Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Pieces of Puzzles in UK-Libya relationship

Saif al-Islam Alqadhafi, close friend of UK

Saif al-Islam Alqadhafi is currently Chairman of the Gaddafi International Foundation for Charity and Development based in Tripoli, Libya. He received his Ph.D. from the London School of Economics in 2009. The topic of his thesis was The Role of Civil Society in the Democratization of Global Governance Institutions: From ‘Soft Power’ to Collective Decision-Making? He received a Masters Degree in Business from Vienna’s IMADEC University in 2000. He graduated with BSc in Engineering from Tripoli’s Al Fateh University in 1994. (source: http://www2.lse.ac.uk/publicEvents/events/2010/20100525t1830vLSE.aspx)

London School of Economic and Libya

The statement from London School of Economic dated 21 February 2011:-

The School has had a number of links with Libya in recent years. In view of the highly distressing news from Libya over the weekend of 19-20 February, the School has reconsidered those links as a matter of urgency.

LSE Enterprise has delivered executive education programmes to Libyan officials, principally from the Economic Development Board, and managers. That programme has been completed, and no further courses are in preparation. We have also received scholarship funding in respect of advice given to the Libyan Investment Authority in London. No further receipts are anticipated.

LSE Global Governance - a research centre at the School - accepted, with the approval of the School's Council, a grant from the Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation, chaired by Saif-al-Islam, one of Colonel Gaddafi's sons and an LSE graduate. This note| from LSE Global Governance explains how that money has been used to date, on a North African programme of study, principally involving civil society issues. In current difficult circumstances across the region, the School has decided to stop new activities under that programme. The Council of the School will keep the position under review.

The School intends to continue its work on democratisation in North Africa funded from other sources unrelated to the Libyan authorities.

The university is now facing increasing pressure over Saif Gaddafi’s PHD thesis amid questions over its academic authenticity. Robert Halfon, the Conservative MP for Harlow who is demanding a government inquiry into the donations, told the Telegraph: “The only way the LSE can restore its name is for the entire council to resign.“People like Shami Chakrabarti [the human rights campaigner] who is a member of the LSE council from 1 Aug 2008 - 31 July 2011] should hang their heads in shame,” he said. “The university wasn’t just accepting money from Libya, it was holding lectures saying how wonderful Col Gaddafi was.”. The Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation made a £1.5m donation to the LSE in 2009, although only £300,000 reached the university. (source; The Telegraph dated 5-3-2011)

LSE Global Governance

LSE Global Governance is a leading international institution dedicated to research, analysis and dissemination about global governance. Based at the London School of Economics, the Centre aims to increase understanding and knowledge of global issues, to encourage interaction between academics, policy makers, journalists and activists, and to propose solutions.

LSE Global Governance was founded by Lord Professor Meghnad Desai in 1992 as the Centre for the Study of Global Governance. Since then, the Centre has grown considerably and the pioneering work of Meghnad Desai has been augmented by the work of Anthony Giddens, David Held and Mary Kaldor as well as a group of talented younger scholars.

Today it is led by co-directors Graham Wallas Professor of Political Science David Held, Professor of Global Governance Mary Kaldor and Professor of Economics Danny Quah.

A major focus of LSE Global Governance's work is the way in which globalisation affects regional dynamics. At present, they work mainly concentrates on the Middle East and South East Europe.

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi & LSE

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, son of the Libyan leader, reported plagiarised other people's work in his doctoral thesis. Saif was awarded a PhD in 2008 by the LSE's Centre for the Study of Global Governance. A year later he made a donation of £1.5m to the university via the Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation.

Saif's thesis is entitled: "The role of civil society in the democratisation of global governance institutions: from 'soft power' to collective decision-making?" In it he analyses "the problems involved in creating global governing institutions that are more just and more democratic".

(source: http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/75772,people,news,lse-investigates-saif-al-islam-gaddafi-over-phd-plagiarism-claims)

It was reported by Telegraph, a UK newspaper that "There have been claims that sections of the 429 page essay on “democratising global governance institutions were plagiarised. One section which clearly was not copied, however, was an interview with Tony Blair. The Thesis states: “Tony Blair notes that the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, where oil companies publish the payments they make to government, allowed civil society in countries like Angola to start asking government’s tough questions about corruption.” The footnote states: “Comment from Tony Blair in private communication with the author of this thesis.” (source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk)

Lord Professor Meghnad Desai

Meghnad Desai is professor of economics and director of the Centre for the Study of Global Governance at the London School of Economics. In 2003, he retired as Director of the Centre for the Study of Global Governance. He is a Labour party peer in Britain’s upper house of parliament. His books include Marx’s Revenge: The Resurgence of Capitalism and the Death of Statist Socialism (Verso, 2004) and, Rethinking Islamism: The Ideology of the New Terror(IB Tauris, 2006)

