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Issue 308 / 15th December 2007
Issue 307 306 305 304 303 302 301 300
 
Index
Headlines

Election Commission Member Says: "Finance Ministry Is Jeopardising Election Timetable"

Kulmiye Party Decides Not To Work With President Rayale

Puntland Commander Defects to Somaliland - Official

''Somalia Completes its Devolutionary Cycle''

Somali pirates leave Japan-owned ship, crew safe

UN Focuses On Persecution Of Somalia Journalists

Gunmen kidnap French journalist in north Somalia

Somaliland: On The Road To Independent Statehood?

Somaliland And The Bush Administration: Is There A Change On The Horizon?

Ethiopians Said to Push Civilians Into Rebel War

Sending Money And Ideas Home

UNPO Participates in Nonviolent Radical Party Conference

Somaliland: Growing Democracy Yet No Aid

Regional Affairs

Somaliland’s Recognition is in Emergency State

Somaliland MP Met With Liberal Democrat MP Mark Hunter in the House of Commons

Editorial
Special Report

International News

EU Agrees To Send Mission To Kosovo

Sweden rejects Somali refugees

Al Jazeera goes English, hits 100 million homes

FEATURES & COMMENTARY

Technology Widens Rich-Poor Gap

Fortress Europe And Begging Africa

Nomad International in Somaliland to launch a new project and evaluate existing projects

SOMALILAND: Africa At It’s Best

Leader In War Could Be Leader In Peace

Lost Boys

Food for thought

Opinions

Fragile First Step To Pave Dilla-Borama Road

Political Wounds That Never Heal

The Africa Command Prospect And The Partition Of Somalia

Israelis Embark on Journey to Mecca

Historic Canadian-Somali Lobby Day on Parliament Hill - Meet with Prime Minister Stephen Harper - CJC hosts Reception

Somalia: The Worst Ever!

Huge Yes To Flat Rate


LOCAL & REGIONAL AFFAIRS
Press Release

16th December 2007

SIRAG UK and SOMALILAND OVERSEAS have been campaigning for Recognition of Somaliland for so long and facilitated creating a Coalition of Friends for Recognition for our country in many parts of the world. We would like to remind the Elders, Intellectuals, Government, Parliament, Opposition Parties, Human rights organisations, Civil Societies, Media and the citizens of Somaliland that Somaliland’s recognition is in Emergency State.

Read full text...

London, December 15, 2007 - Somaliland – M.P Mr   Abdirahman M. Jama met with Liberal Democrat M.P. Mark Hunter in the House of Commons on Tuesday.

Mr. Hunter, who is the Deputy Foreign Affairs spokesman for the Liberal Democrat Party, expressed an interest in visiting Somaliland on a fact finding mission. Although there has been a recent visit to Hargeysa by the British All Party Parliamentary Group led by Alun Michael, Mark Hunter agreed to explore the possibility of a visit under the auspices of Liberal International, which has a much wider remit.

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Children in Somalia Speak Out for Peace

Nairobi, December 11, 2007 – At the launch of the 2008 Consolidated Appeal Process (CAP) for Somalia, a video highlighting the voices of children, particularly that of a young girl who wants to be a pilot, reminded those present about the impact of conflict on children.

“I would like to go to school and become a pilot,” said Fartoun Ibrahim, aged 14 “I am asking the world to help us. I want my missing brother back. I want to leave this place with my family and live elsewhere.”


MOGADISHU, Somalia, December 11, 2007 – An explosion followed by a 30-minute gunbattle killed at least five people in the Somali capital Tuesday.

Such violence has forced thousands to flee, and aid workers on Tuesday described severe malnutrition among those trying to escape the city.

Tuesday's violence began when a roadside bomb struck a government convoy near Mogadishu's Bakara Market, killing three Somali soldiers, said Sharif Omar, a Mogadishu resident who witnessed the attack.

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Milano, December 14, 2007 – An Italian priest has been jailed for over 40 days in the eastern African country of Djibouti, over child sex charges, according to the Italian daily Corriere Della Sera.

