World View: Russia Considers Revenge for Cyprus Bailout Deal
This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com:
- Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka targeting Muslims
- Anti-Muslim Buddhist mobs rampage through Burma's towns
- Europeans reach a deal on Cyprus bailout
- Russia may be planning its revenge
Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka targeting Muslims
Hardline Sinhalese Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka, members of the
Buddhist Strength Force (Bodu Bala Sena, BBS), are targeting Muslims
with violence and protests, and conducting campaigns threatening
people who patronize Muslim businesses. The violence has included a
series of attacks on mosques, and attacks on women wearing Muslim
garb. The BBS says its campaign is to protect the predominant
Sinhalese race, who, they claim, are dwindling.
According to one
hardline monk participating in anti-Muslim violence: "Look around the world - Malaysia, Indonesia,
Pakistan, Afghanistan and others, they were all Buddhist countries
- but the Muslims destroyed the culture and then took over the
country. We worry they're planning it here too."
Sri Lanka is just coming out of a violent civil war between the Tamil
ethnic group (Hindus) and the majority Sinhalese ethnic group
(Buddhists). Muslims are 10% of the population, and they did their
best to stay out of the civil war. But now that the civil war is
over, hardline Buddhists are turning their attention to Muslims.
Anti-Muslim Buddhist mobs rampage through Burma's towns
Following anti-Muslim violent riots last week in Meiktila, Burma
(Myanmar), Buddhist mobs rampaged through three more towns in the
suburbs, destroying mosques and burning down dozens of homes,
killing 32, and displacing 12,000. Burma's government is
warning that increasing religious violence could threaten
democratic reforms that have been put in place in the last
Last year in Rakhine state in southeast Burma, Buddhists
massacred Rohingya Muslims who had arrived in decades past from
Bangladesh. It was thought that last year's violence was
ethnic-based, targeting a community of immigrants. But
the Muslims in Meiktila and suburbs are full citizens who
have lived there for generations.
Burma's last generational crisis war was the civil war ending in 1958.
That was an extremely bloody, genocidal war among Burmese ethnic
groups, and today's Burmese government is determined that it shouldn't
happen again. From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, Burma
is approaching the time when a new genocidal civil war is likely to
begin. The increase in violent Buddhist attacks on Muslims could be
the early stages of that war. National Post
Europeans reach a deal on Cyprus bailout
In the early hours of Monday morning, Cyprus politicians and European
finance ministers agreed to a 10 billion euro bailout loan for Cyprus,
after Cyprus agreed to harsh conditions to qualify for the loan.
Although insured savings accounts (containing amounts under 100,000
euros) will be spared, larger accounts will be taxed 40% or more.
Cyprus's banking industry will be restructured, throwing thousands of
people out of work. Capital controls will be imposed, preventing
anyone from transferring money out of the country. Banks will remain
closed until at least Thursday, and ATM withdrawals will be restricted
to 100 euros per day. Cyprus's largest industry, serving as a haven
for offshore banking, is now pretty much destroyed.
People with large sums in European banks are thinking twice now about
how safe their money is. Losing 40% of your savings is a hell of a
big hit, and now everyone knows that it's quite possible that the same
thing could happen to any bank account, especially in troubled
countries like France, Spain, Greece and Italy. In fact, Some people
are claiming that the Cyprus deal is very "good news" for American
banks, because institutional investors will be moving their money out
of Spain's, France's and Italy's banks, and moving it to UK or
American banks, where they believe that it will be safer. Reuters and Spiegel
Russia may be planning its revenge
Investors in lots of countries have been hurt by the confiscation
of large chunks of their savings in Cyprus banks, but Russia
is being pegged as the supervillain, and the feeling is
mutual. Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev is calling
the plan "theft," and said, "The stealing of what has already
been stolen continues."
One popular Russian news commentator said that the last time a Western
European government proceeded so recklessly was when Adolf Hitler
expropriated the Jews, referring to money held by the Jews as "dirty."
That was precisely how Europe was talking about Russian assets
deposited in Cyprus, he added.
Russia was given an opportunity last week to participate in the
bailout but refused, saying that Cyprus wasn't giving enough in
return. But some commentators are saying that Russia's president
Vladimir was politically unable to bail Cyprus out, because it would
have meant bailing out Russia's oligarchs. Not only are they very
unpopular, but many elite groups are gloating over the losses of their
Nonetheless, the Cyprus deal is going to create a lot of enemies in
Russia and is going to have a negative effect on Russia's economy.
As the impact sinks in, some Russians may be plotting revenge. Any
European money in Russian banks could be considered for confiscation
if there were a crisis in the future, and on cold winter nights,
Russia could cut off natural gas exports to Europe, as happened in the
past. Spiegel and Jamestown
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