Nepal – the country of the Buddha and the Mt. Everest

Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without – Buddha

Posts Tagged ‘Us’

Salbuchi: Putin a break against neo-colonial West

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 5, 2012

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LUMBINI REBORN, NEPAL REBORN, BUDDHA REBORN

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 25, 2012

[Lumbini-Kapilvastu Day Movement does not endorse the opinions of the author.]

NEPAL: THE NEW RAINBOW NATION?

By Gabriel Lafitte

Among Tibetans and their supporters worldwide, Nepal evokes dread. The news out of Nepal is invariably bad. The 20,000 Tibetan refugees in settlements are prisoners, unable to move freely, unable to obtain certification of their refugee status, unable to find employment or get an education, stigmatized and excluded. They may not publicly vote, protest or even hold religious celebrations of the birthdays of their most revered lamas.

China’s power over Nepal extends to equipping and financing the armed forces to patrol the border with Tibet, to apprehend Tibetans using the only route of escape. China’s ability to get the Nepali army to do its security work is aided by the willingness of Nepali politicians to be seduced by the largesse of China’s aid program, no strings attached, no accountability auditing of where the money went. From the outside, it seems that Nepal, riven by revolution, is agreed on only one thing, right across the spectrum, from Maoists to royalists: no-one likes the Tibetans.

It is not just the elite that is prejudiced. The Tibetans, like the landless urban poor in the Kathmandu slums along the riverbanks, are considered sukumbasi, a term so broad it includes all the excluded, the displaced, landless, unacknowledged refugees, with no means of subsistence, suspected of thievery, gold smuggling and an inclination for criminality. Sukumbasi are feared and sneered at, especially by the upper caste Bahun Hindus who depict them as dangerous outsiders, despoilers, polluters of the rivers, a threat to the nation. The slum dwellers are seen as puppets of the Maoists, a rent-a-mob willing to swarm into the city on command to fill rallies with their shouts. The sukumbasi are said to have toppled the king, and that behind the scenes, they are tools of foreign meddlers or get undeserved help from NGOs. Read the rest of this entry »

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Some Hot Clips of the Day

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 20, 2012

‘Ron Paul right, US deep into fascism’

What’s My Debt, Dad? ‘Greece left to beg for pocket money’

Invincible Me: Israel drums up for Iran strike

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Explosive Words: US media first to bomb Iran

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 17, 2012

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Russia to support India’s bid for permanent UNSC seat

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 16, 2011

Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev and India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (RIA Novosti / Vladimir Rodionov)

Russia will back India’s bid for permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) if a decision to expand the body is made, President Dmitry Medvedev has said.

The Russian leader said that Moscow considers India “a strong, and real” candidate for joining the body as a permanent member.

The statement was made Medvedev’s joint conference with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh after their talks in the Russian capital.

“India is a privileged partner for us,” Medvedev pointed out. He stressed that “all UN countries should agree and reform the Security Council according to a jointly approved scenario.”

“There is no need for India to doubt Russia’s support,” Medvedev assured Singh, as cited by Interfax.

Currently, there are five permanent members with veto power in the UNSC – China, France, Russia, the UK and the US. Ten other members of the body are elected once every two years.

An expansion of the council – which was established back in 1946, shortly after WWII – has been discussed for years now. Many agree that it is time to reform the UNSC, since the world has changed a lot and so have the challenges that the international community faces. Several countries are now seeking permanent seats on the council, including the so-called G4 group, comprised of India, Japan, Germany and Brazil. Read the rest of this entry »

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Nuclear war between Pakistan, US closer than many realize

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 11, 2011

 

Recently, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen testified before Congress that Pakistani Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI), which has supposedly been an ally to the U.S., has actually supported terrorist actions by al-Qaeda and the Haqqani syndicate. In light of this, some media sources believe that the U.S. should be prepared for war against Pakistan.

