Best-selling journalist Antony Loewenstein trav­els across Afghanistan, Pakistan, Haiti, Papua New Guinea, the United States, Britain, Greece, and Australia to witness the reality of disaster capitalism. He discovers how companies such as G4S, Serco, and Halliburton cash in on or­ganized misery in a hidden world of privatized detention centers, militarized private security, aid profiteering, and destructive mining.

Disaster has become big business. Talking to immigrants stuck in limbo in Britain or visiting immigration centers in America, Loewenstein maps the secret networks formed to help cor­porations bleed what profits they can from economic crisis. He debates with Western contractors in Afghanistan, meets the locals in post-earthquake Haiti, and in Greece finds a country at the mercy of vulture profiteers. In Papua New Guinea, he sees a local commu­nity forced to rebel against predatory resource companies and NGOs.

What emerges through Loewenstein’s re­porting is a dark history of multinational corpo­rations that, with the aid of media and political elites, have grown more powerful than national governments. In the twenty-first century, the vulnerable have become the world’s most valu­able commodity. Disaster Capitalism is published by Verso in 2015 and in paperback in January 2017.

Profits_of_doom_cover_350Vulture capitalism has seen the corporation become more powerful than the state, and yet its work is often done by stealth, supported by political and media elites. The result is privatised wars and outsourced detention centres, mining companies pillaging precious land in developing countries and struggling nations invaded by NGOs and the corporate dollar. Best-selling journalist Antony Loewenstein travels to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Haiti, Papua New Guinea and across Australia to witness the reality of this largely hidden world of privatised detention centres, outsourced aid, destructive resource wars and militarized private security. Who is involved and why? Can it be stopped? What are the alternatives in a globalised world? Profits of Doom, published in 2013 and released in an updated edition in 2014, challenges the fundamentals of our unsustainable way of life and the money-making imperatives driving it. It is released in an updated edition in 2014.
forgodssakecover Four Australian thinkers come together to ask and answer the big questions, such as: What is the nature of the universe? Doesn't religion cause most of the conflict in the world? And Where do we find hope?   We are introduced to different belief systems – Judaism, Christianity, Islam – and to the argument that atheism, like organised religion, has its own compelling logic. And we gain insight into the life events that led each author to their current position.   Jane Caro flirted briefly with spiritual belief, inspired by 19th century literary heroines such as Elizabeth Gaskell and the Bronte sisters. Antony Loewenstein is proudly culturally, yet unconventionally, Jewish. Simon Smart is firmly and resolutely a Christian, but one who has had some of his most profound spiritual moments while surfing. Rachel Woodlock grew up in the alternative embrace of Baha'i belief but became entranced by its older parent religion, Islam.   Provocative, informative and passionately argued, For God's Sakepublished in 2013, encourages us to accept religious differences, but to also challenge more vigorously the beliefs that create discord.  
After Zionism, published in 2012 and 2013 with co-editor Ahmed Moor, brings together some of the world s leading thinkers on the Middle East question to dissect the century-long conflict between Zionism and the Palestinians, and to explore possible forms of a one-state solution. Time has run out for the two-state solution because of the unending and permanent Jewish colonization of Palestinian land. Although deep mistrust exists on both sides of the conflict, growing numbers of Palestinians and Israelis, Jews and Arabs are working together to forge a different, unified future. Progressive and realist ideas are at last gaining a foothold in the discourse, while those influenced by the colonial era have been discredited or abandoned. Whatever the political solution may be, Palestinian and Israeli lives are intertwined, enmeshed, irrevocably. This daring and timely collection includes essays by Omar Barghouti, Jonathan Cook, Joseph Dana, Jeremiah Haber, Jeff Halper, Ghada Karmi, Antony Loewenstein, Saree Makdisi, John Mearsheimer, Ahmed Moor, Ilan Pappe, Sara Roy and Phil Weiss.
The 2008 financial crisis opened the door for a bold, progressive social movement. But despite widespread revulsion at economic inequity and political opportunism, after the crash very little has changed. Has the Left failed? What agenda should progressives pursue? And what alternatives do they dare to imagine? Left Turn, published by Melbourne University Press in 2012 and co-edited with Jeff Sparrow, is aimed at the many Australians disillusioned with the political process. It includes passionate and challenging contributions by a diverse range of writers, thinkers and politicians, from Larissa Berendht and Christos Tsiolkas to Guy Rundle and Lee Rhiannon. These essays offer perspectives largely excluded from the mainstream. They offer possibilities for resistance and for a renewed struggle for change.
The Blogging Revolution, released by Melbourne University Press in 2008, is a colourful and revelatory account of bloggers around the globe why live and write under repressive regimes - many of them risking their lives in doing so. Antony Loewenstein's travels take him to private parties in Iran and Egypt, internet cafes in Saudi Arabia and Damascus, to the homes of Cuban dissidents and into newspaper offices in Beijing, where he discovers the ways in which the internet is threatening the ruld of governments. Through first-hand investigations, he reveals the complicity of Western multinationals in assisting the restriction of information in these countries and how bloggers are leading the charge for change. The blogging revolution is a superb examination about the nature of repression in the twenty-first century and the power of brave individuals to overcome it. It was released in an updated edition in 2011, post the Arab revolutions, and an updated Indian print version in 2011.
The best-selling book on the Israel/Palestine conflict, My Israel Question - on Jewish identity, the Zionist lobby, reporting from Palestine and future Middle East directions - was released by Melbourne University Press in 2006. A new, updated edition was released in 2007 (and reprinted again in 2008). The book was short-listed for the 2007 NSW Premier's Literary Award. Another fully updated, third edition was published in 2009. It was released in all e-book formats in 2011. An updated and translated edition was published in Arabic in 2012.

