We are ready for the truth suffocators.

 

 

 

BRING IT ON.

 

 


... You've been playing madly

with every mind in town

So what you gonna do when you look up one day

And see your playhouse tumbling down ?  ...

 


"I'm Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down" is a song written by Memphis-based songwriter Earl Randle, and first recorded in 1972 by soul singer Ann Peebles. The song was also a hit in 1984 for English singer Paul Young.  ... [Wikipedia]

 

 

 

 

Manus refugees seek to stop forced, unjust deportation

 

PNG Loop [20/8/15]:

 

Three asylum seekers being processed at the Manus Regional Processing Centre have gone to the Supreme Court with an urgent application to stop being deported until their case before the National Court is fully dealt with.

Their lawyer Ben Lomai went before the Supreme Court today (August 20) with an urgent application to restrain  PNG Chief Migration Officer Mataio Rabura, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Immigration Rimbink Pato, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and Attorney General Ano Pala from deporting them back to their country of origin.

 Their urgent application comes after one of the 301 asylum seekers who is pursuing a section 57 application of human rights enforcement case against the State was deported to his country of origin last week.

Lomai appeared before Justice Nicholas Kirriwom with the application seeking to restrain the three facing deportation being sent back to their country.

The application was filed and served on Monday (August 17) to respondents in the proceeding however short service of the matter resulted in the non-attendance of lawyers representing the Prime Minister and the Attorney General today.

Lomai told the court that due to the urgency of the application, it was not served three days before the hearing as required.

The matter has since been deferred  by Justice Kirriwom to tomorrow morning (August 21) for hearing and parties not present in court today will be expected to attend.

Meanwhile an extension was granted to September 7 by Justice Kirriwom today to allow Lomai to file more affidavits of his 301 asylum seeker clients who were allowed to be joined in the proceeding.

Originally there were only 25 asylum seekers in the infringement of a human rights proceeding.

On June 18 Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia granted leave for 277 more to be added to the proceeding.

 

 

 

 

All whistleblowers deserve our support.

 

... I was a Staff Sergeant in the South African Police during and after the Apartheid era and I can honestly say, hand on heart, that I have never witnessed the injustice and ill-treatment of human beings that I witnessed at Bravo Camp, RPC Nauru.  ...

 

 

Not one Australian journalist went to Nauru to report on the riot trials. 

 

Image: Displaced Peoples Organisation Limited via @CSerow [23/8/13]

 

 

 

Nauru Senate Inquiry, Submission 98:

 

... I soon noticed that the most vague witness statements were written by security personnel within a few days of the riot.

The more incriminating statements were dated up to four months after the event.

I asked myself “How can anyone remember in such detail and with such clarity months after the event when the statements written only days after the evidence were so vague?”.

As a seasoned investigator I suspected fabrication and collaboration of evidence.

After making a few unofficial enquiries I learned that officers present at the riot were told to implicate more suspects as someone was to be made responsible for the riot.

It was then that the Bravo Camp detainees were randomly pointed out by officers.

Most claim they had had previous run-ins with the witnesses and believed thats why they were singled out. ...

 

 

 

ABC, World Today [AUDIO - 5/9/13]:

 

This morning the Immigration Department announced that dozens more asylum seekers have just been sent to be processed on the tiny pacific island nation of Nauru. A lawyer who has just returned from Nauru [and is representing asylum seekers on riot charges] says asylum seekers are being kept in cruel and inhumane conditions. Sam Norton says asylum seekers he spoke to are desperate and some are suicidal. ...

 

 

 

This photograph of the Nauru Police Force was taken by Clint Deidenang when he was told to leave the area outside the court house during the riot trial.

 

 

 

Jon Nichols is another brave whistleblower.

 

 

Amnesty Media Release [20/8/15]:


Evidence tabled at the Senate Inquiry into conditions at the Immigration Detention Centre on Nauru by a former guard at the centre, has again raised serious concerns about the abuse of people detained there, including by guards.

A former Wilson Security employee, Jon Nichols, today gave evidence about what he experienced while working at the Centre, including allegations of physical abuse and torture - including waterboarding - of people held at the facility.

Representatives of Wilson Security claimed that they had received no reports of such abuse, and stated inaccurately that people held in the Nauru Detention Centre have access to Amnesty International, should they want to report abuse by staff.

However, Amnesty International has three times been denied access to the Nauru Detention Centre, preventing the organisation from reviewing conditions and treatment or hearing allegations of abuse from people held there. Amnesty International was last able to gain access to the facility in November 2012, shortly after it reopened and before the abuse currently being reported.

