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Common Man's Party chief turns authoritarian
2015.04.23 19:48:49

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There is something unstable in Kejriwal’s persona that makes him behave in the way he mostly does. He has that penchant for ‘self-destruct’ and, in the process, he betrays the faith reposed in him by hundreds and thousands of common, educated and well-meaning people as also civil society organizations. One wonders whether he has that inscrutable split personality like that of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, as it seems there has been a sea change in his personality and conduct since the days of the movement appropriately known as India Against Corruption (IAC).

A man who joined the modern-day Gandhian Anna Hazare in 2011 to campaign for enactment of an anti-corruption law instituting an office of Lokpal (ombudsman) has moved on incredibly fast, so much that he has now taken recourse to political sleight of hand, sought help from goons or more precisely “bouncers” and tried to garner support from corrupt politicians just to gain power – all examples of political corruption. This was not what he created his Aam Admi Party (AAP) for. In 2011 means ostensibly were important to him to get to the end that was combating corruption but in 2014 & 2015 they ceased to be so. A man who campaigned for days in not too distant past against corrupt in the government has himself become as corrupt with the sole aim of grabbing power. His is a personality that effectively masked the sinister and the devious that lurked within him that even Anna could not detect, much less his supporters.

If one harks back to Anna’s movement in 2011 and recalls the massive civil society support that it elicited one would be frustrated by its eventual denouement. The IAC campaigns of April and August 2011 had a singular aim, that of eradication of corruption in the government through the instrumentality of a law for creation of an independent and powerful Lokpal. In the backdrop of massive corruption in the 2010 Commonwealth Games and allotment of 2G spectrum, it caught the imagination of the people, especially of the youth and the rising numbers of middle classes. As the movement gathered strength in August 2011 the media, too, got into the act and gave extensive round-the-clock coverage. And, the tech-savvy members of the IAC made deft use of the social media making the movement somewhat akin to the then ongoing campaigns in North Africa and West Asia for regime-change, eventually coming to be known collectively as “Arab Spring”.

The government at the Centre got flustered and indulged in nervous acts. Having been outmanoeuvred, parliamentarians quickly rustled up a “sense of the house” resolution unanimously passed by its both houses agreeing to action on all sticking points to pacify Anna. Acquiring a larger than life image, Anna broke his 11-day fast. Standing as a colossus, he and the IAC activists mobilised public opinion charging up the whole nation against political and bureaucratic corruption.  A patently middle class movement, IAC’s offshoots cropped up virtually in every nook and corner of the country. Young and old joined it putting the government on the back foot. A bill for creation of Lokpal (ombudsman) that was said to be in cold storage for forty years amply displaying aversion of politicians to curb corruption in public life was expected to see the light of the day.

But that was not to be. Even in 2015 the bill continues to be in the cold storage, for soon after came Kejriwal’s first betrayal of Anna’s movement that brought the government to its knees. Reasons were many including Anna’s failing health and an unwise and ineffective sit-in in Mumbai later that year that was largely ignored by people. What sounded the death knell of IAC was Kejriwal’s uncalled for untimely 9-day fast in July 2012 that gained nothing except ill-health for him and a decision to move away from the politically unaligned agitational approach of Anna. That is when he decided to give up the movement and politicise it by creating AAP (Common Man’s Party), disappointing thousands of the IAC supporters, workers and volunteers who had made enormous sacrifices for the success of the movement. All of them felt terribly let down and betrayed as it proved to be curtains for an unprecedented civil society upheaval like of which was never seen in the country before. It was Anna’s persona and his perceived uncompromisingly honest attitude and those of his close supporters that brought people in droves to join the movement. Splitting the IAC was Kejriwal’s first insidious act.

The political outfit that he created met with unexpected success in the Delhi state Assembly elections of 2013. In the 70-member assembly AAP got as many as 28 seats with Bharatiya Janata Party getting 31. The Indian National Congress that had an unbroken rule of 15 years was reduced to 8 seats. Nonetheless, it was a hung assembly – where the party with largest number of seats refused to form the government, leaving the field open for AAP to run it with outside unsolicited support offered by Congress. Ironically, AAP accepted support of the same party against which it had campaigned for corruption. Fully aware that he had no majority in the house, Kejriwal wanted to introduce an anti-corruption law which expectedly the Opposition did not allow. Kejriwal promptly resigned after ruling for only 49 days fetching the sobriquet “bhagora” (quitter). In view of his earlier threats of resignation, perhaps, this was only a ploy to get out of a hung situation or, maybe, he was aiming to become prime minister as the Parliamentary elections were in the offing, the response of voters having buoyed his hopes.

What has happened in his second avatar is, of course, far more serious and reprehensible. Having been decimated in the parliamentary polls Kejriwal was reported to be frustrated and felt that his Party faced an existential crisis. Unless it did well in the then oncoming Delhi elections, he thought, AAP would have no future. That is when he gave up all his put-on idealism or pretences thereof, bringing to fore his undemocratic, ambitious and authoritarian traits, Late last year many well-known stalwarts including Shazia Ilmi, one-time face of AAP, left the party feeling suffocated.

