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Showing posts from April 20, 2008


INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM MONITOR---PAPER NO. 388 By B.Raman For the second time in less than two years, an over-confident Sri Lankan Army (SLA) has walked into a deadly trap laid by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the Muhamalai area near Jaffna in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka on April 23 ,2008, and faced a rout. It not only lost over 150 soldiers, who were killed by the LTTE, but also enabled the LTTE to seize a large quantity of arms and ammunition from the battle scene. The LTTE has not had such a bonanza of recovered arms and ammunition since the earlier SLA rout in the same area on October 11, 2006. My assessment of the earlier rout may be seen in my article titled "SRI LANKA: A HEAVY PRICE FOR OVER-CONFIDENCE" available at 2. After the rout of October 11,2006, the SLA, as is its wont, had played down the fatalities suffered by it and played up the fatalities which it claimed to have i

Integral Humanism and Flat World Hindutva

Source: OFFSTUMPED In Dr. Upadhyay’s Integral Humanism we see the underpinnings of a school of thought with the notion of Dharma as the overarching moral compass. It clearly repudiates Statism and Theocracy, while standing up for Decentralization to uphold the twin pillars of Individual Freedom and National Interest. The intellectual rut the BJP finds itself in can only be explained in the failure to extend and apply the abstract ideas of Integral Humanism to contemporary issues in a coherent and consistent manner. Offstumped’s articulation of Flat World Hindutva must be viewed in this spirit. READ MORE

Baalu’s Nepotism - Bigamous and Flatulent

Offstumped That T.R. Baalu was a habitual nepotist should come as no surprise to anyone. What is damning is the extent to which the Prime Minister’s Office went out on a limb to curry favors to his bigamous family business. As the teflon coating peels off Dr. Mamohan Singhis it surprising that the 8 letters written by the PMO should leak in the same week that Rahul Gandhi’s competence to be Prime Minister is tom tommed ? Read More

BALOCHISTAN : BLA reacts to Balochistan governor’s threat

* Banned organisation’s spokesman says governor’s threats will not undermine ‘freedom fighters’ commitment to Baloch cause’ Daily Times , Pakistan Staff Report QUETTA: The Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) on Thursday reacted strongly to Balochistan Governor Nawab Zulfiqar Ali Magsi’s warning that strong action would be taken against the murderers of a university professor in Quetta. Bibarg Baloch, chief spokesman of the banned organisation, told Daily Times that the threats issued by the governor would not undermine Baloch “freedom fighters’ commitment to the Baloch cause”. Such threats and espousing the rhetoric of ending the ‘freedom fighters’ separatist activities were as old as the country itself, he said. The BLA spokesman questioned Governor Magsi’s commitment to addressing the issues facing the people of Balochistan. “The people of Balochistan should remain under no illusion that Nawab Magsi is a Baloch. He has always served the interests of Islamabad. No Baloch should e

FRANCE : Competitive Intelligence Club Spreads its Wings

Initially a network of competitive intelligence specialists working in France’s aeronautics industry, the Commission pour l’Information en Entreprise is gradually expanding its remit to new areas like lobbying, security and crisis management. Bolted on to the Association Aeronautique et Astronautique de France (3AF), the Commission Information pour l’Entreprise (CIpE) boasts a membership of 80 officials in charge of business intelligence in around 40 big French companies and organizations. They meet once every three months to confer on specific issues and working groups counting five or six members are set up to deal with questions involving current events. Created in 1984 and chaired by Bernard Guillot, the head of business intelligence at the Safran group, the panel recruits its members on the recommendation of other members and takes its cue from a core of the organization’s 10 longest-serving officials (see graph below). Among them are many who attended courses at the Institut des

Then and Now: British Imperial Policy Means Famine

This article appears in the April 25, 2008 issue of Executive Intelligence Review. by Paul Glumaz The current outbreak of food shortages and famine internationally should come as no surprise to anyone who knows the history of British imperial free-trade policy. To buttress that point, we present here indictments of that policy by two leading statesmen with personal knowledge—Abraham Lincoln's economic advisor Henry Carey, and the founder of modern China, Sun Yat-sen—in addition to this overview article, written in 1991, from the archives of the LaRouche movement. Before Hitler, there was Britain, and the British famine policy in India. As many look with horror at the starvation now being induced in Africa by agencies such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs (GATT), and the grain cartels, few know that in a previous century the British pioneered all these techniques in India. What follows is a brief outline of the British fami

