Homeward bound

Even the pit stop in Dhaka is threatened by Jamaat’s hartal tomorrow. I am hoping it will be even more of a flop than previous ones. Those of you who missed the interview in BBC (1:09 into the programme where I talk about Shahbagh). Look out for the oped in New York Times on Friday and the interview on Listening Post in Al Jazeera on Saturday.

My humble abode in Salzburg, but many old friends, Pablo Bartholomew, Bill Kouwenhowen and Nii Obodaii fresh from Chobi Mela VII. Stephen Mayes, Enrico Bossan, Yukiko
My humble abode in Salzburg, but old friends, Pablo Bartholomew, Bill Kouwenhoven and Nii Obodai fresh from Chobi Mela VII. Stephen Mayes, Enrico Bossan, Yukiko Yamagata and many others, plus all the new friends I made made, plus the sumptuous meals made it easier to bear

Here are some pictures taken on my way back:
It’s a hard life. On the rare occasions when I get bumped up to business class.
My plane waiting at the boarding gate
The courtyard
Sunny afternoon in Salzburg
 
 

Shahbag Square ? why we Pakistanis don?t know and don?t care

By Pervez Hoodbhoy

Published: February 15, 2013

The writer retired as professor of physics from Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad

Shahbag Square ? where?s that? Abdul Kader Mullah ? who?s he?
A bunch of university students in Islamabad, with whom I was informally conversing yesterday, hadn?t heard of either. Of course, they knew of Tahrir Square and Afzal Guru?s recent execution. But they showed little interest upon learning that Shahbag Square was in Dhaka and that, as we spoke, the city was seething with protest. Between 100,000 to 500,000 Bengalis had converged to Shahbag to sing patriotic songs, recite poems and read out episodes from Bangladesh?s history of the Liberation War. At the centre of the protesters? demands was Abdul Kader Mullah?s fate.
On February 5, the Bangladesh International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) found Mullah guilty in five out of the six charges against him. Known as Mirpurer Koshai (Butcher of Mirpur) because of his atrocities against citizens in the Mirpur area of Dhaka, he was charged with beheading a poet, raping an 11-year-old girl and murdering 344 people. The ICT sentenced Mullah, presently assistant secretary general of the Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, to life in prison. For the protesters in Shahbag Square, this isn?t enough ? they want Mullah hanged. On the other side, the Jamaat-e-Islami protested violently and also took out demonstrations. But its efforts to influence global opinion foundered in spite of a well-funded effort. Continue reading “Shahbag Square ? why we Pakistanis don?t know and don?t care”

The story the CIA doesn't want to talk about

Ghost flights, black sites, and stories of appalling abuse.

Watch Amrit Singh of the Open Society Justice Initiative describe the grim realities of the CIA?s post-9/11 campaign of secret detention and torture.

She has compiled a first-of-its-kind report that tells the story of how the United States used its position to cajole, persuade, and strong-arm 54 other countries to take part in the CIA?s highly classified programs.
From Australia to Iran, Canada to Sweden, Hong Kong to Indonesia. The list is shocking.
Even though I?you?have heard many stories about what was done in the name of the war against terror, I found myself shocked again about what was done under the CIA?s secret programs after 9/11.
These are not the practices of an open society. Only with a full reckoning can the United States hope to close the door on this shameful chapter in its history.
Take a step toward puncturing the layers of secrecy. Watch?and share?this video.
Sincerely,
George Soros
Chairman and Founder

Nirbhaya

by Ina Puri

The Indian flag will not fly at half-mast to mark the passing of a young woman on the 29th of December 2012. 
If permission is given, then people will gather at Jantar Mantar at 11.00am to condone the death of the unnamed ?rape victim? at Mount Elizabeth Hospital, Singapore, in the wee hours of the morning.
Wreaths will be laid, candles lit and speeches made in her memory.
Who knows, there may even be an award or two for her as the Government publicly acknowledges her fight against death.
And in our memories, she will remain the young martyr, who battled against all odds till her body finally gave up, battered and broken beyond repair. Continue reading “Nirbhaya”