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April 05, 1993 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 1993-04-05

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The Michigan Daily - Monday, April 5, 1993 - Page 3

I

Russian
economy
gets boost,
from U.S.*
VANCOUVER, British
Columbia (AP) - President Clin-
ton cemented a "new democratic
partnership" with Boris Yeltsin
yesterday, extending $1.6 billion
in aid and pledging a review of
Cold War restrictions that inhibit
trade and other ties between the
United States and Russia.
Yeltsin pronounced himself
"fully satisfied" with the results of
a weekend summit that stressed
economics rather than the arms
control issues of the past.
The two men seemed to get
along well, striding side-by-side
into the summit-ending news con-
ference and shaking hands after-
ward. "We're both people's presi-
dents," said Clinton. "We have a
lot in common in that regard."
The president said he and con-
gressional leaders had already
agreed to make a thorough review
of Cold War restrictions that apply
to Russia "even though it is now a
democratic state" and lift as many
as possible.
Clinton lavishly praised
Yeltsin and said it was the "high
duty of all the world's democra-
cies" to assist Russian reforms "in
their new hour of challenge."
He said the $1.6 billion in U.S.
aid would provide "immediate and
tangible results for the Russian
people," and benefit Americans as
well. The package includes direct
grants and credits for the purchase
of food and other goods.
Clinton said there would be a

Hindu, Muslim
students discuss
current tensions

Russian President Boris Yeltsin reviews a line of Royal Canadian police cadets in Vancouver Saturday for his
summit with President Clinton. The leaders' two-day meeting focused on garnering support for Yeltsin.

special effort to invest in Russia's
oil and gas industries, an effort
overseen by Vice President Al
Gore.
The summit gave Yeltsin a siz-
able package of U.S. aid -
though far less than Russia needs
- before an April 25 referendum
that will determine if Yeltsin's
power and program have the sup-
port of the Russian people. His
critics were sure to deride him as
too beholden to Washington.
Clinton emphasized that the

U.S. aid package -$1.6 billion in
grants and credits - was only a
first step. "We will not stand on
the sidelines," he said.
The package was swollen by
$700 million for grain sales to
Moscow under extraordinarily
easy terms, a boon both for Russia
families and the American farmers
who will send their crops to
Moscow.
Yeltsin said flatly that Clinton
had agreed to end the so-called
Jackson-Vanik legislation that de-

nies favorable trade terms to Rus-
sia as long as Moscow places re-
strictions on emigration.
But Clinton indicated discus-
sions weren't that far along.
He said he and congressional
leaders had recently agreed to
compile a list of "every one of the
Cold War and other legislation
restrictions that are still being ap-
plied to Russia, even though it is
now a democratic state." He said
they would "make as many
changes as possible."

by James Cho
Daily Staff Reporter
Tensions ran rampant Saturday
afternoon as members of the local
Hindu and Muslim communities de-
bated historical facts and solutions to
the religious and political turmoil
permeating the world's largest
democracy, India.
The latest outbreak of violence
between Hindus and Muslims in
India, which occurred after Hindu
fundamentalists destroyed a Muslim
mosque in December, spurred
Saturday's conference, entitled
"Ayodhya & Beyond: Hindu &
Muslim Relations in India & the
U.S."
"The purpose of the conference is
to establish a forum for diverse stu-
dent organizations to address issues
of common interest and to foster an
open dialogue about multicultural is-
sues to promote mutual understand-
ing," said Sanjay Baliga, chair of the
University Activities Center's
Multicultural Programming Board.
Baliga also served as a conference
moderator.
Since its independence from
Britain and partition with the
Muslim nation of Pakistan in 1947,
India has been regularly torn by
sectarian violence and bloodshed,
especially between Hindus and
Muslims.
For the last six months, India has
been wrapped in conflict as Hindu
religious and political organizations
have called for tougher treatment of
India's 120 million Muslims.
Hindu fundamentalists tore down
the 16th-century mosque in north
India's religious town of Ayodhya,
arguing the mosque had been con-
structed on the birth site of Hindu
god Rama.
"This issue affects all the people
in the Indian subcontinent, which
includes about 1.1 billion people,"
said Murali Prahalid, a Hindu
Students' Council (HSC) member
and conference panelist.
The conference featured two
speakers - Dr. Mukund Mody,
president'of the Overseas Friends of
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), a
group supporting a Hindu nationalist
party in India; and Dr. Rashid Naim,
a Muslim-American, activist.
Workshops ranging from
"Competing visions of the Indian
state" to "Media coverage of the
Ayodhya conflict" followed the
morning speakers' session.
Mody presented an historical ac-
count of centuries of Hindu repres-
sion by Muslims in his half-hour
speech.
"The events going on in India
now are an attempt to regain our last
honor without humiliation," he said