As a result, the only contact some asylum seekers within the Centre have had with Amnesty International is through intermittent, non-secure internet access and one to two short phone calls outside the Centre each week.

People transferred from detention in Nauru to Australia expressed to Amnesty International fears that on Nauru their calls and emails were being monitored by the authorities, making them reluctant to report abuse in that way.

These limitations make it extremely difficult for people within the Detention Centre to seek outside assistance if they are abused.

Amnesty International reiterates its call for the governments of Nauru and Australia to grant Amnesty International access to the Nauru Regional Processing Centre to investigate the lengthening list of alleged human rights abuses taking place there.

 

 

 

 

 

Supplementary Submission [Mr Jon Nicholls No. 95.1]:

 

... Despite what one may find on the internet, at no time has Mr Nichols suggested waterboarding etc was part of some organised intelligence gathering for whomever - he says it occurred in a modern day 'Lord of of the Flies' - 'Stanford Experiment' type situation - the guilty parties did it for mere enjoyment and human nature is what it is.

There is no protection on Nauru from this behaviour because there is no Rule of Law, just arbitrary, crude and evil behaviour.  ...

 

 

 

 

 

 

Second reading of this bill resumes in the Senate in two weeks time ----> Licence to Kill:  Australia’s Maintaining the Good Order Bill 2015 [Border Criminologies - 12/5/15]

 

 

 

 

THE ABC IS LYING

 

 

 

Former Wilson guard Jon Nichols did not "backtrack" on waterboarding claims at this afternoon's Nauru Senate Inquiry.

 

 

 

He CLARIFIED he was aware of waterboarding occurring in Tent 11, rather than "throughout the centre".

 

 

Nichols said while he hadn't personally witnessed waterboarding or zipping, the Emergency Response Team (ERT) openly bragged about it.

He said two to three times he saw asylum seekers coming out of tents covered in water and coughing up water.

He also said he saw a person zip tied to a fence.

After denying that anyone is issued with zip ties, a Wilsons representative later told the committee that they use flexicuffs to restrain refugees on Nauru.

After searching the internet, and some discussion, Senator Ludlam said for the record that the two look pretty much identical.

Nichols also revealed that part of the job on Nauru involved shredding documents, with the shredder being referred to as "File 13".

Wilson representatives apologised for saying at a previous hearing that they had no footage  of the 2013 "riots" after today's revelation that there was footage.

Wilson representatives took on notice a question about the exact details, but told the committee that there are a "number" of current claims against them by former employees.

Senator Reynolds seemed keen to imply that refugees in "Tent 11" somehow deserved mistreatment because of perceived bad behaviour.

Senator Johnston tried to assert that refugees on Nauru have easy access to lawyers, the internet and agencies such as the UNHCR - which is utter bullshit.

Senator Gallacher expressed concern about the Border Force legislation - which his party supported - and makes an offence for health professionals to speak out about abuse.

Under questioning from Senator Hanson-Young, Department of Immigration representatives said a 23-year-old asylum seeker - punished for being raped - has FINALLY been medivacced to Australia.

They also revealed that the asylum seeker falsely accused by a guard in 2013 is currently incarcerated in the Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation [MITA].

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“We are not delinquents who should be imprisoned.”

 

 

– Eleven-year-old girl on her detention at Berks County Residential Center

 

 

Human Rights First Media Release [19/8/15]:

 

The Berks County Residential Center is a facility in Pennsylvania where U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detains immigrant and asylum-seeking families.

The Berks facility is currently one of three family detention centers in the United States along with the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas and the Karnes County Residential Center in Karnes City, Texas. The Berks County Residential Center is operated by the County of Berks.

Since June 2014, when the Obama Administration announced its plans to send large numbers of families from Central America seeking asylum into immigration detention, families detained at the three detention facilities—Dilley, Karnes, and Berks—have suffered the detrimental effects on their physical and mental health associated with being detained, lengthy detention stays, and lack of access to legal counsel.

Some have even suffered abuse, including a 19-year-old mother who reported being sexually assaulted by a staff member and an eight-year-old girl who witnessed the assault at the Berks facility earlier this year.

Detention is not only harmful to children and families, but also expensive to taxpayers at an average daily cost of $343 per person.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Bar Association, Catholic and Lutheran Bishops, Members of Congress, and an array of other voices have called on the administration to end the practice of family detention.

On June 24, 2015, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson announced a series of reforms, including measures aimed at reducing the length of family detention stays for families who had passed a protection screening (credible fear or reasonable fear) interview.

