In 1971, President Richard Nixon declared drugs as public enemy number one and introduced a war on drugs called “Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act 1970.
The act was to set out to reduce or eliminate the production, supply and consumption of illegal drugs. As Nixon made the war official, it was actually Woodrow Wilson who had set a Narcotics Tax in 1914 and Reagan that left a lasting legacy in 1980s. After a year in the office, Reagan stated: “We’re taking down the surrender flag that has flown over so many drug efforts; we’re running up a battle flag.” With this, his administration introduced mandatory minimum sentences for drug offences resulting in an explosive rise in the American prisons that continues today.
Many consider the 1960s as a colorful time and the heyday of drug use where hippies smoked marijuana, children living in the ghettos pushed heroine and Timothy Leary, and a Harvard professor urged the world to try LSD. But in fact some data of surveys done then tells another story. In a 1969 Gallup poll, only 4% of American adults said they had tried marijuana and parents would use scare tactics saying that marijuana would cause acne, blindness and sterility.
In the 1970s drugs became glamorous but were still misunderstood. The1981 book “The Truth About Drugs — The Body”, “Mind and You” by Gene Chill and John Duff asserted that cocaine wasn’t addictive and Gallup poll in 1973, 12% said they had tried marijuana.
During these 42 years, the U.S Government has spent $2, 5 trillion dollars fighting the “war”. Despite the ad campaigns, increased incarceration rates and a crackdown on smuggling, the number of illicit drug users in America has risen over the years and now sits at 19.9 million Americans and a large portion of their supply makes its way into the country through Mexico. The U.S. International Narcotics Control Strategy has reports that 90% of cocaine, for example, reaches the United States through its southern border and drug-related violence in Mexico has gotten so bad that it is now spreading over into states such as Arizona, which has suffered a rash of kidnappings and ransoms as well as Arizona’s 370-mile border with Mexico serves as the gateway for nearly half of all smuggled marijuana.
In the beginning…
How did this menace hit the continent? Well it started around 30 years ago when hundreds of thousands of Central Americans immigrated to the US, many illegally. While the generation that immigrated to seek a better life for themselves and their family worked hard, unfortunately many of their children grew up to become gang members involved in different criminal activity.
The Latin Kings are said to be the largest and most organized Hispanic street gang in America. This gang can be dated back to the 1940s in Chicago, Illinois when Puerto Ricans on the north side of the city and the Mexicans on the south side organized themselves into a defense group to protect their communities. Their main intention was to unite “all Latinos” into a group against any oppression and to help each other to overcome racism and prejudice.
The next and most vicious and dangerous of them all is MS”, “Mara”, or “MS-13, a criminal gang that originates from Los Angeles and has spread to Central America, Canada and many parts of the United States. The ethnicities vary from Salvadorans, Hondurans, Guatemalans and Nicaraguans.
The third largest is called 18th Street gang also known as M18, Calle 18, Barrio 18, La18 or Mara-18 in Central America. It’s a ruthless, multi-ethnic transitional criminal gang that started in Los Angeles, California and has tens of thousands of members in the city alone. Their membership goes from USA, Central America, South America and as far as to Australia.
FBI and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) initiated in September 2005 a huge raid against suspected gang members making 660 arrests across the country. As many gang members were deported back to Central and South America, the crime and murders rose rapidly across Latin America. By 2005, homicides in Honduras had risen to nearly 2,500 a year for instance and these countries became a route for drug trafficking quite fast. The major findings in a report by the Justice Department’s National Gang Intelligence Center, which has not been publicly released, states that about 900,000 gang members live “within local communities across the country,” and about 147,000 are in U.S. prisons or jails. Same report also concludes that many states will experience an increased gang membership and crime activity as the gang member’s recruits new members from campuses and rural schools. The gang also uses the internet more sending encrypted emails either to recruit or communicate throughout the U.S. and other countries.
MEXICO – A country ravaged by drug
The exotic landscape draws many tourists every year and the financial district houses the Mexican headquarters of major corporations, Hewlett Packard and IBM including Mexico’s top private schools with heavily armed guards but as the fight against the drug cartels escalates, attackers and cartel members have reached into the most guarded districts.
When the United States Coast Guard shut down the Caribbean cocaine route, the trade shifted to Mexico.
This drug war has gone so far that it is threatening the stability of the countries in central and South America. Around 50,000 have died in Mexico including 3,000 public servants, policemen, soldiers, judges, mayors and dozens of federal officials and the violence is getting worse. The corruption and infiltration of cartels has spread to Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador and some Caribbean nations as well.
The Guatemalan government has lost large areas of the country and including some of its prison as the government has been infiltrated by the mafia. The countries of Central America’s northern triangle (Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador) are now among the most violent places on earth and has become more deadlier even than most conventional war zones.
When Texas requested more National Guard protection from the Mexican drug cartels, the Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair stated that the Mexican government had lost control of its own territory. President Felipe Calderón responded by pointing out that his nation shared a border with “the biggest consumer of drugs and the largest supplier of weapons in the world.”
The Mexican President Felipe Calderón declared a war against the drug cartels just day after being sworn into office in 2006 when he sent 6,500 troops to end the execution style killings between the two rival drug gangs. The following year, Calderón’s public security minister Genaro Garcia Luna removed 284 federal police commissioners; all suspected of corruption and replaced them with a hand-selected group of officers who successfully arrested several drug lords. The drug cartels answer to this was vicious violence where 5,300 people were killed in drug-related crimes in 2008 and over 1,000 have died this year.
The boys are searching for something they can be a part of, and the gang offers them all the things they miss in their life. Money, attention, unity and brotherhood but all this has a price. The boy says that the gang becomes their family and that they look after each other. The young boys who are picked up as members starts working as lookouts or guardians (little drug shops) and then they start getting paid for killing people. In Mexico Juarez, a person can get killed for 1000 pesos equals to $85. On the surface it looks like the perfect thing to join but the membership results in two things and that is either in prison or 6 feet under.
The city of Juarez, Mexico is right next to El Paso, Texas and it is the murder capital of the world and so far this year, more than 2,000 people have been murdered in the city. Despite the efforts of the Mexicans government to tackle the situation, corruption has spread to all levels of the government that they feel like they are losing the fight. Some have even gone so far to state that it is far safer to travel to Afghanistan and Iraq today rather than to cities like Juarez.
The members of the drug cartels has done their part by guaranteeing that their drug reaches the U.S. this was shown when U.S. officials raided a southern California warehouse and discovered a lighted and ventilated tunnel that was 4 feet (1,21 meters) high and 1,800 feet ( 548,6 meters) long crossing into Mexico. 25 tons of Marijuana was seized during the raid. This tunnel was just one of the 75 tunnels along the Mexican border discovered in the last 4 years.
In 2011, there were 1,200 National Guard Troops along the Mexican border while there are deployed more than 28,000 U.S. troops along the South Korean border with North Korea. It is being spent millions of dollars to secure this border and not one single unauthorized entry has happened across the Korean border and at the same time, the U.S. government has said that it cannot secure the U.S. border with Mexico as some in the Obama administration believes it would be “a violation of human rights” to put up a fence or to implement extra security on the border while the drug trafficking and violence continues to cross over the border and into the U.S.
Although Obama and his administration won’t admit it, it is in fact a shared war that they all have to take part in. The cocaine and other drugs smuggled and sold by the cartel is bought and used by Americans making them the largest consumers. The relationship is give and take and in return the cartels purchase weapons. The automatic weapons, from AK-47s to M4’s are almost 90% American made and purchased in the US legally. More than 6,700 licensed gun dealers have set up shop within a short drive of the 2,000-mile border, from Texas to San Diego, California. “Straw Buyers” purchase these weapons for traffickers at small gun shops and large gun shows. One Mexican -American once bought more than 100 assault rifles, 9-mm handguns and other high-powered weapons at multiple shops over several months and the cartel paid him $40 per gun.
According to Mexican government officials, as many as 2,000 weapons enter Mexico from the US daily and fuel an arms race between competing Mexican drug cartels and since 1996, a total of 63,000 guns have been smuggled into Mexico. This has leaded to that the Mexican cartels now control large areas of Mexican territory and dozens of municipalities as well as having influence in the politics.
Since 2007, a total of 7,882 drug cartel related deaths have occurred. In Iraq, the number of US soldiers killed since 2003, is less. The Mexican government has spent $7 billion to fight the drug cartels. In some cases, the government has sent 6000 soldiers to a province to fight the cartels.
The U.S. Justice Department has stated in the previous months last that the Mexican gangs are the “biggest organized crime threat to the United States.”
In Phoenix, Arizona, homicides have increased with kidnap and execution style killings. In Southern California, Americans have been abducted by armed groups tied to the Tijuana drug trade. In the past month, the town of Juarez, right across the US border had over 250 deaths and President Calderon ordered 5,000 more troops and federal police to the town but it seems like it hasn’t done any difference.
The drug traffickers working for the drug cartels are recruiting young boys and the younger they are, the better. Texas high schools have reported that cartel members have visited their campuses many times in search for young boys. In 2010, a 14 year old was arrested as he had become a head-chopping cartel assassin with no remorse. “I slit their throats,” he stated and his sister helped him to dump the bodies on the freeways. The boy with the nickname “El Ponchis” (The Cloak) was found guilty of torturing and beheading and was sentenced to three years in Mexico.
In September 2011, a sack of heads was found near an Acapulco elementary school and a blogging reporter’s headless corpse was dumped in front of a major thoroughfare in the Texas border town of Nuevo Laredo. Her head, along with headphones and computer equipment, was found in a street planter.
For decades, the Colombians would have the Mexicans transport cocaine for them unless they sent the cocaine directly into the U.S. on planes or speedboats but this came to an end in 1990 when the United States tightened the Colombians main smuggling point in the Caribbean and Florida and cooperated with the Colombian government to fight the cartels. The Colombians then had to rely on the Mexicans who used to smuggle across areas that was difficult to monitor. The Mexicans saw this as an opportunity and bought out every last single competitor and within few years, they gained dominance in the global illicit drug trade.
The number of people murdered in the drug war inside the United States between 2006 and 2010 exceeds the US-troop death toll in the Iraq War since it was launched in 2003, according to a Narco News analysis of FBI crime statistics.
The US drug-war homicide also is nearly three times greater than the number of US soldiers killed in Afghanistan since 2001, the same analysis shows.
Ciudad Juarez, across the border from El Paso, Texas, had the highest number of violent deaths at 1,206; followed by the beach resort town of Acapulco, with 795. But despite the high numbers of deaths, the Calderon administration takes credit for capturing 22 of 37 most important cartel leaders. Chris Sabatini, policy director for the Americas Society, stated naively that he didn’t expect the violence to spread over into the U.S. He doesn’t care much of it as long as the violence stays south of the border but the facts show that the cartels and violence is consuming the U.S; slowly but surely.
Legalized drugs – Desperate or a clever move?
Presidents from Guatemala and Colombia have raised the possibility of legalization in their countries and the region, with politicians from Costa Rica, Mexico and El Salvador joining the debate and possibility.
Although decriminalization doesn’t guarantee and end to the violence and crime, it could give the government some free space and profit the supporters suggest. This suggestion is supported by many business man as well as the drug war and crimes has caused problems for Latin America’s business and economics by weakening the state institutions, infiltrating judicial systems and the government.
The debate over the legalization was brought by the Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina. When he met with the Salvadorian President Mauricio Funes at the summit, he proposed decriminalizing the drug war in Central America as a way to put an end to the violent cartel activity that is moving through the region leaving many deaths behind them. Funes seemed to like the idea in Guatemala City but by the time he returned home, he had a change of heart. “I am not in agreement with decriminalization of production, trafficking or consumption of drugs,” he said in an attempt to “avoid erroneous interpretations.” This did not come as a surprise as the region is dependent and under a strong influence of the U.S. who is against legalization. To legalize is a bold move and it would most probably not work for the U.S. if the government legalizes the use of marijuana, then that means that people will be able to buy it from other places rather than only from drug dealers leaving other stronger drugs behind. To sell these other drugs will either be easy or hard since people will use more marijuana than other drugs because its legal and drug dealers and cartels will become more violent and aggressive to sell the other drugs as well. For one thing, if marijuana makes up 60 percent of the cartels’ profits, that still leaves another 40 percent, which includes the sale of methamphetamine, cocaine, and brown-powder and black-tar heroin. If marijuana were legalized, the cartels would still make huge profits from the sale of these other drugs as people can buy marijuana from drug dealers who can push stronger drugs on them at the same time.
The positive and negative sides of this issue can be seen in countries and cities that has legalized and liberalized the law are: `
In 2001, Portugal became the first European country officially to abolish all criminal penalties for personal possession of drugs. Those found guilty of possessing small amounts are sent to a panel made up of a psychologist, a social worker and a legal adviser who will advise on appropriate treatment.
Drug laws were relaxed in 1993 to define very small amounts of drugs (usually less than half a gram) as being for personal use. People found with smaller amounts do not face criminal prosecution, though they are placed on a users’ register.
The passing into law of Proposition 215 in November 1996 did not legalise marijuana in California but created a new exemption from criminal penalties for its medical use for those with a doctor’s recommendation, which can be made either in writing or verbally. This November the state will vote on a plan, called Proposition 19, to let adults possess small amounts of marijuana and let local government tax its sale.
The Dutch classify cannabis in all its forms as a soft drug and the smoking of it, even in public, is not prosecuted. Selling cannabis, although technically illegal, is widely tolerated in coffee shops which, however, must keep to a five gram maximum transaction and sell only to adults. Recent moves have been made to tighten these controls in response to drug tourism.
Zurich’s Platzpitz park needle exchange project in the mid-1980s led to the decision by authorities not to police the park on the grounds that it would focus drug use in one place. The experiment ended after the number of addicts in the park rose from a few hundred in 1987 to more than 20,000 in 1992.
Obama’s failed war
When President Obama head to Colombia last week for the Summit of the Americas, he was going to face some difficult and important questions that no president before him has really had to answer. As the U.S. drug war entered its fourth decade, the leaders of South and Latin America are demanding changes and reforms from the largest importer and consumer of drugs but they failed to come to an agreement as several key leaders failed to show up to the meeting.
Since the 1970’s, the U.S. government has pursued a militarized and aggressive policy against illicit substances. Guatemala, Mexico, Colombia and Brazil have all taken steps towards decriminalization as they have suffered the most from ruthless cartels. Guatemala’s new President, Otto Perez Molina, a former general believes in decriminalizing the narcotic trade saying this would get remove money laundering, smuggling, arms trafficking and corruption not to mention the violence and deaths.
President Obama admitted in January 2004 that the war on drugs was failing:” The war on drugs has been an utter failure. We need to rethink and decriminalize our marijuana laws… We need to rethink how we can operate the drug war”. Since then, he has shown little interest on the war on drugs. He knows that he cannot end the drug war but has urged to focus on increased prevention and treatment over incarcerations after being too much focused on arrests.
U.S. authorities say that there are now over 1 million members of criminal gangs operating inside the United States and according to federal statistics; these 1 million gang members are responsible for up to 80% of the violent crimes committed in the U.S. each year. A growing percentage of It is Spanish speaking gangs are becoming a dominant key factor in every city in the United States.
The White House on their side defenses their approach by presenting some facts:
•Overall drug use in the United States has dropped substantially over the past thirty years. The number of Americans using illicit drugs today is roughly half what it was in the late 70’s.
•There has been a 46% drop in current cocaine use among young adults over the past five years, and a 68% drop in the rate of people testing positive for cocaine in the workplace since 2006.
•The potential production capacity for pure cocaine in Colombia has declined from an estimated 700 metric tons of potential cocaine production in 2001 to only 280 metric tons in 2009 —a 60% drop.
•Legalization remains a non-starter “because research shows that illegal drug use is associated with voluntary treatment admissions, fatal drugged driving accidents, mental illness, and emergency room admissions.”
When Nixon announced the war on drugs in 1971, the US kept just 0.2% of its population behind bars but today, it incarcerates close to 0.8% of its population – 2.25 million Americans. A further 5 more million are on parole or probation. In total, more than 7 million people in the US are under correctional supervision. If they were all gathered together they could form the 13th biggest state of the union by population. Most of the prisons are overcrowded and private prisons are increasing as it profits unbelievably. Human rights organizations have long condemned the “inhuman exploitation in the United States” where it is said that the prisons house over 2 million – mostly African-American and Hispanics coming as no surprise. For the tycoons who have invested in the private jails, this is a working goldmine for them. Here the prisoners come to work every single day and work full time without any excuse and vacation, and if they aren’t happy about the 25 cents an hour and refuse to work, they just get locked up in isolation cells. Private prisons are the biggest business in the prison industry complex. At least 37 states have legalized the contracting of prison labor by private corporations. Some of the companies are IBM, Boeing, Motorola, Microsoft, AT&T, Wireless, Texas Instrument, Dell, Compaq, Honeywell, Hewlett-Packard, Nortel, Lucent Technologies, 3Com, Intel, Northern Telecom, TWA, Nordstrom’s, Revlon, Macy’s, Pierre Cardin, Target Stores, and many more. All of these businesses are excited about the economic boom generation by prison labor. Just between 1980 and 1994, profits went up from $392 million to $1.31 billion. The prison privatization boom began in the 1980s, under the governments of Ronald Reagan and Bush Sr., but reached its height in 1990 under William Clinton, when Wall Street stocks were selling as warm bread.
Corporate stockholders making money off the prisoner’s do everything they can for longer sentences in order to expand their employment rather than rehabilitate the inmates. A study presented by the Progressive Labor Party accuses the prison industry of being “an imitation of Nazi Germany with respect to forced slave labor and concentration camps.” An example of this is the prison in Virginia, Lawrenceville where the CCA has an ultra-modern prison where five guards on dayshift and two at night watch over 750 prisoners. In these prisons, inmates may get their sentences reduced for “good behavior,” but for any infraction, they get 30 days added - which means more profits for CCA. According to a study of New Mexico prisons, it was found that CCA inmates lost “good behavior time” at a rate eight times higher than those in state prisons.
Another helpful thing was the passage of the “three strikes law” (life in prison after being convicted of three felonies). This made the already existing prisons overcrowded and necessary to build 20 more new federal prisons.
According to California Prison Focus, no other society in the world and in human history has imprisoned so many of its own citizens. From less than 300,000 in 1972, inmates increased to 2 million by the year of 2000, minus those with probation. This is the opposite of what Obama suggested years ago, rehabilitation rather than punishment but it has obviously been failing as notorious gang members who enter prison continues to commit crimes inside and outside when they are released. Other Gang leaders give orders from prison to those on the outside such as selling drugs and committing murder. But it doesn’t stop there, because the drugs reach all the way into the prisons as well. Most of it is smuggled in by visitors or sent in by different techniques or smuggled in and sold by “dirty” prison guards.
The National Survey on Drug Use estimates that almost 23 million Americans are illicit drug users making it 8,9% of its adult population from 2008-2009 when it was only 8%. The number of marijuana users has gone up from 14.4 million in 2007 to 17.4 million in 2010. As illicit drugs, cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens and some other prescription drugs was used making marijuana the most commonly used drug with more than 17 million users in 2010. This is because marijuana is the most common drug for first-time users, according to the study. Among people who started using drugs in the year before the survey, 62% said they first used marijuana, 26% first used prescription drugs like tranquilizers and stimulants, and 9% first used inhalants.
America is clearly going on the wrong track when it comes to the counter drugs and their imprisonment habits. Instead of focusing on putting drug users behind bars to profit from them, they should focus more on treating this as an illness, not as a crime. People need help to fight the need and urge for drug or to treat the problem that pushes them to use drugs. Those who are guilty are the drug smugglers and sellers who profits from consumers. U.S. should rather target the big fish in the pound and legalizing is not the answer. That would mean going from bad to worse.
The Right to Truth is Worth more than a Life Without Truth
Azerbaijan an unsung kingdom of Ilham Aliyev has remained world’s worst open prison for being a journalist.
The tyrant leadership of Aliyev’s presidency has lead country into severe crisis of human rights. Journalists are kept under constant monitoring and under vigil. Whether it is online social media / emails / even a simple reporting on a particular issue comes under the brutal scissors of the government. The brutal assault on Idrak Abbasov has once again exposed the ground reality of how the journalists and other media agencies work in Azerbaijan. The crisis of being free and live free are of the most acute nature where journalists are not only threatened but also face violent attacks and in even worst scenario death or life long imprisonment where in jails they face mal treatment, sexual abuse and much more heinous acts which are being committed by Aliyev regime. The families of journalists too face the wrath of government agencies or even public enterprises just like the one in case of Idrak Abbasov whose house was bulldozed by the national oil company Global Energy Azerbaijan Ltd and SOCAR. In the cases like these families, relatives are also barred from taking them to hospital for medical treatment or even visiting them in jail. The international community in particular western countries who act as global advocates of human rights and democracy have also turned blind eye towards the worsening situation in Azerbaijan and the atrocities being committed by the country’s premier Ilham Aliyev. Is the oil for the world so important and valuable that human lives needs to compromised for it. Is the thirst of developed and growing economies is so necessary that the people strife for freedom and justice has become dwarfed. Azerbaijan sits on the most lucrative Caspian oil fields and shares the major chunk of the total available. The business of oil has now overshadowed the voice of crying people who wants peace, freedom and justice against the crimes which are being committed by this tyrant leader of this Central Asian republic. Is the blood and sacrifices of the people of Azerbaijan is cheaper than the people of Libya and Syria. With the diplomatic stand of Western lobby towards Azerbaijan and the cooperation with the autocratic leader Ilham Aliyev has been proven that the world just work for money and the governments who says and speak about democracy and human rights are just false illusions of once real life dream. As the power of money and resource has always been heavier than the plight of those who compromise their lives for their freedom; the case of Azerbaijan and the Journalists who are struggling for truth and justice for their people has been following on the deaf ears of those who just want to quench their thirst of oil rather taking a stand as the global leader which they propound to show the world. Just like when Idrak Abbasov was awarded with the Guardian journalism prize at the Index on Censorship free expression awards for his brave reporting and for standing up to state intimidation in Azerbaijan said “Listing the threats of detention and harassment Azerbaijani journalists face, Abbasov said at the Index awards: This is the price that my colleagues in Azerbaijan are paying for the right of the Azerbaijani people to know the truth about what is happening in their country. For the sake of this right we accept that our lives are in danger, as are the lives of our families. But the goal is worth it, since the right to truth is worth more than a life without truth.” It is true as one of the assailant reportedly said: “Tell Idrak to get smarter or we will cut off his ears.”
Childhood is much like spring, the blooming phase of a human being’s life. It is a phase when we are carefree and when we can indulge in acts of fun and leisure without worrying about the experiences of the upcoming future.
But do we ever stop to contemplate what kind of a childhood or childhood memories we would have had, had the knowledge of the often ‘untoward’ future incidents gripped us back then? The answer, I’m sure is ‘No’.
It never crosses our mind and besides, it’s a proposition tough to imagine but it’s a reality for many children, who are forced to succumb to the exploitations of child labour. It is one of the most heinous violations of human rights existing in our society even today. Moreover, this violation is very common in the Indian city of joy – Kolkata. Much ironical to its title, this city has no joy to offer to those children who toil day and night to earn just a handful of rice to survive. So much so, that even the innocence glow of childhood fails to illuminate the lives of these children. They miss the nitty-gritties associated with the process of growing up and as a result, the transition from a child to an adult, often comes without the slightest of notice. One of the most common reasons for this is the grinding poverty which abounds in the city. It makes the families of these children unable to provide even a roof over their heads. Therefore, they rely on their own children to fulfill the basic needs of life. In fact, their basic need just stops at earning a handful of rice to feed their stomachs. Overpopulation is another factor contributed to the extremity of the situation. Illiterate parents add to this exploitation because they are unfamiliar with and so, least bothered about the physical, emotional and cognitive development of a child and also these parents are unaware of the fact that lack of education will lead their child ’s future only to the dungeons of sorrow and miseries. In most cases, the child is forced to work due to unemployment of the elders because of some physical disability or on account of the parent being a single parent,especially in cases of single mothers or alcoholic fathers.Orphans, by default, are left with no other option but to work because of the lack of elderly and important support of guardians. One of the root causes of child labour is the willing exploitation from the factory owners, industries, small tea shacks, and shops where maximum numbers of cases of child labour are tracked. These owners exploit the children as not only do little children offer them services at a much cheaper rate than adults, but also because children have to be fed much less than an adult worker. Also these children won’t protest or form a union against the owners or fight back on being physically abused. These innocent facts about these children make them prone to the exploits from these notorious businessmen. Due to so many limiting factors the lives of these innocent children take a turn for the worst. In a phase of life where they are supposed to study, grow mentally, spiritually, psychologically and physically, their very right to education is betrayed and consequently their future becomes anything but bright. The child is thus condemned to a life of unskilled, badly paid work and ultimately the vicious circle entraps them, shelling out generations after generations of poor children under cutting wages. In many cases children are handling hazardous substances specially hose working in factories and due to that they become prone to chronic health diseases. Immigrant child labourers have more to face as they become victims of sexual exploitation too, majority of them being girls. The most glaring example being the red light area in Shobha bazaar where sexual exploitation of the girl child is in abundance and little boys begging around the signal is common sight that greets you. Not only in Shobha bazaar but the situation around Sealdah station is also similar. Suraj, a boy of 12 was seen polishing shoes of the travellers at the station.On being asked, he said he was doing this since the age of ten, since when his father died. His mother being psychologically ill can’t work. As we move more far towards Barasaat region a family consisting of a father, mother and two sons were seen picking plastics, which they then sold to feed their stomachs. These are just a few instances seen around but on a macro level, there are thousands of Surajs who either start working at a very tender and impressionable age or beg around to sustain their lives. There are specific clauses in the draft of Indian constitution dated 26 January 1950, about the child labour policy in India. They fall under different articles in the fundamental rights and the directive principles of the state policy. They lay down four specific policy rules regarding child labor. The main legislative measures at the national level are the Child Labor Prohibition and Regulation Act -1986 and the Factories Act -1948. The first act was categorical in prohibiting the employment of children below fourteen years of age, and identified 57 processes and 13 occupations, which were considered dangerous to the health and lives of children. The details of these occupations and processes are listed in the schedule to the said act. The Factories Act again prohibits the employment of children less than fourteen years of age. However, an adolescent aged between 15 and 18 can be recruited for factory employment only after securing a fitness certificate from an authorized medical practitioner. The act proceeds to prescribe only four hour’s work period per day for children between 14 and 18 years. Children are also not allowed to work in night shifts. Moreover, in the year 1996 the Supreme Court of India came out with a judgment in court that directed the state and union government to make a list of all children embroiled in hazardous occupations and processes. They were then told to pull them out of work and asked to provide them with proper and quality education. The judiciary also laid down that child labor and welfare fund beset up. The contribution for this was to be received from the employers who contravened the Child Labor Act. India is also a signatory to the UN convention on the rights of the child, ILO Abolition of Forced Convention – no 105 and ILO Forced Labor Convention – no. 29. A national labor policy was also adopted in the year 1987 in accordance with India’s development strategies and aims. The national policy was designed to reinforce the directive principles of state policy in the Indian constitution. In spite of so many initiatives from the state government as well as the union government, the existing scenario of child exploitation through child labor is still the same. Despite so many projects undertaken by the government, offering proper and quality education, supplementary meals etc, and the reality is unchanged. Why are so many children still devoid of their basic rights? Why is the future of these children hooded under the canopy of misery and exploitation? The questions are infinite but answers are none. Children are innocent and do not know their rights so if the government does not take a strict initiative for the proper education of these little ones, the problem will never perish and continue to effect generations after generations. The disparity between educated and illiterate will never reduce, how can we then expect the economy of the country to swell? This developing country can never be developed if attention is not paid to strengthening the foundation.
