Friday, February 13, 2009

UN Calls for Trafficking Action

The report says sexual exploitation is only one aspect of human trafficking. The world must do more to confront the largely unstudied and neglected phenomenon of people-trafficking, the United Nations has said in a report. So little is known about the problem, says the report, that no estimate can be given of the number affected. The report also points to a more basic problem: the lack of a common understanding of what human trafficking is, and whom it affects.
But it is "a crime that shames us all", said the UN's Antonio Maria Costa.
In the report - "Global Report on Trafficking in Persons", released by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) - the UN paints a picture of a shadowy form of human slavery little understood by governments, and only rarely adequately tackled. The report points out that the most commonly used term for the problem - "people-trafficking" - itself emphasises the transaction aspects of the crime, rather than the day-to-day experience of modern enslavement. And it suggests the trafficking phenomenon is little understood in all its forms from child soldiering to sweatshop labour, domestic servitude, and even entire villages in bondage. The report cites statistics suggesting that sexual exploitation is the most common form of human trafficking (at 79%, followed by forced labour at 18%). But it says this itself may be an "optical illusion", because "sexual exploitation is highly visible in cities or along highways while forced labour is hidden". "We only see the monster's tail," Mr Costa says. "How many hundreds of thousands of victims are slaving away in sweat shops, fields, mines, factories, or trapped in domestic servitude? Their numbers will surely swell as the economic crisis deepens the pool of potential victims and increases demand for cheap goods and services", he said.
The report also highlights another little-understood aspect of human-trafficking: the fact that female offenders have a more prominent role in people-trafficking than in any other crime, with women accounting for more than 60% of convictions in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The report does applaud the "tremendous progress" made by countries in combating a crime it says has only recently been acknowledged - saying that over the space of just five years until 2008, the proportion of member states with legislation outlawing the major forms of trafficking rose from a third to four-fifths. But it says most countries' conviction rates rarely exceed 1.5 per 100,000 people - "below the level normally recorded for rare crimes... and proportionately much lower than the estimated number of victims". "It is sick that we should even need to write a report about slavery in the 21st Century," said Mr Costa. In order to increase the conviction rate, the UN argues, countries and multilateral organisations need to do more to understand the problem itself. "What we know is the tip of the iceberg, but have no assessment of the iceberg itself," Mr Costa told the BBC.
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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

UN chief deplores Mugabe position

Ban Ki-moon, file pic from 12 December 2008
Mr Ban said the people of Zimbabwe could not wait any longe

UN chief Ban Ki-Moon has said his organisation can do little to help Zimbabwe because of its leaders' refusal to allow it to mediate.

BBC News Dec. 16th. - Zimbabwe's cholera epidemic was only the most visible manifestation of a wider crisis, Mr Ban told a session of the Security Council. The UN says 978 people have been killed by cholera, a 25% increase on the last figure given just days ago. Talks between the government and opposition are meanwhile deadlocked.

The Security Council was holding its first discussions on Zimbabwe since July. UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband described Mr Ban's closed-door briefing on the situation in Zimbabwe as "devastating". The meeting ended without agreement on a motion to censure Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, which a diplomat present said was due to opposition from South Africa. Discussing stalled power-sharing talks in Zimbabwe, Mr Ban said neither the country's government nor the Southern African Development Community (SADC) - which is mediating the talks - welcomed a political role for the UN.

Cholera patient being treated in Harare - 10/12/2008
The current cholera epidemic is only the most visible manifestation of a profound multi-sector crisis
Ban Ki-moon
UN secretary general

"We continue to witness a failure of the leadership in Zimbabwe to address the political, economic, human rights and humanitarian crisis that is confronting the country and to do what is best for the people of Zimbabwe," he said. "The current cholera epidemic is only the most visible manifestation of a profound multi-sector crisis, encompassing food, agriculture, education, health, water, sanitation and HIV/Aids."

After disputed presidential elections in March, Mr Mugabe's Zanu PF party and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change agreed to form a power-sharing government. But implementation of that agreement, reached in September, has been dogged by disagreements over whose supporters would get key ministries. In the Security Council's debate on Zimbabwe in July, Russia and China vetoed an attempt by Western countries to impose sanctions on Mr Mugabe, saying Zimbabwe's difficulties were an internal matter, says the BBC's UN correspondent Laura Trevelyan. But while there is much greater concern about the country now, divisions remain, our correspondent says, and Zimbabwe's descent into chaos continues.

The UN's Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha) said on Monday Zimbabwe's worst cholera-hit area was the capital, Harare, with 208 confirmed deaths and 8,454 suspected cases. David Miliband: 'We heard a devastating report from the secretary general' With the UN warning that up to 60,000 people could become infected if the outbreak is not contained, the South African Red Cross issued an appeal for funds to treat 30,000 people. Mr Miliband said that while cholera was making the headlines, Zimbabwe's real disease was "the disease of misrule and corruption" under Robert Mugabe. Zimbabwe's president said last Thursday the cholera outbreak had been contained, and accused Western powers, including Great Britain, of using the outbreak as a pretext to invade the country and overthrow him. Zimbabwe has also accused its neighbour Botswana of being involved in a plot to overthrow Mr Mugabe's government and hosting military training camps for opposition rebels. Botswana, whose President Ian Khama is one of the few African leaders to have publicly criticised Mr Mugabe, denies the claims.
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Disclaimer
No responsibility or liability shall attach itself to either myself or to the blogspot ‘Mozlink’ for any or all of the articles/images placed here. The placing of an article does not necessarily imply that I agree or accept the contents of the article as being necessarily factual in theology, dogma or otherwise.
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UN President Faces 'serious' Death Threats

Miguel D'Escoto Brockmann has received death threats online this past week. (Eskinder Debebe/UN/Associated Press)
CBC News Mon Dec. 5th. - The president of the United Nations General Assembly has received "very serious" online death threats, his spokesman said Monday.

The threats against Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann were posted in the past week, spokesman Enrique Yeves said. U.S. authorities have been asked to help the UN investigate.

Yeves would not give any details about the threats or say where online they were posted.

D'Escoto, a Roman Catholic priest and former Nicaraguan foreign minister, took over the presidency of the UN in September.

A vocal left-winger, he has been highly critical of the United States, once referring to U.S. President Ronald Reagan as the "butcher" of his people.

The 75-year-old has also attacked Israel's treatment of the Palestinians.

He was quoted in the Jerusalem Post in November as saying the international community should consider a boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel similar to those used against South Africa decades earlier.
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Disclaimer
No responsibility or liability shall attach itself to either myself or to the blogspot ‘Mozlink’ for any or all of the articles/images placed here. The placing of an article does not necessarily imply that I agree or accept the contents of the article as being necessarily factual in theology, dogma or otherwise.
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Friday, December 12, 2008

UK dismisses Mugabe's Claim that Zimbabwe Cholera Crisis is over

A man pushes his relative in a wheelbarrow to a cholera polyclinic in Harare. The nationwide outbreak of cholera, caused by a breakdown in basic water and sanitation services, has left more than 6,000 people infected (Desmond Kwande/AFP/Getty Images)

'I don't know what world he is living in,' says UK's Africa minister

The Guardian Dec. 11th. - Britain and France today dismissed assertions by Robert Mugabe that an outbreak of cholera in Zimbabwe was under control. The epidemic has killed almost 800 people but, in a defiant speech by the Zimbabwean president, he said his government had stopped the outbreak. However, Britain's Africa minister, Mark Malloch-Brown, was scathing of Mugabe's claims. "I don't know what world he is living in," Malloch-Brown said during a one-day trip to South Africa, where he visited a Johannesburg church housing 1,600 Zimbabweans who have fled their country. "There is a raging humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe as well as an economic crisis and still there is no representative government able to lead the country out of this disaster," he said.

