அரசியல் பிரச்சாரத்தின் ஆதாரக் கோட்பாடு

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அரசியல் பிரச்சாரத்தின் ஆதாரக் கோட்பாடு.

'' நீதி, மதம், அரசியல், சமுதாயம் சம்பந்தமான எல்லாவித சொல்லடுக்குகளுக்கும் பிரகடனங்களுக்கும் வாக்குறுதிகளுக்கும் பின்னே ஏதாவதொரு வர்க்கத்தின் நலன்கள் ஒழிந்து நிற்பதைக் கண்டுகொள்ள மக்கள் தெரிந்துகொள்ளாத வரையில் அரசியலில் அவர்கள் முட்டாள்தனமான ஏமாளிகளாகவும் தம்மைத் தாமே ஏமாற்றிக்கொள்வோராகவும் இருந்தனர், எப்போதும் இருப்பார்கள். பழைய ஏற்பாடு ஒவ்வொன்றும் எவ்வளவுதான் காட்டு மிராண்டித் தனமாகவும் அழுகிப் போனதாகவும் தோன்றிய போதிலும் ஏதாவது ஒரு ஆளும்வர்க்கத்தின் சக்தியைக் கொண்டு அது நிலைநிறுத்தப்பட்டு வருகிறது. சீர்திருத்தங்கள், அபிவிருத்திகள் ஆகியவற்றின் ஆதரவாளர்கள் இதை உணராத வரையில் பழைய அமைப்பு முறையின் பாதுகாவலர்கள் அவர்களை என்றென்றும் முட்டாளாக்கிக் கொண்டே இருப்பார்கள். இந்த வர்க்கங்களின் எதிர்ப்பைத் தகர்த்து ஒழிப்பதற்கு ஒரே ஒரு வழிதான் உண்டு. அது என்ன?

பழைமையைத் துடைத்தெறியவும் புதுமையைச் சிருக்ஷ்டிக்கவும் திறன் பெற்றவையும், சமுதாயத்தில் தாங்கள் வகிக்கும் ஸ்தானத்தின் காரணமாக அப்படிச் சிருக்ஷ்டித்துக் தீரவேண்டிய நிர்ப்பந்தத்திலிருக்கிறவையுமான சக்திகளை, நம்மைச் சூழ்ந்துள்ள இதே சமுதாயத்துக்குள்ளேயே நாம் கண்டுபிடித்து, அந்தச் சக்திகளுக்கு ஞானமூட்டிப் போராட்டத்துக்கு ஸ்தாபன ரீதியாகத் திரட்ட வேண்டும். இது ஒன்றேதான் வழி. ''

மாமேதை தோழர் லெனின்
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Friday, 30 September 2016

Shimon Peres was no peacemaker- Robert Fisk


ENB File Photo Robert Fisk 
Shimon Peres was no peacemaker. I’ll never forget the sight of pouring blood and burning bodies at Qana

Peres said the massacre came as a ‘bitter surprise’. It was a lie: the UN had repeatedly told Israel the camp was packed with refugees
Robert Fisk @indyvoices Wednesday 28 September 2016

The Israeli politician has died at 93, two weeks after suffering a major stroke AP


When the world heard that Shimon Peres had died, it shouted “Peacemaker!” But when I heard that Peres was dead, I thought of blood and fire and slaughter. 

I saw the results: babies torn apart, shrieking refugees, smouldering bodies. It was a place called Qana and most of the 106 bodies – half of them children – now lie beneath the UN camp where they were torn to pieces by Israeli shells in 1996. I had been on a UN aid convoy just outside the south Lebanese village. Those shells swished right over our heads and into the refugees packed below us. It lasted for 17 minutes.

Shimon Peres, standing for election as Israel’s prime minister – a post he inherited when his predecessor Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated – decided to increase his military credentials before polling day by assaulting Lebanon. The joint Nobel Peace Prize holder used as an excuse the firing of Katyusha rockets over the Lebanese border by the Hezbollah. In fact, their rockets were retaliation for the killing of a small Lebanese boy by a booby-trap bomb they suspected had been left by an Israeli patrol. It mattered not.

A few days later, Israeli troops inside Lebanon came under attack close to Qana and retaliated by opening fire into the village. Their first shells hit a cemetery used by Hezbollah; the 

rest flew directly into the UN Fijian army camp where hundreds of civilians were sheltering. Peres announced that “we did not know that several hundred people were concentrated in 

that camp. It came to us as a bitter surprise.”

It was a lie. The Israelis had occupied Qana for years after their 1982 invasion, they had video film of the camp, they were even flying a drone over the camp during the 1996 massacre – a fact they denied until a UN soldier gave me his video of the drone, frames from which we published in The Independent. The UN had repeatedly told Israel that the camp was packed with refugees.

This was Peres’s contribution to Lebanese peace. He lost the election and probably never thought much more about Qana. But I never forgot it. 

When I reached the UN gates, blood was pouring through them in torrents. I could smell it. It washed over our shoes and stuck to them like glue. There were legs and arms, babies without heads, old men’s heads without bodies. A man’s body was hanging in two pieces in a burning tree. What was left of him was on fire. 

On the steps of the barracks, a girl sat holding a man with grey hair, her arm round his shoulder, rocking the corpse back and forth in her arms. His eyes were staring at her. She was keening and weeping and crying, over and over: “My father, my father.” If she is still alive – and there was to be another Qana massacre in the years to come, this time from the Israeli air force – I doubt if the word “peacemaker” will be crossing her lips.

There was a UN enquiry which stated in its bland way that it did not believe the slaughter was an accident. The UN report was accused of being anti-Semitic. 

Much later, a brave Israeli magazine published an interview with the artillery soldiers who fired at Qana. An officer had referred to the villagers as “just a bunch of Arabs” (‘arabushim’ in Hebrew). “A few Arabushim die, there is no harm in that,” he was quoted as saying. Peres’s chief of staff was almost equally carefree: “I don’t know any other rules of the game, either for the [Israeli] army or for civilians…”

Peres called his Lebanese invasion “Operation Grapes of Wrath”, which – if it wasn’t inspired by John Steinbeck – must have come from the Book of Deuteronomy. “The sword without and terror within,” it says in Chapter 32, “shall destroy both the young man and the virgin, the suckling also with the man of grey hairs.” Could there be a better description of those 17 minutes at Qana?

Yes, of course, Peres changed in later years. They claimed that Ariel Sharon – whose soldiers watched the massacre at Sabra and Chatila camps in 1982 by their Lebanese Christian allies – was also a “peacemaker” when he died. At least he didn’t receive the Nobel Prize. 

Peres later became an advocate of a “two state solution”, even as the Jewish colonies on Palestinian land – which he once so fervently supported – continued to grow.

Now we must call him a “peacemaker”. And count, if you can, how often the word “peace” is used in the Peres obituaries over the next few days. Then count how many times the word 
Qana appears.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

எழுக தமிழ் பேரணிக்கு…அலைகடலாய் அணிதிரள்வீர்! திருமாவளவன்

செப்டெம்பர் 24 
யாழ் எழுக தமிழ் பேரணிக்கு…
அலைகடலாய் அணிதிரள்வீர்! 
தொல். திருமாவளவன் அழைப்பு

Posted by  திலீபன் on September 22nd, 2016

ந்த இருபத்தொன்றாம் நூற்றாண்டின் முதல் இன அழிப்புக்கு முகங்கொடுத்த எம் தமிழ்ச் சொந்தங்களே! வணக்கம்.

2009 மே மாதம் மௌனிக்கப்பட்டது ஆயுதங்களை தான், எங்கள் ஜனநாயக போராட்டத்தை அல்ல என்பது உலகச் சமூகத்திற்கு எடுத்துச் செல்ல நமக்கு கிடைத்திருக்கின்ற ஒரு வாய்ப்பு தான் “எழுக தமிழ்” போராட்டம்.

இனப்படுகொலைக்கு நியாயம் கேட்போம். சுயநிர்ணய உரிமைக்காக நியாயம் கேட்போம் ஒன்று கூடுவோம் யாழ் நகரிலே வென்று காட்டுவோம் தமிழரின் சுயநிர்ணய உரிமையை.

முள்ளிவாய்க்காலிலேயே உங்கள் போராட்டத்தை உயிரோடு புதைத்து விட்டதாக எண்ணிக் கொண்டிருக்கும் போர்க் குற்றவாளிகளின் கனவைக் கலைத்தாக வேண்டும். பெண் என்றும் குழந்தை என்றும் முதியோர் என்றும் பாராமல் முப்படை கொண்டு முழுப்படுகொலை செய்த கொடியவர்களைக் கூண்டிலேற்றி சர்வதேச விசாரணைக்கு உட்படுத்தியாக வேண்டும்.

உங்கள் அன்புக்கும் எங்கள் அன்புக்கும் உரியவர்களை ஆயிரக்கணக்கில் தொலைத்துக் கட்டி விட்டுத் தொலைந்து போனதாகக் கணக்குக் காட்டி வரும் மோசடியைக் காணாமலடிக்க வேண்டும்.

அனைவரும் அநேகமாய்ச் செத்து விட்டனர் என்று சர்வசாதாரணமாகச் சொல்லிச் சென்றோர் அவர்களின் மாய மறைவுக்குப் பொறுப்புக் கூறியாக வேண்டும்.

எந்தையும் தாயும் மகிழ்ந்து குலாவி இருந்த எம் சொந்த மண்ணில் வந்து குந்திய வன்பறிப்புப் பட்டாளத்துக்கு இனியும் இங்கென்ன வேலை? எனக் கேட்க வேண்டும். நிலம் மீட்க வேண்டும்.

இனத்தின் வாழ்வில் ஒளி தேடியதன்றி வேறு குற்றமறியாமல் இருட்சிறைக்குள் வாடிக் கிடக்கும் தமிழ் இளைஞர்களை – அல்லது இளைஞர்களாகச் சென்று சிறைக்குள்ளேயே முதுமை கண்டு விட்டவர்களை – விடுதலை செய்வித்தாக வேண்டும். நடந்தவை நடந்தவையே இனி இக்கொடுமை நிகழாது என்பதை உறுதி செய்யும் படியான அரசியல் தீர்வு வேண்டும். 

புறாச் சிறகு போர்த்திய வல்லூறுகளின் பசப்பு வார்த்தைகளைப் புறந்தள்ள வேண்டும். எமக்கு உறுதியானதொரு காப்பு வேண்டும்அதற்கு இறைமையும் உரிமையும் வாய்ந்த அரச யாப்பு வேண்டும்.

இறுதியாக ஒன்று. புதுமக் கால சிங்கப்பூரின் சிற்பி அந்நாட்டின் முதல் தலைமைச்சர் லீ-குவான்-யூ சிறுபான்மையினரான தமிழர்களை வெல்லும் தகுதியும்துணிச்சலும் சிங்களவர்களிற்கு இல்லை. என்றும் “தமிழர்கள் நீண்ட காலம் பொறு மையோடு காத்திருக்கமாட்டார்கள்” என்று சொன்னாரே அந்த எச்சரிக்கையை உங்கள் ஆட்சியாளர்களுக்கு நினைவூட்ட வேண்டும்.

நம்மினத்துக்காக விதையுண்ட பல்லாயிரம் மாவீரர்களின் மூச்சுக்காற்று உலவி நிற்கும் யாழ்ப்பாணத்தில் உங்கள் கோரிக்கை முழக்கங்கள் ஓங்கி ஒலிக்கட்டும். கடல் கடந்து தாய்த் தமிழகத்திலும் புவிப்பரப்பிலும் போராடி வாழும் தமிழ் மக்களின் இதயங்களில் எதிரொலிக்கட்டும்!

