|Asia News Digest
U.S. Charges India Is Working for Demise of Doha Round
June 10 (EIRNS)U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce Christopher Padilla, who served as chief of staff and senior advisor to Deputy Secretary of State Robert B. Zoellick before being named to his present post, accused India of torpedoing the Doha Round of trade talks, and creating a crisis for the World Trade Organization (WTO).
"It is disappointing that India has been a roadblock to success in the Doha negotiations," Padilla declared at a forum on "Responsibility and Partnership in the 21st Century," organized by the Heritage Foundation in Washington. He said India was continuing to insist that it and other developing countries be protected from any real market-opening in industrial goods, agriculture, or services, while asking developed countries to do more and more. "The time is fast approaching when India's stance on Doha may result in the failure of the Doha Round," he said.
"The Doha Round negotiations are not a donors' conference. They require major economic powers like India to step up and take responsible leadership, rather than working behind the scenes for Doha's demise," he added.
Anti-WTO Farm Leaders of India Say: Get Out of WTO
June 13 (EIRNS)Ahead of a World Trade Organization (WTO) ministerial meeting in July, for finalizing drafts on Agriculture and Non-Agricultural Market Access (NAMA), India's top 30 farm leaders had a day-long session in New Delhi on June 12 on the draft presented by the WTO earlier this month, and came out with a resolution that "India should come out of the WTO and should not sacrifice the livelihood of 800 million farmers, adivasis [indigenous peoples], dalits ["untouchables"], and rural women."
"India should not dilute its position at the WTO negotiations, as the 'special products' (SP) and Special Safeguard Measures (SSM) offered to us, are only a smokescreen and offer no real protection to Indian agriculture, fisheries and forestry," the resolution underlined.
The resolution is expected to have a major impact on the ruling coalition government, in light of the fact that the opposition, and some within the ruling coalition, are focussing attention on the weakening agricultural sector.
India's general elections will be held in April 2009, and agricultural areas represent 70% of the nation's voters. It is likely that New Delhi will find it difficult to ignore what the farm leaders so clearly resolved.
Britain Plans To Remove U.S.-Backed Afghan President
June 11 (EIRNS)The leaked release of a confidential report by the U.K. government may set the stage for British troops' planned extended stay in Afghanistan, and takeover of Kabul. The document, allegedly compiled by British diplomats, said Afghanistan's growing drug trade and the corruption of its government will prolong the Taliban insurgency against British troops. The document was designed to undermine the authority of U.S.-backed President Hamid Karzai and could be used to push for his removal. Britain has long been trying to remove Karzai and take control of Kabul.
In a briefing paper for the prime minister marked "Confidential," U.K. diplomats say that Karzai is refusing to take on the drug lords, and has allowed major players in the opium trade to take up senior government posts. Growing links between the drug trade and the insurgency in the South will provide longevity to the Taliban, the document says. In the South, the drug trade is fuelling the insurgency. It adds: This is compounded by government corruption. Karzai chooses to avoid rocking the boat with powerful narco-figures and has not blocked their appointment as governors or other senior officials.
Britain Weakens U.S. Relations with Karzai and Pakistan
June 13 (EIRNS)The shooting incident on June 11 that led to a U.S. airstrike which killed 11 Pakistani paramilitary soldiers on a security post in the Mohmand Agency bordering Afghanistan and Pakistan, has further jeopardized U.S.-Pakistan relations and has weakened U.S.-backed Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
The reason for the incidentdetails of which remain hazywill further harden Pakistan's military position against Kabul. It is a foregone conclusion derived years earlier, that stability along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border cannot be achieved without full cooperation from the Pakistani military. It is also a certainty that Karzai's authority will be further undermined unless the border becomes peaceful. This incident promises to undermine both.
