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Nov-05-2013 17:53printcomments

'Desperate Times, Desperate Measures'; That's the Way!

Western governments used to go to great lengths to say they were standing up for human rights in China. Now, trade ties with Beijing are so lucrative that Western leaders no longer need to lie.

British Conservative politician George Gideon Oliver Osborne
British Conservative politician George Gideon Oliver Osborne

(LONDON PFLT) - “For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country. And not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change. And I have been desperate to see our country moving in that direction”, said Michelle Obama, the wife of the 44th and current President of the United States, Barrack Obama, and the first African-American First Lady of the United States.

Western governments used to go to great lengths to say they were standing up for human rights in China. Now, trade ties with Beijing are so lucrative that Western leaders no longer need to lie.

George Gideon Oliver Osborne, a British Conservative politician, the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the country's second-ranking official, says officially, "China is what it is. We have to be here or nowhere". It's business; you see, just business. After all, "Who's Afraid of Chinese Money?"

Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, accompanied him, during and after their trip to China, a week ago. The trip, which involved no meetings with senior officials, was aimed solely at doing business with some of China's big companies. In their enthusiastic deal-making, they were at pains to explain why they needed to avoid any moral concerns. "We've got to start by understanding that China is an ancient civilization with a long and proud history," Osborne said.

In the autumn of 1991, the then Prime Minister John Major became the first Western leader to visit China after the Tiananmen killings. After his meeting with Chinese Premier Li Peng, Major told one of the accompanying- journalists that he had handed over the list, to the Chinese leader and spoken forcefully about political freedom. The list was of names of several hundred political prisoners in Chinese jails, given to one of the accompanying- journalists by Amnesty International. It seems that the journalist learned later from an official who had been in the room, no list was handed over and political freedom was never mentioned. Major's lie, was repeated by his Foreign Secretary Hurd, who was also in Beijing. The journalist was Jonathan Mirsky.

Journalist Jonathan Mirsky wonders, “Did Osborne and Johnson seem troubled by leaving Britain increasingly at the economic mercy of a huge and powerful neo-communist power. If the deals made by Osborne and Johnson are carried out, before long Chinese companies will own a controlling interest in Britain's nuclear power industry. On national security grounds alone, this is alarming. The Chinese government has been known to use whatever leverage it has to express its displeasure with foreign governments; following Prime Minister David Cameron's and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg's informal half-hour encounter with the Dalai Lama last year in St. Paul's crypt, Beijing enforced a year-long freeze on ministerial visits. With British nuclear power in Beijing's hands, just wait until a British spokesman regrets an attack on Taiwan or China's warships firing on Japanese vessels in the South China Sea. Will the British like reading in the dark?”

In 1989, Mirsky was named British newspapers' International Reporter of the Year for his coverage of the Tiananmen uprising.

Mirsky further wonders, “ Can Britain now be so poor and abject ( meaning …completely without pride or dignity) that it permits China to gain considerable control of its energy, banking, and communications sectors, let alone cede to it the construction of its newest buildings? If Osbourne and Johnson are any indication, the British government is falling silent about precisely the things that have made Britain great: freedom, democracy, and above all, speaking truth to power.

Obviously the question is rhetorical. Is there really any question that Britain is now just that poor and abject? And Britain is hardly the only Western country to have noticed: (a) the size of the still-emerging Chinese market for stuff they make, and (b) the amount of money China's huge trade surplus has made available for buying up a larger and larger stake in the Western world.”

Phoenix from the flames

A Chinese billionaire's plan to re-build glittering Crystal Palace, an exact replica of the Crystal Palace, is great news. The iconic Victorian palace was first built in Hyde Park, Central London to host 1851 Great Exhibition. In 1854, it was again built in a larger form, in Penge Common near Sydenham Hill, south-east London. But it was razed to ground by 1956 fire. It once stood proudly on the London skyline as a symbol of the supremacy of the British Empire.

Now the Chinese billionaire Ni Zhaoxing, 57, wants to build replica of the historic venue for events and exhibitions. Re-built glittering Crystal Palace would transform London's skyline The Shanghai-based real estate firm will be putting a planning application in to the council later this year

Ping Pong diplomacy

In the early 1970s there was an exchange of table tennis (ping-pong) players between the United States and People’s Republic of China. The event marked the less formal nature of the U.S. – China relations that paved the way to a visit to Beijing by the then President Richard Nixon. This historical episode is well known as Ping Pong diplomacy. That is United States and the Chinese –US relations are well known. U.S. needs China - and vice versa.

