German anti-war protesters kick off annual Easter marches
Deutsche Welle [3/4/15]:
Germany's traditional Easter marches for peace began with events organized in several cities on Friday.
The biggest rally on Good Friday was in the western town of Gronau, where around 350 demonstrators were reported to have gathered in front of the main gate of the URENCO uranium enrichment facility to demand that it be shut down.
A speaker at the rally said the plant should be shut down because it produced not only large quantities of enriched uranium but also a great deal of nuclear waste.
Around 100 people turned out to a demonstration in the central town of Bruchköbel to demand an end to the armed conflict in Ukraine and to protest against the deployment of German Bundeswehr troops to crisis regions abroad.
A few dozen peace activists attended a Christian service outside of the Büchel Airbase in the west of the country to protest against nuclear weapons. The airbase, located near the town of Cochem in Rheinland-Palatinate, is the only site in Germany where US nuclear weapons are stored.
Good Friday marches and rallies were also held in the cities of Dortmund, Saarbrücken and Chemnitz, among others, with activists protesting against a wide range of concerns, including arms exports, the conflict in Syria and the Islamist extremist group "Islamic State," which has seized large swathes of territory in both Syria and northern Iraq.
A total of around 80 events are to take place between Good Friday and Easter Monday, and the Bonn-based Network of the German Peace Movement said it hoped that about 30,000 would participate.
Germany's Easter marches, which began with a demonstration in Hamburg in 1960, actually have their roots in protests against a nuclear weapons research facility in Britain in the 1950s.
The Easter marches reached their peak in support between 1968 and 1983, when events throughout West Germany brought hundreds of thousands out onto the streets annually to demonstrate against things like Washington's military involvement in Vietnam and the nuclear arms race.
Easter march of the Berlin peace movement [Demotix.com - 4/4/15]
Two bomb disposal technicians died in a roadside bomb explosion Saturday as they cleared a route for troops in a restive Pakistani tribal region near the Afghan border, officials said.
The incident took place in the Barwand area of South Waziristan tribal district, one of Pakistan's seven semi-autonomous tribal regions, which is considered a stronghold of Taliban militants. ... [Naharnet - 4/4/15]
Gunmen Kill Nine People in Nigeria's Oil State [Naharnet - 4/4/15]
An explosion at a house in the Malian capital Bamako has killed a security guard and injured at least two other people, officials say.
Police said the explosives detonated after being mishandled, and there are conflicting accounts about the blast. ... [BBC - 4/4/15]
ISIS takes 90 percent of Damascus refugee camp: activists [Daily Star - 4/4/15]
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants at Iraq’s ancient city of Hatra destroyed the archaeological site by smashing sledgehammers into its walls and shooting Kalashnikov assault rifles at priceless statues, a new militant video purportedly from the group shows. ... [Hurriyet Daily News - 4/4/15]
@RednRuff [4/4/15]: ... London rally at Marble Arch condemns Saudi Arabia bombing of people of Yemen. No UK support for war!
Saudi-led airstrike in Yemen kills family of nine
An air strike on a village near the Yemeni capital Sanaa killed a family of nine, residents said on Saturday, in what appeared to be a hit by the Saudi-led military campaign against Houthi militias.
Five other people were wounded and some citizens remained under the rubble, state news agency Saba said.
The operation by Saudi Arabia and other Sunni Muslim states is aimed at stopping the Iranian-allied Houthis and former president Ali Abdullah Saleh winning control of Yemen, and at reinstating Saudi-backed President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.
Residents near Okash village, which is near an air force camp on Jebel al-Nabi Shouieb mountain, said the air strike was on Friday night and killed nine people.
Saba said the family consisted of two men, a woman and six children. It posted a picture on its website showing three children lying next to each other with pieces of papers with the date March 3, 2015 written on them. Reuters could not immediately verify the authenticity of photo.
The International Committee of the Red Cross said on Saturday three shipments of aid and medical staff it is trying to send to Yemen were still blocked, despite appeals to the Saudi-led military coalition which controls Yemeni air space and ports.
The ICRC is seeking security guarantees for two planes to Sanaa, one with medical supplies for up to 1,000 wounded people and a second with 30 tonnes of medical and water sanitation supplies, as well as a boat to take a surgical team to Aden.
