All Hail the new Republic!
So Nepal has finally arrived. Through years of struggle against autocratic rule, through years of false democracy and strife to the people, through civil wars and a Maoist uprising, through a right royal bloodbath and a king in a coma and finally through the overthrowing of an evil monarch who by all senses of the word was a paranoid control freak, the forces of true democracy have come!
Ok, maybe that passage there was a bit too dramatic and biased by usual journalistic standards, but they just represent the general public sentiment that I believe must be prevailing in Nepal right now. The Maoist have gone as far as to ask the king to leave the royal palace within a week and they have made their intentions clear to turn it into a museum. Also they have been kind enough to allow the former king to ‘live in the country as an ‘ordinary civilian’. So if King Gyanendra was expecting British royal family like treatment then he obviously has a lot more rethinking to do. After seizing all power and dissolving parliament last year and holding what many denounced to be staged elections, the old king looks to have brought down this fate upon himself.
But the new Maoist leader Prachanda (A nick-name im sure a lot of us Sri Lankans will be wondering about) is willing to consider giving the king some sort of role within the constituency if that is the ‘will of the people.
The downfall of the monarchy was speeded up all the more after the massacre of 2001 where the then crown prince Dipendra shot and killed most of the royal family (including then king and his father King Birendra) before apparently turning the weapon upon himself and missing the shot badly enough that he was in a coma for a few days until succumbing to his injuries and was proclaimed king in the meanwhile as well.
The Nepalese seem to have never fully accepted the circumstances and the explanations widely spread with regard to the royal massacre and several conspiracy theories abound. The most famous of course named the real culprit of the killings to be King Gyanendra himself who of course being next in-line to the throne after Dipendra, stood most to gain from the killing of the existing king and the disposal of the person next in line.
Dipendra was a PHD holder and said to be quite skilled in the art of karate. He was Eton educated and was incidentally disciplined in that school for selling alcohol. This is an insignificant fact of course; we all get up to nonsense get disciplined in school. But such a fact can be used to definitely tarnish someone’s character and even make him look like he is even capable of mass murder in the hands of an artful propagandist. The most voiced of the conspiracy theorists claims are that Dipendra was a right handed man, but he shot himself on the left side of his head. Now why would that happen?
There is a new book detailing eyewitness accounts of what happened that night and a former palace worker details how she saw individuals ‘masked’ as the crown prince opening fire. Incidentally Gyanendra’s wife and son were also present that night and his wife escaped with minor injury while his son walked away uninjured. Gyanendra himself was away from the palace at the time of the incident.
If anyone was lookin for a motive; Dipendra was claimed to have been angry at his parents for their refusal to grant permission to marry his first love from a rival family. Sounds a bit like Romeo and Juliet from a parallel universe eh.
The way the wind blows
Prachanda Is said to be inspired by Peru’s Shining Path rebels and is said to be a bit on the puritanical side outlawing alcohol and denouncing 'vulgar literature' from India and the States.
Whatever the implications of this new rule will be it will not go unnoticed by Nepal’s two regional powers India and China. India has a long history of political manipulation in the Nepalese Government and obviously Maoists in rule there would provoke fears of China’s hidden influence. Meanwhile, Mr. Prachanda (Fierce one) holds the reigns of this republic and we will soon see which way she leans after she completely wakes up.
All Hail the new Republic!
5:26 PM | | 1 Comments
Jimmy gets vocal
Former US president Jimmy Carter states that Israel has over 150 nuclear weapons in its arsenal. He also reiterates his belief that Israel’s suppression of the civilians in the West Bank is "One of the greatest human rights crimes on earth is the starvation and imprisonment of 1.6m Palestinians," well really Mister Carter thanks for saying that and still showing your support for Israel ‘As a country’??? (Quotes; the BBC).
The big dog
In the same story former Israeli Military intelligence chief Aharon Zeevi-Farkash has told Reuters that he finds Mr. Carters comments “irresponsible” and goes on to say that "The problem is that there are those who can use these statements when it comes to discussing the international effort to prevent Iran getting nuclear weapons," he said. Oh, he must mean the few of us with a bit of sense in our heads who can somehow find the brains to ask the question; “If you can possess nuclear weapons, why can’t anyone else??”