The French foreign ministry criticised Zimbabwe for denying visas to French medical staff. "Contrary to what Mr Mugabe says, the cholera epidemic is not under control. France strongly regrets this decision and calls on Zimbabwe's authorities to allow aid to reach the population," a ministry spokesman said. The team of six included three specialists from the French foreign ministry's crisis centre, two epidemiologists and a water treatment expert.

Mugabe's claims, which flew in the face of assessments from international health officials, came in an hour-long televised speech at the funeral of a party official who had died in a car accident. "I am happy we are being assisted by others and we have arrested cholera," Mugabe said in his address. He attacked what he described as western plans to invade Zimbabwe and topple his government. "Now that there is no cholera there is no case for war," Mugabe said. He described Gordon Brown, the British prime minister, and George Bush, the US president, as "crooks" who were "guilty of deliberate lies in order to commit acts of aggression". The Zimbabwean leader made his claims about stopping cholera even as South African officials declared the border with Zimbabwe a disaster area and warned that extraordinary measures were needed to control the rising number of cholera cases. "The whole of the Vhembe district has been declared a disaster area," said Mogale Nchabeleng, a spokesman for South Africa's Limpopo provincial government. The government took the decision after an emergency meeting earlier this week. The district includes Musina, a bustling town at the border crossing between South Africa and the cholera-hit town of Beitbridge in Zimbabwe. Musina is the entry point for thousands of illegal immigrants fleeing the humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe. "These people come in infected and have to be treated. That has been a strain on the capacity of our health infrastructure to respond," Nchabeleng said.

South Africa said it had no plans to quarantine Zimbabweans crossing over to Musina or other border towns. Aid agencies have warned of Zimbabwe's cholera crisis spreading to neighbouring countries, and the region's shared waterway, the Limpopo river, has tested positive for cholera. The outbreak, coupled with an economic meltdown, has prompted calls for international humanitarian assistance, as well as calls from western and some African leaders for Mugabe to resign. The World Health Organisation reported yesterday that the cholera crisis in Zimbabwe had worsened. The UN today raised the death toll from the easily preventable disease to 783. The UN said more than 16,000 cholera cases had been reported in Zimbabwe, where the collapse of Zimbabwe's economy and health care system has left victims to fend for themselves and driven many to try to escape to South Africa.
by Mark Twan
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Disclaimer
No responsibility or liability shall attach itself to either myself or to the blogspot ‘Mozlink’ for any or all of the articles/images placed here. The placing of an article does not necessarily imply that I agree or accept the contents of the article as being necessarily factual in theology, dogma or otherwise.
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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

World’s Hungry Close to One Billion’

Financial Times Dec. 9th. - The food prices has pushed the number of hungry people in the world to almost 1bn, in what the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation described on Tuesday as a “serious setback” to global efforts to reduce mass starvation. “The ongoing financial and economic crisis could tip even more people into hunger and poverty,” the FAO added. The Rome-based organisation said that a preliminary estimate showed the number of undernourished people rose this year by 40m to about 963m people, after rising 75m in 2007. Before the food crisis, there were about 848m chronically hungry people in 2003-05. “High food prices are driving millions of people into food insecurity, worsening conditions for many who were already food-insecure, and threatening long-term global food security,” the FAO said in its report The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2008.

Prices of agricultural commodities such as wheat, corn and rice jumped to record levels earlier this year, triggering food riots in countries ranging from Haiti to Egypt to Bangladesh and prompting appeals for food aid for more than 30 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Although food commodity prices have fallen about 50 per cent from this summer’s all-time highs, they remain well above pre-crisis levels. The cost of rice, for example, has halved since July, but it still trades at prices that are 95 per cent above 2005 levels. In addition, the weakening of some emerging countries’ currencies against the US dollar has partially erased gains from the drop in commodity prices.

The new FAO estimates also show the food crisis has thrown into reverse a decline over a quarter-century in the proportion of undernourished people as a percentage of the world’s population. The percentage has risen now to about 17 per cent, up from a record low of 16 per cent in 2003-05 period, but still below the 20 per cent of 1990-92. “Soaring food prices have reversed some of the gain and successes in hunger reduction, making the mission of achieving the internationally agreed goal on hunger reduction more difficult,” the FAO said.

Almost a decade ago, world leaders agreed in New York to the UN Millennium Development Goals, calling among other targets for a halving between 1990 and 2015 in the proportion of people who suffer from hunger. Jacques Diouf, FAO director-general, said in a foreword for the report that the task of achieving the UN’s hunger reduction targets in the remaining several years to 2015 will “require an enormous and resolute global effort and concrete actions”.

However, with leaders’ attention firmly focused on the global financial crisis and its economic ramifications, many observers now believe that the hunger and poverty reduction targets are no longer achievable by 2015. The vast majority of the world’s undernourished people – more than 90m – live in developing countries, according to FAO estimates. Of these, 65 per cent live in only seven countries: India, China, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan and Ethiopia. In sub-Saharan Africa, one in three people – or almost 240m – are chronically hungry, the highest proportion of undernourished people in the total population.
By Javier Blas
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Disclaimer No responsibility or liability shall attach itself to either myself or to the blogspot ‘Mozlink’ for any or all of the articles/images placed here. The placing of an article does not necessarily imply that I agree or accept the contents of the article as being necessarily factual in theology, dogma or otherwise. Mozlink

Monday, December 8, 2008

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Wednesday, December 10th. is the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

When Will this Mugabe-Made Disaster End?

Dec. 6th. - The Archbishop of York has called on the international community to remove Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe from power as a deadly cholera outbreak continues to add to the woes of a country already devastated by hyperinflation and widespread destitution. Writing in The Observer on Sunday, Dr John Sentamu said that the power-sharing agreement between Mugabe’s Zanu PF party and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change was “dead”. He made a passionate plea to the international community “to bring an end to the charade of power-sharing” that has enabled Mugabe to remain in office. “The impasse within the South African-sponsored negotiations between the MDC and Zanu PF has been sustained by a Mugabe regime which is unwilling to give up power and refuses to recognise the rule of law,” he wrote.

Dr Sentamu compared the situation in Zimbabwe to that which he faced as a dissident in Uganda under Idi Amin before neighbouring Tanzania stepped in to oust the leader from power. “In Uganda, we were beaten, tortured, abused and hundreds were murdered, but never did we starve to death or see the level of suffering which is to be found in today’s Zimbabwe,” he said.

He said that Mugabe and his closest supporters must stand trial before The Hague for their crimes against the people of Zimbabwe. His call for Mugabe’s removal echoes a similar appeal from Archbishop Desmond Tutu last week for the Zimbabwean president to be removed by force if he refuses to go volutarily. Dr Sentamu said, “The time has come for Mugabe to answer for his crimes against humanity, against his countrymen and women and for justice to be done. “The winds of change that once brought hope to Zimbabwe and its neighbours have become a hurricane of destruction with the outbreak of cholera, destitution, starvation and systemic abuse of power by the state. “As a country cries out for justice, we can no longer be inactive to their call. Mugabe and his henchmen must now take their rightful place in The Hague and answer for their actions. “The time to remove them from power has come.”


Lusaka, Zambia:
“Yes, Zambia has problems – but thank God, we’re not Zimbabwe!” I’ve heard this remark several times recently and even repeated it myself. But I never appreciated its full meaning so much until I listened last week to several close Zimbabwean friends tell me about what they are experiencing these days in our neighbour to the south. They had come to a meeting in South Africa that I was attending, analysing the future of democracy in our region. They told me stories of terrible suffering and asked me not to forget them when I returned to Zambia. “Put Zambia’s problems in context – and shout about Zimbabwe’s problems,” they told me! My friends are Zimbabweans, very nationalistic; very patriotic; working for social needs of the people in church-related institutions. They can’t be accused of being British lackeys! Well, I was deeply moved by what they told me and so here are a few of my shouts. I ask you to hear these shouts and then yourselves ask the same questions I will ask at the end of this column.

