October 9, 2006 at 11:33 pm | Posted in Science & Technology | Leave a comment




Landauer’s Principle

Landauer’s Principle

Landauer’s Principle, first argued in 1961[1] by Rolf Landauer of IBM, holds that “any logically irreversible manipulation of information, such as the erasure of a bit or the merging of two computation paths, must be accompanied by a corresponding entropy increase in non-information bearing degrees of freedom of the information processing apparatus or its environment”. (Bennett 2003)[2].

Specifically, each bit of lost information will lead to the release of an amount kT ln 2 of heat. On the other hand, if no information is erased, computation may in principle be achieved which is thermodynamically reversible, and require no release of heat. This has led to considerable interest in the study of reversible computing.

The principle is widely accepted as physical lore; but in recent years it has been challenged, notably in Earman and Norton (1998), and subsequently in Shenker (2000)[3] and Norton (2004)[4].


Landauer’s principle can be understood to be a simple logical consequence of the second law of thermodynamics—which states that the entropy of a closed system cannot decrease—together with the definition of thermodynamic temperature. For, if the number of possible logical states of a computation were to decrease as the computation proceeded forward (logical irreversibility), this would constitute a forbidden decrease of entropy, unless the number of possible physical states corresponding to each logical state were to simultaneously increase by at least a compensating amount, so that the total number of possible physical states was no smaller than originally (total entropy has not decreased).

Yet an increase in the number of physical states corresponding to each logical state means that for an observer who is keeping track of the logical state of the system but not the physical state (for example an “observer” consisting of the computer itself), the number of possible physical states has increased; in other words, entropy has increased from the point of view of this observer. The maximum entropy of a bounded physical system is finite. (If the holographic principle is correct, then physical systems with finite surface area have a finite maximum entropy; but regardless of the truth of the holographic principle, quantum field theory dictates that the entropy of systems with finite radius and energy is finite.) So, to avoid reaching this maximum over the course of an extended computation, entropy must eventually be expelled to an outside environment at some given temperature T, requiring that energy E = ST must be emitted into that environment if the amount of added entropy is S. For a computational operation in which 1 bit of logical information is lost, the amount of entropy generated is at least k ln 2, and so the energy that must eventually be emitted to the environment is EkT ln 2.

This expression for the minimum energy dissipation from a logically irreversible binary operation was first suggested by John von Neumann, but it was first rigorously justified (and with important limits to its applicability stated) by Landauer. For this reason, it is sometimes referred to as being simply the Landauer bound or limit, but if we wish to be more generous to its originator, we may prefer to refer to it as the von Neumann-Landauer (VNL) bound instead.



October 9, 2006 at 11:14 pm | Posted in Economics, Financial, Latin America | Leave a comment




The link to the weekly report is

Brazil – Investor Relations Group

The link to the weekly report is

Market Readout – October 6, 2006.

Investor Relations Group

Phone +55 (61) 3414-3980

Fax +55 (61) 3414-3749



Time Series of Market Expectations

Other Reports from Gerin (Investor Relations Group)

No e-mail transmissions can be guaranteed to be error free. The sender therefore cannot
accept liability for any errors or omissions in the contents of this message which arise
as a result of e-mail transmission.

To unsubscribe send an e-mail to

Brazil – Investor Relations Group

Attachment: gerin.gif
(0.01 MB)

Market Readout – October 6, 2006

Brazil – Investor Relations Group

Monday, October 9, 2006


October 9, 2006 at 9:41 pm | Posted in Books, History, Latin America, Literary | Leave a comment




Latin American Fiction

B. Traven: Chiapas Mahogany Plantations & Debt-Slavery

Alegria, Claribel (El Salvador,
Family Album
New York: Curbstone, 1991
Three novellas about expatriate Latin American women living in exile, grappling with the
past and with their families.
Allende, Isabel (Chile)
House of the Spirits

New York: Knopf, 1985
The story of a wealthy Chilean family from the turn?of?the?century through the downfall of
democracy and the rise of dictatorship is chronicled in this novel.

Allende, Isabel (Chile)
Of Love and Shadows

New York: Knopf, 1987 T
wo journalists discover more than they expected when they trace a missing girl in a
despotic Latin American country

Alvarez, Julia (Dominican Republic)
How the Garcia Girls Lost their Accents

Chapel Hill: Algonquin Books, 1991
Four sisters from the Dominican Republic lose touch with their culture in the process of
becoming Americanized.
Alvarez, Julia (Dominican Republic)
In the Name of Salome

Chapel Hill: Algonquin, 2000
This novel is a fictional recreation of the life of the Dominican national poet, Salome
Ureña de Henríquez and her daughter Camilla, a professor of Spanish at Vassar in the
forties and fifties. It describes the chaotic political situation in the Dominican
Republic in the second half of the nineteenth century and the life of Hispanic women.

Alvarez, Julia (Dominican Republic)
In the Time of the Butterflies

Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin Books, 1994
The daughters of a wealthy Dominican family become enmeshed in a plot to overthrow the
dictator of the country

Alvarez, Julia (Dominican Republic)

Chapel Hill: Algonquin Books, 1997
This novel examines the impact of a Dominican?American writer on her family and friends
when she publishes an autobiographical novel.

Anaya, Rudolfo (Chicano) Bless Me, Ultima

New York: Warner Books, 1972
A young boy learns about wisdom and evil from a wise woman, a curandera who has magical

Arenas, Reinaldo (Cuba)
The Assault

New York: Viking, 1994
This is a novella in which everyone living in an island dictatorship is trained to betray
everyone else, and an agent of the Bureau of Counterwhispering is seeking enemies of the

Arenas, Reinaldo (Cuba) Before Night Falls

New York: Viking, 1993
This novel depicts the brutality of life for a gay man in Castro’s Cuba.

Arenas, Reinaldo (Cuba)
The Color of Summer

New York: Viking, 2000
This is a parable about Cuba in which the dictator of an island decides to resurrect all
his dead enemies in order to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his rule. The trouble is
that even dead, the individuals keep trying to escape

Arenas, Reinaldo (Cuba)
The Doorman

New York: Grove Weidenfield, 1991
A Cuban refugee who becomes a doorman at a luxury apartment house in New York tries to
help the residents open the door to happiness, but ends up better friends with the
residents’ pets than with the people.

Arenas, Reinaldo (Cuba)
The Palace of the White Skunks

New York: Penguin, 1993
The only escape from poverty for an impoverished family in pre-revolutionary Cuba is a
descent into madness.

Argueta Manilo (El Salvador) One Day of Life

New York: Vintage Books, 1991
A view of oppression in modern?day El Salvador from the point of view of a peasant.

Asturias, Miguel (Guatemala) El Senor Presidente

New York: Atheneum, 1963
A chronicle of the horrors of an absolute dictatorship. The author won a Nobel Prize

Asturias, Miguel Angel (Guatemala)

New York: Delacorte, 1967
A poor Guatemalan farmer makes a deal with the devil which leads him through a series of
tragi-comic adventures as this Nobel Prize winning author explores Guatemalan mythology in
a fanciful manner.

Castillo, Ana (Chicana)
So Far From God

New York: W.W. Norton, 1993
A New Mexican woman watches the world destroy her four daughters.
Chavez, Denise (Chicana)
The Face of an Angel

New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1994
An Hispanic woman in New Mexico comes to terms with the good and bad of her heritage. Also
this is a manual about the art of being a good waitress.

Chavez, Denise (Chicana)
The Last of the Menu Girls

Houston: Arte Publico Press, 1986
Short stories about growing up female and Hispanic in New Mexico.

Cisneros, Sandra (Mexican-American)
The House on Mango Street

New York: Vintage Books, 1991
Interlocking short stories about a you Hispanic girl in the Chicago slums.

Cisneros, Sandra (Mexican-American)
Woman Hollering Creek

New York: Random House, 1991
Short stories about Hispanic men and women
Cortázar, Julio (Argentina)

New York: Pantheon, 1968
This is an extremely challenging non-linear novel that explores the angst of a young
Argentinian first in Paris and then in Buenos Aires as he tries to define himself and his

Donoso, Jose (Chile)

New York: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1988
An exile returns to Chile and gets caught up in political intrigue

Donoso, Jose (Chile)
The Garden Next Door

New York: Grove, 1992
A look at the lives of Latin American exiles living in Spain.

Donoso, Jose (Chile)
A House in the Country

New York: Knopf, 1984
In 19th century Chile, a large family spending the summer at an estate, leave their
children unattended while they picnic. What happens becomes an allegory for Chile’s
history between 1970 and 1973.

Dorfman, Ariel (Chile)
The Last Song of Manuel Sendero

New York: Viking, 1987 Unborn babies of a future generation refuse to be born unless the
world is without victims or repression.

