Showing posts tagged as "India"

Showing posts tagged India

11 Nov
"If you look at the Indian government’s position on Sri Lanka over the last three or four years, it has slowly been getting tougher. They voted twice at the UN Human Rights Council in support of US-sponsored resolutions that were highly critical of the Sri Lankan government - for both refusing to investigate the allegations about possible war crimes at the end of the war, but also at the deterioration of democratic governance and human rights protections as we speak. They clearly have been sending very strong messages privately to the government so this [move] I think is consistent with what is an increasingly firm line from India on a range of issues in Sri Lanka."

Alan Keenan (@akeenan23), our Sri Lanka Project Director, on Al Jazeera’s Inside Story.

25 Mar
Why India needs to vote for U.N. resolution on Sri Lanka | The Hindu
By Alan Keenan 
Until New Delhi actively participates in multilateral efforts to ensure Sri Lanka’s compliance on the accountability issue, its strongest messages to the Rajapaksa government will go unheeded
With a vote due soon on a U.S.-sponsored resolution at the U.N. Human Rights Council (HRC), the Indian government has a chance to strongly encourage sustainable peace and political reform in Sri Lanka. Policy-makers in Delhi are clearly disturbed by the Sri Lankan government’s backsliding on promises of devolution of power to Tamil-speaking areas, its politically motivated impeachment of the Chief Justice there and its refusal to comply with last year’s HRC resolution on “Reconciliation and Accountability in Sri Lanka.” To maximise its ability to influence Sri Lanka towards a lasting resolution of its ethnic conflicts and a restoration of its democratic institutions, India should take the lead in developing a forceful, international strategy, first at the HRC, then through other multilateral bodies, to be able to hold Colombo to its promises.
FULL ARTICLE (The Hindu)
Photo: Flickr/trokilinochchi

Why India needs to vote for U.N. resolution on Sri Lanka | The Hindu

By Alan Keenan 

Until New Delhi actively participates in multilateral efforts to ensure Sri Lanka’s compliance on the accountability issue, its strongest messages to the Rajapaksa government will go unheeded

With a vote due soon on a U.S.-sponsored resolution at the U.N. Human Rights Council (HRC), the Indian government has a chance to strongly encourage sustainable peace and political reform in Sri Lanka. Policy-makers in Delhi are clearly disturbed by the Sri Lankan government’s backsliding on promises of devolution of power to Tamil-speaking areas, its politically motivated impeachment of the Chief Justice there and its refusal to comply with last year’s HRC resolution on “Reconciliation and Accountability in Sri Lanka.” To maximise its ability to influence Sri Lanka towards a lasting resolution of its ethnic conflicts and a restoration of its democratic institutions, India should take the lead in developing a forceful, international strategy, first at the HRC, then through other multilateral bodies, to be able to hold Colombo to its promises.

FULL ARTICLE (The Hindu)