Sir, would you please let us protect you in exchange for some entertainment for our troops?
UN peacekeeping sexually abusing children? Well that certainly seems to be the case in Africa where one 13 year old girl claims to have been gang raped by ten (that’s right TEN) peacekeeping soldiers and left bleeding cold and vomiting in the ground in a field near her Ivory Coast home. Other incidents of such a nature have been reporter from Sudan and Haiti and that’s only because a research was carried out in these areas. If that study was never done by we would go on being ignorant of these heinous crimes. And to think the UN positions itself as the savior of the world? What are they going to do about this?
In two more interesting news stories, one Peruvian politician has come under fire for popping a bullet in a neighbor’s dog which was ‘bothering his ducks’ and Canada’s foreign minister has resigned after leaving a classified document in a ‘non-secure’ place (an ex-girlfriend’s apartment) . Man, am I glad our Sri Lankan politicians are not rogues like these. Arent you?
His presidential rallies have the feel of rock concerts and his appeal among the young and dynamic seems universal. This has been the most spotlighted presidential race in the world so far and most of the spotlight seems to have been so far, on him. A self proclaimed prophet of change like him would obviously generate a lot of attention and that is all very well, but how much of his promised change is substantial fact and figure and how much has just been created by his charismatic persona alone?
Some say it’s the very image of Obama that makes him such a beacon-focus. He’s Black, his parents are immigrants and he embodies the very opposite in what has been the general American presidential stereotype. So when Obama promises change, everybody believes him because Obama embodies change. He is probably going to be the most different American president in history. But does ‘difference’ actually mean ‘change’? Or does it mean just a superficial change for a seemingly superficial difference?
On the other hand if threats to a candidate’s security are any indication of his/her potential for revolutionary status quo overturning change, then Mr. Obama seems to have a lead there over anyone else. He was the first to accept secret service protection last year long before it is offered to most presidential candidates, because of unspecified threats. But talks of threats to the life of a candidate leads to uncomfortable talk of assassination and incidentally Hilary Clinton succeeded in angering Obama supporters when she tactlessly brought up the Bobby Kennedy assassination to indicate (of all things under the sun) how unpredictable a nomination race is.
Now on a more ominous note, let us look at two previous democrats John F. Kennedy and his younger brother Robert. Both were assassinated for reasons for the explanation of which various conspiracy theories have been put forward. But both had a cult following born of their charisma and inspiring rhetoric both, context shows us, were strong agents for change.
Anyone who really thinks the US of A is solely ruled by the president and no other probably needs to get to their nearest clinic to get a reality check. Sure there is congress and the rest of the politicos but the large American corporates have a bigger part to play than their low profile in politics might indicate. Lobby groups aside, presidential campaign funds don’t totally come from small time donors. And if and when a particular candidate comes into power he will be expected to repay these donors by granting them political favors. Not democratic? Well of course not, how can democracy be democracy when it is commercialized and there is good money at stake. Money invested almost always means interest in getting a benefit out of that investment and even if that benefit might mean just a ‘better place to live in’ for small time donors it could hardly mean the same for the big –time corporate who contributes in the millions.
If Barrack Obama is such an agent for revolutionary change as most of his supporters seem to think, then that change would have to be the same plans on the agenda of the corporate and the other power players in the American political scene for it to have any success in implementation. So far, all we have seen from the man is brilliant rhetoric and little evidence of his actual plans for change, a fact that even his followers seem to agree with.
6:10 PM | | 1 Comments
Latest estimates by UN state that the poorest of the world could be paying 40% more for their basic food needs than what they are paying now. That is 40% that they do not have. Most of these people are stuck in countries with high inflation rates and volatile economies and the prospect of earning more money to meet their needs are, well, not very good.
In a world dominated by the prosperous and where concerns over rising fuel prices take precedence over food prices increasing amounts of food crops have been used to produce fuels for the engines of our cars. Countries like Brazil and the US have been pioneers in this department. You see food crops like corn and sugarcane can produce ethanol and that is a wonderful substitute for the use of petrol.
Big Oil is also in it up to their shirtsleeves and farmers prefer using their land to cultivate these fuel crops because they can generate more money than they would if they cultivated regular food crops. Governments have tried to control the amount of farmland used for this purpose by imposing restrictions but it appears that the amount of biofuels produced have increased as demand grows in response to skyrocketing crude oil prices.
