Canada is making great strides. A week ago a couple of NDP wannabees wanted CFIRC charged with hate for “noticing” that tuberculosis is a threat to Canadians. Today, that threat has Canada’s front line immigration officers threatening to walk off the job!


On Friday 40 Tibetans simply showed up at a downtown shelter and claimed to be refugees. One would-be refugee told CBC News he came to Canada because “you’ll be accepted.” CBC Newsworld | Aug 18, 1999


CBC Newsworld WebPosted Aug 16 1999 6:45 PM EDT More Tibetans Arrive at Homeless Shelter TORONTO – Another 28 Tibetans arrived at the Seaton House shelter last night in FIVE TAXIS DIRECT FROM THE FORT ERIE BORDER CROSSING. They join the 30 from last week and now there’s close to 60 staying at Seaton House. There’s only 550 beds at this city- run men’s hostel… and THE TIBETANS DIDN’T WANT TO STAY IN THE MAIN QUARTERS. “IT WAS INCONGRUENT WITH THEIR LIFESTYLE and many of them are holy people,”says Boris Rosolak, the Seaton House manager. “THEY FOUND IT TOO CROWDED FOR THEIR LIKING. SO THEY WERE MOVED TO THESE MORE PRIVATE ROOMS.”


So hostelling arrangements, good enough for Canadians, are hopelessly inadequate by Tibetan standards are they? What next – a hunger strike? Ironically, this arrogance may have spared some of Canada’s growing legions of the homeless exposure to a deadly disease …


Tibet refugees may carry deadly TB Five claimants in quarantine; immigration officers threaten walkout over disease fears

At least five of the several hundred Tibetan refugee claimants who have crossed the border from the United States into Ontario recently have the frightening drug-resistant strain of tuberculosis, immigration authorities have confirmed to The Globe and Mail. Worried about the risks of catching the TB microbe — which can be spread by a cough or a sneeze — immigration border guards are threatening to walk off the job. The five are among nine infectious Tibetan TB carriers who are or were being quarantined in Toronto after going through medical screening. The number of those with dormant TB is not known. Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis is not only virulent and deadly if left unchecked, but also is extremely difficult and expensive to treat. One TB specialist estimates that the total cost for one MDR patient is more than $ONE-MILLION. Sister Mary Jo Leddy, a Roman Catholic nun and refugee advocate, cautioned against stereotyping the dispossessed as diseased. Still, she wondered why, if the problem is so serious, immigration and health officials HAVE NOT NOTIFIED HER and others sheltering Tibetan refugee applicants. “How come we don’t know? We’re living with them,” said Sister Leddy from Romero House, a Toronto refugee shelter. The actual numbers of those with active TB may be higher because NOT ALL OF THE 400 TIBETANS WHO HAVE MADE REFUGEE CLAIMS SINCE LAST NOVEMBER [!!!] HAVE HAD MEDICAL TESTS, nor do the numbers take into account those waiting in a Buffalo, N.Y., shelter for refugee-interview appointments in Canada.

“That is the concern that was raised with us by health authorities,” Immigration Department spokeswoman Giovanna Gatti said yesterday. “We take any incident where public health is at risk seriously and treat it with priority, and right now we’re working together with public-health authorities to develop a plan to minimize putting the Canadian public at risk.” REFUGEE CLAIMANTS HAVE 60 DAYS TO HAVE A HEALTH-SCREENING TEST FROM THE TIME OF THEIR APPLICATION. Under an agreement between Canada and the United States, migrants who appear at the border posts in Fort Erie and Niagara Falls are often asked to wait in Buffalo until such appointments are scheduled. Canada is obliged to consider their claims, and ILLNESS IS –NOT– A BAR TO PROCEEDING. Directors of La Casa, the Buffalo shelter that is the main clearing house for Canada-destined refugee claimants before they proceed to the Peace Bridge, COULD NOT BE REACHED.