Photo: Flickr/trokilinochchi

4 Sep
CrisisWatch N°109, 1 September 2012
A series of sectarian clashes and tit-for-tat kidnappings in Lebanon prompted fears that the Syrian conflict is spilling over. At least 18 were killed and hundreds injured towards the end of August in clashes between al-Assad Alawite supporters and Sunni opponents in Tripoli.
In Syriaitself, UN/Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan resigned amid continued diplomatic deadlock. The discovery of over 300 bodies in Darya prompted calls for an investigation and allegations the regime had massacred yet more civilians. Fighting escalated in Aleppo and Damascus as rebel bombings and government airstrikes continued. The Assad regime continues to suffer high-profile defections, including that of the newly appointed Prime Minister Riyad Hijab.
Turkey experienced the worst violence in decades as Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) attacks intensified throughout the month in the south east, killing dozens in the face of ever-stronger military responses. The flow-on effects of the Syrian conflict are increasingly straining the country’s capacity with the number of military defectors and refugees flowing across the border topping 78,000 by 24 August.
Growing frustration with the ruling coalition’s perceived lack of progress on economic and social issues led to protests across Tunisia. Demonstrations in Sfax and Sidi Bouzid, the birthplace of the 2011 revolution, turned violent, with police responding to protests using tear gas and rubber bullets, wounding and arresting dozens of protestors. Tensions further escalated mid-month as a proposed constitutional amendment to the status of women led to a 6,000-strong protest in support of women’s rights.
In Côte d’Ivoire a string of deadly attacks hit military and police targets across the country. Pro-government media blamed Ivorian Popular Front (FPI) supporters for the attacks, claims which were rejected by the FPI, who alleged government involvement in mid-month raids on FPI headquarters and pro-Gbagbo newspapers which injured two.
Political and social tensions turned violent in Guinea. Thesecurity forces killed seven protestors in two separate demonstrations in the country’s south and north east. Further unauthorised opposition protests calling for free elections on 27 August saw police fire tear gas on demonstrators and shoot at opposition leaders.
In India, last month’s violence in the north-eastern state of Assam spread to three new districts. At least 95 people have been killed and 400,000 people displaced, with tens of thousands of northeastern migrants fleeing major cities amid rumours of reprisals. Widespread general strikes in Assam also triggered riots in several towns, leading the state government to declare a one-month ban to ease tensions.
In Colombia, thegovernment declared that exploratory peace talks with FARC rebel commanders, aimed at ending the country’s 48-year civil conflict, had started. The country’s second biggest rebel group, the ELN, may also join the talks. Crisis Group identifies a conflict resolution opportunity for Colombia.
CrisisWatch
Photo: Fabio Rodrigues Pozzebom/Wikimedia Commons

CrisisWatch N°109, 1 September 2012

A series of sectarian clashes and tit-for-tat kidnappings in Lebanon prompted fears that the Syrian conflict is spilling over. At least 18 were killed and hundreds injured towards the end of August in clashes between al-Assad Alawite supporters and Sunni opponents in Tripoli.

In Syriaitself, UN/Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan resigned amid continued diplomatic deadlock. The discovery of over 300 bodies in Darya prompted calls for an investigation and allegations the regime had massacred yet more civilians. Fighting escalated in Aleppo and Damascus as rebel bombings and government airstrikes continued. The Assad regime continues to suffer high-profile defections, including that of the newly appointed Prime Minister Riyad Hijab.

Turkey experienced the worst violence in decades as Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) attacks intensified throughout the month in the south east, killing dozens in the face of ever-stronger military responses. The flow-on effects of the Syrian conflict are increasingly straining the country’s capacity with the number of military defectors and refugees flowing across the border topping 78,000 by 24 August.

Growing frustration with the ruling coalition’s perceived lack of progress on economic and social issues led to protests across Tunisia. Demonstrations in Sfax and Sidi Bouzid, the birthplace of the 2011 revolution, turned violent, with police responding to protests using tear gas and rubber bullets, wounding and arresting dozens of protestors. Tensions further escalated mid-month as a proposed constitutional amendment to the status of women led to a 6,000-strong protest in support of women’s rights.

In Côte d’Ivoire a string of deadly attacks hit military and police targets across the country. Pro-government media blamed Ivorian Popular Front (FPI) supporters for the attacks, claims which were rejected by the FPI, who alleged government involvement in mid-month raids on FPI headquarters and pro-Gbagbo newspapers which injured two.

Political and social tensions turned violent in Guinea. Thesecurity forces killed seven protestors in two separate demonstrations in the country’s south and north east. Further unauthorised opposition protests calling for free elections on 27 August saw police fire tear gas on demonstrators and shoot at opposition leaders.

In India, last month’s violence in the north-eastern state of Assam spread to three new districts. At least 95 people have been killed and 400,000 people displaced, with tens of thousands of northeastern migrants fleeing major cities amid rumours of reprisals. Widespread general strikes in Assam also triggered riots in several towns, leading the state government to declare a one-month ban to ease tensions.

