Centre for Geo Political Studies

| Archive | Login  |

 

  | HOME | ARTICLES BY CGPS  |WEEKLY REVIEW | RESEARCH | VIDEOS | OPINION | MEMBERSHIP | ABOUT US|
 


|7 Friday to 14 Friday July 2017 |



 








SOUTH ASIA

1. INDIA. The cancellation of the bilateral meeting between Indian Prime Minister NARENDRA MODI and Chinese President XI JING PING on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit in HAMBURG, GERMANY on 07 July was due to the Indo– China border stand-off, at the tri-junction between BHUTAN, the Indian State of Sikkim and the Chinese Province of TIBET. INDIA considers the Chinese construction of a road in a disputed part of the boundary is to maximize its geographical advantage so that it can monitor movements along the INDIA-BHUTAN border. SIKKIM is the only State which has a demarcated border with CHINA, based on a treaty signed in 1898. Of the 3,488-km-long Indo - China border from JAMMU and KASHMIR to ARUNACHAL PRADESH, a 220-km section falls in SIKKIM. However, critics say that the ongoing confrontation has more to do with other issues. For instance INDIA spurned the Chinese invitation to join the OBOR project and instead highlights its loopholes to damage both Chinese and President XI’s credibility and objects the road linking CHINA and PAKISTAN through Pakistan-occupied KASHMIR. INDIA maintains Indo-US relations at the highest level and takes part in joint Military exercises with INDIA and JAPAN. This, fits into the American strategy of containing the influence of CHINA in South and South East Asia while weakening any pan-Asian unity or alliance. Taken together, it gives the US entry into the Maritime Zones of the Asia – Pacific region which benefits INDIA. INDIA has also been helping DALAI LAMA and his recent visit to ARUNACHAL PRADESH state which CHINA claims as a part of TIBET, followed by the American Ambassador to INDIA, RICHARD VERMA were clearly provocative acts designed by Indian strategists. CHINA in the meantime blocks INDIA’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group and INDIA’s bid to get Pakistani based terrorist MASOOD AZHAR banned globally.

2. CHINA. CHINA seems to be willingly drawing INDIA into a conflict over the ongoing crisis at the tri-junction between BHUTAN-SIKKIM and TIBET in which INDIA’s position over SIKKIM and in South Asia as a whole is challenged. The Chinese Communist Party’s media organ ‘Global Times’ raised this issue on 7 July, with a call to Bhutanese and Sikkimese to revolt against Indian hegemony is a hitherto unprecedented questioning of INDIA’s sovereignty over SIKKIM. It also makes India’s 2007 treaty-based relations with BHUTAN over its foreign and defense policies questionable. BHUTAN has no diplomatic relations with CHINA or other Permanent Members of the UN Security Council. The Global Times claims that INDIA deposed the King of Sikkim in 1975 and manipulated the country’s Parliament into a referendum to make SIKKIM a state of INDIA in 1976 after brutally suppressing revolts over sovereignty in the 1960’s and 1970’s. It further suggests that CHINA should establish Diplomatic relations with BHUTAN and lead the International Community in restoring BHUTAN’s Diplomatic and Defense sovereignty. It is very unlikely that BHUTAN or SIKKIM responding to CHINA’s call for revolt, but there is the possibility that some misguided Indian policies driven by exclusivist Hindutva ideology could easily alienate tribal people of SIKKIM and ATUNACHEL PRADESH in time to come.

SOUTH EAST ASIA

3. SOUTH EAST ASIA. Two decades after the Asian Financial Crisis of July 1997, Professor JOMO KWAME SUNDARAM, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development said that there is apparently still no consensus on the East Asian crisis. Contrary to Western media, analysts now agree that the crisis started off as currency crisis and quickly became a more generalized financial crisis, before affecting the real economy. This chain of events was then exacerbated by factors such as reduced financial liquidity, inappropriate official policy responses and ill-informed market responses. Economists reviewing how currencies and stock markets throughout the region came under pressure starting from the Thai currency in July 1997 and gradually involving INDONESIA, MALAYSIA and the PHILIPPINES, note that by November 1997 despite SOUTH KOREA’s more industrialized economy its currency also collapsed. None of the analytical work on the East Asian miracle before the crisis anticipated the debacle or saw its roots in financial liberalization, transnational dominance of industry in South East Asia facilitating elements of capitalism and uneven consequences of the Washington Consensus policy advocacy of financial liberation.

