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Friday, November 30, 2007

Oman Air starts Bangkok flights

Oman Air is now operating five direct flights a week between Muscat and Bangkok. Ziad Bin Karim Al Haremi, Oman Aviation Services (Oman Air) CEO said that launching services to Bangkok is in response to market demand for direct and reliable services between the Muscat and Asia Pacific. “Oman Air operations to Bangkok will improve business relations between the two nations,” he added.“We have selected Thailand as our base for expansion into the Far East region and want to take advantage of the opportunities it can harness from the boom in passenger traffic through the new Suvarnabhumi Airport,” he said.“We expect to see higher load factor after the initial launch with the initial target being 70 per cent,” he added. He said that with the ongoing expansion witnessed in the airline’s network to reach more destinations to serve Oman, Oman Air would become the logical choice for customers flying for leisure or business to the Sultanate. “We are going to work in every way to try to increase the presence in Asia Pacific, and will look at tapping all the markets.”He said that increasing economic relations between Oman and Thailand, had resulted in a marked increase in business and tourist traffic between the two countries, which requires enhanced connectivity, saying that Oman Air Bangkok flights would not only link the two capital cities but also offer convenient connections to Bangkok and onward to other cities we operate to. Oman Air will fly Boeing 767s to the Far East. With the inauguration of Bangkok, Oman’s national carrier now flies to 25 destinations.
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Saturday, November 24, 2007

ICJ settles Nicaragua, Honduras boundary dispute

Monday, October 08, 2007 Lisl Brunner at 3:42 PM ET
[JURIST] The International Court of Justice [official website] issued an opinion [PDF opinion; press release] Monday resolving a maritime boundary dispute between Nicaragua and Honduras [JURIST news archive] and granting possession of four small Caribbean islands to Honduras. Nicaragua filed the suit in 1999, claiming that no legal maritime border existed; Honduras claimed that the boundary had been determined by a 1906 arbitral award from the king of Spain. The Court found no evidence that the disputed territory had been assigned to either country upon decolonization and based the grant to Honduras on the fact that it has exercised sovereignty over the islands. At the same time, it granted more maritime territory to Nicaragua than the country had claimed. Finally, the Court ordered both countries to negotiate a specific portion of the boundary near the Coco River. Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and Honduran President Manuel Zelaya said they were satisfied with the decision and would comply with the Court's ruling. AP has more. El Nuevo Diario has local coverage from Nicaragua. La Tribuna has local coverage from Honduras.Peruvian diplomat Hugo de Zela Hurtado welcomed the ICJ ruling as a "decisive precedent" which will bolster Peru's claim against Chile [JURIST news archive] in a similar dispute [LA Times report] that is expected to be brought before the Court in the coming months. Tensions between the two countries have escalated over a 10,000-mile strip of ocean which Peru [JURIST news archive] claims was ceded to it under 1952 and 1954 treaties; Chile claims that the treaties involved fishing rights only. Chile is expected to reject the jurisdiction of the ICJ [Andina report] in the case. El Peruano has more.

Deep-Six the Law of the Sea

By Thomas A. Bowden, 11/20/2007 10:31:55 AM

The Law of the Sea Treaty, which awaits a ratification vote in the U.S. Senate, declares most of the earth's vast ocean floor to be "the common heritage of mankind" and places it under United Nations ownership "for the benefit of mankind as a whole."

This treaty has been bobbing in the legislative ocean for the past 25 years. After President Ronald Reagan refused to sign it in 1982, repeated attempts at ratification have failed. Last month, however, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 17-4 to send it to the full Senate, where a two-thirds majority is required to ratify.

What's at stake are trillions of tons of vital minerals such as manganese, nickel, copper, zinc, gold and silver -- enough to supply current needs for thousands of years -- spread over vast seabeds constituting 41 percent of the planet's area. Senate ratification would signify U.S. agreement that the International Seabed Authority, a U.N. agency based in Jamaica, should own these resources in perpetuity.

Why should we agree to this?

Like any other hard-to-reach resources, these undersea minerals are completely valueless where they now rest. What is it that makes such resources actually valuable? It is the thinking and action of inventors, engineers, explorers and entrepreneurs who devote their mental energy to the task of finding and retrieving them. These undersea pioneers don't just find wealth, they create wealth -- by bringing a portion of nature's bounty under human control.

Despite the treaty's allusion to seabeds as the "common heritage of mankind," mankind as a whole has done exactly nothing to create value in the deep ocean, which is a remote wilderness, virtually unexploited. Under the proposed treaty, however, the ocean mining companies -- whose science, exploration, technology, and entrepreneurship are being counted on to gather otherwise inaccessible riches -- are treated as mere servants of a world collective.