If you are a dictatorship, Washington is keen to help

Before they’ve even been released, US ambassador to Sri Lanka already almost begs for global understanding. Only positive words towards Colombo and little about punishment or sanction for massacring thousands of Tamils:

Strongly condemning the release of classified diplomatic communications by WikiLeaks, the United States Ambassador to Sri Lanka said the U.S. has worked hard to assist the government and people of Sri Lanka to strengthen security, to further economic development, and to foster political reconciliation.

The U.S. Ambassador Patricia Butenis said her government is working hard to strengthen its existing partnerships and build new ones to meet shared challenges, from climate change to ending the threat of nuclear weapons to fighting disease and poverty and she is proud to be a part of that effort.

“As the United States Ambassador to Sri Lanka, I’m proud to be part of this effort,” she said.

Butenis recalling the assistance given by the U.S. to Sri Lanka for its development said the diplomatic mission recently collaborated with the government of Sri Lanka to bring a delegation of business leaders to increase trade between the two nations.

In addition the Ambassador pointed out that USAID, has partnered with local companies to train people in the former conflict zones in new skills to aid their livelihoods and the U.S. has just handed over the first installment of a $1.5 million donation to the Sri Lankan Army’s Humanitarian Demining Unit.

Since 2009, the U.S. government has contributed approximately $180 million to help Sri Lanka, she said.

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Being civilised means not covering for diplomatic cover-ups

Heather Brooke in the Guardian on what Wikileaks offers and the choice we all must make:

The former US ambassador to Russia James Collins told CNN the disclosure of the cables, “will impede doing things in a normal, civilised way”. Too often what is normal and civilised in diplomacy means turning a blind eye to large-scale social injustices, corruption and abuse of power. Having read through several hundred cables, much of the “harm” is embarrassment and the highlighting of inconvenient truths. For the sake of a military base in a country, our leaders accept a brutal dictator who oppresses his population. This may be convenient in the short term for politicians, but the long-term consequences for the world’s citizens can be catastrophic.

We are at a pivotal moment where the visionaries at the vanguard of a global digital age are clashing with those who are desperate to control what we know. WikiLeaks is the guerrilla front in a global movement for greater transparency and participation.

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Syria gives US lesson in Mid-East realities

Robert Fisk, in a piece titled, “Now we know. America really doesn’t care about injustice in the Middle East“, writes that the Wikileaks cables are a depressing read of US and Israeli arrogance:

One of the most interesting reflections – dutifully ignored by most of the pro-Wikileaks papers yesterday – came in a cable on a meeting between a US Senate delegation and President Bashar Assad of Syria earlier this year. America, Assad told his guests, possessed “a huge information apparatus” but lacked the ability to analyse this information successfully. “While we lack your intelligence abilities,” he says in rather sinister fashion, “we succeed in fighting extremists because we have better analysts … in the US you like to shoot [terrorists]. Suffocating their networks is far more effective.” Iran, he concluded, was the most important country in the region, followed by Turkey and – number three – Syria itself. Poor old Israel didn’t get a look in.