MIDDLE EAST

4. QATAR. International observers said that the axis of SAUDI ARABIA, EGYPT, BAHRAIN and the UAE against QATAR appear to have violated QATAR’s rights under International Law viz the International Air Services Transit Agreement, the Chicago Convention and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). QATAR has sought the intervention of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in the dispute in accordance with the Chicago Convention. However, in the absence of any International Maritime Organization (IMO) treaty which confers on States the right for their ships to enter the Ports of other states there is nothing QATAR can do legally to challenge the ban imposed on QATAR’s ships from entering ports of the four countries. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights agreed that the actions of the Saudi coalition cause a grave impact on the Human Rights of the nations involved in the dispute. QATAR established a committee on 9 July to pursue compensation claims worth billions of dollars over the blockade by Gulf states. In a further escalation the UAE and BAHRAIN are threatening the people who express sympathy towards QATAR with fines and Jail terms in clear violation of the right to freedom of expression or opinion. Meanwhile, the Saudi-axis said on 11 July that the agreement signed between QATAR and the US during the visit of the US Secretary of State REX TILLERSON is not sufficient and the commitments made by Qatari authorities cannot be trusted.

5. IRAQ. The claim by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights of the death of ABU BAKR AL- BAGHDADI, on 11 July, if confirmed, would be a devastating blow to the Jihadist group. The IS- run social media has so far not confirmed or denied the news. Thousands of Iraqi forces, Kurdish Pashmerga fighters, Sunni Arab tribesmen and Shia Militiamen, supported by the US led coalition have been involved in the months-long campaign to retake MOSUL. Meanwhile a US led coalition of Kurdish and Arab fighters called the Syrian Democratic forces have been waging a fierce assault to oust ISIS from RAQA. The UNHCR warned on 11 July that up to 50,000 civilians remain trapped in this last redoubt of the ISIS in SYRIA. A UK-based NGO that monitors airstrikes in IRAQ and SYRIA tracked over 7200 civilian casualties in and around MOSUL, blamed on the US-led coalition. Heavy casualties among combatants, non-combatants and dangerous level of psychological damages among children have been reported, from the battlefronts in IRAQ and SYRIA.

6. ISRAEL. Diplomatic relations between ISRAEL and INDIA have always been a balancing act for the last 25 years, given INDIA’s 172 million strong Muslim population and its dependence on oil imports from Arab countries. On 4 July Mr. NARENDRA MODI became the first Indian Prime Minister to visit ISRAEL. The two countries agreed to enhance their cooperation in Agriculture, Industry and Defence. ISRAEL and INDIA signed the Air and Missile Defense deal in April valued at US$ 2 billion termed as the largest defense contract in the history of ISRAEL. Arab nations have so far raised no objections to Mr. MODI’s visit, probably due to the changes in the International environment, disunity of Arab nations in relation to SYRIA and IRAQ , differences among Gulf states, confrontation between non-Arab Iran and the Gulf states over supremacy in the Gulf and the Sunni-Shia divide. The Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) consisting of 57 States including IRAN and PAKISTAN is still to come out with its view on growing INDIA- ISRAEL relations. Prime Minister MODI’s visits to ISRAEL and the US taken together show a new orientation in Indian Foreign Policy, a shifting away from the Non-Aligned Foreign Policy followed earlier. INDIA, under Prime Minister INDIRA GANDHI was the first country to recognize the Palestinian Liberation Organization.

EUROPE

7. CYPRUS. The UN Secretary General announced on 07 July, that the Conference on CYPRUS ended without an agreement, thus ending over two years of UN- backed efforts to resolve the 40 year old conflict and reunify the Island. CYPRUS has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and later occupied its Northern third in response to an ATHENS inspired putsch seeking reunion with GREECE. President NICO ANASTASIADES, the Greek-Cypriot leader, Turkish-Cypriot leader MUSTAFA AKINCI, Foreign Ministers from guarantor powers GREECE, TURKEY and BRITAIN, EU foreign policy chief FEDERICA MOGHERINI and US Vice President MIKE PENCE, were present at the CRANS- MONTANA talks in SWITZERLAND to try and end the stalemate.

8. G-20 SUMMIT. European leaders, who had hesitated to criticize President TRUMP’s controversial views on trade, immigration and environment issues during the G-7 Summit in May, announced a sweeping free trade agreement between the EU and JAPAN on 6 July at the G-20 Summit in GERMANY. European Commission President JEAN-CLAUDE JUNCKER and European Council President DONALD TUSK now appear more willing to make moves with or without affirmation from the US. Rest of the G-20 leaders too view TRUMP’s recent rejection of the PARIS Agreement on climate change and multi-country free trade agreements as an opportunity for the European continent to lead on those issues. Meanwhile, people held violent protest marches in HAMBURG on 6 July calling for G-20 leaders to address climate change and economic problems worldwide. The absence of the American leadership was the first time since World War II, thus marking the emergence of a deferent global order and demonstrated that no European leader was expecting the current US President to take the lead on global issues other than those that directly affect the US.


|30 Friday June to 07 Friday July 2017 ||



 








