Thursday, May 31, 2007

பலுஜா: தற்கொலைப்படையால் 20 ஈராக்கியர் சாவு

தற்கொலைப்படையால் 20 ஈராக்கியர் சாவு

Many killed in Iraq suicide bomb

At least 20 people have been killed in a suicide bombing at a police recruitment centre in the Iraqi city of Falluja, police say.
Dozens more people were wounded in the attack, which occurred at about 1100 (0700 GMT).

Falluja lies west of Baghdad in Anbar province, an area that has seen heavy fighting between US and Iraqi forces and Sunni Arab insurgents.

Police recruitment centres have been a regular target of insurgent attacks.

Police said the bomber was wearing an explosives vest and had passed through several checkpoints when the device was detonated among a crowd of police recruits, the Associated Press news agency said.

Ten policemen are reported to have been killed.

The police recruitment centre had only opened on Saturday as a result of co-operation between US and Iraqi forces and a grouping of Sunni Arab tribes called the Anbar Salvation Council.

The tribes joined together last year in an attempt to fight al-Qaeda forces in Anbar province.

The province is one of the key battlegrounds in the insurgency, say correspondents, and pacifying it is one of the toughest challenges facing US and Iraqi forces.

ஈராகில் 10 ஷியா பெண்கள் கழுத்தை வெட்டி கொலை

ஈராக்கில் ஷியாக்களுக்கும் சுன்னி முஸ்லீம்களுக்கும் இடையே நடக்கும் போரில், அப்பாவி பெண்களும் கொல்லப்படுகிறார்கள். அதுவும் குரூரமான முறையில்.
29ஆம் தேதி, பாக்தாதுக்கு சென்று கொண்டிருந்த இந்த பெண்மணிகள் கடத்தப்பட்டு அவர்களது கழுத்தை அறுத்து தலையை துண்டாக்கி கொல்லப்பட்டிருக்கிறார்கள்.

‎10 Shia women beheaded in Baghdad‎
Tue, 29 May 2007 13:22:46

A group of unidentified insurgents have brutally killed ten Iraqi Shia women in a district in northern Baghdad after kidnapping them.

The women were on their way to Baghdad Monday when they were kidnapped by militants in the Habhab district of northern Baghdad.

Reports out of Habhab say the headless and scorched corpses of the women and their driver were found in the area.

According to informed sources, terrorist operations in violence-stricken Iraq are organized by the US and British intelligence services and perpetrated by the remaining members of the Baath party affiliated with Iraq's former dictator, Saddam Hussein.

Violence has been erupting in Iraqi cities despite a so-called massive security crackdown in place by US-led coalition forces over the past four months.

The American-based Brookings Institution has reported at least 750,000 Iraqi citizens have been killed since 2003.


டார்பர்- இஸ்லாமிய இனவெறியின் விளைவு

2,00,000 டார்பர் முஸ்லீம்கள் கொல்லப்பட்டிருக்கிறார்கள். எல்லோருமே முஸ்லீம்கள். ஆனால், கருப்பர்கள்.
இந்த இன அழிப்பில், எந்த ஒரு முஸ்லீம் அமைப்போ, அல்லது முஸ்லீம் அரசாங்கங்களோ குரல் எடுத்து பேசவில்லை. இந்த இன அழிப்புக்கு எதிராக போராட்டம் நடத்தவில்லை. ஊர்வலம் போகவில்லை.

காரணம், கொல்லப்பட்ட 2லட்சம் டார்பார் முஸ்லீம்களும் கருப்பினத்தவர்கள்.

இந்த குரூரமான உண்மை ஒரு சில முஸ்லீம்களுக்கு மட்டுமே உறைக்கின்றது.

அவ்வாறு பேசுபவர்களும் டார்பாரைச் சார்ந்த கருப்பின முஸ்லீம்களே.

Darfur: A victim of Muslim racism
Tarek Fatah, communication director of the Muslim Canadian Congress, writes about a nasty reality (full text not online).

The fact that more than 200,000 Darfurians, almost all of them Muslims, have been killed in an ongoing genocide; the fact that more than a million Muslim Darfurians are displaced refugees living in squalor and fear, appears not to have registered with the leadership of traditional Muslim organizations and mosques in this country.

One would have expected Muslim organizations to be leading the call for this week's debate on Darfur in Parliament. One expected them this past weekend to stand in solidarity with their fellow Muslims suffering in Sudan, but that did not happen. The city's Muslim elite was conspicuous by its absence... certainly appears that some kind of Arabic-Islamic ideology is being used in Sudan to ethnically cleanse marginalized citizens who are not considered true Muslims by virtue of being black. "To suggest that this is some sort of a U.S.-Israel conspiracy is ludicrous and insane," said Mr. Elsharief [the Muslim Sudanese who organized the rally]. "Muslims of Arab background should stand shoulder to shoulder with the Darfurian Muslims; unfortunately, they are not. That is a shame," he added, as he walked away shaking his head in despair.

Mr. Elsharief's frustration was shared by Mohamed Haroun, the eloquent president of the Darfuri Association of Canada. "A lot of us feel that some Muslims, who dominate the community, do not consider us African Muslims as equals. I am afraid there is widespread racism against African Muslims by other Muslims. How many more Darfuri Muslims should die before other Muslims will stand up against the Sudanese government?"..

El-Farouk Khaki, the immigration lawyer who was accused of being used by Zionists because he had sent out the invitation to Sunday's rally, agreed that there is widespread internal discrimination within some Muslim societies. "This is racism at its worst. I am an African-Canadian; I can tell you in no uncertain terms that the Darfur crisis has not made news in the traditional Muslim organizations because Darfurians are black. Had they been Bosnian, Kosovar, Arab, Pakistani or Iranian, I can bet you, these grounds would have been full of slogan-chanting Muslims demanding justice. Muslims need to address their internalized racism before they ask others to respect us," said Mr. Khaki, who is secretary-general of the Muslim Canadian Congress...

My congratulations to Mr Fatah, a brave man to tell this truth. I'm still waiting for the rallies in Cairo and Riyadh and other Muslim capitals (not to mention Beijing).


Wednesday, May 30, 2007

சிறார்களை பலாத்காரம் செய்ததற்காக கத்தோலிக்க பாதிரியாருக்கு 14 வருடம் சிறை

சிறுவர்களை பாலியல் பலாத்காரம் செய்ததற்காக கொலராடோவில் கத்தோலிக்க பாதிரியாருக்கு 14 வருடம் சிறைதண்டனை விதிக்கப்பட்டுள்ளது.

Priest to serve at least 14 years for sexual abuse May 30, 2007

Timothy Evans, a priest convicted in two counties of sexually abusing boys he was supposed to be counseling, will serve at least 14 years in a state prison, a Larimer County judge ruled today.

The court handed down what’s called an "indeterminate" sentence, setting a minimum of 14 years while leaving the maximum, which could be as much as life, to the discretion of the parole board. The board would base its determination, in part, on the inmate’s behavior and rehabilitation efforts while behind bars.

The courtroom this morning was packed with supporters of Evans as well as families and friends of his victims.

Scott Berry, who attended seminary with Evans 22 years ago, called him compassionate, intelligent and caring.

"He’s made an impact on so many lives," Berry said during the sentencing hearing. "He’s helped so many people."

Several people asked for leniency for Evans. Judge Jolene Blair said she had received a packet of more than 50 letters in support of Evans.

Mary Craig, a friend and parishioner, told the court that Evans is a "talented leader, teacher, counselor, mentor and wonderful and loyal friend."

"Tim is an intelligent and highly gifted human being," Craig said. "I ask you not to waste his life in prison."

Two of Evans’ victims called him a manipulative sexual predator.

"This man is extremely manipulative and conniving," one man told the court. "To this day, I experience nightmares from his crime."

Evans also addressed the court. He made no apologies and said that he would be appealing his conviction.

"I was, and am, a joyful servant of the Lord," he said. "I may love recklessly and foolishly, but I love unconditionally."

Evans, 44, who was found guilty in March of two counts of sexual assault on a child by someone in a position of trust and engaging in a pattern of abuse, said he hoped his sentence would promote healing.

He has also been convicted in Jefferson County on similar charges and is awaiting sentencing there.

Evans, who worked at the Spirit of Christ Community Church in Arvada and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish in Fort Collins, is the first Catholic priest to be convicted of criminal sex charges in Colorado since 2002, when sweeping allegations of abuse by the clergy surfaced nationally.

Last month, one of the victims filed a civil lawsuit against Evans and the Archdiocese of Denver, accusing the church of intentionally concealing the priest’s conduct.

During the two trials, victims testified that Evans wrestled with them and fondled them during what were supposed to be trust-building exercise.

ஆயிரக்கணக்கான மக்கள் புத்தமதம் தழுவினார்கள்

ஆயிரக்கணக்கான மக்கள் புத்தமதம் தழுவினார்கள்

புகைப்படங்களுக்கு இணைப்பை அழுத்துங்கள்.

Mass conversion: Dalits shift faith

Mumbai, May 27 (IANS) Over half a lakh backward class Dalit people converted to Buddhism in a mass ceremony held here Sunday, in the hope of "escaping the rigidity of caste system and finding a life of dignity".

Amid beating of drums and blowing of pipes at the sprawling Mahalaxmi Racecourse ground, about 50,000 people belonging mostly to 42 nomadic tribes and Dalits chanted the sacred "Buddham Sharanam Gachchami" to embrace Buddhism.

The vast racecourse resonated with the chants as Buddhist monks from Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Thailand led the initiation rituals, which were repeated by the followers of B.R. Ambedkar - a champion of the Dalits and a founder father of the Indian constitution - and Buddhists from across the country.

The function was organised to commemorate fifty years of conversion to Buddhism by thousands of followers of Amdbedkar in October 1956.

"Fifty years ago Babasaheb (Ambedkar) had embraced Buddhism in Nagpur with a few thousand followers. Babasaheb had a dream to hold a mass conversion on this very ground two months later. Unfortunately that did not happen as he passed away just 10 days before the scheduled date," Lok Sabha member and Republican Party of India (RPI) chief Ramdas Athavale told IANS on the sidelines of the function.

Similar ceremonies are held across India several times a year, but organisers said this was one of the biggest.

"But today his followers and Buddhists from across the world have made that dream come true by organising a mass conversion programme on the same ground," he added.

Bare-bodied tribals were asked by red and orange-robed monks to give up their primitive practices and follow the non-violent path of Buddhism.

"From today follow the path of non-violence and take refuge in the teachings of the Lord Buddha irrespective of whatever religion you had been following till now," exhorted a Buddhist monk who led the initiation ceremony.

முஸ்லீம் மதம் மாற முடியாது. மலேசியா தீர்ப்பு

முஸ்லீம் மதம் மாற முடியாது. மலேசியா தீர்ப்பு

Malaysia rejects convert's bid to be recognised as Christian

Ian MacKinnon, south-east Asia correspondent
Wednesday May 30, 2007
Guardian Unlimited

Muslims in Malaysia celebrate the court’s decision rejecting Lina Joy’s appeal to be recognised as a Christian. Photograph: Marcus Yam/AP

The highest court in Malaysia today rejected a Muslim convert's appeal to be recognised as a Christian, ending a six-year legal battle that will heighten the country's religious minorities' concerns over discrimination.