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Can we trust the press to be totally honest over Wikileaks (hint: no)

I wish this interview was more comforting. The idea of a Murdoch editor talking about resisting potential Australian government requests not to publish certain Wikileaks cables requires a suspension of disbelief, not least because he argues about not challenging anything that “could imperil the lives of Australian soldiers, men and women serving overseas in a war effort which enjoys bipartisan support.” That’s Afghanistan. And let’s face it; governments will often claim something is top secret when in fact it’s simply embarrassing:

MARK COLVIN: So how might Australia’s editors react to an approach from the Government along the lines that Mr [Attorney General Robert] McClelland sketched out? Not a lot of them wanted to talk about it today but I’m joined now by one who would – David Penberthy, editor of news.com.au. First thoughts?

DAVID PEMBERTHY: Look I think that a lot of editors would respond pretty unfavourably to the request from the Attorney-General to somehow consider unilaterally desisting from publishing any of this material because I think that some of the material – and certainly listening to a lot of what you were broadcasting then in that report Mark – a lot of that is stuff which is wholly in the public interest.

I mean I would have thought that if there are senior ministers, senior world leaders who have serious drinking problems, behavioural issues, that that is something there’s absolutely no reason why aspects of those cables couldn’t be gleefully reported by the popular press.

I would even argue that the fact that it appears that China is wising up to what a dysfunctional dystopia North Korea is, is something which, shining a light on that pretty heartening little titbit of information could actually make the world a better place rather than a worse place.

MARK COLVIN: And what if McClelland came to you and said there was a matter of national security involved in one of these cables, Australian national security?

DAVID PEMBERTHY: You would have to assess it on its merits. I mean I doubt whether any news organisation in Australia setting aside any commercial imperatives because of the inevitable reader backlash that you would suffer – no one in this country is going to gleefully report on something which is a wholly logistical matter which could imperil the lives of Australian soldiers, men and women serving overseas in a war effort which enjoys bipartisan support.

But equally if it emerges that there’s stuff in these 1500 cables about Australia that go to the existence or more accurately nonexistence of weapons of mass destruction, you know stuff which might cause a bit of political embarrassment for people who are still in politics but has absolutely no operational bearing on the way the war on Afghanistan is being conducted or would endanger our remaining deployment of troops in Iraq, I think that instinctively any editor would think long and hard before agreeing to what the Attorney-General somewhat cutely calls an informal protocol.

Because it must be a pretty informal protocol because we’ve got rid of D notices in this country.

MARK COLVIN: I was going to ask you about the D notices, don’t notices. They petered out in the mid-90s. But for instance at one stage they protected the identity, the new identity and the whereabouts of the Petrovs, the famous defectors from Russia.

And the argument was that the Petrovs might be at risk from the Russians. They could be assassinated if their whereabouts were known. Would editors go along with that now?

DAVID PEMBERTHY: Well look I don’t know. I mean it would be something which would be decided on a case-by-case basis. And I think that if there was any evidence that someone was going to wind up being executed as a result of recklessly publishing any kind of information, particularly you know a person who had been working in the national interests of Australia, you know you’d think long and hard about it.

But I think that as a general instinctive rule particularly when this is quite a different round of leaks this time from WikiLeaks. A lot of the stuff that’s come out has been fascinating and harmless. A lot of it has shed light on a lot of diplomatic toing and froing which ordinary citizens are never privy to.

And I think that any blithe acceptance of a request from the Attorney-General, or worse any sort of suggestion that we’re going to somehow be locked into not reporting this, the absurdity would be if they were that worried about it they should stop the leaks in the first place.

Because we’re going to end up with this ridiculous situation where Fairfax, News Limited, the ABC – all of us are being told what we should do by the Attorney-General. Yet out there in the social media landscape no one’s going to be abiding by what some bloke called Robert McClelland has got to say about it and it’s all going to get published anyway.

MARK COLVIN: And that’s the other question I was going to ask you. Do the editors really have any power anymore?

DAVID PEMBERTHY: Well I think that you know that the daunting and excellent thing about the media these days Mark – and you as a frequent Tweeter know this yourself – is that information cannot be controlled. Nobody has a monopoly on information anymore.

So in a landscape where some you know fairly colourful young Australian guy who’s set up this website is quite clearly going to be madly publishing whatever lands in his lap, rest of us are going to look like saps if we sit here abiding by rules which don’t seem to apply to anybody else out there in the social media landscape.

MARK COLVIN: Thank you very much David Pemberthy, editor of news.com.au.

