Today, there was an interesting thing coming through my feed that captured my eye. It was a headline from the Philippines News Agency. It was claiming that the Chinese was not making developing countries in debt slaves or putting them into debt traps by taking up huge loans for extensive spending on infrastructure projects. Now in March 2019, the Chinese are claiming that they are just giving viable loans and not to much.
However, I will beg to differ, but before I do so. Let see what the Chines spokesperson said. Which I have to say is not true.
“Guo Weimin, spokesperson of the second session of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), said extending Chinese loans to developing countries aims to facilitate infrastructure projects that are expected to bring development and boost the economic growth of these nations. “Chinese investments only account for a very small share to their total debt. And our projects are mostly infrastructure, which can support the long-term development of those countries,” Guo said. “Yet some say, this is a great debt trap. But this doesn’t make sense,” he added” (Kris Chrismundo – ‘No debt trap for developing countries: CN political advisory body’ 02.03.2019, link: http://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1063438).
Let’s me just take the first victim of the debt trap made by the Chinese is in Sri Lanka where the Chinese has taken over and lease the Hambantota Port for 99 years in 2018. While in Zambia, the Chinese has taken over ZESCO, the state electricity company, majority ownership of the Zambian National Broadcasting Company, and if the Republic fails more on their debt. The Zambian state might loose the ownership of Kenneth Kaunda International Airport as well.
In Kenya, the government have loaned massive funds for the Standard Gauge Railway Part 1 and 2. Now, they are on the limb and its speculated that the Port of Mombasa can be taken as collateral for the possible failing loans.
There are warning signs of the total loans given to Tonga, Fiji, Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Maldives, Ghana, Liberia Philippines and so on. They are clearly strategic about it. There should also be worrying about the loans given to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Tanzania and so on. The Chinese has loaned for massive projects and not small-pocketed money. Which the Chinese would like to have back paid.
This is just small examples of what that is coming. Because the states are taking up gigantic loans, which they can possibly default with. That is why the Chinese has been smart enough to sign for collateral, which usually is important parts of infrastructure or mobility. So, that the Chinese can trade and also control vital parts of the economy. They are not joking around and seemingly taken a soft approach to neo-colonize the developing countries. Because they can and have the ability to do so.
We can wonder if there will be more like this. There are also the battle happening in Djibouti over the Doraleh Port, who went from DP World Port Company to a Chinese Company. That was because of the debt that the Republic of Djibouti had. Just like the port in Sri Lanka went to them as well. Both very strategic and important ports in their regions. Therefore, the Chinese has gotten good infrastructure and possible revenue streams in these Republic for their defaulting loans.
There will be more to come out of this. That is why I don’t believe the Chinese, saying the developing countries can manage the amount of loans, as the Chinese are planning to takeover something to get repaid for their services. Peace.
“The basic confrontation which seemed to be colonialism versus anti-colonialism, indeed capitalism versus socialism, is already losing its importance. What matters today, the issue which blocks the horizon, is the need for a redistribution of wealth. Humanity will have to address this question, no matter how devastating the consequences may be.” – Frantz Fanon
The true value and who runs it is proven when the former head of the Commonwealth for decades has been Queen Elisabeth II, which of yesterday put the mantle of leadership to her son Prince Charles of Wales. The Statement from ‘ Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2018 – Leaders’ Statement’ said: “We recognise the role of The Queen in championing the Commonwealth and its peoples. The next Head of the Commonwealth shall be His Royal Highness Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales” (Commonwealth, 20.04.2018).
We can also know the perspective the Great Britain has for the organization, as Boris Johnson wrote so clearly in March 2018: “The good news is that when we leave the EU, we will regain the power to sign free trade agreements with our Commonwealth friends, allowing the UK to make the most of thriving markets. Brexit will give us the ability to open a new era of friendship with countries across the world. A key theme of the London summit will be how to boost trade within the Commonwealth. We’ll also discuss how to improve security co-operation and take joint action to protect the world’s oceans, bearing in mind that the Commonwealth includes island states in the Pacific, the Indian Ocean and the Caribbean” (Boris Johnson – ‘Commonwealth has key role to play in the bright future for Britain: article by Boris Johnson’ 12.03.2018, Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO)).