The aid organisation on Tuesday accused the Saudi-led coalition, which is waging a 10-day-old campaign of air strikes on Houthi fighters in Yemen, of preventing aid deliveries.
"Our supplies are still blocked," spokeswoman Sitara Jabeen said. "The situation is getting worse, every passing hour people are dying in Yemen and we need to bring this in urgently".
She was speaking ahead of a United Nations Security Council meeting called by Russia to discuss a humanitarian pause in the air strikes.
UN relief coordinator Valerie Amos said on Thursday 519 people have been killed in the fighting in the past two weeks and nearly 1,700 wounded, without specifying whether those figures included combatants.
The United Nations Security Council will meet on Saturday after Russia called for a meeting to discuss a proposal for a humanitarian pause in the air strikes on the country.
Yemen President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi fled Aden last week in the face of the Houthi offensive, which has continued to advance despite nine days of air strikes by the Saudi-led coalition aimed at driving back the Houthis and restoring Hadi's authority.
US backed Saudi-led coalition airdrops arms to Yemeni forces [Daily Star – 4/4/15]
Russia calls UNSC session on Yemen crisis amid Saudi-led airstrikes [RT – 4/4/15]
Afghanistan: Policemen among 10 dead in Farah skirmish
At least five policemen, four militants and a prayer leader were killed in the ongoing fighting between rebels and security forces in the Poshtrud district of western Farah province, an official said Saturday.
The gun battle erupted Friday night when over a hundred rebels stormed the Afghan Local Police (ALP) check posts in the Maswa and Kharaba villages, the town’s administrative chief said.
Ghausuddin told Pajhwok Afghan News intense gun battle was underway between forces and militants and four policemen wounded in the ensuing firefight.
He said Taliban suffered heavy casualties but he had no exact toll into fatalities. The mobile phone tower had been damaged in the exchange of fire, which suspended communication in the area.
The district chief said reinforcement by the Afghan National Army (ANA) had been dispatched to the area to back the police force.
Taliban claimed killing six security personnel and injuring four others.
Sudanese refugees cite mistreatment by UNHCR
Daily Star [4/4/15]:
“All we wanted was our rights,” Othman, a Sudanese refugee in Lebanon who asked not to use his real name, told The Daily Star. “They weren’t giving us any answers at the [United Nations Human Right Commission] office so we decided to stage a protest.” Little did Othman know that a peaceful sit-in in front of the UNHCR office in Jnah would lead to his arrest and those of three of his fellow refugees, two of whom are still in jail to this day.
On Dec. 10 last year, Othman and around two dozen other refugees gathered blankets, bread and cardboard boxes and camped outside the U.N.’s refugee agency office to demand to know the status of their refugee and resettlement application.
Three days later, the refugees say a member of the UNHCR staff called the police to shut down the peaceful protest.
“[The staff member] came and said, ‘Get up! Get up! Your files are closed! Leave or I will call the police!’” Othman recalled.
Many dispersed, but Othman and three others remained and police came and arrested them, according to the refugees, on the UNHCR’s order.
Othman, who is from West Darfur, spent two months in jail before a member of the UNHCR’s protection staff came and organized his and one of the other detainees’ release on the grounds that they had refugee status.
Two remain locked up. One of whom, according to Othman, requires immediate medical attention due to complications stemming from a gunshot he sustained during a tribal dispute in Sudan.
He has received little help in prison and despite the fact that he has had refugee status for a year, the UNHCR has not secured his release or assistance, Othman says.
The arrest of these four refugees is the latest in a series of incidents that has fostered a toxic relationship between the UNHCR and Sudanese refugees in Lebanon.
Sudanese refugees in Lebanon feel that UNHCR staff are hostile toward them and their cases are not prioritized – sometimes completely ignored – due to a racial bias against them. But the U.N. agency maintains that it is doing all that it can to help Sudanese refugees.
The most notable story of the plight of Sudanese refugees in Lebanon is a two-month hunger strike which took place in front of the UNHCR offices in the summer of 2012 over motivations similar to those of Othman and his colleagues.
The two-month hunger strike escalated until the protesters blocked the entrance of the UNHCR’s office and 13 refugees were eventually arrested, also on the agency’s request.