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There ain’t no Islamic state in Gaza

Dr. Ahmed Yousef is Deputy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Gaza and the Former Senior Political Adviser to Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza. I interviewed him last year in Gaza City and he was a pretty Westernised man. His latest piece challenges the impression that “Talibanisation” has arrived in Gaza under Hamas rule:

To accuse Hamas of marketing fundamentalism and extremism in the Gaza Strip is false and inaccurate. There is no “Talibanization” of Gaza. Such a claim is based on Israeli propaganda and the deliberately distorted accounts of those in Gaza who are politically and ideologically opposed to the government of Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh. It is true that some individuals in the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs have acted in an overzealous or misguided manner driven by their own concern to preserve what they see as the culture of the community; but their actions were not done on the basis of any governmental decision or a ministerial policy. In fact on a number of occasions the government directly intervened to reverse their misguided actions.

Palestinian society is inherently a conservative society, where the values that govern people’s lives are mostly pure Islamic. The proper way to correct the kind of public behavior that can threaten those values is to address them through the existing educational frameworks of the family and the mosque.

Unfortunately, the combination of the Israeli misinformation campaign and the misguided actions of a few overzealous individuals who see themselves as the guardians of public morality provides the Western media with the kind of stories that feed the common stereotypes they have of Islamists. Hamas is portrayed as being a fundamentalist and extremist movement that intends to launch an Islamic emirate in the Gaza Strip!

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Whispering sweet Saudi nothings into Obama’s ear

One of America’s finest allies in the Middle East:

Last year, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia proposed an unorthodox way to return Guantánamo Bay prisoners to a chaotic country like Yemen without fear that they would disappear and join a terrorist group.

The king told a top White House aide, John O. Brennan, that the United States should implant an electronic chip in each detainee to track his movements, as is sometimes done with horses and falcons.

“Horses don’t have good lawyers,” Mr. Brennan replied.

That unusual discussion in March 2009 was one of hundreds recounted in a cache of secret State Department cables obtained by WikiLeaks and made available to a number of news organizations that reveal the painstaking efforts by the United States to safely reduce the population of the Guantánamo Bay prison in Cuba so that it could eventually be closed.

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Assange may have a new home

Bravo:

Ecuador on Monday offered Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder who has enraged Washington by releasing masses of classified U.S. documents, residency with no questions asked.

“We are ready to give him residence in Ecuador, with no problems and no conditions,” Deputy Foreign Minister Kintto Lucas told the Internet site Ecuadorinmediato.

“We are going to invite him to come to Ecuador so he can freely present the information he possesses and all the documentation, not just over the Internet but in a variety of public forums,” he said.

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Wikileaks may not be quite as bad as al-Qaeda

Another day and so much more Wikileaks news.

Currently snowed under with work related to the information dump, so here are a number of relevant links to keep things flowing (here, here, here, here, here, here and here).

This is perhaps the funniest and more tragic response thus far:

American Conservative standard bearer Sarah Palin has compared the founder of Wikileaks to al-Qa’ida and accused US President Barack Obama of not doing enough to prevent the latest release of secret US documents by WikiLeaks.

In a message on her Facebook page, the former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate also suggested the use of what she called “cyber tools” to permanently shut down the WikiLeaks site.

Palin, who has been stoking speculation she will run for president in 2012, said the latest release of US documents by WikiLeaks “raises serious questions about the Obama administration’s incompetent handling of this whole fiasco.”

“First and foremost, what steps were taken to stop WikiLeaks director Julian Assange from distributing this highly sensitive classified material especially after he had already published material not once but twice in the previous months?” she asked.

“Assange is not a ‘journalist,’ any more than the ‘editor’ of al-Qa’ida’s new English-language magazine Inspire is a ‘journalist,”’ Palin said of the Australian-born WikiLeaks founder.

“He is an anti-American operative with blood on his hands,” she said.

“His past posting of classified documents revealed the identity of more than 100 Afghan sources to the Taliban.

“Why was he not pursued with the same urgency we pursue al-Qa’ida and Taliban leaders?” she said.

Palin posed a series of questions about the handling of WikiLeaks.

“What if any diplomatic pressure was brought to bear on NATO, EU, and other allies to disrupt WikiLeaks’ technical infrastructure?” she asked. “Did we use all the cyber tools at our disposal to permanently dismantle WikiLeaks?”

Palin noted steps taken by the White House to prevent such leaks from happening again but said “why did the White House not publish these orders after the first leak back in July?”

