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ARGENTINA TAKES AMERICA TO INT’L COURT
Fiscal mismanagement, odious debt or pillage?

Ellen Brown in Sonoma, California

Ellen Brown

Argentina has now taken the US to The Hague for blocking the country’s 2005 settlement with the bulk of its creditors. The issue underscores the need for an international mechanism for nations to go bankrupt.
Better yet would be a sustainable global monetary scheme that avoids the need for sovereign bankruptcy.
Better than redesigning the sovereign bankruptcy mechanism might be to redesign the global monetary scheme in a way that avoids the continual need for a bankruptcy mechanism.
Argentina was the richest country in Latin America before decades of neoliberal and IMF-imposed economic policies drowned it in debt. A severe crisis in 2001 plunged it into the largest sovereign debt default in history.
In 2005, it renegotiated its debt with most of its creditors at a 70 per cent “haircut.” But the opportunist “vulture funds,” which had bought Argentine debt at distressed prices, held out for 100 cents on the dollar.
Paul Singer’s Elliott Management has spent over a decade aggressively trying to force Argentina to pay down nearly 1.3 billion dollars in sovereign debt. Elliott would get about 300 million dollars for bonds that Argentina claims it picked up for 48 million. Where most creditors have accepted payment at a 70 percent loss, Elliott Management would thus get a 600 percent return.
In June 2014, the US Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of a New York court’s order blocking payment to the other creditors until the vulture funds had been paid. That action propelled Argentina into default for the second time in this century – and the eighth time since 1827.

Argentina takes US to Int’l Court
On Aug. 7, Argentina asked the International Court of Justice in The Hague to take action against the United States over the dispute.
Who is at fault? The global financial press blames Argentina’s own fiscal mismanagement, but Argentina maintains that it is willing and able to pay its other creditors. The fault lies rather with the vulture funds and the U.S. court system, which insist on an extortionate payout even if it means jeopardising the international resolution mechanism for insolvent countries.
If creditors know that a few holdout vultures can trigger a default, they are unlikely to settle with other insolvent nations in the future.
Blame has also been laid at the feet of the IMF and the international banking system for failing to come up with a fair resolution mechanism for countries that go bankrupt. And at a more fundamental level, blame lies with a global debt-based monetary scheme that forces bankruptcy on some nations as a mathematical necessity. As in a game of musical chairs, some players must default.
Most money today comes into circulation in the form of bank credit or debt. Debt at interest always grows faster than the money supply, since more is always owed back than was created in the original loan. There is never enough money to go around without adding to the debt burden.

Fiscal mismanagement or odious debt?
Besides impossibility of performance, there is another defense Argentina could raise in international court – that of “odious debt.” Also known as illegitimate debt, this legal theory holds that national debt incurred by a regime for purposes that do not serve the best interests of the nation should not be enforceable.
The defence has been used successfully by a number of countries, including Ecuador in December 2008, when President Rafael Correa declared that its debt had been contracted by corrupt and despotic prior regimes. The odious-debt defence allowed Ecuador to reduce the sum owed by 70 per cent.
In a compelling article in Global Research in November 2006, Adrian Salbuchi made a similar case for Argentina. He traced the country’s problems back to 1976, when its foreign debt was just under six billion dollars and represented only a small portion of the country’s GDP. In that year:
An illegal and de facto military-civilian regime ousted the constitutionally elected government of president María Isabel Martínez de Perón [and] named as economy minister, José Martinez de Hoz, who had close ties with, and the respect of, powerful international private banking interests.
With the Junta’s full backing, he systematically implemented a series of highly destructive, speculative, illegitimate – even illegal – economic and financial policies and legislation, which increased Public Debt almost eightfold to 46 billion dollars in a few short years.
This intimately tied-in to the interests of major international banking and oil circles which, at that time, needed to urgently re-cycle huge volumes of “Petrodollars” generated by the 1973 and 1979 Oil Crises.
Those capital in-flows were not invested in industrial production or infrastructure, but rather were used to fuel speculation in local financial markets by local and international banks and traders who were able to take advantage of very high local interest rates in Argentine Pesos tied to stable and unrealistic medium-term U.S. dollar exchange rates.
Salbuchi detailed Argentina’s fall from there into what became a 200 billion dollars debt trap. Large tranches of this debt, he maintained, were “odious debt” and should not have to be paid:
“Making the Argentine State – i.e., the people of Argentina – weather the full brunt of this storm is tantamount to financial genocide and terrorism. . . . The people of Argentina are presently undergoing severe hardship with over 50 per cent of the population submerged in poverty . . . . Basic universal law gives the Argentine people the right to legitimately defend their interests against the various multinational and supranational players which, abusing the huge power that they wield, directly and/or indirectly imposed complex actions and strategies leading to the Public Debt problem.”
Of President Nestor Kirchner’s surprise 2006 payment of the full 10 billion dollars owed to the IMF, Salbuchi wrote cynically:
“This key institution was instrumental in promoting and auditing the macroeconomic policies of the Argentine Government for decades. . . . Many analysts consider that . . . the IMF was to Argentina what Arthur Andersen was to Enron, the difference being that Andersen was dissolved and closed down, whilst the IMF continues preaching its misconceived doctrines and exerts leverage. . . . [T]he IMF’s primary purpose is to exert political pressure on indebted governments, acting as a veritable coercing agency on behalf of major international banks.”

