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Why is India scared of Prabhakaran’s mother?

Although the biggest threat to India’s national security had been posed by the LTTE via the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, and Tamil Tiger leader Prabhakaran was held responsible for it, the Indian Government  permitted the parents of Prabhakaran to stay in Tamil Nadu. Even when Prabhakaran was engaged in a fierce war in the North and East of Sri Lanka and was winning , India took no measures to deport them from India on the grounds that they were a threat to its national security.

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Restoring Opposition Viability, Re-Balancing the Country

President Rajapakse’s choice of Prof GL Pieris as Foreign Minister is by far the best that anyone could have made, while the Deputy Minister has been excellently chosen too. This gives the lie to the punditry of those professional pessimists who think that improvement is impossible under this administration (as if it weren’t responsible for the biggest, most qualitative improvement of all, the defeat and destruction of the Tigers). However in the interests of restoring some modicum of balance and enhancing the country’s prospects in the future, we the citizens need a viable Track 2. This requires the rapid recovery of the Opposition, mainly the United National Party.

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Can Asians think?

My Singaporean friend, Professor Kishore Mahbubani, wrote a provoking essay in 1998 called Can Asians think?.

I personally found the title rather offensive - of course we can think. But what he really meant was “can Asians think out of the Western intellectual box?” For most of us who are trained in or by the West, we used to think that our ikons of best practice are the wonderful theories, science, technology and institutions that the West has brought to Asia.

But the current global crisis has shocked us to the core. That the best of the West, such as the Wall Street iconic firm of Goldman Sachs, could be charged by the SEC of fraud, is stunning to those who look to them for standards of professionalism, innovation, intellectual brilliance and moral integrity. When our teachers are no better than us, then we would really have to think for ourselves.

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The Story behind the nuclear scare

In more than one respect, the crisis over Iran's nuclear programme is similar to the North Korean nuclear dispute. The United States has labelled North Korea and Iran as rogue states and the labelling certainly serves Washington's global interests and agenda.

The neocon-scripted document titled Project for the New American Century, which some critics have slammed as Washington's Mein Kampf, expresses concern over US security interests in both East Asia and West Asia.

On East Asia, the document says, "the security of this strategically significant and increasingly tumultuous region has suffered from American neglect". It notes that East Asia has long been an area of great interest to China. "In recent years, China has gradually increased its presence and operations in the region."

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A casualty of nationalism

Among the colonies of the British Empire, Ceylon, as it was then known, was far ahead of its neighbours with regard to its primary and secondary school systems. Small both in size and population, there had been no freedom struggle involving the masses.  By 1931, the British government felt confident enough to grant universal adult franchise and a substantial degree of responsibility for governance, under what were known as the Donoughmore Commission Reforms. Indeed, seven of the ten ministers in the executive were Ceylonese, with portfolios including education and health care. By 1945, the administration had adopted additional reforms providing free education from kindergarten to the university level. In his concluding remarks marking that occasion, C W W Kannangara, then the minister of education, said: “It is my belief that this is a pearl of great price. Sell all that you possess and purchase it for the well-being of the nation.” Today, there is a general consensus among professionals and academics that they would not be where they are if not for the lasting reforms set in motion by the leaders of that era.

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