On July 24, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California issued an order instructing the government to show why it should not be ordered to comply with the Flores Settlement Agreement, which articulates the legal standards for the detention, release, and treatment of children by immigration authorities.

That ruling was preceded by a February 2015 ruling of a federal court in Washington D.C., which also called into question the administration’s policy of holding families in immigration detention facilities.

...




Thailand seeks Interpol help to track blast suspect

 


Al Jazeera [20/8/15]:



Thailand has said that a deadly bomb attack at a popular shrine in Bangkok was "unlikely" to be the work of international terrorists, but appealed for Interpol help in hunting a foreign man accused of being the prime suspect.

The military government was initially reluctant in asking for outside help in the investigation of the blast at the Erawan shrine on Monday evening that killed 20 people and wounded scores.

However, it has now sent the international police organisation a sketch of the suspected bomber.

"We sent a request for assistance," Kissana Phathancharoen, deputy national police spokesperson, told Reuters news agency.

There has been no claim of responsibility and police have not determined a motive for the worst ever bomb attack in the Thai capital.

The attack left at least 11 foreigners dead, with Chinese, Singaporeans, Indonesians and a family from Malaysia among the victims.

Thai military spokesman Colonel Winthai Suvaree said on Wednesday that the bombing was "unlikely to be linked to international terrorism".

He also said that Chinese tourists, who were among the victims, were not the "direct target".

Police suspect the young man caught in grainy footage leaving a backpack at the crowded shrine shortly before the explosion is foreign but Kissana said Thai police were not focused on any particular country or region with their appeal to Interpol.

"We basically sent in the modus operandi [of the suspect] and also the appearance of the suspect we're looking for," Kissana said.

Somyot Poompanmoung, a senior police officer, said on Wednesday that the attacker did not carry out the attack by himself, without elaborating further.

He made the comment as he headed into a meeting of national police commanders, adding that he was carrying orders from the prime minister who "is worried about the security of people and tourists in Thailand".

Al Jazeera's Scott Heidler, reporting from Bangkok, said the bombings came just as tourism is rebounding in Thailand.

...

 


Newspaper publisher killed in Philippines



Yahoo [19/8/15]:



A motorcycle-riding gunman has killed the publisher of a small newspaper in the southern Philippines, police said Wednesday.

Colleagues of Gregorio Ybanez, publisher of Kabuhayan News Services and president of the Davao del Norte Press and Radio-TV Club, said they suspect his killing could be linked to his other job as a director of an electric cooperative. Investigators said they are looking into all possible motives.

The gunman fled after shooting Ybanez as he entered his house in southern Tagum city Tuesday night. Ybanez died Wednesday.

Presidential spokesman Herminio Coloma Jr. condemned the killing, saying police will bring the perpetrators to justice.

Ybanez would be the 28th Filipino journalist killed since 2010 if his death is related to his media work, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines said.

Boy Cornejos, vice president of the provincial media club that Ybanez headed, said Ybanez' publication is not hard-hitting and local journalists suspect the case could be linked to troubles within the Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative that the victim also worked for.

Radio broadcaster Rogelio Butalid was murdered in Tagum City in December 11, 2013. Like Ybanez, Butalid also worked for the electric cooperative.

Local reports quoted Ybanez as saying at the time that Butalid's killing could be connected to management infighting at the cooperative, and that six other journalists had received death threats because of their commentaries on the issue.

 

 


Death toll from Egypt heat wave climbs to 109



Anadolu Agency [19/8/15]:


Three more Egyptians died of high temperatures on Tuesday, taking the death toll from a soaring hot weather to 109 since last week, the country’s health ministry said.

In a Wednesday statement, the ministry said that tens of people have been hospitalized due to the scorching temperature.

Temperatures began to decline on Monday, but are expected to remain relatively high until the end of the month.


 

 

Afghanistan: NDS detains school principals for meeting with Taliban



Pajhwok [20/8/15]:



The National Directorate of Security (NDS) arrested six schools’ principals in central Logar province for their alleged links with Taliban, an official said on Thursday.

Deputy Education Director Wazir Ahmad Momand told Pajhwok Afghan News: “The principals of the schools had a joint meeting with Taliban. The NDS officials have arrested them when they returned from the meeting.”

The schools were situated in areas under Taliban sway and they had meeting with militants to avoid any loss to schools, he said, adding that the principals could not be blamed for anything and NDS should release them without any delay.