In practice, under the treaty's explicitly socialist approach, mining companies operate as mere licensees who must render hefty application fees as well as continuing payments (read: taxes) and obtain prior approval at every stage of work, under regulations that emerge sluggishly from multinational committees.

Licensees must also enrich a U.N.-operated competitor called, spookily enough, "The Enterprise." For every square mile of ocean bottom a licensee explores, half must be relinquished to The Enterprise, free of charge -- and the Enterprise gets to pick the better half.

Licensees must also make available, on so-called reasonable commercial terms, their technology and know-how, and even train this giant competitor's personnel. At the end of the day, profits from The Enterprise, along with taxes from licensees, are distributed to U.N. member-nations such as Cuba, Uganda and Venezuela, who contribute nothing to the productive process.

The treaty simply assumes as a self-evident truth that wealth sharing is the moral duty of the haves toward the have-nots, and that the world's needy nations have a moral claim on the wealth created by undersea miners. But we should pause to challenge both that moral assumption and its legal implications.

Morally, undersea mining operations are entitled to own outright those portions of the ocean floor they exploit, by virtue of the productive effort they expend. Producers in general are morally entitled to live and work for their own sake, keeping the wealth they create without any moral debt to those who didn't create it. Because nature requires us to be productive in order to live, the businessman's pursuit of profit is properly regarded as a virtue, not a vice indebting him to a hungry planet.

Legally, this viewpoint is embodied in the American ideals of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, secured by private property rights. A historical example of the proper principle in action is the Homestead Act of 1862. Farmers acquired property rights, i.e., private deeds, to 270 million acres of fertile Midwest prairie land by the productive act of farming it, parcel by parcel.

Suppose, instead, that the U.S. government had issued only licenses, not deeds, for the acreage those farmers carved out of wild prairie land. Then suppose the government had transferred half that hard-won acreage to "The Farm," a giant government-owned competitor whose field hands the farmers would be expected to equip and train. Of course, such a travesty would have been unthinkable in the relatively capitalistic 19th century.

Governments today have legitimate options regarding how to deal with undersea explorers' need to establish property rights in the deep ocean. But it would be totally improper for America to declare eternal hostility to private property in the ocean floor by ratifying a treaty dedicated on principle to denying such rights.

Thomas A. Bowden, a former attorney and law school instructor, is an analyst focusing on legal issues at the Ayn Rand Institute.
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Friday, November 23, 2007

RPT Swedish prosecutor says no evidence Ericsson bribed Oman govt

Wednesday November 21, 04:23 PM
STOCKHOLM (Thomson Financial) - The Swedish prosecutor who investigated LM Ericsson AB's use of Swiss bank accounts in the late 1990s said he has no evidence to support allegations by Swedish Radio (SR) that the accounts were used to bribe a government official in Oman.
SR said today its investigation revealed Ericsson (Stockholm: ERICB.ST - news) paid 12 mln sek into an account used by an Omani minister. Around the same time Ericsson received a 300 mln skr order to expand the mobile network in Muscat, it said.
However, prosecutor Lage Karlstroem told Thomson Financial News that although the Swedish SR journalist's report was based on his legal records released in 2005, his files made no similar accusation, and he has no way of knowing how or why the journalist drew the conclusion he did.
'I prosecuted the system (of Swiss bank accounts), not any single payment or any individual. There was over 3.5 bln kronor involved and around 10,000 individual invoices,' said Karlstroem, 'But the radio report has to do with my investigation'.
The Swedish Economic Crimes Bureau (Ekobrottsmyndigheten) is appealing a Dec 2006 decision by the Stockholm District Court to acquit managers at Ericsson of charges of 'financial irregularity' relating to the Swiss bank accounts. The case did not include any allegation of bribery.
The appeal hearing is due on Feb 4, said Karlstroem.
He said there are no plans to open a new investigation into Ericsson following SR's report today.
'No, this story about this person in Oman is too old to investigate,' said Karlstroem noting that Sweden's statute of limitations in such cases is 5 years.

Ericsson suspected of bribing Oman politician: report

STOCKHOLM, Nov 21, 2007 (AFP), the world's leading mobile networks maker, allegedly paid more than a million dollars (euros) to a former Oman government minister in what appears to have been a bribe for a large contract, Swedish public radio reported Wednesday.

It paid 12 million kronor (1.3 million euros, 1.9 million dollars) into the Swiss bank account of Oman's former telecommunications minister, Ahmed Suwaidan Al Balushi, in the late 1990s, apparently as compensation for winning a 300-million-kronor contract in the country, Swedish Radio said.

"This seems very strange ... That the company paid some government minister through an agent probably means in this case that it was a bribe," Oerjan Berner at anti-corruption group Transparency International told the radio station.

Swedish Radio posted bank documents and memos detailing the transaction, made public during a tax probe of the company, on its website.

