Home' Greymouth Star : December 3rd 2013 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Tuesday, December 3, 2013
We appreciate the value of the Letters to the Editor
column as a public forum for West Coasters and
welcome your opinion and suggestions.
Letters may be submitted by post, fax or e-mail and
must include your name, address, phone number
and - except for e-mails - your signature. Noms de
plume are not accepted.
Please keep your letters honest, respectful and
within 300 words. Letter writers will generally not
be published more often than weekly. The Editor
reserves the right to edit or not publish letters,
especially those that are o ensive or too long.
Post to PO Box 3, Greymouth, fax to 768 6205 or
email to firstname.lastname@example.org
uLetters to the editor
1621 - Galileo perfects the telescope.
1694 - Triennial Bill becomes law in
England, providing for new Parliament to be
elected every third year.
1775 - Lieutenant John Paul Jones hoists
the rst seagoing American ag on the newly
commissioned continental Naval ship, the
1808 - Madrid surrenders to Napoleon
Bonaparte's French forces.
1810 - British capture Mauritius from French.
1828 - Andrew Jackson is elected the seventh
president of the United States.
1912 - Turkey, Bulgaria, Serbia and
Montenegro sign an armistice.
1944 - US forces cross Saar River in
Germany in World War Two.
1948 - e House of Un-American Activities
Committee announces former Communist spy
Whittaker Chambers produced a micro lm of
secret documents hidden inside a pumpkin on
his Maryland farm.
1952 - UN General Assembly adopts India's
proposal for Korean armistice.
1958 - Dutch businesses are nationalised in
1961 - United States deploys platoon
of troops along border between East
and West Berlin as East Germany
begins strengthening Berlin Wall.
1962 - London is blanketed by one
of the worst fogs in years and scores of
people die of sulfur dioxide poisoning
before fog lifts four days later.
1967 - Surgeons in Cape Town,
South Africa, led by Dr Christiaan Barnard,
perform the rst human heart transplant. Louis
Washkansky lives 18 days with the new heart.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Aaron Ludvig Holberg, Danish philosopher-
poet (1684-1754); Joseph Conrad,
Polish-British writer (1857-1924);
Anna Freud, Austrian psychoanalyst
(1895-1982); Andy Williams, US
Singer (1927-2012); Jean-Luc
Godard, French lm director (1930-);
Ozzy Osbourne, British rock singer
(1948-); Daryl Hannah, US actress
(1960-); Julianne Moore, US actress
(1960-); Amanda Seyfried, US actress (1985-).
" ere is many a good man to be found under
a shabby hat." --- Chinese proverb
"So they went with haste and found Mary
and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger."
--- Luke 2.16
A link of 17 years
with the Greymouth
rm of Baillie,
Neville and Co Ltd
has been severed by Mr S E Browne, who has
resigned as a director to take up a position
in Christchurch. He leaves for the city on
A presentation of a pair of aerial views of
Westland was made to Mr Browne by the
company's managing director Mr F W Baillie.
e rm's sta made a presentation of a co ee
set and a wall mirror to him.
At a function at the National Party's rooms
in Greymouth on Saturday night, Mr and
Mrs Browne were presented with a set of
crystal bowls by the chairman of the West
Coast branch of the party, Mr A Dalziel. He
eulogised the work Mr and Mrs Browne had
done for the party over a long period of years.
A false report on a re marred the
introduction of Greymouth's new 111
telephone emergency ser vice which came into
use here on Friday evening. First call on it
resulted in the re alarm being sounded for
an outbreak reported as having occurred at
the home of Mr W R Newton, 65 Alexander
Street, at 3.30pm on Saturday.
e Greymouth Fire Brigade's unit was
quickly on the scene but brigadesmen found
the house empty and no signs of re or smoke.
It was another malicious re alarm, the fth in
the district in the past few days.
When a bullet exploded in a re, a Runanga
deerstalker was hit in the jaw by the metal
casing, in the Haupiri district on Friday night.
Injured was James Perrin.
After attention by Dr Violet Coates, he was
admitted to the Greymouth Hospital where
the metal was removed.
uToday s birthdays
uFood for thought
Printed and published by the
Greymouth Evening Star Co Limited
3 Werita Street, PO Box 3, Greymouth
03 769 7900 (o ce)
769 7913 (editorial)
768 6205 (fax)
Sports Editor Tui Bromley
Chief Reporter Laura Mills
03 769 7913
03 755 8422
Aformer Catholic altar
boy who became one of
Africa's most brutal rebel
Resistance Army (LRA)
chief Joseph Kony has
sowed terror across four nations for almost
Combining religious mysticism with
an astute guerilla mind and bloodthirsty
ruthlessness, Kony has turned scores of
young girls into his personal sex-slaves
while claiming to be ghting to impose
the Bible's Ten Commandments.
