Forty Years Ago: September 17, 1978
Zia Becomes President
The Pakistan army chief and chief martial law administrator, General Mohammed Ziaul-Haq, has taken over as president of his country, Radio Pakistan reported.
Ali Stings Spinks
Black superman Muhammad Ali outpointed Leon Spinks before a crowd of 70,000 to regain his World Heavyweight Boxing crown, the only man in history to do it for a third time. So outclassed was Spinks that one of the rounds he got, the fifth, was taken away from him by the referee. For most of the night, Spinks looked like a young man making his ninth professional fight rather than the heavyweight champion of the year.
Colombo’s Volte Face
Even though Sri Lanka publicly supports the goal of Indian Ocean as a zone of peace, Colombo considers the proposal “unrealistic” for the time being because the littoral states do not have the military strength to keep away the navies of the big powers from the region. Consequently, Sri Lanka is evolving a strategy which takes into account the naval presence in the Indian Ocean of the major powers. Sri Lanka leaders, notably the trade minister, Lalit Athulathmudali, are believed to be of the view that in the present circumstances the only way to ensure peace in the Indian Ocean is to create a balance of power by encouraging as many countries as possible to have a naval presence in the area.
Krishan Kant, Janata MP, assailed Oriville Freeman, president of the Business International Corporation of the USA, for criticising India’s policy on foreign investments. Kant also called for winding up of the Joint Business Council which, he said, had become a lobbyist for US multinationals’ creed and policies. Kant said Freeman had no business to speak the language he had used about the industry minister, George Fernandes, and the policies of the Janata government.