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For the Record

Oct 03, 1999

Poverty is not a curse
For the record
Information Technology
GSM: The start of next 100 years war
Science & Technology
                 Natural Agriculture
Sirajuddin Aziz
Special Report

*** "IN PRACTICE it does not provide a remedy for ordinary citizens, who cannot generally bring criminal defamation cases . . . such laws are a mechanism which is used by politicians and senior public officials . . . It is fundamentally unacceptable. It’s abused by the powerful as a means of self protection."

(International colloquium of editors, senior journalists, lawyers and human rights representatives calling for elimination of criminal defamation laws in order to protect journalists at a two-day conference on Freedom of Expression at Colombo, Sri Lanka)

*** "WE BELIEVE that no journalist should be jailed for what he or she writes."

(New York based Committee to Protect Journalists’ letter to Malaysian prime minister on the jailing of Canadian journalist, Murray Hiebert for discusssing the growing number of defamation suits in the country in his article titled, "See you in court")

*** "HE RETURNED the bottle to the shop saying it was ineffective and got a refund."

(Newsreport about an unidentified man in Nagoda, Sri Lankan whose attempt to commit suicide by drinking pesticide was foiled by doctors)

*** "I DON’T really think I would really be doing this if it wasn’t for the fact I had access to Pakistan’s hand embroidery skills— it is the main point of my clothes."

(Jemima Khan, wife of former test cricketer Imran Khan, exhibiting her fashion clothing for the first time at London fashion show, the largest in Europe)

*** "IT IS a fact that the KGB recruited two employees at Buckingham Palace from the mid-sixties to the mid-seventies."

(London Sunday Mirror’s report that the Soviet spy agency KGB had two agents to keep an eye on Queen and they installed a listening device which allowed the agency to hear Queen’s conversations with visting dignitaries)

*** "TAKE, FOR example, someone who is unemployed. He can’t afford much. But in this way, he will be able to buy a nice present for his son."

(Spokeswoman of Berlin-based utility company Ares Energie which is offering free television sets to customers if they buy electricity for at least two years)

*** "AS EARLY as January this year [I had] said that the BJP shall push the country into a war with Pakistan just before the next general elections . . . [BJP] has a ‘hidden agenda’ . . . they will ride roughshod all over the country."

(Leader of opposition Congress and the chief minister of Madhya Pardesh, Digvijay Singh, accusing the ruling BJP party for instigating the Kargil conflict as a end to win an electoral victory)

*** "THE ECONOMIC and financial problems in Third World nations have their roots in corruption. Grossly overpriced contracts, public assets sold below market value and insider trading by corporate bosses are common."

(A letter to Time magazine suggesting setting up of an international corruption tribunal for prosecuting government and corporate leaders to ensure that the finances of developing countries are protected)

*** "INDEED, NOT even all the women inmates imprisoned for thievery all over the land can beat Madame Imelda stealing alone . . . This is really a cross-examiners dream— making them account for all their properties all over the world. So they can make my day."

(Rene Saguisag, columnist of Philippine Daily Today, welcoming the libel filed by widow of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos, Imelda and her youngest daughter for calling Marcoses the world-class kleptocrats)

*** "WIRANTO YOU are scum. We are people and not targets for shooting."

(Students waving posters slamming Indonesian military chief General Wiranto at a candlelight vigil held in Jakarta for seven persons killed in two days of demonstrations against a new security bill)

*** "THE KASHMIRIS think the LoC [Line of Control] is a line of blood, we don’t recognise its sanctity as it has divided the Kashmiris . . . If India and Pakistan want to reach an agreement it should not be at our cost."

(Abdul Ghani Lone, leader of pro-independence All Parties Hurriyat Conference of Indian held Kashmir, rejecting any agreement about long unsettled Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan without taking Kashmiris into confidence)

Edited by Syed M. Aslam