Taiwan’s pro-democracy President Tsai Ing-wen got re-election.
She has got a record mandate since the country’sfirstdirect elections of 1996.
Tsai’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) suffered major losses in the 2018 local elections, but on Saturday, she took over 57% of the vote against her challenger
Opposition to Beijing’s one-country two-systems policy has long defined the ruling DPP.
The Hong Kong protests have only served to bring into sharp relief the consolidation of democracy and sovereignty in Taiwan ahead of the weekend’s elections.
S. PresidentTrump to use Taipei as a bargaining chip in his trade war with China.
Xi Jinping has in the recent past declared his intention to use force to unify Taiwan with the mainland.
Trump departed from protocol after his election when he received Ms. Tsai’s congratulatory call.
China has meanwhile leveraged its economic clout to influence much of Africa and Latin America to withholdrecognition to Taiwan as a sovereign state.
Taiwan’szealous defence of its market economy and democraticfreedoms may not seem compatible with the China model of state-sponsoredcapitalism and one-partyrule.
But a constructive and democraticinternationalresponse would be for the big powers to desist from exploiting the situation to promote their own interests.
PM Modi’s statement that the CAA 2019, intended only to grant citizenship to a certain class of people, and not to deny citizenship to anyone is factually accurate.
The concernexpressed by many is not that it allows citizenship to people escaping persecution from neighbouring countries.
On the contrary the fundamental opposition to the law is that it does so in a discriminatory and inadequate manner.
Indigenous communities in the Northeastern States: against granting citizenship rights to anyone, regardless of religion.
GoI: safeguards are being included in the law to protect the cultural and linguistic rights of indigenous groups.
If Mr. Modi and his colleagues are genuinely concerned that there is misinformation, they must reach out to the critics rather than disparage them.
The CAA’srationale is that these countries have a state religion, and religious minorities face persecution.
In Sri Lanka, Tamils have suffered in the hands of the establishment and the dominant Sinhalas.
In the name of self-defence
Was the U.S. attack on Soleimani legallyjustified?
And can cultural sites be legitimately attacked in any armed U.S. response?
S. President Donald Trump threatened to attack cultural sites in Iran in the event of reprisals by Tehran.
Iran retaliated by carrying out missile attacks
Article 2(4) of the UN Charter
there is a general prohibition on the use of force
Charter recognises twolimitedexceptions:
Use of force by a state in the lawful exercise of its right to self-defence
Prior authorisation of the UN Security Council (UNSC)
The use of force by the U.S. in Baghdad to kill Soleimani without prior consent from Iraqorthe UN was, hence, a violation of such proscription, unless the U.S. can justify it as a lawful exercise of its right to self-defence.
Donald Trump: “anticipatory” self-defence
The legal basis for “anticipatory” self-defence remains deeply controversial andcontested.
There are both legal and policyargumentsagainst recognising a right to anticipatory self-defence.
Article 51 of the UN Charter recognises the inherent right of every state to use force in self-defence, only “if an armed attack occurs”.
An “anticipated” armed attack is a subjectiveone, open to abuse by states.
Trump administration targeted Soleimani through drones in Iraq.
It will also have to justify its use of force in Iraqi territory and prove that Baghdad was either unable or unwilling to prevent the imminent attack.
Trump’s specific threat to target cultural sites in Iran was in breach of the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property during armed conflict.
It also violated UNSC Council Resolution 2347, sponsored by the Trump administration, which in the context of the Islamic State (IS) invasion declared that destruction of cultural property would constitute “warcrimes”.
It was therefore not surprising that Pentagon distanced itself from Mr. Trump’s position.
Protest is at the core of poetry
IIT-Kanpur was recently at the centre of a controversy over “Hum Dekhenge”, a popular Urdu nazm, or poem, written by Faiz Ahmed Faiz.
The poem was recited by a group of students on campus during an agitation.
Why do so many people appear to be scared of poetry?
Dissent or protest is at the core of poetry.
Poetry has always been anti-hegemonic.
In poetry, or any art form for that matter, dissent or protest could also be interpreted as breaking boundaries, creating new forms, genres and vocabulary of expression and thus looking at the world with a fresh pair of eyes and sensibility.
A large contingent of our Bhaktitraditionpoets are critical of religious dogma. Is there any other way of reading Kabir?
Poetry is confrontation. It echoes the joys of living but also embodies its despairs and agonies.
Protests also birth new art and uncover new voices.
Between 2001-2013: India unilaterallycut tariffs
A highlight of India’s economicperformance during this phase was an increase in its export intensity of growth.
Protectionism over the last couple of years, ostensibly torevive domestic manufacturing and promoteMake in India.
Import curbs on toys and electronicgoods such as TVsets.
The most important development in cross-bordertrade over the last two decades has been the parcellingofmanufacturing across countries on the heels of improvements in technology and logistics.
Our best hope remains GVCs, particularly in manufacturing, as they can absorb the large number of low skilled workers entering the labour force each year.
This will complement India’s strength in services which are an important part of value addition in manufactured items.
The forthcoming Budget gives the government a platform to reverse its protectionist policies and lay down a red carpet for foreign direct investment.
SC not to review Sabarimala case, to examine ‘larger issues’
Hizb ultras led police to rogue officer
HC rules Musharraf trial illegal
Apache, Chinook to make Republic Day debut
PM and world leaders to attend Raisina Dialogue
The theme this year is ‘Navigating the alpha century’
Home Affairs panel grills Delhi police chief
Mahinda Rajapaksa to visit New Delhi in February
Taal volcano shuts down Manila
The Hindu Analysis Free PDF Download
Date: 13 January 2020
What is the most tragic outcome of the recent spike in S.-Iran tensions?