Ericson in one memo listed go-between agent Peter Sullivan and his company Middle East Services as the beneficiaries of the commission payment for the contract it had received from Oman's telecommunications authorities to expand the mobile network in the capital Muscat, according to the radio.

The bank documents however reveal that Al Balushi, who was Oman's telecommunications minister until 2000, was the owner of the account into which the money was paid, the radio alleged.

The news came as the Swedish telecom giant was reeling after its shares plummeted more than 11 percent Tuesday following a new profit warning from chief executive Carl-Henric Svanberg.

In early trading Wednesday, Ericson's stock price continued to tumble, slipping more than 4.0 percent to just 15.32 kronor a share.

Ericsson could not immediately be reached for comment on the bribery accusations.

From: on 23 November 2007

Sunday, November 18, 2007

العيد الوطني السابع والثلاثين المجيد - سلطنة عمان

مسقط ـ (الوطن) ـ العمانية:بحجم الإنجازات تكون أعمار الأوطان.. وبمقدار عطاء أبنائها يكون عنفوانها.. ومع انبلاج فجر اليوم تنطلق احتفالات البلاد بالعيد الوطني السابع والثلاثين المجيد وسط أجواء احتفالية ترصعت فيها شوارع البلاد من أقصاها الى أقصاها بالزينات، زاهية بأثواب عزة وفخار نسجت خيوطها 37 عاما من الإنجازات في كافة المجالات صاغها باقتدار حضرة صاحب الجلالة السلطان قابوس بن سعيد المعظم ـ حفظه الله ورعاه ـ، وقاد جلالته حفظه الله ورعاه ـ كتائب العمل الوطني جامعا الإبداع بثالوثه الحكمة وبعد النظر والأصالة في مسيرة نهضوية فريدة نحو تطوير مفهوم الدولة الحديثة وتطوير مؤسساتها في مختلف المجالات، بموازاة ذلك الإحساس بالتلاقي بين الحكومة والشعب والذى مثل ويمثل قمة المشاركة السياسية المحفوفة بقدر كبير من الصدق والتصديق وبذلك الكم الهائل من الحرص على الدولة والمنجز فيها. وبهذه المناسبة المجيدة يتفضل حضرة صاحب الجلالة السلطان قابوس بن سعيد المعظم القائد الأعلى للقوات المسلحة ـ حفظه الله ورعاه ـ ويشمل برعايته السامية الكريمة اليوم الأحد العرض العسكري الذي سيقام على ميدان الاستعراض العسكري بقاعدة سعيد بن سلطان البحرية.وسيحضر الاحتفال بمعية جلالة السلطان المعظم أصحاب السمو أفراد الأسرة المالكة ومعالي الدكتور رئيس مجلس الدولة ومعالي الشيخ رئيس مجلس الشورى وأصحاب المعالي الوزراء والمستشارون ومعالي الفريق المفتش العام للشرطة والجمارك ومعالي الفريق رئيس جهاز الأمن الداخلي والفريق الركن رئيس أركان قوات السلطان المسلحة وقادة أسلحة قوات السلطان المسلحة والحرس السلطاني العماني وكبار القادة والضباط العسكريين.كما يحضر المناسبة أصحاب السعادة المكرمون أعضاء مجلس الدولة وأصحاب السعادة أعضاء مجلس الشورى والوكلاء وأصحاب السعادة رؤساء البعثات الدبلوماسية للدول الشقيقة والصديقة المعتمدون لدى السلطنة والملحقون العسكريون وكبار المسؤولين بالدولة وعدد من الضباط وضباط الصف وأفراد قوات السلطان المسلحة والحرس السلطاني العماني وشرطة عمان السلطانية والأجهزة الأمنية والشيوخ والأعيان.ويشارك في الاستعراض العسكري وحدات رمزية من طوابير حرس المراسم تمثل الجيش السلطاني العماني وسلاح الجو السلطاني العماني والبحرية السلطانية العمانية والحرس السلطاني العماني وشرطة عمان السلطانية .. كما يشارك في العرض العسكري الفرق الموسيقية العسكرية المشتركة التي تمثل أسلحة قوات السلطان المسلحة والحرس السلطاني العماني وشرطة عمان السلطانية وموسيقى الخيالة والهجانة السلطانية إلى جانب مشاركة فرق الخيالة التي تمثل خيالة الحاشية السلطانية وخيالة الحرس السلطاني العماني والخيالة السلطانية وخيالة مدرعات سلطان عمان بالجيش السلطاني العماني وخيالة شرطة عمان السلطانية وخيالة الموسيقى الراكبة.ويشتمل الاحتفال على العروض العسكرية المختلفة للفرق الموسيقية العسكرية المشتركة وطوابير حرس المراسم إلى جانب عروض فرق الخيالة. مقتبس من جريدة الوطن العمانية في 18 نوفمبر من الموقع

