KAOWAO NEWS NO. 107
- From: "MRC-USA" <mrcorg@xxxxxxx>
- Date: 2 Apr 2006 10:50:30 -0700
KAOWAO NEWS NO. 107
Newsletter for social justice and freedom in Burma
March 16-31, 2006
Corrupt hospital workers threaten fight against curable diseases at
Alternative solution for fuel turned into forced labour in Karen State
Farmers left with nothing after selling paddy to army
Canada's Policy on Burma: Cham Toik
Statement of the Second Burma Forum
Mon Women Day held in America
Close Down AEIOU Programme, Due to Lack of Funds
The War Drums Are Getting Louder
Bridging the Gender Digital Divide in FOSS
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On "Burma: In Search of a Solution For All" (By Nai Ong Mon)
You are doing a great job. The important thing is the information you
passed around. The only thing that all of the civil society
organisations in the region should do, is to give pressure to our
respective governments to do something positive.
A really stimulating contribution. no other comment is
offered.......but this historical overview is a sleeping timebomb.
Corrupt hospital workers threaten fight against curable diseases at
(Kaowao: March 31, 2006)
Tham Hin refugee camp has been stricken by an outbreak of diarrhea for
over two weeks, says a Mon refugee from the camp.
"The hospitals in the two camps don't have enough medicine to treat
diarrhea. But Thai medical workers order refugees to go to the
hospitals for treatment even though they are not that sick, they try to
get more patients to come so that UNHCR will give them more funding,"
the man said under the condition of anonymity.
"Meanwhile, they turn away malarial patients because they don't
want them to die in the hospital. About 40 from a Karen refugee camp
and about 7 from Person of Concern (POC) camp situated close together
are suffering from diarrhea last week," he added.
The camps, lacking in infrastructure and short of funding for
medicines, do not have the appropriate drugs to treat people suffering
from curable diseases such as malaria and diarrhea. The camp hospital
can only provide paracetamol, a mild painkiller, to treat patients
suffering from the deadly diseases.
"We don't have enough medicine for the patients. Medical workers
can only provide paracetamol even though patients are suffering from
malaria," he said. The Mon refugee added that one Karen patient died
of malaria because the hospital is out of anti-malarial drugs to fight
Tham Hin camp, near the Thai-Burma border, has a population of some
9,000 predominantly ethnic Karen refugees. It is located in a
mountainous area of Ratchaburi Province; about two hours drive from
Bangkok. Refugees International reported Tham Hin refugees suffer from
lack of land, severe overcrowding, and extreme limitations on movement
beyond the camp's boundaries.
Alternative solution for fuel turned into forced labour in Karen State
(Kaowao: March 26, 2006)
The State Peace and Development Council in Pha-ann Township is
implementing its physic nut (castor oil) growing project by forcing the
local populations in Karen State to grow the plant, sources said.
Sources from southern Pha-ann Township said that middle school students
were forced to grow 200 plants each, while villagers in Kanni village
track southern Kaw-ka-reik Township were extorted 700 Kyats of Burmese
currency to fulfill the project.
"Students in my village were forced to grow 200 physic nuts and the
head of teacher (middle school) is frustrated with the order," said
Miss Mi Cetanarmon, a young Mon woman who worked as teacher in the
Nai Swoh, a Mon politician from Kaw-ka-reik told a Kaowao reporter by
mobile phone that about 3000 households of the village track consisting
of eight villages (mostly Mon villages) were forced to pay on orders by
the village headmen received from the local commander and township
The State Peace and Development Council is planning a nation wide
physic-growing project to produce bio-diesel fuel, which can be used in
farming equipment. In Mon State the government is planning to put into
production 500,000 acres of plant cultivation within the next 3 years
and 7 million acres nationwide.
In Three Pagodas Pass town area, the SPDC authorities are giving top
priority to the residents by giving land, which is not yet officially
recognized, if they grow physic nuts, a Kaowao reporter from the border
said. The Oslo based DVB radio reported a Burmese villager from
Pe-kone Village, of Magwe Division in central Burma was arrested on 8
March for 'criticizing' the government imposed nationwide physic
nut plantation project.