The health risk has alarmed immigration officers working at the border posts. They are threatening to walk off their jobs. “This is a very dangerous situation for both the immigration officers and the public since exposure to the disease does not produce immediate positive results at testing and therefore we may be allowing infected individuals into the general population,” one officer wrote to another in internal E-mail correspondence. Dr. Monica Avendano, a respirologist and head of the TB program at West Park Hospital in Toronto, said yesterday that all MDR cases in Toronto and the surrounding southern Ontario area are treated at her hospital. She said that there are currently 11 MDR patients at West Park. She declined to say if any are Tibetans. “I’m sorry I cannot tell you any specifics. . . . How many are Tibetans, how many are not Tibetans I won’t tell you.” Last year, Dr. Avendano told The Globe that the drugs for MDR tuberculosis cost about $250,000. If one added the cost of hospital care, the inability to work and, sometimes, the need for surgery, THE COST WOULD BE MORE THAN $1-MILLION FOR ONE PATIENT. [nb. Canada does not test immigrants & refugees for HIV AIDS either] Even then, there are no long-term studies showing whether such expensive treatment works in the long run or whether patients relapse within five years. Relapses are worrying for TB experts such as Kenneth Castro, director of the division of tuberculosis elimination at the U.S. national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “If we sit back and allow drug resistance to grow unchecked, we may one day be faced with incurable tuberculosis,” he told the Washington Post. Alan Lennon, senior Ontario business representative of the Canada Employment and Immigration Union, has more immediate concerns. “One is our members at the border dealing in an interview situation with these individuals and therefore being exposed to tuberculosis. “Also, without proper controls either in the States before they come to Canada, or at the Canadian border, THERE MAY WELL BE PEOPLE RELEASED INTO THE CANADIAN PUBLIC WHO POSE A HEALTH THREAT TO PEOPLE THEY MEET ON THE STREET, PEOPLE WHO GET ON THE SUBWAYS, THE STREETCAR, BUS, SHOPPING PLAZAS, WHATEVER.” Mr. Lennon also said that non-governmental organizations such as La Casa do not deal just with Tibetans. “So it’s not clear who’s been there, what they have been exposed to and what they may be carrying.” WHERE TB STRIKES While tuberculosis is a rare disease in Canada (about seven cases a year per 100,000 people), the number is higher among certain groups, such as aboriginals, people with HIV and immigrants from developing countries. The Ontario Medical Association says there are about 2,000 new cases of TB in Canada each year. Toronto, with 450 to 500 cases of TB a year, has an incidence rate three times the Canadian average. Last year, Kaarim Kurji, then associate medical officer of health for York Region, north of Toronto, estimated THERE MAY BE AS MANY AS 6,000 CASES OF ACTIVE TB WAITING TO DISPERSE. In the early 1990s, New York City, suffered a frightening outbreak of MDR TB. So far, authorities there have spent more than $700-million (U.S.) to bring the epidemic under control. (ESTANISLAO OZIEWICZ, The Globe and Mail, Tuesday, September 7, 1999) nb: This is additionally distressing when the same page reports: “Hospitals often miss malnourishment among aged” ______________________ Health Canada: Hey, a little TB’s no reason to restrict immigration. Once again, how high does the corruption go in Canada’s immigration-biz? ______________________