While battling the Ugandan
government, he and a dwindling band of
expert guerilla ghters have earned a grim
reputation for the abduction of children
and mutilation of civilians.
Currently believed to be hiding out in
a remote jungle area of Central African
Republic (CAR), in recent years Kony
has seen his forces dwindle to a few
hundred as regional armies --- backed by
United States special forces --- have come
together to hunt him down.
Last week, it emerged Kony had tried
to negotiate food and safe passage from
CAR's leader, amid indications he is
Forces of the self-proclaimed prophet,
accused of overseeing the abduction
of tens of thousands of children, roam
border regions between the Democratic
Republic of Congo, CAR, South Sudan
In 2005 he --- along with four of his
deputies --- were the rst people indicted
by the International Criminal Court
(ICC) in e Hague for war crimes and
crimes against humanity.
Two of the deputies were later killed.
A member of the Acholi ethnic group,
Kony was born in April 1963 in northern
Uganda, according to US advocacy group
After a basic primary school education,
he took up arms about 1987, following in
the footsteps of another messianic rebel,
Alice Auma Lakwena, a former prostitute
who is believed to have been either his
cousin or aunt.
Lakwena, who died in exile in Kenya
in early 2007, believed she could channel
the spirits of the dead, and also told her
followers that holy oil she gave them could
Kony claims the Holy Spirit issues
orders to him on everything from military
tactics to personal hygiene, terrifying his
subordinates into obedience.
Lakwena --- and then Kony's ---
rebellion claimed to be defending the
Acholi people against President Yoweri
Museveni, who seized power from
northern military rulers at the head of a
rebel army in 1986.
Despite widespread northern
resentment against Museveni, Kony's
policy of abductions soon lost him the
support of local groups, who su ered in
the government's brutal war against the
At the height of the con ict, the
government had forced some two million
people into camps.
Kony, 50, who speaks broken English
and Acholi, has only rarely met outsiders
but in an interview with a western
journalist in 2006 he declared that he was
"not a terrorist" and had not committed
"We want the people of Uganda to be
free. We are ghting for democracy," he
Despite that, ex-LRA abductees say
they were forced to maim and kill friends,
neighbours and relatives, sometimes by
biting them to death, and participate in
gruesome rites such as drinking their
In the mid-1990s, the LRA con ict
spilled into neighbouring countries after
the Sudanese government in Khartoum
began backing the group in retaliation for
Uganda's support of southern Sudanese
rebels battling for independence.
When Sudan signed a peace deal with
the southern rebels in 2005 support for
the LRA dried up and, after being forced
into neighbouring Democratic Republic
of the Congo by the Ugandan army, Kony
agreed to peace talks.
But negotiations dragged on and, amid
mutual distrust and anxiety over the ICC
warrant, Kony repeatedly failed to turn up
to sign a deal.
In December 2008, the Ugandan army
--- backed up by other regional armies
and US nancial support --- launched air
strikes against the LRA's bases in Garamba
national park in north-east Congo.
e attack failed to capture or kill
Kony and his top commanders and
the LRA splintered into small groups,
butchering and abducting its way across
a vast area.
In late 2011, following pressure from US
campaigners, President Barack Obama
deployed around 100 US special forces
troops to the area to help regional armies
track down Kony.
Kony surged to unexpected worldwide
prominence in March 2012 on the back of
a hugely popular internet video that called
for his capture.
Made by US-based advocacy group
Invisible Children, the Kony2012 lm
became one of the most fastest-spreading
internet videos in history after more than
100 million users across the globe clicked
on to watch it in just a few days.
Despite the increased pressure, after
more than 25 years in the bush Kony
remains a master of evasion, ditching
satellite telephones in favour of runners to
communicate and living o wild roots and
animals. --- AFP
Altar boy to rebel
Lord's Resistance Army leader Joseph Kony.
e Scottish government has unveiled
its long-awaited vision for independence,
promising Scots they could forge their
own prosperity but keep the pound and
the Queen if they vote next year to end a
306-year-old union with England.
With separatists lagging in opinion
polls, First Minister Alex Salmond said an
independent Scotland would take charge
of its own nances, raising taxes and
spending revenues from North Sea oil and
gas reserves as it sees t.