In Colombia, thegovernment declared that exploratory peace talks with FARC rebel commanders, aimed at ending the country’s 48-year civil conflict, had started. The country’s second biggest rebel group, the ELN, may also join the talks. Crisis Group identifies a conflict resolution opportunity for Colombia.

CrisisWatch

Photo: Fabio Rodrigues Pozzebom/Wikimedia Commons

1 Aug

CrisisWatch N°108

Tajikistan saw fighting erupt around Khorog – the regional capital of the autonomous province of Gorno Badakhshan – following the killing of the regional head of the State Committee for National Security (GKNB) General Abdullo Nazarov. The government quickly blamed the murder on fighters loyal to former opposition fighter and Ishkoshim District border-guard chief Tolib Ayombekov, imposing a media-blackout and launching a large-scale security operation which has reportedly caused scores of fatalities, including civilians.

In Syria, fierce fighting spread to the centres of Aleppo and Damascus for the first time since the beginning of the uprising, prompting government airstrikes and forcing thousands to flee to neighbouring countries. Rebels also extended their control over many rural areas, including several crossings on the Iraqi and Turkish borders. The Assad regime suffered the high-profile assassination of 4 senior security officials in Damascus, in addition to a number of increasingly high-profile defections.

The transition remained stalled in Mali, despite the return of interim President Traoré and the announcement of new transitional institutions. Prime Minister Modibo Diarra refused to resign and the military junta continues to interfere in the government’s internal affairs. Meanwhile, with the threat of foreign military intervention looming, Islamist hardliners consolidated their grip over the country’s north, ousting Tuareg rebels from their last stronghold in the region.

Political tensions intensified in Madagascar following the failure of bitter rivals President Rajoelina and former president Ravalomanana to resolve outstanding issues in the elections roadmap ahead of the Southern African Development Community’s 31 July deadline. A failed mutiny by disgruntled soldiers on the outskirts of Antananarivo demonstrated the growing impatience of many with the political process. It appears increasingly likely that elections scheduled for November will be delayed.

In India, the north-eastern state of Assam saw renewed bouts of ethnic violence, ending nearly three years of relative calm. Clashes broke out after four Bodo youths were killed, provoking retaliation against neighboring Muslim communities and igniting a spiral of violence which has so far claimed the lives of some 60 people.

CrisisWatch

1 Jun

Impact Programme: China, India and Myanmar | BBC World News

Stephanie Kleine-Ahlbrandt and Rajiv Bhatia talk to BBC World News TV’s Impact Programme about China and India’s influence in Myanmar and the future of those diplomatic and economic relationships. 5:14.

14 May
The Diplomat | The Week in Asia
Chen Guancheng’s quest to leave China, China bears, a Pakistani missile test and the country’s improving ties with India feature in this week’s news roundup.
Best of the Research
The International Crisis Group takes a close look at improving relations between India and Pakistan.  Stronger economic links have bolstered moderate voices in both countries, allowing the governments to move past previously intractable issues such as Kashmir to broaden engagement in other areas. The report makes a number of recommendations for both governments on continuing to pursue this, but cautions that there are many impediments to peaceful engagement, including the possibility of another Pakistan originating terrorist attack in India.
"Within India, with suspicions of Pakistani intentions still high, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has limited political support for talks that do not prioritise the terrorist threat. Another Mumbai-style attack by a Pakistan-based jihadi group would make such a dialogue untenable. It could also provoke a military confrontation between the two nuclear-armed neighbours," the authors say.
FULL ARTICLE (The Diplomat)

The Diplomat | The Week in Asia

Chen Guancheng’s quest to leave China, China bears, a Pakistani missile test and the country’s improving ties with India feature in this week’s news roundup.

Best of the Research

The International Crisis Group takes a close look at improving relations between India and Pakistan.  Stronger economic links have bolstered moderate voices in both countries, allowing the governments to move past previously intractable issues such as Kashmir to broaden engagement in other areas. The report makes a number of recommendations for both governments on continuing to pursue this, but cautions that there are many impediments to peaceful engagement, including the possibility of another Pakistan originating terrorist attack in India.

