World View: Muslim-Buddhist Violence Explodes in Myanmar

World View: Muslim-Buddhist Violence Explodes in Myanmar

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Cyprus may punish Russia for not bailing them out
  • Generational Dynamics website attacked by hackers
  • Obama negotiates Israeli apology to Turkey for flotilla incident
  • Buddhist vs Muslim ethnic violence explodes in central Myanmar (Burma)

Cyprus may punish Russia for not bailing them out

Cyprus’s government will be spending a long, tough weekend innegotiations to prevent total collapse of the economy on Tuesday.Cyprus has to find 6 billion euros to contribute to a bailout fund towhich the EU will provide a 10 billion euro loan. 

The original planwas to tax small bank savers 6.7% of their savings, and to tax largesavers, with accounts above 100,000 euros, 9.9%. This was theoriginal “Plan A” formula, and it was adopted by Cyprus did not wantto go above a 10% haircut for the banks’ Russian oligarch depositors. 

The 6.7% tax for small savers has now been thrown out for good, asaccounts under 100,000 euros are supposed to be protected by depositinsurance. To make up the difference, first Russia was asked to helpbail out Cyprus, but that deal collapsed completely on Friday. 

Also,Cyprus is considering nationalizing its pension system. The GreekOrthodox Church has also volunteered a large amount of real estate.But those won’t bring in nearly enough money. So that leaves only onemajor source of money: The Russian oligarchs with billions of euros ofdeposits in Cyprus banks. 

There is now talk of taxing large accounts20-25%, which can only be viewed as punishment for Russia for nothelping Cyprus out when they had the chance. Kathimerini and Cyprus Mail

Generational Dynamics website attacked by hackers

The Generational Dynamics web site was attacked by hackerson Friday and crashed. The site will be brought back upover the weekend with limited functionality and content.All content will be available again in a few days. 

No data was lost from the Generational Dynamics forum. The forum willbe moved to another web host over the weekend, since there’s asuspicion that the hacker exploited some vulnerability in the forumsoftware to attack the main web site. The new forum location, withall posts reserved, will be announced soon. 

I may have lost some e-mail messages sent to me on Friday.Please consider re-sending any messages that you sent between11 am and 7 pm ET. 

As before, I apologize for any inconvenience. 

Obama negotiates Israeli apology to Turkey for flotilla incident

Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan scored a major diplomatic coupon Friday when Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologizedto Erdogan for the deaths of nine Turkish citizens in the 2010 MaviMarmara flotilla incident. 

The apology was mediated by U.S. PresidentBarack Obama as he ended his visit to the Mideast. The Mavi Marmarawas a boat in a flotilla that was launched to break Israel’s seablockage of Gaza. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) boarded theflotilla ships, and in the exchange of fire, the nine Turkish citizenswere killed. Erdogan cut diplomatic relations with Israel, and madethe following demands, which have now been addressed by Netanyahu’sapology: 

  • Erdogan demanded an apology. Netanyahu apologized for the loss of life and for the “operational errors” that caused them.
  • Erdogan demanded compensation for the victims’ families. Netanyahu agreed to set up a “humanitarian fund” from which compensation could be paid.
  • Erdogan demanded that the blockade of Gaza be lifted. Netanyahu pointed out that Israel has already lifted some limitations, including the passage of goods and people to the Palestinian territories, including Gaza, and that this will continue as long as quiet is preserved.

Palestinian commentators condemned Erdogan’s acceptance of theapology, because there was effectively no change at all to thestatus of the Gaza blockade. 

The break in diplomatic relations between Turkey and Israel has causedproblems for both countries. Israel has been facing increasedisolation throughout Europe, especially with Turkey which had been amajor trading partner. 

Turkey faced isolation as well, as becameapparent when Egypt and Turkey were mediating last year’s war betweenIsrael and Hamas, and Erdogan had to bow out because he refused totalk to the Israelis. 

The restoration of diplomatic relations willallow closer cooperation on the Syria issue, and so it’s probably abitter pill for Iran, Hizbollah and the Syrian regime. Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Jerusalem Post and Hurriet (Ankara)

Buddhist vs Muslim ethnic violence explodes in central Myanmar (Burma)

Officials have declared a state of emergency in Meikhtila in centralMyanmar after three days of ethnic violence between Buddhist monks andMuslims. 

Troubles began on Wednesday after an argument broke outbetween a Muslim gold shop owner and his Buddhist customers. 

ABuddhist monk was among the first killed, inflaming tensions that leda Buddhist mob to rampage through a Muslim neighbourhood. 

At least6,000 Muslims have fled their homes and taken refuge in a stadium.Meikhtila is a majority Muslim city in the majority Buddhist nation ofBurma. 

Relations between Muslims and Buddhists have been cordial fordecades, but tensions have been increasing since last year’s incidentin Rakhine state in southeast Burma, where Buddhists massacredRohingya Muslims who had arrived in decades past from Bangladesh.AP 

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