Five Years of the US Occupation of Iraq

25.04.2008 Boris DOLGOV теги: Iraq, USA Strategic Culture Foundation This March, it has been five years since the US and British invasion of Iraq. The intervention led to the fall of S. Hussein's regime and the occupation of the country. A grand lie served as the pretext for the military offensive – the US and British intelligence agencies claimed that Iraq possessed a stockpile of weapons of mass destruction that could be used against the West any moment. When no weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq, it was alleged that the Iraqi leadership had ties with Al Qaeda. Eventually, Washington justified the invasion of Iraq by the need to set the Iraqi nation free from S. Hussein's dictatorship and to establish democracy in the country. The actual reasons behind the US intervention in Iraq are thinly disguised. Washington pursued two objectives. The first one was to rout the most powerful Arab country which posed the greatest threat to Israel (Israel is a strategic al

Evolving Central Eurasian Matrix

23.04.2008 Aurobinda MAHAPATRA (India) теги: Central Eurasia Strategic Cultural Foundation For years to come Central Eurasia is going to be the most happening field in international politics. Though the situation there is in constant flux and the principle of certitude fails, it would be naïve to ignore the importance of the region due to its geostrategic location and resources. Interestingly, Central Eurasia as a concept has eluded the scope of a proper definition. John Schoeberlein an expert in the area attempts at a broader definition under which he includes ‘lands from the Iranian Plateau, the Black Sea, and the Volga Basin through Afghanistan, Southern Siberia, and the Himalayas to Muslim and Manchu regions of China and the Mongol lands.’ Robert M. Cutler employs seven scales of analysis in his theory on Central Eurasia. The advocates of ‘Critical geopolitics’ challenge the realist and neorealist theories of international politics and emphasise on role of non-state actors, such

China's inflation worries

Apr 25th 2008 From the Economist Intelligence Unit ViewsWire High prices for food, fuel and other goods are troubling Despite a slight dip in China's year-on-year consumer price inflation rate to 8.3% in March, from 8.7% in February, inflation remains at the top of the government's short-term policy concerns. According to a regular survey by the People's Bank of China (PBC, the central bank), a new high of 49% of respondents complained that prices were too high in the first quarter of 2008. These sentiments were echoed in a study by a market research firm, ACNielsen, which showed that consumers were cutting back on discretionary spending. Worrying trends in underlying inflation have emerged, with price rises triggering increases in minimum monthly wage rates and welfare benefits. In Shanghai, for example, the minimum monthly wage rose on April 1st to Rmb960 (US$137) from Rmb840, and unemployment insurance rose to Rmb550 (from Rmb410). Allowances for poor rural househ

Pakistan's elusive peace dreams

Islamabad's new government rethinks its counterterrorism policy as it tries yet another effort to quell violence in the restive Afghan border area, writes Naveed Ahmad for ISN Security Watch. By Naveed Ahmad in Islamabad (24/04/08) Bureaucratic reshuffling and policy shifts have been numerous as the ripple effect from elections earlier this year continues through Islamabad. The country's counterrorism policy is no exception. Instead of continuing its seven-year military operation, Pakistan's new government is reaching out to tribal leaders and notables in the restive Northwest Frontier Province as part of the political element of an overall strategy to quell the insurgency along the border area. Speaking to ISN Security Watch, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said, "History suggests that the use of force alone can lead to self-perpetuating violence, but the determination of use of force, wherever required, remains an important element of our strategy."

Kevin Rudd: All The Way With China

by B. Raman "A puzzling question for the Chinese is: How can India put all its strategic policy eggs in the baskets of three sunset leaders, namely, President George Bush, who will be out next year, Mr. John Howard of Australia, who may be out by the end of this year, and Mr. Shinzo Abe of Japan (he is already out) ? A convergence of views and interests with these sunset leaders will be ephemeral and of uncertain benefit to India and its people, whereas any convergence with the Chinese leadership would be durable and of definite benefit to India and its people. So, it is said. " ---Extract from my article titled "Seeing China From Chengdu" of September 19,2007, available at Mr.John Howard, the previous Australian Prime Minister, is out after he and his Liberal/National coalition were defeated in the elections held on November 24,2007 . The policy-makers of other countries, including China, knew that Mr