Dorfman, Ariel (Chile)

New York: Pantheon, 1983
Widows in a village in an unnamed country defy military authorities in order to claim and
bury the dead bodies of their husbands and sons, bodies that have washed up on a river

Escandón, María Amparo (Mexico)
Esperanza’s Box of Saints

New York: Scribner, 1999 This novel follows the odyssey of a grieving mother who refuses
to believe that her daughter has died. She tries to find her, traveling through a series
of brothels and other sordid places in Mexico and the United States, sustained by her
innocence and intense religious faith.

Esquivel, Laura (Mexico)
Like Water for Chocolate

New York: Doubleday,1992
The story of a young woman whose thwarted love causes her to become a master chef whose
recipes create a kind of magic in those who eat them.

Fuentes, Carlos (Mexico)
The Death of Artemio Cruz

New York: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, 1991
An old man who has chosen wealth rather than compassion throughout his life, lies dying
and reflects on his choices.

Fuentes, Carlos (Mexico)
The Old Gringo

New York: Farrar Straus & Giroux, 1985
A novel exploring the mysterious fate of the American writer Ambrose Bierce who
disappeared during the Mexican Revolution. Fuentes imagines Bierce in the camp of Pancho
Villa as the Revolution involves everything in its path

Galeano, Eduardo (Uruguay ) The Book of Embraces

New York: Norton, 1991
A mosaic of anecdotes that record both the life of the author and the breadth of Latin
American history.

Garcia, Cristina (Cuba)
The Aguero Sisters

New York: Knopf, 1997
Two sisters, one in New York and one in Havana, try to make sense of their past and the
politics that divided them.

Garcia, Cristina (Cuba) Dreaming in Cuban

New York: Random House, 1993
A Cuban family is bitterly divided by politics. They work out their destinies in Havana
and New York.

Garcia Marquez, Gabriel (Colombia)
The Autumn of the Patriarch

New York: Avon, 1977
A brutal dictator lives out his last days amid the fear of his subjects and the memories
of his ruthlessness. The author won the Nobel Prize in literature.

Garcia Marquez, Gabriel (Colombia)
A Chronicle of a Death Foretold

New York: Knopf, 1983
Two young men commit a murder they seemingly don’t want to commit. A meditation on free
will and Latin American machismo. The author won the Nobel Prize in literature.

Garcia Marquez, Gabriel (Colombia)
The General in his Labyrinth

New York: Knopf, 1990
A fictional account of the last years of Simon Bolivar when it became apparent that his
dream of a united Latin America had failed. The author won the Nobel Prize in literature.

Garcia Marquez, Gabriel (Colombia )
Love in the Time of Cholera

New York: Knopf, 1988
The tale of a grand love affair of unrequited passion that waits more than fifty years to
be consummated. The author won the Nobel Prize in literature.

Garcia Marquez, Gabriel (Colombia )
One Hundred Years of Solitude

New York: Everyman’s, 1995
The chronicle of a fictional Latin American town from its mythical founding through boom
and bust years, and political upheaval, mirroring the history of Colombia. The author won
the Nobel Prize in literature.

Hijuelos, Oscar (Cuba)
The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love

New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1989
Two Cuban refugee brothers gain and lose success with a mambo band in New York.

Islas, Arturo (Chicano)
The Rain God

New York: Avon, 1991
A Hispanic family living on the border is conflicted about whether they are Mexican or

Mastretta, Angeles (Mexico) Lovesick

New York: Riverhead Books, 1997.
A young woman growing up in Puebla at the time of the Mexican Revolution becomes a doctor.
She is torn between two loves, a risk?taking journalist and a gentle fellow?physician.

Poniatowska, Elena (Mexico) Here’s to you,

Farrar Straus & Giroux, 2001
This is a fictionalized account of the life of a real Mexican woman who fought along side
men in the Mexican Revolution, survived a brutal marriage, endured poverty and degradation
in Mexico City, and yet developed an ability to survive and a belief in a spiritual
dimension to her existence.

Puig, Manuel (Argentina) Heartbreak Tango

New York: Dutton, 1973
An Argentinian Don Juan who is dying of consumption manages to destroy the lives of all
the women who love him, including his mother and sister.

Puig, Manuel (Argentina)
The Kiss of the Spider Woman

New York: Knopf, 1979
Two prisoners, one gay and one political, become friends while sharing the same cell in a
Latin American prison

Puig, Manuel (Argentina) Tropical Nights Falling

New York : Simon & Schuster, 1991
The correspondence of two sisters displays their deep relationship.

Rivera, Beatriz (Cuban American)
Midnight Sandwiches at the Mariposa Express

Houston: Arte Publico, 1997
A young woman tries to bring meaning and dignity to her New Jersey community even if it
means falsifying their history.

Scliar, Moacyr (Brazil)
The Centaur in the Garden

New York: Ballantine, 1988
A Brazilian?Jewish couple give birth to a centaur who must discover where he belongs in
the world.

Sepulveda, Luis (Ecuador)
The Old Man Who Read Love Stories

New York: Harcourt Brace, 1993
An old man living in the Ecuadorian Amazon jungle is forced to become part of a hunt for a
man?eating ocelot.

Skarmeta, Antonio (Chile)
Burning Patience

New York: Pantheon, 1987
A young man whose job it is to deliver the mail to the distinguished poet Pablo Neruda
learns about life, love and metaphor from the old man as Chile moves from democracy to

Taibo, Paco Ignacio (Mexico) Calling All Heroes
Kaneohe, Hawaii: Plover Press, 1990
A young man involved in the abortive revolution of 1968 recalls what went wrong while he
convalesces in a hospital in Mexico City.

Taibo, Paco Ignacio (Mexico) Four Hands

New York: St Martins, 1994
Elements as disparate as the war in Nicaragua and Stan Laurel’s visit to Mexico are linked
in a dizzying conspiracy in a difficult but rewarding novel.

Taibo, Paco Ignacio (Mexico) The Shadow of the

New York: Viking, 1991
Four idealist Mexican veterans of the revolution uncover a conspiracy to take over their
country’s oil fields.

Torres, Ana Teresa (Venezuela)
Dona Ines vs. Oblivion

Baton Rouge: Louisiana State Univ. Press, 1999
A lawsuit concerning the ownership of land that consumes two families for over three
hundred years, is described by the ghost of the woman who initiated it. The history of the
suit mirrors the history of Venezuela.

Traven, B. (Mexico)
La Carreta

Traven, B. (Mexico)

Chicago: Ivan Dee, 1994
The coming-of-age of a young Indian cart driver in the Chiapas mahogany plantations. This
is the second of the Jungle series about the Mexican Revolution.

Traven, B. (Mexico)
The General from the Jungle .

Chicago: Ivan Dee, 1995
How the Chiapas Indians waged a guerrilla war against their exploiters. This is the last
of the Jungle series about the Mexican Revolution

Traven, B. (Mexico) Government

Chicago: Ivan Dee, 1993
A greedy minor Mexican official discovers a way to sell the Indians from the village of
which he is in charge into indentured slavery working for a mahogany plantation owned by
foreigners. This is the first of six novels of the Mexican revolution taking place in the
still troubled state of Chiapas

Traven, B. (Mexico)
The March to the Monteria

Chicago: Ivan Dee, 1994
How the Chiapas Indians working in debt-slavery to the mahogany plantations began to
develop political consciousness which led to rebellion. This is the third of the Jungle
series about the Mexican Revolution.

Traven, B.
The Rebellion of the Hanged.

New York: Hill and Wang, 1974
The revolt of the Chiapas mahogany workers at the time of the Mexican Revolution This is
the fifth in Traven’s jungle series about the Mexican Revolution

Traven, B. (Mexico)

Chicago: Ivan Dee, 1994
How the Chiapas peasants were treated in the mahogany plantations under the regime of
Porfirio Diaz who in theory, but not in fact declared peonage illegal. This is the fourth
in Traven’s jungle series about the Mexican Revolution.

Vargas Llosa, Mario (Peru ) The Real Life of
Alejandro Matya

New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1986
A novel about a brutal Latin American dictatorship.

Vargas Llosa, Mario (Peru ) The Storyteller

New York: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, 1989
A man finds his school friend has become the storyteller for a primitive tribe.

Yanez Cossio, Alicia (Ecuador)
Bruna and her Sisters in the Sleeping City

Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1999
A magical tale of the history of Ecuador through the eccentricities of one family who
spend generations and fortunes trying to forget that their wealth and their ancestry were
based on the Indian wife of the conquistador who founded the family.



October 9, 2006 at 3:52 pm | Posted in Arabs, History, Islam, Middle East | Leave a comment




In older Western historical literature, the Saracens were the people of the Saracen Empire, another name for the Arab Caliphate under the rule of the Umayyad and Abbasid dynasties


In older Western historical literature, the Saracens were the people of the Saracen Empire, another name for the Arab Caliphate under the rule of the Umayyad and Abbasid dynasties. The Saracens are credited with many mathematical advances and inventions used in the modern world, including table and bed linens, sherbet and ice cream, and cultivated peaches and strawberries.[1]

The term Saracen comes from Greek sarakenoi, which is itself derived from the Arabic word sharqiyyin (“easterners”). In the early centuries of the Roman Empire, the Saracens were a nomadic Arab tribe from the Sinai Peninsula, but later the Greek-speaking subjects of the Empire applied it to all Arabs. After the rise of Islam, and especially at the time of the Crusades, its usage was extended to what today are called Muslims, particularly those in Sicily and southern Italy.