Sandro De Pretis, missionary in Djibouti since 1993, has been in jail since 28 October.

Bishop of Djibouti, Italian national Giorgio Bertin told the newspaper he believed that Sandro De Pretis is victim of a conspiracy.


MOGADISHU, December 14, 2007 - Somali government forces and their Ethiopian allies fought Islamist insurgents in Mogadishu for a second day on Friday.

A government official said the Islamist rebels had joined forces with thousands of foreign jihadists.

At least 19 people have been killed by violence in the past 24 hours, including a mortar strike on the capital's busy Bakara Market that left mutilated bodies piled in pools of blood. Many Somalis say the insurgents -- remnants of a hardline sharia court groups chased out of the city a year ago -- have become increasingly confident in recent months while an interim government has been hobbled by infighting.

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Nairobi, December 14, 2007 - Ethiopian troops must leave Somalia for the country's ailing transitional institutions to garner any legitimacy and a political solution to emerge, leaders from Somalia's top clan said Thursday.

The presence in Somalia of the US-backed Ethiopian regime's troops will continue fueling violence that has already killed thousands and displaced close to a million in recent months, Hawiye elders said.

On Thursday alone, 13 civilians were killed in Mogadishu, including 11 when two mortar shells smashed into a market area.

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Injured civilian is rushed to hospital in Friday's heavy fighting in Mogadishu

MOGADISHU, Somalia, December 14, 2007 – A radical Islamic group that was driven from power a year ago by a Western-supported offensive is making a significant comeback in Somalia, and the government can do little to stop it, officials said Thursday, as shelling and gunbattles in the capital killed at least 17 people.

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BOSASSO, 10 December 2007 - Genet Mengesha, a 24-year-old mother of one and former university student, left her home in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, shortly after the 2005 elections to reach Yemen through the self-declared autonomous region of Puntland, northeastern Somalia.

"I left with my husband and a group of other migrants. We were led by a broker we met in Addis, who took us to Nazareth and then on to Harar.

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Nairobi, 13 Dec. 2007 - Kenya's controversial First Lady, Lucy Muthoni Kibaki, has again created another brawl on Wednesday by repeatedly slapping an Under-Secretary in the President's Office. The official, who was officiating the State House garden party, attracted the fury of Mrs Kibaki when he introduced her as Ms Wambui, a woman believed to be President Kibaki's second wife.

As the undisclosed official was introducing the First Lady to hundreds of guests at the party, Mrs Kibaki rose from her seat, walked to him and slapped him on the face. The embarrassed official immediately stopped officiating the programme and whisked away by security forces.

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SHARM EL-SHEIKH, December 7, 2007 - A ministerial meeting gathering some 80 foreign ministers or representatives from the European Union (EU) and Africa ended Wednesday afternoon at this Egyptian Red Sea resort with the adoption of a final communiqué, Xinhua reported.


Press Statement

Date: 10/12/07

On the occasion of the anniversary of the Human Rights Day, 10 December 2007, the Preparatory Committee of the up-coming General Meeting (GM) on 23 December 2007 and all members of the Original Shuro-net, likes to congratulate and support the Congress of the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party (ELDR).

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MOZAMBIQUE sits today on the cusp of globalization, having enjoyed fifteen extraordinary years of recovery since the end of its civil war in 1992.

This has produced a different country.

Flying into the northern Tete province offers a sense of the immense change – and challenge. Shimmering in 43 degree Celsius heat on the one side of the runway is the skeleton of the old airport, reputedly attacked by Rhodesians in the late 1970s.


 

 
Headlines
Election Commissioner Ahmed Muhamad Haji

Hargeysa, Somaliland, December 15, 2007 (SL Times) - A member of the seven man team of the National Election Commission (NEC), Ahmed Muhamad Haji, blamed the ministry of finance on Tuesday for holding back monies allocated to the NEC, which is needed for preparing the country for next year's general election.