in reference to the violence occur=
ring in Ayodhya and the port city of
Bombay.
Naim opened his speech by con--
tradicting Mody's account.
"It is essential that we go through
this contentious issue calmly," Naim
said. "Every historical fact presented
by Dr. Mody is disputed."
Naim questioned how Hindus
could still constitute the majority in
India despite the 700 years of geno-
cide by Muslims mentioned by
Mody. Although the 120 million
Muslims are in the minority, India
still maintains the second-largest
Muslim population in the world.
"This is not a religious issue over
whether the mosque was built over
sacred grounds, but a political issue.
Ayodhya has become a football for
political parties to kick around,"
Naim said.
Naim disapproved of the manner
in which the mosque was taken
down.
"If the courts decide a temple
existed where the mosque was built,
than we will destroy the mosque.
But Hindus should not go around in
mobs lynching people. We must fol-
low procedure," he said.
Naim also lashed out against the
BJP, seen to be a burgeoning na-
tionalist political party.
"The BJP is trying to replace
India as a mosaic of cultures with a
uni-dimensional India. This has
started with the BJP trying to replace
Muslim mosques with Hindu tem-
ples. Muslims are unorganized and
dispersed. They are an easy victim
for politicians, especially Hindu fas-
cists groups who support extreme
nationalism," he said.
But some audience members took
issue with Naim's charges.
"The Indian nationalist party
wants to get rid of rules which sepa-
rate groups based on religion.
Muslims feel they will be discrimi-
nated against," said Deepa Prahalid,
an LSA junior and HSC member.
"But Muslims have been given ex-
ceptions. There is a double standard
in India where Hindus are treated as
outsiders. Tolerance must come on
both sides. We want to make every-
one equal."
Gaurav Dave, a HSC member
and panelist, agreed that a double
standard does exist in India and
pointed to a specific example.
He said, "Hindu schools are
taxed while Muslim schools are
never taxed."
Despite the tense atmosphere;
Islamic Circle member and panelist
Shahnaz Khan, said that Saturday's
discussion was more tame than most.
"(I have) seen other discussions
where people get very emotional."

.Armenian students help refugees m war-torn land

by James Cho
Daily Staff Reporter
Five years ago, hundreds of thou-
sands of people flocked to the main
square at Yerevan, Armenia's
capital.
Ralliers were campaigning for
unification with Nagorno-Karabakh,
a region within the neighboring re-
public of Azerbaijan where
Armenians compose 80 percent of
the population.
This was the first ethnic dispute
in the former Soviet Union to result
in a war - one that continues to this
day in the mountains of Nagorno-
Karabakh, and in the last six months
in areas along the Azerbaijan-
Armenia border.
* "Armenians living in Karabakh
wanted autonomy. They wanted to
be united with their brothers and sis-
ters in Armenia," said Carl
Bardakian, president of the
University's Armenian Students'
Cultural Association (ASCA).
The fighting has claimed 2,500
lives so far, and no settlement is in
sight.
The ASCA has tried to help alle-
viate the pain in Armenia.
"We want to help Armenia fi-
nancially and politically. We want to
bring awareness to the situation. It is

the untold tragedy," Bardakian said.
Armenia's helplessness has been
driven home this winter as, one by
one, its crucial lifelines to the out-
side world have been cut off. An
economic blockade has been im-
posed by Azerbaijan as a strategic
step in the war over Nagorno-
Karabakh, and an explosion resulting
from unrest in neighboring Georgia
ruptured a crucial gas pipeline.
The ASCA has raised almost
$6,000 this year to purchase
kerosene heaters to be delivered to
Armenia.
"The situation in Armenia is
worse than Somalia," said Michael
Kadian, ASCA vice president.
Before the blockade, Armenia
struggled with the effects of a mas-
sive 1988 earthquake that destroyed
half of the country's industrial base
and left many people living in
shacks. But the critical blow has
been the embargo by Azerbaijan, an
oil-rich republic that used to provide
Armenia with most of its energy in
the age of the Soviet Union.
"This year, people were able to
get by cutting down all the trees and
burning them, or by selling all of
their valuables and buying kerosene.
But next year there will be no more
valuables left to sell and no more