Lina Joy, 42, had fought the decisions of Malaysia's lower courts in an effort to have the word "Islam" removed from her identity card, arguing that the country's constitution guarantees her religious freedom.

But in a landmark ruling the three judge panel decided in a majority verdict that it had no power to intervene in apostasy cases, which fall under the jurisdiction of Malaysia's Sharia courts.

The woman, who gave up her job and went into hiding last year after being shunned by family and friends, was not in court. Earlier her lawyer said she realised her chances of victory were slim but believed she had to battle on to win the right to a normal life.

Two hundred Muslim protesters who gathered in a prayer vigil outside the federal court buildings today greeted the verdict with cries of "Allah-u-Akbar" (God is great).

The court's decision comes as tensions grow between the Muslim Malay majority and the ethnic Chinese and Indian minorities who are mainly Hindu, Buddhist or Christian.

Islam is the official religion in a country where 60% of the 27 million population are ethnic Malay. The constitution guarantees freedom of worship, but Malays must be Muslim by law.

Malaysia's civil courts run in tandem with the Sharia courts, which rule on family issues such as divorce, child custody and inheritance for Muslims. However, it has never been made clear which branch of the court takes precedence.

Ms Joy - born Azlina Jailani - started attending church in 1990 and was baptised eight years later. She was given permission to change her name, but "Islam" remained on her identity card under her religion.

In 2000 Ms Joy, who has an ethnic Indian Catholic boyfriend, applied to the high court to have her religion changed but was referred to the Sharia court. She challenged the decision in the appeal court and finally took the matter to the apex federal court.

"She cannot simply at her own whim enter or leave her religion," Judge Ahmad Fairuz said during today's ruling. "She must follow rules."

But Judge Richard Malanjum, the only non-Muslim on the panel, sided with Ms Joy, saying it was "unreasonable" to ask her to turn to the Sharia court as she could face criminal prosecution because abandoning Islam is punishable by a fine or jail.

Critics of the verdict expressed dismay and said it failed to uphold the legal rights of Malaysians.

"People like Lina Joy shouldn't be trapped in a legal cage, not being able to come out to practice their true conscience and religion," said Leonard Teoh, a Malaysian Catholic lawyer

சிறுவர்களை பாலுறவு பலாத்காரம் செய்ததற்கு சிக்காகோ கத்தோலிக் சர்ச் 6.65 மில்லியன் ஈடு

சிறுவர்களை பாதிரியார்கள் பாலுறவு பலாத்காரம் செய்ததற்கு ஈடாக சிக்காகோ கத்தோலிக் சர்ச் 6.65 மில்லியன் 14 சிறுவர்க்களுக்கு கொடுத்திருக்கிறது.

Chicago diocese pays $6.65M to settle 14 priest abuse claims
The Associated Press

CHICAGO - The Archdiocese of Chicago paid $6.65 million to settle claims made by 14 people who say they were abused by Catholic priests, the church and plaintiffs' attorneys said Tuesday.

The settlements were reached between March 2006 and March 2007 and cover lawsuits filed against 12 current and former priests for abuse that allegedly occurred from the 1960s to the early 1990s, attorney Jeffrey Anderson said.

All of the priests named in the settlements have been removed from public ministry or are deceased, said Susan Burritt, archdiocese's media relations director. She said the archdiocese traditionally has paid settlements with insurance money or by selling unused real estate.

Three of the priests - Vincent McCaffrey, Norbert Maday and Robert Mayer - have been convicted on sex-related charges.

"The bad news is there's still more work to be done," Anderson said. His legal team represents between 12 and 15 more victims whose cases have not yet been settled or mediated.

At a news conference Tuesday, Keith Laarveld, 33, said McCaffrey abused him for about four years, beginning when Laarveld was 8 years old. He said he kept the abuse secret until about four years ago, when he told his wife and parents. Lawyers declined to disclose the amount of his settlement.

Laarveld and his mother, Kathy, tearfully said they decided to share their story in the hopes that other victims will find the courage to speak up.

"I'm very proud of him that he's willing to come forward like this to help others," Kathy Laarveld said.

Elsewhere, the Archdiocese of St. Louis is suing a law firm that handles clergy sex abuse cases, claiming it is improperly circulating confidential documents related to eight current or former priests.

The archdiocese filed suit May 11 against the firm Chackes, Carlson, Spritzer and Ghio, claiming its lawyers shared personnel and medical documents with third parties, including a reporter for The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The suit seeks to prohibit the law firm from such disclosures.

A phone call to the Post-Dispatch's editor was not immediately returned.

Lawyer Ken Chackes said documents received from the archdiocese were obtained by court orders which did not require lawyers to maintain confidentiality, except for medical records. He said settlements reached in the cases did not have confidentiality agreements.

Associated Press writer Betsy Taylor in St. Louis contributed to this report.

ஈரான் அரசாங்கம் சொன்னதுபோல உடை உடுத்தாத காரணத்தால் 14635 பேர் கைது

அரசாங்கம் சொல்வது போல உடை உடுத்தாததிற்காக ஏராளமான பெண்களை ஈரான் அரசாங்கம் கைது செய்திருக்கிறது.

இதுவரை 14635 பேர் டெஹ்ரானில் கைது செய்யப்பட்டிருப்பதாக செய்தி தெரிவிக்கிறது.

சுமார் 67000 பேர் எச்சரிக்கை செய்து அனுப்பப்பட்டுள்ளார்கள்.

17135பேர் சரியாக உடை உடுத்தாததன் காரணமாக விமானங்களில் பயணிக்க அனுமதிக்கப்படவில்லை.


Tehran, 29 May (AKI) - In the four weeks since a highly publicised government moralisation campaign kicked off, 14,635 people were temporarily detained under strict new Islamic dress code laws punishing offenders with arrest. Another 67,000 people were reprimanded by police, according to a tally kept by the local Rooz daily based on police statements. Only in airports and train stations some 1,115 people, mostly women, were arrested while 17,135 were not allowed to board planes or trains as they were not dressed properly.


ஆந்திரா:கம்யூனிஸ்டுகள் நீர் மின் நிலையத்தை உடைத்தனர்

மின்சாரம், நீர், காற்று இல்லாமல் மனிதர்கள் கல்லறையில் சுதந்திரமாக இருக்க போராடும் கம்யூனிஸ்டுகள் கிழக்கு கோதாவரியில் கட்டப்பட்டுள்ள ஒரு நீர் மின் நிலையத்தை குண்டுகள் வைத்து தாக்கி அழித்தனர்.

Maoists blast hydel power plant in AP

Hyderabad, May 30 (PTI): Maoists in Andhra Pradesh triggered a blast at the control room of the state power generation company's mini hydel power plant in East Godavari district, police today said.

The Maoists blew up the control room of APGENCO's 24 MW plant at Donkarayi late last night by using explosives affecting the power production and power supply to nearby villages.

On Monday, the ultras gunned down the vice-chairman of Visakhapatnam Zilla Parishad S Ravi Shankar.

Police said about 50 armed naxalites went to the control room of the plant and blasted it after asking the employees on night duty to come out, police said.

In the blast, an assistant engineer sustained head injuries when he was hit by the glass piece of a window. The injured engineer was rushed to a nearby hospital and his condition was stated to be out of danger.

APGENCO Managing Director, Ajay Jain, said today that control panels of the hydel power plant were damaged in the blast which are yet to be replaced.

"We have already rushed a team of engineers to take up the work," Jain said adding a team of senior officials led by him is leaving for the site.

As the hydel power plants were located in remote villages, there was a need to strenghen the security at each plant, Jain said.

"It was a disturbing trend as the naxalites had also blasted Sileru hydel project in 2005," the MD said.

கருப்பின மக்களில் தக்காளி விதைக்கும் அரபுகள்

டார்பாரின் கருப்பின மக்கள் எவ்வாறு சூடானின் அரபுகளால் கற்பழிக்கப்படுகிறார்கள் என்று இந்த செய்தி விவரிக்கிறது. 7 மாத கர்ப்பிணிப்பெண்ணை கூட்டாக சேர்ந்து கற்பழித்திருக்கிறார்கள்.

அரபுகள் சிவப்பாக இருக்கிறார்களாம். கருப்பின மக்கள் கருப்பாக இருக்கிறார்களாம். அதனால், இவ்வாறு கற்பழிப்பது கருப்பின மக்களிடம் தக்காளி விதைப்பதாம். தக்காளி போல அரபுகள் சிவப்பாக இருக்கிறார்களாம்.

என்ன குரூரமான நிறவெறி இனவெறி சிந்தனை!

என்றுதான் இந்த அரபுகள் திருந்துவார்களோ!

Darfur women describe gang-rape horror
Staff and agencies
28 May, 2007
By ALFRED de MONTESQUIOU, Associated Press Writer Mon May 28, 2:24 AM ET

KALMA, Sudan - The seven women pooled money to rent a donkey and cart, then ventured out of the refugee camp to gather firewood, hoping to sell it for cash to feed their families. Instead, they say, in a wooded area just a few hours walk away, they were gang-raped, beaten and robbed.

"All the time it lasted, I kept thinking: They‘re killing my baby, they‘re killing my baby," wailed Aisha, who was seven months pregnant at the time.

Their story, told to an Associated Press reporter and confirmed by other women and aid workers in the camp, provides a glimpse into the hell that Darfur has become as the Arab-dominated government battles a rebellion stoked by a history of discrimination and neglect.

Sudan‘s government denies arming and unleashing the janjaweed, and bristles at the charges of rape, saying its conservative Islamic society would never tolerate it.

It has agreed to let in 3,000 U.N. peacekeepers, but not the 22,000 mandated by the U.N. Security Council U.N. Security Council. It claims the force would be a spearhead for anti-Arab powers bent on plundering Sudan‘s oil.

Kalma is a microcosm of the misery — a sprawling camp of mud huts and scrap-plastic tents where 100,000 people have taken refuge. It is so full of guns that overwhelmed African Union peacekeepers long ago fled, unable to protect it. It is so crowded that the government has tried to limit newcomers — forbidding the building of new latrines, so a stench pervades the air.

In Sudan, as in many Islamic countries, society views a sexual assault as a dishonor upon the woman‘s entire family. "Victims can face terrible ostracism," says Maha Muna, the U.N. coordinator on this issue in Sudan.

Sudan‘s government is especially sensitive about such accusations and denies rape is widespread.

He acknowledged the janjaweed had initially received weapons from the government — something the government officially denies — and said authorities now are struggling to rein in the militias.

"I don‘t think raping was planned by the government. Killing and looting and torture, yes, but not rape," he said.