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

جلالة السلطان يفتتح مجلس عمان ويؤكد على ثوابت السياسة الداخلية والخارجية للبلاد

نشر الخبر في جريدة الشبيبة العمانية

جلالته يلقي كلمته السامية في افتتاح مجلس عمان
جلالته يشيد بدور مجلسي الدولة والشورى في إعداد الدراسات الإقتصادية والإجتماعية ومراجعة القوانين جلالته يحث حث الحكومة على رفع مستوى التواصل مع مجلس عمان للقيام بواجباته على أفضل وجه مسقط - (العمانية): تفضل حضرة صاحب الجلالة السلطان قابوس بن سعيد المعظم - حفظه الله ورعاه - فشمل برعايته السامية الكريمة صباح امس الانعقاد السنوي لمجلس عمان للفترة الرابعة وذلك بقاعة مجلس عمان في الخوير. وفي بداية انعقاد المجلس تليت ايات من الذكر الحكيم ثم تفضل جلالته فالقى كلمة سامية استهلها بحمد لله الذي جعل الشورى منهاجا لعباده والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله معلنا افتتاح الفترة الرابعة لمجلس عمان. واشاد جلالة السلطان المعظم خلال كلمته السامية بالجهد الكبير الذي بذله مجلسا الدولة والشورى في مجال اعداد الدراسات الاقتصادية والاجتماعية ومراجعة القوانين والنظم وتقديم التوصيات والمقترحات في مختلف المسائل التي تهم المجتمع وتهدف الى تطويره وتوفير اساليب التقدم لكل فئاته واثر ذلك في اثراء تجربة الشورى في السلطنة. واعرب جلالته (حفظه الله) عن ارتياحه للكيفية التي تتقدم بها هذه التجربة على درب النمو المتلاحق الذي يقوى بنيانها ويدعم اركانها ويوطد قواعدها ويثبت القيم والمبادىء التي انشئت من اجلها معربا كذلك عن تطلع جلالته الى ان يقوم مجلس عمان بشكل عام ومجلس الشورى على وجه الخصوص بمهام ومسؤوليات اكثر شمولا في مجالات التنمية الاقتصادية والاجتماعية املين ان تكون الخبرات المكتسبة دافعا لتقديم المزيد من العطاء المفيد البناء خدمة لهذا الوطن العزيز الذي يبنى بكل عزم وثبات حاضره ويتطلع الى مستقبله في ضوء متطلبات عصره المتنامية وثوابته الراسخة. واكد جلالة السلطان المعظم - حفظه الله ورعاه - في هذه الصدد انه سيحث حكومة جلالته على رفع مستوى التواصل وتكثيفه مع مجلس عمان بما يمكنه من القيام بواجباته واداء مهامه على افضل وجه. واعرب جلالة السلطان المعظم - حفظه الله ورعاه - عن سروره بتجربة انتخابات الفترة السادسة لمجلس الشورى التي جرت في جو من التنظيم الجيد والسلاسة واليسر والهدوء والامن مشيرا الى ان التجربة تعد دليلا واضحا على وعى المواطنين والتزامهم بقيم ومبادىء هذا المجتمع المحب للخير. واعرب جلالته - حفظه الله ورعاه - كذلك عن تقدير جلالته كثيرا لاقبال المواطنين ذكورا واناثا على ممارسة حقهم الانتخابي لاختيار ممثليهم في مجلس الشورى. واوضح جلالته ان معالم سياستنا الداخلية والخارجية واضحة فنحن مع البناء والتعمير والتنمية الشاملة المستدامة في الداخل ومع الصداقة والسلام والعدالة والوئام والتعايش والتفاهم والحوار الايجابي البناء في الخارج هكذا بدأنا وهكذا نحن الان وسوف نظل باذن الله كذلك راجين للبشرية جمعاء الخير والازدهار والامن والاستقرار والتعاون على اقامة ميزان الحق والعدل.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

صدور الطبعة الجديدة من كتاب عمان البحري السنوي لعام 2008م

قام المكتب الهيدروغرافي الوطني بالبحرية السلطانية العمانية مؤخرا باصدار الطبعة الجديدة من كتاب عمان البحري السنوي لعام 2008 والذي يحتوي في طياته على العديد من المعلومات البحرية الشاملة والمتكاملة من بينها حالة المد والجزر، ومواقع حطام السفن الغارقة في مياه السلطنة الى جانب معلومات أخرى عن الاضواء الملاحية والارشادات اللاسلكية لمياه السلطنة وأجزاء مختارة من المياه المجاورة وغيرها من المعلومات المهمة والمفيدة لرواد البحر كما تم إضافة جدول المسافات بين الموانئ العمانية وبعض موانئ الدول الجاورة. للمزيد من المعلومات يرجى الإتصال على هاتف

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