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The life and time of Shinzo Abe, former Japan PM shot dead 8th July 2022

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Shinzo Abe (安倍 晋三, Abe Shinzō, pronounced [abe ɕindzoː]; 21 September 1954 – 8 July 2022) was a Japanese politician.

He served as prime minister of Japan and President of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) from 2006 to 2007 and again from 2012 to 2020.

He was the longest-serving prime minister in Japanese history. Abe also served as Chief Cabinet Secretary. From 2005 to 2006, under Junichiro Koizumi and was briefly leader of the opposition in 2012.

House of Representatives

Born into a prominent political family, Shinzo Abe was elected to the House of Representatives in the 1993 election.

He was appointed Chief Cabinet Secretary by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi in September 2005 before replacing him as prime minister and LDP president in September 2006.

He was subsequently confirmed as prime minister by a special session of the National Diet, becoming Japan’s youngest post-war prime minister.

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World War II

And the first to have been born after World War II. Abe resigned as prime minister just after one year in office because of medical complications.

From lucrative politics, shortly after his party lost that year’s House of Councillors election. He was replaced by Yasuo Fukuda.

He became the first in a series of five prime ministers who each failed to retain office for more than sixteen months.

Unexpected political comeback

After recovering from his illness, Abe staged an unexpected political comeback, defeating Shigeru Ishiba, the former defense minister. In a ballot to become LDP president for the second time in September 2012.

Following the LDP’s landslide victory in the December general election, he became the first former prime minister to return to office since Shigeru Yoshida in 1948.

He led the LDP to two further landslides in the 2014 and 2017 elections, becoming Japan’s longest-serving prime minister.

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Second Resignation

In August 2020, Abe announced his second resignation as prime minister, citing a significant resurgence of his ulcerative colitis.

He tendered his resignation on 16 September, upon the Diet electing Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga as his successor.

Abe was a conservative whom political commentators widely described as a right-wing Japanese nationalist.

Member of Nippon Kaigi

He was a member of Nippon Kaigi and held negationist views on Japanese history, including denying the role of government coercion.

The recruitment of comfort women during World War II, a position which created tension with neighboring South Korea.

He was considered a hard-liner with respect to Japanese defense policy and advocated revising Article 9 of the pacifist Japanese constitution.

Security Reform Legislation

To permit Japan to maintain military forces. He proposed, advocated for, and successfully enacted security reform legislation in 2015.

To allow for the Japanese exercise of collective security, the passage of which was controversial and met with large protests.

Abe’s premiership was known internationally for his government’s economic policies, nicknamed Abenomics.

Which pursued monetary easing, fiscal stimulus, and structural reforms.

Assassination

Abe was assassinated with a firearm on 8 July 2022 while delivering a campaign speech in Nara.

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Japanese Fashion Designer Issey Miyake Has Died

Miyake died of liver cancer.

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Renowned avant-garde fashion designer and innovator Issey Miyake has died in hospital in Tokyo aged 84. Miyake rose to prominence in the 1970s, with his work over the years defined by technology-driven designs, bold, colorful styles and origami-like pleats – the latter of which earned him the title ‘Prince of Pleats’.

The visionary designer founded the Miyake Design Studio in 1970 and went on to create a range of fashion lines as well as fragrances. Miyake’s designs have been worn by the likes of Miles Davis and Grace Jones and he was responsible for Apple founder Steve Jobs’ signature turtleneck sweaters. Although he officially retired from fashion in 1997 he continued to oversee the creative direction of his company’s fashion lines.

Miyake defined an era in Japan’s modern history, reaching stardom in the 1970s among a generation of designers and artists who reached global fame by defining a Japanese vision that was unique from the West.

He also used computer technology in weaving to create apparel. His down-to-earth clothing was meant to celebrate the human body regardless of race, build, size or age.