Rigged politics

The news the past few days is that perhaps some power-sharing agreement has been reached between Mugabe’s ZANU-PF and Tsvangirai’s MDC. My friends warned me not to take too easily the “agreement” language and gestures. For what can you expect, they say, from a set of politicians who were defeated in March elections but rigged the results in order to have a run-off? And then when it was evident that the Ruling Party would also lose the run-off in May, they launched a terrorist campaign that crowded out the opposition from any “free and fair” chance of repeating their March victory. Were the March elections “rigged” to deny the MDC a victory? Simply ask what happened to the vote count from the results posted immediately outside polling stations (like we had here in Zambia for the 30 October elections). Independent observers state that Tsvangirai received more than the required 50 percent of votes, certainly more than the 47.9 percent awarded to him after a one month – yes, that is one month! – delay to announce “official” results. Mugabe and his friends – including commanders of the armed forces - have publicly made it quite clear that they will never accept any popular election results that go against the “sovereignty” established by the “liberation war.” That “sovereignty” is embodied in Mugabe himself. Hence the manipulation of elections, the reneging on agreements, and the blaming of all criticism on former colonialists and their sympathisers!

Violent politics

While political disputes rage on, the effects of present and past violence corrodes any real sense of democracy. Who gives orders to arrest opposition leaders and sympathisers, to suppress popular demonstrations, to destroy homes and businesses in urban areas considered to be supportive of MDC, to unleash “war veterans” and youth militias against their fellow citizens? Intense fear is the order of the day. Understandably, this is what keeps ordinary citizens off the streets, since peaceful demonstrations are strictly forbidden. And when they are attempted, they are dealt with in a bloody fashion.

Collapsed economy

But even more widespread than the political violence adopted to maintain the current rulers in power is the economic and social violence perpetrated against the vast majority of the population. The Post newspaper of Zambia reported that the Governor of the Bank of Zimbabwe was this past week re-appointed (on what constitutional grounds, since no formal government has yet been mandated?) to preside over an official inflation rate of 231 million percent, but an unofficial and more realistic rate of 89.7 sextillion percent. That’s 89,000,000,000,000,000,000,000%!! The economy has almost completely come to a halt, and only major foreign currency is readily accepted. Severe shortages of basics like food and fuel are the order of the day. Electricity and water are turned off in Harare and elsewhere. Sewerage and garbage disposal has closed down, with the consequent frightening rise in cholera. Hunger is widespread as charitable agencies struggle to provide provisions for almost one-half the population in the months ahead. Hospitals and clinics face shortages of everything but patients, especially now as the cholera epidemic spreads (already over 400 deaths in the past several weeks). Educational institutions are not functioning, as teachers (those who have remained in the country) struggle for wages that wouldn’t even cover transport costs to get to their schools.

Deceitful denials

What makes the situation described above so very sad is that the persons in power, from Mugabe down, simply deny there are any problems in their country. At least not any problems that they could be blamed for! People really aren’t hungry or sick, the economic situation really isn’t that bad after all, and any political difficulties are the products of the imperialist/colonialists and their MDC puppets. So strong is the denial mode of operation that highly respected world figures like Jimmy Carter, Koffi Annan and Graca Michel could be turned away from a humanitarian visit on grounds that their visit was not only not necessary but was politically motivated to oppose Mugabe and friends. One can only wonder whether the leaders themselves believe the stories that they tell others. Do they go out into the urban compounds and rural wastelands and see, hear and smell the devastation they daily cause? Mansions and Mercedes may protect them from the tragic realities of their sister and brother Zimbabweans, but what about their consciences?

So what?

Ok, at this point the reader can ask me, so what difference does my shouting make and what could we do? For Zambia, the collapse of Zimbabwe is a disaster not only for the citizens of that sad country but also for us here, living in a country with some problems but overall a truly blessed country. So here are some questions we should ask – and look for some immediate answers!

1. What is the Zambian government’s official policy towards the increasing number of refugees fleeing here from our neighbour? Because of the cholera epidemic, will Zimbabweans continue to be turned away in Livingstone? What about the growing number of Zimbabwean women now selling (vegetables and themselves!) on the streets of Lusaka?

2. What is the response of the Zimbabwean High Commissioner in Lusaka to the analysis made here and elsewhere that challenges both the legitimacy and the morality of the current regime in power? Can the Commissioner explain why so many fellow citizens are fleeing into Zambia? Remember, this is Zambia, a country whose citizens sacrificed much in lives and prosperity to assist in the liberation struggle in Zimbabwe.

3. What is the stance of President Rupiah Banda toward the Zimbabwean crisis? Is there any part of the Mwanawasa “legacy” of courageous challenge that endures in his official position? Will he exercise moral leadership in the SADC region? So these are the shouts I promised my Zimbabwean friends. Any echoes here in Zambia?

By Peter Henriot SJ Director of the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, Lusaka, Zambia


Please forward this message (from Zimbabwe via South Africa) to one and all, especially your MP.

An SOS from Home - ZIMBABWE - PLEASE read and forward to as many people as you know.

Terrible, terrible things are taking place in Zimbabwe by the thugs that rule the place. The Internet is a powerful tool and the only way that this madman and his henchmen are going to be brought to justice is if the whole world gangs up on them and topples their evil bastion once and for all.

Please forward this everyone you know so it gets around the world in a few days.

Letter from Zimbabwe

I reckon that these are the last days of TKM and ZPF. The darkest hour is
always before dawn.

We are all terrified at what they are going to destroy next........I mean they are actually ploughing down brick and mortar houses and one family with twin boys of 10 had no chance of salvaging anything when 100 riot police came in with AK47's and bulldozers and demolished their beautiful house - 5 bedrooms and pine ceilings - because it was 'too close to the airport', so we are feeling extremely insecure right now.

You know - I am aware that this does not help you sleep at night, but if you do not know - how can you help? Even if you put us in your own mental ring of light and send your guardian angels to be with us - that is a help -but I feel so cut off from you all knowing I cannot tell you what's going on here simply because you will feel uncomfortable. There is no ways we can leave here so that is not an option.

I ask that you all pray for us in the way that you know how, and let me know that you are thinking of us and sending out positive vibes... that's all. You can't just be in denial and pretend/believe it's not going on. To be frank with you, it's genocide in the making and if you do not believe me, read the Genocide Report by Amnesty International which says we are - IN level 7 - (level 8 is after it's happened and everyone is in denial).

If you don't want me to tell you these things-how bad it is-then it means you have not dealt with your own fear, but it does not help me to think you are turning your back on our situation. We need you, please, to get the news OUT that we are all in a fearfully dangerous situation here. Too many people turn their backs and say - oh well, that's what happens in Africa

This Government has GONE MAD and you need to help us publicize our plight---or how can we be rescued? It's a reality! The petrol queues are a reality, the pall of smoke all around our city is a reality, the thousands of homeless people sleeping outside in 0 Celsius with no food, water, shelter and bedding are a reality. Today a family approached me, brother of the gardener's wife with two small children. Their home was trashed and they will have to sleep outside. We already support 8 adult people and a child on this property, and electricity is going up next month by 250% as is water.

How can I take on another family of 4 -----and yet how can I turn them away to sleep out in the open? I am not asking you for money or a ticket out of here - I am asking you to FACE the fact that we are in deep and terrible danger and want you please to pass on our news and pictures. So PLEASE don't just press the delete button! Help best in the way that you know how.

Do face the reality of what is going on here and help us SEND OUT THE WORD.. The more people who know about it, the more chance we have of the United Nations coming to our aid. Please don't ignore or deny what's happening.
Some would like to be protected from the truth BUT then, if we are eliminated, how would you feel? 'If only we knew how bad it really was we could have helped in some way'.

[I know we chose to stay here and that some feel we deserve what's coming to us]

For now,--- we ourselves have food, shelter, a little fuel and a bit of money for the next meal - but what is going to happen next? Will they start on our houses? All property is going to belong to the State now. I want to send out my Title Deeds to one of you because if they get a hold of those, I can't fight for my rights.