Lord Professor Meghnad Desai is on record as defending the London School of Economics in its relationship with the the Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation and served as an examiner for Saif al-Islam Muammar Al-Gaddafi's PhD thesis. He expressed disappointment at a speech Saif Gaddafi subsequently made on Libyan state TV declaring the Gaddafi family's willingness to "fight to the last bullet", observing that "he was not behaving as if he had had an LSE education."(source: wikipedia)

January 28, 2005 The New York Times

Libya unveiled its most sweeping proposals for economic reform in 35 years as part of a new national strategy aimed at ushering the country into the modern economic era. The multi-pronged initiative would streamline government, speed up privatization and liberalize the media sector in a bid to begin a transition from what remains essentially an authoritarian regime to a more liberal economy that is competitive in the region, Seif el-Islam el-Qaddafi, son of the country's ruler, Colonel Muammar el-Qaddafi, and Abdulhafid Mahmoud Zlitni, the chairman of Libya's National Planning Council, said Thursday on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum. The need to impress international investors prompted Qaddafi to invite nearly a dozen foreign experts to Libya last year to help study how changes could be woven through government and the economy. The gathering included Michael Porter of the Harvard Business School , Daniel Yergin, a Pulitzer Prize-winning economist, Mark Fuller, the chief executive officer of the consulting company the Monitor Group, and Lord Meghnad Desai, director of the London-based Center of Global Governance.
(source: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/28/news/28iht-libya_ed3_.html)

Anthony Charles Lynton Blair, UK Labour Party Prime Minister

Blair's role as Prime Minister was particularly visible in foreign and security policy, including in Northern Ireland, where he was involved in the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. From the start of the War on Terror in 2001, Blair strongly supported the foreign policy of US President George W. Bush, notably by participating in the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan and 2003 invasion of Iraq. Blair is the Labour Party's longest-serving Prime Minister, the only person to have led the Labour Party to three consecutive general election victories, and the only Labour Prime Minister to serve consecutive terms more than one of which was at least four years long. He was succeeded as Leader of the Labour Party on 24 June 2007 and as Prime Minister on 27 June 2007 by Gordon Brown.[4] On the day he resigned as Prime Minister, he was appointed the official Envoy of the Quartet on the Middle East.The Quartet on the Middle East, sometimes called the Diplomatic Quartet or Madrid Quartet or simply the Quartet, is a foursome of nations and international and supranational entities involved in mediating the peace process in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Quartet are the United Nations, the United States, the European Union, and Russia. The group was established in Madrid in 2002 by the Spanish Prime Minister Aznar, as a result of the escalating conflict in the Middle East. Tony Blair is the Quartet's current Special Envoy.

Tony Blair, Britain's former prime minister, signed a so-called "Deal in the Desert" with Libya in March 2004, which paved the way for oil contracts worth billions, leading to a close relationship that has come under increasing criticism

Mr Blair resigned from his post of British Prime Minister on 27 June 2007

In a report by Telegraph dated 28th Feb 2011 , Tony Blair used his final foreign trip in 2007 as prime minister to sign a confidential deal with Muammar Gaddafi to train Libyan special forces and supply him with Nato secrets.The full version of the accord makes clear the extent to which Mr Blair agreed to co-operate with the Gaddafi regime on defence matters.

Under the terms of the deal, Britain was committed to “exchanges of information and views on defence structures, military and security organisations; exchanges of visits by experts and exchange of printed materials in the field of military education and science; exchanges of information on current and developing military concepts, principles and best practice, and the conduct of joint exercises’’.

The two countries also agreed to co-operate in “training in operational planning processes, staff training, and command and control; training of personnel in peace support operations; training co-operation relating to software, communications security, technology and the function of equipment and systems; exchanges of information and experience in the laws of armed conflict; and the acquisition of equipment and defence systems’’.

On May 29, 2007, during a visit to Muammar al-Gaddafi by British Prime Minister Tony Blair, British Petroleum (BP) signed a $900 million exploration and production agreement with the Libyan National Oil Company. The agreement, which will likely involve an estimated USD $2 billion in investment, covers three massive, largely unexplored tracts. The NOC signed the agreement with the LIA as BP’s 15% partner in a production sharing agreement (PSA).

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi said the former prime minister has secured a consultancy role with a state fund that manages the country's £65billion of oil wealth.In an exclusive interview, Saif described Mr Blair as a 'personal family friend' of the Libyan leader and said he had visited the country 'many, many times' since leaving Downing Street three years ago.(http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1284132/Tony-Blair-special-adviser-dictator-Gaddafis-son.html)

The Libyan Investment Authority (LIA)

The Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) is a government entity headquartered in Tripoli, Libya. It was established on August 28, 2006, by Decree 208 of the General People's Committee of Libya (GPC) with estimated capital of $40 billion. LIA is a holding company that oversees and manages government investment funds in various areas including agriculture, real estate, infrastructure, oil and gas and in shares and bonds. The Libyan Investment Authority is considered to be a sovereign wealth fund.