In Christian writing, the name was made to mean “those empty of Sarah” or “not from Sarah,” as Arabs were, in Biblical genealogies, descended from Hagar and also called the Hagarenes. According to the Arthurian Lancelot-Grail Cycle, the name derives from Sarras, an island important in the Quest for the Holy Grail.

John of Damascus described the Saracens in the early 8th century :

There is also the people-deceiving cult (threskeia) of the Ishmaelites, the forerunner of the Antichrist, which prevails until now. It derives from Ishmael, who was born to Abraham from Hagar, wherefore they are called Hagarenes and Ishmaelites. And they call them Saracens, inasmuch as they were [sent away] empty-handed by Sarah (ek tes Sarras kenous); for it was said to the angel by Hagar: “Sarah has sent me away empty-handed” (cf. Genesis xxi. 10, 14).

These, then, were idolaters and worshippers of the morning star and Aphrodite whom in fact they called Akbar (Chabar) in their own language, which means “great”. So until the times of Heraclius they were plain idolaters. From that time till now a false prophet appeared among them, surnamed Muhammad (Mamed), who, having happened upon the Old and the New Testament and apparently having conversed, in like manner, with an Arian monk, put together his own heresy. And after ingratiating himself with the people by a pretence of piety, he spread rumours of a scripture (graphe) brought down to him from heaven. So, having drafted some ludicrous doctrines in his book, he handed over to them this form of worship (to sebas).

In this extract, John might actually have been referring to Allat, a pre-Islamic goddess equated with Aphrodite.

In modern times, “Saracen” has also commonly been applied to Mediterranean pirates.


  1. The Mainstream of Human Progress.

History of the Saracens is a book written by Simon Ockley of Cambridge University.

The book was also printed in London, 1894. [1]

External source



October 9, 2006 at 2:11 pm | Posted in Asia, Economics, Financial | Leave a comment





MAS Mailing List

Monetary Authority of Singapore


MAS Mailing List

Monday, October 9, 2006

Sep 2006
Speech by Mr Lee Chuan Teck, Executive Director, Monetary Authority of
Singapore, at the Public Lender & Insurer Infrastructure Finance Summit 2006

Sep 2006
"Developing a Deep Pool of Financial Talent" – Short Remarks by
Deputy Managing Director Shane Tregillis at Launch of Securities and Investment Institute
Regional Centre at Fullerton Hotel at 5.15 pm

Sep 2006
"Sharing Some Perspectives on Growth" – Speech by Mr Goh Chok Tong,
Senior Minister and Chairman of Monetary Authority of Singapore, at the Group of
Thirty(G-30) International Banking Seminar and Lunch, at Marina Mandarin Hotel

Sep 2006
"Asia’s Financial Markets – The Challenges Ahead" – Speech By
Managing Director Heng Swee Keat at DBS Formal Dinner

Sep 2006
"Opportunities in a New Asia: China,India and ASEAN In-Between" –
Speech by Mr Goh Chok Tong, Senior Minister and Chairman of the Monetary Authority of
Singapore, at the Institute of International Finance (IIF) Opening Dinner at the
Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore at 7.30 PM

here for previous Policy Statements/Speeches]

Oct 2006
Civil Penalty Enforcement Action For Insider Trading

Sep 2006
Securities Industry Council ("SIC") Public Statement on Thakral
Corporation Ltd

Sep 2006
MAS Invites Comments on Proposed Changes to the Securities and Futures Act
and the Financial Advisers Act

Sep 2006
International Monetary Fund (IMF) Quota Reform

Sep 2006
Senior Minister and Chairman of MAS Addresses Luncheon at the Group of Thirty
(G30) International Banking Seminar

here for previous Press Releases

Mar 2006
Reply to PQ on Credit Counselling

Feb 2006
Reply to PQ on Credit Facilities

Jan 2006
Reply to PQ on Credit Card Companies

Nov 2005
Reply to PQ on Credit Card Debt

Nov 2005
Reply to PQ on SGX Website and SGXTrade

here for previous Parliamentary Questions]

Sep 2006
Consultation Paper ‘ Returns on Retail Payment Statistics’

Sep 2006
MAS Survey of Professional Forecasters

Aug 2006
Draft Guidelines to Notices on Prevention of Money Laundering and Countering
the Financing of Terrorism

Aug 2006
Recent Economic Developments in Singapore

Jul 2006
Latest Issue of
Monthly Statistical
(June 2006)

Oct 2006
3-mth Treasury Bill Auction Result

Oct 2006
3-mth Treasury Bill Auction Announcement

Sep 2006
Result of Tender of Singapore Government Offering of Taxable1-yr Book-Entry
Treasury Bills

Sep 2006
Application of Singapore Government Offering of Taxable 1-yr Book-Entry
Treasury Bills

Jun 2005
Singapore Overnight Rate Average (SORA)

Oct 2006
Update to the UN 1267 List

Jul 2006
Public Statement on Internet Security

Apr 2006
Monetary Authority of Singapore (Freezing Of Assets of Former President of
Liberia and Connected Persons) (Amendment) Reglations 2006

Mar 2006
Monetary Authority of Singapore (Freezing of Assets of Persons – Democratic
Republic of the Congo) Regulations 2006

Mar 2006
Monetary Authority of Singapore (Freezing of Assets of Persons – Cote
D’Ivoire) Regulations 2006

MAS Mailing List

Monetary Authority of Singapore


Monday, October 9, 2006


October 9, 2006 at 12:46 pm | Posted in Asia, Economics, Financial | Comments Off on FAR EASTERN ECONOMIC REVIEW




Far Eastern Economic Review


Dear Reader,

Welcome to the October issue of the Far Eastern
Economic Review

This month you can enjoy free access to three articles touching on Singapore’s
challenges: “Singapore’s Founding Myths vs. Freedom” by Garry Rodan,
“The Charade of Meritocracy” by Michael D. Barr, and “Financial Center
Pipedreams” by Hugo Restall. In light of the recent Thai coup, we have also provided
free access to our interviews with Gen. Prem Tinsulanonda and former Prime Minister Anand
Panyarachun. Please note that all Review subscribers can access all articles for free. If
you don’t already subscribe to the magazine, please take this opportunity and join Asia’s
opinion leaders today by logging onto


Christine Brendle

Managing Director

FREE ACCESS TO THESE ARTICLES: Singapore’s Founding Myths
vs. Freedom
by Garry Rodan

Garry Rodan, professor of politics at Australia’s Murdoch University, analyzes the
Singapore government’s determination to protect the founding myths of the PAP despite
new challenges from technology and globalization.
[ read this

The Charade of Meritocracy
by Michael D. Barr

Michael D. Barr, lecturer at the University of Queensland, investigates
Singapore’s claims to

meritocracy in its education system and reveals systematic discrimination against the
city-state’s non-Chinese population.
[ read
this article

Financial Center Pipedreams
by Hugo Restall

Hugo Restall, editor of the REVIEW, doubts whether Singapore’s efforts to become a
leading regional financial center are gaining as much traction as the recent buzz over
hedge funds would lead one to believe.
[ read this

Singapore’s Founding Myths vs. Freedom
by Garry Rodan

Garry Rodan, professor of politics at Australia’s Murdoch University, analyzes the
Singapore government’s determination to protect the founding myths of the PAP despite
new challenges from technology and
[ read this

Race and Ethnicity:
The Charade of Meritocracy
by Michael D. Barr

Michael D. Barr, lecturer at the University of Queensland, investigates
Singapore’s claims to meritocracy in its education system and reveals systematic
discrimination against the city-state’s non-Chinese population.
[ read this

Financial Center Pipedreams
by Hugo Restall

Hugo Restall, editor of the REVIEW, doubts whether Singapore’s efforts to become a
leading regional financial center are gaining as much traction as the recent buzz over
hedge funds would lead one to believe.
[ read this

Bangkok’s Elitist Coup
by Michael H. Nelson

Michael H. Nelson, visiting scholar at the faculty of political science at
Chulalongkorn University, considers the wider implications of the coup for Thai democracy
and asserts that the putsch will accentuate divisions.
[ read this

Putting Thailand Together Again
by Colum Murphy

Colum Murphy, deputy editor of the REVIEW, discusses Thailand’s political woes
with two of the country’s most influential figures, Gen. Prem Tinsulanonda and former
Prime Minister Anand Panyarachun.
[ read this

How Long Before the Thai Junta Splinters?
by Ukrist Pathmanand

Ukrist Pathmanand, senior researcher at Chulalongkorn University, delves behind the
military junta’s unified facade and predicts a rocky road ahead for the people and
the economy of Thailand under new leadership.
[ read this

