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For The Record





By Syed M.Aslam
Sep 11 - 17, 2000

*** "I DON'T KNOW where it comes from, but it feels like I swallow the words down from the sky and they come up again as poems, already complete and entire."

(Eight-year-old US girl Sahara Sunday Spain who has secured record advance money of $ 100,000 for a book of poems)

*** "THE BRITISH TEND TO compartmentalise. Leonardo da Vinci finished his career as a court musician, so maybe I could end as a painter. I don't want to remain just a pop artist. I get interested in things. That's my problem." (Former Beatle Paul McCartney on not content being an accomplished painter and on trying to be a poet)

(Former Beatle Paul McCartney on not content being an accomplished painter and on trying to be a poet)

*** " . . . HOW ACCESSIBLE will those great achievements of science and technology be to the vast masses of the populations? Will their lives be touched by those inventions and advances or will these in effect be for the greater exploitation and marginalising of them?"

(Former South African president and Nobel peace prize winner, Nelson Mandela, warning that the exclusion of world's poor from the technological advances of the Internet age would result in global destabilisation)

*** "IF THE PEOPLE of East Timor can be given their freedom, why not people of Kashmir? . . . We have heard long lectures on democracy from countries which have laws that actually encourage corruption by giving ready asylum to plunderers and facilities for concealment of illicit wealth in secret accounts in their banks."

(Pakistan's administrative head Gen. Pervez Musharraf demanding solving the Kashmir dispute and ban on the transfers of ill-gotten wealth by the UN at its Millennium Summit in New York)

*** "I REGRET that the private comments made it to the public airwaves."

(Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush commenting on his expletive remark for a New York Times journalist to his vice presidential running mate, Dick Cheney, which was picked up by an open microphone)

*** "POVERTY AFFLICTS 80 per cent of the world's 6 billion people. That poverty was the result of 'conquest, colonization, slavery and ... imperialism."

(Cuban President Fidel Castro blaming the rich nations, especially the US, for the global poverty)

*** "HOW STUPID all this acting profession seems to me at times. For what? Sometimes it seems such a worthless waste of creativity. I must stop it for a while."

(Letters written by Oscar-winning actress Vanessa Redgrave to her children in early 1970s expressing unhappiness with her superstar status)

*** "THE WORLD BELONGS to all its inhabitants, no double-standard, national or international, can ever be accepted in the contemporary world."

(Iranian President Mohammad Khatami asking the UN to treat all members equally and yield to the 'quest of power')

*** "TOLERANCE cannot go hand in hand with aggression and occupation."

(Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Abdullah accusing Israel of intransigence and saying that Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem should be sovereign Palestinian territory)

*** "ALL A SECRET AGENT really knows how to do is keep his mouth shut or give indirect answers to direct questions but that skill will be of no use."

(Pro-government Daily Izvestia of Kremlin commenting on the planned appearance of Russian President Vladimir Putin on CNN's Larry King Live)

*** "NO JOURNALIST should ever face the threat of jail for something he or she writes . . . If criminal defamation laws can be used by a president to silence journalists, the media will not be able to play its watchdog role."

(New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists condemning the jailing of Lasantha Wickremetunga, editor of weekly 'Sunday Leader', for defaming Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga)

*** "ALL THIS STANDS CLEAR testimony to the fact that the US is, indeed, the paragon of a rogue state."

(North Korean vice-minister for foreign affairs, Choe Su Hon, accusing the US of an 'insidious and cunning double-faced strategy' to prevent the meeting of his country's delegation lead by the figurehead president Kim Yong-Nam with their South Korean counterparts at the UN Millennium summit in New York. The delegation was subjected to a 'rude search' by the US airline forcing it to boycott the summit)