| by Osita Ebiem writes from NYC
( August 28, 2014, New York City, Sri Lanka Guardian) The recent inhuman murder of the American journalist James Foley by the Islamic terrorists in the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL (they are also called ISIS, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) is just too revulsive to all human sensibilities. It is altogether bestial and condemnable. Such acts should never have been contemplated by real human beings anywhere in the world in the name of whatever religion or other convictions.
Foley’s murder reaches a frightening height in this mounting wave of horrific acts of unbelievable violence by the Islamic fundamentalists. Of course that is the original intention of those engaged in these beastly acts – to terrify, terrorize and frighten other people into doing their bidding and abiding by the dictates of their delusions. But the world community must not be cowed. In this 21st century world the people must find a way to balance faith and reason.
This single murder meets all the accepted definition of the odious and internationally prohibited crime of genocide and crime against humanity. It is one murder that is too many and should not be allowed to go unpunished. All decent human beings everywhere should see Foley as their collective responsibility and make sure that all those involved in the murder are punished to the fullest extent of the law.
One reason why the world community should collectively seek to get justice in Foley’s death is for the sake of restoring faith in our common humanity, in the universal moral standards and our belief in the sanctity of human life, no matter whose. This world belongs to all things in it equally and we should for good reasons accept to accommodate each other’s unique differences, opinions and mental/spiritual inclinations. No one has the right to force on others, against the others’ will, the purported will and mandates of their concept of the divine.
From the speech accent of Foley’s killer in the gory video it was clear that he is British which makes it particularly more painful and embarrassing for the British people and their government.
It is for this reason that the British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond called this brutal murder; "an utter betrayal of our country, our values and everything the British people stand for."
Hammond goes further to write that "It is horrifying to think that the perpetrator of this heinous act could have been brought up in Britain."
Hammond’s statement captures the general mood and feelings of most people around the world about this act of wickedness. It does not just betray and embarrass the country of Britain; it betrays and embarrasses our common humanity. It is this betrayal that should compel all people everywhere to work hard in concert with others to stop this Islamic madness. And as the world struggles to deal with this murder it should not be treated in isolation. The same embarrassing Islamic jihadist murders taking place in the Middle East are also going on in many other places around the world; on British soil and in Nigeria.
Increasingly the world is witnessing an uncomfortable surge in the involvement of some British and American citizens in this monstrous global scourge of Islamic terror around the world. The jihadists are on a deluded quest to establish a global Islamic caliphate and believe they can achieve this by beheading the innocent, including children and women, and terrorizing and frightening everyone into submission.
The world cannot afford to be too quick to forget the fact that the two Nigerian men who are also British citizens; Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale only recently in May, 2013 killed a serving British soldier Lee Rigby on a street of London in the broad daylight.
Adebolajo and Adebowale the Nigerian Islamic terrorists also killed Rigby in a similar gory manner with meat cleaver and knife as Foley’s killer, but this time the heinous crime took place on British soil. And also as Foley’s killer claimed, in the name of the Islamic jihad.
Though the incidents happened in different places and at different times, yet they are fundamentally linked with each other. And for this reason it may be wise to look at them in a sort of holistic light with the view of devising comprehensive solutions that are radically different from what are obtainable right now.
Currently, it seems that the two solutions-that-fix-all for most of the policy makers in countries like Britain and the United States are going for regime change and stubbornly fighting to preserve the old unworkable social and national boundary maps in these troubled spots like in the Biafra and Boko Haram of Nigeria and the ISIL, Kurds and Yazidis of Iraq.
For several decades now these two “solutions” seem to be the aces or trump cards being tossed around by the political gladiators in these powerful countries but they seem to have stopped being effective in solving the crises in these hot spots around the world. And it is this seemingly insensitivity on the side of the decision makers in these countries that probably worry and embarrass more some of the close watchers of these outdated political maneuverings. It is this worry that is convincing the observers the more in their opinion that there is now need for some radically different approach to this problem.
This radically different approach as recommended by the close analysts of the events is the redrawing of the maps of these troubled places.
If we are seeking for real solution to this problem then we must be willing to try different approaches. Redrawing of the map of Nigeria along the old Biafran lines and more, and the Kurdish and Yazidish lines in Iraq will be the real and lasting solution to the jihadist scourge of Boko Haram and ISIL.
Boko Haram and all its attendant problems of today would have been avoided if Britain of Harold Wilson had been forward looking in its policies and allowed Biafra to separate from Nigeria when it was forced out by the same Islamic jihad in the nineteen sixties. The same argument can be used about the Kurds, the Yazidis and ISIL in Iraq.
Biafra of 1967 to 1970 stands for Self Determination, Independence and Multi-state Solution. Biafra offered the solution that can still be applied to solve Boko Haram of Nigeria, to the Kurds and Yazidis in Iraq, Ivory Coast crisis, and South of Cameroun agitation and in a few other places.
The remapping of these places will reduce the unnecessary social, cultural, religious and political frictions in these insensitive-border-induced conflict flashpoints.
The nineteen sixties Biafran solution of self-determination, independence and multi-state solution for peoples with similarities of aspirations and world views to stay separate from those who are radically opposed to their views and values continues to echo down the years and generations. And we can only continue to ignore it to our collective human pain such as witnessed in Foley and Rigby.
Biafrans were murdered in the same sordid way that James Foley and Lee Rigby were murdered and for the same reason. Only that in the case of Biafrans they were killed in multiple thousands and later in millions by the same Islamic fundamentalists. The other major difference in the Biafran case is that some British politicians and the British government of Prime Minister Harold Wilson supported and fought alongside the Islamic terrorists of the Nigerian state to further humiliate and completely destroy the already traumatized and victimized Biafrans. But this time Britain must not repeat the same mistake of Biafra.
Biafrans fought a war of Self Determination and independence; to free themselves and land once and for all from the oppressive Islamic state of a united Nigeria. But the Britain of Harold Wilson would rather side with the Islamic state of Nigeria to defeat the democratic state of Biafra. Today, after nearly fifty years, that British decision of the sixties is directly responsible in birthing the deadly and monstrous Islamic group, Boko Haram of Nigeria and contributed substantially in sowing the seed that caused the murders of Foley and Rigby.
The genocide in Biafra would not have happened if Britain had decided differently in Biafra and in the same vein the world must be spared anymore horrors of Foley and Rigby. Let the British and the US governments consciously choose to recognize the dangers of Islamic extremism and decide to take actions that are radically different from the current ones being applied.
What it all comes down to is that to defeat this scourge the collective will of the world community must be strengthened through the avoidance of doublespeak and political correctness. The leaders in the world community must choose to tackle these troubled spots one at a time and with the resolve to applying real and lasting solutions to each and every one of them.
In Nigeria particularly, to defeat the Boko Haram jihadists the permanent solution is to divide the country along the existing ethnic/religious lines and this will weaken the Islamists there and initiate the process of establishing a lasting peace, social security and eliminating the seemingly endemic political corruption, instability and poverty.