Profits Drive China’s Boom
by Bert Hofman and Louis Kuijs

Bert Hofman and Louis Kuijs, chief economist and economist at the World Bank’s
Beijing office respectively, present their case for why China’s boom is driven by
enterprise profits and prescribe a policy to cool investment.
[ read this

Japan Looks For Oil in The Wrong Places
by Masanari Koike

Masanari Koike, doctoral candidate at the University of Tokyo, explains why
Japan’s plan to bolster its energy security is seriously misguided and outlines some
of the steps Tokyo should take to address the issue.
[ read this

Japanese Capitalism Hits a Tipping Point
by Nicholas Benes

Nicholas Benes, president of JTP Corporation, outlines the factors pushing Japanese
capitalism towards reform and what this means for the future of Japan’s corporations.
[ read this

China’s Online Mobs: The New Red Guard?
by Anne Stevenson-Yang

Anne Stevenson-Yang, co-founder of an Internet company based in Beijing, explores the
murky social and marketing dynamics behind the Internet in China.
[ read this

Chinese Lessons: Five Classmates and the Story of the New China
By John Pomfret

Reviewed by Graham Earnshaw, publisher of China
Economic Review
[ read
this review

Sacred Games
By Vikram Chandra

Reviewed by Salil Tripathi, a writer based in London and former Singapore correspondent
of the REVIEW.
[ read
this review

Mao’s Last Revolution
By Roderick MacFarquhar and Michael Schoenhals

Reviewed by Neil J. Diamant, associate professor of Asian law and society at Dickinson
College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
[ read
this review

The New Argonauts: Regional Advantage in a Global Economy
By AnnaLee Saxenian

Reviewed by Michael Scown, managing director for Intel Capital Asia Pacific, based in
Hong Kong.
[ read
this review

China’s Longest Campaign: Birth Planning in the Peoples Republic, 1949-2005
By Tyrene White

Reviewed by Steven W. Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute and author
of several books, including A Mother’s Ordeal: One Woman’s Fight Against
China’s One-Child Policy (Perennial, 1993).
[ read
this review

The Banquet Bug
By Geling Yan

Reviewed by Leslie Hook, a recent graduate of Princeton University and Princeton in
Asia fellow at the REVIEW.
[ read
this review

Love and Revolution: A Novel about Song Qingling and Sun Yat-sen
By Ping Lu

Reviewed by Jonathan Mirsky, former East Asia editor of the Times of London.
[ read
this review

A Model Shanxi Vineyard
By Hugo Restall

Mr. Restall, editor of the REVIEW, samples fine wines in Shanxi province.
[ read this

The REVIEW’s list of the best hard-boiled novels set in
[ read this

Far Eastern Economic Review is a trademark of Dow Jones &
Company, Inc

The October Issue of FEER

Far Eastern Economic Review

Monday, October 9, 2006


October 9, 2006 at 3:59 am | Posted in History, USA | Leave a comment




Office of Special Plans

Office of Special Plans

The Office of Special Plans, which existed from September, 2002, to June, 2003, was a Pentagon
unit created by
Donald Rumsfeld and led by Douglas
, dealing with intelligence on Iraq. An
allegedly similar unit, called the
Iranian Directorate, was created in
2006 to deal with intelligence on

A threat to US national security

In an interview with the Scottish Sunday Herald,
former CIA officer Larry C.
said the
OSP was
"dangerous for US national security and a threat to world peace. [The
OSP] lied and manipulated intelligence to
further its agenda of removing Saddam. It’s a group of ideologues with pre-determined notions of truth and reality.
They take bits of intelligence to support their agenda and ignore anything contrary. They
should be eliminated." (Mackay, 2003)

Seymour Hersh writes that, according to an unnamed
Pentagon adviser, "[OSP] was created in order to find evidence of what Wolfowitz and his boss, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld,
believed to be true—that Saddam Hussein had close ties to Al
, and that Iraq had an enormous arsenal of chemical,
biological, and possibly even nuclear weapons that threatened the
region and, potentially, the United States. […] ‘The agency [CIA] was out to disprove
linkage between Iraq and terrorism,’ the Pentagon adviser
told me. ‘That’s what drove them. If you’ve ever worked with intelligence data,
you can see the ingrained views at C.I.A. that color the way it sees data.’ The goal of
Special Plans, he said, was ‘to put the data under the microscope to reveal what the
intelligence community can’t see.’" (Hersh, 2003)

Manipulation of intelligence

These allegations are supported by an annex to the first part of Senate intelligence committee’s
Report of Pre-war
Intelligence on Iraq
published in July 2004. The review, which was highly critical of
the CIA’s Iraq intelligence generally but found its judgments were right on the Iraq-al
Qaeda relationship, suggests that the
OSP, if connected to an "Iraqi intelligence cell" also headed by Douglas Feith which is described in the
annex, sought to discredit and cast doubt on CIA analysis in an effort to establish a
connection between Saddam Hussein and terrorism. In one instance, in response to a
cautious CIA report, "Iraq and al-Qa’eda: A Murky Relationship",
the annexe relates that "one of the individuals working for the [intelligence cell
led by
Feith] stated that the
June [2002] report, ‘…should be read for content only – and CIA’s interpretation ought
to be ignored.’" (Report, 2004)

In another instance, an "Iraqi intelligence cell" briefing to Rumsfeld and
Wolfowitz in August 2002 condemned the CIA’s intelligence assessment techniques and
denounced the CIA’s "consistent underestimation" of matters dealing with the
alleged Iraq-al Qaeda co-operation. In September 2002, two days before the CIA’s final
assessment of the Iraq-al Qaeda relationship,
Feith briefed senior advisers to Dick Cheney and Condoleezza Rice, undercutting the CIA’s credibility and
alleging "fundamental problems" with CIA intelligence-gathering. As reported in
the conservative British newspaper The Daily
, "Senator Jay Rockefeller,
senior Democrat on the [Senate] committee, said that
Mr Feith’s cell may
even have undertaken ‘unlawful’ intelligence-gathering initiatives." (Coman, 2004)

Allegedly unlawful activities

Journalist Larisa Alexandrovna of The Raw Story
reported in 2006 that the OSP "deployed several extra-legal and unapproved task force
missions" in Iraq both before and after the beginning of combat. The teams operated
independently of other special forces operations, occasionally causing confusion on the
battlefield. The teams appear to have had a political rather than military mission;
specifically, to find Iraqi intelligence officers willing come up with evidence of WMD in
Iraq whether or not such weapons actually existed:

"They come in the summer of 2003, bringing in Iraqis, interviewing them," [a
source close to the UN Security Council] said. "Then they start talking about WMD and
they say to [these Iraqi intelligence officers] that ‘Our President is in trouble. He went
to war saying there are WMD and there are no WMD. What can we do? Can you help us?’"

According to the UN source, the intelligence officers did not cooperate with the OSP forces because they were aware that
forged WMD evidence "would not pass the smell test and could be shown to be not of
Iraqi origin and not using Iraqi methodology."

Indictment for espionage

Larry Franklin, an analyst and Iran
expert in the
Feith office,
has been charged with espionage, as part of a larger FBI investigation (see AIPAC espionage scandal).
Douglas Feith’s role is also being investigated.[1]
Allegations have also been made that Pentagon employees in the
Feith office have been involved in plans for
overthrowing the governments of Iran and Syria.[3]

When Former NSA Chief General Michael
testified before the Senate Hearing on his nomination as Director of Central
Intelligence in May 2006, he was questioned by Senator Carl
(D-MI) on the pressure exerted by the
of Special Plans
on the intelligence community over the question of
Saddam’s links to al-Qaeda. Hayden explained that he was not comfortable with the
OSP’s analysis: "I got three great
kids, but if you tell me go out and find all the bad things they’ve done, Hayden, I can
build you a pretty good dossier, and you’d think they were pretty bad people, because that
was I was looking for and that’s what I’d build up. That would be very wrong. That would
be inaccurate. That would be misleading." He also acknowledged that after
"repeated inquiries from the
Feith office" he put a disclaimer on NSA intelligence assessments of
Iraq/al-Qaeda contacts.[4]

See also


  1. Alexandrovna, Larisa. "Pentagon
    confirms Iranian directorate as officials raise new concerns about war
    ", The Raw Story, June 15, 2006. Retrieved on 200606-17.
  2. Alexandrovna, Larisa. "Secretive
    military unit sought to solve political WMD concerns prior to securing Iraq, intelligence
    sources say
    ", The Raw Story, January 5, 2006. Retrieved on 200606-16.
  3. Bender, Bryan. "2d
    probe at the Pentagon examines actions on Iraq
    ", The
    Boston Globe
    , August 31, 2004.
    Retrieved on 200606-16.
    ", Federation
    of American Scientists
    , May 25, 2006.
    Retrieved on 200606-17.

