Blog Archives

Douma: Terror from Many Sides and Confusing Tales. Hypoxia not Gas?

Robert Fisk, in The Independent, 15 April 2018with this titleThe search for truth in the rubble of Douma – and one doctor’s doubts over the chemical attack”

This is the story of a town called Douma, a ravaged, stinking place of smashed apartment blocks – and of an underground clinic whose images of suffering allowed three of the Western world’s most powerful nations to bomb Syria last week. There’s even a friendly doctor in a green coat who, when I track him down in the very same clinic, cheerfully tells me that the “gas” videotape which horrified the world – despite all the doubters – is perfectly genuine.

an image from another source -viz. The Guardian

War stories, however, have a habit of growing darker. For the same 58-year old senior Syrian doctor then adds something profoundly uncomfortable: the patients, he says, were overcome not by gas but by oxygen starvation in the rubbish-filled tunnels and basements in which they lived, on a night of wind and heavy shelling that stirred up a dust storm.

Continue reading

2 Comments

April 19, 2018 · 2:03 pm

The Non-Aligned Movement THEN and the Security of Small States Then and Now

Izeth Hussain in The Island, 7 November 2016, where the title is “The Security of Small States,”... Highlights are my work–Editor, Thuppahi

Some years after the holding of the 1976 Non-Aligned Summit Conference in Colombo, the Marga Institute held an international seminar on the security of small states. I wrote the lead paper for it, which was fitting because at the Foreign Ministry I was in charge of the subject of the Non-Aligned Movement which had not given specific attention to the problem of the security of small states. The seminar was regarded as one of the most interesting ever held by the Marga Institute and as a path-breaking one. Substantial chunks of my paper were reproduced in the Lanka Guardian. Thereafter the idea that the security of small states was a problem that had to be addressed fell out of sight. Around 1990 I attended as a Marga representative a UN Conference on the Indian Ocean as a Zone of Peace at Sochi in the Soviet Union. My address focused on the problem of small state security, which particularly interested Howard Wriggins, scholar and former Ambassador to Sri Lanka, and an American observer who was there. It was thereafter published in the Lanka Guardian. That American observer told me that my address was exceptionally interesting and he was surprised that it made nothing like the impact that it should have made. Clearly I was dealing with an idea whose time had not come.

meeting_of_the_heads_of_state_at_the_16th_summit_of_the_nam_1 16th Summit meeting of the NAM

Continue reading

Leave a comment

November 7, 2016 · 1:40 pm

Robyn Mudie’s Parting Thoughts: Job Creation the Aussie Way

Zacki Jabbar, in The Island, 18 February 2016

MUDIEAustralia is to give a boost to the  Sri Lankan private sector by assisting in the creation of jobs. The Australian High  Commissioner Robyn Mudie who concluded her stint in Sri Lanka recently, in an interview with The Island prior  to her departure said  that trade in services was where she saw  the real breakthrough taking place, particularly in tourism and education. In the future, “Australian development cooperation will be used to help create job opportunities in the private sector for unemployed women and men”, she revealed adding that  her government  would continue to support women’s economic empowerment through better access to training and work as well as by helping to tackle gender based violence, which  would not only address inequality but generate significant economic and social dividends. Continue reading

Leave a comment

February 19, 2016 · 12:10 pm