"Within India, with suspicions of Pakistani intentions still high, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has limited political support for talks that do not prioritise the terrorist threat. Another Mumbai-style attack by a Pakistan-based jihadi group would make such a dialogue untenable. It could also provoke a military confrontation between the two nuclear-armed neighbours," the authors say.

7 May
Pakistan Today | India, Pakistan must overcome mistrust despite hardliners 
The International Crisis Group said the recent dialogue process between India and Pakistan “provides the best chance yet for bilateral peace and regional stability”, but both countries “must still overcome serious mistrust among hardliners in their security elites”.In its report titled: Pakistan’s Relations with India: Beyond Kashmir?, the think tank analyses how the deeper economic ties they are building could help repair the breach between the two nuclear-armed powers who have fought multiple wars with each other.For over six decades, bilateral relations have been overshadowed by the Kashmir dispute. “With political will on both sides to normalise relations, however, the dialogue process has resulted in some promising achievements. Broader economic ties would provide a more conducive environment to address longstanding disputes like Kashmir,” it said.“Pakistan and India need to build on what they have achieved to reach sustainable peace”, says Samina Ahmed, Crisis Group’s South Asia Project Director. “Deeper economic ties have been formed. But an effective integration of the two economies requires measures that enable greater movement across the border”.Numerous challenges still threaten the chance for peace and stability. Pakistan’s fragile democratic transition, pivotal to the success of the dialogue, is endangered by a powerful military that is deeply hostile toward India and supports anti-India-oriented extremist groups. Another Mumbai-style attack by militants would make the dialogue untenable and could even spark a new war.“India’s concerns about jihadi groups are legitimate but should not define and encumber dialogue with Pakistan. Given its neighbour’s fragile democratic transition, New Delhi should be more flexible and patient. Such an approach, if sustained, would enable the Pakistani civilian political leadership to take the initiative on security-related and territorial disputes, including Kashmir,” the report said.“Pakistan’s ability to broaden engagement with India depends on a sustained democratic transition, with elected leaders gaining control over foreign and security policy from the military”, says Robert Templer, Crisis Group’s Asia Program Director. “This would result in new prospects to move beyond a rigid, Kashmir-centric approach to India”.
FULL ARTICLE (Pakistan Today) 

Pakistan Today | India, Pakistan must overcome mistrust despite hardliners 

The International Crisis Group said the recent dialogue process between India and Pakistan “provides the best chance yet for bilateral peace and regional stability”, but both countries “must still overcome serious mistrust among hardliners in their security elites”.
In its report titled: Pakistan’s Relations with India: Beyond Kashmir?, the think tank analyses how the deeper economic ties they are building could help repair the breach between the two nuclear-armed powers who have fought multiple wars with each other.
For over six decades, bilateral relations have been overshadowed by the Kashmir dispute. “With political will on both sides to normalise relations, however, the dialogue process has resulted in some promising achievements. Broader economic ties would provide a more conducive environment to address longstanding disputes like Kashmir,” it said.
“Pakistan and India need to build on what they have achieved to reach sustainable peace”, says Samina Ahmed, Crisis Group’s South Asia Project Director. “Deeper economic ties have been formed. But an effective integration of the two economies requires measures that enable greater movement across the border”.
Numerous challenges still threaten the chance for peace and stability. Pakistan’s fragile democratic transition, pivotal to the success of the dialogue, is endangered by a powerful military that is deeply hostile toward India and supports anti-India-oriented extremist groups. Another Mumbai-style attack by militants would make the dialogue untenable and could even spark a new war.
“India’s concerns about jihadi groups are legitimate but should not define and encumber dialogue with Pakistan. Given its neighbour’s fragile democratic transition, New Delhi should be more flexible and patient. Such an approach, if sustained, would enable the Pakistani civilian political leadership to take the initiative on security-related and territorial disputes, including Kashmir,” the report said.
“Pakistan’s ability to broaden engagement with India depends on a sustained democratic transition, with elected leaders gaining control over foreign and security policy from the military”, says Robert Templer, Crisis Group’s Asia Program Director. “This would result in new prospects to move beyond a rigid, Kashmir-centric approach to India”.