“What explains this strange lack of urgency on their part?” she said.

Palin concluded by saying that US soldiers in Afghanistan are “serious about keeping America safe.”

“It would be great if they could count on their government being equally serious about that vital task,” she said.

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Failing work in Afghanistan is signal for a promotion

This is what we’re doing in Afghanistan:

For more than a year, Afghan police chief Rajab Mohammed and his men have worked out of a dark, cramped mud home in a remote corner of Afghanistan while waiting in vain for construction workers to finish building the U.S.-funded police station across the street.

With winter fast approaching, some of the men, who’d been sleeping in a dirt courtyard, recently took over the idle construction site and set up cots inside the half-built station after they learned that the U.S. government had fired the Afghan company responsible for the project.

The U.S. is spending billions of dollars to build facilities like the one in Badakhshan for Afghanistan’s expanding national police and new garrisons for its army. The ambitious program is a linchpin of President Barack Obama’s strategy to strengthen Afghan security forces so 100,000 U.S. troops can come home.

However, like much of the wider Afghan reconstruction effort, it’s faltering, according to current and former U.S. officials, Afghan and American contractors, and contract documents.

Dozens of structures across the country either were poorly constructed or never completed at all. Tens of thousands of Afghan soldiers who were supposed to be living in garrisons by now are still housed in tents.

The stations and barracks represent a pattern repeated across Afghanistan: Construction projects are failing with such frequency that the administration’s initiative to reinforce the Afghan security forces could be hobbled.

While American policymakers struggle to find enough money to resuscitate the U.S. economy or rebuild infrastructure at home, American taxpayers are financing an unprecedented construction boom in Afghanistan for new schools and clinics, electricity and water and roads and bridges.

U.S. Army Gen. David Petraeus, the commander of international forces in Afghanistan, has ordered a dramatic expansion in contracting. Other than asking a brigadier general to investigate problems with military contracts, so far he’s failed to address their flaws.

A McClatchy investigation has found that since January 2008, nearly $200 million in U.S. Army Corps of Engineers construction projects in Afghanistan have failed, face serious delays or resulted in subpar work. Poor recordkeeping made it impossible for McClatchy to determine the value of faulty projects before then. The military tries to recover part of a project’s cost, but in many cases, the funds were already spent.

The investigation also found that:

  • In a rush to award contracts to Afghan companies, the Corps accepts bids that don’t cover the cost of a project, including the expense of security and a contractor’s profit.
  • Rather than scrap a project that’s failing, the government sometimes rewrites the contract to require only the work that’s been done and declares the effort a success. The process is called “de-scoping.”
  • At the same time, a vast majority of the companies that McClatchy found were doing shoddy work haven’t been banned from getting new U.S. contracts, according to government records. U.S. taxpayer dollars also continue to go to firms whose true ownership is hard to determine, making it difficult to hold anyone accountable.
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    Delegitimisation inc.

    Akiva Eldar in Haaretz on yet another Zionist-created disinformation campaign breathlessly repeated by many Jews in the Diaspora. Why oh why can’t the world just accept Israel as a charming occupying nation?

    The State of Israel is under the threat of delegitimization, “which is no less disturbing than Hamas and Hezbollah,” intoned Defense Minister Ehud Barak in a speech last week.

    “Attempts by our enemies and their misguided fellow travelers to delegitimize the Jewish state must be countered,” warned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu three weeks ago, in response to cries of protest by peace activists at the General Assembly of Jewish Federations in New Orleans.

    “If the delegitimization continues it will be an obstacle to peace,” declared Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon recently. He added: “We are facing sophisticated enemies who are working in various ways to besmirch Israel’s reputation.”

    Words like missiles. It’s an emergency. Hush, we’re shooting.

    A look at the “guidebook” the Ministry of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs is offering Israelis at the exit gates from the country reinforces the suspicion that the inflation in the expression “delegitimization” (formerly called “anti-Semitism” ) is not a random lexical construction.

    “How many times have you had occasion to encounter information presented about Israel that was far from being real?” the tourist/good-will ambassador is asked before he is requested to “take part in changing the image of the State of Israel.” The booklet “Explaining Israel” reminds him of such things as the dates of the wars (including Operation Peace for Galilee ) and the victories (including the win by Maccabi Tel Aviv of the European Cup ), the humanitarian delegations and the invention of the disc-on-key.