Farmers left with nothing after selling paddy to army
(Joi Htaw, IMNA: March 20, 2006)
Farmers in Paung Township have been forced to send what is being called
the "paddy tax" to Moulmein, the capital of Mon State. They had to
spend money from their pockets to meet the transportation costs.
The authorities did not pay even the transportation cost, said a farmer
from Zinkyaik village in Paung Township.
"We have to send the paddy very far, near Moulmein. We also have to
pay for the cost of transporting it by car. There is nothing left for
us," he added. From Zinkyaik to Moulmein is about 10 miles.
The Township Peace and Development Council said they took the paddy
from the farmers with their consent. But the farmers were actually
threatened that they would be put in jail if they did not send the
paddy by the TPDC set dateline, said a resident.
Moreover, in order to force farmers to send the paddy tax on time, the
Township Peace and Development Council barred rice processors in Paung
Therefore the residents were unable to convert paddy to rice which
means, the farmers were not allowed to trade in paddy if they did not
sell it to the military.
"They did not even say when they would allow the rice processors to
operate. But some small rice processors in the farm can operate but we
have to go very far," other residents said.
Some farmers are finding it difficult arrange for their own food
because the rice processors have been banned.
The households who own 10 acres of land and above had to give 10
baskets of paddy (20 cans of paddy) and those with less than 10 acres
had to give 5 baskets (10 cans of paddy).
The market price of 10 baskets of paddy is 30,000 Kyat but the military
authorities paid only 17,450 Kyat.
The military has not taken paddy tax from farmers for the last three
years and this year only Paung Township had to give 10 baskets of paddy
(20 cans of paddy).
The other townships in Mon State have been quiet. But last year, the
southeast commander bought paddy from farmers in Thanpyuzayart Township
by force. They bought six cans per acre.
Canada's Policy on Burma
(By Cham Toik)
Canada has paid particular attention to the ongoing political crisis in
Burma by making it possible for Burmese political leaders to get
together and work at drafting a constitution. I would like to outline
the initiatives undertaken so far by my host country and recommend
further action to strengthen its position on facilitating democracy in
According to the website of the Canada's Department of Foreign
Affairs, "Canada's policy on Burma is a direct reflection of the
severe problems that the Burmese military government has created for
its people, and the security concerns that the policies of its
leadership and actions of its armed forces pose for the international
concerned about the human right's of the Burmese people and is firmlyFrom the above statement, the Government of Canada remains deeply
committed to promoting democratic reform. According to Canada, the
biggest obstacles to peace in Burma is the military government and they
feel the most effective way to bring about change is by working in
conjunction with the international community and actively encouraging
other nations, particularly its immediate neighbours, to press Burma's
rulers to take concrete steps towards genuine political dialogue with
The Canadian government has put in place a number of bilateral
political and economic measures to put pressure on the military regime.
In July 2003, for instance, Canada imposed restrictive measures
targeting senior members of the regime. Under these measures, the
Burmese leadership, senior government officials and members of the
military are to be denied visas for admission to Canada. As well,
Canada has repeatedly called on the Burmese government to release the
over 1,000 political prisoners of conscience and Nobel Laureate Aung
San Suu Kyi from house arrest.
Since 1991-2, Canada has provided over $18 million in aid to Burmese
refugees in neighbouring countries, including Thailand and Bangladesh,
through multilateral organizations such as the UNHCR, MSF and ICRD.
Assistance has also been provided to support peace building initiatives
and emergency humanitarian aid (such as food and medical aid) in
refugee camps outside Burma, undertaken by non-governmental
organizations such as Inter Pares, the Burmese Border Consortium, and
Canadian Lutheran World Relief.
In partnership with the Canadian government and CLWR, the late Shan
leader, Dr. Chao Tzang Yawnghwe launched a National Reconciliation
Program (NRP) based on his vision for a strong civil society governed
by the ethnic nationalities and their people.
