Monday, April 8, 2013

Some must be axed, a few must not contest

Some must be axed, a few must not contest


Some must be axed, a few must not contest

Posted: 08 Apr 2013 10:37 AM PDT

I believe Umno president Najib Tun Razak is having difficult time to finalise the list of general election candidates for the 222 Parliamentary and 505 state seats.

Although the list will be provided to him by state Umno chiefs, he still needs to weigh it by making adjustments, balancing and alignment. Some just don't deserve to contest, some dead woods have to be chopped off while a few (I think) must be given due consideration.

Sorry, no offend but sentiments on the ground must get proper attention as the voters hold the rights to choose or not to choose. Some Umno leaders are close to the inner circle but their are despised by the grassroots.

So, to Datuk Seri Najib, here's my MP list:

DROP LIST:
1.   Nor Mohamed Yakcop
2.   Awang Adek Hussein
3.   Shahrizat Jalil (she already announced not to contest)
4.   Noh Omar
5.   Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
6.   Abdullah Md Zin
7.   Abu Seman Yusop
8.   Azalina Othman
9.   Azmi Khalid
10. Baharum Mohamed
11. Bung Mokhtar Radin
12. Halimah Mohd Sadique
13. Hamim Samuri
14. Ismail Kassim
15. Jamaluddin Jarjis
16. Lilah Yassin
17. Mohd Nazri Aziz
18. Mohd Johari Baharum
19. Mohd Zin Mohamed
20. Rafidah Aziz
21. Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin
22. Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor
23. Shahrir Samad

NOT ALLOWED TO CONTEST
1.  Reezal Merican
2.  Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim

NO MORE OF THESE
1.  Abdul Rahim Tamby Chik
2.  Mohd Isa Samad
3.  Radzi Sheikh Ahmad
4.  Syed Hamid Albar

Its time to give space to the new ones. Some of those in the list have been with us for more than three terms. So, its time to go accept of 'thank you'.

Ten Interesting Facts About Breasts

Posted: 08 Apr 2013 09:18 AM PDT

According to Liz Langley of Alternet:

"Boobies, boobies, boobies. Nothin' but boobies. Who needs 'em? I did great without 'em." So Neely O'Hara famously said in Valley of the Dolls while eyeballing strip joints. If she could see how much more tit-smitten pop culture has become in last half-century she'd probably need to do another shot, though frankly, if the Venus de Willendorf is any indication, humans have been boob-centric for as long as 25,000 years.

And why not? Breasts enhance the lives of owners and visitors, and you can't say that any other body part produces food. Still, for all the times you've ogled them, snuggled them or ensconced them in a bra that cost more than your Internet bill, what do you really know about breasts?

1. A singular duo. Among humans, some breasts stand out more than others but among animals, humans stand alone. Carole Jahme, the "Evolutionary Agony Aunt," columnist for the Guardian says that the breasts of the human female are unique among primates in that they grow before we start menstruating, stay full whether we are lactating or not, and stay big after menopause, whereas most primates' only enlarge when lactating.

There's an evolutionary reason for our hourglass shape. Jahme writes: "…it has been widely theorised that the plump buttock and bosom of modern women are sexual ornaments, selected for by ancestral males. Seen from a distance the adult female form, either from behind or from the front, can be recognised as distinct from the male of the species. An hourglass figure, plus youthfulness, would have attracted male hominids looking for mating opportunity."

So maybe that's the evolutionary reason some women want to have breasts that signal "female" from clear across the Grand Canyon.

2. What are breasts made of?

Food and sex, food and sex…maybe we're so enamored of breasts because that's what they're all about. Discovery Health tells us that the female breast contains 15-25 milk glands connected to milk ducts inside the nipple all held together with fatty and connective tissue (and yes, you can still breastfeed if you have implants). As for the pleasure part, there are thin muscle fibers in the nipples that make them become erect, signaling arousal, and also lots of nerve endings which make them sensitive. New Scientist's Linda Geddes writes that a 2011 study using MRIs found a direct link between women's nipples and genitals: when the study subject's nipples were stimulated, the brain's sensory cortex area corresponding to the genitals lit up (in addition to the chest area).

It's a link women knew about long before 2011, but it's nice to have it on paper.

3. Nip nip hooray!

Since breasts are so fun and fabulous, why stop at two? Some people don't. Polymastia and polythelia are, respectively, extra breasts and nipples. Diane Mapes of NBC's The Body Odd writes they're more common than you might think: about 6% of people have accessory breast tissue and a number of celebs have piped up about their third nipple (which they should really just call a tripple), including Mark Wahlberg, Lily Allen and and Tilda Swinton.

Extra breasts can lactate and respond to regular hormonal fluctuations, i.e., become more sensitive during menstruation which is often the first time women notice it (women are more prone than men, although men also get it).

It's not all fun, though. Polythelia, according to Medscape, is associated with some health issues, primarily of the urinary tract. Plus it sounds like it could get a little awkward…extra breast tissue usually runs along the "milk line" (armpit to groin) but sometimes shows up in other places. Mapes writes that in 1980, Journal of American Academic Dermatology reported on a 74-year-old man with a female breast on the back of his thigh, and in 1827 it was reported that Therese Ventre of Marseilles had "an extra breast on the outside of her thigh."

If any man ever grows one in the palm of his hand, a new zillion-dollar-a-year field of plastic surgery will be born. Watch.

MORE HERE.

Breaking News: M. Thatcher dead at 87 *updated*

Posted: 08 Apr 2013 05:56 AM PDT

Earlier this evening when I was at my physio session, I posted two links about Margaret Thatcher's peaceful demise as I was in a horizontal position undergoing therapy and could not do much.

CNN news reported it HERE.

The Telegraph reported it HERE.

The latest report this evening is by The Mirror HERE which reported that the Iron Lady will be receiving a ceremonial funeral.

Excerpt:




As tributes poured in for the former premier, it was announced that she will receive a ceremonial funeral with military honours at St Paul's Cathedral.

Downing Street gave details of the event after the Tory former prime minister died this morning. She had been in ill health for several years and was rarely seen in public in recent times.

The Queen was said to be "sad" at news of her death and Prime Minister David Cameron praised her as a "great leader" and a "great Briton".

Her spokesman Lord Bell said: "It is with great sadness that Mark and Carol Thatcher announced that their mother Baroness Thatcher died peacefully following a stroke this morning.

"A further statement will be made later." Follow live reaction.

Over the last couple of years her health had visibly deteriorated due to the affects of dementia and Alzheimer's.

Among the events she was forced to pull out of were an 85th birthday bash hosted by David Cameron at 10 Downing Street and the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in April 2011.

In July 2011 it was announced that her office in the House of Lords had been closed down, just weeks after she was named the most competent British Prime Minister of the past 30 years in an Ipsos Mori poll.

MORE here.

May she rest in peace.

Ketua Menteri & Exco Serah Kereta Rasmi Kepada SUK

Posted: 08 Apr 2013 10:34 AM PDT


George Town - Pemegang amanah sebagai Y.A.B Ketua Menteri Pulau Pinang, Tuan Lim Guan Eng, hari ini, mengumumkan penyerahan kunci kenderaan rasmi Kerajaan Negeri kepada Setiausaha Kerajaan Negeri, Datuk Farizan Darus di sini.

Menurutnya, penyerahan kunci kenderaan rasmi Kerajaan Negeri turut melibatkan pemegang amanah Timbalan Ketua Menteri I dan Timbalan Ketua Menteri II serta Ahli-ahli Majlis Mesyuarat Kerajaan Negeri (Exco) yang lain.

"Kenderaan rasmi tidak harus disalahguna untuk kegunaan persendirian atau parti sebaliknya ia harus digunakan untuk tujuan rasmi Kerajaan Negeri sahaja.

"Inilah intergriti yang dipegang oleh Kerajaan Negeri sungguhpun kini hanya sebagai pemegang amanah," ulas Guan Eng pada sidang akhbar di Komtar, sebentar tadi.

Tambahnya, intergriti harus dipraktikkan secara fizikal dan bukan hanya tahu melafazkannya.

"Bercakap adalah perkara lain dan melakukannya pula adalah suatu perkara yang lain pula.

"Hari ini kita (pemegang amanah Kerajaan Negeri) akan menyerahkan kunci kenderaan masing-masing kepada Setiausaha Kerajaan Negeri," tambahnya.

Guan Eng turut menegaskan bahawa penggunaan kenderaan rasmi adalah hanya untuk majlis rasmi Kerajaan Negeri dan bukan digunakan untuk tujuan berkempen.

"Sungguhpun menjelang Pilihanraya Umum (PRU13), kenderaan rasmi ini tidak akan digunakan untuk ceramah dan kempen.


"Begitu juga pemandu, mereka hanya akan bertugas mengikut waktu pejabat dan apabila menghadiri majlis-majlis rasmi kerajaan," tambahnya.

Dalam pada itu, Guan Eng turut mengulas manisfesto yang dilancarkan oleh Kerajaan Barisan Nasional (BN).

"Sungguhpun manisfesto BN menyentuh soal kekangan rasuah, namun BN tidak pula menyatakan tatacara (measurements) membanterasnya.

"Salah satunya ialah melalui pengumuman awam pengisytiharan aset dan pelaksanaan tender terbuka," katanya.

Katanya lagi, Kerajaan Negeri telah mengamalkannya sejak 2008 dan ianya terbukti berkesan apabila kempen anti-rasuah Kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang dipuji oleh Transparency International.

