The next crime of the Myanmar junta

An article from the Ovi magazine

If anything could get worse in Burma – or Myanmar as the dictators like to call the country – it just did; in the middle of a cyclone, literally and metaphorically, they announced that they are going to extend the pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s house arrest!

To suppress the political and civil rights of the people is one thing but to fail them while a natural disaster happens and show how naked you are is a totally different thing. The cyclone found a country not prepared for any natural disaster, especially worrying since Burma is a country in the danger zone for earthquakes, tsunamis and cyclones, and the victims were in their thousands. Hundred of thousands because it is not only the people who died but also the ones who lost everything, it is the people left without a father, mother or a brother, there are the people who lost their homes and, as I said, these people count in their hundred of thousands.

So what’s the very first obligation of any state, even a dictatorship like the one that rules Myanmar? Reassure people that there is hope; make them feel that apart from any ideological difference, behind any corruption and crime, there are humans who cannot leave fellow humans dying, including people who might support them. This is exactly where the Myanmar junta failed and more people died. Hundreds, thousands more people. Under international pressure the junta was forced to accept the help that was being offered from everywhere.

I have the feeling that nobody understood what I just said; actually, I’m writing it again because I found it difficult to believe it myself. After the cyclone hundred of thousands of people lost their homes, they lost everything, even the ability of a plate with rice and some milk for their kids. People started dying and the situation was becoming critical with international organizations warning for thousands of dead, especially kids because of the lack of food. Naturally, all the countries from all around the world, even countries that survive with help abroad, started loading aeroplanes and ships ready to go to Burma and help the people, and they could start straightaway if the junta hadn’t stopped them. The criminals that rule this poor country, the drug dealers in army uniforms, most likely thought that the rice was poisoned with democracy!

Yes, they stopped all the aeroplanes, they stopped all the help, they stopped all the food and the milk for Burma’s kids because their minor brains are full of … I’d better not write it! The international pressure kept piling forcing them in the end to accept all the help but still all the help had to go through their office stamped as made and offered from them and then driven to the people. How many kids died in the meantime is a mystery and I hope we will find out soon so there will be a stronger case when it comes the time for the court. How much of this help ended in gangsters’ stockrooms, how much of this help is sold from these gangsters on the black market is another mystery but it did happen. After all, we are talking about a gang of criminals and drug dealers that rule the country, people without any conscience, people who murder and have lost count of how many they have killed.

But again, the democracy virus might have managed to go through, you just never know how their micro brains work; so they should do something about the face that represents any hope for the people of this country, Aung San Suu Kyi. And what they do? They extend her house arrest and put in prison a few people who tried to meet her and give her some news from her dying country.

What is left? The international community saw first-hand how they can press the junta and they saw first-hand how they can scare them, France at least had a taste. The next thing the people of Burma need after rice and milk is freedom and a coordinated strong reaction from all around the world can do it. Now everybody knows that these men in uniform that rule the country are common criminals the worst type, it is time to send them where they really belong, in a dark cell to rule mice and spiders!

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Talking to the deaf

An article from the Ovi magazine

It has been a long time since I wrote anything about Iran and that’s not because we are lacking news from Teheran or quotes from its president but because the man so often crosses the line so much that I’m speechless and cannot think of anything to write except… Man, shut your mouth, you are dangerous! The problem is that when I think of that I then read the new threats by an American politician and that makes me think that this is a totally idiotic situation.
When Ahmadinejad, Iran’s puppet president, demands the destruction of Israel you think that the man is not only an idiot but a dangerous idiot, but what can you call the US presidency hopeful Hillary Clinton when she’s warning that if Iran continues with nuclear plants she will bomb the country; she will start another war in the area? You might say that Hillary says things like this for internal use trying to attract voters who want a US international supreme police, judge and executioner. Yet, then again, how many of these people can drive a foreign policy by threatening a war that will definitely push the Middle East even further into the dark? How strong these few voters are? And if there are so many to influence foreign policy then Obama has bigger problem than he thought!