Mohammad Shahpoor Arab, spokesman education department, confirmed the arrest of principals of Kochiano School, Hazrat Umer School, Path Khwab Shana School and three others.

Haji Habibullah, a relative of a principal of Kochiano School, said: “The principals are helpless and they need to sit and have meeting with Taliban since militants beat them, kill them and create problems for them.”

He also urged NDS officials to release them since they did not have any involvement in illegal activities. The spy service did not comment on the incident.

Salim Saleh, the governor spokesman, confirmed the arrest of principals but had no details to share.


 

 

 

At Security Council, UN relief chief cites incomprehensible scale of human suffering in Yemen [Media Release - 19/8/15]

 

 

 

UN and partners urge resolution to crisis after Somali legislators approve motion to impeach President [Media Release - 19/8/15]

 

 

 

Car bomb targets security forces in Cairo [Al Jazeera - 20/8/15]

 

 

 

Gunmen in Egypt boarded a bus carrying Palestinians from Cairo to Gaza and seized four of the passengers before letting the others continue, Hamas officials in the strip said early Thursday.

 Interior ministry spokesman Iyad Bezem said in a statement that the kidnapping took place late Wednesday night in the troubled northern Sinai region as the bus headed for the Rafah border crossing into Gaza.

He said that his ministry had contacted its Egyptian counterpart "to establish the circumstances of what happened and demand that the Egyptians work to protect the victims and release them".  ... [Naharnet - 20/8/15]

 



Israel suspends detention of Palestinian hunger striker [Al Jazeera – 20/8/15]


 

 

The United Nations relief agency dealing with Palestinian refugees has declared the school year open will on time today for the 500,000 boys and girls in the increasingly unstable Middle East, where multiple crises and a major funding shortage nearly forced the delayed of the opening of 685 schools in the region.  ... [UN Media Release - 19/8/15]

 

 

 

Judge rules 2 police officers to be tried for murder of homeless man [NPR - 18/8/15]:

 

 

Two police officers responded to a 911 call in March 2014 that ended in the killing of James Boyd, 38, a homeless man camping in the foothills outside Albuquerque, N.M.

Now a judge says there is probable cause to try officers Dominique Perez and Keith Sandy for murder, The Associated Press reports.

...

NPR's Kelly McEvers reported on the shooting last spring, after a video from a body camera was published.

 "After an hours-long standoff, Boyd agreed to come down the rocky hill. He grabbed his backpack, then police released a sound grenade, and a dog. Boyd grabbed two pocket knives and swiped at the dog. A police officer yelled for him to get on the ground, and Boyd started to turn away.

"Two officers fired four live rounds. Boyd died. Police released the video to show it was a justified use of force."

Kelly says the U.S. Justice Department released its findings that showed Albuquerque police regularly encounter people "who do not pose a threat but then escalate tensions until those people do pose a threat."

...

 

 

 

St. Louis police used tear gas to disperse demonstrators and made nine arrests Wednesday night as protests continued over an officer-involved fatal shooting earlier in the day. ... [CNN - 20/8/15]

 

 

 

 

 

 

A video showing several San Francisco police officer pinning down a man with a prosthetic leg is trending on social media and raising questions about use of excessive force.

On the video, is not clear what crime the man committed. By the time the camera is rolling, five officers already have the man on the ground.

His pants are down, and he repeatedly asks for his crutches, saying, “I use these to walk.”

One officer kneels on his prosthetic leg.

The man appears to be in distress. ... [CBS - 18/8/15]

 

 

When Black Lives Matter met Clinton: Activists speak out on challenging candidate over crime record [Democracy Now - 19/8/15]

 

 

United States, "allies" continue bombing Iraq and Syria

 

 

 

US Department of Defense [19/8/15]:

 

U.S. and coalition military forces have continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.

Officials reported details of the latest strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.

Airstrikes in Syria

Attack, fighter, fighter-attack and remotely piloted aircraft conducted eight airstrikes in Syria:

-- Near Hasakah, five airstrikes struck four ISIL tactical units and destroyed six ISIL fighting positions and an ISIL motorcycle.

-- Near Aleppo, two airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position and an ISIL vehicle.

-- Near Raqqah, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL checkpoint.

Airstrikes in Iraq

Attack, bomber, fighter and fighter-attack and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 18 airstrikes in Iraq, coordinated with the government of Iraq:

-- Near Beiji, two airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL vehicles, an ISIL artillery piece and an ISIL vehicle-borne bomb.

-- Near Habbaniyah, two airstrikes destroyed two ISIL mortar firing positions and an ISIL vehicle.