நன்றி! வணக்கம். தொல். திருமாவளவன்

​​​ தலைவர் விடுதலைச் சிறுத்தைகள் கட்சி

 சென்னை  21.09.2016. ​​

Monday, 26 September 2016

எழுக தமிழ்ப் பேரவைக்கு ஏகப்பட்ட ஆதரவு: இந்து மக்கள் கட்சி இந்தியா


ஈழத்தின் சிவ(ன்) பூமியை, புத்த பூமியாக மாற்றும் இலங்கை அரசின் முயற் சிக்கு எதிராக  அனைத்து உலக இந்துக்களே, ஓரணியில் திரள்வீர். 

இந்து மக்கள் கட்சியின் பொதுச் செயலாளர் இராம. ரவிக்குமார்  அழைப்பு


சிவ பூமியான இலங்கையில் யுத்த நிகழ்வுக்கு பின்னர், இந்து இன அழிப்பை தொடர்ந்து இந்து கோவில்கள், வழிபாட்டு இடங்கள், அடக்க ஸ்தலங்கள் உள்ளிட்ட அனைத்து இந்து மத சுவடு களை முற்றாய் அழித்து ‘சிவ” லங்காவை, ‘புத்த” லங்காவாக மாற்ற ஆளும் சிறிசேனா அரசு முயற்சியை தொடங்கியுள்ளது.

தமிழர் தாயகத்தில் – இலங்கையில் சிங்கள – பௌத்த மயமாக்கலை உடன் நிறுத்த கோரியும் தமிழ் தேசம் தனித்துவமான இறையாண்மை, சுயநிர்யண உரிமை அடிப்படையிலான நிரந்தர அரசியல் தீர்வை வழியுறுத்தியும், யுத்த குற்றங்களுக்கும் இனப்படுகொலைக்குமான சர்வதேச விசாரனை வலியுறுத்தியும் செப்ரெம்பர் 24, 2016 அன்று யாழ்பாணம் நகரில் கூடும் ”எழுக தமிழ்” பேரணியிலே தாயகத்தில் உள்ள அனைத்து இந்துக்களும் ஏனைய சகோதரத்துவ மதத்தவர்களும் ஓரணியில் திரண்டு

இலங்கை அரசின் பௌத்தமயமாக்கலுக்கு எதிராக குரல் கொடுக்குமாறு 

உங்கள் அனைவரையும் இந்தியாவில் வாழும் கோடிக்கணக்கான இந்துக்களின்  சார்பாக கேட்டுக் கொள்கின்றேன்

தாயகத்திலே பௌத்தமயமாக்கலைக் கண்டித்து முன்னெடுக்கப்படும் எழுக தமிழ் நிகழ்விற்கு ஆதரவாக இந்துக்களின் நிலங்களையும் ஆலயங்களையும் பாதுகாக்கும் நோக்கோடு எழுக தமிழ் அறப்போராட்டத்திற்கு தமிழகத்தில் உள்ள இந்து மக்கள் கட்சி தனது  முழு ஆதரவையும் தெரிவித்துக் கொள்கின்றது.

கடந்த மாதம் இலங்கையில் அழிக்கப்படும் இந்து கோவில்கள், இந்து அடையாளங்களை காண கள ஆய்வு மேற்க்கொண்டேன். 

எங்களவன் கட்டிய திருக்கோவில்கள் எல்லாம் சிங்களவர்களால் பௌத்த விகாரைகளாகவும், புத்த பீடங்களாகவும் மாற்றப்படுவது கண்டு இரத்த கண்ணீர் வடித்தேன்.

நாவற்குழி முருங்கண், வவூணியா, திருக்கோணேஸ்வரம், திருக்கேத்தீஸ்வரம், கொக்கிளாய், இரணிமடுவு, கிளிநொச்சி கனகாம்பிகை அம்மன் கோவில் 3வது திருவீதியை ஆக்கிரமித்து புத்த விகாரை சிங்கள இந்து விரோத அரசு கட்டுகிறது.

ஓமந்தை, சேமமடு, மாங்குளம், பரந்தன், பூநகர், மாதகல், நயினை, நாகப்பூசணியம்மன் ஆலயம் அருகே 67 அடி புத்தர் சிலை கன்னியா வெந்நீர் ஊற்றில் பௌத்த விகாரை… இப்படி பட்டியல் நீளும்.
ஆயுதம் கொண்டும், அடாவடி தனத்தோடும் சிங்கள இராணுவத்தை துணைக்கு வைத்துக்கொண்டு தமிழ் மக்களின் காணிகளை ஆக்கிரமிக்க உலகில் அன்பையும் தர்மத்தையும் போதித்த புத்தரை காணி ஆக்கிரமிப்பாளனாக மாற்றி கடவுளின் பெயரால் கொடுஞ்செயல் புரிவது புத்தருக்கே செய்யும் துரோகம்.

புத்தர் உயிரோடு இருந்திருந்தால் சிங்களவர்கள் என்னை தொழ வேண்டாம் என்று சொல்லியிருப்பார். புத்தர் உயிரோடு இருந்திருந்தால் சிங்கள அரசு செய்யும் இந்து விரோத தமிழர் விரோத நடவடிக்கைகளுக்கு எதிராக நிச்சயமாக போராடியிருப்பார்.

புத்தர் போதனை பரப்பும் புனித குருமார்கள் ஆலய ஆக்கிரமிப்பு பணியில் அன்றாடம் ஈடுபடுகிறார்கள். இந்துக்கள் வழிபாட்டு உரிமையில் தலையிடுகிறார்கள். புத்தன் போர்வையை போர்த்திக்கொண்டு குணரத்னே என்ற புத்த பிக்கு கொக்கிளாய் என்னும் ஊரில் ஞானசம்பந்த மணிவண்ணதாஸ் என்ற இந்துவின் சொந்த காணியையும் அரசு மருத்துவமனை இடத்தையும் எந்த ஆவணமும் இன்றி ஒரு ஆக்கிரமிப்பு செய்துள்ளார்.

காணி இழந்த ஞானசம்பந்த மணிவண்ண தாஸ் என்பவருக்கு நீதியில்லை, ஆதரவுக்கு யாரும் இல்லை. கண்ணீரும் கம்பலையுமாக தீக்குளிப்பு நடவடிக்கை போன்ற வன்செயல்களில் ஈடுபடட்டுமா என்றார்.

உங்களுக்காக இந்தியாவில் நான் அறப்போராட்டம் நடத்துகிறேன் என்று உறுதியளித்தேன்.

இறந்தவர்களையும் இறந்தவர்களை அடக்கம் செய்யும் இடங்களையும் ஐ.நா.சபை புனித பிரதேசங்களாக அறிவித்துள்ளது,

 ஆனால் முல்லைதீவு மாவட்டம் முள்ளியவிளையில் உள்ள மாவீரர்கள் துயிலும்இல்லத்தை உடைத்து அங்கே புத்தர் சிலையை வைத்திருக்கிறார்கள் அன்பையும் தர்மத்தையும் போதித்த புத்தபெருமான் சிங்கள அரசின் இந்த நடவடிக்கையை ஒருபோதும்
பொறுத்துக்கொள்ளமாட்டார்.

இலங்கையில் இந்து ஆலயங்களை உடைத்தும், அழித்தும் ஆக்கிரமிப்பு செய்துவிட்டு, இலங்கை அதிபர் சிறி சேனா அவர்கள் இந்தியாவில் சீதைக்கு கோவில் கட்டுவதாக உறுதி கொடுக்கிறார்.


முதலில் இலங்கையில் உடைக்கப்பட்ட இந்து கோவில்களை கட்டிக்கொடுக்கட்டும். இந்து ஆலய ஆக்கிரமிப்பை நிறுத்தட்டும்.

சிங்களதேசம் தமிழர் பிரதேசங்களிலே புத்தர் விகாரைகளை நிறுவுவதற்கு ஏற்றவகையில்

பௌத்தம் என்பது இந்துமதத்தின் ஒரு உட்பிரிவுதான் என்று பௌத்தமயமாக்கலுக்கு ஆதரவான கருத்தியலை இலங்கை விதைத்துவருகிறது. இலங்கை அரச தலைவர்கள் இந்தியாவிற்கு விஐயம் செய்யும்போது திருப்பதியில் உள்ளிட்ட பிரதான வணக்க தலங்களை வழிபடுவதோடு இலங்கையில் தமிழர் பிரதேசங்களிற்கு விஐயம் செய்யும் போது தமிழக தலைவர்களையும் தங்களுடன் இந்து ஆலயங்களிற்கு
அழைத்துச்செல்வதில் ஆர்வம் காட்டிவருகின்றனர்.

 பௌத்தமயமாக்கலை இலக்காகவைத்து இலங்கை அரசு முன்னெடுக்கும்  செயற்பாடுகளிற்கு ஈழத்தில் வாழும் எந்தவொரு தமிழரும் நேரடி யாகவோ மறைமுகமாகவே வாய்பினை உருவாக்கிக் கொடுக்கக்கூடாது என்று வலியுறுத்திக் கூறுகின்றேன்.

பலுசிஸ்தான் மக்கள் படும் துயர்ப்பற்றி கவலைப்படும் பாரத பிரதமர் திரு.நரேந்திர மோதி ஈழ இந்துக்களை பற்றி கவலைப்படாதது வருத்தம் அளிக்கவே செய்கிறது.

இழந்த நிலப்பரப்பை மீட்கவும், இழந்த மக்கள் தொகையை மீட்கவும், தாய் நாட்டை தாய் மதத்தை, தாய் மொழியை காத்திட போராடிய நம் முன்னவர்களின் முழு ஆசீர்வாதத்தோடு வரும் செப்ரெம்பர் 24, 2016 அன்று யாழ்பாணம் நகரில் கூடுவோம். 

இந்துக்கள் ஆலயம், இந்து அடையாளம், வழிப்பாட்டு உரிமை காத்து சுதந்திரமாக வாழ்ந்திடவும் இன்று நாம் வீதிக்கு வந்து போராட வேண்டும். இன்று வீதிக்கு வராவிட்டால் நாளை வீதிக்கே வந்துவிடுவோம்.

தாய்நாடு காக்கும், தாய் மதம் காக்கும் வீரர்களுக்கு என்றுமே மரணம் இல்லை. இலங்கையில் இந்து கோவில் அழிப்புக்கு எதிராகவும், சிவ பூமியை புத்த பூமியாக மாற்ற முயற்சிக்கும் சிங்கள அரசுக்கு எதிராக எங்கள் இந்து சொந்தங்களை காத்திட, பாரத பிரதமர் இலங்கை இந்துக்களை காத்திட இலங்கை அரசோடு பேசவலியுறுத்தியும் குறிப்பாக தமிழர் பிரதேச ங்களிலே நிறுவப்பட்ட அனைத்து பௌத்த விகாரைகளையும் அப்புறப்படுத்துவதற்கு இலங்கை அரசிற்கு அழுத்தம் கொடுப்பதற்கும்  இந்தியாவில் தமிழ்நாட்டில் சென்னை நகரில் வரும் 23 செப்ரெம்பர் 2016 அன்று உண்ணாவிரத அறப்போராட்டம் இந்து மக்கள் கட்சியின் சார்பிலே  தமிழகத்தில்; முன்னெடுக்கவுள்ளோம்.

இலங்கை இந்துக்களின் உரிமைக்காக போராடும் எங்களுக்கு உங்களிடமிருந்து அன்பையும் வாழ்த்தையும் வேண்டுகிறேன்.

எழுக தமிழ் நிகழ்விலே கைகோர்த்துள்ள இந்துக்களே கலங்கிடவேண்டாம், தயங்கிட வேண்டாம் உங்களோடு நாங்கள் இருக்கிறோம். கண்ணை இமை காப்பதுபோல்,

இலங்கை தமிழர்களை இந்திய இந்துக்கள் காத்திடுவோம்.