In this case, the NRP initiated to solve the root cause of Burma's
ongoing political crisis. The major problems that exist in Burma now
is a failure in establishing a genuine federal union agreed upon
through the Panglong Agreement hammered out on February 12, 1947,
signed by General Aung San and other ethnic nationalities. When Burma
gained independence from Britain in 1948 the hopes of establishing a
Federal Union were dashed after General Aung San was assassinated. The
rights of the ethnic nationalities were rejected by the central
government and civil war broke out. The newly independent states
spiralled into war and chaos and Karen and Mon villages were burnt to
the ground with many lives lost. The Karen National Defence
Organization (KNDO) and Mon National Defence Organization (MNDO) were
driven to take up arms after their leaders were imprisoned and
assassinated. Since then, the struggle for self-determination and
equal rights have played a vital role up until the present day and
solving the nation wide crisis will not come about until all the ethnic
nationalities have a say in how they will govern their people.
I, personally, worked with the National Reconciliation Program while I
was in Thailand during 2001-2. Through this program, the diverse
ethnic nationalities of Burma have been able to discuss and draft their
state constitutions for a future Federal Democratic Union. I am
pleased to inform you that our Mon people have been able to discuss a
future constitution for Mon state. Representatives from other states
such as Arakan, Chin, Kachin, Karen, Karenni, and Shan have also
started the process of drafting their own state constitutions, also.
Since then, the ethnic nationalities have held regular conferences and
meetings together in an exercise of state building while keeping in
mind the interests of the people within an atmosphere of unity and good
governance. With the joint support of Canadian NGOs and the Government
of Canada, this exercise has given us a better understanding of the
problems we will face in the future. It will undoubtedly contribute to
the betterment of the Union of Burma.
As we all are aware, today in Burma, human rights abuses are rampant.
There is no freedom of speech, press, association or assembly. The
economic, social and political situation is very unstable and
fragmented. After a long dictatorship, poor governance and military
repression of the population has taken a heavy toll on the people who
suffer continually from economic poverty, from being uprooted through
forced relocation, from forced labour and armed conflict by the
government's measure to repress the opposition and guerrilla warfare.
As well, in a climate of disorder and no rule of law, rampant human
trafficking, rape as a weapon of war, and opium production continue
unabated along Burma's borders and deforestation from the lack of
enforcement power will have a negative impact on future sustainability.
The general sentiment of the people is that the government is incapable
of good governance and is only concerned with wiping out its opponents
while repressing the people to abide by its burdens of imposing
excessively high taxes to fight the insurgents. As a result, thousands
of refugees continue to seek refuge along the border in the
Regarding Canada's Policy on Burma, Canada has been putting pressure
on the military regime by denouncing its grave human rights violations.
But the Government of Canada could do far more if it was really
committed to finding a way to ending the political and humanitarian
There has been good news that Canada will accept at least 500
government-sponsored refugees from the Burma border areas this year.
This is a great signal for us, because "about 9,500 Burmese refugees
scheduled to be resettled in the United States from Thailand this year
are in limbo because their indirect support for armed rebels opposed to
their repressive government has put them in technical violation of
American antiterrorism law."
A concern among Burmese activists now is Canada's increasing focus on
other countries in allocating funds through its aid program. Canada's
aid efforts have been based on strategic considerations or on
situations where Canada might be able to make a difference based on
strong people-to-people ties, as stated on the website: "The
Government is committed, at a minimum, to doubling (relative to 2001)
Canada's international assistance to more than $5 billion per year by
2010, with an increasing focus on Africa. Canada's increasing fiscal
health has enabled the Government to increase its provision of Official
Development Assistance and other international assistance. In 2004-05
the Government allocated $3.74 billion to international assistance."
While it is welcomed that aid is being directed to Africa, I would like
to recommend to the Canadian government to keep its focus on Burma and
to stay the course in supporting democratization, but also increasing
funding to humanitarian efforts. According to Burma Canadian
activists, when it comes to Burma, Canada falls behind other liberal
democracies such as the U.S., UK and the Scandinavian countries.
("Canada Needs To Do More About Burma" by Tin Maung Htoo/
Coordinator of Burma Forum Canada).
The Canadian government must continue with its objective in pressing
for political reform and to take decisive action to ensure that the
benefits achieved so far in promoting democracy will be maintained and
even reinforced with additional funding and support to meet the
necessary conditions to build good governance.