My position for this issue has been very clear from the very beginning. I’m strongly against using nuclear power for energy and that is not because I’m blinded by the dark side of the nuclear power; I have the logic to understand the need of energy in the modern world and I do understand that nuclear is one option but I’m against the use of it because there are three unsolved factors. First of all the cost is not lower, especially now we are talking about new generation nuclear plants. When governments talk about cheaper energy they mean the cost of energy after the plant is fully working but nuclear plants don’t just grow in the field one spring day, they need a huge amount of money and effort to be built and naturally all the costs lay on the consumers in the end. The use of electricity hasn’t become cheaper in Finland because there are four nuclear plants and definitely will not become cheaper after building the fifth and sixth.

The second worrying factor is the nuclear waste. Most of the countries that use nuclear power for energy have problems with nuclear waste and after poisoning oceans and African countries now they have to store this waste in their own country without been able to calculate the damage they do. Finland is using an old cave to store the nuclear waste in north western Finland but the damage which most of the scientists describe it is to be seen after two or three generations. To understand how dangerous that is you just need to look the mistakes two or three generations did in the last decades and the damage they have done to the earth today. How different things would have been if back in sixties and seventies we had done some simple things to protect environment, things we were aware back then anyway. How different would have been for metropolis like Los Angeles, London, Tokyo or even Athens cities that have become environmental monsters with their pollution and citizens with constant asthma problems.

And then it is the third factor, the human factor! All the accidents happened in nuclear plants from the Three Miles Island to Chernobyl a human error was what started the disaster and whatever they do, however much robotics develop, concrete on the cell becomes stronger and heavy water purer a human will press the right or the …wrong button in the end. Please don’t tell me that the people who work in these places are experts and fully aware of their work because the same responsible experts a few years ago sent the Challenger spacecraft to death by using cheaper material due to budgets and costs; and I’m taking the official excuse avoiding all the theories for enriching bank accounts and corrupted directors. The human error can happen in any level of the nuclear reactor and the result …well nobody knows for how long the area and the people who lived around Chernobyl when the accident happened will have to deal with and pay the cost often with their own lives. Sorry for been dramatic or cynic but nobody knows how many generations, especially young kids will have to deal with leukaemia because of a …human error.

This has nothing to do with Iranians capability to handle a project like a nuclear plant, first of all if you check all the scientific centres you will be surprised how many Iranian scientists you will find and Three Miles Island was not in Teheran or in any Third World country!

But human error is the choice to turn an otherwise for peaceful use nuclear reactor into a nuclear bomb – this is not literal but I know you understand what you mean. I do understand the logic behind this balance of horror, actually my generation in Europe lived it, and we were learning naively how to cover ourselves behind concrete walls in a case of nuclear war like there was any chance to be saved from the invisible power. And it did work but why do we have to continue a mistake just because it didn’t prove lethal the first and the second time? It needs only one time to destroy us all and there is no trial period in that.

The US and Russia are not the only ones living in this balance of terror, Pakistan and India do the same, Pakistan a country proved corrupt at every level from the ones we call terrorists, the Taliban. But then neither the Indians who have nuclear bombs nor the Pakistani people are worrying. Neither leader ever said that they are planning to eliminate the other country and both even in the worst of times when there were minor conflicts in Nepal tried to find ways through diplomacy.

Ahmadinejad on his side has called provocatively for the elimination of Israel; he has used the most prejudice often racist language for the people who are his neighbours damaging in the end every single right the Palestinians might have in their conflict with Israel since they are Ahmadinejad’s excuse to show his haters against Israel. The people who ruling Iran are dangerous and they are in an dangerous are where people blinded of their cause can become suicide bombers without caring how many innocent they are going to take with them. This is the human element that makes Iran a dangerous country to have a nuclear plant and in extent the ability to have nuclear weapons, the word weapons of mash distraction takes a different meaning in the hands of the Iranian cleric dictators and fanatics.

And when you feel that you made your argument and that there was logic in it Hillary comes and threatens with a war and you feel like talking to deaf for so long!

