Today, the European Union’s grants through the EU-Philippines Trade Related Technical Assistance IV, the fourth project and continuation of state aid between them was declined today. The Southern Asian State protested the language and certain parts of agreement, that the EU was proposing. The republic of Philippines has declined it, because they feel the money is tainted and belittling them. That is why the Rodrigo Duterte administration has decided to leave the money on the table and not take it.
This sort of act is something the EU isn’t used too. It is rare, but the State Aid in the Program of TRTA-IV has its bounds and they setting the score for what and how the Philippines can act. It put boundaries and levels to how it can act, as the EU will monitor and check if the state is complying directly with UN Conventions.
That is putting the granted money in a possible questionable state and insult the Asian counterparts, even if they not even signed into UN Conventions that they could be breaking. This is the sort of attack on the sovereign will the Duterte Administration doesn’t want to comply too. That should be respected, since the EU is also right to put strains on their given funds, but then they shouldn’t expect the receiver to just take it anyway.
– EU-Philippines Trade Related Technical Assistance IV The project contributes primarily to the progressive achievement of SDG Goal 8 “Decent Work and Economic Growth” but also promotes progress towards Goal 1 “No Poverty” and Goal 10 “Reduced Inequalities”. It will support the uptake of GSP+ preferential tariffs by Philippine exporters therefore offering incentives to comply with UN Conventions on Human Rights which are a prerequisite before GSP+ can be granted (and maintained). The EU monitors compliance with HR Conventions annually. Besides, the action is expected to support FTA negotiations including on labour rights with a view to align the Philippine legislation and enforcement on international best practices” (EU, P: 4, 2016).
As we sees in the documentation of 2016, is really compelling what the EU expect to do. They are really telling that the incentives are made for them to follow UN Conventions, if not the grants will not be maintained or granted the development, nor the projects in the TRTA-IV. The Philippines are in their right mind, to not take the money that would put strains and also be monitored. So if the Philippines wouldn’t comply to the demands of the grants, they would be withheld. Secondly, that meaning, that if the Philippines took the money. They could possibly loose them if the EU doesn’t think they are following the right UN Convention on any given day or by any evidence of violence. Without taking the context or the reason for it. Because that would play to European narrative of the violence and the Drug War, not the basic understanding or the popularity of the war against the political and drug-infested triad’s, that has been in Philippines. So the Duterte administration has their reasons for doing it, not that its beautiful or a success story, but a needed remedy for a already problematic state of drug triad’s in certain parts of the Republic.
So I was happy, when I heard!
“MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Philippines formally rejected at least P380 million (6.1 million euros) in aid from the European Union, Ambassador Franz Jessen confirmed Wednesday, January 24. Jessen, head of the EU Delegation to the Philippines, was referring to the EU-Philippine Trade Related Technical Assistance (TRTA) worth 6.1 million euros, or around P383.64 million. Asked if the Philippines has ever formalized the rejection of EU aid, Jessen said: “It was formalized in the sense that we had, for example, the TRTA, a document that actually had to be signed by the end of the year. And that has been returned to us unsigned.” In an interview with reporters after the weekly Kapihan sa Manila Bay, Jessen said the TRTA “was rejected at the end of the past year.” The Philippines earlier said it is rejecting all forms of aid that come with conditions, such as respecting human rights” (Esmaquel III, 2018).
That the EU Ambassador Jessen feels slapped in face and humiliated is natural in the circumstances. He should know how Duterte defended his nation in 2017. This isn’t news, they are not accepting to be belittled and told by foreign powers how to act and do. Neither does the EU want to be played second fiddle by the United States or Russia. Neither wants the Philippines. TRTA-4 are now suspended or never unleashed, since the EU-Philippines has had this formal agreements and grants for decades. So the previous government of Philippines has accepted the contracts and Memorandum of Understandings in TRTA to TRTA-III. Now the TRTA-4 had different sorts of things to achieve and projects to support. All from Electricity and Power projects in Mindanao to other sustainable initiatives.
But the 6.1M Euros was the price and the loss for the Philippines. But they would have been monitored and checked their grants by EU Monitors. It wasn’t just the use of Human Rights, but the continues checks to be allowed to get the grants. That is the paternal instinct of a more powerful ally. That is what the EU would have done to the Duterte Administration. Rodrigo Duterte didn’t accept this, neither did his closest allies. Clearly, they didn’t want to risk the embarrassment or being questioned for their internal affairs. Especially not a grant of 6 million euros. That would be a cheap trade for what sort of behavior the EU could do and that should be insulting for any statesman. Peace.