"Seterusnya menghalang pemimpin dan ahli keluarga pimpinan kerajaan berurus niaga dengan kerajaan demi kepentingan peribadi.

"Melalui pendekatan ini, rasuah dapat dihindari," ulasnya lagi.

Ulasan GB

Sejak UMNO BN memerintah dan menjadi kerajaan federal atau negeri, belum pernah dengar mereka menyerahkan kunci kenderaan rasmi selepas parlimen atau DUN dibubarkan.

Malah yang ketara ialah menteri dan exco-exco di peringkat negeri masih menggunakan kenderaan rasmi bukan saja melakukan tugasan rasmi malah berkempen untuk partinya BN.

Tahniah kerajaan Pulau Pinang, anda telah melakukannya dengan betul!

Special Report – Buddhist monks incite Muslim killings in Myanmar

Posted: 08 Apr 2013 06:54 AM PDT

Top News
Apr 08 2013 By Jason Szep
image  1 of 22 

MEIKHTILA, Myanmar (Reuters) – The Buddhist monk grabbed a young Muslim girl and put a knife to her neck.

"If you follow us, I'll kill her," the monk taunted police, according to a witness, as a Buddhist mob armed with machetes and swords chased nearly 100 Muslims in this city in central Myanmar.

It was Thursday, March 21. Within hours, up to 25 Muslims had been killed. The Buddhist mob dragged their bloodied bodies up a hill in a neighbourhood called Mingalarzay Yone and set the corpses on fire. Some were found butchered in a reedy swamp. A Reuters cameraman saw the charred remains of two children, aged 10 or younger.

Ethnic hatred has been unleashed in Myanmar since 49 years of military rule ended in March 2011. And it is spreading, threatening the country's historic democratic transition. Signs have emerged of ethnic cleansing, and of impunity for those inciting it.

Over four days, at least 43 people were killed in this dusty city of 100,000, just 80 miles (130 km) north of the capital of Naypyitaw. Nearly 13,000 people, mostly Muslims, were driven from their homes and businesses. The bloodshed here was followed by Buddhist-led mob violence in at least 14 other villages in Myanmar's central heartlands and put the Muslim minority on edge across one of Asia's most ethnically diverse countries.

An examination of the riots, based on interviews with more than 30 witnesses, reveals the dawn massacre of 25 Muslims in Meikhtila was led by Buddhist monks – often held up as icons of democracy in Myanmar. The killings took place in plain view of police, with no intervention by the local or central government. Graffiti scrawled on one wall called for a "Muslim extermination."

Unrest that ensued in other towns, just a few hours' drive from the commercial capital of Yangon, was well-organized, abetted at times by police turning a blind eye. Even after the March 21 killings, the chief minister for the region did little to stop rioting that raged three more days. He effectively ceded control of the city to radical Buddhist monks who blocked fire trucks, intimidated rescue workers and led rampages that gutted whole neighbourhoods.

Not all of the culprits were Buddhists. They may have started the riots, but the first man to die was a monk slain by Muslims.

Still, the Meikhtila massacre fits a pattern of Buddhist-organized violence and government inaction detailed by Reuters in western Myanmar last year. This time, the bloodshed struck a strategic city in the very heart of the country, raising questions over whether reformist President Thein Sein has full control over security forces as Myanmar undergoes its most dramatic changes since a coup in 1962.

In a majority-Buddhist country known as the "Golden Land" for its glittering pagodas, the unrest lays bare an often hidden truth: Monks have played a central role in anti-Muslim unrest over the past decade. Although 42 people have been arrested in connection to the violence, monks continue to preach a fast-growing Buddhist nationalist movement known as "969″ that is fuelling much of the trouble.

The examination also suggests motives that are as much economic as religious. In one of Asia's poorest countries, the Muslims of Meikhtila and other parts of central Myanmar are generally more prosperous than their Buddhist neighbours. In Myanmar as a whole, Muslims account for 5 percent of the populace. In Meikhtila, they comprise a third. They own prime real estate, electronics shops, clothing outlets, restaurants and motorbike dealerships, earning conspicuously more than the city's Buddhist majority, who toil mostly as labourers and street vendors.

As Myanmar, also known as Burma, emerges from nearly half a century of isolation and military misrule, powerful business interests are jockeying for position in one of Asia's last frontier markets. The recent violence threatens to knock long-established Muslim communities out of that equation, stoking speculation the unrest is part of a bigger struggle for influence in reform-era Myanmar.

The failure of Nobel Peace Prize-winner Aung San Suu Kyi, now opposition leader in parliament, to defuse the tension further undermines her image as a unifying moral force. Suu Kyi, a devout Buddhist, has said little, beyond warning that the violence could spread if not dealt with by rule of law.

Suu Kyi declined to be interviewed for this story.

GOLD HAIR CLIP

The spark was simple enough.

Aye Aye Naing, a 45-year-old Buddhist woman, wanted to make an offering of food to local monks. But she needed money, she recalled, sitting in her home in Pyon Kout village. At about 9 a.m. on March 20, a day before the massacre, she brought a gold hair clip to town. She had it appraised at 140,000 kyat ($160). With her husband and sister, she entered New Waint Sein, a Muslim-owned gold shop, which offered her 108,000 kyat. She wanted at least 110,000.

Shop workers studied the gold, but the clip came back damaged, she said. The shop owner, a young woman in her 20s, now offered just 50,000. The stout mother of five protested, calling the owner unreasonable. The owner slapped her, witnesses said. Aye Aye Naing's husband shouted and was pulled outside, held down and beaten by three of the store's staff, according to the couple and two witnesses.

Onlookers gathered. Police arrived, detaining Aye Aye Naing and the owner. The mostly Buddhist mob turned violent, hurling stones, shouting anti-Muslim slurs and breaking down the shop's doors, according to several witnesses. No one was killed or injured, but the Muslim-owned building housing the gold shop and several others were nearly destroyed.

"This shop has a bad reputation in the neighbourhood," said Khin San, who says she watched the violence from her general store across the street. "They don't let people park their cars in front. They are quarrelsome. They have some hatred from the crowd."

That hatred had been further stoked by a leaflet signed by a group calling itself "Buddhists who feel helpless" and handed out a few weeks before. It suggested Muslims in Meikhtila were conspiring against Buddhists, assisted by money from Saudi Arabia, and holding shady meetings in mosques. It was addressed to the area's monks.

Tensions escalated. By about 5:30 p.m., four Muslim men were waiting at an intersection. As a monk passed on the back of a motorbike, they attacked. One hit the driver with a sword, causing him to crash, witnesses said. A second blow sliced the back of the monk's head. One of the men doused him in fuel and set him on fire, said Soe Thein, a mechanic who saw the attack. The monk died in hospital.

Soe Thein, a Buddhist, ran to the market. "A monk has been killed! A monk has been killed!" he cried. As he ran back, a mob followed and the riots began. Muslim homes and shops went up in flames.

Soe Thein identified the attackers by name and said he saw several in the village days after the monk was murdered. Police declined to say whether they were among 13 people arrested and under investigation related to the Meikhtila violence.

"WE JUST WANT THE MUSLIMS"

That evening, flames devoured much of Mingalarzay Yone, a mostly Muslim ward in east Meikhtila. The fire razed a mosque, an orphanage and several homes. Hundreds fled. Some hid in Buddhist friends' houses, witnesses said. About 100 packed into the thatched wooden home of Maung Maung, a Muslim elder.

As the mob swelled in size, Win Htein, a lawmaker in Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party, tried to restrain the crowd but was held back. "Someone took my arm and said be careful or you will become a victim," he said.

About 200 police officers watched the riots in the neighbourhood before leaving around midnight, he said.

By about 4 a.m., the Muslim men inside Maung Maung's house were braced for battle, chanting in Arabic and then shouting in Burmese, "We'll wash our feet in Burman blood." (The Burmans, or Bamah, are Myanmar's ethnic majority.) Nearly a thousand Buddhists were outside.

When dawn broke, at about 6 a.m., the only police presence in the area was a detail of about 10 officers. They slowly backed away, allowing the mob to attack, said Hla Thein, 48, a neighbourhood Buddhist elder.

The Muslims fled through the side of the house, chased by men with swords, sticks, iron rods and machetes. Some were butchered in a nearby swamp, said Hla Thein, who recounted the events along with four other witnesses, both Buddhist and Muslim.

Others were cut down as they ran toward a hilltop road. "They chased them like they were hunting rabbits," said NLD lawmaker Win Htein.

Police saved 47 of the Muslims, mostly women and children, by encircling them with their shields and firing warning shots in the air, Hla Thein said. "We don't want to attack you," one monk shouted at the police, according to a policeman. "We just want the Muslims."

Ye Myint, the chief minister of Mandalay region that includes Meikhtila, told reporters later that day that the situation was "stabilizing." In fact, it was getting worse. Armed monks and Buddhist mobs terrorized the streets for the next three days, witnesses said.

They threatened Thein Zaw, a fireman trying to douse a burning mosque. "How dare you extinguish this fire," he recalls one monk shouting. "We are going to kill you." A group of about 30 monks smashed the sign hanging outside his fire station and tried to block his truck. He drove through a hail of stones, one striking below his eye, and crashed, he said, showing his wound.

"A monk with a knife at one point swung at me," said Kyaw Ye Aung, a junior firefighter who, like Thein Zaw, is Buddhist.

