Un-Tibet

March 16, 2008 at 11:25 pm | Posted in annexation, British meddling, Burma, chimpanzee, CIA, civilian massacre, colonization, communism, Dalai Lama, democracy, dictator, discrimination, displaced persons, dissidence, dissidents, equality, ethnic cleansing, exile, forcible deportation, freedom of speech, global evils, government, human rights, Indian foreign policy, individual freedom, individual rights, intolerance, justice, liberty, man's inhumanity to man, Myanmar, peace, poverty, race, racial profiling, racism, self determination, Tibet | Leave a comment
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three chimps see no

None in the International community of nations, seems to be ready to bell the Chinese cat on Tibet. The policy of silence is loudest in Tibet’s closest neighbour – India.

It seems a shame that commercial interests combined with India’s real fear of confrontation with China on the disputed area of the borders in Arunachal Pradesh state, should be sufficient to cow down such an erstwhile champion of human rights as India. Still, the sad truth is that though the Dalai Lama is our guest in exile, in toto, that too is just for publicity’s sake and has little other than symbolic value.

Reading through Tibet’s long and tortuous history, we must again conclude that the death blows to Tibetan independence were finally dealt by the British in the early years of the 20th century, closely followed by a botched CIA operation during the 1950s.Like any unfortunate country that is lacking great enticements (like oil or mineral wealth), no other nation is willing to stick their necks out against the Chinese behemoth for the sake of a few million poor and exploited Tibetans. Europe is happy to support the right of Kosovans to self determination but won’t even whimper at the fate of the poor Tibetans.As with Sudan and Burma, so it is too with Tibet – a mysterious cat has got every single nation’s tongue!
The Chinese have been much more concerned with the possible effects on their precious Olympics. I think they have misread the world’s commitment to anything other than money. Our modern world’s shame is highlighted by the fact that ‘amateur’ sport has been so successfully exploited to become the biggest money spinner of all time. Catch the nations of the world putting principles ahead of the chance to collectively make some really fast bucks! If only even one country would demand autonomy or at least basic human rights for Tibetans before agreeing to Olympic participation… fat chance!

Just for fun, compare the “Freinds of Tibet” facts and figures with the Chinese version of ‘the truth’ and tell me what you think… There certainly is bias showing in Western reporting on Tibet but the Chinese story is simply pathetic.

Burma’s Bloody Gems

March 11, 2008 at 7:08 am | Posted in Burma, China, deforestation, democracy, forest, hardwood, India's double standards, Indian foreign policy, individual freedom, individual rights, injustice, junta, MNC, MNC nexus, MNCs, Myanmar, tree | Leave a comment
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Quoting from the Christian Science Monitor : “The government’s Myanmar Gem Enterprise – Burma’s third largest export company after the state-run oil and timber companies – has said gem sales have increased by 45 percent every year for the past three. The gem auctions, held once or twice a year since 1964, are becoming more frequent. All told, the official trade in Burma’s gems, according HRW, was valued at $297 million in fiscal year 2006-2007, but is estimated to actually be much higher when factoring in unofficial sales.”
The triumphant announcement of the growing success of the Rangon gem auctions comes after our morally bankrupt “world leaders” called for a boycott on Myanmarese gems. Most of the mines are government owned, with large shares going to individual memebers of the military Junta. The mines supply a world hungry for jade, rubies, diamonds, cat’s- eyes, emeralds, topaz, pearls, sapphires, coral, and yellow garnet. A further horror is that in typical fashion, all the mines have been confiscated from local communities and these same communities are now ’employed’ there as forced labor – mostly women and children.
Interestingly, gem exploitation ranks only third in Burma’s export earnings. Oil and TIMBER take the lead (no boycott has been called against Burmese timber or oil!). In all three spheres, China studiously ignores all calls for international boycotts and is closely followed (though much more obliquely) by India. While some of the world’s gem trading MNC giants have officially supported the ban, many are also busy exploiting ‘the letter of the law’ and hiding the origins of their gemstones by rerouting the raw Burmese gems to other countries such as India and Sri Lanka in order to muddy the original source. In India, gem traders gleefully line their pockets with the bloody spoils of value addition as they polish and facet the gems to be exported as India’s own (it’s a Rs. 800 billion industry with India processing between 75 and 80% of the world’s gem stones).What a shame that the world’s largest democracy and a supposed champion of human rights would quietly allow their traders to deal with a monster state that makes its money by bleeding a fellow democracy to death.

Gender and Feminism, a New Maturity?

March 10, 2008 at 7:59 am | Posted in democracy, elections, equality, feminism, feminist, gender, individual freedom, Iraq War, physical appearance, race, racism, vote | Leave a comment
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One of the most fascinating aspects of the battle between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama has been the surprisingly variable response from women voters.tud of war women

Hillary was the feminist dream come true, or so we all thought, but a shockingly high proportion of women voters have plumbed for Barack – A trend that has been seen to be growing.