Kalma isn‘t the only place where multiple accounts of rape have surfaced. Some 120 miles away, in the town of Mukjar, two men separately described women being brought into a prison where they were being held and raped for hours by janjaweed.

They said the assailants shouted that they were "planting tomatoes" — a reference to skin color: Darfur Arabs describe themselves as "red" because they are slightly lighter-skinned than ethnic Africans.

According to Muna, U.N. agencies are working closely with Sudanese authorities to improve the government‘s response to rape allegations. In 2005, the government created a task force on rape in Darfur, headed by Attayet Mustapha, a pediatrician, government official and women‘s rights activist.

In an interview this year, Mustapha said social workers were being deployed to address the problem and a special female police unit was being assembled in Darfur.

"We tell officials that the government has decided to enforce a zero tolerance policy toward rape in Darfur," she said.

U.N. workers say they registered 2,500 rapes in Darfur in 2006, but believe far more went unreported. The real figure is probably thousands a month, said a U.N. official. Like other U.N. personnel and aid workers interviewed, the official insisted on speaking anonymously for fear of being expelled by the government.

Victims usually can‘t identify their aggressors, which makes prosecutions impossible. Only eight offenders were tried and sentenced for rape crimes in Darfur by Sudanese courts in 2006, said Mustapha, the task force leader. "They received three to five years prison, and 100 lashes" in accordance with Islamic law, she said.

In May, after the top U.N. human rights official charged that Sudanese soldiers had raped at least 15 Darfur women during one recent incident, Justice Minister Mohammed Ali al-Mardi asked where the evidence was.

"We always seem to get sweeping generalizations, without naming the injured, without naming the offenders," he told reporters.

In Kalma, collecting firewood needed to cook meals is becoming more perilous as the trees around the camp dwindle and women are forced to scavenge ever farther afield. It is strictly a woman‘s task, dictated both by tradition and the fear that any male escorts would be killed if the janjaweed found them.

Agreeing to tell the AP their story earlier this month through a translator, the seven women‘s voices wavered and hesitated, broken by embarrassed silences. All gave their names and agreed to be identified in full, but the AP is withholding their surnames because they are rape victims and vulnerable to retaliation.

The women said they set out on a Monday morning last July and had barely begun collecting the wood when 10 Arabs on camels surrounded them, shouting insults and shooting their rifles in the air.

The women first attempted to flee. "But I didn‘t even try, because I couldn‘t run," being seven months pregnant, said Aisha, a petite 18-year-old whose raspy voice sounds more like that of an old woman.

She said four men stayed behind to flay her with sticks, while the other janjaweed chased down the rest of her group.

"We didn‘t get very far," said Maryam, displaying the scar of a bullet that hit her on the right knee.

Once rounded up, the women said, they were beaten and their rented donkey killed. Zahya, 30, had brought her 18-year-old daughter, Fatmya, and her baby. The baby was thrown to the ground and both women were raped. The baby survived.

Zahya said the women were lined up and assaulted side by side, and she saw four men taking turns raping Aisha.

The women said the attackers then stripped them naked and jeered at them as they fled. On their way back, men from the refugee camp unraveled their cotton turbans for the women to partly cover up, but the victims said they were laughed at when they entered the refugee camp.

"Ever since, I‘ve made sure that women living on the outskirts of the camp have spare sets of clothes to give out," said Khadidja Abdallah, a sheika, an informal camp leader, who took the women to the international aid compound at the camp to be treated.

They were given anti-pregnancy and anti- HIV pills, thanks to which their families haven‘t entirely ostracized them, the women said. The baby Aisha was expecting at the time is doing well. His name is Osman.

Sheikas in Kalma said they report over a dozen rapes each week. Human rights activists in South Darfur who monitor violence in the refugee camps estimate more than 100 women are raped each month in and around Kalma alone.

The workers warn of an alarming new trend of rapes within the refugee population amid the boredom and slow social decay of the camps. But for the most part, they added, it all depends on whether janjaweed are present in the area.

The sheikas say they are making some headway toward persuading families to accept raped women back into their embrace and let them report attacks to aid workers. One advantage is that they get a certificate confirming they were raped.

"We tell husbands they might be compensated one day," said Ajaba Zubeir, a sheika. "But I don‘t think that‘s going to happen."

The seven women say they haven‘t left the camp since they were attacked. They have started their own small workshop and make water jugs out of clay and donkey dung to sell to other refugees.

As they worked on their large pile of jugs and bowls, they said they are even poorer than before, because they now have to buy their firewood from other women.

"But at least we never have to go out again," said Aisha.

None of the women has any faith that Sudanese or international courts will ever give them justice. All Zahya asks is that one day she can return to her village.

"If people could at least help end the fighting, that would be enough," she said.

-- -- -- --

சிதைந்து போன வாழ்க்கையை யோகா மூலம் மீண்டும் உயிர்ப்பித்தவர்

எம்மெட் ஷ்மெலிக் பெரும் குடிகாரராகவும் சிதைந்த வாழ்க்கையை கொண்டவராகவும் இருந்து, யோகாவை கற்க ஆரம்பித்து மீண்டும் தன் வாழ்க்கையை உயிர்ப்பித்தது மட்டுமின்றி, ஏராளமானவர்களுக்கு யோகா மூலம் புத்துயிரும் அளித்து வருகிறார்.

Massage therapist, yoga teacher found a way to rebuild his life
By Amy Bertrand

Emmet Schmelig, 62, a former alcoholic and drug addict, used yoga to help get his life back.
(Dawn Majors/P-D)

One day on vacation in Chicago last year, Emmet Schmelig and his girlfriend, Katie McGrath, heard about a yoga practice in Millennium Park on Saturday mornings.

Being yoga enthusiasts, they packed up their yoga mats and headed to the park. But that day the yoga in the park was canceled.

"But we'd brought our mats, so we just set up and started doing yoga right there in the park," he says. Others, some of whom had looked for the canceled class, joined them.

"I bet we had 20 or so people join us," he recalls. "They thought we were holding the class." Advertisement

That's not exactly a hard mistake to make. Even at 62 with a rush of white hair, Schmelig is the picture of perfect health.

But it wasn't always that way.

About 15 years ago he hit rock bottom, and he knew it. After abusing alcohol and drugs for 20 years, he found help in one obvious place (a support group) and one not-so-obvious place (a yoga class).

"I was spiraling down deeper and deeper into a pit," he says, "and I knew I needed to crawl out of it."

In the beginning

Schmelig married at age 19 and had four children shortly thereafter.

"I did what I could to make a living, but it was tough," he says.

He turned to drugs and alcohol.

By 1991, his life was a mess. He was divorced, and his grown children "didn't want anything to do with me."

"I was unemployed, unemployable," he says. "I knew I had to make a change."

His car was repossessed, and he had to move in with his parents.

He tried self-help books; he tried moving and changing jobs.

"I was always reinventing myself," he says. "I thought that if I could make a fresh start, I could change, but I always kept going back."

He found a support group of people in recovery and quit drinking and using drugs with their help.

"But once all the alcohol and drugs were gone, I was bouncing off the wall," Schmelig says. "I was jittery all the time, in the physical and emotional sense."

For 20 years, he had used drugs and alcohol to handle his anxiety; now, laid bare, he needed something to control it.

In 1992, a friend suggested yoga.

Schmelig thought at first that he couldn't do yoga because he wasn't flexible enough.

"I thought, 'I can't even touch my toes. How am I going to do yoga?'

"But that's not true at all," he says. "Ninety percent of us are not that flexible. I think that's a big misconception with men and women regarding yoga. But you can develop it and improve it over time with yoga."

After that first class, his conception of yoga changed.

"It was a lot harder, more physical and used more core strength than I thought it would," he says. "But I had this unexpected surprise of feeling really calm and connected to my body."

Return to yoga

After learning to control his anxiety by practicing yoga for several years, Schmelig got away from it a bit.

"I was wrapped up in my work," he says, but he was still running and lifting weights to stay healthy. And he would occasionally catch a class.

After spending a few years working in construction, sales and even as a shop teacher in Mascoutah, he started to think about what it was he really wanted to do.

"My grandfather was actually a massage therapist," he says. "I remember seeing on his wall his diploma from The National College of Massage and Physio-therapy of Chicago, May 12, 1937."

Schmelig remembers his parents sending him to his grandfather every time he got hurt as a child.

"If I fell out of a tree, they'd say, 'Go see your grandfather.' I loved what he did. I wanted to know what bones did what, what connected where. It was something I always thought I wanted to do, but when I got married at 19, I put it on the back burner."

But in 2004, at the age of 60, he decided to fulfill his dream.

He went to school, got certified and then rented space in Yoga Source on Big Bend Boulevard. He was friends with the owner and became interested again in taking yoga classes. She suggested he try teaching.

"I was always interested in physical fitness," Schmelig says. "But I thought, 'I'm almost 60 — I'm too old.' And it was bad enough I was trying to build a massage practice, but I kept hearing this voice inside say, 'What's the difference? Why not try it?'"

So he took classes and became a Yoga Alliance certified yoga teacher. He started to teach at the South County YMCA.

"It was big hit, a big success," he says. "And I realized that I really love to teach yoga."

He went on to become a certified personal trainer, too.

"They all complement each other," he says.

At one point he was teaching 13 classes all over the area, from UMSL to the Lodge at Des Peres to various YMCAs to the Center for Mind Body & Spirit.

The future

Schmelig still goes two to three times a week to the support group he joined 15 years ago, and he's been sober for 15 years now.

"Yoga is wonderful for me," he says. "It's what I need. It's great. It's not just the physical aspect — it's also the emotional. It's a way to live a better life."

He says he's become a student of yoga and is really drawn to the concept that yoga was created as a way to deal with stress and anger and to improve energy. One of his favorite quotes is by Dr. H. Ralph Schumacher Jr.: "Yoga is about the art of living at the highest level in attunement with the larger life-reality. The emphasis in yoga is on personal verification rather than belief. The practice is a way to inner joy and outer harmony."

"Yoga is not about religion," Schmelig says. "It's about dealing with life, day in and day out.

"I used to think that everything that took place between my ears was worth listening to; now I know to ignore those things that have no good purpose."

He says he's enthusiastic about his work for the first time in a long time.

"Every morning I wake up looking forward to work."

He's now teaching just seven classes a week, at the Lodge, the Center for Mind, Body & Spirit and Yoga Source.

He does some sort of yoga practice on his own every day. He likes vinyasa, or flowing yoga, best because of the way it moves. When he teaches, he doesn't do the workouts.

"It's a difference between demonstrating yoga and teaching it. I teach it hands-on, assisting."

He also spends about 10 minutes in an inversion (an upside-down pose) every day. And he takes classes at Yoga Source two or three times a week.