Ahmed M. Haji, held a press conference at Star Hotel in Hargeysa to disclose to the public that for almost two months the commission has been waiting for the 25% payment of the government's contributions towards the 2008 general election [75% is being provided by the EU].


Hargeysa, Somaliland, December 15, 2007 (SL Times) - In a press statement issued Thursday, Kulmiye party declared that it would no longer hold consultation meetings with President Rayale while the president, according to the statement, "pursues, policies akin to authoritarian dictatorship and continues to violate the constitution and holds the political leaders of Qaran in prison."

The statement said, "we, as one of the official and biggest opposition parties in the country, have come to the unfortunate conclusion to stop all work and collaboration with president Rayale. We have conducted countless meetings with the president in order to solve the current political and economic crisis rampant in the country.

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Garowe, Somalia, 10 December 2007 - A Puntland military officer and loyal soldiers defected to authorities in neighboring Somaliland, the separatist region's defense minister said Sunday.

Abdillahi Ali Ibrahim told reporters in the Somaliland capital Hargeysa that Col. Yusuf Quje and 30 soldiers armed with three battlewagons surrendered over to the Somaliland military stationed in Sool region.

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11 December 2007

As a political community, Somalia has disintegrated. The country has now reached the limit of its devolutionary cycle, which began in December 2006, when Ethiopia mounted a military intervention that ousted the Islamic Courts Council (I.C.C.) from control over most of southern and central Somalia. The Courts movement, which sought to institute an Islamic state based on Shari'a law, had provided the first possibility for Somalia's political integration since 1991, when the brutal dictatorship of Siad Barre was overthrown by a divided group of clan-based resistance movements, whose leaders could not or would not agree on a power-sharing formula to keep a political community intact


Bosaso port, US navy ship in the background
A U.S. warship and a small marine dhow sail in the northern port town of Bosasso December 4, 2007.

NAIROBI, Dec 12, 2007 - Somali pirates who seized a Japanese chemical tanker in October and were demanding a $1 million ransom have left the vessel without hurting any of its crew, a U.S. military spokesman said on Wednesday.

The Panama-registered Golden Nori was carrying benzene from Singapore to Israel when it was hijacked on October 28, just off Somalia in one of the world's most dangerous shipping lanes.


Nairobi, December 11, 2007 – UN Marks Human Rights Day With Focus on Persecution of Somalia Journalists

The United Nations marked the anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Nairobi by highlighting the persecution of journalists in Somalia.

A panel of U.N. officials and human rights advocates addressed an audience in the Kenyan capital, where numerous Somali journalists have fled in the past year.

BOSASSO, Somalia, 16 Dec 2007 - Gunmen in Somalia's northern Puntland region kidnapped a French journalist on Sunday, the area's deputy governor said.

He had no information on the identity of the reporter or his media organisation.

"A French journalist has been kidnapped by unknown gunmen," Yusuf Mumin Bidde told Reuters. "Puntland security officials are now meeting on that issue."

Read full text...
Commentary

By J. Peter Pham, Ph.D.

December 13th, 2007

In October, in my testimony to a House Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health hearing on security in the Horn of Africa, I stated:

The most significant national interest at stake for the United States in this complex context is to prevent al-Qaeda (or another like-minded international terrorist network) from acquiring a new base and opening a new front in its war against us and our allies…


Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Lord Hylton (Crossbench) asked Her Majesty's Government: Whether they are taking any action, either bilaterally or with their international partners, to prevent Somaliland from being drawn into the current situation in Somalia; and whether there is a tribunal competent to try persons responsible for war crimes in Somalia.

The Somaliland Society for Independent Journalists and Writers

Hargeysa, Somaliland, December 15, 2007 (SL Times) - The Somaliland Society for Independent Journalists and Writers (SSJW) has called upon Somaliland president Dahir Rayale Kahin to reconsider his government's decision to expel 24 journalists who had recently fled to Hargeysa from Mogadishu due to ongoing threats to their lives.


