The village consultative committee
Murray Hunter (nsnbc) , – Introduction – Malaysian society has been preoccupied with political discussion since the electoral ‘tsunami’ of GE-12 back in March 2008. The result of the last election (GE-13) left many feeling that the system, or distortion of the system, cheated them out of the chance of changing the political landscape of the country. However political aspirations, expectations, and debate has been primarily limited to the formal federal and state political arenas.
The Federal and State legislatures are not the only levels of government in Malaysia. Both the Penang and Selangor State governments have been toying with the idea of direct local government elections. However these initiatives have been blocked by both the federal Government and Election Commission (EC) on various grounds.
There is yet another level within the system government that has been ignored and almost forgotten about within the public domain, although it has been a ‘battle front’ in the fight for ‘winning voter hearts and minds’ within Pakatan held states since 2008. These are the Village Security and Development Committees (JKKK), which exist in all Malaysian states except Perlis.
A history of village participation –The first participatory approach to rural planning occurred during the British colonial period where the authorities created ‘new village’ resettlement schemes as a major strategy to stem communist insurgent influence among rural inhabitants. These programs at the time were under British military control.
After independence, consultative Village Security and Development Committees (JKKK) were established under the Tun Razak era to assist in poverty eradication. They were however ‘top down’ in the approach taken, where village heads or ketua kampong were believed by the government to be able to articulate the needs and aspirations of kampong people to the district officers around the country, who were the prime implementers of rural development policy. Most of the planning and implementation of major resettlement schemes during this period like DARA, JENGKA, KETENGAH, and KESEDAR involved the local participation of JKKKs.
The Village Security and Development Committees are the ‘eyes and ears’ of government. The village head is responsible to the district officer and district councils charged with carrying out various government programs at the local level. This includes economic and infrastructure development, poverty eradication, and other general assistance programs involving various government agencies. Consequently the village head is seen as a representative of the state under the authority of the district officer, rather than a representative of the village.
The JKKK system was overhauled in June 2009 by Premier Najib Razak to develop more active participation of village committees in the rural planning and implementation processes. The aim of these reforms was to create a ‘bottom up’ orientation that would empower the JKKK committees to develop their own project proposals and programs. The JKKK committees would also oversee the implementation, under the supervision of both the Housing and Local Government, and Rural Development Ministries.
However it was soon found there was a deep lack of manpower and available skills at village level to achieve anything substantial. The Institut kemajuan Desa or Village Development Institute (INFRA) subsequently developed a series of programs to develop capacities of village residents. The results indicated that these courses were too standardized, formal, and theoretical to provide any real positive benefits. Moreover, many key JKKK people and those who had the interests of the community in mind did not for many reasons attend these courses.
This caused to whole program to be reviewed once again. An announcement of further changes is due later this year.
The Barisan-Pakatan Battlefield – Although the JKKK committees are based on state legislation, they have become centres of political conflict between the Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat. In Pakatan run states like Penang and Kelantan, the federal government created a parallel JKKKP system without any supporting legislative basis.
The importance of the committees could be clearly seen in the role they played in the recent Kuala Besut bi-election in Terengganu. The JKKK system is very capable of harnessing kinship ties in rural areas as an election tool to garner votes for the BN, and this is the major reason why the JKKKP was formed by the federal government after the 2008 election.
A close relationship between politicians and village communities has maintained the status quo for the BN in rural Malaysia.
The Pakatan Government is now also very heavily reliant on the committees to look after ‘their voters’ in Penang.
The JKKK has been seen by both sides of politics as a political tool to attack their political adversaries at the community level, rather than a community empowerment mechanism. Consequently it could be easily assumed that the system is now managed with the sole objective of reaching people at village level for political influence rather than with any major intentions of gathering ‘bottom up’ information and consultation to aid rural planning and development process.
The Current Troubles with the JKKK(P) Systems – The current JKKK(P) process hosts many problems which need to be resolved if there are to be any real benefits to rural communities.
Primarily those people selected as village heads are usually those who herald political ambition. They often hold party positions within UMNO. This leads to a highly politicized system. Rather than focusing on bringing new farming methods to their areas, looking after village security, tackling social issues, and strengthening livelihoods through working to make available more entrepreneurial opportunities, many village heads use their position to obtain financial benefits. There have been cases of village heads leasing out communal lands to corporations without any benefits being derived by their communities. In places like Sabah, many village heads have benefitted personally through logging contracts, which have actually caused flooding within local communities due to lack of any land management. In many cases village heads have become brokers and patrons rather than representatives, focusing on intra-party affairs rather than rural development.
In addition, a number of village heads actually don’t live in their areas of responsibility. In places like Rantau Panjang Kelantan, villagers must travel great distances to find their federally appointed village heads who are required to sign school enrollment forms.
Through government appointed village heads, the ruling party is able to force it’s will upon the village population. A small minority can dominate an unorganized majority. The village head’s access to funds and services aids their ability to control many aspects of village life. The JKKK(P) structure ensures the exercise of state authority into the most remote communities of the country, and this is suppressing community empowerment. Village heads are political appointees, who along with district officers are too often seen as beneficiaries of development policies. In Malaysia today, the JKKK(P) is just used as another means to reward supporters.