"It's important to connect the mind and body," he says. "It's about bringing them together." | 314-340-8284

லாஸ் ஏஞ்சல்ஸில் பகவத் கீதை பற்றிய சொற்பொழிவு

Tirtha Maharaja to speak on Bhagavat Katha
Wednesday, 05.09.2007, 04:01am (GMT-7)

LOS ANGELES: Once there was a young boy named Upamanyu who lived in a village of cow-herders in South India. He accepted a Guru who gave him the instruction to milk the cows on the farm. One day when he had returned in the evening, his Guru asked him a question, "O Upamanyu, why is it that you are so fat and healthy?" Upamanyu replied, "I have been drinking the milk from the udders of the cows."

His Guru then told him, "I did not tell you to do this, so do not do it anymore." The next day Upamanyu returned home and his Guru requested him to again explain what he had been eating. He told, "After the cows have been chewing grass there is some foam on their mouths, I have been taking this foam." His Guru then replied, "I have not told you to do so."

The next day when the Guru was walking through the forest he heard the voice of Upamanyu calling for help. Following the voice, he came upon a blind well echoing with Upamanyu's distressful calling, "Gurudeva! Gurudeva! Help! Help!" "Why have you fallen there, dear Upamanyu?" "O my master, you told me not to take the cow's milk or the foam from the cow's mouth therefore I ate the sap from a plant that was growing in the forest.

It was poisonous and it made me blind and I have fallen into this well, please help me!" Upamanyu's Guru lifted him out of the well and placed his hands on his head and restored his vision. He said, "I bless you that all knowledge imbued with realization of the Absolute Truth shall manifest in your heart." This is the result of serving the perfect spiritual authority such as the spiritual master, and following their order at all costs one automatically pleases the Supreme Lord and gets the opportunity to make spiritual advancement.

Without the blessings of a Sad Guru, one's life will not be completely successful. Everyone is searching for freedom in this world. However, complete freedom cannot be found in the material world. America provides many material freedoms, more than most countries do, such as travel to anywhere conveniently, purchase food and supplies easily, as well as do many other activities that give a sense of independence.

But how do we discover freedom from the real problems of life, problems like fear of old age, fear of painful disease, and imminent death? Up to now the materialistic scientist's have not provided a solution to these problems and the solutions they do provide have more harmful reactions in the long run than good. When the materialistic scientists are questioned about their failures their response is: "In the future we will find a solution", but this is a post dated check and has no value. The environment around us cannot provide these answers, nor can we rely on our senses or look to these fallible persons for solutions.

There is a person however, who by dint of his realization of the transcendental reality can surpass the limitation of our sense perception, because his consciousness is factually established on the plane of the Absolute Non-Dual Reality, that person is the Sad-Guru. By basing our decisions on such a perfect and absolute authority, it enables one to realize the fullest potential of one's mental and spiritual abilities in this life.

The responsibility that ensues is to follow the Guru's instructions precisely and to be sure that the Guru is an absolutely perfect authority. If his teachings are fully in line with established scripture and the bona-fide succession, and he himself is free from all material desires, he is qualified to impart divine knowledge to one who has chosen to submissively hear his message. One such bona fide Sad Guru is Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Goswami Maharaja who will be making a visit to America in May and June of this year.

He will visit Houston on May 29 - June 3, San Francisco June 15 - 17, and Badger, California June 19 - 25 to speak Bhagavat Katha. He is a bona fide acharya of the Gaudiya Vaishnava sampradaya and has translated and composed over thirty books on the philosophical teachings of the Srimad Bhagavatam and Bhagavad Gita in the line of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

The association of a Mahatma or perfected soul is known as the door of liberation and Srila Narayana Maharaja, who is of the tradition of sannyas (renunciation), inspires many to accept the simple practice of unalloyed devotional service unto the transcendental divinity, Sri Radha and Krishna. Presently one of Srila Narayana Goswami Maharaja's senior most disciples is visiting Artestia and Norwalk on May 11 and 12. His name is Sripad Bhaktivedanta Tirtha Maharaja. He entered into Devananda Gaudiya Math in Navadvip West Bengal at 12 years of age and received Diksha Mantras from Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Vaman Goswami Maharaja.

His Diksha Guru ordered him to go to Mathura to study Vedanta darshans, Gaudiya Siddhantas and Vaishnava philosophy under Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Goswami Maharaja and while in Mathura he completed his Sanskrit education from the prestigious Mathura Chaturveda Sanskrit Mahavidyalay. He has been traveling all over the world and preaching Bhagavat Katha for ten years under the guidance of Srila Narayana Goswami Maharaja.

The Hindi Bhagavat Katha with Sripad B.V. Tirtha Maharaja will be held at the Radha-Krishna Mandir on 12634 Pioneer Blvd, Norwalk, California on May 11, 7pm - 9pm and May 12, 4pm - 7pm.

மலேசியாவில் சைவ சிந்தாந்தம் பற்றிய சொற்பொழிவு

கோலாலம்பூரில் ஸ்காட் ரோடு கலா மண்டபத்தில் சைவ சிந்தாந்தம் பற்றிய சொற்பொழிவு நடைபெறும். உங்கள் கேள்வி பதில்கள் வரவேற்கப்படுகின்றன.

அனைவரும் வருக அருளுரை பெறுக.

நன்றி நியூ ஸ்ட்ரெய்ட் டைம்ஸ்

Free religious talk by group

KUALA LUMPUR: The Saiva Siddhanta Association for the underprivileged will be holding a series of free religious talks, blessing ceremony and cultural programme in conjunction with its silver jubilee celebration.

The two-day event, to be held at the Scott Road Kala Mandapam on Friday and Saturday, will be graced by the head of Thiruvaduthurai Aadheenam, Sri La Sri Sivapra- kasa Swamigal, from India.

The association, which was formed in 1982, has some 1,000 members and is aimed at helping the needy and underprivileged. For details, call 03-22835045.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

அமெரிக்க ராணுவ போர்வீரரின் பின்னே ஒரு ஈராக்கிய சிறுவன்

ஈராக்கில் குண்டுவெடித்ததும், அங்கிருந்து மக்கள் ஓடுகிறார்கள்.
ஒரு அமெரிக்க ராணுவ போர்வீரரின் பின்னே ஒரு ஈராக்கிய சிறுவன் பாதுகாப்புடன் நின்று குண்டு வெடித்த இடத்தை பார்க்கிறான்.

உல்பா கம்யூனிஸ்டுகளுக்கு எதிராக அஸாமில் முழு அடைப்பு

உழைக்கும் பாட்டாளி வர்க்கத்தை தொடர்ந்து கொலை செய்துவரும் அஸாம் உல்பா கம்யூனிஸ்டுகளை எதிர்த்து பொதுமக்கள் முழு அடைப்பு செய்தார்கள்.

நன்றி உதயவாணி

Bandh against ULFA's bomb blast hits normal life

Guwahati, May 29: Normal life in Assam was paralysed on Monday by two simultaneous bandhs protesting against the recent bomb blasts triggered by the ULFA.

Official sources said a 24-hour Kamrup district bandh had been called by traders' organisations while the AGP had given a call for 12-hour Guwahati city bandh on Monday in protest against the series of bomb blasts.

The sources said here that there was no report of any untoward incident so far but the bandh, supported by the BJP also, was 'total' with all shops, business and commercial centres remaining closed.

Schools, colleges and other educational institutions remained closed while vehicles were off the road.

A few long-distance buses left early in the morning with police escort but later no buses were seen plying either in the city or leaving for other towns.

Train services and flights were, however, not disrupted and all trains left Guwahati railway station as per schedule.

The bandh, which began at 6 a.m., has been called by 29 traders organisations which has formed a coordination committee under the aegis of the Kamrup Chamber of Commerce while the city unit of the AGP has also called a simultaneous 12-hour bandh.

Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi had said on Sunday that people should rise up in protest, as the ULFA must realise that such killings cannot continue.

நேபாளத்தில் குண்டு வெடிப்பு 9 பேர் பலி

பால்பா மாவட்டத்தில் குண்டு வெடித்ததில் ஒரு குடும்பத்தினர் ஐந்து பேர் உட்பட 9 பேர் கொல்லப்பட்டனர்.

கம்யூனிஸ்டுகள் கடந்த 10 வருடங்களில் நேபாள அரசுக்கு எதிராக தொடர்ந்து குண்டுவெடிப்புகளிலும் தாக்குதல்களிலும் ஈடுபட்டதில் இது போல ஏராளமான குண்டுகளை விட்டுவிட்டுச் சென்றிருக்கிறார்கள் என்று அஞ்சப்படுகிறது.

நன்றி நியூகேரளா

Blast kills nine in Nepal

Kathmandu, May 29: Nine people, including five members of a family, were killed in a bomb blast in western Nepal's Palpa district Tuesday morning, an incident that comes a year after the signing of a peace pact with Maoist insurgents.

The incident occurred in Gothpani, a five-hour drive from the district headquarters Tansen.

Bal Krishna Panthi, chief district officer of Palpa, a prime tourist destination in the hilly west, said that a team of investigators and a bomb squad had rushed to the area following reports of a deafening blast around 8.30 a.m.

Panthi said his office had been alerted about the possibility of nine people being killed in the blast that demolished the house where it was concealed.

"We have to wait till the rescue team digs up the survivors and the dead bodies to know the full details," the official said.

Nepal's official media confirmed the deaths, adding that five of the victims were members of the same family.

However, the victims' identities were not made public immediately.

According to media reports, the bomb could have been a legacy of the Maoists' 10-year "people's war".

Though the rebels signed a formal peace agreement with the government last year and this year joined the ruling coalition, it is feared that a formidable arsenal of bombs and mines remains planted throughout Nepal.

An arms accord pledged that the guerrillas and the army would work together to defuse concealed land mines, but no substantial progress has yet been reported.

Last winter, during the reign of King Gyanendra, the Maoists had launched a multi-pronged attack in Tansen, destroying an old palace used as an administrative office, the local prison, and security installations.

--- IANS

கார் பாம் வெடித்ததில் பெஷாவரில் 9 பேர் படுகாயம்

பெஷாவரில் ஹைகோர்ட் கட்டடத்துக்கு எதிராக கார்பாம் வெடித்ததில் 9 பேர் படுகாயமடைந்தனர்.

ஒரு வாரத்த்துக்கு முன்பு இதே பெஷாவரில் ஷியா பிரிவினரை குறிவைத்து ஒரு ஹோட்டலில் குண்டு வெடித்தது. அதன் தொடர்ச்சியே இது என்று கருதுகிறார்கள்.

நன்றி ஜீநியூஸ்

Nine injured in car bomb blast in Peshawar

Islamabad, May 29: A car bomb exploded outside the High Court building in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar on Tuesday, injuring nine people.

The condition of the two of the nine injured was serious, city police officials said, contradicting earlier reports that six people were killed.

The car, which exploded, was parked outside the High Court building in Peshawar, the capital of North West Frontier Province (NWFP). The blast also caused damage to the vehicles around, Peshawar Mayor, Haji Ghulam Ali, said.

The buildings of Provincial Assembly and Central Jail are also located near the blast site.

The injured were shifted to the main Lady Reading Hospital, Ali said. Experts of bomb disposal squad visited the site and collected parts of the device.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack and Ali described it as a terrorist act aimed at civilians.

