Category Archives: Human Rights

Nomads of the sea

No one wants us

For we are Moken.

Long time here yet

Still not broken.

 

Three hundred years and more,

Stateless nomads of the sea.

Skilled seafarers far from shore,

We had no home but we were free.

 

No schooling now for our children.

In sickness, we have no care.

Nomads still, we carry on.

Tourists, they just stop and stare.

 

Poorer now and losing face;

No basic rights in any land.

Exploited by this venal place;

We are just a one man band.

 

They used our skills for gain;

They made us dive too deep;

‘Nam neeb’ and dynamite destroyed us;

Now we’re just a crippled heap.

 

Poor man, rich man, beggar man, thief.

Seldom do we our stories write.

We are but nothing in this land.

But this land is ours by our birthright.

 

Even where we’ve lived for years

They will not let us call home.

Ancestral bones are buried deep

In land that we can never own.

 

Fish and forage;

Land or sea.

Shelter scavenged we accept.

Never discerning, we were free.

 

When we were young

We dived and dined.

Our great sea gave

Fish and shells and lobsters fine.

 

From Koh Phuket to Surin Islands,

Free to fish on natures patch.

Now from Surin we are banned;

No turtles, cucumber, clams to catch.

 

Without the sea we cannot live.

Sell a photo for a buck.

Embarassed, begging for some food.

Does any tourist give a fuck.

 

Thai, Burmese, Rohingya, Moken.

In the big dream many others

See the world for what it is,

Because forever we are brothers.

 

Still no one wants us.

We are Moken.

Long time here yet

Still not broken.

21st century wars

Century after century bloody war prevails.

Still it goes from Iraq to Ukraine.

Hope has not defined the new millennium

As on and on we fight in vain.

 

Self-styled demi-gods puff out their chests

With primal policies that lead to war

And scatter troops who may come home

Not to a hero’s welcome any more.

 

Thunder flashes light the smoke-filled sky.

I shudder as I look around.

The smell of cordite fills the air.

My world is burning to the ground.

 

I drag my broken body home.

In smouldering heaps my brothers lie;

The home that was now lies in ruins.

Perchance to dream one may not die.

 

What kind of world is this?

Where all mankind appears deranged,

And history has taught us nothing.

Change we must or we’ll be changed.

  

21st century wars

Featured image: Syrian refugees’ camp | Credits: © Nikolay Doychinov/AFP/Getty Images

Are we human?

As Koh Phuket suffers from deliberate crop burning in far-away Sumatra and Northern Thailand prepares itself for the same treatment in February and March each year, I wonder are we obsessed with fire?

Rawai Sunrise – September 2015

Air pollution drifting in from Indonesia changes the landscape in Rawai Bay, Phuket
Air pollution drifting in from Indonesia changes the landscape in Rawai Bay, Phuket

Rawai Sunrise – August 2015

Sunrise in Rawai Bay - August 2015
Sunrise in Rawai Bay – August 2015

We are human after all – or are we human at all?

Do those who cause the problems feel guilty that 50% of the people of Northern Thailand suffer from respiratory problems? If they don’t care for their own health then the answer is obvious.

In March 2014 I posted on this topic in ‘Is North Thailand a Health Hazard’  In the light of the recent fires in Indonesia it seems appropriate to air the issue once again.

In that post I wrote:

“Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai only have populations of between 2 and 3 million. Pollution is mainly caused by subsistence farmers employing outdated ‘slash and burn’ techniques used for hundreds of years to clear forest and scrub land and grow crops. The government is well aware of the dangers to health but is failing the people miserably. Together with the many ‘Forest Fire Control Centres’, throughout the provinces, the authorities are once again proving to be either unwilling or powerless to prevent the recklessness of ignorant rural people. It would seem that most have little or no concern for their own or others health and safety.”

We know that the very star that gives us life will eventually destroy us; consuming us in a fire of cataclysmic proportions.

Surely this cannot be the reason we are committed to prior self-destruction by the constant burning of our planet?

Is the knowledge that the Sun will take away the life it gives reason for our own pre-emptive strike on the World.

Forest fires, wars and crop burning rage across the world with never-ending regularity.

Despite the fact that laws are in place governments are powerless to stop the destruction of the planet by its inhabitants. Ignorance prevails and prosecutions are few and far between.

Have we such disregard for our neighbours that we continue to burn our lands and stand by as the smoke drifts on the wind thousands of miles across the seas to choke our brothers?

And let us not forget the never ending environmental problems and the silent suffering animals, birds, sea creatures and insects affected by our actions.

Despite all the knowledge at our disposal it seems we still fail to understand that we desperately need nature but nature does not need us.

 

 

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Will the DARK ACT get past the Senate?

Neil Young, 22/06/2008 Firenze, Nelson Mandela...
Neil Young, 22/06/2008 Firenze, Nelson Mandela Forum (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Apart from enjoying his music for nigh on 50 years I have been so impressed with Neil Young’s environmental work and contribution to ‘Farm Aid’ over many years that one day recently I was inspired to write;

Ode to Neil

Continue reading Will the DARK ACT get past the Senate?

Did Jodi Arias make a false confession?  

Search for the truth

The Jodi Arias case has become extremely complex and convoluted over time for a number of reasons. As a result it will become more and more difficult to unravel and ascertain the TRUTH.

TRUTH! That is the big word which in the adversarial system has little value or meaning and in this case even less than usual as emotion has played too big a role.

It seems increasingly unlikely that the TRUTH will emerge in the foreseeable future, if ever, for the following reasons: Continue reading Did Jodi Arias make a false confession?