Osita Ebiem is an advocate for the division of Nigeria and the author of the book “Nigeria, Biafra and Boko Haram: Ending the Genocides through Multistate Solution.”
| by Ruwantissa Abeyratne
( August 28, 2014, Montreal, Sri Lanka Guardian) About a week ago, I inquired in this journal as to whether Ukraine should take responsibility for the shooting down, allegedly by separatist rebels in Ukraine, of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH 17. Just a few days ago, the special task force of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) had its second meeting where, according to an ICAO press release of 26 August on the meeting, it is said that the task force recommended that there be two pilot projects conducted, the first being on how the notice to airmen (NOTAM) now issued by States to operators, could be better used to share information; and the second being on the creation of a new centralized system for prompt sharing of conflict zone information.
The question is who provides what information with the responsibility and accountability needed . Take for instance the case of Ukraine. Earlier in the year, ICAO had warned against the dangers of two ATC services in Ukraine providing concurrent services one by the Russian Federation and one by Ukraine. This was a safety issue over which ICAO had jurisdiction, particularly under Article 54 j of the Chicago Convention which prescribes that it a mandatory function of the Council to report to Contracting States any infraction of the Convention.
Either Ukraine could have delegated its responsibilities to the Russian Federation or taken sole responsibility. Assembly Resolution A 38-12 (adopted at the 38th Session of the ICAO Assembly in September/October 2013) provides that the limits of ATC airspaces, whether over States’ territories or over the high seas, shall be established on the basis of technical and operational considerations with the aim of ensuring safety and optimizing efficiency and economy for both providers and users of the services; and that established ATC airspaces should not be segmented for reasons other than technical, operational, safety and efficiency considerations. The Resolution also goes on to say that if any ATC airspaces need to extend over the territories of two or more States, or parts thereof, agreement thereon should be negotiated between the States concerned, taking into account the need for cost-effective introduction and operation of CNS/ATM systems, and more efficient airspace management, in particular, in the upper airspace. The providing State in implementing air traffic services within airspace over the territory of the delegating State is required to do so in accordance with the requirements of the delegating State, which shall establish and maintain in operation such facilities and services for the use of the providing State as are mutually agreed to be necessary.
Finally, Resolution A38-12 provides that any ICAO member State which delegates to another State the responsibility for providing air traffic services within airspace over its territory does so without derogation of its sovereignty.
With these clear lines of responsibility, one issue that is brought to bear is the danger of the air traffic controller being directly responsible for negligence in misdirecting an aircraft despite directions given by a NOTAM and a centralized agency. The 2004 Überlingen (Lake Constance) mid air collision, although not directly similar in circumstances, has some relevance to Flight MH 17 on the subject of the provision of air traffic information services. The incident brings to bear the compelling relevance of trans-border provision of air traffic services and its possible effect on safety, with particular focus on accountability and responsibility. The Überlingen mid-air collision occurred at 21:35 on 1 July 2002 between Bashkirian Airines Flight 2937 operated by a Tupolev TU-154 passenger aircraft carrying 60 passengers – mostly children – and 9 crew and Flight 611 operated by DHL with a Boeing 757-23 APF cargo aircraft manned by two pilots, over the towns of Überlingen and Owingen in southern Germany. All 71 people on board the two aircraft were killed.
Although the two ill-fated aircraft were over German territory, air traffic services were provided by a Swiss based air navigation services provider - Skyguide - in accordance with a bilateral agreement between Germany and Switzerland. The sole air traffic controller, whilst monitoring the two aircraft, was also directing the approach of an Airbus coming into a German airport.
Bashkirian Airlines brought a claim against the Federal Republic of Germany, requesting indemnity of the airline for damage to the aircraft and full indemnity against third party claims. The German District Court of Konstanz to which the case was remanded, determined that as the accident had occurred in German airspace, it was appropriate that the case should be heard by a German Court and that German law should apply. Secondly, the court came to the conclusion that although the air navigation services were provided by a Swiss based company, according to German law, responsibility for the provision of air traffic services over German territory exclusively devolved upon the Federal Republic of Germany.
The above discussion surfaces two fundamental and critical needs in the provision of air navigation services. The first is that there should be total transparency on the part of States and clarity of information as to who provides air navigation services in the airspace over its territory. The second is that there should be an entity which should receive this information on an updated basis and be vigilant of any situation that would obfuscate clarity of this information. This by no means suggests that ICAO should take on the responsibility of tracking flights globally, or issuing warnings about the danger to aircraft based on political and conflict situations in a country. The latter is purely the responsibility of the States concerned.
In the 1986 Nicaragua case, the International Court of Justice opined that, if the order for the Contra guerrillas to conduct themselves in the manner in which they did could be attributable or even imputable to the United States (which financed and equipped the Contras), it would have to be proved that the US had effective control of the Contras' military or paramilitary operations. General or overall control would not have been sufficient to find the US accountable or responsible.
Does this mean that the State has to have effective control of the air traffic controllers in its territory for there to be State responsibility or are an autonomous privatized air navigation services system liable for its negligence excluding the State? One view offered by Neils Antwerrpen, an authority on the subject is that " the contracting States to the Chicago Convention undertake to provide air navigation services in their territory in accordance with the Standards and Recommended Practices established from time to time pursuant to the Chicago Convention. This provision encompasses an operational aspect, the provision of air navigation services, and a regulatory oversight and auditing aspect as the service provision should take place in accordance with the Standards and Recommended Practices established pursuant to the Convention. In the event the air navigation services are provided by civil servants of the state any omission...will be attributable to the State. However, in the event the air navigation services are provided by a corporatized or private entity, there need not be any attributability. After all, the State has met its obligation to provide air navigation services".
The author of this comment goes on to say that it is only if the State failed in its oversight and regulatory function that the State could be held liable for an act or omission of a privatized or corporatized air navigation services provider. This raises an interesting question. If the Chicago Convention merely obligates a State to provide air navigation information services, does this mean that the State could wash its hands off the quality of services provided by a privatized or corporatized entry, alleging that an act or omission of the service provider was a result of the use of discretion by the service provider for which the State was not responsible. On the other hand, does the Convention embody an intrinsically linked duty on the part of the State to provide safe and secure information to aircraft no matter who provided the services?
Perhaps this is an issue on which a legal opinion should be sought by ICAO.
The author is a former Senior Legal Officer at the International Civil Aviation Organization where he worked for 23 years.
| by Thomas C. Mountain
( August 28, 2014, Eritrea , Sri Lanka Guardian) Gayle who? Obama’s quiet consigliere Gayle Smith is rarely in the public eye and seems to prefer it that way. At least most of the time, so when she mounted the podium to deliver a eulogy at the funeral for Ethiopia’s late, genocidal strongman Meles Zenawi in Addis Ababa in 2012 I stopped what I was doing and started paying attention.
Obama’s Special Assistant and Senior Director at the National Security Council spoke fondly of her self described 30+ years of friendship with Meles Zenawi going back to their days together in the trenches of the Ethiopian and Eritrean resistance to the Soviet backed Mengistu regime and the great droughts of the early-mid 1980’s.