The current community consultative process has taken on some of the worst feudal characteristics of Malaysian political institutions. The system has failed to provide policymakers with true feedback on community needs, enable efficient implementation and delivery of services, nor assist in creating any sustainable wellbeing of rural communities. The government has been forced to reform the system a number of times.
Turning the Corner – The Emancipated Village Consultative Committee – If the village consultative process was structured in a more embracing way to attract more village cooperation, this process could have a major role to play in Malaysian rural life. Village consultative committees have the potential to be a game-changer. Not only could this very ‘grassroots’ political institution assist in the policy making and delivery process, but also act as a major medium of community empowerment that could possibly change the lives of many rural people. If communities were allowed to select their own representatives, coordinators, and leaders, and able to scrutinize them in a transparent, accountable, and responsible manner, the level of trust, respect, and acceptance of village leaders would drastically rise with far reaching impacts on the mainstream political process.
Village consultative committees should carry the hallmark of democratic accountability rather than be an extension tool of governments on both sides of the political spectrum. The village consultative system cannot be an extension of any political party or grouping. The leaders of community consultative committees must be those who are generally concerned with the wellbeing of their villages, where committee management must be along the lines of …‘of the people, for the people, and by the people’living in each locality. Absentee leadership should be seen for what it is; a past relic of feudalism.
Village consultative committees must be primarily concerned with the development of a sustainable community lifestyle that also respects cultural integrity. To achieve this, special efforts must be put into developing the necessary capacities for the youth to pursue entrepreneurial opportunities that can be a source of both value as an enterprise at the individual level, and also create social value within the community. The current system has miserably failed on this premise.
Village consultative committees can build upon the sense of community prevailing in most rural areas. A truly representative and consultative committee may bring a sense of local ownership into new projects, and positive attitudes about individual fate and the community’s future. A sense of community is one of the most desirable “Malaysian” cultural traits that should be encouraged and built upon, otherwise the narratives of national unity will just remain the myth they are today.
It is in this spirit that village consultative committees can start to look after the real interests of their respective communities with a deep sense of local purpose. The interests of the young, old, single mothers, disabled, and unemployed can be considered in this setting. Ministries act within a facilitating rather than try to direct these communities.
This is where the crux of change must take place.
It’s not about infrastructure and first class facilities, it’s about mindset. The intent of dismissive domination must be reframed to the narrative of serving. if this is achieved, communities will be able to engage in worthwhile projects like developing their own savings cooperatives which extend micro-credit schemes without any external assistance, rather than be dependent upon handouts by domineering political patrons.
Self management and independence brings a sense of pride that rural people in Malaysia deserve. It’s time rural people gained the respect they deserve rather than being manipulated by the party political process.
The necessity for this grassroots democratic institution can best be seen where it doesn’t exist. Former Perlis Chief Minister Shahidan Bin Kassim dismantled the JKKK system in Perlis, leaving local communities with many unsolved problems as newly elected PKR state member Chan Ming Kai has found out. Most of his time is spent solving basic community problems. Village consultative committees have a role to play within their communities that government agencies fail to cover. They can intervene in family disputes, solving land disputes, the sharing of communal land use, recommending needed infrastructure, recreational, and social facilities, and assisting in solving the youth alienation issue. This would be especially the case if the federal ministries and state governments are prepared to play a supportive rather than directive role.
Village consultative committees can play a major role in the identification, discussion, and offering solutions to problems related to village life and surrounding hinterland. Through their spokespeople, coordinators, and leaders, these communities can begin to discuss and disseminate village views to government authorities.
This would be in stark contrast to what is happening now, where the district officer gets advice from absentee village heads, with little village consultation. Prioritized project lists are sent to ministries often bearing little relationship to community needs, becoming ‘white elephants’ where individuals have financially benefitted on the failure. The allocation of projects to specific areas has become an election tool which the BN still firmly controls. Financial abuse is a major problem.
Village consultative committees have a major role to play in creating development programs that really assist the people and reduce corruption. This is not to mention the other benefits of community consultative committees where new leaders can be nurtured, local entrepreneurship can be encouraged, practical education to the community encouraged, and assistance in community law enforcement provided. With the right knowledge and skills available, village consultative committees could be at the vanguard in creating a new sustainable Malaysian hinterland.
However most importantly, the village consultative committee will bring an important new level of democratic practice to Malaysia, something that would have not just a major influence on shaping future rural policy, but on shaping the future of the whole country.
The village consultative process needs to evolve past the party political process, if it is going to play a role in rural development and the democratic process of Malaysia. It must proceed with transparency and accountability or the feudal cancer that is holding back Malaysian development will creep back into the consultative system.
The whole village consultative process should be apolitical, based on the principals of self help, cooperation, and capability development at both the social and entrepreneurial levels. However most importantly the village consultative process must enable the voices of rural Malaysia to espouse their needs and aspirations, and empower them to solve their own problems, with assistance rather than live in the current culture of dependency that successive BN governments have fostered for the purpose of political domination.