The explosion came weeks after a suicide bomb blast in a restaurant owned by an Uzbeck-Afghan national in the city killed over 20 people.

Today's blast also followed several incidents yesterday in NWFP and nearby tribal areas in which suspected pro-Taliban militants shot dead a senior Pakistani security officer in tank city while a suicide car bomber killed two paramilitary soldiers in Boltonabad area.

Militants ambushed the vehicle of Mir Zarwali Khan, assistant district officer of the Frontier Constabulary (FC) in Boltonabad area on the tank-Jandola road and killed him.

The paramilitary officer along with his driver was going to Peshawar from tank when the militants, hiding on both sides of the road, riddled the vehicle with bullets.

Police said Mir Zarwali died on the spot and his driver suffered serious injuries. Later, the militants set the vehicle on fire, 'Dawn' newspaper reported.

Also a suicide car bomber killed two paramilitary soldiers in Boltonabad area, hours after police shot dead four local Taliban in Bannu, the hometown of NWFP Chief Minister Akram Khan Durrani.

The bomber rammed his explosives-laden car into a frontier constabulary vehicle in the same area, killing two soldiers and injuring one.

Giving details of the incident, area force commander, Muqabil Mahsud, said the convoy of the FC comprising three vehicles was heading from tank to Boltonabad to secure the area when it was ambushed.

He said the explosives-laden car coming from the opposite direction rammed into the paramilitary vehicle, causing a massive blast while another car driven by militants sped away.

Earlier in the day, four local Taliban were killed in a shootout with police in the Bannu area. Two police officers and an unidentified passerby were also injured in the encounter, officials said.

Tension gripped the area, where additional police force has been dispatched from neighbouring districts after reports that militants were planning more attacks.

Residents and witnesses said that gun-toting militants, mostly from the adjacent frontier region, were often seen in the city, but law-enforcement agencies' personnel did not challenge them, the newspaper said.

Bureau Report

தாய்லாந்தில் இன்னொரு முஸ்லீம் பயங்கரவாத குண்டுவெடிப்பு 4 பேர் பலி 25 பேர் காயம்

தெற்கு தாய்லாந்து பிரதேசமான சோங்க்லா-வில் பரபரப்பான சந்தையில் குண்டு வெடித்ததில் 4 பேர் பலி. 25 பேர் படுகாயமடைந்தனர்.

இது நடப்பதற்கு முன் தினம் ஹாட் யாய் இடத்தில் 6 தொடர் குண்டுகள் வெடித்தன.

நேற்று சபயோய் மானிலத்தில் வெடித்த குண்டுகளால் ஏற்பட்ட பலிகளில் 2 பெண்களும் 2 சிறுவர்களும் அடங்குவர்.

இப்படிப்பட்ட முஸ்லீம் தீவிரவாதத்தினால் 2000க்கும் மேற்பட்டவர் பலியாகியிருப்பதாக செய்தி கூறுகிறது.

நன்றி மலேசிய பத்திரிக்கை ஸ்டார்.

Four killed, 25 hurt in Songkhla market blast

SABAYOI (Thailand): A bomb exploded in front of a busy market in the southern Thai province of Songkhla yesterday, killing four people – including two children – and wounding 25 others, officials said.

The bombing came a day after at least 13 people were hurt when six bombs exploded on Sunday evening in Haadyai, southern Thailand's tourist and commercial hub in the same province.

Those killed yesterday in Sabayoi district were two women and two girls, aged four and eight.

The bomb, which exploded shortly after 4pm, was hidden in a motorcycle parked in front of the market next to a railway station. The motorcycle was destroyed by the blast, and a nearby car damaged, as were dozens of stalls belonging to fruit and vegetable vendors.

Provincial Governor Sonthi Thechanon confirmed the initial casualty toll and said officials had been nervous in the wake of the explosion, fearing a second bomb may have been planted there, a common tactic of terrorists seeking to assault security personnel.

Meanwhile, SIRA HABIBU reports that the Thai consul in Langkawi Datuk Shazryl Eskay Abdullah has confirmed that no Malaysian was injured in the bomb attack in Sabayoi.

An insurgent belonging to a militant group operating in southern Thailand said the group claimed responsibility for the attack.

“It is a tit-for-tat attack because the authorities do not appear to be giving priority to cases where local Muslims are killed,” the insurgent said.

Three days ago, a mother and her four children were killed in Yaha, in Yala province.

“The charred remains of the mother and children were found but even the media did not report the case,” the insurgent said.

In Narathiwat, three Muslim men were shot dead by suspected separatist rebels.

A 24-year-old man and a 39-year-old village chief were shot and killed on Sunday as they were returning home on their motorcycles, police said.

Yesterday, in the same province, suspected militants shot dead a 40-year-old traffic policeman while he was on duty.

Since early 2004, more than 2,200 people have been killed as a result of a Muslim insurgency that has swept over much of the southernmost provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat, the only ones with Muslim majorities in Buddhist-dominated Thailand.

The violence has occasionally spilled over to neighbouring Songkhla and Sabayoi district – which borders Pattani.

A senior police official said domestic politics rather than Muslim insurgents may have been behind Sunday evening's bombs in Haadyai which exploded near two hotels, two pharmacies, a department store and a restaurant.

Scores of Malaysians, Singaporeans and Indonesians spend their weekends in Haadyai, but police said all the injured were Thai nationals. Two of the wounded were reported in serious condition.

Last September, six homemade bombs exploded in Haadyai, killing four people, including the first Westerner to die in the separatist insurgency, although he was apparently not targeted. – AP

பெடோபைல் பாதிரியார்கள் கார்ட்டூன்

அரபு நாடுகளுக்கு விபச்சாரத்துக்காக கடத்தப்படும் நேபாள பெண்கள்

சவூதி அரேபியா, குவாய்த் மற்றும் அரபுநாடுகளில் வேலைவாய்ப்பு என்று ஏமாற்றி நேபாள பெண்களை அங்கு விபச்சாரத்துக்காக கடத்துபவர்களை பற்றிய செய்தி.

இவ்வாறு அங்கு மாட்டிக்கொண்டா மாஸ்கி என்பவர் ஒரு இந்திய தொழிலாளி மூலமாக தப்பி மீண்டும் நேபாளத்துக்கு திரும்பியிருக்கிறார்.

NEPAL: Impoverished Nepalese girls tricked into prostitution

Photo: Naresh Newar/IRIN
Traffickers target Nepalese girls from poor families in the villages

KATHMANDU, 9 May 2007 (IRIN) - For the past three years, 25-year-old Sita Maskey has been fighting a court battle in the Nepalese capital, Kathmandu, to punish alleged trafficker Rekha Karki, who she says tricked her into forced prostitution in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates.

"I am destroyed. I was hoping to help rid my family of poverty but all was in vain," Maskey told IRIN, recounting her story of how she sold the family farmland and house to pay for the travel expenses and for the agent who had convinced her she could earn huge amounts as a baby-sitter in Dubai.

Maskey trusted Karki who had come to visit her family in her remote Ledang village of Morang district, nearly 600km east of the capital, and told her about job opportunities in Saudi Arabia - where she had already sent many girls from several villages - as well as Sharjah and Dubai. Maskey said that, unknown to her, Karki had opened a number of brothels in rented houses in Dubai.

Karki had lied to her that she was working for a shipping company in Dubai, where she could easily help find her a job. But Maskey said that once she reached Karki's flat in the city, she was tied up, beaten and threatened with death if she tried to escape.

After nearly eight months of forced prostitution, Maskey managed to escape with the help of an Indian illegal migrant worker. She went to seek help from the Nepalese embassy but the officials initially told her that they could not help her.

Eventually, with the help of local police, the embassy officials helped to return her to Nepal but failed to take any action to find the trafficker.


Maskey's case is an example of how vulnerable Nepalese girls and women still are at the hands of traffickers, said local anti-trafficking activists. They said trafficking has changed and the victims are now no longer trafficked only to India's cities.

"We have several cases of women who were forced into prostitution in countries where the demand for labour is high," said activist Bindra Maharjan from the Women's Rehabilitation Centre (WOREC), a local NGO that has been helping to rehabilitate victims and assist in legal action against the traffickers.

She said most of these victims come from impoverished families in rural areas where there is little employment.

I am destroyed. I was hoping to help rid my family of poverty but all was in vain.
According to Child Workers in Nepal (CWIN), 5,000 to 7,000 Nepalese girls and women are trafficked every year.

The level of vigilance declined during the decade-long armed conflict between the Nepalese government and Maoist rebels when police were too involved in controlling the insurgency, and as a result trafficking increased even more, according to WOREC.

In addition, the displacement of families and migration to India increased the vulnerability of the Nepalese girls and women. That situation has barely changed even today despite the end of armed conflict, said officials of Maiti Nepal, a prominent anti-trafficking NGO which has been helping to rescue the trafficked victims, rehabilitating them and tracking down the traffickers.

Collaboration needed

"There is a need for collaborative effort, not just at the local level but also at the international level," said activist Biswo Khadka, director of Maiti Nepal. The NGO has been able to develop networks in Nepal, India and Saudi Arabia to trace the victims and traffickers, said Khadka.

Since 1998, Maiti Nepal has rescued over 600 Nepalese girls and women from India and the Gulf countries where they were tricked into, or trafficked for, prostitution. In 2006 nearly 27,000 girls and women crossed the Indian border, according to Maiti Nepal data. In the same year nearly 73 girls were rescued in border areas and their traffickers arrested by police with the help of the monitors.

"But it's very difficult to trace the missing girls, especially those who were trafficked," said Khadga, who added that the rescued victims are afraid to reveal the names of their traffickers or brothel locations for fear that the traffickers would kill them and their families.

Activists blame the lack of strong laws against traffickers and the absence of victim-friendly courts in Nepal for punishing the traffickers. A new anti-trafficking bill was tabled months ago in the Nepalese parliament but government and opposition parties have not been keen to pass the bill, they said.

"Most of the victims of trafficking have no motivation or courage to find justice against their perpetrators in court as the legal process is too lengthy and not sensitive towards the victims," said Khadka. He said the victims often spend a minimum of two to three years waiting for a court verdict, and by that time the victim is already impoverished or migrating to another country.



Monday, May 28, 2007

யோகா கற்றுத்தரும் ஈரானிய மாடல்

காமரான் அல்பார்ஜியன் என்பவர் மிகப்புகழ்பெற்ற ஆண் மாடல்.

யோகா ஆயுர்வேதம் ஆகியவற்றில் தீவிர ஈடுபாடுகொண்டதால், அவற்றை தீவிரமாக கற்று, தற்போது யோகா ஆயுர்வேதம் ஆகியவற்றை சொல்லித்தரும் ஆசிரியராக ஆகியிருக்கிறார்.