This consigliere knows what getting down and dirty really means, having served her time literally,“in the trenches” of one for the more nasty independence struggles/civil wars the 20th Century was to
endure. Of course in those days she was an “award winning journalist”, at least until the war ended with Eritrean independence and the overthrow of the Mengistu regime in 1991.
A dramatic career change saw her phenomenal rise to become Chief of Staff for the US Agency for International Development (USAID) three years later in 1994.
In just 3 years transforming from “award winning journalist” to Chief of Staff of what has for decades been known as USCIA. As in USAID, recently caught red handed in the scandal in Cuba using anti AIDS programs to try and destabilize Cuban society.
Than in 1998, just in time to see the launch of the next round of Ethiopian invasions of its neighbors, she turns up as the head of African affairs at the National Security Council, then headed by Anthony Lake, today the boss of UNICEF.
Then Gore lost to Bush in the 2000 Presidential election and Gayle who? seamlessly transitioned into civilian life, landing a juicy spot at a neo-liberal ngo next door to power in Washington D.C. She soon launched the “Enough Project” infamous for its fabrications about the conflict in Dafur.
She then took up with a rising star in the Democratic Party, one Barack Obama, endowed at the time with the nickname “Senator Slither” by the late Alexander Cockburn. Gayle Smith brought on board Susan Rice, the god daughter of former Secretary of State Madeline Albright, for whom Gayle who? had become a big sister/mentor to during Ms. Rice’s rookie days as Under Secretary of State for African Affairs under Bill Clinton in the mid 1990’s. They along with Tony Lake made up the senior triumvant of the foreign policy capos in the 2008 Obama campaign for President.
Today Gayle who? occupies an office close to her Godfather, Barack Obama in the White House, avoiding the sunlight and dispensing very dubious council considering the desperate shape the USA has been finding itself in matters of world affairs. Where she will end up if Queen Hillary is restored to the Presidential throne in 2016 remains to be seen but if history is to be the judge it seems that the heady
days of sitting on top of the worlds sole superpower are gone forever. Though one must never forget that a stricken, cornered beast is at its most dangerous and who knows what new wars will be launched based in part on advice given by Obama’s quiet consigliere, Gayle Smith.
Thomas C. Mountain is a life long revolutionary activist, educator, and cultural historian. He has been living and reporting from Eritrea since 2006 and can be reached at thomascmountain at g mail dot com.
| by Kusal Perera
( August 27, 2014, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) The original interview published in Sinhala is attached for any reference needed.
Former CJ Sarath N. Silva on 18 Amendment to the Constitution
1. Two term restriction on Presidency is vital for democracy.
2. JRJ's first amendment to Constitution said two consecutive presidential terms and no more for any one. But after a lapse, another election was possible.
3. This was made strong and clear in the 1978 Constitution. Thus 31.2 of the Constitution says any one elected by the people as President for 2 consecutive terms, stands disqualified thereafter, for election.
4. This clearly makes the person elected for the 2nd term immediately disqualified in seeking a 3rd term.
5. Therefore President Rajapaksa became Constitutionally disqualified for yet another term, on the very day, he was elected for a 2nd term, on 27 January, 2010 itself.
6. The 18 A was passed in such context and that stands as an important Constitutional disqualification.
7. On September 09th the 18A removed section 31.2 that restricted a twice elected president from seeking elections again. But by then President Rajapaksa was already disqualified from contesting again.
8. This brings out the question whether this amendment has retrospective effect in implementation. Usually law is for the future and for any future President, this is effective.
9. Section 6 of the Interpretation Law says, any such amendment does not remove disqualifications or punishments previously imposed by law. For such previous disqualifications or punishments to be annulled, another new mention to that effect must be included.
10. In this case, no such mention is included. Therefore the disqualification stands.
There is therefore an issue if President Rajapaksa gets ready for a 3rd term, calling for a presidential election after 04 years in his 2nd term.
A. Section 31 of the Constitution says the incumbent President can call for an election after completing 04 years. But it does not say if it includes the 2nd term as well. Therefore, in the context of a restriction on presidential terms for 2 consecutive terms, this could be about the 1st term period.
B. There is some confusion here in calculating the durations. But those who did the draft for the 18A had forgotten to clear that.
C. Therefore in such context, if President tells the Election Commissioner he wish to seek re election for a 3rd term after completing 04 years from his 2nd term, any citizen can challenge the Election Commissioner, saying the EC has no such powers. That challenge in Courts should be done before an election is fixed and held.
But President Rajapaksa can continue till his 2nd term expires in November 2016. In such instance, the parliamentary election has to be held before April 2016. That is before the presidential polls.
(Interview with former CJ Sarath N. Silva, published in the Sunday Lankadeepa of 24 August, 2014 )
| by Pearl Thevanayagam
(August 27, 2014, Bradford UK, Sri Lanka Guardian) Escapism is equally the last solace of the common man, religious leaders and royalty when all hopes are lost.
Escapism was practised by Lord Buddha, Jesus Christ and many philosophers since it liberated them from the scourge and imprisonment of one’s freedom of thought and free-will. Lord Buddha left his comfortable enclave of a princely mansion and his wife to seek enlightenment and also to find inner happiness which eluded him despite the trappings of wealth in a privileged royal household.
Jesus Christ escaped into the mountains to find his soul and to be free from materialistic pursuits. He forsook his family and fasted for 40 days to find out a way to end human suffering. At the age of 12 he was sought by his mother, the Virgin Mary, to turn six jars of water into wine during a wedding in Caanan.
A response from an American wise-kid was to ask his teacher whether Jesus was an alcoholic.
Queen Victoria was fond of mariati wine (imbibed with opium) being deprived of any marital bliss from her husband Prince Albert (being the royal she was) and queen mother was a bit too fond of Gordon’s gin and neither were comforted by their husbands and they spent their lives seeking solace in social causes.
Her tenure was one of the worst in history for the British since there were work-houses where illegitimate children were left to be fed with gruel and made to work long hours while their mothers were abandoned and ostrasised by the society. Still history would laud her as the empress who ruled much of the world. It was the British who introduced opium to the Chinese and made them impotent whereas they were once industrious.
Queen Elizabeth 11 who had given up sharing her marital bed many decades ago with Prince Philip is not averse to morning cocktail with her female companion. The consort’s hang-up is that he has to walk one step behind the queen. Her mother too suffered the same fate when King George who had a bad stammer and had precarious relationship with her and thus her solace in betting on horses and Gordon’s gin.
The Royal males would take to fox-hunting and horse-riding and invading other countries rather than being good family fathers or husbands. The palaces became prisons for them. Prince Charles drove his wife to other men’s arms while he was still reliving his fantasy of being the tampon of his childhood sweetheart Camilla Parker Bowles even while he was engaged to Diana and the latter was already married.