The British attack on Karzai has intensified since last Winter, when, on Dec. 26, 2007, Kabul expelled two MI6 agents, masquerading as a British senior UN official, Mervyn Patterson, and an Irish senior advisor to the European Union mission, Michael Semple. The two were found financing the arming and training of a group of Afghan Taliban in Helmand province, without Kabul's knowledge. The Taliban were ostensibly being trained to carry out the British objective of capturing Kabul, toppling Karzai, and putting in place, their own "Taliban."
Subsequently, on Jan. 16, Lord Paddy Ashdown, Britain's former Liberal Democratic leader, was put up by London to become the new United Nations "super envoy" to Afghanistan. On Jan. 28, Karzai put on display his proud Afghan temper and shot down the presumptive candidate publicly, in a interview with the BBC.
UN Finally Admits: Myanmar Is Helping Cyclone Victims
June 10 (EIRNS)While the British government and press whores continue to quote a (fraudulent) claim from several weeks ago, that less than half of the over 2 million people affected by Cyclone Nargis in early May had received relief assistance, UN Undersecretary General for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes has finally admitted the truth about Myanmar's aid efforts.
Holmes told the press on June 8 that "relatively few" survivors had not been reached. "I think people are getting to all the main places, although, as I say, many people are still in significant need of aid."
An even more important admission is that the main roadblock to the aid process is a lack of funding, as only $20 million of the required $50 million has been contributed. Myanmar estimates that reconstruction will cost $10 billion.
About 250 experts from the UN, the Myanmar government, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) began a ten-day village-by-village tour of the hardest-hit area, the Irrawady Delta, to determine reconstruction needs.
Shultz's Agents in Malaysia and Philippines Hold Pow-Wow
June 10 (EIRNS)Anwar Ibrahim, the Malaysian opposition leader who is a jointly owned asset of George Shultz and Al Gore, travelled to the Philippines this week for a grand get-together with the Shultz assets in that country who carried out the U.S. coup against President Ferdinand Marcos in 1986, under the cover of "people's power." The coup was aimed not only at the Philippines, but all of Southeast Asia (and the Third World generally), as a demonstration that the Anglo-Americans would no longer permit any nation to develop nuclear power or implement a Green Revolution.
Then came Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad, who told George Soros and the International Monetary Fund in the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis to keep out of Malaysia, imposing currency controls and ending speculation and speculative looting. His deputy, Anwar Ibrahim, already an IMF darling, was set loose to create a "people's power" revolt to bring him down, on behalf of the same vultures in Washington who did it in the Philippineswith Al Gore joining the team.
Anwar, who is now working to overthrow Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi, were in Manila to join forces with his fellow Shultz-agents, who are also trying to dump President Gloria Arroyo.
Anwar met with Cory Aquino (who was placed in office after Marcos was deposed, and quickly followed Shultz's orders, by shutting down the completed nuclear plant in Bataan, and scrapping the Green Revolution which had made the Philippines self-sufficient in rice). He then met with Gen. Fidel Ramos (who drove Marcos out of the country, and later repeated the process against President Joseph Estrada in 2001). Anwar then met with former Speaker of the House Jose de Venecia, a Ramos cohort, who is leading a campaign against China and against President Arroyo.
Truckers Across Asia Mount Stoppages and Strikes
June 11 (EIRNS)Strikes are spreading across Asia, where consumers and truckers are hit by the skyrocketing price of oil. Major trucking strikes are reported in South Korea, Thailand, and Hong Kong.
In South Korea, many causes have come together to provoke a massive series of demonstrations and protests against the government, the cost of fuel being only one factor in the discontent. The Korean Transportation Worker's Union announced a general strike starting June 13.
The Transportation Federation of Thailand claimed today that it has idled 120,000 of Thailand's 700,000 trucks to protest high fuel prices. "If we work we lose money, it's better not to work," said Thongu Kongkhan, secretary-general of the union. Fleet and private operators have demanded that the government help lower the rising cost of fuel.
Central Hong Kong was brought to a standstill today when drivers blocked two of the island's key thoroughfares.