Haitham Manna, spokesman of the Syrian „National Coordination Body for Democratic Change” (NCB), in Vienna
by Wilhelm Langthaler
A leading figure of the Syrian left opposition spoke at a meeting in Vienna, invited by the “Austrian Arab Cultural Centre” (Okaz). Haitham Manna spoke about the necessity of the Kofi Annan plan in order to stop the violence and to initiate subsequent democratic reforms.
The NCB supports the peace plan by Kofi Annan, as for the time being there is no other solution in sight. “The main obstacle for democratic progress is the violence which has already pushed the country on the brink of civil war. We need to stop it. Only then the popular movement can develop enough power.”
Globalisation has turned India into a bonanza of the trans-national corporations. The one hundred corporate families ruling a billion people have torn down all protective barriers for capital to flow in and out – ostensibly for the sake of development.
First of all in the mineral-rich belt in the south-east the Indian government awarded vast swathes of land to mining companies and heavy industries with contracts worth dozens of billions of Euros. They come to exploit the natural resources leaving little more than pollution and depleted resources. On the land they wish to appropriate, however, happen to live people mostly without property titles – the Adivasi, Hindi for native people.
The brigade had a long day filming and interviewing the reality in the camp, as in the late afternoon the news arrived: Leila Khaled is surely coming this evening. Delegation participants were excited to meet what they saw as a Palestinian living legend, who performed two aircraft hijacks within less than two years (1969 and 1970), attrackting the world attention to the Palestinian cause and becoming an icon who personified Palestine in the minds of two leftiest generations.