Contemporary escapism is prevalent among youth who seek refuge in drugs, alcohol and sex but what beset them as pariahs is they, unlike the privileged, are poor ergo scorned as the dregs of society.
The real world out there is a den of thieves and scoundrels from politicians who party at the expense of its citizens and their minions and family members while they pilfer their money and spend it like there is no tomorrow. Kudu Nuwan is small fry compared to Gotabhaya Rajapakse who openly consorts with drug barons. J.R. Jayewardene relied on Ganja Chelliah to fund his election campaign.
Then our judiciary system is such they only punish drug addicts and not the suppliers.
It is a sad world out there when parents abandon their children, throw them in the river or smother them and commit suicide themselves because they cannot feed them. It is sadder that in a developing country like Sri Lanka there are opulent casinos and nightclubs which are frequented by the brats of the ruling politicians who drive around in grand prix style sports cars crashing into sacred places even at night times and engaging prostitutes while its citizens find it hard to feed their family three whole meals a day; nay one proper meal a day.
In this light is it any wonder people seek refuge in drugs and alcohol to forget their miserable existence? Escapism is one way of turning a blind eye to the evils of our rulers be they monarchs or democratically elected leaders.
Inner peace and happiness may be a state of mind but it can only be achieved when one’s basic needs are met. And we are far from achieving them due to our leadership which is morally corrupt and blatantly above the law. Until such time we bring back true selfless leaders Sri Lanka would descend further into an abyss and lawlessness which could only be revoked through mass uprising. This would be no Sri Lankan spring but a tsunami.
(The writer has been a journalist for 25 years and worked in national newspapers as sub-editor, news reporter and news editor. She was Colombo Correspondent for Times of India and has contributed to Wall Street Journal where she was on work experience from The Graduate School of Journalism, UC Berkeley, California. Currently residing in UK she is also co-founder of EJN (Exiled Journalists Network) UK in 2005 the membership of which is 200 from 40 countries. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)
| by Swadesh Roy writes from Dhaka
( August 26, 2014, Dhaka, Sri Lanka Guardian) “India wants an eternal relation with Bangladesh. Indian government is working to this destination. Within very short time, after the visit of our external affairs minister, my visit is indicating this.” In an exclusive discussion in Dhaka, Indian foreign minister Junior (specially in charge of North East India) General Vijoy Kumar Sing ( V K Sing) told these very clearly. He answered this, when it was asked to him that, “you have come in Dhaka within very short time after the visit of Sushma Swaraj, does it indicate any significance?” He also emphasized, India would invest in Bangladesh to build-up infrastructure for connectivity and spread commerce with North East India.
General V K Sing has an extra emotion for Bangladesh because he participated in the liberation war of Bangladesh. He told that, in his memory the liberation war of Bangladesh is still live. When he was telling about his memory of the war of 1971, he became little bit emotional; he told that, he could still fell that times when he was fighting in Chittagong of Bangladesh with Major Rafik, one of the sector commanders of Bangladesh liberation war. He started his war from Tripura and first they went to Chadpur of Bangladesh after they joined Chittagong war. His feelings is very much holy towards Bangladesh, in his words, “I got chance to participate in a great struggle of this nation so I fell this is my own country”
In Modi government, Mr, V K Sing is the state minister of foreign especially in charge of North East India. So in exclusive discussion, North East India got most priority. He seems, there is a lot of commerce opportunity between Bangladesh and North East India. He told same in the earlier too, in a seminar in Dhaka named India- Bangladesh Business Conclave. He also emphasized on the connectivity with North East India and Bangladesh, in the exclusive discussions. For this connectivity, he thinks developing infrastructure is the first priority. If it is possible to build up infrastructure, Bangladesh can invest and do business in many sector of North East India, like health, tourism and others.
I asked him, there are huge opportunities in industry and commerce between North East India and Bangladesh but we are observing that two countries are doing everything according to issue. Do you think, it is needed for two countries to make a master plan? V K Sing answered, “Two countries must have to think on it. But they have to think about ensuring infrastructure build up.” I told him, “ you know that for building up infrastructure, a huge capital is needed, will India invest it?” he told, “ of course, India will do it”
I asked him, “ North East India, which is known as seven sisters. In these seven sisters, three provinces have more borders with Bangladesh those are Assam, Tripura and Meghalaya. In this position, what India will do? will India give more emphasis for the business with Bangladesh and these three provinces first or they will go forward taking all the provinces of seven sisters?” In his answer, Mr Shing told, West Bengal, Assam, Tripura and Meghalaya are very close with Bangladesh so they had to think first to spread business between these four states with Bangladesh. He is very much optimistic because he thinks the interest of two countries are common so when interest are common then things go forward fast. He also added that, common interest would make easy everything. His opinion is common interest is making easy all the aspects and building up connectivity between people to people. Regarding India Bangladesh Business conclave, his opinion is, it is also an example of connectivity between business persons of two countries. He emphasized on people-to-people connectivity more. Through this short discussion with the foreign minister of state of India , we can come to a conclusion that Indian present government wants to make more economic relation with Bangladesh within the SAARC countries. It is the more practical way to build up a strong relationship with India and Bangladesh. we have to admit that without economic relation, it is impossible to make a strong relation between two countries. Despite, some problems Bangladesh and India have planted this tree and nursed last five years. The present Government of India has taken decision to pure more water on the root of that tree and they are more serious. Creating a post for an state minister of foreign in charge of North East India and within short his first visit to Bangladesh in a business conclave make it clear that India wants a strong economic relation with Bangladesh. V K Sing’s Visit also makes a crystal- clear that India wants to explore the opportunity of North East India with the help of Bangladesh because it will be easy if transit and port facility of Bangladesh can use India properly. In this Dhaka conclave, the economy advisor of the Prime Minister of Bangladesh has said that, Bangladesh will make a bondage house in Chittagong port for North East India. Therefore, it can be said that, a good economic relation days are coming soon.
Swadesh Roy, Executive Editor, The Daily Janakantha, Dhaka, Bangladesh and long term contributor to Sri Lanka Guardian, he can be reached email@example.com
( August 27, 2014, Kerala, Sri Lanka Guardian) After Maharashtra governor K Sankaranarayanan resigned on Sunday after being transferred to Mizoram overnight, even Kerala governor Shiela Dixit has quit the post after meeting President Pranab Mukherjee and Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday.
Rumours of Dixit's decision to quit intensified after she had met Home Minister Rajnath Singh and President Pranab Mukherjee. According to reports, Dixit is set to play crucial role in Delhi politics in upcoming elections.
During her 15-minute meeting with the Home Minister, Dikshit is understood to have discussed about her continuation in the Thiruvananthapuram Raj Bhavan, sources said. But details of the discussion are not known.
There have been reports that suggested that the former Delhi Chief Minister may be transferred to a state in the Northeast. On Sunday, Maharashtra Governor K Sankaranarayanan resigned after he was transferred to Mizoram for the remainder of his tenure till 2017.