Saudi Arabia's declared intention to pivot away from the U.S. in foreign policy implies a shift toward Beijing, which predates both the Obama presidency and the Arab Awakening. While a full-fledged "divorce" from the U.S. appears highly unlikely at this juncture, there is genuine cause for concern in Washington. The Saudi government's decision has potentially profound implications regionally, as cooperation between Saudi Arabia and the U.S. has been a hallmark of the Middle East's political landscape for the past 80 years.

UK-India relations and Tamils

India served as the main base for the British Empire’s expansion across Asia and remained the empire's most important colony until independence.

If one goes by the book by M R Narayan Swamy, titled, “The Tiger Vanquished” , he or she will know that the RAW (Research and Analysis Wing) was planning the demise of our Leader Prabhakaran and his deputy Pottu Ammahan, at any cost. Since 2000, they have been planning the war to finish off those two great leaders. The Sonia Congress in Delhi, which was under the grip of the South Block, had to get the support of Great Britten. The wrong person, the alleged war criminal Tony Blair who was in power, did all the foul acts by cheating Canada and the EU to ban the LTTE as terrorists. India, UK and USA, for their complicity in the genocide of Tamils have to do lot of explanation.

The British Prime minister and the Indian Prime minister are playing merry go round and they are under compulsion to please Mahinda Rajapakse.

The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM)

The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2009 was the twenty-first Meeting of the Heads of Government of the Commonwealth of Nations. It was held in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, between 27 November and 29 November 2009, and was hosted by that country's Prime Minister, Patrick Manning.

The host country of the 2011 meeting was also discussed. It had been slated to be hosted in Colombo, Sri Lanka, but the renewal of the Sri Lankan civil war, and related allegations of human rights abuses, caused some governments, including those of United Kingdom and Canada, to call for a reassessment. This led to the CHOGM being given to Perth, Australia, instead. Sri Lanka was reassigned the CHOGM for CHOGM 2013, and Mauritius was pencilled in as the host of the 2015 CHOGM.

The 2011 event was not allowed to be hosted by Sri Lanka because of allegations of human rights abuses. Two countries the UK and Canada only called for reassessment. How come then, India and UK want to make friendship with the alleged war criminal President, while Canada takes the opposite and correct stand. Even a nursery child will know that India and the UK, two of the very prominent members are of complicity with the genocide of Tamils and they have to be in loop the with the Mahinda Rajapakse, Global warming, Membership criteria, Gay rights and Sri Lanka were the main topics for discussion. The Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) was reconstituted and strengthened. The Heads of Government agreed to expand the offences that it would be able to investigate to all breaches of the Harare Declaration, rather than just the overthrow of democratic governments.

The 2011 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) was held in Perth from 28-30 October, hosted by the Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

The summit considered a report by an Eminent Persons Group panel, appointed at the last CHOGM. The panel suggested the Commonwealth's relevance was lost and was further decaying due to the lack of a mechanism to censure member countries when they violated human rights or democratic norms. The panel also made 106 "urgent" recommendations including the adoption of a Charter of the Commonwealth, the creation of a new commissioner on the rule of law, democracy and human rights to track persistent human rights abuses and allegations of political repression by Commonwealth member states, recommendations for the repeal of laws against homosexuality in 41 Commonwealth states and a ban on "forced marriage”.

Controversially, however, leaders have failed to endorse a report put forward by an Eminent Persons Group which had been tasked to recommend reforms for the 54-member body. Angered at what the group saw as a rejection of its report, it decided to make its recommendations public without approval by the Commonwealth leaders.

The answer to the solution to the plight of the Tamils in Sri Lanka is not to dwell on the past but to move forward with smart thinking, planning and manoeuvring, and that is, towards a peaceful permanent political solution to an independent separate State of Tamil Eelam. There is no other option for us Tamils in Sri Lanka. This is the sole sacred message for all who will attend the CHOGM in Sri Lanka.

By Nadarajah Balasubramaniam
Chairman / President of People’s Front of Liberation Tigers (PFLT_UK)


Based in London, Nadarajah 'Bala' Balasubramaniam is a contributing writer who also serves as Chairman / Leader of People's Front of Liberation Tigers.

His life as a journalist begins with the Sri Lanka Tamil Diaspora. This event which began shortly after WWII and heated up violently in the 1970's and 80's, has caused a 20% decline in the population of the Tamil Sri Lanka culture in the last 30 years alone. Born in Jaffna, Bala also spent part of his life working in Colombo, but like so many, he lost his house and escaped from the 1983 pogrom, the year remembered for a murderous event against Tamils known as 'Black July' which left thousands dead.

When Mr. Balasubramaniam left Sri Lanka with his wife and three sons and went to work in the Middle-east, where he worked as a telecom engineer. In 1989 he moved to the UK mainly because of his children's education. Nadarajah Balasubramaniam has been associated with the liberation struggle of Tamil Eelam since 1972.



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