This incident led to the creation of a group called Anjo, Save the Sudanese Refugees of Lebanon, which dedicated itself to protecting the Sudanese community in Lebanon, and they are active to this day. They meet weekly at a Sudanese restaurant in Jnah to discuss the plight of Sudanese refugees in Lebanon and how they can address other problems within the community.
PNG Governor protests West Papua genocide
PNG Loop [4/4/15]:
Oro Governor Garyi Juffa says recent killings in West Papua were more signs of the “ongoing genocide’’ occurring under Indonesian command.
He told a crowd of 500 to 600 supporters at a rally in Port Moresby yesterday that the reported killings were not of foreigners but of “our sisters and brothers’’.
Let us not talk of this “imaginary border’’ drawn up by colonial powers, he said, the people of West Papua were from the same piece of land and same origins as the people of PNG.
He cited news of recent killings by Indonesian soldiers of a West Papuan man who was raising funds for storm stricken Vanuatu, and three boys under the age of 18 who were jailed for protesting against the killing of another boy.
Mr Juffa described the killings as “inhumane’’, and being like the Nazi holocaust.
He says the PNG government should take a bold stand in mapping out this issue and bringing it to international attention.
He encouraged fellow Papua New Guineans to rise up and demand freedom for their fellow Melanesian brothers and sisters who have suffered brutal killings and harassment at the hands of the Indonesian military.
He pointed to the fuss over a visa for West Papuan leader Benny Wenda, who was detained and then made to leave PNG for failing to have proper travel documents.
Mr Juffa says he believes the government should be lenient towards West Papuans and grant them exclusive travelling rights to and from PNG, considering that PNG and Indonesia share one land mass.
Malaysian cartoonist charged with 9 counts of sedition
Jakarta Post [3/4/15]:
A Malaysian cartoonist known for lampooning the ruling coalition was charged Friday with nine counts of sedition over a series of tweets criticizing the country's judiciary.
The charges against Zulkiflee Anwar Alhaque, better known as Zunar, came amid a widening government crackdown on opposition politicians and the media using the colonial-era law, slammed by critics as a move to stifle freedom of expression.
"This is a record, being charged nine times and using the sedition law. It is excessive and targeted at silencing vocal critics," said Zunar's lawyer, Latheefa Koya.
Zunar faces up to 43 years in jail if found guilty on all nine charges, she said.
The nine tweets criticizing the judiciary were posted Feb. 10 when opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim began serving a five-year prison sentence after losing his final appeal on a sodomy charge.
"The lackeys in black robes are proud of their sentence. The rewards from the political masters must be plenty," said one of the tweets.
"Today Malaysia is seen as a country without law," said another.
Anwar's arrest was widely seen at home and abroad as politically motivated to eliminate any threat to the ruling coalition, whose popularity has slowly been eroding since 2008 after more than five decades of unquestioned dominance.
Anwar and his three-member opposition alliance were seen as the most potent political threat to Prime Minister Najib Razak's coalition.
Anwar led his alliance to unprecedented gains in 2008 elections and made further inroads in polls in 2013 when Najib's National Front coalition won with a slimmer majority and lost the popular vote to the opposition.
A defiant Zunar posted a new cartoon on Twitter after his release on bail, vowing to "draw until the last drop of ink."
The cartoon showed Zunar being cuffed and with a metal chain on his neck, but still drawing with a brush in his mouth.
Sedition as defined by Malaysian law includes promoting hatred against the government.
Scores of people including opposition politicians, activists, academicians and journalists are being investigated or have been charged under the Sedition Act since last year, mostly for criticizing the government or ruling officials.
Prime Minister Najib Razak has said the government planned to eventually abolish the Sedition Act, which was introduced in 1949 during British colonial rule. But he backtracked after the 2013 elections.
Riyadh Says to Sue al-Akhbar, Newspaper Slams 'Direct Threat'
The Saudi Embassy in Beirut has tasked a team to sue al-Akhbar newspaper after Saudi Ambassador Ali Awadh Asiri accused it of publishing rumors about Riyadh, al-Watan daily reported on Friday.
The Saudi newspaper said that a lawsuit will be filed against “al-Akhbar which has become famous for belonging to the Iran-Hizbullah-Syria axis.”
Al-Akhbar is seeking to promote the principles of the “resistance axis,” said the report.
Al-Watan also quoted Asiri as saying that the pro-Hizbullah Lebanese newspaper is promoting lies against Saudi Arabia and its leadership.
