even opium. It was about how candidates viewed a jagged line casually drawn on a map 115 years ago by British colonial rulers. (more…)

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Published July 27, 2009 12:44 PM

As U.S. combat troops begin a gradual withdrawal from Iraq, they continue to train and advise Iraqi forces, which are increasingly responsible for maintaining security. But one of the most useful security tools is a hard one for Iraqis to accept — not because of technical difficulty, but because of a cultural taboo. (more…)

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By Al Jazeera

The Afghan ambassador to the United States has told Al Jazeera that civilian casualties during US military operations are “a price that we have to pay” if the Taliban and al-Qaeda are to be defeated.

Said Jawad said that the deaths were a “tragedy,” but could be necessary if fighters were to be defeated in Afghanistan, Pakistan and beyond.

“This is a price that we have to pay if we want security and stability in Afghanistan, the region and the world, ” he said in Washington on Friday.

Jawad’s remarks come after the US military apologised for killing four civilians, including a child, in a raid earlier this week.

“It’s not just the cost of the Afghan people; it’s the freedom, it’s the security of Afghanistan, of Pakistan, of the world,” Jawad said. (more…)

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By International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI)

The Sri Lankan military announced on Sunday the capture of Puthukkudiyiruppu, the last remaining town controlled by the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The battle is the latest in a string of defeats that have brought the LTTE to the brink of military collapse. The remaining LTTE fighters are now cornered in a government-declared no-fire zone—a strip of coastal land of about 17 square kilometres that is still under LTTE control.

Tens of thousands of civilian refugees are also crowded into the area, which, despite, government claims to the contrary, has been repeatedly subjected to army bombardment. Conditions inside the “no-fire zone” are appalling, with acute shortages of food, shelter and medicine. The military has allowed in only limited relief supplies.

(more…)

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By International Committee for the Red Cross

Over the past 30 years, Iraqi women have repeatedly suffered the effects of armed conflict. Since 2003, they have increasingly been caught in the crossfire, killed or wounded in mass explosions and displaced from their homes. Women are targeted for their behavior and role in society, they are raped, kidnapped or assassinated and they are especially vulnerable to trafficking and exploitation.

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By The Guardian

Polish soldiers in Ghazni province are winning over locals with their shoot-last policy, but US troops who went around kicking in doors have left suspicion in their wake Most days, weather permitting, a couple of US Black Hawk helicopters take off from Bagram airbase and do the rounds of Nato bases in Afghanistan’s eastern provinces. They serve as taxis, couriers and delivery vans. They hop from one fortified lilypad to the next, crossing huge tracts of rocky, dusty, hostile terrain over which the alliance and the government it supports have no control, and probably never will.

(more…)

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