Towards a new level of democracy – It’s time that rural Malaysians have a greater say in their own affairs and control over their local community assets. This will redistribute power away from the central government back to the people. As a consequence federal policy must shift from an emphasis on developing physical infrastructure towards community based education models to support village empowerment projects. The community consultative program should become one of the forces that bring Malaysian democracy into the 21st century, through the fostering of this new level of peoples’ self governance.
Such an initiative like this will have its critics, particularly those who have a lot to lose by it – both sides of the formal political system. The redistribution of power and inability to control the village anymore is a big threat to those in power at state and federal levels. Community Consultative Committees should take away opportunities for those who want to act according to their own benefit and greed.
There are also those who will attempt to politicize Village consultative Committees for their own advancement. This must be strongly resisted as it will take away from the potential objective discussions that should go on within these committees. Finally these committees must be run in the true interests of developing and managing the local community.
Emancipating the JKKK system will assist in moving from a feudalistic to a meritocratic system at the very grassroots of the country. Community Consultative Committees are a way of eliminating cronyism and bringing new forms of wealth to rural communities. This should assist in opening up new opportunities to enhance rural livelihood and become a training ground for the country’s future leaders.
True political, economic, and democratic change would come into the hands of the people for the first real time since Merdeka, where people will have the power to pursue their own self determination. Democracy must begin at home and this is one of the greatest gifts that could be given to Malaysia.
It was the Saemaul Undong movement that helped rural Korea progress in the 1970s and the One Tambun One Product (OTOP) movement that helped rural Thailand develop over the last decade. It could be the Village Consultative Committee movement that helps rural Malaysia evolve into a hinterland of activity that will benefit the nation.
A paper presented to the International Forum on Malaysia 50 Years On: Expectation Vs. Reality, 1BORNEO GRAND BALLROOM; Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia on 5th October, 2013
Mystery about Germany´s Gold in the US Solved
Nobody wants to admit it openly. The German Gold Reserves in the United States are gone, used for financing the United States war chest and bet for “Global Full Spectrum Dominance”. So why is even the German Federal Bank trying to avoid further speculation by referring to a non-existent “full transparency” ? The answer is quite simple. Nobody wants the current backwardation of the gold market to turn into a permanent backwardation of the gold market. The consequence would be the inevitable collapse of global trade and civilization as we know it.
nsnbc international report from April 2013 “in the money” – “to take to the bank”. In April 2013, nsnbc international published a report by nsnbc contributor, Prof. Long Xinming, revealing that the German government had asked to visit the vaults of the US Federal Reserve to determine the actual existence of the German gold reserves.
Germany has deposited about half of its gold reserves in the USA. The FED refused to permit Germany to examine its own gold, stating “security” and “no room for visitors” as reasons. Nothing else.
When Germany finally was “permitted” an audit, the auditors were admitted into the vault´s anté chamber where 5 or 6 gold bars were shown to them as “representative for Germany´s holdings”.
The German auditors apparently returned a second time, when the FED granted them permission to “look into” 1 of 9 rooms without allowing them to enter or touch the gold, before the auditors were sent back home to Germany. The report on nsnbc prompted worldwide discussions.
In July 2013, the US American hedge-fund manager William Kaye created a stir when he picked-up the ball, stating:
” Germany won´t ever see its gold again…… Central Banks, such as the FED, where most of the reserves had been deposited, had lent the gold to U.S. Banks such as Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan.
The gold has been used in the market to lower the gold price and the FED has received securities in exchange…. Germany won´t ever see that gold again, because it is safely kept in my accounts and the accounts of our investors”.
William Kaye, who previously has been working for Goldman Sachs is by no means a “nobody” on the global markets, and the fact that his statement caused a stir was less surprising than the surprise non-insiders got when they heard the news about Germany´s gold. In fact, nsnbc´s initial report was doubted by many but was, as it turned out right “in the money”, one could, so to speak, take our report to the bank.
German Federal Bank. A Real Embarrassment and Non-Existent Transparency. Not surprisingly either, is the fact that the situation became an embarrassment for the German Federal Bank, Deutsche Bundesbank (DB).
A DB speaker said, that the Deutsche Bundesbank told the German financial publication “Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten” (German Market News), that the DB does not want to comment on the statement and referred to the full transparency which it had provided about the German gold reserves in January 2013. “The situation” said the DB spokesperson, “has remained unchanged since then”. The statement however, was only 50 % true. The true 50 % of the statement is, that the Deutsche Bundesbank does not want to comment.
The untrue 50 % is the statement about the purported full transparency which the DB has provided in January 2013. While it is understandable that it is an embarrassment that one´s purported “ally“, whom many Germans consider more of a political, economical, cultural and not to forget military occupier rather than an ally, has the audacity to put Germany´s auditors off with “no place for visitors” and shows them 1 of 9 chambers, “but don´t enter and touch” after protests from Berlin, is understandable.
After all, no German functionary would ever be allowed to, and no German politician in his right mind would ever dare to say, that “Germany still has not regained its full sovereignty”without risking the carrier – or more.
But talking about full transparency is equivalent to literally ask for trouble from one´s compatriots.
