brad brace

11/11/2006

Filed under: global islands,panama — admin @ 6:16 am

Situated in the Caribbean Sea a few miles off the north coast of Panama, the San Blas de Cuna Islands are the home of the Cuna, a traditional society of Native Americans. Most of these tropical islands are very small. Many are surrounded by coral reefs. The islands are part of Panama, but are primarily administered by the Cuna tribe

11/10/2006

Sri Lanka: Sri Lankan Navy attacks Indian Fishermen, 20 feared missing

Filed under: global islands,india — admin @ 7:09 am

Sri Lankan Navy attacked fishermen from Rameswaram at sea on Tuesday (November 7th) and 20 of them are missing. It is suspected that they had been abducted.

500 fishing boats went for fishing with tokens issued by fisheries department from Rameswaram on that day. While they were fishing in the mid seas, the Sri Lankan Navy fired shots in the air and moved towards them. Fear stricken fishermen collected their fishing nets and got ready to return.

Sri Lankan sailors entered their boats and attacked them mercilessly. They damaged the fishing gear and other belongings of the Indian fisherman. They even forcibly took away their catch

In the meantime five boats bearing the numbers RMS 656, 602, 1374, 812 and 2000 have not returned to the shore.

The missing fishermen are Velsamy(45), Kannan(30), Thankaraj(50), Rajathurai(50), Subramani(50), Karupaiya(45), Chandren(45), Jaleem(40),Perumal(35),Arumugam(45),Vellasamy(30),Ganeswaren(35), Thavasi(45), Sheik(27) Bapu(25) and Muthukumar(25).

11/8/2006

Filed under: bangladesh,global islands,india,kenya — admin @ 8:26 am

Corruption rating of Bangladesh

Filed under: bangladesh,global islands — admin @ 6:14 am

THE Berlin-based Transparency International has just announced the findings of its annual survey on perception of corrupt practices for 2006. It has presented its report to the press. Transparency International obtains data on corruption from their counterpart agencies in countries concerned. A sort of global approach is adopted for finding causes and effects of corruption and encouraging concerned quarters in the countries to adopt corrective measures.

The survey conducted by the Transparency International covered all countries in the world. Out of 163 countries, nearly a half have been stated to remain engulfed by unbridled corruption. Corrupt practices are adopted by the members of the upper echelon of the society, mainly politicians and bureaucrats. They do so to augment their earnings through misappropriation of public resources and thereby depriving the people at large. The burden of corrupt practices falls upon the people, who cannot take corrective measures against corrupt elements.

As reported, Haiti has replaced Bangladesh as the most corrupt country in the world. In the years since 2001 the blemish of being the number one corrupt country fell upon Bangladesh. Transparency International Bangladesh under the leadership of Prof Muzaffar Ahmed collected data on corrupt actions in government agencies for TI and presented its findings before the press.

It is worth noting that a Minister of the immediate past government asserted that the report of the Transparency International is not based upon correct facts and objective data. As against that, a leader of the opposition alliance stated that the previous government paid money to the global agency to project Bangladesh as one that has come out of the position of the most corrupt country in the world.

As it is, corrupt practices have global dimensions and are there in developed countries, which optimise their benefits from deals with other countries. The members of the bureaucracy and political leaders have, over the decades, had exposure to different institutions in developed countries. They turned quite ambitious for earning more to become richer. These powerful quarters opt for underhand deals while in office and join political parties after retirement. The Independent Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) should be made effective to take punitive action against corrupt elements to check corruption and help restore the image of the nation.

11/6/2006

BELIZE CITY POLICE DISCOVER FIRE ARMS

Filed under: belize,global islands — admin @ 4:31 pm

Belize City Police found a Tech 9 Uzi machine gun fitted with a magazine containing 23 explosive tips nine millimeter round in an area on Kraal Road. Police also found a double barrel 12 gauge home made shotgun fitted with two 12 gauge cartridge in Pink’s Alley. No one was in the area at the time of the discoveries.

