A boat carrying around 50 Tamil refugees has become stranded offshore from Aceh in Indonesia since June 11th 2016 yet is being prevented from shoring for refugees to seek medical assistance. The boat is thought to have left Sri Lanka around the 2nd of May 2016 with refugees hoping to make the treacherous journey to Australia to seek protection from persecution they had been facing in Sri...
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.
With growing scepticism of foreign involvement in domestic affairs, many developing states are beginning to implement policies limiting international presence; from international aid and NGOs to Corporate Investment. However, in the immensely interdependent world, especially due to the state many countries have been left in from colonial exploitation and its lingering influence, this is a luxury that certain leaders feel their people cannot afford.
The United Nations Human Rights Council in their 24th session held in October 2013 voted to establish a mandate for an ‘Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons’. A recent announcement by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay indicated that plans have been progressing and that the mandate holder will soon be appointed.
After the last Israeli bombardment on Gaza, Obama issued a statement stating ‘There is no country on earth that would tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens from outside its borders’. In his hasty support for Israel he seems to have forgotten his missiles that rain down daily on the citizens of Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.
In comparison to Bush, Obama really represented himself as the “liberal” president; who intended to close down Guantanamo Bay and end all the malarkey of torture and the bewailing families who remained and remain adamant to see the release of their loved ones. But no, he did not close down Guantanamo. However, rather than continuing Bush’s plan of indefinite imprisonment for terrorists, he did devise a new plan to sort out those pesky terrorists. Now, instead of throwing them into Guantanamo and spending money on them, feeding them, clothing them, providing ‘security’ for them; oh and paying guards to torture them he has decided to just drone bomb them: the easiest solution for the messiest of problems.
Sri Lanka has been engulfed by civil war, between their Government and the Tamil Tigers (LTTE) for 40 long years. And yet hardly anyone knows about it. During the last stages of this war in 2009 the Sri Lankan army went on its final offensive; triggering a last brutal confrontation between the two sides. The government side, not surprisingly, prevailed aided by its size and technology as well as the world's indifference.
For the civilians caught in the crossfire (in the northern districts of the tiny Indian Ocean island) during these final months, their last shred of hope rested with the United Nations - established in 1945 to "maintain international peace and promote cooperation in solving international economic, social and humanitarian problems". However, the UN did anything but this during those final stages of the Sri Lankan civil war.
Rio’s shantytowns, or favelas as they are more commonly known are home to millions. It is home to almost ten times as many inhabitants as Dharavi and Soweto combined, and according to some estimates almost 25% of the city’s population live in over 1000 favelas, several of which have been awarded UNESCO world heritage site status. Morro da Providência is Rio’s first and oldest favela, inhabited for over 100 years it is the birthplace of the samba schools that carnival is so famous for and yet Olympic construction projects are threatening its future. Although the city claims that investments will benefit residents, 30%of the community’s population has already been marked for removal and the only public consultations held were to warn residents of their fate. Homes are spray-painted during the day with the initials for the municipal housing secretary and an identifying number. Residents return from work to learn that their homes will be demolished, with no warning of what’s to come, or when.