Lawyer and ex-KGB officer, Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, has pulled together the countries of the Russian Federation after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1979 -1980. He has helped them regain their prosperity. After the fall of Communism, Russia was in the mud, weak and anyone could pick its pockets. Since then it has been a hard and difficult road to climb; but now, Russia and these mid-Asian republics are experiencing some economic prosperity and development.
This rising of the Phoenix or correctly the Duran, the two-headed eagle, has caused abject hostility and hatred in members of both the Democrats and Republican parties in the US. You can only call it irrational, but it is a mass psychosis. The State Department has Nazis who are driven by a hatred of Russia. A certain CIA top officer calls Russians subhuman! This is not rational. Why is this? What has caused this paranoia to take hold of large areas of the US Government, especially those who advise and carry out US international policy?
You must remember that the US Pentagon, the HQ of the US military, needs a constant stream of enemies, in order to ensure a constant stream of funding for itself, and give uninterrupted work for its powerful defence industry. (Once skilled craftsmen and engineers with specialist knowhow are laid off, they are lost, weakening the defence contractor company and the industry.) America, as the most powerful country in the world, is obliged to maintain its status. It thinks it is at the highest point of world civilization, the supremely powerful, most advanced civilization the world has ever known. Therefore, it is exceptional, and superior to all others. It is proud of itself and its power.
But Buddhism says that being proud is a serious form of delusion – madness. This madness leads to false views, wrong thinking and bad decisions. This is costly and/or dangerous for all those who get involved with them. Note that these same ideas about themselves were used by the Nazis of Germany, at that time to justify the Aryan white master race’s desire to conquer and rule the world. Therefore, a mass psychosis, irrationality arose then, and the same psychosis has arisen in America and Europe again, today.
Putin’s crime has been to strengthen the Russian Federation and by doing that, he has unavoidably created a power centre, not under the control of America which is the supreme world power. This is the new enemy the Pentagon needed, irrational as it seems. And together with China and India, these developing, large economies are able to question and challenge US activities around the world. These are most unwelcome developments for the supreme world power and the leader of the free world, who is exceptional, powerful and superior in all its authority.
It is known that recently America wanted to build a military base in Crimea, but Russia, in a very skillful military operation invaded Crimea, to keep it for themselves. They needed it as an outlet for Russia’s shipping to get access to warm-water sea routes. In addition, the people of Crimea are culturally more like Russians than Ukrainians. They are very happy to join Russia and get all the social payments and pensions. This unexpected move has thwarted US plans to have close relations with its Ukrainian ally, and with this association to influence the region. This blocking of US plans has caused US government officials to be very angry.
In addition to US officials’ dislike of growing Russian prosperity, development and power, there is the ‘carry over’ effect of the Russian Hoax. This was a false story or hoax perpetrated on President Donald Trump as soon as he got into office, where false allegations were made and powerful media outlets spouted ant- Trump and anti-Russian damaging stories for four years. They claimed Russia influenced the voting to get Trump into power – all without any evidence. The carry-over from this hoax would add to the bad feelings already held against Russia.
What has been revealed recently is that a considerable proportion of the population of Ukraine – up to 30 percent, support right wing extremism, especially those who live in western Ukraine. Support for this ideology tapers off as you move towards the Russian speaking East. Right wing Ukrainian extremists openly say Russians are inferior due to having been invaded by Mongols, etc., in the past. They also say they want to kill all Russians. These people worship a German Nazi officer, Stephan Bandera, friend of Hitler and who served in the War. At that time there were serious crimes against humanity being committed against Jews in Ukraine, and it was Ukrainians who actively shipped them off to German concentration camps, or massacred them themselves. The area of western Ukraine has some really crazy people. These Nazis of the Ukraine are being used by the US to irritate and undermine Russia.
The US has set up over 30 biological research laboratories doing research into banned, illegal, dangerous biological diseases in Ukraine. Why? Victoria Newland, of the State Department, has acknowledged this as being true. What is the purpose of these? In the Azov Steel Plant, there are extensive underground bunkers. A Canadian General has emerged and is now being questioned by the Russians. There are more US officers underground there, too. Why? What were they doing? Why Generals??