SOUTH ASIA

1. INDIA. Indian Prime Minister NARENDRA MODI avoided hosting the IFTAR dinner for Muslim leaders and personalities representing 172 million Indian Muslims (14.2 percent of the 1.2 billion population) this year, a time honoured practice of Indian Prime Ministers since independence. MODI even refrained from greeting Muslims on Eid and along with his Ministers,avoided the customary IFTAR, hosted by the President of INDIA. Critics say that,MODI’s action has the aim of reinforcing anti- Muslim feelings among the Hindus and give them feelings of sanction at the highest level. The LONDON based Minority Rights Group International (MRG) in a report “A Narrowing Space: Violence and Discrimination against India’s Religious Minorities released on 30 June points out the deteriorating condition of INDIA’s Muslims since MODI’s BJP came to power, with its ‘exclusive agenda’ aimed at marginalizing the minority religious groups, particularly the Muslims whom they consider proxies of PAKISTAN. BJP Government’snew law prevents the sale of cattle for slaughter, hitting the beef business largely in the hands of Qureishi Muslims, and affects the eating habits of Muslims and Christians. It is also reported by the website ‘India Spends’ that the BJP Government has given GAU RAKSHAKS (cow protection vigilantes), a Hindu nationalist organization affiliated to one or the other bodies of the BJP’s Sangh Parivar an unofficial license to choose their targets and lynch them. The murder of 15 year old HAFIZ JUNAID of HARYANA forced Prime Minister MODI to break his silence on the killings of Muslims. The murder of JUNAID brought out demonstrations in cities in INDIA and abroad. However, critics say that MODI has expressed only a mild disapproval and there was no condemnation or a warning to wrongdoers.

2. One of the closely watched subjects of the recentTRUMP - MODI summit at the end of June, was the Defence arena, which became prominent with the operationalization of INDIA’snewly earned status as a “Major defense partner” of the US, through sales of Defence equipment and Technology. With this, INDIA will have access to US Defence Technology, as effectively, on the same level as US allies. INDIA is still to approve a key foundational Defence Agreement, initially called the Communication and Information Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA) which is visibly affecting the extent of progress both sides can make. However, the joint statement of the TRUMP-MODI summit brings out signs of strong collaboration such as INDIA’s appreciation for US designation of the Hizb-ul-Majahideen leader in KASHMIR as a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist”, the formation of a new consultation mechanism on domestic and international terrorist designations and continued efforts in Intelligence sharing and operational level cooperation.

3. MALDIVES. The opposition coalition led by exiled former Maldives President MOHAMED NASHEED submitted a no-confidence motion in a bid to seize control of Parliament through a third attempt to impeach speaker ABDULLA MASHEED. Their First attempt in March ended when President ABDULLA YAMEEN ordered troops to eject some MPs from Parliament, prompting the US to urge MALDIVES to restore faith in democracy. The Second attempt in April failed when the number of signatures required for a no-trust motion against the Speaker was raised to 50 percent of the house, up from one third. All the key leaders of the Opposition are out of the country or in jail after a yearlong crackdown on dissent under YAMEEN’s leadership. Opposition says that controlling the legislature is crucial to ensuring a free and fair Presidential Election due in 2018.

ASIA

4. CHINA. Since the meeting between President TRUMP and XIin April, the relations between US and CHINA had being improving. But, US actions authorizing a US$ 1.3 billion arms sale to TAIWAN, imposing sanctions on a Chinese bank accused of laundering North Korean cash, voicing concern about freedom in semi-autonomous HONG KONG and placing CHINA on a list of the world’s worst human trafficking offenders, have infuriated CHINA. On 2 July US destroyer STETHEM sailed less than 12 nautical miles from TRITON Island in the disputed PARACEL Islands Archipelago in the South China sea prompting CHINA to deploy Military vessels and fighter jets and calling the US operation a ‘serious political and military provocation’ that violated Chinese sovereignty and security.

5. HONG KONG. A security operation shut down large parts of HONG KONG for Chinese President Xi JINPING’s 3-day visit from 28 June to 1 July to the land, handed- back by BRITAIN 20 years ago at the end of its lease. After XI’s departure, an estimated 60,000 people marched in central HONG KONG in an annual pro-democracy protest. CHINA’s Foreign Ministry declared on 30 June that the document signed by BRITAIN and CHINA which initiated the handover is no longer relevant .The Sino-British Joint Declaration gave HONG KONG, rights unseen on the mainland through a “One country - Two systems” agreement, lasting 50 years.President XI after swearing in new Hong Kong Leader CARRIE LAM on 1 July, warned that any threat to CHINA’s sovereignty and security or to the power of the Central Government, is absolutely impermissible” and the emergence of young activists calling for self-determination for HONG KONG’s 8 million people or even full independence has infuriated the Chinese Government.