North Korea: A failed state and the hegemony of the failed leaders
North Korea is the last Stalinist state, a one-man dictatorship that also joined the nuclear club in 2006. Kim Jong-un, the youngest son of Kim Jong-il, was declared as his father’s successor after the latter passed away. It is in essence a failed state trying to suppress its people. It could be called fascism in its worst form as there is no free opinion, people are murdered in case someone speaks out against the “Great Leader”, citizens are being watched at all times, everything is being censored and foreigners who enter the country are closely monitored and cannot speak with locals about what is going on in the country. Citizens are being told what to do, what to say and even what to wear at all times. A good example of this is when Kim Jong-il died and the whole country was mourning, throwing them on the ground and crying their eyes out. Loss of face: In late February 2012, North Korea agreed to suspend all nuclear weapon tests and uranium enrichments as well as allowing international inspectors to verify and monitor activities at its main reactor. This was a part of a deal for American food aid to the isolated nation. Although North Korea has agreed before to halt its nuclear program, only to back out and demand more concessions, still, both South Korea and Japan saw it as the first step towards improvement even though they were somewhat skeptical. Then came the launch of the $450 million satellite “Bright shining star”, which exploded in mid-air about a minute after liftoff and plunged into the Yellow Sea. This failed project came at a time when Kim Jong-un wanted to mark his political power as the country marked its biggest holiday ever; the 100th birthday of his grandfather and North Korea’s founder, Kim Il-sung. The failed launching brought broad international condemnation including the suspension of food aid by the United States amid suspicions that North Korea might have more tricks up its sleeve. The government tried it’s hardest to frighten the West including its neighbour in the South but instead suffered loss of face and 240,000 tons of food aid worth $200milion. South Korean foreign minister Kim Sug-hwan was quick to comment after the rocket launch. “It is very regrettable that North Korea is spending enormous resources on developing nuclear and missile capabilities while ignoring the urgent welfare issue of the North Korean people such as chronic food shortages”.
The Legacy of Kim Jong-Il: Called the “Dear Leader,” Kim Jong-il had been the eccentric ruler of North Korea, which was founded by his father, Kim Il-sung. The two Kims have been the only leaders the country has known and have managed to lead the country into disaster with their policies. The problem is in the sociopathic behavior that has been transferred from father to son for three generations. When Kim Jong-un was unveiled as his father’s heir in 2010, he was given two powerful military titles: four-star general and vice chairman of the Central Military Commission. With his father’s death, the support of the military is crucial if Kim Jong-un is to consolidate power. The bizarre mind of Kim Jong-un can be explained through his still immature state where he orchestrates temper tantrums and threats of punishments to get his way in the international world. Provocative attitude and self imposed isolation: Kim Jong-il transformed North Korea into a nuclear power as well as the most isolated state in the world, while a huge number of people starved as money flowed into the country’s military programs. The United States and its allies have for years been unable to find a solution except for applying sanctions and appealing to China. Even though malnutrition has improved marginally, still one in five North Korean children are underweight according to the World Food Programme. Malnutrition has been caused by years of economic mismanagement and underinvestment, and was made worse in 2011 by poor weather and a reduction of food imports from China and South Korea. Apparently North Korea hasn’t learned from past mistakes. In 2009, South Korea donated $13 million for a World Health Organization program to send medicine and medical supplies to the North, but then asked the United Nations to suspend the distribution of the aid following the sinking of its warship, the Cheonan, in March 2010. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney accused Obama of being incompetent and naive in handling North Korea. "Instead of approaching Pyongyang from a position of strength, President Obama sought to appease the regime with a food-aid deal that proved to be as naive as it was short-lived. This incompetence from the Obama administration has emboldened the North Korean regime and undermined the security of the United States and our allies," Romney said. The international community must focus its attention to the plight of the North Korean people. The countries and agencies involved in dealing with North Korea’s nuclear crisis should come second and measures should be taken to relax the stringent rules for providing essential food supplies and basic commodities to North Koreans. The nations that advocate human rights and democracy must give serious thought to the people dying of hunger and disease. Sometimes values needs to put on the back burner and the helping hand must be provided irrespective.
The murder of 16 Afghan civilians on March 11th 2012 shocked the international world and brought more tension to the already strained relationship. U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales allegedly killed the civilians in cold blood but according to the Pentagon, Bales had been treated for a traumatic brain injury that he suffered in Iraq in 2010.
Other information leaked by military officials indicated that Bales, who was on his fourth deployment, may have “snapped” under pressure due to a brain injury and/or alcohol abuse.
Robert Bales had broken into three homes in three different locations in Panjwai district -villages of Alkozai and Najeeban and another settlement known locally as “Ibrahim Khan Houses”.
By the end of the attack, 16 people, 9 of them children were dead and 5 wounded. Some of the bodies had also been set on fire. According to pictures, some of the victims had been killed by a single gunshot to the head.
Suicide and health problems
It’s no surprise that U.S. military personnel and veterans are plagued by substance abuse, depression and suicides.
In various studies, researchers surveyed nearly 600 veterans returning from war zone deployment in Iraq or Afghanistan, finding out that they were at increased risk for mental health problems and alcohol and drug abuse.
Nearly 14% of the veterans screened positive for probable post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), 39% for probable alcohol abuse, and 3% for probable drug use. Men reported more alcohol and drug use than women, but there were no gender differences in PTSD or other mental health conditions.
Another important founding was the difference between veterans returning from Iraq who reported more depression or functioning problems and more alcohol and drug use than those returning from Afghanistan.
The studies were published online on Jan. 25th in the American Journal of Public Health and are scheduled to appear in the March supplement print issue of the journal.
In a second study, researchers found that major depression and substance use disorders have increased among active duty combat-exposed veterans. The finding comes from an analysis of data from 678,382 active personnel that served between 2001 and 2006.
"Given the continuing U.S. military presence in Afghanistan and other parts of the world, and the increasing trend in major mental health conditions reported in the U.S. military, it would be important for the Department of Defense to assess whether the current system has adequate resources and manpower to handle the increasing number of active duty personnel who need mental health services," the researchers concluded.
The third study found out that suicide rates for all U.S. military services increased between 2005 - 2007, particularly for members of the regular Army and National Guard. The increased risk of suicide in 2007 compared with 2005 may be due to the extended duration of war and increased lengths of deployment for Army and Air force personnel the researchers concluded.
Already in 2008, researches had presented study results where 300,000 U.S. troops were suffering from major depression or post-traumatic stress in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and 320,000 received brain injuries and only half of them had applied for help according to the nonprofit RAND Corporation. Terri Tanielian, the project’s co-leader and researcher at RAND already warned about the health crises 5 years ago. -“There is a major health crisis facing those men and women who have served our nation in Iraq and Afghanistan. Unless they receive appropriate and effective care for these mental health conditions, there will be long-term consequences for them and for the nation,” she said in an interview with The Associated Press.
The 500-page study was the first large-scale, private assessment of its kind, including a survey of 1,965 service members across the country, from all branches of the armed forces and including those still in the military as well veterans who have left the services.
RAND researchers also found:
• About 19% or some 320,000 services members reported that they experienced a possible traumatic brain injury while they were deployed. In wars where blasts from roadside bombs are prevalent, the injuries can range from mild concussions to severe head wounds.
• About 7% reported both a probable brain injury and current PTSD or major depression.
• Only 43% reported ever being evaluated by a physician for their head injuries.
• Only 53% of service members with PTSD or depression sought help over the past year in 2008.
• They gave various reasons for not getting help, including that they worried about the side effects of medication; believing that family and friends could help them with the problem; or that they feared seeking care might damage their careers.
• Rates of PTSD and major depression were highest among women and reservists.
The report is titled “Invisible Wounds of War: Psychological and Cognitive Injuries, Their Consequences, and Services to Assist Recovery.” It was sponsored by a grant from the California Community Foundation and done by 25 researchers from RAND Health and the RAND National Security Research Division, which does work under contracts with the Pentagon and other defense agencies as well as allied foreign governments and foundations.
Another study which has been published in Injury Prevention, it has been revealed that American soldiers are not able to tackle situations at work front and this has led to commit suicide. The study was being conducted by Kathleen E. Bachynski and colleagues from the U. S. Army Public Health Command in Aberdeen.
They found that from 2007 and 2008, there have been 255 suicides in the US and the majority of the deaths that took place in 2008 were mainly associated with troops who were deployed in the 2003 Iraq war.
In addition, the study authors found soldiers to be suffering from mental illnesses as well like post-traumatic stress disorder, personality disorder, mood disorders, and anxiety disorders. It is said mental disorders have contributed a major portion to increase the number of suicides taking place in the US Army.
Who is responsible to see the signs?
The commander on the ground is supposed to be responsible to look out for the mental health of those under his command. It’s something they are thought to do and should do as people understand when someone shows signs of disorder.
The signals vary from high-risk behavior, such as self-medicating with alcohol, anger management, involvement in partner abuse, drug abuse, and alcohol abuse. I personally see the families of the soldiers as responsible as well to some point. Last year for instance, an Army private accused of killing a Taliban prisoner by shooting him in the face agreed to plead guilty in the slaying, despite his diagnosis of schizophrenia. His parents said he had repeatedly told them through email and phone conversations that he was hearing voices. If parents or partners see signs of disease or other, they should report it, so that both sides should be spared of damages.
What is obvious from past and present studies is that there is a stigma closely tied to getting help for mental health problems.
The Army has tried to prevent suicides in the past year through training, a suicide prevention task force, and a day of standing down from official duties to focus on suicide prevention. Top military officials including former Defense Secretary Robert Gates have encouraged military personnel to seek counseling.
While PTSD can be treated effectively with talk therapy, the military has also begun focusing on whether the problem might be prevented in the first place — for instance by identifying those at high risk and preparing them psychologically for conflict.
In the new study, published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, more than 22,000 soldiers completed a health questionnaire before they were deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, and again after they returned.
Just over 3% had some mental illness, including PTSD.
Upon returning, however, 8% had symptoms of PTSD. Those who had mental illness other than PTSD before deployment, had more than twice the odds of developing the condition after they returned home.
According to the Army Medical organization who conducted another study, the suicides rose 80% from 2004 to 2008. As many as 40 percent of these suicides may have been linked to combat experience in Iraq, yet nearly a third of the soldiers who committed suicide saw no combat at all, said the researchers, from the U.S. Army Public Health Command published in the March 7th online edition of the journal Injury Prevention.
The findings are based on analysis of data from the U.S. Army Behavioral Health Integrated Data Environment, a registry including consultations, diagnoses and treatment on suicides from many military sources.
Almost half (45%) of those who committed suicide were between 18 and 24 years old and what the researchers found out was that the soldiers who committed suicide were more likely to have been diagnosed with a mental illness in the year before their suicide.
The reasons behind the increase in the suicide rate was related to increased rates of depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, substance abuse, personality and adjustment disorders, and serious mental illness, the researchers said. Those with severe depression were more than 11 times more likely to take their lives, and those with anxiety disorders were 10 times more likely to do so according to the researchers in Montefiore Medical Center in New York City.
Diagnoses linked to a higher suicide risk included depression, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress, substance misuse, along with psychosis and adjustment disorders.
Past and present – what have we learned?
The authors of the study, the Army Public Health Command (APHC), estimated that 25% to 50% of the suicides were directly related to combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. Some of the key psychological issues affecting the approximately two million American troops deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001 have been traumatic brain injury (TBI), depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
One mistake made by the U-S- government was that there was a critical shortage of health care personnel, especially specialized on mental health to meet the demands of those who returned from Iraq and Afghanistan according to a 2010 report from the Institute of Medicine.
After the withdrawal of U.S. soldiers from Vietnam in 1973, the same thing happened. The rates of mental health problems went up. American soldiers had fought in harsh conditions both in Vietnam and the Persian Gulf where being ambushed and taken as hostage was a part of their daily life, but the combat and weapons have changed with the years and even if the wars are effectively fought, the mental problems remains the same. The U.S. government has been too busy with planning wars and sending Iraq veterans to Afghanistan instead of focusing on mental health issues.
Stigma – Wrapped in shame
Bottom line is; the Pentagon’s mental-health workers are fighting a war of their own for the minds of the nation’s soldiers and Marines, but they continue to lose ground on this matter.
Many veterans are aware of the mental state they are in but have not seeked help or treatment. Some of the most important reasons they have given for not seeking help includes:
• Concern over being seen as weak.
• Concern about being treated differently.
• Concern that others would lose confidence in them.
• Concerns about privacy
• They prefer to rely on family and friends.
• They don’t believe treatment is effective.
• Concerns about side effects of treatments.
• Problems with access, such as cost or location of treatment.
I believe that the sense of shame has kept these men away from treatment and that’s also one of the reasons that they have committed suicide. Sometimes the conscience plays a role in suicides when war crimes have occurred.
The American staff sergeant Bales who killed 16 Afghan villagers, had been drinking alcohol, something that is a violation of military rules in combat zones. He had served three tours of duty in Iraq and was deployed to Afghanistan for the first time in December serving a total of 11 years in the army.
With the alcohol running through his veins and stress because of being deployed on his fourth combat tour, Bales snapped American officials say. Bales also refused to speak to investigators asked for a lawyer shortly after he surrendered on the base.
Local journalists have said that the villages of Najeeban and Alkozai are about 5-7km (3-4 miles) apart. This immediately raises questions about if Bales walked by foot the whole time. An Afghan guard at the NATO base had also told the media that Sgt Bales left the base twice. He returned at 00:30 local time after the first trip out and was out between 02:00 and 04:00 for the second trip. In one village Sgt Bales reportedly went from house to house, trying the handles of several doors and entering the homes and killing those whose doors were unlocked. Although he had “snapped”, Bales had remembered to put on his night vision goggles before he killed the 16 villagers.
Apparently the U.S. military is quick to discover mental problems after the damages were done but isn’t that effective to examine them before. This man should never have been deployed out in the field, and he should certainly have never been sent back to America after the murders.
If an Afghan man had “snapped” and committed similar crime in Washington DC, I am sure, the U.S. would have never sent him back to Afghanistan to face trial but instead punish him in America as the US government has no problem in bringing “terrorists”, guilty or not to Guantanamo.
There is no doubt in my mind that this was planned from Bales’s side and he knew exactly what he was doing. His actions were not the results of PTSD and not only against military culture but against human behavior. When a person snaps, he does not put on his night vision, arm himself with weapons and walk several miles to nearby villages where he goes from door to door to kill and burn innocent people, mostly children. A person who snaps will instantly target those who are near him so why didn’t he shoot and execute the men and women around him on the base? I have no doubt that Bales has mental health problems but these killings were conducted effectively and in cold blood. This kind of act brings various consequences:
1.) Creates environment to encourage people to go on the path of extremism.
2.) Extremists exploit these kinds of situations.
3.) Opposing regimes of other neighboring nations takes advantage of such incidents.
4.) Whatever the percentage Afghan government leaders support US role in the region they become separated from its people and from those leaders who are already against the US; this makes the situation more badly.
5.) Afghanistan’s youth would slowly but gradually move towards extremism.
The country which has been affected and suffering unjustifiably would one day stand against the power that has made them victims. And Afghanistan has history of taking such unified stand against suppressive powers.
If America would not give justice to the affected family and may not maintain the transparency in punishing the culprit of the massacre then there would countless question marks which would raise against the leadership role and the system of America which it promote as democratic and justified.
Norway has always lived up to its repo of being great and efficient peace negotiator.
After the recession of 2008 the country has survived with many challenges faced by the major European Economies. Norway since then has grown in the leadership role to help out its European brothers with finances and even inviting large scale influx of jobless European immigrants to this peaceful piece of peace marked with great fjords. Norway being the second largest energy player and supplier after Russia has an important role to play in the crisis ridden European Economic Area?
After the bomb blasts in 2011 the political scenario of Norway has changed in drifting way towards more complexities and serious in terms of national and regional security. Many incidents have taken since then which have transformed the Norwegian role in regional politics. The soft spoken but being straight in their agenda are now seeking the excessive participation in the arena of power where either they have to stand by with pro EU or against their peaceful foreign policy.
At the recent nuclear summit organized by IAEA at Seoul to which Norway too is a member has now made its stand clear where the Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg in his speech made it clear that Norway is with US missile defense system for the safety and security of the European nations which are getting sleepless nights due the increasing Russian aggression in the eastern members of EU after the Georgian war.
His statement and committed support for the possible defense installments in favor of regional safety has come as surprise to the members of the IAEA where even the Russians which till now have enjoyed good cordial relations with their Norwegian counterparts under Medvedev. This stance of Stoltenberg would certainly give cold feet to Russia because if Norway as it has committed to provide operational help and strength by providing personnel for NATO defense shield against invading rockets would give new teeth to the NATO defense to which Norway has remained a loyal and major military supplier.
If the shield as proposed by Norwegian PM Jens Stoltenberg comes into place as an active system this will provide a complete security cover for NATO bloc not only in the East European countries or Turkey as planned but also in the Scandinavian and Arctic region which from last decade have been the limelight and the cause of major energy thirsty nations and the members of Arctic council which has saw major shifts in their diplomatic view points.
The commitment to form Norwegian defense shield and strengthen the proposed NATO defense shield by Norway would bring a definite shift in the Russian foreign policy and their stand at the regional groupings to which Russia has remained an active participant and major partner to its Norwegian colleagues especially in the Arctic Council which has now become a major bone of contention with regular lobbying of China as the observer or permanent member in the council to which both Norway and Russia are against.
This will also positioned Norway at the frontline at par with other supportive NATO member nations. This decision has come when Stoltenberg at home has been facing major outcry against the presence of Norway’s troops in Afghanistan along with the King Herald IV who too has faced the criticism in siding with Stoltenberg’s decision.
The recent developments in Norwegian politics has now positioned Norway as a major player not only in Scandinavian region but also in the entire EU which has now looking to its prosperous members and regional partners for their support in its possible bailout packages being offered to weaker members like Greece, Spain and Portugal to which Norway has come out as the last savior to the continent.
A form of violent assault, acid attack is formally defined as the act of throwing acid into the body of someone else with the intentions of disfiguring or injuring out of jealousy or revenge. The statistics show that more than eighty percent of the acid attack victims all over the world are women and children. Although quite prevalent even in states of America and other developed nations, acid violence seems to be almost unique to the Africa and South Asia region with most incidents happening in Bangladesh and Pakistan.
These acid attacks happen all over the world but are notably more prevalent in Cambodia and India as well due to the cheap prices and easy availability of acid.A large number of Indian households use concentrated acid to sterilize their kitchens and bathrooms, as Americans use bleach.
The studies carried out across the world have revealed that most of these acid attacks are used as punishing measures towards women who have refused to accede to the commands of the men. These acid attacks are used as tools against the women who have in general stood against the atrocities of men. The effect of these acid attacks on their lives has been destructive and these women are often forced to face social isolation and ostracism from their community. The physical and psychological trauma of such incidents is enormous and long-lasting. A large number of these acid attack victims also develop suicidal tendencies due to the fear of rejection and agony of living forever with these marks.
The results of these acid attacks are heinous. The acid generally eats through the skin and bone of the victims, leaving burn marks which can permanently disfigure, maim and kill them. Apart from personal reasons like family disputes, estranged lovers and domestic violence, these attacks are also widely used to mar the physical attractiveness of women in a lot of cases.
With the world moving towards complete transformation into a technological hub where men and women are given equal rights and opportunities to grow as a career oriented professional, it is gruesome to see that such heinous acts of crime are like a slap on the face of development.
Of the total registered cases of acid attacks, a large percentage is contributed by domestic violence and family disputes. It has been observed that in a lot of cases, men have attacked their wives with acid when they simply refused to succumb to their demands such as throwing themselves into prostitution to fend for money and refusing to give their consent for the second marriage of their husband.
“I screamed in pain. Acid burns immediately. It is like when you light a piece of paper and how fast the flames consume it. That is how the acid works. It moves inside, consuming you.” woman in Uganda who was a victim of acid attack recalled her memories.
In India, a large number of cases of acid attacks have been the result of love relationships gone sour. Often, a large number of rejected lovers tend to take up to this crime when they feel that the girl they love is not responding accordingly or has out rightly rejected their proposal. The fear of seeing the one you desire going up with someone else is something which takes the human out of the person’s mind.
In Afghanistan and Pakistan majority of women faced acid attacks as part of their domestic violence sufferings. Countless women have faced the horror of this in human acts of violence at the hands of their husbands and in laws. These incidents have not only ruined the lives of victim but also affect many others of the same gender psychologically.
The terror of acid in most these victimised regions are such that women now feel insecure to their very life and safety whether they are alone or at home.
This has also been observed that a large number of these cases remain unregistered and therefore a lot of victims fail to receive any help from the concerned agencies. In a large number of such cases, due to acute scarcity of money, these victims don’t even get proper medical treatment and have to live with this agony for the remaining parts of their lives.
Apart from the fear of being burnt and disfigured, perhaps the most dangerous thing about these acid attacks is the fear that is created by these attacks. Some time back, a case was reported in Afghanistan, where some bikers had thrown acid on a group of school going girls to create havoc and to send across a clear message to their parents to keep their daughters at home. Backed by Taliban, this attack was largely condemned all over the world.
It is high time that the people around the world should realise that they are humans and not mere animals who can kill or slaughter anyone else to fulfil their own petty interests or to avenge something which could simply be overlooked as something extremely trivial.
Besides, it needs to understood by men that women, often known as the fairer sex, are not mere toys to seek pleasure and be thrown once used. They are also human, who have equal intellectuality as men. This should now be accepted by people that women can actually contribute a lot to the development of the households and society at large and that they should be given equal opportunities like men. Not merely chopped and burnt when desired!
On behalf of the entire team of The Oslo Times, I strongly criticise these acid attacks that have tarnished the fabric of humanity all over the world and request to the authorities and influential people in various regions to come forward and help these women whose life is being spoilt by this act of tyranny by some inhuman cluster of people.
The governments around the world should banned and regulate the retailing of such harmful and destructive chemicals which are being sale openly in the consumer market and are easily available to any common person without any check or purpose. We should by all means try and make this world a better place to live in, not a hell where nothing good can be expected.
It has been a matter of great debate that whether the society which has always remained a male dominated and have only consider about the desires of a man.
Since time unknown women have faced the suppression at the hands of their male counterparts.
The world has always wondered whether it is justified to act violently against women. Recently a book sparked a new row of outrage in the entire international community especially in the conservative Muslim society. This 160 page guide book written on Islamic marriage by Maulavi Ashraf Ali Thanvi who is a prominent Islamic scholar based in India.
The book titled as ‘A Gift For Muslim Couple’ have come under the huge controversy among the various faction of the Muslim society itself. There are some paras where the writer has actually come out openly with writings to encourage husbands to beat their wives. It is evident enough that in the book’s opening pages it states that ‘it might be necessary to restrain her (wife) with strength or even to threaten her’.
“The husband should treat the wife with kindness and love, even if she tends to be stupid and slow sometimes,” the book says. The book says that the wife must ‘fulfill his (husband’s) desires’ and ‘not allow herself to be untidy… but should beautify herself for him.’
Maulavi Ashraf Ali Thanvi, advises that a husband shouldn’t beat his wife too hard, but pulling her ears and hitting her with a hand or a stick is all right for discipline.
According to the report, the book, which came to light after going on sale in Canada, has faced a backlash from moderate Muslims who claim that it encourages domestic violence,
“I wouldn’t say it’s hate, but it is inciting men to hit women,” Canadian political campaigner Tarek Fatah told the Canadian Media. “This is new to you, but the Muslim community knows that this is widespread, that a woman can be beaten. Muslim leaders will deny this,” he added.
As said above in one of the statements that domestic violence is widespread in Muslim community which is to very extent is true to the fact and the book is just out of several reasons of encouragement which has now created a new definition to the already victimized feminine gender in the world of so called modernity.
Women are not subject of comfort or luxury. They too are human beings and have equal rights as the man himself has. These kinds of thoughtless attempts to bring false in society not only ruin the efforts of those who have been struggling to maintain the social order on equality framework but also motivate those who are already being violent against the being of nobility and humanity.
The writing and views of raging society along with the respected Maulavi Ashraf Ali Thanvi are the slap on the face of every woman and on those who are working to maintain a better equal and positive society at large. It is the slap on the believers of all faiths who have thought their religions to be unbiased and equal rights in gender terms. It is a certificate of authenticity for those who have been inhuman and love to crush their women desires and her choice and her rights.
The humans are born equal and women in particular must be respected at all cost. Their choice and acceptance must be given top priorities against the personal priorities or preferences. It is the woman who plays the multiple roles in the society and thus it is she who nourishes the entire humanity with her grace and modesty. If women are respected and will regularly be treated as slaves of desires than how can a society would be called as civilized, it is the time now that we all irrespective of any believes of faiths must come together should have unified thought on the issues pertaining to woman. It is the responsibility of each and every body to respect women and their rights. It is our duty to protect her presence and to provide her a equal status in the society.
If radicals say whatever is being done to women is in the name of religion and on the order it has put for its believers than it means that they are cheating on society while making not only fool to the people but also cooking their own meal of the day through these kinds of falsehood preaching.
These kinds of writings or content must not be encourage by media and promoted by the publishing community for retail or any kind of publication. The writers or publishers who are publishing these kinds of anti social stuff which provoke domestic violence in the silent corners of the society behind the close doors of personal lives should be punished and perpetrators who support this kind of acts must bring to trail in the court for inciting negative sentiments against the entire feminine society.
Maulavi Ashraf Ali Thanvi who is the writer of “A Gift for a Muslim Couple.” It was published in India and distributed in Canada by Idara Impex must be brought to trail and the publisher must be charged with severe penalties. Even the title is very well misleading, how can a book be gift for couple which encourages domestic violence. Is “A Gift for a Muslim Couple” protected by free speech and the exercise of free religion or does it go too far?
Let’s see what the world would gives out of modernity and civilized communities, may be something like this which has no meaning or sense in it but has now became a source of contention between the two already divided worlds of human genders.
India when today this word comes to our mind we feel the great economic advancements but it comes with a cost of countless and unaccounted money which have been lost by the government in scams.
These scams have blackened the image of this country and now the investors are starting to lose their confidence in the economy. It is the scams which are one of the reasons that the country who used to receive more than 29 billion dollars of foreign direct investments is struggling now to even achieve a meager amount of 1 billion dollar this year. Corruption has survived in this country not from decades but from centuries.
It has now become a day to day part of once life and sometimes when a person like Anna Hazare speaks against it people even though support his voice but from inside everybody started to worry that what will happen if the bribe taking ritual is finished in the country. What will happen to the smoothness of the work which is being carried out through the corrupt forms of practices?
When a system becomes engraved in a society like its growth pillar it becomes extremely impossible task to eradicate a habit which had survived every legendary force and figure who voiced against it. As India moves forward on the horse of development the ratio of corruption also takes strides to fulfill the greedy surviving minds of gigantic corporate who just want the extra share in the growth story of a country without even concerning about the effect their bribes would cost to the lives of those who still live their life less than a dollar a day.
India is considered and has been an inspiration as a leader to the world as a largest running democracy but when it comes to work in a transparent accountable environment of politics it loses its sheen.
The scams which rocked this vibrant country were just peanuts in the mouth of a camel that now has got a lion’s share which has never been heard or have done before in any country. This scam has been titled as the mother of all scams in the world 210bn Dollars which is an amount sufficient enough to feed many crisis ridden countries of Europe pleading for bailout packages. With this amount billions of striving mouths can be fed. But the nature of scam is something like which is of a foolish nature done by government under the wrong asset valuation of national wealth.
It is the state when the government is being headed by Indian’s greatest economists and team of great leaders known for their financial – politics – economical knowledge. The UPA lead government from the last two consecutive terms has remained in the dock of corruption with the charge of scammed amount as huge as this latest one which has crossed all barriers of corrupt governance.
This has happened when the Honorable Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh too lead the coal ministry for some time. Now the dilemma is if the coal reserves were auctioned to mining tycoons then why the actual valuation wasn’t done and now since the leader of a country too had head the same department at that time when auction was done then along with several other ministries then who the people and who the judiciary will blame and now the question rises that how the charges of this massive fraud with the national wealth and public accounts would be put against the so called culprits.
India since has always been considered as a responsible member of a international community so government should think and review the centuries old systems of bureaucracy which is now destroying the very confidence of general public.
The nation due to these kinds of negligence and wrong governance along with serious parallel system of corruption which has made inroads in each and every corner of the Indian society already fueled major anti government revolutions like naxalism, separatism in major part of the country.
It is this corruption which has ruined half of the country at the hands of terrorism. It is the negligence of the government whose policies are great at paper but when it comes to implementation at the ground level hardly a person receives their benefits.
There is famous saying in India which even was also authenticated and approved by the ex-prime minister Late Mr. Rajiv Gandhi and also his son Mr. Rahul Gandhi in every election that “when government send Rs.100 to person he receives only Rs.1 or sometimes that too never received by the common public, so, this is the level and scenario of a country where more than billion people lives.
The government should now put a complete check and monitoring system for the accountability of each and every public department including the ministries and PMO. Government should pass the law of Jan Lokpal Bill which has been the recent subject for the heated nationwide rage and political debate.
Public has now want answers from all the elected leaders whether they are in state or in centre to put a serious check on each and every transaction made by every department or authority irrespective of its level.
India which has now excelling in economical terms must now take a step towards the reforming its political and bureaucratic system.
Afghanistan was already burning under the heat of the ties which got thawed when some miscreants’ irresponsible marines burnt the holy book hurting the faith of the very Afghan from the base.