See also:https://thebigissue.co.ke/timberland-the-billion-dollar-shoe-company/

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Who is Rigathi Gachagua ?Kenya Kwanza’s second in command

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Rigathi Gachagua is a Kenyan politician and the current member of parliament for Mathira Constituency.

He is also the running mate for Kenya Kwanza presidential candidate William Ruto for Kenya’s presidential elections set for August 2022.

He was born in 1965 in Hiriga village of Mathira Constituency, Nyeri County. Being the eighth born child to Nashashon Gachagua Reriani and Martha Kirigo.

His association with Mau Mau Freedom Fighters

His parents were Mau Mau freedom fighters in Mt.Kenya forest. Where Nashashon Gachagua Reriani was building and servicing guns for the freedom fighters.

Education

He enrolled at Kabiruini Primary School from 1971 to 1977 before proceeding to Kianyaga High School. For his O-levels and A-levels.

In 1985, he joined the University of Nairobi, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree. Political Science and Literature in 1988.

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Nyeri District University Students Association

At the University of Nairobi, Gachagua was the Nyeri District University Students Association (Ndusa) leader and the chairman of The Association of Literature Students. Married to Dorcas Wanjiku Rigathi, a pastor based in Mathira.

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Ministry of Home Affairs & National Heritage

After graduating, Gachagua was employed for a short time at Kenya’s Ministry of Home Affairs & National Heritage before he joined Administration Police Institute in 1990.

After graduating from the Administration Police Institute, Gachagua was posted at the Office of the then president Daniel Arap Moi as a District Officer Cadet between 1991 and 1992.

Gachagua then served as a District Officer in Kakamega, Ng’arua, and Laikipia districts.

Kenya School of Government

From 1999 and 2000, he joined the Kenya School of Government, where he graduated with a Diploma in Advanced Public Administration.

Starting 2001 to 2006, Gachagua then worked as the Personal Assistant to Uhuru Kenyatta, the current President of the Republic of Kenya.

For ten years, from 2007 to 2017, Gachagua remained behind the scenes running his businesses.

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Member of Parliament

In 2017 Gachagua won elections as a Kenyan member of parliament for the Mathira constituency. He is the running mate to UDA presidential candidate William Ruto since the 15th of May 2022 under Kenya Kwanza political coalition.

Others who were eyeing the same position included Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru, Kandara MP Alice Wahome, Tharaka Nithi Senator Kithure Kindiki, and National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi.

Rigathi has chequered past with pending court cases over alleged cases of misappropriation of government funds.

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Sri Lankan Economic Crisis 2019 to 2022. Reason for President’s resignation.

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The Sri Lankan economic crisis is an ongoing crisis in the island-state of Sri Lanka. It started in 2019 and it is the country’s worst economic crisis, since its independence in 1948.

It has led to unprecedented levels of inflation, near-depletion of foreign exchange reserves, shortages of medical supplies and an increase in prices of basic commodities.

The crisis begun due to multiple compounding factors like money creation. A nationwide policy to shift to organic or biological farming.

Easter Bombings in Sri Lanka – 2019

The Easter bombings in 2019, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The subsequent economic hardships resulted in the 2022 Sri Lankan protests.

Sri Lanka was earmarked for sovereign default, as the remaining foreign exchange reserves of US$1.9 billion as of March 2022 were minimal.

They would not be sufficient to pay the country’s foreign debt obligations for 2022, with US$4 billion to be repaid.

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International Sovereign Bond

An International Sovereign Bond repayment of US$1 billion is due for repayment by the government in July 2022.

Bloomberg reported that Sri Lanka had a total of US$8.6 billion in repayments due in 2022. Including both local debt and foreign debt.

In April 2022, the Sri Lankan government announced that it was defaulting. Making it the first sovereign default in Sri Lankan history since its independence in 1948.

Sovereign Default

And the first state in the Asia-Pacific region to enter sovereign default in the 21st century. In June 2022, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said in parliament, that the economy had collapsed, leaving it unable to pay for essentials.

According to W. A. Wijewardena, a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, the country was a long way into an economic crisis in 2015.

