Kalugu

Insight into South Asia

10 Questions to World Leaders

Honorable US President Mr. Obama, US Secretary of state Mrs. Clinton, UK Prime minister Gordon  Brown, Norway Minister Eric Solheim, most importantly UN Secretary General Mr. Ban ki moon,

Civilians in Internment Camps behind barbed fences

About quarter million civilians are in Internment Camps behind barbed fences. About 20,000 wounded are in need of immediate assistance. Food, Water and Medicine are in immediate need.

Even after the SL government claims to have won the war, President Rajapakse is busy celebrating his victory, while the Tamils are struggling for their lives, living at the mercy of the Sinhalese prison guards, without food, water and medicine.

Yet, the IC, UN, Red Cross and all World Organizations are watching the happenings without any action.

If you could touch your heart and answer even one of these questions truthfully, you are justified to be in the seat that you occupy.  

  1. What is stopping Mr. Rajapakse from allowing international help to reach the affected area? Is it because he needs his people to clear up all evidences to the genocide, in the name of clearing land mines?
  2. Why is there no Tamil in the Srilankan Army? Can those aristocrats in Delhi, Washington, London, France care to answer or comment.
  3. Weren’t the TNA MPs democratically elected? Then why is that their input is not taken into consideration in any of the decisions taken by the World Organizations?
  4. Millions of Tamils around the world have fled their home country Sri Lanka. Is it because, they wanted to tour the world?
  5. Those millions worldwide demonstrated in support of LTTE, and described LTTE as their freedom fighters. Are all of them hardened terrorists, as the Srilankan President Rajapakse is claiming?
  6. When will Rajapakse allow international aid to reach the Tamils? Or does he think that it is not necessary? Why was the ICRC thrown out of Srilanka?
  7. When will the reporters be allowed to report freely from the affected areas? What is the status of investigations carried out in the case of the reporters who have been killed? Why were the UK journalists thrown out of Srilanka?
  8. Why have the SL Government arrested the doctors who reported casualty figures from the war front? Also, why any one who raises his voice against the government, even if they are civilians or reporters, arrested and investigated?
  9. What is the function of UN? You might think that this is a stupid question, but I bet if anyone can provide an answer and prove that the answer is justified by quoting the activities of UN.
  10. How come Mr. Rajapakse has not yet mentioned about what he intends to do to protect the rights of the Tamils? Is he going to think of a plan when he has time after his victory bash?

Indian leaders from Delhi, Chinese Communists and Japanese war mongers are excluded from these questions, as this is directed to those who have some basic dignity and humanity.  

Note to Mr. Ban Ki Moon: Please do not ask advice from the following people

  1. Mr. Vijay Nambiar who goes for a leisure tour to Srilanka every few days and says everything is fine.
  2. Mr. Pranab Mukherjee who has been assigned to look out for investment opportunities in Srilanka, on behalf of Mdm. Sonia Gandhi.
  3. Mr. Manmohan singh, as he cannot answer without Mdm. Sonia Gandhi’s permission. So kindly do not disturb him.

Written by Joy Arun

Joy Arun is an engineer who also works to spread education to the needy. He believes education is the foundation for a healthy society.

Filed under: Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, Politics, World, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Orhan Pamuk: a true hero of our times!

The first Turkish national who comes to my mind is Orhan Pamuk. I think he is the greatest Turk of the present age and one of the greatest Turks of all time!

Yes, this post is about Ferit Orhan Pamuk, the Nobel Prize winning Turkish novelist and professor of literature. He is one of Turkey’s foremost novelists whose work has been translated into more than fifty languages. He has won numerous national and international literary awards and is the first Turk to receive a Nobel Prize. He studied architecture briefly but went on to graduate from the Institute of Journalism at the University of Istanbul. I have not read any of his books so far, but I greatly admire him for another reason. Read more about this great man here.
Orhan Pamuk
So we would expect such a wonderful human being and a patriotic Turk to be treated as a hero in his own motherland, wouldn’t we? Afterall, here is a man who loves his country but more importantly, is a good human being who prefers to look at the truth.

But the reality is different from the truth! Very different indeed!

Orhan was treated like a criminal! A hate campaign was started and criminal charges were brought against him and he was forced to flee his country! But he made the most courageous decision to return to his beloved motherland and face the false charges against him! Due to an international outcry, the criminal charges against him were dropped! But some scoundrels did not stop with that! There was a group of criminal assassins who even plotted to kill Orhan and others!

But why was he treated like this? The only reason is because he chose to speak the truth!