Bankruptcy and “Global Economic Reset”
Needless to say, the IMF was not closed down. Rather, it has gone on to become the international regulator of sovereign debt, which has reached crisis levels globally. Total debt, public and private, has grown by over 40 percent since 2007, to 100 trillion dollars. The U.S. national debt alone has grown from 10 trillion dollars in 2008 to over 17.6 trillion today.
At the World Economic Forum in Davos in January 2014, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde spoke of the need for a global economic “reset.”
National debts have to be “reset” or “readjusted” periodically so that creditors can keep collecting on their exponentially growing interest claims, in a global financial scheme based on credit created privately by banks and lent at interest. More interest-bearing debt must continually be incurred, until debt overwhelms the system and it again needs to be reset to keep the usury game going.
Sovereign debt (or national) in particular needs periodic “resets,” because unlike for individuals and corporations, there is no legal mechanism for countries to go bankrupt. Individuals and corporations have assets that can be liquidated by a bankruptcy court and distributed equitably to creditors.
But countries cannot be liquidated and sold off – except by IMF-style “structural readjustment,” which can force the sale of national assets at fire sale prices.
A Sovereign Debt Restructuring Mechanism ( SDRM) was proposed by the IMF in the early 2000s, but it was quickly killed by Wall Street and the U.S. Treasury. The IMF is working on a new version of the SDRM, but critics say it could be more destabilising than the earlier version.
Meanwhile, the IMF has backed collective action clauses (CACs) designed to allow a country to negotiate with most of its creditors in a way that generally brings all of them into the net. But CACs can be challenged, and that is what happened in the case of the latest Argentine bankruptcy. According to Harvard Professor Jeffrey Frankel:
“The U.S. court rulings’ indulgence of a parochial instinct to enforce written contracts will undermine the possibility of negotiated restructuring in future debt crises.”
We are back, he says, to square one.
Better than redesigning the sovereign bankruptcy mechanism might be to redesign the global monetary scheme in a way that avoids the continual need for a bankruptcy mechanism. A government does not need to borrow its money supply from private banks that create it as credit on their books.
A sovereign government can issue its own currency, debt-free. But that interesting topic must wait for a follow-up article. Stay tuned.
Ellen Brown is an American author, public speaker and advocate of financial reform in public banking.
— IPS

Comment

Ellen Brown in Sonoma, California

Ellen Brown

Argentina has now taken the US to The Hague for blocking the country’s 2005 settlement with the bulk of its creditors. The issue underscores the need for an international mechanism for nations to go bankrupt.
Better yet would be a sustainable global monetary scheme that avoids the need for sovereign bankruptcy.
Better than redesigning the sovereign bankruptcy mechanism might be to redesign the global monetary scheme in a way that avoids the continual need for a bankruptcy mechanism.
Argentina was the richest country in Latin America before decades of neoliberal and IMF-imposed economic policies drowned it in debt. A severe crisis in 2001 plunged it into the largest sovereign debt default in history.
In 2005, it renegotiated its debt with most of its creditors at a 70 per cent “haircut.” But the opportunist “vulture funds,” which had bought Argentine debt at distressed prices, held out for 100 cents on the dollar.
Paul Singer’s Elliott Management has spent over a decade aggressively trying to force Argentina to pay down nearly 1.3 billion dollars in sovereign debt. Elliott would get about 300 million dollars for bonds that Argentina claims it picked up for 48 million. Where most creditors have accepted payment at a 70 percent loss, Elliott Management would thus get a 600 percent return.
In June 2014, the US Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of a New York court’s order blocking payment to the other creditors until the vulture funds had been paid. That action propelled Argentina into default for the second time in this century – and the eighth time since 1827.