The demand that Germany repatriate its physical gold reserves is becoming increasingly outspoken, and not only among German patriots and conservatives like Member of Parliament for the Christian Social Union, CSU, Peter Gauweiler.
After all, it can hardly have escaped the DB spokesperson and German as well as international observers, that Germany´s Federal Accounting Office has issued a statement in late 2012, in which it criticized the Deutsche Bundesbank because it had not ever had any of its staff to personally audit the German gold reserves abroad. That is, “Not Ever”.
No Audit of German Reserves “Ever”. Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten (German Market News) also asked the DB spokesperson whether any of the German Federal Bank´s officials has ever taken to Paris or the USA to personally audit the German gold reserves. The DB spokesperson replied, or rather tried to avoid answering the question, saying:
“The Deutsche Bundesbank has, with regard to the storage, appropriate storage and deposit contracts with those Central Banks with whom the gold is being deposited”.
He then added, that these contracts, however, were subject to confidentiality, and by the way, he added,
“the Chair for Cash, Settlements and Payment Systems of the Deutsche Bundesbank, Carl-Ludwig Thiele had said in January that he had been there”.
Given this answer, the journalist probably knew that his job would be entering the “Danger Zone” if he would have asked:
” Was there ? Where ? In France ? In New York ? Did Herr Carl-Ludwig Thiele inspect the gold and how much was there ? Is it documented anywhere ? Can I see a copy ? I mean, we are speaking about full transparency right ? ”
An ode to independent media! So, the poor German journalist could keep his job, the Bundesbank spokesperson was proud about his evasive PR skills and that he could keep his job, and we remain in the dark. Everybody is happy. Right ? Business as usual !
The effect of the Deutsche Bundesbank´s complicity in covering-up the obvious theft of Germany´s gold reserves by Germany´s occupying ally USA, the United States blatant arrogance in dealing with his “Trans-Atlantic Partners in Germany” however is beginning to backfire.
How much longer the scandal can be contained is becoming increasingly questionable, and Germans begin to organize themselves to demand the repatriation of the country´s gold reserves.
A group of renown Germans, including the member of the European Taxpayers Association, Rolf Baron von Hohenhau, Peter Boehringer of the German Precious Metals Society, M.P. Frank Scäffler, Author and former IBM Germany CEO, Prof. Hans O. Henkel, Ralf Flier, the Editor in Chief of Smart Investor Magazine, and numerous others have organized themselves in the Association “Repatriate Our Gold” (Holt unser Gold Heim)
The Co-Initiator of the Initiative, Peter Boehringer, states that he considers it absolutely plausible, that the German gold reserves no longer exist within the USA in terms of physical gold bars. Moreover, Boehringer states, that one can strongly suspect it. Boehringer concludes:
“We do believe the Deutsche Bundesbank in its statements, but we do not believe that the Bundesbank can believe what its contractual partners say. The Deutsche Bundesbank simply cannot be sure, that the gold reserves still are present at the FED in the form of gold bars” .
“The Bundesbank does not even officially claim this, or cannot prove the physical presence according to appropriate principles of accounting. The Bundesbank has officially informed us, that the depots and Partner Central Banks have a marvelous integrity, and that the doubts, which we have forwarded in the form of questions, are unsubstantiated”.
He then, correctly remarks the fact which the Bundesbank obviously attempts to omit, which is, that the FED has not performed any official audit of its gold holdings since 1953, and the fact that the Americans they don´t even trust the FED. Ask any US citizen in any major city in the USA and ask: “Can the FED be trusted?”. If you can ask the question with a straight face, people will either believe that you are retarded or that you are part of a new “Candid Camera show”.
Repatriate Our Gold therefore demands, that the Deutsche Bundesbank publishes all the lists with the gold bar numbers of gold bars, which are deposited abroad as well as in Germany.
The question one may ask is, whether the publication of the gold bar numbers would add any credibility to the claims that the gold is physically present, and the ultimate proof can only be given by a full inspection, rather than a dog and pony show, in which German auditors at the fed are shown one out of nine vaults “but don´t enter and don´t touch”. Repatriate Our Gold is therefore still insisting on a full, physical audit of the gold.
Repatriate Our Gold warns, that the repatriation of the German gold reserves from the USA and France by 2020, as the Bundesbank states it would, is far from sufficient. Boehringer states, that the Bundesbank seem to be betting on time because, as he states:
“If German gold reserves really have been used as collateral, one will first have to buy them back”.
And here, Boehringer is touching the most touchy of issues. It is correct, that the FED would first have to buy the gold before it could deliver, but the trouble is, that the gold-market has been in backwardation since early July 2013. To buy gold requires that there is someone who is able and willing to sell gold, and with the market being in backwardation that is impossible.
According to a nsnbc international report with World Bank whistleblower Karen Hudes, we may be facing a global currency war as corruption at the World Bank unsettles the gold market. Karen Hudes has worked 20 years as legal counsel at the World Bank´s legal department. Hudes was sacked in retaliation after she blew the whistle and reported massive corruption in the Bretton Woods institutions.
Hudes has since been reinstated, but the US administration continues its retaliation, and is, as a stakeholder analysis shows, under arrest of a conglomerate or megabank, has Hudes describes it, which prevents that the USA begins to comply with international accounting standards.