Censorship!----We no longer have SW radio [which told us everything that was happening] because the Government jammed it out of existence - we don't have any reporters, and no one is allowed to photograph. If we had reporters here, they would have an absolute field day. Even the pro-Government Herald has written that people are shocked, stunned, bewildered and blown mindless by the wanton destruction of many folks homes, which are supposed to be 'illegal' but for which a huge percentage actually do have licenses.

Please! - do have some compassion and HELP by sending out the articles and personal reports so that something can/may be done.

'I am one. I cannot do everything, ---but I can do something.. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do. What I can do, I should do. And what I should do, by the grace of God,
I will do.'

Please send this on to everyone in your address book. We send jokes out without blinking an eyelid. We don't get told this on the news in South Africa, we only get told what they want us to hear. We all have a chance to do something, even though the something is by pressing forward to as many people as possible. Let's stop talking and let's start doing! There is power in prayer, there is also power in more people knowing about this than you in my address book. This is going to America , Dubai , Australia , France , South Africans all over South Africa, the UK. By forwarding this to all in my address book I have done something. The world needs to know what is going on.


ZIMBABWE: Tell Mugabe to Go, Anglican Primate Asks AU

CAPE TOWN, December 5, 2008 ( CISA) -The African Union should declare publicly that Mugabe’s rule is illegitimate and that he must step aside, the head of the Anglican Church in the region has said. The AU should work speedily with the United Nations to set up a transitional government to take control in Zimbabwe, the primate of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa Archbishop Thabo Makgoba added. At the same time, the archbishop of Cape Town severely criticized the Southern African Development Community (SADC) for its “disgraceful” silence over the deepening crisis in Zimbabwe. The SADC, he said in a statement, has failed and is morally bankrupt.

“I am deeply pained by the terrible deterioration, disease and despair we are seeing in Zimbabwe,” the archbishop said, adding that there is “total collapse of governance in Zimbabwe, of which we see new evidence daily.” “But the silence of SADC leaders in general is disgraceful. Why throughout this crisis have we seen no evidence of public leadership from King Mswati III, chairperson of SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation? “He should not only be taking high-profile action on Zimbabwe, but needs to show that peace and democracy are possible in his own country. “Are SADC’s leaders not moved by the terrible human suffering in Zimbabwe? Where is their ubuntu? Must people be massacred in Zimbabwe’s streets before SADC will take firm, decisive and public action? Will they, even then? “No, SADC has failed and is morally bankrupt. President Mugabe has demonstrated again and again that he will not share power. He is no longer fit to rule.”

Former Anglican archbishop of Cape Town Desmond Tutu said Mugabe must resign or be sent to The Hague for the "gross violations" he has committed. The Nobel Prize winner told Dutch television that Mugabe should be removed by force if he refuses to go. He had ruined "a wonderful country", turning a "bread-basket" into a "basket case". On Thursday, Kenya's Prime Minister Raila Odinga said African governments should oust Zimbabwe's leader. "Power-sharing is dead in Zimbabwe and will not work with a dictator who does not really believe in power-sharing." US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has said it is "well past time" for Mugabe to go, saying a "sham election" has been followed by a "sham process of power-sharing talks".

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Disclaimer
No responsibility or liability shall attach itself to either myself or to the blogspot ‘Mozlink’ for any or all of the articles/images placed here. The placing of an article does not necessarily imply that I agree or accept the contents of the article as being necessarily factual in theology, dogma or otherwise.
Mozlink

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Mugabe to Form Zimbabwe Cabinet; Opposition Calls for Boycott

JOHANNESBURG, Nov. 10 (Washington Post): -- Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe indicated Monday that he would move quickly to form a government, despite the collapse one day earlier of a new round of power-sharing talks that have stalled over the allocation of ministries. Speaking on state television, Mugabe said a cabinet would be formed "as soon as possible." The main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), said it would boycott the move. The back-and-forth followed a special one-day summit here of southern African leaders, who recommended early Monday that Zimbabwe end the impasse by immediately forming a unity government and splitting control of the disputed Home Affairs Ministry between Mugabe's party, the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), and the MDC.

The MDC rejected the proposal by the Sth. African Development Community (SADC) as unworkable and in defiance of the power-sharing agreement signed Sept. 15, which allocated 16 of 31 cabinet seats to the opposition but did not assign specific ministries. "SADC approached this summit without any concrete strategy and did not have the courage and decency of looking Mr. Mugabe in the eyes and telling him that his position was wrong," opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai said in a statement. Patrick Chinamasa, ZANU-PF's chief negotiator in the talks, said Mugabe planned to invite the opposition to submit nominees for ministries but would "go ahead with the formation," no matter what.

The opposition has insisted on control of Home Affairs, which oversees a police force that human rights groups say has ignored state-sponsored attacks on opposition supporters. The MDC sees the ministry as a crucial counterbalance to the defense and intelligence forces that negotiators have agreed would be assigned to Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe for 28 years. Tsvangirai said he would call on the African Union for help. But in an interview Wednesday, an MDC spokesman said that negotiations were "dead" and that the opposition parties would "watch from afar" if Mugabe formed a new government without their approval.

The Sept. 15 agreement was viewed as a major breakthrough for an economically devastated nation that had been in political crisis since spring, when Tsvangirai outpolled Mugabe in the first round of presidential elections. Tsvangirai withdrew from a runoff after a bloody government crackdown on his supporters. But analysts said Monday that it appeared unlikely the deal could be salvaged without the intervention of the African Union or the UN. Even then, Mugabe has shown little willingness to submit to outside pressure, despite international donors' promises to provide aid money only if a true unity government is formed. In Washington, State Department spokesman Robert A Wood called the SADC proposal "just another example of the Mugabe regime's attempt to subvert the will of the Zimbabwean people." He said the United States might consider additional sanctions against Mugabe and his allies if the power-sharing deal dies.

The situation for average Zimbabweans, meanwhile, is growing more dire with each day of stalemate, aid groups say. In a nation where inflation is officially 231 million percent and staples are nearly nonexistent, millions of Zimbabweans are going hungry. Political violence has also continued, human rights groups and opposition members say. At least 163 opposition supporters have been killed since the spring, according to a report last week by Human Rights Watch. The report warned that a move by Mugabe to form a government would create a "serious risk" of renewed and widespread state-sponsored violence. Other observers, however, say Mugabe could face a backlash if he defies the power-sharing deal. "The bottom line is that with the implosion which is happening on the ground -- there's no water, there's no money, there's no food -- Mugabe is courting a recipe for disaster if he moves unilaterally," said Sydney Masamvu, a South Africa-based analyst for the International Crisis Group. "The possibility of social uprising is far greater."
by Karin Brulliard
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Disclaimer
No responsibility or liability shall attach itself to either myself or to the blogspot ‘Mozlink’ for any or all of the articles/images placed here. The placing of an article does not necessarily imply that I agree or accept the contents of the article as being necessarily factual in theology, dogma or otherwise.
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Monday, October 27, 2008

Fresh Elections Loom for Zimbabwe

A Zimbabwean woman protests outside the venue where power-sharing talks were being held in Harare this week. (Photograph: AP)
Mail & Guardian Online Oct. 24th.
- Ahead of next week's regional summit to save the Zimbabwe power-sharing deal, what began as a row over a passport has escalated into the possibility of yet another round of elections for weary Zimbabweans.
Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai was due to meet the executive members of the MDC this week, in a meeting which a spokesperson said could see his withdrawal from the power-sharing agreement and a call for new elections. If this happens, Zimbabwe could be holding its eighth poll in as many years. MDC spokesperson Nelson Chamisa said: "Our national executive committee will meet before Friday to decide on the way forward, although I must hasten to say there is growing consensus for us to withdraw from the September 15 deal. Our structures are now calling for a fresh presidential election. They are of the opinion that a fresh election is the way forward." This week the government of Botswana also called for new elections.

