Day 169 peaceful protest. [West Haus, Manus Island]



Being a good person doesn't depend on your religion, status in life, race, skin color, political views or culture. It depends on how you treat others. Ask yourself who you are. In every situation & hard times we were keep holding up our head and dignity.‏ @Shamindan1 [18/1/18]



@sunosi3 [18/1/18]: 169 days of peaceful protest from East Lorengaa refugees transit center [Manus Island]. Humanity is not just the way of politicians talking human rights and practicing their interests but it’s about having respect,feelings,compensation and being merciful to others. #Manus #



New Zealanders on hunger strike at Villawood concentration camp: 'We want our rights back' [RNZI - 16/1/18]:


New Zealanders detained in Australia are on a hunger strike because of the tightening of rules in the visitors policy at Villawood detention centre.

The centre in Sydney holds many New Zealanders who are being detained while they wait to appeal visa cancellations.

Visitors to Villawood will from next Monday need to apply online, and will be asked about their criminal history.

They will also need at least two forms of identification when they visit.

The applications will take up to five business days to be processed.

One detainee, Justin, told Summer Report that people were not told of the changes until visitors arrived at the weekend.

He said they feared it would mean fewer visits and more red tape.

"We want our rights back ... we want it so we can have food brought back in, because as it was we used to be able to have meals brought in," Justin said.

"They changed it to where we're not allowed to have cooked meals and that brought in for visits anymore, it's just chips, lollies and two-minute noodles."

A spokesperson for the Australian Border Force (ABF) said the changes were communicated.

The ABF said the changes had been made because of an increase in contraband - including knives, razor blades and drugs - reaching detainees.

 Justin said detainees would be on a hunger strike until they could be assured the frequency and ease of visits by family would not be affected.



Bill "it is OUR policy" Shorten travels to New Zealand for a selfie with Jacinda Ardern, and to personally thank her for supporting the abuse of Kiwis for Serco profits, the ALP's indefinite detention, exile and refoulement of refugees, and prolonging the NZ "offer" stunt to appease his moronic true believers.




New Zealand Labour condemned Australia's concentration camps (particularly Christmas Island aka Kiwi Alcatraz)  before the NZ election.

Evidently they are lying sleazebags, just like their fascist counterparts across the ditch.



Guardian [25/10/17]



@aptly_engineerd [17/1/18]:  Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers held a mock slave auction outside the Israeli Knesset building today to protest the govt’s decision to deport 40,000 African refugees to Uganda and Rwanda, where they face trafficking to Libya and enslavement #Refugees4Sale



... Around 10 asylum seekers stood on make-shift auction blocks made of milk crates, while an auctioneer called out, “get your slaves, slaves for half price,” over a megaphone.

A single member of Knesset, Dov Khenin, came outside to support the asylum seekers, and called Israel’s refugee policy inhumane and unacceptable. ... [+972 - 17/1/18]



@davidsheen [17/1/18]:  Sorry Susan, but 6 years after the Netanyahu gov’t incited an anti-refugee pogrom in Tel Aviv, this is far too little, & much too late: “The group is also mulling… labeling Israel's leaders and ministers as racists, in a large-scale social media campaign”  



Inscribed on Wadjungah’s Israeli grave: Refugee from genocide. Threatened with deportation. Lost the will to live. [Haaretz - 17/1/18]



@PACBI [18/1/18]:  ... Palestinians urge #Bollywood to say no to Israeli apartheid ahead of "specially-choreographed event" with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in Mumbai, India. ... 



Israeli forces kill Palestinian student, former prisoner during clashes in Qalqiliya [Maan - 16/1/18]



Israeli forces detained 21 Palestinians during pre dawn raids on Tuesday across occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank, according to Palestinian and Israeli sources.

The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) said in a statement that 17 Palestinians were detained from the West Bank and East Jerusalem, while an Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that 11 Palestinians were detained in the West Bank alone.