Argentina takes US to Int’l Court
On Aug. 7, Argentina asked the International Court of Justice in The Hague to take action against the United States over the dispute.
Who is at fault? The global financial press blames Argentina’s own fiscal mismanagement, but Argentina maintains that it is willing and able to pay its other creditors. The fault lies rather with the vulture funds and the U.S. court system, which insist on an extortionate payout even if it means jeopardising the international resolution mechanism for insolvent countries.
If creditors know that a few holdout vultures can trigger a default, they are unlikely to settle with other insolvent nations in the future.
Blame has also been laid at the feet of the IMF and the international banking system for failing to come up with a fair resolution mechanism for countries that go bankrupt. And at a more fundamental level, blame lies with a global debt-based monetary scheme that forces bankruptcy on some nations as a mathematical necessity. As in a game of musical chairs, some players must default.
Most money today comes into circulation in the form of bank credit or debt. Debt at interest always grows faster than the money supply, since more is always owed back than was created in the original loan. There is never enough money to go around without adding to the debt burden.

Fiscal mismanagement or odious debt?
Besides impossibility of performance, there is another defense Argentina could raise in international court – that of “odious debt.” Also known as illegitimate debt, this legal theory holds that national debt incurred by a regime for purposes that do not serve the best interests of the nation should not be enforceable.
The defence has been used successfully by a number of countries, including Ecuador in December 2008, when President Rafael Correa declared that its debt had been contracted by corrupt and despotic prior regimes. The odious-debt defence allowed Ecuador to reduce the sum owed by 70 per cent.
In a compelling article in Global Research in November 2006, Adrian Salbuchi made a similar case for Argentina. He traced the country’s problems back to 1976, when its foreign debt was just under six billion dollars and represented only a small portion of the country’s GDP. In that year:
An illegal and de facto military-civilian regime ousted the constitutionally elected government of president María Isabel Martínez de Perón [and] named as economy minister, José Martinez de Hoz, who had close ties with, and the respect of, powerful international private banking interests.
With the Junta’s full backing, he systematically implemented a series of highly destructive, speculative, illegitimate – even illegal – economic and financial policies and legislation, which increased Public Debt almost eightfold to 46 billion dollars in a few short years.
This intimately tied-in to the interests of major international banking and oil circles which, at that time, needed to urgently re-cycle huge volumes of “Petrodollars” generated by the 1973 and 1979 Oil Crises.
Those capital in-flows were not invested in industrial production or infrastructure, but rather were used to fuel speculation in local financial markets by local and international banks and traders who were able to take advantage of very high local interest rates in Argentine Pesos tied to stable and unrealistic medium-term U.S. dollar exchange rates.
Salbuchi detailed Argentina’s fall from there into what became a 200 billion dollars debt trap. Large tranches of this debt, he maintained, were “odious debt” and should not have to be paid:
“Making the Argentine State – i.e., the people of Argentina – weather the full brunt of this storm is tantamount to financial genocide and terrorism. . . . The people of Argentina are presently undergoing severe hardship with over 50 per cent of the population submerged in poverty . . . . Basic universal law gives the Argentine people the right to legitimately defend their interests against the various multinational and supranational players which, abusing the huge power that they wield, directly and/or indirectly imposed complex actions and strategies leading to the Public Debt problem.”
Of President Nestor Kirchner’s surprise 2006 payment of the full 10 billion dollars owed to the IMF, Salbuchi wrote cynically:
“This key institution was instrumental in promoting and auditing the macroeconomic policies of the Argentine Government for decades. . . . Many analysts consider that . . . the IMF was to Argentina what Arthur Andersen was to Enron, the difference being that Andersen was dissolved and closed down, whilst the IMF continues preaching its misconceived doctrines and exerts leverage. . . . [T]he IMF’s primary purpose is to exert political pressure on indebted governments, acting as a veritable coercing agency on behalf of major international banks.”

