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Land resourcewars , & Ethnic conflicts

It is intriguing the manner in which states often ignore the extremely important issue of
land redistribution that was left askew often by unscrupulous colonial rulers because it fit their narrow agenda at one time in history as they attempted to control people they viewed as savages.
Take recent problems in Zimbabwe that littered our news, as such did not operate in a vacuum. The British left a political mess and million of acres of lands in the hands of white Zimbabweans that successive post colonial governments led by Robert Mugabe were unprepared to address until it became politically expedient much later. 800,000 Rwandans lost their lives in interethnic tribal conflicts in one of the most densely populated places in the world. The Tutsi need lands for grazing because historically they were herders that came from East Africa, while the Hutus were agriculturist and so desperately needed lands for different reasons.
In the case of the former Yugoslavia more people lost their lives in the waning days of the genocidal inter ethnic conflicts as several sides jockeyed for land positions so as to bolster eventual national territorial claims once peace occurred. Can anyone remember what prompted the nutcase Saddam Hussein into his claims to launch his foolish and ill-advised attacks against his Arab brothers of Kuwait when he did Ė thus precipitating WW111 led by George H Bush at ďthe end of history?Ē You guess it land.
Jews have been locked in a bitter war with Arabs for years in the Middle East. Of course many of us in the know are quite aware as to what the real issue is. Yes its land. Some of it has oil it is true, and thatís relevant, but scarce lands are the major overriding factors nevertheless that are the spark and fuel all at once.

Anand Ramloganís Guardian Sunday column made excellent reading for me as he attempted to build a case of discrimination against people of Indian descent in our country . It was entitled ďExposing discrimination,Ē and was centered around Khimraj Bissessar a former Prison Officer who filed a discrimination case against the authorities because he was unable to obtain his life long dream of becoming our countryís first East Indian Prison Commissioner. The writer though aware from the records that many people of Indian descent were uninterested in applying to the various protective services, choose however to ignore that fact, and still placed the blame on the state for not taking enough actions to encourage diversity in our nationís protective services. He cited numerous detailed studies by the Centre for Ethnic Studies, so as to show that Indians were grossly under-represented in the public service. He used The London metropolitan police service as a model to show how the noble and wonderful British introduced ethnic monitoring policies and racial minority programmes in their country to ensure racial diversity in their police service. I could almost see the objective journalist pulling his hair out as he wondered why more favorable promotions arenít taking place in our police service as well. After all, only Randy Burroughs and Kenny Mohammed were able to reach the pinnacle of their profession especially as many- baring their respective names - would be hard-pressed to determine the ethnicity of these our two excellent former police bosses as they were both fine public servants whose work ethic spoke volumes and contributed more to their successes, as opposed to anything else that experts might be tempted to bring to the fore for failures.
I like Mr Khimraj Ramloganís stance on discrimination where he feels that oneís race, gender, disability, religion, political persuasion, creed, or color should not be an inhibiting factor when it comes to the spoils of the state via its various institutions. A government cannot be in power and fail to rectify historical anomalies that ensure that one group is placed at an advantage over another for centuries I agree, and so would many I am sure. The consequences were terrible for Sri Lankans of Tamil and Sunhala persuasions, Zimbabwens, Rwandans, Israelis, Palestinians and most of the Middle East region arenít faring any better. Former Yugoslavia, Chechnya, and many indigenous people across the globe are facing similar struggles. Hopefully our leaders would heed the warning of Mr. Anand Ramlogan and his cries for ending state discriminations in Trinidad and Tobago.
Land is a precious commodity, and is one of the surest partway to independence, and economic prosperity for individuals and families. Let us observe if the old adage of whatís good for the goose is good for the gander is applicable not only to state jobs, elusive promotions, and similar miniscule benefits, but likewise the more pertinent matter of land wealth distribution to the many disenfranchise that were deliberately ignored as part of the British colonial masters policy that took place in our country since independence, and most unfortunately continued unabated by three successive government political parties that ruled since 1962 our independence. Itís the types of disastrous fallouts we can ill afford as my several examples illustrate. My motto remember : ď Beware of a man with nothing to loose.Ē

Trinidad and Tobago News

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