“It is time to put an end to this,” the diplomat said.
The newspaper snapped back at Asiri later on Friday, describing his remarks as “a direct threat to the lives of the institution’s employees, a blatant attack on the freedom of expression in Lebanon and a flagrant violation of norms and laws.”
It held the ambassador and his government fully responsible for “any form of moral, material or physical harm.”
Al-Akhbar also noted that it “reserves the right to sue him and prosecute him before all judicial authorities and relevant bodies in Lebanon, at the Arab level and in the world.”
New Zealand TV stations legal action a test case
An internet consultant says any legal action against internet providers that allow customers to watch overseas TV shows which are blocked in New Zealand, would be a world first.
TVNZ has joined with Sky and Mediaworks in threatening legal action over the issue, and said it pays a lot of money for the rights to show the programmes.
The broadcasters have asked the internet companies, including Slingshot and Orcon, to stop offering customers access to blocked shows, saying they are breaching copyright law.
But internet policy consultant, Susan Chalmers, said it has not yet been determined whether the internet service providers are doing anything illegal, so if the matter gets to court, it will be a test case.
She said it could be argued that the internet providers are breaching copyright, or helping their customers to.
But she said there are questions over whether online content should be treated similarly to parallel import products like books, which she says are allowed in the public interest.
The chief executive of Slingshot, Mark Callender, said he was yet to read the letters sent by the broadcasters, and will make a media statement early next week.
But in the meantime, he has told Radio New Zealand that he was confident the company's service, called Global Mode, was perfectly legal.
He said media companies have made threats like this in the past, so he was not expecting anything exciting, and that they were just trying to bully smaller businesses to prevent New Zealand catching up with the rest of the world.
Orcon has not replied to us.
After Maysak, FSM tries to cope with humanitarian crisis
The head of the Red Cross in Federated States of Micronesia says the country is dealing with a major humanitarian emergency as the country tries to cope with the aftermath of supertyphoon Maysak.
The category five system tore through two of the country's four states this week, killing 5 people, destroying infrastructure, contaminating water supplies and displacing about 7,000 people.
Isao Frank said the damage was extensive and some islands in Chuuk and Yap were inaccessible.
He said there was a shortage of shelter, food, water and medicine in the worst-affected areas, and the humanitarian response was likely to be a significant logistical challenge.
"There's definitely reports of overcrowding in community shelters, some people even living in the open air without shelter," he said. "There's also fears of food shortages and some reported cases of diarrhoea from unsafe drinking water."
"We have a crisis on our hands," said Mr Frank.
Government patrol boats continued to distribute relief supplies on Saturday, but the Red Cross said the emergency was far beyond the country's capacity.
He said 60-80% of homes on Weno, the state capital of Chuuk, had been destroyed and evacuation centres had been set up in schools and churches.
In Yap, the atolls of Fais, Ulithi and Faraulep sustained a direct hit from the typhoon at its full strength, with winds of well over 200 kilometres an hour. The state's lieutenant governor, James Yangetmai, said assessment flights had revealed massive destruction.
He said crops had been wiped out, water supplies contaminated, and all buildings except those built from concrete had been wiped out.
"The only remaining are those that were built of concrete, which are very few of them," he said. "On one island they reported that only four structures were built of concrete and even with that, their roof flew off."
The FSM President, Manny Mori, has requested international assistance from the United Nations and the government was hoping to receive significant assistance from the United States under the Compact of Free Association between the two countries.
Mr Frank said the country would need assistance for months to come, and it could take years to rebuild infrastructure and return to a stable food supply.
Greece says ready to make IMF payment on April 9
Greece will repay a loan tranche to the IMF on time on April 9, its deputy finance minister said on Friday, seeking to quell fears of default after a flurry of contradictory statements on the issue in recent days.
Greece is fast running out of cash and its euro zone and International Monetary Fund lenders have frozen bailout aid until the new leftist-led government reaches agreement on a package of reforms.
That prompted the interior minister to suggest this week that Athens would prioritize wages and pensions over the roughly 450 million euro ($490 million) payment to the IMF, though the government denied that was its stance.
Euro zone officials then quoted Greece as saying it will run out of money on April 9, which the finance ministry denied.
"We strive to be able to pay our obligations on time," Dimitris Mardas told Greece's Skai TV. "We are ready to pay on April 9."