Iran To Train Sri Lankan Intelligence & Army Officers

By B. Raman (This may please be read in continuation of my earlier article of November 13, 2007, titled "Iran to Fund Sri Lankan Arms Purchases" at President Mahmud Ahmadinejad of Iran is to visit Sri Lanka for two days from April 28, 2008, in response to an invitation from President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who had visited Iran in November, 2007. His engagements will include the inauguration of the construction of the Iranian-funded (US $ 450 million) Uma Oya hydroelectricity project at Wellawaya in the Monaragala district. When completed, the project is expected to produce 100 megawatts of electricity. The visit is also expected to result in the finalisation of an agreement for Iranian financial and technical assistance for enabling the Sapugaskanda oil refinery to handle Iran’s light crude. This project is expected to result in a further Iranian investment of US $ one billion. 2. In this connection, quoting Sri La

Reality bites for Gazprom

Source : OXFORD ANALYTICA Gazprom has a new investment plan -- a ray of hope for its customers, who are worried that the gas monopoly has neglected its core business in favour of lavish and irrelevant acquisitions. The firm controls nearly a fifth of the world's natural gas reserves. Yet there is massive wastage. Around 38% of its staff work in 'non-core functions', according to a recent study. These range from the sensible, such as maintenance operators, to the political, such a TV station and financial newspaper -- as well as some downright bizarre holdings, including a fur farm and sausage factory. New figures released in late March promise spending will be re-oriented to core, gas-focused operations. Acquisitions will be slashed, while investment in producing and transporting gas will rise 39% in 2009, and even more in 2010. Lavish shopping sprees are all very well, but observers both at home and abroad have assailed Gazprom for ignoring a looming crisis in gas su

Four-day bi-annual IAF conference commences in the capital

New Delhi, Mon, 21 Apr 2008 NI Wire India is a liberal, democrat, and peaceful country. The leadership in the country from the very beginning has been emphasising on the all corner development. It always followed the policy of ‘being strong and well built’ not for terrorising and overpowering its neighbouring countries but to defend itself in case of alien’s attack and to fight against terrorists’ aggression crop up within the country or infiltration through its neighbouring countries. It is funds/wealth and amount of resources disbursing upon the defence purposes, which sets direction for the countries defence programme. With these realities keeping in mind the Defence Minister A K Antony said the shortage of funds would not allow hampering the growth of modernisation process. The only need for us is to be careful for the allocated funds must be utilised optimally and judiciously. The Defence Minister also called upon the scientists to develop ways for attaining the level of

Yemen: Discontent challenges government

Yemen is struggling to balance competing forces as it seeks to quell southern protests, a revived political opposition and rekindled northern rebellion, writes Dominic Moran for ISN Security Watch. By Dominic Moran in Tel Aviv for ISN Security Watch (18/04/08) With a fragile peace process with northern rebels on the verge of collapse, President Ali Abdullah Saleh's government faces renewed pressure in southern Yemen in the wake of widespread disturbances earlier this month. At least two people were killed, dozens wounded and close to 300 arrested in a fortnight of often violent clashes between youths and security forces in southern Yemen earlier this month. The protests were ostensibly sparked when military recruiters refused the enlistment applications of two southern youths. Former members of the South Yemen military claim systematic discrimination in the payment of post-demobilization stipends and subsequent employment of southerners in the military and police, following

China: Putting the PR into the PRC

Beijing is the target of world criticism over its Olympic preparations and its Tibet and Xinjiang policies. It needs a better public-relations response, says James A Millward for openDemocracy. By James A Millward for openDemocracy (18/04/08) The tragicomic Olympic-torch tour presents the world with a serious problem. While the West has focused on the chaotic and even amusing aspects (French police on roller-blades, Chinese torch-guards in dark shades on a cloudy day), in China the iconic image is of the young female paralympic fencer Jin Jing struggling to hold the torch from her wheelchair while a grimacing free-Tibet protestor attempts to wrest it from her grasp. As with the Tibetan protests generally, people in the People's Republic of China (PRC) and the world at large see the events of the torch tour in radically different ways. A similar disconnect characterizes recent Chinese announcements of foiled terrorist plots by Uighurs, the Turkic Muslims from China's Xinjia