The rage took 30 lives of civilians and 6 lives of soldiers but the relations of the bleeding US – Afghan partnership in the war of terrorism is yet to face another severe blow to their already strewn crumbling strategic ties. But the incident which happened in the dawn of 12th March 2012 at 3:am not only killed the innocent people but has also revealed the true insight of the cost of war which Afghanistan and its people have faced and bear in this 10 year long struggle started by US.
Whatever the positive developments which took place in Afghanistan under the leadership of ISAF and International community lead by US has now been blackened by these kinds of ruining incidents which has created major dent in the hearts of Afghans and their trust in the approach taken by these allied forces.
When Quran burning incident happened in the beginning of this 2012 the General of ISAF said that training program will be started which will teach soldiers of ISAF to identify the religious material and its believes in the Afghan society but till now the reality hasn’t changed and has remained the same with even more worsening situations being created by the insane and psychological crippled soldiers working in the intense pressurized environment of the defense services making them vulnerable to lose their sensibilities making them a killing machine which has no sight to identify between good or bad.
Even though there were reports and bases are known to have the facts about Taliban strong holds in the suffered Panjwai area but that doesn’t means that anybody will go on a hunt and will play the game with the lives of innocents. No religion, no culture taught to kill children and women but the world has witnessed always that it is the innocents who have always paid the price of senseless war started in the in the addiction of power but ended in with guilt and shame.
The killing of 16 civilians in Panjwai has made the Americans to rethink on their withdrawal timetable which was planned keeping in thought to provide the necessary stability to the under established Afghan forces.
Staff Sergeant Robert Bales who is believed to be a suspect the one who had committed this heinous massacre of the innocent civilians has been moved to an unidentified location in Kuwait when asked the American lead ISAF authorities said that they don’t have detention facilities in Afghanistan but our question is that when they knew about the situations being faced by the forced in the past during this war then why the authorities didn’t setup the facilities to handle such crisis.
This kind of irresponsible statements and misleading attitude towards the plight of Afghan people shows the casual approach of the concerned authorities.
Another statement made by Michael Waddington, an American military defense lawyer said the decision to remove the suspect was likely a security call.
"His presence in the country would put himself and other service members in jeopardy," Waddington said.
U.S. authorities showed their Afghan counterparts the video of the surrender to prove that only one perpetrator was involved in the shootings, the official said.
Some Afghan officials and residents in the villages that were attacked have insisted there was more than one shooter. If the disagreement persists, it could deepen the distrust between the two countries.
Panetta, in a series of meetings with troops and Afghan leaders Wednesday, said the U.S. must never lose sight of its mission in the war, despite recent violence including what appeared to be an attempted attack near the runway of a military base where he was about to land.
It wasn’t clear whether it was an attempt to attack the defense chief, whose travel to southern Afghanistan was not made public before he arrived. Panetta was informed of the incident after landing.
"We will not allow individual incidents to undermine our resolve to that mission," he told about 200 Marines at Camp Leatherneck. "We will be tested we will be challenged, we’ll be challenged by our enemy, we’ll be challenged by ourselves, we’ll be challenged by the hell of war itself. But none of that, none of that, must ever deter us from the mission that we must achieve."
Karzai who talked and informed about the complete truth of the terror by an eyewitness named Rafiullah who got shot in his leg and was found by AP photographer lying covered in the blanket along with other 15 The tensions between the two countries had appeared to be easing as recently as Friday, when the U.S. and Afghan governments signed a memorandum of understanding about the transfer of Afghan detainees to Afghan control - a key step toward an eventual strategic partnership to govern U.S. forces in the country.
But Sunday’s shooting could push that agreement further away.
"This is a fatal hammer blow on the U.S. military mission in Afghanistan. Whatever sliver of trust and credibility we might have had following the burnings of the Quran is now gone," said David Cortright, the director of policy studies at Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and an advocate for a quick withdrawal from Afghanistan.
"This may have been the act of a lone, deranged soldier. But the people of Afghanistan will see it for what it was, a wanton massacre of innocent civilians," Cortright said.
"This is an assassination, an intentional killing of innocent civilians and cannot be forgiven," Karzai said in a statement. He said he has repeatedly demanded the U.S. stop killing Afghan civilians. Nevertheless the situation becomes bad to worse now. If the pleas of nation’s President have no effect then how can other authorities are listened by those who believe that they are the boss of all societies. Karzai said he was sending a high-level delegation to investigate and deliver a full report.
Twelve of the dead were from Balandi, said Samad Khan, a farmer who lost all 11 members of his family, including women and children. Khan was away from the village when the incident occurred and returned to find his family members shot and burned. One of his neighbors was also killed, he said. It was unclear how or why the bodies were burned.
"This is an anti-human and anti-Islamic act," said Khan. "Nobody is allowed in any religion in the world to kill children and women."
Khan demanded that Karzai punish the American shooter.
"Otherwise we will make a decision," said Khan. "He should be handed over to us."
Residents in Alkozai village also demanded that Karzai punish the American or hand him over to the villagers. The four people killed in the village were all from one family, said a female relative who was shouting in anger. She did not give her name because of the conservative nature of local society.
"No Taliban were here. No gun battle was going on," said the woman. "We don’t know why this foreign soldier came and killed our innocent family members. Either he was drunk or he was enjoying killing civilians."
The Taliban called the shootings the latest sign that international forces are working against the Afghan people.
"The so-called American peace keepers have once again quenched their thirst with the blood of innocent Afghan civilians in Kandahar province," the Taliban said in a statement posted on a website used by the insurgent group. U.S. forces have been implicated in other violence in the same area.
Hailing Karzai for justice is of no use as He really has no control over the foreign powers and their missions. He can only request them, plead them but cannot order them to do as needed. Until n unless the US and its allies will not feel their responsibilities in carrying their offensives in the suspected regions of this war ridden country nothing can be done.
Obama administration must think about it and should work in the complete direct coordination not only with their forces and concerned authorities but also with the local population in order to achieve the 100% success rate of their mission’s objectives. However the circumstance has now gone beyond repair when it comes to local strategic partnerships on the ground and dealing with targeted enemy.
Today Afghan society is standing on the juncture where future is favoring the rise of Taliban and demise of those who have helped in getting rid of the former (Taliban) with no proper system which they can trust and count upon for generations to come in near future.
President Barack Obama phoned Afghan President Hamid Karzai to express his shock and sadness at the killing and wounding of Afghan civilians. He offered condolences to the grieving families of those killed and to the people of Afghanistan.
In a statement released by the White House, Obama called the attack “tragic and shocking” and not representative of “the exceptional character of our military and the respect that the United States has for the people of Afghanistan.” He vowed “to get the facts as quickly as possible and to hold accountable anyone responsible.” But what is the use of making phone calls and showing the concern while making commitments which has no real meaning in the execution of the actual justice which may not even see the light of a day.
Americans are good administrators and great strategic planners and based on these natural qualities they should also give proper training to their implementers along with the security forces who operate and handle some of the worst terror scenarios across the world. Americans have always played a responsible role in making this world a better place but still there are many areas where they still need to work on especially on the psychological state of their forces as these the ones who face the worst and operate in the greatest level of stress. If they given proper look out and address to their exiting issues only then the true ground position will get improved and not only they will react in a more positive and lawful manner but also their families will also be made comfortable about their status.
As the elections in the French Republic approach, the topic gaining maximum momentum is not the present slowdown or the increasing unemployment. Funny as it is, this time, the outgoing French President has chosen a topic out of the blue to gravitate his election campaign.
Halal and Kosher meat, the ritual way of killing animals by Muslims and Jews for human consumption has interestingly become the latest hot topic in France with most parties laying stress on it in some way or the other.
This topic was first raised by the candidate of the extreme right anti-immigration National Front Marine Le Pen. She claimed that all the meat that was being sold in greater Paris region was killed in the Muslim ritual way while the consumers were unaware of this. This provocative statement by Le Pen raised a lot of eyebrows all over the country.
It is significant that her comments came a few days after the French meat industry was exposed on a television show. A television report focused largely on the sanitary conditions at the 275 slaughter houses of the country. It showcased that most abattoirs in the Paris city practice only halal slaughter methods as it is too expensive to slaughter animals using both methods.
Pointing at the data made available in the commentary, Le Pen demanded that as a citizen, everyone has a right to know whether the meat they are buying has been killed in horrible cruelty. However, this statement, apart from being a provocative one from Le Pen, also delved deeper into the religious issues of ritual slaughter. Although, according to a European law, animals must be made unconscious before being killed, exception prevails for religious slaughter in which animal’s throat is slit while it is alive and conscious.
In the wake of this statement by Le Pen, Sarkozy reviewed the Rungis wholesale market for food which is located just outside of Paris. After this review, he remarked countering Le Pen that only 2.5 per cent of the meat consumed in the region was halal and that was not a problem. However, he retracted his earlier statement and later proposed a law to impose transparency on the way animals were being killed for being consumed here.
Adding fuel to the fire was another statement issued by the Prime Minister Francois Fillion who suggested that both Muslim and Jewish traditions for animal slaughter were outdated. This comment left French Muslim and Jew communities infuriated. This statement by Fillion has also isolated some members of the Jew community who have supported Sarkozy since his initial days. Now, it is heard that he is meeting Rabbis and Muslim leaders to repair the damage already done.
Amidst all this controversy about halal and kosher meat in France, is it not evident to the politicians that just by creating furore over something so trivial, they are diverting the attention of the voters from the real issues that mar the country presently.
Besides, halal or no halal is a question no Frenchman is interested in. This question may have become a political hype off late but it still does not affect the general population at large. The general public in France, far away from these trivial issues, is jostling with bigger issues of life like unemployment and the public debt.
This political controversy actually does not show Sarkozy’s attachment with the general public of France or for that matter even Le Pen’s statement also came off the fly. The birth of a controversy like this just ahead of the presidential elections in France only shows how disconnected Sarkozy and other political leaders in the country are from the general public and its day-to-day problems.
This controversy not only brings to limelight Sarkozy’s ignorance but also gives a feeling of déjà vu to the French public which has seen similar issues of immigration, national identity and multi culturalism being raised during his 2007 campaign.
France is home to Western Europe’s largest Muslim minority, officially estimated at least four million and its largest Jewish community estimated at up to 700,000.
Perhaps what the French president needed was just to speak to a normal country man to find out what are the things that really bother the normal public more than the ‘no-issue’ of the religious diets.
Meat for those who can afford it even today in France lies much lower in the serious list of concerns which affect their lives.
Agreed, there may be some who would be interested in knowing whether the meat they are eating has been produced by halal, kosher or any other way of slaughter as it would affect their religious beliefs which they have preserved so well over centuries.
And as it is, these French politicians must not forget in their rat race that they should abstain from hurting any community’s religious beliefs, no matter how small, as it would create an uproar among masses.
It is perfectly all right if the Europeans want that meat should be labelled that under what slaughtering method it is being made available. All we ask for is that these political parties should not stoop down to such a level where they need to hurl stone at someone else to make things work for themselves.
Horn of Africa an old jewel left exploited and stripped has faced the non destined fortune which people have been facing since the last two decades. Somalia once used to be a great trading and immigration center for Asian and Arab merchants had lived its era of prosperity.
The greedy natures of the self discriminatory politics have crushed all hopes of this dying nation where people have been fighting for their survival every day.
The central transitional government recognized by the international community as the official representative for Somalia affairs hardly controls an area of more than few sq kms confined to the state capital Mogadishu.
Somalia saw its destruction due to four factors which intervened in its affairs since 1960s. These factors have always ruled the political environment of this once great nation. The Conference which was held in London in last month February 2012 under the leadership of David Cameroon – Prime Minister of UK and Hilary Clinton – US State Secretary has been a late but much needed attempt to draw the global attention towards Somalia.
But due to the negligence by the global community and rigid nature of terms set up by them for dialogue with various territory holders of Somalia resulted in the destruction of the lives and families of the people of Somalia and the nation at large.
Somalia and its people are fighting the war from within and with their neighbors’ who have never supported the cause of Somalia and are one of the major forces behind the destruction of the Somalia’s society and its country especially Ethiopia whose constant interference in the internal matters and policies of Somalia have damaged the entire political and national set up hence; dividing the country from all spheres of existence.
It is a surprising fact that a nation which has remained without a government and legal constitutional system from more than twenty years has existed with complete territorial integrity with no advances made by any African country with exception of Ethiopia which control a small part of Somalia’s territory however with no claim as such on it.
The second most disastrous factor which contributed in the start of Somalia Civil War and the national divide is due to the un-coordinated nature exists in the caste based system of Somalia. It is this factor which has done major destruction of Somalia’s national integrity and unacceptability of the national political system created after the independence in 1960 which ended up in the political disaster during 1991 when the President Siad Barre government was overthrown, resulted in the one of the most destructive civil wars took place in the recent history.
Millions since then have been affected by the ongoing conflict while entire Somali population suffers from pro-longed drought and famine existing conditions which they are experiencing from last 15 years which has taken toll to thousands of lives irrespective of any caste or creed of their domain.
Where people were forced to leave their homelands in search of safer abode where they can at least have one meal a day and can also live safe away from the hands of extremists who have not only ruined their country by taking large swathes of territory but has also put their livelihood on the cross-roads where they have no choice but to take up the work left for them to earn their fortune.
Billions of Dollars of international assistance have already been given and being provided by UN through various governments agencies and organizations but the matter of the fact lies the same old situation with no progress visibly telling the development story of once prosperous nation. Even though the London Conference was organized to bring out the solution to the two decades long conflict and provide a stable government with unified voices from various factions and controllers of the Somalia’s territory. The theme of addressing the causes of the Somali conflict and the need for new approach mentioned in the speech of UK PM, David Cameron seems abandoned or unarticulated while the publicly rejected Roadmap of the United Nations Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS) took the center stage.
The following seven themes hold different meanings to the Somali people as illustrated below:
1. Security: Means no professional responsible Somali national Security forces under the exclusive control of a legitimate national government and instead more foreign forces in Somalia. A local authority protected and empowered by foreign forces cannot be accountable to the Somali people.
2. Political Process: Means continuation of vassal Transitional Federal Government (TFG)’s model of IGAD, clan based regional states, letters to the Diaspora from the Special Representative of the Secretary General, and abusive threats and accusations as spoilers of peace to the critics of the inept TFG, Kenya and Ethiopian intervention in Somalia or opponents to Kampala Accord, the deceitful Roadmap or UNPOS’s wrongheaded policies.
Even the representatives of the people of Somalia (Members of Parliament) are not immune from the foreign threats for punishment in fulfilling their constitutional rights and responsibilities. IGAD’s angry letter (IGAD threatens sanctions over Somali parliament) to the MPs who ousted the ex Speaker Sharif Hassan is a frightening and appalling example of infringement of Somalia’s sovereignty and proves the falsity of the international legitimacy conferred to TFG. In clear terms, Somalia is presently under the direct control of Addis Ababa.
3. Local stability: Means expansion of the Dual Track Policy which expedites Somalia’s fragmentation and conflict for resource and power competition.
4. Counter-Terrorism: Means insecurity, loss of dignity, freedom, death of innocent people in the hunt of terrorists, and deprivation of vulnerable Somalis from foreign remittances incomes and denial of humanitarian assistance in addition to Al Shabab’s cruel bans. Banks have been pressured to stop transfers of money to Somalia for counter-terrorism reasons.
5. Piracy: Means restriction of the Somali territorial water and utilization of marine resources, imposition of Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), continuation of illegal fishing and dumping toxic waste.
6. Humanitarian: Means intensification of the current Somalia’s depopulation by increasing the refugees, the displaced and impoverished population due to the massive military interventions and actions in Somalia.
7. International Coordination: Means increased support for the disintegration, polarization and division of Somalia rather than increased support for Somali driven peace, reconciliation and nation building.
The UK led London Conference on Somalia, which has started with the hope of state building in Somalia but now it recycles the roadmap themes. The plan introduces a new element which is called a Joint Financial Management Board. The High Level Political Committee and the Joint Security Committee established in Djibouti, and the Joint Financial Management Board expected to be established in London will constitute the instruments (institutions) of illegal International Trusteeship Administration on Somalia.
In the context of London Conference, it has been circulated an Italian proposal which advocates a 16 months of UN/AU Trusteeship or what it is called Transitional Administration on Somalia. The Italian proposal has formally documented the total failure of the TFG and international efforts. Theoretically, the proposal is far better than the current situation of TFG’s vassal model or what Prof Afyare Elmi called “stealth trusteeship” on Somalia under disparate actors.
President Mwai Kibaki of Kenya is asking PM Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia to leave the areas liberated by Kenyan forces after massacring Al Shabab and civilians. But PM Meles Zenawi refused and responded by saying, “you don’t know anything. I have been manipulating this country in the past 20 years.” Therefore, PM Meles relaxes on the bleeding Somalia.
The entire situation on Somalia is alarming where on one hand the UK backed Transitional Government seated in Mogadishu is exploiting and misusing the funds collected for Somalia’s welfare where leaders have been found involved in corrupt practices where out of $54 million only one million dollars were spent for welfare while neighbours of Somalia making every possible effort to crush the growing hope of stable and united Somalia where Ethiopia lies at the centre of Somalia’s politics.
While its own people have now been involved into illegal and anti social activities of extremism and have now become the major threat to global shipping by indulging into piracy. With people have no choice to earn their livelihood, with no government to rule and with no serious initiative by international community has left Somalia lying with uncertainties and at the mercy of terrorist which has transformed Somalia into a hub for global terrorism where organizations are finding secure shelters and grounds to work up on their projects of disasters making poor and innocents their target and even their recruits. Its now high time that world should take a note of the situation and invite all the representatives from Somalia irrespective of their agenda, their activities and control including Al Shabab and other organizations and communities not only from Somaliland but also from Puntland in order to come to a common terms and settle on a point of peace and stability for making Somalia and better and prosperous nation ruled by great leaders with accountable system of governance. Ethiopia and other who are creating nuisance along with Transitional government and its leaders must be made accountable and should be dragged in the ICJ.
Saturday 19th 2012 another day in the Afghan war history and an addition to the decade old Quran burning series; after 9/11 the global viewpoint has changed 360 degree against the various cultures and religions especially Islam which has faced the maximum wrath of entire world.
The launch of war on terror campaign which has claimed thousands of lives and has made millions homeless had never given a sight of peace in the hearts of those who have suffered from it the most. The uncultured and discriminatory behavior of the US armed forces and their ministers has never focused on how to train their forces and officers culturally instead of this they just no how to pull the trigger of their guns.
Thousands have soldiers have been targeted because of these silly mistakes done by few insane and careless. These incidents which has been witnessed from Guantanamo to US and from Iraq to Afghanistan has not only brought down the trust in the respectable American policies and their vision to the world but has also blackened the global image of the USA, US President Barack Obama and Gen. John Allen, commander of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force had also offered their apologies and issued directives that all coalition forces in Afghanistan will undergo training no later than March 3 so they can identify religious materials and handle them correctly.
These kinds of irresponsible apologies and statements given by such a responsible persons and authorities would not only highlight the ignorant behavior but also lack of cultural knowledge and disrespect towards other religions, cultures and societies.
The scenes from toilets flushing of Qurans to Burning it by Churches / People and Soldiers defines the growing stress and negativism among the US Marines and authorities who from the very start had kept at bay from the cultural training in which they can identify various cultures existing in the environments of their specific operations. It is necessary for a nation who has set great examples and has been playing a leadership in diplomatic and economic / social circles of this world to give at least a basic know-how of the global civilizations and about their beliefs.
The world where these operation of so called ‘War on Terror’ are going on requires special purpose vehicle which can take initiatives to improve the curriculum of the armed forces being sent and operating in these regions like Iraq and Afghanistan. These kinds of incidents of Quran burning or any acts of disrespect widens the fault line which has already deepening between West and the Muslim world even it affects the opinions of those nations which are secular or non-aligned.
These acts increase hatred in already vulnerable and affected corners of the globe hence; heightening the level of risks and uncertainties to the operations and peace efforts which the respective nations are making to bring normalcy and prosperity in the region.
There are three things in Afghanistan which the forces should keep in their mind while doing / committing any such acts which are:
1.) Afghan people top priority and belief is their faith, their religion which is the stream of their life which includes Quran, their customs, and their religions duties.
2.) Afghan people are very patriotic and they can die for their land. The feeling of nationalism is very high.
3.) Afghan families and their society which comes among the most and forms their world. It includes many things such as following of ancient tribal code of hospitality, self respect, dignity, culture, their traditions, their norms which define their persona and their horizons.
The US and International Security Alliance Force must learn from the history and the past experiences of the Communist forces too had did the same mistakes and remained ignorant towards their occupants land, their traditions, their faith and enforced their misconceptions which neither do good nor spread positivity instead it did more harm and damage the repo of the repute.
Because of these irresponsible and ignorance acts Barack Obama who took over the seat of a global leader by storm has lost his legitimacy among the Muslim world in specific where his constant failures and slow implementation of key policies has ruined his image and efforts on which he has came to the power.
He and the world must take lessons from the past instances that if anyone who so ever it was had tried to enforce their system and had shown the ignorance of once civilization, culture and its beliefs then either he had lost his power or in some cases the ruling nation had suffered the huge setbacks to its own missions and purposes.
Earlier the same things were done by Communists in their invaded territories and even in other countries where they used facilitate the government or had influence but what everyone had saw and known to the fact that they never got successful in making their image clean and their system acceptable because they had enforced their own perceptions and had never respected the local faith and traditions, if Obama or his authorities are serious enough to bring peace and prosperity to the disturbed regions like Afghanistan then they must first make their forces trained in moral and ethical values, they must lessen down the kind of command pressures on the existing forces involved in the various operations in these regions like Iraq and Afghanistan which is taking toll on them psychologically.
If US say it promotes and protects human rights and their values then it must first start showing signs of acceptance of traditional beliefs and the values which exist in the lives of people of these so called disturbed countries like Afghanistan. Even if they are criminals or even they are using the good for bad but in order to keep maintain your efforts of peace and global unity with democratic values you need to handle the matter with due respect when it involves something sensitive like Quran.
People accept others systems and shows acceptance to it with their full adherence to its norms when the enforcing party shows its acceptance towards their values and beliefs they have with due respect and care in handling even at times of investigation or proceedings if something unlawful has been found.
Then only one can promise a more stable and neutral community with full acceptance to the global norms otherwise it becomes the much needed boon for the extremists who look out for these kinds of matters and take the advantage of the situation against those who are doing good and want to do good for the people and countries like Afghanistan where just because of foolishness of few irresponsible’s the entire nation has turned against which has so far not only claimed lives of innocents but has also threatened the presence of the personnel’s working on the peace missions.
Active volcano Steams up the Middle Eastern Politics
A fear is taking over the international communities these days. A fear that Israel may attack Iran anytime soon is not unthinkable given the fact that Iran continues to demonstrate a desire and capability to attain nuclear weapons. Some time back, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was also heard saying that the country’s patience with this Islamic nation is growing thin and the diplomacy may soon come to an end. He was also quoted as saying that he could summarize the situation which may be there in this region by using two words, instability and uncertainity.
On the other hand, Iran’s take on this issue is that as a signatory of Nuclear non-proliferation treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the country is entitled to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
Israel strongly believes that with nuclear power, Iran is going to pose a terrible threat on the Middle East and on the entire world. The United States, Israel and some of their allies have accused Iran of pursuing military objectives in its nuclear program and have used this pretext to enforce international and unilateral sanctions on this Islamic Republic and also to call for a military strike against Tehran.
The United States have imposed new sanctions against Iran aiming at preventing other countries from importing oil from Iran and doing transactions with its central bank. Even European Union foreign ministers also approved sanctions against this country on January 23 that include bans on Iranian oil imports, a freeze on the assets of the country’s Central Bank within the EU states, and a ban on selling grains, diamonds, gold and other precious metals to Iran.
In its bid to pressurize Iran further, Israel has ramped up its war rhetoric over the past few weeks and is threatening Iran with military strikes in case the international sanctions fail to insist Iran in abandoning its nuclear program.
This pressure from Israel is sending alarms to the international community. The US is now asking Israel to postpone the attack on Iran for some time to wait and see whether the existing sanctions work for them or not. What now remains a main concern among the international leaders is that whether the region will have to face a war or not.
According to the experts, if Israel actually attacks on Iran, the kind of effect it will have on Middle Eastern region is unclear. However, whatever the effect be, it is for sure that the region would be highly unstable and may call for a cold war which would implicate the entire Middle East.
There is no doubt that Israel would regard any expansion of nuclear weapons capability within its region as an intolerable threat to its survival. Although, the country is in no hurry to call it a war and would certainly not disrupt its relation with the US. However, if it perceives an immediate threat in the form of Nuclear Iran, it will not think twice before making it a ferocious war that may negatively impact the position of both the countries and may also pose a challenge in front of the world in terms of the oil supplies and also strategically.
It is time that Israel should think and act as the international community wants it to. The Islamic country should definitely be given some more time to rethink and clearly define to the world what its real intention with the nuclear development is.
Who can forget how badly Israel was implicated during the Second World War. A nation which has still not recovered from the aftermath of the Second World War should not come out with such ordeals for someone else. Besides, the country has always been into conflict with its neighbours like Palestine and Iran.
Israel should work for developing peace in the region and not implicate the situation more. It is high time that Israel should stop guarding others and should focus more on its internal matters. Perhaps it will help the nation more in ensuring prosperity.
In the present world where mankind has moved out to other celestial bodies and is inventing something new every day, there still are some who are not bothered about this progress and are just trying to pull the civilisation back to those times where humanity and courtesy were not even invented. It is very sad to see that even in the most developed nations, there are some who do not want to look up to modern ways of progress and are just exploiting humanity in every way for their petty vested interests.
Although life has moved a lot ahead, still issues like human trafficking appal us. Not only the under-developed countries, this demon has even engulfed a huge number of people, especially women and children, hailing even from the most developed nations of the world. Human trafficking can be better defined as the illegal trade of human beings for the purpose of reproductive slavery, commercial sexual exploitation, forced labour, or modern day slavery in different industries and also for household work.
Human trafficking has been identified, world over, as the fastest growing criminal industry in the world. This comes second only to drug trafficking. This is substantially different from people smuggling as in smuggling, people voluntarily request to be hired for services. On the other hand, human trafficking involves forced ways like kidnaping and buying and selling of people.
The majority of trafficking victims all over the world are between 18 and 24 years of age. Besides, an estimated 1.2 million children are trafficked from 127 countries and are sent across to different geographies to be sold and used for different requirements by the buyers.
The main reason that can be attributed to the growth of this industry is lack of education and financial disparity among different sections in each economy. Most of the victims of this human evil are bought or kidnapped from weaker economies or regions like north-east part of India, Nepal, Malaysia, Indonesia, Afghanistan and several other countries in Africa like Nigeria and Sudan and are sold to the well offs in developing and developed economies for a whopping amount of money. In totality, as many as 161 countries are reported to be affected by human trafficking by being either a source, transit or a destination point.
The statistics revealed by different agencies related to human trafficking are rather alarming. According to different surveys, 95% of the victims of human trafficking experience physical or sexual violence during the transportation or after being sold. Most of these victims, even if bought for household chores, are subjected to inhuman conditions and are often raped and killed at some point of time or the other.
The nexus of human trafficking is growing and is already worth US $31.6 billion. Out of this, 49% is generated from industrialised economies, 30.6% from Asia and Pacific, 4.1% generated from Latin America and the Caribbean, and 4.7% is generated in the Middle East and North America. Such is this nexus that even the most prominent people of several regions are a part of it. The people who profit by victimising the children and women into this sex trade are only 50% of the problem. The other half is constituted by the ones who patronise this exploitative industry. This whole system is being run under the protective shelter of several important and effective people of different regions.
The traffickers who are also known as pimps when sex trade is the main reason for trafficking exploit vulnerability and lack of opportunities in remote areas. They offer promises of marriage, employment, education, and an overall better life and finally sell the victims to the effluent.
The story does not end here. The buyers who buy these ‘commodities’ put these victims into difficult conditions and often make them live without food and minimum requirements for days. They often beat them up, bruise them black and blue, give them electric shocks, and even give them scars that do not go away for their entire lives. There also have been instances when a victim has even died after being put to such tough physical and unacceptable sexual tyranny.
Even as the society wakes up to a new age wherein progress of technology and mankind is the key, the evil of human trafficking has stricken and has bled many a lives. When women are matching steps with men and are getting advantageous position in different industries, it is extremely depressing to see more and more women being pushed into this exploitation that often claims their lives and many a times leave them with diseased bodies for the rest of their lives.
The worst part about all this is that all governments worldwide recognise this human trafficking as the most heinous crime against humanity, still not much has been done till now to eradicate this evil from the surface of earth. The governments and administrations all over the world are just neglecting this major crime against humanity. Although, several regulations and laws cover this issue, but not of much avail. Nothing significant is actually happening in this direction that can protect the victims from being trafficked in the first place.
