Monthly Archives: October 2011

Helping save Moammar Gadhafi

Now that Libya’s strongman, Moammar Gadhafi, is out of power and in hiding, perhaps I can reveal a little-known story about how I indirectly helped save his life about 25 years ago.
About 25 years ago, Gadhafi allegedly sent a diplomatic letter to the Philippine Embassy in Tripoli asking for a Filipino faith healer to come to Libya to heal him and his mother.
The Philippine Ambassador in Libya apparently didn’t know what to do. So he sent the letter to the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila for advice.
The DFA didn’t know what to do, since faith healing is not officially recognized in this country. So it sent the request to the Philippine Constabulary for action.
The PC then sent the request to its Intelligence Department. It landed on the desk of a female colonel whom I knew personally.
So she gave me a call. “Jimmy,” she asked, “who do you think is the best or most powerful faith healer we have?” Surprised why the military was interested in faith healing, I asked her, and she replied that she couldn’t answer that since it was a military secret.
“Well, if it is a secret,” I replied to her, “then I can’t tell you anything—it is also a secret.”
When I maintained my stand not to reveal what I knew until she told me the truth, she said, “Okay, I will tell you, but please don’t tell anybody, or I can get into trouble.”
“Okay,” I said, “You’ve got yourself a deal.”
“Well, we received a request from Moammar Gadhafi for a Filipino faith healer.”
“What? Moammar Gadhafi of Libya?” I asked incredulously. “What’s wrong with him?”
“I don’t know, but quickly. Give me a name because the DFA is waiting for a reply to this request. I have to answer immediately. ”
So I gave her the name of a healer in Baguio whom I knew was very powerful. I have seen him perform many miraculous healing both here and abroad.
After that, I never heard from this colonel, or from the faith healer, anymore.
$30,000 a day
A year later, I was told by the healer that he treated Moammar Gadhafi and his mother for a serious heart ailment in Japan and not in Libya, and they both got healed. Gadhafi, he said, was offering to pay him $30,000 a day if he would stay in Libya for three months.
He said he refused the offer, because he was afraid he might be unable to come out alive if he made a mistake or failed to heal any patient referred to him.
“Why did you have to meet him in Tokyo and not in Tripoli?” I asked.
“It was the suggestion of President Marcos. He told me he cannot protect me if something happened to me in Libya. So we met in a neutral country.” At the time, this healer was married to a Japanese woman and he felt safe in that country.
After the People Power of 1986 and the death of President Marcos, his wife Imelda was arrested in New York and asked to post bail of $1 million. She said she didn’t have that much money. If readers will recall, two persons came out to volunteer to put up the $1-million bail for Mrs. Marcos: one was her close friend, multimillionaire Doris Duke, and the other was Moammar Gadhafi.
Now, why would Gadhafi volunteer to put up the huge bail for Imelda? Is it possibly because a Filipino healer healed him and his mother of a serious heart ailment?
In 1982, I also helped an ailing President Marcos find a healer who corrected a health problem of his, though the healer did not succeed in healing all his ailments.
When Adrian Cristobal, former cabinet member of Marcos, heard of what I did to help save the lives of Marcos and Gadhafi, he said, “Jimmy, are you aware that you are responsible for two-thirds of the world’s evil?” Whether he said this in jest or not, I will never know.

By: Jaime T. Licauco
Philippine Daily Inquirer
10:34 pm | Monday, October 17th, 2011

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Gunmen attack mosque in Tripoli

Tripoli: A group of more than 200 heavily armed gunmen attacked a mosque in the Libyan capital and ransacked the tombs of two imams, witnesses said on Monday.
“They arrived shortly after 10:00 pm (2000 GMT, Sunday night), between 200 and 300 of them, in pickups fitted with heavy machineguns. They took off at about 1:00 am,” said Mahmud Rahman, a resident of Tripoli’s northeastern Al-Masri district.
“They forced open the mosque’s door and then started to dig up the tombs of imams Abdel Rahman el-Masri and Salem Abu Seif, and made off with their relics,” said Rahman.
An Agency journalist, visiting the mosque and its adjoining Koranic school, said Muslim holy books had been burnt.