Three days later, on the hill where Muslim bodies were burned, this reporter found the remains of a mix of adults and children: pieces of human skull, vertebrae and other bones, and a singed child's backpack.

Nearby, municipal trucks dumped bodies in a field next to a crematorium in Meikhtila's outskirts. They were burned with old tires.

MURKY POLITICAL FORCES

Knife-wielding monks jar with Buddhism's better-known image of meditative pacifism.

Grounded in a philosophy of enlightenment, nonviolence, rebirth and the vanquishing of human desires, Buddhism eschews crusades or jihads. It traditionally embraces peace, clarity and wisdom — attributes of the Buddha who lived some 2,500 years ago.

About 90 percent of Myanmar's 60 million people are practicing Buddhists, among the world's largest proportion. Sheathed in iconic burgundy robes, Buddhist monks were at the forefront of Myanmar's struggle for democracy and, before that, independence.

Many Burmese find it easier to assume a cherished institution has been infiltrated by thugs and provocateurs than to admit the monkhood's central role in anti-Muslim violence in recent years.

On the streets of Meikhtila, witnesses saw monks from well-known local monasteries. They also saw monks from Mandalay, the country's second-largest city and a centre of Burmese culture about 100 miles (160 km) to the north. One such visitor was the nationalistic monk Wirathu.

Wirathu was freed last year from nine years in jail during an amnesty for hundreds of political prisoners, among the most celebrated reforms of Myanmar's post-military rule. He had been locked up for helping to incite deadly anti-Muslim riots in 2003.

Today, the charismatic 45-year-old with a boyish smile is an abbot in Mandalay's Masoeyein Monastery, a sprawling complex where he leads about 60 monks and has influence over more than 2,500 residing there. From that power base, he is leading a fast-growing movement known as "969," which encourages Buddhists to shun Muslim businesses and communities.

The three numbers refer to various attributes of the Buddha, his teachings and the monkhood. In practice, the numbers have become the brand of a radical form of anti-Islamic nationalism that seeks to transform Myanmar into an apartheid-like state.

"We have a slogan: When you eat, eat 969; when you go, go 969; when you buy, buy 969," Wirathu said in an interview at his monastery in Mandalay. Translation: If you're eating, travelling or buying anything, do it with a Buddhist. Relishing his extremist reputation, Wirathu describes himself as the "Burmese bin Laden."

He began giving a series of controversial 969 speeches about four months ago. "My duty is to spread this mission," he said. It's working: 969 stickers and signs are proliferating — often accompanied by violence.

Rioters spray-painted "969″ on destroyed businesses in Meikhtila. Anti-Muslim mobs in Bago Region, close to Yangon, erupted after travelling monks preached about the 969 movement. Stickers bearing pastel hues overlaid with the numerals 969 are appearing on street stalls, motorbikes, posters and cars across the central heartlands.

In Minhla, a town of about 100,000 people a few hours' drive from Yangon, 2,000 Buddhists crammed into a community centre on February 26 and 27 to listen to Wimalar Biwuntha, an abbot from Mon State. He explained how monks in his state began using 969 to boycott a popular Muslim-owned bus company, according to Win Myint, 59, chairman of the centre that hosted the abbot.

After the speeches, the mood in Minhla turned ugly, said Tun Tun, 26, a Muslim tea-shop owner. Muslims were jeered, he said. A month later, about 800 Buddhists armed with metal pipes and hammers destroyed three mosques and 17 Muslim homes and businesses, according to police. No one was killed, but two-thirds of Minhla's Muslims fled and haven't returned, police said.

"Since that speech, people in our village became more aggressive. They would swear at us. We lost customers," said Tun Tun, whose tea shop and home were nearly destroyed by Buddhists on March 27. One attacker was armed with a chainsaw, he said.

A local police official made a deal with the mob: Rioters were allowed 30 minutes to ransack a mosque before police would disperse the crowd, according to two witnesses. They tore it apart for the next half hour, the witnesses said. A hollowed-out structure remains. Local police denied having made any such an agreement when asked by Reuters.

Two days earlier in Gyobingauk, a town of 110,000 people just north of Minhla, a mob destroyed a mosque and 23 houses after three days of speeches by a monk preaching 969. Witnesses said they appeared well organized, razing some buildings with a bulldozer.

"ENEMY BASES"

Wirathu denied directing the monks in Meikhtila and elsewhere.

"You have the right to defend yourselves. But you don't have the right to kill or destroy," he said in the interview.

Wirathu said he was in Meikhtila to persuade monks not to fight. At one point, he delivered a speech on a car roof. A first-hand account of what he said was not available.

He acknowledged spreading 969 and warned that Muslims were diluting the country's Buddhist identity. That is a comment he has made repeatedly in speeches and social media and by telephone in recent weeks to a large and growing following.

"With money, they become rich and marry Buddhist Burmese woman who convert to Islam, spreading their religion. Their businesses become bigger and they buy more land and houses, and that means fewer Buddhist shrines," he said.

"And when they become rich, they build more mosques which, unlike our pagodas and monasteries, are not transparent," he added. "They're like enemy base stations for us. More mosques mean more enemy bases, so that is why we must prevent this."

Wirathu fears Myanmar will follow the path of Indonesia after Islam entered the archipelago in the 13th century. By the end of the 16th century, Islam had replaced Hinduism and Buddhism as the dominant religion on Indonesia's main islands.

Wirathu began preaching the apartheid-like 969 creed himself in 2001, when the U.S. State Department reported "a sharp increase in anti-Muslim violence" in Myanmar. Anti-Muslim sentiment was fuelled in March that year by the Taliban's destruction of Buddhist images in Bamiyan, Afghanistan, and in September by al Qaeda's attacks in the United States.

The monk continued until he was arrested in 2003 and sentenced to 25 years in prison for distributing anti-Muslim pamphlets that incited communal riots in his birthplace of Kyaukse, a town near Meikhtila. At least 10 Muslims were killed in Kyaukse by a Buddhist mob, according to a U.S. State Department report.

Wirathu has a quick answer to the question of who caused Meikhtila's unrest: the Buddhist woman who tried to sell the hair clip. "She shouldn't have done business with Muslims."

"STATE INVOLVEMENT"

Wirathu should be arrested, said Nyi Nyi Lwin, a former monk better known by his holy name U Gambira who led the "Saffron Revolution" democracy uprising in 2007 that was crushed by the military. "What he preaches deviates from Buddha's teachings," he said. "He is a monk. He is an abbot. And he is dangerous. He is becoming very scary and pitiful."

But Gambira said only the government can stop the anti-Muslim mood.

"In the past, they prevented monks from giving speeches about democracy and politics. This time they don't stop these incendiary speeches. They are supporting them," he said. "Because Wirathu is an abbot at a big monastery of about 2,500 monks, no one dares to speak back to him. The government needs to take action against him."

Hla Thein, a witness to the massacre in Meikhtila, said authorities did surprisingly little to stop the violence. "It was like they were waiting for an order that never came," he said.

One senior policeman told Reuters he expected to be ordered to forcibly restrain the riotous mob, but was told not even to use truncheons.

That pattern echoes what Reuters reporters found last year in an examination of October's anti-Muslim violence in Myanmar's western Rakhine State. There, a wave of deadly attacks was organized, according to central-government military sources. They were led by Rakhine Buddhist nationalists tied to a powerful political party in the state, incited by Buddhist monks, and, some witnesses said, abetted at times by local security forces.

The latest bloodshed could have been nipped in the bud, said NLD lawmaker Win Htein, a former army captain who spent 20 years as a political prisoner. He said the region's military commander, Aung Kyaw Moe, could have stopped the riots with a few stern orders – especially given that thousands of soldiers are permanently stationed in Meikhtila and nearby.

Aung Kyaw Moe insisted authorities did their job. "It is like a battle. When it first starts you can't really guess the manpower needed or how big it is going to be. But there was protection."

Min Ko Naing, a former political prisoner revered by Burmese nearly as much as Suu Kyi, was in Meikhtila as the violence began. After the massacre, he said, the mob looked well organized. Cell phones in hand, monks inspected cars leaving town, he said. A bulldozer was used to destroy some buildings. "The ordinary public doesn't know how to use a bulldozer," he said.

The U.N. special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar said he had received reports of "state involvement" in the violence. Soldiers and police sometimes stood by "while atrocities have been committed before their very eyes, including by well-organized ultra-nationalist Buddhist mobs," said the rapporteur, Tomas Ojea Quintana. "This may indicate direct involvement by some sections of the state or implicit collusion and support for such actions."

Ye Htut, a presidential spokesman and deputy minister of information, called those accusations groundless. "In fact, the military and the government could not be concerned more about this situation," he said.

Authorities imposed martial law on the afternoon of March 22, the third day of violence. By then, only three people had been arrested, all of them for carrying weapons, a police official said. As they began to make more arrests, the unrest ended the next day. A total of 1,594 buildings were destroyed, the regional government said.

It started up a day later in Tatkon on the outskirts of the capital Naypyitaw. The riots then swept south to Bago Region, erupting along a highway just north of Yangon. By March 29, at least 15 towns and villages in central Myanmar had suffered anti-Muslims riots. In Yangon, some Muslims prepared for violence by Buddhists, shuttering shops and leaving to stay with relatives elsewhere.

On April 2, 13 Muslim boys died in a fire at a Yangon religious school. Many grieving relatives say they believe the blaze was deliberately set. The floors were surprisingly slick with oil during the blaze, they said. Yangon officials say it was caused by an electrical short circuit.