It needs to be understood by the people as well as the governments that human trafficking cannot be abolished by putting things into place proper regulations and laws. The need today is that the people should be more active and aware about their fundamental rights and the administration should ensure proper protection to the under privileged sections of the society.
On behalf of the team of The Oslo Times, I want to send out this message to the people in different geographies that this evil can only be abolished when we all join hands and determine to free our society of this evil. We strongly condemn this ill practice and want that the administrations take some firm steps to improve the situation.
Someone has rightly said that a nation is what its media portrays to the world. The better the media system in that nation, the better would be image of that nation in global perspective. Usually, media is considered to be a platform which provides us support to voice our emotions and sentiments.
However, with the entrance of corporate sector in this noble profession, things have changed a lot. An apt example of media being corrupted due to vested interests can be seen in Afghanistan. Media in this nation has played an extremely negative role in portraying the nation’s image in front of the global community.
When communists lost control over this war-stricken country, media which always remained under their full control and influence took a sigh of relief as it was free to bring out only the truth to the people. However, before too long, the nation again entered another difficult phase wherein the divide in the society and hunger for power pushed the entire nation into the early ages and media which sought a better future after the departure of the communist came directly on the target of the fundamental powers which ruled the nation.
This was a time when all media operations were stripped off and journalism became a toy to those who did not even know the meaning of expression and freedom. Situation became more and bleaker with each passing day. The glimpse of media’s presence only lived in the name of extremist radio which played the only programs according to the propaganda of the extremists from the only surviving radio station at that time. The situation remained grim and very exploitative in nature for the entire fabric of media which should support the nation by all means. Freedom only remained in terms of saying yes to the fundamentalist leaders. Nonetheless, this was also a time when media in Afghanistan got an opportunity to make its presence felt in the ravaged nation where lives were vandalised by discrimination.
When American forces attacked Afghanistan, everyone thought that this would turn out to be another systematic invasion carried out by another power which had earlier supported Afghanistan in its struggle against the communist forces. However, things changed quite differently and what happened next was quite intriguing for the people of this country.
As this war reached its conclusion, the nation got a new leader in the form of Hamid Karzai and entered a new phase in which the much awaited democracy was implemented in the country. The Karzai government started to bring together the shattered society of Afghanistan’s natives who had been fighting with their unwritten destinies for several decades.
When Karzai took charge of his country, there was no development. There was hardly a kilometre of highway which remained in good condition. There was no infrastructure of power, energy, connectivity, education, communication and broadcasting which was destroyed during the civil war and later by the extremist Taliban.
The work done by Karzai in bringing together a nation which was fighting its own people within its own borders is commendable. He has done what no earlier leader in his governance could do for the country.
In such times, it is very sad to see how media has taken up the task to bring out the darkest facts of his governance. Media even blames the government and authorities for indulging in corrupt practices and its large scale acceptability. Instead of playing the role of a responsible pillar of a democracy, all that media is doing is defaming Karzai government through all possible means. Media has never highlighted and took the responsibility to show the world what good and positive things Karzai and his government has done after the fall of Taliban.
Today, what media propagates about him and against his role as a President of Afghanistan is far from reality and is also based on hypocrisy of those who are running a mouth piece of their own tribe or who pays good amount of money to the sold out media of Afghanistan. Whatever activities the media is able to do in Afghanistan and to what level is only due to the good policies of the Karzai government and its vision for a better future of the country.
Now that media has tasted it and is enjoying a good level of freedom of speech, it is crucial that it should also understand what its duties are in this country which is waking to a new dawn. Rather than just being a criticising agency, it should play the pivotal role of finding solution to different issues and communicating with the government.
Afghan media now enjoys the country wide access and coverage through more than 75 channels and establishments. It is time that this fourth pillar of democracy should sit back and think what they are contributing to the growth of this nation. They need to understand that they are just creating a state of confusion among the authorities who have helped them in the past and even now to get free from the clutches of extremists and invaders who had no vision for their community and country.
Afghanistan is standing on the crossroads of prosperity and failure and even a single wrong move is enough to push the entire country and its communities backwards into the dark times. In such crucial times, it is so disheartening to see Afghan media doing coverage of false realities just to support a few power hungry political frenzy people without even caring to know the truth behind their support. The media perhaps does not know or does not want to acknowledge the fact that they have evil backing from the foreign lands who want the country to suffer and surrender to them.
It is true that Karzai government has not been successful on a number of fronts, but then we cannot out rightly forget what they have contributed to the growth of the nation. It was Karzai only who brought Pakistan, Iran and other neighbours to one table to support his country for stabilizing further. How can we forget that he is the only leader in the last 40 years who has served the purpose of Afghan traditions and unity on political and cultural terms?
There is no denial that media is very important and its freedom is crucial for a nation which has struggled to survive with its identity and values. Its existence and presence plays an important role to form a unified society which is aware and relates to all human beings living in the boundaries of a nation. It is the mirror of a nation which if becomes corrupt may destroy the image of a country and also the mind sets of others who see their country as great.
Propaganda is acceptable only to some extent. It cannot cross its limits to defame the authority and governance of a country which is working hard to make its nation prosper. For a healthy nation and stable society, a responsible media and its agencies doing coverage on ethical grounds are needed. The corporates who only work for their own interests cannot bring the much needed change in a new nation like Afghanistan.
We demand that media in this country should stop being a mouth piece for unethical propaganda which just operates to earn money and does not stand for truth and appreciating positive developments taking place in the surroundings.
Burmese Gandhi – Aung San Suu Kyi! Storm of Burmese democracy
A Lady with an angelic fist has spent almost 20 years of her life in some or the other form of detention just to bring democracy in her country Burma. Overtime she has become an example of being Burmese Gandhi behind whom the entire nation is following on her footsteps.
The 65 year old lady who has left no stone unturned to make Burma a democratic country and lift the people lives by protecting their human rights and their freedom has suffered a lot in her personal life.
“It is a famous saying that when you work for your country you lose your family”. The sacrifices made by Aung San Suu Kyi are un-matched and incomparable. She was not allowed to see her two sons or her husband, who died of cancer in March 1999.
The military authorities offered to allow her to travel to the UK to see him when he was gravely ill, but she felt compelled to refuse for fear she would not be allowed back into the country.
She has grandchildren she has never met. She has now become a symbol of peace and nobility to the world whose actions has spoken louder than her words. Her campaigns and her presence have always troubled the dictators of Burma and their subjects.
In 1991, a year after her National League for Democracy won an overwhelming victory in an election the junta later nullified, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
The committee chairman, Francis Sejested, called her “an outstanding example of the power of the powerless”. She was sidelined for Burma’s first elections in two decades on 7 November 2010 but released from house arrest six days later.
Thousands of supporters gathered to hear her issue a call for Burmese people to work together for change.
She is the daughter of General Aung San who was the country’s independence hero and was assassinated during the transition period in July 1947, just six months before independence. However assassinator didn’t knew that time that one day the legacy of Gen; Aung San would lived for ever and be carried by her daughter who have taken it on new level giving a new meaning of peace to it.
Her visit to India and later on to UK transformed her into a completely different person who became an inspiration to millions of suppressed people waiting to see a ray of democratic freedom in their lives.
Her inspirations of Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi transformed her into an inspiration to the world that now has brought several changes in lives of Burmese people and have highlighted the issue of her people to the world hence making the whole international community think for Burma.
Dictatorships neither have any future nor does it have any legitimacy for long term. People have their say and their voice should not be crushed at any cost.
Banning Aung San Suu Kyi from running for premiership of the country is completely unjustified even though the government has indirectly pointed out on her but still it has cleared its intentions against the lady who wants to work for her people, for her country.
A lady who has cared for others whereas the leaders who have ruled Burma from decades have never cared even for a single citizen. Democracy is the light of freedom, a system where people rule, where their rights flourish un-regulated.
This century is belonged to people not the rulers, the world has risen from suppression now and its storm will only hold when it will sweep the pillars of dictators from every corner of this great world of civilizations.
The support shown by the International community and the efforts made by Burmese people and the respected Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi has started to bear the fruits of change which will for sure bring the enormous prosperity in the lives of the people there.
It is our fundamental responsibility to support such people like Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi who have not only bring change in the lives of Burmese people but also has given a hope to others in the nations suffering from the epidemic of tyrant regimes.
73 year old Anna Hazare who has reconstructed the present era of the country with his revolution against corruption in the country, has shown to the world that if your motive is true, you can garner the support of an entire country including the young and the children. The revolution that started from a simple ground in central Delhi, the entire world became captive of this man’s fast unto death movement. This movement witnessed the participation of more than a million followers and got support from all sections of the society.
A Gandhian in body, mind and spirit suddenly became the face of India’s fight against corruption. A country which was tired of rhetoric and corruption which has percolated to its deepest lanes suddenly woke up to the revolution against corruption which was started by Anna. The teaming millions chanting the slogan of ‘I am Anna’ largely came together with the help of a very effective social media campaign, headed by Arvind Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi and Prashant Bhushan aptly known as the ‘Team Anna’.
Hazare, a former army man, began his social activism from Ralegan Siddhi, a village in Ahmednagar district in Maharashtra, where he successfully led a movement against alcoholism and made Ralegan Siddhi a model village. Hazare’s campaign was instrumental in the implementation of the Right to Information Act in Maharashtra, which is considered one of the best RTI Acts in the country.
It is surprising that an enlightened man like Anna once wanted to kill himself as he was not able to find a purpose in his life and was feeling utterly hopeless. It is said that one day at New Delhi Railway Station, he found a book on Swami Vivekananda. He concluded that the motive of his life lay in service to his fellow men.
Anna Hazare not only found a supporter in the common man but even the celebrities, socialites, and political circle as well. However, this is not a new battle for him. He has fought many battles while being in the country’s army. It seems that the man has the combination of Subhash Chandra Bose’s fiery temperament and the political mind of Mohan Das Karam Chand Gandhi which no government can handle.
After taking voluntary retirement from Army, he returned to his native village only to find the farmers back home struggling for survival. He started rainwater conservation that put his little hamlet on the international map. drop two corrupt Cabinet Ministers. In 2003, he forced the Congress-
In the year 1995-96, he also forced the Sena-BJP government in Maharashtra to drop two corrupt ministers from the cabinet. In 2003, he also forced the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) state government to set up an investigation against four ministers. In April this year, four days of fasting brought thousands of people out in support of his crusade against corruption. They also made the government realise it could not be dismissive about Anna Hazare and his mass appeal.
His relationship with the UPA government has been strained to say the least from very start. The truce of April was short-lived. An exercise to set up a joint committee made up of equal numbers of Government representatives and civil society activists, including Anna Hazare came to naught when the two sides failed to agree and drafted two different Lok Pal Bills. The government has brought its version in Parliament and Team Anna was livid.
Team Anna needs to realized, that it is against a mighty democracy run by some most corrupt and shrewd mind is in the world. It needs to make its moves very strategically. The govt. not only delayed the bringing of the bill but also, finally succeeded in not passing it in the winter session of the parliament.
While the govt. failed to pass the anti-corruption bill in the parliament, it failed the promised given to Anna and the people of the country, the movement itself has not died. It will rise once again, like phoenix from the ashes, despite Anna’s ill health and the confusion team Anna is facing. They will find victory coz now India’s has had enough, and India will be grateful to the man who brought this change.
Although they may sound like characters of some old fairy tale, SOPA and PIPA are sure to diminish the entire domain of user-content websites, if implemented. The Stop Online Piracy Act SOPA and the related Protect Intellectual Property Act PIPA are the US House Bills to fight online trafficking in copyrighted intellectual property and counterfeit goods.
The proposal in these bills include barring advertising networks and payment facilities from conducting business with allegedly infringing websites, barring the search engines from linking to these sites and requiring Internet service providers to block access to the sites. The main purpose of these sites is to make it harder for sites, especially those located outside the US, to sell or distribute pirated copyrighted material like movies and music apart from goods like counterfeited watches and bags. The bill is sure to cut off funding by prohibiting payment services from cooperating with infringing sites. Some say this would give rise to an ‘internet blacklist.’
The problem with these bills is that instead of just impacting a portion of the site which is involved in these activities, the entire site would be affected. If I analyse it, I really feel this is absurd as it is like asking the manager of a superstore to shut down the entire store just because there was some problem in one section!
This bill has also brought the entertainment industry against the technology industry. A huge number of people, even Americans, make a living by dreaming up content and selling it to the world. Even Silicon Valley has invested billions in creating companies that distribute information freely. While Google and other Silicon Valley companies respect copyrights, they earn their bread by helping people find what they want. If suddenly every website that links to others has to rethink if it is violating the law by linking to a prohibited website, the entire scenario would change. Not only this, it is for sure that SOPA and PIPA can be abused and lead to censorship for purposes.
Two days back, the English Wikipedia, Reddit and a number of other websites coordinated a service blackout to protest against this law. A number of other companies like Google posted links and images to raise awareness.
I, on behalf of the team of Oslo Times, want to put this question to the people who have initiated this bill that how someone can punish an entire website for something that may have been written through a blog!
This bill should be opposed by the entire internet community as it is not only going to kill an entire domain of user-content website, but may also kill innovation in the first place.
The world saw, last year, the falling of a dictator who ruled his country for more than 40 years.
It is not unknown to the world how the reign of Late Col Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi ended in Libya. It was Gaddafi, who abolished the monarchy in Libya in a bloodless coup and formed an entirely new constitution in 1969 and brought the divided tribal Libyan heartland under the fold and dominion of one flag and one nation governance.
At that time, he was viewed by his people and the general public as a liberator, a hero who was their true committed brotherly leader. However, what happened later was something which no one could expect then.
More than his duties towards his nation, Col Gaddafi was known for his flamboyant dresses and lifestyle which was backed by his brigade of female bodyguards. Destiny played a ruthless role in the lives of the people in Libya when their beloved leader treated them with inhumanity and madness. Having ruled for forty two years, Gaddafi personally ordered and executed many smiling and rebellion souls whom he thought to be a threat to his political survival or could challenge his authority.
The first such incident took place when he mercilessly killed the students and teachers who participated in the protests organised in Benghazi’s Engineering College in April of 1977. It was the first display of the ruthlessness of the leader who did not think twice before hanging the dead bodies of the rebels on the street lights to create fear among masses. Since then, Gaddafi came to be known as one of the prominent dictators of the country and continued to rule the innocent people of Libya with his iron fist.
Since that time itself, the heavy handed dealing of Gaddafi resulted in the outburst of rage that created shock and awe situation in the entire global community. These were the moments when the rules of fist episodes were being written in the unfinished chapters of the Green Book. The shine of his legacy had started to fade away from the sands of his nativity for which he was honoured as King of the Kings.
However, the true colours of Gaddafi and his supporters were unfolded when more than 200,000 innocent people were butchered on brave heartedly struggling against his regime. A large number of these people are still missing and nobody knows what happened to them. The situation changed on October 20, 2011 when he was struck by air raid on his convoy running for his life in his hometown Sirte.
How his regime ended is not unknown to the world, but how it all happened was shocking to the civilian world. The treatment Gaddafi received during his final moments from the rebels was non-deserving and unpredictable. Although, we all can understand the situations which the people were put into during his tenure as the ruler of Libya, still the inhuman and beastly behaviour of the rebels was also disheartening.
We all know that he has done countless atrocities and curbed the raising voices through his iron fist but he too was a human and deserved the same treatment we all want for ourselves. Ideally, he should have got a chance to be tried in the court of law. Instead of doing all this, he was killed ruthlessly and his body denied of proper burying rituals. It breaks the heart to learn that his body was kept in an unhygienic meat freezer for four days, making it smell badly and taking pictures to prove to the world that he has actually died. It may be a lesson to other dictators like Bashar al Asad in Syria but still it was cruel.
Now since Gaddafi has gone, the role of NATO in Libya has ended. However, a lot remains to be done now than was done earlier. NATO should come forward and take the new responsibility of un-arming the rebels and the general population which was given arms taking into considerations of the National Transitional Council. If this is not done well within time, the world may soon see the uprising of another nation like Afghanistan where hostilities of war lords and mafias are beyond control of the civic governance.
What happened in Afghanistan is not unknown to the world. After the departure of the Russian troops, the country entered one of the worst known civil wars of the world as the people had been armed by CIA to fight the Russians. In case NATO does not disarm the people in Libya, the innocent people of the country would have to suffer the wrath. Not only this, like Taliban, some extremist group may just become a threat to the world peace. The US and its allies should not commit the same mistake again.
The signs of the country turning into a war zone have already started appearing. Thousands of people, including women and children have been detained by the rebel militias in Libya post Gaddafi regime. A large number of these prisoners are suffering atrocities and inhuman behaviour and are being tortured by every possible way.
The prisoners detained by Gaddafi have been released and their vacant cells have been filled up by the new enemies of the state who are waiting for their end. Lawlessness is prevailing in several regions as the police is not able to return to work. In other cities also, the role of the police has been restricted to merely controlling traffic. The continuing human rights abuses in the country are a big issue for concern.
It is high time that the world leaders, who helped in the ouster of Gaddafi, step in to take control. UNO should intervene and pass a resolution giving responsibility to all five permanent members who not only illegally armed the general public to make them mean fighting rebels but are also responsible for the human right abuses committed by them during the war.
NATO and NTC rebels who killed Gaddafi and went on rampage to loot the surviving members of his family should be tried in the international court of justice. For the sake of the security and true independence of the general public in Libya, these rebels should be made responsible and penalised for their acts and violations carried out in Libyan civil war.
The global community must acknowledge that the end of dictatorship brings along a pool of challenges to be dealt with. The world must come together and unite in an effort to support and help Libyan people on road to develop a vibrant united democratic nation with due respect and freedom to their fundamental rights.
If this is not done in time, the day is not far when the new breed of extremism will rise and pose danger to international stability whitewashing the global efforts of bringing peace and democracy in the war stricken country of Libya.
The world has known, for centuries, extremism where the norms are breached by those who wish to carry on with their un-adjustable approach in the society. It flourishes where there is no acceptance to the national political system or the existence of suppressive local customs. As the human civilization progresses and develops complexities in terms of territory, race, linguistic, tribe, culture, religion and many such things which were created and formed by man to make his own world of creations and justice.
Extremism has existed in each and every corner of this world since ages. No matter which religion you follow or believe, you will come across a stream of generation which believes in going beyond the defined norms of that sect. Earlier when the world was witnessing revolutions headed by the numerous prophets in every age of the angelic era the extremism was defined on the religious terms and was being termed as the religious extremism whose motive was to just spread their religion on to others. Then as the world moves and various distinct religions established their sphere this divided the entire generations of the human race into world of racism and discrimination. The new forms of once a single meaning word of extremism whose definition used to be just one and on one ground now was on the path of the transformation where the differences in the ideology which the various religions brought with them started to create the fault line between the personal norms and the norms of others who do not follow your norms. The most long serving example of this divide which goes beyond the lines of every norm set by the human society is between the Jews and the other global religions which has given rise to countless forms of extremism along with their own senseless and inhuman reasons. In today’s world which has survived the worst wars, genocides and natural disasters has now come to a point where it faces the threat of extremism in various forms and it kinds.
Modern and Historical forms of Extremism as defined by many scholars:
1.) Racial / Ethnical: This form is one of the forms of extremism which was developed in the era of imperialism when powers from around the world were fighting wars to establish their foothold and when they started to indulge in the slave trade. This form over the years has developed into a much common and wide spread form of extremism where it too has developed many sub categories of its own like: racial extremism against foreign immigrants / developing of gethos or restricted neighborhoods for specific community / organized racial or ethical gangs like Skin Heads of UK specifically in London, Nazis of Russia specifically in Moscow.
2.) Cultural Extremism: Cultural extremism happens when a community / state or a person forces others to accept its culture and its norms without giving or recognizing targeted community / society / group/ person its culture and values. The laws related to Blasphemy sometimes shows and present the picture of forcible and unacceptable behavior of one’s culture and acceptance to it which are mostly designed to curtail it and suppress the rise of others other than the state. Just like the laws related to Blasphemy in Pakistan.
3.) Religious Extremism: When a religious group of fundamentalists supports an ideology which goes beyond the set and accepted norms of religion and when other religions and neutrals within their own society start to feel their unwanted enforcement the modern examples where it has existed throughout in the countries are: Arab Jewish conflict, Pakistan Republic and Fundamentalists, Taliban etc.
4.) Theological Extremism: When a particular religious faction imposes its belief or tries to suppress another of its kind with a different theological setup nevertheless this kind of large scale wide spread extreme perceptions and unaccepted suppression can be seen in the more organized political and recognizable framework of a new political distinction of extremism which is fascism.
The countries where one can witness these kinds of extremities of distinct theologies. Shiaite Iran suppressing Sunni minority, Alawite Minority regime suppressing and enforcing norms on Sunni majority and Kurds in Syria, Kurds and Shia minorities being suppressed by Sunni majority in Iraq, various ideological factions in Pakistan and Afghanistan suppressing each other’s and enforcing their ideologies in forcible manner by implementing extreme measures to spread their cause and mindsets.
Theological differences in Hinduism and Sikhism in India, Various existing ideologies among Buddhism and Buddhist majority countries like the one among Chinese Han and Tibetans, Mongoloids and Chinese, Differences between and un-acceptance in Indian – Chinese.
5.) Political extremism: It belongs mostly to a much more advanced form of extremism known as fascism where the leader and his regime has national interests at large for the entire country instead of self-satisfying public interests as in democracies. This kind of extremism exists in the societies and flourishes where public is upset with the national form of governmental setup and policies, extreme national isolation in the state, high level of suppression and discrimination among various communities in the state and enforcement of unacceptable laws which hinders and endangers their communal or linguistic or religious identities. The best real life examples of it can be seen in history as well as in today’s world like Nazism in Germany which gone against the existence of Jewish community which faced a horrible holocaust at the hands of state. Syrian Alawite regime of Assad and his son Bashar, Late Col; Gaddafi and his rule of fist in Libya over other tribes and communities, Iranian Shiaite regime in Iran suppressing other minorities like Sunni, Bahai, Zoroastrian. Burmese Military Junta headed government, China’s communist government and its suppressive policies over its people and other communities living in autonomous regions and even sometimes goes beyond the national boundaries of it like affecting Taiwan, Mongolia, Vietnam, Burma, Cambodia, Japan, India, Russian far east, Hong Kong, Tibet, Xinjiang. Serbia – Bosnia crisis, Kosovo crisis, Belarus, Saudi Arabia’s monarchy famous for its beheading convictions and other extreme judicial measures. Suppressive policies of North Korean regime and its Kim family.
6.) Militancy / Terrorism / Revolutionaries: This is the most modern form of extremism which has now evolved as one of the most sophisticated forms of extremism challenging the entire global political, economic, bureaucratic setup of the global community. These kinds of extreme existence and buildup works like a parallel government and system to the national framework where the national domain exists within the purview of the state but has no control and jurisdiction over the social setup and accessibility to the affected region sometimes even the government too gets involved in taking the extreme measures like by implementing draconian laws which provides much larger role to the defense forces and its paramilitaries.
This has now become the most visible and practicable form of extremism which has lured and is attracting millions across the globe to carry out its revolution through destructive means. The examples of this kind can be easily seen and monitored in various countries which too includes some of the most prosperous and developed countries like: Chechnya in Russian Federation, Naxalities / Maoists / North – East Separatist Groups / Khalistanis / Kashmir freedom movement in India, Maoist movement in Nepal, erstwhile LTTE in Sri-Lanka, Separatist movements in Indonesia, Baluchistan freedom movement, Waziristan – FATA regions, Gilgit – Baltistan, Azad Kashmir, Sind freedom movement in Pakistan, Kurdistan freedom movement in Iraq, Separatist movement in Yemen, IRA in Northern Ireland – UK, PLO movement in Palestine and Israel, Turkistan freedom movement - Xinjiang, Tibetan movement in China, Militancy affected Northern Burma, Somalia – terrorist ruled state, DRC and ROC in twin Congo’s affected by prolonged civil war, militancy and revolutionaries movements and their buildup can be seen in throughout African continent the countries which are affected are: Liberia, Somalia, DOC, ROC, Central African Republic, Chad, Western Sahara – Morocco, Angola, Uganda, Rwanda who witnessed history’s worst genocide, Sudan – South Sudan, Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast. ETA armed campaign in Basque province of Spain. FARC, ELN, Para military in Columbia, Chechnya crisis in Russia, Hindu – Sikh – Muslim terror outfits and organization activities in India.
7.) Lingual extremism: This basically reflects the un-identification of other spoken languages in the state over the national lingua-franca chosen or decided by the state. It is also one of the most ancient form of extremism where state forcibly implements the policy of on other lingual communities and their stream of dialects spoken by them are denied the national recognition and importance as an accepted workable script. The state imposes and forces the alien communities to learn and accept officially the national language or other as chosen official by it on the specific community or tribe. The examples of its kind are: republics or communities of central Asian and eastern Europe under Soviet control were forced to adopt Russian as their mother tongue while their local dialects or even practicing of it or studying were banned or in some areas restricted to a confined quarters. Autonomous regions and communities living in these regions in China face the same, many tribal areas and the communities living in these regions in India also witness the extreme enforcement policies or authoritarian behavior by the local authorities to accept Hindi as their language. Most of South Asian Pacific countries too witnessing the same kind of extreme measures taken by their respective governments sometimes in the shape of judicial framework, sometimes through research policies in the national or local language in the name of making it more compatible to outside world. The most extreme behavior was seen during the imperial era or the age of colonialism when European powers took some extreme measures and gone beyond the human norms to force the acceptance of their national languages like English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish etc to be accepted by their slave and the communities living in their captured / invaded colonies as their mother language. The example of European colonial era’s lingual extremism can be seen in the countries of Africa where French is the most widely spoken language of many countries as their national language, Some countries of Asia like India and other South Asian countries where English has become the second official language after their national language, Oceania – Australia and New Zealand where English is treated as the mother tongue even of the natives who have lived there since the early years of human civilization, South and Latin Americas where on one hand Brazil has become the largest country outside Portugal to speak Portuguese as the national language and with the rest of countries in the continent adopted Spanish as their mother tongue hence; shredding their national and cultural identities defined by their extinct lingual patterns, North America where English has become their mother tongue and in some quarters being a French exception like Quebec in Canada.
India, the country ruled by a number of colonial powers has seen it happening in its own boundary where in one part Portuguese is still widely spoken and is an official language of many states ruled by Portugal, French also has an official status in some states which were once ruled by and got independence from France and it is the second most widely spoken European language in India after English.
As discussed in these points Fascism also reflects the organized form of self-styled governance by the state where nationalism is of the outmost importance and personal priorities has no space in the national agenda.
These kinds of regimes and ideologies are popular and exist where national spirit is very high and parties gains the support by large national majorities. Its major and sole aim is to live up to its nation and increase the level of national identity in the international arena against the more democratic and public favored policies.
Fascism can never stand against the regimes which support democracy and where demand for values of human rights is more important for the public. Fascist regimes practice the single party form of government where only the ruling party has vested powers for its interest prioritizing the national interests of the country while being expansionist in nature. Fascism introduced no systematic exposition of its ideology or purpose other than a negative reaction against socialist and democratic egalitarianism.
Many says mostly Europeans that Fascism was born during the pre-world War II era but my point is to bring to the notice of all those who have shrunken its definition and its origins. Fascism does not belong or was born during Hitler’s time even though the term got originated by then but if we have look at the history the old form of fascism has always remained in the kingdoms or sometimes we call it more popularly monarchies. Both the systems have many similarities in functioning, in terms of nationalism, rulings, suppression and even in its authoritarian nature like in absolute monarchies there is only a family who rules the nation and its people, which has the vast interests of the supreme national priorities going beyond even the borders of its own kingdom.
Fascism became advanced during WWII when Hitler and Mussolini came to power and gave the new definition of a rule which, though, was directly controlled by a leader and single party but has the reference towards the kind of royal functioning just like in many existing absolute monarchies for example of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman, Bahrain where people have no say or control over their rights and their choice but have the acceptance of the suppressive policies formulated by their direct rulers or the dictators. In the same manner Fascism is a term which gives an organized and sophisticated meaning to its older version of monarchy.
The major difference between the two is that in fascist regimes people are from general background or are revolutionaries who have large national agendas for their people and nations but has no values for human rights as if the people has their rights then the nation cannot be united at one front to serve the common interest of the country for which the leader who is leading a fascist state has much larger role to play for building the nationalism. Fascism though is an umbrella word for most of the direct single party regimes which though have the characteristics of fascism but also differentiate on many grounds with each other as these regimes are mostly based on self-styled rule of their respective leaders where the difference lies in terms of the kind of ideology being followed and the nature of their national interests. However these regimes no matter how much they differentiate with each other’s similar format they have at least some characteristics in them always and these are:
1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism - Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.
