Monthly Archives: January 2013

Where did all the love go?

Here Franco Berardi (Bifo) explains some of the changes occuring in our relationship to language and time, suggesting mental exhaustion (not just exhaustion of the planet`s resources) might offer us a way out of capitalism

reprinted from FFG

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January 8, 2013 · 9:07 pm

Where there are war crimes, there is always fresh British Council investment

Following on from the expose of the British Council´s tacit support for the rape and murder of the Tamil Community in Sri Lanka, here is a September announcement in 2012 of the British Council establishing a permanent office in Rwanda. This announcement was hot on the heels of a UN report which accuses the Rwandan government of aid and abetting war crimes in neighbouring DRC (yes, mass rape and murder, a key driver it seems in British Council investment decisions).

Here is some background to the Rwandan story that MTG posted a long way back and here is an excellent write-up on Rwanda by the neo-Trotskyist Revolutionary Communist Group

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British Council could be embarrassed again

The question is a simple one: If a state and its leader stand accused of war crimes, as does the Sri Lankan army and its leader, Mahinida Rajapakese , should a state funded body like the British Council invest so heavily in that country? Here is a picture of the wonderful new British Council development in Colombo

and here is Channel 4’s follow-up to their awarding winning documentary which details those crimes

For us to see the bodies of so many women raped and murdered by this army, to see blindfolded prisoners shot with their hands tied behind their backs and hospitals and their staff targetted by bombs, the answer is clearly no!! The British Council is clearly disgusting in progressing with such high investment projects in the absence of a proper independent enquiry into the atrocities.

But the situation appears to be taking a different direction and in response to increasing links between Sri Lanka and the Chinese, the US appears keen to progress with calls for the president to face justice (or at least stop offering the Chinese a naval base). In view of this prime minister Cameroon, despite the UK’s attempts to secure increasing relations and trade with Sri Lanka, has apparently raised the issue of an independent enquiry direct with Rajapakese. He is no doubt being pressured by the US to get tough with the Sri Lankan Leader.

Oh dear, poor British Council. There it is happily snuggling up to dictators and psychopaths only for British foreign policy to take a rapid turn of direction under the orders of its bosses in the US

Reprinted from FFG

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The Great Berlitz Strike 2008 – 2012. Absolute Victory!!

Our thanks to the reader who posted a recent link to  The Japan Times and a wonderful article by James McCrostie (we repost it again here together with another excellent McCrostie article here). It is a truly magnificent victory, with management withdrawing all legal action and awarding a pay rise to the union.

To celebrate here is a video of the Strawbs in 1973.

Did people really have such confidence then? Where is that confidence now? At least we know that in Japan a new confidence has been born owing to the courageous struggles of a group of foreign English teachers.

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