Some speculate the violence may be orchestrated by conservative forces pushing back at reformers. Or that crony businessmen linked to the former junta hope to knock Muslims out of business and create an economic vacuum in the heartlands that only they can fill. This last theory resonated with some Muslim businessmen such as Ohn Thwin, 67.

"This is both religious anger and economics," he said, surveying the remnants of his 30-year-old metalworking shop at a popular corner of Meikhtila, a strategic city where three highways intersect. Like many Muslims, he can trace his ancestry back several generations. And like many, he runs a profitable business and has dozens of Buddhist friends, including one who helped him escape the violence.

MAKESHIFT REFUGEE CAMPS

Across town, about 2,000 people cram into a two-story high school, one of several makeshift refugee camps housing about 11,000 of the town's Muslims, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Many more squeezed into a nearby stadium.

It's unclear if the Muslims whose businesses were destroyed will be able to reclaim their prime real estate. Ye Myint, the region's chief, said they may be moved to new areas – a policy that backfired in Rakhine State, where segregation has only led to further communal violence.

"Once we have achieved a time when there is peace, stability and the rule of law, then we look into resettlement," said Ye Myint.

The high school feels like a jail. Muslims inside cannot leave at will. Friends and relatives are kept waiting outside. Police block journalists from speaking with Muslims – even through a gate.

"I can't sleep at night. I keep thinking there will be another attack," said Kyaw Soe Myint, 40, who was waiting to see his 10 cousins inside before a guard shooed him away. "We're living with fear."

The identity of those arrested is unclear. But according to police, among those detained was the gold shop owner.

Aye Aye Naing, owner of the hair clip, remained shocked by the violence. "I feel sad for the Muslims who have been killed," she said. "All humans are the same; it's just the skin colour that is different. We have friends who are Muslims." She said she doesn't know what became of her hair clip.

(Additional reporting by Min Zayer Oo.; Editing by Andrew R.C. Marshall, Michael Williams and Bill Tarrant.)


The Vicious Cycle of Extreme Nationalism

Posted: 08 Apr 2013 06:48 AM PDT

The Vicious Cycle of Extreme Nationalism By C

Following the wave of anti-Muslim violence that swept through parts of central Burma late last month, 88 Generation leaders came forward with an important statement. At a press conference on March 29, Min Ko Naing said it was "very clear" that the riots did not represent a communal conflict between Buddhists and Muslims, but that they were instigated by "well-trained terrorists."

 

I learned the same painful lesson in my own Bosnia in the early 90s. Ethnic cleansing is never done by the spontaneous violence of a "mob" or by grassroots communities that allegedly hate each other. It is usually the work of well-trained paramilitary groups organized by elements of the security apparatus. Their task is to do the dirty work without showing the direct link with the regular forces, officials and their political patrons.

What happened in the former Yugoslavia cannot be mechanically used to explain what is happening in Burma. But the role which paramilitaries ("well-trained terrorists") played in the former Yugoslavia and the way they interacted with the regular army is a chilling warning for all responsible people in Burma, whether they sit in the government, Parliament, opposition, media or civil society.

Ethnic cleansing is a logistically and organizationally complex operation which cannot happen without the tacit involvement of at least some elements of the state apparatus. Nationalistic intellectuals, zealot religious leaders and "patriotic" media play their role as well, but it is the visible and invisible power apparatus of the post-authoritarian state which is an indispensable co-player.

I do not know who is responsible for the terrifying events in Burma and I cannot make any indications based on the parallels with the former Yugoslavia. But there are lessons learned which offer relevant warnings.

Nationalism as Authoritarianism's Last Line of Defense

With democratization, tense ethnic relations are usually the first skeleton out of the closet. With political opening, the grievances and demands of the suppressed and discriminated groups surface in an open space characterized by a multi-party system, free media and freedom of association. Many of these demands and grievances fuel passionate nationalism which can create a lot of pressure on emerging democratic institutions.

But there is another type of nationalism that is much more dangerous for emerging democracies. In many places, nationalism, sometimes in its extreme form, became the last defense of the previous authoritarian structures. Allow me tell the story of how Slobodan Milosevic used nationalism to prolong the rule of the communist party and what price was paid by the nations of the former Yugoslavia.

Yugoslavia was not a part of the Soviet bloc, but it was a communist country. With the fall of communism in Central and Eastern Europe in 1989, even the relatively soft communist rule in Yugoslavia could not hold any more.

Communist parties were basically confronted with two choices. One was to abandon their leading role and transform themselves into socialist parties. They could accept the rules of democratic competition and face a highly probable defeat in the first free elections. But by becoming part of the opposition, former repressive communist parties could clean their own ranks and put forward more competent technocrats and managers. Meanwhile, the new parties elected in the first free and fair elections would soon disappoint their voters. Former dissidents would prove to be less than capable, and daily politics would compromise their popularity. Then the former communist, now socialist, center-left parties stood a good chance of winning the second or third elections after the democratic change. If we look into the transition trajectories of many ex-communist European countries, this is what happened.

Another option the communist parties had was to cling to power at any cost. That was the road that Slobodan Milosevic and his Serbian Communist Party took. Communism had evaporated and gone, but the well-organized party machinery was still there and it had control over the economy and media as well as over the army, police and secret services.

Managers of the factories and agricultural farms, directors of banks, heads of trade companies, chief editors and general directors of television and national radio stations, generals in the army, heads of the police, spies and the secret police officers who had for decades persecuted members of the opposition were all afraid of what the change would bring for them. Milosevic offered them survival and ongoing positions in power, as well as a "piece of the cake" in the privatization. They were ready to follow.

The self-preserving interest of the former privileged class of mid- and higher-ranking party members and technocrats would not suffice to generate enough votes to win free multi-party elections. The "apparatus" still controlled all important tools of state power, but it did not have an ideology or any positive image to offer to the voters. The easiest and the most effective new ideology was nationalism.

The Role of Nationalistic Intellectuals and "Patriotic" Media

In order to unite people behind the president and the ruling party, it was necessary to create an atmosphere of fear and anger. The first move of the ex-regime, which still controlled the media and public space, was to let nationalistic intellectuals and religious leaders out of the shadow where they were kept for decades. Suddenly, people who were before persecuted for their nationalistic and religious beliefs started to appear on TV, make public speeches, hold debates and write in the print media. They talked mainly about old historic grievances, including all the injustices and crimes that the "others" had done to "us."

The atmosphere in the society started to heat up. The revived nationalism of "one side" found the other side ready to respond with their own sense of nationalism. The "others," too, had their own (his)stories and their own grievances. They had their own writers and intellectuals fostering their collective memory and identity. They also had their own aspiring politicians preparing themselves for the first post-authoritarian, "democratic" elections. Many of them were ex-communists.

Old injustices and crimes committed by "others" upon "us" and the stories of our past glory were successful in energizing the public because they were presented in large doses by the new and dynamic private and "free" media. The public was totally unprepared for such an onslaught. They were only used to the old type of dull socialist state propaganda. New private media offered them a magnetic mix of entertainment, showbiz, gossip, manipulative tricks of the yellow papers and well-dosed political messages packaged in a "patriotic" wrapping.

Extreme nationalistic parties were allowed to emerge as well, with at least some of them being led by former secret agents. Their inflammatory rhetoric just increased the level of what was allowed to be said. Communists-turned- nationalists let the smaller dogs bark first, and let them bark as loudly as they could. Mistrust between different ethnic groups started to grow even more.

Murky Rape Case as a Trigger

However, all of this would not be enough to win the elections. It was necessary to rub new salt into old wounds. What you need next is a trigger event, some ugly incident. Then you need to repeatedly broadcast images of that ugly, outrageous event through the media. Even normally cautious, reasonable and moderate people became blind to reality and ready to volunteer for self-defense or army units. They became ready to go and kill others and to burn their houses.

The alleged rape case of a Serbian villager Djordje Martinovic was one such trigger event used to bolster Milosevic's popularity and mobilize almost the whole Serbian nation behind him. Allegedly, the Serbian villager was kidnapped by Kosovo Albanian radicals, who raped him with a beer bottle. The whole story was pretty murky and until today nobody knows what really happened. But for the Serbian nationalists and "patriotic" media, there was no doubt that the perpetrators were Albanians and that all Serbs were endangered.

International criticism of Milosevic's discriminatory policies in Kosovo just helped to deepen the feeling among the majority of Serbs that they were a nation under threat, encircled by enemies from within and outside. Anybody who dared to criticize Milosevic's policies or to challenge him in the political arena was simply branded as a "traitor of the nation." There was no space for democratic competition or democratic dialogue between different opinions. What remained were only "they" and "us." "Us" meant all people uncritically uniting behind the country's leaders.

The Complementary Roles of the Army and Paramilitaries

Interaction between the regular army and paramilitaries played a crucial role in executing ethnic cleansing. For many foreign observers, it was easiest to conclude that the horrific acts that characterized this episode in late 20th century European history were the result of ancient hatreds between Balkan "tribes" that have always fought and slaughtered each other. But there was nothing irrational in the ethnic cleansing tested first in Croatia, and then applied on a massive scale in Bosnia and Kosovo. On the contrary, ethnic cleansing was a highly rational, planned and well-organized endeavor. Prominent members of the other community were targeted and horrific crimes were committed publicly, so that everybody else would flee en masse. Houses were burnt down or bulldozered, so that there was no property left to be reclaimed later on. All religious, cultural and historic monuments needed to be reduced to dust, leaving no trace of the "others" ever being present on what should be our and only our territory.