நன்றி.
என்றும் தேசப்பணியில்,
(இராம.ரவிக்குமார்)

எழுக தமிழ்ப் பேரவையின் அரசியல் கோரிக்கைகள்

யாழ்-முற்றவெளி மைதானத்தில் முள்ளிவாய்க்காலுக்குப் பின்னால், அரசியல் விடுதலை வேண்டி, திரண்டெழுந்த பல்லாயிரக்கணக்கான ஈழத்தமிழ் மக்கள் சார்பில் ,



எழுக தமிழ்ப் பேரவையின் அரசியல் கோரிக்கைகள்

2016  செப்ரெம்பர் 24, யாழ்ப்பாண முற்றவெளி

1. வடக்கு கிழக்கு இணைந்த தமிழர் தாயகத்தை வலிந்து பௌத்த சிங்கள மயமாக்கும் நோக்குடன் சிங்களக் குடியேற்றங்களும், பௌத்த  விகாரைகளும், புத்தர் சிலைகளும் இவ்வாட்சியிலும் அரசின் அனுசரணையுடனும், ஆக்கிரமிப்பு இராணுவத்தின் உதவியுடனும்; உருவாக்கப்பட்டு வருகின்றன. தமிழர்களுடைய  இன அடையாளத்தை அழிக்கவும்; வட கிழக்கு தமிழர் தாயகப் பிரதேசங்களின் குடிப்பரம்பலை வலிந்து மாற்றவும் அரசு எடுத்து வரும் இவ்வாறான சகல நடவடிக்கைகளையும் உடன் நிறுத்துமாறு  இம் மக்கள் பேரணி வலியுறுத்துகின்றது.

2. யுத்தம் நிறைவடைந்து ஏழு வருடங்கள் ஆகிய நிலையிலும் ஆக்கிரமிப்பு இராணுவம்  மிகச் செறிவாக வட கிழக்கில் குவிக்கப்பட்டுள்ளது. இந்த ஆக்கிரமிப்பு இராணுவம் தமிழர் தாயக பிரதேசங்களில்; ஆயிரக்கணக்கான ஏக்கர் காணியை சுவீகரிப்பு  செய்தது மாத்திரமல்லாமல், தொடர்ந்தும், தமிழ் மக்களின் காணிகளை கையகப்படுத்தும் நடவடிக்கையிலும்  ஈடுபட்டு வருகின்றது. மேலும் உல்லாச விடுதிகள், விவசாய பண்ணைகள்;, இதர வர்த்தக நடவடிக்கைகள் மேற்கொண்டு வருவதுடன்; வடக்கு – கிழக்கு நிர்வாகத்திலும் தொடர்ந்தும் தலையிட்டு வருகின்றது. வட கிழக்கு தமிழர் தாயக பிரதேசங்களில் தமிழர் தமது வாழ்வாதாரத்திற்காக தொடர்ந்தும் ஆக்கிரமிப்பு இராணுவத்தில் தங்கி தமது  பொருளாதாரத்தை தாமே பொறுப்பேற்க முடியாத நிலையையும்,  இராணுவமயமாக்கலினூடு தமிழ்  சமூகத்தினை பிளவுபடுத்தி, சமூக உறவுமுறைகளை சிதைத்து,  தமிழர் கூட்டாக சனநாயக ரீதியில் அணி திரள்வதற்கு இடையூறாகவும் இராணுவம் நிலவி வருகிறது. பெண்கள் சிறுவர்களுக்கெதிரான இராணுவத்தினரின் பாலியல் வன்முறை சம்பவங்களும் தமிழ் தேசத்தின் இருப்பை சிதைக்கும் வழி வகைகளே.

இதனால் 

வட- கிழக்கு தாயகத்திலிருந்து உடனடியாக இராணுவத்தை வெளியேற்றுமாறு இப்பேரணி வலியுறுத்துகின்றது.

3.   தமிழ் மக்கள் மிகத் தெளிவாக உள்ளகப் பொறிமுறையை  நீதிக்கான தேடலில் பிரோயோசனமற்ற ஒன்று என தொடர்ந்தேர்ச்சியாக வெளிப்படுத்தி வந்துள்ளனர். ஐ  நா மனித உரிமை ஆணையாளரின் செப்டம்பர் 2015 அறிக்கை மிகத் தெளிவாக இலங்கையின் நீதித்துறை யுத்தத்தின் போது இழைக்கப்பட்ட குற்றங்களுக்கு நீதி வழங்க தகமையற்றது எனக் கூறியது. இருப்பினும் ஐ. நாவின் அங்கத்துவ நாடுகள் இணைந்து கலப்பு பொறிமுறை ஒன்றை இலங்கைக்கு பொருத்தமானது என தமது செப்டம்பர் 2015 பிரேரணை மூலம் விதந்துரைத்தனர். அதனை ஆரம்பத்தில் ஏற்றுக் கொண்ட இலங்கை அரசாங்கம் தற்போது வெளிநாட்டு நீதிபதிகளை உள்ளடக்க முடியாது எனத் தெளிவாக அறிவித்துவிட்டது. கலப்பு பொறிமுறையை நிராகரித்து மீள உள்ளகப் பொறிமுறையை மட்டுமே முன்வைக்கின்றது. இச்சூழலில் இப்பேரணி சர்வ்தேச விசாரணைக்கான தமிழ் மக்களின் ஏகோபித்த நிலைப்பாட்டை வலியுறுத்தி நிற்கின்றது.

4.   கடந்த 35 வருடங்களுக்கு மேலாக நிலவி வரும்; பயங்கரவாத தடைச்சட்டதின் கீழ் ஆயிரக்கணக்கான தமிழ் இளைஞர்களும் யுவதிகளும் கைது செய்யப்பட்டுள்ளனர். இவர்களுள் சிலர் 15 – 20 வருடங்களுக்கு மேலாக விளக்கமறியலில் வைக்கப்பட்டு விசாரணை செய்யப்பட்டு வந்தனர். 2015 ஆம் ஆண்டு செப்ரெம்பர் மாதம் பயங்கரவாத தடைச்சட்டம் நீக்கப்படும் என்று ஐ.நா மனித உரிமைகள் ஆணையகத்திற்கு உறுதி மொழி கொடுத்தும்  இதுவரை பயங்கரவாத தடைச்சட்டம் நீக்கப்படவில்லை என்பதுடன் தொடர்ந்தும் பல இளைஞர்கள் அச்சட்டத்தின் கீழ் கைது செய்யப்பட்டு வருகின்றனர். இச் சட்டத்தின் கீழ் கைது செய்யப்பட்டு சிறைகளில் வாழும்  அரசியல் கைதிகள் அனைவரும் நிபந்தனையின்றி உடனடியாக விடுவிக்கப்பட வேண்டுமென்பதுடன்பயங்கரவாத தடைச்சட்டம் உடனடியாக விலக்கிக் கொள்ளப்பட வேண்டுமெனவும் இப்பேரணி வலியுறுத்துகின்றது.

5. போர் நிகழ்ந்த கால கட்டத்திலும், அரசியற் காரணங்களுக்காகவும்  கடத்தப்பட்டும், சரணடைந்த பின்பும் காணாமல் போகச்செய்யப்பட்ட ஒவ்வொரு தமிழ் மகனும், தமிழ் மகளும் எங்கு இருக்கின்றார்கள் , அல்லது அவர்களுக்கு என்ன நடந்தது என உடனடியாகக் கண்டறிந்து பகிரங்கப்படுத்தப்படுவதுடன் அவர்களுக்கு நீதி வழங்கப்படவும் வேண்டும்.

6.  யுத்தம் நடந்த காலகட்டங்களில் கடற்படையினரின் தடை உத்தரவு காரணமாக வடக்கு – கிழக்கு மீனவர்கள் தமது வாழ்வாதாரங்களை இழந்திருந்தனர். ஆனால் யுத்தம் நிறைவடைந்து ஏழு வருடங்கள் ஆகிய நிலையிலஇ; இன்றும் கூட வடக்கு – கிழக்கு மீனவர்கள் தொடர்ச்சியான பாதிப்புக்குள்ளாக்கப்;பட்டு வருகின்றனர். தென்னிலங்கை மீனவர்கள் வட கிழக்கு கடற்பரப்பினுள் அத்துமீறி நுழைவது மாத்திரமின்றிஇ வடக்கு, கிழக்கு மீனவர்களின் படகுகளை சட்ட விரோதமாக கைப்பற்றுவதாலும்இ நிரந்தர தங்குமிடங்களை அத்துமீறி அமைப்பதனாலும்; தமிழ் மீனவர்கள் தமது சொந்த மீன்பிடி இடங்களில் இருந்தே விரட்டப்படுகின்ற சூழல் உருவாகி வருகின்றது. மேலும் தென்னிலங்கை மீனவர்கள், வட – கிழக்கு கடற் பிரதேசங்களில் சட்ட விரோதமான மீன்பிடி முறைகளை கையாள்வதால் தமிழ் மீனவர்கள் தமது வாழ்வாதரங்களை இழந்தும் வருகின்றார்கள்.  இதன் காரணமாக ஒட்டு மொத்தமான தமிழ் மக்களின் பொருளாதாரமும் பாதிக்கப்படுகின்றது. இவ்வாறான நடவடிக்கைகளை நிறுத்துவதற்கு அரசு உடனடி நடவடிக்கை எடுக்க வேண்டுமென இப்பேரணி வலியுறுத்துகின்றது.

இந்திய மீனவர்களின் சட்ட விரோத மீன்பிடி முறைகளாலும் தமிழ் மீனவர்கள் பாதிக்கப்படுகின்றனர்;.  அன்றாடத் தொழில் செய்து பிழைக்கும் மீனவர்களின் வாழ்வாதார உரிமைகள் பாதுகாக்கப்பட வேண்டுமென்பதுடன், தமிழ் மீனவர்களின் கடல் வளங்கள்; அத்துமீறி, சட்டத்துக்கு புறம்பாக சூறையாடப்படுவதை இப்பேரணி வன்மையாகக் கண்டிப்பதுடன்

7.   விடுதலைக்காக போராடிய தேசிய இனங்கள் மத்தியில் அவர்களின் விடுதலை வேட்கையை அழிக்கும் பொருட்டு போதை வஸ்துக்களை இளைஞர்கள், யுவதிகள் மத்தியில் பரப்பும் வழிமுறைகளை பல நாடுகளின் அரசுகள் கையாண்டுள்ளன. தமிழர் தாயகத்தை  ஆழமான இராணுவ கண்காணிப்புக்குள் வைத்திருக்கின்ற போதிலும் பெருமளவான போதைவஸ்துப் பொருட்கள் எமது பிரதேசங்களினுள் ஊடுருவ விடப்படுகின்றன. மேலும்இ கிரோயின் போன்ற போதைப் பொருட்களும், வடக்கு – கிழக்கில் வேகமாகப் பரவி வருவதுடன், வட- கிழக்கில் இராணுவத்தினால் நடாத்தப்படும் விளையாட்டு விழாக்களின் போது தமிழ்  இளைஞர்களிடையே மது பாவனையை இராணுவம் நேரடியாக ஊக்கப்படுத்துவது  ஆவணப்படுத்தப்பட்டுள்ளது. இந்நிலையில்; இவை அனைத்தும் எமது இளம் சந்ததியின் எதிர்காலத்தை திட்டமிட்டு அழிக்கும் நடவடிக்கைகளாகவே நோக்க வேண்டியுள்ளது. இவற்றை நிறுத்தவும், கட்டுப்படுத்துவதற்கான நடவடிக்கைகளை அரசு எடுக்க வேண்டுமென இப்பேரணி வலியுறுத்துகின்றது.