Tsvangirai will not meet any resistance from the hardline ranks of Zanu-PF if he decides to pull out of the agreement. Jabulani Sibanda, leader of the radical war veterans' movement, has called for RobertMugabe to stop talking to the MDC and form a government. "The nation will take action to defend itself from Tsvangirai," he said. Sibanda is a fervent Mugabe ally and headed a violent campaign last year to purge internal Zanu-PF opposition to Mugabe's re-election as party leader. As editorials in state media became more strident in their calls for Mugabe to ditch the deal and form a government, senior Tsvangirai supporters were also ratcheting up pressure on their leader to boycott next Monday's summit, withdraw from the deal and seek a new election.

The power-sharing agreement is unravelling over which party gets control over the home affairs ministry -- under which the police fall -- despite Mugabe making an important concession by yielding the finance ministry. Tsvangirai refused to attend this week's summit in Mbabane, Swaziland, angry at the Zimbabwean government's refusal to issue him with a passport. But others have reported anger within the MDC over a report, said to have been prepared by South African mediator Thabo Mbeki, which backs Mugabe's allocation of ministries. "To the extent possible, all the parties have been allocated portfolios, which allow them to have a presence in each of the priority sectors," said a report, which was circulating among MDC officials ahead of the Mbabane summit. The "priority sectors" are listed as the restoration of economic stability, delivery of social services, the rule of law, adoption of a new Constitution, the land question, restructuring state organs and institutions and national healing, cohesion and unity. There has been no comment from Mbeki on the document.

While the pressure mounts on both Mugabe and Tsvangirai to withdraw from the deal, political analysts are split over which of the two men would suffer the most damage from such a decision. Many believe Mugabe has little left to lose, while Tsvangirai is still seeking to build relations with African leaders who are still wary of him. "It would be a dangerous mistake for [Tsvangirai] to be labelled a spoiler by both the SADC [Southern African Development Community] and the AU [African Union]," said Eldred Masunungure, a political analyst. There is also debate over whether either of the two main parties is prepared for a new round of elections, or if Zimbabweans themselves want to be put through another round of what could well be even more violent campaigning.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, discredited for a month-long delay in releasing results in March, stoked the fires this week by announcing it was preparing to hold by-elections in five constituencies, against a clause in the September 15 power-sharing agreement that stays such elections for a year.

Herald: Tsvangirai's passport woes justified
Zimbabwe's state-owned Herald newspaper, which normally reflects official thinking, has said opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai should be the last person to get a passport. In an editorial, titled", Morgan should be the last to get a passport", the paper accused Tsvangirai of campaigning for Western sanctions against Zimbabwe, which, it said, had crippled every sector of society, including the passport office. The newspaper said Tsvangirai -- who refused to travel to a regional summit on Monday to discuss Zimbabwe's deadlocked power-sharing deal unless he was issued with a passport -- did not deserve any special treatment from the registrar general's department, which issues passports. "Why does he want special treatment when he campaigned for the sanctions that have affected every sector of society including the passport office?", the editorial read. The Herald said Tsvangirai should have travelled to Swaziland using an emergency travel document (ETD) as he has often done in the past. "Would he be the only Zimbabwean travelling on an ETD?" it asked. "We hope African leaders have seen for themselves the kind of opposition we are trying to rehabilitate into national leadership in Zimbabwe. "Shortage of passports aside, Tsvangirai should be the last person to get a passport, and only after he condemns the sanctions that have constrained the registrar-general's capacity to meet the national demand for passports." Because of Tsvangirai's failure to travel to Mbabane, regional leaders will try to meet in Harare on Monday next week to find a solution to the troubled Southern African nation's deepening crisis.--
JASON MOYO for Zimonline +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Disclaimer
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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Indian archbishop pleas for prime minister to pay attention to attacks on Christians


October 12th -With the intensification of violence against Christians in India, the chairman of the Catholic Council of Bishops in India, Archbishop Leo Cornelio, called upon the country’s Prime Minister to not only focus on the attacks in the states of Orissa and Karnataka, but also the increasing violence in Madhya Pradesh.

The archbishop’s letter, dated Wednesday, opens by commending the Prime Minister’s decision to convene a meeting to discuss “the grave situation in Orissa and Karnataka” due to a “series of murderous attacks on Christian communities and their Churches.”

While the prelate notes that the attacks in those particular states are violent, he requests that the head of state pay attention to the “happenings” in Madhya Pradesh that “are also equally serious.”

“From the day the [Bajrang dal] BJP came into power in Madhya Pradesh in the year 2003 minorities in Madhya Pradesh have been subjected to [a] series of violent attacks on shops of Muslims and churches of Christians at many places. At many places violent attacks were made on the members of the two communities causing them grave injuries,” writes the archbishop.

The letter goes on to give examples of the violence against religion in the region. “In some cases churches more than 80 years old were set on fire. Even the Nuns at various places including Indore, Ujjain, Bhopal etc. were not spared.”

Though these incidents continue to occur, the government has not intervened.

Archbishop Cornelio explains that when the violent attacks have occurred, the “police and administration remained mute spectators” or even “helped the miscreants in their nefarious acts.”

In hope of receiving protection, Indian bishops “have been repeatedly drawing the attention of the Chief Minister, Chief Secretary and Director General of Police seeking their intervention. But our attempts did not yield any positive and effective results.”

Greater protection is needed for the security of the Christian people, Archbishop Cornelio insisted, pointing out that recently the president of VHP released a statement “hailing attacks on Orissa Christians.”

He has also warned that such attacks “will continue with greater intensity and determination.” Because of this, the archbishop concluded, “we again request you to include the incidents of Madhya Pradesh on the agenda of the forth coming meeting of the National Integration Council.”

Between April 2004 and September 2008, in the state of Madhya Pradesh, there have been nearly 111 attacks. Dozens of families have lost their homes and more than 20 churches have been burnt or desecrated.

In one instance, an 11 year-old girl was raped and murdered in the bathroom of a Catholic Church.

Several of the attacks were witnessed by the police, who stood by watching.

A larger survey of the violence within the five states of Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala, reveals a devastating picture: 149 churches have been burned and 4,640 homes set ablaze, leaving 53,000 Christians homeless, 18 000 wounded and more than 50 dead.
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Disclaimer
No responsibility or liability shall attach itself to either myself or to the blogspot ‘Mozlink’ for any or all of the articles/images placed here. The placing of an article does not necessarily imply that I agree or accept the contents of the article as being necessarily factual in theology, dogma or otherwise.
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Friday, September 12, 2008

Urgent Letter from Zimbabwe - August 30th.

I reckon that these are the last days of Mugabe and ZPF. The darkest hour is always before dawn. We are all terrified at what they are going to destroy next........I mean they are actually ploughing down brick and mortar houses and one family with twin boys of 10 had no chance of salvaging anything when 100 riot police came in with AK47's and bulldozers and demolished their beautiful house - 5 bedrooms and pine ceilings - because it was 'too close to the airport', so we are feeling extremely insecure right now.

You can't just be in denial and pretend/believe it's not going on. To be frank with you, it's genocide in the making and if you do not believe me, read the Genocide Report by Amnesty International which says we are - IN level 7 - (level 8 is after it's happened and everyone is in denial). If you don't want me to tell you these things-how bad it is-then it means you have not dealt with your own fear, but it does not help me to think you are turning your back on our situation. We need you, please, to get the news OUT that we are all in a fearfully dangerous situation here. Too many people turn their backs and say - oh well, that's what happens in Africa.