Paramilitaries were well-equipped and highly mobile units consisting of elements of ex-intelligence officers, former soldiers in foreign mercenary armies, criminals released from prisons, football fans and unemployed youth. The paramilitaries were often joined by the local mob, which was keen to take part in killing, raping and looting.

The army was also deployed, but at least in the beginning, it did not take part in the killing and burning. It was deployed to "bring security and protection," to "calm things down," as it was said. In reality, the role of the army was to control the militarily strategic points; to secure roads and other important infrastructure; to block the entrance of any unwelcome intruders, such as journalists, activists or observers (paramilitaries were free to move as they liked); to block any attempts to arm or organize the targeted minority population; to manage the mass flow of the people; and finally, to secure the territory once it was "cleaned" of "others."

With paramilitaries doing the dirty work, the military, government and president Milosevic could always say to the international community and domestic audience that they were not responsible, that they were doing all they could to calm the situation. The "problems," they said, were created by local self-defense groups, which were provoked by the attacks of others.

At a certain point, it was no longer necessary to fabricate stories about rapes and killings. Such occurrences became real and were happening on a massive scale. "Our" forces committed horrific crimes against the "others," but the "others" did not remain passive victims. They organized themselves as well and retaliated with the same ferocity against "our" defenseless civilians. Domestic, "patriotic" media never reported about the atrocities committed by our own paramilitaries and our own drunken mobs. But "our" media were quick to report about the crimes committed by others. This created even more fear and anger, which meant even more readiness to "defend" our endangered nation by killing and expelling others.

This is how the vicious cycle of extreme nationalism rolled through the former Yugoslavia for a decade. In the meantime, Milosevic and his now "socialist" party won without any problems presidential and parliamentary elections in 1990, 1992 and 1997. For almost a whole decade, Milosevic was the popularly elected president. The price paid for former communists staying in power in Serbia for 10 more years was the break-up of the country and four aggressive wars. Two hundred thousand lost their lives, thousand of villages were burned, cities were shelled by heavy artillery, millions of people were ethnically cleansed from their land and homes and the economy was completely destroyed.

Finally, Milosevic was toppled in a popular uprising led by the Serbian youth movement Otpor (Resistance) and by a united opposition that reacted strongly when he tried to steal 2000 elections. He was handed over to the International Court in The Hague to be tried for war crimes and crimes against humanity. He died in his cell from a heart attack before the court case against him came to a conclusion.

To avoid any misunderstandings, let me conclude that I do not want to draw a parallel between Milosevic, the Butcher of the Balkans, and President Thein Sein. What I wanted to share is that ethnic cleansing does not happen out of the blue and as a spontaneous eruption of communal violence. Ethnic cleansing—and what is happening in Burma with its Muslim population has all the parameters of ethnic cleansing—is usually prepared in advance through "psychological warfare" and cannot happen without the involvement of at least some elements of the state apparatus.

To break the vicious circle of extreme nationalism before it is too late, courageous and responsible initiatives by civil society leaders such as Min Ko Naing and his 88 Generation colleagues are not enough. Civil society, respected personalities, moderate religious leaders, responsible media and the opposition can and should help to reject violence and call for calm. But ultimately, it is the responsibility of the government and state not to let ethnic cleansing happen on its territory and to stop with quick and decisive action all state and non-state forces which are instigating it.

Igor Blazevic is a Czech-based human rights campaigner of Bosnian origin and the director of Educational Initiatives, a training program for Burmese activists based in Thailand.

 

 


The Iron Lady dies

Posted: 08 Apr 2013 06:26 AM PDT

Margaret Thatcher aka The Iron Lady died of heart failure today. The Britain's greatest post-war prime minister was 87.

When I first became a journalist in early 1981 and assigned to the Foreign Desk, I read about her mostly every day and began to scribble articles about Thatcher.

In America and in Eastern Europe she was regarded, alongside her friend Ronald Reagan, as one of the two great architects of the West's victory in the Cold War.

Of modern British prime ministers, only Lady Thatcher's girlhood hero, Winston Churchill, acquired a higher international reputation.

Lady Thatcher had become increasingly frail in recent years following a series of small strokes in 2001 and 2002. 

She ruled for 11 remarkable years, imposing her will on a fractious, rundown nation - breaking the unions, triumphing in a far-off war, and selling off state industries at a record pace.

She left behind a leaner government and more prosperous nation by the time a mutiny ousted her from No. 10 Downing Street.

Like her close friend and political ally Ronald Reagan, Thatcher seemed motivated by an unshakable belief that free markets would build a better country than reliance on a strong, central government.
 
Another thing she shared with the American president: a tendency to reduce problems to their basics, choose a path, and follow it to the end, no matter what the opposition.
 
RIP Lady Thatcer!

Rasisma Ibrahim Ali & Mahathir Bakal Tamatkan Riwayat UMNO BN

Posted: 08 Apr 2013 06:23 AM PDT


BBarisan Nasional (BN) telah melancarkan manifesto mereka yang secocok dengan falsafah 1Malaysia akan tetapi sokongan Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad terhadap Datuk Ibrahim Ali sebagai calon gabungan pemerintah itu dilihat bertentangan dengan konsep tersebut.

Presiden Pertubuhan Pribumi Perkasa Malaysia (Perkasa) itu dilihat seringkali bertentang dengan konsep 1Malaysia dengan memperjuangkan hak Melayu dikala pengerusi BN Datuk Seri Najib Razak memperkenalkan liberalisasi ekonomi dan ekuiti untuk rakyat Malaysia.

Akan tetapi mengapa perdana menteri paling lama berkuasa yang bercakap soal Bangsa Malaysia pada tahun 1991 menyokong Ibrahim — mengamalkan garis perkauman dan bertanding dalam Pilihan Raya 2008 di bawah tiket PAS dan hanya menyokong Umno kembali selepas menang di kerusi Pasir Mas?

"Saya harap BN akan bagi tempat kepada Ibrahim Ali untuk bertanding. Jika Ibrahim dijadikan calon saya akan pergi ke Pasir Mas, untuk berkempen," Dr Mahathir berikrar hujung minggu lalu dan menambah "Kalau ada banyak orang macam Ibrahim ini, Malaysia akan selamat."

Apakah Dr Mahathir mempromosikan Ibrahim Ali yang mengugut untuk membakar bible berbahasa Melayu? Ibrahim Ali yang mahukan jaminan terhadap pengelibatan Bumiputera dalam projek infrastruktur walaupun selepas Putrajaya mengatakan ianya perlu dilakukan mengikut merit.

Berapa selamat Malaysia jika Ibrahim kekal dalam politik? Atau adakah ini hanya satu lawak jenaka?

Satu perkara mengenai Dr Mahathir. Beliau membela orang-orangnya. Beliau membela Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik dalam perbicaraan rasuahnya. Sekarang beliau membela Ibrahim yang pernah beliau jadikan timbalan menteri menguruskan hal ehwal undang-undang.


Dr Mahathir juga merupakan penaung Perkasa. Lagipun Ibrahim telah menjadi panglimanya semenjak ahli politik veteran itu menamatkan karier politik Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim dalam Umno dan kerajaan.

Ibrahim juga mungkin berguna jika diperlukan untuk menggoncang kepimpinan tertinggi Umno jika BN tidak mendapatkan pencapaian baik dalam pilihan raya paling sengit ini.

Kedua-duanya berkongsi kebencian kepada Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. Ibrahim meninggalkan Umno selepas Abdullah menjadi presiden parti dan perdana menteri. Akan tetapi Ibrahim seringkali keluar masuk parti politik sehingga beliau di gelar "katak".

Fakta paling mudah adalah kedua-dua Dr Mahathir dan Ibrahim berkongsi menyukai cara politik lama ahli Umno dan pengundi yang lebih percaya dengan personaliti dan bukan polisi. Dan bukan dengan pengundi baru dan muda yang mahu Malaysia yang lebih inklusif dan bukan eksklusif.

BN harus berfikir panjang untuk bersetuju dengan nasihat Dr Mahathir agar memberikan kerusi kepada Ibrahim Ali dibawah bendera mereka. Kerana Malaysia adalah lebih daripada 400,000 penyokong Perkasa yang menuntut hak Melayu yang telahpun dijamin oleh Perlembagaan Persekutuan.

Empat tahun 1Malaysia telah membuktikan bagaimana BN boleh capai dengan pendekatan pertengahan. Mana-mana penyelewengan akan menyebabkan BN kehilangan undi, walaupun terdapat pelbagai idea dalam manifesto mereka. -TMI

Activists launch anti-racism campaign in Burma

Posted: 08 Apr 2013 04:49 AM PDT

Activists launch anti-racism campaign in Burma

By SHWE AUNG  5 April 2013 sticker campaign

A young activist passes out stickers promoting religious harmony in Rangoon on 5 April 2013. (DVB)

A group of youth activists began distributing t-shirts and stickers promoting religious harmony in Rangoon and Mandalay on Friday, as part of a grassroots campaign to counter the growing threat of Buddhist extremism in Burma.

Dozens of activists travelled through several townships in the former capital planting stickers on cars, shops and windows in response to the growing anti-Muslim "969" movement – led by the notorious Islamophobic monk Wirathu — which calls for Buddhists to shun the Muslim community.