அரசியல் தீர்வு சம்பந்தமாக

இன்னமும் தீர்வு காணப்படாத தமிழ் தேசிய இனப் பிரச்சனையினதும்,  நடந்து முடிந்த போரினதும் - நேரடி மற்றும் நேரடியற்ற விளைவுகளான - மேற்கூறப்பட்ட அரசியற்-பாதகங்கள் எதுவும் மீண்டும் நிகழாதவாறு — தமிழ் மக்கள் பேரவையினால் முன்வைக்கப்பட்ட அரசியற் தீர்வு முன்மொழிவின் அடிப்படையில் 

ஒரு சுயாட்சித் தீர்வு காணப்பட வேண்டும் என்று இந்தப் பேரணி பிரகடனம் செய்கின்றது.

தமிழர்களின் தேசிய பிரச்சனைக்கு தீர்வு காணப்படும் எனும் நோக்கில் 3ஆவது குடியரசு அரசியல் யாப்பை கொண்டு வருவோம் என்று இவ்வரசாங்கம் சர்வதேச சமூகத்திற்கு கூறி வருகின்றது.

ஆனால் இலங்கை அரசின் சனாதிபதியும், பிரதமரும் ஒற்றையாட்சிக்குள்ளேயே தீர்வு வரும் எனவும் பௌத்தத்திற்கு கொடுக்கப்பட்டுள்ள முன்னுரிமையில் மாற்றம் வராது எனவும் தொடர்ந்தேர்ச்சியாக கூறி வருகின்றனர்.

ஒற்றையாட்சிக்குள் ஒரு குறைந்த பட்ச அதிகாரப்பகிர்வை தமிழருக்கான தீர்வாக திணிக்க இவ்வரசாங்கம் முயற்சிக்கின்றது.

அவசர அவசரமாக ஓர் அரசியலமைப்பை பாராளுமன்றில் நிறைவேற்றி பொதுசன வாக்கெடுப்பு ஒன்றின் மூலம் புதிய அரசியலமைப்பு ஒன்றிற்கு அங்கீகாரம் கிடைக்கப்பெற அரசாங்கம் முயற்சிக்க இருக்கின்றது.

தமிழ் மக்களில் பெரும்பான்மையினரின் வாக்கு புதிய அரசியலமைப்பிற்கு கிடைத்தால் அதை வைத்து தமிழ் மக்களிற்கு அரசியல் தீர்வொன்றை வழங்கி விட்டதாக அர்த்தப்படுத்துவதே அரசாங்கத்தின் நோக்கம்.

புதிய அரசியலமைப்பு தமிழ் மக்களின் அபிலாஷைகளை அங்கீகரிக்க வேண்டும் என்பதே எமது கோரிக்கை.

 தமிழர்கள் புதிய அரசியலமைப்பு எப்படியாக இருக்க வேண்டும் எனக் கருத்துக் கூறுவதோ, கூட்டாக நிலைப்பாடு எடுப்பதோ, அது தொடர்பில் சனநாயக ரீதியாக அணிதிரள்வதோ அரசியலமைப்பாக்க முயற்சியை குழப்ப எடுக்கும் நடவடிக்கையாக சித்தரிப்பதை நாம் கண்டிக்கின்றோம்.

அந்த வகையில் பின்வரும் நிலைப்பாடுகளை இப்பேரணி எடுக்கின்றது:

எனவே,

அ. தற்போதைய அரசியலமைப்பின் 13ஆம் திருத்தம் எமக்கு தந்த படிப்பினையின் அடிப்படையிலும், இலங்கை அரசியலின் சிங்கள பௌத்த  மேலாதிக்க அரசியல் கலாசாரத்தில்த தமிழர்களின் கடந்த 68 ஆண்டு கால கூட்டனுபவத்தின் பிரகாரமும் ஒற்றையாட்சிக்குள் அரசியல் தீர்வு எந்த வடிவத்திலும் சாத்தியம் இல்லை என நாம் வலியுறுத்திக் கூறுகின்றோம். 

ஆ. தமிழ் மக்கள் பேரவையினால் தயாரிக்கப்பட்ட தீர்வுத்திட்டத்தின் அடிப்படையில்,  தேசிய இனப்பிரச்சினைக்கான நடைமுறை சாத்தியமான தீர்வு, தமிழர்களை இலங்கைத் தீவின் வடக்கு கிழக்கில் ஒரு தேசமாக, அவர்களது சுயநிர்ணய உரிமையை மதிக்கும், தன்னளவில் இறைமை கொண்ட சுயாட்சி ஒன்றை நிறுவும் அரசியலமைப்பு ஏற்பாடுகள் மூலமாகவே அடையப்படும் எனக் கூறுகின்றோம். 

இ.  தமிழர்களின் சுயநிர்ணய உரிமையையும் அதன் வழி தமிழ்த் தேசத்தின் இறைமையையும், நிறுவன ரீதியாக, சமஷ்டி முறைமை ஒன்றின் மூலமாக அடைந்து கொள்ளலாம் என நாம் கூறுகின்றோம். 

ஈ.  தமிழர் தேசத்தின் தனித்துவத்தையோ, தமிழ் மக்களின் சுயநிர்ணயத்தையோ அங்கீகரிக்காத,  உள்ளடக்கத்தில் தெளிவில்லாத அரை குறை தீர்வொன்றை ஏற்றுக் கொள்ள முடியாது என இப்பேரணி கூறுகின்றது. 

உ. புதிய அரசியலமைப்பு மிகவும் இரகசியமான முறையில் உருவாக்கப்படுகின்றது. புதிய அரசியலமைப்பு தொடர்பிலாக நடாத்தப்பட்ட பொது மக்கள் கலந்தாய்வு தொடர்பிலான அறிக்கை தமிழ் மக்களின் முன்வைப்புக்களை புறந்தள்ளியே சமரப்பிக்கப்பட்டுள்ளது.  உருவாக்கப்படுகின்ற அரசியலமைப்பு நகல் தொடர்பிலான மக்கள் வாக்கெடுப்பிற்கு முன்னர் வெளிப்படையானதும், சனநாயக ரீதியதுமான கலந்துரையாடல் ஒன்று மக்கள் மத்தியில் இடம் பெற போதுமான கால அவகாசம் வழங்கப்பட வேண்டும். அடக்குமுறையின் கீழ் அரசியல் தீர்வு தொடர்பிலான கலந்துரையாடலை நடாத்த முடியாது.  வடக்கு கிழக்கில் கருத்துக் சுதந்திரத்துடன் புதிய அரசியலமைப்பு தொடர்பிலான திறந்த விவாதம்  நடைபெற பயங்கரவாதத் தடை சட்டம் விலக்கிக் கொள்ளப்பட வேண்டும், இராணுவமயநீக்கம் செய்யப்பட வேண்டும் என நாம் கூறுகின்றோம்

மண்டையன் குழு 2016


Saturday, 24 September 2016

சிரியா: உலக மறுபங்கீட்டு போர் முகாம்கள் உண்மைகளை மூடி மறைக்கும் விதம்

The explanations behind Russian and US air strikes in Syria are a lesson in propaganda
Patrick Cockburn @indyworld Friday 23 September 

Patrick Cockburn ENB File Photo

Airstrikes that hit the wrong target have always been justified or denied by the perpetrators with a rich blend of hypocrisy and lies. It was interesting to see this tradition of deliberate mendacity being not only maintained, but outdone in Syria over the last week. The US was seeking to explain how it had come to kill at least 62 Syrian soldiers fighting Isis in the besieged government-held city of Deir Ezzor a week ago and the Russians evading responsibility for an air attack on a UN aid convoy killing 20 people outside Aleppo five days later.

The explanation of US military officials was splendidly ingenious. As dutifully retailed by CNN, they said they believed a likely scenario was that the personnel hit were prisoners of the regime, perhaps military personnel being detained, although that is not certain.

The initial signs indicated that they were dressed in civilian clothing. They may not have had the typical weapons of a Syrian military unit but rather trucks with weapons mounted on top of them. It is also not known if they were deliberately placed there to potentially deceive the coalition.

For students of war propaganda this is a wonderful piece of obfuscation. No evidence is produced for “the likely scenario” in which supposition is heaped on supposition. Its purpose is instead to mask, or throw in doubt over, the obvious fact that someone had committed a blunder and ordered an attack on a long established Syrian Army position near Deir Ezzor airport. This sort of smoke screen is not designed to last very long, but to blunt criticism during the first crucial few days when the story is still at the top of the news agenda. Then a few weeks or even months down the road, there can be a grudging admission of the truth, or part of it, when it will barely get a mention at the end of newscasts or be relegated to page 24 of the newspapers. An old PR adage says that the best way for the perpetrator of some disaster to limit the damage to himself or herself is to “first say no story and then say old story.” It still works.

Aid is seen strewn across the floor in the town of Orum al-Kubra on the western outskirts of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo AFP/Getty

The Russian explanation of the attack on the UN aid convoy on 19 September is also well worth studying as an example of the propagandist’s art. It is important to make your explanation detailed and interesting because it will be competing with a reality which, in the nature of war, will be murky and confusing. 

The Russian news agency Tass quoted a senior Russian official as saying that “analysis of video records from drones of yesterday’s movement of the humanitarian convoy across Aleppo territories controlled by militants has revealed new details. It is clearly seen in the video that a terrorists’ pickup truck with a towed large-calibre mortar is moving along with the convoy."

This was good stuff. Suggesting that there was an understandable reason to imagine they were attacking a legitimate target – though it had to be admitted that “the large calibre mortar” had somehow disappeared by the time of the attack. But the Russians made the mistake of producing too many exculpatory stories at the same time, claiming there were no Russian or Syrian planes in the area – in which case why suggest the legitimate target scenario? Other Russian explanations were that there had been no attack at all and, if there had been, it had been carried out by jihadis and, in any case, all the damage was done from the ground and not from the air.

The crucial point is never to leave a vacuum of information when a story is at the top of the news agenda because that vacuum will be filled by your enemies (if it has not got wide media attention it may be better to ignore it because a rebuttal may serve only to give the story legs). It does not matter if what you are spouting is nonsense because it only has to hold up for two or three days and probably less (the UN aid convoy attack was swiftly overtaken as a news story by the riots in Charlotte, North Carolina). An advantage for the propagandist is that it is easy to make up a lie, but it can take much more time and effort to convincingly refute it.  

The truth is that air attacks fail to hit the right target regularly, though not often with such diplomatically disastrous consequences as last week. Air forces emphasise that with smart bombs they can hit targets with far more accuracy than ever before, but they seldom stress that the targeting is based on intelligence which may be flawed or misinterpreted. The misinterpretation may take place far away in some operations centre or it may be some partisan local source peering through binoculars.

Most intelligence comes from local ground forces. The RAF says that the reason that it has only launched 65 airstrikes in Syria over the last nine months compared to 550 in Iraq is that it lacks partners on the ground in Syria while in Iraq it has the Iraqi Army and the Kurdish Peshmerga.

Bombing blunders have a certain amount in common in all recent wars. In 1991, I went to the Amariyah shelter in Baghdad where sometime earlier the US had dropped two smart bombs that had incinerated 400 people, mostly women and children. The US had supposed it was a command centre based on radio signals and local informants. The reliability of these spies could be judged by several disastrous attempts, based on their information, to kill Saddam Hussein and his senior lieutenants who turned out to be nowhere near at the time.

In 2009 I reported on an airstrike in three villages in Farah province in south west Afghanistan, which had killed 147 villagers. It had started when there was a fight between local Afghan police and the Taliban in which the police had come off the worst. Three of their vehicles had been destroyed. Because they were frightened – and perhaps as an act of vengeance – the police (though they must have got a US Special Forces officer to sign off on this) had called in airstrikes that had destroyed the mud brick walls of the compounds and left craters 20 feet deep. The first US military explanation of what had happened, repeated by US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates, was that the Taliban themselves were responsible.