Analysis

Dr. Mohamed A Omar, London, United Kingdom

For the first time, since it withdrew from the voluntary union with Somalia in 1991, Somaliland is at the centre of a debate by the Bush administration over a possible recognition of its statehood. America appears to be throwing its weight behind Somaliland and in the process it is showing that its worldview is changing.

The United States defense chiefs at the Pentagon argue that Somaliland should be independent to maintain its progress on peace and democracy, and that the anarchy Somalia slipped into, since the fall of the former regime in 1991 needs to be contained.

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The Ogaden National Liberation Front began armed resistance against the government of Ethiopia in 1994, creating a separatist war pitting impoverished, guerrilla nomads against one of the biggest armies in Africa. Here, O.N.L.F. soldiers on the move. Photo: Vanessa Vick for The New York Times

NAIROBI, Kenya December 15, 2007 — The Ethiopian government, one of America’s top allies in Africa, is forcing untrained civilians — including doctors, teachers, office clerks and employees of development programs financed by the World Bank and United Nations — to fight rebels in the desolate Ogaden region, according to Western officials, refugees and Ethiopian administrators who recently defected to avoid being conscripted.


By Peter Krogh Andersen and Jakob Sorgenfri

15 December 2007

“The human face of globalization.” In these words the global flow of remittances is explained. According to the UN agency International Fund of Agricultural Development (IFAD), 300 billion US dollars were sent from migrants in western countries to their relatives in developing countries in 2006. This amount is three times bigger than the Official Development Aid. The outflows from Denmark amounted to 1.8 billion US dollars. Despite the large sums, there is barely any political focus or media attention on the phenomenon.


12 Decemeber 2007 - UNPO General Secretary and Members participated in the three day conference in Brussels, co hosted by ALDE and NRP, on topics such as nonviolent strategies and the first world Satyagraha, the situation in the Middle East and enlargement of the EU.

The Hague, 12 December 2007- UNPO General Secretariat and Members participated in the three day conference in Brussels, co hosted by ALDE and NRP, on topics of nonviolent strategies and the first world Satyagraha, the situation in the Middle East and enlargement of the EU.


Somaliland Representative in Brussels, Mohamoud Daar, calls upon the European Union to reevaluate its policy on Somaliland, referencing the growing development in terms of democracy in the region.

After restoring its freedom and independence since the beginning of 1991 the people of Somaliland have continued to rebuild democratic structures of their country. The constitution of country upholds democratic principles of participation in the decision making process, competition among political parties and protection of civil and political liberties.


International News
Italy's Prime Minister Romano Prodi (L) and France's President Nicolas Sarkozy talk during the family picture session of a European Union Heads of State and Government summit in Brussels December 14, 2007. REUTERS/Sebastien Pirlet
Italy's Prime Minister Romano Prodi (L) and France's President Nicolas Sarkozy talk during the family picture session of a European Union Heads of State and Government summit in Brussels December 14, 2007.

BRUSSELS, December 14, 200 – European Union leaders agreed on Friday to send administrators and police to Kosovo ahead of an expected declaration of independence from Serbia.

In a bid to soothe Balkan tensions over Kosovo's push for independence, they also offered Serbia a fast-track route to joining the bloc once it met conditions for signing a first-level agreement on closer ties.


Stockhlom, December 14, 2007 - Sweden's Migration Board ruling has rejected the asylum application of a 20-year-old from Mogadishu on the grounds that the situation in the Somali capital does not constitute an armed conflict.

The board's ruling, which is expected to set the standard for future applications, goes against UN recommendations, Dagens Nyheter reports. The 20-year-old Somali, who arrived in Sweden in May, will now be sent back to his home country.


LONDON, 7 December 2007 – Stepping out of his studio at Al Jazeera English and striding purposefully on to the street, Sir David Paradine Frost seems impervious to London’s winter chill, as he briefly adjourns from filming and heads up Knightsbridge to the Library Bar of the Lanesborough hotel, where the staff nod to him in recognition and the barman promptly reaches for a bottle of the presenter’s favourite Chablis.