This Government has GONE MAD and you need to help us publicize our plight---or how can we be rescued? It's a reality! The petrol queues are a reality, the pall of smoke all around our city is a reality, the thousands of homeless people sleeping outside in 0 Celsius with no food, water, shelter and bedding are a reality. Today a family approached me, brother of the gardener's wife with two small children. Their home was trashed and they will have to sleep outside. We already support 8 adult people and a child on this property and electricity is going up next month by 250% as is water. How can I take on another family of 4 -----and yet how can I turn them away to sleep out in the open? I am not asking you for money or a ticket out of here. I am asking you to FACE the fact that we are in deep and terrible danger and want you please to pass on our news and pictures. So PLEASE don't just press the delete button! Help best in the way that you know how.

Do face the reality of what is going on here and help us SEND OUT THE WORD.. The more people who know about it, the more chance we have of the United Nations coming to our aid. Please don't ignore or deny what's happening. Some would like to be protected from the truth BUT then, if we are eliminated, how would you feel? 'If only we knew how bad it really was we could have helped in some way'. [I know we chose to stay here and that some feel we deserve what's coming to us]

For now,--- we ourselves have food, shelter, a little fuel and a bit of money for the next meal - but what is going to happen next? Will they start on our houses? All property is going to belong to the State now. I want to send out my Title Deeds to one of you because if they get a hold of those, I can't fight for my rights. Censorship!----We no longer have SW radio [which told us everything that was happening] because the Government jammed it out of existence - we don't have any reporters, and no one is allowed to photograph. If we had reporters here, they would have an absolute field day. Even the pro-Government Herald has written that people are shocked, stunned, bewildered and blown mindless by the wanton destruction of many folks homes, which are supposed to be 'illegal' but for which a huge percentage actually do have licenses.

Please! - do have some compassion and HELP by sending out the articles and personal reports so that something can/may be done. "I am one. I cannot do everything, ---but I can do something.. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do. What I can do, I should do. And what I should do, by the grace of God, I will do."---- Name supplied

Please send this on to everyone in your address book. We don't get told this on the news in South Africa, we only get told what they want us to hear. We all have a chance to do something, even though the something is by pressing forward to as many people as possible. Let's stop talking and let's start doing! There is power in more people knowing about this than you in my address book. This is going to America, Dubai, Australia, France, South Africans all over South Africa, the UK. By forwarding this to all in my address book I have done something. The world needs to know what is going on.
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Disclaimer
No responsibility or liability shall attach itself to either myself or to the blogspot ‘Mozlink’ for any or all of the articles/images placed here. The placing of an article does not necessarily imply that I agree or accept the contents of the article as being necessarily factual in theology, dogma or otherwise.
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82 yr Old Vietnam Archbishop Travels 334 Klms to Protest

Bishop Paul Cao Dinh Thuyen, 82, travelled 334 km on Wednesday from his Vinh diocese to Thai Ha – Hanoi to show his solidarity with protestors. “The problem of Thai Ha is also a trouble of Vinh and Thanh Hoa diocese, and of the entire Church in Vietnam,” said Bishop Paul Cao on arriving. The land dispute in Thai Ha by its nature is a civil row between a Catholic parish and a state-run company. However, the government, in its efforts to keep seizing the land illegally, mobilized its system of media to falsely accuse, distort, and defame parishioners, their priests, and the Church as a whole; and then attacked them physically. For almost a month, the state media has been fabricating stories each day in an attempt to discredit the Catholic Church. False priests, false Catholics have also been employed in interviews on TV, radio, and newspapers. These things “upset extremely” Bishop Paul Cao who “has monitored all developments in Thai Ha” with great concerns.

Bishop Joseph Nguyen Chi Linh of Thai Hoa diocese concelebrated Mass for protestors with Bishop Paul Cao and Bishop Joseph Dang Duc Ngan of Lang Son who has been among the protestors since last Friday. “We are here to show our communion with you,” said Bishop Joseph Nguyen in his sermon. He asked everyone to pray intensely “for those who were arrested and for those who have been harassed somehow by the government.” Thousands of Catholics in nearby provinces had to ride bicycles to Thai Ha after their buses were forced to return by police. Correspondents in Vietnam report that plain clothed police are hunting for Catholic reporters who have informed to the outside world developments of the protest. Internet CafĂ© have been raided since Monday. “I was about to send an email,” said a source who has requested anonymity for her own safety, “when police swamped in. The person next to me had his browsing history inspected. He even was forced to log-in his Gmail account for ‘security inspection’.” Vietnam is closely monitoring reports of Catholic outlets on the protests. “VietCatholic News is completely firewalled. Other Catholic sites are still accesible. But you are in serious trouble should your browsing history include Asia-News, Catholic News Agency, Catholic World News, Independent Catholic News, Zenit...just to name a few” the source warned.

Police Crackdown

Thousands of Catholics in Hanoi are continuing their peaceful protests asking for the return of their land illegally seized by the Vietnamese government. Worried about the international exposure of their tactics, the police are engaging in a campaign against journalists and foreign media. With tensions simmering between the police and the Catholic protestors, the government has spent the better part of the past month using its influence in the state media to spread false accusations, defame parishioners, their priests, and the Church as a whole. False priests and people who aren’t even Catholics have also been trotted out for TV interviews, radio, and newspapers. The police have even gone so far as to physically attack some of the protestors, local sources report.

Realizing that their efforts to distort the Catholic protests are not succeeding when it comes to international news outlets, such as CNA, the Vietnamese police have made internet reporting a crime and have organized a manhunt for Catholic reporters. One source informed CNA that plain-clothed police are hunting for Catholic reporters who have corresponded with media outlets regarding developments of the protests. The Vietnamese government is closely monitoring reports of Catholic outlets on the protests. “You are in serious trouble should your browsing history include Asia-News, Catholic News Agency, Catholic World News, Independent Catholic News, VietCatholic News, Zenit...just to say a few names,” the source warned.
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Disclaimer
No responsibility or liability shall attach itself to either myself or to the blogspot ‘Mozlink’ for any or all of the articles/images placed here. The placing of an article does not necessarily imply that I agree or accept the contents of the article as being necessarily factual in theology, dogma or otherwise.
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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Indian Government Not Doing Enough says Bishop

Bishop Alex Dias of the Diocese of Port Blair in India’s Andaman and Nicobare islands has charged that the Indian government is not doing enough to halt the anti-Christian violence in the state of Orissa. Speaking in an interview, the bishop warned that the violence could spread if it is not halted in time, saying “The world must know that these things happen in India.” “The government of Orissa and the Indian government are not doing all they should do, despite the presence of police,” Bishop Dias said in an interview with SIR News. “But if the violence against Christians is not stopped in time, it risks spreading to other Indian states that are famously anti-Christian, such as Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisghar. There are some signs of this happening already.”

The series of anti-Christian attacks began when a Hindu leader was killed by suspected Communist militants. Hindu extremists used the leader’s death as a pretext for the violence, in which many Christians have been killed and many Christian churches and homes burned to the ground. “Even if all the world knows Christians are not responsible,” the bishop continued, “the Hindu fundamentalists want to kill a Catholic leader too. The archbishop is doing all he can to curb the violence, meeting politicians in Delhi, but that’s not enough.” Bishop Dias said the India Supreme Court’s ban of a planned procession bearing the ashes of the murdered Hindu leader is a positive development, claiming that more actions against Christians were planned to follow the event. “The world must know that these things happen in India, which boasts to be the world’s greatest democracy,” the bishop told SIR. “What is happening is ridiculous. In a democracy with a lay government, every religion should have its freedom.”

According to Bishop Dias, international diplomatic pressure is needed despite the Indian government’s condemnations of the violence and the deployment of a special police force. “They should have acted earlier,” the bishop said of the Indian government. “They took action after the pressures of the Bishops Conference, in my opinion, a bit late and not adequately.” Though it is reported that the situation in Orissa has calmed, there are still some attacks in relief camps. “People do not want to stay there, because they feel threatened,” Bishop Dias explained. There is still peace in the Andaman and Nicobare Islands, where about 40,000 Catholics make up a fraction of the archipelago’s total population of 400,000. Bishop Dias told SIR that after the violence in Orissa began, he met with the delegates of the local media. “They all condemned the incidents,” he said. “Then, on September 4, we organized a procession with other Christian leaders and 12 delegates of the other religions.” “The governor of the Andaman Islands reassured us that it will not happen here,” Bishop Dias reported.