HEALTH CANADA Proceedings of the National Consensus Conference on Tuberculosis December 3-5, 1997 (Last modified June 11, 1998) Immigration Recommendations 4.1 It must be acknowledged that TUBERCULOSIS IN IMMIGRANTS, REFUGEES, VISITORS, STUDENTS AND THOSE RETURNING FROM COUNTRIES WHERE TUBERCULOSIS IS ENDEMIC IS THE MAJOR ISSUE FOR TUBERCULOSIS CONTROL AND ELIMINATION: before, at and after arrival. 4.2 THE ISSUE OF TUBERCULOSIS SHOULD –NOT– BE A REASON TO RESTRICT IMMIGRATION. 4.3 CURRENT POLICIES AND STRATEGIES FOR THE CONTROL OF TUBERCULOSIS IN THESE GROUPS DO –NOT– APPEAR TO BE VERY EFFECTIVE and indicate that they need to be evaluated on a priority basis. 4.4 Strategies must be modified and/or developed as a priority to effectively detect and prevent tuberculosis in these groups. 4.5 The control of tuberculosis in these groups must consider the following issues: screening with tuberculin skin testing, HIV screening, barriers to case finding and case holding, specific procedures for individuals from high-risk countries, the relative burden of illness in particular groups, education, medical insurance, —MULTICULTURAL ISSUES–, involvement of affected groups, access to the health care system. GOVERNMENT OF CANADA * * * * Note recommendations 4.1, 4.2, 4.3: Immigration represents a threat in terms of tuberculosis control. Current strategies are not effective. Ergo – tuberculosis (in “manageable” amounts) is good for you? ______________________
MORE KNEE SLAPPING HUMOUR AT FUJIAN’S EAST WEST SCHOOL LIANGJIANG, China – Teaching English in Fujian is something of an industry. Much of the population is determined to get to North America — legally or otherwise. … East West’s headmaster, who speaks no English, owns four other [language] schools as well. He used to be in the incense stick business, but the immigrant business is potentially more profitable, he says. … A dozen students drink tea and look at the blackboard. Asked whether they wanted to go to Canada, they shake their heads in unison. “CANADA IS VERY BIG BUT YOU CAN MAKE MUCH MORE MONEY IN THE U.S.” (National Post, Tuesday, September 7, 1999) ______________________
SMUGGLING HUMAN BEINGS OUT OF FUKIEN PROVINCE IS A COTTAGE INDUSTRY The police stage raids, and then split the fines with the smugglers’ scouts. … Most people do their stealing away by air, buying fake documents or WELL-REHEARSED stories in a bid to get to the United States, by far the most popular destination. … The people-smugglers, the “snakeheads,” may have told them to get pregnant as soon as they land, give birth to a little Canadian, and soften official hearts. … Even the local governments actively want people to leave, to help the village get rich. … In Huyu, a village famous for its disappearance of men, 4,000 people, four-fifths of the population, have gone to the West in the past decade. … Everywhere you look, huge, ugly mansions are rising out of the scrubby fields, bamboo scaffolding rearing four, five, six stories high. The walls gleam with white ceramic tiles and blue-tinted glass, the national badge of new Chinese wealth. On their roofs, they build turrets, like Disneyland castles, or pagoda eaves, with dragons. In Huyu, someone has giant cement soccer balls on his roof. With each new house, the village’s farmland shrinks a bit more. (National Post, Tuesday, August 24, 1999) ______________________
NO ID = NO PROBLEM HERE IN CANADA! BANK ACCOUNT FOR THE ILEGALS! Lillian To, executive director of the Chinese aid agency SUCCESS, said she also fears the missing migrants have been lured away. … “Some of them have closed their BANK ACCOUNTS and that’s why there is the concern about what’s happened,” To said. (Missing migrants feared to be with gangs, updated by Canadian Press (CP) at 5:36 on September 7, 1999, EDT.) – bank accounts?? ______________________ Since it apparently HAS to be emphasized for the sake of the morbidly hypersensitive: once again, this is –NOT– about Tibetans, or Chinese, or Albanians – or their skin colour. It –IS– the threat of a spineless, lunatic system that abdicates its every responsibility to protect Canadians from imported disease threats and imported crime threats. All but forgotten in the armada of No-Name ships, are the more than 5,000 ethnic Albanians Canada INVITED here for up to two years – with automatic immigration rights upon completion.