SOUTH EAST ASIA

6. PHILIPPINES. President RODRIGO DUTERATE who declared Martial Law in Southern Philippines to deal with Islamist militants of the Maute group led by ISNILON HAPILON, one of the world’s most wanted terrorists, admitted on 1 July that, there was an Intelligence failure and that the Government never realized the magnitude of the explosives and weapons used by the self styled followers of the ISIS who began their assault in MARAWI on 23 May. MARAWhas been reduced to a ghost town after the forcible departure of nearly 400,000 residents to Governmentrun evacuation centers. The Army concedes that it would be difficult to predict a definite end to the fighting. Meanwhile the Philippines Supreme Court on 4 July endorsed the enforcement of Martial Law.

FAR EAST

7. SOUTH KOREA. There were mixed and confusing signals at the 01 July, meeting between President DONALD TRUMP and SOUTH KOREA’s newPresident MOON JAE-IN who is a Human Rights and peace activist. The South Korean President does not see NORTH KOREA as an imminent threat. He has already called for a halt to further deployment by the US in its South Korean bases of a powerful new THAAD Anti-Missile Defence System that is aimed at NORTH KOREA but also has the capacity to counter Chinese and Russian missiles as well. South Korean analysts agree that tensions with the North are mainly due to the continued annual joint Military exercises between US and South Korean Forces in the immediate vicinity of North Korean territory. President TRUMP reiterated his hard line against NORTH KOREAthreatening that the US has its Military options open. Meanwhile the US Military tracked NORTH KOREA’s first Inter Continental Ballistic Missile(ICBM) tested on 04 July and confirmed that it would put ALASKA within reach and is a game-changing moment in the world’s most dangerous Nuclearstand-off.

MIDDLE EAST

8. QATAR. British lawyers for QATAR on 3 July denounced the 13 demands made by SAUDI ARABIA-led axis to QATAR as “an affront to international law which are reminiscent of the extreme and punitive conduct of bully states that have historically resulted in war”. Saudi coalition includes EGYPT,UAE allies, the MALDIVES and an eastern Libyan warlord dependent on Saudi arms. If surrendered, the effect of demands would be a major shift in QATAR’s foreign policy and the assertion of political and diplomatic dominance of SAUDI ARABIA over what has become one of the less authoritarian and doctrinaire states in the region .Saudi -axis wantsDOHA to end its evolving ties with close neighbor IRAN, shutting down a TURKEY Military Base, break off supportive links with moderate Islamic movements in the Arab region like the Muslim Brotherhood in EGYPT and Hamas in Gaza Strip, and to close down the Al Jazeera media Network. Ironically both Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas hold elections and democratically select their leaders. Hamas recently adopted a new landmark policy manifesto that implicitly recognized the state of ISRAEL, most probably with the influence of QATAR. The besieged country, handed over its response to the 13 demands on 3 July to KUWAIT which is mediating in the crisis and said that it was looking for a solution based on dialogue.

NORTH AMERICA

9. US. The US Supreme Court partially revived President DONALD TRUMP’s revised travel ban on 30 June allowing administration to suspend travel for some foreign nationals and refugees until it decides the case in October. Critics pointed out that none of the perpetrators of terror in the US hailed from IRAN, SYRIA, YEMEN, SOMALIA, SUDAN, LIBYA and IRAQ,the listed Muslim countriesand that the ban failed to include countries from which they originate and that the order actually harms national security by alienating partners. One of the appeals courts that blocked the ban from taking effect, the Fourth Circuit has based its decision on religious protections in the Constitution, noting that the executive action “speaks with vague words of national security but in context drips with religious intolerance, animus, and discrimination”.


|23 Friday to 30 Friday June 2017 |



 








SOUTH ASIA

1. NEPAL. Government‟s failure to address the grievances of the Madhesi ethnic minority in Southern NEPAL which makes up around 20 percent of the population seems to be holding back the country‟s progress. NEPAL began its first local elections in 20 years, a key stage in the country‟s transformation from feudal monarchy to federal democracy but the Rastriya Janatha Party - NEPAL (RJP - N), the main party representing the Madhesis says it will boycott elections. In 2015, there were deadly protests which they called “a fight for equality and dignity” and during which over 50 people died by Police action. They claim the new federal borders proposed by the new constitution will leave the Madhesi community politically marginalized.

2. PAKISTAN. The US decision to consider SYED SALAHUDDIN, alias MOHAMMAD YUSUF SHAH, a senior leader of the Kashmiri Militant group Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” and impose sanctions has been severely criticized by PAKISTAN as totally unjustified on 27 June. Hizb-ul-Mujahideen is one of several home grown Kashmiri Militant groups calling for Independence or a merger with PAKISTAN. The US action was taken ahead of the MODI-TRUMP meeting on 26 June in WASHINGTON during which both leaders committed to strengthen cooperation against Al-Qaeda, ISIS, Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), D-company (led by underworld don and terror mastermind DAWOOD IBRAHIM) and their affiliates. Meanwhile, CHINA said on 28 June that PAKISTAN was at the frontlines of the fight against terrorism and the International community should give full recognition and affirmation to PAKISTAN‟s efforts in this regard.

