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Showing posts from June, 2012

Video Coverage on the Sufferings of the Rohingyas of Burma

Here is a video coverage documenting the persecution and suffering of the Rohingyas of Burma.

It is also very sad to see how the Government of Bangladesh has refused entry to these victims of horrendous persecution and ethnic cleansing by the Rakhine Buddhist extremists and the Burmese government. It is simply disgraceful and shameful. I am simply shocked.

Have we lost decency and compassion?

Eye Witness Report on pogroms against the Rohingyas of Arakan state of Burma

An eye-witness report on the current pogrom against the Rohingyas of Burma by the Buddhist extremists in Burma can be read by clicking here.

My Interview on the Rohingya Crisis with Journalist S. Azizur Rahman

Recently I was interviewed by veteran journalist Shaikh Azizur Rahman who is affiliated with Radio Australia, Deutsche Welle Radio and Voice of America TV. We discussed the current Rohingya crisis. Here below are my responses to his questions.

Q. Do the Rohingya have right to live in Myanmar?  A: Of course, the Rohingyas of Burma have absolute right to live as citizens within Burma similar to 135 other groups that have been recognized as citizens of Burma.
2. Q. Could you tell me in 4-5 sentences why Myanmar is doing wrong by keeping them stateless there?  A: The heart of the problem goes back to 1982 Citizenship Law which says that Rohingyas are not citizens in Burma. They are outsiders. They have to prove their citizenship. And this law is absurd given the fact that the forefathers of Rohingyas had entered into Arakan thousands of years ago.  As historians would tell you the Rakhine or the Buddhist people did not enter Arakan until possibly as late as the tenth century. Earlier dynasti…

My Comments on a CNN piece about Dr. Morsi

I was somewhat disturbed reading Frida Ghitis's piece in the CNN - Can We Trust Egypt's New President?  It is a flawed piece, which miserably fails to inform readers with background knowledge necessary to answer the polemical question. She alleges that the Brotherhood and Dr. Morsi had broken certain promises they had made after the fall of Hosni Mubarak. According to Frida, these include not trying to control Egyptian politics, promising to contestonly a minorityof seats in the legislature, and that it will not have a presidential candidate.

This is twisting of facts. What the Brotherhood actually saidsoon after the fall of Mubarak was that it would be willing to co-operate with secular parties. A free election was held in September in which people overwhelmingly preferred Brotherhood over all other parties.  Is that the fault of the Brotherhood that people chose its candidates and not the secularists, who had more in common with the fallen regime? With thousands of its cadre …

America’s Moral Failings under Obama

Obama ran, promised, won and betrayed. Like so many others that came before him, he has been one of the greatest disappointments of our time. Under his watch, the USA continues to abandon its role as the global champion of human rights.
As former president Jimmy Carter has noted recently in a scathing critique of the Obama administration, top officials are targeting people to be assassinated abroad, including American citizens. Recent laws havecanceled the restraintsin the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 to allow unprecedented violations of people’s rights to privacy through warrantless wiretapping and government mining of electronic communications. Popular state laws permit detaining individuals because of their appearance, where they worship or with whom they associate. (New York Times, June 24, 2012)
This tragic development began after 9/11 and has been sanctioned and escalated by bipartisan executive and legislative actions, without, regrettably, dissent from the gene…

Tough Days Ahead for Dr. Morsi and his People

Well, after a week of doubt, delays and fears of a military coup, last Sunday to the cheers and jubilation of a massive crowd in Cairo's Tahrir Square, Dr. Mohammed Morsi was declared winner in the presidential election. According to the Election Commission, nearly 52% of the votes were cast in his favor; his opponent General Ahmed Shafiq - an old guard from the Hosni Mubarak era - received nearly 48% of the votes.
So, for the first time in modern Egypt, her people had chosen one of their own in a free election. I am glad to note that Dr. Morsi is a fellow alumnus from my school – the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, where he earned his PhD in engineering.
With the official announcement, one would suppose that everything is going in the right direction and there is nothing to feel concerned about the emerging democracy in Egypt – the land which had seen more Pharaohs than democratically elected rulers. However, serious challenges remain, as the ruling military counc…

Dr Morsi - Declared Egypt's Next President

At 10:30 a.m. today (Philadelphia time) the Election Commission announced that Dr. Mohammed Morsi has won the presidential election with nearly 52% of the votes cast in his favor. His opponent Ahmed Shafiq - an old guard of the Mubarak era - received nearly 48% of the votes.