The Guardian (Charlottetown) Tue 07 Sep 1999 Commons date could be later OTTAWA (CP) — Opposition parties say the Liberals want to push back the resumption of Parliament by three weeks, to Oct. 12. But a spokeswoman for Don Boudria, the government house leader, said that Sept. 20 remains the official date for the start of the session. But she hinted that the start date could change. “Right after the (francophone) summit the minister is going to start working on the schedule for fall,” said Dominique Lemieux. “In the next few days there should be some dates coming up for the session but there is nothing (confirmed) as of yet.” Reform House Leader Randy White says it’s likely the Liberals want to avoid dealing with complaints about Canada’s immigration policies and a potential airline strike.

WELCOME RALLY IN THE MIDST OF “SECURITY CONCERNS” Victoria residents and the government showed this weekend that they sympathize with Chinese migrants and are willing to look after more if they come. While the Community Coalition Against Racism was throwing a welcoming party for the migrants at Work Point, plans were underway to expand housing facilities for future boatloads of migrants who may arrive on B.C.’s shores. Citizenship and Immigration Canada spokesperson Lois Reimer said immigration officials have been discussing the expansion of housing facilities for migrants at Work Point with the Department of National Defence. “Once we get the approval we’ll be expanding it as a contingency in the event that there is another boat,” said Reimer. “We have to plan for that.” … … According to [RCMP Const. Tracey] Rook, 163 of the 190 migrants on the third boat remain at Work Point. Twenty-three adult males have been moved to the Vancouver Island Regional Correctional Centre. A man and a woman are being detained at the Western Communities RCMP detachment. Two juvenile males are being held at the Youth Detention Centre in Victoria. “They’ve been moved because there were either safety and security concerns BASED ON THEIR BEHAVIOUR as it was observed by CIC or the RCMP,” said Rook. “Or they may have been identified as potential organizers aboard the ship.” Rook said the migrants who have been moved are not under arrest, but are under CIC detention. “They’ve basically been moved to a more secure facility.” Looking after the greater number of migrants on the third boat has been more time-consuming for the people who care for them, said the RCMP spokesperson. “This time to shower everybody takes more than five hours, with the migrants only spending three or four minutes in the shower each. When we do the delousing, put the medication on and wait 10 minutes, then wash it off, it’s quite a lengthy process.” It took more than three hours for ALL THE ADULT MALES TO SHAVE WITH AN ELECTRIC SHAVER, said Rook. Washroom breaks also take two to three hours. Migrants taking washroom breaks in the portable go-huts outside Work Point gym was the high point for about 75 people attending a demonstration to welcome them to Canada. Dozens of curious migrants stepped outside to go to the washroom and wave at the people who showed up to support them. Banners with “Welcome” written in English and Mandarin were held up.

One man speaking through a bull horn translated the speeches from English into Mandarin. At one point, the demonstration turned ugly when a man yelling “Send them back” over and over again disrupted the meeting. Pushing and shoving broke out as protester Denis Oliver continued to interrupt the speeches by Harinder Dhillon of the Capital Region Race Relations Association, Joan Russo and others. Dan MacKinnon, who was holding up a bright orange welcoming banner, said he came to support the migrant Chinese workers. “I think the way it is being presented in the media is building a lot of hostility,” he said. “I believe in compassion myself. The UN estimates there are 20 to 30 million refugees in the world, so it’s a global problem. I think we have a responsibility as a compassionate society to receive these people and give them the right to due process.”

(Victoria Times Colonist, Tue 07 Sep 1999) ______________________ WAKE UP, OTTAWA! SOME OF US HAVE TO LIVE IN THE REAL WORLD ______________________

London Daily Telegraph Sept 5, 1999

Albanian mafia tightens its grip on Kosovo By Julius Strauss in Pristina THE Albanian mafia, among Europe’s most feared, is consolidating its grip on Kosovo, imposing taxes on lorries, taking over flats and houses, running drugs and targeting the burgeoning and well-financed aid community. Taking full advantage of Kosovo’s open border with Albania, the gangsters have swiftly filled the power vacuum left by Serb police and militia, setting up operations together with local criminals. Albania has long been an incubation house for organised crime. The north is controlled by rival heavily-armed gangs who operate out of village bases. During the Nato air strikes they prospered by fleecing the huge number of international aid workers, journalists and government officials who moved into the area as Kosovar refugees fled over the border. Once Serb forces pulled out, the streets of Pristina and other large towns teemed with swarthy men in four-by-fours with number plates from Tirana and the gangster towns of Vlorë and Bajram Curri. The mafia is thought to have made a huge profit taking over Serb flats, using ethnic retribution as a convenient cover. Soaring property prices have multiplied their gains. A good flat in Pristina can now cost £30,000. With most Serb flats now occupied and their contents looted, the organised criminals have begun to target ethnic Albanians and internationals. Last week two workers for Danish Caritas setting up an office in the western town of Klina were bound and had hoods put over their head by masked gunmen thought to be from Albania. One was beaten in the chest with a rifle butt and a large sum of money was stolen.

The Albanian mafia is perhaps Europe’s fastest growing. With both Kosovo and Albania economic deadspots, young men head for the West on false papers to join networks in Switzerland, Germany and Italy. The mafias control many of the people-smuggling routes into Europe, as well as running drugs from Asia. When war broke out between Nato and Yugoslavia in March, the Kosovo Liberation Army, which had always used Albania as a supply point, poured most of its resources into a cross-border campaign against the Serbs. LINKS BETWEEN KLA ELEMENTS AND THE ALBANIAN MAFIA WERE STRENGTHENED, and there are reports that some KLA commanders promised gangsters concessions in a post-war Kosovo in exchange for guns. A KLA intelligence chief based in Pristina said: “We are criticised for rising crime rates but we cannot decommission, transform and fight the mafia all at the same time.” The woeful inadequacy of the United Nations police force – now responsible for law and order in Pristina and set to take over other parts of the country – is apparent to even the casual observer. There is no system of fines or other effective deterrence. International and local residents of Pristina alike openly flout traffic laws and there are few identity cards. Plans to open a police academy in Mitrovica where UN staff will train locals are fraught with controversy – last week its official opening was once again postponed. While the Nato peacekeeping force is generally respected, UN officers are despised for their inefficiency, while their huge salaries, often more than 60,000 (pounds)tax-free, are a source of widespread envy.