External links


October 9, 2006 at 2:57 am | Posted in Oil & Gas, Research | Leave a comment





Bypassing the Bosphorus

Platts, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP), is the world’s leading
provider of energy information
. With over 10,000 customers across
150 countries, 600 employees in 16 offices around the world, and nearly a century of business experience,
Platts is the most recognized and respected information company in the energy industry. Our real-time news, pricing, analytical services and conferences are essential to enabling markets to operate with transparency and efficiency. Traders, Risk Managers, Analysts, and Executive Management depend on Platts to help them make better, faster, more effective decisions.

As the Bosporus straits become ever more clogged with oil tankers, a bypass pipeline to provide expanding Caspian crude output with a link to world markets becomes ever more likely.

However, the route, timing, ownership and suppliers remain open questions. John Roberts reports on the shifting sands of Bosporus bypass pipeline politics.

One day there will be a pipeline bypassing the Bosporus. Or two. Or more. But which will be the first to be built, just who will build it, who will operate it and – most important of all – who will supply oil for it, remain among the most contentious issues in contemporary pipeline politics.

The problem is that while there are extremely strong environmental arguments for finding ways to avoid using the Bosporus as a transit route for oil from Black Sea ports to the world market, there are few compelling commercial arguments – unless the insurance companies start worrying about the cost of a major tanker accident in the heart of Istanbul.

This means that resolving the conundrum of how to get a Bosporus pipeline built, and how to secure the crude oil throughput that would justify its existence, remains as much a
matter of politics as of energy economics.

The picture continues to shift month by month. At various stages there have been at
least eight serious proposals for Bosporus bypass pipelines,
some predicated on using essentially the same right-of-way.

Even as various contenders appear to have fallen by the wayside, their advocates
continue to state that they are still very much in the game.

As recently as May, a consensus seemed to be emerging that the possibilities had been
whittled down to two – a route from Burgos in Bulgaria to Alexandropoulos in northern
Greece, now known as the Bapline project, and a rival proposal for a trans-Turkish route
from Samsun to Ceyhan.

However, in recent weeks the promoters of other serious options – notably the AMBO
project that seeks to build a line from Bulgaria through Macedonia to Vlore in Albania,
and the project for a line across the northern Balkans from Constanza in Romania to
Omisalj in Croatia and Trieste in Italy – have shown fresh signs of life.

A variant of a fifth route intended to serve the refining industry in Turkey, has also
just emerged.

Two key factors are shaping the current debate. The first is pure commerciality: the
understanding that if any of these projects are to succeed they must have direct
participation by oil shippers.

In practice, this means the companies producing the oil that is to be shipped through
the proposed line. The second concerns the planned expansion of the Caspian
Pipeline Consortium’s
1,510-kilometer pipeline from Atyrau in Kazakhstan to
Novorossiysk on Russia’s Black Sea coast.

Shipper participation

The proponents of at least three of the major current proposals – AMBO,
Bourgas-Alexandropoulos and Samsun-Ceyhan – have all told Platts in recent months that
they want to have direct equity participation by shippers.

The most forthcoming is Turkey’s Calik Enerji, which in May became the first company to
secure a Turkish government license to develop a Bosporus bypass project, in this case, a
554 km line from Samsun to Ceyhan, that would make use for much of its route of the
right-of-way acquired by Turkey’s Botas for the Turkish section of the recently completed
1,768 km Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline.

Calik began by enlisting the assistance of France’s Total, which has a stake in
Kazakhstan’s giant Kashagan field, and which was also the biggest financial contributor to
the most detailed Samsun-Ceyhan study to date, the 2005-2006 report prepared by Germany’s

But in November 2005, Calik then signed an agreement with Eni, which is both a
shareholder and operator at Kashagan, as well as a significant player in Russian energy
markets, for joint development of the Samsun-Ceyhan project. This led to a bitter feud
with Total, which lasted until mid-2006.

Although both sides now say the dispute is settled, it is not clear what role Total
will play in further development of the project.

In June, Calik Chairman and CEO Ahmet Çalik said: “We are in contact with Lukoil, Chevron, Shell and others. Total is also interested.”

Earlier, the company’s project coordinator, Erdal Celik told Platts: “We’re
cooperating with additional investors, notably the oil companies which have production in
Kazakhstan and Russia that is likely to wind up in the Black Sea.” Shareholders,
Celik added, would have priority shipping rights.

As for Bourgas-Alexandropoulos, Christos Dimas, a director of the Bapline project, told
Platts that several Russian companies, notably TNK-BP, Rosneft, Tatneft and
Surgutneftegas, “are interested in the project and have already started considering
crude oil quantities commitments.” He added: “Other oil companies are expected
to join.”

TNK-BP has already been designated as project coordinator, which should yield Bapline
considerable advantages, since much of TNK-BP’s output finds its way to export markets via
the Black Sea.

AMBO, too, sees shippers as key investors, but declines to name prospective partners
until the conclusion of a formal treaty between the three countries through which its line
would pass: Bulgaria, Macedonia and Albania.

“We understand that shippers would want a piece of the pipeline through which they
ship crude. While not the only source of investment, certainly shippers would be the prime
source of investment, perhaps the major source of investment,” AMBO vice-president
Gligor Tashkovich told Platts.

AMBO has previously said that several international oil companies were interested in
the pipeline, including Chevron, ExxonMobil, BP and Eni.

The CPC issue

CPC is important because it carries so much oil to the Black Sea, particularly from
Kazakhstan. The line’s current capacity is around 30 million tons a year (equivalent to
653,000 b/d based on Tengiz crude) – slightly above its original nameplate capacity of 28

For the last two years the consortium of state owners and private companies holding
equity in the project have argued over how to implement a long-expected expansion to 67

In recent months, Russian firms, who play an increasingly important role in CPC’s
management, have argued that an expansion of the CPC system cannot be expected to take
place unless an agreement is also reached on a way of ferrying that crude out of the Black
Sea, specifically through the Bourgas-Alexandropoulos pipeline.

On several occasions, most recently on 26 July, Transneft, Russia’s state-owned oil
pipeline monopoly, has said that CPC should not be expanded unless alternative routes out
of the Black Sea were developed in parallel.

In particular, Transneft Vice President Sergei Grigoriev declared in April that
Transneft expects to finalize plans for Bourgas-Alexandropoulos before it agrees to expand
the flow of additional crude oil from the Caspian region to Novorossiysk.

Transneft is a key player because it already has a monopoly over all Russia’s
Soviet-era oil export network and because in July 2006 Russian Industry and Energy
Minister Viktor Khristenko formally announced that Transneft would take over the Russian
government’s 24.5% share in CPC.

This, together with the appointment in April of a senior Russian energy official,
Vladimir Razdukhov, to head CPC – a condition of prospective Russian approval for the
line’s expansion – has contributed to an atmosphere in which CPC’s expansion appears to be
entirely conditional on Russian strictures.

This is a high risk strategy. Russia is using its leverage on CPC to secure throughput
for Bourgas-Alexandropoulos. But whilst this might be thought to give the pipeline a head
start over its competitors in terms of securing the all-important throughput guarantees,
it can also be argued that it makes Bourgas-Alexandropoulos a hostage to CPC expansion.

In this context the role of Chevron is crucial. Chevron was always expected to be CPC’s
main user. It is the largest corporate shareholder and provided its first managing
director Ian MacDonald.

But MacDonald, frustrated by two years of bitter arguments over what was supposed to be
an automatic expansion of capacity once initial limits were reached, has now moved on.

While the dispute has raged. Chevron has started to develop a package of alternative
export options for production from its giant Tengiz field in Kazakhstan.

These include an agreement to utilize capacity on the newly opened Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan
pipeline and the securing of maximum railcar capacity on the former Soviet rail network to
cover a large proportion of its export requirements for the next year or so. Should
Chevron reach the conclusion that Russian terms for CPC’s expansion are too onerous, then,
by default, a large proportion of Tengiz crude will have to
find long-term alternative routes to market.

Whist BTC is an obvious prospect – indeed, Chevron, through its acquisition of Unocal,
is a BTC stakeholder – it is also likely to try to ship considerable quantities of crude
directly across the Caucasus to the Black Sea.

In this context, the availability of the Baku-Supsa line, developed by most of the BTC
partners as a partial solution for early oil exports from Azerbaijan, could well prove
highly significant.

Baku-Supsa, with a current capacity of around 150,000 b/d, is capable of considerable
expansion should further pumping stations be added. It offers Chevron an alternative way
of getting oil into the Black Sea. And the AMBO project, which has been courting Chevron
for years, offers the US company an alternative to Bourgas-Alexandropoulos as a way of
getting oil out of the

Black Sea.

