Tuesday, June 23, 2009


The National Press Club, Washington D.C, Monday, June 22nd, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Thank you all for coming. Thank you for your time, and attention to the cry for freedom and democracy on the streets of Iran. I can tell you, first hand, how much my compatriots are appreciative of your generous attention to their plight. The best I can do for you today is to recount what my fellow Iranians tell me about their conditions, hopes and fears.

Bear in mind that for the great majority of Iranians born after the Islamic Revolution, the unfolding events are the most significant transforming experiences of their collective memory. The courage of their convictions gives hope for peace and democracy in the most troubling region of the world. On the other hand, their defeat will encourage extremism from the shores of the Levant, to the energy jugular of the world. At the very least it will threaten regional tranquility and global economic recovery through fears of terrorism, slowdown of globalization and steeply higher energy prices. At worst, fanatical tyrants - who know that the future is against them - may end their present course on their terms: a nuclear holocaust.

But which will it be? That is the question of the day. My message to you is: do not underestimate the role you play in the outcome. International media are already the information artery connecting different parts of the freedom movement in Iran. That is why the regime has ominously warned media, that only officially approved reports can be dispatched out of the country. Having restricted the return path of media, they are also jamming electronic transmission and restricting internet traffic into the country. But it is the third leg of communication, from people to people, from one resistance cell to another, and from leaders to supporters inside Iran, of which the regime is most fearful. They cannot fight people who stand together. Only an information blackout can isolate individuals, so that they can be oppressed separately. Thus the outcome of this struggle will depend on your ability, the free media, to fight their blackout with the light of information.

Your second contribution is keeping your political leaders informed about the brutal violence of the regime's plain-clothes thugs against unarmed people. Your governments have insisted that they would not interfere in Iran's internal affairs. I applaud that. Any such attempt will give the tyrants the excuse they need to paper over their own differences, and target every man struggling for freedom as a foreign agent. But that is not all they do. They are painting every statement in defense of human rights as foreign interference, benefiting from the confusion between the two. It is vital that the free world not fall for such cruel cynicism in the name of realpolitik.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights knows no national boundaries. Its defense is not only a matter of ethics, but a mutual obligation of all governments who are its signatories. It is also in their interest. No one will benefit from closing his or her eyes to knives and cables cutting into faces and mouths of our young and old, or from bullets piercing our beloved "Neda" whose only sin was the quest freedom - no one, no one but tyrants and their thugs. Do not let them define what is disrespect for sovereignty, what is interference in others' affairs.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

A movement was born on the 22nd of Khordad in my calendar, the 12th of June in yours. It is not Islamic or anti-Islamic, it is not for capitalism or socialism, nor any other ideology or specific form of government. It cares little about historical squabbles before its birth. It is about the sanctity, even more, the sovereignty of the ballot box. It may not succeed immediately. It may have ebbs and flows. But, let me assure you it will not die, because we will not let it die.

A week later, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic decided to stand erect as a dam in front of this movement, sanctioning theft of the ballot box and flagrant fraud, all in the name of Islam. It was an ugly moment of disrespect for both God and man. It will not stand. The citizens of Iran will not stand it. And at the end, he will not stand.

Rest assured, the Movement of 22nd of Khordad, already invested with the blood of my brave countrymen, with energy and support in every corner of Iran and the globe will not rest until it achieves unfettered democracy and human rights in Iran.

Monday, June 8, 2009

110th Anniversary of Birth of Friedrich von Hayek

Friedrich August von Hayek (8 May 1899 – 23 March 1992) is rivaled by only Adam Smith as the preeminent theorist of the market system. Hayek's account of how changing relative prices communicate signals which enable individuals to coordinate their unique plans in an ever changing world is widely regarded as one of the landmark achievements of economic science. This and a host of other important contributions has made Hayek one of the most influential economists of modern times. One of the great polymaths of the 20th century, Hayek also made significant contributions in jurisprudence, neuroscience, philosophy and the history of ideas.

In 1974 Hayek shared the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics with Gunnar Myrdal "for their pioneering work in the theory of money and economic fluctuations and for their penetrating analysis of the interdependence of economic, social and institutional phenomena." He also received the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1991.

Hayek lived in Austria, Great Britain, the United States and Germany, and became a British subject in 1938.

In 1984, he was appointed as a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour (CH) by Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom on the advice of the British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher for his "services to the study of economics". After his twenty-minute audience with the Queen, he was "absolutely besotted" with her according to his daughter-in-law, Esca Hayek. Hayek said a year later that he was "amazed by her. That ease and skill, as if she'd known me all my life". The audience with the Queen was followed by a dinner with family and friends at the Institute of Economic Affairs. When, later that evening, Hayek was dropped off at the Reform Club, he commented: "I've just had the happiest day of my life".

Sunday, June 7, 2009


Their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Alexander II and Crown Princess Katherine attended the Susan G. Komen Global Race for the Cure® in Washington D.C. on Saturday.

US Vice President Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, are Honorary Co-Chairs of the Global Race for the Cure. Dr. Biden, a long-time advocate for breast health education and outreach, delivered a speech to more than 50,000 runners and walkers during the Race’s opening ceremonies.

“My husband Joe and I are thrilled to participate in the ongoing effort to raise awareness, fund research and empower people throughout the world in the fight against breast cancer,” said Dr. Biden.