Already in May, Hudes warned that the consequence of failure to address the problems would be a permanent backwardation of the gold market and a global currency war that would, one started, grind world trade to a standstill. Moreover, Hudes states:
“A stakeholder analysis derived from accurate game theory modeling shows a clear fork in the road for the United States: rule of law and the transatlantic alliance or corruption and the ascendency of China.”
It may very well be that the United States and Germany, the FED and the Deutsche Bundesbank perceive it as being in their shared interest to cover-up the fact that Germany´s gold is gone, that:
” Germany won´t ever see its gold again…… Central Banks, such as the FED, where most of the reserves had been deposited, had lent the gold to U.S. Banks such as Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan. The gold has been used in the market to lower the gold price and the FED has received securities in exchange…. Germany won´t ever see that gold again, because it is safely kept in my accounts and the accounts of our investors”.
as William Kaye said it. The shared interest would in that case be the attempt to prevent the permanent backwardation, the subsequent currency war and the grinding of world trade to a hold. The problem for both the FED and the Bundesbank is, that the “Gini has left the bottle”, the truth is out and no complicity of silence will make it return into the bottle on its own volition. More simplified: “How to get the paste back into the tube?”.
When push comes to shove we will see that the German gold and the gold of numerous other countries who deposited their gold in the USA after WW II has been used to line the pockets of the US military industrial complex and has financed the US bet for global, full-spectrum dominance. Not surprisingly, many, especially older Germans come to think “Dresden and Pforzheim” when they are confronted with that fact.
French Africa Policy Damages African and European Economies.
Since the independence of the former French colonies in western Africa they are in spite of the richness of their natural resources and the productivity of their populations still catastrophically under-developed.
In 2007 the French and European economies began deteriorating into a devastating recession. France seems to be like a man who is standing at the edge of a cliff, transfixed by the thought of falling into the abyss. In fear of losing the lucrative racket of controlling the western African economies he forgets that there is Terra firma and a possibility for both French, European and African prosperity behind him. Africans and leading European politicians expected that the administration of President Hollande would bring much-needed change with respect to French control over the economies of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, the Republic of Congo, Senegal and Togo. However, also Hollande´s administration seems to be so transfixed by the prospect of falling into the abyss that it does not fathom the possibility of taking one step back.
Will France remain transfixed in fear and drag western Africa and Europe with it when it falls or does it dare to loosen up its grip on control over the good old CFA racket in its former colonies and discover the true potential and value of the African markets. As painful as it may be, the primary prerequisite for a progressive development and prosperity is the truth about the current state of affairs.
The root causes for the lacking development of the western African economies are closely related to the fact that France, contrary to other former colonial powers, managed to install its commissars at the heart of its former colonies economic and monetary system and that it still maintains almost unchallenged control over them. The system was created by German National Socialists during the 1930s and 40s. It was used to usurp France and other German occupied nations.
The Genesis of the CFA-System in Nazi Germany and the German Occupation of France.
On 9 Maj 1941 Hemmen, the German Ambassador to France declared that he had signed a treaty with the French Admiral Darlan. The treaty would place German commissars within the French National Bank´s departments for foreign currencies and international commerce.(1) The treaty was negotiated under the auspices of German Minister of Finance Herman Göring, whose father, Heinrich Ernst Göring has been the German Governor of German West Africa, todays Namibia, from 1885 to 1890. Herman Göring was among other notorious for his plundering the occupied nations’ economies through operations accounts and for his special interest in treasures and art from the German occupied areas.
At the end of world war two and the occupation of France, the French President Charles de Gaulle created the CFA Franc as a currency for the western African colonies. De Gaulle created a monetary union whose functions of control were based on the model Germany had used to usurp German occupied France.
Even though the colonies have since gained independence, the system of almost absolute control over their economies by the installment of commissars with the Central Banks of the West African Monetary and Economic Unions, the B.E.A.C., the B.C.C., and the B.C.E.A.O. persists.
Modo-Colonialism, the Veto Right by French Commissars over African Economies.
Together, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Niger, the Republic of Congo, Senegal and Togo, establish the Monetary and Economic Union of West Africa (U.M.E.O.A. / UMEAO. Their currency, the CFA-Franc is printed under supervision of the French National Bank in Charmaliéres, France. The Council of Presidents of the fifteen U.M.E.O.A. member states constitutes the highest authority of the union. Decisions of the Presidential Council are made unanimously. The Ministerial Council of the U.M.E.O.A. defines the monetary and credit policy of the union and it is responsible for the economic development of the region. According to the constitutions of all fifteen member states the creation of their currency, the regulation of its value as well as the regulation of parities and modalities is the exclusive privilege of the nation and its people and decisions about it are made by the parliament.
The placement of French commissars within the heart of the nations and the union`s banking system however, creates an obvious dichotomy between the apparent sovereignty of the union, its constituents, and direct control from the previous colonial power.