Updated: September 1, 2006

Next Page: Bosporus projects
– rising costs

China seeks foreign aid
with technical problems of high sulfur gas production

Chinese state companies are ready to offer production-sharing or other deals to
foreigners in cases where they lack the technology to deal with the challenges posed by
their natural gas fields. Such is the country’s demand for gas that it aims to develop
even the sourest and technically trickiest reserves. State-owned Chinese companies are
ready – for the first time – to offer foreign companies shared production from their
high-sulfur gas fields in return for technology and expertise in dealing with the
production problem they pose.

Identify short-term discontinuities that might occur in long-term trends or market

The Platts Gas Outlook Research Service provides you the
data, analyses, insights, and resources you need to make profitable investment and selling
or purchasing decisions about natural gas. Of critical importance is separating out
long-term trends from short-term variability. This will allow you to identify issues that
need to be addressed (long-term trends) versus issues that need to be survived (short-term
variability) and thus better focus utilization of staff, attention, and effort.

The Platts Gas Outlook Research Service is developed on an
integrated basis with Platts detailed analyses of North
American coal and electricity markets and our increasingly detailed assessments of
world LNG supply and demand and North
American industrial markets.

Gas Outlook Research Service enables you to:

  • Develop a strategic context to identify critical issues and uncertainties for
  • Identify critical turning-points in the gas market and the leading indicators of those
    turning points
  • Identify better market opportunities
  • Prioritize efforts to address market challenges
  • Negotiate more profitable fuel contracts
  • More effectively manage risks of price volatility

Identify leading indicators of market change, distinguish between change and
variability, and prioritize resources to address challenges and opportunities.

For more information on Gas Outlook Research Service, call Platts at 1-800-PLATTS8 (toll-free from North America) or e-mail us at


October 9, 2006 at 1:50 am | Posted in Asia, Islam | Leave a comment








Sunday, October 08, 2006


The DAWN Internet NewsAlert (DINA) is a free daily news-service from Pakistan’s largest
English language newspaper, the Daily DAWN.

We encourage comments & suggestions. We can be reached at:



fax +92(21) 5693995

snail-mail DAWN Group of Newspapers

Haroon House, Karachi 74200, Pakistan

(c) Pakistan Herald Publications (Pvt.) Ltd., Pakistan – 2006

The link at the end of each extract can be used to access the

complete story on DAWN – the Internet Edition.


NOT FORGOTTEN: Despair and hope, one year on


By Raja Asghar

MUZAFFARABAD, Oct 7: More tears will be shed on Sunday but there were also signs of
hope one year after the earthquake that killed so many people in Azad Kashmir and the
North West Frontier Province.

While survivors remain without proper homes, destined to spend a second — and
predictably harsher — winter in temporary shelters, the government insists it has
done well to tackle the disaster with international help……..


Rebuilding process as transparent as possible: Erra chief


By Sher Baz Khan

ISLAMABAD, Oct 7: A host of allegations has marred the relief operation being
supervised by the Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (Erra).

Non-governmental organisations and independent watchdogs have expressed concern over
bureaucratic delays that have hampered the rehabilitation process in the
earthquake-devastated areas. But Erra Chairman Altaf Mohammad Saleem insists that, by and
large, the relief effort has been smooth, methodically conducted and, above all,
transparent. Following are excerpts from Mr Saleem’s exclusive interview with


Ground realities


• Area: 30,000 sq km of rugged terrain

• Population: 3.5 million, mostly in scattered villages

• Communication: 6,400 km of destroyed road network

• Education: 6,298 destroyed facilities

• Health: 350 destroyed facilities

• Water & sanitation: 3,994 schemes destroyed, water sources disrupted

• Power: Most HT and LT networks damaged

• Telecom: Most of the network damaged

• Livelihood and social protection: All livelihood sources disrupted; thousands of
cattle dead; thousands of widows, orphans and disabled persons

• Environment:Hundreds of massive slides; millions of tons of rubble; damaged
forests and watersheds

• Destroyed buildings: 600,000 rural houses and 22,000 urban houses destroyed or
damaged; 949 govt buildings affected

Source: Erra


Tremor rocks Balakot


PESHAWAR, Oct 7: An earthquake of mild intensity measuring 4 on Richter scale jolted
Balakot and Garhi Habibullah late on Friday.

According to Met office, the earthquake originated at 2139 hours PST and its epicentre
was 200 kilometres north east of Peshawar in Hazara division…….


The Bagh that was, and the one that will be


By Khaleeq Kiani

BAGH, Oct 7: Standing on a hill across the Mahal rivulet, one can see that nothing has
changed in the ruined city of Bagh since Oct 8, 2005 when it tumbled down in barely three
minutes. The minarets of mosques that previously dominated the landscape in the foothills
of the mountains are nowhere to be seen. One year on, the scenic beauty that in the past
characterised Bagh — which literally means “garden” — is no more.

A 100-plus-kanal playground of the postgraduate college where children used to play
football and cricket or where students took part in national cadet course exercises is now
a junkyard where international agencies store relief goods. A number of large warehouses
have been established alongside a couple of tented classrooms where a pack of stray dogs
can be seen roaming around at all times……..


Orphaned and separated from living family


By Bahzad Alam Khan

ATTOCK, Oct 7: Ten-year-old Mohammad Javed says that, unlike victims his age, he has
never had nightmares about the Oct 8, 2005 earthquake that killed his mother in their
Muzaffarabad residence.

“But I see my mother in my dreams quite frequently. She tells me that she is very
worried that our family has been separated. While I live and study at Aashiana, my two
sisters have been sent to an orphanage in Haripur,” says Hindko-speaking Javed who is
one of the hundreds of orphans at the Attock-based rehabilitation centre that seems to
have run into problems following a somewhat unexplained withdrawal of government support
from the non-governmental organisation tasked to run it……..


NGOs playing active role in relief


By Baqir Sajjad Syed

ISLAMABAD, Oct 7: A “people’s assembly” being held in an open ground
this morning just outside the devastated city of Balakot in the NWFP may help bridge the
gap between official policymakers and the perceptions and demands of hundreds of thousands
of people affected by last year’s earthquake.

The effort to get the two main players together to discuss the most crucial aspects of
rehabilitation is being made by the Omar Asghar Foundation, which is expecting some 1,500
activists to interact with senior and provincial officials involved in the reconstruction


Balakot will rise again


By Ahmed Hassan

BALAKOT, Oct 7: While normalcy has yet to return to the city that buried thousands of
its residents killed by the Oct 2005 earthquake, survivors are getting on with their
lives, rebuilding their shattered homes brick by brick.

The quake destroyed more than 95 per cent of the buildings in Balakot. The government
decision to shift the earthquake victims to a neighbouring city called Bakryal has not
been hugely popular with the locals who are determined not to leave the city where they
were born and which contains the graves of their ancestors. But others feel they have no
choice but to relocate to what has been billed as “New Balakot”……..


Survivors protest against Erra


By Our Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Oct 7: Thousands of people from earthquake affected areas staged protested
here on Saturday against what they called continuous intimidation by the army and
assessment teams, flawed Erra policies, long procedural delays and rampant corruption.

They said Erra policies regarding reconstruction and rehabilitation were neither
people-friendly nor made keeping in view of their rights and needs, but were arbitrary,
adding to people’s frustrations and miseries…….


Two rockets found near ISI office in Islamabad


By Munawer Azeem and Mohammad Asghar

ISLAMABAD, Oct 7: The rocket mystery became more complicated on Saturday when two live
rockets were found near the Inter-Services Intelligence headquarters on the Kashmir
Highway, a route Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz was scheduled to use on Saturday.

This is the third incident of recovery of rockets near strict security zones within
four days. In all the incidents, 107mm rockets attached with mobile phones were found…..


Repair advice ignored two years ago: report: Ran Pathani incident


By Our Staff Reporter

LAHORE, Oct 7: No repair work was carried out on the Ran Pathani bridge despite it was
proposed to authorities two years ago, Minister for Railways Shaikh Rashid Ahmad said on

“Four officers have been suspended from service and show-cause notices have been
issued to another 10 in the light of the inquiry report on the collapse of the bridge that
resulted in suspension of rail traffic to and from Karachi for a considerable
period,” the minister said at a press conference at the railways headquarters


Musharraf denies supporting Taliban


By Ihtasham-ul-Haque

ISLAMABAD, Oct 7: President General Pervez Musharraf has emphatically rejected a
foreign media report that Pakistan was supporting Taliban militia and reiterated his
government’s commitment to fight terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

President Musharraf was talking to Commander-in-Chief of the US Central Command
(Centcom) Gen John P Abizaid who called on him here on Saturday to discuss emerging
geo-strategic environment in the region with special reference to initiating fresh efforts
to combat terrorism……..


Comments on Baglihar to be filed by 26th


By Qudssia Akhlaque

ISLAMABAD, Oct 7: World Bank neutral expert Raymond Latiffe arbitrating on the Baglihar
dam dispute between Pakistan and India has asked the two sides to submit by Oct 26 written
comments on the preliminary assessment that he shared with them in Paris early this week.

The next and final meeting has been convened by the neutral expert in Washington on Nov
7. During the three-day meeting, written comments submitted by the two countries would be
discussed, sources told
Dawn on Saturday……..