Despite the depth of the craters and the total destruction of the villages, the US officials in Kabul claimed that the Taliban, angered by lack of support locally, had gone from house to house tossing in grenades. It was an obvious lie, but, as in Deir Ezzor and Aleppo last week, it served its purpose of obscuring what had happened for a few days.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Rafale Fighter Jets Can Carry Nuclear Weapons


Why India Wants France's Dassault Rafale Fighter Jet: They Can Carry Nuclear Weapons

Robert Beckhusen
September 21, 2016

India is on the verge of signing a deal with France for 36 Dassault Rafale fighter jets, likely when French defense minister Jean-Yves le Drian arrives in New Delhi later this week.

The jets may end up lugging nuclear bombs, as officials told The Indian Express this month that the jets are “to be used as an airborne strategic delivery system.”

That’s a polite way of saying India’s jets could drop nukes — one mission which Dassault specifically designed the multi-role Rafale to do. There’s also precedent here, as France previously sold and supplied spare parts for India’s Mirage 2000s, which are the most important delivery platform for New Delhi’s nuclear weapons.

“We expect the same degree of cooperation from France when we modify and use the Rafales for that role,” a second military official told the Express.

But if you’re from Pakistan or China and you’re worried — don’t sweat. Thirty-six Rafales are not enough to give India an advantage over its nuclear-armed neighbors. India’s upcoming ballistic missiles pack significantly greater range and are far more difficult to stop.

When India detonated five nuclear bombs in two days in 1998, the South Asian power emerged as a fully-declared nuclear armed state. A few weeks later, Pakistan blew up five nukes at an underground testing site.

The United States imposed sanctions on both countries, but France didn’t.

India weaponizing its nukes proved to be a different story, largely owing to extreme secrecy and compartmentalization within the government and military. Since the Indian Air Force barely knew the specifications of the country’s nukes, it could hardly design appropriate delivery systems.

India had no experience mating nuclear warheads to ballistic missiles, and its launchers in the 1990s were either too slow to fire — veritable suicide during a nuclear war — or too unreliable to depend upon.

This left India’s 1970s-era Mirage 2000s to take on much of the job. But the warheads were an awkward fit, and only highly skilled pilots could take off with the cumbersome payloads attached underneath their planes’ bellies — making the jets aerodynamically tricky to fly.

Nor did Dassault initially design the Mirage 2000 with nuclear weapons in mind. As a result, the Indian Air Force feared its planes’ fly-by-wire systems could be knocked out by the electromagnetic pulses from the detonating bombs.

“In the early 1990s, the air force was thinking of one-way missions,” a senior Indian Air Force officer told the Atlantic Council’s Guarav Kampani writing in International Security. [I]t was unlikely that the pilot deployed on a nuclear attack mission would have made it back.”

“The modification of aircraft for safe and reliable delivery of a nuclear weapon turned out to be a huge technical and managerial challenge that consumed the [state-owned Defense Research and Development Organization’s] attention for six years and perhaps more,” Kampani wrote.

“There was a major problem integrating the nuclear weapon with the Mirage.”

India has come a long way since. It has upgraded its Mirages, possesses up to 120 nuclear warheads, has completed its first ballistic missile submarine and has three different (and more modern) kinds of Agni ballistic missile launchers already deployed, with longer-range iterations on the way.

But the submarine Arihant is more of a test-bed than a credible weapon system. India’s land-based launchers lack rigorous testing regimens and still suffer from reliability issues. The most advanced operational launcher, the Agni-3, numbers fewer than 10 in service, according to the Federation of American Scientists.

Most Indian launchers are older Prithvis, which are short range and slow to prepare. New Delhi does not possess MIRVs — devastating clusters of nuclear warheads which ride together aboard a single missile, break apart and rain down on their targets. Nor is it likely that India has the will or expertise to develop them.

“Despite India’s considerable progress in developing credible ballistic missiles, its fighter-bombers still constitute the backbone of India’s operational nuclear strike force,” FAS analysts Hans Kristensen and Robert Norris wrote in a 2015 review.

India also possesses dozens of 1960s-era Jaguar attack jets — developed by France and Britain — which serves in a secondary nuclear attack role.

But you can see why India prefers aircraft. They’re technologically simple compared to missiles, can be recalled and are highly visible to an adversary, creating a deterrent effect. That’s good for keeping the peace, but during a war, they’re more easily spotted and shot down.

And the same is true for the canard delta wing Rafale. To be sure, the plane has a longer range, a lot more thrust and a greater payload capacity than the older Mirage 2000.

SL Muslim women demand repeal of the Article 16 (1)

Sri Lankan Muslim women demand repeal of the highly discriminatory Article 16 (1) of the constitution

By P.K.Balachandran Published: 22nd September 2016 03:19 PM Last Updated: 22nd September 2016 05:27 PM


COLOMBO: Sri Lankan Muslim women are demanding the repeal of Article 16 (1) of the constitution because it allows discrimination against them negating recent advances in the
concept of women’s rights.

Art 16 allows about 600 existing laws to continue irrespective of changes in the constitutional structure of the country. This may be necessary to ensure stability and continuity in the social order.But giving a further lease of life to Article 16(1) in this process will be greatly injurious to the interest of Muslim women in a rapidly changing social order, progressive Muslim women feel.

Sri Lanka is currently in the process of re-writing its constitution to suit the emerging social and political trends and widespread consultations are on. And Muslim women’s organizations have made their representations in regard to various issues including Article 16(1).

According to the Muslim Personal Law Reforms Action Group (MPLRAG), keeping Article 16(1) in its current state means keeping the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act (MMDA) in toto.

And if the MMDA is kept intact, it will mean:

* Legally allowing child marriage by not stipulating the minimum age of marriage for Muslims as 18 years (A Quazi can permit even the marriage of a child under the age of 12).

* No requirement of mandatory (and written) consent from the bride.

* Different conditions of divorce for men and women

* Only husbands are granted the right to unilateral divorce without reason

* Process of divorce for wives lengthy, requiring reasons and evidence, witnesses and case hearings.

* Arbitrary provision for wife and child maintenance depending on the Quazi.

* Practice of polygamy without requirement of consent from the wife/s or wife to be (and without their knowledge).

* Qualified women not allowed to be marriage registrars, Quazis, Jurors or Quazi Board members.

* The position of Quazi is a state-salaried and tax-funded position that is allowed to discriminate against women simply on the basis of sex, but yet again due to Article 16(1), this State discrimination is ‘legalized’.

* No mandatory requirement of qualifications or mandatory training for Quazis Flawed Quazi Courts

* Muslim women’s access to justice is severely restricted in Quazi courts. Affected women have articulate in many forum that they are discriminated against by the below par Quazi court system, which is significantly different from the civil court system and doesn’t allow clients to have legal representation.

* Women are often mistreated by incompetent Quazis and the jurors of the courts; not given equal treatment as their husbands; are unable to express their side without fear of being verbally abused, threatened and humiliated in courts throughout their case processes. More often than not the all-male jurors (with no qualifications) are selected by Quazis arbitrarily.

For over 25 years, Muslim women’s groups in Sri Lanka have been trying to get the government’s to take responsibility in addressing  issues facing women with regard to the MMDA and the Quazi court system that is set up under this Act, to no avail, the MPLRG said.

John Kerry re-assures fullest support to Sri Lanka

John Kerry re-assures fullest support to Sri Lanka
Samanmali Karunanayake  Wednesday September 21st, 2016

John Kerry re-assures fullest support to Sri Lanka

US Secretary of State John Kerry says the government of the United States highly appreciates and admires the direction of the new government of Sri Lanka, and extended every possible assistance towards the country.

He said so when he called on President Maithripala Sirisena at the sidelines of the UNGA, being held in UN Head Quarters in New York today (Sep. 21).

President Sirisena said that the current government of Sri Lanka continues the path towards economic progress and reconciliation.

He further stated that the government is facing lot of challenges from the destabilizing forces in the North as well as the South, who want to deter the reconciliation process. “For example, some of the small minority of the people in the North refused to go back to their lands due to pressure from the extremist groups”, he said.

“Similarly, some Southern groups are engaged in decrying the reconciliation process. But the unity government is determined to implement the intended programs despite such oppositions”, he said.

He clarified that although there are differences among the policies of the unity government they have agreed upon a broad policy formula and continue to implement it. “Therefore, the strengthening the stability of the government remains uncompromised as it is committed to fulfilling aspirations of the people who elected this government on January 08, 2015”, he said.

The US Secretary of State congratulated the President on the achievements of the government during past 15 months and reassured US support to the Sri Lankan government.

Movie Review: ‘Snowden’











Oliver Stone

Review: ‘Snowden,’ Oliver Stone’s Restrained Portrait of a Whistle-Blower


SNOWDEN Directed by Oliver Stone  
Biography, Drama, Thriller  R  2h 14m





Oliver Stone’s “Snowden,” a quiet, crisply drawn portrait of the world’s most celebrated whistle-blower, belongs to a curious subgenre of movies about very recent historical events. Reversing the usual pattern, it could be described as a fictional “making of” feature about “Citizenfour,” Laura Poitras’s Oscar-winning documentary on the former National Security Agency contractor Edward J. Snowden. That film seems to me more likely to last — it is deeper journalism and more haunting cinema — but Mr. Stone has made an honorable and absorbing contribution to the imaginative record of our confusing times. He tells a story torn from slightly faded headlines, filling in some details you may have forgotten, and discreetly embellishing the record in the service of drama and suspense.



In the context of this director’s career, “Snowden” is both a return to form and something of a departure. Mr. Stone circles back to the grand questions of power, war and secrecy that have propelled his most ambitious work, and finds a hero who fits a familiar Oliver Stone mold. Edward (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, leaning hard on a vocal imitation) is presented as a disillusioned idealist, a serious young man whose experiences lead him to doubt accepted truths and question the wisdom of authority. He has something in common with Jim Garrison in “J.F.K.” and Ron Kovic in “Born on the Fourth of July,” and also with Chris Taylor and Bud Fox, the characters played by Charlie Sheen in “Platoon” and “Wall Street.”



By Meg Felling and AINARA TIEFENTHÄLER 1:15

The Times critic A. O. Scott reviews “Snowden” By Meg Felling and AINARA TIEFENTHÄLER on Publish Date September 15, 2016. Photo by JüRgen Olczyk/Open Road Films, via Associated Press...

Like those young men in a hurry, Edward falls under the sway of two antithetical father figures, a silky apparatchik played by Rhys Ifans, and an unbuttoned renegade played by Nicolas Cage. Drawn to intelligence work out of a sincere desire to serve his country, Edward is not immune to other attractions of the job. He likes the intrigue, the money (especially after he becomes a private contractor) and the feeling of being part of a select group of insiders who know how things really work.

But he is not a figure of operatic, tragic ambition in the mold of Richard M. Nixon, Jim Morrison or Alexander the Great (at least as Mr. Stone imagined them). Nerdy in aspect and phlegmatic in manner, Edward never takes a drink or chases a skirt. (His girlfriend, Lindsay Mills, is played by Shailene Woodley.) And “Snowden” is, by Mr. Stone’s standards, a strikingly sober film. Restraint shows in both the filmmaking and the politics. There are very few wild, bravura visual flights and not much in the way of wild conspiracymongering. Edward is a rational, ethical creature — “responsibility” is one of his favorite words — and the movie takes pains to be reasonable. Its basic argument about government data-collection would not be out of place on the Op-Ed page of this or any other newspaper. And its dialogue and pacing would work just fine on television.


By OPEN ROAD FILMS 2:31

By OPEN ROAD FILMS on Publish Date September 15, 2016. Image courtesy of Internet Video Archive. Watch in Times Video »
Maybe Mr. Stone has mellowed, or maybe the world has caught up with him. What used to be paranoia — the idea, say, that your electronic appliances are spying on you — looks nowadays like blunt realism. It can also seem as if the physical world, that bloody, sex-infused battleground of the self where previous Stone heroes have raged and fought, had been displaced by a more abstract zone of codes and algorithms. Edward passes from one realm to the other when an injury ends his career as a United States Army Ranger. “There are lots of ways to serve your country,” the doctor tells him, and soon enough, his bosses at the C.I.A. and the N.S.A. are explaining that the real war is being waged on computer and cellular networks.