Canada has a favourable role to play in the international community
because of its contribution toward peace keeping. With its mediation
power it should use Canada's influence to bring the case of Burma to
the regional and international institutions. Canada can lobby in
different international forums such as UN, APEC, EU and ASEAN and;
mediate other states to bring the case of Burma to the United Nations
Security Council as proposed by Noble Peace Laureate Archbishop Desmond
M. Tutu and former president of the Czech Republic Vaclav Havel.
Without international support, it will be a long road ahead for the
people of Burma to build a peaceful and harmonious democratic federal
(A presentation at the Burma Forum held in Ottawa on March 17-18,
"Government of Canada Website"
Last updated 2006-03-10
Provision of Anti terror Law Delays Entry of Refugees
New York Times: March 7, 2006
"Canada's International Development: A Snapshot"
The Statement of the Second Burma Forum (Canada)
Ottawa, March 21, 2006
The 2nd Burma Forum (Canada) was held successfully at the Embassy West
Hotel in Ottawa from March 17 to 18, 2006. The forum participants
widely represented democracy activists from Burma including ethnic
nationalities across Canada and the United States along with
representatives from Canadian Burma support groups. The forum touched
on all Burma related issues but mainly focused on the humanitarian
crisis, recent new political initiative of the National League for
Democracy (NLD) and Canadian foreign policy towards Burma.
It is indeed the second opportune time for Burmese Diasporas and
Canadian supporters across Canada to get together to exchange views and
concerns on situation in Burma and to generate collective policy
recommendations to the Government of Canada. After having two-day long
frank and open discussion, the Forum unanimously agreed the following
messages to deliver to the Government of Canada.
Humanitarian Crisis in Burma
The forum gravely concerns upon rampant humanitarian crisis in Burma
and fully supports the recent call of student leaders from inside Burma
on urgent needs of humanitarian assistance to Burma.
The forum also agrees with the student leaders asking the establishment
of a joint mechanism comprise with the SPDC, democracy forces led by
the NLD and International donors to receive and manage the
international assistance. (Statement of the "88 Student Generation"
can be found as attached)
The forum fully supports the principles of the NLD on humanitarian
assistance that transparency, accountability and closed monitoring are
fundamental necessities to be an effective assistance delivery system.
The forum believes that the humanitarian crises are not because of
natural disaster or scarcity of resources but only as a result of
systemic failure of incumbent authorities in Burma. Therefore, an
urgent humanitarian intervention by international community under the
auspices of the UN Security Council is strongly recommended in addition
to provision of humanitarian aid.
The forum urges the Government of Canada to increase humanitarian
assistance significantly in order to cope with appalling situation
along the Burma border as well as inside the country.
NLD's new political initiative "Olive Branch" Offer
The Forum fully respects the will of the people clearly expressed
through the 1990 general elections and thus supports recent proposal by
the NLD for power sharing, as a practical solution for protracted
political stalemate in Burma. (Statement of NLD can be found as
The Forum expects the NLD's political initiative will lead to a stage
that will allow equal participation of all ethnic nationalities in the
political process as the best means for national reconciliation in
Burma consecutively expressed in the UN General Assembly resolutions
The forum strongly urges the State Peace and Development Council,
ruling military regime of Burma, to get into gracious Burmese New Year,
which will begin from April 17, 2006, by responding positively to the
mutually acceptable proposal of the NLD.
The Forum urges the Government of Canada to support the NLD's
initiative and also encourages international community, especially
ASEAN countries, China and India to lend their support.
Canadian Foreign Policy on Burma
The Forum appreciates and thanks on current measures and efforts by the
government and people of Canada for restoration of human dignity and
democracy in Burma but still believes that the Canadian Government
could and should do more effectively in both unilateral as well as
The Forum urges the Government of Canada to implement the Burma Motion,
which was passed by majority vote in the House of Commons in May 2005.
The Forum welcomes and thanks the call of former Czech President Vaclav
Havel and 1984 Nobel Peace Prize recipient Arch-Bishop Desmond Tutu of
South Africa, calling for the UN Security Council (UNSC) to act in
The Forum welcomes the first ever closed-door briefing of the UNSC on
December 16, 2005, on the situation in Burma and expects the UNSC will
continue to seize the matter. The Forum urges the Government of Canada
to increase its diplomatic effort to make this possible.