Sankaranarayanan too was nudged by Union Home Secretary Anil Goswami to put in his papers after the Narendra Modi government came to power. Earlier, the NDA government had sacked Mizoram Governor Kamla Beniwal, who had served in Gujarat earlier and had a running battle with Narendra Modi when he was the state's Chief Minister.
Virendra Kataria, a former Congress leader, was also sacked as Puducherry Lieutenant Governor last month. Four other Governors - MK Narayanan (West Bengal), Ashwani Kumar (Nagaland), BL Joshi (UP) and Shekhar Dutt (Chhattisgarh) had put in their papers apparently after they were telephoned by the Union Home Secretary.
Uttrakhand Governor Aziz Qureshi has challenged Modi government's moves to ease him out of office, bringing the controversy over removal of UPA-appointed Governors under judicial lens.
Related news by DNA Correspondent in Kerala;
Kerala Governor Sheila Dikshit on Monday met President Pranab Mukherjee and Home Minister Rajnath Singh amid indications that she may put in her papers if shunted out of the southern state.
Dikshit's meetings came a day after her Maharashtra counterpart K Sankaranarayanan quit, protesting his transfer to Mizoram. Five UPA-appointed Governors have already resigned after being nudged by the NDA government.
Sources close to 76-year-old Dikshit, who took charge of Kerala Raj Bhawan only five months back, indicated that the former Delhi Chief Minister may put in her papers as she was under pressure to do so. However, when asked whether she will resign, Dikshit refused to give a direct answer. "You will know, when I take any such decision," she told PTI.
Dikshit, who served as Delhi Chief Minister from 1998 to 2013, was appointed Kerala governor in March just before the model code of conduct came into force for the Lok Sabha polls. During her 15-minute meeting with the Home Minister, Dikshit is understood to have discussed about her continuation in Thiruvananthapuram Raj Bhavan, sources said.
She is said to have refused to quit after the NDA government had allegedly nudged her to resign. There have been reports that suggested that the former Delhi Chief Minister may be transferred to a state in the Northeast.
After meeting Singh, Dikshit met the President. However, there was no official word on what transpired in the meeting. "I try to meet the President whenever I am in Delhi," Dikshit said.
On Tuesday, Maharashtra Governor K Sankaranarayanan resigned after he was transferred to Mizoram for the remainder of his tenure till 2017. Earlier, the NDA government had transferred Kamla Beniwal as Mizoram Governor from Gujarat Raj Bhawan and when she refused to resign, she was sacked three months before the end of her tenure in October.
As Gujarat Governor, Beniwal had a running battle with Narendra Modi when he was the state's Chief Minister.
Virendra Kataria, a former Congress leader, was also sacked as Puducherry Lieutenant Governor last month.
Five other Governors -- MK Narayanan (West Bengal), Ashwani Kumar (Nagaland), BL Joshi (UP), BV Wanchoo (Goa) and Shekhar Dutt (Chhattisgarh) had put in their papers apparently after they were telephoned by the Union Home Secretary.
Uttrakhand Governor Aziz Qureshi has challenged Modi government's moves to ease him out of office, bringing the controversy over removal of UPA-appointed Governors under judicial scanner.
| by Dr. David Leffler
( August 27, 2014, Washington DC, Sri Lanka Guardian) Remember "Show me the money," from the film Jerry Maguire? We ask Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: "Show me the Science!" He asserts that bombardment of Gaza will continue... . "We are determined to continue the campaign with all means and as is needed. We will not stop until we guarantee full security and quiet for the residents of the south and all citizens of Israel."
Can PM Netanyahu cite any scientific research published in reputable peer-reviewed journals showing that bombardment will create full security and quiet?
PM Benjamin Netanyahu
Is bombing going to create lasting peace? There is no statistically-validated guarantee that this non-scientific strategy will work. It certainly has not in the past. Why should it now? Albert Einstein is famously quoted as saying, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." History shows that using violence to quell violence ultimately just ratchets up the spiral of violence.
PM Benjamin Netanyahu should be commended for his lofty goals of "full security and quiet." They are statistically viable, if he supports his words with a proven, advanced military technology for Israel's military arsenals. Lasting peace and prosperity are a consequence of the scientifically-validated approach of Invincible Defense Technology (IDT). Extensive in-field military experience, coupled with peer-reviewed research shows that IDT can effectively, efficiently, and quickly end the current turmoil, and eliminate the rising spiral of violence. If the defense forces of Israel quickly deploy this statistically-verified approach it will not be necessary to base Israeli defense operations on guesswork or to risk the lives of non-combatant citizens on either side of the border.
This IDT approach to reducing stress and violence is already part of the training of America's future commanders at Norwich University, and has been field-tested by other militaries. It is validated by 23 peer-reviewed studies carried out in both developed and developing nations. They include the Middle East, Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America. Independent scientists and scholars endorse it, based on 25 years of research.
IDT Reduces Societal Stress
A specially trained military unit, an "IDT Prevention Wing of the Military" uses IDT to reduce stress in the national collective consciousness. IDT could also be introduced into other large groups such as the police forces, militias or the national guard. As the cross-border stress and frustration ease, the combatants are more capable of finding orderly and constructive solutions the issues that have separated them for generations.
Experience with IDT in other war-torn areas of the globe have demonstrated increased economic incentive and growth of prosperity. Entrepreneurship and individual creativity increase. With increased civic calm, people's aspirations are raised and a more productive and balanced society emerges. Such a society abhors violence as a means for change or as an expression of discontent. With this the ground for terrorism is eliminated. What is more fascinating is that this change takes place within a few days or weeks after IDT is introduced. The changes are measurable from such statistics as crime rates, accidents, hospital admissions, infant mortality, etc. The changes are measurable from such statistics as crime rates, accidents, hospital admissions, infant mortality, etc.
The IDT soldier's daily routine includes the practice of the Transcendental Meditation® technique and its advanced "TM-Sidhi program." As a societal coherence-creating military unit, soldiers practice these techniques together in a group twice a day, seven days a week, preferably in a secure location near the targeted population. Their presence need not be disclosed to achieve the effect of violence reduction and conflict resolution. Such coherence-creating groups have achieved positive benefits to society, shown experientially, in just 48 hours.
Modern statistical methods demonstrate a consistent causal influence of the IDT group on reducing the conflict and preclude chance or coincidence. The IDT approach has been used during wartime, resulting in reduction of fighting, reduced war deaths and casualties, and in speeding the progress toward resolving the conflict through peaceful means.
An Israeli civilian IDT group decreased the intensity of war in Lebanon in 1983 in a dramatic way in 48 hours, to name only one of 50 successful demonstrations. (See a summary of the Israel study published in the Journal of Conflict Resolution and summaries of follow-up studies in the Journal of Social Behavior and Personality and the Journal of Scientific Exploration).
Documented Transformation in Mozambique
In 1992, the Mozambique military carefully analyzed the IDT research and decided to try it. As predicted, violence disappeared by 1993 and Mozambique became more self-sufficient. Economic growth reached 19%. Once the world's poorest country in 1992, it had moved up to be the world's fastest-growing economy by 2000. Former Mozambique President Joaquim Alberto Chissano, who learned Transcendental Meditation himself, introduced it to his cabinet and then the armed forces. 19 years of civil war and drought ended and President Chissano is the first to give credit to IDT for this effect.