SOUTH EAST ASIA

3. ASEAN. ASEAN states INDONESIA, MALAYSIA and the PHILIPPINES continued their “Trilateral Coordinated Maritime Patrol” that began on 20 June as threats from extremist groups are on the increase. At a time, the Islamist militants loyal to the ISIS are fighting deadly battles with the Philippine Army in the city of MARAWI in MINDANAO there is the need to stop pro ISIS Jihadists escaping to INDONESIA as refugees. A series of piracy attacks accompanied by kidnapping in the Sulu sea waters have had a huge security impact on surrounding coastal countries, compelling the respective nations to share intelligence and set up three Maritime Command Centers allowing their Navies to conduct pursuit operations which could lower the morale of the enemy. Further threats might crop in the run-up to or during the ASEAN Games to be held in MALAYSIA in August. All three countries are fortifying and strengthening their immigration procedures considering them as the first line of defense.

4. CHINA. CHINA on 27 June blamed Indian Army for seriously endangering peace and tranquility in the de-facto border known as the Line of Actual Control which runs along the mountainous region of LADAKH, in North West INDIA. It claims that Indian troops had crossed from SIKKIM into CHINA‟s Tibetan territory. In an apparent retaliation, CHINA blocked Indian pilgrims from crossing the border out of security concerns. Hundreds of Indian and Chinese troops face off along the border and in 2014 there was a 2 week Military stand-off after a brief Chinese incursion into Indian Territory. Meanwhile, CHINA rejected US criticism over its treatment of imprisoned cancer stricken Nobel laureate LIU XIAOBO and his wife LIU XIA who has been under house arrest. XIAOBO was sentenced in 2009 for “subversion” after leading a petition for democratic reforms and was awarded the Nobel Peace prize in absentia in 2010.

EUROPE

5. EUROPE/ ISIS AND FAR RIGHT GROUPS. International observers reviewing brutal terrorist and extremist attacks in European locations have raised doubts as to whether there exists a secret understanding between ISIS and the European far right groups. Terror attacks are now shaking Europe as much as embattled IRAQ, AFGHANISTAN and SYRIA and far right groups like English Defence League (EDL) holding counter demonstrations in Central London on 24 June when a group called United Against Fascism, United Against Extremism (UAE) was conducting a programme for national unity became the latest sign for such a phenomena. Observers studying the drastic increase of Islamophobic crimes committed in the immediate aftermath of the MANCHESTER attack which went up to 139 compared to 25 incidents the previous week note that right wing extremism seems to be operating like a mirror image of the ISIS. This has been true with the rest of the attacks in the continent as well. Rightwing expressions in social media messages in the white supremacist sites like Stomfront, describe Muslims as enemies and Islam as a threat to the Western way of life. The meteoric rise of the far-right in Europe took place after the July 2011 massacre by the Norweigian criminal ANDERS BEHRING BREIVIK and despite the recent National Front election losses in FRANCE and BRITAIN‟s UK Independent Party, the far right continues to make significant gains in relation to their membership. Observers note that British Prime Minister THERESA MAY took a position similar to far right thinking by attributing terror attacks to the “evil ideology of Islamist extremism” and threatening “to change human rights laws to meet terrorist challenge” would be decisively counter-productive and allows terrorists to market their cause against other faiths, and get the maximum advantage of the situation.

6. UK. The leaders of the opposition Labor Party JEREMY CORBYN criticized the agreement signed between Prime Minister THERESA MAY‟s Conservative Party and Northern Ireland‟s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) headed by ARLENE FOSTER after losing the majority at the June general election on 26 June. He said that the deal has not been done in the national interest, but in the interest of MAY and the political survival of the Tories. Critics like ENDA KENNE, Ireland‟s former Prime Minister says that the deal with the Protestant and pro-British DUP could upset Northern Ireland‟s fragile peace and that it will not be an easy journey for MAY or for the Conservative government.

SOUTH AMERICA

7. USA. Both Democrats and Republicans in the US Senate stand united in ensuring that the US continues to punish President PUTIN for interfering in the 2016 Presidential election, by drafting a bipartisan amendment preventing President TRUMP from unilaterally easing pressure on RUSSIA. The measure would codify in law, the sanctions imposed by BARACK OBAMA, especially against the Russian energy industry. It would also impose new sanctions on Russian Human Rights violators and those who supply weapons to the ASSAD regime in SYRIA. The US is now deeply embroiled in a crisis over whether TRUMP‟s campaign team colluded with Russian officials to help sway the 2016 election in TRUMP‟s favor. Meanwhile, GERMANY accused the US of hurting European power companies through the new sanctions against RUSSIA that target the planned Nord Stream 2 Gas pipeline to EUROPE. Russian President VLADIMIR PUTIN said new sanctions bear evidence of the continuing domestic political battle in the US and motivated by fear of RUSSIA as a serious competitor.