The Libyan Investment Authority, Libya's sovereign wealth fund, and the Central Bank of Libya hold a combined 7.5% stake in UniCredit SpA, making Libya the top shareholder in Italy's biggest bank.(source: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703610604576158620438188598.html)

Governments across the world are deciding whether the assets of the LIA should be considered assets of the Gaddafi family and should be frozen. They are still weak in their judgment and cannot understand the meaning of Authoritarian governance under Col Gaddafi. Who does not know him? Some are worried of the impact and implication of the action to the country. They still are dreaming for a just and fair treatment for the dictator. "Libya was Gaddafi and Gaddafi was Libya.", many known, yet the "democratic government" does not know.....

The UK Treasury has frozen the assets of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, but has not said if the Libyan Investment Authority's (LIA) assets are included(source: BBC)

In UK, Pearson announced last summer that the LIA had taken a significant stake in the publisher, which owns the Financial Times and Penguin. Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) had acquired 24,431,000 ordinary shares in the company. On further investigation, Pearson has reasonable cause to believe that the LIA may have acquired an additional 2,141,179 shares resulting in a total interest in 26,572,179 shares. This represents 3.27% of the company’s issued share capital. Pearson CEO Marjorie Scardino was reported now uncomfortable with LIA’s 3.27% Holding, and a statement was issued on 1-3-2011.(source: http://www.pearson.com)

It was reported that London hedge fund – FM Capital Partners run by ex-Merrill, Bear Stearns and Rabo Securities trader Frederic Marino – which was set up in 2010, is 55% owned by the Libyan Africa Investment Portfolio (a $6bn SWF, whose parent company is the LIA) and has some close ties to the North African nation.(source: http://news.efinancialcareers.co.uk/newsandviews_item/newsItemId-31160)

LIA also recently set up a hedge fund in London and has bought a host of properties in the UK, paying £155m for Portman House, a 146,550 square foot retail complex on Oxford Street, and £120m for an office at 14 Cornhill opposite the Bank of England in the heart of the City.(source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/)

These are the pieces of puzzles from UK, it is connected and dissociate now; there were links here and there. But there are many unanswered questions in the double standard on democracy........ the country know the dictator well, know the Foreign Wealth Fund, know the country's human right records, know the past history....yet the fund was pouring in like hot money into their country without questions, a friendly investment...they are engaging, and building up the financial position of a dictator step by step.....from education institutions, business, to the government.. a full participation deserved for a friendly nation.

Someone should write a new PHD thesis, "The Role of Dictatorship in the sponsorship of Global Governance Institutions & its friendly nations: From sovereign wealth fund to arms deal", may be a PHD will be awarded for the effort....hopefully not the result of permanent head damage(PHD)......but the result of actual academic research.....

Failure in corporate governance, global governance, and self governance....it is not about wrong judgment, it is about knowing the fact and historical background of dictator, yet still total engaging in the building of dictatorship in the country in full strength....including military support....

Now, who kill democracy and support Authoritarianism?

The Greediness and Blindness of the democracy champion, the decay of political and financial morals.....where is the integrity of once a highest standard British gentleman?....

Now let us open our eyes to see how the "democracy champion", the "human right advocates" and their companions' real faces. The empire has no clothes.....


Related articles
1. Passed/Failed: An education in the life of Lord Desai, economist and author, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/profiles/passedfailed-an-education-in-the-life-of-lord-desai-economist-and-author-1771006.html
2. Please help us, my good friend Tony Blair: Gaddafi's son asks for former PM's help to 'crush enemies', http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1360472/Libya-Gaddafis-son-asks-Tony-Blairs-help-crush-enemies.html#ixzz1FMgQcsJR
3. Tony Blair, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Blair
4. Libyan Investment Authority, http://en.wikipedia.or /wiki/Libyan_Investment_Authority
5. Libyan Investment Authority, http://www.swfinstitute.org/swfs/libyan-investment-authority/
6.Statement regarding the Libyan Investment Authority, http://www.pearson.com/investors/announcements/?i=1388
7. Tony Blair our very special adviser by dictator Gaddafi's son, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1284132/Tony-Blair-special-adviser-dictator-Gaddafis-son.html
8. Factbox: Libya owns stakes in several European bluechips, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41720060/ns/world_news-africa/
9.Libya's oil money has made it major world shareholder, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/feb/21/libya-oil-money-major-world-shareholder
10. UK sought arms deals with Libya in Nov., http://www.presstv.ir/detail/167623.html
11. Tony Blair linked to arms trade with Libya, http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/scotland/article6832402.ece
12. Outrage over UK arms sales to Libya, http://www.wilpf.plushost.co.uk/content/view/119/1/
13. The Empire has No Clothes, http://www.wilpfinternational.org/statements/2011/Libya.pdf
14. Libya: LSE feared 'embarrassing' Gaddafi's son over donation,http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/libya/8362602/Libya-LSE-feared-embarrassing-Gaddafis-son-over-donation.html
15. LSE Director steps down, http://www2.lse.ac.uk/newsAndMedia/news/archives/2011/03/director_steps_down.aspx
16.Membership of Court and Council of LSE, http://www2.lse.ac.uk/intranet/directoriesAndMaps/committeesAndWorkingGroups/council/membership.aspxMembership

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