2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights - Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of “need.” The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.
3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause - The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial, ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.
4. Supremacy of the Military - Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.
5. Rampant Sexism - The fascist governments tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution.
6. Controlled Mass Media - Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.
7. Obsession with National Security - Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.
8. Religion and Government are intertwined - Fascist governments tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government’s policies or actions.
9. Corporate Power is protected - The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often is the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.
10. Labor Power is suppressed - Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.
11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts - Fascist governments tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts and letters is openly attacked.
12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment - Under fascist regimes, the police is given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.
13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption - Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.
14. Fraudulent Elections - Sometimes elections by fascist governments is a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist governments also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.
Overall when we say and have a look extremism and fascism no matter how differentiated they look but both these terms are just the two faces of one coin which has only hurt and wounded the human civilization since the time unknown sometimes in the name of religion, sometimes in the name of culture / community and sometimes just for their own personal interests. These terms are not and nothing to do with any religion or community or culture it exists everywhere and in every community or religion no matter whether it is Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists or anyone.
The media and the responsible agencies must take the responsibility to come out of their stereotyping nature and vision. & stop propaganda about which has nothing to do with humanity and justice. I request on the behalf of The Oslo Times team and network that media should stop making the villains heroes and the heroes into villain. Media is an eye of the public and ear of its nerve so, if it plays the irresponsible role then who the public would trust and believe.
January 1st – Estonia adopts the Euro currency and becomes the 17th Eurozone country.
January 4th – Prince Ali-Reza of Iran, born 1966, commits suicide. Mohamed Bouazizi, a street vendor in Tunisia dies after burns of self immolation.
January 9th-15th – Southern Sudan holds a referendum on independence. The Sudanese electorate votes in favour of independence for the creation of the new state in July.
Flooding in Brazilian state, Rio de Janeiro kills 903.
January 14th – Arab spring. The Tunisian government falls after a month of violent protests and President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali flees to Saudi Arabia after 23 years in power.
January 24th – 37 people are killed and more than 180 wounded in a bombing at Domodedovo International Airport in Moscow, Russia.
February 11th – Arab spring. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak resigns after unrest and protests calling for his departure. The control is left in the hands of the military until general elections can be held.
February 22nd – March 14th – Uncertainty over Libyan oil output causes crude oil prices to rise over 20% over a 2 week period following the Arab spring causing the 2011 energy crises.
February 27th – 25th Prime Minister of Turkey, Necmettin Erbakan passes away, born 1926.
March 4th – Dutch Nobel physicist, Simon van der Meer, born 1925 passes away.
March 11th – A 9.1 magnitude earthquake and tsunami hits the east of Japan killing 15,840 and leaves 3,926 missing. Tsunami warnings are issued in 50 countries and territories and emergencies are declared at 4 nuclear power plants affected by the quake.
March 15th – Arab spring. Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, King of Bahrain declares a 3 month state of emergency as troops from the Gulf Co-operation Council are sent to quell the civil unrest.
March 17th – Arab spring. Arab spring and the Libyan civil war; The United Nations Security Council votes 10-0 to create a no-fly zone over Libya in response to allegations of government aggression against civilians.
March 19th – Arab spring and the Libyan civil war; continuously attacks on Libyan rebels by forces in support of leader Muammar Gaddafi leads to military intervention authorized under UNSCR 1973 begins as French fighter jets make reconnaissance flights over Libya.
April 5th – Anna Hazare began his famous faste at Jantar Mantar in Delhi to press for the demand to form a joint committee of the of the representatives of the Government and the civil society to draft a stronger anti-corruption bill with stronger penal actions and more independence to the Lokpal and Lokayuktas (Ombudsmen in the states), after his demand was rejected by the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. He said he wanted to fast until the Lokpal bill was passed. The movement attracted attention in the media, and thousands of supporters. Almost 150 people reportedly joined Hazare in his fast. People have shown support in internet social media such as Twitter and Facebook.
April 11th – Former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo is arrested in his home in Abidjan by supporters of elected President Alassane Ouattara with support from French forces ending the 2010 – 2011 Ivorian crises and civil war.
April 29th – The wedding of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey in London.
May 1st – May 2nd – U.S. President Barack Obama announces that Osama bin Laden, founder of the militant group Al Qaeda has been killed during an American military operation in Pakistan.
May 14th – 32 year old maid, Nafissatou Diallo, at the Sofitel New York Hotel alleged that Strauss-Kahn had sexually assaulted her after she entered his suite. Strauss-Kahn was formally indicted on 18 May and granted US$1 million bail, plus a US$5 million bond, the following day. He was ordered to remain confined to a New York apartment under guard. After completing a lengthy investigation, prosecutors filed a motion to drop all charges against Strauss-Kahn, stating that they were not convinced of his culpability beyond a reasonable doubt due to serious issues in the complainant’s credibility and inconclusive physical evidence, and therefore could not ask a jury to believe in it.
May 16th – The European Union agree to a € 78 billion rescue deal for Portugal. The bailout loan will be equally split between the European Financial Stabilization Mechanism, The European Financial Stability Facility and the International Monetary Fund.
May 26th – Former Bosnian Serb Army commander Ratko Mladic, wanted for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity is arrested in Serbia.
June 4th – Chile’s Puyehue volcano erupts causing air traffic cancellations across South America, New Zealand, Australia and forcing over 3,000 people to evacuate.
June 5th – Arab spring. Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh travels to Saudi Arabia for treatment of an injury sustained during an attack on the presidential palace. At the same time, protesters celebrate his transfer of power to his Vice-President.
June 9th – Indian painter, M.F. Hussain, born 1915 passes away.
June 12th – Arab spring. Thousands of Syrians flee to Turkey as Syrian troop’s siege to Jisr ash-Shugur.
July 7th – The world’s first artificial organ transplant is achieved, using an artificial windpipe coated with stem cells.
July 9th – South Sudan secedes from Sudan as a result from the independence referendum held in January.
July 20th – Goran Hadžić is detained in Serbia, becoming the last of 161 people indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.
The United Nations declares a famine in southern Somalia, the first in over 30 years.
July 21st – Space shuttle Atlantis lands successfully at Kennedy Space Center after completing STS-135, concluding NASA’s space shuttle program.
July 22nd – 76 people are killed in twin terrorist attacks in Norway after a bombing in Regjeringskvartalet, the government center in Oslo and a shooting at a political youth camp on the island of Utøya.
July 31st – September 24th – Arab spring; Because of the uncertainties associated with a clamp-down of the free press. It is believed that at least 121 people were killed in a Syrian Army tank raid on the town of Hama and over 150 people are reportedly killed across the country. The total number of the dead is unknown but estimated to be 3,000 as for September.
August 5th – NASA announces that its MARS Reconnaissance Orbiter captured photographic evidence of possible liquid water on Mars during warm seasons. Later Juno, the first solar-powered spacecraft on a mission to Jupiter, is launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
August 20th -28th – Arab spring; and the Libyan civil war. In the battle of Tripoli, Libyan rebels took control over the nation’s capital effectively overthrowing the government of Muammar Gaddafi.
September 5th – India and Bangladesh signs a pact to end their 40 year old border demarcation dispute.
September 10th – Zanzibar ferry sinking; The MV Spice Islander, carrying at least 800 people sinks off the coast of Zanzibar killing 240 people.
September 12th – Approximately 100 Kenyans dies after a petrol pipeline explodes in Nairobi.
September 14th – German Nobel physicist, Rudolf Mössbauer, born 1929 passes away.
September 19th – With 434 dead, United Nations launches a $357 million appeal for victims of the 2011 Sindh floods in Pakistan.
September 20th – Burhanuddin Rabbani, President of Afghanistan from 1992 to 1996 is killed by a suicide bomber.
October 4th – 2011 Mogadishu bombing; 100 people are killed in a car bombing in the Somali capital Mogadishu.
In Thailand, 657 people are killed by floods during a severe monsoon season with 58 of the country’s 77 provinces affected.
The death toll from the flooding of Cambodia’s Mekong River and attendant flash floods reaches 207.
October 5th – American computer engineer Steve Jobs, born 1955, passes away.
October 18th – Israel and the Palestinian militant organization Hamas began a major prisoner swap as they released the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in exchange for 1,280 prisoners and Israeli-Arab prisoners held in Israel including 280 prisoners serving life sentences for planning and perpetrating terror attacks.
October 20th –Arab spring and the Libyan civil war; Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is killed in Sirte with National Transitional Council forces taking control of the city and ending the war.
Basque separatist militant organization ETA declares and ends to its 43 year campaign of political violence that has killed over 800 people since 1968.
October 23rd – A earthquake with 7,2 magnitude destroyed the city of Van in eastern Turkey, killing 604 people and damaging about 2,200 buildings.
October 27th – After an emergency meeting in Brussels, the European Union announced a agreement to tackle the European sovereign debt crises which includes a writedown of 50% of Greek bonds, a recapitalization of European banks and an increase of the bailout fund of the European Financial Stability Facility totaling to €1 trillion.
October 31st – This date was selected by the UN as the symbolic date when global population reached 7billion.
UNESCO admitted Palestine as a member following a vote in which 107 member states supported and 14 opposed.
November 26th – The Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity is launched from the Kennedy Space Center. It is planned that it will land on Mars on August 5, 2012.
November 28th – A congressional investigative committee disclosed Monday that it has begun a wide-ranging probe into operations at the Dover Air Force Base mortuary, escalating public scrutiny of the military installation charged with handling America’s war dead. In December, a federal investigation by the United States Office of special counsel found the center had committed “gross mismanagement” of remains, including losing body parts, sawing off the damaged arm bone of a soldier so he would fit in a casket without telling his family, and lax supervision. Three supervisors were disciplined but not removed from duty. The Special Counsel investigation revealed that Air Force officials had attempted to silence whistleblowers by firing them from their jobs, had falsified records, and lied to investigators.
December 15th – The United States formally declares an end to the Iraq war.
December 16th – Tropical storm Washi hits the Philippines causing floods, killing more than 957 and 49 are officially listed as missing.
December 17th – Kim Jong-il, Supreme leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea dies.
December 18th – Vaclay Havel, Czech playwright, 10th President of Czechoslovakia and 1st President of the Czech Republic passes away.
December 22nd – Lawmakers in France’s National Assembly – the lower house of parliament, voted overwhelmingly in favour of a draft law outlawing genocide denial, which will be debated next year in the Senate. Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan described the bill put forward by members of French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s ruling party as “politics based on racism, discrimination, xenophobia.”He said Sarkozy, was sacrificing good ties “for the sake of political calculations,” suggesting the president was trying to win the votes of ethnic Armenians in France in an election next year.
Erdogan said Turkey was cancelling all economic, political and military meetings with its NATO partner and said it would cancel permission for French military planes to land, and warships to dock, in Turkey.
22nd- Several coordinated bombs exploded in Baghdad. At least 16 bombs went of killing over 72 and injuring more than 200 people.
23rd – A earthquake with 5,8 schook Christchurch, New Zealand. Same place was hit with 6,3 in February where 180 people lost their lives.
Chemistry – Dan Shechtman
Economics – Christopher A. Sims and Thomas J. Sargent.
Literature – Tomas Tranströmer
Peace – Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkul Karman
Physics – Saul Perlmutter, Adam G. Riess and Brian P. Schmidt.
Physiology or Medicine – Bruce A. Beutler, Jules A. Hoffmann and Ralph M. Steinman
Marsih, An employee of Resort City Police Samarinda, East Kalimantan, poured by gasoline and burned her own husband. She suffered burns up to 60 percent. The act was done in front of the child victim. It was done by Sumantri because he is reluctant to divorce from his wife. Not only Marsih,Sumantri also affected by a bolt of fire and suffered 40 percent burns. Both were treated at the Islamic Hospital Samarinda. Currently the police are still asking the details number of witnesses from the family. Perpetrator closely guarded for fear of escape.
Based on Act No. 23 of 2004 on the Elimination of Domestic Violence Law of Indonesia; domestic violence is any action against a person, especially women, which result in misery or suffering physical, sexual, psychological, and / or negligence of household including threat to commit acts, coercion, or deprivation of liberty against the law within the domestic sphere.
Elimination of Domestic Violence Law was born through a long struggle for about seven years conducted the women’s movement activists of the share element. In Indonesia, a formal legally, these provisions come into force since 2004. The mission of this Act is an effort, endeavor for the elimination of domestic violence. With this provision, means the state could attempt to prevent the occurrence of domestic violence, prosecution of domestic violence and protect victims of domestic violence.
Something that previously could not happen, because it is considered as an internal matter of one’s family. The reason is expressly said that, the action physical violence, psychological, sexual, and neglect of household (economic abandonment) done within the domestic sphere is a crime. These actions may be common and can occur between the husband to his wife and vice versa, or parents against their children. As legislation that requires special arrangements, in addition to criminal sanctions contained setting, this law also regulates the procedural law, the obligation of the state in providing immediate protection to victims who report. Thus, it can be said that this provision is an important legal breakthrough for efforts to uphold human rights, especially protection against those who have been harmed in a family or household order.
In numbers, wives who are victims of domestic violence was 96 percent, of the total 136 thousand more cases of violence in personal relationships. The pattern is dominated by domestic violence sexual and psychological violence. While physical violence is smaller in number under the economic violence. Violence against women also occurs during courtship, violence by ex-husband or ex-boyfriend, and against domestic workers. Violence against women as whole rise 263 percent to 143.586 cases during 2009 (January to December).
Causes of domestic violence
In Indonesia, domestic violence is difficult to resolve, it is because many people who do not know that their actions or action that they are received from their partner is included in domestic violence, and perpetrators may also feel that his actions were protected by the prevailing norms in society, that is not polite when intervene in the household of others when there are fights (internal matter). This norm has indirectly led to the perpetrator feel protected from state laws when they are apply to domestic violence.
It also can cause by:
1. The public raising boys by growing confidence that the boys should be strong, brave and intolerant.
2. Men and women are not positioned equally in society.
3. Perceptions of violence in the household must be closed because it is a family problem and not a social problem.
4. an erroneous understanding of religious teachings about the rules educate wives, wives to their husbands obedience, respect for the position of her husband resulting in the perception that men should control women.
5. Culture that wife relies on her husband, especially economics.
6. Personality and psychological conditions of husband who is not stable.
7. Have experienced violence in childhood.
8. Culture that men are considered superior and women inferior.
9. Doing imitation, especially the boys who live with parents who often do violence to his mother or himself.
Effort to recover the victims on domestic violence
Elimination of Domestic Violence Law is the first regulation governing the rights of victims. Rights of victims of domestic violence in the Elimination of Domestic Violence Law in Article 10 which include the following:
1. protection of the family, police, prosecutors, courts, advocates, social institutions, or any other party either temporarily or based on the determination of a court protection order;
2. Health services in accordance with medical needs;
3. Special handling related to the confidentiality of the victim;
4. Assistance by social workers and legal assistance at every level of the examination process in accordance with the provisions of legislation; and
5. Spiritual guidance services.
Efforts to prevent domestic violence are a mutual obligation between the government and society. This corresponds to a locus of domestic violence in the private sphere, so the government cannot simply go in and monitor the household directly. And so we need community involvement in monitoring and preventing the occurrence of domestic violence in the neighborhood. The obligation of this community accommodated in articles 14 and 15 of Elimination of Domestic Violence Law. Even in chapter 15 are detailed on duty “every person who heard, saw, or know the occurrence of domestic violence shall make efforts in accordance with the limit of his ability to a) prevent the continuation of crime; b) provide protection to victims; c) to provide relief emergency; and d) assist the application process protection setting.
Article 44 of Law Number 23 Year 2004 on domestic violence.
Anyone committing acts of violence, physical within the domestic sphere as referred to in Article 5 letter a shall be punished with imprisonment of 5 (five) years or a maximum fine of Rp 15,000,000.00 (fifteen million rupiahs).
In the event that acts as referred to in paragraph (1) resulted in the victim had fallen ill or serious injury, shall be punished with imprisonment of 10 (ten) years or a fine of not more Rp30.000.000, 00 (thirty million rupiahs).
In the event that acts as referred to in paragraph (2) resulted in the death of the victim, shall be punished with imprisonment of 15 (fifteen) years or a maximum fine of Rp 45,000,000.00 (forty five million rupiahs).
It not only happens in Indonesia but even in developed and advance countries like Australia recently Rajini Narayan who killed her husband by burning first his penis and then him completely. Have a look at the full story what had gone between them and male who think himself always superior and powerful to woman. However it seems like slowly but gradually women are claiming their rights which they could have claimed much earlier.
A woman who burned her husband to death after “snapping momentarily” has become the third battered wife in seven years to avoid jail for manslaughter in Australian court history.
The Supreme Court today suspended Rajini Narayan’s six-year sentence for killing her cheating husband, Satish, in December 2008.
Justice John Sulan said the killing was due to “momentary” anger and “muddled” thinking, and that Narayan was truly remorseful for her actions.
“Although it is often said … that a suspended sentence is not a sentence at all, it’s a real sentence and can be brought into effect if there is a failure to comply with specified conditions,” he said.
“It is wrong to regard suspended sentences as letting an offender walk free as if he or she has not been punished.
“It seems (Narayan) has suffered a great deal already.”
Narayan, who sat with her back to the public gallery for much of the hearing, fought back tears as the sentence was announced.
Her eldest daughter ran to the front of the court room to embrace and kiss her mother.
Narayan, 46, is the third woman in seven years to avoid an immediate jail term for manslaughter.
In 2004, Riverland woman Gwenda Elaine Savcic received a suspended three-year term for killing her husband, Mark.
Savcic fatally stabbed her husband with a samurai sword after silently enduring 19 years of abuse at his hands.
Justice Ted Mullighan ruled the stabbing - the first time Savcic had ever stood up to her husband - was an act of “excessive self-defence”.
In 2009, Noreen Jessamine Weetra received a suspended five-year term for killing her partner, Ross Owen Calyun.
Police had been called to the couple’s home 10 times in three years before Weetra struck back, stabbing Calyun in the heart in front of her children.
Justice Margaret Nyland dubbed her actions “rare and exceptional”, and therefore deserving of a “merciful approach” in sentencing.
Narayan stood trial in the Supreme Court for murder last year.
Prosecutors had alleged she deliberately set her husband, Satish, alight in December 2008 after confronting him about his affair.
Narayan denied this, saying her intention was to “circumcise and purify” her husband who had physically and verbally abused her for 22 years.
She said she wanted to “burn a dot on his penis” with petrol and an “angel candle” she had been given by a fortune teller so that he would not leave her for the other woman.
She compared her “bizarre” idea to the Hindu love story of Lord Ram, who proved the purity of his wife, Sita, with fire after rescuing her from a demon king.
“It would be like circumcision, or just like he placed that red dot on my forehead at the wedding,” she said at trial.
“It was like I had all the powers of the goddess to save my husband, my lord … it did not occur to me that it was going to be dangerous.”
Narayan admitted losing control and throwing the flame and accelerant onto Satish when he called her a “fat bitch”.
Jurors accepted her version of events, acquitting her of murder and finding her guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter.
In sentencing today, Justice Sulan said Narayan had “deified” her husband and was “shattered” by his betrayal.
He said there was “no doubt” her thinking at the time was “unrealistic, muddled and illogical”.
“For the first time in your life you had confronted your husband, had found the courage to be assertive to the person who had mistreated you for 20 years,” he said.
“His response was to treat you with disdain, dismiss you and turn his back to you (and) you snapped.”
Justice Sulan further ordered Narayan be under Correctional Services supervision for two years, and undertake psychological counseling as ordered.
As woman is becoming more aware and man are becoming more brutal and unforgiving the silence of her soul has now reached at the point of final eruption where now the hidden dark side of once this magnificent human being has now showing her dark side. Man and Woman are just like two sides of one coin and have remained till date but neither of them has ever appreciated or complemented each other. The narrow mind set and venerable behavior of man develops a quality of a deep anger and an uncompromising behavior whereas fear of losing and possessiveness have made woman more reserve and of conservative behavior but as the world becomes more aware of its rights and responsibilities woman too are becoming more open minded and are being more aggressive towards their aims and their self being. This has evolved new twisted positions in the un-balanced relations of opposite genders.
These cases are the new signs of beginning of a new era where woman shares the power in this male dominant world.
Warning: This article contains some disturbing content and images. Viewers discretion is advised.
From centuries human civilizations have practiced cannibalism – a practice which not only haunts a week hearts but it spreads a dangerous culture which endangers the entire survival of human existence. Almost every tribal culture with few exceptions nurtured and has enjoyed exotic flavors’ of the great human flesh but those who do are unaware that the cuisine they ate is toxic, is full of all those diseases which the person diluting in their intestines will affect their own. Cannibal culture goes in two ways one by killing a person and feasting on him whereas other follows the dead to be eaten by his relatives. The former called homicidal cannibalism while later called as necro-cannibalism. Though the world has come ages and has made strides in science and civilization however the situation in many parts of the world still remains the same.
There are many countries where even now to this date cannibalism is still not consider as sin and is being practiced in some or the other form either in the name of religion or culture or habit.
Tribes which are known to practice cannibalism across the world:
Tribes in Americas practiced cannibalism:
Akokisa – USA
The Akokisa, like the Atakapa, practiced cannibalism, which may have been connected to their religious beliefs. Cannibalistic feasts were described by Simars de Bellisle, who observed them firsthand when Akokisa people captured him when his ship wrecked was Frenchman (1695-1763). His diary was the first hand account of these natives practicing homicidal cannibalism.
Atakapa – USA
The first European contact with the Atakapa may have been in 1528 by survivors of the Spanish Pánfilo de Narváez expedition. The name Atakapa is a Choctaw name meaning “people eater” (hattak ‘person’, apa ‘to eat’), a reference to the practice of ritual cannibalism. The Gulf coast peoples practiced this on their enemies.
A French explorer, Francois Simars de Bellisle, lived among the Atakapa from 1719 to 1721. He described Atakapa cannibalistic feasts which he observed firsthand. The practice of cannibalism likely had a religious, ritualistic basis.
The French historian Antoine-Simon Le Page du Pratz, lived in Louisiana, from 1718 to 1734, a total of 16 years. He wrote:
Along the west coast, not far from the sea, inhabit the nation called Atacapas [sic], that is, Man-Eaters, being so called by the other nations on account of their detestable custom of eating their enemies, or such as they believe to be their enemies. In the vast country there are no other cannibals to be met with besides the Atacapas; and since the French have gone among them, they have raised in them so great an horror of that abominable practice of devouring creatures of their own species, that they have promised to leave it off: and, accordingly, for a long time past we have heard of no such barbarity among them. —Antoine-Simon Le Page du Pratz
Harakmbut – Peru
The Harakmbut are an indigenous tribe living in the Peruvian Amazon Tobias Schneebaum an American artist, anthropologist, and AIDS activist has witnessed cannibalism ritual of Harakmbut tribe. Which was mentioned as about him “After hitch-hiking from New York to Peru, he lived with the Harakmbut people for seven months, where he slept with his male subjects and claimed to have joined the tribe in cannibalism on one occasion”.
Wari – Brazil
The Wari also practiced cannibalism, specifically mortuary cannibalism. This is a form of endo-cannibalism, or the consumption of members of one’s own society. This was done as a form of utmost respect to those who have passed.
Tribes in Europe practiced cannibalism
Androphagi – Russia
Androphagi (Greek: for “man-eaters) was ancient nation of cannibals north of Scythia (according to Herodotus), probably in the forests between the upper waters of the Dnepr and Don. These people may have assisted the Scythians when King Darius the Great led a Persian invasion into what is now Southern Russia to punish the Scythians for their raids into the Achaemenid Empire.
The Gutasaga tells of the blóts on the island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea: Before this time, and a long time thereafter, they believed in groves and barrows, sanctuaries, and sacred enclosures and in the pagan gods. They sacrificed (for?) their sons, daughters and cattle, and practiced blóts with food and drink. This they did due to their superstition. The whole country (the althing) had the largest blót with sacrifice of people, otherwise everything had its blót and smaller things had smaller blóts with cattle, food and drinks. They were called food-, or cooking-brethren, because they prepared the meals together.
Tribes in Asia practiced cannibalism
Asmat – New Guinea
Until the 1950s, their remote and harsh location isolated the Asmat from other peoples. It was not until the mid-20th century that they came into regular contact with outsiders. Initially, the Asmat had a reputation as headhunters and cannibals, and were left undisturbed.
Fore – Papua New Guinea
In the 1950s the neurological disease Kuru was discovered in the South Fore. The local tradition of ritual cannibalism of their dead had led to an epidemic, with approximately 1000 deaths from 1957 to 1960. Upon the death of an individual, the maternal kin were responsible for the dismemberment of the corpse. The women would remove the arms and feet, strip the limbs of muscle, remove the brain and cut open the chest in order to remove internal organs.
Shirley Lindenbaum, one of the early kuru researchers, states that kuru victims were highly regarded as sources of food, because the layer of fat on victims who died quickly resembled pork. Women also were known to feed morsels – such as human brain and various parts of organs – to their children and the elderly.
It is currently believed that kuru was transmitted among the South Fore through participation in such cannibalism, although opportunistic infection through wounds when removing infectious tissue from the corpse can be assumed to be another cause, as not all cases can be explained by ingestion of infectious tissue.
Though the Fore would not eat those who had apparently died of disease, and so did not so easily catch other diseases via cannibalism, they believed that kuru was a mental affliction caused by a curse rather than a physical disease.
The kuru epidemic reached its height in the 1960s, having recorded over 1,100 deaths of the South Fore from kuru between 1957 and 1968. The vast majority of victims among the South Fore were women. In fact, eight times more women than men contracted the disease. It later affected small children and the elderly at a high rate as well.
Lindenbaum and Vincent Zigas worked among the South Fore in New Guinea trying to identify and catalog the symptoms and possible behavior causing the disease. Daniel Carleton Gajdusek also traveled there in 1957, to study disease patterns in indigenous and isolated populations.Lindenbaum, Zigas, and Gajdusek were all crucial to explaining the specifics of kuru to the rest of the world.
Although the prohibition of cannibalism in the 1950s led to the steady decline of the epidemic, it has lingered into the present century by an incubation period that can exceed 50 years.
Issedones – Central Asian countries
The Byzantine scholiast John Tzetzes, who cites the Issedones generally “in Scythia” present day Central Asian Region, quotes some lines to the effect that the Issedones “exult in long flowing hair” and mentions the one-eyed men to the north. According to Herodotus, the Issedones practiced ritual cannibalism of their elderly males, followed by a ritual feast at which the deceased patriarch’s family ate his flesh, gilded his skull, and placed it in a position of honor much like a cult image.
The archeologists E. M. Murphy and J. P. Mallory of the Queen’s University of Belfast, have argued (Antiquity, 74 (2000):388-94) that Herodotus was mistaken in his interpretation of what he imagined to be cannibalism. Recently-excavated sites in southern Siberia, such as the large cemetery at Aymyrlyg in Tuva containing more than 1,000 burials of the Scythian period, have revealed accumulations of bones often arranged in anatomical order. This indicates burials of semi-decomposed corpses or defleshed skeletons, sometimes associated with leather bags or cloth sacks. Marks on some bones show cut-marks of a nature indicative of defleshing, but most appear to suggest disarticulation of adult skeletons. Murphy and Mallory suggest that, since the Issedones were nomads living with cattle herds, they moved up the mountains in summer, but they wanted their dead to be buried at their winter camp; defleshing and dismemberment of the people who died in summer would have been more hygienic than allowing the corpses to decompose naturally in the summer heat. Burial of the dismembered remains would have taken place in fall after returning to winter camp, but before the ground was frozen completely. Such procedures of defleshing and dismemberment may have been mistaken for evidence of cannibalism by foreign onlookers.
Murphy and Mallory do not exclude the possibility that the flesh removed from the bodies was consumed. Archeologically these activities remain invisible. But they point out that elsewhere, Herodotus names another tribe (Androphagi) as the only group to eat human flesh.
On the other hand, Dr. Timothy Taylor points out:
1. Herodotus reports that the so-called “Androphagoi” are the “only” people in the region to practice cannibalism. However, a distinction should be drawn between “aggressive gustatory cannibalism” (i.e., hunting humans for food) and the ritualized, reverential practices reported among the Issedones and Massagetae.
2. Scythian-type peoples were renowned embalmers and presumably would have no need for funerary defleshing to delay decomposition of the corpse.