Bankruptcy and “Global Economic Reset”
Needless to say, the IMF was not closed down. Rather, it has gone on to become the international regulator of sovereign debt, which has reached crisis levels globally. Total debt, public and private, has grown by over 40 percent since 2007, to 100 trillion dollars. The U.S. national debt alone has grown from 10 trillion dollars in 2008 to over 17.6 trillion today.
At the World Economic Forum in Davos in January 2014, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde spoke of the need for a global economic “reset.”
National debts have to be “reset” or “readjusted” periodically so that creditors can keep collecting on their exponentially growing interest claims, in a global financial scheme based on credit created privately by banks and lent at interest. More interest-bearing debt must continually be incurred, until debt overwhelms the system and it again needs to be reset to keep the usury game going.
Sovereign debt (or national) in particular needs periodic “resets,” because unlike for individuals and corporations, there is no legal mechanism for countries to go bankrupt. Individuals and corporations have assets that can be liquidated by a bankruptcy court and distributed equitably to creditors.
But countries cannot be liquidated and sold off – except by IMF-style “structural readjustment,” which can force the sale of national assets at fire sale prices.
A Sovereign Debt Restructuring Mechanism ( SDRM) was proposed by the IMF in the early 2000s, but it was quickly killed by Wall Street and the U.S. Treasury. The IMF is working on a new version of the SDRM, but critics say it could be more destabilising than the earlier version.
Meanwhile, the IMF has backed collective action clauses (CACs) designed to allow a country to negotiate with most of its creditors in a way that generally brings all of them into the net. But CACs can be challenged, and that is what happened in the case of the latest Argentine bankruptcy. According to Harvard Professor Jeffrey Frankel:
“The U.S. court rulings’ indulgence of a parochial instinct to enforce written contracts will undermine the possibility of negotiated restructuring in future debt crises.”
We are back, he says, to square one.
Better than redesigning the sovereign bankruptcy mechanism might be to redesign the global monetary scheme in a way that avoids the continual need for a bankruptcy mechanism. A government does not need to borrow its money supply from private banks that create it as credit on their books.
A sovereign government can issue its own currency, debt-free. But that interesting topic must wait for a follow-up article. Stay tuned.
Ellen Brown is an American author, public speaker and advocate of financial reform in public banking.
— IPS


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Sri Lankan govt says NGOs are a ‘threat’ to national security

Jehan Perera in Colombo

This is a very troubled period for civil society.  The free space for activism that is outside of the government sphere has shrunk due to the policy of centralization adopted by the government.  Institutions of the state that are meant to be relatively independent of the government have come under political control.  This has had the effect of weakening the system of checks and balances that ensures good governance.  It is not surprising that NGOs, which are part of that larger system of governance, and which focus on issues of governance and human rights should feel themselves to be under siege.  The negative comments against NGOs by government leaders are part of a trend that seeks to make them a national security problem that requires a stronger governmental hand to control.  Recently there have also been publication of regulations that seek to limit the space for NGOs to function, to interact with the media and to conduct their seminars and workshops.
The role of NGOs, which are a part of civil society, has now become a major national issue.  There are media headlines and editorials on the allegedly anti national impact of their work.  They are being condemned for working hand in glove with the international community to investigate the last phase of the war.  The latest critique of them has come through the comment of Finance Secretary Dr P B Jayasundera.  Usually it is his comments on the economy that are read and analysed to gain a better understanding of the country’s economy and future prospects.  But delivering the keynote address at the opening session of the three-day Defence Seminar 2014, which is an international conference organised by the Sri Lanka Army, held for the fourth consecutive year, he ventured beyond the economy to state that “the operation of NGOs in non regulated environments has become a threat to financial management, inclusive development and law and order itself.”
Over the past several years there have been speculations that the government is preparing new legislation to control the activities of NGOs.  The Indian, Ethiopian and Bylorussian in worsening degrees of severity have been mentioned as possible models that the government is drawing inspiration from.  In the meantime several issues have surfaced that impact on government-NGO relations.  These include the circular sent out by the NGO Secretariat instructing NGOs to function within their mandate, the notice placed by the External Resources Department as an advertisement in many newspapers regarding the funding of NGOs and the implementation of their projects with prior approval, the inability of some NGOs to conduct their events without disruption by mobs and the surveillance of NGO activities in the field.