Launching a 670-page blueprint for
independence last week, he said the
country would also run its own defence
force, expelling nuclear submarines from
Scotland, while a new publicly-funded
broadcaster would form a joint venture on
content with the BBC.
But it would also seek to preserve
major bonds with the United Kingdom,
including the British pound and the
monarchy, and remain a member of the
European Union and Nato.
"We know we have the people, the skills
and resources to make Scotland a more
successful country," Salmond told a news
conference at the Glasgow Science Centre
on the bank of the River Clyde, once
home to a booming shipbuilding industry.
"Scotland's future in now in Scotland's
e "landmark paper" was released
10 months before the single vote on
independence for Scotland's ve million
people, and after a weekend opinion poll
suggested the gap in support between the
'Yes' and 'No' camps is narrowing.
e poll for the Sunday Times
newspaper showed 38% of Scots backed
quitting the UK, with 47% opposing it
and 15% undecided. With so many Scots
yet to make up their minds, pro-union
leaders have warned against complacency.
e weighty prospectus immediately
came under re for being big on political
promises but short on detail, with
important elements needing approval
from outside Scotland and no alternatives
given for if Scotland did not get its own
Salmond, feisty leader of the Scottish
National Party, which dominates the
devolved Scottish parliament, has put
economic gains at the heart of his case for
independence --- to start on March 24,
2016, the anniversary of the 1707 Act of
He promised to cut corporation tax
by up to 3 percentage points to boost
investment and industry and help create
Salmond brushed o a report released
by the UK Treasury overnight that
said independence would cost Scottish
taxpayers an extra £1000 a year by the
end of this decade, saying there would
be no need to raise taxes to fund current
He also played down risks that the rest of
the UK would refuse to let Scotland share
the pound, with the currency becoming
a major issue as the independence debate
Politicians from both sides had agreed
that if Scotland seceded, any joint assets
and liabilities would be handled in the
interests of Scotland and the rest of the
UK, Salmond said --- including the Bank
of England and the pound.
"A sterling area is not just in the best
interests of Scotland but in the best
interests of the rest of the UK," he
added, emphasising their strong trading
" ere would be a massive hole in
the sterling balance of payments . . .
if Scottish oil and gas is not part of
But the British government, which
has toughened up its language in recent
weeks, said the SNP's plan to keep the
pound and retain the services of the
Bank of England as part of a "currency
union" with the rest of the UK would not
"As the government has consistently said,
in the event of independence, a currency
union is highly unlikely," said a spokesman
for Prime Minister David Cameron after
Britain's three main UK-wide political
parties have argued against independence,
saying Scotland would be worse o
economically on its own and unable to
defend itself or project power on the
global stage as well as it can as part of the
Pro-union campaigners were quick to
point out the nal decision on whether
Scotland keeps the pound was just one of
many plans in the report that were not in
But Salmond dismissed suggestions that
an independent Scotland would struggle
to join Nato if it removed the UK's
Trident nuclear deterrent from Scotland
as planned by 2021, or would be refused
membership of the EU.
He said stopping spending "billions of
dollars on weapons of mass destruction"
would free up funds for other spending,
pledging to extend free childcare to pre-
school children and cut an unpopular
"bedroom tax" on those deemed to have
Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland's deputy
rst minister, described the document as
"the most comprehensive and detailed
blueprint ever drawn up for a prospective
Scotland's bid for independence is
being watched closely internationally,
particularly in Catalonia where 80% of
people favour a vote for independence
But the UK's Scotland secretary Alistair
Carmichael described the paper as "a wish
with no price list".
" e big day has nally arrived and we
have 670 pages that leaves us none the
wiser on crucial questions such as currency,
pensions and the cost of independence,"
Carmichael said. --- Reuters
Scotland's vision for independence
United States Vice-President Joe Biden
will try to strike a delicate balance of
calming military tensions with China
while supporting ally Japan against Beijing
on a trip to Asia this week that is being
overshadowed by a territorial dispute in
the East China Sea.
Aiming to counter criticism that the US
is neglecting Asia because it is distracted
by domestic politics and the Middle East,
the White House has long been planning
a visit by Biden to Japan, China and South
ose countries are at the heart of a
quarrel over two tiny islands claimed by
both Tokyo and Beijing that descended
into military brinkmanship after China
in late November declared an "air defence
identi cation zone" that includes the
In Tokyo tonight, Biden will probably
assure Japan that a military alliance with
the United States dating back to the 1950s
remains valid as the government of Prime
Minister Shinzo Abe wrangles with China
over the islands.
