|Asia News Digest
India To Go Ahead With Laser-Based Missile Defense
Jan. 26 (EIRNS)V.K. Saraswat, Air Defense Chief for India's Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), said that India is in the process of developing a laser-based missile defense system over the next 10-15 years. "It is an involved process and not just about producing lasers. We have to put in many systems like the surveillance and tracking systems together for such a system to work. It will take another 10-15 years before we talk of integrating all these elements. If you have a laser-based system on an airborne or seaborne platform, it can travel at the speed of light, and in a few seconds, we can kill a ballistic missile coming towards us," Saraswat told the Press Trust of India news agency.
Mullen Seeks Dialogue with Iran on Afghanistan
Jan. 28 (EIRNS)Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, at a press briefing at the U.S. State Department Foreign Press Center today, called for a regional approach to Afghanistan, one of the important ingredients of which would be opening up dialogue with Iran.
"I also believe that India plays an important role here," he said, at his first media exchange following the inauguration of President Barack Obama. "India has taken significantly positive steps to invest in Afghanistanhas for some period of time," he noted.
"In Afghanistan," he said, "a regional approach is critical. And it includes not just Afghanistan, but Afghanistan and Pakistan." He told the press that he and his counterpart in Russia, Gen. Nikolai Makarov, talked about shared goals in Afghanistan. "Russia is interested in stability. Russia is not interested in safe havens. Russia is not interested in the return of a terrorist regime there." Mullen also made it clear that, as far as what Afghanistan itself thinks it needs and will do, that is up to President Hamid Karzai and his people.
Mullen was categorical about the need to bring Iran into a dialogue, "And certainly Iran, as a bordering state, plays a role as well," he said, suggesting "it is important to engage Iran" in a dialogue "that finds some mutual interests, there is potential there for moving ahead together."
Lyndon LaRouche supported Mullen's call, adding that, "We should have a policy of shrewder imagination, and get out of the rut." Iran has been deeply affected by the drugs produced in abundance in southern Afghanistan, under the protection of the British, Australian, Canadian, and Dutch troops based there. "Let us start thinking clearly about our [United States' and Iran's] mutual interest in freeing the world of this drug problem," LaRouche said.
MI5-Tamil Tigers Business Links Exposed in London Court
Jan. 29 (EIRNS)While it had been widely known for years that British intelligence maintains close business ties to the terrorist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eeelam (LTTE), better known as the Tamil Tigers, press reports now list the details of the British agent who was also the head of the LTTE in London. The LTTE was spawned, armed, and supported by India. Now there is a specific British link to the LTTE. No wonder this was the only terror group in the world that had its own air force.
During an ongoing case against two Tamil Tiger terrorists in London, prosecutor Jonathan Laidlaw QC said the men were among 300,000 Tamils living in Britain. He added: As you might expect, because of this country's close links with Sri Lanka and the large Tamil community which lives in the U.K., the authorities, through agencies such as Special Branch, held regular meetings with the head of the LTTE in Britain, Arunachalam Chrishanthakumar, who is known as "Shanthan." (The Special Branch is MI5, Britain's political police.)
The Tamil Tigers were proscribed as a terrorist organization in 2001, and police questioned Shanthan in July 2004, when he was caught buying military uniforms and equipment at an Army surplus store in Southsea, Hampshire, but did not arrest him.
The Special Branch continued to meet Shanthan, but three years later, officers raided his home in South London, and discovered equipment which could be used in improvised explosive devices (IEDs), along with high-powered magnets of the type used to attach mines to Sri Lankan Naval vessels.
Tigers' Defeat Worries Soros, Malloch-Brown
Jan. 29 (EIRNS)As it becomes evident that the Sri Lankan Army will overrun the terrorist Tamil Tigers (LTTE), within a month at the latest, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband and Deputy Foreign Secretary Lord Mark Malloch-Brown, the pro-drug cohort of George Soros, have begun to exert pressure on Sri Lanka to sign a truce with the terrorists. Speaking to the members of the British Tamil Forum, Miliband said: "Sri Lanka should go for a political solution that safeguards the rights of the Tamil community."
So far, Colombo, which is backed by China, India, and the United States, among other nations, in routing the Tigers, has remained steadfast in its objective.
Wiping out the Tigers from Sri Lanka may pose a serious threat to Britain, and personally to Malloch-Brown. They are the best organized and financed mules who move drug and illegal weapons around the world.
Japan's Aso Takes on Koizumi's Globalization Reforms
Jan. 28 (EIRNS)Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso has launched a campaign against the reforms of former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, the darling of the British and the Bush Administration. Koizumi, in power from 2001-06, privatized basic institutions of the Japanese economy, including the massive postal banking system, and placed limits on public works and social welfare. Aso today presented his $54 billion stimulus package before the Diet (parliament).
"Entrusting everything to markets won't make things better," said Aso. "Slogans such as 'from the public sector to the private sector' and questions such as 'a big government or a small government' will not allow us to come up with the appropriate plan" for the economic crisis. Last year, Aso floated the idea of reversing the privatization of the postal bank, an idea which is still alive.
The stimulus package includes credit for small businesses, and a hand-out to each citizen amounting to $22 billion (Japan has 127 million people). Aso said he will create 1.6 million new jobs.
While the stimulus is a desperate act at best, the move against Koizumi's destruction of the Japanese method of cooperation among government, business, and the work force, an idea introduced by Gen. Douglas MacArthur during the occupation after World War II, will have long-range implications, and could revive the dwindling support for the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.
Production, Exports Collapse in Korea
Jan. 27 (EIRNS)Offical data in South Korea show a 14.1% year-on-year disintegration of manufacturing and mining production in November. These figures dwarf the declines seen in the 1997-98 Asia crisis, when production at worst dropped 7.7%.
The Korea Customs Services indicates that the decline is still accelerating. Exports dropped 19.5% in November, but the Customs figures show the rate of decline climbing to an estimated 30% for the first 20 days of January.
Expectations that the fall in exports to the United States and Europe would be cushioned by continued exports to China, have also been dashed. Exports to China, which account for almost 25% of total Korean exports, fell 33% year-on-year during December.