Expanding surveillance
NGO activities have now become a subject of strict security monitoring.  The issue of security forces personnel in uniform and intelligence officers in plain clothes performing surveillance of civil society activities in the North and East has been widely reported in the post-war period.   Civil society and NGOs do more than human rights work and providing information on violations.  In fact most NGOs are not at all involved in such work where offences of the government are challenged.  Nevertheless, surveillance includes social functions such as weddings, puberty ceremonies, memorial services in addition to seminars and workshops organized by NGOs in the North and East.  This is a source of resentment to those who are subjected to surveillance and have to self censor what they say and do.  However, the practice of surveillance appears to be expanding.
On four occasions in the past month, inter-religious reconciliation work conducted by the National Peace Council was subjected to surveillance by the security forces. Two of these events were outside the former war zones of the North and East, which suggests that the practice of surveillance is encompassing the entire country.  This  inter-religious work is meant to promote reconciliation and strengthen relations between the different ethnic and religious communities.  Similarly motivated government officials are invited to join in this work, and in those committees.  There is nothing secret or surreptitious about this work, which the government itself has pledged to implement with the support of civil society as recommended both by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission and by the National Human Rights Action Plan.
However, in Kandy, where an inter-religious dialogue was being conducted inside a private hall of a reputed civil society organization of long standing, intelligence personnel had entered the hall in civvies and were recording the discussion. In Galle, where a programme that brought children and their parents together from all communities was held, the local police had also been invited to attend.  However, another police team came to investigate the programme.  They left after the local police explained the programme to them.  In Addalaichenai in the East, where a youth amity camp was held, the local police and local government authorities had been informed in advance and took part in the opening ceremony.  But despite their presence, uniformed military personnel with weapons had come and questioned the organizers of the programme on three separate occasions over a two day period.  A programme on promoting cultural values by youth held in Batticaloa led to questioning by two army personnel.
One of the most devastating legacies of violent conflict is the polarization of social relationships.  It is in the interest of reconciliation and the cause of promotion of national unity not to isolate the people of the North and East from those in the South who are interested in their problems including those relating to their human rights. The government needs to recognize that the surveillance of civil society activities by members of the security forces strikes fear and resentment in the minds of people, and especially those of the ethnic and religious minorities.  It leads to self-censorship and reluctance to voice their grievances which remain bottled up to fester within the hearts of people who feel they are the victims of injustice.  Ultimately this will lead to a breakdown in feelings of affection towards the government which will make the reconciliation process harder to achieve.

Bad times
Today, NGOs have become an institution, like the Sarvodaya Movement, and are woven into the fabric of the Sri Lankan community at the grassroots level.   Instead of viewing NGOs as a potential security threat the government needs to see them as part and parcel of democratic society and engage constructively with them.   It appears that the main problem that the government has at the present time is with those NGOs that seek to assist families whose family members went missing in the war.  The government appears to fear that the evidence they produce could be used against it in international forums.   The government needs to create a conducive environment, and effective national institutions, so that NGOs are also willing and happy to engage with it to solve the problems of the people they have committed themselves to assist. This is the way forward to a peaceful and prosperous Sri Lanka.

Comment

Jehan Perera in Colombo

This is a very troubled period for civil society.  The free space for activism that is outside of the government sphere has shrunk due to the policy of centralization adopted by the government.  Institutions of the state that are meant to be relatively independent of the government have come under political control.  This has had the effect of weakening the system of checks and balances that ensures good governance.  It is not surprising that NGOs, which are part of that larger system of governance, and which focus on issues of governance and human rights should feel themselves to be under siege.  The negative comments against NGOs by government leaders are part of a trend that seeks to make them a national security problem that requires a stronger governmental hand to control.  Recently there have also been publication of regulations that seek to limit the space for NGOs to function, to interact with the media and to conduct their seminars and workshops.
The role of NGOs, which are a part of civil society, has now become a major national issue.  There are media headlines and editorials on the allegedly anti national impact of their work.  They are being condemned for working hand in glove with the international community to investigate the last phase of the war.  The latest critique of them has come through the comment of Finance Secretary Dr P B Jayasundera.  Usually it is his comments on the economy that are read and analysed to gain a better understanding of the country’s economy and future prospects.  But delivering the keynote address at the opening session of the three-day Defence Seminar 2014, which is an international conference organised by the Sri Lanka Army, held for the fourth consecutive year, he ventured beyond the economy to state that “the operation of NGOs in non regulated environments has become a threat to financial management, inclusive development and law and order itself.”
Over the past several years there have been speculations that the government is preparing new legislation to control the activities of NGOs.  The Indian, Ethiopian and Bylorussian in worsening degrees of severity have been mentioned as possible models that the government is drawing inspiration from.  In the meantime several issues have surfaced that impact on government-NGO relations.  These include the circular sent out by the NGO Secretariat instructing NGOs to function within their mandate, the notice placed by the External Resources Department as an advertisement in many newspapers regarding the funding of NGOs and the implementation of their projects with prior approval, the inability of some NGOs to conduct their events without disruption by mobs and the surveillance of NGO activities in the field.