3. Herodotus specifically describes the removal of the meat and mixing it with other foodstuffs to make a funerary stew.
Dr. Taylor concludes: “Inferring reverential funerary cannibalism in this case is thus the most academically cautious approach”.
Kombai – Indonesia
The Kombai are known to have practiced cannibalism in the past, as part of their culture. The Kombai also believe in evil spirits called Suangi. Suangis are said to eat the blood and/or internal organs of their victims and then stuff the bodies with leaves and grass. They are also believed to devour the person’s soul. After being attacked, the victim is then said to return home where they seem to have fallen mysteriously ill. If a victim is able to name the Suangi that has attacked him, they are often killed and eaten by the victim’s family in the belief that it will free the person’s spirit. The Kombai also believe in Khakhua-Kumu, evil men who consume the souls of their victims, and must be killed or eaten in return.
Korowai / Kolufo – Papua New Guinea
Korowai tribe in Papua, Indonesia is known as the tribes that still remaining in the world and performs cannibalism until now. They usually eat his tribe member suspected of being witches. Usually they eat while still in a state of his brain warm. Their residence, usually located above the tall tree is useful to protect from their enemies.
Marind-anim – Papua New Guinea and Indonesia
Marind-anim are people living in South New Guinea, in the past, they were famed because of headhunting. This was rooted in their belief system and linked to the name-giving of the newborn. The skull was believed to contain a mana-like force. Headhunting was not motivated primarily by cannibalism, but the already killed person’s flesh was consumed.
Massagetae – Uzbekistan
According to Herodotus: Each man has but one wife, yet all the wives are held in common; for this is a custom of the Massagetae and not of the Scythians, as the Greeks wrongly say. Human life does not come to its natural close with this people; but when a man grows very old, all his kinsfolk collect together and offer him up in sacrifice; offering at the same time some cattle also. After the sacrifice they boil the flesh and feast on it; and those who thus end their days are reckoned the happiest. If a man dies of disease they do not eat him, but bury him in the ground, bewailing his ill-fortune that he did not come to be sacrificed.
Sawi – Indonesia
The Sawi are a tribal people of Western New Guinea, Indonesia. They were known to be cannibalistic headhunters as recently as the 1950s.
Tribes in Africa practiced cannibalism
Beti-Pahuin – Cameroon, Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and São Tomé and Príncipe
The Beti-Pahuin’s exact origins are unclear. At one point, they were thought to have migrated into the territory of present-day Cameroon from the Azande area of Sudan, but the current belief is that they originated in the forests south of the Sanaga River, not far from their current territory. During this process, the migrants encountered other ethnic groups. The invaders were militarily superior, however, and (possibly aided by a reputation for cannibalism), they were able to absorb and “Pahuinise” most of the indigenous groups they encountered. Those peoples who refused or resisted assimilation had no choice but to flee.
Tribes in Oceania practiced cannibalism
Māori – New Zealand
Maori in New Zealand is a tribe of cannibals who have documented very well. Cannibalism had been a part of Maori culture, and they never stop to eat their enemies. When the British ship, the Boyd, anchored and the crew killed the son of the head of the Maori, the Maori warrior take revenge by killing and eating 66 crew of the ship. This event is finally known as the “body massacre.”
Countries where cannibalism is being followed and is practiced in this 21st century:
Most of the countries to this exclusive and distinct club include some of the most prospering and largely underdeveloped ones where even today as well this heinous and inhuman practice is contributing to their platter. These countries are mostly in continents of Africa and Asia with have two exceptions of two from Europeans: they are: India, China, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia, Burma, Papua New Guinea, Guinea, Liberia, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Côte d’Ivoire Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Nigeria, Rwanda, Ukraine, Germany, Polynesia, Melanesia, Australia. In these countries there are lots of similarities as well as dissimilarities. One can get a complete detail content of the reasons why in these countries it is still practiced and people still love to live their cannibal values.
Cannibalism in India has existed from thousands of centuries or one can say since times unknown. Here in India there are three groups which practice this act.
Aghoris – This is sect of religious Hindu splinter holy men who believe that if they eat human meat they will get immortality. They also believe that eating human flesh prevents ageing. One can find them near cremation grounds or near banks of river Ganges where they grab the floating dead bodies and enjoy their feast. They drink from human skulls and always carry bones and skulls with them.
Naga – This is a warrior tribe found in the North Eastern state of India – Nagaland. They still practice necro-cannibalism where the dead members are eaten by his relatives or family within the close quarters of their four walls. Earlier this tribe has also practiced homicide cannibalism but due to the abolition of tribal laws and advanced transformation of their life styles in the modern India they have discontinued this practice as now their no tribal wars or any intrusions made by other communities to grab their ancestral lands which used to the norm before independence.
Hopi, Zuni and Peublo communities also practice some part of cannibalism while performing cremation rituals.
There are other tribal communities like Andaman’s, Manipuri, Mizo, Jaintya, Bodo, Garo, Khasi, Tripuri who on some or the other occasion sometimes practice this un-natural behavior of cannibalism. All these tribes are found in the Indian states of North East and Andaman – Nicobar Island Group.
This is the most bizarre and has most weird eating habits in the world. Here cannibalism is not an act but a platter or is a scientific form of an exclusive range of human cuisines. In some parts of China girls are sacrificed and eaten to please God and their ancestral spirits. These girls are mostly of early teenage and before they are slaughtered their hands and legs are tied first and their mouth sealed by the plastic tape. Being helpless in front of those werewolves’ they witness their own homicide. After slitting their throats their bodies are left in the open so that the remaining blood flows out of the body naturally. The blood during the slitting of the throat is collected in the deep vessel which will be later use for performing rituals. Their bodies hare hanged upside down and then the cannibals begin the process of skinning and cleaning of the internal organs.
Fetus soup is delicacy in China and it is liked by many people over there from decades. Many says that this new kind of cannibalistic culture of eating fetus or aborted babies was started due to the rigid and harsh one child policy which force couples to abort their babies or even abandon them premature sometimes. These babies are then become the main ingredient for soup which is liked by millions of Chinese.
Here are some relevant reports and stories about this bizarre world – We posted once an article about how the Japanese simulated eating a human body as a form of edgy entertainment. Well now there are reports that the Chinese have been eating infant babies in an attempt to improve their health and beauty.
The Next Magazine, a weekly publication from Hong Kong, is reporting that infant fetuses have become a popular health and beauty supplement in China. It is further reported that in Guangdong, the demand for gourmet body parts is so high, that they can even be purchased directly from the hospitals.
It is reported that during a banquet hosted by a Taiwanese businessman, a servant Ms Liu from Liaoning province on the mainland inadvertently revealed the habit of eating infants/fetuses in Liaoning province and her intention to return for the supplement due to health concerns. The Taiwanese women present were horrified.
Ms Liu also disclosed that even though people can afford the human parts there are still waiting lists and those with the right connections get the “highest quality” human parts, which translates to the more mature fetuses. A male fetus is considered the “prime” human part.
Ms Liu then escorted the reporter to a location where a fetus was being prepared. A woman was chopping up a male fetus and making soup from the placenta. During the process, the woman even tried to comfort everyone by saying, “Don’t be afraid, this is just the flesh of a higher animal.”
In fact, in China, reports about meals made from infant flesh have surfaced from time to time. A video is on the Internet for people to view. In the introduction, the Chinese claim that eating a human fetus is an art form.
On March 22, 2003, police in Bingyan, Guangxi Province seized 28 female babies smuggled in a truck from Yulin, Guangxi Province going to Houzhou in Anhui Province. The oldest baby was only three months old. The babies were packed three or four to a bag and many of them were near death.
On the morning of October 9, 2004, a person rifling through the garbage on the outskirts of Jiuquan city in the Suzhou region, found dismembered babies in a dumpster. There were two heads, two torsos, four arms, and six legs. According to the investigation, these corpses were no more than a week old and they had been dismembered after cooking.
Although China has laws that prohibit the eating of human fetus, the regime’s forced abortions to ensure the one child policy is strictly adhered to thereby creating many opportunities for these sorts of atrocities to occur.
A favorite tourist destination and a glittering hub of sex trade have seen its people being cannibal sometime to satisfy their bizarre of this taboo. In 2009 there was a case when Thai people of Sawang Pae Paisarn Foundation in the distant corner of this country killed a Nigerian and was eaten by them after cooking all his dissected body parts and was distributed among all those who have participated in this act of insane anthropophagi. However the truth is something else their pictures of removing flesh from body were a religious act which was performed by the members of this foundation and with the help of volunteers were intercepted with pictures of cooking lunch by some members at the same location. This ceremony in Thailand is called Lang Pa Cha which is performed when the cemetery gets filled up having no more space to accommodate dead bodies further. This ceremony is mostly held during the summer season from March – May. So, in order to ease out the cremation process in the already squeezed and of small sized cremation chamber they clear the entire flesh from the skeleton and dissect it followed by rituals. The remaining flesh also goes into cremation chamber but after cremating the cleaned skeletal. This is a Buddhist practice and is carried in almost all the Buddhist faith countries like China and other South Pacific countries and even Sri-Lanka.
This controversy was so heightened that letters were sent to the Thai Ambassador to Nigeria in Abuja and even to Barack Obama. Many protests were carried out by the furious African community and even African Union too protested. One can find read out the entire comments and conversation carried published in http://www.southernspeakers.net/2009/09/cannibalism-in-thailand.html in a statement and answer to this circulating controversy which had almost destroyed the diplomatic relations between the two nations was cleared by the Thai Embassy The Royal Thai Embassy in Abuja yesterday said the compact discs, magazines and other materials in circulation, alleging that some Thai nationals were eating human parts were false and should be discountenanced.
The embassy said in a statement that the images being circulated were taken at a ritual called, “Lang Pa Cha” or cleaning of the cemetery in Prachuab Khiri Khan Province between March and May.
The circulation of the materials, including calendars, CDs and magazines on the streets of Lagos and other cities, has unsettled many Nigerians who have relations in Thailand. This followed the impression that the blacks in the country were the targets of the cannibals.
But the Thai Embassy said the images were only manipulated to generate ill-feelings.
According to the statement, the ritual was usually carried out on dead bodies which were dug up to create more space for new deaths.
The statement reads in part: “When dug up, the bodies, which have not been claimed by any relatives will be cremated according to Buddhist rites. As their bones are cremated, their flesh has to be dissected before the cremation.”
“The embassy said the images circulated were that of volunteers assisting in the cremation.”
A Tribe called Yoruba is indulge in the human flesh trade and even there are reports of cannibalism in the Eastern Nigeria where enjoy having human meat. Body parts and its trade are booming in Nigeria because of high rate of superstition and demand by witch doctors. Bodies which are unclaimed or did not found any place in cemetery or left partly cremated contribute majority of the volume of this flourishing business. There are open markets where one can buy fresh or stored human meat and its body parts. Here are the details from which one could have an idea about its norms and existence Lagos – A Nigerian man has been arrested after he killed a woman and ate her stewed intestines in a bid to cure an abnormally persistent Attention, police said on Wednesday.
A spokesperson for Osun state police said 50-year-old Folorunso Olukotun had led officers to his victim’s disemboweled body in the bush near his home village in south-west Nigeria.
“According to the man’s story, his private organ always has an Attention and it doesn’t go down,” Oluwole Ayodeji said. “Someone advised him to kill a woman and eat her intestines.”
Olukotun ambushed his victim, a woman in her forties unknown to her attacker, on a path near her village. He attacked her with a machete, killed her, and took her intestines home, Ayodeji said.
‘He seems to have believed them’
“He cooked them like a sort of stew and ate them with pounded yam,” he said. “When the police arrived he was very open, we have his whole confession on tape and he has been remanded in custody.”
The spokesperson said that police believe that someone had jokingly suggested cannibalism as a cure for Olukotun’s problem, in the belief that he would never carry out such a killing.
“He seems to have believed them,” he said. Police could not say whether the Attention has now subsided. – Sapa-AFP
Directly an enemy was slain, his head – and sometimes his body, if the people were strongly cannibalistic – was taken to the village and a great dance given, either at once or after the skull has been cleaned of its flesh by boiling, or by being buried for a time in the ground. At the feast, every man-slayer of the village danced round, generally with a skull in one hand and his machete in the other. Sometimes the body of the enemy was brought in whole; sometimes it was cut in pieces in advance to facilitate transport. It was then boiled in native pots and shared out, occasionally among the man-slayer’s family and friends, but sometimes among all the people of the village, until it was wholly consumed. In some tribes it was forbidden for women and children to partake of human flesh; in others, for example among the Kalabari, the eldest sister of the hut was forced to taste it, however strongly she might protest.
Among the Abadja, the whole body of anyone slain was ordinarily taken back to the village and there consumed, though it was tabu to eat women or children. A man only divided his ‘kill’ among his own family. The body was cut up and cooked in pots; the fingers, palms of the hands, and toes were considered the best eating. Sometimes, if a family had been satisfied, part of the body would be dried and put away for later.
When an Nkanu warrior brought a head back, everyone who heard of the deed gave him a present, and much palm-wine was drunk. The trophy was boiled, and the flesh cut away. The skull was then taken out, accompanied with all the others in the village, and the flesh was then boiled and eaten.
Much cruelty was practiced among certain of these tribes. For example, the Bafum-Bansaw, who frequently tortured their prisoners before putting them to death? Palm-oil was boiled in a big pot, and then by means of a gourd enema it was pumped into the bowels and stomachs of the prisoners. This practice was said to make the bodies much more succulent than they would otherwise have been. The bodies were left until the palm-oil had permeated them, and then cut up and devoured.
P. A. Talbot, Southern Nigeria, Clarendon Press, 1926 (3 vols.)
Every moment, men, women and even children passed me. One would be carrying a human leg on his shoulder; another would be carrying the lungs or the heart of some unfortunate Kroo-boy in his or her hands. Several times I myself was offered my choice of one of these morsels, dripping with gore.
Father Bubendorf of Freiburg, an eye-witness to the slaughter of a group of captives outside the hut of a tribal chief, Onitsha, Nigeria, c. 1921
The Two Congo’s (DRC and ROC)
Marauding rebels were massacring and eating pygmies in the dense forests of north-east Congo, according to UN officials who are investigating allegations of cannibalism in Ituri province, where fighting between several rebel groups has displaced about 150,000 people in the past month.
Many of the displaced tell of rebel fighters capturing and butchering pygmies, Manoddje Mounoubai, spokesman for the UN ceasefire monitoring mission in Congo, said.
The UN had sent six officials to investigate the accusation as well as other human rights abuses, he said.
Other UN officials in the capital, Kinshasa, and the eastern city of Goma said that widespread cannibalism had already been established.
‘Ituri is completely out of control and cannibalism is just the latest atrocity taking place,’ said one, who asked not to be named until the investigators deliver their report. ‘Perhaps this will finally alert the world to what’s going on.’
Ituri’s forest-dwelling pygmy tribes have been caught between opposing groups supporting the government and Ugandan-backed rebel groups in the last battles of Congo’s four-year civil war.
The two Ugandan-backed movements routinely enslave pygmies to forage for forest food and prospect for minerals, a UN official said.
Hunters returning empty-handed were killed and eaten.
Sudi Alimasi, an official of the pro-government group Rally for Congolese Democracy-ML, said it had begun receiving reports of cannibalism from people displaced by fighting more than a week ago.
‘We hear reports of [enemy] commanders feeding on sexual organs of pygmies, apparently believing this would give them strength,’ he said.
‘We also have reports of pygmies being forced to feed on the cooked remains of their colleagues.’
Cannibalism has re-emerged throughout eastern Congo as the last vestiges of colonial influence have been eroded during the war. Much of the vast forested area is controlled by the Mayi-Mayi, a loose grouping of tribal militias united by their magical beliefs and taste for human flesh.
On a recent assignment in eastern Congo the Guardian correspondent saw many Mayi-Mayi fighters wearing parts of the bodies of their Rwandan enemies, in the belief that this would make them invincible.
‘We are hearing reports of untold horrors in Ituri,’ said Wyger Wentholt, of Médecins sans Frontières.
Report by James Astill in Nairobi, The Guardian, 9 January 2003
In Democratic Republic of Congo rebel fighters of Hema and Lendu tribes are known to practice the homicidal cannibalism to weaken and frighten the enemy. No-one was spared in the Congo civil war and even now as well the bitter truth continue to exist and being practiced.
Examples and evidences of cannibalism in other African countries:
Liberia - Today’s practice of ritual killings in Liberia – because it still exists! – Mainly is a combination of traditional beliefs which inspire men-eating and modern-day criminal behavior of unscrupulous politicians who consider their ambitions worth more than the life of their victims. During the 14-year civil war (1989-2003) there were so many cases of gunmen – some of them child soldiers – eating their victim’s hearts and other body parts that the Catholic Church issued a formal denunciation of these practices (Stephen Ellis, The Mask of Anarchy, 1999: dust-jacket?)
“Nor was it just teenage fighters who held the idea that they could have access to spiritual power through the consumption of human flesh, or at least by a ritual use of human body parts. Most interesting is the allegation concerning (President) Charles Taylor himself made by his former defense minister, Tom Woewiyu. “We saw a lot”, said Woewiyu, describing his time as Taylor’s right-hand man, “including the formation of a group of cannibals called Top 20. Taylor is a member of this group. Human sacrifices, under the direction of his uncle Jensen Taylor, take place in Taylor’s house.” A group of sixteen NPFL (Taylor’s army) generals and fourteen Special Force commandos made similar allegations concerning Taylor. They issued a formal statement affirming that “we …. stand in readiness to testify Taylor’s ritualistic killings of our peers.” Ellis concludes: ‘True or not, such claims are widely believed’ (Ellis, 1999: p. 264).
These accusations caused Charles Taylor to legally pursue Stephen Ellis. After the British Times newspaper repeated the allegations in its review of Ellis’ book (‘The Mask of Anarchy’ – see Sources) President Charles Taylor started a libel case against Ellis but he withdrew it, early 2001, allegedly because of the high cost of pursuing the case in London. Given his immense wealth, it is more likely that Taylor was afraid of being requested to come to London and testify before court, an action which would have made him vulnerable and susceptible of arrest which human rights groups were asking for because of his crimes against humanity. (The Guardian: 2 February, 2001).
Many more cases could be cited that sadly confirm Liberia’s reputation in the area of ritualistic killings and cannibalism. The Liberian evolution of the traditional belief which lies at the basis of ritual killings is a particular one, as will be shown. Let us look at the past before turning back to the present. Ritualistic killings and cannibalism. The Liberian evolution of the traditional belief which lies at the basis of ritual killings is a particular one, as will be shown. Let us look at the past before turning back to the present.
Sierra Leone – During civil war majority of the lives were lost not because of the fighting but by cannibalism. It was practiced to spread terror and to keep the captive rebels or prisoners away from the severe interrogations done by mercenaries or British Army or SAS. Here is the account of it which explores the rampant cannibalism in Sierra Leone the mercenaries encountered while waging war there and the international efforts to shape the nation and its neighbors…
CAPE TOWN, South Africa –”There is a lot of cannibalism in Sierra Leone,” said Bert Sachse, a 34-year veteran of the South African Special Forces and commander of the mercenary war during the mid-1990s in the troubled West African nation.
“If you capture the enemy, you want to interrogate them. For the Sierra Leone army, they wanted to eat the heart and or other vital organs of their enemies. We would have to fly out the prisoners we wanted to interrogate on the helicopters back to Freetown so they wouldn’t be eaten. The MI-17 would fly over and the Sierra Leone soldiers would look up and say, ‘There goes dinner.’ They would look upset. In certain parts of Sierra Leone cannibalism is rife.” Sandline and Executive Outcomes were the mercenary organizations, located in South Africa and London, for whom Sachse and his men worked.
Another Sandline soldier interviewed by WorldNetDaily commented, “One can only image the Sierra Leone soldiers eating the heart and other organs of an RUF prisoner. I have a mental picture of a soldier holding a heart in his mouth, and another eating a hand and Bert Sachse asking them, ‘How many times do we have to tell you not to eat the prisoners before we interrogate them? Didn’t you get the memo?’”
Continued Sachse: “When Kabbah came back, he had about 20 of the Sierra Leone army staff executed right in front of us. He said there was some kind of conspiracy. One of those executed was a military commander with whom Sandline/Executive Outcomes had worked quite closely. What could you do? The Nigerian peacekeepers executed them.”
It was not Breaker Morant with a cigarette and one round.
“They tied them up to trees and mowed them down. Guys got chopped. They were dead or dying and the Nigerians would call for more magazines of ammo,” explained Sachse while waving his arms to show how the Nigerians called for more ammo during the executions.
Sachse lamented the chaos so prevalent in African armed forces, saying, “Some soldiers in Africa were paid with bags of rice. A sergeant major might get five bags of rice, but another soldier with more children might get only one bag of rice and that would lead to bad morale. The Sierra Leone army was a bloody rabble. The SADF was efficient. It all started with the Rhodesian army. Minimum casualties and maximum effect.”
Uganda – Few people outside Uganda know that in the north the government is fighting a fanatical and murderous cult – the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) – whose fighting force is made up in large part of abducted children. Up to 95 per cent of the population in these areas has been forced from their homes by the war. Nearly two million Ugandans, out of a population of 24.7 million, now live in refugee camps for fear of being attacked and killed in their villages.
Children have told how they had been forced by the rebels at gunpoint to abduct and murder other children and to drink their blood. A former commander of the rebel group explained that he had forced villagers to chop up, cook and eat their neighbours before he killed them, too.
On 20th September 2008 a 33 year old Sowedi Kimera has been arrested in Uganda on suspicion of cannibalism. Police raided Kimera’s Kireka home on Thursday after being alerted to a corpse on the premises.
Mr Kimera was arrested in the early hours of Thursday morning after residents and Local Council officials tipped the Police of an unidentified body in his house. Police say they searched the house on Wednesday evening and discovered the body of a woman in Kimera’s living room, they traced Kimera to a local bar and arrested him on suspicion of cannibalism. Local residents attempted to lynch Kimera as he was taken into custody.
The dead woman found in Kimera’s home is believed to be Annet Mbabazi, a resident of Kireka. Mr Kimera reportedly checked her body out of the town morgue on Wednesday night, but he gave no explanation as to how or why he took the body.
Fiji – Over the centuries, a unique Fijian culture developed. Constant warfare and cannibalism between warring tribes was quite rampant and very much part of everyday life. During the 19th century, Ratu Udre Udre is said to have consumed 872 people and to have made a pile of stones to record his achievement. According to Deryck Scarr (“A Short History of Fiji”, 1984, page 3), “Ceremonial occasions saw freshly killed corpses piled up for eating.’Eat me!’ was a proper ritual greeting from a commoner to a chief.” Scarr also reported that the posts that supported the chief’s house or the priest’s temple would have sacrificed bodies buried underneath them, with the rationale that the spirit of the ritually sacrificed person would invoke the gods to help support the structure, and “men were sacrificed whenever posts had to be renewed” (Scarr, page 3). Also, when a new boat, or drua, was launched, if it was not hauled over men as rollers, crushing them to death, “it would not be expected to float long” (Scarr, page
19″). Fijians today regard those times as “na gauna ni tevoro” (time of the devil). The ferocity of the cannibal lifestyle deterred European sailors from going near Fijian waters, giving Fiji the name Cannibal Isles, in turn Fiji was unknown to the rest of the outside world. “Fijians first impressed themselves on European consciousness through the writings of the members of the expeditions of Cook who met them in Tonga. They were described as formidable warriors and ferocious cannibals”.
Germany – Armin Meiwes is a German man who achieved international notoriety for killing and eating a voluntary victim whom he had found via the Internet. After Meiwes and the victim jointly attempted to eat the victim’s severed penis, Meiwes killed his victim and proceeded to eat a large amount of his flesh. Because of his acts, Meiwes is also known as the Rotenberg Cannibal or Der Metzgermeister (The Master Butcher). Though he was arrested in 2002 but he committed this act in 2001 when he got his reply to his advertisement posted on some internet site now defunct. An Italian Bernd Jürgen Brandes then answered the advertisement. As is known from a videotape the two made when they met on 9 March 2001 in Meiwes’s home in the small village of Rotenburg, Meiwes amputated Brandes’ penis and the two men attempted to eat the penis together before Brandes was killed. Brandes had insisted that Meiwes attempt to bite his penis off. This did not work and ultimately, Meiwes used a knife to remove Brandes’ penis. Brandes apparently tried to eat some of his own penis raw, but could not because it was too tough and, as he put it, “chewy”. Meiwes then fried the penis in a pan with salt, pepper, wine and garlic; he then fried it with some of Brandes’ fat but by then it was too burned to be consumed. He then chopped it up into chunks and fed it to his dog. According to journalists who saw the video (which has not been made public), Brandes may already have been too weakened from blood loss to actually eat any of his penis. Meiwes read a book for three hours, while Brandes lay bleeding in the bath. Meiwes apparently gave him large quantities of alcohol and pain killers, twenty sleeping pills and a bottle of schnapps, kissed him and finally killed him in a room that he had built in his house for this purpose, the Slaughter Room. After stabbing Brandes to death in the throat, he hung the body on a meat hook and tore chunks of flesh from it; he even tried to grind the bones to use as flour. The whole scene was recorded on the two-hour video tape. Meiwes enjoyed eating the body over the next 10 months, storing body parts in his freezer under pizza boxes and consuming up to 20 kilograms (44 lb) of the flesh. According to prosecutors, Meiwes committed the act for sexual enjoyment. Meiwes has admitted what he did, and expressed regret for his actions. He added he wanted to write a book of his life story with the aim of deterring anyone who wants to follow his steps. Websites dedicated to Meiwes have appeared, with people advertising for willing victims. “They should go for treatment, so it doesn’t escalate like it did with me”, said Meiwes. He believes there are over 100 cannibals in Germany. What was shocking was that cannibalism in not a sin as per Germany code of law.
Ukraine, Russia and CIS
Ukraine - On July 15, 2002, police in the central Ukranian town of Zhytomyr said they have arrested three men and a woman on suspicion of murdering and cannibalizing up to six people, including an 18-year-old girl. “They killed a young woman in a forest and then cut out fleshy parts of the body and ate them. This is horrible,” a police spokeswoman told the Reuters news agency. In what is believed to have been a satanic ritual, the suspects killed the 18-year-old with two knife thrusts to the heart, local interior ministry representative Viktor Kurbatov told the press. She was also scalped and decapitated. Then the suspects boiled her head in water and ate pieces from it. The cannibal crew was arrested several days after the murder when they went to meet the girl’s parents to collect a $3,000 ransom.
Crimea – In March, 1996, police in the Crimean city of Sebastopol were called to investigate a murder. Nothing had prepared them for the carnage they discovered when they entered the home of a former convict and found the mutilated remains of human bodies being prepared for eating. The flat’s owner, her mother and her boyfriend, had been stabbed to death by the 33-year-old suspect and their bodies neatly butchered. In the kitchen investigators found the internal organs of two victims in saucepans, and nearby on a plate a freshly roasted piece of human flesh.
Finnish soldiers displaying Soviet soldiers’ skins near Maaselkä, on the strand of lake Seesjärvi during Continuation War on the 15th of December in 1942. Original caption: “An enemy recon patrol that was cut out of food supplies had butchered a few members of their own patrol group, and had eaten most of them.”
Perestroika- Alarmingly, cannibalism is becoming way of life in the former Soviet Union. In the 1996 ten people were charged with killing and eating other people. Police estimate that at least 30 people were eaten that year.
Newspaper reports across the former Soviet Union Republics speak of cases of vagrants being eaten, or their bodies being cut up and sold to unsuspecting passers-by. “We have information about cases where human flesh is sold in street markets; also when homeless people kill each other and sell the flesh. Every month we find corpses with missing body parts.”
An apocryphal story — which may or may not be true — relates how two winos fed a buddy human flesh. The man ate with great appetite, but when he learned the true source of the meal, he hanged himself.
Siberia – In 1996 a man in the Siberian coal mining town of Kemerovo was arrested after he admitted killing and cutting up a friend, and using his flesh as the filling for pelmeni, a Russian version of ravioli which, coincidentally, is the favorite dish of the Yeltsin family. The scam was uncovered when rag-pickers scavenging through a garbage dump discovered a severed human head. Soon they discovered that the rest of the body had been minced, put into pelmeny, and sold at cut-price prices in the local market.
Kirgizstan - Russia’s most industrious cannibal, Nikolai Dzhurmongaliev is believed to have killed up to 100 women, and served many of them to his dinner guests. Nikolai used at least 47 of his victims to make ethnic dishes for his neighbors in the Kyrgyzstan. When arrested Nikolai pointed out that two women could provide enough delicate meat to keep him going for a week.