Immediately, some famous feminists have called foul. They feel that women who support the “young, handsome” male in this epochal battle are abandoning the faith. These ‘heretics’, they claim, have played true to sexist form in rejecting the more experienced and more iconic woman in place of the untried though charismatic male upstart.

Many of the older generation feminists have even expressed a surprisingly negative sentiment about the future with statements made like “this is the only real chance of my lifetime to see a woman become president”.

What I see though is that if for a moment one listens to these ‘traitorous’ voters, neither sex not rock star charm have anything to do with their choice. Many are in fact staunch feminists. The issue for them is ‘the issues’. The Clintons are a known quantity and many women do not like what they stand for. These voters are in fact thrilled to have a choice, and of a one who stands equally tall on issues of equality yet solidly against the Iraq war.

In the final analysis, for the young new American voter the choice has nothing to do with either gender or race and nothing could be more thrilling or actually more amazing. The iconic issues of the past have been foregone for a new, mature, approach to selecting the best PERSON for the job.

May the best person win…

click to go to Samantha Power’s original Scotsman interview…she’s an excellent example of a very broad phenomenon.

War Games – Musharraf goes the "Cheney-Me-To-A-Rice-Bush" Route

November 4, 2007 at 7:29 am | Posted in 123 Nuclear Treaty, CheneyMeToARiceBush, democracy, Dickied Rice Bush, dictator, Indian Constitution, Kargil War, Musharraf, Mushy, neocononial, spin, statesmanship | Leave a comment

India has been toying with doing things in ‘The New American Way’ for some time now. Our present almost misadventures with the 1-2-3 Nuclear Power Treaty has clearly indicated our own Junta’s leanings. We too seem to be actively seeking ways to democratically subvert our democracy, but thankfully have so far failed.

Still the Dickied Rice Bush has had a visible measure of success with our neighbour Pakistan.

America kept insisting that this Mushy stuff was the closest that the Pakistani people could get to democracy. Instead, with the decle3ration of Emergency Rule, what was all along a dictatorship in democratic guise has now reverted to form and proved that it was indeed a full blown military dictatorship all along.

Musharraf is a suave, smooth, polite, educated, and eminently reasonable dictator, but a dictator and a ruthless and brutal one nonetheless. He is photogenic, soft spoken, and charismatic (wonder where I’ve heard that before) and an ideal stooge for the U.S. State Department’s deeper designs in this part of the world.
The last time Musharraf needed to consolidate his power he engineered a war (the ’99 Kargil War) with India. The then democratically elected Pakistani leader (Nawaz Sharrif) had to flee for his life.

This time Mushy has been concentrating on his Afghany front, and let’s hope that he stays focussed there. The chances are that as long as the current U.S. administration is wooing India, Mushy will have to bite his tongue and wait, but nothing is certain in todays global village.

Who knows perhaps in international parlance, engineering Emergencies is just one more way of delivering a hidden ultimatum? An openly militaristic Pakistan should certainly fuel the the local arms race and that itself would have made Dickey & Co. very happy. Every cloud should have a silver and gold lining, as should every pocket…

It’s too much to hope that India would have learned anything substantial from this, except that there’re always ways to make a quick buck. The depth of the pocket is actually what drives politics in India anyway.

Statesmanship is a thing of the rather distant past – a blurry, fading, black and white memory of what was always something of a hazy backlit dream.

“Do, you know that the U.S. tried ever so strongly to dissuade Mushy from such a drastic step?” At least that’s the current spin, being disseminated through the hidden alleyways of a ‘leaky’ State Department.

What everyone here does know, is that Mussharraf would never have dared unless he was offered tacit U.S. support.

  • We have blown it on Myanmar. We are supporting a brutal military junta.
  • We have blown it with Tibet; we have shamed ourselves, the Tibetan people and the Dalai Lama.

But it is not too late to change tack.

Let us try to realise the reality of our own proud constitution.
Let us once more try to stand for FREEDOM,
to truly uphold DEMOCRACY, and
to be the champions of JUSTICE
that we once thought that we could be,
and that we would be.

UPDATE 1 (Nov. 5) The headlines about 6 months down the road after a bit of NYT force fed journalism:

RENDERING (justice to) THE COURTS:

Gen. Pervez Mussharaf had exported Pakistan’s supreme court justices to the U.S. under the Democracy Re-education Program (DemRep) sponsored by the US Department of State.

Now, we are not so surprised to report that the use of waterboarding and other assorted (recreationally educational) nontortures at Guantanamo for the recalcitrant Pakistani Supreme Court justices has finally resulted in signed confessions of connections to terrorism from all 60 of the judges who had originally refused to swear allegiance to General Musharraf after he imposed martial law in order to SAVE Pakistani democracy. All the judges now unanimously support the continuation of Mr. Mussharaf as he is “clearly the only dictator capable of restoring true democracy.”

The Secretary of State is very pleased that the U.S. has been “able to further promote democracy in the world while simultaneously dealing a death blow to terrorist oriented judiciaries.”