‘Pakistan is the enemy,’ writes Hitchens

The writing is on the wall, suggests Christopher Hitchens in Slate. Pakistani intelligence is known to have aided the Taliban and provided refuge for Osama bin Laden during his final days in Abbottabad. The New York reports that a 2007 ambush on American and Afghan soldiers in a Pakistani border town was a “complex, calculated assault” arranged by Pakistani military. Various border skirmishes involving “unknown assailants” are believed to have been ISI-backed Taliban militants, but exact details remain classified.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Australia approves uranium exports to India

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 4, 2011

“]
Australia possesses nearly 40 per cent of the world’s known uranium reserves [Reuters

Australia’s ruling Labor Party has approved plans to open up uranium sales to India, clearing the way for talks on a bilateral nuclear agreement and resolving an issue that has caused diplomatic tensions between the two nations.

Sunday’s vote at the party’s annual policy conference in Sydney overturned its own ban on selling uranium to countries such as India, that are not signatories to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Australia already sells uranium to China, the US, Japan and Taiwan.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced her intention to open sales in November and successfully pushed the new policy through the conference, despite an often heated debate and chants from protesters who remain opposed to nuclear energy and weapons.

The policy change does not need to be approved by parliament, and the conservative opposition supports the sales.

Uranium-hungry India

“We should take a decision that is in our nation’s interest, a decision about strengthening our strategic partnership with India in this the Asian century,” Gillard said before the vote.

“The [nuclear non-proliferation] treaty does not require that signatories sell nuclear fuel only to other signatory countries.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Durban Conference: Ending The Deadlock On A New Kyoto Deal

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 28, 2011


World leaders! Be serious on Global Warming issue, please do not play with this:

A new deal on climate change is the hope, but for the nearly 10,000 delegates of the UN’s conference in Durban on the eastern coast of South Africa, a week of difficult negotiations lays ahead.

The event, which starts on Monday, offers a chance for the world community to come together and agree on action. Most pressing is the debate about the Kyoto Protocol, the 1997 treaty that set limits on emissions. The treaty runs out at the end of next year, yet so far there has been deadlock on whether to renew, as favoured by China and India, or to draw up a new treaty, as favoured by Russia, Canada and Japan.

India and China favour renewal as they are classed as developing countries, which under the existing treaty have no obligation to cut emissions, leaving developing countries to shoulder the burden. However, as China and India now represent the largest and the third largest emitters on the globe, most industrialised countries are demanding a new agreement, which sees India and China also forced to make reductions. The US pulled out of Kyoto in 2001 over the apparent unfairness of the 1997 terms.

As such, the issue is nothing new. The climate change conference in Copenhagen in 2009 reached a stalemate over Kyoto, with many predicting a similar outcome for Durban.

However, minds at the conference may be focused by recent figures that reveal that carbon emissions in the atmosphere now far exceed even the worst case predictions of four years ago, with a UN report showing a 6% increase in 2009 to 2010 levels.

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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FBI Releases Russian Spy Ring Videos and Photos, Starring Anna Chapman

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 1, 2011

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US mily to stay in Pacific to counter China: Panetta

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on October 26, 2011

Bali (Indonesia)—US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta assured anxious Asian allies that the U.S. will maintain its large military presence in the Pacific as a counterweight to China, despite mounting pressure at home to cut spending.

US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta at a news conference during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Defence ministers’ meeting ion Indonesia’s resort island of Bali, on Sunday.

China’s military buildup and aggressive posture in the South China Sea has become a growing U.S. concern, officials say.

But in his first trip to Asia as Pentagon chief, Mr. Panetta appeared to tone down his rhetoric, praising Beijing’s muted response to a recent U.S. arms deal with Taiwan and voicing confidence that a closer bilateral relationship can be forged despite deep mistrust on both sides.

Mr. Panetta’s promise to “strengthen our presence in this part of the world” was part of what officials described as a “realignment” of U.S. interests.

