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Posts Tagged ‘unrest’

Libya unrest: India readying evacuation plan, 1 Indian killed in accident

Posted by Admin on February 22, 2011

The leader de facto of Libya, Muammar al-Gaddafi.

Muammar Al Gaddafi

http://in.news.yahoo.com/libya-unrest-india-readying-evacuation-plan-1-indian-20110222-062153-441.html

By Indo Asian News Service | IANS – Tue, Feb 22, 2011 7:51 PM IST

New Delhi, Feb 22 (IANS) With the protests in Libya cascading, the Indian government is is readying a contingency plan to evacuate its nationals residing in the violence-torn country, even as an Indian was killed in a road accident in the North African country.

An Indian was killed and two others injured in a road accident Feb 19, the Indian embassy in Tripoli said, while stressing that the death was not due to due to gunfire in the wake of protests.

Murugaiah, a contract worker from Tamil Nadu, reportedly succumbed to his injuries Monday.

The other Indian nationals are still in the hospital and recuperating, the Indian embassy said, adding that it was in regular touch with the Medical Center.

The story of Murugaiah’s death being a result of firing appears to be incorrect, the embassy said while alluding to some media reports.

India’s ambassador to Libya Manimekalai told CNN-IBN that the government will help in bringing back the body of the deceased, but added that certain procedures will have to be followed. She denied reports of Indians being trapped in a mosque.

New Delhi is keeping a close watch on the developments in the violence-torn North African country.

‘The situation is being closely-monitored by the external affairs ministry and we are in constant touch with the ambassador there. I am happy to inform that all Indians are safe in Libya,’ External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna told reporters outside parliament.

Krishna added that the Indian mission in Libya was in constant touch with Indian citizens there and ‘whatever needs to be done, will be done’.

‘We don’t differentiate between mazdoors and non-mazdoors (labourers and non-labourers). Every Indian is precious to us,’ he said when asked about the help being provided to workers there.

The external affairs ministry is coordinating with other ministries and is ready to fly in planes or send a ship with medical teams to help around 18,000 Indians living in that country if the situation takes a turn for the worse, informed sources said.

Krishna is also understood to have met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and briefed him on steps to ensure the safety and security of Indians in Libya.

Sources, however, added that the government had no immediate plans of evacuation and was monitoring the situation closely.

There was a marathon internal meeting on the situation in the North Africa-West region, with Rajeev Shahare, joint secretary in charge of the region, reviewing measures for the safety of Indians and fine-tuning potential contingency plans.

‘Saw on Stratfor that Turkish Air flight to evacuate their citizens from Benghazi denied permission to land. Returned to Turkey…Please understand that we have 18000 Indians there. It is not a question of evacuating a few hundred people…Situation Room numbers: +91-11-23015300, 23012113, 23018179. Email:controlroom@mea.gov.in’, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao tweeted.

The Indian government has also set up a committee to monitor the situation in Libya and prepare plans to meet any eventuality in the wake of the unprecedented protest against the four-decade old Muammar Gaddafi regime in that country.

‘The committee would comprise the foreign secretary and overseas Indian affairs secretary among others. This committee would be planning to meet any eventuality,’ Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi said here Monday.

Libyan Ambassador to India Ali al-Essawi had also reportedly resigned in protest against the Muammar Gaddafi government’s violent crackdown on demonstrators rooting for a change to his four-decade old rule.

The Libyan envoy has called on the five permanent members of the UN Security Council to be fair and honest to protect the Libyan people.

With the popular unrest spreading in the Arab world, the external affairs ministry has set up a round-the-clock situation room to assist Indians in in the Middle Eastern and North African regions, home to an over 5-million strong Indian diaspora.

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Bahrain protesters gather in capital for third day

Posted by Admin on February 16, 2011

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/us_bahrain;_ylt=A0wNdPF9dFtNT28BHxas0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTNhbGphY2EzBGFzc2V0A25tLzIwMTEwMjE2L3VzX2JhaHJhaW4EY2NvZGUDbW9zdHBvcHVsYXIEY3BvcwMxBHBvcwMyBHB0A2hvbWVfY29rZQRzZWMDeW5fdG9wX3N0b3J5BHNsawNiYWhyYWlucHJvdGU-

Protesters serve coffee and tea at the Pearl ...
Reuters – Protesters serve coffee and tea at the Pearl Roundabout, a famous landmark of Bahrain
By Cynthia Johnston Cynthia Johnston 30 mins ago

MANAMA (Reuters) – Thousands of Shi’ite demonstrators, inspired by popular revolts that toppled rulers in Tunisia and Egypt, gathered in Bahrain’s capital on Wednesday to mourn for a second protestor killed in clashes this week.

