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Long-Range Strategy for the Former Yugoslavia

Regarding the editorial "Airdrops and Ethnic Cleansing," March 11: The editorial's thrust is for a long-range strategy as part of a coherent national policy. It is well past time for a sea change in our nation's functioning as the leader of the West - indeed, toward provision for US security and long-term well-being.

The author's query as to whether half-hearted, symbolic gestures, or even unilateral disarmament, can cast fear into the hearts of the Serbian military is on target.

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The brutality of ethnic cleansing leads me to conclude that the "solutions" reached so far rest on false foundations; only the proper application of power can be persuasive. This would move the Serbian military to talk along constructive lines and force compliance with agreements for bringing peace and tranquillity to the once-beautiful, much respected Yugoslavia.

The West has several options: missile strikes, behind-the-lines air drops of food and medicine, commando raids, and economic offensives.

Even in a limited war, the primary consideration is the superiority of power. Only then can diplomacy be carried out with assurance. Gilven M. Slonim, Falls Church, Va. India's human rights abuses

The editorial "Can the Center Hold in India?," March 18, says that the Indian government squashed a political rally in New Delhi in February "for the first time in recent memory."

In the Sikh homeland of Punjab, the Indian government has squashed so many political rallies during the last few years it is difficult to keep track.

One example of this oppression is the arrest and prolonged detention of 1,200 Sikh political leaders in February 1992. They gathered together to announce a boycott of state elections under the Indian constitution.

Such repression is par for the course in the Sikh homeland. Bhog ceremonies (funerals) are commonly banned, and Sikh leaders are often arrested, tortured, and killed without due process.

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Amnesty International calls India's violation of human rights endemic and regularly issues "urgent action" appeals.

The world should see India for what it really is. Too many people are blinded by the propaganda of the "world's largest democracy." Urminder S. Aulakh, Washington

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