As of late though, there has been an increasing trend to move away from fuels produced using farmland as ethical concerns raise their heads, there is still ongoing activity in this sector. But can the food crisis be totally attributed to this factor?
Desertification, changing weather patterns as well as increasing numbers of mouths to feed and land being used for purposes of industrialization and real estate has squeezed our available resource base for viable food production for all of the world’s citizens. Already, major rice exporters have stopped their exports amid fears of local supply problems and there is talk of there being an OPEC like cartel for the major rice producing economies. If such a cartel materialized that would give rise to global rice prices and would make the food market increasingly susceptible to market speculation and perhaps be the next most profitable commodity after oil.
This would not be an ideal situation for the future of the world. Food needs to be easily accessible to all of us as that constitutes a basic need of everybody. Lack of food would cause mass uprisings all over the world the like of which we have already witnessed in Haiti. But with populations increasing, cultivatable land decreasing, the last thing the powerful should do is go on living their protected lives and pretend the problem does not exist (no direct offense to the gentleman with the extra large burgher intended).
Hitler, in his early days, saw one solution to assist the survival of his race. He exterminated millions of innocents to make way for the ‘powerful’ and to secure resources for his people. The last thing we need is another guy like that coming into the scene.
Einstein said; "I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones." I don’t mean to be over dramatic and apocalyptic or anything but if the world spirals into more and more conflict and we start witnessing increasingly similar trends like more and more frustrations between nuclear powered nations, competition for energy, and now, food resources, something will have to give if the world doesn’t wake up and realize that there is some serious damage that needs to be repaired.
If you are reading this, please spread the message. Talk about these problems to people, now I’m not asking you to start waving your respective religious texts on street corners and turn into modern day prophets of doom or anything, I am just asking you to develop an interest. Read the news, but learn to think for yourselves. Get a sense of the environment we are living in. If we can unite, we can change the world.
Has the world always been this complex and problematic or are they just symptoms of recurring times? Did people before us feel as overwhelmed with what is going on in the world or did they have it much easier? Os is it just the fact that we have so many sources of information that we are just bombarded with it from all sides? Is the media so intent on providing us with all the information that they could possibly conceive that we have turned the world into a mass of people either making things happen, experiencing things that are happening, or hearing about it in the news and experiencing it in our minds?
Is this a good thing? Well as far as knowing things goes, well knowledge is always a good thing. But are we being duped into believing that everything we hear is all there is to be heard? How far does the so called ‘power of the media’ spread in this modern day and age? For instance, if the JFK Assassination or the Trip to the Moon or the whole Area 51 scenario took place today; would we really know the truth about these things? Consider 9/11; Bin Laden, the Iraq war and all these other conspiracies that occur today? How much hidden truth has the potential to completely overturn what we know about these things today?
Wait a minute, why is this guy only talking about things that happen in the US? I hear that little person inside your head inquire, in an okaay-I-think-we-are-dealing-with-a-conspiracy-nut-here tone of voice; but let me tell you, there is no smoke without fire, unless that smoke was created in the first place to distract everybody from whole different kind of fire burning something that never even crossed your mind and never would, provided that the smoke used as a cover gets you so high you’ll be stoned on it for centuries. And every single phenomenon described In the first paragraph, has its own hidden story behind it. It may or may not be significant, but without knowing the complete truth, we may never know.
Do you get what I am trying to say? Cover-ups and concealments happen all around us. And the media is not powerful enough yet to even claim the publicizing of the Whole Truth all the time. Anywhere there is anybody in power who has something to lose by the revelation of information; there will be a suppressing of the channels that reveal that information. And information is knowledge and knowledge, as we all know; is power therefore the media is an important tool in the distribution and decentralization of nothing less than power.
Power to the people? Well that’s a very comforting notion isn’t it? But let us not forget who controls the media. Who? You ask. The powerful that’s who. Fine, so you are saying that the media, which controls the distribution of power; being owned by the powerful, will try to control that distribution to benefit non- other than themselves?
Exactly. That is exactly what I am saying.
Any arguments on that? If you have visited this as-yet obscure blog and did read this article so far, your comments are always welcome.