பெர்ஷியன் மிர்ரர் பத்திரிக்கையிலிருந்து

International Fashion Model Turned Healer

Top Model Cameron Alborzian has one of the most recognizable male faces in the world. From playing Madonna’s boy toy in the 1989 video Express Yourself to modeling for hundreds of fashion campaigns, billboards, TV commercials, and covers, this trendsetter spent nearly twenty years in the industry working with the likes of Valentino, Armani, Gucci, and Dolce & Gabbana. Cameron was named model of the year in 1990 and again in 1994. Today, Cameron is on his path to a new beginning. With an uncanny ability to connect to people, Cameron is now helping others with their own personal journeys. His great physique and endless dedication to the healing methods of the East, in particular India, have paid off, and he is becoming a source for Yoga, natural medicine and good health for people around the world.

I had a chance to catch up with him this week:

PersianMirror: Tell us a little about your background?

Cameron Alborzian: I was born in Tehran. My mother is English and my father from Abadan. I lived in Tehran and Shiraz the first ten years of my life before I had to leave because of the 1979 revolution.

PM: How did you get into modeling?

CA: Someone stopped me in the street who was from a modeling agency and offered me to join them. I was studying to be a physical education teacher but I was not very interested in that as a career so I accepted the offer not really knowing what to expect. The next week I was living in Paris.

PM: You were a top male model having worked on international campaigns with the likes of Karl Lagerfeld, Jean Paul Gaultier, Chanel and Versace. Tell us about those experiences.

CA: When you work with some of the most creative people in any business it really has a very deep effect on you. I learned a lot from all these people as they strive to be the best in what they do. Staying up all night to shoot Chanel or shooting in the desert with Versace were some very memorable times. You become a little family seeing each other on locations around the world. Airports, hotels and different countries set the seen for a lot of life experiences.

PM: What has been the most exciting project to work on and why?

CA: Shooting campaigns with Herb Ritts, working with Madonna and Elton John, meeting Nelson Mandela, doing a show for the Oscars as well as with all the other models like Kate Moss or Cindy Crawford has given me a lot of great memories. Each project comes with something new which in reality is what is exciting about any work.

PM: Do you speak Farsi and how connected are you to your “Persian-ness”?

CA: For a while at school I forgot how to speak because I had no one to practice with but now it is a lot better. Do I understand all words, no - but I can speak and communicate. I know many Persian people whom I have met along my path and at my parents house there are always Iranian families and friends about. I also have all of my uncles and aunts who all live outside of Iran. This all keeps me connected to the Persian community. It will be nice to go back one day to see all the changes Iran has gone through since my childhood days.

PM: What are some of the stereotypes you have had to battle as a half-Iranian fashion model and what important lessons have you learned from that?

CA: I dealt with some racial ignorance at school but it was always coming from fear of the unknown where the adults around them had set children on the wrong path. In the fashion business everything and everyone is accepted which is a rear feeling. Fashion feeds on new people and ideas so any limited thoughts of segregation do not exist in that world.

PM: Your foray into the Yoga and the Health industry is a natural one. You are a certified Yoga practitioner and have led workshops and retreats. Tell us about this work.

CA: After my career in the fashion business where people took care of me and gave me everything, I decided that I wanted to work with natural medicine and serve others. I had a Guru for 16 years who guided me along my spiritual path and when he passed away I went to Kerala in India to study Ayurvedic medicine and Yoga philosophy. Now as a practitioner I give seminars and put on retreats not just for yoga but also for individuals who would like to understand more about themselves so they can live a happier life co-existing with other living beings.

PM: So what are you working on at the moment and what does the future hold?

CA: My spiritual project each day is to live and share in happiness. Other projects include bringing out books and TV material for television and Internet to provide information for people who are on a spiritual path. I am an ambassador to Kerala in India where Ayurveda and Yoga originate so I am putting on many retreats and working on documentaries about the area. You can learn more about Ayurveda, Yoga, natural medicine and information on my retreats at The website is for people who want an introduction into healing, wellness and spirituality and is easy to use.

PM: Desert Island Three things. What will you take?

CA: Positive thinking, good karma and anyone who wants to go.

PM: Sign me up! Thanks Cameron and it was nice speaking with you.

CA: Thank you.

PersianMirror Quikfacts:

Full Name: Cameron Alborzian
Favorite Color: Rainbow
Favorite Dish: Rice and vegetables
Languages: English-Farsi- Spanish
Currently Reading: Ayurveda- The science of self healing by Dr. Vasan Lad

போதைமருந்து உபயோகப்படுத்தியதற்கு யோகா தண்டனை

அமெரிக்க கொலராடோ மாநிலத்தில் போதை மருந்துக்கு அடிமையான சிறார்களுக்கு தண்டனையாக அவர்கள் வாராவாரம் யோகா வகுப்புகளுக்கு செல்லவேண்டும் என்று தீர்ப்பு கூறப்பட்டுள்ளது.

தினந்தோறும் யோகாவகுப்புகளுக்கு சென்ற சிறுவர்கள் இப்போது போதைமருந்தை விட்டுவிட்டு படிப்பில் கவனம் செலுத்துகிறார்கள்.

Juvenile drug court sentences offenders to weekly yoga classes
May 28, 2007

FORT COLLINS - Eric Campbell was not particularly enthusiastic when he learned that, as part of juvenile drug court, he would have to attend weekly yoga sessions.
"I thought it was crap," he said, quickly apologizing for his language. "It wasn't going to help me. I was just going to go and mess around."

Six months later, the 18-year- old feels differently.

"It's cool," he said. "It's like a mental and physical thing. Right now, I wouldn't know what to do without it."

His concentration was evident he and 14 other teens followed the direction of yoga teacher Cathy Wright.

She asked her students to keep their spine straight, roll their arms in and breathe.

"You come to yoga to learn to relax your tensions, but you have to be able to perceive it to relax it," she told the young men, who are all dealing with some form of substance abuse and were ordered to attend the class by Magistrate Mary Jo Berenato.

A year after Berenato became the juvenile magistrate for the 8th Judicial District and took over juvenile drug court, she launched the yoga program.

"She starts her own yoga practice in her life," said Dee Colombini, coordinator of the district drug courts. "She finds nirvana in her own life, and hence, yoga started for the kids in 2004."

Berenato recognized the principles of yoga could help the teens, teaching them ways other than substance abuse to deal with life's pressures.

"I thought it could originally start to help the girls appreciate their bodies, respect their bodies and be careful about what they put into their bodies or let other people do to their bodies," Berenato said.

She brought in Wright, who saw benefits for both boys and girls, and crafted classes for each gender, as well as a coed class.

Campbell said yoga helps with the stresses of life, allows him to relax after a day of work, GED classes and other obligations.

"I go home and do this stuff and then pass out," he said - but not, as in the past, from alcohol or drugs.

That, according to Wright, is one of the goals of the class.

"We want the yoga teens to feel better, so we approach yoga poses in a way that makes the student successful and builds confidence," Wright said.

Some teens may not realize the benefits immediately, but as they mature, the foundations of yoga will help them clear their minds and respect themselves, said Wright and Berenato.

"We're planting a seed," the magistrate said.

இந்தியாவின் ஆன்மீக நெறியும் அமைதி வழியும் உலகெங்கும் இறைவழியையும் அமைதியையும் பரப்பிக்கொண்டிருக்கிறது.

நக்சலைட்டுகளின் கண்ணிவெடியில் பாலம் தகர்ப்பு; ரயில் தடம் புரண்டது

28 மே 2007
ராய்ப்பூர்: சட்டீஸ்கர் மாநிலத்தில் நக்சலைட்டுகள் வைத்த கண்ணிவெடியில் ரயில்வே பாலம், தண்டவாளம் ஆகியவை தகர்க்கப்பட்டன.

சட்டீஸ்கர், ஒரிசா, மகாராஷ்டிரா மற்றும் ம.பி., மாநிலங்களில் போலி என்கவுன்டர்கள் நடத்தப்படுவதை கண்டித்து சட்டீஸ்கர் மாநிலத்தில் தடை செய்யப்பட்ட மாவோயிஸ்ட் நக்சலைட்டுகள் நேற்று, "பந்த்'க்கு அழைப்பு விடுத்திருந்தனர். தண்டேவாடா மாவட்டம், பச்சேலி மற்றும் கிரன்டூல் ஆகிய இடங்களுக்கு இடையே ரயில் பாதையின் இரண்டு இடங்களில் நக்சலைட்டுகள் கண்ணிவெடிவைத்தனர். இதில், ரயில்வே பாலம் மற்றும் தண்டவாளம் சேதமடைந்தன. இதன் காரணமாக அந்த பாதையில் வந்த சரக்கு ரயிலின் மூன்று பெட்டிகள் தடம் புரண்டன. மத்தாடி என்ற இடத்தில், "எஸ்ஸார்' நிறுவனத்தின் ஸ்டீல் தொழிற்சாலையையும் நக்சலைட்டுகள் தீவைத்து எரித்தனர். இச்சம்பவங்களில் எந்த உயிர்சேதமும் இல்லை என்று போலீசார் தெரிவித்தனர்.

நன்றி தினமலர்

செ:ஈராக் ஷியா பிரிவினரின் சந்தையில் குண்டுவெடிப்பு 19 பேர் பலி

ஈராக் ஷியா பிரிவினரின் சந்தையில் கார் பாம் வெடித்ததில் 19 பேர் மரணம்.

சுன்னி முஸ்லீம் தீவிரவாதிகள் தொடர்ந்து ஷியா பிரிவினரின் பகுதிகளில் குண்டுகளையும் கார் பாம்களையும் வெடித்து பொதுமக்களை கொலை செய்துவருகிறார்கள்.

ஷியா பிரிவினர் சென்ற ஒரு பஸ்ஸை கடத்திச்சென்று 15 பேரை சிறைபிடித்துள்ளனர்.

Car bomb kills 19 in Baghdad
May 28, 2007 at 7:23 AM EDT

Associated Press — A car bomb exploded in central Baghdad on Monday, killing at least 19 people and wounding 46, police and hospital officials said.

The bomb went off at 2 p.m. in the Sinak commercial district on the east side of the Tigris River.

Ghaith Karim, a 38-year-old Shia cloth merchant, said he saw fire ball and heard the loud blast.

“It was tremendous. I felt the ground was shaking,” Mr. Karim said. “When I reached the scene, I found legs, charred pieces of bodies and pools of blood. Casualties were being evacuated by civilian cars. Firefighters battled to extinguish the fire.”

U.S. troops free al-Qaeda prisoners
Also in central Baghdad, a battle raged after insurgents hijacked two buses and kidnapped at least 15 passengers, police said.

At least three policemen had been killed and eight wounded, including four passers-by, authorities said.

The small buses where travelling through the Fadhil neighborhood, a Sunni enclave in central Baghdad, when they were waylaid by unidentified gunmen in three cars at 10:15 a.m.

The insurgents then abducted at least 15 passengers and took them to a nearby abandoned government building, a police officer said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to reporters.

The buses were heading from Baghdad's central Bab al-Mudham bus station to the city's eastern Shiite neighbourhoods.