-- Near Makhmur, five airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units, two ISIL staging areas and an ISIL rocket firing position and destroyed three ISIL tunnels and an ISIL light machine gun.

-- Near Mosul, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle.

-- Near Ramadi, two airstrikes struck one large and one small ISIL tactical units and destroyed three ISIL vehicles, two ISIL buildings and an ISIL heavy machine gun.

-- Near Sinjar, two airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units and destroyed five ISIL fighting positions, four ISIL heavy machine guns, an ISIL light machine gun and an ISIL vehicle.

-- Near Tal Afar, an airstrike struck an ISIL heavy machine gun firing position.

-- Near Tuz, three airstrikes destroyed 20 ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL excavator and an ISIL vehicle.

...

 

 

 

 

... Vice Admiral Johnston made the remarks while giving a public update on Australia's overseas military operations.

He revealed Coalition aircraft had killed a senior IS figure in Anbar, Iraq, in June.

"The hornets recently conducted a strike attack against a number of Daesh fighters, including a Daesh key leader in Anbar," Vice Admiral Johnston said.

"This leader controlled Daesh operations in an area of western Iraq and directed attack planning and execution by Daesh forces.

"He coordinated the facilitation of fighters and supplies using Daesh controlled river crossings.

"The removal — and it was a successful removal — of this individual, has caused significant disruption and degradation to Daesh offensive operations and has also benefited the force protection of Coalition and Iraqi forces in the Anbar province."  ... [ABC - 19/8/15]

 

 

 

 

‏@IraqiSMCEn - Iraqi Spring Media Center [19/8/15]:  

 

 

 

Baghdad: News agencies: 3 persons were either killed or wounded as a roadside bomb exploded in Mada'in in south of Baghdad..................

 

 

 A woman was killed and 3 civilians wounded as two missiles fell south of Kirkuk...........................

 

 

 

 

 

Senate Select Committee, on the Recent Allegations relating to Conditions and Circumstances at the Regional Processing Centre in Nauru (Commonwealth government`s responsibilities relating to the management and operation of the Nauru Regional Processing Centre) RESUMES FOR A SPECIAL HEARING THIS AFTERNOON.

 

 

 

A former Wilson guard has given evidence that  members of Palestinian refugee community were subjected to waterboarding on Nauru, and that members of the ERT (Emergency Response team) bragged about it.

 

 

 

He says he witnessed asylum seekers coming out of tents covered in water and coughing up water.

 

 

 

He also said members of the ERT engaged in "zipping" as retribution for "riots".

 

 

 

Nine MSN [20/8/15]:

 

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has dismissed as nonsense allegations asylum seekers have been tortured at the Nauru detention centre.

A Wilson Security guard who claims asylum seekers have been water-boarded will front a Senate inquiry on Thursday afternoon.

"I am aware that there is legal action between Wilson and ... a disgruntled employee and all these matters need to be put into context," Mr Dutton told reporters in Canberra.

 

 

 

Being human is given; but keeping our humanity is a choice. ...

 

"tweeted" by @ReginaCatrambon - Founder and Spokesperson @moas_eu [19/8/15]

 

 

Greece rescues hundreds of refugees off Aegean islands [Yahoo - 19/8/15]:


Greece's coast guard rescued hundreds of migrants in more than a dozen search-and-rescue operations, including one in which a toddler found unconscious in an overcrowded dinghy died, authorities said Wednesday.

The coast guard said it picked up 534 migrants off the eastern Aegean islands of Lesbos, Chios, Agathonissi, Samos, Farmakonissi and Kos in the 24 hours to Wednesday morning — and another 108 during the day Wednesday off Agathonissi and Chios.

Those numbers do not include the hundreds more who managed to reach the islands on their accord in overcrowded dinghies.

Separately, it said a little boy of about 2 or 3 years old was found unconscious in a dinghy spotted by a patrol helicopter carrying 54 migrants off Samos.

A coast guard vessel picked the group up and the child was taken to a hospital, but he died, the coast guard said. Authorities said an autopsy would be carried out.

...


 

 

@MSF_Sea [19/8/15]:  El Venizelos has left #Kos bound for #Thessaloniki with 2500 men, women and children escaping war in #Syria on board  

@MSF_Sea:   99% of arrivals to #Greece last week were Syrian, Afghan & Iraqi and will likely receive #refugee status. Let's stop calling them #migrants!

 

 

 

Nine Palestinians refugees drowned off the Turkish coast on Wednesday after their boat capsized, the National Media Agency in Lebanon said.