Three of the thirteen of the Directors of the B.E.A.C. are French and four of the eight Directors of the B.C.C. are French. The Board of Directors of the B.C.E.A.O. is constituted by sixteen Directors; two from each country plus two additional Directors from France who take part in the management of the bank under the same conditions and with the same privileges as the other Directors. The number and placement of the commissars gives them a Veto right at the board of each of the Central Banks. No decision can be made without their approval and France can enforce its policy by threatening to deadlock the economies unless decisions are made in compliance with French suggestions.
The French Veto right also extends to the nomination of the Governor of the B.E.A.C.. The Governor is elected with the unanimous vote of the Board of Directors, on suggestion of the government of Gabon, and after the approval of the other member states as well as France.(2)
The Central Bank does not only have the privilege to create the currency. It also has the privilege to grant credit for the current accounts of the national treasuries at its discount rate. The Board of Directors is making the decisions about the temporalities and about the total amount that is granted for financing the economies of each of the member states.
Feeding France, Bleeding Africa – Current Accounts and the System of Usurpation.
While the primary instrument of control is the installment of French commissars, the primary instrument for usurping the western African economies is their current accounts. The member states agree to deposit their foreign currency reserves in a shared reserve fond.
The foreign currency reserves are subject to deposition in an operations account at the French National Bank. Between 1945 and 1973 one hundred per cent of the foreign currency reserves had to be deposited in the operations account, in 1973 it was reduced to sixty-five, and on 27. September 2005 to fifty percent. (3) Another fifteen percent is kept in a guaranty fund.
In other words sixty-five per cent of all foreign currency reserves of the fifteen nations and all revenue generated outside of the unions territory is kept at the French National Bank. On 3 Mai 2010 the website of Jeune Afrique quotes the former French Minister of Finance and Commerce, Christine Lagarde: “The Bank of the States of Central Africa, for instance, places an almost 90 per cent of their reserves in the French National Bank”. (4)
In 1960 Jean Boissonat, a member of the currency committee of the French National Bank wrote: “Almost all decisions were made in France .. The Franc Zone allowed France to deliver certain natural resources to itself without having to spend any foreign reserves. It was estimated that this represented two hundred and fifty million US-Dollar savings in terms of foreign reserves per year …” Boissonat continues by stating that approximately half a million Frenchmen in Paris receive their means of survival from the Franc Zone.(5)
The French socialist Jean-Noël Jeanny wrote in 1963 that: “all that the African nations achieve by increasing their export is the generation of more foreign currency reserves for France”.(6) He could as well have added “and the creation of debt for themselves”. Beside profiting on African foreign currency reserves which are returned to the West African nations in the form of debt, France is also profiting from African gold.
The gold reserves of the fifteen nations are kept in France, supposedly to guaranty for the value of the CFR Franc. In 2001 the West-African gold reserves at the French National Bank had an estimated value of 206,528 billion CFR Franc. In an interview for Le Liberation in 1996 the late President of Gabon, Omar Bongo said: “We are in the Franc Zone. Our operations accounts are managed by the French National Bank in Paris. Who profits from the interests that our money generates ? France.” (7)
France is indebting and enslaving Africans by means of Africa’s own wealth; for example: 12.0000 billion invested at three per cent creates 360 billion in interests which France grants as credits to Africa at an interest rate of five to six per cent or more. The allegory of “Bleeding Africa and Feeding France” is no exaggeration, not alarmist, and not revolutionary. It it is a sobering fact of French modo-colonialism and the cost in terms of under-development and human suffering is staggering. The current accounts and the French usurpation are a humanitarian disaster that is induced by France and financed by those who are suffering from it.
Coups, Crisis and French Finance-Nazism in Africa.
In 1996 France devalued the CFR Franc in spite of the protest of most western African nations. Former French Prime Minister Eduard Balladour justified the French dictated devaluation of the CFR Franc because “ it was considered to be the best possibility for aiding the development of the western African countries” (8), even though another statement by Balladoure indicates that he was aware of that the regulation of a currency is a matter of national sovereignty(9).
The late President of Togo, Etienne Gnassingbé said about the devaluation: “One uses to say that violence overrules justice. I was not the only one who issued the warning….. But France has decided otherwise. The African voices don´t count for much in this affair”.(10)
The words of the late Etienne Gnassingbé indicate that the Bleeding of Africa can be taken literally. According to the statutes of the monetary and economic union every member state is free to leave it. So much to theory. In practice, France has left a trail of post-modern coup d´etats, violence, and murder in those nations who tried to get out from under what many West-Africans perceive as French Finance-Nazism in Africa.
In January 1963 the President of Togo, the late Sylvanus Olympio was murdered three days before the issuing of a new currency.
On 19. November 1968 the late President of Mali Modibo Kéita was ousted in a coup and arrested. In 1977 Modibo Kéita died in prison. Kéita was poisoned.
On 27. January 1996 the President of Mali was ousted in a military coup d´etat.
On 15. March 2003 the late President of the Central African Republic Angè Félix Patassé was ousted by the “rebel leader” Francois Bozizé. In all cases the monetary union and France have played a role.
Ivory Coast´s President Laurent Gbagbo, France, the ICC and Modo-Colonialism.