Several hundred gathered at a funeral procession for a man shot dead when police and mourners clashed at an earlier funeral procession on Tuesday.

“We are requesting our rights in a peaceful way,” said Bakr Akil, a 20 year-old university student, wearing a sheet stained with red ink that he said was a symbol of his willingness to sacrifice his life for freedom.

“I am optimistic that our big presence will achieve our demands,” Akil said.

Women dressed in black abayas followed the procession with their own chants calling for peace and Bahraini unity.

Elsewhere in central Manama, witnesses say about 2,000 protestors had spent the night in tents at Bahrain’s Pearl Roundabout, similar to the number marching on the streets a day earlier.

It remains to be seen whether the number would rise or fall during Wednesday. Some will have to return to work, after a public holiday on Tuesday to mark the Prophet Mohammed‘s birthday.

Police kept their distance, mostly confining themselves to a nearby dirt lot with dozens of SUV police vehicles. The ministry of Interior announced that all roads were open.

The demonstrators from Bahrain’s Shi’ite majority say the ruling Sunni minority shuts them out of housing, healthcare and government jobs.

“The United States is very concerned by recent violence surrounding protests in Bahrain,” State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said in a statement. “We also call on all parties to exercise restraint and refrain from violence.”

The main Shi’ite opposition bloc Wefaq, which boycotted parliament to protest the clampdown by Sunni security forces, said it would hold talks with the government on Wednesday.

Protesters said their main demand was the resignation of Prime Minister Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman al-Khalifa, who has governed the Gulf Arab state since its independence in 1971.

An uncle of King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa, he is thought to own much land and is seen as a symbol of the wealth of the ruling family.

DEMOGRAPHIC BALANCE

Activists say they also want the release of political prisoners, which the government has promised, and the creation of a new constitution.

Poverty, high unemployment and alleged attempts by the state to grant citizenship to Sunni foreigners to change the demographic balance have intensified discontent among Bahrain’s Shi’ites.

Around half of the tiny island kingdom’s 1.3 million people are Bahraini, the rest being foreign workers.

Analysts say large-scale unrest in Bahrain, home to the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet and a regional offshore banking center, could embolden marginalized Shi’ites in nearby Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter.

King Hamad expressed his condolences for “the deaths of two of our dear sons” in a televised speech and said a committee would investigate the killings.

Bahrain, in a move appeared aimed at preventing Shi’ite discontent from boiling over, had offered cash payouts of around 1,000 dinars ($2,650) per family in the run-up to this week’s protests.

(Reporting by Frederik Richter; writing by Reed Stevenson; editing by Matthew Jones)

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Arab leaders keep a wary eye on Tunisia

Posted by Admin on January 22, 2011

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-opinion/article1103937.ece

Mona El-Naggar and Michael Slackman

From the crowded, run-down streets of Cairo to the oil-financed halls of power in Kuwait, Arab leaders appear increasingly rattled by the unfolding events in Tunisia and elsewhere in the Arab world, where men continued to set themselves on fire — two more in Egypt on January 18, and a third who was stopped.

Though the streets of Cairo, Algiers and other Arab cities around the region were calm, the acts of self-immolation served as a reminder that the core complaints of economic hardship and political repression that led to the Tunisian uprising resonated strongly across the Middle East.

“You have leaders who have been in power for a very long time, one party controlling everything, marginalisation of the opposition, no transfer of power, plans for succession, small groups running the business, vast corruption,” said Emad Gad, a political scientist at the Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies. “All of this makes the overall environment ripe for an explosion at any second.”

The differences in each country

But while there is widespread anticipation about a revolutionary contagion, particularly in Egypt and Algeria, where there have been angry and violent protests, political analysts said that each country is different, making such conclusions premature. Egypt lacks the broad and educated middle class of Tunisia, while in Algeria the middle class failed to join the angry young men in rioting, regional experts said.

In Jordan, an Islamist opposition party, the Islamic Action Front, issued a demand that the offices of prime minister and other high officials be made elective instead of appointive, as they are now. But like the other outbursts, it quickly died away.