The boat was carrying 40 Palestinian refugees from Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria, and left the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli about 48 hours earlier, the agency said.

The boat reportedly capsized in Turkish territorial waters due to heavy weight, resulting in the nine deaths.

Turkish coastguards and rescue teams were able to save the other Palestinians and moved them to hospitals in Turkey for medical treatment.  ... [Maan - 20/8/15]

 

 

Syria: UN agency reaches areas near Yarmouk camp as typhoid outbreak hits Palestinian refugees [Media Release - 19/8/15]

 

 

 

Myanmar to vote on controversial bill as political turmoil deepens [Channel News Asia - 20/8/15]


 

… Interviewed by Mishal Husein of the BBC in 2013, Suu Kyi framed her response to questions on the Rohingyas within a familiar Islamophobic agenda.

“I think we’ll accept that there is a perception that Muslim power, global Muslim power, is very great, and certainly that’s a perception in many parts of the world and in our country, too…

“This is what the world needs to understand, that the fear isn’t just on the side of the Muslims but on the side of the Buddhists as well… There’s fear on both sides. And this is what is leading to all these troubles. And we would like the world to understand that the reaction of the Buddhists is also based on fear.”

However, this approach not only undermines the very idea of a Myanmar nation based on civic equality but effectively cleaves a country of 135 officially recognised national and ethnic groups into two neat and very unequal components.

Buddhists account for nearly 90 per cent of the country’s inhabitants but that hasn’t stopped the country’s military from conducting ethnically based pogroms against minority nationalities. ... [Morning Star - 20/8/15]


 

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has announced that she will form an alliance with Shwe Mann, the ousted chairman of the governing Union Solidarity and Development Party. ... [BBC - 18/8/15] 

 

 

Floods cause acute water shortage in hundreds of Myanmar villages  

 

Yahoo [19/8/15]:

 

Authorities are racing to clean contaminated water sources in flood-hit parts of Myanmar, while distributing bottled water, chlorine powder and purification tablets as they struggle with diarrhea outbreaks.

Torrential rains since late June triggered floods and landslides across central and western Myanmar, killing more than 100 people and affecting 1.3 million, according to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

In four hard-hit states and regions - Rakhine, Sagaing, Magway and Ayeyarwady - tens of thousands of people lack access to clean water for bathing, washing and drinking, officials and aid organizations told Myanmar Now.

Ponds and wells have been contaminated by floodwaters, including seawater in coastal Rakhine state, as well as faeces from farm animals that have sought safety on embankments around ponds, officials said.

"We need to pump floodwater out of these ponds. Only then can we use them to store rainwater in the remaining monsoon period," said Tin Maung Swe, secretary of the Rakhine government.

Storm victims carry aid from a military helicopter at Mrauk-U township, Rakhine state, August 5, 201 …

"If we cannot clean the ponds in time, the locals will face drinking water scarcity in the hot season," he said, noting that about 1,000 ponds in 300 villages in his state were contaminated.

Local media reported that 30 villagers were treated for acute diarrhea in Magway region's Pwintbyu township earlier this month, and 40 were treated for diarrhea last week in a village in Sagaing region, Dr Soe Lwin Nyein, of the Ministry of Health said.

Dozens of villages around Pwintbyu suffered severe flooding, forcing residents to seek shelter in temporary camps.

"In Pwintbyu, we found that there is not enough drinking water in the camps," said Lynette Lim, communications manager for Save the Children, adding that poor hygiene caused by a lack of latrines was further heightening health risks.

Authorities were handing out chlorine powder packets and purification tablets, but the water in many ponds and wells in Rakhine was brackish and could not be treated, local government spokesman Hla Thein said.

Authorities and aid agencies have begun to empty and clean ponds and wells across the country.

In Rakhine, the International Committee of the Red Cross is focusing on installing rainwater collection systems.

In Nyaungdon township in the Ayeyarwady delta region, an official at a displacement camp said 200 villages in the area faced an acute drinking water shortage.

Hundreds of people at the camp, living on bamboo platforms raised above the floodwaters, were relying on donations of bottled water

 

 

 

Villagers in Hashurata, Maungdaw South are staying out of their homes amidst rumours that the security forces guided by the associates of tabbe Sawdeya Oo are preparing a list of people to be arrested.

Unknown assailants shot Sawdeya on Friday night. Despite lack of evidence, security forces are known to be preparing for a massive crackdown against the general populace in response to the attack on the pro government man.  ... [Burma Times - 19/8/15]

 

 

Buddhist settlers assaulted a child and took away four buffaloes under his watch in Dhang Hali of Maungdaw South on Friday.