When Laurent Gbagbo became the President of Ivory Coast one of his first official initiatives was the erection of a concrete wall in the tunnel that connects the French Embassy with the Presidential Residence. Gbagbo wanted Ivory Coast to abandon the CFA and institute a new regional and if possible a Pan-African, gold-backed currency. The initiative toward the establishment of a gold-backed Pan-African currency enjoyed the sympathy of many African nations and enjoyed unequivocal support from Libya, which until the so-called Arab Spring in 2011 was the richest and most developed of all African nations.
As if it was a conditioned reflex, France seemed transfixed by is fear of falling into the abyss, of losing the CFR racket that has kept the French economy afloat since it was conceived by de Gaulle in 1945. Rather than seeing a potential, France was biding its time until an opportunity for a post-modern coup d´etat. The 2010 Presidential elections in Ivory Coast. France sided with Alessanne Outtara. Libyan intelligence reports from 2009 and 2010 indicated that the French Intelligence Service D.G.S.E. had begun infiltrating, financing and arming a group of “rebels” in the northern region of Ivory Coast.
The outcome of the Presidential election was apparently very close. The electoral commission declared Alessanne Outtara the winner but the election result was disputed by Laurent Gbagbo.
There had been registered serious irregularities. In one particular village with a population of approximately ten thousand, Alessanne Outtara seemed to have received almost one hundred thousand votes.
Western mainstream media began building a narrative: The electoral commission had declared Outtara to be the winner. The despotic Laurent Gbagbo refused to hand over the reins of power to the winner of the elections. Gbagbo is cracking down on peaceful protesters. Gbagbo is cornered in his bunker…
What western media generally failed to report, underreported, or conveyed in a distorted and strongly biased fashion was that: Laurent Gabgbo and his party had brought the case to the Supreme Court; that the Supreme Court of Ivory Coast had recounted the votes; that the Supreme Court had taken notice of election fraud in favor of Outtara; and that the Supreme Court of Ivory Coast had declared Laurent Gbagbo to be the winner of the elections and the rightfully elected President of Ivory Coast. That French backed guerrilla began attacking predominantly pro-Gbagbo villages, committing massacres, and that French backed “rebels” were attacking the Presidential Residence.
What was emphatically reported in French and western media like the BBC was that “security forces” clamped down on peaceful protesters, and that “Ouattara´s Army” is cornering “Gbagbo in his bunker”.(11)
Nobody seemed to ask the important question. Where in the world had Outtara, who just claimed to have won the elections gotten an “army” from ?
It is symptomatic for the high prevalence of racism and condescending modo-colonialist reasoning among European populations that only very few commentators and analysts said:
“But the electoral commission is not the one who has the competence to approve of election results, it is the Supreme Court”.
A comparison can illustrate the point: When George W. Bush and Al Gore had the closest of all elections that have been held in the United States of America; who certified the election ? The Supreme Court, of course. (12)
Many Americans felt utterly disenfranchised but the population respected the Supreme Court. Could anyone have even thought about the remote possibility of “Al Gore´s Army cornering Bush in his Bunker” of “Gore neglecting the Supreme Court because the electoral commission had pronounced him to be the winner ?” And where in the world would Al Gore have gotten his army from Anyways ? And where did Alessanne Outtara get his army from ?
The capture of Laurent Gbagbo cost the lives of approximately 1.600 young Ivorian soldiers. Young patriots who were willing to defend the President of Ivory Coast from the onslaught of a French-backed post-modern coup d´etat. The capture an arrest of President Laurent Gbagbo was possible only after French special forces violated international law by blasting a hole into the wall which Laurent Gbagbo had erected inside the tunnel that connects the French embassy with the Presidential residence.
The sealed boxes with the ballots from the 2010 elections are kept at the United Nations. So far U.N. Secretary General Ban Kyi-moon has failed to order an independent re-count of the ballots. The fact that the United Nations has so far failed to re-count the ballots to determine the legitimacy of either Laurent Gbagbo´s or Alessanne Outtara´s claim for the Ivorian Presidency, combined with the selective and one-sided prosecution of Laurent Gbagbo at the ICC and of military officers who were loyal to him in 2010 is symptomatic for grave systemic and procedural problems at the United Nations and the International Criminal Court at The Haag. The case against Laurent Gbagbo ought to have been dismissed on the basis of selective prosecution from the very start. His prosecution at the ICC after French involvement in the aggravation of post-election violence in Ivory Coast and the arrest with the aid of French special forces is a blatant example for the abuse of the ICC as an instrument of modo-colonialist control. The most recent selectively prosecuted case is that against General Dogbo Ble in Ivory Coast. Also here western media are de-facto sentencing a political opponent of modo-colonialism before he is even heard in court.(13)
A recent analysis of the systemic and political problems with the ICC, the United Nations, the Rome Statute and the explosion of international law at its very root by Dr. Hans Köchler (14) reads as if it was written to elicit the injustice that is being perpetrated against Laurent Gbagbo and the people of Ivory Coast.
Missed Chances for African and European Economies and the Urgency of Change.