The Convening Committee is preparing for detailed report and will
submit to the Government of Canada soon.
The Forum deeply appreciates the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Canada,
Euro Burma Office and Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW) for their
strong support to make this event successful.
The Forum also appreciates all Forum participants and volunteers for
their hard work for the success of this event.
The Forum sincerely expects that the Canadian Government will take
these recommendations, which reflect collective desire of the Burmese
community in Canada, into serious consideration.
Burma Forum Canada
Mon Women Day held in America
(By Mi Wossorn: March 14, 2006)
3rd anniversary of Mon Women Day was celebrated in Fort Wayne, Indiana
state, organized by the Mon Women Organization (USA).
On March 12, over 90 Mons gathered for the Mon Women Day which
recognizes on the birth date of a famous Mon Queen Mi Jao Bu (Shin Saw
Pu) in honor of her ability, grace and truthfulness that brought the
Honsawaddy Mon kingdom to the glory of peace and prosperity. In the
morning, alms donation was made to the Buddhist monks, received the
five precepts and shared merits to those who passed away in Mon
national struggle and the Queen.
Brief biography and the joint statement of Mon Women Organization from
the USA and Canada were read during the gathering. The Mon Women
Organization also reported their annual activities and organization
budget. "We are happy to celebrate this special day to honour our
respected queen and raising awareness' of Mon women issues" said Mi
Pakao Rot, Secretary General of the MWO.
Mi Jao Bu, the only queen in Burma, was born on 12th day of 12th in the
year of 755 Mon lunar calendar (Mar 23, 1394). She was abducted by the
Burmese King Thiha Thu on the way to pay respect Shwedagon Pagoda. She
was then seized as a queen of the Burmese kings in Ava. Mi Jao Bu was
secretly brought back to Honsawaddy by two Buddhist monks. She ruled
the Mon kingdom for 19 years and passed away at the age of 76.
The first Mon Women Day was celebrated in 2004 in the USA and Canada.
Close Down AEIOU Programme, Due to Lack of Funds
The tertiary educational programme for the Burmese Refugees, IDPs
(Internally Displaced Persons), Migrant Workers and Potential Youths
from inside the country may have to close down due to lack of funds.
EWOB which has been silently implementing this project for the last six
years (including 3 years pilot project) is now facing acute funding
problems as it can no longer feed the students nor provide transport to
Chiangmai University and pay honorarium to the professors and office
staff and most importantly is unable to transport them back to their
The main donor has allotted only one third of the overall budget this
academic year, before sending an evaluation team. Even though there is
a bright prospect for renewing the support in the ensuing years, the
Programme's fund will be completely depleted by the end of March
The 27 students (1st 2nd and 3rd years) from 11 ethnic groups including
the Burmans are now in the doldrums.
The AEIOU Programme which is a de facto National University in Diaspora
is not even in the agenda of the Burma Donor's Meeting to be held at
the end of this month in Brussels (EIAS). So there is no hope of
getting from anywhere else. Hence they appeal to any compassionate,
sympathetic and passionate individual or organization to help them with
any amount they can donate expeditiously. The minimum budget to
complete this programme is just Euros 25,000.
Around the globe
The War Drums Are Getting Louder
(By Stephen Lendman / Countercurrents.org: 01 April, 2006)
The way things are today, why on earth would the "big fool lunatics in
charge" in Washington ever want another war or maybe two of them.
Already they're "waist deep in the Big Muddy" in two out-of-control
debacles in the Middle East and Central Asia, and the country is
leaching multi-billions we don't have to pay for them. Despite this
hopeless chaos, it looks almost certain we're now headed for a new one
against another Middle East 4-letter country beginning with the letter
"I", and may try to "double our displeasure" by including a "fracas in
Caracas." I just learned about an "Operation Bilbao" which appears to
be blueprint to overthrow the Chavez government and likely includes in
it targeted assassinations starting with the guy in charge.
Do these neocrazies in Washington really think they can pull all this
off - wars on four fronts. Don't these guys have anyone around with a
sense of history? Forget about morality and such. These folks have none
of that. But even kids in high school learn that Hitler was doomed when
he decided to wage war on two fronts. And we all know what happened to
Napoleon and a few other less notables. It's what happens when your
"eyes get bigger than your stomach", and the indigestion that results
is called "demise by overreach." It's no different now than a couple of
generations ago or a couple of centuries either.