Priest speaks of his ordeal:
Fr Edward Sequeira, one of the victims of the violence committed by Hindu radicals in Orissa, does not hesitate to call them terrorists. Hindu fundamentalists have long been conducting a campaign against conversions to Christianity, and against evangelization. For Fr Edward, 58, missionary activity is something that upholds the dignity of the person. “I have been working among lepers in Padampur in Bargarh district for the past ten years. I realized that, given the preference for a male child in rural Indian communities, parents many times have more than 4-5 daughters before a son is born - and unfortunately, these girls are rarely sent to school, they are made to graze cattle or even sent at early age as domestic workers or to the landlords, and many girls suffer from malnutrition. "So I started a very small hostel-orphanage for girls, to give them opportunity and dignity through education and vocational training. One such girl in my orphanage was Rajni Majhi. Hatred of Christianity and personal development is what drives radical Hindu groups to try to wipe out the presence of Christians and their institutions. "For more than 25 years I have worked in Orissa, and not a single person have I converted to Christianity".

Fr Edward explains what happened to him: "On Monday August 25th, around 1.30 pm, as I was having lunch, there was a knock on the door. When I opened it, a huge crowd of more than 500 people were outside and asked: 'Who is the priest?'. This is nothing strange, as often people come requesting my help, for my vehicle to drive them to a hospital or other such emergencies. As soon as I identified myself, they raised their arms holding all the weapons - axes, shovels, spades and iron rods. They took me outside in the courtyard and began hitting me, screaming abuses at Christianity and shouting 'Bajrang Bali Ki Jai; Yesu Christi Murdabada; Hail Lord Hanuman (a Hindu god with the face of a monkey), destroy, eliminate Jesus Christ', beating me on my head, back, all over my body. "They thrashed me for nearly an hour. Then they entered my room, collected all the clothes and books and whatever they laid their hands on and piled it in the centre of the room, threw some kerosene on the pile, and some crude oil, and threw some gelatin sticks which they had brought with them and lit the fire and threw me into the flames and locked the door from the outside. Somehow, I was not frightened, there was definitely the divine presence in the burning room, and I went into the bathroom and locked myself in and shut all the windows. The whole room was engulfed in thick smoke and flames. In the meanwhile, the men dragged Rajni outside with the children - some of the children escaped. They brought her outside my bathroom window. I could hear the cries of Rajni.

"These criminals tied her hands together - they made a huge bonfire in the orphanage room and threw her onto the fire. I can still hear her voice, 'Father, they are going to burn me', these were her last words to me, after this I lost consciousness. Now my concern is for helping the orphans. These children saw the fire. I can't even imagine their trauma; they will be afraid for their whole lives". It was only the arrival of fire-fighters that put an end to the tragedy. "When the Church makes the people aware of their dignity and gives them self-reliance, we are attacked. We are improving the economic status of the poor and marginalised. The international community must unequivocally condemn this terrorist attack, and also impose sanctions. The international community should question India's abuse and lack of human rights and religious freedom”.
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Disclaimer
No responsibility or liability shall attach itself to either myself or to the blogspot ‘Mozlink’ for any or all of the articles/images placed here. The placing of an article does not necessarily imply that I agree or accept the contents of the article as being necessarily factual in theology, dogma or otherwise.
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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

SOUTH AFRICA: How heavy is human trafficking?


Photo: Manoocher Deghati/IRIN
Trafficking?
JOHANNESBURG, 8 September 2008 (IRIN) - A series of workshops, hosted by the South African government and the International Organisation doe Migration (IOM), are being held to enlist the support of the media in raising the public profile of human trafficking. The IOM contends that global human trafficking is worth between US$7 billion and $12 billion dollars annually, making it the third most lucrative criminal activity after the narcotics and weapons trades, although "in contrast to these other criminal activities, however, the penalties for human trafficking in most countries are much less severe, or non-existent." The workshops, Human Trafficking: Reporting on the Phenomenon in South Africa, are designed to provide the media with the tools "to combat human trafficking by raising awareness of the public through informative, effective and frequent reporting."

The clandestine nature of human trafficking makes the scale of the illicit industry difficult to assess and there are few reliable statistics on the number of persons trafficked in the southern African region, Karen Blackman, spokesperson for the IOM's Southern Africa Counter-Trafficking Assistance Program (SACTAP), told the first of three two-day workshops being held in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. "South Africa is commonly regarded as the main country of destination for trafficked persons in the region," SACTAP said in its brochure. "In many cases, women and children are lured to South Africa with promises of jobs, education or marriage, only to be sold and sexually exploited in the country's major urban centres, or small towns and more rural environments."

''In many cases, women and children are lured to South Africa with promises of jobs, education, or marriage, only to be sold and sexually exploited in the country's major urban centres, or small towns and more rural environments''
On 19 April 2008 Mozambique became the first country of the 14-member regional body, the Southern African Development Community (SADC), to enact a law specifically criminalising human trafficking, although 12 SADC countries have ratified the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, which is also known as the Palermo Protocol. Adopted by the United Nations in Palermo, Italy in 2000, the protocol requires signatories to combat human trafficking and protect and assist victims of trafficking. South Africa is currently developing anti-trafficking legislation. Blackman told the workshop that three elements had to be present for the activity to be defined as human trafficking: recruitment, deception and exploitation.

The Palermo Protocol defines trafficking as "the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability, or of the giving of or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person for the purpose of exploitation." In this context, Blackman said, exploitation included prostitution, sexual exploitation, forced labour, slavery or similar practices, and the removal of organs.

Trafficking in history
In the late 1980s the rise of HIV/AIDS and activities such as sex tourism brought the trade under scrutiny. The subject reached the UN General Assembly, and appeared on the agendas of the 1993 World Conference on Human Rights and the 1995 Beijing World Conference on Women, and governments then began to introduce counter-measures against human trafficking. However, in a 2006 paper for a think-tank, the Institute for Security Studies (ISS): Getting to grips with Trafficking, independent researcher Robyn Pharoah pointed out that "the beginning of the contemporary trafficking debate can be traced back to the late 19th century, when the British Pall Mall Gazette published a series of articles on the 'white slave trade'."

The Gazette's scoop recounted stories of abduction, gang rape, and women and children being lured into forced prostitution, creating a wave of revulsion from Europe to the United States. "It is a matter of debate as to how common the 'white slave trade' actually was, but the [Pall Mall] Gazette's articles created a moral panic and powerfully linked two arguably unrelated topics - prostitution and slavery - in a way that has influenced perceptions of human trafficking ever since."

The scale of human trafficking?
A 2004 report by South Africa's Independent Newspapers alleged that "every year nearly 900,000 people are smuggled across borders as sex slaves, child labourers and illegal organ donors, with 75 percent of them going through South Africa." Although the report did not name the source of its information, it did highlight the lack of verifiable figures in the debate on human trafficking. In her research Pharoah recognises this trend, quoting Kamala Kempadoo, Associate Professor of Latin American and Caribbean Studies at York University, Ontario, Canada, and co-author of the book, Global Sex Workers: Rights, Resistance, and Redefinition, who notes that "few eyebrows are raised and figures [on human trafficking] are easily bandied about without question."

Official statistics are not available and "reports on the trade in South Africa draw almost entirely on three pieces of primary research": two reports compiled in 2000 by the children's advocacy group, Molo Songololo, and a 2003 study by the IOM, but only the IOM study attempted to ascertain the numbers involved. "Using numbers provided by informants in the sex industry and migration figures provided by Statistics South Africa, the authors calculate that between 850 and 1,100 women and children are trafficked to South Africa for the purpose of sexual exploitation annually," Pharoah said.
''The image of human beings being sold into virtual or actual slavery creates a moral imperative to act that seems inhuman to refuse, however, it is far from clear how big an issue trafficking is, either internationally or in South Africa''
"They similarly estimate that at least 1,000 Mozambican women are trafficked into some kind of sexual exploitation in South Africa each year, earning traffickers approximately R1 million [$125,000] annually."