The US will fight Russia up to, and using the last Ukrainian, so the saying goes, as they pull the strings from a distance – from a world apart located on the American continent. The Ukrainian people as a whole are suffering from these plans. With every war in Ukraine it gets geographically smaller, but America does not care for Ukrainians – it cares only for itself.
NATO, as a military alliance for protecting Western Europe, lost its purpose after the fall of Communism. The staff and directors of the organization had to reinvent its purpose, and found one of ever expanding into eastern European countries – and even as far as Central Asia. Everyone warned that this expansion eastwards into Europe would be seen by Russia as a threat to its security and a provocation. Allowing Ukraine to join NATO would mean having ballistic missiles bases installed close to the Russian border, and who could tolerate that?! That was an unacceptable danger for Russia, a red line. Military strategists all around the world knew this NATO expansion would cause a progressive loss of security (or increasing danger) for Russia, and at some point, there would be a counter reaction by Russia.
But still the US carried on with its plans to integrate Ukraine into NATO. NATO acts as a foreign legion for the US around the world. NATO had made promises to Ukraine and Georgia of joining NATO at the Bucharest conference. An insurrection and coup instigated by the US Obama regime occurred in Kiev, Ukraine in February 2016, and the democratically elected president was replaced by a pro American president, surrounded by a team of far-right elements. People of the Donbas region rebelled at this and formed an independent enclave in Ukraine, which the Ukrainian military forces then attacked. Russian speaking Ukrainians were being shot and killed by the Ukrainian army – 13,000 people killed in eight years of shelling. The Ukrainian army were/are using prohibited weapons such as anti-personnel cluster bombs and even white phosphorous bombs – a most horrendous weapon, against the civilian population. Russian police and war crime tribunals are already overwhelmed by many cases. This loss of life went un-reported by the world’s press until Russia finally invaded to save these poor Ukrainian people of the Donbas region. But this action of mercy has been widely condemned around the world. The world’s press, the journalists have double standards, they are not impartial.
Around 2017, France and Germany met in Minsk with Ukrainians to end the killing in the Donbas and settle the problem of the breakaway enclaves peacefully. They set up the Minsk accords. They had met in Minsk and the Ukrainian government signed an agreement to implement these accords. The Ukrainian government was required to stop the shelling and to talk to the leaders of the Donetsk and Lugansk enclaves to get a settlement of the problem. But for eight years Ukraine did nothing to implement the agreement, but continued the shelling and recently, even planned to invade and overrun these Russian speaking Ukrainians in the Donbas.
In January 2022 Russia knew it had to act fast before the Ukrainian Army invaded the Donbas. Russia’s plan was first, simply recognize the Donetsk and Lugansk areas as independent territory, and then invade to protect them from the Ukrainian shelling and expected invasion. And they also needed to neutralize the Ukrainian army to prevent it from starting shelling again after the Russians went away. The Ukrainian army in the area was about 60,000 men.
Those were two large military campaigns, in themselves. Russians realized all the towns along the coast of the Azov Sea were a hotbed of Ukraine army intermingled with far-right fighters following Stepan Bandera. This fact obliged them to also invade Mariupol city, because these extreme right units of the Ukrainian army – the Azov brigade — had a stronghold in the Azovstal steel works there. What is shocking is that the CIA, France and Britain had been training these Nazi forces in an effort to counter any Russia invasion. By doing this they would prolong any war and more people would be killed. When Europe sends weapons to the Ukrainian side, this action also prolongs the war and more people on both sides are killed.
In 1945, Russia drove the Nazi forces back into Berlin at a great cost in human lives, and now, in 2022, it wants to de-Nazify Ukraine, because it does not want such an unpleasant enemy right on their doorstep, especially armed by NATO. After this new military incursion of 2022, the Russian forces have listed out their demands necessary to reach a peace deal with the Ukrainian government. This deNazification has become one of Russia’s main demands. Other demands are the official recognition of Crimea as being part of Russian territory; that the Donbas enclaves be independent, and that they allow the Russian language to be used legally and officially in Ukraine.
But as the fighting is prolonged, Russian demands will grow.