So, for the first time in modern Egypt, her people had chosen one of their own in a free election. It is Dr. Morsi, who is a fellow alumnus from my university - University of Southern California, Los Angeles, where he earned his PhD in engineering.

Congratulations to Dr. Morsi.

The Doggy Mess - Part 1

Seemingly our world is going to the dogs. That is how I have been feeling lately. Hardly anything good is happening anywhere. Here below are some samples from this past week.
Norway: Remember the mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik? He killed 77 people and injured 242 on July 22 of last year. He bombed government buildings in Oslo before shooting those young Labour Party supporters at an island camp. During his testimony at the court, Breivik insisted that he was sane, and sought to justify his attacks by saying that they were necessary to stop the "Islamisation" of Norway.
In many parts of the world, such self-incriminating confessions of one’s horrendous crimes would be good enough to find the criminal guilty and send him to rot in the maximum security prison for life or even face death penalty. Instead, the prosecutors in Norway have called for self-confessed mass killer Anders Behring Breivik to be considered insane in their closing argument at his trial. A string of fore…

An Open Letter to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma

(This is a revised version of my original letter on the crisis in Burma)

For more than a decade, as a concerned human rights activist, I have worked towards release of political prisoners like you and democratization of Burma (Myanmar). It was good to see that the new regime had the far-sightedness to release you with so many others that were put behind the bars for no fault of theirs except that they demanded what’s morally right and good for Burma. I am also glad that you along with 42 others of the NLD were able to participate in the April by-election and win. It was a great win for the people. A hearty congratulation to you and your party!



People's expectations are high with such positive developments inside Burma. They like to believe that with your voice heard inside the lower house of the parliament their decades-old grievances would now be aired and you would do your utmost to bring about equality, fairness and justice so that no one would be treated unfairly in new Burma…

A Rational Voice from an ex-Mossad Chief

Mier Dagan, an ex-Mossad chief, who made headlines in recent months for calling a military strike on Iran “the stupidest thing ever,” even though it has been hinted at and advocated by current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is again saying that bombing the country unprovoked would be counterproductive. The report can be seen here.


Will the warmongers in Israel listen to him or commit their own political harakiri?

An Open Letter to Daw Aung Saan Suu Kyi of Burma

Dear Ms. SuuKyi, 


For more than a decade, as a concerned human rights activist, I have worked towards release of political prisoners like you and democratization of Burma (Myanmar). It was good to see that the new regime had the wisdom to eventually release you with so many others that were put behind the bars for no fault of theirs except that they demanded what is morally right and good for Burma. I am also glad that you along with 43 others of the NLD were able to participate in the April by-election and win. It was a great win for the people. A hearty congratulations to you and your party.
People's expectations are high with such positive developments inside Burma. They like to believe that with your voice heard inside the lower house of the parliament their decades-old grievances would now be aired and you would do your utmost to bring about equality, fairness and justice so that no one irrespective of his/her ethnic or religious backgrounds would be treated unfairly in new B…

The Latest Extinction Campaign Against the Rohingyas of Burma

It has been little more than two months that Aung San Suu Kyi was elected into the lower house of Burmese Parliament. The by-elections (only the country's third in half a century) in which her party NLD won 44 of the 45 available seats were a crucial test of reforms that convinced the West to soften its pariah image. The United States and European Union hinted that some sanctions - imposed over the past two decades in response to gross human rights abuses (e.g., against the minority Rohingya Muslims and Kachin and Karen Christians) - might be lifted, unleashing a wave of investment, which this impoverished but resource-rich country, bordering Bangladesh, Thailand, India and China, badly needs.
Last year the U.S. Secretary of State Clinton met with Burma’s leaders and opposition leader Suu Kyi. Soon after the election in April Japan has already promised to forgive $3.7 billion of Burma’s debt and resume aid as a way to support the country’s democratic and economic reforms. Last mo…