A growing number of African and European leaders are becoming impatient about the paralysis of France. African leaders are impatient because the obvious usurpation of their nations is unbearable for the African economies and their populations. European leaders are mostly impatient because France prevents a European adaptation to the last decades geopolitical changes in Africa and because the crisis of the Euro requires initiative rather than stagnation. Failure to integrate the western African economies into the economic sphere of Europe is bound to have devastating long term consequences for both Africa and Europe.
China has recognized the colossal market potential of a developing African middle class. The French and Trans-Atlantic model of usurpation and subjugation is not only criminal and unethical, it is also uncompetitive.
Recent statements made by the French political heavyweight Jacques Chiraq, who said that France does not have to be a benefactor, it must merely stop usurping Africa, are indicating a potential for change. Chiraq stated that failure to change French-African relations can have catastrophic consequences. 2012 Presidential candidate Jean Luc Mélenon stated that the CFA represents the severe mistake not to tie the western African economies to the economies of the European Union. Mélenon demanded that France abandons its veto right at the Boards of the African Central Banks.
The European Council stated that France is blocking for any project of the European Central Bank that attempts to change the nature or the bearing of the French involvement in the western African Central Banks. The French approach to managing French-African relations is not only bleeding Africa. It is increasingly bleeding both the French and European economies who are missing out on the market potential of an emerging African middle class.
Some political analysts have suggested the establishment of an African-European Peace and Reconciliation Commission that is dealing with the crimes of the past, the building of trust, the review of highly politicized cases at the International Criminal Court, such as the prosecution of Ivoryan President Laurent Gbagbo to ease a transition toward new African-European relations.
The question for this and the coming year is whether France will continue standing at the edge of the cliff and fall while dragging both western Africa and Europe into the abyss together with it, or if it dares to listen to the voices of reason from Africa and its European partners, turn its gaze away from the abyss and see that there is fertile land, right behind it.
“We want to express our recognition and gratitude to Prof. Nicolas Agbohou. The historical context of the article and references about it are inspired by his speech at the Conference on African-French Relations in Paris City Hall, on 09 October 2012. – NSNBC International.”
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Turkey’s Constitutional Court Removes Minimun Legal Age Clause: More Child Brides Coming
Turkey’s Constitutional Court annulled legislation that prohibits all sexual acts with minors under the age of 15 as sexual abuse. The Court’s ruling caused outrage among rights activists and academics. A study conducted by researchers at Gaziantep University revealed that one in every three marriages in Turkey is child marriage.
The Constitutional Court ruled on the issue after a district court complained that the current law does not discriminate between age groups in cases of child sex abuse. In practice, the law makes no difference regardless whether an adult has sex with a 14-year old or a 4-year old.
The district court noted that the law does not provide legal consequences for the “consent” of victims in cases where the child victim is from 12 to 15 years of age and able to understand the meaning of the sexual act.
The District Court added that: “This creates an imbalance between legal benefits and sanctions that should be preserved in crime and punishment”. In a 7 – 6 decision the judges at the Constitutional Court agreed with the District Court and annulled the provision. The new (old) rules will come into effect on January 13, 2017.
The ruling prompted protests from women’s rights activist, child rights activists as well as from prominent academics who stress that all persons under the age of 18, under international conventions to which Turkey is a party, are children.
Nazan Moroğlu, the coordinator od the Istanbul Women’s Association and lawyer criticized the Constitutional Court for even considering the District Court’s application in the first place. Moroğlu stressed that the ruling will lead to children being vulnerable to sexual abuse and rape and will lead to more female children getting married at an early age without getting an education.
She added that the problem with child brides is already acute in Turkey, noting that there are some 3.5 million of them already and that the ruling guaranteed that their numbers will increase.
Sabit Aktas, the head of the Child Rights Center of the Ankara Bar Association, warned that many children will be affected and suffer due to the Constitutional Court’s decision. Aktas said:
“We can foresee what this decision will bring about. Those jurists who are distant from society in their ivory towers should go to courtrooms to see and hear what those children go through when describing their experiences. They should only make a ruling on this issue after doing that”.
In 2013 the Turkish AKP government under the then Prime Minister R. Tayyip Erdogan adopted the so-called 4+4+4 educational system for Turkey. A large number of Turkish experts in social sciences and education stressed that this new educational law especially encourages young Turkish girls to leave school at a very early age rather than seeking education.
Statistics from 2013 showed that 853 women were murdered in the last four years; 15% of them were killed because they wanted to divorce, 66% were killed by their ex-husbands or boyfriends. 12.5% were killed by their husbands, even though they filed a complaint and were provided with protection by the state. Violence against women in Turkey is more prevalent in the countryside where girls more often are taken out of school at an earlier age and where child marriages are more common.
In October 2013 a study conducted by researchers a Gaziantep University revealed that one in every three marriages in Turkey is a child marriage. The marriage of Turkish child brides to older men has repeatedly led to fatal tragedies. Among the most known cases in 2014 alone, is the death of two so-called child brides.
In January 2014 one 14-year-old teenage girl died from “several” allegedly self-inflicted gunshot wounds in what was declared a suicide. Police investigations suggested that the girl may have been as young as ten or eleven years when she was married away to a significantly older man. In July 2014 the 15-year-old Seter Aslan succumbed to a gunshot wound in what was declared a suicide.
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