Right to travel
VERY few would dispute that travel broadens the mind. But in the developing nations of this world, the state asserts that it can determine whether its citizen has the right to go abroad or not. The supreme court may take its own time to decide whether or not a citizen — even if he or she lives in a country that claims itself to be a democracy — has the right to possess a passport. Even if that is allowed as an essential travel document, the authorities might decide who can use it or who cannot. The government of India, regardless of which party is in power, seems to have assumed the right to decide whether or not to let a chief minister travel abroad.
The victim is the chief minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal, who was to speak at the World Cities Summit in Singapore. But the BJP-ruled government, headed by Narendra Modi, felt that he could not go and did not give him clearance. Its approach was nonsensical.
By now, most of the countries of the Third World have ratified the United Nations. International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966). This is an international treaty in law while the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) is, in law, just a resolution of the United Nations General Assembly. Article 12(2) of the covenant provides that “Everyone shall be free to leave any county including his own” — in other words, there should be no restrictions on travelling abroad.
The covenant sets up a human rights committee of distinguished persons who are not representatives of the government but are individuals of note who have “high moral character” and are elected by the states, who have ratified the covenant.Parties to the covenant have to file reports to the committee on their observance of the stipulations contained within. States send mostly their attorney general to defend their reports. Members of the committee grill representative of the states. They do not publicise much of the report within their own countries or the contents of their reports. Both err on the side of exaggeration.
Unfortunately, civil liberties movements in the Third World are generally not articulate nor well-equipped. The exception that stands out is the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan based in Lahore whose prominent chairperson, the late Mr I.A. Rehman, never failed to stand up for civil rights.
In India, following Indira Gandhi’s defeat in the election in 1977, a liberal government came to power which ratified the UN covenant in March 1979. They ratified it only with certain conditions but these did not concern Article 21 of the constitution of India that says very clearly that “No person shall be deprived of his life and personal liberty except according to the procedure established by law”.
The Indian supreme court has ruled that fundamental rights can be exercised outside the country. In 1978, the apex court had to deal with Maneka Gandhi’s case concerning the impounding of her passport. The supreme court held:
“…[F]reedom to go abroad is one of such rights, for the nature of man as a free agent necessarily involves free movement on his part. There can be no doubt that if the purpose and the sense of state is to protect personality and its development, as indeed it should be of any liberal democratic state, freedom to go abroad must be given its due place amongst the basic rights.
“This right is an important basic human right for it nourishes independent and self-determining creative character of the individual, not only by extending his freedoms of action, but also by extending the scope of his experience. It is a right which gives intellectual and creative workers in particular the opportunity of extending their spiritual and intellectual horizon through study at foreign universities, through contact with foreign colleagues and through participation in discussions and conferences.
“The right also extends to private life; marriage, family and friendship are humanities which can be rarely affected through refusal of freedom to go abroad and clearly show that this freedom is a genuine human right.
“Moreover, this freedom would be a highly valuable right where man finds himself obliged to flee: (a) because he is unable to serve his God as he wished at the previous place of residence, (b) because his personal freedom is threatened for reasons which do not constitute a crime in the usual meaning of the word and many were such cases during the emergency, or (c) because his life is threatened either for religious or political reasons or through the threat to the maintenance of minimum standard of living compatible with human dignity.” This ruling has stood the test of time.
The writer is an author and a lawyer based in Mumbai.
If visitors pay USD at airport, no fuel queues for them
The above statement was made by Manusha Nanayakkara our Labour & Foreign Employment Minister. How the Minister is going to do it is not known.I wish to make a few suggestions to the Minister for his consideration to implement his proposal. Tourists, migrant workers and the dual citizens were the people whom the Minister referred to in his proposal. Many expat Sri Lankans of whom some could be dual citizens visit home once a year to spend their holidays with their families. Since Covid this might have slowed down.
With the Covid jabs even though one could catch Covid people have started to travel. Travelling to Colombo again will slow down due to the pathetic situation that exist with a shortage of everything, particularly fuel, gas and medicines. The Minister’s statement is some encouragement, but he must place his plan for the consideration of the prospective travellers and shoe by action.
