By Syed M. Aslam
Dec 23 - 29, 2002

*** "WHAT DID YOU do before becoming the Prince of Edinburgh?"

(MP Parmjit Dhanda's rebuttal to Prince Philip who asked him what he did before becoming member of British parliament. After Dhanda told the Prince that he had been a student and then a trade union official the Prince replied "So you didn't do anything then")

*** "297"

(Ordinances issues by President Pervez Musharraf in last three years)

*** "287,000"

(Estimated number of suicides committed in China each year. Suicide has emerged as the leading cause of death in China and the country has the top suicide rate in the world)

*** "A DEAD TERRORIST has a right to be treated fairly and the right to a decent burial."

(Daughter of Germany urban militant Ulrike Meinhoff asking the authorities to return her brain to give her mother a proper burial. Meinhoff hanged herself in prison in 1976 and her brain was allegedly was taken out to find a reason for her violent behaviour)

*** "WE WANT to demonstrate that a different world is possible."

(One of the 40,000 protestors who took part in a peaceful march against war and globalisation in Florence, Italy early last month)

*** "TURKEY CAN, if its people want, be an important bridge, perhaps the most important, between continental Europe and the eastern Mediterranean."

(German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder calling for Turkey be allowed into the European Union. He was briefing the parliament on the result of the EU summit in Copenhagen)

*** "THE BIG RED LINE we all have is the weaponisation of outer space, which I believe would be immoral, illegal and a bad mistake."

(Canadian Foreign Minister Bill Graham opposing the US missile shield plan)

*** "THE ISLAMIC VEIL (hijab) had been largely accepted by companies before September 11, but suddenly it was as if the attacks on the United States had allowed them to call all of that into question."

(Attorney of French Muslim woman Dallila Tahri welcoming the decision given by a labour court supporting her bid to wear hijab at her work place and asking the company to reimburse her salary)

*** "PERSONALLY, I would say it isn't what I expected. I think that everyone is surprised to see this rate of increase."

(Programme director of World Mateorological Organisation, Kenneth Davidson, commenting on the threatening rise in the Earth's average surface temperature by half an degree in late November over the annual average from 1961 to 1990. The year 2002 is the second warmest year in 160 years since instrumental measures of temperature have been recorded)

*** "IRAQ IS NOT in a material breach. This is the interpretation of the US and does not represent the interpretation of the whole international community. The US made it clear that the matter is not disarmament, but to change the legitimate government of Iraq."

(Iraq's Deputy ambassador to the United Nations, Mohammed Salman, denying the charges leveled by the US and Britain, the two countries pushing most strongly for a war against Iraq, that its weapons declaration did not comply with the UN resolution)

*** "WE (LDF) WILL be in power three years from now when the installments on your loan fall due, and take it from me, you will not get a single penny."

(Opposition leader in the Indian state of Kerala, V.S. Achuthanandan, warning the Asian Development Bank about the consequences of lending to the provincial government of the United Democratic Front. He belongs to Left Democratic Front)

*** "THESE ALLEGATIONS from the United States are complete nonsense, as our activities are totally under the control of IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency)."

(Iranian President Mohammad Khatami rejecting US suspicios that his country is engaged in a secret nuclear weapons programme)