Expanding surveillance
NGO activities have now become a subject of strict security monitoring.  The issue of security forces personnel in uniform and intelligence officers in plain clothes performing surveillance of civil society activities in the North and East has been widely reported in the post-war period.   Civil society and NGOs do more than human rights work and providing information on violations.  In fact most NGOs are not at all involved in such work where offences of the government are challenged.  Nevertheless, surveillance includes social functions such as weddings, puberty ceremonies, memorial services in addition to seminars and workshops organized by NGOs in the North and East.  This is a source of resentment to those who are subjected to surveillance and have to self censor what they say and do.  However, the practice of surveillance appears to be expanding.
On four occasions in the past month, inter-religious reconciliation work conducted by the National Peace Council was subjected to surveillance by the security forces. Two of these events were outside the former war zones of the North and East, which suggests that the practice of surveillance is encompassing the entire country.  This  inter-religious work is meant to promote reconciliation and strengthen relations between the different ethnic and religious communities.  Similarly motivated government officials are invited to join in this work, and in those committees.  There is nothing secret or surreptitious about this work, which the government itself has pledged to implement with the support of civil society as recommended both by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission and by the National Human Rights Action Plan.
However, in Kandy, where an inter-religious dialogue was being conducted inside a private hall of a reputed civil society organization of long standing, intelligence personnel had entered the hall in civvies and were recording the discussion. In Galle, where a programme that brought children and their parents together from all communities was held, the local police had also been invited to attend.  However, another police team came to investigate the programme.  They left after the local police explained the programme to them.  In Addalaichenai in the East, where a youth amity camp was held, the local police and local government authorities had been informed in advance and took part in the opening ceremony.  But despite their presence, uniformed military personnel with weapons had come and questioned the organizers of the programme on three separate occasions over a two day period.  A programme on promoting cultural values by youth held in Batticaloa led to questioning by two army personnel.
One of the most devastating legacies of violent conflict is the polarization of social relationships.  It is in the interest of reconciliation and the cause of promotion of national unity not to isolate the people of the North and East from those in the South who are interested in their problems including those relating to their human rights. The government needs to recognize that the surveillance of civil society activities by members of the security forces strikes fear and resentment in the minds of people, and especially those of the ethnic and religious minorities.  It leads to self-censorship and reluctance to voice their grievances which remain bottled up to fester within the hearts of people who feel they are the victims of injustice.  Ultimately this will lead to a breakdown in feelings of affection towards the government which will make the reconciliation process harder to achieve.

Bad times
Today, NGOs have become an institution, like the Sarvodaya Movement, and are woven into the fabric of the Sri Lankan community at the grassroots level.   Instead of viewing NGOs as a potential security threat the government needs to see them as part and parcel of democratic society and engage constructively with them.   It appears that the main problem that the government has at the present time is with those NGOs that seek to assist families whose family members went missing in the war.  The government appears to fear that the evidence they produce could be used against it in international forums.   The government needs to create a conducive environment, and effective national institutions, so that NGOs are also willing and happy to engage with it to solve the problems of the people they have committed themselves to assist. This is the way forward to a peaceful and prosperous Sri Lanka.


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 ISLAMABAD DIARY 

Deadlock in talks persists

Jonaid Iqbal

It began with a reassuring address to the National Assembly by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. In addition, several attempts were made at negotiations by Sindh Governor Ishratul Abad as well as Punjab Governor, Ch. Md. Sarwar, several more government ministers, including a delegation of Muttahada Qaumi Mahaz (MQM) to engage Pakistan Tehreek Insaf (PTI) and Allama Tahirul Qadri (PTA) but the deadlock persists.
The 25, 000 or more supporters of these two protesting parties still continue to occupy the red zone and block one side of the road leading to the Parliament House, Presidency and the Supreme Court.
The government has made a number of concessions, accepting five PTI demands and has also vowed not to use force against the protesting crowd. However Imran Khan has not whittled down his demanding resignation of the prime minister for at least 30 days probe in election irregularities.