The Bank Of Ceylon Branch at the Airport can sell a Dollar debit card to expats, migrant workers and tourists or in other words those who arrive with a return ticket. The minimum value can be USD 500 with provision to put more dollars attending any BOC Branch. When selling the card, a separate certificate in a little booklet format can be given with the Passport details of the traveller entered. The registration details of the vehicle the traveller intends to use can be entered in the booklet by any BOC branch after the traveller finds the vehicle, that is hired or owned by a relation. If the traveller changes the vehicle the new vehicle details can be entered only after 3 days of the first registration. This will help to prevent misusing the debit card.
The traveller must be able to purchase fuel and other rare commodities on production of the certificate to pay by the debit card referred to in the certificate.
Expats and the tourists visit to travel, and fuel must be available at petrol stations, at least one station ear marked in every town with stock always available for this category. Purchase of fuel can be restricted to at least 15 litres per day that will be good to run about 150kms approximately.
I have suggested the above as a base for the Minster to work out a reasonable plan. Once it is made and implemented whether it works smoothly or with hiccups will be known to prospective travellers through the newspapers. If the system works well, the travellers will have confidence in visiting Sri Lanka and there will be many wanting to visit in the near future.
‘CEB restructure must be apolitical says CEBEU’ – a reply
The above captioned news item appearing in your Sunday issue quotes CEBEU mentions that Cabinet approval has been granted to commence restructuring of Ceylon Electricity Board [C EB] and a committee has been appointed to submit its recommendations within a month; a very important and urgent action indeed seeing and learning the mismanagement and conflicting views and action taken to serve two masters viz, the Ministry for Power and Energy and the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka [PUCSL] and also political interferences as correctly stated by CEB engineers –”The engineers stressed that political non-interferences is of paramount importance”. The interference of the Minister to award a tender for the construction pf 350 Mw LNG plant at Kerawalapitiya to a Chinese construction Company as against the recommendation of the Tender Board, causing a delay of over four years, and the cabinet approval for a wind farm in the north by an Indian company without consulting CEB are a couple worthy of mentioning. It should be emphatically stated, CEB has knowledgeable expert electrical engineers and I believe there are none outside, other than those retired CEB engineers who have set up lucrative consultancy firms, internationally recognized. During my time serving this sector for nearly two decades, with directives by the Ministry, in electrical engineering, administrative and financial matters, the CEB ran to the satisfaction of consumers and also invested elsewhere which made the Treasury to compel CEB to invest on Treasury Bills. The interferences in the administration and matters were directly settled by CEB and also directives of the Ministry have now to obtain the approval of PUCSL.
I remember that the PUCSL called for tenders to remove electric poles, a minor job done by area engineers. There was an instance where the PUCSL sought legal action against CEB for not consulting the PUCSL on a certain matter. Recently, the PUCSL has reduced the tariff worked out by expert proposed by the CEB. What does this mean, the CEB will have to cut down or cancel certain items which it had, to accommodate PUCSL reduction. For efficient running of the CEB, the committee should recommend an end to PUCSL interference with CEB. Do not forget consumers of electricity, commuters etc., could directly place their grievances to the authorities or through organizations, associations concerned and Trade Union, to get redress. The interference I mentioned is not my not my view alone. This was a request made by former Ministry for Power and Energy, Dallas Alahapperuma to the then President Gotabaya Rajapaksa; it was approved but overruled by the then Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Mahinda Rajapaksa. For reasons perhaps ut ab ordine – chaos from order.
It is hoped the Committee appointed will look into what is stated above and make recommendations accordingly.
G. A. D.S irimal
Former Assistant Secretary, SLAS, Ministry P&E.
Herath: COPE dissolution must not hinder probe into economic crisis
JVP: Both President and ruling party MPs must be sent home
Stakeholders’ proposals to be made available
‘Dates have the highest sugar content to fight Coronavirus’
U.S. Congress to probe assets fleecing by US citizens of Sri Lankan origin
Sunday Island 27 December – Headlines
News3 days ago
The brother’s saga according to Mahinda
News3 days ago
FSP vows to fight back
News4 days ago
SJB challenges clearing of MP on the basis of committee report
News7 days ago
Sampanthan, Wimal, Champika ready to join all-party govt.
News6 days ago
How tax revision that caused revenue loss of Rs 500-600 bn triggered collapse …
News2 days ago
Ranil claims some TNA MPs “voted for me”
Editorial7 days ago
Hold your horses!
News6 days ago
Govt. retains two foreign firms to restructure ISBs