Following the opening speech by HRH Crown Prince Alexander II, HRH Crown Princess Katherine in her speech said:
„If you wonder, at the dawn of this beautiful day, whether what you are doing really has an impact on the entire world… If you wonder whether the steps you take in your nation’s capital today will have an impact in capitals across the globe… If you wonder whether the lives you are saving in the United States will translate into lives saved in Serbia, or Ghana, or Brazil…then wonder no more.“
Ambassador Nancy Brinker said:” Nearly thirty years ago, before breast cancer took her life, my sister - Susan G. Komen - made me promise her that I would do everything in my power to find a cure for this horrible disease. Through my travels as Ambassador, I meet thousands of women who still need our help. I promise them that they will not be abandoned or forgotten”.

The race was also attended by the Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, actress Sarah Chalke, CBS’s The Early Show anchor Maggie Rodriguez, and W*USA9 morning anchor Andrea Roane, as well as Dr. Branko Terzic, member of the Crown Council and great friend of the Royal Couple.

The Komen Global Race for the Cure marked 20th annual running of the Komen Race for the Cure Series in Washington, D.C., which was formerly known as the Komen National Race for the Cure. Komen for the Cure gathered more than 50,000 people to participate in the Global Race and raised over $6.1 million.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Why I am a monarchist (11)

Sylvia Mortoza

I live in Bangladesh, and have done so for almost half a century, though my parents were born within the sound of Bow Bells, and I am Anglo-Saxon, with blue eyes and fair hair. Of my ten grandchildren, five live in England, five in Bangladesh.

The fact that Britain has a good Queen, (and an intelligent, strong one) has provided me with a sense of identity to which I have clung throughout my life here. No president, elected or not, could possibly do the same for me or bring out the sense of pride I feel about myself. The monarchy provides glamour but also gains my respect and loyalty. The monarchy so fits in with my mental make-up, I cannot imagine how it would be without one.

I was born and brought up in Britain and my mother taught me from a very young age to pay allegiance to the Crown. She had a great regard for the monarch of the time, King George V and later for his son, King George VI. Her brother, my uncle, was decorated by King George V for bravery. When I was eight, I saw Queen Mary driving through Salisbury forest in Wiltshire. We had a street party to celebrate the coronation of King George VI in 1937. I even remember the dresses we sisters wore - red, white and blue taffeta with blue "doggie" buttons. Strange the things that stay in the mind!

Perhaps, to some, this qualifies me as being “brainwashed”. But I do know that without a monarch I may have lost my sense of identity long ago as fate took me away from my homeland. I was isolated from the British community for many years as my husband and I were not in Dhaka till 1965 (the time of the Indo-Pakistan war) and only came into contact with a few of my countrymen at the end of that decade. Unfortunately these friendships did not last long, as the War of Liberation that began in March 1971 drove them away.

Being British is vitally important to me – and the monarch is at the centre of that. It is not just ‘pomp and ceremony’. The monarchy also gives me a sense of history - and permanency - in a world gone awry. It is an indispensable part of my heritage and makes me feel that, though 6000 miles away from home, I truly belong!

No nation is a wholly natural community. Without a unifying force it would soon fall apart into warring or feudal groups. In Britain, the seeds of dissent can be seen because immigrants do not feel they completely ‘belong’. Yet if they too had been subjected to the same kind of “brainwashing” I had, they would not feel like so many pieces of flotsam floating on a torrential sea.

The sense of “we” is so important to a people. It cannot continue if people are living in ghettoes and studying in religious schools. Without a monarchy to hold us together, we shall no longer be a nation but instead, many splinter groups all looking for something with which to identity. People would no longer feel they were British, or do all those simple things a nation does – from celebrating royal occasions or supporting England during international cricket matches. The sense of being “we” would no longer exist and Britain would be less than a nation.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Prince Harry in New York

HRH Prince Henry of Wales arrived in New York City on Friday, in his first ever official visit to the United States. The third in line to the British throne is in the Big Apple to raise money for his charity, Sentebale, and pay his respects to those who died in the 9/11 terror attacks.

Stopping by Ground Zero, he met with relatives of those who were killed that day. Harry then laid wreath on the fence that surrounds the deep hole where the World Trade Center once stood. He left a handwritten note tacked to the wreath, citing an “admiration of the courage shown by the people.”

Later on, Prince Harry moved to Hanover Square, to the renamed British Garden, to plant a magnolia bush in memory of the 67 Britons who died on 9/11.

Next, Harry went to the Veteran’s Medical Center to tour its prosthetics lab and meet some veterans. Prince Harry himself is a veteran in a sense. He fought for 10 weeks in Afghanistan in early 2008.

The next day the Prince toured Harlem's Children Zone, a community organization that offers families social and educational services, together with Prince Seeiso of Lesotho. They chatted with students working preparing for a Regents Exam.

After that, he took part in one of his favorite activities - playing polo on Governor’s Island. On a brilliantly sunny day in New York Harbor, the Prince drew a crowd that included stars like Madonna, actresses Kate Hudson and Chloe Sevigny, and rapper LL Cool J, but also lots of ordinary New Yorkers out for a rare sight: a polo game in the city. The event will raise money for Harry’s Sentebale charity which helps children in the Lesotho, a small kingdom in southern Africa.

"Prince Seeiso and I both lost our mothers when we were very young," Harry said in brief remarks before the match. "We set up Sentebale in their memory, and because my mother loved this city, it makes this occasion all the more poignant for me."