No precedence of this kind
In his address to the National Assembly the Prime Minister said Parliament and democratic forces would challenge any attempt to derail democracy.
In his speech, Nawaz Sharif appreciated the parliament’s resolve to uphold the constitution and democratic values, adding that the parliament is the true representative of 200 million Pakistanis.
“Governments come and go, prime ministers come and go, but keeping faith in democracy and the constitution is what ensures that democracy survives.”
“Nine out of 10 parties, with diverse ideologies, have voted in favour of the Resolution, [adopted unanimously in the National Assembly as well as the Senate last Thursday]” There was hardly any precedence of this kind in the history of Pakistan.
The Prime Minster reiterated, I have taken an oath to protect the Constitution, and I will not betray this duty of upholding and protecting the constitution.
The prime minister also thanked all political parties, lawyers, journalists, civil society, businesspersons and minorities who supported the resolution.
He assured the House that the government would keep working on development and progress.
Speaking late Wednesday night, Imran Khan asked supporters to return to the venue on Thursday afternoon to hear his important announcement he had promised. He said he was in on good news, so he would wait for the next day to make the announcement.
Earlier at afternoon, a team of government negotiators, led by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, made one more bid to engage with the PTI but failed. It failed to persuade PTI side to whittle down the pre-condition that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif must resign at least for a month. 
Rumour and wide guesses continued to float in the air throughout the day, include one said to be made a PML-Senator that the government had offered to name Imran Khan as deputy prime minister. But the rumour was at once denied by government side.
The same day the Supreme Court hearing identical petitions seeking to prevent extra constitutional steps in the wake of outgoing sit-ins the case 2008 elections, asked The Attorney General as well as advocates of PAT and PTI to clear the road in front of Parliament and Supreme Court.
“This case is not about one particular road it was matter of the Constitution and of perceived threat to it,” observed Justice Asif Khosa, one of the five judges hearing the petition. The Court is headed by Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk.
Information Minister Pervez Rashid has sent a signal to Allama Tahirul Qadri that his government would lodge FIR about June 17 Model Town incident, in which 14 PAT workers were alleged to be killed, with a proviso that PAT leader ask his Minhajul Quran loyalists to return home.
According to this report aired on Thursday morning, the Minister said the FIR would list all 21 names, who, Allama claimed responsible for June 17 incident at Lahore. The minister demanded only one concession from the PAT leader, that he must end the sit-in and his supporters to clear the red zone.
All the same, the Allama Sahib designated Thursday as a day of revolution and also slammed the door shut on further negotiation.

Comment

Jonaid Iqbal

It began with a reassuring address to the National Assembly by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. In addition, several attempts were made at negotiations by Sindh Governor Ishratul Abad as well as Punjab Governor, Ch. Md. Sarwar, several more government ministers, including a delegation of Muttahada Qaumi Mahaz (MQM) to engage Pakistan Tehreek Insaf (PTI) and Allama Tahirul Qadri (PTA) but the deadlock persists.
The 25, 000 or more supporters of these two protesting parties still continue to occupy the red zone and block one side of the road leading to the Parliament House, Presidency and the Supreme Court.
The government has made a number of concessions, accepting five PTI demands and has also vowed not to use force against the protesting crowd. However Imran Khan has not whittled down his demanding resignation of the prime minister for at least 30 days probe in election irregularities.