11/4/2006

Filed under: global islands,india — admin @ 7:23 am

Rama's/Adam's Bridge as seen from the air

Filed under: global islands,india — admin @ 7:20 am

Rama’s Bridge, also called Nala’s Bridge is a chain of limestone shoals, between the islands of Mannar, near northwestern Sri Lanka, and Rameswaram, off the southeastern coast of India. The bridge is 30 miles (48 km) long and separates the Gulf of Mannar (southwest) from the Palk Strait (northeast). Some of the sandbanks are dry and the sea in the area is very shallow, being only 3 ft to 30 ft (1 m to 10 m) deep. This seriously hinders navigation. It was reportedly passable on foot as late as the 15th century until storms deepened the channel. A ferry links the island and port of Rameswaram in India with Talaimannar in Sri Lanka; the Pamban Bridge links Rameswaram island with mainland India.

Mythology

The names Rama’s Bridge and Nala’s Bridge originate in Hindu mythology. According to the Hindu epic Ramayana (Chapter 66, The Great Causeway [1]), the bridge was constructed at Rama’s request by his subjects. The bridge was supported on floating rocks but the gods were said to have later anchored the rocks to the sea bed, thus creating the present chain of rocky shoals. It was said to have helped Rama to reach Sri Lanka to rescue Sita from a monster (aasur) called Ravana, who was then the ruler of Lanka.

Some Hindu groups claim that the bridge is evidence that events narrated in the Ramayana epic actually took place and cite NASA’s imagery of it as proof of their claims.

Rama’s/Adam’s Bridge as seen from the air

Filed under: global islands,india — admin @ 7:20 am

Rama’s Bridge, also called Nala’s Bridge is a chain of limestone shoals, between the islands of Mannar, near northwestern Sri Lanka, and Rameswaram, off the southeastern coast of India. The bridge is 30 miles (48 km) long and separates the Gulf of Mannar (southwest) from the Palk Strait (northeast). Some of the sandbanks are dry and the sea in the area is very shallow, being only 3 ft to 30 ft (1 m to 10 m) deep. This seriously hinders navigation. It was reportedly passable on foot as late as the 15th century until storms deepened the channel. A ferry links the island and port of Rameswaram in India with Talaimannar in Sri Lanka; the Pamban Bridge links Rameswaram island with mainland India.

Mythology

The names Rama’s Bridge and Nala’s Bridge originate in Hindu mythology. According to the Hindu epic Ramayana (Chapter 66, The Great Causeway [1]), the bridge was constructed at Rama’s request by his subjects. The bridge was supported on floating rocks but the gods were said to have later anchored the rocks to the sea bed, thus creating the present chain of rocky shoals. It was said to have helped Rama to reach Sri Lanka to rescue Sita from a monster (aasur) called Ravana, who was then the ruler of Lanka.

Some Hindu groups claim that the bridge is evidence that events narrated in the Ramayana epic actually took place and cite NASA’s imagery of it as proof of their claims.

11/3/2006

Elephants rampage through Bangladesh village, killing boy

Filed under: bangladesh,global islands — admin @ 8:34 am

CHITTAGONG, Bangladesh — A herd of wild elephants rampaged through a remote, hillside village in southeastern Bangladesh, killing one boy, villagers said Thursday.

The incident occurred while a group of villagers confronted a herd of about 10 elephants that damaged crops late Wednesday in Chittagong district, 216 kilometers (135 miles) southeast of the capital, Dhaka, resident Delwar Hossain said.

He said the villagers tried to scare the elephants away by beating drums and using firecrackers and then left the area, which borders Myanmar. A 10-year-old boy who lingered behind, however, was crushed to death by the elephants, Hossain said.

Several hundred elephants make their homes in Bangladesh’s tropical forests, but their habitat has been reduced in recent years due to human development, occasionally causing elephants to invade residential areas for food, Bangladeshi expert Ainun Nishat said last month.

