Showing posts from July, 2016

Finally, a reprimand for Ma Ba Tha

It only took the slightest hint of an official challenge for Ma Ba Tha to back down from their inflammatory rhetoric. Why didn't it happen years ago? Here below is an article that explains the reasons. TWO years ago this month, groups of men descended upon a teashop in Mandalay armed with knives and sticks, hurling rocks and shouting abuse. Even after the police moved in to disperse the crowd, the tense atmosphere lingered in the royal city. Over the following few days, two people were killed and dozens more injured. The riot had an unmistakable provenance. The Muslim proprietor of the teashop was accused of raping a Buddhist employee, an allegation that would have most likely otherwise gone unnoticed had it not been published by U Wirathu on Facebook. Unfazed by the violence, Wirathu – who had spent almost a decade in jail under the military junta for his anti-Muslim sermons – defended his use of social media, telling the Wall Street Journal that he only ever pos

Ethnic Rohingya Muslims Are Entitled to Enjoy Their Fundamental Rights

To read the article in the Huffington Post, click here .

More on Gandhi killing

Teesta Setalvad is co-editor,  Sabrangindia. She comments on a new book on Gandhi. ======= The murder of Mahatma Gandhi, or more dramatically put, the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi was the first act of terror committed in independent India, as I wrote in the introduction to the volume,  Beyond Doubt-A Dossier on Gandhi’s Assassination   (2015, Tulika). It was also, I wrote, a declaration of war and a statement of intent. It was a declaration of war by a section of society which remained largely on the fringes during the independence struggle and was committed to religion-based nationhood, and wanted India to become a Hindu  rashtra. This was a section that bore visceral dislike toward the idea of composite culture and inclusive nationhood advocated by the Mahatma. It is this ideology that unashamedly rules India today. Any discussion on the assassination, therefore, needs to address the issues around the killing, the motives of the assassins. It should also ex

Brief Summary of the talk given by Dr. Imtiyaz Yusuf on “Critical Issues in Muslim-Buddhist Dialogue in Contemporary Asia

Summary prepared by Pratiksha Nair, Programme Coordinator, CSSS      The Centre for Study of Society and Secularism along with G.D. Parikh Centre for Educational Studies organised a talk by Dr. Imtiyaz Yusuf on the topic “Critical Issues in Muslim-Buddhist dialogue in Contemporary Asia” on 22 nd July 2016 at J.P. Naik Bhavan, University of Mumbai, Kalina Campus, Mumbai. Dr. Imtiyaz Yusuf is the Director of Centre for Buddhist-Muslim Understanding in the College of Religion Studies, Mahidol University, Thailand. He specializes in Religion with a focus on Islam in Thailand & Southeast Asia and also Muslim-Buddhist dialogue.        In the lecture he said, the religions of Buddhism and Islam both have common theological grounds. The growths of both religions were parallel, while Islam flourished in Central Asia and Middle-East, Buddhism flourished in South Asia and Southeast Asia. Encounters between Islam and Buddhism are as old as Islam itself. It dates back to the Muslim en

Israel destroys 20 Palestinian structures in East Jerusalem

Israeli authorities demolished 20   single- and multi-family homes in East Jerusalem overnight Monday, the most extensive house-demolition in the Palestinian sector of the capital in recent years. Violent protests carried on through much of the night in the village of Qalandiyah, where most of the demolitions took place. Border Police fired sponge-tipped bullets, stun grenades and tear gas against some of the rioters, but there were no known injuries. Early Tuesday morning the troops accompanied Finance Ministry building inspectors to carry out the remaining demolitions. “I have been in this business 20 years, and there was never such a widespread operation,” said Ahmad Subalaban, an area coordinator for the NGO Ir Amim, which promotes Jewish-Arab equality in Jerusalem. He added that in the past, “at most they would demolish four or five structures.” Hassan Salameh, who owns a two-story building in Qalandiyah that was demolished, told Haaretz the demolition order

Who killed Gandhi?

The revelations Delhi police CID report: On 8 Dec, 1947 Golwalkar said RSS had the means to silence Gandhi Lucknow CID's letter: On 1 Dec, 50 RSS men met at Mathura, allegedly discussed assassinating Congress leaders More in the story How Nehru and Patel differed on RSS role in Gandhi's assassination? Golwalkar's threat that not a single Muslim will be left in India The Supreme Court, in its oral observations, has upbraided Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi for his statement that "RSS people" killed Mahatma Gandhi. In the apex court's wisdom, young Rahul Gandhi could not make a "collective denunciation" of the RSS or the Rashtirya Swayamsewak Sangh. It is a moot point whether it is for a court of law to give a clean bill of health to the RSS, 68 years after the assassination of the Mahatma. Two important questions, however, remain unanswered: Did the RSS threaten to kill Mahatma Gandhi? And, did the RSS have the capabil

Buddhist Monks Lead Genocide in Myanmar

Here is an article on the subject.