Organisers say they distributed more than 20,000 stickers and 1,000 t-shirts across Rangoon, carrying the message "There shall be no racial, religious conflicts because of me" and "Burmese citizens don't discriminate by race and religion".

Volunteers from the multi-faith group – known as "Pray for Myanmar" – travelled to several townships in the commercial capital, including the Muslim-majority Mingalar Taungnyunt, where locals have lived in terror since rumours spread that the area would be attacked by Buddhist mobs.

It follows a wave of anti-Muslim riots that crippled central Burma late last month, leaving scores dead, thousands displaced and countless homes, mosques and shops razed to the ground.

A group of youths in Mandalay also distributed 1,000 stickers near Zegyo market, where Muslims were targeted in last month's violence.

Activists say their campaign has been welcomed by the vast majority of residents, aside from a small group of people. "Ninety-five percent of the people happily took the items but there were some who threw them away or wouldn't take them," one of the organisers, Thet Swe Win, told DVB.

"We had a threat via phone as well," he explained. "Someone pretending to be a journalist who got hold of my number called me up and said: 'Aren't you Burmese?' 'What are you doing siding with the Kalars?' and cursed. Our movement is made up of multi-faith youths – we have Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists."

The recent outburst of violence has prompted widespread concern over the government's failure to tackle hate-speech by prominent members of the monkhood, who have led vocal campaigns against the country's Muslim minority.

Wirathu has made a number of inflammatory public speeches, warning against the growing threat of Islam in Burma, which have been distributed widely through DVDs and social media. Stickers carrying the "969″ logo can be found plastered all over major cities, including Rangoon. However, he has denied that his "969" campaign played a role in the recent unrest.

But in a national address, President Thein Sein blamed the spread of the violence on "a small number of people" and warned "political opportunists and religious extremists" that they would be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.

Thet Swe Win added the movement will continue despite any local opposition and urged youths in other cities and townships across Burma to follow suit. Another campaign insider told DVB they also plan to produce a video featuring prominent public figures and celebrities to deliver messages of religious and racial tolerance.

The recent eruption of religious riots has been seen as a key test for President Thein Sein, who has implemented a number of democratic reforms since taking office in March 2011.


Will Najib flunk final test as liberal? By Terence Netto

Posted: 08 Apr 2013 03:17 AM PDT

COMMENT Has Ibrahim Ali been a stalking horse for Umno that the party won't renounce for reasons of strategic manoeuvre, or is he an unrepresentative outlier of merely nuisance value? That this moving force behind the Malay right-wing group, Perkasa, was a convenient vent for Dr Mahathir Mohamad to air views that the former prime minister would consider inappropriate to own up to in public has been evident for a long time. That Ibrahim was also a stalking horse for the hardliners of Umno said to be allied to deputy president Muhyiddin Yassin was also inferred for some time. br1m 2.0 launch by najib razak 2There was doubt, however, as to whether the Pasir Mas MP was also channeling for BN chief Najib Abdul Razak, putative Umno reformer and liberal whose measures in that mode are believed to have been opposed by Umno hardliners and has drawn flak from Perkasa.

Those doubts would be removed when and if Ibrahim's name appears on the Umno list of candidates for Parliament.

We shall soon know as GE13 waits to get on the road with the Election Commission meeting on Wednesday to set the dates for nominations and polling.

Over the weekend, Mahathir openly backed Ibrahim's inclusion on the list, rationalising the move as gratitude for what the maverick politician has done, presumably in the interests of Umno as these are conceived by the former PM. That Mahathir had to come out in the open to support Ibrahim's inclusion somewhat suggests that the latter may have tried to obtain selection on his own but was rebuffed.
Three-way fight
Some time ago Umno secretary-general Tengku Adnan Tunku Mansor let it be known that people should not assume his party would not field a candidate for the Pasir Mas seat in Kelantan. Everyone knows that if Umno fields a candidate in Pasir Mas, there would then be a three-cornered fight for the seat, with Ibrahim and a PAS candidate as the other two contestants.
Perkasa president Ibrahim AliSuch a battle's likely upshot: Ibrahim (left) would lose the seat to PAS under whose banner the maverick politician had campaigned and won the last election by a comfortable 8,000-plus vote majority.

In the 2008 election, PAS had deliberately stepped aside to allow Ibrahim through to contest Pasir Mas in a one-on-one tussle with Umno candidate on the assumption that a three-cornered fight could issue in an Umno victory.
azlanTo PAS it was better to have Ibrahim - who has always had his share of hardcore support in a constituency from which he hails - as the winner than to allow Umno the chance of gaining ground in Kelantan in a general election in which the latter nurtured hopes of ousting PAS, after coming close to doing so at the previous election in 2004.

As GE12's results turned out, PAS not only retained their state assembly and parliamentary grip on Kelantan; they strengthened it.

Tengku Adnan's signal that Umno had not ruled out contesting in Pasir Mas was the strongest sign yet that Najib's reluctance to publicly repudiate Ibrahim's rants did not imply tacit acquiescence in the latter's hardline positions on Malay rights.

Mahathir's public espousal of Ibrahim's selection as Umno candidate in Pasir Mas is seen as putting pressure on Najib to include Ibrahim.

If there is an Umno candidate other than Ibrahim in the fight for Pasir Mas, the ensuing three-cornered fight is likely to result in a PAS victory.
NONEAn Ibrahim defeat, sustained in his own backyard, would seriously undermine his position as a loudhailer for Malay rights.

That Najib is afraid to antagonise Mahathir was quite clear from the start of his premiership in April 2009. He did not include Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin in his cabinet, a slight that would have pleased Mahathir especially when it was accompanied by the selection of Mahathir's son, Mukhriz (above), as a deputy minister.

Mahathir would like to see Khairy out of the way to smooth Mukhriz's climb up the Umno hierarchy.

Displeasing Dr M


There is only one instance since his assumption of the prime ministerial office four years ago that Najib has been in clear breach of Mahathir's wishes. This was in allowing a royal commission of inquiry (RCI) into the question of illegal residents in Sabah who have been given citizenship papers under a project in the mid-1990s that was widely suspected to have had Mahathir's blessings. Throughout 2012 Najib struggled to stave off pressure from BN MPs from Sabah to empower an RCI on the illegal residents' issue that is the cause of much discontent among locals in the state. Last July this restiveness led to the abandonment of BN of two MPs from Sabah's otherwise solid support of BN. The two crossed over to the independent benches, a move that semaphored a stampede.

To squelch the threat posed by more crossovers to BN dominance of Sabah, a state hitherto regarded as a fixed deposit by the federal BN, Najib had to yield to the pressure by setting up the RCI.
NONEPredictably, revelations emanating from the inquiry have cast grave doubt on Mahathir's denial of responsibility for the fraudulent grant of citizenship to Sabah's illegals, an action that savours of treason, particularly in the wake of the intrusion at Lahad Datu of armed men from the littoral islands of the Philippines.

Reports indicate that assorted members of this armed group hold Malaysian citizenship papers, a matter that would place Mahathir smack in the dock as having allegedly approved an operation that has redounded in grave peril to our national security.

After having yielded to the formation of a RCI that has placed Mahathir in extremely bad light, would Najib now displease Umno's eminence grise further by not including Ibrahim on the party's candidate list for GE13? Although Ibrahim's inclusion would not mollify Mahathir completely, it would mitigate his displeasure at Najib for empowering the RCI.

But that would also mean that the last shreds of Najib's claim to being an Umno liberal would have gone up in smoke with the attendant conclusion that Ibrahim was also a stalking horse for the PM.

End of charade. Malaysiakini


TERENCE NETTO has been a journalist for four decades. He likes the occupation because it puts him in contact with the eminent without being under the necessity to admire them.

Nazri: Dr M is father of racism

Posted: 08 Apr 2013 03:17 AM PDT

Are Ethnic Cleansings of Muslims aiming to clear their land for Chinese Project?

Posted: 08 Apr 2013 03:13 AM PDT

The missing link from Press News, posted 04/08/2013 – 06:00

For months now, there have been widespread Buddhist attacks in Rakhine State on the Muslim minority Rohingya. On 1 April, however, claims were made that a motive for the ethnic cleansing was land clearances (marked "R" on the map below) near the southern terminal of the Shwe oil and gas pipelines, via which fuel is expected to be pumped to China by this coming June.

More anti-Muslim violence took place in central Burma in late March, in Meiktila ("M" on the map) to the south of Mandalay. Again, claims are now being made about the proximity of the town to the pipelines.

Recent events in Myanmar/Burma have raised some concerns that the West is getting the situation as wrong there as it did in the 'Arab Spring'. Even so, Western attitudes towards the country are largely positive. For instance, the other day much was made of the government cutting the price of SIM cards by 99%, making mobile phones affordable for the general population for the very first time. As such, there is a perception that a land of opportunity has opened up in Myanmar/Burma for Western businesses, NGOs and diplomats, and generally there is a thirst for hard information on the country. (Not for nothing are we looking to publish a new book precisely meeting this need in the near future.)

 

As for China, this hardly figures in discussions on the latest news from Yangon. However, this 'China blindness' is a mistake, as can be seen in a few recent, seemingly unrelated events reported in the last week or so.

More anti-Muslim violence took place in central Burma in late March, in Meiktila ("M" on the map) to the south of Mandalay. Again, claims are now being made about the proximity of the town to the pipelines.