It shows that the United Kingdom own problems and issues is key for the Summit. The others are more a circus that the old empire can play into it. That happen and the Commonwealth Declaration on the 20th April 2018 named ‘Declaration on the Commonwealth Connectivity Agenda for Trade and Investment’ part of it says: “We, the Heads of Government representing member countries of the Commonwealth and one third of the world’s population recognise international trade and investment
as an engine for generating inclusive and participative economic growth and a means to deliver the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” (…) “In particular, we recognise the importance of the multilateral trading system in ensuring the integration of small, vulnerable and least developed countries and countries in sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific into the world economy, and welcome initiatives which will support greater and more effective participation of these countries in international trade” (…) “To promote the realisation of these goals, we hereby launch the Commonwealth Connectivity Agenda for Trade and Investment. This Agenda will be guided by the principles that: co-operation should be pragmatic and practical, leading to credible results; take into account regional integration initiatives; take into account the needs of small and vulnerable economies and least developed countries; avoid duplication with initiatives where other organisations are already working; add value in areas of engagement; and adopt a progressive approach towards a long term vision for closer trade and investment ties. It should also recognise the vital role of the private sector in delivering the 2030 Agenda and facilitating the promotion of the blue and green economy” (Commonwealth – ‘Declaration on the Commonwealth Connectivity Agenda for Trade and Investment’ 20.04.2018).
We can see that Boris Johnson’s goals for the Commonwealth Head of Government Meeting (CHOGM) appeared on the last day, yesterday, as this declaration is to anticipate the Commonwealth secretariat and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) will work on this now. To make sure the former Colonies are more connected. Not only to themselves through trade, but also to the United Kingdom. This is to give the United Kingdom bigger trade and partners through the use of the former colonies. To look at it differently, is to be naive. The other agreements is to make the public perception positive, but this here was to grease the wheels of United Kingdom, who are soon losing the trade-agreements through the membership of European Union, because of their silly decision to leave the Union.
We can see that the Commonwealth all benefits the United Kingdom and the others just has a place multi-nationally to be represented, though a loose organization, that isn’t to formal. But is a place to make them look better and get exposure through the perspective of their former colonial master. That is why they still has the inter-connected ministry FCO. It is a reason why even Zimbabwean Non-Governmental Organization was petitions the Department for International Development (DFID), so the former colony could have funds to hold Presidential Candidate National Television Debate before the General Election later in the year.
Well, that was a sidetrack, but very fitting. Because, the Commonwealth, still seems like a UK based organization, where it is all because of the mercy of the UK. The Commonwealth communiques, declarations and the meetings is because of UK leaders. Not because of the Kenyan President wanted it or the Indian one wanted some. We know there are someone even questioning it, the Bangladesh PM has been stating this today:
“LONDON, April 21, 2018 (BSS)- Seeking inclusion of representative from Asia in the High Level Group to review the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Governance, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday suggested making the Group more representative with inclusion of member states of different regions. “We value the knowledge and expertise of the Secretariat for furthering work of the Commonwealth. However, we believe that views of the member states through appropriate representation, is equally important,” she said” (Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha – ‘PM suggests making CW high-level group more representative’ 21.04.2018).
This is what I started it, and it is made like this because the Commonwealth are made for the needs of United Kingdom, then the second interests. That is why the head of the Commonwealth has to be the Royalty of the UK. Now it is the Prince of Wales, which was nudged in by the Queen. The same happen to Prince Harry, who was appointed by the Queen to become the Commonwealth Youth Ambassador. We can see that the Commonwealth is a UK enterprise. The view can be seen that way, the way the Royal family has key roles and that the FCO is involved. Therefore, the meetings and statements coming from Boris Johnson with everyone he could. Making photo-ups with anyone he could during the CHOGM.