AGAIN, IT'S FOR THE OIL STUPID, AND THE THIRD AND FOURTH TARGETS ARE
IRAN AND VENEZUELA
Call it the curse of having too much oil or maybe any. If only they
just grew stuff we eat there instead of pumping the stuff our "gas
guzzlers" do. Iran and Venezuela have so much of the "black gold" their
countries are practically floating on it. But in a world where a
predatory USA can't even breathe without it, that makes them public
enemies one and two - unless they agree to hand it all over to us. In
"Godfather" language, that's called "making an offer they can't
refuse." That's the way it works in a world where "only what we say
goes and we make all the rules." Any nation unwilling to follow our
orders and obey them becomes a target for regime change by whatever
means it takes - including by illegal aggression using industrial
strength nuclear weapons the US now plans to throw around like hand
I've written some in other articles about Iran and said then and now I
believe things are "hotting up" as my UK friends would say. They're No.
one in the target queue, and it could be (nuclear) bombs away at any
time. But here I only want to discuss Venezuela because after Iran I
have almost no doubt Venezuela is next. The US may even try to make it
a twosome in their infinite lunacy. These reckless, lawless fools are
often wrong but never in doubt. When you rule the world or want to, you
even believe you have the right to blow it up.
To understand what's in the wind, all you have to do is clean out your
ears, open your eyes and pay attention. The US war drums are beating a
duet, and they're getting louder. Listen up, here's the message on the
Venezuelan front. On March 28, the Virginia Pilot of Norfolk, VA
(that's where the biggest US naval force is based and where I once
lived for a year) reported that the US Navy is sending an aircraft
carrier strike group composed of four ships and 60 aircraft to
Caribbean and South American waters for a "major" training exercise.
All four ships are capable of launching cruise missiles that might and
could be armed with nuclear warheads. By my reckoning, that's a
provocative and hostile act.
Now combine that with the growing hostile rhetoric coming out of
Washington directed at Hugo Chavez. I wrote in a previous article that
Latin American expert James Petras wrote (now some months ago) that the
US has a strategy to overthrow President Chavez by military force and
at the same time destroy the Cuban revolution in a "two step" process -
"first overthrow the Chavez government in Venezuela, cut off the energy
supply and trade links (to Cuba) and then proceed toward economic
strangulation and military attack." He also believed then the US would
employ a "triangular strategy" to overthrow Chavez - "a military
invasion from Colombia, US intervention (by air and sea attacks plus
special forces to assassinate key officials) and an internal uprising
by infiltrated terrorists and military traitors, supported by key
media, financial and petrol elites."
That's an ominous scenario to consider, but now add to it the kind of
Washington rhetoric that makes it all sound possible. Here's some of
the language from 2005 to the present, and it's getting meaner. Various
US officials including CIA Chief Porter Goss, Deputy Secretary of State
Robert Zoellick, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and a growing number
of others have called President Chavez a "threat to democracy" and an
"elected dictatorship", and they said it without even a touch of irony.
They accused him of doing "away with the rule of law, (packing) the
courts (and) carrying out anti-democratic activities" like a dictator.
It gets worse. The just updated National Security Strategy, published
so we can all read it, specifically singles out Hugo Chavez as "a
demogogue awash in oil money (who is) undermining democracy and seeking
to destabilize the region." The complicit US corporate media echo this
venom as often as the Washington lunatics ask them to. And there's lots
more of it including a recent US Army report that calls Hugo Chavez
"the largest threat since the Soviet Union and Communism", and Don
Rumsfeld compares him to Hitler.
And in case you missed it, I'll repeat what John Pilger (one of my
great heros) wrote on March 30 on VHeadline.com titled: "British
Channel 4 paints President Chavez a Dictator -- Hugo to go?" I watched
that ugly and appalling piece of rot on March 27, painful as it was to
do it. In his article Pilger says "This was a piece seemingly written
by the US State Department....." It sure sounded like it, and I've
heard enough of it through the years to agree. Here's a choice line
from it Pilger quotes: "He (Chavez) is in danger of joining a rogue's
gallery of dictators and despots --Washington's latest Latin
nightmare." There's so much more of the worst kinds of gross lies and
deception in the Channel 4 report, but you get the idea. Read the
Pilger article if you haven't yet. Unlike myself, a simple amateur,
he's a pro's pro, an honest one, and as good as they come.