Finding the common spaces between religions

Dr. Yusuf, a religious studies scholar, an alumnus of Pune University and Aligarh Muslim University, who has been teaching in Thailand for 27 years and is currently Director of the Center for Buddhist-Muslim Understanding in the College of Religious Studies at Thailand’s Mahidol University. He was recently at Mumbai University to deliver a talk on Buddhist-Muslim dialogue in contemporary South-East Asia. The Hindu has published a piece which provides synopsis of his talk. Here is the link.

Why Kashmiries are seething?

The people of Kashmir in the Occupied Kashmir in India has been denied a very basic right for almost 7 decades. That is the right to vote to decide their fate. They are seething in utter frustration. Here is an article on the subject.

Myanmar honors a Muslim martyr

Myanmar has been a racist country since its independence from Britain. Muslims who joined the patriotic movement alongside Burma's founding father Aung Saan are rarely mentioned these days, and their contribution to the cause of independence ignored. Well, all these were true until very lately. Here is a news repor t that may show some positive movement in terms of commonality. Thousands of people of all faiths cast aside religious and ethnic differences early Thursday to pay respect to the country's heroes of independence at the Martyrs’ Mausoleum in Myanmar’s commercial capital Yangon. Each year on July 19, events take place countrywide, but for Myanmar's minority Muslim population Martyr's Day has taken on extra significance as many feel the secularism encouraged by one man is now under threat from a surge in Buddhist nationalism. Of the eight men assassinated alongside the country’s founding father in 1947, one was a highly respected Muslim politician, Abdul Razak,

Muslim population estimate in Myanmar

Muslims have risen little as a proportion of Myanmar's population over the past three decades, the government said Thursday, though it's unclear whether this news can appease a Buddhist majority alarmed by an increase in Muslim immigrants. The 2014 census shows that Muslims accounted for 4.3% of the population, up only slightly from 3.9% in the 1983 count. The country skipped the survey for the intervening decades amid turmoil under the military regime. The 2014 census took place in March and April of that year. The government had announced the total population of over 51 million and other key figures by May 2015, but had not given a breakdown by religion. More than 1 million people in the western state of Rakhine identify themselves as Rohingya Muslims, an ethnic minority. The government does not recognize them as citizens, saying they are illegal migrants from Bangladesh and elsewhere. But the latest data includes the Rohingya. Buddhists accounted for 87.9% of th

Kashmir: Why are young people protesting?

Al Jazeera visits Srinagar to find out why Indian-administered Kashmir is witnessing its worst violence in years. To read, click her e.

How an iPhone defeated the tanks in Turkey

The military coup in Turkey was avoided because of a call made by the president Erdogan. To read the story click here .

Amnesty: Egypt uses shocking tactics

A leading international rights group assailed Egyptian authorities on Wednesday, accusing them of using abductions, torture and other shocking tactics as a tool to stifle dissent and appealing on the Egyptian president to acknowledge and investigate serious human rights violations. To read the news click here .

They're Under Threat of Genocide, and Nobody Is Paying Attention

"If we do nothing, the world will wake up to a genocide on the scale that shocked the world in Rwanda in 1994," writes Azeem Ibrahim.  Click here to read his article.

Vietnamese girls smuggled into China and sold as child brides

"When I woke up I didn't know that I was in China ." Lan remembers the night that changed her whole life. While preparing for university along the border in northern Vietnam , a friend she met online asked her to a group dinner. When she was tired and wanted to go home, the people asked her to stay and talk and have a drink. Next thing she knew, she had been smuggled across the border to China . The villages along the Vietnamese-Chinese border are a hunting ground for human traffickers. Girls as young as 13 say they are tricked or drugged, then spirited across the porous border by boat, motorbike or car. Young Vietnamese women are valuable commodities in China , where the one-child policy and long-standing preference for sons has heavily skewed the gender ratio. To read the full story, click here .

The Promise of Regrexit

George Soros discusses Britain's Brexit here .

Where did Ikhwan in Egypt go wrong?

Where did Ikhwan in Egypt go wrong? Here is an eye-opening analysis by Sheikh Imran Hosein, which I found quite interesting.

China loses dispute over South China Sea

An arbitration court ruled on Tuesday that China has no historic title over the waters of the South China Sea and that it has breached the sovereign rights of the Philippines with its actions there, infuriating a defiant Beijing. China, which has boycotted the hearings at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, vowed again to ignore the ruling and said its armed forces would defend its sovereignty and maritime interests. The Chinese attitude is simply arrogant and inexcusable, it is imperialistic to the core!

Killing and Our Current American Crisis - an essay by John Grant

Kill one person, it’s called murder. Kill 100,000, it’s called foreign policy. – A popular bumper sticker Here is an article I just came across in the CP, which resonates my sentiments in an article I wrote recently with the mayhem and senseless killings I see all around from Dallas to Dhaka. John Grant writes, "Everybody seems angry and frustrated these days. What’s important is what people do with that anger and frustration. It’s also important to understand the roots of all this anger." He says, when we vent our frustration and anger in a non-violent or peaceful way, it is no problem. However, it becomes a problem when it is done in a violent way. He says, "The problem we face in this nation comes from another quarter: It comes from those who, for one reason or another, feel compelled to address their frustrations, fears and sense of insulted self-image by using violence. This category involves people of all classes and levels of status. I would put former Pr

BBC on Kashmir

Kashmir is bleeding. Here is a BBC report.

