Polls 3 months before time: Bangladesh PM
bangladesh—Banglad esh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasi na yesterday declined to entertain her poltical rivals’ demand for holding the next general election under a caretaker government, but said her government would hold the polls three months before dissolution of the current parliament.
The announcement came in the wake of recent demonstrations and countrywide shutdowns in the impoverished South Asian country. Speaking at a meeting of the ruling Awami League (AL) Parliamentary Party at the parliament building, Hasina asked her party lawmakers to take preparations for the next parliamentary polls, keeping in mind that the election process would begin three months before dissolution of current parliament.
Homes burn, residents flee in worst Myanmar ethnic violence
sittwe, myanmar—Gunshots rang out and residents fled blazing homes in western Myanmar on Tuesday as security forces struggled to contain deadly ethnic and religious violence that has killed at least a dozen people and forced thousands to flee.
The conflict pitting ethnic Rakhine Buddhists against stateless Rohingya Muslims in coastal Rakhine state marks some of the worst sectarian unrest recorded in Myanmar in years.
10 killed in Syrian forces shelling
Beirut—Syrian forces barraged an eastern city with mortar shells as anti-government protesters were dispersing before dawn Tuesday, killing at least 10 people, while government troops kept up an offensive in a coastal province where Washington says regime forces may be preparing a massacre, activists said. The violence comes as President Bashar Assad’s regime faces mounting international pressure over brutal tactics against the opposition, with the U.N. accusing the government of using children as human shields. Monday’s report also said children have been victims of detention, torture and sexual violence.
Egypt’s parliament to pick constitutional panel
Cairo—Egypt’s parliament met on Tuesday to select a 100-member panel that will draft a new constitution, but the process got off to a bumpy start when liberal lawmakers boycotted the session.
The joint meeting of the body’s lower and upper chambers, which are both dominated by Islamists, was called by military ruler Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi after negotiations between political factions to agree on the makeup of the panel reached a deadlock.
There will be no victors in a Syrian civil war
Syed Mansur HashimWITH the Kofi Annan peace plan all but doomed and a slow but steady escalation of violence in Syria that is looking more and more like it’s going to be a bloody civil war, questions must be raised as to what sort of country Syria will be in a post-civil war era. As recent history will bear witness, such conflicts have opened up age-old wounds along ethnic and sectarian lines where one community is pitted against another and all semblance of “nationhood” conveniently goes out the window. This happened in post-Saddam Iraq and is happening today in post-Gaddafi Lybia.