Adding to the confusion, German magazine Der Spiegel quoted a finance ministry general secretary, Nikos Theocharakis, as saying Greece would probably not pay next week's IMF tranche, prompting a further denial from the Greek finance ministry.
Theocharakis said Greece would be "close to the end" on April 9 and called the technical teams from its creditors "completely useless," according to an extract of the article due to be published on Saturday.
"Mr. Theocharakis never characterized the technical teams of the institutions with the phrase attributed to him," the ministry said in a statement. "On the contrary ... he referred to them as saying they include 'top-notch people with impressive skills.'"
Germany's Spiegel Online quoted Belgian Finance Minister Johan Van Overtveldt as saying that Greece postponing the repayment due on April 9 was "out of the question", otherwise a Greek exit from the euro zone could no longer be ruled out.
He said the Eurogroup would not release further funds to Greece until Athens implemented some of the reforms it had promised.
Athens has not received bailout funds since August last year and has resorted to measures such as borrowing from state entities via repo transactions to tide it through the cash crunch.
The government is hoping approval of its latest reforms package will unlock remaining aid of 7.2 billion euros under its EU/IMF bailout and lead to the return of about 1.9 billion euros in profits made by the European Central Bank on Greek bonds.
Mardas said, without providing figures, that state revenue in March had topped targets and that the government had made progress in talks with lenders on its latest reforms list.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said Greece would receive fresh funds only once its creditors approve the reforms Athens has presented.
Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev believes that US attempts to unilaterally rule the world are futile, just as any party which, instead of trying to co-exist with another, struggles to impose global hegemony is doomed to fail.
“We live in a global world, and US attempts to become a ‘lone wolf’ and conduct unilateral operations they all fail, collapse, but [the US] tries again,” Gorbachev said in an interview with Rossiya 24 TV channel, emphasizing that in a similar fashion anyone else’s “attempts to unilaterally control the world would fail.”
“We should think about how to co-exist in this hard and crazy – yet the sole – world known to a man so far,” Gorbachev added. ... [RT - 4/4/15]
Washington Post [3/4/15]:
City officials in Ferguson, Mo., on Thursday evening released the full, unredacted content of racially charged and religiously insensitive e-mails sent by the city’s former court clerk as well as two former supervisors in the police department.
The e-mails, released to The Washington Post in response to a public-records request, were sent and received by Mary Ann Twitty, who was Ferguson’s court clerk, as well as former Ferguson police captain Rick Henke and former police sergeant William Mudd.
All three were removed from their jobs after the Department of Justice discovered the e-mails, which prompted an internal investigation by city officials.
The unredacted versions show for the first time which employee sent which e-mails.
Noam Chomsky: Democracy Is a Threat to Any Power System [ICH – Video]:
To mark The Nation’s 150th anniversary, John Nichols was joined in conversation by the eminent radical intellectual Noam Chomsky at the Tucson Festival of Books in Arizona on March 15. Discussing issues ranging from media accountability and voter participation, to money in politics and income inequality, Chomsky offered insight into the greatest challenges of our time.
“The race towards disaster is being carried out with almost euphoric
intensity,” said Chomsky. Chomsky maintains that meaningful change requires a
democratic awakening. “Democracy is a threat to any power system,” he said.
Guatemalans deliberately infected with STDs sue Johns Hopkins University for $1bn [Guardian – 3/4/15]:
Nearly 800 plaintiffs have launched a billion-dollar lawsuit against Johns Hopkins University over its alleged role in the deliberate infection of hundreds of vulnerable Guatemalans with sexually transmitted diseases, including syphilis and gonorrhoea, during a medical experiment programme in the 1940s and 1950s.
The lawsuit, which also names the philanthropic Rockefeller Foundation, alleges that both institutions helped “design, support, encourage and finance” the experiments by employing scientists and physicians involved in the tests, which were designed to ascertain if penicillin could prevent the diseases.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine held “substantial influence” over the commissioning of the research program by dominating panels that approved federal funding for the research, the suit claims.
The lawsuit asserts that a researcher paid by the Rockefeller Foundation was assigned to the experiments, which he travelled to inspect on at least six occasions.
The suit also claims that predecessor companies of the pharmaceutical giant Bristol-Myers Squibb supplied penicillin for use in the experiments, which they knew to be both secretive and non-consensual.
