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.

Freedom dies, dying, dead.

October 29, 2007 at 6:21 am | Posted in Aung san Suu Kyi, bush, Craig Murray, Darfur, FRCS, freedom of speech, human rights, junta, MNC nexus, Myanmar, NHS, Uzbekistan | Leave a comment

Our world has lost the desire for justice. We are now losing our desire for freedom. Our politicians have become slaves of power and thus slaves of money, for they believe that without money there is no power.

Let me illustrate with two different examples:

The NHS, (National Health Service) and indeed the very practice of English Medicine itself, is being steadily dismantled (read ‘redefined’ or ‘efficientised’) in the “Formerly Great” Britain.

  • All medical super-specialties are being segregated to a very limited number of treatment facilities that also happen to be as far apart as possible.
  • The FRCS is soon to follow the MRCP to becoming just an empty qualification. It already requires a Training Completion certificate to get the proud owner any respect at all!
  • Most hospitals will be turned into Primary Health Centers where only routine medical procedures will be performed by doctors who have no additional qualifications – in other words “doctor” = “glorified technician”.

The government will (of course) save tremendously on salaries, facilities, maintenance, equipment and training expenditures. But that’s not all – the current Labour government is now actively looking for ways to quietly privatise as many of the facilities as possible and to then back that up with private health insurance.

In other words, healthcare will turn into the same sort of disastrous mess that now prevails in the U.S. with the average human simply being denied even basic healthcare…

The first step to getting the public behind these moves is to castrate the existing system. Create a demand and then let the privatisers move in for the kill!

Secondly, look at what’s happening in Darfur, Uzbekistan (see title link) and Myanmar… In all these instances, we see tremendous oppression. It is selective homicide and extreme oppression against members of one’s own nation being perpetrated by dictator style governments.

The world is silent!

YET, this same international community was happy enough to attack an Iraq that had already been decimated by sanctions. Do you know that a very conservative estimate of unnecessary child death (due to sanctions) puts the Iraqi toll at over 2,000,000? Did you know?

But try to get anything more forceful than pious declarations of commiseration about the really nasty stuff that’s going on, that every single person knows is going on, and you are met with a deafening silence!

There was a British ex-ambassador to Uzbekistan who dared to raise a voice of protest against the tacit support that both Britain and the U.S. were giving to the dictator there. He was promptly recalled, criticised and then canned from the Foreign Service. The issue appears to also have something to do with the Uzbek’s huge gas deposits which are being tapped by MNCs and their parent governments (see this fascinating fax linking Bush, Enron and Uzbekistan). There is also a suspicion that the American base in Uzbekistan was one of the primary holding grounds for the detention and torture of the victims of America’s Renditions.

On Myanmar, my own Indian government, democratically elected and the upholders of one of the worlds best constitutions has chosen to sell itself down the river of looting the helpless.

I am particularly and utterly amazed, and very deeply pained, that there has not been even so much as a whimper of protest in India’s press against the ridiculous moral – material support that our democratically elected junta is supplying openly to their brothers in Myanmar.

This same junta granted a high civilian honour to Aung San Suu Kyi just a short while ago! Obviously the two juntas are not strange bedfellows at all!

The only difference between then and now is that now our Indian corporates and their MNC friends have figured out how to make very substantial money from the misfortunes of the ineptly pacifistic Burmese monks.

PRIME PRINCIPLE : Good sources of ROI are not to be scoffed at;

And the easiest way to silence criticism is to enlist the help of our postmodern world’s ubiquitous Master of Spin – the POLITICIAN, whose only real agenda is to stay in power for as long as possible, in order to make their pockets as well lined as absolutely possible, while duping the dupable populace that only conscientiously good governance is the goal.

Good for you, Jimmy Carter!

October 4, 2007 at 5:43 am | Posted in Borneo, Darfur, DR Congo, Egypt, Guantanamo, H.A. Carr, human rights, Iraq, Jimmy Carter, Kosovo, MNC nexus, MNCs, Myanmar, N.Korea, Palestine, Papua, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, World Bank rapes forest, Zimbabwe | 2 Comments

Something about this article on Jimmy Carter taking on a hostile bunch of cops in the Sudan [title link] reminded me powerfully of my dad (H.A. Carr). When he got the bit between his teeth he was going to get wherever he had determined to go, and no one, nothing, was going to stop him.

Where questions of human rights, and more basically human lives, are concerned it’s about time we stopped letting the democracies, juntas, and dictatorships give us the royal runaround.

We all need a bit of the Jimmy Carter spirit to start getting things done.

Myanmar, Darfur, Egypt, Palestine, Uzbekistan, DR Congo, Iraq, Zimbabwe, Guantanamo, Kosovo, North Korea, Saudi Arabia (and much of the M.E.) , and then the almost complete blind spots like Indonesia’s Papua and Borneo…

Places like DR Congo, Myanmar, and the Indonesian islands, are kept under wraps quite actively by the MNCs that quietly operate there. We have posted about the timber mafias before and this recent TIME article shows how the MNCs, backed solidly by their hypocritical countries of origin, have gone so far as to subvert critically important international aid organizations like the Wold Bank to help them to quietly do their dirty work.

The World Bank is actually governed by government representatives, so without the involvement of the various governments…

It isn’t just a matter of quietly making money with a bit of biosphere rape thrown in. The MNCs-govt. nexus always results in human rights abuses. The countries involved will also end up being permanently crippled by the corruption and unequal distribution of wealth and power that the MNCs have encouraged.

Such then is the hidden nexus in today’s world, where supposedly democratic and freedom-oriented, nations are actually actively subverting the world’s poor (and raping their hapless environments) through their corporations and just for a bit of quick ‘filthy lucre’!

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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