MIDDLE EAST

8. MIDDLE EAST/JIHADISM. Critics point out that radical Islam has become ubiquitous in the context of the breakdown of the global order. On the other hand the Shiite groups led by IRAN claim that white supremacism and anti-Islam attitude in the West, Sunni bigotry by the Saudi-led axis, Zionist supremacism of ISRAEL cooperate to sustain a conflict-ridden world order for the benefit of a selected few at the cost of global peace and security. They cite the breaking of the tradition of hosting the White House Iftar dinner event, (Eid al-Fitr) to recognize the holy month of Ramadan on 30 May by President TRUMP would be another boost to ISIS Jihadism which has its roots in Wahabism, the Saudi version of Sunni Islam. Saudi Arabia has been financing religious schools that teach Quran in classical Arabic and whose graduates are recognized on par with University graduates in countries like BANGLADESH and elsewhere. It funds thousands of mosque building projects in countries across Asia. It is claimed that Taliban without PAKISTAN, Hizbollah without IRAN and ISIS without private Saudi funds cannot survive at all and it happens with the collaboration of the regimes or powerful sections of the regimes in power.

9. ISIS. The Bosnian version of ISIS‟s magazine Rumiyah issued a new threat to the BALKAN region and vowed to decapitate „infidels‟ and kill Serbs, Croats and Muslim „traitors‟. The article “The Balkans - Blood for Enemies, and Honey for Friends” criticizes the Serbs and Croats over their roles in the Balkan wars (1992 – 1995) and cautions that the ISIS has not forgotten what they did to Bosnian Muslims and that traitors to the Islamic faith in BOSNIA, SERBIA‟s Sandzak region, ALBANIA, KOSOVO and MACEDONIA will be exterminated with sabres and daggers unless they return to Islam. This proves that Jihadism has taken over Wahhabism to the point where all who don‟t practice its form of Islam or accept its version of a global caliphate are deemed infidels and enemies worthy of death. The magazine justifies ISIS attacks throughout the world and boasts that the ISIS has turned powerful western nations into humiliated and scared nations. The magazine aims to appeal to poor and unemployed Bosnian Muslims who have become one of the main regional exporters of Jihadists to the Middle East.

10. UN The US the biggest contributor to the UNO, paying 22 percent of the US$5.4 billion Core budget and 28.5 percent of the US$ 7.9 billion peacekeeping budget plans to slash 60 percent of US funding for Peacekeeping Operations. The TRUMP administration‟s budget proposal to cut expenses for Diplomacy and foreign aid by more than 30 percent while reducing UN funding seems to create an insolvable problem to the management of the UN. UN Secretary General ANTONIO GUTERRES has announced his plans to lobby US lawmakers to reject the cutbacks, exercising their power to amend the Government‟s budget proposals.

11. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Food Programme (WFP) reported on 22 June that around 225,000 households (900,000 people) in SRI LANKA face food insecurity and been forced to eat less and lower quality food. The report stresses that seed, equipment, irrigation support and cash assistance are urgently required to help farmers in the next planting season starting in September and to prevent conditions from deteriorating. SRI LANKA underwent a severe drought followed by the worst torrential rains in 14 years and landslides, floods in the South West slashed agriculture production setting up an unpredictable future causing a drop in the production of rice by almost 40 percent to 2.7 million tonnes in 2017. In the drought - affected North, rains were not sufficient to replenish reservoirs and second paddy harvest in 2017 is expected to be at least 24 percent lower than 2016.

|
|16 Friday June to 23 Friday June 2017|



 








ASIA

1. CHINA. After decades of siding with TAIWAN, PANAMA established diplomatic relations with CHINA on 13 June, further isolating the Government of President TSAI ING-WEN. PANAMA now, recognizes that there is only one CHINA in the world and that TAIWAN is part of Chinese territory. PANAMA is the third country to switch allegiance since 2016 and CHINA warns of a domino effect. TAIWAN is still recognized by around 20 mostly small and economically weak countries including HAITI, TUVALU and BURKINA FASO. CHINA is now seeking to undermine President TSAI intimidating TAIWAN by narrowing its international space. The relations between TAIWAN and CHINA deteriorated since TSAI took office last year. Unlike her BEIJING-friendly predecessor MA YING – JE, President TSAI refuses to acknowledge TAIWAN as part of One CHINA and CHINA treats self-ruled TAIWAN a renegade Province waiting to be reunited with the mainland.

SOUTH ASIA

2. INDIA. The BJP named the lawyer RAM NATH KOVIND from the Dalit caste as its candidate for President on 19 June when the term of incumbent President PRANAB MUKHERJEE ends in July. The BJP which has traditionally enjoyed the support of upper - caste Hindus, has been wooing low caste voters to broaden its nationwide appeal by selecting a person from historically marginalized Dalit community which makes up around 17 Presentage of INDIA’s population. The BJP selectee would be the second Dalit to be INDIA’s Head of state. Meanwhile the “One family at a Time” study by the UN International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) said on 15 June that Indians working across the globe sent home US$ 62.7 billion last year, making INDIA the top remittance receiving country surpassing CHINA.