“They had beards and were in military uniform. They must have been Islamic extremists wanting to make trouble. They want power, they want to control Libya,” said a teacher at the school, on condition of anonymity.
“They were very well organised. Men sealed off the perimeter of the mosque and were communicating with walkie-talkies,” he said.
Last week, a Muslim cemetery in the western district of Gargaresh and another near Tripoli airport were also ransacked, apparently with pneumatic drills and other heavy tools, according to witnesses.
Libya, which practises a moderate form of Islam and whose leader Muammar Gaddafi was ousted in August in an anti-regime revolt, awaits the formation of a new government at a time of ethnic, regional and religious tensions.

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FOOTIE legend Paul Gascoigne has revealed how he enjoyed a boozy night out with two of Mad Dog Gaddafi’s sons.

And he admitted he used to snort 16 LINES of cocaine a day.

Gazza, 44, told Piers Morgan in a TV interview filmed at the weekend: “I went to Libya when I played for Middlesbrough and took Gaddafi’s two sons out and got them lamped. I also signed this thing in his compound. I think it was a bomb!”

Paul, currently in rehab in Bournemouth, was close to tears as he spoke of his booze and drugs battle. The ex-Newcastle midfielder admitted: “At my worst I had 16 lines of coke a day. I was on four bottles of whisky a day for three months. It took two bottles just to stop the shakes.”

Gazza also revealed he grabbed the controls of a jet carrying England’s 1990 World Cup squad to Naples, Italy.

He said: “I asked if I could sit in the cockpit. Then I asked the pilot if I could have a go at the controls. I gave it a turn and I must have sent the jet three miles off track.”

The star admitted he was forced to seek help after his bizarre bid to help fugitive killer Raoul Moat last year. He said: “I wasn’t well at all and my family weren’t happy after that.”

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My prophecy for Libya: revolution will crumble

Written by Jimmy Spire Ssentongo
Sunday, 09 October 2011 23:25
I have not been in the business of prophesying, but on this one my jubilant Libyan brothers and sisters will have to listen to me, and listen good.

I wouldn’t want to bring bad taste into your celebratory mood, but as with most prophecies, you simply have to pay heed, no matter in which taste it comes. As I prophesy for the Libyans, some Ugandan ‘friends’ may well write me off as an unpatriotic false prophet of doom but remember that biblical adage: ‘A prophet is never accepted in his own country.’

Libyans, the rebels have liberated you from Gaddafi. I watched as you celebrated their triumphant entry into Tripoli. It was the joy for a newborn child, but I could only afford an ambivalent smile. The rebels may well now refer to Gaddafi as a ‘swine.’ They will give excellent speeches with a moving picture of hope for Libya, a revolutionary shift from the ‘Manor Farm’ to the ‘Animal Farm’ where all animals shall be equal.

Yes, they will assure you that theirs ‘is not a mere change of guards but a fundamental change.’ They will blame Gaddafi for having been an extravagant leader. Why would he sleep on imported beds while there are beds made in Libya? Why would he travel in motorcades of expensive cars despite cheaper available options?

Indeed, they will offer you pieties of democracy that ‘the problem of African countries, and Libya in particular, is that leaders overstay in power.’ Listen to them, but with my prophecy in mind. The first years might well be rosy and in the spirit of the promises. And, in one movement, you won’t avoid singing praises for their names. I mean the liberators, the heroes, the visionaries.

However, comrades, over time, you will painfully watch your dream crumble, bit by bit, as the rebels start taking on a new face. You will then notice the Trojan horse that the revolution was. They will start eating on your behalf. Voicing your concern about such injustices and other afflictions might become sort of a crime in itself. Standing up in protest to express your dissatisfaction might become a big risk.

They may not only spray you pink but also move that you are locked up with no chance of bail. Be ready to be asked where you were when they were fighting. Weren’t you hiding under your beds when there was a patriotic call to ‘liberate’ Libya from Gaddafi?

Your indirect sacrifices in the liberation war may no longer count!

Perhaps not all will be lost. You will still have peace to hold on to as consolation that not all was in vain. But for that peace you will pay dearly. It might drain all other significance out of elections as the narrative of a disturbed past steals the soul of your rural masses. No matter what squalor they live in, they will spare some energy to recite that narrative and the rebels will make it their magic election card.

