Archive for the ‘lawyers’ Category

Brain drain, talent mismatch hold Taiwan back

March 16, 2008
By Lee Chyen Yee

TAIPEI (Reuters) – When Bernard Liu was looking for people to join his team of equity researchers at JPMorgan in Taiwan last year, he found a labor market rich in engineers but lacking in people qualified for the service sector.

Below: Taipei, Taiwan (臺北市)

In the end, it took him a whole year to fill the three posts.

“It’s typically a much more mixed skillset and unfortunately on some of the critical skills, candidates sometimes are lacking,” said Liu, whose company employs about 550 staff in Taiwan working in investment banking, securities and asset management. “It’s actually quite a handicap for Taiwan in the integration in the global economy.”

Managers like Liu are feeling the effects of a brain drain of talent from Taiwan to more global economies like the United States, Hong Kong and China.

Multinational companies also complain that candidates have weak English skills, a lack of talent in management and insufficient expertise in high-level research.

These deficiencies are hampering Taiwan as it tries to transform itself from a manufacturing economy into one that offers more sophisticated financial, legal and other business services.

“Some Taiwanese lawyers we know prefer to work in Hong Kong or China nowadays because the markets are hot,” said Jack Huang, partner-in-chief in Taipei of global law firm Jones Day.

For decades, Taiwan has profited from contract manufacturing, making electronic products for brands such as Dell and Texas Instruments. But, as a growing China takes on some of that manufacturing, Taiwan could be left behind.

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Key Leaders Silent in Pakistan

November 6, 2007

By Shahan Mufti – and Mark Sappenfield 

ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN; and NEW DELHI – Two days after President Pervez Musharraf suspended Pakistan‘s stuttering transition to democracy by declaring a state of emergency and dismissing most of its Supreme Court, a familiar pattern has set in.

Lawyers who took to the streets were beaten and arrested by the hundreds. Meanwhile, the country’s fractured political establishment waits to see what will happen next. It is a similar dynamic to the one that emerged eight months ago, when Mr. Musharraf sought to sack an independent-minded Supreme Court chief justice for his willingness to defy the government.

Then, as now, the organized political opposition has responded with caution and indecision. Yet if opposition leaders such as former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto were to turn the power of their parties to supporting the lawyers, the result could be transformative, experts agree – creating a popular movement that might persuade the Army to depose Musharraf – fearing that he could no longer govern.

But politics in Pakistan has always been personal and sometimes deadly. The threat of jail or even assassination – combined with political leaders’ mutual animosities built up over decades of bitter power struggles – has often led to little action.

One leader in Ms. Bhutto’s party, Syeda Abida Hussein, says she does not expect Bhutto to act for a week as Bhutto waits for the effects of Musharraf’s move to become clearer. “I would not want her to do anything too quickly,” she says.

On Monday, Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said that parliamentary elections would be conducted as scheduled before Jan. 15. But virtually the only major political leader who so far remains outside prison is Bhutto.

Bhutto’s delicate balancing act

Publicly, she has excoriated Musharraf, characterizing his state of emergency as martial law and claiming that his dictatorial tendencies are only fueling extremism. But privately, the waltz between Musharraf and Bhutto continues – and Bhutto is still considering her options, Ms. Hussein says.

For both, the lure of a union remains – giving Bhutto an avenue to power and Musharraf a means of salvaging some popular legitimacy. The new chief justice is favored by Bhutto, and the Army general who would replace Musharraf if he were ever to drop his position as Army chief, which he holds along with the presidency, is a close ally.

“[Musharraf] is making a flat-out effort to create the conditions to make her come to his rescue,” says Hussein. Indeed, virtually the only major political leader who escaped the purge is Bhutto. Hussein says she is being told by Musharraf’s agents not to move or cause a stir.

But other Pakistani political leaders have already leveled damaging charges against Bhutto, claiming that she is colluding with Musharraf.

For the middle class, which had been increasingly influencing the nation’s political conversation before the emergency order blacked out all independent media, this is a crucial moment for Bhutto.

“This is Benazir’s moment to shine,” says Asha Amirali, a political activist with the People’s Rights Movement of Pakistan, an Islamabad-based social justice advocacy group. “But if she decides to support Musharraf,” she will be discredited.

Whether it would influence the legions of less-educated rural voters who make up the backbone of her support and back her with almost feudal devotion is a key question. Bhutto’s father, one of Pakistan’s most revered historical figures, was executed by a military dictator.

Entering into an allegiance with the head of the military could significantly damage Bhutto’s credibility, even among her loyal supporters.

Should Bhutto take it to the streets?