FULL ARTICLE (Pakistan Today) 

3 May
Pakistan’s Relations with India: Beyond Kashmir?
Islamabad/Brussels | 3 May 2012
Their recent dialogue process provides the best chance yet for bilateral peace and regional stability, but Pakistan and India must still overcome serious mistrust among hardliners in their security elites.
Pakistan’s Relations with India: Beyond Kashmir? , the latest briefing from the International Crisis Group, analyses how the deeper economic ties they are building could help repair the breach between the two nuclear-armed powers who have fought multiple wars with each other.
For over six decades, bilateral relations have been overshadowed by the Kashmir dispute. With political will on both sides to normalise relations, however, the dialogue process has resulted in some promising achievements. Broader economic ties would provide a more conducive environment to address longstanding disputes like Kashmir.
“Pakistan and India need to build on what they have achieved to reach sustainable peace”, says Samina Ahmed, Crisis Group’s South Asia Project Director. “Deeper economic ties have been formed. But an effective integration of the two economies requires measures that enable greater movement across the border”.
Numerous challenges still threaten the chance for peace and stability. Pakistan’s fragile democratic transition, pivotal to the success of the dialogue, is endangered by a powerful military that is deeply hostile toward India and supports anti-India-oriented extremist groups. Another Mumbai-style attack by Pakistan-based jihadists would make the dialogue untenable and could even spark a new war.
Liberalised trade, stronger commercial links and deeper bilateral economic investment would strengthen moderate forces in Pakistan’s government, political parties, business community and civil society. But New Delhi’s heavy-handed suppression of dissent and large military footprint in the portion of Kashmir it controls alienate Kashmiris, undermine Pakistani constituencies for peace and embolden jihadi groups and hardliners in the military and civil bureaucracies.
There are other impediments. With India constructing several dams in the Indus River Basin, the Pakistani military and jihadi groups now identify water disputes as a core issue, along with Kashmir, that must be resolved if relations are to be normalised. Averse to talks that do not prioritise the terror threat, Indian hardliners could also impede normalisation.
India’s concerns about jihadi groups are legitimate but should not define and encumber dialogue with Pakistan. Given its neighbour’s fragile democratic transition, New Delhi should be more flexible and patient. Such an approach, if sustained, would enable the Pakistani civilian political leadership to take the initiative on security-related and territorial disputes, including Kashmir.  
“Pakistan’s ability to broaden engagement with India depends on a sustained democratic transition, with elected leaders gaining control over foreign and security policy from the military”, says Robert Templer, Crisis Group’s Asia Program Director. “This would result in new prospects to move beyond a rigid, Kashmir-centric approach to India”.
CRISIS GROUP

Pakistan’s Relations with India: Beyond Kashmir?

Islamabad/Brussels | 3 May 2012

Their recent dialogue process provides the best chance yet for bilateral peace and regional stability, but Pakistan and India must still overcome serious mistrust among hardliners in their security elites.

Pakistan’s Relations with India: Beyond Kashmir? , the latest briefing from the International Crisis Group, analyses how the deeper economic ties they are building could help repair the breach between the two nuclear-armed powers who have fought multiple wars with each other.

For over six decades, bilateral relations have been overshadowed by the Kashmir dispute. With political will on both sides to normalise relations, however, the dialogue process has resulted in some promising achievements. Broader economic ties would provide a more conducive environment to address longstanding disputes like Kashmir.

“Pakistan and India need to build on what they have achieved to reach sustainable peace”, says Samina Ahmed, Crisis Group’s South Asia Project Director. “Deeper economic ties have been formed. But an effective integration of the two economies requires measures that enable greater movement across the border”.