PPP accuses Erra of funds misappropriation


By Our Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Oct 7: People’s Party Parliamentarians (PPP) has accused the government
and the Earthquake Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Authority (Erra) of committing
financial irregularity in the earthquake relief funds and called for making public details
of donors’ money and the Presidential Relief Fund.

Releasing a factsheet at a press conference, PPP leader Senator Dr Babar Awan said Erra
and the government were violating public procurement rules 2004…….


Body to deal with national disasters formed: Aziz


By Our Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Oct 7: Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz on Saturday announced setting up of the
National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to deal with natural calamities and

He was addressing a ceremony held at the Prime Minister’s House to commemorate the
first anniversary of the devastating quake that hit the NWFP and AJK on October 8, 2005.
Representatives of various donor countries, ambassadors, artists, social workers and
parliamentarians attended the ceremony which was followed by an Iftar party……..


Response was not slow: army


By Iftikhar A. Khan

ISLAMABAD, Oct 7: The armed forces swung into action and took part in the
country’s biggest-ever peacetime relief and rescue operation after the devastating
earthquake rattled parts of Pakistan last year, a top military official said.

“The daring armed forces personnel risked their own lives to save the quake-hit
people and we are proud of the role played by them,” Maj-Gen Shaukat Sultan,
director-general of
Inter-Services Public Relations, said in an interview with Dawn on the eve of the first anniversary of the disaster………


Bravery award for daredevil Kashmiri


By Our Staff Correspondent

MUZAFFARABAD, Oct 7: As Azad Jammu and Kashmir observes the first anniversary of the
devastating earthquake, a valiant resident of its ruined capital prepares for a journey to
Colombo later this month to receive from a Sri Lankan non-governmental organisation a
medal for saving several lives during the region’s worst-ever natural disaster.

But when Gul Javid, the nominee for the Gold Medal for Asia by the Foundation of
Civilian Bravery (FCB), was bringing out trapped persons one after the other from beneath
heaps of earth and concrete on Oct 8, he did not have the slightest idea that his selfless
efforts would some day be acknowledged and rewarded by an organisation based in an island
nation, hundreds of miles away……..


US pledges to continue help


WASHINGTON, Oct 7: Expressing solidarity with Pakistan on the anniversary of last
year’s earthquake, the United States on Friday reaffirmed its commitment to
reconstruction in quake-devastated areas.

“We join the people of Pakistan during this month of Ramazan, as they mourn the
tragic loss of so many innocent victims, and our thoughts and heartfelt prayers are with
them at this time of remembrance,” the State Department said……..


Literature of tragedy


By Nizamuddin Siddiqui

KARACHI, Oct 7: Ours is not a country of book lovers, yet several books have already
been published in Pakistan dealing with last year’s deadly earthquake. This
phenomenon is no doubt linked to the severity of the calamity.

In times of crisis, art and literature acquire new momentum. As a result, new writers
emerge and the established ones scale greater heights…..


Battery-operated rickshaw launched


By Our Reporter

LAHORE, Oct 7: Punjab Governor Khalid Maqbool has called upon the business community to
invest in quality and innovative products and improve its efficiency for success in new

Speaking as the chief guest at the launch of the first-ever battery-operated
three-wheelers in the country at the Quaid-i-Azam Industrial Estate, Lahore Township, here
on Saturday morning, he said that the days of becoming billionaire through loans, licences
and SROs were over and those believing in amassing wealth through such means were finding
it hard in the atmosphere of competition……..


Canal closure plan upsets farmers


By Our Correspondent

TOBA TEK SINGH, Oct 7: Hundreds of farmers belonging to many villages at the tail-end
of the Lower Jhang branch canal demonstrated in the district courts complex on Saturday to
protest against shortage of irrigation water.

Holding banners and placards emblazoned with slogans and their demand for the
irrigation water supply to the villages, they assembled in the district courts where they
chanted slogans……..


PML MNA unseated for bogus degree


By Our Correspondent

LAHORE, Oct 7: An election tribunal on Friday unseated ruling party legislator Amjad
Ali Warraich on finding his graduation degree bogus.

The tribunal declared the election of the MNA from Toba Tek Singh district as void
because the degree he filed with the returning officer was found to be fake because it was
obtained from a religious institution in Azad Kashmir which did not exist………


Fresh drive against kite-flying from Monday


LAHORE, Oct 7: Following the Supreme Court order which banned kite-flying last year,
the city police from Oct 9 (Monday) will observe a week against the sport made lethal by
those using deadly twine.

The police have already registered 2,345 cases, arresting 2,250 ban violators, besides
announcing punishments for 215 police officials for failing to check the sport effectively
in their respective areas of jurisdiction, DIG (operations) Aamir Zulfikar Khan told
journalists at his office here on Saturday……


Action soon against ghost schools, says Arbab


KARACHI, Oct 7: Sindh Chief Minister Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim said that raising the
standard of education and eradicating corruption was among his top most priorities, as the
province could not prosper until the improvement in the quality of education.

He said this while addressing the officers of education department and members of Chief
Minister’s Monitoring Teams from all the districts of the province at the Chief
Minister’s House here Saturday……


Oil slick threatens city shores


KARACHI, Oct 7: The crude oil spilling into the sea from the oil barge which capsized
near the Karachi Port on Friday may pose a grave danger to the marine life as well as
people living on the seaside.

Waves hitting the Seaview shores were seen carrying crude oil, which had spilled out of
the capsized barge near the Karachi port with 70 tons of furnace oil that swayed with the
waves along the shore………


Court told about Asif’s ailment


By Our Staff Reporter

KARACHI, Oct 7: The special anti-corruption judge, Central, Shaukat Memon, put off on
Saturday hearing of the container case against Asif Ali Zardari.

The case pertained to the despatch of artefacts to England for Surrey Palace……..


Contradictions in Musharraf’s book pointed out


By Our Reporter

KARACHI, Oct 7: Contradictions in General Pervez Musharraf’s account of some of
the key issues concerning Pakistan in his book “In the line of fire” were
pointed out by most of the participants of an interactive discussion that included some of
his former colleagues.

Some of them nevertheless found it “deliberately provocative and opening the door
to different ideas”…..


Sale of two islands along Sindh coast opposed


By Our Correspondent

THATTA, Oct 7: People’s Party Parliamentarians MPA Sassui Palijo has said that the
sale of two islands Bundar and Buddo situated off the Thatta coast to a foreign company is
a conspiracy of an ethnic group to implement its dream of Jinnahpur.

Speaking at a press conference at the press club here on Saturday, she said that
Sindhis were wary of the conspiracy because the federal government sold out 12,000 acre
land of the islands without taking the Sindh government into confidence and tackling the
issue through the provincial assembly……


Kalpars, Mazaris agree to end 17-year old rivalry


By Our Correspondent

SUKKUR, Oct 7: The Kalpar Bugtis and Mazaris agreed to end their rivalry after 17-years
of feud that left many dead and injured in Kashmore.

It may be mentioned here that the Kalpar Bugtis and Mazaris were at daggers drawn over
a minor dispute for the last 17 years, due to which life in Kashmore, Rojhan and Shah Wali
of Punjab remained tense as both the groups used to attack each other regularly……


ANP demands elections under caretaker setup


By Our Staff Reporter

PESHAWAR, Oct 7: General Parvez Musharraf has failed to implement his seven-point
agenda of restoration of democracy, rule of the law, end to disharmony among provinces and
normalisation of relations with India and Afghanistan and therefore, he should quit and
transfer powers to a caretaker set up.

This was stated by ANP’s provincial chief Bashir Ahmed Bilour while speaking at
the Guest’s Hour programme of the Peshawar Press Club here on Saturday………


Hospital ready in Garhi Habibullah


From A Correspondent

PESHAWAR, Oct 7: A 60-bed hospital housed in a newly- built prefabricated structure
will start functioning in Garhi Habibullah after inauguration by President General Pervez
Musharraf on Sunday.

President Musharraf is also scheduled to visit the devastated city of Balakot, situated
some 13km from Garhi Habibullah………


PCB reinstates Younis as skipper for Champions Trophy


By Mohammad Yaqoob

LAHORE, Oct 7: Pakistan cricket experienced a remarkable turnaround here on Saturday
when Younis Khan was reinstated as captain for the ICC Champions Trophy just two days
after he had refused to accept the role.The move was announced by the new chairman of the
Pakistan Cricket Board, Dr Nasim Ashraf, who took charge on Friday after the resignation
of Shaharyar Khan.

Addressing a crowded press conference at the Gaddafi Stadium following a short meeting
with team members in Lahore, Ashraf announced that Younis have been reinstated as skipper
for the Trophy while Mohammad Yousuf, Pakistan’s captain for two days, would now be
vice-captain. “Younis has agreed to lead the side again after I spoke to him and
explained things to him,” said Ashraf……


No problems with Shaharyar, says Younis Khan


By Our Sports Correspondent

LAHORE, Oct 7: Reinstated Pakistan skipper Younis Khan said here
on Saturday that he accepted the captaincy on the advice of new chairman PCB and in the
best interest of the nation.

