This week saw a worsening of the plight of the Rohingya as the Burmese government decided to invalidate temporary citizenship cards, also known as ‘white cards’. The cards are identity documents which, until this point, afforded holders with some basic rights such as the right to vote. However, the decision to invalidate the cards by 31 March means that those handing back the documents will be unable to vote in the upcoming constitutional referendum.
On the backdrop of more than 15,000 Rohingya having fled Burma in the past month heading to Thailand and Malaysia for sanctuary, President Obama arrives into Naypitaw on Thursday (13th Novemeber 2014) to begin his second round of diplomatic talks with the Burmese government. It is widely anticipated that Obama will address the Burmese public on Friday who...
The intensity of arbitrary arrests and abuse cases has been increasing and widespread reports of incidents have been reported in recent days and weeks across Arakan state in Burma. Late yesterday, (Friday 17th Oct) reports began surfacing of the violent abuse and eventual murder of a Rohingya villager from Naisa Faru in Maungdaw township, North Arakan.
Having been arrested...
Imagine being kidnapped on your way to the shops, kidnapped by strange men, driven several miles away to a village where you learn that one of your kidnappers is to become your new husband. Your soon-to-be in-laws blackmail and intimidate you into accepting this, that it happened to them and now it is happening to you. Your parents have no idea where you are. When they finally do, they discover that you are now married, by then it is too late. This is the fate of hundreds of thousands of young women and girls in Central Asia including Kyrgyzstan.
Pachamama: the revered goddess and loving mother of the earth. She brings a timely reminder of our place within our surroundings and the consequences for not respecting them. She is also a unifying icon, especially for the people of the Andes region who hold an ecological ethos close to their hearts. This goes beyond mythology, with nations such as Ecuador including the rights of Pachamama within their constitution; to be defended as a human right would be. This has not been a purely symbolic gesture; it has helped to uphold previous traditions of environmental protection and stewardship that the political landscape is built upon. Beyond the symbiotic perception of humanity and environment, which is an imperative for a sustainable future; it has given more power to those protecting our fragile ecosystems against those relentlessly trying to exploit Mother Nature further.
Just a little under a month ago, it seemed quite clear that the root cause of the more recent conflict between Israel and Gaza lay ultimately with the kidnapping and subsequent killings of three Israeli teens, after which President Netanyahu did not hold back in pointing the finger. Infact, both Netanyahu and his official spokesperson Mark Regev made official statements in which they very confidently claimed Hamas was responsible for these crimes, and that there was ‘absolutely no doubt' about it.