No precedence of this kind
In his address to the National Assembly the Prime Minister said Parliament and democratic forces would challenge any attempt to derail democracy.
In his speech, Nawaz Sharif appreciated the parliament’s resolve to uphold the constitution and democratic values, adding that the parliament is the true representative of 200 million Pakistanis.
“Governments come and go, prime ministers come and go, but keeping faith in democracy and the constitution is what ensures that democracy survives.”
“Nine out of 10 parties, with diverse ideologies, have voted in favour of the Resolution, [adopted unanimously in the National Assembly as well as the Senate last Thursday]” There was hardly any precedence of this kind in the history of Pakistan.
The Prime Minster reiterated, I have taken an oath to protect the Constitution, and I will not betray this duty of upholding and protecting the constitution.
The prime minister also thanked all political parties, lawyers, journalists, civil society, businesspersons and minorities who supported the resolution.
He assured the House that the government would keep working on development and progress.
Speaking late Wednesday night, Imran Khan asked supporters to return to the venue on Thursday afternoon to hear his important announcement he had promised. He said he was in on good news, so he would wait for the next day to make the announcement.
Earlier at afternoon, a team of government negotiators, led by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, made one more bid to engage with the PTI but failed. It failed to persuade PTI side to whittle down the pre-condition that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif must resign at least for a month. 
Rumour and wide guesses continued to float in the air throughout the day, include one said to be made a PML-Senator that the government had offered to name Imran Khan as deputy prime minister. But the rumour was at once denied by government side.
The same day the Supreme Court hearing identical petitions seeking to prevent extra constitutional steps in the wake of outgoing sit-ins the case 2008 elections, asked The Attorney General as well as advocates of PAT and PTI to clear the road in front of Parliament and Supreme Court.
“This case is not about one particular road it was matter of the Constitution and of perceived threat to it,” observed Justice Asif Khosa, one of the five judges hearing the petition. The Court is headed by Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk.
Information Minister Pervez Rashid has sent a signal to Allama Tahirul Qadri that his government would lodge FIR about June 17 Model Town incident, in which 14 PAT workers were alleged to be killed, with a proviso that PAT leader ask his Minhajul Quran loyalists to return home.
According to this report aired on Thursday morning, the Minister said the FIR would list all 21 names, who, Allama claimed responsible for June 17 incident at Lahore. The minister demanded only one concession from the PAT leader, that he must end the sit-in and his supporters to clear the red zone.
All the same, the Allama Sahib designated Thursday as a day of revolution and also slammed the door shut on further negotiation.


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Violence against Muslims in Sri Lanka
OIC condemns approval of 1500 new settlement units in West Bank
Update: 7 July, 2014 Saudi patrol under fire at Saudi–Yemeni border post Secretary General condemns terrorist attack
Update: 10 July, 2014 Assault on Presidential Palace in Mogadishu OIC Secretary General condemns destabilising elements
Dangerous situation in Occupied Palestine Open-ended Extra ordinary Executive Committee Meeting of OIC
Update: 14 July, 2014 Appeal for Relief to Gaza
Update: 14 July, 2014 Call for International Task Force to investigate Israeli crimes
Update: 15 July, 2014 Humanitarian relief for Gaza in peril
 Update: 16 July, 2014 OIC Condemns Terrorist Attack in Paktika
Update July 19, 2014 ACT TO STOP MASSACRE IN GAZA
Update: July 21, 2014 Forced displacement of Christians in Iraq OIC condemns ISIS terror tactics
Update: August 2, 2014 Statement the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques to the Arab and Islamic nations
Update: August 3, 2014 Israel’s Brazen Onslaught on Mosques in the Gaza Strip
Update: August 6, 2014 Kashmir Question and Preparations of the First OIC Science & Technology Summit
State of the Ummah Review by Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers
GRAVE SITUATION IN THE OCCUPIED STATE OF PALESTINE INCLUDING AL-QUDS AL- SHARIF Communiqué, Expanded Extraordinary Meeting, Executive Committee of OIC Foreign Ministers, 10 July 2014
Update: August 4, 2014 Islamic Human Rights and Human Dignity day
Update: August 16, 2014 OIC initiatives on ‘Gaza under fire’
Update: August 13, 2014 Positive Developments of last week
Update: August 18, 2014 Crimes against humanity in Gaza OIC Foreign Ministers, Bangladesh Cabinet denounce Israel
Update: August 21, 2014 NIGERIAN FOREIGN MINISTER BRIEFS OIC Ebola outbreak and Regional Security Summit to combat Boko Haram
Update: August 24, 2014 OIC ON IRAQ IN DANGER Barbaric conduct of so-called Islamic State
Update: August 28,.2014 UN SYMPOSIUM ON ALLIANCE OF CIVILISATIONS OIC Secretary General Madani to visit to Indonesia  
Updates: August 30, 2014 OIC-FAO technical cooperation in food security and poverty eradication
Updates: August 30, 2014 OIC Secretary General in Bali
Updates: August 30, 2014 OIC Secretary General in Indonesia
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