Following the pipelines further north, on 2 April The Irrawaddy quoted the Russian Interfax news agency as reporting that the security of the pipelines cannot be guaranteed because of renewed fighting in Kachin State ("K" on the map). All it would take is a stray bullet. (Strange, we thought the pipelines were underground.)

Meanwhile, on 4 March it was reported that the Indian Navy has strong indications that a fleet of Chinese nuclear submarines is making frequent forays into the Indian Ocean (22 such incidents in the past year).

What links these events (and others) is a key Chinese concern – energy security. At present, China is largely dependent on imported oil and gas, much of it transported via the Strait of Malacca. This natural choke-point could easily be closed in a conflict with (say) the United States but also it has long been recognised that the waterway is vulnerable to a terrorist attack (as pointed out years ago by this NIAS book that first raised the issues of modern piracy and terrorism in Southeast Asian waters).

To this end, China has sought to reduce its energy supply vulnerability by construction of overland oil and gas pipelines via Central Asia, skirting Russia (see map from our last post) – hence perhaps the above Interfax scare-mongering) – or up through Myanmar. To safeguard its sea route from the Persian Gulf to Myanmar, China has secured naval facilities in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Myanmar (its so-called 'string of pearls').

This situation is discussed in far greater detail in two recent NIAS Press books.

Focusing almost exclusively on the Sino-Burmese relationship but very much aware of the recent US 'tilt to Asia' is Modern China-Myanmar Relations: Dilemmas of Mutual Dependence by David I. Steinberg and Hongwei Fan. What makes this study especially interesting is its strategic analysis (see for instance the map above) and that it draws on hitherto unavailable Chinese sources.

Looking at the situation from Central Asia (indeed with a wider Eurasian perspective), The Shanghai Cooperation Organization and Eurasian Geopolitics: New Directions, Perspectives, and Challenges, edited by Michael Fredholm, brings together a whole range of continent-wide issues – not just energy security but also border disputes, inter-state rivalry, economic cooperation, infrastructural development, Islamist dissent, terrorism and separatism, the Afghanistan war, other military threats and much more – and weaves them into an interesting geopolitical picture.

Aside from the present North Korean sideshow (where another NIAS book is helpful), much can be learned about current international relations in the greater Asian region – and especially about some of the factors driving Chinese foreign policy – by reading these two books. (All we need now are the scholarly reviews confirming that opinion. Sadly, academic journals seem to move at quite a different pace than international events.)


Bekas Banduan & Raja Video Seks, Papagomo Mahu Lawan Anwar Di Permatang Pauh

Posted: 08 Apr 2013 05:34 AM PDT


Pemblog kontroversi Papa Gomo mahu mencabar Ketua Pembangkang, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim di kerusi Parlimen Permatang Pauh pada Pilihan Raya Umum ke-13 (PRU13).

Perkara itu diumumkan oleh wakilnya, Mohamad Rafi Awang Kechik hari ini, demikian menurut Star Online.

Mohamad Rafi, Presiden Nadi Rakyat Malaysia berkata, Papa Gomo yang nama sebenarnya Wan Muhammad Azri Wan Deris, telah memutuskan untuk bertanding sebagai calon Bebas menentang Anwar.

"Selepas bercakap dengan pelbagai kumpulan dan banyak pihak, saya mahu mendedahkan kesemua salah laku kepada pengundi di kawasannya.

"Kami juga mahu menamatkan kerjaya politik beliau," kata Mohamad Rafi bagi pihak Papa Gomo pada sidang media di Pejabat Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya (SPR) di sini.

Jumaat lalu, Anwar mengesahkan akan bertanding mempertahankan kerusi Permatang Pauh. -SH

Ulasan GB

Apa yang GB nampak, UMNO dah tercakap besar tapi tak da calon yang berkredibiliti untuk lawan Anwar di Permatang Pauh.

Akhirnya cuba tonjolkan papagomo untuk lawan Anwar.

Dan dah patut sangat papagomo mewakili UMNO BN supaya satu dunia tahu UMNO BN sememangnya penaja kepada benda porno, lucah dan seks.


Pemimpin UMNO Bersama Papagomo
klik untuk baca

သကၤန္း၀တ္ေတြနဲ႔ ဓါးကိုင္ၿပီး သတ္ျဖတ္ေနတာေတြ ျမင္ရေတာ့ စိတ္မေကာင္းျဖစ္မိပါတယ္

Posted: 08 Apr 2013 02:42 AM PDT

ဒီမိုး. . . ဒီေလနဲ႔. . . ဒီေလွကို ဘယ္လိုမ်ားဆက္ၿပီး ေလွာ္ၾကမလဲ. . . ။

ေသခ်ာတာကေတာ့ အစိုးရေနာက္ခံျပဳတဲ႔ အင္အားႀကီးတဲ႔ အဖြဲ႕ တစ္ခုေတာ့ ႐ွိေနပါၿပီ။

သကၤန္း၀တ္ေတြနဲ႔ ဓါးကိုင္ၿပီး သတ္ျဖတ္ေနတာေတြ ျမင္ရေတာ့ စိတ္မေကာင္းျဖစ္မိပါတယ္၊။

လက္ရဲဇက္ရဲလက္ လုပ္ျပခဲ႔ၿပီးပါၿပီ။

သတ္ၾကတာေတာ့ လူမဆန္ေအာင္ပါပဲ။


ဗီြဒီယို ကလစ္ကိုလဲၾကည့္ၿပီးပါၿပီ။

အစက share ၿပီး တင္ထားပါတယ္။ ဒါေတြၾကည့္ၿပီး ၾကည့္သူရဲ႕စိတ္မွာ မေကာင္းတဲ႔ စိတ္႐ိုင္းေတြ၀င္လာမွာ စ္ိုးရိမ္တဲ႔အတြက္ ျပန္ၿပီး delete လုပ္လိုက္ပါတယ္။

သကၤန္း၀တ္ေတြနဲ႔ ဓါးကိုင္ၿပီး သတ္ျဖတ္ေနတာေတြ ျမင္ရေတာ့ စိတ္မေကာင္းျဖစ္မိပါတယ္၊။

ေနာက္တစ္ခုက သတ္ျဖတ္ေနတာေတြက လံုျခံဳေရး တပ္ဖြဲ႔၀င္ေတြရဲ႕ ေ႐ွ႕မွာတင္ပဲ လုပ္ကိုင္ေနၾကတာေတာ့ အလြန္ပဲ အံ့ၾသမိပါတယ္။

လူစုလူေ၀းနဲ႔ သတ္ျဖတ္ေနတာကို ဘယ္ကအမိန္႔ကိုေစာင့္ၿပီး ဘယ္လိုလုပ္မွာလဲ။

ဒီအခ်ိန္မွာ အမိန္႔ေစာင့္ေနစရားမ်ားလိုေသးလားဗ်ာ။

ကြၽန္ေတာ္တို႔ ႏိုင္ငံရဲ႕ တရားဥပေေဒ စိုးမိုးေရးက ဘယ္လိုလဲဗ်ာ။ ျဖစ္ၿပီးမွ တရားခံလိုက္႐ွာမွာလား။ မျဖစ္ခင္က တားရင္ တရားခံ ႐ွာစရာေရာ လိုေသးလိုပလား ။

လက္ပန္ေတာင္းေတာင္ အၾကမ္းဖက္ ၿဖိဳခြင္းတာရယ္၊ မိတၳီလာမွာျဖစ္ပ်က္ခဲ႔တဲ႔ ကိစၥေတြမွာရယ္. . . တရားဥပေဒစိုးမိုးေရးက လယ္လိုကိုင္တြယ္ေျဖ႐ွင္းသြားတာလဲ. . . ။ ေမးခြန္းထုတ္စရာျဖစ္ေနပါၿပီ။

ေျပာရရင္ ေဒၚေအာင္ဆန္းစုၾကည္ကိုပဲ ေျပာရမလိုျဖစ္ေနေတာ့ မခက္ဘူးလား။
လုပ္ရပ္က မပိုင္ဘူးလားဗ်ာ။

တကယ္ေတြးၾကည့္ေတာ့ ေသခ်ာလႊတ္ေပးလိုက္သလိုျဖစ္ေနပါၿပီ။
အမိန္႔နာခံလို႔ ရည္႐ြယ္ခ်က္မ႐ွိပဲ ျဖစ္သြားတဲ႔ ကိစၥရယ္. . . . ။
အမိန္႔မေပးေသးလို႔ ျဖစ္သြားတဲ႔ ကိစၥရယ္္. . . . . ။

ဘယ္လိုေတြးၿပီး . . .ဘယ္လိုသေဘာေပါက္ . . . နားလည္ရမလဲဗ်။
႐ွင္းၾကပါဦး . . . ။

ေသခ်ာတာကေတာ့ အစိုးရေနာက္ခံျပဳတဲ႔ အင္အားႀကီးတဲ႔ အဖြဲ႕ တစ္ခုေတာ့ ႐ွိေနပါၿပီ။
လက္ရဲဇက္ရဲလက္ လုပ္ျပခဲ႔ၿပီးပါၿပီ။
ဒီမိုး. . . ဒီေလနဲ႔. . . ဒီေလွကို ဘယ္လိုမ်ားဆက္ၿပီး ေလွာ္ၾကမလဲ. . . ။


Fei Por Forever

Posted: 08 Apr 2013 02:17 AM PDT

Fei Por's remains were cremated and interred in an urn the day after she passed away. We could not bear to have her simply buried in an unmarked grave in an unknown place. Her home is here with us and it is only right that we bring her back with us. Her ashes now sit in one corner of the living room looking out to the garden that she used to frolic.