3. BANGLADESH. Over 70,000 new Rohingya refugees who have fled MYANMAR since October 2016, now live in poverty in BANGLADESH’s South East coastal District of COX’s Bazaar, packed into camps, that were home to more than 300,000 Rohingya even before the latest migrant flow across the border. These refugees have no right to work in BANGLADESH and the Government has proposed to rehouse them on a mosquito - infested Island that regularly floods at high tide. Smuggling networks, work to get these refugees out of BANGLADESH to neighboring countries (including SRI LANKA) or elsewhere by air and road using mobile payments that operate internationally. The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) of BANGLADESH fighting militancy and organized crimes, has now been tasked to stop Rohingya’s being smuggled out of BANGLADESH.

SOUTHEAST ASIA

4. PHILIPPINES. As the Islamic State (ISIS- the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) suffered multiple losses in SYRIA and IRAQ, the group has been looking to widen its impact and take the fight to countries outside of the Middle East, fears mount that the militant group is gaining a stronghold in the PHILIPPINES and elsewhere in South East Asia. The PHILIPPINES has become the epicenter for the Islamic State, or ISIS, as it expands into the region where more than 60 groups have pledged allegiance to ISIS, according to the Singapore-based International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research. US Intelligence and counterterrorism officials note that IS has publicly accepted pledges from various groups in the PHILIPPINES. It called on followers in Southeast Asia to go to the PHILIPPINES if they cannot reach SYRIA. ISIS has been clear about its intentions to turn to Southeast Asia as one of its major sites for operations, drawing recruits from the PHILIPPINES and the Muslim-majority countries of INDONESIA and MALAYSIA.

FAR EAST ASIA

5. JAPAN. JAPAN’s controversial anti-terror law passed by the upper house of Parliament on 15 June, has come under heavy criticism and sparked street protests. The new law allows investigators to charge an individual or organization which conspires to engage in terrorism or 270 other serious crimes. The Government of Prime Minister SHINZO ABE says that the conspiracy bill is a prerequisite for implementing a UN treaty against transnational organized crimes which JAPAN signed in 2000 and that legislation is necessary to prevent terrorism ahead of the 2020 Olympic Games in TOKYO. Rights groups such as JAPAN’s National Bar Association and numerous academics opposed the bill claiming that it would affect citizen’s privacy rights.

MIDDLE EAST

6. IRAN. In the aftermath of Iranian Intelligence confirming that the 7 June terrorist attack, on TEHERAN’s Parliamentary complex and the shrine of revolutionary leader AYATOLLAH AL KHOMEINI by 5 Iranian men who had joined the ISIS, IRAN accused SAUDI ARABIA and especially referred to announcement made by Saudi King MOHOMMAD BIN SALMAN that their purpose was to bring the battle inside Iranian borders. IRAN said on 17 June that hazards caused by Takfiri terrorism which has the obnoxious ideology of Wahhabism as the original source are not restricted to one country and that their phenomenon could consume the entire globe. IRAN emphasizes the need for collective and multilateral cooperation to confront the challenge rising up in different locations such as PHILIPPINES, IRAQ, SYRIA, LEBANON, MANCHESTER, LONDON and PARIS. According to IRAN, today SAUDI ARABIA is the main financial backer of ramified groups following the Takfiri ideology and the fundamental factor in destabilizing region and the World in general. IRAN further says that it has sustained the largest number of casualties while fighting Wahhabi terrorism and if not, the destructive impact would have been much greater in the region. IRAN totally rejected the allegations made by the US and the SAUDI ARABIA led axis on Iranian involvement in spreading terrorism, and on 18 June targeted Jihadists in SYRIA with missiles in retaliation for the 07 June attacks in TEHERAN.

7. IRAQ. The President of IRAQ’s autonomous KURDISH region announced a referendum on Independence for 25 September. The Kurds had earlier declared that they would organize such a vote after the battle of MOSUL against the ISIS which appears to be in the final stages. Such a referendum, even if it becomes positive would be non-binding, and achieving a viable separation will require the support of the Federal Iraqi Government, neighbouring countries like IRAN and TURKEY and International players such as the US and RUSSIA. Iraqi Prime Minister HAIDER AL-ABADI said on 13 June that a referendum at this time is not opportune although he understands the Kurdish minority’s statehood aspirations. IRAQ seems to be thinking that an overly antagonistic reaction to the announcement of the referendum would serve only to unite Kurdish factions against BAGHDAD and give the independence drive more momentum.

