Category Archives: Human Rights

What is the truth behind the continuing persecution of the Rohingya?

Latest Rohingya crises update from AVAAZ

Very few had heard of Rwanda until 800,000 people were dead. And right now in Burma, the Rohingya people are being massacred --they’re even beheading tiny children. Shockingly, the army behind the killing is supported by countries like Britain, Germany and Italy

An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. (Ghandi)

Myanmar chief of general staff Mya Tun Oo  said at least 160 people were killed in the conflict between the armed forces and ethnic armed groups in Shan during the last three months.
Myanmar security forces are “very likely” to have committed crimes against humanity against Rohingya Muslims in recent months, U.N. human rights investigators said.

Rohingya exodus

It is estimated that 1.5 million Rohingyas live in exile around the world. Recent events suggest that their plight is worsening and there is little likelihood of improvement in the short term. Myanmar’s democratic reforms will not be helped by the continuing humanitarian crisis regarding the Muslim Rohingya minority in the western state of Rakihine (Arakan) bordering Bangladesh. Arakan was neither part of Bangladesh or Burma until 1784 and the Rohingya are natives of that region (approximately 2 million)

Continue reading What is the truth behind the continuing persecution of the Rohingya?

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

Continue reading Are we human?

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?  

Is there a better way to dispense justice?

A map of legal systems of the world, in french...
A map of legal systems of the world, in french. Source (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Adversarial system of justice

As the seemingly endless Jodi Arias saga continues its next phase, behind closed courtroom doors in Maricopa, Arizona, I am ever mindful of the diet of rough justice served up daily by the courts in common law countries, such as America and the United Kingdom, that rely on the ‘adversarial system’ to deliver satisfactory outcomes. If it is considered to be the best method of dispensing justice it continues to fail us with alarming consistency. Millions of tax-payers dollars are spent every year on a system where two advocates represent their parties’ positions before a jury or judge, who attempt to determine the truth of the case. Continue reading Is there a better way to dispense justice?

Shakespeare, Human Rights and Inspiration

To be, or not to be, that is the question.

Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer

the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune

or to take arms against a sea of troubles,

and by opposing end them. To die, to sleep

no more; and by a sleep to say we end

the heartache and the thousand natural shocks

that flesh is heir to………………………..

(Hamlet, Act ɪɪɪ Scene 1. William Shakespeare) Continue reading Shakespeare, Human Rights and Inspiration