In an interview, Orhan had stated, “Thirty thousand Kurds and a million Armenians were killed in these lands and nobody dares to talk about it“. In another interview, he said that he wanted to defend the freedom of speech, which was Turkey’s only hope for coming to terms with its history, “What happened to the Ottoman Armenians in 1915 was a major thing that was hidden from the Turkish nation; it was a taboo. But we have to be able to talk about the past.

Now, that is a courageous decision to stand up for the freedom of speech and for the truth by a man who is admired by many for his contribution to Turkey and the world!

But he was treated like a common criminal! Orhan is no killer or liar or cheat or anti-national! He is the exact opposite of those evil types!

It does not surprise me in the least, though. I know why he was treated like that by some of his own fellow citizens. This is the sad reality that honest people have to go through! Why do we do this to such wonderful people? Why do we ask them to shut up, abuse them, ill-treat them, batter them, hurt them, offend them, call them names, put them in prison, torture them emotionally and even try to kill them?

What wrong have they done? What crime have they committed? Why the hell should they be treated like that for daring to speak the truth? Why the hell should they be treated like that by people who don’t want to come to terms with the truth? Why on Earth should they be treated like that for speaking out against oppression? Is it such a great crime for a patriotic citizen to suggest that his fellow citizens should come to terms with the truth so that everyone in that country can have a bright future?

I always admire such great men and women! They are the only hope for our planet! They are the only hope for civilisation! When war, genocide, crime, corruption, greed and pollution are destroying our beautiful planet and all her sons and daughters, it is people like the brave and courageous Orhan who will save Mother Earth from the brink of disaster! They are the greatest heroes of our times! They are the greatest sons and daughters of their countries and of Mother Earth and Father Time!

Orhan, don’t worry about those people who have treated you the way they have! For every such person, there is another person who is more patriotic and more human who will defend you! Turkey is indeed blessed to have a son like you, Orhan! People like you are the last hope for their countries and for our planet!

Written by An-alien-Earthling

An alien Earthling, a.k.a Raj, is a blogger whose interests include current affairs, technology and sports. He is an engineer by profession.

Filed under: Arts, Asia, Europe, Politics, World, , , , , , , , , ,

UK should restore the sovereignty of Tamil Nation in Sri Lanka

Written by Malarthamil.

Malarthamil is a civil engineer and writer-poet inspired by Thirukkural.

des-browne

Mr Des Browne - Appointed as special envoy for Sri Lanka by UK

On February 12 2009, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom appointed the Right Honorable Des Browne MP as his Special Envoy for Sri Lanka to focus on the immediate humanitarian situation in northern Sri Lanka and the Government of Sri Lanka’s work to set out a political solution to the ethnic conflict.

But the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his cabinet said the appointment was “unhelpful” and was made without consulting them. A foreign ministry statement said the appointment was tantamount to an “intrusion of Sri Lanka’s internal affairs”. accusing the UK “unilaterally” appointing him.
However any political observer can conclude that the appointment of Special Envoy only shows the historical continuity of the close involvement of UK in the politics of the Sri Lanka in the last two centuries .and if watched in that context it is clearly understood that Sri Lanka is accusing UK for interference only to cover up the failure of the Sri Lankan state in their commitments towards the Tamil people.

Portuguese took possession of the island in 1505 when there were Two Sovereign Sinhalese kingdoms in the south west and One Sovereign Tamil Kingdom in the north east OF Sri Lanka. Dutch usurped control in 1658 and British took over only in 1796.

In 1799 , Sir Hugh Cleghorn, the first British Colonial Secretary wrote to the British Government… ….Two different nations from a very ancient period have divided between them the possession of the Island. First the Sinhalese, inhabiting the interior of the country in its Southern and Western parts, and secondly the Malabars (Tamils) who possess the Northern and Eastern Districts. These two nations differ entirely in their religion, language and manners…..

It is to be noted that Portuguese and Dutch ruled the Tamil and Sinhala Kingdoms separately, but, the British artificially joined them for their administrative convenience only in 1833. However in 1948 British left the Island leaving it as one country, Ceylon.

It is a Historical mistake of the British empire to hand over the sovereignty of Tamil Land which they usurped in 1796 to the Sinhalese in 1946. Therefore the UK has to address the injustice it has caused to the Tamil speaking population in Sri Lanka. Particularly when the authorities of the Sri Lankan Government are openly declaring that the island belongs to Sinhala only, rejecting the existence of Tamil Home Land in the north and east of the island, whatever agreement Sinhalese have signed with the British empire in 1946 has become null and void which brings the UK to have a reason to interfere in the internal affairs of Sri Lanka.