The country has about 250 wild elephants in its tropical forests, he said.

Last month, a herd of wild elephants killed five members of a family in the same district.

About three dozen people have been killed over the past few years by the wild elephants in the country’s northern Sherpur district, which is close to the forested border with India.

Residents in many Bangladeshi villages along its border with India use firecrackers at night and beat drums to scare away elephants, which have been known to attack villagers, damage crops and flatten trees.

11/2/2006

Blood feud in Bangladesh

Filed under: bangladesh,global islands — admin @ 6:54 am

Warring politicians endanger the country

THE map of the Muslim world is littered with places for Western policymakers to worry about. Bangladesh is becoming one of the most alarming of the lot. At the weekend its young democracy descended into a Punch and Judy show of backbiting and violence between two parties led by women who cannot stand the sight of each other.

But this is no comic sideshow. The feud is being fought in blood on the streets of a country with nearly 150m people, 90% of them Muslims, and most of them desperately poor.

The political system is at risk of breakdown. The winners, in the short term, might be ambitious soldiers itching to say “I told you so” about corrupt, incompetent civilians.

In the long run, the failure of mainstream politics must benefit the extremist fringe. In Bangladesh that fringe is peopled with Islamists who think the Taliban and al-Qaeda to be jolly decent chaps.

The latest bout of violence was provoked, ironically, by a mechanism intended as a solution to the problem of confrontational two-party politics. At the end of every government’s five-year term, it hands over power for three months to a “neutral” caretaker to oversee elections.

This time, the main opposition, the Awami League, led by Sheikh Hasina Wajed, cried foul, fearing that the two proposed caretakers would prove anything but neutral: President Iajuddin Ahmed has taken on the job, after a former chief justice withdrew. On the streets, supporters of the League fought the police and other backers of the prime minister, Khaleda Zia, of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), whose coalition government has just passed its sell-by date. Two dozen people have been killed already and hundreds injured.

The president may manage to placate the League. But unless the two sides show an unexpected willingness to compromise, the elections, due in January, are in jeopardy. The army, rumoured at the weekend to be on the point of stepping in, may have pulled back from that particular brink. But sooner or later some impatient general will be tempted to say that enough is enough, and to set about restoring the military dictatorship that Mrs Zia and Sheikh Hasina helped overthrow in 1990.

Both women are to be blamed for this sorry mess―and especially Ms Zia. Her government has indeed tried to rig the election, or, at least, to give itself an unfair chance. It has never properly investigated the bombing in August 2004 of an Awami League rally, where Sheikh Hasina nearly died, and several of her colleagues were less lucky. To retain the loyalty of its Islamist coalition partners, it has connived in the spread of violent extremism. It even denied the very existence of some of the groups responsible, until long after they had perpetrated one of the most elaborate terrorist attacks ever―the explosion, in the space of about one hour in August 2005, of nearly 500 small bombs in 63 of Bangladesh’s 64 districts.

But nor has the League shown much commitment to democratic politics. It has scorned parliament, and, like the BNP, it has used thugs to do its dirty work. Its weapon of choice is the general strike, shutting the country down with tiresome regularity.

If there is an argument now for optimism, it stems not from the League’s moderation, but from its fear of military intervention, and its hopes for a winner-takes-all electoral victory. The BNP has split―and, however much they try to fix elections, incumbent governments in Bangladesh always lose.

Bangladesh’s voters are for the most part a tolerant bunch with surprisingly astute political judgment. They are not easily bullied or hoodwinked. But their disillusionment with the main parties has created a vacuum, which the Islamists are trying to fill. Some are harmless charitable workers. Some have dangerously illiberal social views. A few are violent jihadists. Bangladesh is still a long way from becoming a hardline Islamic state, but its secular rulers are doing their best to give secularism a bad name.

Bangladesh port world's most dangerous but global piracy decreases, says watchdog

Filed under: bangladesh,global islands — admin @ 6:47 am

Bangladesh’s Chittagong port is the world’s most dangerous with more than 30 pirate attacks reported in the first nine months of this year, an international maritime watchdog said Wednesday.