    There is not a single word about the Madrid conference, which paved the way to the direct peace negotiations and diplomatic relations with many important countries, such as China. There is no sign of the fact that the Oslo Accords opened doors to Israel in the Arab countries. Nor is there any trace of the peace with Jordan – a bonus for the Oslo agreement. Nothing about the Arab peace initiative, which is still waiting for an Israeli answer. The Public Diplomacy Ministry is also not mentioning that the European Union decided to upgrade relations with Israel – and then froze the process in the wake of the crisis of the Gaza-bound Turkish flotilla.

    Israel is basking in the light of the delegitimization. It will not allow the inexhaustible tin of olive oil to be defiled by any hint of legitimization. It is much easier to give the world the finger when the whole of it is against you. If we say “delegitimization” enough times the public will believe there is no connection between what the gentiles say and what the Jews do.

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    Inside the Tamil Tigers from a man who knows

    An amazing interview with key former Tamil Tiger leader Thambiaiya Selvarasa Pathmanathan, alias “KP”. He’s currently under house arrest and monitored by the Sri Lankan regime. Some of this interview is filled with clearly scripted comments about the kindness of Colombo but despite this KP talks about the inside workings of the Tigers. The last months of the 2009 battle, too:

    Q: Did you not try to save the [Tamils] civilians by getting the LTTE to release them [during the fierce months of fighting in 2008 and 2009]?

    A: I did try at the start.

    There was even an offer by the Americans to transport them by sea to Trincomalee. But the LTTE hierarchy was not agreeable. This attitude was most unfortunate and may appear as inhuman. I am not trying to condone or justify this action but when I reflect upon the past I think the LTTE leadership also had no choice. If they released the people first, then only the tigers would be left there. Thereafter all of them could have been wiped out.

    I had a tentative plan with international endorsement. The LTTE was to lay down arms by hoarding them in specific locations. The words used were “lock –off”. That is arms particularly heavy weapons were to be locked off in specific places. They were to be handed over to representatives of the UN. Afterwards there was to be a cessation of hostilities in which the people were to be kept in specific “no firing zones”. Negotiations were to be conducted between the Govt and LTTE with Norwegian facilitation.

    Tentatively about 25 to 50 top leaders with their families were to be transported to a foreign country if necessary.The middle level leaders and cadres were to be detained, charged in courts and given relatively minor sentences. The low level junior cadres were to be given a general amnesty.

    The scheme was to endorsed by the west including Norway, EU and the USA. The Americans were ready to send their naval fleet in to do evacuation if necessary

    Q: Was the Sri Lankan government agreeable

    A: I don’t think there was any official intimation to Colombo but maybe they were sounded out informally. But the plan was never concretised because the main man concerned, Prabhakaran rejected it.

    I had written an outline of the plan and sent it to him for approval. If he said “Proceed” I would have concretised it and started work on implementing it. But when I faxed the details in a 16 page memorandum he rejected the 16 pages in just three words “Ithai Etrukkolla Mudiyathu” (This is unacceptable)So I had to drop it

    Q: Even if Prabhakaran had agreed to it do you think the Govt would have complied given the fact that the armed forces were on the verge of annihilating the LTTE?

    A: I don’t know. Most probably the Govt may not have obliged because it was on the verge of victory and would not have wanted to be deprived of it. But the point is that it was never concretised and submitted to the Govt. Given the situation the LTTE was in, Prabhakaran should have taken it.

    Q: Why did Prabhakaran reject it then?

    A; I don’t know I can only guess.It is too painful to dwell on it because he is no more and I will always be thinking “why didn’t he accept this opportunity”?

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    Canberra just desperate to do America’s bidding, anywhere anytime

    Australia is little more than a reliable lackey, keen to follow Washington into every futile war and action they launch:

    Australia is described as a “rock solid” but uninfluential US ally in secret US government documents made public by the controversial whistle-blowing website, WikiLeaks.

    A small number of the 250,000 cables have been released, leaving the US government in damage control and warning the release of the top-secret documents could endanger lives.

    About 930 of the WikiLeaks documents were written by US officials in Australia, but it is not yet clear what information they contain and the WikiLeaks website was struggling under the massive amount of traffic.

    Attorney-General Robert McClelland says he has established a taskforce to deal with any fallout from the new leaks, which he describes as of a “real concern” to the Government.

    Mr McClelland says the Australian Federal Police is assessing if any Australian laws had been broken.

    One confidential document from the US Embassy in Harare, seen by ABC News Online, describes Australia as a “rock solid” ally of the US.

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