European Union (EU) – ‘Annual Action Programmes 2016 Part IV and 2017 Part I in favour of the Asia region to be financed from the general budget of the European Union’ (05.07.2016)
Esmaquel III, Paterno – ‘Philippines formally rejects P380 million in EU aid’ (24.01.2018) link: https://www.rappler.com/nation/194426-philippines-formally-rejects-european-union-aid
“Mary Creagh MP said:
“A reusable cup is one of the easiest ways to reduce cup waste but the discounts offered by coffee companies are ineffective. The plastic bag charge is proof that charges are highly effective at reducing packaging waste. We urge the Government to introduce a 25p charge on disposable cups.” (Parliament.uk, 2018)
Since last year the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) have worked on finding ways to make the Coffee industry in the United Kingdom more environmental and more sustainable. Since the one-time use of Coffee-Cups from the big international chains is a disaster to recycle and creates new levels of garbage. It is natural that this is looked into as much as other beverage and use of plastic to contain the liquid in ordinary trade. The EAC should look into the beer and soda industry as well, since they use one-time bottles of plastic that also hurts the environment.
What was striking was the recommendation from the EAC:
“The Committee has called on the Government to: Introduce a 25p “latte levy” on disposable coffee cups, and use the money raised to improve the UK’s recycling ‘binfrastructure’ and reprocessing facilities. Set a target that all disposable coffee cups should be recycled by 2023. If this target is not achieved, the Government should ban disposable coffee cups. Make producers pay more for packaging which is difficult to recycle. Improve labelling to educate consumers about how best to dispose of their cup” (Parliament.uk, 2018).
That the “Latte Levy” is coming up is a good idea, but also already could be enforced directly, as the chains to make it more costly for each cup of one-time usable cups. Since, that would make more people aware and also bring cups for the chains. Even sell more cheaply the reusable cups and make offers that are reasonable for the consumer of coffee. Instead of adding more tax on the ones buying coffee on the run to and from works at the coffee shops.
If the government wants the consumer to use reusable cups, they should put in conditions not only to hurt their pockets with a latte levy, but also make it profitable for Coffee shops and Coffee chains to earn more bucks on their sales of this. They are only in the market for the profits, not for saving planet earth. Than the government has to put forward demands and laws that put restraint on the sellers to provide with cups, which actually are recycled or reusable with a fair price.
That the government would put extra pay to extend and make sure the cups are recycled is a good enough idea. To recoup and make sure they can facilitate garbage disposal that fits the one-cup use of the modern day at the coffee shops. That the industry should reshape and change is natural. But they will only do so, if they earn money on it or have to comply with new regulations. That is if the Conservative Government wants to direct and change the policies affecting the industry and their behavior. The consumer will look at price and convenience, so they will use the best options concerning their needs and daily life.
What the “Latte Levy” does is only to make the coffee a bit more expensive, but doesn’t do enough to change behavior or either consumer nor companies. That is what the target should be. The Companies should be affected for their use of one-time use cups and the trash it creates. Peace.
Parliament.uk – ‘MPs call for “latte levy” on coffee cups’ (05.01.2018) link: http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/environmental-audit-committee/news-parliament-2017/coffee-cups-report-publication-17-19/
One year ago, more than 55 people – including at least 14 police officers – were killed in the Kasese clashes on November 26. A day later, the military and police forces launched a deadly assault on the Rwenzururu palace killing more than 100 civilians – including children.
One year later, we know more than 180 civilians were arrested and charged in court. However, no military or police officer has been charged for the killing of civilians. Families continue to narrate their ordeal of missing relatives and the palace remains cordoned off by security forces as a crime scene.
We call for an independent and impartial investigation into the role of security forces in the Kasese killings to deliver justice to the victims and their families.
Today, the 37 years under the President Robert Gabriel Mugabe is over. After his resignation letter got read out loud to Parliament and the Public. This after he tricked the public and the generals this Sunday. Mugabe has done whatever he could to stay in power and used all sorts of tricks to stay. There been promise of him leaving earlier and even losing rigged elections. But that has never yielded any fruits. Therefore today is a unique day.
As this is how it started:
“In a broadcast on television tonight, Mr Mugabe said: “I wish to assure you that there can never be any return to the state of armed conflict which existed before our commitment to peace and the democratic process of election under the Lancaster House agreement.” (BBC).