Mr. Stone, well served by his cinematographer, the digital wizard Anthony Dod Mantle, and the composers Craig Armstrong and Adam Peters, evokes the chilly colorations and spooky undertones of our technological reality. The Hong Kong hotel room where Edward meets with Ms. Poitras (Melissa Leo) and the journalists Glenn Greenwald (Zachary Quinto) and Ewen MacAskill (Tom Wilkinson) is an eerie futuristic box. Snowden’s workplaces in Geneva, Tokyo and Oahu are hives full of glowing screens and whispered jargon.




Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Shailene Woodley in “Snowden.” Credit Open Road Films
But while the script, which the director wrote with Kieran Fitzgerald, dutifully footnotes the more abstruse references — and explains the mechanics of surveillance with admirable clarity — Mr. Stone remains an old-school humanist, a poet of flesh and blood rather than a deep thinker about technology or politics. Nearly all of his films are ultimately about taking the measure of a man, and “Snowden” is most effective as a character study. As ever, Mr. Stone’s interest in women is limited. They provide pictorial variety and emotional complication, challenging and humanizing the heroes as the story requires. Ms. Woodley has more screen time than Sissy Spacek in “J.F.K.” or Joan Allen in “Nixon,” but she is, in effect, portraying an updated version of the loyal, long-suffering, uncomprehending wife.

Still, the relationship between Lindsay and Edward is the key to the film, since it establishes what is at stake for the hero as he faces the conflicting demands of love and duty. It also affirms that he is a nice, normal, humble guy, neither a zealot nor an egomaniac. Not everyone will agree with this — Donald J. Trump, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are all prominent nonmembers of the Edward Snowden fan club — but “Snowden” makes its case with skill and discretion.

At times, I found myself wishing that it would go further — that it would feel angrier, crazier, more frightening. But that would have made it easier to shake, and perhaps also to dismiss. This movie won’t necessarily dazzle or enrage you, and I’m not sure that it wants to. What it wants — what Mr. Snowden himself always claims to have wanted — is to bother you, to fill you with doubt about the good intentions of those who gather your data and tell you it’s for your own protection.

“Snowden” is rated R (Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian). Dark secrets, strong language and a trip to a strip club in the interests of national security. Running time: 2 hours 18 minutes.

Source:Agencies & ENB

Thursday, 22 September 2016

EU advised to drop Hamas and Tamil Tigers from terror list


EU advised to drop Hamas and Tamil Tigers from terror list

Hamas took over Gaza in 2007 and has since been involved in three conflicts with Israel

The EU may have to remove Palestinian Islamist group Hamas and the Sri Lankan separatist Tamil Tigers from its list of terrorist organisations, a top European Court adviser has said.

The Court ruled in 2014 they should be taken off the list on technical grounds, not as a reassessment of their classification as a terrorist group.

The Council of the EU, which represents all 28 governments, launched an appeal.

Now the European Court adviser has recommended the appeal be rejected.


The opinion of the adviser, known as the Advocate General, is not final but is generally followed when the European Court of Justice (ECJ) delivers its judgement.

The EU's terrorist list was drawn up after the 11 September attacks on the US in 2001, to enable the bloc to freeze a group's financial assets and improve the way police and justice officials co-operated.

Among the 23 groups and individuals listed are the Kurdish militant PKK, the military wing of Lebanon's Hezbollah and Palestinian militant groups such as Islamic Jihad.



Any final decision to remove Hamas and the Tamil Tigers is not thought likely to affect lists drawn up by national governments.

An EU official told the BBC that the terror list had been made on the basis of national decisions, and the underlying national legislation had not been called into question.

But if the two groups are removed from the list it will be a significant decision for both groups and their ability to raise funding.

'Procedural errors'

Hamas has always argued it is a resistance movement rather than a terrorist organisation, although under its charter it is committed to Israel's destruction. It is seen as a terrorist group by the EU, US, Canada and Japan.

After winning parliamentary elections in 2006, Hamas ousted its Fatah rivals from Gaza the following year and has since fought three conflicts with Israel.

The Tamil Tigers were defeated by the Sri Lankan army in 2009 and no longer exist as a military force.

The ECJ's Advocate General said that the Council of the EU had made procedural errors in defining the two groups as terrorists.

She found that the Council incorrectly relied on judgements made by governments without checking that they had the same human rights as the EU. Also, she said it should not have relied on evidence found in the press or on the internet.

News Source: Agencies

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Kashmir Day 74: Clashes, protests continue, 50 more injured

Day 74: Clashes, protests continue, 50 more injured

ABID BASHIR/KHALID GUL

Srinagar/ Anantnag, Publish Date: Sep 21 2016 12:31AM | Updated Date: Sep 21 2016 12:31AM



At least 50 people including some women were injured when forces foiled pro-freedom rallies and beat up inmates at various places in Kashmir on Tuesday, reports and witnesses said. A 20-year-old youth was hit by a bullet in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district during clashes, they said.
SOUTH KASHMIR

30 people were wounded when forces personnel allegedly barged into houses, beat up inmates and damaged property in Kulgam, Tral and Awantipora villages during nocturnal raids, witnesses said. All-women rallies were also held across South Kashmir. Locals in Bogam village of Kulgam alleged that forces raided the area during night and mercilessly thrashed people. “Dozens sustained injuries due to beating by forces,” they said.

The forces, according to locals, also ransacked household goods and damaged property worth crores of rupees and also allegedly took along cash and jewellery.

On Tuesday evening, 12 people had sustained pellet injuries—one in eye—in forces’ action on protesters. People had organized protests against the forces’ excesses in the village.

Reports of ransacking of houses and beating of inmates by forces during night also came in from Dogripora village of Awantipora and Madoora village of Tral in Pulwama district.
“Few people were wounded due to the assault,” they said.

A report said forces personnel ransacked the house of religious cleric and head of Tehreek-I-Fikro Aitiqad, Sarjan Barkati in Reban Yaripora.

Meanwhile, all-women rallies were organized in many South Kashmir areas. Hundreds of women shouting pro-freedom and anti-India slogans participated in a rally in Bogam village. A similar rally was reportedly held in Gadapora village where a 13-year-old girl Khusboo Jan died of cardiac arrest during clashes yesterday. In Tral, women carrying banners and placards marched from Daru-ul-Uloom to Khankahi Faiz Pana.

Meanwhile, the police crackdown on youth allegedly involved in protests continues across South Kashmir.

Protesters on Tuesday set ablaze the house of a woman Special Police Officer (SPO) at Vehil village in Shopian district, a police spokesman said. He said a motorcycle was also allegedly torched by youths at Batamaloo locality of Srinagar during a protest.

SRINAGAR
The police had imposed strict curbs in old Srinagar areas, witnesses said.

Residents of New Theed Harwan on Srinagar outskirts continued to allege vandalism by forces. “Forces broke windowpanes of dozens of houses besides hurling abuses at the inmates. The police also detained dozens of youth and also beat them to pulp,” they alleged. They said strict curbs were imposed in the area and heavy deployment was made.

Reports from old Srinagar areas said a peaceful rally was held at Nowhatta that passed through a few areas and culminated peacefully.  Reports of evening clashes came in from areas including Rainawari, Kathidarwaza, Khanyar, Sekidafar, Saraf Kadal, 90-feet Road at Soura and Hawal.

Clashes were witnessed at Lawaypora, HMT, Eidgah, Palpora, Qamarwari and Chattabal. A torch procession was taken out after Magrhib prayers at Nowgam. Reports of peaceful protests also came in from Soiteng, Lasjan, Hyderpora and Peerbagh. Reports of evening protests also came in from Baghat and Barzulla areas of Srinagar.

NORTH KASHMIR

Reports said women took out a pro-freedom protest march from Jamia Masjid in Old Town Baramulla. However, police from fired scores of teargas shells towards the peaceful protestors, triggering panic among the protesting women. The protesters later marched through different areas and ended the march at Azad Gunj.

Meanwhile, police continued to impose restrictions on bridges connecting Old Town with Civil Lines areas.

Reports from Sopore said forces raided a godown of a Tehreek-e-Hurriyat leader Abdul Gani Bhat and sealed empty fruit bags, triggering protests in the area.  Locals said the villagers also caught hold of a CRPF trooper who was giving information to police and CRPF higher ups about the protests taking place in the area.

Reports from Kupwara district said restrictions and complete shutdown was observed in entire district amid heavy deployment of forces.  Residents of Panzgam said Army soldiers damaged properties by smashing windowpanes of many residential houses.

Many vehicles were also damaged by Army allegedly during the night raids, reports said.
Meanwhile, locals from Lolab Valley urged the government to “save us from the wrath of men in uniform.” They alleged that forces not only abuse and arrest common people but also harass the female folk.

“Forces arrest youth and set them free only after interrogating them. They catch everyone and torture them,” the residents alleged

Reports from Bandipora district said a youth was hit by a bullet in forces’ firing while at least 12 protestors were injured at Hajin area of the district. The injured youth was identified as Aqib Ahmad Wani, a shopkeeper. He was hit by a bullet during clashes when he was trying to close the shutter of his shop. Aqib received bullet in his arm and was shifted to Hajin Primary Health Centre where doctors referred him to SKIMS Srinagar.  Clashes between protesters and forces continued in Hajin town at New Bridge till late evening. Pertinently, huge deployment of Army has been made on the streets of Hajin.

Meanwhile, a Kashmiri journalist was injured when he was travelling from Uri area of North Kashmir. Anees Zargar, who works with Zee Media, got a fracture in his arm. “Some boys threw stones on the car in which I was travelling with few other journalists who had come from New Delhi to cover the Sunday’s Uri attack. I got injured when a stone hit my arm, while I saved my head," Anees said. The incident took place in the HMT area of Srinagar on Srinagar-Baramulla highway, he said.

CENTRAL KASHMIR

Reports from Budgam district said Army has been deployed in many areas of Chadoora. They said forces removed all barricades put in place by protestors on main roads in Aripanthan, Narbal and Beerwah towns. Ganderbal district observed a complete shutdown as shops, private and government offices and business establishments remained closed.

Police fired dozens of teargas shells to disperse the protestors at Fatehora area. Protests broke out in the locality after police raided the residential house of Nazir Ahmed Ganai, a local youth and detained him in the afternoon. Police sources said Ganai was wanted in a stone-pelting case.
Reports said police also raided residential houses in Saloora and Badergund areas of the district, but nobody was detained.

CHENAB VALLEY TO OBSERVE SHUTDOWN TODAY

Following the call of Kashmir’s joint resistance leadership, the Chenab Valley in Jammu region will observe a complete shutdown on Wednesday. Reports said people of Chenab Valley and Pir Panjal in consultation with Anjuman-e-Islamia Bhadarwah and with other Muslim organizations of erstwhile district Doda have appealed to the people of Chenab Valley to follow the calendar of Hurriyat and observe a complete shutdown on 21st September.

POLICE VERSION

According to a spokesman of Zonal Police Headquarters Kashmir, situation in the Valley remained under control today. “There was no curfew in the valley except the areas under few police stations in Srinagar. Increased movement of people and vehicular traffic was observed across Kashmir during the day. During the past 24 hours, in its efforts to curb the activities of “miscreants/ hooligans”, police arrested 64 people involved in disturbing the situation by damaging civilian vehicles, stopping vehicular traffic and harassing people by placing obstructions on roads,” the spokesman said.  “Two incidents of arson were reported from Srinagar and Shopian. In Vehil, Shopian a residential house was set on fire while as in Srinagar at Batamaloo a bike was set on fire by miscreants. The overall situation across Jammu region remained normal and peaceful. Following the improvement in the situation curfew was relaxed from morning till evening hours in Rajouri town during which situation remained normal.”