Prison - Twice last year convicts in overcrowded prisons killed and ate their cellmates because they claimed they were hungry and wanted to relieve overcrowding. Criminal experts said that most cases of cannibalism in Russia were part of the general rise of serial killings, and because of Russia’s mounting economic and social problems.
Barnaul - Offering no other explanation than not wanting to share his cell, Andrei Maslich, 24, strangled his fellow prisoner and then cut out his liver with a shard of broken glass. He put the organ in a mug with water and boiled it up on a makeshift fire made from his bedding. Standing in the defendant’s cage in the court room, Maslich admitted to drinking up his homemade stew. The next morning, part of the shrunken organ was found in the mug.
Maslich, a four-time convicted murderer, was initially given his first death penalty last year after he and another inmate strangled, cooked and ate another prisoner. Then they told authorities they were bored and wanted to visit Moscow, where they thought they would be sent for psychiatric examinations.
Kazakhstan – In the Semipalatinsk prison in Kazakhstan, four convicts — who blamed their actions on newspaper articles about instances of cannibalism in prison — decided to eat the very first “new guy” placed in their cell. So when a convict named Volchenkov showed up, they killed him, cut meat from his arms and back, cooked it up, and ate it. Some pieces were fried on a hot plate and some of were boiled in an electric kettle.
Kzyl Orda – A man guarding a pot field in Kzyl Orda region of Kazakstan confessed to shooting and cannibalizing his comrade. The suspect, identified only by the single name Zhusaly, salted the flesh of his buddy and ate it for 10 days. The man — along with three farmers charged with growing the pot — was arrested in a drug raid. The three also have been charged with concealing murder.
Berezniki – The grim discovery of cannibalism in Perm Oblast unfolded when Citizen K. brought to the police station a package of human flesh. He had bought it on the street. His wife, having studied the piece, discovered skin on it. Specialists say that the taste of “people meat” is a specific one, and has a distinctive smell when it’s cooked. “The taste of a victim,” it is asserted, in full seriousness, at the Main Criminal Investigations Administration of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, “depends on the victim himself: if he drank or smoked a lot, whether he liked sweets or salt…”
F.A. Boldyshev and his friend N.V. Ostanin, got drunk with a third man, A.P. Vavilin, and killed him. Then they dismembered his corpse and had one of their mother’s cook the choice cuts. After gladly gorging themselves, they packed up the remains and sold them in the street. Vavilin’s head, hands, and feet were thrown into the attic. In custody the lethal trio confessed they did it so to save money on the purchase of normal food.
The Urals – Anatoly Dolbyshev, a resident of Berezniki in the Urals region of Perm, was found guilty of stabbing to death a friend of his mother’s in a fight. He was also charged with “swindling and appropriation of property through deceit,” when he cut up his victim’s body and sold pieces of the human flesh to unsuspecting local townsfolk in exchange for vodka. Police arrested Anatoly when one buyer found a strip of human skin in the meat.
Moscow - Citizen Kolpakov from Nizhnyy Novgorod, a lodger of a rooming house, was killed by the son of the woman who owned the apartment. The killer cut a piece of soft tissue from the forearm, fried it in a frying pan, and ate it. A panel of experts found him to be of diminished responsibility.
Marshal Tukachevensky Street - Moskovsky Komsomolets, Moscow’s most popular daily, reported a grisly finding on Marshal Tukhachevksy Street. A beggar rummaging for food through the rubbish bins finds a human foot and several other body parts. Police called to the scene found more evidence of murder: four hands, four shoulders and three feet, all female. “It became clear to the detectives that they were dealing with not one, but two murders,” the newspaper reported.
Chuvash Autonomous Republic - On July 3, 1997, the supreme court of Russia’s Chuvash Autonomous Republic sentenced Vladimir Nikolayev, 38, to death for killing and cannibalizing two people in the town of Novocheboksary. Nikolayev, denounced as a particularly dangerous criminal ten years before, was being arrested in his apartment in the winter of 1996 when police found a pan of roasted human meat on the stove and another cannibal dish in the oven. In the snow on his balcony Nikolayev had more bodies’ part stored to eat later. Investigators who questioned Nikolayev said he had jokingly asked them to prepare him a dinner using his stock of human meat.
Novokuznetsk – In a one man crusade to cleanse modern Russia from the permissiveness of democracy, Sasha Spesivtsev, 27, killed at least 19 street children who he saw as the detritus of society. The unemployed black marketeer would lure his homeless victims from the streets and local train stations in the Siberian town of Novokuznetsk to his home where, with the help of his mother, he killed and ate them.
Udmurtian - In a settlement of Novyy, two men — Rasskazov and Bobylev — were charged with killing and eating their drinking partner Alekhin.
In a stream outside Novokuznetsk, 43 bone fragments were found of six bodies — four boys, one girl, and one man. The criminologists have a theory: A whole family was done away with. But in order to “establish genetic identity,” it was necessary to conduct a special analysis of the bones. And the Internal Affairs Ministry official in charge of the case says, “These preserved bones have lain in my refrigerator for a month already, waiting for the chemicals. Special preparations are very expensive…”
Mantorovo – Situated on a tributary of the Volga, Manturovo is a quiet town of 22,000, where two women — Valentina Dolbilina, a 36-year-old mother of a four-year-old boy, and Vitaly Bezrodnov, 28, a factory worker — were accused of killing their drinking partner and then cooking his flesh.
After a night of heavy drinking, Bezrodnov announced he was hungry and “would like some meat”. After checking out one of their drinking buddies who was dead drunk in the corridor, they decided he was too skinny and packed him off home. Their gluttonous eyes then fell on a fourth member of the party, who was a bit fatter. Propelling him into the tiny kitchen, Bezrodnov asked Dolbilina for something heavy. With Dostoevskian inspiration she fetched an axe, and the victim was hit on the head, beheaded, undressed and then cut up into pieces. As Dolbilina held a tray, some 15 pounds of meat was cut from the thigh and rump, and put in the frying pan.
Awakened by the unusual smell of cooking meat, her flatmate, Boris Komarov, came into her room and asked to join the feast. Despite the haze of drink, even he noticed something strange. “It was a bit tough,” he said. He was reassured by Bezrodnov, who said they had killed a stray dog for the pot.
Satisfied by this explanation, Komarov skept eating the leg of man straight from the pan. Little did he realise the full ghastliness of the situation: the dead man was his own brother, Leonid. Even the little boy, Roma, was served a slice of Leonid. The kid later blurted out: “Mummy killed a man and served him up to her friends.”
St. Petersburg – Local cannibal Ilshat Kuzikov liked to marinate choice cuts with onions in a plastic bag hung outside his window. When the police forced their way into his home, they found Pepsi bottles full of blood and dried ears hanging on the wall – his winter supplies. He offered the officers some meat and vodka if they would let him go.
On March 19, 1997, Kuzikov was found guilty of killing three of his vodka drinking buddies and eating their internal organs, and was sent to a maximum-security psychiatric hospital. The confessed cannibal said he killed his first victim in 1992 after inviting him to his flat for a nightcap. Ilshat, 37, said he became a cannibal because he couldn’t buy enough to eat on his $20 monthly pension. After sating his appetite Kuzikov dismembered his friends and put them in a garbage dump.
During Stalin Rule – Russians have known cannibalism caused by genuine hunger. Due to the brutality of the Soviet Government there have been famines the like of which has not been seen in the West since the 19th century. In 1921 about five million people died in the Volga and Urals region, while the Ukraine was devastated in 1931 during Stalin’s collectivization of the farms. To survive the 444-day siege of Leningrad by the Germans, the defenders ate corpses.
Rostov – The grandfather of Russian-style cannibalism Andrei Chikatilo, believed that his brother had been murdered and his body parts sold during the Ukrainian famine of 1931. In a grim reminder of Andrei’s rampage, in January, 1997, Vladimir Mukhankin, 36, pleaded guilty to murdering eight women in Rostov-a-Don.
There is an association in an isolated Columbian Island republic of Isla Provedencia. Where a person named Perro Loco a self styled prophet and religious leader of the holy church of Dolcett California runs an organization called C&MHFSA – California & Midwest Human Female
Stockman’s Association of whom he says is chairman. He claims to be a supplier of high quality human female meat to various clients in Britain and other European countries. As per his website details he claims that girls volunteer themselves for the snuff video training and they have the option of either to volunteer for butchering or being a breeding sex slave to their owners.
this is the same website which was used by the German Armin Meiwes where he had posted his advertisement for cannibalistic desire. This association calls human female as their cows which are used who are trained and sent for slaughtering process and even for the porn activities before being slaughtered as show girls. This person has even accepted his daughter’s application for cattle training and slaughtering her.
Opinion: First of all the practice of this heinous act cannibalism whether being practice as ritual, for cremation, for homicide or for just taboo or even for just for sexual pleasure or salvation but it will always be treated as in human and brutal. Whether religion or habit must not be entertain or shouldn’t be encouraged by any. It not only shows the psychological disorders but can cause the spread of severe epidemic like Kuru or even Aids.
Cannibalism is the most dreaded act will always remain the so which can be said otherwise the height of one’s mental disorder or physic. Government should at all cost must ban and regulate the practice of this serious and heinous sin which being a world’s oldest taboo still haunting the people lives in this civilized world showing uncivilized cultural tastes of the cannabis. The countries like Germany and others whether growing or poor must forced their people to keep their selves away from this sort of witch craft practices and destructive self fish practiced pleasures. Buddhists should not only revive and improve their practice of flesh cleaning before cremation but also discourage others to practice this exorcist’s culture.
Ashes to ashes, dust to garbage;The Dover Air Force Base mortuary scandal
Washington Post wrote and revealed not long ago about how workers at the Dover Air Force Base mortuary had dumped the ashes of at least 274 fallen soldiers into a Virginia landfill between the years 2004 and 2008 and the Air Force also had no intention of notifying the families of those whose remains had been dumped. Well, the scandal didn’t end there; as more information came out that a number of 1,762 unidentified remains had been collected from the battlefield and disposed in the same way. The number of fragments dumped reached 2,700.
The owner of the landfill; Waste Management Inc. stated that they were uninformed about the procedure, same goes for the family members of the troops. What had happened was that basically the remains had been collected from battlefields, cremated and dumped. The Air Force claims that these remains and fragments could not been tested for DNA as they had been badly burned or damaged in explosions. The scandal turned into national disgrace when federal investigations triggered by whistleblower complaints revealed serious mismanagements. Body parts recovered from explosions were stacked up in morgues’ coolers for months or years before they were identified and disposed.
The dumping in the landfill was never formally authorized according to military policies and neither were they disclosed to senior Pentagon officials. Well, I don’t think so. Nothing happens without “someone’s” signature. I don’t believe that some worker in the mortuary came up with this idea to cut the budgets.
This has shown that some people’s moral compass is broken and as they don’t have respect neither for the living or the dead.
These human remains that were sent to the landfill had been sealed in boxes and MedTrace Inc. whose employees picked up the boxes didn’t ask questions or look inside the boxes as long as they were properly handled and sealed.
The owner of the landfill; Waste Management Inc. stated that they were uninformed about the procedure, same goes for the family members of the troops. What had happened was that basically the remains had been collected from battlefields, cremated and dumped. The Air Force claims that these remains and fragments could not been tested for DNA as they had been badly burned or damaged in explosions. The scandal turned into national disgrace when federal investigations triggered by whistleblower complaints revealed serious mismanagements. Body parts recovered from explosions were stacked up in morgues’ coolers for months or years before they were identified and disposed.
The dumping in the landfill was never formally authorized according to military policies and neither were they disclosed to senior Pentagon officials. Well, I don’t think so. Nothing happens without “someone’s” signature. I don’t believe that some worker in the mortuary came up with this idea to cut the budgets.
This has shown that some people’s moral compass is broken and as they don’t have respect neither for the living or the dead. These soldiers were serving overseas and died for their country and the resting place became a landfill. The cremated remains could have been handled differently. They could have been buried or at least given to the families. There have been spent millions already, why couldn’t the officials finish the job in a decent way.
Air Force and Pentagon officials said first that they would have to search through the records of more than 6,300 soldiers whose remains had passed through the mortuary since year 2001. Later on, they revealed that 976 fragments from 274 military personnel were cremated and taken to the landfill between the years 2004 and 2008.
These human remains that were sent to the landfill had been sealed in boxes and MedTrace Inc. whose employees picked up the boxes didn’t ask questions or look inside the boxes as long as they were properly handled and sealed.
The Air Force said mortuary managers had decided to end the practice in May 2008 because they had found “a better way to do it. The military now cremates unclaimed and unidentified body parts and buries the ashes at sea…
“No, no. But it’s a question that has many answers. Have you thought about the meaning of love?”
“Umm… yes… but then who hasn’t!”
“Okay. Why don’t you tell me the meaning of love and I’ll keep listening.”
“Ah and why is that?”
“I find it more interesting if a man talks about love.” She bursts out laughing. “Oh come on I am really curious. I really want to know what you think about love.”
“Okay, okay, Anna you win!” She’s once again turned the tables on me,
“I agree that the question does indeed have many answers. So where would you like me to start?”
“Don’t think too much, Hatef, just say whatever comes to your mind.”
“I am actually thinking what others have already said about love,” I say rubbing my chin. “I can start with Shakespeare’s eternal words: ‘Love does not reason because it has no reasons’. Or perhaps, Aristotle’s: ‘Love is composed of a single soul living in two bodies’ or ‘What is life without love? Love is like the sun; without the light of the sun, there’s no life’. There are others whose names I don’t remember: ‘Love is the most noble weakness of the soul’. Or ‘Whatever your question, Love is the answer’. Or ‘Love is to admire with your heart, admiration is to love with your soul’. Or ‘Love is a disease that makes us unwell when we don’t have it’.
“Hatef,” her interruption has a hint of annoyance, “that’s very impressive, but I’d like to know what you think.”
I’ve got the message, and so I continue: “Well, in my mind love is a lot of things. It’s a powerful feeling… very hard to resist. It’s almost like a chemical reaction. A human being has many layers. And then there are different kinds of love. You can love a car or a house or a certain food.
You can love poetry or football or surfing. You can love your brother or mother or your child, your wife. You can love nature or you can love God. There are many different kinds of love. But I think love is also selfish. It’s both natural and spiritual. Love gives meaning to your life. It
is what makes life worth living when you’re despairing.”
“Hmm… that’s interesting,” she says looking at me with shining eyes,
“love is natural…”
“Yes, the love a mother has for her child is natural. She just gives and gives… to her child unconditionally. She carries the child for nine months, makes him piece by piece from her own tissue and body. She suffers enormous pain giving birth to the child. And she continues giving him her time and energy raising him, trying to make him happy and content.
And if she has to she will happily die for her child. Among animals there are many who mate for life. If one partner dies the other one will not take another. How does a mother learn to love like that? Where does an animal learn to love like that? It is natural. It’s in the blood so to speak… in a mother’s blood, the blood of the animals that mate for life.”
“Do you think that it is the highest kind of love: the love a mother has for her child?”
“Among humans, yes I believe that… the love a mother has for her child is the highest kind of love. And we cannot compare it to any other kind.
This doesn’t mean any other kind of love is less meaningful. I think every sort of love is meaningful and special in its own way. But yes a mother’s love is the purest… because it’s given without expecting anything in return, at least not immediately. It just wishes for the child to
be happy and healthy. And that is my main point. Can we really compare it with any kind of other love?”
“No, I don’t think we can. This love is a great and powerful feeling… I would think… even though I don’t have children…”
“You think right, Anna. The other kinds of love are conditional. They’re bound by expectations. To make them work there has to be a give and take. But these days we think more about taking than giving. Although, none of us would admit it.”
Anna gives me a smile that says ‘I agree’. “So you’re saying, we give to receive but when we don’t receive, we don’t love?”
“Yes, I am saying that. In fact it reminds me of something I once read. I can’t remember exactly who said it but it got me thinking with its simple contradiction. ‘Love is being selfish together’.”
“So if you are selfish alone then there’s no love?”
“Exactly! What I am saying is that both parties need to be selfish for each other. I think there’s no point in a love that is not returned. That kind of love can’t live for long. The other person will only end up getting hurt.”
“So people who say they love someone without being loved in return are actually not in love but in pain?” I like the sound of that question.
“Can it mean anything else?”
“But then, why do people choose to stay with someone who doesn’t love them back?”
“I think it depends upon the kind of person you are. Sometimes people may think what they have is as good as it’ll ever get. And that there’s nothing out there that can make it better for them. It’s a life of convenience and practicality they choose over the lack of love. Some people believe
being in pain is love.”
“Being in pain is love, how?”
“Because the pain makes them feel real… and alive. The more pain someone gives them the closer they feel to that person. I think sacrifice in a relationship is good, because sacrifice is a way of giving. But I think some people only want to sacrifice and expect nothing in return.”
“So you are saying… do whatever makes you happy?”
“Yes. But I’d like to make a differentiation here… whatever might make a person happy, in my opinion, isn’t always love.”
“It is getting a bit confusing, Hatef… if you’re saying a healthy and happy relationship comes from both people being selfish in receiving each other’s love…”
“Yes, because it would mean that giving and receiving will go hand in hand. That way I believe two people complete each other, filled as they are with love for each other. Values like sacrifice, trust, patience, honesty come into play here because these values stand for equality. They also
make a relationship strong.
“Okay and such a relationship is bound to be healthy and will moreover keep alive these wonderful values,” Anna sums it up.
”Yes. Especially because it’s not easy to keep these values alive. They are very precious values for our entire race and if people get attached to them all the more better. It means even if love fades over time people will continue being there for each other just because of these values… It
means you’ll always have someone there for you, in sickness and in health. And you’ll also be there for that person. And that person will be your lover, your best friend in this journey called life. It will also make you forget the less appealing parts of your lover.”
“Just to understand it better, can you elaborate what you call ‘being in love’,” Anna interrupts.
“Well ‘being in love’ is wanting to be with someone because you like being with her. You like the way she looks, you like her touch, the look in her eyes when she looks at you. We call it chemistry. The heat that we feel being around another person. It is exciting and we long to feel it,
keep feeling it. It’s wonderful when this chemistry is reciprocated. But time conquers all. Physical beauty fades as we get older. But still people continue to stay together, even after the reasons that made them fall in love aren’t there anymore. I think with time people go from ‘being in love’ to a love that completes them. A love that glues people together. The values we talked about earlier also help us to fall in love and they remain even when we’re out of love, technically speaking. And that’s why I think it is very important to keep these values alive. They are, I
believe, the ingredients of love.”
The train is now leaving Roedby station.
“Okay,” says Anna, “I understand… that you are trying to convert me…
to your way of thinking.”
“I am only stating my own humble view, Anna.”
“So how does sex fit into all this,” she asks a little hesitantly.
“Well, sex is a very important part of our lives but what is its relation to love? If there’s any! Plato for example believed love to be a deep, spiritual connection between two people. He, in fact, totally denied a sexual element in love. Plato was essentially separating sex from love. And I’d say I don’t disagree with him. I think sex is a human need but its quality and the satisfaction got from it is not the same with everyone you have sex with. Sex with the person you love is special. It has a special passion to it. Sex with someone you don’t love is like eating just to fill your stomach. So in that sense I find it difficult to completely separate sex from love, like Plato did. On the other hand I’d say the sex life of a couple deeply in love may become, how do I say… ‘normal’? Maybe less exciting. At such a point of great familiarity sex may become
predictable and then couples have sex to ‘fill their stomach’.
“I believe the sex life of a couple in love also needs constant work because our sexual limits are far greater than we think. We need to keep exploring them, pushing them in order to keep growing and enriching ourselves.
Tantra, which is an Eastern discipline, is devoted to this kind of constant exploration and enrichment.
“Coming back to the values we talked about earlier… I think people in relationships continue to love each other even if their sex life has becomes monotonous, which anyway is something that can be remedied. What I am essentially saying is that even if the spark isn’t there anymore in the
bedroom a couple can still love each other. From this point of view Plato is right. Love is indeed separate from sex.”
Anna seems quite satisfied with my explanation. “So are you saying that sex is a very important part of life and that we must keep working on it in a relationship… to show our respect for it?”
“You are a good listener, Anna.” I say. “Woman are generally much better listeners than men. You are at this moment a living proof of this for me.”
“Thank you, Hatef, I believe listening is really eighty percent of the process of understanding.”
“Yes this is true, that’s why women are better with feelings and emotions.
They see that much more.”
“Please don’t underestimate yourself, Hatef. From whatever I’ve heard so far I’d say you too see a lot.” I can feel the sides of my face blush.
“You’re very kind, Anna. But I’ve reached this place by a lot of reading, some experience and much thought. A woman, I think, reaches it instinctively.”
This makes Anna smile her angelic smile.
“Well, that may be true but putting effort and energy to understand all this should not go unrecognised. It is in fact even more commendable.
Also because I think it is not always easy for a woman to understand. Also not many men spend that kind of energy and effort trying to find answers to the riddles of love and sex.”
I am by now in a full-blown blush and she’s not helping. “You should feel good about yourself, Hatef, women like men like that.
”But I always thought everyone thought about these things,” I say.
”Believe me, Hatef, I am telling you as a woman… it is not so.”
”In that case I’ll accept your compliment,” I am now smiling despite myself. “I feel quite exceptional now.” We both laugh.
After a few silent moments Anna reaches for her handbag. She takes out some chewing gum, takes a piece and offers me one.
“No thank you, Anna.”
She reaches for her bag again and takes out a can of energy drink.
“Then please take this, I think you need it,” she says.
“No Anna, am all right,” I answer.
“No please. Take it, I am going to quiz you some more… so you need it
more than me,” she says smiling.
“More questions? You really are going to interrogate me some more?”
“Yes sir, I am. So you better take it,” she holds out the drink for me.
“In that case I’ll take it.” I take the drink, open it and I take a sip. I put the can on the table and allow my drink to start doing its job of energizing me.
“Hatef, from what you’ve said so far… I feel all love is spiritual… isn’t that so?”
“Yes I think that is true. Love in all its aspects is spiritual. I also believe love is God himself.”
“So the love we feel is actually the presence of God in us?” “Yes, Sufism teaches us exactly that… that every human being is seeking this God-feeling with his every thought and action. Sufism also teaches that every human being carries within him or her deep desire to return to the love that he or she has come from. Each one of us has been created by the Almighty from his infinite love and whatever we experience in this world is really a journey of trying to get back to where we came from. The love he has put within us is what drives us, pushes us towards
new experiences. We’re like bees drawn to this huge flower called love.”
“Hmm… that’s very interesting. But what do you mean when you say that we desire to reach God with every experience?”
“Well, do you agree that every human being wants happiness? We seek happiness from everything around us: our partner, our job, house, education but every time we think we’ve found it we realise that it is not what we thought it would be. We realise everything we’ve reached is
temporary. So we go on seeking things that make us happy. But every time we think we’ve reached the edge of eternal happiness we are disappointed. We don’t want to admit to our disappointments. Sometimes we measure our lives against people who we think are less fortunate and feel happy.”
“Those are deep words, Hatef, they really speak to both my head and my heart. But how can people less fortunate than us make us happy?”
“It works like this… when we surround ourselves with things and objects of value we become attached, become slaves to them. In a way we are possessed by them instead of us possessing them. And this deludes us into thinking we’re in a better position than others who don’t have what we have.”
“So we begin measuring happiness with what we have…”
“Exactly, and then we begin to worry about losing what we have. This worry makes us actually less happy than someone who hasn’t got as much to lose.”
“That’s so ironical, we actually victims of our desires.”
“A Sufi is a person who’s constantly struggling to free himself of these desires. He’s constantly struggling to reach a state of nothingness. The only desire he has is to reach God, who is everywhere and is undying.
But in order to reach him a human being needs to become nothing; freed from all his desires, all that is temporary and earthly.”
“Wow. That sounds heavy! Maybe, Hatef, you could tell me some more about Sufism.”
“Sufism is the mystical core of Islam. But I also believe every belief system has its own mystical core saying the same thing in a different way. The mystical, spiritual journey of every human being is reach beyond religion, beyond a religious belief.” I wait for her response.
“Please continue, this gets better and better.”
“I am not an expert, you know. Maybe you could do some of your own research…”
“I would definitely, but I really want to hear what you know about it, please carry on.”
I am really pleased by her insistence and her curiosity. I like the respect and admiration she has for different points of view. How nice it is to meet a girl, born and raised in Europe, to be so open about Eastern philosophy. As our world gets more and more steeped in materialism
these kinds of conversations happen less and less. Anna has been a great listener.
‘Nykoebing, Nykoebing!’ The voice of the conductor snaps me out of my thoughts. I sink in my seat further.
“Have you heard about Rumi?” I ask her.
“No, is he a Sufi too?”
“Yes, he’s one of the greatest Sufis ever born. A Sufi master, actually!
Mewlana Celaluddin Rumi has shown us how to become fully human.
To me personally, Rumi’s been the greatest ever professor of the human soul. Through his poetry and his life he taught us how to go beyond the physical, into the metaphysical.”
“Tell me how?”
“How can you, Anna? It is meant for humans not angels.” She starts laughing caught by surprise in the middle of our serious conversation.
“You silly man, stop it!”
“Jokes apart, you too, Anna, could get there with the right teacher and the right attitude. According to Rumi, human beings are the centre of all creation. Everything has been created around man, for him… to make him happy. And no one, regardless of colour, creed, religion or sex can be excluded from this infinite love and grace of the Almighty. The human being is regarded as the khalif, the light of the Creator. He is the only creature on earth with the ability of taking God’s love and spreading it around. But not everyone can use this ability because people are prisoners of their nefs. Nefs is explained as a tether of earthly desires and urges.
For example if hate is part of your nefs, then it will manifest itself as jealousy, pride, etc. This way all the pain and suffering on our planet can be related to the nefs of its human population. But on the other hand, God has also given us his divine characteristics. We have the ability to
love, to show grace and mercy, to be noble, to show patience and understanding, to choose between right and wrong. And so our life becomes a constant struggle, trying to make our divine characteristics prevail over our nefs.”
“This means we’ve not done a good job of our struggle, because there are so many things going wrong in the world. We have so many wars and so much poverty in the world today.”
“Yes, we’ve in fact done a very bad job of it.”
“But then why does God allow it to happen… for example children dying of hunger. Especially, when he has the power to prevent it.”
“Anna, God doesn’t put himself as a controller above us. Someone who constantly intervenes in our daily life. He says, ‘don’t murder’ but there isn’t a hand coming down from heaven every time someone’s going to commit murder. He says, ‘don’t steal’ but people still steal. He says,
‘don’t lie’ but people still lie. But then he has appointed a day when he’ll audit our accounts, so to speak,” I say smiling. “God has given us a map of both Heaven and Hell. But it is up to us to choose what we want. He has given us all the tools to do the right thing. Also given us a free will.
For example there’s enough wealth on this planet to feed and give shelter to each and every one of us, provided we’re willing to share this wealth.
Essentially, we have to overcome our desire to own more than we need.
We should be willing to give away what we don’t need.
“So what prevents us from doing this? Again we come back to our nefs.
It is what makes us selfish and indifferent. The more we overcome our nefs the closer we get to making the world a happier place. We have today people who own millions on the one hand and on the other there are children who’re dying of hunger. God didn’t create this.”
“If I understand correctly, nefs is what we call the Devil. And he prevents us from using all the goodness we possess inside…”
“Yes, you could say that. Metaphors are always helpful. In fact Heaven and Hell according to some Sufis like Muhammed Iqbal are also metaphorical ideas. He believed they’re not physical spaces where we will be going after death but are areas we can create here on earth. Perhaps,
Heaven and Hell exist physically too somewhere on earth and we call them into our lives with our decisions and actions.”
“That is really very deep, Hatef. Could we then say Sufism and other teachings like it are ways of transforming the individual, making him perfect?”
“Well, absolute perfection belongs to God alone. But Sufism talks about a kemal, an individual who has reached the pinnacle of human perfection.
This is the closest we as humans can come to perfection. You see, when we say that God is perfect we don’t mean it by our human standards but that he’s perfect by his own standards. Because we cannot even begin to understand his standards we can never grasp his kind of perfection.”
“I understand. But tell me is the message of Sufism for everyone? Does it for example also apply to people who’re deep in their nefs?”
“Let me answer your question with one of Rumi’s more famous poems.
It’s obviously a translation of the original Persian.
Come, come, whoever you are,
wonderer, worshiper, lover of leaving,
it doesn’t matter.
Ours is not a caravan of despair.
Come, even if you have broken your vows
a thousand times.
Come again and again, come.
Here Rumi’s trying to tell us how this gift of overcoming our nefs is for everyone, whatever his state in life. He says there isn’t really any reason for guilt and despair.