Mozambique continues to be a shining star for Africa and a model for development. President Chissano was awarded the inaugural Ibrahim Prize in recognition of the unprecedented positivity that unfolded throughout all Mozambique under his unique and wise guidance.
Real and lasting peace and prosperity for both sides can be assured, not by guesswork bombardment and rocket retaliation, but by a scientifically-verified means to end the decades-old cycle of violence. When the Israeli military adopts IDT it will become even more powerful and respected worldwide because this will be a demonstration of a peace technology the whole world can apply, for the betterment of all humanity.
It is important to note that the IDT defense technology supersedes all other known defense technologies (which are based on electronic, chemical, and/or nuclear forces).
IDT creates genuine and lasting reconciliation and friendship where there was once only hatred and conflict. The military that deploys this powerful human-resource-based technology disallows negative trends and prevents enemies from arising. No enemies means full security and a normal, productive life for Israel and her neighbors.
If Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu arranges for his defense forces to establish Prevention Wings of the Military, they will ease the current high tensions, reverse centuries of mistrust and hatred and permanently prevent future unrest.
Extensive scientific research objectively says, "Yes, the approach works." This is a military "campaign" that should be championed with "all means." It is desperately needed. There is truly no other solution.
Now is the best time to act, before the storm clouds of Middle East tensions explode.
About the author:
Picture of Dr. David Leffler
Dr. David Leffler is the author of "A New Role for the Military: Preventing Enemies from Arising - Reviving an Ancient Approach to Peace." He was a member of the US Air Force for nearly nine years. Dr. Leffler served as an Associate of the Proteus Management Group at the Center for Strategic Leadership, US Army War College. He now serves as the Executive Director at the Center for Advanced Military Science (CAMS) in Fairfield, Iowa and teaches IDT. He is on Twitter and Facebook.
| by Michael R. Czinkota
( August 27, 2014, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) The conflicts between Russia and Ukraine, has led to Western against Russia. Some Russian officials no longer can travel abroad, and international investment and trade are restricted. Russian President Vladimir Putin, in turn, plans retaliatory sanctions against the U.S. and Western Europe by restricting Russian food imports and energy exports.
Key differences exist between Russia and western nations regarding profit, competition, risk and reward, private property and growth, and how they affect the outcome of sanctions.
In the U.S., profit is the expected result of doing business, and low profits are usually blamed on management. By contrast, lower profits in Russia allow its government to shift the blame onto foreign culprits.
Private property is a key reward in the United States, while in Russia ‘private’ often means responsibility and risk exposure. Since growth is key in the U.S., any inhibitors of growth are seen with concern. A wide variety of economic performance in Russia, makes its growth much less of a pressure point.
Sanctions against the U.S. may burden the population and lead to new candidates and policies. In Russia, the sacrifices imposed by sanctions seem to indicate dedication and strength. Declining U.S. profits or growth cause doomsday scenarios, while time is expected to bring economic improvement.
Losing out on the very latest technology means falling behind for Americans. For Russians, pretty good technology is a pretty good achievement. Russian ownership of space ferries and satellites and their use by the U.S. makes them proud.
Russia’s size of 6.6 million square miles makes it the largest country in the world. The 300 million U.S. population more than doubles that of Russia. Still, the Russian market is of great importance for many global firms.
There are only few historical rewards for former leaders. For example, though Greece invented the Olympic Games, no points are given for that ancient super action. Going first with the Greek flag when marching into the Olympic Stadium is just about all there is. Russia may well see its existing strength and market size as an opportunity for leadership.
We all are said to understand each other so much better than in the past. Yet, much of our thinking is based on our history, culture and outlook. They define our spheres of interest, which we aim to preserve. Ukraine, for example, will tend to be closer to Russia than to the United States. The average Russian understands as much about Columbus, Ohio as the average American does about Sevastopol.
Global relationships between Russia, Asia, Europe and the United States are being re-balanced. Key changes are likely to come from outside the United States. It would be unwise to undertake transformations without dampening the key concerns of key players on all sides.
Prof. Michael R. Czinkota researches international marketing issues at Georgetown University. He served in trade policy positions in the George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan administrations. His International Marketing text (with I. Ronkainen) is now in its 10th edition. Kimberly Boeckmann participated in drafting this work.
| by Ruwantissa Abeyratne
( August 27, 2014, 2014, Montreal, Sri Lanka Guardian) I have been in aviation management for 31 years, during which I was also a university teacher and consultant involved in teaching aviation managers. If I were to be asked to recommend a good book for any management curriculum or programme, one book I would recommend without reservation is Chris Hadfield's An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth (Random House:2013). In his book, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, one of the most accomplished astronauts in the world and former Commander of the International Space Station, not only proffers compelling wisdom to manage men and matters from the perspective of an astronaut, but also eloquently relates how his impossible dream of becoming an astronaut came true, because he made that dream come true through a carefully contrived process of formulation.
Hadfield's achievement brought to mind the famous quote by management guru Peter Drucker who said: "The best way to predict your future is to create it". It also gives justification to the quote : "if you want to achieve something you never achieved before, you have to do something you've never done before". In Drucker's words: "If you want something new, you've got to stop doing something old"
But first to management according to Hadfield. He says: " No astronaut, no matter how brilliant or brave, is a solo act. Our expertise is the result of training provided by thousands of experts around the world...we should behave the same way whether we are meeting with a head of State or a seventh grade science class, Frankly, this makes good sense even if you are not an astronaut. You never really know who will have a say in where you wind up. It could be the CEO. But it might well be the receptionist".
Hadfield is clear that every single astronaut has to be super competitive. He maintains that, in that highly competitive world, it will be disastrous both for the success of a space mission and for an astronaut's career, if one tries to better one's colleagues to score a brownie point. So obviously, snakes in suits who try to come up in their professions by cutting other's throats or depriving others of positions gained through merit who are more qualified for a position, would be a complete liability.
In his words: " One thing hasn't changed, though: Astronauts are extremely competitive...so how do you take a group of hyper-competitive people and get them to hyper-cooperate, to the point where they seek opportunities to help one another shine? it's a bit like gathering a group of sprinters and telling them that, effective immediately, they'll be running an eternal relay. They've still got to run as fast as they can, only now, they've got to root for their teammates to run even faster. They have to figure out how to hand off the baton smoothly so that the next person in line has an even better shot at success than they did".
This approach is consistent with that of Peter Drucker who said that a person who never thinks of the word "I" but always thinks of "we" gets the job done. He understands his job to be to get the work done.
Hadfield goes on to say that there is no such thing as an accidental astronaut. Ever since as a child he watched Neil Armstrong walk on the moon in 1969, he knew what he wanted to be and he worked relentlessly at it . He shows that achieving his dream to become an astronaut upended the saying "don't sweat the small stuff" because astronauts always sweat the details and to become one, you've got to treat every detail as equally important.