Fei Por the cat's ashes interred in a urn
Fei Por's cremated remains interred in a urn with her portrait.

ဦးဝင္းတင္ႏွင့္ စကားေျပာျခင္း

Posted: 08 Apr 2013 02:34 AM PDT

ကိ္ုေဌးလြင္ဦိး နွင္႔ NLD ဦိး၀င္းတင္ RFA လိုင္းေပၚမွာ ျမန္မာ႔အေရးေဆြးေႏြးျခင္း


Attempted killing of reporters including AP reporter at Meikhtila မိတၳီလာမွာ ေသကံမေရာက္ သက္မေပ်ာက္ခဲ့တဲ့ AP သတင္းေထာက္

Posted: 08 Apr 2013 02:23 AM PDT

မိတၳီလာမွာ ေသကံမေရာက္ သက္မေပ်ာက္ခဲ့တဲ့ AP သတင္းေထာက္…
Attempted killing of Foreign reportersမတ္လ(၂၂)ရက္၀န္းက်င္ေလာက္က မိတၳီလာကို သတင္းလာယူတဲ့ မီဒီယာ အုပ္စုတစ္စုကို အဖ်က္သမားအုပ္စုတစ္စုက မီးေလာင္တိုက္သြင္းဖို႔ၾကိဳးစား ခဲ့တယ္။ အဲဒီထဲမွာ နိုင္ငံၿခားသတင္းေထာက္ေတြလည္းပါတယ္။ ဒါေပမဲ့ မၿဖစ္ေၿမာက္ခဲ့ဘူးဆိုတဲ့ သတင္းသဲ့သဲ့ၾကားလိုက္ရပါတယ္။AP သတင္းေထာက္ ကိုခင္ေမာင္၀င္း(ေရႊအင္းသား)ကို ေမးၾကည့္တဲ့အခါ
"အဲဒီၿဖစ္စဥ္ အမွန္ပါဘဲ" လို႔ေၿပာပါတယ္။
ၿဖစ္စဥ္ကဒီလိုပါတဲ့။" 7Day/Messenger/AFP/RFA သတင္းဌာနက ဓာတ္ပံုဆရာေတြ၊ သတင္းေထာက္ေတြနဲ႔အတူ အေ၀းေၿပးကား၀င္းက တဆင့္ၿမိဳ ႔ထဲကို ကားနဲ႔သြားခဲ့ပါတယ္။ ၿမိဳ ႔က(၂)ရက္ေလာက္နဲ႔တင္ အေတာ္ေလးပ်က္စီးေနၿပီး မီးေလာင္ၿပင္ၿဖစ္ေနပါၿပီ။ ေစ်းကုန္းေက်ာင္း ဆရာေတာ္ကို ၀င္ဖူးၿပီး ဆရာေတာ္က ဒကာတစ္ေယာက္ထည့္ေပးလိုက္ ပါတယ္။ မီးေလာင္ၿပင္ေတြကို ဓါတ္ပံုရိုက္ၾကတာေပါ့။ အဲဒီအခ်ိန္ ဗလီ တစ္ခုကို မီးရႈိ႔ေနတဲ့အုပ္စုနဲ႔ ဘြားကနဲ႔ပက္ပင္းသြားတိုးပါတယ္။ ပာိုမွာမီဒီယာေတြ ငါတို႔ကိုဓါတ္ပံုရိုက္ေနတယ္… ကားကိုမီးရႈိ႔လို႔ေအာ္
ေၿပာၿပီး တုတ္၊ဓါး၊၀ါးခြ်န္ေတြနဲ႔ ေရာက္လာၾကတယ္။ ကားကို ၀ိုင္းထားၿပီး ကားကို ၀ိုင္းထုၾကတယ္။ ကိုရင္တပါးက မင္းတို႔ဘာလို႔ဓါတ္ပံုရိုက္တာလဲ
ေမးေတာ့ မရိုက္ေၾကာင္းရွင္းၿပလဲ မရပါဘူး။ ေဘးမွာ သတ္မယ္၊ ရႈိ႔မယ္ တကဲကဲ လုပ္ေနၾကၿပီ။ဒါဆိုကတ္ၿပားထုတ္ဆိုလို႔ ရိုက္လက္စ memory card ထုတ္ပးလိုက္ေတာ့ ရိုက္ခ်ိဳးပစ္တယ္။အဲဒီအခ်ိန္ ကားထဲမွာရွိတဲ့ ဓါတ္ပံုဆရာ ေဂ်ေမာင္ေမာင္ကို
ကားထဲကဆြဲခ်ေနတာ မနည္းေတာင္းပန္ေနခ်ိန္မွာ ဘုန္းၾကီးတစ္ပါးက ကြ်န္ေတာ့္ကို ဌက္ၾကီးေတာင္ဓါးနဲ႔ ရင္ညြန္႔ကိုေထာက္ထားတာ။ေဘးမွာ
ေသြးၾကြေအာင္ညာသံေပးေနတဲ့ သူေတြကအမ်ားၾကီးပါပဲ။ ကတ္ေပး လိုက္တဲ့ ဘုန္းၾကီးကိုအကူအညီလွမ္းေတာင္းရတယ္။ကယ္ပါဦး ဘုန္းဘုန္း ရယ္ေပါ့။ အဲဒီမွာ ဘာကံေကာင္းသြားလည္းဆိုေတာ့ ကြ်န္ေတာ္တို႔ထဲမွာ ပါတဲ့လူက နာေရးကူညီမႈမွာလုပ္ေနတဲ့ လူဆိုတာ ဦးဇင္းတခ်ိဳ႔က သိၾကတယ္။ အဲဒီမွာ၀င္ေတာင္းပန္ေပးေတာ့ လက္ခံၾကခ်ိန္မွာ မရဘူး၊ သတ္မယ္ဆိုတဲ့ ၂ပါးေလာက္ရွိေနေသးတယ္။ ကားေနာက္ဖံုးကို ဖြင့္ၿပီး ကင္မရာေတြကိုရိုက္ခ်ိဳးဖို႔လုပ္ေနၾကၿပီ။ ဒါနဲ႔ ခုနကအကူအညီေပးတဲ့ ဦးဇင္း က မင္းတို႔ မီဒီယာကားခ်က္ခ်င္းသြား၊မၾကည့္ခ်င္ဘူး၊ ဘာညာေၿပာၿပီးေမာင္း ထုတ္မွလြတ္သြားတာ။ ဒါေတာင္ေစ်းကုန္းေက်ာင္းေရာက္တဲ့အထိ အခ်ိဳ႔ လိုက္လာၾကေသးတယ္။ေသြးဆာေနတဲ့လူတစုက ေက်ာင္းကို၀ိုင္းထားလို႔ ဆရာေတာ္က ရဲစခန္းကိုအကူအညီလွမ္းေတာင္းေပးတယ္။ သက္ဆိုင္ရာက ယာဥ္တန္းနဲ႔ အၿပင္လာထုတ္ေပးပါတယ္။ "

Ref; နံနက္ခင္းဂ်ာနယ္၊ အတြဲ-၃၊ အမွတ္- ၄၉၆


In the Last Days....

Posted: 08 Apr 2013 01:45 AM PDT

Most people would have heard of Nostradamus and if you have not, click here to read all about him. If you have heard about Nostradamus, perhaps you might want to visit this site and know the ten incredible Nostradamus predictions that came true.

This site gives you information regarding Nostradamus' secret prophecies of the last Pope.

Click here to read about the prophecy of the Popes.

Finally, please read BBC's report here.

Excerpt:

When Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation on 11 February, it wasn't the only shock to hit the Vatican. There were also electrical shocks, as two separate bolts of lightning struck St Peter's. An act of God, some concluded - but how unlikely is such an event?



Let us look first at St Peter's Basilica.

"The risk factors include the dimensions of the structure, its location and its location relative to other buildings around it," explains Matthew Waldrum from Omega Red Group, who assesses the risk of lightning hitting buildings.

"The construction material of the building is obviously also very important.

"It's an extremely large structure. It's not exactly isolated, but it certainly towers over its surroundings, which means that lightning is more likely to hit it than any of the surrounding buildings."

The fact that no damage occurred to the basilica suggests that it is quite well protected against lightning.

But Waldrum and his colleagues carried out a theoretical calculation of the risk of loss of life due to lightning in a similar building frequented by large numbers of people, in a similar setting - assuming the lack of any lightning protection. CLICK HERE for more.

CLICK HERE to view a video recording of that event.

Disclaimer:

1. I am not attacking Catholics.

2. I am not converting anyone to any religion.

3. I am merely sharing historical information with regards to Nostradamus and St Malachy's writings.

4. If I have offended you in any way, please accept my apologies.

I would encourage everyone to study current events and see the common line running through.

We are definitely living in very exciting but frightening times.

God bless you.





Myanmar Meitthilar Muslim Gold shop Destroyed By 969 Buddhist Extremists Group

Posted: 08 Apr 2013 01:47 AM PDT

Burma Meitthilar Muslim Gold shop Destroyed By 969 Buddhist Extremists Group


MEIKTILA RELIGIOUS CLEANSING MARCH 2013

Posted: 08 Apr 2013 01:45 AM PDT

MEIKTILA VIOLENCE by Terrorist Buddhists on Myanmar Muslims, MARCH 2013


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