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South Asia

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    Casualties of Commerce Hena Ashraf April 15, 2011

    PEEPLI LIVEBY ANUSHA RIZVIAamir Khan Productions, 2010

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    Punjabi Gypsy Hip-Hop Rebellion Sonny Singh April 15, 2011


    With an unmistakably laid-back West Coast hip-hop sound, 22 year-old Mandeep Sethi brings us Poor Peoples Planet—an album that is dynamic, and often incendiary while maintaining mellow Bay Area vibes. The San Francisco-based Sikh rapper—inspired by the gypsy hip-hop teachings of the crew Xitanos Matematikos, and the history of gypsies from Punjab—flows over meditative and haunting melodies and samples that are not typical for a hip-hop record.

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    Warring nationalisms and future of Sri Lankan politics Ahilan Kadirgamar in conversation with Prachi Patankar July 1, 2009

    On May 18, 2009, the Government of Sri Lanka declared an end to the civil war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE or the Tigers), killing their leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran. Since January 2008, the Sri Lankan Government was waging a “final” assault against the Tigers, who have fought a civil war for the last 25 years against the Sinhalese majority Government, calling for a separate state for Sri Lanka’s Tamil ethnic minority. Over the last few months, tens of thousands of Tamil civilians trapped in the conflict zone were being used by the LTTE as human shields against Government forces that were also shelling them indiscriminately.

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    Imperialisms in South Asia Sahar Shafqat April 1, 2010

    In November 2009, the Pakistani Army began a major assault in South Waziristan, believed to be the stronghold of the largest of the Pakistani Taliban factions. In a stroke of genius, the Army dumped thousands of leaflets one day ahead of its assault as part of a public relations effort. The leaflets bore a letter directly from the head of the Pakistani Army, General Kayani, to the Mehsud tribe which lives in South Waziristan. The letter said: “The [military] operation is not meant to target the valiant and patriotic Mehsud tribes but [is] aimed at ridding them of the elements who have destroyed peace in the region.” In order to clear up any confusion as to whom the letter was from, the Army helpfully included a picture of General Kayani on the leaflets.

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    Covering Pakistan: How Journalists and Experts Reproduce Empire Madiha R. Tahir December 1, 2010

    The wiry black beard could hoodwink one into believing he’s a seasoned mullah from the forbidding Waziristan mountains, but he’s a young student, and incompetent too, for he’s trying to set a flag on fire—and failing. It’s June, and I’m standing on a road embankment outside the Karachi Press Club watching the protest against the Israeli attack on the Gaza flotilla. It’s been organized by the student wing of the Jamaat-e- Islami, one of Pakistan’s Islamist political parties.

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    Empire's Chessboard Firat Bozcali October 1, 2009

    Overlook Press, 2009

    The London-based journalist Dilip Hiro has authored more than thirty books—a number about Iraq and Iran, many about West Asia more generally. With his latest, he explores a region he previously considered in <i>Between Marx and Muhammad</i> (1995). <i>Inside Central Asia</i> provides a political and cultural history of five former Soviet republics: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, with Iran and Turkey included as well.

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    Aafia Siddiqui: Another Person Disappeared in the War on Terror Cullen Goldblatt January 01, 2007

    SEEKING INFORMATION states the FBI in large bold letters at the top of the notice, then:

    Date of Birth Used: March 2, 1972

    Details: Although the FBI has no information indicating this individual is connected to specific terrorist activities, the FBI would like to locate and question this individual.

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    In Bloom: Nepal’s Republic Tej Nagaraja October 01, 2008

    Earlier this year, the ruling Shah Dynasty in Nepal finally fell, coming up a decade short of a quarter-millennium reign. Nepalis' recent parallel struggles for democracy and communism have come to an uneasy confluence this summer:  despite backing from India, China, the UK and the US, the Hindu monarchy has surrendered state power to a Maoist-helmed electoral republic. Twenty-first century socialism, anyone?

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    War and Terror Pranjal Tiwari September 14, 2004
      As the “war on terror” announced by our rulers approaches its third year, it is receiving bad reviews all around, even in the mainstream media, establishment, and intellectual circles. Pranjal Tiwari takes a look.

    Typical of the barrage of criticism that the war on terror has been subjected to is a recent report from none other than the Army War College which concluded that “[T]he global war on terrorism as currently defined and waged is dangerously indiscriminate and ambitious,” but qualified that “its parameters should be readjusted.”

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