Polish report

From the original Ovi magazine (Ovi lehti in Finnish)

No more Mr. Nice Guy

Poland’s opposition leader has mocked the prime minister for lacking a driver’s license, compared him with a notorious communist and accused him of forcing two million Poles from their homeland. Donald Tusk, a trim, sandy-blonde economic liberal, is showing a new toughness as he fights to unseat Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski in elections this Sunday, revealing steel unseen when he failed to win power in 2005.

Polls show a tight contest between Tusk’s pro-business and socially conservative Civic Platform, and Kaczynski’s Law and Justice, which is also conservative, but favors greater social spending to help the needy and is more skeptical of the European Union.

The bitter truth is that the amazing twins must go out from power in Poland but what remains causes more wonders. Their anti-communist menace has often led their policies to the limits of fascism and Poland has been often under criticism from the European Parliament, not to forget all the problems the twins caused in the last summit.

Poland may block Russia’s entrance to WTO

Poland warned on Monday that it would block Russia’s entrance to the World Trade Organization if Moscow did not cancel an embargo on exports of Polish meat and produce. Russia imposed the ban in late-2005 after uncovering what it said were violations of food safety regulations. Polish officials maintain that the country’s food quality standards meet EU norms and that the embargo is political.

“If Russia’s position toward Poland doesn’t change, we will have to vote against Russia’s membership in WTO,” Deputy Agriculture Minister Jan Krzysztof Ardanowski told a news conference in Moscow, according to Russian news agencies.

Poland also warned it would continue to block a strategic EU-Russia agreement if the embargo was not lifted. “Poland has to link these two issues — the embargo and the signing of a new agreement between Russia and the European Union,” Ardanowski was quoted as saying.

The question that arises is not if Russia will stop banning Polish meat but if Polish meat meets the standards of food safety regulations and if the EU can guarantee that they do.

Polish Church Advises People How To Vote

The Polish Catholic Church reminded Poland’s voters that they have an obligation to vote in keeping with the fundamental values taught by the Church. In a letter by Polish Bishops that was read to congregations all over Poland this weekend, people were told that they should pay attention to the moral condition of political candidates, their identity, values and readiness to cooperate with others.

Prime Minister Kaczynski’s voter base rests primarily in the countryside among the older population and followers of Radio Maria’s Father Taduesz Rydzyk. These voters are devoutly Catholic and tend to support Kaczynski. How much some of them support him and his party was made reported today in the Polish Weekly Gazeta Wyborcza.

In Lublin, after a church service yesterday, PIS flyers were distributed on the church’s premises and when a Gazeta Wyborcza reporter started taking pictures, some people surrounded him, started calling him names, and told him to “f**k off!” – One woman even hit him in the face. Finally a man urged people to calm down and the reporter was able to get away.

The candidates whose fliers were distributed said that they had no idea about what happened. They said that people take their flyers and distribute them any way they want. Candidates have no control over what they do.

It seems that the Vatican will never stop getting involved in Polish politics despite the fact that the wall has fallen and the Polish Pope is dead.

 

Latvian Report

From the original Ovi magazine (Ovi lehti in Finnish)

Gang of former KGB agents operating in Latvia

A criminal group composed of Soviet-era KGB agents and former and present special service agents are operating in Latvia, the country’s prime minister said Thursday. “We know people, their names, concrete crimes, we have testimonies, but we haven’t detained anyone yet,” Prime Minister Aigars Kalvitis said.

The criminal gang – allegedly linked to certain politicians – is believed to be involved in extortion and drug trafficking in the small Baltic EU country, he said. Kalvitis did not disclose any names, but called on President Valdis Zatlers to hold a special national security council meeting “as soon as possible.” Theoretically Kalvitis’ allegations could be true, said Lolita Cigane, a corruption expert at Providus Center.

While one former KGB employee tries to be elected Russia’s next PM, others have taken a different path that is usually the plot of a James Bond film.