PPS reported that Israeli police detained 10 Palestinians after raiding and ransacking their homes in East Jerusalem. ... [Maan - 16/1/18]



Trump administration approves $500 million military sale to Saudi Arabia [The National - 18/1/18]



Turkey said on Wednesday it would not hesitate to take action in Syria’s Afrin district and other areas unless the United States withdrew support for a Kurdish-led force there, but Washington denied such plans and said “some people misspoke”. ... [Reuters - 18/1/18]



Syrian military correspondent Walid Khalil killed while covering army operations in Harasta [SANA - 17/1/18]



Tillerson: US military presence in Syria ‘open-ended,’ will ensure regime change [ - 17/1/18]:


Pentagon officials have been indicating for quite some time that they have no intention of leaving Syria, but Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, on Wednesday, finally set out the new US policy goals aimed at justifying what he described as an “open-ended” deployment.

Instead of a “counter-terror” operation focused on ISIS, the US presence is now also intended to generally fight against Iranian influence, to facilitate refugee returns to Syria and, most scandalously, to “ensure the departure of the Assad regime.” ...



... In a special investigative report for Russia's Federal News Agency, embedded Syria correspondents Igor Petrashevich and Roman Martynovich made their way south to try to figure out what was really going on in the US-occupied area with their own eyes. ... Russian journalists blow lid off alleged US terrorist training network in Syria [Sputnik News - 15/1/18]



Twin explosions in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad have killed at least 38 people and wounded more than 100, police and medical sources said. ... [Al Jazeera - 15/1/18]



Suspected Boko Haram suicide bombers killed 12 people and injured 48 others in an attack on Wednesday on the northeastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri, officials from the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) for Borno said.

In recent weeks, Nigeria’s military has embarked on an offensive against the Islamist insurgency in the northeastern state of Borno, the epicenter for much of the conflict, which began in 2009. That has not stopped Boko Haram’s attacks, which target both civilians and the military. ... [Reuters - 18/1/18]



Britain said Wednesday that it will send three Royal Air Force helicopters to join France's military mission against Islamic militants in Africa's Sahel region as part of closer U.K.-French intelligence and military cooperation.

The two countries will promise to step up efforts against violent extremism during a Thursday meeting between British Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron at the Sandhurst military academy near London.

The British government says May will announce she is sending three Chinook heavy-lift helicopters and dozens of personnel to Mali to provide logistical support for thousands of French troops fighting alongside African forces in a counterterrorism mission.

France has led efforts to fight al-Qaida and IS-linked jihadi groups in the vast Sahel region south of the Sahara desert. ... [Yahoo - 17/1/18]



At least 20 dead as clashes shut airport in Libyan capital [Reuters - 16/1/18]



@DanielEllsberg [17/1/18]:  Don’t do what I did; don’t wait until the bombs are falling or thousands have died if you have information that might avert that.  



"In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." - Martin Luther King, Jr  @JulianAssange [17/1/18]



@JulianAssange [17/1/18]:  The most serious case of recent fake news is not on Trump's #FakeNewsAwards list. NBC substantially assisted the military coup in Turkey which killed hundreds. NBC falsely reported, citing a "senior U.S. military source", that Erdoğan had fled the country.



@wikileaks [17/1/18]:  MSNBC: Trump "could have undermined the messaging so much that he could control exactly what people think, and that is our job."  -- Mika Brzezinski, MSNBC host & daughter of former U.S. National Security Advisor Zbigniewi ("Zbig") ...



@wikileaks [17/1/18]:  US GOP #FakeNewsAwards awards website copy ...



On January 16, 2018, the World Socialist Web Site hosted a discussion on Internet censorship, featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges and WSWS International Editorial Board Chairperson David North, moderated by WSWS reporter Andre Damon.

The webinar explored the political context of the efforts to censor the Internet and abolish net neutrality, examined the pretexts used to justify the suppression of free speech (i.e., “fake news”), and discussed political strategies to defend democratic rights.

Hedges and North also fielded questions from on-line listeners. ... [WSWS - 17/1/18]



@JulianAssange [17/1/18]:  The future of humanity is the struggle between humans that control machines and machines that control humans ...



The Philippine government has sought to shut down an independent news website, which has published critical stories about President Rodrigo Duterte, a move observers and journalists say is an attack on press freedom and democracy.

The Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced on Monday that it has revoked the registration of Rappler, citing violations of foreign ownership and control of the Manila-based news organisation. ... [Al Jazeera - 16/1/18]



Indonesian teenager sentenced to 1.5 years for insulting President and National Police Chief on Facebook [Coconuts Jakarta - 16/1/18]:


... It was reported that during the trial, the teenager admitted to insulting the president and police chief, but said it was due to his frustration at unsuccessful governmental policies, ranging from the problem of rising food prices to the high unemployment rate ...



Rakhine State police have confirmed that they opened fire on a crowd of protesters late last night in the ancient city of Mrauk-U in northern Rakhine State.

At least nine people were killed and 12 were severely wounded by gunfire.

The protest erupted on Tuesday over authorities’ decision to cancel a celebration of the 233rd anniversary of the Mrauk-U Kingdom, which was conquered by the Burmese in 1785.

The celebration has been held each year on Jan. 15 and 16 since 2014.

It normally features traditional wrestling matches and lectures by activists and politicians.

Some reports say the protesters were also upset about the arrest earlier that day of Rakhine nationalist writer Wai Hun Aung, who opposed the government’s plan to repatriate from Bangladesh hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees who were displaced by military violence since October 2016.

The plan was announced by the government earlier than day.

Wai Hun Aung was detained under Section 505(b) of the Penal Code, which prohibits public incitement. ... [Coconuts Yangon - 17/1/18]



UN's Guterres 2018 speech, hypocrisy and dodging on Myanmar, Africa dissed, press restricted [Inner City Press - 16/1/18]



Wrongs of rights activism around Rohingyas [Prothom Alo - 15/1/18]:


... In these human rights games, the world’s leading Anglophone human rights NGOs, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, close ranks with their liberal regimes. 

The NGOS have long  opted for their preferred reading of human rights as the political and civil rights of the atomistic individuals. 

 This naturally makes rights campaigners and their campaign a priori vulnerable to the allegations: that these human rights promoters are nothing more than the proxies in the service of hypocritical Western powers who apply even their own preferred civil and individual rights rather selectively, depending on who they consider “their bastards”.

Intellectually, both premier organisations in the field of human rights finesse their respective “truths” about Myanmar genocide.

Both have previously failed victims of past genocides, for instance, in Rwanda and Sudan. 

They are now failing Rohingyas in terms of naming Myanmar’s systematic persecution when they stay safe within the discursive parameters which senior UN officials such as Secretary General António Guterres have set.

As my Tutsi-Hutu mix Rwanda activist brother Renee C Mugenzi bitterly tweeted, “the longer UN delays calling Myanmar genocide a genocide, the more Rohingyas will die.”  

UN too has blood on its hands in this genocide, just as its hand was stained with Rwandans’ blood merely 20 years ago. ...



@nslwin [15/1/18]: 9,400 #Rohingyas from Shap Marar Jhiri and Boro Shon Khola areas of Naikkhanchari in Bandarban district will be assisted in moving to Kutapalong refugee camp over the next few weeks.



@nslwin [15/1/18]:  Concentration camps in #Maungdaw are ready for #Rohingya returnees from #Bangladesh. No one should go back.



@nslwin [15/1/18]:  A big trap for #Rohingya returnees. The refugees in #Sittwe are in the concentration camps since 2012 June. Although #Myanmar says it is temporary no one should believe this.



A Tamil woman, who was arrested and remanded in custody for 14 years over her alleged involvement in a LTTE bomb attack on Kollupitiya police station, was sentenced today for two years imprisonment suspended for 15 years. ... [Tamil Guardian - 16/1/18]



Over 40,000 people in the North-East displaced by the armed conflict remain displaced over eight years on, Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka reported on Tuesday. 

"During its three year period in office the government has resettled only 3,996 people," JDS noted.  ... [Tamil Guardian - 16/1/18]



Residents of a Mullaitivu village observed Thai Pongal at the site of their almost year-long protest for the return of their lands from the Sri Lankan Army. ... [Tamil Guardian - 14/1/18]



Families of the disappeared continue protest in Vavuniya 324 days on [Tamil Guardian - 14/1/18]



18 January 2018