Therefore the people of the Tamil Nation in Sri Lanka have great expectations with Mr. Des Browne and are eagerly waiting to see what kind of steps he could take to end the genocide of Tamils and to restore the sovereignty of Tamil nation in Sri Lanka. This is the responsibility of the Queen of the United Kingdom which could not be absolved any more.

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Can A Global Economy Ever Work?

Written by NÈF Worldwide

NÈF Worldwide is a movement of like-minded individuals, committed to pursuing abundant life for all. NÈF Worldwide posts at Kalugu are by Richard, Founder and Lead Antagonist of NÈF.

 

 

04_28_50-us-dollar-bills_web

 

We’ve had some discussion on here about the merits – or lack thereof – of capitalism in a global economy. I continue to argue that capitalism, in it’s truest sense, cannot work in a global economy, which seems to be something slowly though quietly acknowledged by the Obama-led government as he pushes for less international purchases and more “buy American” thinking.

I thought it might be interesting to note, for the sake of the discussion, how much money is spent on an international level when it comes to the non-essential items that drive a capitalist-based economy. The following is a list of the big spenders, and how they rank on a global scale (listed in Billions of US Dollars):

  • The United States: $2,135.3
  • Japan: $532.3
  • The United Kingdom: $497.4
  • Germany $471.7
  • France $344.1
  • China $230.3
  • Canada $215.4
  • Russia $190.4
  • India $79.1

Now, if we were to look at those same numbers, based on expenditure per person, remembering that this is for non-essential items, the list looks like this:

  • The United Kingdom: $8,290
  • Canada: $7,180
  • The United States: $7,118
  • Germany: $5,896
  •  France: $5,294
  • Japan: $4,095
  • Russia: $1,360
  • China: $172
  • India: $69

Those last two numbers should scream out at you. The two largest population bases in the world collectively spend less than $150/per person on the items that tend to drive an economy upward.

It was argued on an earlier post, that China and India will experience 22% growth (I’m assuming annually), whereas, countries like the US will experience 2.5% (quoting James Wolfensohn). Assuming the statement is correct, which I don’t,  in 40 years the expenditures by country would look like (again listed in Billions of US Dollars):

  • China: $655,673 
  •  India: $225,200
  • The United States: $5,781

Now, if you happen to be Chinese or Indian, that should make you feel great, except it’s not plausible. In order for the economy to grow at such an astronomical rate there would have to be:

  • an increase of expendable income
  • a major shift in values when it comes to money and its use
  • a population increase, similar to what The US has experienced since the Great Depression

Those of you from India (or China, or any Asian country that fits the scenario), allow me to ask:

If  you can imagine a dramatic increase in expendable income (income rises faster than the rate of inflation), can you also imagine the paradigm value shift required to spend money so freely or a population increase that would leave your country at 2.48 billion residents?

One of the strongest, growing economies in the world today is Cuba, despite some of it’s residents  experiencing poverty and the US embargo. This is openly acknowledged by the US government. How did this happen? It’s simple: No exploitation of it’s resources by outsiders. Our products for our people first.

There are others, mostly in South America and mostly led by Hugo Chavez that are adopting this philosophy. It appears, despite American criticism of those in the Chavez camp, that Obama is adopting a similar mindset. Perhaps it is the way forward for everyone.

Anyway, by this point I’ve inundated you with stats and numbers, and I’d really like to understand how Asia expects to grow at the rate of 22% without westerners buying their manufactured goods, which they will no longer  be able to do, since they are out of work due to the global economy. The numbers just don’t support the prediction of explosive global growth.

Capitalism might work for everyone, if we choose to only sell our products at home… but I’m still working on a better solution, because 9 countries collectively spending 4.7 trillion dollars on non-essential goods in the same year that 11 million children under the age of five died of preventable causes, is not a just world. How can one person (UK) spend more than $8,000 on things he did not need, knowing his brothers and sisters are in great need. 

Capitalism doesn’t work, because at worst it exploits and at best it turns a blind eye to suffering. The numbers support that truth.

 

Stats were based on the calendar year 2007 and taken from:

The New York Times

Wikipedia

Filed under: Africa, Asia, Business & Economy, Culture, Europe, North America, Politics, World

A letter from Gandhi to Hitler

This simple letter speaks volumes about Gandhi’s civility and message..The lost art of letter writing!

gandhiletterhitler

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