So all the hope of Mugabe was there and he had it all made to become a legend, make a legacy worth a damn after fighting a liberation war against the Ian Smith and liberate the Republic from the United Kingdom. Clearly, that had to happen as the White Minority had to fall and let the people decide the fate of Zimbabwe. Therefore, that he has used the government and the army to oppress the people, detain and kill. That is what he has been doing to stay in power. Used the state to secure that his loyal cronies and clientele riches and land. That is why the Cabinet Ministers and Members of Parliament who has fled and detained has been taken with large amount cash, while the republic is broke and depleted. That shows that the ZANU-PF are systematic this way, in thieving and Mugabe has been the provider. Therefore, the republic need a change from that.
The one who has been the cult figure, the leader and the head. Mugabe has been the epitome of a revolutionary turned corrupt gangster in charge. The ZANU-PF Government has used violence, intimidation and rigging to stay for so long. The rotten courts and the system that has been built around Mugabe, will not go away. Lot of people have eaten and will continue to eat, unless you also take the root of the problem. The Zimbabwean people and Zimbabwean Army have now gotten rid of the top main branch, but there are more branches on tree that is rotten to the core.
President Mugabe is now an old-man and let his wife try to create a future dynasty under her. That was not accepted as they forgot the control and power with the Vice-President Edison Mnangagwa. The false-start of the Mugabe dynasty was short-lived because of the will of Grace Mugabe. Her ways and her unpopularity, was so bad and so ruthless that the ZANU-PF couldn’t even manage it. That is why the Lacoste part of the party reacted and got the military to besiege the government to show the lethal force they have.
Today, because of the wish of a dynasty, he had to pull his candidacy, even after being voted earlier this year as the candidate. Even the Woman’s League and Youth League had professed loyalty just weeks ahead for Grace as the VP. This changed and was thrown in the garbage. Since the army was besieging them and making them change their mind. The leaders of G-40 got sacked from the party and also from the government. This happen over night and within the ZANU-PF. As the same party who professed loyalty for Mugabe has now changed it’s mind. Therefore, the last few days has been special.
The Zimbabweans have all rights to celebrate and for a long time, since the ZANU-PF and Mugabe have taken the republic and ate all of its resources. That is known and to say otherwise is to blind to facts and matters at hand.
But even with him gone and his legacy left in tatters. Where his ruthless acts and his depleting state reserves. As well as possible damages to the economy, there will sudden changes that has to appear. So that the same party with the same principals grown under Mugabe will continue to prosper. As long as the army and Lacoste faction are connected, they will make sure the transition goes smooth. While they still will ask for international legitimacy for their new government.
We can wonder and wait to see if they will change or if it will be more of the same. If people will be detained for calling Mnangagwa a crocodile, instead of calling Mugabe a goblin. We can just wonder if civil activists will be taken and detained on arbitrary arrests and quell protests as it happen in the past. The Coup made it happen and peaceful demonstrations where possible.
Today there are celebrations and that is all but justified. As Mugabe has been a dictator and as an oppressor for over three decades. They have all rights to celebrate and its well deserved after all the pain. Mugabe has been the neo-colonial master and made them his subjects. Now they can continue to strive for liberation and freedom. Not just in name but in the spirit of the state. That can be possible now, as long as the civil society and the civil activist continue to push for reforms and changes within the state. That #ThisFlag Movement and others are pushing for a democratic state and not a dictatorship under ZANU-PF. ZANU-PF can be a party within a democracy, but not as a sole ruler and make sure everyone abide to their leadership.
That is the future right now, we will see if ZANU-PF has a place without Mugabe. If it isn’t made such a bitter and a rotten core. We can hope that the people will continue to demonstrate against that, even after Mugabe resigned today!
They have cut the head of the snake, the target is now gone, but will it cut of the sources of the problems within the Zimbabwean government? Or will that continue as long as the crocodile runs the nations? Will he reform the state and put into the perspective of the civil activists within the state?
Or was the change or cutting of the head, just a facade and a mere canvassing a new picture over the old one and hoping that no-one see the shade of the old one beneath it. Peace.
BBC – ‘1980: Mugabe to lead independent Zimbabwe’ Link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/march/4/newsid_2515000/2515145.stm
“Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has resigned, parliament speaker Jacob Mudenda has said. A letter from Mr Mugabe said that the decision was voluntary and that he had made it to allow a smooth transition of power. The surprise announcement halted an impeachment hearing that had begun against him. Lawmakers roared in jubilation and people have begun celebrating in the streets” (BBC News, 2017)