When the Rohingyas went to the Buddhist area they were verbally abused and told that their buffaloes had strayed into their lands and were destroying crops.

The matter was resolved after the Rohingyas paid 80,000 kyats.

The government has populated many areas of Arakan with landless Buddhists from other areas of Burma in a bid to outnumber the Rohingya Muslim population. ... [Burma Times - 19/8/15]

 

 

 

 

University of Wollongong joins Australia's protected and unaccountable Minister for Immigration on his quest for regional exceptionalism and isolationism [Media Release - 19/8/15]

 

 

 

Bashed Peace Activist Abandoned By The CMC [March 2007]

 

 

Are Queensland’s police out of control? [Crikey - 6/9/05]:

 

 

... A seasoned political protester, Jim Dowling, was also there, standing at the back of the room with a placard resting at his feet that read “Peter Dutton Supports Terrorism.”

According to a lawyer who was among the 50 or so people who attended the debate, just as questions were being taken from the floor several police “jumped the quiet protester and pulled him into the next room and gave him some rough treatment.”

...

 

 

 

Senate Hansard [11/8/15]:

Senator WRIGHT (South Australia) (15:54): I ask that general business notice of motion No. 782 standing in my name for today, relating to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, be taken as a formal motion.

The PRESIDENT: Is there any objection to this motion being taken as formal?

Senator Moore: Yes.

The PRESIDENT: There is an objection.

Senator WRIGHT: I seek leave to make a short statement.

The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.

Senator WRIGHT: I am greatly concerned that the government has chosen to deny me a chance to put this important motion to expedite the ratification of OPCAT, the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture. This OPCAT was voluntarily signed up to by an Australian government in 2009, and since then both Labor and coalition governments have inexplicably dragged their feet in its ratification. OPCAT would ensure independent monitoring and reporting on places of detention in Australia, all those places where some of the most overlooked marginalised and powerless people are kept detained: prisoners in jails and police lockups, patients in psychiatric facilities, young people in juvenile detention, and asylum seekers. With very recent examples of deaths in custody and cruel and inhumane treatment of people detained, it is very disappointing that I have been prevented from putting this motion today. It is crucial to fully ratify the protocol and set clear time frames to implement. Australia's own good standing is at stake.

Senator FIFIELD (Victoria—Manager of Government Business in the Senate and Assistant Minister for Social Services) (15:55): I seek leave to make a short statement.

The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.

Senator FIFIELD: Just for the sake of accuracy, while the government does not support Senator Wright's motion, it was the opposition that denied formality on this occasion.

Senator MOORE (Queensland) (15:56): I seek leave to make a short statement.

The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.

Senator MOORE: Yes, Senator Wright, we did deny formality to this important motion, because it is our longstanding practice. Where we have an issue such as this which is complex and creates a number of complex situations and also determines significant discussions across all states and territories, we believe it is not appropriate to use the notice of motion process for that, and that is our standard practice.

 

 

 

 

 

Guantánamo continues to burden U.S. foreign policy, undermining our credibility and providing an excuse for every foreign dictator who abuses human rights.

As the president has said: "GTMO has become a symbol around the world for an America that flouts the rule of law."

He has also said exactly what must be done: "We've got to close Guantánamo... It is expensive. It is inefficient. It hurts us in terms of our international standing. It lessens cooperation with our allies on counterterrorism efforts. It is a recruitment tool for extremists. It needs to be closed."

Great words -- but very little action.

There is a myth circulating that, because the president says he wants to close Guantánamo, he would if he could, but that he can't because Congress has stopped him.

That is not so.

The president has the authority right now in existing legislation to achieve that result by transferring detainees out of Guantánamo. ... [Huffington Post - 30/8/13]

 


 

 

 

Australian advocacy groups slam proposed environmental law changes  [The Source - 19/8/15] Silent on bill that legalises the torture and murder of refugees.

 

 

 

 

Proposing amendments to a bill legalising "reasonable use of use" i.e. the torture and murder of refugees is a partisan charade.

 

 

JUST OPPOSE THE BILL.

 

 

 

@sarahinthesen8 - Senator Hanson-Young [19/8/15]:  I will move 4 key amends to Govts #forcebill : mandatory reporting of abuse, media access, repealing secrecy provisions, proper training

 

 

@linessue - Senator Sue Lines [ALP]:  7 mins into his 20 min speech Sen Canavan still criticising my speech on why we don't need Good Order Bill ...   [The ALP's amendments accept the intention of this bill i.e. legalising the torture and murder of refugees.]

