As images of Pakistan coping with the crisis and of its destitute people were being shown on European television, a French air force helicopter was transporting the richest man in Pakistan to his most extravagant European property, a 16th century chateau.
Behind the deaths, military repression and violence that has flared up on the streets of Bangkok lies another story of a country following the dictates of the IMF and the markets, which increased inequalities and unemployment for many Thais and created the resentment that will continue to fuel conflict in Thailand.
One week before the official Asia-Europe government meeting (ASEM) gathers in Milan, over 400 people from 42 countries in Europe and Asia gathered at the 10th Asia-Europe Peoples forum (AEPF) to present their demands and recommendations.
The term crisis implies a short lived period of uncertainty - suggesting there is something temporary or anomalous about the current state of the global economy. On the contrary, our global economy, from the financial clouds (or bubbles) to the real roots - where men and women work, live and survive - is suffering from systemic flaws based on an ever expanding void between rich and poor.
The fundamental assumptions underlying Aadhaar are flawed. Its likely social benefits will be minuscule in relation to its cost and the public will pay a huge price through exclusion from social services, surveillance, loss of privacy, and strengthening a Big Brother state.
In a recent editorial comment, The Economist issued a solemn call to all believers in global capitalism not to despair, not to panick, and to do nothing that could endanger the capitalist system (October 18-24, 2008). The magazine invoked the words and spirit of its founder, the Scottish businessman, James Wilson, who, about 165 years ago, gave the paper the philosophy of "economic liberty".
The role of major supermarkets like Tesco in wiping out small retailers across Europe is well known. Now the giants have India in their sights. For a country in which small-scale retail employs 33 million people, what kind of impact will this have?
Mining in India has been significant in contributing to the 45 million people displaced thanks to "development" projects, yet the industry is still not being made to compensate communities for the loss of livelihoods, homes and environmental health.
Aadhaar - the Indian government policy dishonestly marketed as a social security-related scheme, actually originates from “national security” concerns, with nefarious implications for surveillance, profiling and tracking of citizens.
Call to all the social networks and organisations, trades unions, political forces and civil society movements to join the Peoples' Alternative Summit in defense of peoples' sovereignty, human rights, participatory democracy, labour rights, the rights of women and indigenous peoples, social justice, the defense of the environment in the face of climate change, and the establishment of peace.