What is more certain is that Bhutto and all of Pakistan’s political leaders could have a substantial impact if they threw their weight behind the lawyers and took their case to the streets, experts say.

Since March, the lawyers’ community has become the nucleus of the larger movement against Musharraf. Through their efforts, Pakistan’s judiciary was able to become more active and defiant. Musharraf said this activism was a major reason for the emergency order.

The high court was set to rule this week in a case questioning the legality of Musharraf being both president and Army chief.

Even amid baton-wielding police, lawyers contended that “we still have a legal case,” says Akram Shiekh, a lawyer who had filed a case against Musharraf’s eligibility.

“But personally I have serious doubts that the lawyers’ community will now look to a legal recourse.”

Instead, many have vowed to stay in the streets and boycott all legal proceedings, hoping to bring the country to a standstill. For all intents and purposes, Mr. Sheikh says, “there is no Supreme Court” now.

Some of Pakistan’s political parties agree. But their leaders have been arrested. “Our leader Qazi Hussain Ahmad, is under house arrest now, we will join the street movement of the lawyers everywhere,” says Shahid Shamsi, secretary of information for Jamaat-e-Islami, one of Pakistan’s largest opposition Islamic parties.

“We feel the opposition needs to unite now, and we would like to work with all parties – the Pakistan People’s Party as well – in this struggle,” he says, referring to Bhutto’s political party.

Fresh unrest as Pakistan mulls elections

November 6, 2007

By ROBIN McDOWELL, Associated Press Writer 

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – Stone-throwing lawyers again clashed with baton-wielding police as President Gen. Pervez Musharraf‘s government considered Tuesday when to hold elections amid growing international pressure to end emergency rule and restore democracy.

Unrest broke out in the central city of Multan, when hundreds of police blocked about 1,000 lawyers from leaving a district court complex to stage a street rally. Both sides pelted each other with stones and police swung batons to disperse the crowd.

An Associated Press reporter saw at least three lawyers were wounded, two bleeding from the head. At least three lawyers were arrested.

In a separate clash, police stormed Multan’s High Court and arrested at least six lawyers.

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Pakistan: Situation on November 6, 2007

November 6, 2007

Introduction by John E. Carey, Peace and Freedom:

We have been working with Muhammad for some time now but I think both of us would say that we do not shape each others thinking; rather, we are coming to the same conclusions while witnessing the same events.

We asked Muhammad to look at everything about Pakistan, especially the tribal area situation, for your benefit.

I want to also take this opportunity to again thank Muhammad personally and in public. His work is in a very dangerous land for himself, his family and all of his tribal peoples.

Below are his observations of November 6, 2007.

John E. Carey
Dear John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom

Dear Sir,

I shall describe your article on Pakistan excellent. Your observation is absolutely correct. The headline of the article (“Musharraf: He’s The Best Hope That Was Available At the Moment“) is fully described the situation.

I think President Musharraf was the best choice of United States in Pakistan and he is still the best choice. He is doing his duty very honestly. Unfortunately the team through which he has been running the affairs of Pakistan is consisting of corrupt people. I am sure that this time he will certainly change his policies. There are possibilities that he may show sincerity in war on terrorism. The time he shows sincerity then there will be no terrorism in Pakistan. Controlling terrorism in Pakistan means controlling terrorism in the whole world.

The important players of war on terrorism have been staying in this country.

I really appreciate your contribution in saving Pakistan from terrorists. Situation in the country is still critical, but it will be normalised within a few days. I have just attaching an editorial of a leading newspaper with this letter just to inform you what the people have been thinging about the situation in Pakistan. MR Shaukat Aziz’s ‘disclosure’ in his Sunday’s press conference that general elections could be postponed by a year points to the uncertainty that marks the political scene. On second thoughts it seems, the prime minister announced on Monday that polls would be held on time. While the government makes up its mind, we may point out, as we have done before, the continuation of a state of ambiguity since March 9 has served to put the nation in limbo. Now delaying the polls will only intensify the political confusion.

The implications of the judgments delivered by the Supreme Court before Nov 3 may be behind us to the extent they concerned the dual office issue, but the gravity of the larger political and constitutional crises prevailing at the moment is independent of those judgments.

In his speech to the nation following the enforcement of the state of emergency, President Pervez Musharraf spoke of the problems that had led him to take this extreme action, and they included, besides judicial activism, the law and order situation created by terrorists and religious extremists, who were challenging the state’s writ. It is not clear in what way a postponement of the general election will help the government crush the insurgency in Fata and Swat.