 

 

 Senator Hanson-Young [Senate Hansard - 25/6/15]:

 

… These amendments provide that child abuse and assault inside detention facilities, when it occurs, would have to be reported to the police—both the Federal Police and the local police at the location of the facility—and, of course, to the department. They are basic mandatory reporting requirements. They mean that, for any staff member engaged in these facilities or any person who is contracted by the Commonwealth or subcontracted by another contractor, if you work inside the facility and you see child abuse, you must report it.

You would think that this type of mandatory reporting would go without saying, but it does not. We know it does not because months and months of evidence has come forward to show that the exact opposite is occurring inside Nauru. Children are suffering at the hands of child abusers; women are being raped and sexually assaulted and harassed; yet there is both underreporting of these incidents internally and no independent reporting as a matter of course.

The culture of secrecy inside these detention camps provides for a lack of reporting to an independent authority. That is wrong. It should not be the case that staff and asylum seekers are intimidated into staying quiet. They are not prepared to put their hand up and say what is going on. It must be a requirement of people engaged by the Commonwealth to report when they see things happening that are wrong. There is nothing worse than seeing a child sexually abused and saying nothing about it. It is wrong.

This amendment puts the onus on the staff member, on those engaged at the centre, to report these incidents. If they do not, it is a fine of $10,000 and a criminal offence. Basic mandatory reporting requirements are expected and widely accepted across other institutions and agencies. It should not be a hard thing to introduce here. It should make sense. I would argue that everybody across all sides, regardless of your political stripes, would understand that mandatory reporting should happen. It does not now. This amendment will make sure it must occur and it will give staff, in particular, not just the signal that they must report it, but the encouragement that it is the right thing to do. They will be abiding by the law and ensuring that they report these awful and insidious incidents of abuse and sexual assault. They are the amendments, and they are pretty basic.

...

 

 

 

Ayes ...................... 16

Noes ...................... 31

Majority ................. 15

 

 

 

AYES

 

 

Di Natale, R

Hanson-Young, SC

Lazarus, GP

Leyonhjelm, DE

Ludlam, S

Madigan, JJ

Milne, C

Muir, R

Rhiannon, L

Rice, J

Siewert, R (teller)

Wang, Z

Waters, LJ

Whish-Wilson, PS

Wright, PL

Xenophon, N

 

 

 

NOES

 

Back, CJ

Bernardi, C

Bilyk, CL (teller)

Brandis, GH

Bullock, J.W.

Bushby, DC

Canavan, M.J.

Carr, KJ

Colbeck, R

Edwards, S

Fawcett, DJ

Gallacher, AM

Gallagher, KR

Ketter, CR

Lindgren, JM

Lines, S

Ludwig, JW

Macdonald, ID

McGrath, J

McKenzie, B

McLucas, J

Moore, CM

O'Neill, DM

O'Sullivan, B

Peris, N

Ruston, A

Seselja, Z

Singh, LM

Smith, D

Sterle, G


 

 

 

Image: ‏@prehumax  ... and wtf is happening with @welcome2aussie's promotional graphics?  [29/6/15]

 

 

 

 

Australia set to pass "gloves are off" legislation as more whistleblowers come forward.

 

 

Lawyers associations, human rights groups, UNHCR MUTE

 

Feeble amendments don't substantially alter the effect of the Migration Amendment (Maintaining the Good Order of Immigration Detention Facilities) Bill 2015

 

 

Australian politicians are FASCISTS.

 

 

 

 

 

Where is this asylum seeker now? What has Australia done with him? Does anybody know? This behaviour is FASCISM and policiticians who disregard it while debating the "Good Order" bill are FASCISTS ---> An Australian-paid guard at Nauru is accused of falsely claiming an asylum seeker violently assaulted him then perjuring himself in court, before confessing to the lie in a secret recording made by a colleague.

Fairfax Media has obtained a copy of the alleged confession, in which the Wilson Security guard boasts about the incident and jokes about taking a "dive" – the sporting term for falling to the ground and faking an injury. The guard said he wanted the asylum seeker convicted so he would never be settled in Australia.

The asylum seeker is believed to be a young Iranian man. It is understood he spent one month in jail for the alleged assault and tried to kill himself at least three times after being falsely accused – once almost successfully hanging himself.  ...  [Canberra Times - 19/8/15]

 

 

 

 

 

20 August 2015

HOME