Later his unethical ways were made public when an audio clip of a sting operation on him was released indicating that he was prepared to accept support of proven corrupt Congressmen. Then, after an extraordinary electoral win at the Delhi elections with not-so-clean means, his feud with the ideologues – legal activist Prashant Bhushan and intellectual-cum-psephologist Yogendra Yadav, both straight players, - made headlines. The stunning electoral win seemingly had got to his head. Not only they were abused in the sting, they were undemocratically expelled from the Party’s Executive Council and have now also been unceremoniously expelled from the party in a high-handed manner. Anybody opposed to his inner party moves is considered undesirable and is promptly axed. Obviously, his true self has taken over and he is now strutting around AAP as a “Hitler” with lies, subterfuge and the like for props. “Clean” and “new” politics has been given a summary burial.

A setback to his ambitions at the parliamentary polls brought the true Kejriwal to the fore revealing a political fiend – self-serving and aggrandizing.

 

 

 



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admin
Saudi-led coalition
2015.03.29 08:20:34

A Saudi-led coalition of 10 countries has launched air strikes on Houthi targets in Yemen.

Some numbers on the military action:

Saudi Arabia: At least 100 war planes + 150,000 troops and war ships on standby
UAE: 30 war planes
Kuwait: 15 war planes
Bahrain: 12 war planes
Qatar: 10 war planes
Jordan: 6 war planes
Morocco: 6 war planes
Sudan: 3 war planes

On standby:

Egypt: war planes, war ships and tanks + ground troops
Pakistan: tanks and ground troops
US: logistics



Tags: Yemen | Saudi Arabia

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admin
Hadi arrives in Egypt
2015.03.28 01:35:35

President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi arrived in Egypt for an Arab League summit that will focus on the Saudi-led military campaign against the Houthis.



Tags: Yemen | Egypt

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admin
Al Jazeera condemns attack on Sanaa bureau
2015.03.28 00:29:25

Al Jazeera Media Network condemns the invasion of Houthi rebels on its bureau in Sanaa on Thursday. Armed Houthis stormed the bureau as guards reported that the rebels destroyed security cameras, smashed the entrance door and ransacked the office contents.

An Al Jazeera spokesman said: “We condemn these unacceptable actions. They will however not stop us from continuing our duty as journalists in covering the events in Yemen. We are continuing our comprehensive coverage through our sources in Sanaa and other Yemeni provinces.”

Al Jazeera’s bureau has been operating legally and has been accredited by the information ministry in Yemen ever since it was established in 1996. No one was harmed during the raid as the bureau had been recently cleared for security reasons.



Tags: Yemen

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admin
Saudi Arabia and Gulf allies
2015.03.27 11:46:40

Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies have presented powerful members of the UN Security Council with suggested elements for a resolution that would impose an arms embargo on Houthi rebels.

Diplomats said after a meeting with ambassadors from the United States, Britain and France that members of the Gulf Coordination Council want the resolution to be militarily enforceable under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter.

The GCC members also presented the Security Council president with a letter explaining that their airstrikes targeting military installations held by the Houthi rebels are in response to President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi's request this week for immediate aid as the rebels closed in.

[AP]



Tags: Yemen | Saudi Arabia

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admin
Turkey's President's President
2015.03.27 07:37:46

Turkey's President has said his country is willing to provide logistical and intelligence support to the Saudi-led coalition's operations in Yemen, crticising Iranian attempts to influence the region.

"Iran is trying to dominate the region. They are in preparation for it. Could this be allowed? This has begun annoying us, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries. This is really not tolerable and Iran has to see this," Erdogan said.



Tags: Yemen | Turkey

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admin
Who are the Houthis?
2015.03.27 07:35:56

- The rebels belong to the Zaidi community, a moderate Shia sect that makes up about a third of Yemen's population.

- Their rebellion was launched in 2004 in the northern town of Saada.

- Their initial demand was an end to political and economic marginalisation in the north.

- Another objective was allegedly to restore the rule of Shia imams, who ruled Yemen for nearly 1,000 years.

- They now say they are fighting for more rights for all Yemenis, saying people in both the north and south are being wronged by the country's rulers.

- The Houthis participated in the 2011 uprising and gained political acceptance in Yemen. But soon they broke away from the rest of the political forces that deposed Ali Abdullah Saleh.

- They resumed military action and have in the last six months taken control of Sanaa and other parts of Yemen.



Tags: Yemen | Houthis

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admin
US accused of leading the military offensive
2015.03.27 07:33:54

Speaking on Houthi-run al-Masirah TV, rebel leader Abdel-Malek al-Houthi accused the US of leading the military offensive. He also called Saudi Arabia an "evil neighbour" that is using its wealth to destroy nations.

What do they expect us to do? Surrender, announce our defeat? To act like cowards? What do they expect from us? Collapse overnight? To walk away? Absolutely not. This is not how the honourable Yemeni people think. These are not our beliefs. We will fight back. All 24 million Yemenis will stand united and face that despicable aggression. The state-run SANA news agency cited a foreign ministry source saying "Syria calls for dialogue among the Yemeni parties to arrive at a political solution that meets the will and aspirations of the Yemeni people".