As American forces withdraw from Iraq this year and Afghanistan by the end of 2014, the U.S. will be able to expand its diplomatic and military influence deeper into Southeast Asia and the Pacific, officials said. Read the rest of this entry »

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Bank’s Collapse in Europe Points to Global Risks

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on October 23, 2011

By  and 

Thierry Roge/Reuters Dexia's headquarters in Brussels. The recent rescue of Dexia, also bailed out in 2008, may fully repay its trading partners.

As Europe’s debt crisis has deepened, a recurring question is how much risk it poses to the United States economy, and especially American banks.

While American financial institutions have sought to limit any damage by reducing their loans and thus lowering their direct exposure to Europe’s problems, the recent rescue of the Belgian-French bank Dexia shows that there are indirect exposures that are less known and understood — and potentially worrisome.

Dexia’s problems are not entirely caused by Europe’s debt crisis, but some issues in its case are a matter of broader debate. Among them are how much of a bailout banks should get, and the size of the losses they should take on loans that governments cannot repay.

Among Dexia’s biggest trading partners are several large United States institutions, including Morgan Stanley andGoldman Sachs, according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter. To limit damage from Dexia’s collapse, the bailout fashioned by the French and Belgian governments may make these banks and other creditors whole — that is, paid in full for potentially tens of billions of euros they are owed. This would enable Dexia’s creditors and trading partners to avoid losses they might otherwise suffer without the taxpayer rescue. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tensions Flare as G.I.’s Take Fire Out of Pakistan

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on October 17, 2011

By 

Soldiers at Forward Operating Base Tillman responded to an attack on Oct. 7, one of several coordinated strikes that day from the Pakistani border or beyond.

FORWARD OPERATING BASE SHARANA, Afghanistan — American and Afghan soldiers near the border with Pakistan have faced a sharply increased volume of rocket fire from Pakistani territory in the past six months, putting them at greater risk even as worries over the disintegrating relationship between the United States and Pakistan constrain how they can strike back.

Ground-to-ground rockets fired within Pakistan have landed on or near American military outposts in one Afghan border province at least 55 times since May, according to interviews with multiple American officers and data released in the past week. Last year, during the same period, there were two such attacks. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Eurasian Project: A Threat to The New World Order

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on October 14, 2011

by Elena Ponomareva

One might be tempted to regard Russian premier V. Putin’s paper “A new integration project for Eurasia: The future in the making”, which saw the light of day in Izvestia on October 3, 2011, as the presidential front-runner’s sketchily laid out program, but upon scrutiny that appears to be only one part of a wider picture. The opinion piece momentarily ignited wide-scale controversy in and outside of Russia and highlighted the ongoing clash of positions on global development…Regardless of interpretation details, the reaction of the Western media to the integration project unveiled by the Russian premier was uniformly negative and reflected with utmost clarity an a priori hostility towards Russia and any initiatives it floats. Mao Zedong, though, used to say that facing pressure from your enemies is better than being in such a condition that they do not bother to keep you under pressure.

It helps to understand why, at the moment, Cold War-style headlines are constantly popping up in Western media and what perceived threat the West discerned in Putin’s recent Eurasian integration. The obvious explanation is that, if implemented, the plan would come as a geopolitical challenge to the new world order, to the dominance of NATO, the IMF, the EU and other supranational bodies, and to the undisguised US primacy. Today’s increasingly assertive Russia suggests and is ready to start building an inclusive alliance based on principles providing a viable alternative to Atlantism and neoliberalism. It is an open secret that these days the West is putting into practice an array of far-reaching geopolitical projects, reconfiguring Europe in the wake of the Balkan conflicts and against the backdrop of the crises provoked in Greece and Cyprus, assembling the Greater Middle East based on serial regime changes across the Arab world, and, as a relatively novel design, implementing the Asia project in which the recent disaster in Japan was an active phase. Read the rest of this entry »

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Does Germany Owe Greece $95 Billion from WW II?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 20, 2011

By Sven Felix Kellerhoff / Die Welt / Worldcrunch

Die Welt

Nazi officers at the Acropolis of Athens in May 1941, one month after their troops seized the Greek capital Getty Images

BERLIN — In the current debate about the possible bankruptcy of the Greek state, one largely dormant argument has recently resurfaced with increasing frequency: the widespread damage inflicted by the Nazi regime during World War II means that Germany still owes Greece major outstanding wartime reparations.