The fighting began when Iraqi security forces reached the scene about 30 minutes later, police said.

Nine militants were arrested as they attacked security forces from nearby alleys with light weapons.

According to Iraqi police, at least two U.S. helicopters were hovering overhead and U.S. forces had taken up positions near the fighting, but were not directly involved.

Sunni insurgents have repeatedly clashed with U.S. and Iraqi forces in the Fadhil area, which is also known for its high crime rate.

ஆப்பிரிக்காவின் கிறிஸ்துவ பயங்கரவாத குழு எல்.ஆர்.ஏ

ஆப்பிரிக்காவின் மிகப்பெரிய மிக நீண்டகாலமாக இருந்துவரும் கொடூரமான கிறிஸ்துவ பயங்கரவாத குழு பற்றிய கட்டுரை.
எல்/ஆர்.ஏ என்ற Lords Resistance Army என்ற இந்த பயங்கரவாத குழு உகாண்டா காங்கோவில் பைபிளின் பத்து கட்டளைகளை நிறுவப்போவதாக கூறிக்கொண்டு அட்டூழியம் பண்ணிக்கொண்டு இருக்கிறது.

இதுவரை 20000 சிறுவர்களையும் சிறுமிகளையும் கடத்திச்சென்று தன்னுடைய ராணுவத்துக்கு காலாட்படையாகவும் பாலுறவு அடிமைகளாகவும் உபயோகப்படுத்தியிருக்கிறது.

Inside LRA camp in Congo
Lucy Hannan

"I want to go to school and learn things about the world," says 16-year-old self styled Sergeant Anyor who would like to ride in a car and remembers he has a sister, Lucy at home in Gulu, northern Uganda.

He has been with the Lords Resistance Army since he was eight years old. Anyor has very little to say about his childhood in the bush; but insists he joined voluntarily 'to fight for my motherland, against all the bad things Museveni is doing'.

He keeps glancing over his shoulder as he talks about how many people he has shot, and is vague about his daily duties - washing clothes for his commanders, gathering mangoes, and hunting forest birds with a sling shot.

Anyor asks for a small bar of soap to take as a present for the wife of his friend with whom he shares a compound in a camp in a thick belt of trees in the Congo. "I am not allowed a wife until I am 18," he explains.

Another young LRA soldier, with the characteristic short beaded dreads and brown gum boots, says he was abducted from a bus station in Nairobi, Kenya.
The young boys are overcome by curiosity but accept nothing from outsiders without permission from the commanders.

Packets of chewing gum slide into a back pocket. Cigarettes are strictly forbidden. Alcohol is evil. Conversation is careful. But at heart they are teenagers - they want to know about cars, girls, clothes and the world beyond their reach.

MENACING: Some of the rebels forming part of Kony’s guard in Ri-Kwangba. Courtesy photo

Being a soldier is a main point of reference: what makes a good soldier or a bad soldier; what is allowed, what is not; who is strong, who is not. These children and young adults, with weapons oddly disproportionate to their youthful bodies, have become completely absorbed into the LRA system. Unlike former abductees who have horrific tales of escape and fear, or children who have been murdered and tortured in the bush, these are the kids who will kill for the mystical, militarised cult.

During the talks in April, about 100 such LRA soldiers made themselves at home on the outskirts of the mediation site in Ri-Kwangba, on the undemarcated Sudan-Congo border. It became a teenager’s hangout; an interface to the outside world. The clearing - only a few hundred metres away from the LRA bush headquarters - has a water point, portable toilets and storage huts.

International delegates are flown in and out by helicopter, along with hundreds of plastic chairs, a generator, and a lunch of rice and stew. Facilities for the international delegates has effectively institutionalised the LRA in Ri-Kwangba; a major political and social shift for the secretive group which has hidden in the shadows for almost two decades.

Joseph Kony - still clearly revered by his followers as the spiritual head of the LRA - fiddles nervously in the meetings, clasping a small black diary like a prayer book, as he listens to international delegates discussing charges laid against him by the International Criminal Court.

Tall and slight, he made his first public appearance in a suit bought in London. The man who says he lives life by God's Ten Commandments maintains the puzzled look of a spectator.

He only becomes animated - a sudden wide smile and an extended hand - when greeted in Acholi by Ugandan observers from the Church and the northern constituencies.
Mostly, Kony appears to follow the lead of his second in command, Vincent Otti.

In the Ri-Kwangba talks, he often stood one pace behind Otti, watching him bargain and banter, following Otti's finger, line by line as the terms of a new agreement were patiently read to him. Otti is referred to as 'the boss' by the LRA soldiers and delegates.

"When you talk to Otti, Kony is always lurking behind. Otti is the medium through which Kony does his thing. It puts Otti in a very central role," says Prof. Morris Ogenga-Latigo, MP Agago County who was part of the observers.

"Many people have mistaken Otti as the driving force. But no, not at all, it's still Joseph Kony driving the whole process." Chief mediator Riek Machar agrees that although Otti is the 'front man', Kony remains in charge.

ICC charges against Kony and Otti, include killings, mutilations, sexual enslavement, mass burning of houses and camp settlements, child abductions, forced recruitment, and the massacre of 300 people in Otti's own village.

Traditional justice
Kony and Otti say they will submit to traditional justice instead (Mato oput), which focuses on reconciling communities rather than prosecuting individuals. And they want the Ugandan government - which asked the ICC to investigate the LRA - to be investigated too.

"Traditional justice we appreciate, but it must be taken on both sides. The Ugandan government did some atrocities as well," insists Otti. He is vague about what the LRA is fighting for, other than supporting a federal system in northern Uganda based on the Ten Commandments where 'nobody will accept people to steal, or go and take somebody's wife, or accepts innocent killings.' Otti accuses the Ugandan military of using HIV/Aids 'against northerners'.

In the absence of a more conventional political agenda by the cultish LRA, the ICC charges have become a crucial bargaining chip in this bizarre and brutal war, say delegates and observers.

David Gressly, a senior UN representative in Juba South Sudan, believes that both sides of the conflict are motivated to reach a settlement because of 'fatigue' with the long running crisis. Some delegates say President Museveni has become nervous that ICC investigations in northern Uganda will throw up damning evidence on his own soldiers.

And the LRA? They say they want to 'go home'. There are rumours about the health of both Otti and Kony; but there is still scant information about either men or their lifestyle.
Kony gets 'very tired' after long meetings, according to some of the LRA members. Otti is the man at the forefront but has a hunted look. As the communicator and the strategist, Otti is more unpredictable and obstructive, say those working on a peaceful settlement of the 20-year conflict.

Kony, Otti afraid
The scale of the ICC charges against Otti means he will be unable to go back to northern Uganda, many observers muse. One of the challenges of peace and justice may be finding a country to accommodate Otti. Sudan and a southern African state have been mentioned.

It appears Kony and Otti have come to the table in fear of their future. Lawyers have been flown in to explain the process of the ICC to the LRA leaders who apparently, were convinced they would be seized and hung in Europe. At the talks, they are terrified for their personal security. In Ri-Kwangba, they were guarded by expressionless young soldiers, armed with machine guns and grenade launchers.

With Kony and Otti unwilling to take more than a few paces out of the forest, peace talks in Juba will be a distant struggle for power and representation. The Ugandan government doggedly claims there are no more than about 800 LRA rebels left. But the government figures are not convincing in a conflict that has had no military or political solution for 20 years.

Humanitarian agencies calculate up 20,000 children have been abducted or killed in the north and child soldiers are the core fighting force of the LRA. Regional military sources estimate there are about 3,000 LRA fighters, with some 1,500 women and children in tow - which would explain why there is international motivation to get a lasting settlement in northern Uganda, before the LRA becomes newly employed as a highly effective, ruthless mercenary force in the shadowy conflicts on the border regions.

குவாய்தில் நவீன அடிமை முறை

குவாய்த் டைம்ஸ் இதழில் வந்த கட்டுரை
படிக்க வேண்டியது.

குவாய்த் வழங்கும் விசாக்கள், வேலை முறை, பாஸ்போர்ட் பிடுங்கி வைத்துக்கொள்ளும் முறைகள் ஆகியவை அனைத்துக்கும் அடிமைமுறைக்கும் எந்த வித்தியாசமும் இல்லை. இவை நீக்கப்பட வேண்டும் என்று வாதிடுகிறது.

Modern day slavery
Published Date: May 28, 2007
By Fouad Al-Obaid

In an era where slavery is supposed to have long been forgone as an acceptable practice, I am shocked at the fact that today in Kuwait, despite humanitarian practices and international laws, we are still confronted with this issue (forced labor and a modern form of slavery).

What many people here consider as domestic servants; drivers, maids, cooks, as well as other employees of the sort, end up being subjects to harsh living conditions and a meager pay, certainly not enough for the work they put in.

The fact is there are no laws to set a minimum wage nor one to deal with minimum working standards: standards that would precise the working condition, the hours, the pay, the rests, the holidays and the obligations of the employer.

With the latter being quasi non-existent, I sometimes wonder why other people have a hard time understanding the causes that lead many domestics to commit various vices, most of the time they are not out of pleasure, rather they are merely the result of the living conditions and treatment that the domestics are subject to.

Stories of maids taking out their anger on their "masters" weakest link -- their children -- are not unheard of for the single reason that the "masters" treat them as slaves and expect them to say thank you!

What is troubling is that in most of these cases, the domestic are always believed to be mad or happen to be suffering from psychological disorders and only commit such crimes out of madness! Yet I for one beg to question, what is it that pushed such domestics to commit such crimes?

My personal hypothesis on the matter is that if such domestics are at the receiving end of perhaps daily insults, of degradations of all sorts, of deprivations, of punishments, and of long working days with little breaks, then perhaps if the latter happens to be the case I understand that the end result of such treatment can only be a rage of outburst on the part of the domestic that would want to avenge the feeling of injustice that such a person has underwent.

I guess that it is perfectly natural to lose reason if one ends up being put under stress for a prolonged period of time. I certainly know that I would not tolerate such treatment without up one day ending going mad myself!

What many deplorably fail to understand is that we are all human beings. Albeit our skin color, race, and ethnicities differ, we are all fundamentally the same. We all have hopes, dreams and ambitions. Do people seriously think that people actually enjoy cleaning up after someone else's mess? Are people naïve or are they simply racist and believe in race superiority, or perhaps that due to our current wealth, we are above the domestics?

Have we forgotten that not so long ago, we were so dependent of the Asia Sub-continent? Have we forgotten that we used the Indian rupee for currency? Worse, do many of my fellow citizens who claim to be pious and devout Muslims forget that in the Quran, God made it clear that there is no difference between races, no difference between blacks, whites, brown and other?

It really saddens me to know that such action is slowly but surely degrading our image abroad. In the past, such treatment by some foreign diplomats landed them in major trouble yet their immunity from prosecution enabled them to avoid being sent to prison.

