World View: Russia Considers Revenge for Cyprus Bailout Deal

World View: Russia Considers Revenge for Cyprus Bailout Deal

This morning’s key headlines from

  • 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 theBuddhist Strength Force (Bodu Bala Sena, BBS), are targeting Muslimswith violence and protests, and conducting campaigns threateningpeople who patronize Muslim businesses. The violence has included aseries of attacks on mosques, and attacks on women wearing Muslimgarb. The BBS says its campaign is to protect the predominantSinhalese race, who, they claim, are dwindling. 

According to onehardline 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 thecountry. We worry they’re planning it here too.”

Sri Lanka is just coming out of a violent civil war between the Tamilethnic group (Hindus) and the majority Sinhalese ethnic group(Buddhists). Muslims are 10% of the population, and they did theirbest to stay out of the civil war. But now that the civil war isover, hardline Buddhists are turning their attention to Muslims.BBC andGulf News

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 thesuburbs, destroying mosques and burning down dozens of homes,killing 32, and displacing 12,000. Burma’s government iswarning that increasing religious violence could threatendemocratic reforms that have been put in place in the lastthree years. 

Last year in Rakhine state in southeast Burma, Buddhistsmassacred Rohingya Muslims who had arrived in decades past fromBangladesh. It was thought that last year’s violence wasethnic-based, targeting a community of immigrants. Butthe Muslims in Meiktila and suburbs are full citizens whohave 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 ethnicgroups, and today’s Burmese government is determined that it shouldn’thappen again. From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, Burmais approaching the time when a new genocidal civil war is likely tobegin. The increase in violent Buddhist attacks on Muslims could bethe early stages of that war. National Post

Europeans reach a deal on Cyprus bailout

In the early hours of Monday morning, Cyprus politicians and Europeanfinance 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 100,000euros) will be spared, larger accounts will be taxed 40% or more.Cyprus’s banking industry will be restructured, throwing thousands ofpeople out of work. Capital controls will be imposed, preventinganyone from transferring money out of the country. Banks will remainclosed until at least Thursday, and ATM withdrawals will be restrictedto 100 euros per day. Cyprus’s largest industry, serving as a havenfor offshore banking, is now pretty much destroyed. 

People with large sums in European banks are thinking twice now abouthow safe their money is. Losing 40% of your savings is a hell of abig hit, and now everyone knows that it’s quite possible that the samething could happen to any bank account, especially in troubledcountries like France, Spain, Greece and Italy. In fact, Some peopleare claiming that the Cyprus deal is very “good news” for Americanbanks, because institutional investors will be moving their money outof Spain’s, France’s and Italy’s banks, and moving it to UK orAmerican 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 confiscationof large chunks of their savings in Cyprus banks, but Russiais being pegged as the supervillain, and the feeling ismutual. Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev is callingthe plan “theft,” and said, “The stealing of what has alreadybeen stolen continues.” 

One popular Russian news commentator said that the last time a WesternEuropean government proceeded so recklessly was when Adolf Hitlerexpropriated the Jews, referring to money held by the Jews as “dirty.”That was precisely how Europe was talking about Russian assetsdeposited in Cyprus, he added. 

Russia was given an opportunity last week to participate in thebailout but refused, saying that Cyprus wasn’t giving enough inreturn. But some commentators are saying that Russia’s presidentVladimir was politically unable to bail Cyprus out, because it wouldhave meant bailing out Russia’s oligarchs. Not only are they veryunpopular, but many elite groups are gloating over the losses of theircompetitors.

Nonetheless, the Cyprus deal is going to create a lot of enemies inRussia and is going to have a negative effect on Russia’s economy.As the impact sinks in, some Russians may be plotting revenge. AnyEuropean money in Russian banks could be considered for confiscationif there were a crisis in the future, and on cold winter nights,Russia could cut off natural gas exports to Europe, as happened in thepast. Spiegel and Jamestown

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