Yes, you will also have relatively more freedom to speak than during Gaddafi’s time. With that freedom you will realise how painful it is to speak when no one seems interested in listening to you. They will declare zero tolerance to corruption every year because they know you like to hear that.

But when they move to act, they will passionately protect and promote the corrupt. They will prove more devoted to protecting their own than to serving the nation. They will not question when those who fought become obscenely and suspiciously rich.

Now you are seeing them mix with you on the streets in celebration, but later they will start fearing you. They will move in convoys of expensive cars with soldiers armed like red ants in paranoia. Later, as an economic crisis will be eating you away, they will sit in the comfort provided from your taxes and ask with smiles on their faces: “Is there a crisis in this country? I don’t see any!”

And the Squealers of the Libya Farm will nod in agreement.

In total frustration with the system, you will go back to the wall to remind them of the rule that all animals are equal. Alas, you will find an addition in wet familiar ink: … but those who fought are more equal than others. Who owns the kill? It is the hunter and, perhaps, his dogs.

The author is a lecturer at Uganda Martyrs University.

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91 million Br is owed in dividend taxes after Oil Libya acquired the assets and operations of Shell Ethiopia Ltd while 119 million Br was owed in capital gains taxes, claims ERCA.

The saga between Oil Libya and the Ethiopian Revenues and Customs Authority (ERCA) over 210 million Br in tax arrears drew to a close with the latter collecting 100 million Br from a bank account of the former.

91 million Br is owed in dividend taxes after Oil Libya acquired the assets and operations of Shell Ethiopia Ltd while 119 million Br was owed in capital gains taxes, claims ERCA.

All this started when an informant working at Oil Libya tipped off the tax authority that the 99 million Br acquisition of shares of Shell Ethiopia, which has been distributing petroleum products in Ethiopia since 1948, was not the actual amount.

This led to a six month investigation by ERCA which took investigators all the way to Her Majesty’s Revenues and Customs (HMRC) in London. Oil Libya, a Mauritius-registered oil distributer, actually paid 323.4 billion Br for the acquisition, which investigators at the tax authority claim to have found out.

Oil Libya had contested the assessment of the investigators to the review committee, which is under ERCA, but was found to have been in the wrong in July, 2011. The company then appealed its case to the Prime Minister’s office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) and the director general of ERCA, claiming that the amount asked would force it out of its operations in Ethiopia.

When this ploy failed, Abdusalah Yuneus, one of the three Libyan shareholders and London-based general manager of Libya Oil Ethiopia came to Addis Abeba that same month. However, his attempt to appeal to senior officials from tax assessment and enforcement departments of the authority, including the director general, was also thwarted, leaving the company only to resort to legal action.

The company was left with putting up 50pc of the amount. Further, it was asked to appeal its case to the appellate commission, which is under the Ministry of Justice (MoJ).

“The company was appealing to different government bodies which are not eligible to see tax-related issues to divert attention,” an official at the tax authority who was not authorized to comment, told Fortune.

Having failed to pay the amount or appeal its case to the commission by the deadline of September 13, 2001, the tax authority blocked the bank account of Oil Liby at Wegagen Bank, Meskel Square branch, last week.

The tax authority has this mandate, which was given to it under the income tax law. It can affect seizure of property, if the authority finds that the collection of the tax due is in jeopardy or in a state of refusal, and to satisfy its claim by giving a 30-day notice, according to the proclamation. This is with the exception of employee’s remuneration or other properties liable for attachment.

The oil company has been claiming in different discussions held with officials at the tax authority that it did not have enough liquid cash, according to sources.

“However, it was found that it usually transfers its cash to the main office or changes it into assets,” the senior official told Fortune. “Therefore waiting for 30 days had put collection of the money owed in jeopardy, and that is why ERCA went after the bank account.”

Employing close to 200 staff members with 180 retail stations across the country, Oil Libya has been struggling to reclaim the dominant market position marked by its predecessor, which used to have 48pc of the market share.

It is now undergoing an expansion project, building an oil depot inside Bole international Airport, with the capacity to store 1.5 million litres. This has put the company in a position to supply 50pc of fuel used by Ethiopian Airlines (ET).

Collection of the money ERCA claims is owed would lead to 20pc of the 91 million Br recouped, of which the informants would end up with 18.2 million Br.

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