Numerous challenges still threaten the chance for peace and stability. Pakistan’s fragile democratic transition, pivotal to the success of the dialogue, is endangered by a powerful military that is deeply hostile toward India and supports anti-India-oriented extremist groups. Another Mumbai-style attack by Pakistan-based jihadists would make the dialogue untenable and could even spark a new war.

Liberalised trade, stronger commercial links and deeper bilateral economic investment would strengthen moderate forces in Pakistan’s government, political parties, business community and civil society. But New Delhi’s heavy-handed suppression of dissent and large military footprint in the portion of Kashmir it controls alienate Kashmiris, undermine Pakistani constituencies for peace and embolden jihadi groups and hardliners in the military and civil bureaucracies.

There are other impediments. With India constructing several dams in the Indus River Basin, the Pakistani military and jihadi groups now identify water disputes as a core issue, along with Kashmir, that must be resolved if relations are to be normalised. Averse to talks that do not prioritise the terror threat, Indian hardliners could also impede normalisation.

India’s concerns about jihadi groups are legitimate but should not define and encumber dialogue with Pakistan. Given its neighbour’s fragile democratic transition, New Delhi should be more flexible and patient. Such an approach, if sustained, would enable the Pakistani civilian political leadership to take the initiative on security-related and territorial disputes, including Kashmir.  

“Pakistan’s ability to broaden engagement with India depends on a sustained democratic transition, with elected leaders gaining control over foreign and security policy from the military”, says Robert Templer, Crisis Group’s Asia Program Director. “This would result in new prospects to move beyond a rigid, Kashmir-centric approach to India”.

CRISIS GROUP

19 Dec

GlobalPost: Sri Lanka: new test of India’s global influence

NEW DELHI, India — The Sri Lankan government’s efforts to erase from history the final months of its 25-year-long war against Tamil separatists hit a snag this week, as humanitarian organizations blasted the report of an internal probe into alleged human rights violations and possible war crimes as a whitewash.

Now, the fight for clarity, if not justice, may well depend on India.

The Sri Lankan government’s Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) posted its report on the last months of the civil war Dec. 16. But despite the government’s hopes that the internal assessment would end calls for an international investigation, Human Rights Watch identified “serious shortcomings” in the 388-page report.

Most troubling, the LLRC largely exonerated government forces for alleged violations of the laws of war, Human Rights Watch said.

“The way the war was ended in Sri Lanka must not be made into a positive example that other governments are encouraged to pursue or allowed to pursue,” said Alan Keenan, Sri Lanka Project Director for the International Crisis Group.

“One of the major advantages of an international investigation would be to lay out in a credible way just how destructive that approach was.”

Whether that happens, however, could well depend on New Delhi’s new willingness to stand up against bullying from Beijing — which has blocked multilateral actions on human rights.

FULL ARTICLE (GlobalPost)

6 Dec

EurasiaNet: Kyrgyzstan: Indian Medical Students Caught in Diploma Mill?

David Trilling

In a light vinyl jacket, Adi slides awkwardly on the ice in front of his Bishkek dormitory. It’s the first time he’s ever seen snow: “It’s like God’s grace falling down.”

The 20-year-old from Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous province, arrived in Kyrgyzstan this fall to start work on a five-year medical degree at the International University of Kyrgyzstan (MUK). At home, medical school became a distant dream after he did poorly on entrance exams. But his parents’ demands were not open to dispute: “Since I was a child, I heard I would become a doctor. My father is a doctor. I will be a doctor.”

MUK’s International Medical School has over 1,000 students, mostly from India and Pakistan. The courses are taught in English and many students live in designated dormitories in downtown Bishkek. Best of all, admission does not require top grades or impressive exam results, only a few thousand dollars a year—less than many Indian universities. But the quality of the training raises major concerns. After the Soviet Union fell apart, Kyrgyzstan’s education and healthcare standards plummeted. A report released in February by the International Crisis Group (ICG) points to a “human resource catastrophe” in healthcare, with “many older professionals regard[ing] most of those trained in the past 15 years as unqualified.”

FULL ARTICLE (EurasiaNet)