(With inputs from Altaf Baba, Ghulam Muhammad, Sheikh Nazir) GK

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

U.S. Officials Say Russia Probably Attacked U.N. Humanitarian Convoy



U.S. Officials Say Russia Probably Attacked U.N. Humanitarian Convoy

By ERIC SCHMITT, MICHAEL R. GORDON and SOMINI SENGUPTASEPT. 20, 2016 New York Times
The bombed trucks: “Just when we think it cannot get any worse, the bar of depravity sinks lower.” Banki Moon 
Credit Ammar Abdullah/Reuters

Russia was probably responsible for the deadly bombing of a United Nations humanitarian aid convoy in Syria, American officials said Tuesday, further shredding what remained of a severely weakened agreement between the United States and Russia aimed at halting the war.

Aghast at the attack on Monday night, United Nations officials on Tuesday suspended all aid convoys in Syria, describing the bombing as a possible war crime and a cowardly act.

The suspension was announced as the United Nations was convening its annual General Assembly meetings in New York, where the five-year-old Syria war has become the organization’s most anguishing challenge.

“Just when we think it cannot get any worse, the bar of depravity sinks lower,” Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in his opening remarks to the gathering, his last as leader of the United Nations after 10 years. Mr. Ban called the attack on the convoy “sickening, savage and apparently deliberate.”

Publicly, the Obama administration said it held Russia responsible, in its role as a sponsor of the partial cease-fire agreement that it reached last week with United States. But the Americans still held out the possibility of salvaging the agreement. Benjamin Rhodes, the deputy national security adviser, said Russia should have ensured a halt to air operations in an area where “humanitarian assistance is flowing.”

Privately, American officials said their intelligence information suggested Russian aircraft had actually carried out the attack.

The American officials said that the Obama administration wanted to allow Moscow the time and space to investigate and announce its own conclusions about the bombing, which destroyed 18 of 31 trucks authorized to travel to a rebel-held area in northern Syria.

The bombing was the second disaster in three days to subvert the agreement between Russia and the United States, which had called for a weeklong cease-fire, humanitarian aid deliveries, collaboration by the two powers on targeting militant extremists in Syria and a buildup of trust to eventually resume peace talks.

On Saturday, an errant American airstrike that was supposed to target Islamic State militants in Syria instead killed 60 people that Syria’s government and its Russian allies identified as Syrian soldiers; they suggested that the assault was deliberate, despite American apologies.

The United States has the ability to track warplanes and other aircraft in the region — through radar and other sensors — and the Pentagon has determined with “very high probability” that a Russian Su-24 attack plane was directly over the convoy less than a minute before the airstrike was reported, a senior American official said.

“We have a very good picture of the skies over Syria, as well as where there’s activity,” the official said. “We know the plane in question was Russian, not Syrian, and was directly overhead.”

American analysts are assessing photographs of the bomb damage that could be tied to the weapons the Su-24 carries. They are also checking for any intercepted communications from the Russian pilot to determine why the convoy was struck.

“We have no indication that anything other than Russian tactical aircraft were in the air at the time the convoy was struck, to include both strike and reconnaissance aircraft,” said another American official. “We have seen no indication that it was anything other than an airstrike.”

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were discussing classified intelligence information.

Col. John J. Thomas, a spokesman for United States Central Command, told reporters at the Pentagon on Tuesday that warplanes of the American-led coalition that is fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria had not carried out the attack. “We’ll look to the Syrians and the Russians to tell us what they know,” he said.

The strike on the trucks, which were carrying critically needed food and medical supplies bound for rebel-held areas of Syria’s western Aleppo Province, took place shortly after the Syrian military declared that it regarded the seven-day partial cease-fire as over.

The convoy, escorted by the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, was among the first to try to deliver humanitarian aid to rebel-held areas under the cease-fire agreement. Members of the group said its local chief, Omar Barakat, was among at least 12 people killed in the attack, though United Nations officials in Geneva said the death toll was uncertain.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said in a statement that about 20 civilians were killed and much of the aid destroyed. Peter Maurer, the organization’s president, called the attack a “flagrant violation” of international law.

While both Syria and Russia denied responsibility for the bombing, the Russian account evolved over 24 hours.

The ruins of the convoy on Tuesday. “We know the plane in question was Russian, not Syrian, and was directly overhead,” a United States official said. Credit Omar Haj Kadour/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Some Russian officials suggested that artillery fire from rebels had hit the convoy. Later, some officials suggested the trucks had been set on fire. On Tuesday afternoon, Russia’s Defense Ministry said a drone video had shown that a “terrorists’ pickup truck” armed with a mortar had accompanied the convoy, the Tass news agency reported. This appeared to raise the possibility that the intended target had been a vehicle of militants.

But the drone video shows the aid convoy stationary, at the side of the road, and what appears to be a truck towing a mortar passing by. The video does not appear to establish any further connection between the convoy and the mortar truck, nor anything that would make the convoy a legitimate target.

The head of the United Nations agency that coordinates aid, Stephen O’Brien, said the attack would amount to a war crime if it were found to have targeted humanitarian aid workers.

He called for an independent investigation.

“In terms of aid worker victims, this particular incident of an aerial bombing of an aid convoy is unprecedented in scale,” said Abby Stoddard, who studies attacks on aid workers for Humanitarian Outcomes, a research and advocacy group.

Witnesses said multiple strikes had hit the convoy as workers were unloading aid, and then hit rescue workers who arrived to help the injured.

United Nations officials said 18 trucks — clearly marked and carrying wheat flour, nine tons of medicine and clothing for about 78,000 people — were destroyed. Benoit Carpentier, a spokesman for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, said a hospital had also been destroyed.

Aid convoys have endured sniper fire and shelling during the five years of the Syrian conflict, but the attack on Monday is thought to be the first time one was hit by an airstrike.

John Kirby, a spokesman for the State Department, called the attack on the convoy an “egregious violation” of the agreement with Russia.

Mr. Kerry conferred with his Russian counterpart, Foreign Minister Sergey V. Lavrov, and other diplomats representing the International Syria Support Group in New York on Tuesday morning as the United Nations General Assembly session got underway.

The support group, a 17-nation effort to halt the conflict that is led by Mr. Kerry and Mr. Lavrov, planned to hold additional meetings this week.

Eric Schmitt reported from Washington, Michael R. Gordon from New York, and Somini Sengupta from the United Nations. Reporting was contributed by Nick Cumming-Bruce from Geneva; Helene Cooper from Washington; Anne Barnard from Beirut, Lebanon; Sophia Kishkovsky from Moscow; and Rick Gladstone from New York.

A version of this article appears in print on September 21, 2016, on page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: U.S. Ties Russia to Strike on U.N. Convoy in Syria. Order 

European Leaders Discuss Plan for European Army


********************************************
European Leaders Discuss Plan for European Army

"We are going to move towards an EU army much faster than people believe."
by Soeren Kern
September 14, 2016 at 5:00 am
https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/8935/european-army

Critics say that the creation of a European army, a long-held goal of European federalists, would entail an unprecedented transfer of sovereignty from European nation states to unelected bureaucrats in Brussels, the de facto capital of the EU.

Others say that efforts to move forward on European defense integration show that European leaders have learned little from Brexit, and are determined to continue their quest to build a European superstate regardless of opposition from large segments of the European public.


"Those of us who have always warned about Europe's defense ambitions have always been told not to worry... We're always told not to worry about the next integration and then it happens. We've been too often conned before and we must not be conned again." — Liam Fox, former British defense secretary.


"[C]reation of EU defense structures, separate from NATO, will only lead to division between transatlantic partners at a time when solidarity is needed in the face of many difficult and dangerous threats to the democracies." — Geoffrey Van Orden, UK Conservative Party defense spokesman.

European leaders are discussing "far-reaching proposals" to build a pan-European military, according to a French defense ministry document leaked to the German newspaper, the Süddeutsche Zeitung.

The efforts are part of plans to relaunch the European Union at celebrations in Rome next March marking the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, which established the European Community.

The document confirms rumors that European officials are rushing ahead with defense integration now that Britain — the leading military power in Europe — will be exiting the 28-member European Union.

British leaders have repeatedly blocked efforts to create a European army because of concerns that it would undermine the NATO alliance, the primary defense structure in Europe since 1949.

Proponents of European defense integration argue that it is needed to counter growing security threats and would save billions of euros in duplication between countries.

Critics say that the creation of a European army, a long-held goal (see Appendix below) of European federalists, would entail an unprecedented transfer of sovereignty from European nation states to unelected bureaucrats in Brussels, the de facto capital of the EU.

Others say that efforts to move forward on European defense integration show that European leaders have learned little from Brexit — the June 23 decision by British voters to leave the EU — and are determined to continue their quest to build a European superstate regardless of opposition from large segments of the European public.


The Süddeutsche Zeitung reported that it had obtained a copy of a six-page position paper, jointly written by French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and his German counterpart, Ursula von der Leyen. The document calls for the establishment of a "common and permanent" European military headquarters, as well as the creation of EU military structures, including an EU Logistics Command and an EU Medical Command.

The document calls on EU member states to integrate logistics and procurement, coordinate military R&D and synchronize policies in matters of financing and military planning. EU intelligence gathering would be improved through the use of European satellites; a common EU military academy would "promote a common esprit de corps."

According to the newspaper, the document will be distributed to European leaders at an informal summit in Bratislava, Slovakia, on September 16. 


France and Germany will ask the leaders of the other EU member states not only to approve the measures, but also to "discuss a fast implementation."

Specifically, France and Germany will for the first time activate Article 44 of the Lisbon Treaty (also known as the European Constitution). This clause allows certain EU member states "which are willing and have the necessary capability" to proceed with the "task" of defense integration, even if other EU member states disapprove.

According to Süddeutsche Zeitung:

"In the wake of the British referendum to leave the European Union, Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President François Hollande have decided to demonstrate the EU's strength and to push the remaining member states to show more unity. Especially in defense policy, many projects were put on hold because Britain vetoed them. Without London, the two EU founding states, France and Germany, hope for swift decisions."

On September 8, Defense News reported that the creation of a European army was the central focus of an August 22 meeting between the leaders of France, Germany and Italy in Naples, where the three declared "the beginning of a new Europe." That meeting was followed by a meeting of defense ministers from the three countries in Paris on September 5.

According to Defense News, Italy is lobbying France and Germany to "back a plan for European tax breaks and financing for joint European defense procurement and development programs, as part of a bid to build a European army."

A confidential draft document circulated by Italy calls for "fiscal and financial incentives to support new EU cooperative programs for development and joint purchases of equipment and infrastructure supporting the EU's Common Security and Defense Policy."

In a September 8 interview with La Repubblica, the EU's foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, called for the establishment of a permanent EU military headquarters in Brussels that would manage all current and future EU military operations. "This could become the nucleus around which a common European defense structure could be built," she said.

Mogherini insisted that "we are not talking about a European army but about European defense: something we can really do, concretely, starting now." She also stressed that EU defense policy would remain under the control of European governments rather than the European Commission, the powerful executive arm of the EU.

On September 7, however, The Times reported that Mogherini will present EU leaders attending the summit in Bratislava with a "road map" and a "timetable" for creating EU military structures, which are "the foundation of a European army." According to newspaper, her plans for military structures able "to act autonomously" from NATO have led to fears that "the EU is seeking to rival the transatlantic alliance."

The Times quoted Mogherini as saying she was taking advantage of the "political space" opened by the Brexit vote:

"It might sound a bit dramatic but we are at this turning point. We could relaunch our European project and make it more functional and powerful for our citizens and the rest of the world. Or we could diminish its intensity and power. We have the political space today to do things that were not really doable in previous years."