8. QATAR. The air, sea and land embargo imposed by the Saudi Arabia led axis (UAE, BAHRAIN, EGYPT, LIBYA, YEMEN and MALDIVES) on 05 June has caused immense hardships in QATAR due to its dependency on land transportation from SAUDI ARABIA for over 50 Precent of its food requirements. President TRUMP in his tweets took credit for the Qatari crisis saying that he arranged it on his 2 May visit to SAUDI ARABIA although the Secretary of State TILLERSON later called for the lifting of the embargo. Owing to the friendly assistance provided by IRAN and TURKEY by making daily airlift of fruits and vegetables, QATAR managed to avoid serious shortages but an indefinite food airlift is not sustainable when faced with an extended shortfall of 50 Precent of the food requirement. It is significant that the HQ of the US Central Command with over 10,000 troops and its largest Airbase in the Middle East are located in QATAR.

9. SYRIA. In the context of the public expressions made by the US and its allies in the Middle East on eradicating terrorism and downing of a Syrian plane over RAQQA on 18 June, the statement by Colonel General SERGEI SUROVIKIN, the Commander of Russian Forces in SYRIA provides an insight to the covert operations taking place in the Syrian war. He saidthat the US led coalition, after having declared thegoal of fighting International Terrorism, strikes Syrian Government forces whileletting ISISterrorists exit theencircled areas unhampered, thus boostingterrorist groups. The US colludes with the ISIS who surrender areas under their control and head to Provinces where the Syrian Army operates. RUSSIA on 19 June warned that it would track US-led coalition aircraft as potential targets and halted the Military hotline with the US forces on SYRIA. Meanwhile the current rupture between QATAR and the Saudi-led axis has put the Syrian opposition in a very awkward position politically as nobody wants to have to take sides publically nor can afford to alienate either side. SAUDI ARABIA had already reduced its funding of rebels from 2015 after it launched its intervention in YEMEN.

EUROPE

10. EU. The 3-year old, migration crisis could divide the European continent, due to the decision taken by the EU to institute legal action against Eastern member states for refusing to take their share of refugees. The increase of refugees is mainly due to the worsening conflict in SYRIA alongside deteriorating conditions in refugee camps in TURKEY (3.2 Million) LEBANON (1 Million) and JORDAN (660,000). This clearly shows that smaller countries outside the EU have received a far higher proportion of refugee arrivals. Apart from the Syrian people Afghan and Iraqi refugees also flee battle zones while there are economic migrants as well, especially from Sub-Saharan African countries of NIGERIA, GUINEA, SOMALIA and SUDAN. According to International Organization of Migration (IOM), more than 1.6 million people have arrived by Sea to Europe.

11. TERRORISM. Famous French academic, author and a long-time expert on Islamic militancy, OLIVER ROY’s recent writings in The Guardian, identify that the ‘Nihilist Dimension’ is central to understanding the unprecedented brutality of post 1990 terror outfits such as the ISIS, Taliban, Al-Qaeda and their affiliated groups like Abu Sayyaf and al- Shabab. To them, violence is not a means, but an end in itself. OLIVER ROY says that such ‘Nihilism’ wants to wipe out existing social, cultural and political modes and structures of civilization through ‘ apocalyptic violence’, and has been used before, in varied forms and in the name of varied ideologies such as Nazi Germany’s ‘Aryan Supremacy’ and Khmer Rouge’s Communism’s ‘Year Zero’ which were followed bygenocides. In the past, most European left-wing rebels, Palestinian guerilla groups and even Afghan Mujahideens largely avoided attacking soft civilian targets. In spite of being heavily indoctrinated by CIA, ISIS and Saudi funded clerics in AFGHANISTAN to embrace death as a religious duty, Mujahideens did not use suicide bombings, even against Soviet troops.Islamic Nihilists, according to ROY, are still in the shape of insurgents and are seen as large apocalyptic death cults who this time just happen to be using Islam as a war cry, mainly because it gives them immediate media coverage. Disturbed teens and confused angry youth become easy recruits for these suicide cults posing as ‘Islamic outfits’ who promise them an identity in return for total obedience to a charismatic leader.




<< Prev.Next > > Current Page: 2 Total Pages:29

 
Most Popular In News
Fearured
Indonesia’s Foreign Minister Holds Talks in Bangladesh Over Rohingya Crisis (58233)

Monsanto, Dow, Syngenta: rush for mega-mergers puts food security at risk (2550)

Food security fears resurface in Asian as nations face rice shortage due to drought (45495)

Pakistan's Army Seeks Greater Authority Over China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Administration (45524)

Deterring China: US Army to Stockpile Equipment in Cambodia and Vietnam (1285)

Why Sanctions Wont Stop North Korea (2563)

Freshwater biodiversity has positive impact on global food security (2449)

The Islamic State Threat Is Real in Pakistan (2492)

Message to Putin as U.S. ups NATO ante in Eastern Europe (2714)

Related Topics
.....
 
by 2015 www.cgpscolombo.com  | Home | Archives  |  Contact Us |