“For all the sound and fury, it doesn’t look like much political dividend will come out of what happened in Algeria, in the short term,” said Hugh Roberts, an independent scholar and a specialist on North Africa based here. “It looks like it has gone quiet. It was a big blast of angry, hot air, but in an unfocused way, which leaves most things the same.”

So for now, the most pronounced impact from the unexpected Tunisian uprising is a lingering sense of uncertainty. That is itself either unnerving or exhilarating, depending on one’s perspective, in a region sitting on the fault lines of religious strife, political repression and economic uncertainty, experts said.

“We did not expect Tunisia to go the direction it has. Who had Tunisia on the mind a few weeks ago?” said Amr Hamzawy, research director with the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut. “The ingredients are partially there for it to happen again, but we just do not know.”

Some Arab leaders have ordered security crackdowns to keep calm in the streets, and offered some symbolic gestures. In Syria, President Bashar al-Assad backed off the imposition of austerity measures. In Kuwait, the emir doled out money.

Economic summit

In Egypt, where organisers are calling for a nationwide protest on January 25, officials struggled to project a sense of calm and normalcy, while stepping up talk of economic reform and government accountability. Arab leaders have also said they will focus on combating unemployment when they meet later this week at an economic summit meeting in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el Sheik.

Fahmy Howeidy, an Egyptian political expert and newspaper columnist, said that while he did not believe conditions were ripe for a similar uprising in Egypt, the government was keenly aware that “what happened in Tunisia has definitely created a different atmosphere. It convinced people that they can revolt in the streets, and that these regimes are not as strong or as mighty as they appear.”

Before the riots in Tunisia turned into a mass uprising against the rule of the long-time autocratic president, Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, it appeared that either Egypt or Algeria stood a greater chance of some kind of mass public revolt. For years, both have suffered from sclerotic political systems led by aging presidents, with support from the military. For years, both have confronted protests over difficult economic conditions and widespread youth unemployment.

But Mr. Hamzawy noted that in Tunisia the middle class and the trade unions joined protests that initially broke out over economic complaints, and helped transform the discontent into calls for political change. In Egypt, where the leadership continues to rely on a decades-old emergency law that allows arrest without charge, there is a lot of room for free and critical speech, offering a safety valve for expression that did not exist in Tunisia, he said.

In Egypt, he said, the array of interests that benefit from corruption is much wider than in Tunisia, where it was restricted to a small circle around the president. That, he said, means there are more people with an interest in preserving the system. And finally, he said, the military in Tunisia was not politicised and did not have any experience in securing city streets, unlike in Egypt, where the military has risen to the government’s defence before, and most likely would again. In addition, Mr. Hamzawy said that the protests that have racked Egypt recently have mostly been by workers for economic reasons, and that the government effectively bought them off with concessions before they began making political demands.

In Algeria

In Algeria, Mr. Roberts said, there are two primary differences with Tunisia that make comparisons imperfect. The first, he said, was that in Tunisia the riots spread all over the country and eventually involved different elements of society all on the same side. “That gave the movement its moral power,” he said.

By comparison, he said, “In Algeria, that never happened. There was no real support from trade unions, in fact none at all as far as one can see, and there was a good deal of middle class hostility to them because of the destruction. The guys rioting were desperate, angry young men with no political perspective at all.”

But more fundamentally, he said, Algeria is not as repressive as Tunisia was. “It is not an autocracy, it is an oligarchy,” he said, explaining that in addition to the President, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, there are multiple power centres, like the military, the intelligence services and the elite bureaucrats.

That, he said, meant that unlike in Tunisia there is no one target of public ire, and no public sense that protests would help to dislodge those at fault. “Even though Bouteflika is unpopular, people know their problems do not simply come down to him,” he said. “You have a situation where there is a great deal of discontent, including in the middle class, but no one has any prescription for how to deal with it.” ( Mona El-Naggar reported from Cairo, and Michael Slackman from Berlin.) — © New York Times News Service

They appear increasingly rattled by the unfolding events in Tunisia and elsewhere in the Arab world.

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GOLIATH IS FALLING DOWN

Posted by Admin on November 15, 2010

Riots at anti-nuclear demonstrations near Gorl...

Previous German Riots

None of the people will be the same again. Germany will surely never be the same again. Their intelligent, creative and effective resistance will never be forgotten.