The insurgents are an uncompromising lot. Besides a loose commitment to the enforcement of Sharia, they have no precise goals, and often it appears they are waging war on Pakistan’s state apparatus because there is no other way in which they can make themselves felt. They are well armed, the mountainous terrain and the porous border with Afghanistan help them, their supply lines are intact, and that is the reason why they have shown extraordinary resilience and tenacity.

In a nutshell, their ability to fight on is independent of the government’s constitutional nostrums. On the other hand, the military-led government will now be hard put to show results and convince the world and the Pakistani people that the enforcement of emergency had paid dividends and helped it make gains against the militants. This appears doubtful.

By coming down hard on the liberal elements in society, the military has denied itself a source of strength in the war on the religious extremists. The round-up of politicians, leading lawyers and human rights activists will cast the regime in a negative image, and the world would not be wrong in coming to the conclusion that the generals had used the war on terror as a ploy to strengthen their stranglehold over the country. Because of the gravity of the situation we demand that the emergency be lifted at the earliest, the government should give a deadline within which the purposes for which the emergency was proclaimed will be achieved, that notwithstanding the curbs on the media, political activity will not be curtailed, and the general election will be held as originally planned — in January next.

Only a government deriving a popular mandate can pull Pakistan out of the bog and maintain its unity and integrity.

Dear Sir, I want to present my gratitude to your goodself for your kind cooperation.

Thank you very much,

Yours sincerely,

Muhammad Khurshid
Khar, Bajaur AgencyTribal Areas Pakistan

Pakistan says to hold election by January

November 5, 2007

By Kamran Haider and Augustine Anthony
(This article appeared on page 1 of The Washington Times on November 6, 2007, under the optimistic headline “Pakistan Elections Restored.”  On page 1 of The Washington Post, a picture taken just seconds apart from the photo here appeared with a much more circumspect report.)

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistan said it would hold a national election by mid-January and President Pervez Musharraf pledged to quit the military after criticism from the United States for imposing emergency rule.

Musharraf has detained hundreds of lawyers and opposition politicians since taking emergency powers on Saturday, a move seen as designed to pre-empt a Supreme Court ruling on his re-election as president last month.

U.S. President George W. Bush, who values Musharraf as an ally in his battle against al Qaeda and the Taliban, urged Pakistan’s president to lift the state of emergency, hold elections and quit his military post.

Police used teargas against stone-throwing lawyers in the eastern city of Lahore, and wielded batons to break up another protest by dozens outside the High Court in Karachi.

It had been unclear whether parliamentary elections would go ahead in January as scheduled.

But Attorney General Malik Abdul Qayyum told Reuters there would be no delay and national and provincial assemblies would be dissolved by November 15 ahead of the vote that is supposed to transform Pakistan into a civilian-led democracy.

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Thousands battle Pakistani police

November 5, 2007

By MUNIR AHMAD, Associated Press Writer

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – Police fired tear gas and battered thousands of lawyers protesting President Gen. Pervez Musharraf‘s decision to impose emergency rule, as Western allies threatened to review aid to the troubled Muslim nation. More than 1,500 people have been arrested in 48 hours, and authorities put a stranglehold on independent media.

Musharraf, who took power in a 1999 coup and is also head of Pakistan‘s army, suspended the constitution on Saturday ahead of a Supreme Court ruling on whether his re-election as president was legal. He ousted independent-minded judges, stripped media freedoms and granted sweeping powers to authorities to crush dissent.

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Vietnamese-Americans Protest Actions of Hanoi Government

August 17, 2007

Protest Letter Regarding The Sentence of Dr. Le Nguyen Sang’s

Appeal Trial Viet Nam – August 17, 2007 – Ha Noi government ruled that the sentence of Dr. Le Nguyen Sang’ s appeal trial on August 17, 2007 was reduced to 4 years of imprisonment. In addition, lawyer Nguyen Bac Truyen reduced to 3 years, and journalist Huynh Nguyen Dao slightly decreased to 2 1/2 years of imprisonment.

The People’ s Democratic Party (PDP) strongly protests the recent sentence of Dr. Sang’s appeal trial. Once again, it shows that Ha Noi authorities have ignored international community’ s condemnation and continued to violate human rights in Viet Nam.

Dr. Le Nguyen Sang and Vietnamese dissidents including Father Nguyen ,Van Ly, lawyers Nguyen Van Dai, Le Thi Cong Nhan, Tran Quoc Hien, Nguyen Bac Truyen, journalist Huynh Nguyen Dao and many other detained individuals are all innocent. Ha Noi should immediately release them instead of continue to crack down on people who dare to exercise freedom of expression’s rights.


Tran, Nam