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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2676

Letter from America: The Never-ending Pogroms in Myanmar
It was not too long ago that we witnessed the grisly massacre of minority Rohingya Muslims in the Arakan (Rakhine) state of Myanmar (Burma). Many of the western observers who grew up seeing the smiling face of Dalai Lama were simply shocked to see armed Buddhist monks participating in that ethnic cl...
Sunday, March 24, 2013 - 12:21 By Dr. Habib Siddiqui
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Letter from America: The 10th anniversary of Iraq Invasion
During the first Gulf War I was surprised by the wild and obscene enthusiasm for the war displayed by a colleague of mine whom I considered to be one of the most liberal Americans. He was a brilliant engineer who after completing his Ph.D. had briefly worked at the MIT. In the late 1980s when I move...
Sunday, March 17, 2013 - 12:44 By Dr. Habib Siddiqui
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Letter from America: The Legacy of Hugo Chavez
The charismatic leader of Venezuela - Hugo Chavez died last Tuesday after a long battle with cancer. He was only 58 years old. The former army paratrooper first came to prominence as a leader of a failed coup in February 1992, to overthrow the government of President Carlos Andres Perez amid growing...
Sunday, March 10, 2013 - 13:45 By Dr. Habib Siddiqui
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Letter from America: The Sequester is back
When the Democrats and Republicans could not agree on budget cuts by mid-night on last Friday, the US President Barack Obama signed into effect a wave of steep spending cuts - known as the sequester – which will take $85bn from the US federal budget this year. The “sequester” was drawn up in mid-201...
Sunday, March 3, 2013 - 13:36 By Dr. Habib Siddiqui
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Letter from America: Obama’s Nominations and the ‘Kill-list’
Last week, Chuck Hagel’s nomination for the Secretary of Defense hit a roadblock in the Senate floor. Fifty-eight senators voted yes and forty voted no to his nomination. Obviously, these days a simple majority does not mean much in the Senate floor! The majority leader Senator Reid of the Democrati...
Sunday, February 17, 2013 - 12:23 By Dr. Habib Siddiqui
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Letter from America: Indian Dream or Delirium?
Last week while driving between Erie in Pennsylvania and Cleveland in Ohio, I called Ravindran - an old friend, originally from Madras in India, who studied with me at both the University of California and the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. We have known each other since 1980 and ma...
Sunday, February 10, 2013 - 15:27 By Dr. Habib Siddiqui
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Letter from America: Lies about peace and war!
In his second inaugural speech, President Obama said, “We will defend our people and uphold our values through strength of arms and rule of law. We will show the courage to try and resolve our differences with other nations peacefully – not because we are naïve about the dangers we face, but becaus...
Sunday, February 3, 2013 - 14:51 By Dr. Habib Siddiqui
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Letter from America: What’s Next from Obama?
President Obama has started his second term in office. He is a good orator and did not disappoint his admirers who either came to the capital city or turned on the TV or radio to listen to his second inaugural speech. His last four years were able to stabilize the economy of the USA and put it on a...
Sunday, January 27, 2013 - 13:43 By Dr. Habib Siddiqui
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Land-grabbing – Nightmares
Last month, I was in Bangladesh visiting Dhaka and Chittagong. Dhaka, the capital city with a population in excess of twelve million, is now one of the megacities of our time. Chittagong, with the major infrastructure projects being undertaken for the city, including a deep sea port, the second larg...
Sunday, January 20, 2013 - 10:00 By Dr. Habib Siddiqui
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Letter from America: Gitmo – America’s legal black hole
Friday, January 11 was the 11th anniversary of the opening of the Guantánamo Bay prison in Cuba in which hundreds of Muslims, mostly unrelated to any terrorist activities, continue to be holed up without any rights. The prison symbolizes what is wrong with America’s so-called war on terror and its t...