German protests “a spark from which a new political movement can grow” says academic: Protestors’ heroism wins respect and sympathy of whole country

November 2010 is proving to a watershed. First, the Tea Party Movement in the USA won significant victories in midterm elections; their newly-elected Senator Rand Paul has already started to call for an end to big spending on foreign wars and a soaring national debt and so challenge the Globalist agenda http://www.infowars.com/rand-paul-go…spending-cuts/

And in Germany a protest against the authoritarian Berlin government unequalled in scale and drawing support from all sections of society, has ended with an unparelleled victory. It is true that the nuclear waste which was the immediate focus of the protest finally reached its destination in Gorleben this morning. But what happened in the preceding 48 hours has changed the political landscape.

The Berlin academic Klaus Hurrelmann said the protests were a “spark from which a new political movement can grow.“

How long until a new political movement is born that gives a voice to the people and restores their freedom and rights?

„There is a feeling that those on top just do whatever they want and consider the people to be stupid. We won’t put up with that. We’re going to get involved,“ sociologist Dieter Rucht said, summing up the feeling of the people of Germany.

The police operation against the protestors in Wendland went on for more than two days and night without a break. It took two days and nights for the police to beat clear a path for the transport of nuclear waste to a depot in Gorleben, northern Germany.

The police had to fight for every inch of the railway track, for every inch of the road, for every crossing and for every track through the woods. No one took a step back. And if the police finally cleared the last 4,000 protestors this morning from the road to allow the convoy of trucks laden with Castor containers to trundle into Gorleben depot, it was only because there were a staggering 20,000 police officers, hundreds of police cars, helicopters, mounted police deployed.

But not even the sheer numbers would have been enough in the face of such determined, organised and creative resistance. The police literally had to beat the protestors out of the way and they did so with incredible brutality.

Medical personnel treating injured activists were themselves beaten by the police, reported Gabriele Pelce. Police even stopped medics bringing a woman in Leitstade whose leg had been broken to hospital, forcing her to lie in agony in the freezing cold. Protestors who had climbed a tree where brought down with tear gas and beaten with batons when they fell to the ground. At least 1000 people suffered injuries. The brutality of the police seemed to know no bounds Fingers were smashed with blows. Faces bled from punches to the head.

The police chiefs clearly reckoned that no civilians could or would withstand the assaults with batons, pepper spray and the tear gas, or stand up to such punishment. They thought that the people – school children, students, the elderly protesting on behalf of their children at work– would crack under the relentless harrassment, the threats of arrest and imprisonment, the freezing cold, the tear gas, batons, horses, helicopters, water cannon, dogs as well as the relentless glare of the floodlights that made the wood as bright as day at midnight.

But everyone stood their ground and now the whole country talks about the protestors with deep respsect – a respect that no single politician has been talked about for years.

At stake was not just the nuclear policy of the government, rejected by the overwhelming majority of the people and profiting just a handful of corporations. At stake was the whole issue of whether Germany is still a democracy in which the government follows the will of the people or an authoritarian police state run by corporations and banks for their profit.

As in Stuttgart it was the ordinary people who came out in force to defend democracy. In Stuttgart, it was the students, schoolchildren, the elderly, teachers, doctors, the farmers, lawyers, artists who stood up against particular corporate interests and corrupt politicians.

The protests in Wendland mark another high water mark. Again, ordinary people turned out in force to defend democracy and the principles of freedom with unflinching determination and courage.

The police lashed out wildly at protestors. Yet it was the police who became exhausted and who broke down sooner, their morale in shreds, their nerves worn out. It was the police who ended up discredited for fighting for the coporations like hired mercenaries.

Even Konrad Freiberg from the police union GdP today attacked the decision by Chancellor Angela Merkel to push through the extension of nuclear energy in spite of a legally binding agreement to phase it out as ”a highpoint of fatal political paths of error.”

“It was a huge political error to unilaterally cancel the consensus on nuclear energy that had been formed with so much difficulty,” he said.

Freiberg accused the government of pushing the police into the role of “those who help accomplish the retention of power by politicians.”

He said that the “intransparent, contradictory politics of the government that appears one-sided and favourable [to corporations]” is driving citizens “rightly” onto the streets.