Latvia extends peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan

Latvia has decided to extend its peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan for another year, allocating $14 million in funds, the governmental press service said Tuesday. The ex-Soviet Baltic state plans to send a total of 260 troops into the country in two alternating troop contingents, the press service said. At the moment, 100 Latvian troops are deployed in northern Afghanistan as part of the UN peacekeeping mission. A NATO and European Union member, Latvia withdrew from Iraq in June.

This year has been the bloodiest period in Afghanistan since the U.S.-led campaign to overthrow the Taliban movement in 2001, as radical Islamist forces step up attacks in an attempt to topple the government and drive foreign troops out of the country.

Latvia is certainly a country of contradictions with the World Bank ranking it as the 22nd best country for business, while it also has the most expensive chicken meat, sausages, milk, eggs, bread and sugar in the Baltic States and is facing increasing accusations of corruption.

Russian Parliament’s Upper House Ratifies Latvia Border Pact

The upper house of Russia’s parliament Wednesday ratified a border treaty with Latvia that allows Russia to retain a swathe of land contested by Latvian nationalists. The treaty gives Russia control of an area known as the Pytalovo district to Russians and Abrene to Latvians that was seized by the Soviet Union after World War II.

Latvian nationalists protested the agreement as a sellout when the Latvian parliament signed it earlier this year, but supporters hope the agreement will help improve often-chilly relations with Russia. Moscow frequently complains that Latvia discriminates against its large ethnic-Russian population and regards Latvia’s membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the European Union as Western encroachment on Russia’s border.

The 117-1 vote by the Federation Council sends the measure to President Vladimir Putin for signing. Latvia already has ratified and signed the measure. The situations sounds similar to that of some Finns and their belief that Karelia should be returned to Finland, which was also an area taken by Russia at the end of World War Two and has caused extensive diplomatic problems recently after some officials made claims regarding a secret buy-out offer made by Russia in the 1950s.

Romanian Report

From the original Ovi magazine (Ovi lehti in Finnish)

Low birth rate harming Romania

Romanian President Traian Basescu said this week that he is worried his country was “going through a demographic desert” because of a drop in birth rates since 1990. “In 17 years, Romania has lost 1.4mn people due to emigration and the lower birth rate,” Basescu said during a conference on population in the central town of Sibiu.

“Today, we count only one child per woman. If this birth rate remains as it is, we will only have 16mn residents in Romania in 2050, 11mn in 2075 and 8.5mn in 2100,” he warned. Romania currently has 21.6mn inhabitants.

In other new, tens of thousands of migrant workers from Romania are to be blocked from working in Britain amid concerns that economic migration is placing new strains on public services. Ahh, here we have the intricacies of the EU in all its glory.

Bromsgrove volunteers help out in Romania

A group of volunteers from the UK witnessed first-hand the importance of this year’s fund-raising subject of the Day of Kindness (September 18th) when they visited the slums of Romania.

The week-long expedition was organised to raise awareness of one of Europe’s poorest and most disadvantaged countries and was hailed as a life-changing experience by some of the volunteers on their return. The trip saw them discover the reality of the struggle many Romanians endure each day with no running water and very primitive sanitation.

For more on raising funds for The Smiles Foundation, call John and Joan Mayo on 0044 1527 875602 or log onto: www.thesmilesfoundation.org

Best women handball teams in Europe

The 2007 Women’s Champions Trophy will take place in Vâlcea, Romania from 22 – 23 September 2007. Vâlcea is no stranger to top handball events and the city is steeped in handball traditions. The arena in Vâlcea was renovated and used for the preliminary and main round of the 2000 Women’s European Championship.

The competition in Ramnicu Valcea is held for the first time under the name Champions’ Tournament, called Europe’s Supercup previously. The participating teams are Slagelse DT (Denmark) – winner of Champions League 2006-2007, Zvezda Zvenigorod (Russia) – winner of EHF Cup, Oltchim Ramnicu Valcea and Lada Togliatti, invited by the European Handball Federation (EHF).

Talking of balls, do you know why snakes don’t have balls? It’s because very few of them can dance.