We will clearly see the Commonwealth Secretariat work on the Declaration, especially now that the UK is gearing up for the Brexit and leaving the Union. They need new secure trading partners and what better, than using the informal body of Commonwealth to get trade with. That is what even Johnson has been writing and proves his ideas. That is why he has been so diplomatic and kind with words. Because some of the nations and state leaders he has meet these days, he has written in the past ill-words of their republics and their kind. Therefore, we know he has sudden swift change of interests. That interests being the benefit of London and not of the former colonies.
The Commonwealth seems more like a savior and needed trade-partners right now, because of the problems coming with the loss of the EU membership. FCO and Commonwealth member-states with this declaration are opening for negotiations. Something that Johnson has been hoping for all along. Since he wanted that and hoped that CHOGM would deliver. However, it did that in some respect with the Declaration.
Seemingly again the Commonwealth is made for the benefit of the UK and their needed gains. If it was otherwise, than the Bangladesh PM wouldn’t asked for what she did after the CHOGM. That proves the problems within the Commonwealth Secretariat and with the Declaration itself. Since in that one in question isn’t mentioned even directly in the declaration.
Hope I am wrong, but as long the British Royalty is running it and is the heads of it. Their interests will be in line of London, not being for all the members of the Commonwealth. To think otherwise to be naive. Peace.
The Proposed Be The Change is extremely disappointed and appalled at the Fiji police decision to detain members of the opposition parties and a civil society representative for merely excising their rights to freedom of expression.
Biman Prasad, Sitiveni Rabuka, Tupeni Baba, Attar Singh, and Jone Dakuvula’s arrest is unwarranted and unconstitutional, and oozes of bullying tactics employed to shut down opposing voices.
The five have been arrested for allegedly attending a Constitution Forum organized by Pacific Dialogue Forum this week and not having the permit to do so. This comes after police shut down a meeting organized by Dialogue Fiji, ironically on constitution day that guarantees freedom of expression.
In July 2014, the attorney general himself had declared that, public permits were no longer required for meetings as long as they were not on a public road, in public parks, playgrounds, or arenas.
None of these meeting were held in a public arena, yet authorities have taken drastic steps to shut it down, to an extent that police have searched homes and offices of the detainees, confiscating Mr Prasad’s laptop.
This is igniting fear and suppression in the public at large, impinges on the right to freedom of expression and association and goes against the values of genuine democracy.
We condemn this very undemocratic and controlling move by the police and appeal to the authorities to release the five people with dignity and respect.
The Proposed Be The Change stands in solidarity with the detained members.
“History complete, Fiji becomes the first pacific Island nation to win an Olympic medal and GOLD at that ! What a way to do it, absolutely blowing GB off the park. Fiji be proud, this is your day and will be one of my favourite memories from these Olympics.! A nation will go nuts today with joy. GoNuts Fiji Rio 2016 Fiji win it 43-7.” (Veitchy on Sport, 12.08.2016).
One of the stars of Fiji:
“Captain Kolinisau has scored in the Rio 2016 final, but it’s on the world series he has been putting tries in for Fiji for years! Check out some of his best on the series…..” (World Rugby Seven Series, 2016).
Banks we’re closed during the finals:
What it means:
Fun fact for your interested in the Olympics, the sport of Rugby haven’t been part of the Summer Olympics since 1924. So the chances for the Fiji to win we’re slim as the favorites of World Series and such we’re surely supposed to be ahead. This is a big deal and the Rugby Team from Fiji deserves praise for their achievement. Be proud! Congratulation on your victory and GOLD medal! Peace.
Interesting, right? Enlightenment, right?
“Corruption is like a ball of snow, once it’s set a rolling it must increase” – Charles Caleb Colton.
