JANUARY 2017

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- Suresh Jaura
Publisher and Managing Editor

MORE SMOKE & MIRRORS

0712 flag pakistanSectarian violence in Karachi is just another chapter in Pakistan’s long history of violence against minorities, has afflicted Pakistan virtually from its moment of birth...

TRUMP'S FOREIGN POLICY

U.S. allies in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, smiling through their teeth, are feverishly hoping that Washington will maintain its security commitments. The Russians are ... . . ..   

AFGHANISTAN-PAKISTAN-USA

A US revaluation of its Af-Pak policy appears likely under Trump... It is, however, unlikely that US AfPak policy under Trump will be ‘more of the same’. Crucially, Pakistan’s role in supporting terrorism in Afghanistan . . .

NUCLEAR WWWIII

Escalation of hostility may become a thermonuclear WWIII.

ARM & TRAIN

Non-Muslims in violent conflict areas to enhance the security...

HYDRO BOOM & CONFLICTS

With approval of power plants, conflicts have arisen ...

SUICIDE TERRORISM

Growing support for suicide terrorism

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Nepal Constitution: A Historic Step

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By A Correspondent

THE adoption of a federal, democratic and secular Constitution in Nepal is a historic occasion. The protracted struggle of the Nepalese people against feudal authoritarianism and for democracy has culminated in the establishment of a federal, democratic and secular State. Eight years after the interim Constitution, after a tortuous political process, the Constituent Assembly voted overwhelmingly (507 out of 601) to approve the Constitution. We congratulate the people of Nepal, the three major political parties – the Nepali Congress, the CPN(UML) and the UCPN(M) – and all democratic forces for this significant achievement.

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Enduring Vulnerabilities

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By Ajit Kumar Singh
Research Fellow, Institute for Conflict Management

August 24, 2015, turned out to be the bloodiest day in Nepal since the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) of November 21, 2006, when the then Nepal Prime Minister (PM) Girija Prasad Koirala and Chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist [CPN-M, now known as Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M)] Pushpa Kamal Dahal aka Prachanda, agreed on the terms to bring the Maoist insurgency to an end. On August 24, 2015, at least 20 people – 17 policemen, including the Superintendent of Police of the Seti Zone, Laxman Neupane, and three protesters – were killed and over 100 others were injured in clashes between Tharuhat activists and the Police at Shankarpur area of Tikapur Municipality in Kailali District. The protestors were demanding a Tharuhat Autonomous Province.

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Nepal Making History

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By Fakir Mohan Pradhan
Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management

In a historical step forward, Nepal’s second Constituent Assembly (CA) endorsed “Nepal’s Constitution” with overwhelming two-thirds majority on September 16, 2015. The Constitution came into effect after President Ram Baran Yadav announced its commencement at 17:00 hrs on September 20, 2015, during the last meeting of the CA.

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NEPAL: News Briefs

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Madheshi front cadres block imports from India at border entry points: The imports of petroleum and other supplies from India and third countries have been lying at Indo-Nepal border areas near Biratnagar due to the blockade imposed by the United Democratic Madheshi Front (UDMF) on September 25, the second consecutive day of obstruction in the industrial hub of Nepal. Similar blockades are being carried out by the Madheshi protestors at the border areas on the Nepali side of Birgunj, Janakpur and Nepalgunj as well. My Republica, September 26, 2015.

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TTP: Enduring Shadows

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By Tushar Ranjan Mohanty
Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management

At least 43 persons, including 14 terrorists, were killed as the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) base at Inqalab Road in Badaber area of Peshawar, the provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, came under attack by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in the early morning of September 18, 2015. The Badaber camp used to be an operational Air Force base, but is now a PAF training centre.

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PAKISTAN: News Briefs

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Prime Minister urges UN Secretary General for plebiscite in Kashmir: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on September 27 called for the implementation of United Nations (UN) Security Council resolution on the decades-old Kashmir dispute, and holding of plebiscite to determine the wishes of Kashmiri people. Nawaz urged UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to play a role in defusing tensions between Pakistan and India and help end the cross-Line of Control (LoC) violations for promoting peace in the region when he held talks with him at UN Headquarters, according to official sources. Daily Times, September 28, 2015.

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Sri Lankans Disabled By War, Forgotten In Peace

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By Amantha Perera

Sri Lanka’s decades-long civil war ended six years ago, but it’s not over for many victims who suffered permanent injuries during the conflict. Government soldiers can receive assistance packages for injuries sustained in service, including the continuation of salaries for those able to work at desk jobs, or long-term care in military-run facilities for those severely disabled. But there is no programme to help civilians and former Tamil Tigers who remain permanently affected by injuries during the war

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Voters' Expectations Yet to be Fulfilled

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By Kalinga Seneviratne *

The U.S., UK and the international media have hailed the August 18 election results in Sri Lanka as a victory for democracy, but the looser may well turn out to be the voters of Sri Lanka. The political comedy that has taken place in the island republic in the aftermath of the election, exposes yet again the deficiencies of the democracy gospel that is unable to stamp out embedded corruption in the system.

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UN Urges Sri Lanka War Crimes Court

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By The Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice

The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights released its long awaited report into human rights violations in Sri Lanka 2002-2011. It calls for a war crimes court.

This marks the end of a long struggle by victims and survivors – many thousands of whom gave testimony to the investigation at great personal risk – for international recognition of the abuses that they have endured.

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SRI LANKA: News Briefs

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Sri Lanka will seek consultations of foreign judges and lawyers within legal framework allowed by Constitution, says Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe: Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said that Sri Lanka will seek the consultations of foreign judges and lawyers for the domestic mechanism to probe the alleged rights violations during the military conflict with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) within the legal framework allowed by the Constitution. The PM said his Government could only act within the framework of Sri Lanka's Constitution and it does not allow foreign judges to operate in the country but they can assist the investigations. Colombo Page, September 27, 2015.

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Trans Pacific Partnership

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Renegotiating NAFTA, by the Back Door

By Jim Stanford *

For years, trade and justice activists have proposed renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement to address some of the deal’s most damaging features: for example, by removing the anti-democratic investor-state dispute settlement provisions of Chapter 11, linking trade benefits to genuine protections for human and labour rights (all the more important given the deteriorating democratic situation in Mexico), and establishing a continent-wide strategy for auto investment and production. We were always told that renegotiating NAFTA was a pipe dream: it would not be possible to open the text and get all three countries on board with reforms, no matter how legitimate the concerns.

So imagine our collective surprise to see that the Trans-Pacific Partnership talks, behind closed doors, have jumped right into the deep end of NAFTA: undertaking a wholesale renegotiation of what is by far Canada’s most important trade relationship.

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