A United Kingdom special – Will somebody tell these fools to stop??

It’s almost very amusing.

Is Hindusthan paying back the UK in the same Gandhi coin that Great Britain used once upon a time to keep Hindu Nationalists at bay? I would say yes if our government was that clever.

The fact is it’s a miserable feeling when a once great nation lies dead and all one witnesses now and then are the visible effects of rigor mortis setting in. You know, when some muscles twitch and startle living folks in the vicinity.

Here in three easy parts is the story of how a mass murderer was released and please don’t miss the Gandhi angle to this macabre drama.

– Namaste

Part 1. Britain asked Scotland to release Lockerbie bomber: Report

PTI 23 August 2009, 03:09pm IST

LONDON: In what could be interpreted as a British attempt to influence Scotland, a UK Minister asked the Scottish government to release Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali Mohmmed al-Megrahi, a media report said on Sunday.

According to ‘The Sunday Times’, British Foreign Office Minister Ivan Lewis wrote to Scottish Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill that there’s no legal reason not to accede to Libya’s request to transfer Megrahi into its custody under a treaty agreed between Tony Blair and Colonel Gadaffi in 2007.

Lewis wrote the letter on August 3 barely three weeks before Megrahi, convicted of killing 270 people by blowing up Pan Am flight 103 over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in 1988, was freed.

A British government source, who saw the letter, said that Lewis added: “I hope on this basis you will now feel able to consider the Libyan application in accordance with all the provisions of the prisoner transfer agreement.”

The newspaper also quoted a source close to MacAskill as saying: “That clearly means, ‘I hope on this basis you will feel able to approve the Libyan application’. That’s the only conclusion you can take from it.”

The Lockerbie bomber was finally freed from prison on “compassionate grounds” last Thursday amid claims that his release was linked to a lucrative trade deal between UK and Libya, as well as Tripoli threatening to cut diplomatic ties.

However, the British Foreign Office denied that Libya had threatened to cut diplomatic relations and Lewis had put pressure on the Scottish government.

A spokeswoman last night said: “Ivan’s letter was in response to a letter from Kenny MacAskill on July 16, which requested more information about agreements in 1998-99 between the UK and Libyan governments. Having previously provided this Lewis reiterated our understanding of the legal situation.

“He explicitly said in the letter that when his officials had given this advice to Scottish ministers, ‘They were not making representations on whether Megrahi ought to be transferred to Libya’.” 

Part 2. Lockerbie bomber may live longer than predicted

ANI 27 August 2009, 01:09am IST

LONDON: The Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali Muhammad al-Megrahi, released by Scottish ministers could actually live much longer than expected, a cancer expert has said.

Megrahi was released on orders of Scottish justice minister, Kenny MacAskill, who released the bomber on compassionate grounds of suffering from prostrate cancer.

It was believed Megrahi would die within three months and his release came under the guidelines of the
Scottish Prison Service (SPS) according to which inmates could be released if they had less than three months to live

However, Dr Richard Simpson, a former member of the British Association of Urological Surgeons prostate cancer working group, has expressed “significant doubt” that Megrahi will die within the next three months.

The Telegraph quoted Simpson as saying: “It is clear to me from the medical reports and the opinion of the specialists that Megrahi could live for many more months.

Kenny MacAskill released him apparently on the advice of just one doctor whose status is not clear and who is not named.”

Simpson added that a second specialist opinion should have been sought before the release. A report made by a SPS medical officer for Mr MacAskill, said Megrahi had between 18 months and two years to live last autumn. But, tests done this June-July showed Megrahi might only live for about a year or so.

Part 3. Gandhi’s ideas influenced release of Lockerbie bomber

PTI 18 October 2009, 02:39pm IST

LONDON: The recent release of the alleged Lockerbie bomber was in line with Mahatma Gandhi’s principles of compassion and non-violence, Scotland first minister Alex Salmond has said.

Speaking during a conference of his Scottish National Party, in Inverness, Salmond said that the Scottish justice secretary Kenny MacAskill was right in deciding to release Abdelbaset Ali Mohmet al-Megrahi on compassionate grounds in August.

Salmond recalled the recent visit of Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson, Arun Gandhi to Scotland and said, “One of the things he told me is that his grandfather’s philosophy is much misunderstood. His resistance was not passive, but active. His dedication to non-violence a strength, not a weakness”.

Salmond continued in the Gandhian mode, “Sometimes, someone has to break the cycle of retribution with an act of compassion – that is what Kenny MacAskill did and we should be proud of him for doing it.”

Earlier, Salmond said he will consider a proposal to set up a Scottish centre for non-violence, peace and reconciliation after a meeting with Arun Gandhi.

Gandhi, 74, was in Scotland to deliver lectures at the universities of Edinburgh, Dundee and Queen Margaret. He addressed a conference at Napier University on the Gandhian approach to ethical leadership.

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