These conditions provide the mafia with easy pickings. Near the Albanian border lorries have been made to pay “fines” to gunmen who melt away as soon as a Nato patrol approaches. Ethnic Albanians looking after Serb flats for their owners have been told to hand them over. One Kosovo Albanian student commented: “We didn’t want to be in Serbia, but we certainly don’t want to become part of Albania.”




Kosovo “freedom fighters” financed by organised crime By Michel Chossudovsky 10 April 1999 Michel Chossudovsky is a Professor of Economics at the University of Ottawa and author of The Globalization of Poverty, Impacts of IMF and World Bank Reforms, Third World Network, Penang and Zed Books, London, 1997. Heralded by the global media as a humanitarian peace-keeping mission, NATO’s ruthless bombing of Belgrade and Pristina goes far beyond the breach of international law. While Slobodan Milosevic is demonised, portrayed as a remorseless dictator, the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) is upheld as a self-respecting nationalist movement struggling for the rights of ethnic Albanians. The truth of the matter is that the KLA is sustained by organised crime with the tacit approval of the United States and its allies. Following a pattern set during the War in Bosnia, public opinion has been carefully misled. The multibillion dollar Balkans narcotics trade has played a crucial role in “financing the conflict” in Kosovo in accordance with Western economic, strategic and military objectives. Amply documented by European police files, acknowledged by numerous studies, the links of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) to criminal syndicates in Albania, Turkey and the European Union have been known to Western governments and intelligence agencies since the mid-1990s. ” … The financing of the Kosovo guerrilla war poses critical questions and it sorely tests claims of an “ethical” foreign policy. Should the West back a guerrilla army that appears to partly financed by organised crime.”[1] While KLA leaders were shaking hands with US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright at Rambouillet, Europol (the European Police Organization based in The Hague) was “preparing a report for European interior and justice ministers on a connection between the KLA and Albanian drug gangs.”[2] In the meantime, the rebel army has been skilfully heralded by the global media (in the months preceding the NATO bombings) as broadly representative of the interests of ethnic Albanians in Kosovo. With KLA leader Hashim Thaci (a 29 year “freedom fighter”) appointed as chief negotiator at Rambouillet, the KLA has become the de facto helmsman of the peace process on behalf of the ethnic Albanian majority and this despite its links to the drug trade. The West was relying on its KLA puppets to rubber-stamp an agreement which would have transformed Kosovo into an occupied territory under Western Administration. Ironically Robert Gelbard, America’s special envoy to Bosnia, had described the KLA last year as “terrorists”. Christopher Hill, America’s chief negotiator and architect of the Rambouillet agreement, “has also been a strong critic of the KLA for its alleged dealings in drugs.”[3] Moreover, barely a few two months before Rambouillet, the US State Department had acknowledged (based on reports from the US Observer Mission) the role of the KLA in terrorising and uprooting ethnic Albanians: ” … the KLA harass or kidnap anyone who comes to the police, … KLA representatives had threatened to kill villagers and burn their homes if they did not join the KLA [a process which has continued since the NATO bombings]… [T]he KLA harassment has reached such intensity that residents of six villages in the Stimlje region are “ready to flee.”[4] While backing a “freedom movement” with links to the drug trade, the West seems also intent in bypassing the civilian Kosovo Democratic League and its leader Ibrahim Rugova who has called for an end to the bombings and expressed his desire to negotiate a peaceful settlement with the Yugoslav authorities.[5] It is worth recalling that a few days before his March 31 Press Conference, Rugova had been reported by the KLA (alongside three other leaders including Fehmi Agani) to have been killed by the Serbs.