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Haatuf Cartoon on 'New Press Law"
"Haatuf" Cartoon click to enlarge

Click to enlarge
for translated version



Editorial
On Friday Dec.7, Muhammad Said Hirsi (Gen. Morgan) arrived in Kuwait in an official visit as a representative of Col. Abdillahi Yusuf, the “President” of Somalia’s transitional Federal Government. That Abdillahi Yusuf has chosen Morgan to represent him should come as no surprise to anyone given the fact that Abdillahi Yusuf and the Mafia from Majeerteenya surrounding him have made it plain that their two priorities are: (1) looting as much as possible of the aid they collect in the name of Somalis; and (2) inflicting maximum damage on the people of Mogadishu, particularly the Aydh or Ayr sub-clan.

Truth must be told, Abdillahi Yusuf is not the only person who is responsible for the fact that Morgan (a.k.a the Butcher of Hargeisa) is being entertained in high places. Mogadishu’s Islamic Courts shoulder some of the blame because when they were in control of Mogadishu, they struck a deal with Morgan allowing him to stay in Mogadishu without having to account for his crimes.

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Special Report
REPORT ON OIL & GAS POTENTIAL
IN SOMALILAND

By Prof. M. Y. Ali

In this paper, seismic, well, and outcrop data have been used to determine the petroleum systems of Somaliland. These data demonstrate that the country has favourable stratigraphy, structure, oil shows, and hydrocarbon source rocks.


REPORT ON FAMILIARISATION TOUR TO SOMALILAND

In November 2005, the Centre for Human Rights began investigating the possibility of a third destination for the LLM field trip. The reasons for increasing the number of field trip destinations to include Somaliland include the following:

Somaliland is a state in the making; it would be ideal for students on the programme to have a first hand experience of this.

Opinions
By Adan H Iman, Los Angels

On October 25, 2007, under a clear azure sky and a comfortable weather, a group of people gathered at Reyes hotel in Borama. They consisted of prominent traditional, religious, and business leaders, the governor and the mayor, women, and intellectuals.

The issue that brought them together was the Dila-Borama road, a 20-mile stretch of roadway that is the unpaved portion of the heavily used 78-mile long Hargeysa-Borama road. Ever since the Hargeysa- Dila portion was paved, the unfinished part has been a constant concern to the residents of Awdal region.

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By Adan Abdillahi Hanfi

Political parties, big or small, are designed like ocean liners- self sustaining and virtually unsinkable. With the stewardship of a seasoned captain at the helm, the dangers of the turbulent waters of the high seas are handled with meticulous care. But once these vessels start taking in water, they tend to go down in a split second.

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The Africa Command Prospect And The Partition Of Somalia

By Abukar Arman

"The neocons’ legacy, the DADD syndrome, or the Diplomatic Attention Deficit Disorder, is still propelling Washington’s foreign policy and continues to project America negatively throughout the world, especially in the Muslim world and Africa."

As the US Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, was recently visiting American forces in Djibouti, the Washington Post was reporting how the Pentagon has been spearheading a seemingly dicey initiative to pressure Washington into recognizing the secessionist northwestern region of Somalia known as “Somaliland” as an independent state.

Israelis Embark on Journey to Mecca

Synopsis:

More than two million Muslims are flocking to Mecca to take part in the annual Hajj, or Muslim pilgrimage. As in previous years, the pilgrims include a group of 4,500 Muslims from Israel, a country with no diplomatic ties with the Saudi kingdom.

The Media Line follows the story of a Muslim Hajj guide from northern Israel, who has been to Saudi Arabia six times.