“I want to add something else about Rumi here. He was greatly inspired by the prophet Mohammed. The Prophet himself was a great Sufi. for example he has said: ‘Die before you are dead’. This in fact is a very important principle of Sufism. A Sufi aims to kill his nefs and be
resurrected in love and compassion. This happens through a process called seyr-e-suluk. Through this process a Sufi reaches total freedom from all his earthly desires. Finally, he aims to reach a state of fena fillah. This is where he merges into God. In Buddhism they call it nirvana. After
reaching fena fillah the Sufi only strives to share his state with others.
And in this striving he exhausts himself day after day… all for the love of God.” I take a deep breath.
“How can I meet this Rumi, is he still around?”
I smile because I like the sound of Anna’s innocence.
“I would really like to meet him too. But he left our world about seven and a half centuries ago. Though I believe, he is here among us with his message.”
“Oh. But Hatef, I am quite dazzled by your words. Do you think you could tell me more about Rumi?”
“Well, Rumi was born in Khorasan, a village near Balkh in present-day Afghanistan in 1207. He was known as Rumi, meaning ‘the Roman’, because he grew up in an area under Byzantine rule at that time. His family travelled to Anatolia and eventually settled in Konya under the Turkish
Seldjuk sultanate. Rumi spent the rest of his life in Konya, which is where he was also buried after he died in 1273. Today, Konya is a place of pilgrimage for Sufis across the world.
“After his death his followers, especially his son Sultan Walad founded the Mawlawiyah Sufi Order. They’re also known as the ‘Whirling Dervishes’ because of the whirling dance they do. A dervish goes round and round on his feet with one hand lifted up to the sky and the other facing the earth, at 90 degrees to each other. The head is bent slightly to the side indicating nobility. The dervishes keep this position through the dance celebrating the scattering of God’s love from above over everyone on earth.
The bent head indicates the exalted position of the dervish as an intermediary between the Creator and the created. Dervishes are known to lose themselves completely while dancing. This trance-like state is called sama.
I have seen dervishes whirl for more than an hour.”
“I think I have seen a picture too. They were dancing… whirling in front of a green-domed building, says Anna.
“Yes, this is probably the dergah or mausoleum of Rumi. It is in Konya.
It is where he is buried alongwith his father and other members of his family. This place is visited by hundreds if not thousands of people daily.
You should go if you’re ever in Turkey.”
“Yes, hopefully I will.”
“I really liked that poem of Rumi you just recited. Is there a book where I can read more?”
I think Rumi’s words have worked their magic on Anna.
“Of course. His most important book is called Masnawi, and it is quite amazing. You can find a translation of the Masnawi on the Internet, perhaps. I also recommendThe Essential Rumi by Coleman Barks. I always find great joy when I read Rumi. His poems give me hope and strength in moments of despair. There is actually one that I read often.”
“Can you please read it to me now?”
“I knew you’d say that… Here’s The Guest House dedicated especially to you, Anna:
Man is like a guest house
each day brings a new guest
some days comes Joy; others, Sadness
but Awareness is always
an unexpected visitor.
Rumi says, welcome them all
even if there’s a mob of sorrows
sweeping across your house
emptying it out.
Treat every guest with honour
each one’s come to help you
The pleasant Surprise
the dark Thought, Shame, Malice
meet them all at the door laughing.
Be grateful for whoever comes
because each one has been sent
from the beyond to help you.”
“That is really beautiful, Hatef. It really does have the power to speak to everyone.” She seems moved by it. “I think I have quizzed you enough for a day,” she says smiling.
“Yes, you have young lady, but I never get tired talking about Rumi,” I smile back. We fall in this silence together allowing Rumi to sink into our souls.
“Vordingborg! Vordingborg station!”
Another stop less in our journey.
This post is glimpse of my book A Yoik for Anna – A Journey between Two Worlds
AFTQ wants to appreciate your efforts in bringing nations like Afghanistan on the road to democracy and playing a host to a respected International Conference on Afghanistan at Bonn. However with the reference to the last conference held at Bon which shapes the entire format of Bonn Agreement to form an interim government in Afghanistan electing Hamid Karzai as the President and the challenges it still face which the nation was facing at the start of war on terror in Afghanistan.
Her Excellency Bonn Agreement though was a great initiative but has serious flaws which proved brutal and fatal to the Afghan political road map to democracy and to the international community assistance program which even after its decade old implementation has failed to bring normalcy and stability in Afghanistan. When we talk about Afghanistan the situation seems easy to handle and the common formula for all could be implemented which is just call few representatives and elect an interim government with interim leader but it cannot be worked on successfully in Afghanistan if we think it will and the results of which we all are seeing and are witness to.
Afghanistan though being an independent and sovereign country but always ruled by tribes and their leaders where even they have central authority but have their own laws while functioning under a common framework agreed upon by them on common terms. Since last four decades Afghanistan remained a chessboard of the politics where world leaders fought their wars of self pride and imperialistic strategies but as usual the price has always been paid by the innocent Afghan people.
Hundreds and thousands of lives has been lost and counting it just happens in the misconceptions about the Afghan society and effects of various factions which influence the Afghan national stability. Till now Karzai government has unable to bring the opposition in confidence and other disturbing factions based in nearby countries like Pakistan and Iran. His government has failed in negotiations with the opposition leaders many times like Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and Mullah Omar who now have re-formed and are on constant organizing drive since the start of war and the result is that civilians are being targeted and military has also become vulnerable to them.
Apart from this the complexities grew even more when the new networks like Haqqani and other terror outfits from across the border tries to create nuisance and are making possible for the parties like Hizb e Islami and Taliban to stand more powerfully against the foreign troops and their operations failing their every possible move towards development.
Though Her Excellency many good things have happened in Afghanistan with signing of this Bonn Agreement but the majority of them which ensures the safe future of this nation are still lies in limbo and still waits for the light of progress to shine them. International community has build schools, colleges, roads and many great infrastructural projects however the things still remains somewhat the same when we take an outlook of the overall Afghan progress which shows the grim picture.
Due to these lackluster approaches and constant implications’ of failed schemes has led to the demise of Hamid Karzai’s national representation though the government selected is legitimate and elected but series of civilian deaths and failures to contain the growing Taliban and Hizb e Islami effect has created a huge divide between Karzai government and the general people of Afghanistan and the reason major to this authority depreciation is due to the non representation of other distant and forgotten tribes which were never got quality representation and consideration in the team of Karzai and the Interim government.
International community and its presence in Afghanistan from the day Taliban rule was toppled and till now there is hardly any visible systematic progress in terms of vibrant political establishments and other related institutions like Supreme Court of Afghanistan and functioning judiciary.
Even though we understand that the commitments were made for the training of Afghan security forces but with the withdrawal of foreign troops their existence and effectiveness left a big question mark on their future and the entire security scenario of Afghanistan and its political governance as Afghan security forces are hardly trained properly and they lack expertise in tacking the growing mess of extremists and other radical movements in and around Afghanistan which is not a matter of grave concern to the region but entire world at large whose result and aftermath we all have seen and suffered.
Her Excellency Interim government since its formation has never been able to represent all the tribes and their concerns properly where many still awaits their chance to stand as partners in the race to democracy. The result is now that Afghanistan and its people now stands at the cross roads where the situation will soon to become similar like the last civil war whose uncontrolled governance leads to the rise of extremists Taliban rule.
Her Excellency until n unless the Interim government and the entire parties who are signatories to the Bonn Agreement including Pakistan and Iran does not show the confident approach and their long term assured commitments towards the establishment of a flourishing and prosperous Afghanistan; none of the so called agreements and conferences will have no worth in the reality.
Nevertheless, when we say that the situation lies poor and there is a growing divide in the Afghan society we must take into consideration that there are other factors that too are responsible for these chaos’s created by the cross border infiltration from Pakistan and Iran both of them are failed and terror states.
Till now International community has coordinating with the governments of these countries but there especially in Pakistan if we did not have good associations and dialogues with other agencies like ISI, Pakistan Army, fundamentalist leaders and warlords operating inside the territory of Pakistan then how can we guarantee the long term stability to Afghanistan and its people.
If the Bonn Agreement and its vision need to be successful then each and every party which either has direct or indirect influence on the Afghan stability must be called upon at any cost and at all levels otherwise there is no need calling all the failed leaders and authorities of Afghanistan and other leaders from the global community all the way to Germany and concretizing on nothing. If this is the situation then these types of conferences, gatherings and agreements can be held and signed in Kabul itself then why wasting the precious money and time of all.
AFTQ wants to suggest that if the German authorities and other signatories are serious and visionary enough in making this prestigious Bonn Agreement and the International Conference on Afghanistan a successful event which can become an example to others then they must call and invite the scholars who are settled down in Europe, experts / professionals of the Afghan politics and its culture, representative leaders of all the Afghan tribes, representatives from all the agencies / authorities of Pakistan and Iran and all those group leaders which are called and named as extremists / terrorists because without a proper and efficient dialogue with all the parties whether they are in favor of Afghan progress by west or against it must be brought into the negotiations and all parties must come to common terms to solve the Afghan crisis otherwise it is worthless to sign or work out any agreement for Afghanistan as said earlier in the letter without a complete representation no-one can assure the Afghan stability and democratic establishments.
“As it is said that in politics and economics always be a visionary from two eyes not from one eye otherwise you may hit the roadblocks in your progress.”
First of all Armed for the Quill wants to congratulate you on assuming the office of Myanmar President on 30th March 2011 and being a first civilian President in 50 years of this great nation. Since the inception of your leadership in the new democratic era of Myanmar political history there are many challenges you have to address and needs the immediate redresses of the national policy framework to execute the fundamental reform process. The 14 years 8 months of military rule has destroyed your nation completely and devastated millions of people. The self styled socialist policies of Mr. Than Shwe has dragged the country into years behind the current modernity and its development strides of this Asian century.
From decades now the general public has suffered from the wrong policy measures and unwanted regulations. Foreign media and personnel have kept previously at bay and outside the country even the relief aid workers at the time of cyclone Nargis were denied entering. The years of totality in Myanmar has lead to severe depletion of natural resources, high rate of corruption and extreme poverty. People there are hardly aware of their rights and their duties. The only thing one lives with there is just fear from the system and its authorities so this fear needs to be removed from the hearts and mind of general public.
Mr. President when a leader enjoys a true absolute legitimacy of his own people he becomes an inspiration and admiration for the generations to come. However the current scenario and the road to democracy may brings your position into a series of challenges faced by you and your government but there are things which AFTQ wants His Excellency to throw some light on the darker corners of the disputed constitution and its implementation. From the date of 10th May 2008 this newly constitution has left a big question mark on Myanmar’s road to democracy as this creates serious doubts and has severe flaws in the adopted 2008 constitution. For instance here are few points which draw the negativism on this nation’s democratic functioning.
25% of all parliamentary seats would be reserved for military.
This suggests that military would have much tighter control on the government and may dictate its terms to the democratic government. Mr. President no democracy can function and a country cannot be said a true democracy if it’s military interferes in its functioning.
The Ministry of Home Affairs would fall exclusively under military control.
These words show that a democratic government would be puppet in the hands of its military and have no control on the lives and freedom of its own people. The military which has being haunting Burmese people from last 5 decades will continue to haunt and govern their day to day lives through its enforcements.
Anyone married to a non-Burmese would be barred from running for the premiership.
This is completely unjustified on the grounds that a citizen which wants to run herself / himself for the premiership is barred just because he / she has married non Burmese this absolutely wrong. Every citizen of Burma whether he or she should have the full liberty to stand for premiership candidature in the elections nationwide irrespective of their spouse nationalities. Every citizen must be treated equally and with mutual respect. AFTQ is fully aware of the situation and why this kind of the clause been putted into this new constitution just to prevent Aung San Suu Kyi a lady who has always remained a shining face of Burma to the world.
Mr. President the world which seems as a white elephant from the Burmese Junta eyes is not like that but instead it is more open and liberal in following realism. As the nation of Myanmar moves closer towards the establishment of democratic government it seems that it is moving towards military controlled democracy rather to full and transparent democracy which is much needed and necessary for the entire survival of the Burmese identity in this advancing 21st century.
AFTQ wants Mr. President to at least have look into the basic critical points of constitution which has never been favored by the public itself to make necessary amendments init as the true vibrant democratic framework and call for the new referendum on it on a nationwide level which will not only wins the support of general public but also of the international community towards your Presidency. These suggestions are not only for just making amendments in the new constitution but it also eyes on the fundamental freedom of the entire country and its general public.
His Excellency to save Myanmar from more humiliation and embarrassment the government must focus on starting an enhanced democratic political reform process and on removing unwanted regulations like the one on press freedom which not only curb the voice of common man but also makes this great nation more isolate from the outside world. Burmese people have full right to live free and in an open environment where they can practice their rights independently and under vibrant democratic political system.
The world is going through a revolutionary change and many strides are being made in terms of politics and its variants where a functional transparent democracy is a need of the hour must be given importance to secure a better future of the people and the nation at large. This can be done by making amendments in the respected constitution and by providing assurance of the better environment for press freedom. Mr. President the government earns legitimacy when it enjoys the complete support of its people and maintains their confidence in the long run with its policies, its implication and with your coordinative decisions which should support vision in order to build a strong and healthy nation.
Due to the prolonged non-visionary and corrupt rule by the Burmese Military Junta the nation has been thrown back many centuries backward in terms of health, freedom, public life, and economics and in many such areas which empowers the future of a country and its people. Neither the government nor its policies had done anything great and in the right direction more on and at large the entire authority suffers with just short vision and zero tolerance to its people demands and critics. Mr. President following on the same footsteps even after having an elected government in 2010 means that only the regime’s uniform has changed but not its functioning towards its people and the world. And if the government sings the same tune which is unfriendly and not liken by the public then its future leaves no hope in the eyes but only suffering and desperation.
Mr. President there are many questions which now arises in the wake of last elections held and the way the new constitution being followed:
Is it justified to have 25% seat reservation for Military in the democratic parliamentary setup?
What is your opinion on barring Aung San Suu Kyi for contesting for county’s premiership?
How will you justify the procedure followed by Military Junta to conduct constitutional referendum in 2008?
With military as an opposition in the political setup, how you will ensure the smooth and transparent running democracy?
Do you have any strategy for bringing Mr.Than Shwe to trails in the international court of justice for the crimes and the human rights violation committed by him and by his regime during Junta’s 14 years long rule?
How will you justify the regulations being put on the free movement of press / media in the country?
Is this right-full enough to deny the people of their fundamental rights in the world where free and fair democracy is the need of the masses?
Mr. President AFTQ wants that the government must start the confidence building measures and as an initiative to proper establishment of a healthy and stable democratic nation the newly adopted constitution of 2008 must be amended and must be made free from the un-necessary regulations and ban put on the people of Burma. Burmese who have married with other non- Burmese must be allowed to take part fully fledged with no restrictions on either level or premiership. Press / media must be allowed to flourish as this brings the accountability and saves the nation from isolation hence; bringing the transparency and economics to the nation.
Organs are not useful when they are dead. They drug them first and remove the organs. Then they leave them to die. Human rights campaigner Hamdy Al-Azazy
International organ trafficking has become a huge multibillion $ business and it continues to grow. The traffickers have become more and more ruthless and have absolutely no boundaries. An example is Antonio Medina, 23 year old migrant from Central America on his way to USA with his wife were captured by a criminal gang. After being locked in separate rooms, Medina heard his wife screaming. Later on, he entered the room and saw his wife on a table with her chest wide open and without her heart and kidney. Medina was lucky; he and some others were saved by Mexican soldiers. This is the small part of global trafficking as for most of the part, organ trafficking occurs in hospitals where medical practitioners are corrupt and cooperate with traffickers because of the profit.
Poor and desperate people can earn between 3,000 to $15,000 for selling their organs, especially kidneys, to middlemen who re-sell them to wealthy buyers for as much as $200,000.
Although it happens in most of the countries, however it is more prevalent in Israel, India, China, Pakistan, Turkey, Brazil, Nepal, the Philippines, Kosovo, Iran and the former Soviet states in Eastern Europe. Most of the countries here have weak authorities and poverty makes people desperate to sell their organs to the wealthy. The customers are from the US, Western Europe, the Arab Gulf states, Israel and other wealthy countries.
Everybody has 2 kidneys that filter the toxins out of the bloodstream. If a patient with failure in both kidneys will die quickly unless he/she is treated with a dialysis machine or get a transplant. The transplants prolongs the lives of the patients but patients who receive organs from living donors have better survival rates rather than those receiving from deceased donors.
China has done it well by attracting sellers and buyers by using the web. The communist country has the world’s highest execution rate and the dead convicts supply healthy young organs at all time. The Chinese justice system works effective and quick for those who are sentenced to death and corrupt government workers take advantage of the situation to earn extra money.
Once patients arrive to China, the organizers will force them to bid more than the others so that a single organ will go for the highest price. They are forced to sit at the hospital and wait and watch who will get the organ from the executed prisoner.
Israel and shortage of donors
This globally black market is deceptive and dirty. The traffickers use deception, violence and coercion to buy and sell organs from desperate people and sell them for much higher price to more developed countries. These middlemen form partnership with doctors in different hospitals who perform these transplants for an arranged fee and no questions. The numbers from World Health Organization (WHO) reveals that 5000 people sell their organs on the black market each year. Many of the black marketed kidneys harvested by the rootless gangs are destined to patients in Israel.
With a population of 7,4 million and a very modern medical system, Israel has a alarming shortage of donors because of the religious belief. Only 12% of Israelis are registered as donors according to the Israeli National Transplant center. What’s positive is that the Israeli police has been very aggressive against organ traffickers and managed to break up 3 international gangs since 2008.
The criminals profits from the poor and the sick, both parts that try to survive. They will pay a seller $10,000 and collect $150,000 from the patient. The buyers are flown to cities and hospitals to wait for the procedure until they find a recipient.
Unfortunately, there are corrupt doctors everywhere and it is impossible for them not to know about the transplants because of the money that is involved. How can they not know about whether the donor is a blood relative or not? Not only the middlemen, but the doctors must also be held accountable together with everyone that is involved.
Levy Izhak Rosenbaum, from New York, admitted in a Trenton federal court to brokering three illegal kidney transplants for desperate New Jersey-based customers in exchange for payments of $120,000 or more. He also pleaded guilty to a conspiracy count for brokering an illegal kidney sale.
The religious debate
Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, a prominent and leading arbiter of Jewish law in Israel advises that donating body parts violates the religious faith, which states that “upon death, a body should be buried intact.” This has lead to a huge shortage of donors and the list of patients is growing. The result is that money hungry gangs prey on these desperate people.
Shmuel Eliyahu, chief Rabbi of Safed, Israel has started a project to get 100 colleagues to sign a document advocating organ donation. “The Torah tells people to help others when they can, especially if it means saving a life. Donating an organ is a mitzvah, or good deed, “he said.
In this area, there is a network of Bedouin smugglers who steal organs from refugees who travel in the harsh desert in search for a better life in Israel. If they can’t pay for the large amount of money to their smugglers, they have to pay with their organs. Many African refugees have been found in the desert with their organs missing.
The most dangerous and cruel traffickers are the Sawarka Bedouin tribe who steal organs from refugees coming from Ethiopia, Eritrea or Sudan. If they can’t pay, the men lose their organs and the women are raped.
Al-Azazy, a human rights activist stated that the victims are drugged before the traffickers remove the organs as the organs aren’t useful when the victim is dead. After the surgery, the victim is dumped in a dry well where hundreds of other bodies rest. They all have one thing in common, and that is the deep scar they all carry. This heinous act is a shame and the corrupt Egyptian doctors are working together with the Bedouins and perform the surgery in mobile hospitals.
According to information from WHO, kidney transplants are carried out in 91 countries. Approximately, 66,000 kidney transplants, 21,000 liver transplants and 6000 heart transplants were performed globally in 2005.
Organ harvesting is going on at full speed in Philippines, Turkey, Iran, central Europe, mainly in the Czech Republic, Caucasus, mainly in Georgia, Pakistan, India, Africa; such as Mozambique and South Africa as one of the main countries.
The surgeons removes kidneys, lungs, pieces of liver, even corneas, bones, tendons, heart valves, skin and other sellable human bits. The organs are kept in cold storage and air lifted to illegal distribution centers in the United States, Germany, Scandinavia, the United Kingdom, Israel, South Africa, and other rich, industrialized locales. This barbaric business makes more money than human trafficking and drug trafficking.
The Middle East residents of the Gulf States (Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Oman) have travelled to India, Philippines and to Eastern Europe for many years to purchase organs because of some Islamic teachings that allow organ transplantation to save life but prohibit organ harvesting from brain-dead bodies.
The Gurgaon kidney scandal
Police arrested several people for running a kidney transplant clinic in Gurgaon, Delhi. The kidneys came mostly from poor people from Uttar Pradesh and transplanted to clients in USA, UK, Canada, Saudi Arabia and Greece. Dr. Amit Kumar, who ran the clinic and the guesthouse, was arrested in Nepal on 7 February 2008 but not surprisingly, he denied having anything to do with the trafficking. Officials seized a bank draft worth Rs. 936,000 together with €145,000 and $18,900 in cash. He tried to bribe the Nepali police but was not successful.
The donors were lured to the clinic for job opportunities and then asked if they were willing to donate their kidney for the amount of Rs. 30,000. If they resisted, they would forcedly be dragged into the operation room.
I personally stand for saving lives but this type of harvesting should not happen in the 21st century. The way the eastern Europeans and Chinese perform the surgery reminds me of the death camps in Nazi Germany. There are many pictures on the internet showing dead naked bodies dumped over each other on the floors. All of them are opened up and emptied for organs. It’s disgusting and inhuman how a human life can be taken away so easily. As long as there is a shortage of donors, the business will continue flourishing. It is sad to think about all those who are chained to the bed waiting for a kidney, liver or heart but no one has the right to murder another human being for the sake of money.
“When I look in the mirror and see that scar, it’s a daily reminder of what I went through,” he says. “I feel this raw grievance inside.” Abdullin, 28 from Azerbaijan.
His Excellency Dato’ Sri Haji Mohd Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak
AFTQ and its team wants to bring to your attention and notice that since independence Malaysia and its citizens suffers from un-necessary regulations which were introduced to deny or limit the fundamental rights to the people. At the time of taking charge of the prime ministerial position on April 03, 2009 under the prestigious banner of UMNO you have made few commitments to open new constitutional reform process and empower the Malaysian people with the full fledged un-regulated rights which they are being demanded from decades.
Though the steps are being taken to defunct Internal Security Act for a greater freedom to Malay people but still there are numerous draconian laws which betrays them from their constitutional rights which are in the sake of local governance they have continued to scare citizens of their freedom.
The Article 10 which provides and states about the freedom of speech:
“Every citizen shall have the right to freedom of speech and expression, subject to any reasonable restriction imposed by federal law in the interest of the security of the Federation, friendly relations with other countries, public order, or morality or in relation to contempt of court, defamation or incitement to any offence.”
Need to be amended if in the true sense the free and a complete democratic society is to be establishing a vibrant example in the Malay Peninsula and to the people which provides the parliament to impose the laws to regulate it must be reformed.
Since the constitution adopted several laws like Sedition Act 1948, the Public Order (Preservation) Ordinance 1958, Police Act 1967 and the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984. These laws curtailing the freedoms and liberties given under Article 10 has to be either withdrawn or amended accordingly to the more liberated human rights scenario which enjoys the world attention and the win the heartily support of Malay people.
Great developments are taking place in the world in the name of democracy and freedom of speech and on behalf of Armed for the Quill (AFTQ) an Oslo, Norway based organization formed with a mission to protect peace and freedom of speech wants to bring to your notice and to remind about your commitments which you have made from your people who believed you as their leader who will give them an environment in which they can practice their rights of fundamentals giving them a new lease of life into the world where they can live in a true democracy under the pure humane serenity.
People must be liberated and given freedom to adhere to their national policies rather not being forced to believe in the system which kills their own movement of thoughts this will not only restrict the complete growth process economically but also socially which this great country has enjoyed always.
So, we urge you not to sacrifice the freedom of speech and remove the regulations which limit its practice just behind the closed walls of households. It must be protected and conserved as the true rights which under constitution was promised to the people of this country but have never tasted its existence in their daily lives.
The laws which regulate this freedom must be withdrawn and should not be continued in today’s free modern society which wants their rights to be respected and treated equally with importance. People shouldn’t be denied from rights, from justice, from their freedom, one cannot regulate or restrict the movement of every one foot as freedom is the birth right of every human and the leader Mr. Najib Razak who tries to regulate the rights never found a place of admiration in the history.
As when a child is born he is born free, free from all the restrictions which this unjust political world impose later on them un-necessarily of knowing that one day the later generations will demand and fight for their liberties from the leader they have chosen or have believed in.
True prosperity is in the happiness of the people where they can live their lives restrictions free and the true leader is who respects the rights of his own people, who serves them honestly while working genuinely in the desire to work for their empowerment and lending a friendly hearing to their cries of causes which they want to raise.
In today’s world there is no place for dictatorships and its authoritarian discriminatory rule, as you too are aware of the ongoing scenarios and about the corners of those nations becoming liberal raising their voices against those who have suppressed their say from decades. It is the era of democracy and the freedom which it brings along with its people friendly framework.
The great nation and regime is that which flows swiftly on the waves of tides which is slowly gathering moment to over throw those challenging its existence in whole new dawn of human rights which if kept suppressed in your country will lit the spark of new uprising as the one storming the rigid Middle East.
Prime Minister Mr. Najib Abdul Razak
The time is witness to those who have raised the light of liberty for their hoods and the beings living their lives in it have always succeeded as the great figure who have the special place not in the pages of historical archives but in the hearts of populous who will teach his generations to come to be like you as an inspiration for all those seeking the beginning of new breeze of hope where the blessings of a true smiles survives formed by their leader whom they have praised always and will continue to do so if the reality of their dreams to be fulfilled by you.
People of Malaysia has now risen up and they are feeling the need of urgent reforms in the respected Judicial and Political system which they expect you as the initiator for their new lease of life full of liberty and its rights which they can practice independently. There are lots of examples for you to look into when considering the future of Malay national strategy for more reformed and transparent democratic framework.
AFTQ too wants to provide you a helping hand if the need arises. The organization is committed to be a part of this approach and reform process if you chosen to do so. However we would like to mention you clearly the better you start early the better your strategy have chances to survive in this world and more it wins the heart of your people who will looked upon you as their inspiration if you engage yourself for the unconditional service of your nation and its citizens.
As you are aware completely about the recent scenarios and the agitations which goes against your regime damaging the national harmony and the one nation image of your country transforming it into a chessboard of politics where the whole nation has now been standing on the fault line between your rigid un-democratic system which whether Malays, Chinese or Indians living in the vicinity of your national boundaries even those who have immigrated themselves while getting attracted by your false positive image created by your party and your cabinet has never liked and of much felt betrayed, discriminated, isolated in their own environment dreamt by them and planned by the UMNO whose government now you head making them live under the world of strip wire where if they move out of your bounds their economies of scale and emotions would get wounded and a vibrant free democratic system which is the urgent demand of time and the people of Malaysia which would ensure them about their secure long lasting prosperous future and livelihood.
Even though Malaysia is heading towards its goal of becoming a developed economy by 2020 but the reality tells the different story of its path where your regime is leading this country. The path where nation has no future, no hope of any harmony, no great secular society, where people deprived of constitutional rights and the freedom to practice them, system infected with corruption and human rights violations are the norms of the day by the government as the major culprit.
The arrests of numerous politicians, journalists and many other figures under the false charges and unfair trails reflects the vulnerability of the national political scenario and its shortcomings, the arrest of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim and Mat Sabu expose the reality hidden under the fake shine of this your party.
The reality is that no one can talk or speak about anything; only those which you want to hear can survive their echo. True leadership is not in controlling free voices or critics but in facing them with full reasonable answers while improving your executions of your unfulfilled promises hence curbing the entire negativity for future.
There are many questions being raised on your leadership and on the future of Malaysian secular society:
Do you think that there is anything wrong in wanting to understand why people are demanding their fundamental rights?
Is there anything wrong if a person speaks about or discusses the history of his own country just like Mat Sabu did?
Do you really believe that your country is unaware of the agitations and the violence which occurred in the scattered corners of your once society?
Are you confident enough that the people in your country are not being discriminated and being isolated with each other due to your unfriendly biased policies?
Do you really justify the trails going on Anwar Ibrahim, Mat Sabu and other people are fair enough and deserving?
Is your government serious and concerned enough about bringing a democratic reforms and transparent judicial system in the country?
Is this not a betrayal to your people who have been awarded by the freedom of fundamental rights and its powers by their constitution which your party and its regimes have regulated to control the freedom.
The questions are many and the cries are countless but it is all you who can decide the future of your nation and of your people.