World View: U.S. to Help France in Central African Republic Military Intervention

World View: U.S. to Help France in Central African Republic Military Intervention

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Immigrant issues explode over street riots in Singapore
  • U.S. to help France in Central African Republic military intervention
  • Vladimir Putin ‘liquidates’ Russia’s Ria Novosti news agency

Immigrant issues explode over street riots in Singapore

Protester carries 'Singapore for Singaporeans' in large anti-immigrant rally in Singapore in February, 2013 (AFP)
Protester carries ‘Singapore for Singaporeans’ in large anti-immigrant rally in Singapore in February, 2013 (AFP)

A fatal accident killing a 33-year-old Indian immigrant who wasknocked down by a private bus has sparked a spontaneous large riot onMonday in Singapore in the “Little India” section, which is mostlypopulated by migrants from India and Bangladesh. Police arrested 27people, mostly Indian nationals, among the 400 people who rioted.

These are the largest immigrant riots since the 1969, since there weremassive, bloody riots in Singapore. According to Deputy PrimeMinister Teo Chee Hean:

“I want to make very clear that the government willnot tolerate such lawless behaviour. I have asked the police toinvestigate the matter thoroughly and deal with all aspects ofthis incident and all persons involved strictly, firmly and fairlyaccording to our law.”

Rioting in Singapore is punishable by up to seven years in prison pluscaning. (Yes, caning.)

However, immigration is a continuing issue in the city-state. InFebruary, more than 4,000 indigenous Singaporeans staged a rally, oneof Singapore’s largest ever. They were angered by a governmentpopulation white paper that showed that the population of immigrantswas growing much faster than the population of Singaporeans, thanks toa rapidly declining birth rate.

According to the January, 2013, white paper:

“Singaporeans form the core of our society and theheart of our nation. To be a strong and cohesive society, we musthave a strong Singaporean core.

Strong families are the bedrock of our society, through which wepass on our values and sense of belonging from one generation tothe next. We may have diverse geographical and ethnic backgrounds,but we are all Singaporean because we share certain key values andaspirations, including meritocracy, a fair and just society, andrespect for one another’s culture within a broad common spacewhere all interact and bond.”

Channel News Asia (Singapore) and AFP 17-Feb-2013 and Singapore population white paper (PDF)

U.S. to help France in Central African Republic military intervention

The U.S. military will fly African Union troops into Central AfricanRepublic, responding to a request by France. Two U.S. military C-17aircraft will fly about 850 troops from Burundi into Central AfricanRepublic by Tuesday. According to Pentagon spokesman Carl Woog, theU.S. may provide additional military resources:

“The United States is joining the internationalcommunity in this effort because of our belief that immediateaction is required to avert a humanitarian and human rightscatastrophe.”

The situation in C.A.R. is quickly worsening, according to aid groupMercy Corps which, like all non-governmental organizations, wants moremoney from the U.S. and other “wealthy” nations:

“The situation in Central African Republic isdeclining rapidly in terms of security, which is leading to ahumanitarian crisis that will continue to augment and becomelarger in scale unless the international community intervenesnow.”

More than 400,000 people have been displaced since so-called Sélékamilitias — many of them Muslims from neighboring Chad and Sudan –seized power in March, unleashing a wave of rapes, massacres andlooting on the majority Christian population. The Christians haveformed so-called anti-Balaka militias and are performing revengeattacks on Muslims. Some 400 people have died since Thursday in thecapital Bangui alone. The fear is that the sectarian violence willspread throughout the country, leading a situation like the Rwandagenocide in 1994. Reuters and AFP

Vladimir Putin ‘liquidates’ Russia’s Ria Novosti news agency

Russia’s president Vladimir Putin took one more step on Monday toreturn Russia to a Soviet-style dictatorship, when it was announcedthat the Ria Novosti news agency would be “liquidated,” and mergedwith the more compliant Russia Today. Ria Novosti is state owned, butit has angered Putin supporters by trying to present a relativelybalanced news coverage, occasionally presenting Putin or the Kremlinin a less than favorable light. Ria Novosti presented fairly biasedcoverage of the 2012 anti-Putin protests in Moscow, and more recentlyof the pro-Europe protests in Ukraine.

The new news agency will be headed by Dmitry Kiselyov, who isvitriolically anti-American and pro-Putin, and once said thathomosexuals people should be banned from giving blood and that whenthey die, their hearts should be “buried or incinerated as unsuitableto prolong someone’s life.” Ria Novosti and Telegraph (London)

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