Support the Dominion
Support the Dominion
The Afghan Election Complaints Commission (ECC), with Canadian UN appointee Grant Kippen at it's helm, has published the first results of it's investigation into fraud in the presidential election, held on August 20th. On Thursday the commission announced it would throw out the ballots from 83 Afghan polling stations, where there is definite evidence of fraud. 51 of the problem stations were in Kandahar, 27 in Ghazni, and five in Paktika, according to ECC press releases. Of the 2300 complaints the ECC has received, the largest group concern irregularities at the polls, including ballot box stuffing. Other common complaints include allegations of intimidation, and lack of access to the polls, particularly for women. The ECC investigation is ongoing and could result in a fresh election.
Currently, as vote tallying continues, the three front runners in the presidential election are the incumbent Hamed Karzai with 54.1%, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah with 28 %, and Ramazan Bashardost with 9.2 %. 91.6% of polling stations have been tallied, so the counting is almost done, but further investigations into fraud could change things significantly. According to electoral law, if Karzai doesn't receive at least 50% of the valid votes, there will have to be a run-off election this fall. If enough ballots are invalidated as a result of the ECC investigation, Karzai could lose his current winning position, and fall below the necessary 50%.
by Anamitra Deb
The Simple Art of Terror
On November 26th, 2008, Bombay was the target of a terrorist attack allegedly carried out by men from the jihadi organization, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), meaning 'Army of the Pure.' Armed with AK-47s, hand grenades, and RDX (an explosive chemical used in military applications), the terrorists targeted civilians, killing over 200 men, women and children.
Ten men came to my city by the sea and docked their rubber dinghy in a forgotten fisher-people’s slum. Ten men, armed with guns and grenades, headed nonchalantly in the direction of the city’s main attractions. Dressed in jeans and t-shirts, and carrying backpacks, ten men split into four groups, maybe five, and started the shooting later that evening.
In an attritional siege that lasted more than 60 hours, severe damage was done to the inhabitants of a city that is no stranger to terror.
Over half of the casualties took place within the first few hours, all at frequented landmarks – at the touristy Leopold Café, and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Train Station, used by millions of local commuters daily. At the already-overflowing Cama Hospital and outside of Bombay's oldest cinema, the Metro. Inside of the city’s best-known five-star hotels, the Taj Mahal and the Oberoi Trident, men fired guns in lobbies and staircases, bars and restaurants, chambers and kitchens.
Farmers in West Bengal, India have pushed Tata Motors off agricultural land.
"The West Bengal government acquired 1,000 acres of land for the Nano project in 2006.
"At least 10,000 farmers accepted compensation for their land, but approximately 2,000 of them rejected it as inadequate and demanded 400 acres of land be returned.
"'You cannot run a plant with police protection, you cannot run a plant when bombs are being thrown, you cannot run a plant when workers are being intimidated,' Tata said."
The Hong Kong government's attempt to shut down pirate radio broadcaster Citizen's Radio was scuttled in a recent decision of the Hong Kong High Court. In the decision, the Court stated that it did not see how the station's broadcasting could jeopardize public safety.
In a complicated ongoing legal battle, the Hong Kong government had sought to extend an injunction preventing the station from going to air. Citizen's Radio argued that denial of their application for a license violated their freedom of expression.
The unlicensed broadcasts were started in 2005 by a group of pro-democracy activists after their application for a license was denied by the Broadcasting Authority. The station airs phone-ins and discussions about current events and politics, including discussions about Hong Kong's transition to full democracy. In 2006, the station was raided by state agents, members were arrested and equipment confiscated.
After resuming broadcasts, the station got under official skin once again in May 2007 after legendary democracy activist, Szeto Wah, was interviewed about the Tiananmen Square Massacre. After the interview, Wah was charged with "knowingly becoming involved in the use of unlicensed communications equipment in order to transmit radio signals."
Citizen's Radio broadcasts on 102.8 FM from a tiny 150 square foot studio in a warehouse district in Mongok. They also distribute programming from their website.
One by one, protesters stood up to interrupt recently appointed foreign minister Maxime Bernier during a speech urging support for the occupation of Afghanistan.
Press accounts in both French and English called it a "baptism of fire" for Bernier.
Toronto Star correspondent Allan Woods couldn't make the drive from Ottawa, and ended up publishing quotes from the transcript that was sent to him. He probably got home early enough to watch it on TV.
By Amy Miller  and Mahmood ALI 
The world hasn’t been paying attention to Nepal lately. Why would they? As the plan of action seems to go for the Goliath International Institution, the UN comfortably settled into the poor South Asian country last year ready to play its usual role of peace broker, supplier and judge and the global gaze moved on to newer, more exciting stories. The few stories that we can read are often published from New Delhi, and follow the UN line.
So. It's been determined that Canada was sending Afghani POWs to be tortured. If true, it means that Canadian officers are guilty of war crimes.
But its also the case that Canadian soldiers are directly engaged in combat operations, undoubtedly resulting in civilian deaths. Which there is no doubt information about, but it's not available. The press seems content to repeat claims that "40 Taliban were killed" in fighting, and so on.
A Freedom of Information Act request filed by the ACLU has resulted in a grim look at the killing done by US soldiers in Afghanistan, something which is rarely discussed.
Natually, Canadians are doing the same stuff, but that doesn't mean it will be discussed.
But someone could file an Access to Information Act request about Canada's "ex gratia" payments of no more than $2000 to the families of the people they kill.
I haven't weighed in about the Iranian hostage crisis, but it's about time that I did. I'm shocked, shocked, to say the least, that a country would dare to unilaterally detain citizens of another sovereign country without trial, and subject them to questioning. Why, I'm sure it's only the massive media attention that kept them from dressing them up in orange jumpsuits, keeping them in humiliating conditions, and torturing them.
Iran has released them, but we cannot soon forgive this unpardonable violation of sovereignty and rights. Especially given that the British may have been in Iraqi waters. No foreign country has any right to enter those waters without Iraq's permission.
...maddening way to begin the International Day Against Police Brutality...
Amnesty International India is concerned at reports that atleast fifteen people were killed in police firing today in Nandigram which has been the scene of protests for the last few months against possible displacement due to a new chemical project in a proposed Special Economic Zone (SEZ).
Reports say that atleast fifteen people (there are varying reports on the number of people killed) were killed and over hundred people injured in police firing today in Nandigram, Eastern Midnapore district, West Bengal where farmers have been protesting an initiative by the West Bengal state government to acquire land.
The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.