By Syed M. Aslam
June 23 - 29, 2003 



*** "I'M UGLY ... black mixed with Indian ... I'm a little uncouth sometimes. What can I do? I'm not going to change."

(Venezuelan leftist President Hugo Chavez defending his turbulent rule in the world's top fifth oil exporting country and dismissing criticism of his appearance, behaviour and politics)

*** "WORKERS WOULD NOT allow people whom we have just elected to unleash further suffering on us in appreciation of our collective votes."

(President of oil-rich Negeria's central labour movement, Adams Oshiomhole, ordering workers to launch a nationwide strike if the government increases the price of fuel)

*** "WITH ITS UNEQUIVOCAL vote, the Polish people have seized on this historic opportunity."

(German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder congratulating Poland for voting a big "Yes" to join EU next year in a referendum. An overwhelming majority of 77.45 per cent voted Yes in the two-day referendum)

*** "WHAT DO YOU MEAN "milking the system'? I am not making money. I am not milking the system. It is just an institutionally racist system, that's all. I am the victim of character assassination and massive injustice."

(Nigerian-born British surveyor Omorotu Ayovuare refuting allegations that he is 'milking the system' by becoming the country's most prolific race discrimantion litigant launching 72 employment tribunal cases, including two in which he has secured victories)



*** "TODAY'S STATEMENT comes from a divided government, a government on the run... This is not the end of the beginning for this government, it is the beginning of the end."

(Finance spokesman of the opposition Conservative Party in the House of Commons, Michael Howard, slamming the ruling Labour government's self-imposed tests on the euro. Howard is a vehement euro-sceptic)

*** "IF PEOPLE STRAY from the subject, and politicians are very good at straying from subject, you interrupt. You don't want to talk about the subject they want to talk about."

(BBC's award-winning political correspondent and presenter of tough-talk programme Hard Talk, Tim Sebastian, defending his harsh and insensitive style of questioning)

*** "LET US not be blackmailed on this issue by India. Some of their leaders continuously harp on this issue."

(President Pervez Musharraf rejecting Indian allegations of cross-border incursions into Indian-occupied Kashmir)

*** "THIS ACTION has exposed the government whose claims of democracy and pluralism are hollow."

(Senior leader of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front, Bashir Ahmad Bhat, criticising the arrest of popular pro-independence Kashmiri leader Yasin Malik by Indian police after he launched a massive signature campaign to give Kashmiris a say in their right of self-determination)

*** "FROM A POLITICAL and moral point of view, Aznar is a coward ... [the Spanish premier is] 'the little fuehrer with the moustache' and [Italian premier] Berlusconi is 'a clown.' In the first place they're bandits, in the second 'fascists'."

(Cuban President Fidel Castro lashing out at the EU for its policy towards his country which he added "must have been written in a drunken state, if not with alcohol, than in a state of Eurocentric drunkenness)

*** "THEY DIDN'T blow up cities, but they polluted them forever. They have absolutely no right to be using radioactive weapons."



(President of American anti-nuclear research group Nuclear Policy Research Institute, Dr. Helen Caldicott, saying that the widespread use of depleted uranium weapons by US and British forces in Iraq could pose serious health and environmental risks to troops and residents)