All of what I cite above are the clearest signals yet something is up
and will happen - the only question is when and precisely what. I only
hope but do believe Hugo Chavez is listening and hunkering down for
IN AN ORWELLIAN WORLD THE ONLY TRUTHS ARE THE LIES WE SAY ARE TRUTHS
It makes no difference to the Washington crowd that Hugo Chavez was
democratically elected twice, is loved by the overwhelming majority of
his people and has already survived three attempts by the US to oust
him. Coming up for sure is number four. Chavez surely knows this and
also believes (as do I) that this time the US plan is to kill him. In
US perverted logic, they believe - no more Hugo Chavez, no more
Bolivarian revolution. Well, President Chavez may have a thing or two
to say about the first premise, and the Venezuelan people may have a
thought or two about the second, at least the 80% of them who cherish
it and will likely fight to keep it.
Readers should understand and never forget that Hugo Chavez gave the
people of Venezuela a participatory democracy and an array of essential
social programs for everyone, especially the 80% or more poor or
desperately poor who never before had them. That's why the majority of
Venezuelans love him, will likely fight to protect and keep him, and
will never easily surrender the essential services they now have.
That's also why the US hates him and will try to remove him. He
represents the greatest of all threats to us - a good example, one that
may spread to other nations, and we can never tolerate that. It's bad
for business. By US rules it's corporations first, second, third, and
to hell with the people. We're doing the same thing here in the US so
why would we ever care about those dark-skinned Venezuelans - except
the rich ones, of course. With them the only color that counts is
For the ordinary people everywhere, the virulent undercurrent of racism
always surfaces as a key factor in the target countries we choose.
Since the beginning of the republic, race hate has been so much a part
of our white leaders' DNA that even caucasian Arab people aren't white
enough. And the only post-WW II war we've fought that's an exception
was the illegal aggression against and breakup of Yugoslavia. In that
case, strategic factors outweighed race. The exception, as they say,
proves the rule.
THE US ROAD TO TYRANNY LEADS THROUGH AFGHANISTAN, IRAQ, IRAN AND
I've written several times before that the George Bush junta today is
taking the US from a republic to tyranny, and we're already perilously
close. This is a man who believes he's "above the law" and the
"Constitution is just a goddamed piece of paper." I say this in deadly
seriousness, this is not a test, it's real and it's coming unless we
find a way and soon to stop it. Is anyone paying attention? All my
senses detect it enough to make my skin crawl, and I'm desperately
trying to sound the alarm to all I can reach including Hugo Chavez who
I respect, admire and can only wish we had someone like him here. We
need a lot of Hugo Chavezes and a few more Paul Reveres to echo the
alarm, but this time it's not a case of "one if by land and two if by
sea." It's coming at us from all directions, and it may be armed with a
nuclear warhead abroad and the end of our republic and sacred
constitutional rights here with martial law and tyranny replacing them.
It's that serious. Is anyone listening?
(Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
lendmanstephen@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx Also visit his blog site at
GLOBAL: Bridging the Gender Digital Divide in FOSS
Social justice advocates welcome the development of Free Open (or
Libre) Source Software (FOSS) and regard it as having the potential to
make a significant contribution towards bridging not only the digital
divide, but also the gender divide. According to the Association for
Progressive Communications, the Free Open Source movement is based on
''Open'' pillars: Open Source, Open Standards and Open Content. FOSS
(or FLOSS, as it is sometimes called) gives a licence to users to
access software source codes, modify them and redistribute the original
or modified programs. Women, both in the North and South, stand to gain
tremendously from the FOSS movement and it is hailed as having the
potential to deliver appropriate information and communication
technology on a grand scale to disadvantaged groups.
KAOWAO NEWS GROUP
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Kaowao Newsgroup is committed to social justice, peace, and democracy
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members of the Mon activist community based in Thailand.
Our motto is working together for lasting peace and change
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