Ukraine International Airlines says the flight took off after clearance from the airport.
Tehran: its soldiers fired the missile, mistaking the jet for an enemy aircraft.
1988: U.S. Navy warship shot down an Iran Air flight over the Gulf, killing all 290
In both incidents, innocents, who did not have anything to do with the conflict, became victims.
Iran should carry out, along with international investigators, a thorough probe into what led to the “accident”, and punish whoever is responsible for the “human error”.
Such mistakes are unacceptable even in war.
BothIran and the S. should also ask themselves whether the confrontational path they have chosen was worth the risk.
In martyrdom moment for Iran, America’s own goal
There were widespread dissent and protests in different parts of Iran for various different economical reasons.
Soleimani united the several political factions in Iran through his martyrdom.
This unprecedented emotionaldisplay has its roots in Iran’s history and faith.
Iran is a civilisation state, not just a nation state.
SafaviddynastyadoptedShia Islam as the official religion of the empire.
1979 Islamic revolution that overthrew the Pahlavimonarchy.
2 key pillars that carried the revolutionary state were political Shiism and nationalism.
In Iran, martyrdom is one of the central tenets of both.
Shias revere their martyrs, starting from Imam Ali.
After Prophet Mohammed’s death, his followers were divided on who should be his successor as the rightful leader of the ummah (the Muslim community).
Some supported Ali, the Prophet’s cousin and son-in-law
Some supported Abu Bakr, a companion of the Prophet.
Abu Bakr became the 1st Caliph. Ali eventually became the 4th Caliph.
The supporters of Ali became Shias and the followers of the Rashidun Caliphs (Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali) became Sunnis.
Ali’s was killed amid the Sunni-Shia power struggle, becoming the first martyr of Shia Islam.
Hussein, Ali’s second son, refused to pledge loyalty to the Umayyads ruler, Yazid.
In 680, Hussein and 72 of his followers were killed in Karbala, in today’s Iraq, by the army of Yazid.
Hussein, who is the third Shia Imam, was beheaded and his head was brought to Damascus for Caliph Yazid.
The Battle for Karbala holds enormous significance in both Shia faith and political Shiism.
For the Shia believers, the Imam who refused to compromise on his beliefs even at the expense of his life, was the epitome of sacrifice.
In 1970s, Ayatollah Khomeini had invoked both sacrifice and courage to mobilise the public against the rule of the Shah, Reza Pahlavi.
Within a year of the revolution, then Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, launched an invasion. Saddam was the new Yazid.
Trump may not have realised that he has just scored an own goal.
Matter of interpretation
National Crime Records Bureau’s 2018 report was unveiled last week.
Crimerecords and statistics are only as good as their reporting.
SomeStatesarebetterthanothers in tracking and registeringcrimes.
Kerala and the National Capital Region having the highest crime rates in the country.
The finding in the 2017 NCRB report that northeastern States such as Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Tripura and Meghalaya have a relatively higher murder rate compared to most States bears itself out in 2018 as well.
Other States which have a worrisome record here include Jharkhand (4.6 murders per one lakh population, the highest in the country) and Haryana (3.9).
Cases related to caste and communal/religiousriots, politicalviolence and agrarianconflicts registered a dip while there was an increase in industrialrioting and otherpersonaldisputes.
Lessons from Maradu
Violations becomes common: weak enforcement of environmental laws + corruption + undue political influence
11-12 Jan 2020: four high-rise luxury apartment complexes in Maradumunicipality in Kochi were demolished as they violated Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) rules
The violations cannot be lightly
Following the court order, residents, about 350families, started to protest.
The risingdemand for waterfrontapartments.
The crime branch found that the builders had constructed the apartments after conspiring with panchayat officials in 2006.
The court ordered that a compensation amount of ₹25 lakh be paid to to each household.
Trust in the age of misinformation
‘Journalism, Media, and Technology: Trends and Predictions 2020’: Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford
The study focusses mainly on the K. elections and the narratives surrounding Brexit.
The findings are not encouraging: politicians have played with facts, avoided journalistic scrutiny, and succeeded in denigrating the media.
The report points out that politicians are increasingly trying to bypass the media and convey messages directly via social media.
There is some indication that rigourous and relentlessjournalism sometimes leads to disengagement.
Explainers, contextualessays, increasedspacefordata journalism, long-form reportage and analysis of difficult policy decisions are some of the journalistic means to confront the scourge of misinformation.
Favouring public order over justice
Gautam Bhatia termed “sealed cover jurisprudence”
Court applied the proportionality doctrine to reason that “complete blocking/prohibition perpetually cannot be accepted”.
The order directed the government to change them and placed a time limit of 7 working days for periodic review.
Even when it comes to the court’s direction to conduct a periodic review of such shutdowns every seven days, it needs to be noted that the review committee will lackindependence and real power to overturn the initial Internet shutdown orders.
The committee will be principally composed of bureaucrats and no independentmembers.
The warp and weft of religious liberty
500-year-oldritual performed at the KukkeSubramanyaTemple in Karnataka.
The relationship between the right to freedom of religion and the rights of individuals to dignity and equality.
The Court will be faced with a difficult question of balance.
Articles25 and 26 of our constitution.
It is only those practices that are “essential” to religion that enjoy constitutional protection.
When the hearings begin today, therefore, the nine-judge Bench will face a difficult and delicatetask of constitutional interpretation.
India’s under-5 girls face high mortality
Kaziranga has one of the highest number of wetland birds
‘Mass planting of exotic trees in Nilgiris harmful’
National mourning for Oman Sultan
CAA meant to give citizenship, not take it away, says PM Modi
Tripura HC says social media posting a fundamental right