It’s been a while since I have addressed this matter. Well, the world continues to spin and the rain keeps falling. Still there is some Civil Servants, Government Officials or greedy corporate men who want to earn a quick buck. Here are a few stories from all around the world. To prove that it doesn’t matter where you live, it’s how you live. And for some reasons when somebody finds out it will be an easy way to get something extra without much work. But first I have to write about somebody who deserves credit. Then after this, I will tell stories about corruption cases that are going on all around the world.
The then editor of ‘The Elderly’ Vietnamese state-owned print and online magazine Kim Quoc Hoa he reported 2500 cases since 2007. He has been charged with “revealing confidential information related to national security” (…) “abusing freedoms and democratic rights in publishing articles that disseminated false information” (CPJ). The publication ‘The Elderly’ has also been shut down and gotten a fine of around $32 000. This is all happening before the Communist Party Congress of 2016 (News24).
In the American country of Panama a former minister has a case corruption case against him. The Former Finance Minister Frank De Lima has been charged with inflating multimillion dollar contracts with National Help Program (NHP) (PanAMPost). The embezzlement is that the money $1.7M for the NHP has been skimmed away. That was supposed to go “grain contracts” (Rodriguez).
In Edinburgh, Scotland the former employees of the Edinburgh Council Charles Owenson and James Castello that wasn’t just some swell seats at football matches for Hibs or Hearts. They both worked for the Council of the town as part of Property Care Service. The Council members got extra services from ABC Limited. The money and services they got was after the company got contracts with the county. One even bragged about “One witness states that Costello bragged about the money being spent by ABC and on one occasion claimed a night out he had attended must have cost ABC £5000”. They have pleaded guilty and in a month time the sentencing will happen (STV).
In Fiji the former Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Pio Tikoduadua is claiming that the Land Transport Authority is widespread with corruption. He fears for quality of the roads and commuting on the roads with buses as well (Vuniwaqa).
In Canada in the city of Montreal last Wednesday a former construction entrepreneur Lino Zambito pleaded guilty in court of St. Jerome that he was guilty of offering kickbacks to public officials for a public contract to build a $28M Water Filtration Plant in Boisland (CTVNEWS Montreal).
I know I just picked a few for you. There are always more stories on this. And when you search for sweet stories you end up picking this ones, to prove that it’s a worldwide phenomenon. I know wanted to prove that it’s everywhere. Mr. Colton saying the facts: the snowball is running and it’s increasing in size. Wonder when it going to end. Peace.
CTVNEWS Montreal – ‘Lino Zambito pleads guilty to corruption-related charges’ (13.05.2015) Link: http://montreal.ctvnews.ca/lino-zambito-pleads-guilty-to-corruption-related-charges-1.2371937
CPJ – ‘Vietnamese editor faces anti-state charges for reporting on corruption’ (13.05.2015) Link: https://www.cpj.org/2015/05/vietnamese-editor-faces-anti-state-charges-for-rep.php
News24 – ‘Vietnamese editor charged for publishing graft reports’ (13.05.2015) Link: http://www.news24.com/World/News/Vietnamese-editor-charged-for-publishing-graft-reports-20150513
Rodriguez, Juan Jose/Business Insider – ‘Panama gripped by millionaire ex-president’s graft scandal’ (15.05.2015) Link: http://www.businessinsider.com/afp-panama-gripped-by-millionaire-ex-presidents-graft-scandal-2015-5
PanAMPost – ‘Panama Corruption Probe Arrests Key Martinelli Ally’ (14.05.2015) Link: http://panampost.com/panam-staff/2015/05/14/panama-corruption-probe-arrests-key-martinelli-ally/
STV – ‘Corrupt officials given lap dances in return for council contracts’ (15.05.2015) Link: http://news.stv.tv/east-central/1320605-corrupt-edinburgh-council-officials-given-lap-dances-by-builders/
Vuniwaqa, Bola-Bari – Fiji Times Online – ‘Corruption Concerns’ (18.05.2015) Link: http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=306231