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Showing posts from February, 2017

Inside Dharavi, a Mumbai Slum by Kenneth Surin

Bombay, or today's Mumbai, has a population of 24 million. The  vast majority - nearly 60% - lives in slums. Ken Surin who teaches  at Duke University, North Carolina, has an interesting piece on the dwellers of a slum in Mumbai. You can access his article by clicking here.

Israeli Airstrikes Target Central Gaza, Wounding Four

Israeli warplanes today launched airstrikes against five targets in the Gaza Strip, with the strikes centering on the Nuseirat refugee camp. Israeli officials described the targets as “Hamas infrastructure.” Four Palestinians were wounded, none of them identified.
To read the full story, click here.

End of Mission Statement by Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar

End of Mission Statement by Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar

Dhaka, 24 February 2017
I would like to first thank the Government of Bangladesh for allowing me to undertake a visit to the country, particularly to Cox’s Bazar. I had initially hoped to undertake this mission immediately after my last visit to Myanmar in January but for various reasons, it had to be delayed until now. As such, findings from this visit have not been included in the written report being presented to the Human Rights Council as I had to complete that report prior to this visit. I will raise key points from this visit during my oral presentation to the Human Rights Council on 13 March.
As I highlighted in my statement at the end of my last visit to Myanmar, reprisals were a major concern for me. While I did have the opportunity to meet and talk to Rohingya villagers in my visit to the north of Rakhine State in January, I was mindful of the possible retaliation against th…

Myanmar army ‘systematically’ abused Rohingya: report

Myanmar’s military committed “systematic” abuses against Rohingya Muslims during recent operations in troubled Rakhine State, according to a report released Monday. The rape of more than 70 Rohingya women and girls by Myanmar security forces was witnessed since early October, according to the report based on interviews with 21 Rohingya women who fled from the Maungdaw area to neighboring Bangladesh. Almost all the women interviewed lost their husbands, and half of them their children, in acts of appalling cruelty, reported the Kaladan Press Network, an independent non-profit Rohingya news agency based in Bangladesh. The government has said at least 106 people have been killed in a security operation launched after fatal attacks on police outposts Oct. 9 near the border. However, Rohingya advocacy groups claim around 400 Rohingya -- described by the United Nations as among the most persecuted groups worldwide -- were killed, women raped and Rohingya villages torched. “Of the 21 wome…

South Sudanese ake refugee in Sudan

32,000 South Sudanese animists and Christians have entered Sudan, a Muslim country, since the start of the year, with tens of thousands more expected to arrive fleeing a famine in their country, the UN refugee agency said Sunday.
On Monday, South Sudan, the world's youngest nation formed after splitting from the Muslim-majority north in 2011, declared famine in some regions, saying 100,000 people faced starvation and another million were on the brink of famine. Since achieving independence in a peaceful transition from Sudan, factional fighting along ethnic lines has killed tens of thousands of South Sudanese. Famine, which now they face, is as a result of widespread destruction caused by various groups fighting to take control of the country. The UN refugee agency UNHCR said it was initially expecting up to 60,000 South Sudanese to arrive in Sudan in the whole of 2017, but "the level of new arrivals has thus far surpassed initial expectations". To read more on this lat…

Envoy calls for probe into abuse against Rohingya in Myanmar

An Obama-era human rights envoy, Keith Harper, has called on the UN to set up a commission to probe human rights violations in Myanmar's Rakhine state and not let its leader Aung San Suu Kyi off the hook because of the "iconic status" she holds in the eyes of the West. Harper served as ambassador to the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) under former US president Barack Obama's administration from 2014 till January this year.
He accused Suu Kyi of "utterly" failing to address the plight of ethnic Rohingya Muslims in the restive state. He said her image as a hero in front of human rights advocates and Western diplomats has overshadowed the issue and spared her from being held responsible for the persisting issues.
He urged the UNHRC to launch a probe like it has done against Syria, South Sudan, North Korea and Eritrea.
"For far too many, her iconic status as pro-democracy crusader makes it difficult to hold accountable a Suu Kyi-led government no …

Communalising Population Growth: Understanding Demographic Data

Fascists around the globe have always been able to use the population growth amongst the targeted minority to justify their horrendous crimes against them.
This has been the story against the Rohingyas of Myanmar who are the worst persecuted people on earth in the hand of fascist Buddhists of Arakan state in particular, and other Myanmar Buddhists. This is the story of Muslim minorities and Dalits in  India who face daily discrimination and periodic extermination campaigns in the hands of Hindu fascists of the RSS and the BJP and their sister organizations inside India. This is the story of Palestinians in the Occupied Palestine faced by the natives in the hands of outsiders - the Zionists - who want them to find other Arab states to settle down.
Prof. Ram Puniyani takes a look at this issue in India. You can read this, by clicking here.

Is America heading towards fascism?

Recently I was shaken to learn that the son of legendary boxer Muhammad Ali was detained for hours by immigration officials at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida on Feb. 7 after returning from speaking at a Black History Month event in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

They were pulled aside while going through customs because of their Arabic-sounding names, according to family friend and lawyer Chris Mancini. Immigration officials let Camacho-Ali go after she showed them a photo of herself with her ex-husband, but her son did not have such a photo and wasn't as lucky. Mancini said officials held and questioned Ali Jr. for nearly two hours, repeatedly asking him, "Where did you get your name from?" and "Are you Muslim?"
When Ali Jr. responded that yes, he is a Muslim, the officers kept questioning him about his religion and where he was born. Ali Jr. was born in Philadelphia in 1972 and holds a U.S. passport.
When this kind of racial and religious prof…

Tha anatomy of populist economics

Brigitte Granville is Professor of International Economics and Economic Policy at the School of Business and Management, Queen Mary University of London. She is the author of Remembering Inflation. Here below Economist Brigitte Granville taps insights from Anne Krueger, Jan-Werner Mueller, Michael Sandel, and other Project Syndicate commentators to examine why so many voters have embraced facile policies and populist politics.
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For at least the past year, populism has been wreaking havoc on Western democracies. Populist forces – parties, leaders, and ideas – underpinned the “Leave” campaign’s victory in the United Kingdom’s Brexit referendum and Donald Trump’s election as President of the United States. Now, populism lurks ominously in the background of the Netherlands’ general election in March and the French presidential election in April and May.
But, despite populism’s seeming ubiquity, it is a hard concept to pin down. Populists are often intolerant of outsiders…