Yet he will also try to calm tensions
between the US and China over the same
territorial dispute when he goes to Beijing
later in the week.
"It's especially important that we
continue to amplify our messages that we
are and always will be there for our allies,
and that there is a way for two major
powers in the US and China to build a
di erent kind of relationship for the 21st
century," a senior Obama administration
o cial said.
Although Washington takes no
position on the sovereignty of the
uninhabited islands, it recognises Tokyo's
administrative control and says the US-
Japan security pact applies to them, in a
stance that counters China's attempts to
challenge US military dominance in the
"I think (Biden) will probably publicly
restate the commitment the US has under
the mutual defence treaty and that the
islands are covered under article ve of
the treaty and that we recognise Japan's
administrative control and oppose any
e orts to undermine that," Bonnie Glaser,
an Asia expert at the Centre for Strategic
and International Studies think tank, said.
"It's essential that he says that publicly."
US, Japanese and South Korean military
aircraft all breached the aerial defence zone
last week without informing Beijing and
China later scrambled ghters into the area.
e military posturing has raised fears
of a clash between the US and its allies
and China as it becomes more assertive in
the East China Sea and South China Sea
under President Xi Jinping.
Two US B-52 bombers ew through
the zone last week without an immediate
response from China, leading some
military analysts to conclude that Beijing
But, acting on US government
advice, three US airlines are notifying
Chinese authorities of ight plans when
traveling through the zone, even though
Washington says this does not mean US
acceptance of the zone.
Biden is expected to suggest ways out
when he meets Xi in Beijing tomorrow.
"What the Americans can hope to
do is to try to tell the Chinese that this
ratcheting up is not very clever and is
counter-productive and that there is a way
out, which is for the Chinese simply to . . .
not enforce it," Jonathan Eyal, director of
international security studies at the Royal
United Services Institute in London, said.
Biden often relies on his a ability and
talent for personal relations when he
meets foreign leaders and he feels he has
a bond with Xi, who he has known since
before the Chinese president took o ce.
"He has a way of saying to somebody, 'I
understand the predicament you're in, and
far be it from me to tell you what to do,
but I'm going to o er some advice'," Julie
Smith, who was Biden's deputy national
security adviser until June, said.
"Because he's got this personal
relationship with Xi, they take him very
seriously," Smith said. " ey view him as
an honest broker."
All the same, Biden's well-known
frankness can go too far and he upset
Chinese students at a speech at the
University of Pennsylvania in May when
he told them China's communist system
does not allow them to "think di erent."
An immediate resolution to the air
defence zone dispute is unlikely, Jia
Qingguo, professor and associate dean
of the School of International Studies at
Peking University, said.
"China will probably say to Biden that
this is a standard practice for more than 20
countries. Why the fuss?"
"It is helpful for the two sides to gauge
each other's intentions and clarify issues
and develop some kind of understanding
as to what to expect. But this issue will
probably linger on. It is good for Biden to
come at this time so that this issue gets
discussed at a high level. Other issues need
attention too," Jia said.
Despite the military stand-o , US
o cials see increased co-operation on a
range of issues from climate change to
North Korea's nuclear weapons ambitions
a year after Xi took over the helm of the
It is not clear whether Biden will ask for
Chinese help in pressuring North Korea to
release US war veteran Merrill Newman,
85, who it arrested last month.
e Biden visit goes some way to
addressing concerns among US allies in
Asia that Washington is neglecting the
region because of budget ghts at home,
Iran nuclear talks and the Syrian civil war.
Obama cancelled a trip to South-east
Asia in October because of the partial
US government shutdown, and a much
vaunted "pivot to Asia," a strategic
rebalancing of US priorities toward the
Paci c, has yet to show many results.
Obama's national security adviser,
Susan Rice, announced in November that
Obama would travel to Asia in April to
make up for the cancelled visit.
" e fact that (Biden's) visit encompasses
both America's allies and America's chief
rival in the region is intended to show the
US is the only power able to maintain the
balance in the region, which is absolutely
what the pivot was all about," Eyal said.
"A prevalent mood in Asia that the
administration hasn't got the stomach for
military action and is disinterested in Asia"
may have propelled China to announcing
its defence zone, he said. --- Reuters
Biden on delicate Asian mission
Links Archive November 30th 2013 December 4th 2013 Navigation Previous Page Next Page