Management is tenacity of purpose. As Hadfield says about himself: "competence means keeping your head in a crisis, sticking with a task even when it seemed hopeless, and improvising good solutions to tough problems even when every second counts. It encompasses ingenuity, determination and being prepared for anything."
Another lesson Hadfield conveys is about the humility and courage required to be able to face criticism:
"In NASA, everyone's a critic. Over the years, hundreds of people weigh in on our performance on a regular basis. Our biggest blunders are put under the microscope so even more people can be made aware of them". " Check out what Hadfield did - let's be sure no one ever does that again". Drucker says along the same lines: " what's measured, improves" and "knowledge has to be improved, challenged and increased constantly, or it vanishes".
Unfortunately, in most institutions, including one I have worked in, knowledge is killed; libraries are closed; research and publications discouraged with stringent and threatening staff notices, and above all, unsackable and under-qualified bootlickers resistant to change and lacking creativity are appointed through political intervention and favouritism. All this establishes a certain "creative inertia" that gives a causal illusion that much creative work being done through leadership, only to result in fundamentally flawed and often erroneous work that is repetitive of what has already been done.
Hadfield says: " It's not enough to shelve your own competitive streak. You have to try, consciously, to help others succeed. Some people feel this is like shooting themselves in the foot - why aid someone else in creating a competitive advantage? I don't look at it that way. Helping someone else look good doesn't make me feel worse. In fact, it often improves my own performance, particularly in stressful situations".
An astronaut's guide to management seems a decided antithesis to management by snakes in suits. In an earlier article published in this journal I said: " Perhaps the most dangerous snake in a suit is what author Aaron James calls an “asshole”. In his book “Assholes: A Theory” (published in October 2012) James, a Ph.D (Harvard) philosopher who is an Associate Professor, University of California, Ervine, has an implied analogy which matches the profile of a snake in a suit. James writes that assholes populate the vast moral middle ground between the two (rapists and murderers) . They are more than the average schmuck one finds in the workplace and act out of a deep-rooted sense of entitlement, a habitual and persistent belief that they deserve special treatment. The true asshole, James writes, “is immunized by his sense of entitlement against the complaints of other people. He is narcissistic, self-absorbed, impolite, and permanently thoughtless to those around him—and it is almost always a him—nearly to the point of sociopathy”( here I disagree as there are females who fit into this category as well)".
It seems we have much to learn from astronauts.
The author is a former Senior Legal Officer at the International Civil Aviation Organization where he worked for 23 years.
| by Uri Avnery
( August 24, 2014, Tel Avie, Sri Lanka Guardian) THE WAR was over. Families returned to their kibbutzim near Gaza. Kindergartens opened up again. A ceasefire was in force and extended again and again. Obviously, both sides were exhausted.
And then, suddenly, the war came back.
What happened? Well, Hamas launched rockets against Beersheba in the middle of the ceasefire.
Why? No why. You know how the terrorists are. Bloodthirsty. They can’t help it. Just like scorpions.
But it is not so simple.
THE CAIRO talks were near success, or so it seemed. But Binyamin Netanyahu was in trouble. He hid the Egyptian draft agreement for a long ceasefire even from his cabinet colleagues. They learned about it only from the media, which disclosed it from Palestinian sources.
Apparently, the draft said that the blockade would be greatly relaxed, if not officially ended. Talks about the building of a port and airport were to start within a month.
What? What did Israel get out of this? After all the shooting and killing, with 64 Israeli soldiers dead, after all the grandiose speeches about our resounding victory, was that all? No wonder Netanyahu tried to hide the document.
The Israeli delegation was called home without signing. The exasperated Egyptian mediators got another 24 hour extension of the ceasefire. It was to expire at midnight on Tuesday, but everybody on both sides expected it to be extended again and again. And then it happened.
At about 16.00 hours, three rockets were fired at Beersheba and fell into open spaces. No warning sirens. Curiously enough, Hamas denied having launched them, and no other Palestinian organization took responsibility. This was strange. After every previous launching from Gaza, some Palestinian organization has always proudly claimed credit.
As usual, Israeli airplanes promptly started to retaliate and bombed buildings in the Gaza Strip. As usual, rockets rained down on Israel. (I heard the interceptions in Tel Aviv).
BUSINESS AS usual? Not quite.
First it became known that an hour before the rockets came in, the Israeli population near Gaza was warned by the army to prepare their shelters and “safe spaces”.
Then it appeared that the first Gaza building hit belonged to the family of a Hamas military commander. Three people were killed, among them a baby and his mother.
And then the news spread: It was the family of Mohammed Deif, the commander of the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas. (Qassam was a Palestinian hero, the first rebel against British rule in Palestine in the 1930s. He was hunted down and killed by the British.) Among those killed this Tuesday were Deif’s wife and baby son. But it seems that Deif himself was not there.
That in itself is no wonder. Deif has survived at least four attempts to assassinate him. He has lost an eye and several limbs, but always came out alive.
All around him, his successive commanders, political and military peers and subordinates, dozens of them, have been assassinated throughout the years. But he has led a charmed life.
Now he heads the Israeli hit list, the most wanted and hunted Palestinian activist. He is the No. 1 “Son of Death”, a rather biblical appellation used in Israel for those marked for assassination.
Like most inhabitants of the Gaza Strip, Deif is a child of refugees from Israel. His family comes from the village Kawkaba, now in Israel, not far from Gaza. I passed through it in the 1948 war, before it was razed to the ground.
For the Israeli Security Service, he is a prize for which it is well worth breaking the ceasefire and reigniting the war.
FOR MANY security agencies around the world, including the American and the Russian, assassination is a sport and an art.
Israel claims to hold the gold medal.
An assassination is a complicated operation. It requires a lot of time, expertise, patience and luck. The operators have to recruit informers near the victim, install electronic devices, obtain precise information about his every movement, execute their design within minutes once the opportunity presents itself.
Because of this, there is no time for confirmation from above. Perhaps the Security Service (usually called Shin Bet) got permission from Netanyahu, its sole political chief, perhaps not.
They obviously were informed that Deif was visiting his family. That was a golden opportunity. For months, indeed for years, Deif has been living underground, in the literal sense – somewhere in the maze of tunnels his men had dug beneath the Strip. He was never sighted.
Since the beginning of this war, all the other prominent Hamas leaders have also been living under the ground. From Ismail Haniyeh down, not one of them has been seen. The unlimited command of the air by Israeli planes and drones makes this advisable. Hamas has no anti-air weapons.
It seems to me highly unlikely that Deif would risk his life by visiting his family. But Shin Bet obviously got a lead and believed it. The three strange rockets fired on Beersheba provided the pretext for breaking the ceasefire, and so the war started again.
Real aficionados of the art of assassination are not very interested in the political or military consequences of their actions. “Art for art’s sake”.