While the claims for payment of damages are based on very real facts, one could likewise argue that over the course of 60 years or so, those claims have already been satisfied under international law.(See photos of protesters in Athens.)

What is at stake? Without having been provoked, the Wehrmacht — the Third Reich’s armed forces — took over both Greece and Yugoslavia on April 6, 1941. In both countries, German soldiers set up a brutal occupation regime. As was usually the case in European nations invaded by the Germans, the high cost of the occupation was borne by the occupied country — and the Greek economy was plundered through forced exports.

This resulted in galloping inflation and a radically lower standard of living for Greeks. Additionally, the Third Reich forced the Greek National Bank to lend Hitler’s Germany 476 million reichsmarks interest-free.

After Germany’s surrender, the Allied powers organized the Paris Conference on Reparations in the fall of 1945. Greece laid claim to $10 billion, or half the total amount of $20 billion the Soviets suggested that Germany pay.

The suffering caused to Greece by the Nazis is undeniable. Yet at the same time, human suffering cannot really be measured. Independent historians unanimously agree that the total economically measurable damages suffered by Greece as a result of the German occupation, in both absolute numbers as well as proportionate to the population, put Greece in fourth place after Poland, the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia.(Read about whether the Greek bailout is falling apart.)

At the Paris Conference on Reparations, Greece was finally accorded 4.5% in material German reparation and 2.7% in other forms of reparations. Practically, this meant that Greece received mainly material goods — like machines made in West Germany — worth approximately $25 million, which in today’s money amounts to as much as $2.7 billion.

However, the stipulations made at the Paris conference were all but irrelevant given that the U.S. opposed heavy economic penalties. U.S. leaders recalled what happened after World War I, when Germany’s first democracy, the Weimar Republic, was massively weakened economically by having to pay off reparations. Indeed, one of the consequences of this policy was the rise of Hitler. Read the rest of this entry »

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Many in the West Don’t Want a Post-American World

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 7, 2011

by 

Most Europeans – 54% — want to see strong American leadership, according to a new Transatlantic Trends poll out Sept. 14. And a whopping 85% of Americans want their country to lead the world. Certainly, if you listen to the GOP field of U.S. presidential wannabes, American exceptionalism has been on the decline and should be a priority. To their mind, America should always be No. 1.

But, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies’s 2011 Review of World Affairs, out Tuesday, America’s interest in leading the world is at the lowest point since before Sept. 11. “The U.S. approach to international crises in the medium term will be shaped by the country’s war fatigue,” John Chipman, the institute’s director, told reporters in London at the report’s unveiling. “‘Abroad’ has become a synonym for ‘quagmire’ in the American political consciousness. ‘Home’ is the priority for which most political capital must be spent.” Traditionally, second-term presidents have focused more on foreign policy. Given the economic climate, President Obama has been forced to focus much of his attentions inward, and it remains to be seen whether he’s been successful enough to win a second term. A decade of two protracted and expensive wars have worn thin on the world’s only superpower.

On the other hands, they aren’t the only ones. More Chipman:

The U.S. will not want to rise to every occasion. Nor, in Europe, can France and the U.K.. In this context, there is a sense that the West is suffering from strategic arthritis and exhaustion, the rising powers of the East from strategic growth pains and indecision. The room for mavericks and rogues to manoeuvre for their own gain is thus expanded. Who will come to the rescue if these start doing real damage, and how effectively, is anybody’s guess. Perhaps the variety of possible strategic leaders will prove to be a blessing in disguise. Read the rest of this entry »

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