The experiments, which occurred between 1945 and 1956, were kept secret until they were discovered in 2010 by a college professor, Susan Reverby. The programme published no findings and did not inform Guatemalans who were infected of the consequences of their participation, nor did it provide them with follow up medical care or inform them of ways to prevent the infections spreading, the lawsuit states.
An indigenous tribe in the Amazon jungle has secured the return of blood samples taken from its people by American researchers in the 1960s.
Thousands of samples were taken from members of the Yanomami tribe, in 1967 for genetic testing.
A Yanomami shaman, Davi Kopenawa, said the blood would be buried with special prayers. He said his people had been horrified to discover it had been kept in freezers far from home for years.
Davi Kopenawa said, "I was 10 or 11, and the non-Indians [American scientists] came to our community. We had four different villages there who lived with a lot of missionaries. The missionaries told the village elders that we had to give blood." ... [BBC - 3/4/15]
Siraj Media Freedom (No more dying for freedom) Candlight vigil for Saeed Hassanloo [VIDEO - 3/4/15]
He was despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
Refugees on Nauru [3/4/15]:
Today during the protest at the Anibare refugee accommodation, a member from the Nauruan government came to deliver a message informing the refugees that they were no longer allowed to freely protest within their accommodation and all future protest must first be approved by the government one week in advance.
Australian political and media establishment keep lying - and protecting LNP and ALP politicians - so the detention, torture of and exile of refugees can continue.
Iraqi family escapes violence for new life in Cambodia amid refugee deal controversy [SBS – 4/4/15]:
... Their story is unusual in a country still recovering following the Khmer Rouge regime of the 1970s , which saw more than one million people killed. It's a place where few people come to after fleeing war, but 51-year-old Hashim says they have been made to feel welcome.
"Cambodians are very nice people," he says, "very friendly."
The family serves as an example of what Immigration Minister Peter Dutton says will be possible for refugees who are settled in Cambodia under the government's $40 million refugee resettlement agreement.
Following the signing of a second Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Cambodian prime minister in Canberra last week, Mr Dutton said refugees who came to Cambodia from Nauru would be supported.
"We want to be able to give people who have an entrepreneurial spirit the chance to open up their own business if that is their want," he said. ...
Can someone please tell Australians on so called "journalism fellowships" to Cambodia that refugee "resettlement" is Australian government/IOM propaganda.
THIS is refugee resettlement as defined by the UNHCR - anything else is EXILE.
Australia already resettles refugees. IN AUSTRALIA. Close the concentration camps and bring the refugees HERE.
Some refugees cannot go home or are unwilling to do so because they will face continued persecution. Many are also living in perilous situations or have specific needs that cannot be addressed in the country where they have sought protection. In such circumstances, UNHCR helps resettle refugees in a third country as the only safe and viable durable solution. Of the 10.5 million refugees of concern to UNHCR around the world, only about 1 per cent are submitted by the agency for resettlement.
Only a small number of states take part in UNHCR resettlement programmes. The United States is the world's top resettlement country, while Australia, Canada and the Nordic countries also provide a sizeable number of places annually. In recent years there has been an increase in the number of countries involved in resettlement in Europe and Latin America.
The resettlement country provides the refugee with legal and physical protection, including access to civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights similar to those enjoyed by nationals. It should allow for refugees to become naturalized citizens.
In 2011, UNHCR submitted the files of some 92,000 refugees for consideration by resettlement countries. By nationality, the main beneficiaries of UNHCR-facilitated resettlement programmes were refugees from Myanmar (21,300), Iraq (20,000), Somalia (15,700) and Bhutan (13,000). Ten per cent of all submissions were for women and girls at risk, the highest percentage of the last six years.
In the same year, almost 62,000 individuals departed to 22 resettlement countries with UNHCR's assistance. The largest number of resettled refugees left from Nepal (18,150), followed by Thailand (9,570) and Malaysia (8,370). Resettlement is a life-changing experience. It is both challenging and rewarding. Refugees are often resettled to a country where the society, language and culture are completely different and new to them.
Providing for their effective reception and integration is beneficial for both the resettled refugee and the receiving country. Governments and non-governmental organization partners provide services to facilitate integration, such as cultural orientation, language and vocational training as well as programmes to promote access to education and employment.
