Monday, February 28, 2011

The End of the World.. Be Prepared!!!

The end of the world is near. Be prepared!!!

It is not the end of the world as many expect. It is an end, an end which would be an end because it will be the end of the current world order. It will be a new beginning for mankind.

The old, archaic rulers are tottering everywhere across Arabia. Tomorrow, it will be the turn of another despot somewhere else. No one can guess. Whatever happens, it will be for the good.

People are beginning to understand that they have been deceived by various agents. People are today seeking the truth. The end of the world would signify the beginning of the new world, the world of 'seekers of the truth'.

Just over 2500 years ago, at such a time, a seeker of the truth was born. His teachings transformed the world. I am not saying another teacher would emerge. But truth will...

So be prepared!!!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

A new Look at Iran

Today, we had the opportunity of listening to a guest lecture, followed by a questions session by Mr. Ali Akbar Baba, Second Counsellor of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran at Colombo. There questions were raised pertaining to Iran-Sri Lanka friendship and the "Arabian domino effect". He stated that the IR of Iran was not taking any sides in the uprisings of Arabia.

As to the reasons why Iran was comparatively stable, he pointed out a few facts, including one important fact rarely seen in Western dominated media. Unlike Mubarak, Gaddafi, the various kings and emirs and sultans, the president and leaders of Iran are living very simple lives. There are relatively less cases of corruption, embezzlement etc. The concept of the Iranians is that the rulers should be in a level compared to the lowest class.... If one visits the presidential residence in Tehran, he would wonder whether a president lives in that place....

A significant difference between Arab leaders and Iranian leaders indeed.

Tribes Against Gaddafi and Saleh

Many tribes of Libya are reportedly against Gaddafi now. Things look darker and darker for him as time progresses. And then.... the same is happening to Ali Abdulla Saleh in Yemen.

Tribal leaders including that of Hashid and Baquil tribes have turned against Saleh, bringing the whole situation dark for the veteran Yemeni president. The challenge is huge and it seems that his days are also numbered, like that of Gaddafi's.

The Arabian domino effect is continuing.......

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Dutch Cricketers Slap the ICC

Yes, the underdog associate cricketers from mainland Europe have slapped the ICC (International Cricket Council) right in the face. One wonders if more slaps are to follow.

Even though I am not a huge fan of cricket, I follow the game, especially during a world cup. The main reason is that I tend to support the associate members against the so-called giants. These two classes meet at the world cups every four years.

From its inception in 1975, cricket world cup has had non-test cricket playing teams in it. Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh all reaped heaps of benefits in these encounters during their associate days. The Lankans humiliated the Indians in 1979 and the Zimbabweans recorded a shocking win against Australia, their first and only win against that country to date. In 1996, and again in 2003, Kenya made a lasting impression, reaching the Semi-Final in the latter tournament.

This prompted the ICC to give more representation to the associate members in the world cup. Despite some successes, many teams have not performed up to the expectations of the ICC. Hence, they were considering to reduce the number of participants to 10 from 2015. This would have deprived any associate member to play for the world cup, and from a personal point of view, would have killed much of my enthusiasm in the event.

Well, its not a surprise that the teams have not performed. Teams like Bermuda cannot be expected to be giant killers. It is true that 16 teams is too much for a world cup. But why not 14? Or at least 12, like in 1996? Why can't another team do what Sri Lanka did in 1996, where they won the cup in the 6th world cup after starting in 1975 and 1979 as an associate? Why can't an associate do what the Kenyans did in 2003?

Well, arguments and speculations don't count without performances. Supporters of associate teams need support from the teams themselves. That is what the Dutch team has done a few days ago against the people who introduced cricket to the world. Only their inexperience saved the English team from disaster.

Once the English team actually faced the disaster of losing to a minor team in T20 world cup when the Dutch themselves won a thrilling victory. This time, they were able to put on a very competitive total of 292, which came as a surprise to some. It showed the capabilities of the Dutch batting.

This is a reminder to the ICC that associate members are not to be underestimated. If the ICC seeks to spread the popularity of cricket, what they should do is to expose the junior sides to more cricket at a higher level, rather than exposing the whole bunch of them to the power of the giants and then start complaining.

Gaddafi's Days are Numbered!!!

Yes, what ever may be said, Libya's Gaddafi doesn't have a long time to remain as the leader of the country. Effectively, he is not the leader anymore. Its pathetic that he still doesn't seem to fathom the reality.

The protests is Arabia were seen as an anti-Western rising by some, simply because except Libya, all the countries where mass protests were held were pro-Western. Well, it must be the case, isn't it? Almost all Arabian regimes were pro-Western except a few. Libya used to be anti-Western, but it can not be said that it was the case for the last 10 years. May be they were not on good terms with the USA. But who, one may ask, were in good terms with the USA during the younger Bush's presidency?

Whatever may be said, Gaddafi opened many channels towards Europe in the latter part of his reign. However, his unstable nature and the earlier reputation helped him to appear as anti-Western. Gaddafi was not anti-Western in the true sense in the last few years. He was and is a unique political animal. It can only be said that Gaddafi was 'pro-Gaddafi'.

This does not mean that the West may not have had a hand in the Libyan uprising. They may have had a hand one way or the other. But, the 'people power' in Arabia as a whole is not directed by the West.

Its dangerous to be 'pro-Gaddafi' when the people in the streets and many governmental officers appear to be 'anti-Gaddafi' for whatever reason.

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Met Department

The Sri Lankan Meteorological Department is a miserable institution when it comes to predicting weather. I don't know if the main job of it is something else. May be the people who are working their think so.

Once again, they predicted that the next three days will be clear. Well, yes, it is clear at daytime. But at night its raining. (May be that is what they meant by saying the days are clear). However, nowadays, people are not worried about rain anywhere else but at Colombo, Pallekale and Hambanthota. However, clear skies should be there at night too.. Because all cricket world cup games are to be held as day/night games.

A New Dawn

Arabia is on the verge of a new dawn, a new phenomena which is not totally without the price to pay. The price to pay is in human lives. Nevertheless, it is the people's aspirations that are seen on the streets throughout Arabia.

No one would have thought in late December, when protests started against Ben Ali of Tunisia, that the uprisings would spread in this manner. Yet, that is what happened. After the fall of Hosni Mubarak and the happenings in Libya, no one seems to be safe. Bahrain, Yemen, Algeria and even Morocco.

This is a domino effect, the effect the world saw in 1989 when all of a sudden the whole Red Empire of Eastern Europe collapsed. Now, it is time for 'Arabian Domino Effect'.

The Arabian nights throughout the region are hot with excitement as people in cities everywhere are marching against the despots. Initially, they were the darlings of the West who fell, and now even others are looking apprehensive. (In a way, all Arabian rulers, with the possible exception of Al-Assad and Al-Bashir are darlings of the West). Yes, the name of Gaddafi was ommitted, purposefully. He has come a long way from his revolutionary era. He may have problems with the US, but not with the UK anymore. He is atleast a half-darling of the West and a darling of ex-UK PM Anthony Blair.

The Western media initially tried to name what happened in Tunisia in the now so fashionable 'colour revolution' theme. Those colour revolutions were all pro-Western, supported by the West. But what happened in Arabia has taken them all, media and others, pathetically unawares. They are still searching for appropriate colours to name the numerous Arabian risings.

The Arabian risings has just one colour. It is the colour of the arriving new dawn.