Asia’s Mus­lims on ‘Eid’ ex­o­dus

Mil­lions head for home towns mark­ing end of Ra­madan

Arab Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

JAKARTA, June 14, (AFP): Mil­lions of Asia’s Mus­lims were on the move Wed­nes­day as they headed for home towns to cel­e­brate with rel­a­tives the Eid al-Fitr hol­i­day mark­ing the end of the holy fast­ing month of Ra­madan.

From Karachi to Kuala Lumpur, high­ways, air­ports and train sta­tions were jam-packed in an an­nual ex­o­dus that made In­done­sia’s usu­ally traf­fic­clogged cap­i­tal Jakarta look like a ghost town.

Some 70 per­cent of its res­i­dents — about eight mil­lion peo­ple — headed for other cities and vil­lages across the vast ar­chi­pel­ago, home to the world’s big­gest Mus­lim-ma­jor­ity pop­u­la­tion.

About 32 mil­lion In­done­sians were es­ti­mated to be on the move this week, while some 50 mil­lion in Bangladesh were thought to be head­ing home.

“This year some 11.5 mil­lion peo­ple will leave the cap­i­tal Dhaka to go back to their vil­lages to cel­e­brate Eid,” said Moza­m­mel Hoque Chowd­hury, gen­eral sec­re­tary of the Pas­sen­gers Wel­fare As­so­ci­a­tion.

bribes di­rectly and through an as­so­ci­ate and “showed re­pen­tance” at Changzhou In­ter­me­di­ate Peo­ple’s Court, the state-run Xin­hua news agency re­ported. The court has not yet is­sued its ver­dict.

The most se­nior fi­nan­cial reg­u­la­tor to be tar­geted in Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping’s on­go­ing cor­rup­tion crack­down, Xiang was ac­cused of tak­ing ad­van­tage of his of­fi­cial po­si­tions from 2005 to 2017.

He al­legedly pro­vided as­sis­tance in project con­tract­ing, ap­provals, loan is­suance, and other tasks in ex­change for com­pen­sa­tion.

Xiang was ap­pointed to the top job at the reg­u­la­tory com­mis­sion in 2011, fol­low­ing stints as deputy gover­nor of the cen­tral bank and head of the state-owned Agri­cul­tural

Afghans, mean­while, were hop­ing for a peace­ful Eid af­ter the Tal­iban an­nounced their first cease­fire since the 2001 US in­va­sion.

The group agreed to stop at­tack­ing Afghan se­cu­rity forces for the first three days of the hol­i­day, over­lap­ping with the gov­ern­ment’s week-long halt to hos­til­i­ties against the mil­i­tants.

In the cap­i­tal Kabul, traf­fic was worse than usual as fam­i­lies de­fied the threat of sui­cide at­tacks ahead of the hol­i­day to stock up on dried fruits, nuts, sweets and cook­ies.

Pak­ista­nis were also com­plain­ing of con­ges­tion as au­thor­i­ties said they ex­pect road traf­fic to more than dou­ble ahead of the hol­i­day.

The coun­try’s rail­ways have an­nounced spe­cial “Eid trains” with ex­tra car­riages and dis­counts to tackle the rush.

In Malaysia, traf­fic slowed to a crawl on ma­jor roads out of Kuala Lumpur, with traf­fic ex­pected to soar by some 70 per­cent over the usual vol­ume.

In­dia, which has a 180 mil­lion-strong

Bank of China.

He was put un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion in April last year by the Com­mu­nist Party’s an­ticor­rup­tion watch­dog for sus­pected “se­ri­ous dis­ci­plinary vi­o­la­tions”, a phrase that usu­ally refers to graft. (AFP)

Boost for Aus­tralian PM:

A de­fec­tion from Aus­tralia’s most prom­i­nent right-wing po­lit­i­cal party, Pauline Han­son’s One Na­tion, on Thurs­day robbed it of its abil­ity to block Prime Min­is­ter Mal­colm Turn­bull’s leg­is­la­tion, rais­ing the prospect he can in­tro­duce tax cuts.

Brian Burston, who will now sit in the up­per house Se­nate as an in­de­pen­dent, re­signed Mus­lim mi­nor­ity pop­u­la­tion, does not see a huge an­nual mass mi­gra­tion.

But Delhi bank clerk Shakir Khan is among those who will be headed home for the hol­i­day.

“We live in a very fast-paced world and Eid is al­ways spe­cial as it gives you a chance to re­con­nect with your fam­ily and friends,” the 29-year-old told AFP.

Eid, which is ex­pected to be­gin from Thurs­day, comes at the end of Ra­madan, when Mus­lims ab­stain for a month from ac­tiv­i­ties in­clud­ing eat­ing, drink­ing, smok­ing and sex dur­ing daylight hours.

Safety will be a big factor in some coun­tries.

Some 276 Bangladeshis died in road ac­ci­dents dur­ing Eid last year, while the num­ber in In­done­sia was an eye-wa­ter­ing 740 peo­ple.

The South­east Asian na­tion’s of­ten dan­ger­ous roads were clogged with thrifty trav­ellers who packed whole fam­i­lies onto one mo­tor­cy­cle — plus lug­gage — for gru­elling trips that can last up­wards of 15 hours.

from One Na­tion over in­fight­ing, the lat­est blow to the party that re-emerged as a force in Aus­tralian pol­i­tics in 2016.

Turn­bull had of­ten needed the sup­port of One Na­tion to get leg­is­la­tion passed although the third-largest party in the Se­nate had re­cently blocked plans for cor­po­rate tax cuts, and threat­ened to block in­come tax cuts.

“Turn­bull will now not run into a sit­u­a­tion where Han­son re­jects the gov­ern­ment leg­is­la­tion,” said Nick Economou, se­nior lec­turer in pol­i­tics at Monash Univer­sity in Melbourne.

Burston has said he would sup­port both tax cuts, although a vote is still likely to be very tight with widespread op­po­si­tion from left-lean­ing law­mak­ers. (RTRS)

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