Covert financing of “freedom fighters” Remember Oliver North and the Contras? The pattern in Kosovo is similar to other CIA covert operations in Central America, Haiti and Afghanistan where “freedom fighters” were financed through the laundering of drug money. Since the onslaught of the Cold War, Western intelligence agencies have developed a complex relationship to the illegal narcotics trade. In case after case, drug money laundered in the international banking system has financed covert operations. According to author Alfred McCoy, the pattern of covert financing was established in the Indochina war. In the 1960s, the Meo army in Laos was funded by the narcotics trade as part of Washington’s military strategy against the combined forces of the neutralist government of Prince Souvanna Phouma and the Pathet Lao.[6] The pattern of drug politics set in Indochina has since been replicated in Central America and the Caribbean. “The rising curve of cocaine imports to the US”, wrote journalist John Dinges “followed almost exactly the flow of US arms and military advisers to Central America”.[7] The military in Guatemala and Haiti, to which the CIA provided covert support, were known to be involved in the trade of narcotics into Southern Florida. And as revealed in the Iran-Contra and Bank of Commerce and Credit International (BCCI) scandals, there was strong evidence that covert operations were funded through the laundering of drug money. “Dirty money” recycled through the banking system–often through an anonymous shell company– became “covert money,” used to finance various rebel groups and guerrilla movements including the Nicaraguan Contras and the Afghan Mujahadeen. According to a 1991 Time magazine report: “Because the US wanted to supply the mujehadeen rebels in Afghanistan with stinger missiles and other military hardware it needed the full cooperation of Pakistan. By the mid-1980s, the CIA operation in Islamabad was one of the largest US intelligence stations in the World. ‘If BCCI is such an embarrassment to the US that forthright investigations are not being pursued it has a lot to do with the blind eye the US turned to the heroin trafficking in Pakistan’, said a US intelligence officer.[8] America and Germany join hands Since the early 1990s, Bonn and Washington have joined hands in establishing their respective spheres of influence in the Balkans.

Their intelligence agencies have also collaborated. According to intelligence analyst John Whitley, covert support to the Kosovo rebel army was established as a joint endeavour between the CIA and Germany’s Bundes Nachrichten Dienst (BND) (which previously played a key role in installing a right-wing nationalist government under Franjo Tudjman in Croatia).[9] The task to create and finance the KLA was initially given to Germany: “They used German uniforms, East German weapons and were financed, in part, with drug money”.[10] According to Whitley, the CIA was subsequently instrumental in training and equipping the KLA in Albania.[11] The covert activities of Germany’s BND were consistent with Bonn’s intent to expand its “Lebensraum” into the Balkans. Prior to the onset of the civil war in Bosnia, Germany and its Foreign Minister Hans Dietrich Genscher had actively supported secession; it had “forced the pace of international diplomacy” and pressured its Western allies to recognize Slovenia and Croatia. According to the Geopolitical Drug Watch, both Germany and the US favoured (although not officially) the formation of a “Greater Albania” encompassing Albania, Kosovo and parts of Macedonia.

[12] According to Sean Gervasi, Germany was seeking a free hand among its allies “to pursue economic dominance in the whole of Mitteleuropa.”[13] Islamic fundamentalism in support of the KLA Bonn and Washington’s “hidden agenda” consisted in triggering nationalist liberation movements in Bosnia and Kosovo with the ultimate purpose of destabilising Yugoslavia. The latter objective was also carried out “by turning a blind eye” to the influx of mercenaries and financial support from Islamic fundamentalist organisations.[14] Mercenaries financed by Saudi Arabia and Kuwait had been fighting in Bosnia.[15] And the Bosnian pattern was replicated in Kosovo: Mujahadeen mercenaries from various Islamic countries are reported to be fighting alongside the KLA in Kosovo. German, Turkish and Afghan instructors were reported to be training the KLA in guerrilla and diversion tactics.[16] According to a Deutsche Press-Agentur report, financial support from Islamic countries to the KLA had been channelled through the former Albanian chief of the National Information Service (NIS), Bashkim Gazidede.[17] “Gazidede, reportedly a devout Moslem who fled Albania in March of last year [1997], is presently [1998] being investigated for his contacts with Islamic terrorist organizations.”[18] The supply route for arming KLA “freedom fighters” are the rugged mountainous borders of Albania with Kosovo and Macedonia. Albania is also a key point of transit of the Balkans drug route which supplies Western Europe with grade four heroin. Seventy-five percent of the heroin entering Western Europe is from Turkey. And a large part of drug shipments originating in Turkey transits through the Balkans. According to the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), “it is estimated that 4-6 metric tons of heroin leave each month from Turkey having [through the Balkans] as destination Western Europe.”[19] A recent intelligence report by Germany’s Federal Criminal Agency suggests that: “Ethnic Albanians are now the most prominent group in the distribution of heroin in Western consumer countries.”[20] The laundering of dirty money In order to thrive, the criminal syndicates involved in the Balkans narcotics trade need friends in high places. Smuggling rings with alleged links to the Turkish State are said to control the trafficking of heroin through the Balkans “cooperating closely with other groups with which they have political or religious ties” including criminal groups in Albanian and Kosovo.[21] In this new global financial environment, powerful undercover political lobbies connected to organized crime cultivate links to prominent political figures and officials of the military and intelligence establishment. The narcotics trade nonetheless uses respectable banks to launder large amounts of dirty money. While comfortably removed from the smuggling operations per se, powerful banking interests in Turkey but mainly those in financial centres in Western Europe discretely collect fat commissions in a multibillion dollar money laundering operation. These interests have high stakes in ensuring a safe passage of drug shipments into Western European markets. The Albanian connection Arms smuggling from Albania into Kosovo and Macedonia started at the beginning of 1992, when the Democratic Party came to power, headed by President Sali Berisha. An expansive underground economy and cross border trade had unfolded. A triangular trade in oil, arms and narcotics had developed largely as a result of the embargo imposed by the international community on Serbia and Montenegro and the blockade enforced by Greece against Macedonia. Industry and agriculture in Kosovo were spearheaded into bankruptcy following the IMF’s lethal “economic medicine” imposed on Belgrade in 1990.