The government which came into power in 2015 knew this. And had been warned by the Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka about a number of risks.

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Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe

In 2015, the then Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe presented a strong economic policy to address the situation.

The coalition government could not get the policy pushed through Parliament. Which would eventually result in further policy confusion in the coming months.

The government did not adequately address the economic warnings. And emerging dangers, consuming itself in other government related activities such as “constitutional reforms”.

Ministry of Finance led by Ravi Karunanayake

Certain practices, including those used by the Ministry of Finance led by Ravi Karunanayake, were globally frowned upon.

Election related economic decisions were pushed. Such as excessive distribution of freebies. The Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka’s 2014 State of the Economy Report highlighted.

Hot money, worrying borrowing practices, temporary and superficial quick-fixes. And monopoly of Foreign direct investment flow, into the hospitality sector.

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Political Turmoil in 2018

Further political turmoil in 2018 worsened the economic outlook. By that time the government had carried out several reforms.

Under an IMF supported program towards fiscal monetary consolidation and had successfully controlled inflation.

These reforms included an automatic fuel pricing formula. Which significantly reduced fiscal risks posed by state-owned enterprises (SOEs).

Value Added Tax Rate

Raised the Value Added Tax (VAT) rate from 11 percent to 15 percent and broadened the VAT base by removing exemptions.

Many of the reforms were reversed by the new government after the 2019 elections. The last administration also drafted the 2019 Central Bank Bill.

To make the Central Bank independent from political influence by banning the Treasury Secretary and any member of the Government.

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Members of the Monetary Board

From becoming members of the Monetary Board. Money printing was also to be banned, as the bill states “The Central Bank shall not purchase securities issued by the government.

Or any government-owned entity and any other public entity in the primary market.” Then Central Bank Governor, Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy, noted.

Balance of Payments issues, increased inflation, and asset bubbles as reasons for the ban. The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna Party opposed an independent Central Bank. And discarded the bill as soon as they came to power.

Lebanon’s Economic Situation

Many experts compared Lebanon’s economic situation with that of Sri Lanka. And had warned that Sri Lanka too was on the way to defaulting on its sovereign bonds.

Both nations had similar issues, including deep economic crises occurring after their successive governments, piled up unsustainable debts following the end of civil wars.

In March 2022, spontaneous and organized protests by both political parties and non-partisan groups, over the government’s mishandling of the economy were reported from several areas.

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Political Opposition

Several protests were staged by the political opposition demanding the current administration to solve the financial crisis and to immediately resign in wake of the wider economic crisis.

Tens of thousands of supporters of the opposition party, the United People’s Force led by Sajith Premadasa carried out protests on 16 March.

In front of the President’s office demanding that the president quit. On 30 March, Namal Rajapaksa arrived for the opening ceremony of a sports ground in Bandarawela.

Energy protests

Angry locals blocked the road demanding fuel which resulted in Namal Rajapaksa avoiding the area and the grounds being opened by the mayor instead.

On 31 March, a large group gathered around the residence of Gotabaya Rajapaksa. In Mirihana to protest against the power cuts that had reached over 12-hours a day.

The protest was initially spontaneous peaceful protest by citizens, until the police attacked the protestors with tear gas. And water cannons and the protestors burned a bus carrying riot control troops.

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Curfew in Colombo

The government declared a curfew in Colombo. Simultaneous protests were also reported on the Kandy-Colombo Road which was blocked by the protesters.

The government accused the protesters of being members of an extremist group and began to arrest them.

Candle light protests were also continuing in several areas while car horn tooting protests were also reported.

May 2022

In May 2022 the Rajapaksa family home was set on fire by protestors. Amidst the protests Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned as Prime Minister in May 2022.

But Gotabaya Rajapaksa refused to resign from the position of President and the protests continued.[204]

On 9 July protesters breached President’s Official House and set fire on the Prime Minister Wickremesinghe’s private residence in Colombo.

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