There was something really awe inspiring and amazing in the willingness of so many people from all walks of life to stand together and work together for the common good. Five Greenpeace activists held up the transport by road for hours yesterday by chaining themselves to a steel pipe in the road inside a lorry. Four farmers chained themselves to a pyramid. Every part of wendland, every village, every farm, every inn, every shop became a unit in the line of defence, and bore the brunt of the attack by the corporate-controlled government on the fundamental principles of a democratic state and yet their hearts and nerves did not fail them. 600 tractors skillfully repulsed the advancing columns of water cannon trucks and police cars bringing reinforcements. Other farmers drove sheep and goats onto the road to block the police. The local post office set up a branch close to the main base of the resistance and helped people to send postcards. These were the kind of people that stood in the line of the main attack.

None of the people will be the same again. Germany will surely never be the same again. Their intelligent, creative and effective resistance will never be forgotten.

The protestors showed an astonishing good humour, courage and powers of endurance, singing songs, playing music, sharing food and blankets, buoyed by bonds of solidarity and support from the general public. Thanks to intelligent organisation and logistics, they created in the bleak and muddy woods, turning gold in autumn, an efficient and homely camp with a field kitchen, a pizza oven, and hot soup. There they planned their blockades, pouring over maps, communicating with the world via sms, ready to fight for freedom with an unshakeable committement, incredible resourcefulness and a a readiness for sacrifice that was amazing.

Anyone has had to sleep outside for even one night in subzero temperatures in the rain will understand what spending 48 hours outdoors in the muddy woods of northern Germany means. And then, on top of that, to have to face the massed ranks of the police, see the horses and hear the thuds of the truncheons, the shouts, and with hardly any sleep.

Their protest capturing the imagination and sympathy of the general public has left the government even more isolated and the corproate clique who run the country, whose leading figures belong to bizarre little freemason lodges with eccentric beliefs in some super race that they do not belong to if there were ever such a thing, and who rely on the brute force of the police, and on brainwashing by the the controlled media to push through their agenda in a very precarious position.

The defense of democracy and freedom has come not from the political parties, not from organisation such as Amnesty Internation. This defense againt the globalist totalitarian agenda has come from the ordinary people, who mobilised, who came out onto the streets, and who would not be beaten and intimidated.

The ordinary people were ready to brave the cold and rain, to walk for kilometres through woods, to be beaten by police, and to raise their banners over and over again after they were ripped from their hands, to be assualted with pepper spray, freeze in the night time, sit in blockades, to endure spartan conditions for freedom. Conscious of the risks, knowing the dangers they would face, they had come well prepared, wearing thick clothes, bringing sleeping backs, practising blockades for the time when the police would “lift them”.

The courage and friendly concern of the protestors as they faced the clatter of boots, the thuds of the truncheons, the sound of helicopters high up in the night car, the sirens of police cars has proven so effective that they have brought the police state to its knees. Together these people repulsed the concerted attempt by the corporations to leverage the police forces to ram through their take over of the political structures and economy and establish a Germany where the people are to work and pay taxes, to fight in the armies and kill and be killed for the profits of the corporations and have absolutely no say.

The police know better than anyone how stubbornly the people resisted. The people had to be dragged away into camps, refusing to walk inspite of the fact that they could have walked away and gone home. Thy preferred to spend the night in subzero temperatures out in the open in an improvised prison surrounded by police vehicles than to get to their feet on the orders of the police. They preferred to sleep in the mud and frost in blankets and with no waste or food and suffer hypothermia than to march on the orders of the police. These were people who were ready to endure yet another night in the freezing cold rather than give up to the authoritarian police state.

It is a moot question where so much courage, community spirit and strength was forged. A glance at Tacitus’s book Germania gives a clue. He describes the tribes inhabiting northern Germany in a way that would seem to fit the protestors.

„A region so vast, the Chaucians do not only possess but fill; a people of all the Germans the most noble, such as would rather maintain their grandeur by justice than violence. They live in repose, retired from broils abroad, void of avidity to possess more, free from a spirit of domineering over others. They provoke no wars, they ravage no countries, they pursue no plunder. Of their bravery and power, the chief evidence arises from hence, that, without wronging or oppressing others, they are come to be superior to all. Yet they are all ready to arm, and if an exigency require, armies are presently raised, powerful and abounding as they are in men and horses; and even when they are quiet and their weapons laid aside, their credit and name continue equally high,” Tacitus wrote 2000 years ago.

source

http://birdflu666.wordpress.com/2010…try/#more-3364

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