By Kumar David-
A hornet’s nest of connected issues is exploding. If Israel attacks Iran what will happen in the Middle East and to oil prices? If not what will happen to oil prices? The Rajapakse government is under attack on all sides and is crumbling; can we make any sensible predictions even six months ahead? I think this is the time to analyze, understand and act.
The US does not want Israel to attack Iran because the consequences in the Middle East cannot be foreseen. Israel is determined, whatever the risk, to end Iran’s nuclear programme and maintain its nuclear monopoly in the region. The US is bent on ending Iran’s nuclear ambitions by threats, sanctions, strangling the Iranian economy, even regime change, but forestalling an Israeli attack. Because of the absurd US-Israel relationship and ridiculous American public attitudes, all US presidents and houses of congress are terrified of losing elections if they seem to be anti-Israeli.
Iran will not stop its nuclear programme; it is developing a bomb, and irrespective what the Non- Proliferation Treaty says, it should not stop. At least one Islamic country in the Middle East must have a bomb since Israel has a lethal arsenal of 200; otherwise it is suicide. Iran should end its programme only if nuclear weapons are eliminated in the entire Middle East, including Israel. Sure it is better if that country is a democracy like Turkey or a future democratic Egypt, but that option is not within anyone’s control.
It is not possible to predict the big picture, but for Lanka the oil shock will worsen. Because US sanctions can close down our international banking system, we are begging for permission to buy Iranian oil. The Sapugaskanda refinery is tuned for Iranian crude and this is 90% of our supply. If the US gives exemption it will still insist on reduction of imports over time. World oil price may stay over 100 dollars a barrel or even increase.
Oil prices did not increase suddenly; the government suddenly withdrew the subsidy on kerosene and diesel. This and rupee devaluation are leading to steep increases of all prices. Public unrest is worsening and the popularity of the government plummeting. I told the Sinhalese people over and over again, that once the State had finished off the Tamils it will turn its guns on them; at the time they did not care, but now see what’s happening! Wimal Warnakulasuriya, brother-in-law of Anthony Fernando who was shot dead in Chilaw, wails: “They (STF and Police) treated us like LTTE cadres; they attacked us with the same mindset”. Do I need to say more?
It is clear that the Rajapakse regime has capitulated to the visiting US team lead by Otero and Blake. Some say an agreement may be arrived with the TNA, and some LLRC Recommendations implemented. Unbelievably, the army has changed its tune and said: “Some civilians may have been shot as they were captured or surrendered”. A military court of inquiry has been appointed.
This is all an unbelievable upside-down and inside-out somersault by the government. A comrade asked me: “Hey, will the government last six months?” I don’t know but it is time for action to strengthen mass protest movements, demilitarize the whole country, and devolve power to the provinces including the North and East.
Article is provided by Team Anik Pituwa
Tony / March 14, 2012
A factual analysis. Well done!!!
Mark / March 17, 2012
I feel compelled to write when I see such distorted nonsense made in the comments section. There are three reasons for the rise in oil prices. Increasing demand from the BRIC countries are out stripping supply. Oil reserves are over stated and peak oil may have been reached. Speculation in the futures market by the corrupt American Banks which are allowed to drive up prices to the tune of 30% artificially after rules preventing speculation in the futures market by banks were removed by the US government. Israel’s threat to bomb Iran is the third reason. This threat will be carried out whether you like it or not. Knowing all this we foolishly bought oil from Iran and even tried to get the refinery upgraded by them when we should have as a top priority upgraded the refinery without wasting money on useless and waste full projects while diversifying our oil imports. But we did nothing of the sort. Massive unpaid fuel bills to the CPC by two airlines and the CEB is the other reason we are at this point. Sri Lanka is not India and the USA is the largest economy and military power in the world. Face reality and stop this grand delusion that we can do as we please. Sri Lanka is a small insignificant mole where the USA is concerned that is the reality. Try this for might eleven Air craft carrier groups-USA. How many aircraft carriers does Russia and China have? One each!
Dharshana / March 17, 2012
Prof. Kumar analyse it with his Socialists ideology.But Dr Arujuna Sivananthan analyse it in Neo-Liberal way. read;
The Oil Price Shock
unanthanna / March 17, 2012
Very good analysis comrade Kumara. well done!
neena / March 17, 2012
Great article! I loved the insight and the advice given . Additionally, your writing style is very fun to read.
Harsha - Japan / March 17, 2012
each time i used to read smaller articles or reviews which as well clear their motive, and that is also happening with this article which I’am reading at this place.
david / March 17, 2012
Well said sir. Indian Jew
Ajith / March 17, 2012
Hello Dr, Kumar,
You have selected well drive to express your bullet point via crude Oil. I have a feels that your some pointing is turning and having some hidden agenda such mentioning by ” I told the Sinhalese people over and over again”, is giving multiple misunderstandings to community via unofficial dividends of Sri Lankan living as two parts as Tamil and Sinhalese. We are all Sri Lankan living under one shelter, territory. I don’t think it is better idea to use such double meaning words in this moment. I suppose your dirty mind have done well back push and hint for Human rights team saying “the green lights is still on go ahead with Human right complain against to Sri Lanka”. The Sri Lanka government was fighting only against terrorism, not with Tamil people. FYI
deshapriya / March 17, 2012
Professor, Now you have to sit and wait peacefully at home and not comment on world affairs. Iran
having a nuke is equal to a monkey having a razor. Now Iran ( monkey ) is going to posses the razor
and very soon the monkey is going to use the razor all over and probably monkey might cut his own genital with the razor. Before that somebody must stop the monkey having a razor.