Child protection NGO Friends International said this week it will contest being officially cited as the originator of allegations of sexual misconduct at Our Home orphanage that led to the center’s closure last month and to the imprisonment of its director, Hang Vibol, on suspicion of sexually abusing boys in his care.
Mr. Vibol, a former director of anti-pedophile NGO Action Pour Les Enfants (APLE), ran the Our Home orphanage and school from 1999 until it was shut down by the Ministry of Social Affairs on March 5 following his arrest two days earlier. The Phnom Penh Municipal Court charged him with indecently assaulting a number of the children under his care and he remains in prison awaiting trial.
Following Mr. Vibol’s arrest, APLE stated that its investigation into its former director, which began in June 2014, was done at the request of the Ministry of Social Affairs, which had received reports of possible abuse at Our Home by Friends International and First Step Cambodia. A statement released by APLE on March 9 clarified that Friends International reported the case based on information provided by two unnamed French individuals. ... [Cambodia Daily - 4/4/15]
Australia firm says Poipet casino takeover due in July [Phnom Penh Post - 31/3/15]
Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday met with a visiting delegation of U.S. Congress members, including House of Representatives minority leader Nancy Pelosi, a government spokesman said.
Phay Siphan, spokesman for the Council of Ministers, said Ms. Pelosi’s delegation met Mr. Hun Sen at his office in Phnom Penh on Monday morning.
Ms. Pelosi said in a statement last night that the delegation met with the prime minister for more than two hours. ... [Cambodia Daily - 31/3/15]
... So on we go
His welfare is of my concern
No burden is he to bear
We'll get there
For I know
He would not encumber me
He ain't heavy, he's my brother ...
"He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother" is a popular music ballad written by Bobby Scott and Bob Russell. Originally recorded by Kelly Gordon in 1969, the song became a worldwide hit for The Hollies later that year and again for Neil Diamond in 1970. It has been covered by many artists in subsequent years. ....
#LoveMakesAWay Canberreans reminding the government that the children are still in detention
Image: @vivianharris45 [4/4/15]
@vivianharris45: #LoveMakesAWay still waiting for children to released from detention
@vivianharris45: ... if your child asks for bread would you give them stones?
@deantregenza: #lovemakesaway Canberra vigil for asylum seekers
@lovemakesaway: ... Holy Saturday Vigil in Sydney at @TonyAbbottMHR office. Lamenting the treatment of Asylum seekers
@M_arcusC: "Tony Abbott is not our enemy. He is our brother. We are here to call them to a more compassionate way" ...
@M_arcusC: 107 stones represent the number of children still held indefinitely in Nauru detention centre ...
Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
Despite heavy promotion by Murdoch Press 'n friends, a religious bigotry rally on the Gold Coast only manages to draw a few hundred. [4/4/15]
Rockhampton Reclaim Australia Rally attracts about 70 people [Morning Bulletin - 4/4/15]
Stop the boats is a lie.
Australia torture refugees.
Fairfax continues protecting and promoting liar and human rights abuser Fluffy Morrison [Scott Morrison, the sharpest pencil in the box, puts it right - Peter Hartcher - 4/4/15]
During his speech last month to the National Press Club (which Hartcher attended) Peter Greste received a round of applause when he lamented the lack of coverage of world affairs in the Australian press.
He also received a round of applause when responding to a question about the conditions endured (and the blocking of media access to) refugees in Australian camps.
"We need access. .... if we close that down we end up with dark spaces where things are happening that shouldn't be happening," he said.
Australia: Vigil for near-death Iranian hunger striker [Anadolu Agency - 3/4/15]:
Refugee Rights Action Network WA [3/4/15]:
At the vigil for Saeed tonight, a hospital patient approached a small group of us and inquired about what we were doing. Showing the woman the photo we were holding, we explained Saeed's situation, and the conditions and circumstances that led to his hospitalisation. She responded with deep and genuine sympathy for his plight and offered her thought and prayers. She relayed to us a conversation that she recently had with her 21 year old son, who had told her that each day he ...becomes more ashamed to be Australian. With a degree of nostalgia she explained how there was a time when she was proud to be an Australian, but that time had long passed. She implored, 'why do they treat people so inhumanely, all these people have tried to do is seek a safer place to live?' She thanked us and told us she would keep him in her prayers.
4 April 2015