IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT

SAO has merged into
IDN-InDepthNews,
flagship of the International Press Syndicate.

- 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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Pakistan: The Rope is Not a Solution

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By Sarmad Ali*

The government of Pakistan, after the terrifying attack on a Peshawar school on December 16, which took the lives of 132 school students and nine staff members, and left numerous injured, decided to reinstate capital punishment.

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PAKISTAN: News Briefs

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107 militants killed during the week in FATA: At least seven militants were killed and one other was injured in a US drone strike in the Shawal area of North Waziristan Agency (NWA) in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on January 28.

At least 53 militants, including 12 foreigners, were killed when jet fighters of Pakistan Air Force (PAF) conducted aerial strike on militants' hideout in the Kharh Tangi area of Dattakhel tehsil (revenue unit) in NWA on January 27.

In another strike in the same area later, 23 militants were killed.

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Sri Lanka: A Fresh Beginning

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By Ajit Kumar Singh
Research Fellow, Institute for Conflict Management

In a dramatic turnaround of political fortunes in the island nation, Pallewatte Gamaralalage Maithripala Yapa Sirisena, leader of the New Democratic Front (NDF), emerged victorious in a keenly contested Presidential Election held on January 8, 2015. Sirisena secured 6,217,162 votes (51.28 per cent) against 5,768,090 votes (47.58 per cent) polled by Mahinda Rajapaksa, the incumbent President, and candidate of the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA). A total of 19 candidates were in the fray, but the election was a direct contest between Sirisena and Rajapaksa from the outset, with the remaining 17 candidates eventually securing a joint total of 1.14 per cent votes. Sirisena took oath as the Seventh Elected Executive President of the country on January 9. It was the seventh presidential election.

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‘Peoples Power’ Faces Big Challenge

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By Kalinga Seneviratne *

Be it with “pinch-hitting” and “sling bowling” in cricket, eradicating a ruthless terrorist group, winning Asian games gold medals in the 5,000 and 10,000 metre races running barefoot or electing the world’s first woman prime minister, Sri Lankans always excel in using unorthodox means to achieve their objectives.

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Pope Francis’ Sri Lanka Mission Unleashes Controversy

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By Kalinga Seneviratne *

Pope Francis is due to make a three-day visit to Buddhist-majority Sri Lanka with the highlight of the visit being the canonization of Joseph Vaz, an Indian born 17th century Catholic missionary who spent most of his life in Sri Lanka to help Catholics persecuted by the island’s Dutch rulers at the time.

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Sri Lanka: Will Rajapaksa Return?

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By Nilantha Ilangamuwa

There are few possibilities of Rajapaksa regaining the leadership in the country again. To accomplish his desire first he has to win the struggle within the party while fuelling the internal crisis. Second, he will have to take the people into the streets, while instigating racism within Sinhalese sentiments. If he can do this he may set foot on the road of his return.

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SRI LANKA: News Briefs

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Plan to use army personnel to whip up LTTE bogey during parliamentary elections in April, says Government spokesman Rajitha Senaratne: Spokesman of the Sri Lankan Cabinet, Rajitha Senaratne, on January 28 has said that he has sought an inquiry into information that former Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa is using two serving army officers to train 400 soldiers to whip up a bogey about an Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) revival in the run up to the parliamentary elections in April. Senaratne said that this army unit is being trained by two serving officers, Brigadier Harendra Ranasinghe and Colonel Mahinda Ranasinghe of the Army Training School. Colombo Page, January 31, 2015.

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The Current World Disorder

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By Jayantha Dhanapala *

Dr. Henry Kissinger – veteran Harvard academic in political science, author, diplomatic practitioner and respected commentator on international affairs despite a chequered career in the U.S. Government – published his latest book “World Order” at the end of 2014 providing us with a historical analysis of a quest for a rule based global order.

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What China’s Silk Road Project Aims At

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By Shastri Ramachandaran *

There is more to China’s Silk Route Project — from the sea lanes of East Asia through South and Central Asia to Europe — than is generally perceived in India.

India has been invited to join the project for rebuilding the ancient Silk Road that connected India, China and Central Asia to Europe and reviving the Maritime Silk Route for linking countries in the Asia Pacific and Indian Ocean. Most of India’s neighbours see it as an opportunity that should not be missed.

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2015 Crucial For A Nuclear Weapon Free World

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By Jamshed Baruah

2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and promises to be a crucial year for moving toward a world without nuclear weapons. While indications are that the global movement for banning the bomb is gaining strength, attempts to open a new chapter in nuclear arms race should not be underestimated, a close look at developments in 2014 shows.

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The Villains of the Second Nuclear Age

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By Gayatri Chandrasekaran

Recent reports suggest Pakistan is accelerating its nuclear weapons programme. A US-based think-tank, Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), released a report along with photographs that says external construction of the Khushab complex’s fourth reactor is complete and that it has “become operational.” Khushab is a nuclear complex in Pakistan’s Punjab province where its plutonium generation and processing activities are carried out. The first nuclear reactor there was activated in 1996.

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