A propos, the last Gaza war, two years ago, started the same way. The Israeli army assassinated the de-facto al-Qassam leader, Ahmed Jaabari. The ensuing war with its many hundreds of dead was just collateral damage.
Jaabari was at the time filling in for Deif, who was convalescing in Cairo.
ALL THIS is, of course, much too complicated for American and European diplomats. They like simple stories.
The White House immediately reacted to the resumption of hostilities by condemning the Hamas launching of rockets and reaffirming that “Israel has a right to defend itself”. The Western media parroted this line.
For Netanyahu, whether he knew in advance of the assassination attempt or not, it was a way out of a dilemma. He was in the unfortunate position of many leaders in history who start a war and do not know how to get out of it.
In a war, a leader makes grandiloquent speeches, promises victory and bountiful achievements. These promises seldom come true. (If they do, like in Versailles 1919, that may be even worse.)
Netanyahu is a gifted marketing man, if nothing else. He promised a lot, and the people believed him and gave him a 77% rating. The Egyptian draft proposal for a permanent ceasefire, though markedly pro-Israel, fell far short of a victory for Israel. It only confirmed that the war ended in a draw. Netanyahu’s own cabinet was rebellious, public opinion was souring perceptibly. The resumption of the war got him out of this hole.
But what now?
BOMBING THE Gaza population draws more and more criticism from world public opinion. It also has lost its appeal in Israel. The maxim “Let’s bomb them until they stop hating us” obviously does not work.
The alternative is to enter the Gaza Strip and occupy it completely, so that even Deif and his men have to come up to the surface to be assassinated. But that is a dangerous proposition.
When I was a soldier in the 1948 war, we were taught never to get into a situation which leaves the enemy no way out. In such a case, he will fight to the end, causing many casualties.
There is no way out of the Gaza Strip. If the Israeli army is sent to conquer the entire Strip, the fighting will be ferocious, causing hundreds of Israeli and thousands of Palestinian dead and injured, and untold destruction. The Prime Minister will be one of the political victims.
Netanyahu is fully aware of that. He doesn’t want it. But what else can he do? One can almost pity the man.
He can of course, order the army to occupy only parts of the Strip, a village here, a town there. But that will also spread death and destruction, to no manifest gain. In the end, public discontent will be the same.
Hamas threatened this week to open “the gates of hell” for us. This hardly affects the inhabitants of Tel Aviv, but for the villages and towns near Gaza this is really hell. Casualties are few, but fear is devastating. Families with children leave en masse. When calm returns, they try to go home, but then the next rockets drive them away again.
Their plight evokes a very strong emotional response throughout the country. No politician can ignore it. Least of all the Prime Minister. He needs to end the war. He also needs a clear image of victory. But how to achieve this?
The Egyptian dictator tries to help. So does Barack Obama, though he is furious with Netanyahu and hates his guts. So does Mahmoud Abbas, who is afraid of a Hamas victory.
But as of now, the man who has the final decision is the Son of Death, Mohammed Deif, if he is alive and kicking. If not, his successor.
If he is alive, the assassination of his wife and baby son may not have made him gentler and more peaceable.
Uri Avnery is peace activist, journalist, writer, founding member, Gush Shalom (peace bloc), independent peace movement (1993) former publisher and editor-in-chief, Haolam Hazeh news magazine (1950-1990) former member of the Knesset (three terms: 1965-1969, 1969-1973, 1979-1981) founding member, Israeli Council for Israeli-Palestinian Peace (1975). He is famous for crossing the lines during the Battle of Beirut to meet Yassir Arafat on 3 July 1982, the first time the Palestinian leader ever met with an Israeli.
| by A Special correspondent
( August 25, 2014, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) It is learned that a Muslim lady called Rizana has joined Sri Lankan army recently. This is the first time in the history of Sri Lankan Muslim a female Muslim joined the Sri Lankan army. Along with 35 Tamil ladies this Muslim lady has got army training and graduated with after three months of initial training.
This lady has really opened the eyes of Muslim leadership and I hope that this would create vigorous debates among Muslim leadership. While 60% Muslims are languishing in poverty this lady should have opened the eyes of Muslims and has given an impetus to Muslim women to wake up Muslims to render a wonderful service to our mother land.
I’m sure that this unprecedented event should have created some religious controversies among Muslim clerics in Sri Lanka. For some it may be haram for Muslim ladies in Sri Lanka to join armed forces and for some others it may be a despicable act for Muslim ladies to work in armed forces in Sri Lanka. For some others it may be OK for Muslim ladies to join and work with Sri Lankan forces. For some Salafi fanatics this may be clear cut religious innovation and an act of rebellion against religion. Yet, for some others it this event may be an eye opener to gauge the prevailing socio-religious and political conditions of Muslims living under Non Muslim environments. Muslim minorities should reconsider and revaluate many issues like this when they live under non- Muslim political environments.
I’m not here to issue religious verdict on this issue rather I would like to provoke thoughts of Muslims to see and gauge this issue practically and viably rather than debating this issue dogmatically and academically. This event tells us the ground reality of Sri Lankan Muslims.
Some questions are relevant in this regard. Why did this lady join the army? What make her to join the army? Is it poverty that made to take this path? Or is it her democratic right or is it her patriotic feeling that made her to do this? Is it something else made her to join SL army? What are consequences of such act? Will others follow her? Is it an isolated incident? What does Sri Lankan government’s special provision to meet religious needs of such Muslims joining the Army? Do they have halal food provisions? Do they have other religious facilities for Muslim ladies in the army and how could they preserve their religious rites and identities. These are some of the questions that we should clarify on this issue. Can we blame her for her decision or our community should take responsibility for issue. It is communal duty and responsibility to deal with issue like. Can our politicians make some special provision for Muslims who want to join in the forces
There are nearly 400 hundreds thousands armed forces in Sri Lanka and yet, Tamil and Muslim represent less than % 3 of all these forces. It is high time that Muslims and Tamils reconsider this issue and fully participate in the services of armed forces. It is a democratic right of Tamil and Muslim to do so. Of course, Sinhalese might have some still physiological fear of Tamil joining for Sri Lankan forces and yet, there is no reason why Muslim should not join the armed forces.
Today, social reality of Sri Lankan is totally different Muslim boys should have courage and bravery to join army and represent Muslims in all forces. Muslim leaders should encourage them to do so. Firstly it is a collective duty of Muslims to defend the country and show our loyalty to the nation and secondly, this would create employment opportunities for Muslims in Sri Lanka in general.
This lady has really opened the eyes of Muslim leadership and I hope that this would create vigorous debates among Muslim leadership. While 60% Muslims are languishing in poverty this lady should have opened the eyes of Muslims and has given an impetus to Muslim women to wake up Muslims to render a wonderful service to our mother land. This should be an exemplary precedent for all others and to show our loyalty and parasitism to our mother land for the Muslims who are born and brought up in this Island.
In the past we Muslims have made tremendous contributions in the defence of this great nation and this lady has come forward to show our loyalty to Island and should be encouraged and welcome by all.