Pharoah acknowledged that "The image of human beings being sold into virtual or actual slavery creates a moral imperative to act that seems inhuman to refuse," however, "it is far from clear how big an issue trafficking is, either internationally or in South Africa." In an article, Cheap Lives, written in May 2006 in the wake of a South African Law Reform Commission discussion paper on proposed human trafficking legislation, ISS researcher Chandre Gould dismissed the reasoning that the hidden nature of the trade made it inaccessible, while "in the same breath" researchers claimed it generated huge profits. She said gathering data on human trafficking faced similar obstacles to those that existed in determining the extent of forced migration. "In both cases victims are hard to access and identify, may speak a language that is not native to the country in which they end up, and may be involved in hidden criminal activity. Although these constraints present researchers with a formidable challenge, particularly when doing quantitative research, they cannot be ignored when designing methodologies."
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Disclaimer
No responsibility or liability shall attach itself to either myself or to the blogspot ‘Mozlink’ for any or all of the articles/images placed here. The placing of an article does not necessarily imply that I agree or accept the contents of the article as being necessarily factual in theology, dogma or otherwise.
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Updates of Kandhamal (Orissa) Violence

30 August - 7 September, 2008

Date - Police Station - Event

30.08.2008 PHIRINGIA 5 Christian of Sudam Majhi, Goutam Mahji, Samo Majhi, Baruna Majhi and Jeebardhan Majhi of Ratanga Village, Phiringia Block were Set on fire.

01.9.2008 Raikia At about 4.00 p.m, 100 years old Catholic Parish Church Mondasore was attacked, vandalized, looted and set fire.

01.9.2008 Raikia Presbytery of Catholic Priest was attacked, looted and burnt to ashes

01.9.2008 Raikia The Scorpio (Four Wheeler) car of Fr. Jugal Kishore Digal was set fire at Mondasore

01.9.2008 Raikia Mr. Rabindra Parichha, of Bhaliapada village, under Mondasore Parish said "I had called the district control room and asked for the security force and also faxed letter apprehending the danger for the Mondasore parish but, In spite of the police information my Parish church was attacked.

02. 09.2008 Raikia Christian house of Mr. Dibya Digal of Pajimaha was attacked and set fire

02.09.2008 Raikia Christian House of Mr. Samont Nayak was attacked and set fire

02.09.2008 Raikia 18 Christian people of Bhaliapada Village reached to the Bhubaneswar and they are now in the Refugee camp. It is reported that all became the destitute.

02.09.2008 Daringbadi At about 50 Christian houses of Balligada were attacked, All the house hold articles were set on fire.

02.09.2008 Daringbadi Catholic Church at Kakadabadi village was attacked and set fire

02.09.2008 Daringbadi 3 Christian house of Kakadabadi village was ransacked and set fire

01.9.2008 Daringabai Catholic Church at Balligada was ransacked and set fire

01.9.2008 Daringbadi Baptist Church at Balligada was ransacked, vandalized and set fire

02.09.2008 Tikabali 35 Christian houses were set fire ( Beheragano area)

02.09.2008 Chakapad 5 Christian houses were set fire

01.9.2008 Bhanjanagar Catholic Church at Chadiapally was ransacked and set fire

01.9.2008 Baptist Church at Durgaprasad was ransacked and set fire

02.09.2008 Sarangard Christian People of Padangi village were being forced to practice Hinduism and given warning to death, if they practice Christianity

02.09.2008 G.Udayagir The house of Mr. Gaura Chandra Nayak was attacked and set fire.
Christian families of Belghati were converted to Hinduism.

03.09.2008 Daringbadi (Mondasore Parish) At about 2a.m., Catholic Church, Padunbadi was attacked, destroyed, ransacked, demolished. It is reported that even the walls were broken.

03.09.2008 Refugee Camp at Raikia is in turmoil. The refugees had requested that no members of RSS, VHP or Bajrang Dal be allowed in to the refugee camp set up at the Block Development Office. Despite this the BDO was found in close door conversation with three members the fundamentalist group. The refugees have demanded an explanation from the officer who has now been gheraoed by the agitated refugees. One Mr. Godda from the group of three managed to flee the place. He is now threatening to bring in thousands of fundamentalists to attack the refugee camp. The destitute have made hunger strike to settle the matter.

In the evening people found tank water was in blue colour and suspected that someone might have put poison. People were in panic, it was reported to the Sub-collector and RDC, and they reached to spot and assured security and protection.

03.09.2008 Tikabali 5 Houses of the Dadarimunda Village were set ablaze.

03.09.2008 Daringabadi In Simanbadi parish at Kotasingh and Gadadi village 18 each houses are burnt by the fundamentalists.

03.09.2008 Daringbadi The fundamentalists burnt 25 houses from Katadi village which is under the Padangi parish, Sarangada P.S. On the other hand from Birangi village about 10 houses are burnt on the same day

03.09.2008 Tikabali 5 houses, Dadarimunda village were set fire and destroyed.

03.09.2008 Bhubaneswar KharvelnagarBishop's of Orissa met Chief Minster and explained the present situation of the Kandhamal. Chief minister assured to give protection and take good measure for the relief and rehabilitation. Bishops mentioned about the forceful conversion to Hinduism.

04.09.2008 VHP to go ahead with Yatra (Indian express dated 04.09.2008, front page) ( I am faxing the clip)

04.09.2008 The fear and panic have spread among Christians living relief camps in Kandhamal District in Orissa following alleged attempts by Hindu radicals to reconvert them.

05.09.2008 Raikia 12 Houses of Murudipanga Village under Raikia police station were attacked, ransacked and set on fire.

80 People of the same village have gone to the refugee .

06.09.2008 Bhubaneshwar 144 has been declared in sensitive areas, especially in the Church situated areas.

10 Platoons of Orissa armed force and 4 platoon of CRPF have been deployed.

06.09.2008 PURI Anti slogans were written against Christian on the walls of all Christian institution in Puri ( Puri parish, retreat centre, leprosy centre and MC brother's house) The wall paints portrait Padri hatao (destroy the priests), stop conversion and stop cow slaughter.

06.09.2008 PURI Fr. T.Kurian, in charge of Karunalaya Leprosy centre Puri said "Some one came by motor cycle and ordered to stop the tuition class for the students. Hence, for time being the classes are stopped".

06.09.2008 RAIKIA 3 houses of Tdahupanga village, under Raikia police station were ransacked. Inhabitants of the houses have come to the refugee camp in Raikia.

06.09.2008 RAIKIA Mr. Raju Parichha's half constructed house was demolished completely in the Raikia Town which is situated 1.5. K.M away from the Raikia police station.

06.09.2008 RAIKIA In Kanya Ashram shahi three houses of Rajkishore Digal, Santosh Nayak, and Joseph Nayak were attacked.

06.09.2008 RAIKIA The house of Mohini Parichha, Badapata village was attacked which is situated just 1.Km away from local police station.
RAIKIA 3 Christian Houses of Petamaha village were set on fire.

06.09.2008 RAIKIA The house of Sekhar Digal, Dodongia was attacked and ransacked.

06.09.2008 -TIKABALLI- Two Christian houses of Breka village, were set on fire and ransacked

06.09.2008 G. UDAYAGIRI About 6000 people are in refugee camp in G.Udayagiri

RAIKIA About 8500 destitutes are in Raikia refugee camp.

07.09.2008 TIKABALI About 3000 destitute are in Tikabali refugee camp.

07.09.2008 SARANGAD One dead body is recovered today at Sarangad
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