December 6th, 2007

The Canadian Somali Congress, the national advocacy organization for the Canadian Somali community, along with community leaders from the Canadian Somali community, held the first ever national lobby day on Wednesday, December 5th, 2007 on Parliament Hill. The delegation was led by the National President of the Canadian Somali Congress, Mr. Ahmed Hussen, and included community representatives from Ottawa and Toronto as well as the Legal Counsel to the Canadian Somali Congress

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By Abukar Sanei

Earlier this year, a diplomatic figure had the perception that there was a progress in Somalia, but this notion was not really true! For instance, in November 2007, the head of the TFG, Mr. Yusuf followed suit on this counterfeit view and stated, " Somalia now is the best situation ever", while many Mogadishu residents have been forced to evacuate, and other innocent civilians lost their lives. However, this statement that was uttered by the "head" of the TFG was another misleading, too.

"Man with money always wins"

By Abdifatah Mohamed Ahmed

Market fluctuation is one of the major crisis that affects these days many people in Somaliland. The price of the items and commodities specially necessary and needed things like food stuffs is not constant and fixed, and is exploding tremendously and due to this syndrome pain the communities like penury and middle classes experienced the pain of inflation.

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FEATURES & COMMENTARY

by Philip Emeagwali

Oil has made us billions and fuelled our economic stability, but oil has also become the bane of our existence. For some, it is a curse that has caused poverty and corruption, but for others it is an essential source of untold wealth and power. But as the gap between rich and poor countries continues to expand, it is clear that intellectual capital and technology rule the world, and that natural resources such as oil, gold, and diamonds are no longer the primary determinants of wealth.


By Bashir Goth

Recently, news reports carried the tragic story of 64 Somali-Ethiopian would-be immigrants who drowned off the coast of Yemen. A UAE paper also reported the story of two teenage Ethiopian boys who were found near starvation in a shipping container in Dubai. The 14- and 15-year-old boys had each paid US$1,000, which they saved over five years, to make the trip to Germany; some of their friends had made the journey earlier in similar conditions and are now making a good living there. The boys ran out of food and water in the first day of the trip and had to resort to drinking each other’s urine to survive.

Read full text...
Mohamed Aden (R) with Buroa hospital staff

Burao, 12 December 2007 - Nomad International in Somaliland to launch a new project and evaluate existing projects.

Mohamed Aden (Kodhadhi) from Nomad International, UK branch, is in Somaliland to launch a new project on behalf of the organisation and evaluate their existing projects.

Street money changers

by Michael Torome

With almost daily reports of chaos and violence rocking Mogadishu, the capital city of the failed state of Somalia, the average Kenyan would be forgiven to believe that the whole of Somalia is on fire, to be visited only by those who have signed up with fate! But alas, wait a minute. There is a safe haven in north western Somalia, actually a republican state in every respect but for international recognition. Welcome to the peaceful and beautiful state of Somaliland, one of the states Simon Reeve, in his popular award winning five-part BBC Four series, refers to as Places that don't exist.

By Ivan Simic

In our contemporary world there are 245 entities, which include; countries, independent states (both internationally recognized and generally unrecognized), inhabited dependent territories, and areas of special sovereignty. Almost, all of these entities have fought some kind of war and battle in their history for various reasons, such as: independence, religion, revolution, liberation, occupation, among others. According to war history, over 365 million people lost their lives in these wars, including ongoing ones. Unfortunately, the final number of war victims will never be known.


Lost to their community and lost to their faith, young Somali men of London are turning to ever more violent forms of street crime.

Victims of their own alienation  

But it was only when 18-year-old Somali Mahir Osman was murdered in Camden by a 30-strong Somali gang in January 2006, did Somali clan elders realise that things had spiralled beyond their control.


Food for thought

By Ahmed Mohamed

At first glance, Kosovo and Somaliland do not appear to have much in common.

For starters one is in the cold mountain ranges of Southern Europe and the other on the hot desert sands of North Eastern Africa. One is inhabited by White Europeans and the other by Black Africans.


         

Somaliland Times Newspaper: Publisher Haatuf Media Network, Published in Hargeysa, Somaliland

          

Editor in Chief: Yusuf Abdi Gabobe. Assoc-Editor: Rashid Mustafa X Noor

Assist-Editor: Abdifatah M Aideed


Somaliland Times Web Editor : Rashid Mustafa X Noor (2005)

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