Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Trouble brewing for Qatar?

Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt have cut off ties with Qatar. Yemen and Maldives have also followed suit. The immediate provocation for the move are:-

    (a) Statements attributed to Qatar's emir supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and criticising the
         Sunni coalition against Iran.
    (b) Its position within the Gulf Cooperation Council has been different in that:-

               (i) Though it sees itself as a neutral mediator, its support for groups representing political
                    Islam like the Palestinian Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood has irked Saudi Arabia.
              (ii) It's perceived to be soft on Iran with which it shares the world's largest gas field.
             (iii) Its isolation has come about within weeks of the American President's visit to Riyadh.
             (iv) Riyadh could also be using this opportunity to curb dissent within the Sunni flock and
                    get them to toe its line!

The upshot of the whole thing is that a Shia-Sunni sectarian strife will only provide a fillip to terror groups like the Islamic State and that's the pity.

The effect of the ban will be:-

               (i) Hurt its economy which will impact the many Indians working there.
              (ii) Most of its food supplies are imported via Saudi Arabia which will be affected.
             (iii) Doha has emerged as an international aviation hub which is also bound to be affected.


Had got up around 4 in the morning with the feeling that I'd a lot of things to do. Lekha was sleeping peacefully and without disturbing her, wrote my blog, answered the mail and recited my prayers. By 5, I was back to sleep after feeling the comfort of having done what I was supposed to!

We're back at our favourite pastime of conversation, though Ramesh took his time to join us. He looked well rested and then, all too soon, it was time to leave. We'd work at the canteen and finally, kicked off on our return leg by 12. The rain was holding all through the route but experienced downpour at two stretches. The highway was okay as the traffic was manageable though at Mannuthi, there was a slowing down as the flyover was being out into place near the College of Agriculture.

We'd reached Rema's place at 4 and were surprised to see, Padmakumar at home as his office was closed due to a hartal in their industrial area, connected with the new recruitment in the nearby Coca Cola factory! Even Achu had the day off as his office was also within the the same industrial estate. A quick disembarking of Ammu's wedding gifts, a round of tea and we're off for Guruvayur by a half past 4.

The route had the usual traffic density but driving through was fine and we reached 'The Quarterdeck' by a half past 6. Unpacking and opening up of the house didn't take much of a time but there was no scope left for a walk, thereafter.     

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