Myanmar – India supports the Junta’s Freedom to Loot

September 29, 2007 at 5:08 am | Posted in british empire, Burma, China, democracy, forest department, India's double standards, Indian foreign policy, junta, JV, MNC, multinational corporartion, Myanmar, Name and Shame, subversion | 2 Comments

The world has already expressed its disgust at the criminal actions of the military Junta in Myanmar. There are just two things that I would like to stress:

India’s voice has been silent. Why? What is the vested interest that shuts our mouth, or is it that our government actually secretly approves of the actions of the “Generals”?

As an immediate neighbor to Myanmar, one would think that we would be the first to express our dismay, but nowadays many ‘immediate neighbors’ are complicit by their silence; take South Africa and Zambia for example, and how they have chosen to ‘deal’ with Zimbabwe. India is proving to be a similarly adept tightrope walker.

Our Indian Junta does not believe in principles any more. The shock of the interim success of the religiously fundamentalist BJP seems to have stripped all of the remaining ideals from todays so-called leadership. The long-term game is to remain in power and in order to do that they feel the need for support and encouragement from other morally bankrupt (but rich) democratic allies. One can see that a certain world power is counting on inciting India to act as a bulwark against the ultimate ascendancy of the growing economic might of China. That particular power in turn unhesitatingly subverts the remaining principles of their chosen allies by the simple expedient of financing whomsoever will ‘toe its line’.

Western talk of promoting democracy has proved to be cheap. Belief in the benefits of true democracy have altogether disappeared. The result is seen here as India had backed away from doing anything about Tibet, and then ‘on request’ did the dirty to our long-time allies the Iranians, so too now will we sell the Myanmarese peoples to the highest bidder.

Both India and Burma (Myanmar) are ex-colonies of Great Britain! The British understood globalisation, and Realpolitik long before anyone else. They had to to be able to maintain a dominance, an empire for over two whole centuries, on which the sun never did set! At the same time the Brits have been busy writing histories of how selflessly they used their empire to educate and develop an uncivilised world. Our Indian leaders have learned too well at the feet of their former masters.

The unholy alliance of a China along with a subverted democracy, both joining in in the shenanigans of the key MNCs ensures the continuance of the military regime in Myanmar. This is my second point. The survival of the military junta is because they are tremendously rich. These riches fund the control of the army that then backs up completely the Junta’s undemocratic hegemony.

The money in the case of Myanmar, comes mainly from timber, oil, gas, opium, and mining. All of the timber, oil, and mineral wealth is harvested from the vast pristine tropical wilderness by multinational corporations (MNCs) whose activity is known and approved of by the nations that host and spawn these Money alone is God behemoths. The facts are not even denied; it is called progress, development and globalisation. Shamelessly such MNCs continue to operate without any controls, raping the lands and forests and simultaneously doing all in their power to ensure the continuance and enrichment of the ‘oh so cooperative’ golden-egg-laying-gooses of a Junta. The nations that spawn such monstrosities as these MNCs are the very ones that also piously speak of promoting democracy!

The majority of investment in oil and gas was made by multinational companies from France, United States and United Kingdom in entering joint venture projects with the state-owned Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE)

India and China in different ways are great supporters of today’s Myanmar, and even rivals for influence there, though there is little question that China’s economic influence does dominate.. India has its stake more as the key cutout and staging point for any MNC that wants to get round the ‘minor sanctions’ and the ‘muted murmurs of disapproval’ that are occasionally felt from Europe and America.

Myanmar is one nation where there is no need for any mafia. The looting and environmental destruction are legal! But MNCs prefer the anonymity of JVs and offshoring their activities through ‘friendlies’ like India.

It is also a little-recognised fact that the vast British empire was built on wood from Africa and Asia. In all former colonies one will find that some of the oldest surviving government departments are the FDs (Forest Departments) and that the systematic rape of third world forests was almost the first thing that the colonial British actually did to their colonies. While wood is still a very major money spinner, the future clearly lies in the oil and gas reserves. India and China in their unholy partnerships with the MNCs have their eyes and policies firmly fixed on all that gas and quite some oil reserves too.

  • India’s double standards and their hidden activity as proxies to ‘higher’ powers needs to be recognised and CONDEMNED.
  • The MNCs that are actually doing the damage but who have remained faceless need to be NAMED and SHAMED.

We Indians have been witness to the insidious but definite shift in our own nation’s foreign policies as it increasingly leans towards outright doing whatever the richest of nations want. The Indian activity is mediated (dare we suspect ‘funded’?) by these same nations and their MNCs i.e. the very ones who are consistently exploiting Myanmar (and wherever else the opportunity to act without any controls makes the process maximally profitable). It is a sad truth that both of our leading political parties have already been ‘converted’ into backboneless and unprincipled supporters of “that which should not be named”. While that pristine state in public speaks loudly of championing democracy, at the same time the word to the MNCs boardrooms is to quietly get on with getting the loot.

I am not at this moment much concerned about the sins of the rest of the world.
It is India’s shameless tactics that have confounded me.

Folks, it’s time to make a change!
Let’s stand up for what’s right, for a change…
India needs to get its act together NOW.

Pray for the peoples of Myanmar.

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