The embargo was imposed on Yugoslavia. Ethnic Albanians and Serbs were driven into abysmal poverty. Economic collapse created an environment which fostered the progress of illicit trade. In Kosovo, the rate of unemployment increased to a staggering 70 percent (according to Western sources). Poverty and economic collapse served to exacerbate simmering ethnic tensions. Thousands of unemployed youths “barely out of their teens” from an impoverished population, were drafted into the ranks of the KLA …[22] In neighbouring Albania, the free market reforms adopted since 1992 had created conditions which favoured the criminalisation of state institutions. Drug money was also laundered in the Albanian pyramids (ponzi schemes) which mushroomed during the government of former President Sali Berisha (1992-1997).[23] These shady investment funds were an integral part of the economic reforms inflicted by Western creditors on Albania. Drug barons in Kosovo, Albania and Macedonia (with links to the Italian Mafia) had become the new economic elites, often associated with Western business interests. In turn the financial proceeds of the trade in drugs and arms were recycled towards other illicit activities (and vice versa) including a vast prostitution racket between Albania and Italy. Albanian criminal groups operating in Milan, “have become so powerful running prostitution rackets that they have even taken over the Calabrians in strength and influence.”[24] The application of “strong economic medicine” under the guidance of the Washington based Bretton Woods institutions had contributed to wrecking Albania’s banking system and precipitating the collapse of the Albanian economy.

