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This is becoming a familiar chorus in 2009:

“Beheadings and use of human shields by Taliban forces are not a blank check for the Pakistani army,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “Winning the war, but also the peace, in Swat can only be achieved by minimizing civilian suffering.”

Then there is the restriction of media:

By: on 12 May 2009

We're hoping to write something longer on Pakistan soon, but I thought I would pass on this appeal in the meantime.  I don't know enough about this situation and haven't researched many of the organisations below to understand how relief fits in with my politics here, so please act on and send on as and how you see fit.  You can see the original unexcerpted text at the website linked above.

So the question is asked by some of us, in desparation:  What if you had One day left to Stop Ethnic cleansing?

Well now there is the Channel 4 report with exclusive footage (by slipping camera past tight security) of those detention camps that the diaspora has been desperately trying to let the world know really exist.  They have been told "genocide" and "ethnic cleansing" are terms that are "unhelpful" by those even in the Sri Lankan intelligensia.

By: on 7 May 2009

Those of us who have lived in "Failed states" would find this fascinating.  George Packer from the New Yorker reports on an interview with former finance minister Ashraf Ghani who is running for presedential elections in August (this seems to be the year of wars and elections.  Israel, Sri lanka, India and now it seems Afghanistan).  Ghani's perception of Karzai's failings?

By: on 7 May 2009

I couldn't get all the way through this story on the military island 1,000 miles south of the Indian coast, but if you're interested in studying and understanding American and British imperialism and/or South Asia, I would strongly suggest taking an glance.  Wikipedia link provided for your use as well.  Enjoy:

Continuing along jujube's theme of highlighting good practice in media coverage of Pakistan...Paul Rogers, who is a very very good writer on Pakistan and other South Asian spaces, has a new article out on Open Democracy whose nominal purpose is to cover the 'sources of turmoil,' in Pakistan. However, he offers a social analysis combined with political economy that is very helpful if you want to start to understand what is going on in Pakistan for its own sake rather than where the nuclear weapons are or where the US is bombing.  To wit:

By: on 4 May 2009

On why the Third Front won't announce a prime ministerial choice yet:

By: on 3 May 2009

Our favorite Clintonian Desi, Sonal Shah, has been appointed to a subcabinet level post in the Obama Administration as I had suggested she might be to those who had argued it didn't matter that she was on Obama's transition team even though she has well documented ties to American arms of Hindu right groups in India that she hasn't fully explained beyond offering basic statements that she doesn't like violence or communalism.  Among unanswered questions:

What to say...they disproportionately cause an enormous humanitarian catastrophe (yes, LTTE assisted) on a (politically) timed schedule, don't allow international observers, journalists, and many others to monitor it, secure an IMF loan, and are now asking for humanitarian assistance for the refugees...

Reacting to:


Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission (TLHRC) Hearing Announcement: Sri Lanka: The Ongoing Human Rights Crisis


By: on 21 Apr 2009
Reacting to:

In case you are interested:

A Lecture on

Socialism: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow


Prof. Randhir Singh


The Council of Islamic Relations in Detroit, Michigan spoke with the U.S. Attorney General to address complaints by a number of mosques and associations that individual Muslims have been contacted by agents who promised help with immigration cases in exchange for spying. These reports increased after the FBI was discovered to have enlisted a spy to operate in a mosque in California.

By: on 18 Apr 2009

I signed this, but I'm not sure how I feel about it entirely. I think it's worth discussing - its framing is Tamil nationalist, but its demands are anti-militarisation and the use of external financial pressure on the Government of Sri Lanka and so would benefit more than just Tamil nationalists imo.  The preamble:

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