Tags: Yemen

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admin
Update from Sanaa
2015.03.27 07:31:51

Hakim al-Masmari, editor of Yemen Post, says powerful explosions rocked Sanaa tonight as more Houthi targets were attacked. He describes the city as a ghost town with no traffic and civilians seeking shelter in locations considered safe.



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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
2015.03.27 07:30:52

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on all parties to ensure the protection of civilians in Yemen, adding that negotiations remain the only option for ultimately resolving the crisis.

The secretary-general reminds all parties involved of their obligations under international humanitarian law to ensure the protection of civilians and of all humanitarian and United Nations and associated personnel, as well as of the rules and principles of international human rights law and refugee law. - UN statement



Tags: Yemen

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admin
Saudi air strikes target the Tariq Air Base
2015.03.27 02:05:45

We're getting reports that Saudi air strikes target the Tariq Air Base in Taiz, central Yemen.



Tags: Yemen | Saudi Arabia

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admin
Amnesty International: Civilians killed in air strikes
2015.03.27 01:59:45

At least six children under the age of 10 were among a reported 25 people killed in Saudi Arabian-led air strikes in Sanaa on Thursday, Amnesty International reported after speaking to hospital officials and eyewitnesses.

The group said the dead were being pulled from the rubble of 14 houses that were hit in a residential neighborhood near the city’s international airport. The rest of those killed were men, mostly in their 30s and 40s, Amnesty said, adding that it is believed that more people may still be buried beneath the rubble.

This high toll of civilian deaths and injuries in these attacks raises concerns about compliance with the rules of international humanitarian law. Saudi Arabian and any other armed forces carrying out air strikes in Yemen are required to take all feasible precautions to spare civilians. - Said Boumedouha, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme.

Red the full statement HERE.



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admin
European Union High Representative
2015.03.27 01:56:20

Statement of the European Union High Representative and Vice President Federica Mogherini on the situation in Yemen:

"I'm convinced that military action is not a solution." Read full statement HERE.



Tags: Yemen | European Union

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admin
Saudi Arabia's interior minister
2015.03.27 01:53:51

Saudi Arabia's interior minister has ordered security measures strengthened along the borders and across the kingdom, including at oil facilities.

The minister, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, said the country would "act firmly" against any attempts to undermine its security, according to a statement published by the official SPA news agency.



Tags: Yemen | Saudi Arabia

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admin
Hezbollah condemns the Saudi-led strikes
2015.03.27 01:52:54

Lebanon's Hezbollah condemns the Saudi-led strikes, saying it takes the region towards increased tension.

"Hezbollah continues to always stand by the steadfastness of the Yemeni people when it comes to their independence and choices in governance”.

Hezbollah urges Saudi Arabia "to end its blatant oppressive aggression at once" and asks the Yemeni people to unify in order "to reach a full political solution".



Tags: Yemen | Lebanon | Hezbollah

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admin
Syria expresses its deep concern
2015.03.27 01:51:32

Syria expresses its deep concern about the "ongoing and dangerous" developments in Yemen.

The state-run SANA news agency cited a foreign ministry source saying "Syria calls for dialogue among the Yemeni parties to arrive at a political solution that meets the will and aspirations of the Yemeni people".



Tags: Yemen | Syria

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admin
UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs
2015.03.27 01:50:29

UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Anwar Gargash, says "the decision to launch Operation Decisive Storm wasn’t a rushed decision".

"Since the Houthi coup and aggression that stretched out all across Yemen where they wanted to impose their jungle law on their people, we had to make a decision and support the legitimacy in the country for the sake of Yemen and its citizens."



Tags: Yemen | UAE

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admin
Yemenis gather in the city of Taiz
2015.03.27 01:48:35

As thousands of Yemenis gather in the city of Taiz in support of the Saudi operation, thousands of pro-Houthi protesters carried out a rival protest in the capital Sanaa to denounce the air strikes.



Tags: Yemen

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admin
Yemenis took to the streets
2015.03.27 01:47:50

In the city of Taiz, thousands of Yemenis took to the streets in support of the Saudi operation and demanded an end to the alleged Iranian interference in their country. Some carried banners of President Hadi, others of the Saudi king.



Tags: Yemen

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admin
Yemen Live Blog
2015.03.27 01:46:43

A Saudi-led coalition of 10 countries has launched air strikes on Houthi targets in Yemen.

Some numbers on the military action:

Saudi Arabia: At least 100 war planes + 150,000 troops and war ships on standby
UAE: 30 war planes
Kuwait: 15 war planes
Bahrain: 12 war planes
Qatar: 10 war planes
Jordan: 6 war planes
Morocco: 6 war planes
Sudan: 3 war planes

On standby:

Egypt: war planes, war ships and tanks + ground troops
Pakistan: tanks and ground troops
US: logistics



Tags: Yemen

Hits: 933 | Read more...


 
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