The resulting chaos enabled American and European transnationals to carefully position themselves. Several Western oil companies including Occidental, Shell and British Petroleum had their eyes riveted on Albania’s abundant and unexplored oil-deposits. Western investors were also gawking Albania’s extensive reserves of chrome, copper, gold, nickel and platinum…. The Adenauer Foundation had been lobbying in the background on behalf of German mining interests.[25] Berisha’s Minister of Defence Safet Zoulali (alleged to have been involved in the illegal oil and narcotics trade) was the architect of the agreement with Germany’s Preussag (handing over control over Albania’s chrome mines) against the competing bid of the US led consortium of Macalloy Inc. in association with Rio Tinto Zimbabwe (RTZ).[26] Large amounts of narco-dollars had also been recycled into the privatisation programmes leading to the acquisition of state assets by the mafias. In Albania, the privatisation programme had led virtually overnight to the development of a property owning class firmly committed to the “free market”. In Northern Albania, this class was associated with the Guegue “families” linked to the Democratic Party. Controlled by the Democratic Party under the presidency of Sali Berisha (1992-97), Albania’s largest financial “pyramid” VEFA Holdings had been set up by the Guegue “families” of Northern Albania with the support of Western banking interests. VEFA was under investigation in Italy in 1997 for its ties to the Mafia which allegedly used VEFA to launder large amounts of dirty money.[27] According to one press report (based on intelligence sources), senior members of the Albanian government during the presidency of Sali Berisha including cabinet members and members of the secret police SHIK were alleged to be involved in drugs trafficking and illegal arms trading into Kosovo: (…) The allegations are very serious. Drugs, arms, contraband cigarettes all are believed to have been handled by a company run openly by Albania’s ruling Democratic Party, Shqiponja (…). In the course of 1996 Defence Minister, Safet Zhulali [was alleged] to had used his office to facilitate the transport of arms, oil and contraband cigarettes. (…) Drugs barons from Kosovo (…) operate in Albania with impunity, and much of the transportation of heroin and other drugs across Albania, from Macedonia and Greece en route to Italy, is believed to be organised by Shik, the state security police (…). Intelligence agents are convinced the chain of command in the rackets goes all the way to the top and have had no hesitation in naming ministers in their reports.[28] The trade in narcotics and weapons was allowed to prosper despite the presence since 1993 of a large contingent of American troops at the Albanian-Macedonian border with a mandate to enforce the embargo. The West had turned a blind eye. The revenues from oil and narcotics were used to finance the purchase of arms (often in terms of direct barter): “Deliveries of oil to Macedonia (skirting the Greek embargo [in 1993-4] can be used to cover heroin, as do deliveries of kalachnikov rifles to Albanian ‘brothers’ in Kosovo”.[29] The Northern tribal clans or “fares” had also developed links with Italy’s crime syndicates.[30] In turn, the latter played a key role in smuggling arms across the Adriatic into the Albanian ports of Dures and Valona. At the outset in 1992, the weapons channelled into Kosovo were largely small arms including Kalashnikov AK-47 rifles, RPK and PPK machine-guns, 12.7 calibre heavy machine-guns, etc. The proceeds of the narcotics trade has enabled the KLA to rapidly develop a force of some 30,000 men.

More recently, the KLA has acquired more sophisticated weaponry including anti-aircraft and anti-armor rockets. According to Belgrade, some of the funds have come directly from the CIA “funnelled through a so-called ‘Government of Kosovo’ based in Geneva, Switzerland. Its Washington office employs the public-relations firm of Ruder Finn–notorious for its slanders of the Belgrade government”.[31] The KLA has also acquired electronic surveillance equipment which enables it to receive NATO satellite information concerning the movement of the Yugoslav Army. The KLA training camp in Albania is said to “concentrate on heavy weapons training–rocket propelled grenades, medium caliber cannons, tanks and transporter use, as well as on communications, and command and control”. (According to Yugoslav government sources).[32] These extensive deliveries of weapons to the Kosovo rebel army were consistent with Western geopolitical objectives. Not surprisingly, there has been a “deafening silence” of the international media regarding the Kosovo arms-drugs trade. In the words of a 1994 Report of the Geopolitical Drug Watch: “the trafficking [of drugs and arms] is basically being judged on its geostrategic implications (…) In Kosovo, drugs and weapons trafficking is fuelling geopolitical hopes and fears”…[33] The fate of Kosovo had already been carefully laid out prior to the signing of the 1995 Dayton agreement. NATO had entered an unwholesome “marriage of convenience” with the mafia. “Freedom fighters” were put in place, the narcotics trade enabled Washington and Bonn to “finance the Kosovo conflict” with the ultimate objective of destabilising the Belgrade government and fully recolonising the Balkans. The destruction of an entire country is the outcome. Western governments which participated in the NATO operation bear a heavy burden of responsibility in the deaths of civilians, the impoverishment of both the ethnic Albanian and Serbian populations and the plight of those who were brutally uprooted from towns and villages in Kosovo as a result of the bombings. The World Socialist Web Site see website for footnotes ______________________



CBC Newsworld Big cuts to Canada’s air force planned WebPosted Tue Sep 7 08:34:42 1999 OTTAWA – The Department of National Defence is planning to eliminate almost half of the remaining aircraft in the Canadian air force, according to an Armed Forces report. The document, put together by vice-chief of the defence staff Gary Garnett has been circulating within the DND’s internal computer system for a few weeks. It outlines some combined cuts that will dramatically reduce the number of aircraft in the armed forces. The plan is to cut 200 planes from the total of 530 aircraft now in commission. The elimination would come over the next year and a half.


— Your MP’s constituency office is listed in the BLUE pages of the phone book – CALL — To find out who your MP is: You can write your MP postage free: c/o House of Commons, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0A6 — there’s plenty of time left before Parliament resumes (a real letter carries more weight than an e-mail) — BC residents may wish to ask their MLA what this is costing them? — e-mail Elinor Caplan