Kashmir is again bleeding

Here below is a statement, released from Shabnam Hashmi: --------------------- We write this in anguish at another alarming spiral of violence in Kashmir, when a discredited old playbook has yet again been deployed to wreak havoc with civilian life. Kashmir’s escalating violence follows a familiar pattern: a killing, a funeral where rage is vented through slogans and stones, and volleys of lethal gunfire in response. In 2010, this cycle rolled on repeatedly through four months, claiming over 110 lives, mostly of Kashmiri youth, including a number who were too young to know. Nothing has been learnt from that year of catastrophe. The trigger for the current surge of unrest in Kashmir was the killing on July 8 of Burhan Wani, a militant of the Hizbul Mujahedin. The circumstances of Wani’s killing are yet to be fully explained. It is nonetheless ironic that it occurred on the very day the Indian Supreme Court issued a far-reaching judgment in the context of fake encounters in the state of

Numbers in Obama’s Drone Deaths Report Just Don’t Add Up

Numbers in Obama’s Drone Deaths Report Just Don’t Add Up . Here is an analysis by Marjorie Cohn.

Uri Avnery's latest article

Uri Avnery's latest article can be read by clicking here .

Human rights group unimpressed by Burma’s new government

BURMA’S new government has failed to make significant progress in key human rights areas during its first 100 days in office, a rights group said. The International Federation for Human Rights and its member organization ALTSEAN-Burma said Burma (Myanmar) has failed to impress in a number of areas since the handover from the junta government, despite encouraging steps. The two organizations called on the government to establish a national human rights agenda and immediately address the key issues. To read the news, click here .

U.S. should have its own Chilcot Report

I have argued many times that the Iraq invasion was a crime of the highest proportion.  Bush’s poodle, a.k.a. former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, allowed his country to be pulled into a conflict that claimed hundreds of British lives, thousands of American lives, and probably a million Iraqi lives (but who is counting!), while plunging the entire region into a maelstrom of terroristic chaos, including the birth of extremist groups like the Daesh. Last Thursday the Chilcot report on the UK’s involvement in Iraq  delivered a scathing critique  of Tony Blair’s decision to go to war on the basis of bogus intelligence and a catastrophic lack of planning for the aftermath of the invasion. ( The excerpts of the Chilcot report can be read by clicking  here .) The salient points of the report are: 1.        The UK chose to join the invasion before peaceful options had been exhausted . 2.       Blair deliberately exaggerated the threat posed by Saddam Hussein . 3.       Bl

Mossad and ISIS

Here is an interesting video that says that there is connection between the Israeli Mossad and ISIS.

Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi: Falling Star or Beacon of Hope

To read the story in the NY Times, click here .

When Israeli soldiers kill Palestinians, even a smoking gun doesn't lead to indictments

To read the story, click here .

This is how the CIA's first captive after 9/11 described his years of torture

Torture is a crime, unless, of course, it is committed by the USA or its partners. Or, so it seems. Read this report to find out how a detainee has been tortured. Evil begets evil. Thus, are we surprised how the Daesh criminals are treating their captives and detainees? They are using the precedence set early since 9/11 by the US and UK and their partners. It is a sad world that we live today!

Dallas shooting

Dallas shooting : 5 police officers were killed by snipers during protest over whether Black lives matter. For the full news, click here .

From Churchill to Blair

"Churchill invented Iraq. The end of World War I left Britain and France in command of the Middle East and the allies carved up the region as the defeated Ottoman Empire fell apart. Winston Churchill convened the 1912 Conference in Cairo to determine the boundaries of the British Middle Eastern mandate. After giving Jordan to Prince Abdullah, Churchill, gave Prince Abdullah’s brother Faisal an arbitrary patch of desert that became Iraq," writes Garikai Chengu who is a scholar at Harvard University. Churchill’s imperial foreign policy has caused a century of instability in Iraq by arbitrarily locking together three warring ethnic groups that have been bleeding heavily ever since. In Iraq, Churchill bundled together the three Ottoman vilayets of Basra that was predominantly Shiite, Baghdad that was Sunni, and Mosul that was mainly Kurd. Britain set up a colonial regime in Iraq. British oppression in Iraq intensified and an uprising in May 1920 united Sunni and Shia against the

The US needs its own Chilcot report

I have argued many times that Iraq invasion was a crime of the highest proportion.  Bush’s poodle, a.k.a. former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, allowed his country to be pulled into a conflict that claimed hundreds of British lives, thousands of American lives, and probably a million Iraqi lives, while plunging the entire region into a maelstrom of terroristic chaos, including the birth of extremist groups like the Daesh. The Chilcot report incriminates Blair. But how about Bush? Trevor Timm opines that the US needs its own Chilcot report. I can't agree more. The current global disorder from Bangladesh to the USA stem largely from our inability to punish such white-collar mega war criminals who get away as the untouchable mafias from the wars that they bring about. It is a shame to our generation that we failed to book these SOBs (son of Bush and Blair) who have caused so much pain and sadness in our time. Such an impunity has created a sense of utter frustration and un-quenc