'This year, people were
able to get by cutting
down all the trees and
burning them, or by
selling all of their
valuables and buying
kerosene.'
- Rebecca Morris
recent visitor to Armenia
trees left to cut down. I really can't
imagine what people will do. There
is profound depression here," said
Rebecca Morris, a graduate student
who recently visited Armenia.
Telephones no longer work, al-
most all public transportation has
stopped, most hospitals are closed.
The country is deprived of hot water
and heat.
"The U.S. government estimates
that more than 30,000 people are ex-
pected to die this winter from cold,
malnutrition or starvation in
Armenia," Bardakian said.
Caught between empires, on the
dividing line between the Christian
and Muslim worlds, Armenia's geo-
graphic location aggravates its
plight.

Since the breakup of the Soviet
Union, this landlocked country finds
itself dealing with an increasingly
complex set of diplomatic problems.
Christian Armenia's historic ten-
sions with its Muslim neighbors
have left its borders with Turkey and
Iran closed. Its only access to the
outside world is over its border with
embattled Georgia or with the un-
predictable flights of its increasingly
antiquated airplanes.
"We want to help the Armenian
refugees in Armenia from
Azerbaijan and Karabakh,"
Bardakian said. "Armenia is the only
democratically-elected state and she
wants to follow the U.S. model."
The United States has provided
some aid to Armenia. In Operation
Winter Rescue, the United States is
sending three shipments of food and
clothing to Armenia.

fi
s
,
.
,:

Student groups
U Environmental Action Coali-
tion, meeting, School of Natural
Resources, Room 1040,8 p.m.
Q Indian American Students As-
sociation, weekly board meet-
ing, Michigan League, Room A,
7 p.m.
Q Michigan Student Assembly,
temporary meeting to discuss
Diagpolicy, MichiganUnion, 3rd
Floor, 7 p.m.
U Rainforest Action Movement,
meeting, Dana Building, Room
1046,7 p.m.
U Shorin-Ryu Karate-Do Club,
practice, beginners welcome,
CCRB,Martial ArtsRoom, 8:30-
9:30 p.m.
U Society for Creative Anachro-
nism,medievalrecreationgroup,
workshop, 7 p.m.; meeting, 8
p.m.; EECS Building, Room
11211I

lecular Hydrosilation and
Hydroacylation, inorganic semi-
nar, Chemistry Building, Room
1640,4 p.m.
U Gay and Lesbian Film Series
Discussion Group, West Engi-
neering Building, Women's Stud-
ies Lounge, Room 232D, 7:30
p.m.
U Get a Life: The Marriage of In-
vestigative Reporting and Bi-
ography,Frieze Building, Room
2050, 12 p.m.
Q Postranscriptional Regulation of
HIV: Target for Anti-viral
Therapy, Medical Science
Building I, Room 4234, 12p.m.
U Sex in Advertising, Natural Sci-
ence Building, Auditorium, 5
p.m.
Q Three Regimens of Childcare
and Parental Leave: the U.S.,
Netherlands,and Sweden, 1225

to discuss specific issues thatcon-
cern adult adoptees, Catholic
Social Services Building, 117 N.
Division St., 6:30-8:30 p.m.
U Consultation for Student Lead-
ersand Student Organizations,
speak with peer and professional
consultants regarding leadership
and organizational development,
SODC, Michigan Union, Room
2202,8 a.m.-5 p.m.
U ECB Student Writing Center,
Angell Hall, Computing Center,
7-11 p.m.
Q Northwalk Nighttime Safety
Walking Service, Bursley Hall,
763-9255,8 p.m.-1:30 am.
Q Peer Counseling, U-M Counsel-
ingServices, 7 p.m.-8 a.m., call
764-8433
U Psychology Undergraduate Peer
Advising, sponsored by Depart-

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