“The (new) chairman called me this morning and offered the captaincy and I
accepted it in the interest of the nation and the team,” said Younis who had declined
the post in a dramatic move on Thursday………


Pakistan arrive in India for Trophy


NEW DELHI, Oct 7: Pakistan were determined to put weeks of
off-pitch drama and a damaging captaincy row behind them at the ICC Champions Trophy,
stand-in captain Younis Khan said on Saturday.

Confusion has surrounded Pakistan cricket in the last 48 hours since Younis, named as
deputy for banned skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq, quit on Thursday, refusing to be a “dummy
captain” amid apparent resentment from other senior players……..


PBF set to take action against Mehrullah, Faisal: Marijuana charges at SA Games


By Shazad Ali

KARACHI, Oct 7: Pakistan Boxing Federation (PBF) said on Saturday
that Mehrullah and Faisal Kareem were facing charges of using marijuana but the federation
would take action against them only after official confirmation.

“We have no official word, either from the organisers of the South Asian Games or
from Pakistan Olympic Association. I have heard that Mehrullah and Faisal will challenge
the allegations. But what I can say is that if they are found guilty, PBF will definitely
take some action,” said PBF secretary Shakeel Durrani on Saturday………


‘It was right time to quit’


By Our Sports Correspondent

LAHORE, Oct 7: The outgoing chairman Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Shaharyar M Khan has
said that it was the right time for him to quit the job.

Shaharyar,72, who tendered his resignation on Friday, said at a press conference on
Saturday that he wanted to run the board with dedication and transparency, without any
confrontation-like situation, but the Oval Test’s fiasco and Younis Khan’s abrupt decision
of refusing to the captaincy disappointed him and compelled him to take the



To subscribe or unsubscribe to this mailing list, please fill

the form located at:

If you don’t have Internet access, you can subscribe to DINA

by sending an email to

To unsubscribe, send an email to


DINA for the issue of Oct 08, 2006

“Dawn Internet Edition”

Dawn Internet Edition

Sunday, October 8, 2006


October 9, 2006 at 12:35 am | Posted in Asia, History, Islam | Leave a comment





Iran Sending Jihadists Into Afghanistan?

Guardian reports
that Western intelligence agencies have discovered a new source of
jihadists in Afghanistan, and it comes as a
bit of a surprise. The
Sunni-based Taliban have apparently received a boost in personnel from the Shi’ites in Iran:

Knock-kneed with fear, the young prisoner perched on the edge of his chair in the
windowless Afghan intelligence office. Eyes bloodshot and hands trembling, he blurted out
his story.

Abdullah had reached the end of a pitifully short career as a Taliban fighter. He had
been arrested hours earlier, just 10 days after signing up to the insurgency. But the
25-year-old with a soft face and a neat beard had something unusual that aroused the
intelligence agents’ curiosity.

“I come from Iran,” he said in a quavering voice, wringing his hands
nervously. “They told me the Americans had invaded Afghanistan and I should go and
fight jihad. But I was cheated. Now I am very sorry that I ever left.” …

Military and diplomatic sources said they had received numerous reports of Iranians
meeting tribal elders in Taliban-influenced areas, bringing offers of military or more
often financial support for the fight against foreign forces. The sources, who spoke on
condition of anonymity, said the meetings took place in Helmand province, where more than
3,000 British troops are based, and neighbouring
Nimroz, a lawless desert province bordering eastern Iran.

Although the reports are hard to confirm due to security fears, officials say the
direction of flow is unmistakable. “There’s definitely an Iranian hand,”
insisted one western official, who said the phenomenon was being quietly monitored by
western intelligence and militaries. A top-ranking Afghan military official said he had
received similar information. “The Iranians were offering money and weapons. This is
a very sensitive issue,” he said.

This seems very strange indeed. Afghanistan, as the Guardian points out, is one of Iran’s
critical trading partners. They cooperate on drug interdiction and they have normal
diplomatic relations. Even more to the point, the
are radical Sunnis, the exact kind of Islamists the Iranians have
opposed for a long time. Why would they
suddenly want to bolster the Taliban and give the Sunnis back power on the Iranian

It gets back to the tribal issues that
Eric Margolis noted yesterday. Western intelligence believes that the jihadis come from
the minority Baluchis in Iran, which have actively operated against the Iranian
mullahcracy. They want to encourage the drug trade, and they want to encourage Sunni
jihad. The
Baluchis comprise a
small area in Afghanistan, but they comprise almost all of western Pakistan, and it
appears that their tribal area would reach significantly into Iran.

The captured terrorist believed himself to be an agent of the Iranian government. He
attended a training camp in Iran, he told interrogators, and the main point seemed to be
training Shi’ites to fight for a Shi’ite theocracy in Iraq. Most of his classmates went to
Baghdad. Abdullah, though, went to Afghanistan, and he claims that the camp was run by
Abdullah Shafi — a former leader of Ansar al-Islam, the al-Qaeda group that should
therefore be fighting for Sunni/Wahhabi domination.

If this information is on the level, it looks like the Islamists have either become
very confused or less inclined to reject each other than in the past. It still doesn’t
look like an alliance, but perhaps Iran is willing to use whatever tools are at hand to
disrupt the American effort to remake the region through democracy. After all, the only
constant between the two are that Iraq and Afghanistan have democratically-elected
governments, and Iran fears the effect that more secular democracies will have on the

A Graphical Depiction Of The Challenge In Afghanistan

With Pervez Musharraf appearing to retreat in the war on terror and Hamid Karzai
demanding results, the situation in Afghanistan and the
Waziristan region appears to be inexplicably
troublesome of late. Musharraf and Karzai have more trouble than just borders in this
situation, though, and what we are now seeing may be a nationalist movement that has
escaped Western attention until now.

The Toronto Sun’s Eric Margolis explains
the problem
, and Swaraaj Chauhan at The Moderate Voice
produces an interesting map to underscore his point.

In order to understand the difficulties, Margolis argues, one has to understand the tribalism in

Tribal politics lie at the heart of their dispute. The 30 million Pashtuns (or
Pathans), the world’s largest tribal society, are divided between Afghanistan and
Pakistan by an artificial border, the Durand Line, drawn by divide-and-conquer British

Pashtuns account for 50-60% of Afghanistan’s 30 million people. The Taliban is an
organic part of the Pashtun people. The Western powers and Karzai are not just fighting
“Taliban terrorists,” but a coalition of Pashtun tribes and other allied
nationalist movements. In effect, most of the Pashtun people. …

The other half of the divided Pashtuns live just across the Durand Line in Pakistan,
comprising 15-20% of its population. Pashtuns occupy many senior posts in Pakistan’s
military and intelligence services. Pashtuns, including anti-Western resistance fighters,
never accepted and simply ignore the artificial border bifurcating their tribal homeland.

Washington keeps demanding Musharraf crack down on Pakistan’s pro-Taliban
Pashtuns. But Washington fails to understand that too much pressure on these fierce
warriors could quickly ignite a major historic threat to Pakistan’s national
integrity: A Pashtun independence movement seeking to join the Pashtun of Afghanistan and
Pakistan in a new state — Pashtunistan.

Take a look at Swaraaj’s map, shown above.

What we’re looking at is something similar to the Kurds to the West. The Pashtuns spread out over a wide
geographical area, and would be the dominant ethnic group in the region if not for the
political borders drawn during the British administration of an earlier age. The
Taliban sprang out of the ultra-Islamist Pashtun tribal structure, and that tribal
society has a great deal of influence in Pakistani politics as well. Their stronghold is
in the mountainous border region, including

So how does that impact the war on terror and on radical Islamists? This map shows that
the entire effort in Afghanistan is taking place on enemy territory regardless of which
side of the border one sits. Kabul sits in
Pashtun turf, making it more difficult to ensure its security.

This shows the difficulty facing both leaders.
Taking on the Pashtuns means fighting a significant component of both nations, and up to
30 million members of a closed-off tribal society.
Their loyalties are to themselves rather than any sense of
nationhood as the borders are drawn, and their recent actions may hint at a broader
nationalistic impulse. Given their footprint in the area, that will play out mostly in
Afghanistan, but it could threaten Musharraf’s power in Pakistan as well.

No wonder Musharraf cut a
deal in
Waziristan. He wants
to mollify the
Pashtuns in
order to keep them from rising up and demanding an expression of nationalism within
Pakistan. He doesn’t want to lose
Waziristan as well as Kashmir.

And this is why Karzai is
so unhappy; without Pakistani pressure on the
Pashtuns in Waziristan, they
will have secured their flank enough to put all of their energy to undermine Karzai.

The problem with the Islamists might just be the symptom here of a greater
tribal/nationalist problem.

Entries and comments feeds.