State Visit

BERLIN/KIGALI | | ruanda

BERLIN/KIGALI (Own report) - The German government has announced that it will establish military relations with one of Africa's most controversial military regimes. According to the announcement Defense Minister Franz-Josef Jung will have talks on German activities in Africa with Rwanda's President Paul Kagame, during his visit to Berlin, which began April 22. The discussions will also include future military cooperation. They have a special significance because the leading members of the Rwandan military elite are accused of having been involved in serious war crimes. Investigations carried out in two EU nations have led to indictments, pertaining to gruesome massacres during putsch attempts in Rwanda as well as military invasions into the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, costing the lives of more than a million people. Among those being accused is the second in command of the UN/AU troops in Darfur that have been stationed in Sudan at the insistence of Western governments, including Germany. Paul Kagame has been exempted from indictment because he enjoys immunity as president. He will be received with military honors by German President Horst Koehler. Human rights organizations had raised grave accusations of torture and extra-legal executions and other crimes against Kagame and his government already at the time Koehler visited Rwanda in February. more…

LHASA/BEIJING/BERLIN | | china

LHASA/BEIJING/BERLIN (Own report) - The west's Tibet campaign is meeting its first signs of opposition in Germany. As the worldwide acts to sabotage the Olympic torch relay continues, German businesses are beginning to worry about their business prospects in China, amounting currently to a turnover in the billions. Policy advisors are warning that if the German government continues to apply "different standards (...) to different countries" it could cause a permanent loss of political credibility in Beijing. German correspondents agree that the presumptuous campaign orchestrated by western former colonial powers to humiliate China is weakening pro-western forces in the country. They report that in the People's Republic, the German media "is seen as particularly manipulative." Experts confirm the propagandist nature of German newscasts on Tibet. In a discussion with german-foreign-policy.com, the sinologist, Dr. Ingo Nentwig, whose work focuses on China's nationality policy, spoke of a blatant "disproportion in the media version." Sports associations and the Protestant Church are now joining the west's mass mobilization against China. They are calling on athletes and Protestant Olympic tourists to use their presence at the Olympic games to reinforce pressure on China. more…

MUNICH/BERLIN | | usbekistan

MUNICH/BERLIN (Own report) - The Siemens Corp. is tightly enmeshed with German foreign intelligence agencies and is said to have enabled the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND - Bundesnachrichtendienst) to spy on foreign clients. This was gleaned from reports in the press on the extent of corruption in Munich's traditional enterprise. According to these reports, employees of the German companies, which have delivered telephone systems or wire-tapping technology, for example to Arab countries, are using their knowledge to facilitate the BND access to recordings of telephone conversations. During his incumbency as BND President (1998 - 2005), the current Interior Ministry State Secretary, August Hanning, had sought to enhance cooperation between Siemens and German foreign intelligence. These efforts coincided with the comprehensive initiative being taken in the Federal Chancellery under Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and his chancellery director at the time, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, to broaden the competence of the BND and establish an intelligence oriented "security community" in Berlin. Part of the plans are efforts to link private enterprises more closely to German repressive organs, with the aim of a "situation-oriented exchange of information". more…

LHASA/WASHINGTON/BERLIN | | china

LHASA/WASHINGTON/BERLIN (Own report) - Several front organizations of German foreign policy have for years been supporting the Tibetan exile structures in Dharamsala, India. This includes support for organizational measures enabling the "government in exile" in Dharamsala to orchestrate its activities against the People's Republic of China worldwide. Particularly the Free Democratic Party (FDP) affiliated Friedrich Naumann Foundation and the Heinrich Boell Foundation (affiliated with the Green Party) are cooperating with the "government in exile" and other exile Tibetan institutions. Front organizations of US foreign policy are working toward the same objectives. Already in the 1950s Washington was intervening in Tibet with millions of dollars, at the time, even supporting Tibetan armed uprisings against the People's Republic of China. German organizations took up the question of Tibet around the end of the 80s, at a time when China was beginning its rise to become a global competitor of the west. The current activities are apt to greatly weaken China. These supplement other German-US measures aimed at thwarting the rise of their East-Asian rival. more…

Colonialist

ZAGREB/ATHENS/BONN | | kroatiengriechenland

ZAGREB/ATHENS/BONN (Own report) - The Deutsche Telekom's expansion is being met with heavy protests in several south European countries. Fearing mass layoffs, wage cuts and deteriorating standards in working conditions, employees of the Greek Telecom OTE are resisting the takeover of their enterprise by the German company. In March, Croatian trade-unionists had already staged a demonstration in front of Telekom's headquarters in Bonn - because of the decrease in real-income and degenerating structural conditions at Hrvatski Telekom. The Croatian enterprise has been under the control of Deutsche Telekom for years. Berlin is hoping to profit from Croatia's imminent entry into the EU by attaining shares through the privatization of previously state owned Croatian companies. German President Horst Koehler will participate in a German-Croatian economic forum in Zagreb on Tuesday. After their protest in Bonn went unheard, Hrvatski Telekom employees characterized the parent company's methods as "colonialist". more…

LHASA/BERLIN | | china

LHASA/BERLIN (Own report) - Conference reports and the research of a Canadian journalist reveal that a German Foreign Ministry front organization is playing a decisive role in the preparations of the anti-Chinese Tibet campaign. According to this information, the campaign is being orchestrated from a Washington based headquarters. It had been assigned the task of organizing worldwide "protests" at a conference organized by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation (affiliated with the German Free Democratic Party - FDP) in May 2007. The plans were developed with the collaboration of the US State Department and the self-proclaimed Tibetan Government in Exile and call for high profile actions along the route of the Olympic Torch Relay and are supposed to reach a climax in August during the games in Beijing. The campaign began already last summer and is now profiting from the current uprising in the west of the People's Republic of China that is receiving prominent coverage in the German media. The uprising was initiated with murderous pogrom-like attacks by Tibetan gangs on non-Tibetan members of the population, including the Muslim Chinese minority. Numerous deaths of non-Tibetans provoked a reaction of the Chinese security forces. more…

BERLIN |

BERLIN (Own report) - The board of the Deutsche Bahn AG (DB, German Railroad Inc.) would like to conclude the conflict around the "Train of Commemoration" with the payment of 100,000 Euros. The train with a touring exhibition on the deportations of several hundreds of thousands of children and youth from all over Europe carried out by the Reichsbahn is confronted with the DB's financial demands totaling approx. 100,000 Euros. The Transportation Committee of the German Bundestag (German Parliament) had suggested that the DB neutralize its bills as a donation. The DB's board wants to make a donation - but not to the "Train of Commemoration," which is still faced with the approx. 100,000 Euros bill for the use of the German rail network for its memorial services, "rather than to the 'Train of Commemoration'" one reads in a letter signed by Dr. Werner Mueller, the DB board chairman, the identical amount should be transferred to "a nationally, as well as internationally, renowned Jewish charity institution." The letter, dated April 1, is on hand at german-foreign-policy.com. Nearly simultaneously coinciding with the offer to donate to a "Jewish institution," the DB declared several train stations in Berlin inaccessible to the "Train of Commemoration," thereby rendering the memorial services impossible. more…