by Joyce Marcel
American Reporter Correspondent
February 28, 2011
CRY OUT LIKE CASSANDRA
LONDON, March 1, 2011 -- The net that seeks Libyan dictator Muammar Ghaddafi is being closed tighter and tighter, day by day, as many people of his inner circle are defecting, including his interior minister, ambassadors, high-ranking government officials and his voluptuous "favorite nurse."
Ghaddafi's very close aide, Ukrainian-born nurse Halyna Kolotnytska, 38, who has traveled everywhere with him for the last 9 years, has has now left Libya, according to m,edia reports. One British Newspaper report says she is the lover of the Libyan dictator, and that he does not trust women of his country.
The Ukranian newspaper Segodnya quoted her daughter Tetyana as saying that her mother told her that she was not in danger and she would be home soon. The dictator is said to be deeply attached to the nurse and reprts describe her as "voluptuous."
Meanwhile, as world leaders plan to bring the dictator and his aides to the World Court on criminal charges of crimes against humanity, the British government has foiled a secret plot by the Ghaddafi family to grab nearly 900 million pounds in new Libyan bank notes.
Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, the British equivalent of the U.S. Treasury Secretary, intervened last night and froze the assets of the tyrant and his family, telling him, "It is time to go," the Daily Mail newspaper reported here today.
According to the paper, Ghaddafi and his family were planning to grab the fresh notes in Britain, where they were printed, but officials delayed their handover and offered a big slap in the face instead to the dictator, who is accused of killing hundreds and possibly thousands of his own people in a massacre by bombarding unarmed protestors from the air and using heavy-caliber machine guns against them
With Ghaddafi's power base under assault, his allies have launched audacious attempts to seize the notes from a warehouse in northeast Britain, where they were printed, but treasury officials played a game of subterfuge and delay reminiscent of a Hollywoood thriller to stall his henchmen, the paper said.
While British treasury officials worked on drawing up a legally watertight stop order, others created logistical obstacles to prevent the currency leaving the country, it said. "We strung out the process to give us time to get the legal powers," one official was quoted as saying.
"We said it would take three to four days to move that amount, and an appropriate plane," the paper quoted the unnamed official as saying, adding that when Ghaddafi's men offered to provide their own plane, they were directed to Marsden in in the borough of Kent, in southeast England, when the notes were in the northeast, meaning extra traveling time would be required along with several extra vehicles.
The paper said that by the time the hurdles were cleared, Mr. Osborne had documents in place to prevent money leaving the warehouse.
In another step, the Libyan dictator and his cronies were stripped of diplomatic immunity, making it easier to arrest them for war crimes if they set foot in the United Kingdom.
It is said that the government got the approval of the Privy Council at a meeting at Windsor Castle - with the Queen present - "to stop the regime getting access to billions of pounds in assets in Britain."
The British government has also said that it would not approve export licenses for military or paramilitary equipment to Libya.
Britain, like the United States, has strongly urged the dictator to step down immediately. His days are said to be numbered.
"Of course it is time for Colonel Ghaddafi to go. That is the best hope for Libya," British foreign secretary William Hague said.
Ghaddafi, who was described as "mad dog of the Middle East" by former President Ronald Regan, is struggling to regain his rule through the use of dangerous weapons and mercenaries. Many of his own aides and generals have left him.
Britain has urged the International Criminal Court to investigate alleged atrocities committed by Ghaddafi and called for tougher asset seizures which could otherwise be used to suppress his own people, who are demanding the end of his brutal 42-year role.
The White House has said that "when a leader's only means of staying in power is to use mass violence against his own people, he has lost the legitimacy to rule and needs to do what is right for his country by leaving." That message is echoed by protesters in various parts of Libya and his own diplomats around the world.
His close friend from childhood, the Libyan ambassador to the UN, and many other countries including India, China, and Morocco, the United States, and the United Nations, countries of the Arab League, the European Union and others are urging Ghaddafi to leave the country.
Libyan diplomats wept and brushed away tears in an emotional statement to the UN General Assembly, perhaps echoed by the tears of hundreds of thousands of Libyans hoping to eliminate his influence. The question for many is, in how many days, and after the deaths of how many people?
The emotional plea of Libyan ambassador to the UN was heard all around the globe.
"United Nations, please save Libya," pled the country's Ambassador Abdurrahman Mohammed Shalgham in an emotional speech Friday before the UN Security Council in New York.
Shalgham, a lifelong friend of Ghaddafi, told the council that he has chosen the Libyan people over its leader. "I regret to be in this position," Shalgham said during a speech that ended with his resignation.
Shalgham said he could still recall how, as a young man, Ghaddafi defended freedom. Now he has told his people, "Either I rule over you, or I kill you," said Shalgham.
That uncompromising approach has led to the killing of hundreds and injuries to thousands of Libyans.
Now the bloodshed will not allow him to rest in peace - either alive or dead, the protesters in Libya say. "The mad dog of the Middle East is maddening further," said one observer in Libya.
Across the Atlantic, a prominent diplomat echoed that sentiment. America's Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, answered a question about Ghaddafi's behavior during an afternoon briefing in the White House press room Monday by saying he was "delusional" and "disconnected from reality."
AR London Correspondent Chiranjibi Paudyal is a former USIA/U.S. State Dept. Visiting Journalist and has written for The American Reporter since 1999. A native of Nepal, he formerly headed the Kathmandu News Agency.