On May 27, the Sunday Times reported that steps towards creating a European army were being kept secret from British voters until the day after the June 23 referendum:

"In an effort to avoid derailing the Prime Minister's 'Remain' campaign, the policy plans will not be sent to national governments until the day after Britons vote. Until then, only a small group of EU political and security committee ambassadors, who must leave their electronic devices outside a sealed room, can read the proposal."

On June 28, just days after the British referendum, Mogherini presented European leaders attending an EU summit in Brussels with the "EU Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy." The document explicitly calls for European defense integration, and implicitly calls for the creation of a European army.

According to the document, the EU strategy "nurtures the ambition of strategic autonomy for the European Union." It adds: "Gradual synchronization and mutual adaptation of national defense planning cycles and capability development can enhance strategic convergence between member states."

In an interview with The Telegraph, Liam Fox, a former defense secretary who served under former Prime Minister David Cameron, said:

"Those of us who have always warned about Europe's defense ambitions have always been told not to worry, but step-by-step that ever closer union is becoming a reality. We cannot afford to be conned in this referendum as we were conned in 1975.

"The best way to protect ourselves is to stay close to the US. The US defense budget is bigger than the next 11 countries in the world put together. Europe's defense intentions are a dangerous fantasy and risk cutting us off from our closest and most powerful ally.

"We're always told not to worry about the next integration and then it happens. We've been too often conned before and we must not be conned again."

The Conservative Party's defense spokesman, Geoffrey Van Orden, said the implications of the EU's defense ambitions are worrying:


"We can all see that the EU might play a useful role in conflict prevention and in some civil aspects of crisis management. But its ambitions go beyond that. The EU motive is not to create additional military capability but to achieve defense integration as a key step on the road to a federal EU state.

"The US and indeed the UK are being misled if they imagine that such moves will enhance NATO — the key guarantor of our collective defense. On the contrary, creation of EU defense structures, separate from NATO, will only lead to division between transatlantic partners at a time when solidarity is needed in the face of many difficult and dangerous threats to the democracies."

Mike Hookem, the defense spokesman of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), said his party had been warning about the dangers posed by the EU army concept for years:

"I'm pleased to see people are finally waking up. An EU army is not some Eurosceptic fantasy, there are many in Brussels hell-bent on making it happen."

European federalists have been calling for the creation of a European army in one form or another since 1950. Although a European army is still a long way away from becoming reality, the ultimate goal of European federalists is full defense integration leading to a European military under supranational control.

Since the Lisbon Treaty, which forms the constitutional basis of the European Union, entered into force in December 2009, the political momentum toward European defense integration has picked up steam. The drive toward European defense integration has accelerated during the Obama administration, which has often appeared indifferent to Europe and transatlantic relations. Another important obstacle to European defense integration was removed when Britons voted in June 2016 to exit the European Union.


What follows is a collection of quotes from senior European officials regarding a European army and integrated defense.

September 9. 
The EU's foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, said:

"I believe a window of opportunity has been opened to give life to a European defense. I wanted to send the message that, despite the British exit, Europe can and must move forward with the process of integration. The prospect of Brexit offered an opportunity not to be slowed by the country that was always most determinedly opposed to the idea of pooling the instruments of defense."

August 26. 
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, a staunch critic of the EU's migration policies, said: 

A joint European army was needed to keep migrants out. At a news conference after a meeting between Central European member states and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Warsaw, Orbán said: "We should list the issue of security as a priority, and we should start setting up a common European army."

August 22. 
Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka called for greater European military integration:

"Our experiences with the last migration wave have shown the importance of Europe's internal borders. In the face of uncontrolled mass migration, even states in the center of Europe have realized that internal borders must be better controlled. Aside from better coordinated foreign and security policy, I also believe that in the long term, we will be unable to do without a joint European army."

July 23. 
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said:

"The withdrawal of the British from the EU has led to a significant reduction in the continent's military strength, and from a military policy perspective we must not remain in this defenseless position... A European army must protect the continent from two sides, from the East and from the South, in terms of protecting against terrorism and migration. Europe cannot even continue to exist without an alliance — a joint EU army."

July 13. 
The German Defense Ministry released a white paper 

Outlining the country's future defense and security policies. The document calls for steps leading to the creation of an EU army, such as the integration of military capabilities and defense industries. "We are aiming to establish a permanent European civil-military operational headquarters in the medium term," it says. The white paper also says that citizens of other EU countries could be allowed to serve in the German army. Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said:

"Britain has paralyzed the European Union on the issues of foreign and security policy. This cannot mean that the rest of Europe remain inactive, but rather we need to move forward on these big issues."

June 28. 
French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier released a joint document titled "A Strong Europe in a World of Uncertainties." It states:

"The security of EU member states is deeply interconnected, as these threats now affect the continent as a whole: any threat to one member state is also a threat to others. We therefore regard our security as one and indivisible. We consider the European Union and the European security order to be part of our core interests and will safeguard them in any circumstances.

"In this context, France and Germany recommit to a shared vision of Europe as a security union, based on solidarity and mutual assistance between member states in support of common security and defense policy. Providing security for Europe as well as contributing to peace and stability globally is at the heart of the European project.

"France and Germany will promote the EU as an independent and global actor able to leverage its unique array of expertise and tools, civilian and military, in order to defend and promote the interests of its citizens. France and Germany will promote integrated EU foreign and security policy bringing together all EU policy instruments.

"The EU should be able to plan and conduct civil and military operations more effectively, with the support of a permanent civil-military chain of command. The EU should be able to rely on employable high-readiness forces and provide common financing for its operations. Within the framework of the EU, member states willing to establish permanent structured cooperation in the field of defense or to push ahead to launch operations should be able to do so in a flexible manner. If needed, EU member states should consider establishing standing maritime forces or acquiring EU-owned capabilities in other key areas."

June 26. 
In an interview with Welt am Sonntag, the Chairman of the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee, Elmar Brok, called for the immediate creation of a joint military headquarters and for the eventual establishment of an EU army:

"We need a common military headquarters and a coalition of the willing in accordance with the permanent structural cooperation of the EU Treaty. An EU army could eventually arise from such a group. This could help to strengthen the role of Europeans in the security and defense policy, together better fulfill the responsibility of Europe in the world and also to achieve more synergies in defense spending."

June 24. 
French President François Hollande said:

"Europe needs to be a sovereign power deciding its own future and promoting its model. France will therefore be leading efforts to ensure Europe focuses on the most important issues: the security and defense of our continent, to protect our borders and preserve peace in the face of threats."

May 29. 
British Armed Forces Minister Penny Mordaunt said: 

"A centrally controlled army would be a massive step to the EU's goal of full political integration, but it would be a very dangerous move."

February 4. 

German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen confirmed: 

An agreement to integrate some 800 German soldiers into the Dutch navy. While in Amsterdam, where she met with the Dutch Defense Minister, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, von der Leyen called the plan a "prime example for the building of a European defense union."

December 15, 2015. 

The European Commission proposed creating a European Border and Coast Guard. 

The proposal, which was put forward in response to the ongoing European migrant crisis, called for a rapid reaction force of 1,500 officers who would be able to deploy even if a member state did not ask for its help.

October 15, 2015. 

The president of the European People's Party (EPP), Joseph Daul, said:

 "We are going to move towards an EU army much faster than people believe."

September 12, 2015. 

An unpublished position paper drawn up by Europe and Defence policy committees of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Party (CDU) was leaked to The Telegraph. The document sets out a detailed :

10-point plan for military co-operation in Europe. It calls for "a permanent structured and coordinated cooperation of national armed forces in the medium term." It adds:

"In the long run, this process should according to the present German coalition agreement lead also to a European Army subject to Parliamentarian control.

"In the framework of NATO, a uniform European pillar will be more valuable and efficient for the USA than with the present rag-rug characterized by a lack of joint European planning, procurement, and interoperability."

June 15, 2015. 

Michel Barnier, Special Adviser on European Defence and Security Policy to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, wrote:

"Member States are slow to accept that they need to go beyond a model where defense is a matter of strict national sovereignty.... It is time for a reckoning: traditional methods of cooperation have reached their limits and proved insufficient. European defense needs a paradigm change in line with the exponential increase in global threats and the volatility of our neighborhood. The past has shown that European defense does move ahead if and when there is political will."

March 9, 2015. 

In an interview with Die Welt, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said the EU should establish its own army to show Russia it is serious about defending European values:

"Europe has lost a huge amount of respect. In foreign policy too, we are not taken seriously. A common European army would show the world that there will never again be war between EU countries. Such an army would help us to build a common foreign and security policy and allow Europe to meet its responsibilities in the world. With its own army, Europe could respond credibly to a threat to peace in a member country or in a neighboring country of the European Union."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said they support Juncker's proposal for a European army. In an interview with Tagesspiegel, Steinmeier added:

"The long-term goal of a European army is a major policy objective and has been part of the Social Democratic Party's (SPD) party program for many years. Given the new risks and threats to peace in Europe we now need, as a first step, a rapid adaptation and updating of the common European security strategy."

March 8, 2015. 

In an interview with Deutschlandfunk radio, German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said:

"I think that the German army is ready, under certain circumstances, to be subordinated to the control of another nation. That is the goal, that in the European Union we step by step more firmly establish our cooperation, especially in security policy. This intertwining of armies with a view to having a European army is the future."

May 15, 2014. 

Jean-Claude Juncker, the European People's Party lead candidate for president of the next European Commission, wrote:

"I believe that we need to work on a stronger Europe when it comes to security and defense matters. Yes, Europe is chiefly a 'soft power.' But even the strongest soft powers cannot make do in the long run without at least some integrated defense capacities. The Treaty of Lisbon provides for the possibility, for those Member States who want to do so, to pool their defense capabilities in the form of a permanent structured cooperation."

December 19, 2013. 

The speaker of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, called for the creation of a European army: 

"If we wish to defend our values and interests, if we wish to maintain the security of our citizens, then a majority of MEPs consider that we need a headquarters for civil and military missions in Brussels and deployable troops."

November 15, 2009. 

In an interview with The Times, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said:

It is a "necessary objective to have a European army." He added:

"Every country duplicates its forces, each of us puts armored cars, men, tanks, planes, into Afghanistan. If there were a European army, Italy could send planes, France could send tanks, Britain could send armored cars, and in this way we would optimize the use of our resources. Perhaps we won't get there immediately, but that is the idea of a European army."

May 6, 2008. 

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier called 

For the establishment of the European army "as soon as possible." He said he had been in talks with his French counterpart to discuss "future structures" of a European army.

December 10-11, 1999. 

European officials meeting in Helsinki agreed 

To develop a European Rapid Reaction Force. Also known as the Helsinki Headline Goal, EU member states pledged that by 2003 they would be able to deploy a European military force of 60,000 troops within 60 days and for a period of potentially one year. This goal has never been met.

December 3-4, 1988. 

British Prime Minister Tony Blair and French President Jacques Chirac met at the French port city of Saint-Malo to discuss future EU defense integration. The summit declaration, which laid the political foundation for a common European defense policy, stated:

"The European Union needs to be in a position to play its full role on the international stage... The Union must have the capacity for autonomous action, backed up by credible military forces, the means to decide to use them, and a readiness to do so, in order to respond to international crises."

October 24, 1950. 

The Pleven Plan, named after French Prime Minister René Pleven, was the first plan to create a unified European army. 

It proposed the "immediate creation of a European army tied to the political institutions of a united Europe." It stated:

"A European army cannot be created simply by placing national military units side by side, since, in practice, this would merely mask a coalition of the old sort. Tasks that can be tackled only in common must be matched by common institutions. A united European army, made up of forces from the various European nations must, as far as possible, pool all of its human and material components under a single political and military European authority."

The Pleven Plan was rejected by the French Parliament because it infringed on France's national sovereignty.

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