However, the number of sea attacks worldwide decreased to 174 between January and September, compared to 205 in the same period last year, thanks to stricter law enforcement, the International Maritime Bureau said in its quarterly report.

Ships were boarded in 113 cases and 11 ships were hijacked, with six crew killed, 20 kidnapped and 163 taken hostage, the bureau said through its piracy reporting center in Kuala Lumpur.

“Although the number of attacks overall have reduced, there is a worry that in some key hot spots the situation has deteriorated,” it said in the report.

“Bangladesh recorded 33 incidents — 22 actual and 11 attempted — most of which took place in and around the port of Chittagong, resulting in it being accorded the title of the world’s most dangerous port,” it said.

Bangladesh recently conducted a joint coast guard and navy operation involving 17 vessels and 3,000 troops to capture pirates in the Bay of Bengal, which led to the deaths of two pirates, the report said.

Overall, Indonesia remained the world’s No. 1 piracy hot spot with more attacks recorded in its waters than anywhere else in the world, the bureau said. Still, the number dropped to 40 in the January-September period compared to 61 attacks in 2005.

The report also singled out Nigeria where attacks were marked by violence with large number of pirates carrying guns and knives. Even though only nine cases — six actual and three attempted — were reported, it said 17 crew members had been kidnapped and held hostage for ransom.

The bureau said the attacks were “symptomatic of a large rise in the number of incidents against foreign oil workers” and political unrest in Nigeria.

The bureau welcomed British-based global shipping insurer Lloyd’s move in August to drop the busy Malacca Straits — which carries half the world’s oil and more than a third of its commerce — from its list of dangerous waterways.

Only eight cases were reported in the first nine months of this year, compared to 18 for the whole of 2005, but it urged ships to maintain a strict watch when transiting the straits.

Bangladesh port world’s most dangerous but global piracy decreases, says watchdog

Filed under: bangladesh,global islands — admin @ 6:47 am

Bangladesh’s Chittagong port is the world’s most dangerous with more than 30 pirate attacks reported in the first nine months of this year, an international maritime watchdog said Wednesday.

However, the number of sea attacks worldwide decreased to 174 between January and September, compared to 205 in the same period last year, thanks to stricter law enforcement, the International Maritime Bureau said in its quarterly report.

Ships were boarded in 113 cases and 11 ships were hijacked, with six crew killed, 20 kidnapped and 163 taken hostage, the bureau said through its piracy reporting center in Kuala Lumpur.

“Although the number of attacks overall have reduced, there is a worry that in some key hot spots the situation has deteriorated,” it said in the report.

“Bangladesh recorded 33 incidents — 22 actual and 11 attempted — most of which took place in and around the port of Chittagong, resulting in it being accorded the title of the world’s most dangerous port,” it said.

Bangladesh recently conducted a joint coast guard and navy operation involving 17 vessels and 3,000 troops to capture pirates in the Bay of Bengal, which led to the deaths of two pirates, the report said.

Overall, Indonesia remained the world’s No. 1 piracy hot spot with more attacks recorded in its waters than anywhere else in the world, the bureau said. Still, the number dropped to 40 in the January-September period compared to 61 attacks in 2005.

The report also singled out Nigeria where attacks were marked by violence with large number of pirates carrying guns and knives. Even though only nine cases — six actual and three attempted — were reported, it said 17 crew members had been kidnapped and held hostage for ransom.

The bureau said the attacks were “symptomatic of a large rise in the number of incidents against foreign oil workers” and political unrest in Nigeria.

The bureau welcomed British-based global shipping insurer Lloyd’s move in August to drop the busy Malacca Straits — which carries half the world’s oil and more than a third of its commerce — from its list of dangerous waterways.

Only eight cases were reported in the first nine months of this year, compared to 18 for the whole of 2005, but it urged ships to maintain a strict watch when transiting the straits.

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