Sunday, January 13, 2013 - 13:36 By Dr. Habib Siddiqui
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Letter from America: The Rohingya Question – Part 7
So, what is ethnicity? Can the minority Rohingya qualify as an ethnic group? Ethnicity has been a debated topic and there is no single definition or theory of how ethnic groups are formed. Questions on Ethnicity According to John Hutchinson and Anthony Smith, the term “ethnicity” is relatively new -...
Sunday, January 6, 2013 - 01:57 By Dr. Habib Siddiqui
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Letter from America: The Rohingya Question – Part 6
As we have noted elsewhere there are other records, including British, which mention the name Rohingya. Consider, for instance, the account of the English surgeon to Embassy of Ava, Dr. Francis Buchanan (1762-1829 CE), who visited Burma decades before the British occupied the territory. He published...
Monday, December 31, 2012 - 02:12 By Dr. Habib Siddiqui
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Letter from America: The Rohingya Question – Part 5
No discussion on anti-Indian riots is, however, complete without a mention of the Japanese invasion of Burma. Japanese Occupation of Burma In January 1942, the Japanese Imperial Army invaded Burma from Thailand with the help of the Burma Independence Army (BIA), a military force made-up of 4,000 Bur...
Sunday, December 23, 2012 - 01:26 By Dr. Habib Siddiqui
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Letter from America: The Rohingya Question – Part 4
The Baxter report on Indian population in British occupied Burma notes, “The tracing of the growth of the Indian population through the series of census reports is a matter of some complexity. It was not until the sixth census, that of 1921, that a racial classification of the population was attempt...
Sunday, December 16, 2012 - 00:10 By Dr. Habib Siddiqui
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Letter from America: The Rohingya Question – Part 3
The Burmese history is replete with accusations against the British government of following a policy of divide and rule; deliberately separating the hilly people from the Burmans/Burmese. According to historian Maung Aung, this policy had the full support of the Christian missions, who wanted to con...
Sunday, December 9, 2012 - 01:55 By Dr. Habib Siddiqui
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Letter from America: The Rohingya Question – Part 2
When the British occupied Arakan, the country was a scarcely populated area. Consequently, formerly high-yield paddy fields of the fertile Kaladan and Lemro river valleys germinated nothing but wild plants for many years. It is worth noting here that those valleys in the pre-Burman colonization peri...
Sunday, December 2, 2012 - 02:10 By Dr. Habib Siddiqui
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Letter from America: The Rohingya Question – Part 1
To many Burmese and Rakhine Buddhists of today’s Myanmar the existence of the non-Buddhist Rohingya people is mostly seen as a direct result of Indian, or more particularly, Bengali immigration during the post-1826 era of British occupation of the territories. To them, the Rohingya history starts wi...
Sunday, November 25, 2012 - 04:39 By Dr. Habib Siddiqui
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Letter from America: An Open Letter to President Obama
Dear Mr. President - I am somewhat puzzled by your decision to visit Myanmar, which has the worst records of human rights in our planet. As an overture to your trip, your administration has recently lifted import restrictions on Myanmar, broadly authorizing Myanmar-origin goods to enter the United S...
Sunday, November 18, 2012 - 11:43 By Dr. Habib Siddiqui
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Letter from America: Genocide of the Rohingyas of Myanmar – Part 2 All Over Arakan It’s Bosnia Again!
In a meeting (in which I was invited to speak on the Rohingya problem) held in Luton (located 30 miles north of London), UK, on October 13, a British MP mentioned close parallel between what is happening today against the Rohingya Muslims in Arakan and what happened in Bosnia in the early 1990s agai...
Sunday, November 11, 2012 - 01:19 By Dr. Habib Siddiqui
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Letter from America: Genocide of the Rohingyas of Myanmar – Part 1
Myanmar’s western state of Arakan (Rakhine) is again burning. In Mrauk-U, the former capital of the independent kingdom of Arakan, hundreds of young Rakhine Buddhist men were on the march: packed on the backs of pickups, on motorcycles, on trishaws, tuk-tuks and bicycles, but mostly on foot. They ca...
Sunday, November 4, 2012 - 05:15 By Dr. Habib Siddiqui
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