Talking Points for 4 March

Mourners lay wreaths at the site

Mourners lay wreaths at the site

The Sri Lankan cricketers have returned home and the hunt is on for the gunmen. A reward has been offered for more information. If urdu and cricket were what really united a country as diverse as Pakistan, what happens now?


William Dalrymple paints a grim picture of the year since the elections.


Things don’t look too good in the economy. So if it was all handled by women, would things be any better? Prof Mohammed Yunus, micro-lending king and our guest last week, prefers to lend to women as they are more reliable So is testostorone to blame? Read about it here…

Japan is handing out cash to it’s citizens to get them to spend. Is this a better idea than bailing out big companies?

Madonna and Jesus:  We’re used to ageing rockers dating teenagers, but is a younger man with an older woman still taboo?


There is tension in Sudan as the country awaits the decision of the International Criminal Court on whether to issue an arrest warrant against President Omar al Bashir, on charges of war crimes and genocide. I’ve asked this before and I’ll ask it again, will this help the situation in Darfur and South Sudan?

And before you answer me, have a read of this: Confessions of a Sudanese deserter.

9 Responses to “Talking Points for 4 March”

  1. 1 Roberto
    March 4, 2009 at 11:11

    RE “”If urdu and cricket were what really united a country as diverse as Pakistan, what happens now? “”

    ————— Pakistan is a nuclear armed failing state in freefall, the latest fall out of the ongoing global economic fraud.

    As such, Pakistan is unique in being the canary in the coalmine for democratic states as well as Islamic states. This is history in the making as Sharia Law looks to consolidate it’s rule in this region.

    Plenty more “democratic” and/or “Islamic” regions in the world poised to descend into failed freefall as well. I see no substantial leadership potential of any of the world’s leaders save possibly President Obama, nor do I see any higher religious or political reasoning within the greater mass of humanity that would put a check on the lack of global leadership.

    Our fates are truly in the hands of God for the believers. Or for the naysayers and evolutionists, fates are in the dice of random selection of the next new tool of ordering the masses into some kind of cohesive unit.

    Whatever the outcome, the four horsemen of legend, Conquest, War, Famine, and Death, will continue to stalk mankind as that’s the overwhelming history of the “species.”

  2. 2 parth guragain,Nepal
    March 4, 2009 at 11:56

    everyone is blaming pakistan for failure to tackle terrorism.but what should be noted that pakistan have been sopporting usa from the begining of war on terror.these terrorist attacks should be condemed.but we shoulde try to understand internal disputes within the country.world community should try to understand intermal comflits within pakistan.until and unless these things are not adressed war on terror can’t be effective.

  3. 3 Ogola Benard
    March 4, 2009 at 14:20

    I don’t need to read the confession but an arrest warrant should be issued for Mr Omar al Bashir for atrocities committed in the Sudan, his contribution to the insurgency in northern Uganda which has extented to parts of the Congo, left millions homeless, a joint operation of which has now captured colonel Thomas kwoyelo, Tuesday – An LRA commander said to be the fourth in command! the arrest warrant is proper and in no doubt should the international community fear his threats and consultations with his friends!

  4. 4 John in Germany
    March 4, 2009 at 15:24

    A disaster that will end as being un-repairable is the destruction of the Archive house for the City of Cologne, it collapsed taking the state archives going back to the 1400s and more with it. Even though the responsible persons warned the City representatives that cracks were appearing, no one took any notice even though a lot of instances have occurred in the city, due to building work on a new underground system. The archives should have been re located straight away.

    The loss is irreparable, no money can replace the documents ect that have been destroyed.

    Worse still people have lost their lives, Responsibility can at the moment not be placed.

    Sad old World, Lost old Docs.

    John in Germany

  5. 5 nora
    March 4, 2009 at 15:28

    Really informative thoughtful articles, good questions. Madonna and Jesus pale in the lights of Sudan, human rights choices, Sri Lanka, cricket and Pakistan.

    SUDAN and WAR CRIMES: Timing is everything when it comes to justice, but justice does not always show up when we can finesse the best justice for the most. Of course this is a dangerous moment.

    The soldier who spoke of atrocity is much like the South American soldiers who came forward in the 80’s and 90’s to purge the sins of the 70’s. The war crimes protections we have now have evolved from the truthtelling of soldiers captive to crimes of that era. Soldiers still, they step forward because they are haunted and needing to stop the carnage.

    The court has now decided guilty and we will see what happens. Let us hope no reflexive violence.

    PAKISTAN: The Nixon tapes reflect that in the 70’s the US looked at Pakistan mainly as a “backdoor to China.” Ignored were long term implications AND the most populous democracy in the world next door, India. Now it its drone v. suicide bomber diplomacy.

    Guardian article fantastic. Secretary Clinton, read this article.

    Madonna and cricket? People like to stare, people like to shock, girls just wanna have fun.

    CRICKET: On with the game, caskets on the sidelines. I hate it when violence stops us in our tracks. Peace conference in the stands.

  6. 6 Jennifer
    March 4, 2009 at 16:36

    Madonna and Jesus…..

    MADONNA (singer) will never be Madonna, mother Mary! Only Madonna (singer) would find something like this “cute”. I find the situation disgusting just like her.

  7. 7 Dennis Junior
    March 4, 2009 at 17:51

    Is this a better idea than bailing out big companies?
    I think that this is a WONDERFUL idea…

    ~Dennis Junior~

  8. 8 gary
    March 4, 2009 at 18:38

    The time is come that Pakistan’s neighbors and the wider world need to consider the likely probability of a nuclear-armed, unrepentantly undemocratic Taliban, and to discover what if any reasoned diplomatic approaches might gain sufficient traction to prevent the unthinkable.

  9. 9 In singapore
    March 4, 2009 at 18:52

    US,Russia and other rich powerful countries all non signatory to the ICC can ignore any ruling from ICC . All there countries will want to maintain their position . Despot will want to cling on to power.ICC is doing more harm than good.

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