With time, such an issue will certainly end up being picked up by mainstream global media and in the long run, I wouldn't be surprised to hear that fellow nationals would be reclaimed by foreign courts in connection with human trafficking, forced work and even slavery charges. After all, Slavery happens to be one of seven crimes common to all civilized nations.

I hope that in the very near future, our dear parliamentarians who claim to be devout Muslims and who want to make the Sharia the prime source of legislation to maybe look into the matter. For it doesn't sound too Islamic. It clearly goes against all human laws and certainly against the law of God.

The "kafeel system" (a system whereby a sponsor needs to be the guarantor of the foreign worker) along with the retention of their passport by the sponsor in question, who in some instances use their documents to bare them from free movement in clear violation of numerous international treaties and charters that Kuwait is a signatory to, are simply wrong.

In a nutshell, the current system ensures that foreigners in our beloved country remain exploited without any rights to do anything about it. They end up being caught in a system where they end up having no legal rights.

The few foreigners that dare go to a police station to complain end up being abused by the police officers. At times, they even in some cases end up being beaten by the same individuals (police officers) who are supposed to uphold the laws of the land and to cater to those that are victims of crimes. In no case are they to be brutal to them and to treat them as sub-humans.

Had I not myself been the witness of such disregard to mainly Asian foreigners by law enforcers I would have not believed it, however it saddens me to admit to such a thing in a country that I believe has laws and a constitution. Furthermore, I encourage all those that might think that I am exaggerating to take the time to go and see for themselves what goes on in police stations.

Ending with a final note, I for one believe in karma; what goes around comes around. Those that abuse people will themselves one day be the victims of their crimes, if not on earth, perhaps in the thereafter. Justice and equalities are two factors necessary for civilizations to develop, people lose hope in either or, we will end up with a chaotic society where people will take it upon themselves to restore perceived injustices.

I hope that law and justice prevails, and those that dare traffic in human beings end up receiving exemplary sentences from international human rights courts. It is a shame that we, in the 21st century, still end up being confronted with demons of the past. Slavery is under no circumstance an acceptable trade. I would like to finish with this remark, what if the person being tampered, enslaved, and abused was you? Would you not want people to speak out and help you?
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இந்தோனேஷியா அம்பானில் மசூதிக்கு எதிராக குண்டுவெடிப்பு

இங்கு ஆறு வருடத்துக்கு முன்பு கிறிஸ்துவர்களும் முஸ்லீம்களும் மோதிக்கொண்டதில் 1999-2002 வரை 5000க்கும் மேற்பட்ட மக்கள் கொலையுண்டார்கள்.

அம்பான் பிரதேசத்தின் மிகப்பெரிய மசூதியான அல் படா மசூதிக்கு எதிராக குண்டு வெடித்தது.

இது இன்னொரு வன்முறையை ஆரம்பித்துவிடுமோ என்று அஞ்சுகிறார்கள்.


Jakarta, 2 May (AKI/Jakarta Post) - A grenade exploded outside a mosque on Wednesday in the Maluku provincial capital of Ambon, a city that was hit by bloody religious violence six years ago, police said. No one was injured in the grenade blast, which was thrown by unidentified persons outside Al-Fatah Mosque, the large Islamic house of worship in the city, Indonesia's MetroTV station reported Wednesday.

Police officers collected pieces of metal from the exploding grenade from the grounds of the mosque and its surrounding. Some officers were also still guarding the mosque.

Maluku Police chief Brig. Gen. Guntur Gatot Setiawan could not say what the motive behind the bombing were. He said that his officers were still carrying out investigations.

He also refused to link the latest explosion with other previous blasts in the city.

Police recently questioned 12 people over a recent bomb blast, which wounded six people in the city, coinciding with the anniversary of a separatist group in the region. The 12 people include the six people injured during the incident.

The separatist group was crushed shortly after its formation on April 25, 1950, but re-emerged after ex-President Soeharto's 32-year dictatorship came to an end in 1998. Flags of the outlawed movement were seen on trees and buildings in Ambon early Wednesday.

The islands of the Moluccas, saw vicious fighting between Muslims and Christians from 1999 to 2002, that killed more than 5,000 people. After a truce between Muslim and Christian communities in 2002, the sectarian violence largely subsided but there have been reports of sporadic incidents.

(Aki/Jakarta Post)

இந்த கிறிஸ்துவர்களும் முஸ்லீம்கள் தங்களது வன்முறை வழியை விட்டு அமைதி வழி ஆன்மீக வழியை மேற்கொள்ள இறையை இறைஞ்சுவோம்.

கிறிஸ்துவ மதத்துக்கு செல்ல ஒரு மலேசிய முஸ்லீம் பெண்ணின் போராட்டம்

மலேசியாவில் ஒரு முஸ்லீம் வேறெந்த மதத்துக்கும் மதம் மாற முடியாது என்று சட்டம் இருக்கிறது.

இதனால், ஒரு முஸ்லீம் பெண் கிறிஸ்துவ மதத்துக்கு சென்றது சட்டப்பூர்வமானதாக இல்லாமல் அவர் கைது செய்யப்பட்டார்.

42 வயதான லினா ஜாய், ஒரு முஸ்லீம் பெற்றோருக்கு பிறந்தார். அவரது பெயர் அஜ்லினா ஜெய்லானி. அவர் 26 வயதில் கிறிஸ்துவராக முடிவு செய்தார்.

அவரது அடையாள அட்டையில் மதம் இஸ்லாம் என்று இருப்பதை மதம் என்று கிறிஸ்துவத்தை போடுவதற்காக இவ்வளவு வருடங்கள் போராடி வருகிறார்.

மே 30 ஆம் தேதி அது தீர்ப்புக்கு வரும் என்று தெரிகிறது.

Wednesday decision on Lina Joy

PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court has set next Wednesday for the delivery of its decision on the appeal of Lina Joy against the Court of Appeal’s majority ruling two years ago, that the National Registration Department was right in not allowing her application to delete the word “Islam” from her identity card.

Lina’s solicitor Benjamin Dawson confirmed May 30 as the date of decision yesterday.

On July 3 last year, Chief Justice Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim, Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Justice Richard Malanjum and Federal Court judge Justice Alauddin Mohd Sheriff reserved their judgment to a date to be fixed.

Lina, 42, was born Azlina Jailani to Malay parents. She was brought up as a Muslim but at the age of 26 decided to become a Christian.

In 1999, she changed the name in her identity card to Lina Joy but her religion remained as Islam.

On April 23, 2001, the High Court refused to decide on her application to renounce Islam as her religion on grounds that the Syariah Court should decide the issue.

It also dismissed her application for an order to direct the department to drop the word “Islam” from her identity card.

இன்று ஈராக்கில் 57 பேர் கொலை.

ஈராக் சுன்னி தீவிரவாதிகள் ஷியா கிராமங்களுக்குள் நடத்திய மோர்டர் தாக்குதலில் பல ஷியா மக்கள் மரணமடைந்தார்கள். அதில் பல பெண்களும் குழந்தைகளும் அடங்குவர்.

42 ஈராக்கியினர் அல்குவேதாவால் சித்திரவதை முகாமில் அடைக்கப்பட்டிருந்ததை அறிந்து அவர்களை ஈராக் போலீஸாரும் அமெரிக்க ராணுவமும் விடுதலை செய்தார்கள்.

நியூஸ் பாகிஸ்தான் செய்தி

57 Iraqis killed in violence

BAGHDAD: Ten more American soldiers have been killed in fighting in Iraq, the military announced on Sunday.

But in a victory for US and Iraqi forces, troops liberated 42 people from an al-Qaeda run torture facility in a lawless province northeast of Baghdad.

Four soldiers were killed in two attacks in the Sunni province of Salaheddin on Saturday, while another four were killed in blasts in the capital. A marine and another soldier died in combat north and west of the capital.

More than 100 US troops have been killed in May, so far, while two are still missing two weeks after being snatched by al-Qaeda.

At least 57 Iraqis were killed in Sunday, including 44 bodies found in Baghdad and Dura.

A barrage of mortar rounds hit houses in a Shia village, killing three women and a child. A suicide car bomber attacked an army checkpoint in Musayyib, killing two Iraqi soldiers.

Gunman also killed renowned Baghdad calligrapher Khalil al-Zahawi, 52, in a drive-by shooting in Baghdad. In Basra, British forces on a raid to arrest Shia militants came under fire and killed three of their attackers.

Meanwhile, 70 police officers resigned from Iraqi elite police unit and handed over their weapons, citing fears they were being targeted by Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army militia.

US forces freed 42 Iraqis in a raid Sunday on an al-Qaeda hide-out north of Baghdad, the US military said.

The camp was holding 42 people, all thought to be Iraqi civilians, many of them showing signs of mistreatment ranging from broken bones and bruises to heat injuries caused by being held with insufficient water, the US military said.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

ஹாங்காங்கில் டியனன்மேன் சதுக்கம் ஞாபகார்த்த ஊர்வலம்

1989இல் பெய்ஜிங்கில் டியனன்மென் சதுக்கத்தில் குழுமிய மாணவர்களை கம்யூனிஸ்ட் அரசு படுகொலை செய்தது.

ஹாங்காங்கில் அதன் நினைவார்த்த ஊர்வலம் நடந்தது.

சீனாவில் ஜனநாயகம் வேண்டும்

அரசியல் கைதிகளை விடுதலை செய்

ஆகிய கோஷங்களோடு நூற்றுக்கணக்கானவர் ஊர்வலமாக சென்றனர்.

Hundreds march in HK to mark 1989 Beijing massacre
27 May 2007 09:25:40 GMT
Source: Reuters
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HONG KONG, May 27 (Reuters) - About 400 people marched in driving rain in Hong Kong on Sunday to protest Beijing's 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown on a pro-democracy movement.

Huddled under a sea of umbrellas and holding banners and placards, the protesters also held a rally against a local politician's remarks this month denying the massacre.

"March for democracy in China," their banner read, while some carried photographs of those killed in the crackdown.

"Release political prisoners," the protesters shouted as they marched to the government headquarters.

A number of democracy activists and journalists gave their accounts of the massacre on June 4, 1989, when hundreds, possibly thousands, were killed when China's Communist leaders sent tanks and troops to crush the student-led protests.

One of the protesters said : "This is a deep wound in the heart. After that night, I lost my friends. I can't find them anymore."

Ma Lik, a top pro-Beijing Hong Kong politician, set off a furore in the city earlier this month when he denied that the massacre ever took place.

Ma, chairman of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, also questioned how tanks could have crushed people into minced meat, asking facetiously whether the same had been tried on a pig before.

Although his party has since apologised for Ma's comments, they sparked anger in the city and was responsible for the high turnout on Sunday, some protesters said.

"We have Ma Lik to thank, so that we remember this," a woman at the rally told television reporters.

Hong Kong and the former Portugese enclave of Macau are the only places in China where people are allowed to commemorate those killed in 1989.

In the wake of the crackdown, the Chinese government condemned the protests as a counter-revolutionary rebellion, though it has never publicly accounted for those killed.