- What absolute freedom, DSAI?
- I travel ON foot. I walk: Oh My English! - Astro TVIQ
- Kenapa Tak Rogol Saya?
- Mahkamah Rayuan: Khairy Gagal Ketepikan Saman RM100 Juta Anwar
- The Democratic Debate
- ‘Mass graves’ for Myanmar’s Rohingya
- [VIDEO] Dakwaan BERSIH Cuba Guling Kerajaan Tak Berasas - Fauzi Shaari
- The 'I Am Powerless' Myth
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- [JOM TURUN] Lebih 20 NGO Anjur Himpunan Janji Bersih
- Wheelchair Gloves Alternative
- “May Day, May Day, May Day” SOS message to save the 7000 Muslims lives and properties from Sittwe, Rakhine
- [VIDEO] "Antu Tuya Dan Dato Nazak" - Klip Animasi Politik Pertama Zunar Dilancarkan
- Berbaktilah Kepada Ibumu Tika Dia Masih Ada Sebelum Menyesal Ketika Dia Sudah Tiada
- Monsters In Our Midst
- The hypocrisy of Burma’s pro-democracy movement
- Muslims in Burma – A Struggle to Live with Dignity and Respect
- Kereta Terbabas: Ketua Wanita Umno Nyaris Maut
- ဝိညာဥ္ သစၥာ
- Realistically Speaking...Just for smiles
Posted: 09 Aug 2012 10:49 AM PDT
PR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim didn't actually understand what he said. He has gone bananas. His ambition to become the next prime minister is making him unstable, hallucinating!
In one of his blog postings, he said 'the absence of absolute freedom was the main cause of calamity in some Muslim countries'. He was referring to the political turmoil in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Yemen and Syria.
He has forgotten how his good friend Uncle Sam played a pivotal role in bringing down these governments by sponsoring the opposition, supplied them with guns and ammunition, money and anything needed to install their pro-Washington leaders.
Anwar is forgetting Iraq and the Palestine and has yet to make any stand on the mass murder of the Rohingya people in Myanmar.
He manipulates Islam and the Middle East issue for his politics but within Pakatan Rakyat, he is so scared of PAS' hudud. His party, PKR is now against hudud, just like DAP.
He is worried, pretty worried. If he becomes PM after the next general election, PAS will for sure apply mounting pressure for hudud to be implemented. Although Karpal Singh (he is a the only DAP leader who rapped PAS over hudud... pity him!) will be there, hopefully, to shoot it down, Anwar needs a few more Karpal for the job.
Lim Kit Siang and Lim Guan Eng are silence. Guan Eng, especially, has been 'soft-toned' when it comes to hudud because he does not want to lose his grip on PAS, his donkey in Penang.
So, Anwar is almost alone. Realising how fragile PR is now, he keeps himself busy searching for new idea to hit out at the ruling party. He is pretty worried!
He likes the subject 'Islam' so much that he attributes the liberalisation of the Islamic countries to 'absolute freedom'. Likewise, his support for the safety and existence of Israel (not even mentioning the rights of the Palestinians for an independence state) reflects how much a freedom fighter he is!
In Malaysia, whether we are Muslims, Christians, Buddhist or Hindus, we believe in our common justice, in co-existence and mutual respect. We believe in self-rule and the spirit of 'musyawarah' or consensus to address our domestic problems, without having to invite foreign government and troops to our shores.
And how is Anwar going to manage the country with people like Ambiga and Marina Mahathir around? Will he award them with the absolute freedom and total human rights in a multi-racial and multi-religion country like Malaysia that has thrived on good cooperation and understanding since we achieved Independence about 55 years ago?
To whom will Anwar sell his soul to help him administer a 'free for all' country? Will he allow such a freedom take a heavy toll on national security? O-ohh... maybe with the help of the Americans and the Israelis, Malaysia will be more peaceful and fully consolidated!
Anwar does not have self-confident and that explains why he is garnering all those foreign support. He will become another Hamid Karzai in Afghanistan, just a yes-man to the US and its Nato ally.
The collapse of the few Arab countries had got nothing to do with freedom. They fell because the opposition sold their sold to the devil's advocate of the West. They were easily-led and cheated that when their regimes are changed, it will open up a better life. Sadly, it turned out to be the otherwise.
So, what freedom plan does Anwar has for us, Malaysians? Legalising LGBT, same sex marriage, freedom of speech and Press freedom? He should look at how Lim Guan Eng treats the media in Penang. So much of a freedom!
Posted: 09 Aug 2012 08:46 AM PDT
Posted: 09 Aug 2012 11:16 AM PDT
Kisah benar ini berlaku di US. Ia tentang seorang wanita dari Malaysia yang bekerja di US. Dia memakai tudung dan memiliki akhlak yang bagus. Gambar hiasan
Suatu malam perempuan ini dalam perjalanan balik ke rumah dari tempat kerjanya. Kebetulan dia mengambil jalan singkat untuk pulang. Jalan yang diambil pula agak tersorok dan tidak banyak orang yang lalu lalang pada masa itu.
Disebabkan hari yang agak sudah lewat, berjalan di jalan yang agak gelap sebegitu membuatkan dia agak gelisah dan rasa takut. Lebih-lebih lagi dia berjalan berseorangan.
Tiba-tiba dia nampak ada seorang lelaki (kulit putih Amerika) bersandar di dinding di tepi lorong itu. Dia sudah mula rasa takut dan tak sedap hati. Apa yang dia boleh buat waktu tu adalah berdoa ke hadrat Allah memohon keselamatan atas dirinya. Dia baca ayat Kursi dengan penuh pengharapan agar Allah membantu dia disaat itu.
Masa dia melepasi tempat lelaki itu bersandar, dia sempat menoleh dan dapat mengecam muka lelaki itu. Nasib baik lelaki itu buat tidak endah dan perempuan ini selamat sampai ke rumahnya.
Keesokkan paginya, wanita ini terbaca dalam akhbar yang seorang perempuan telah dirogol oleh seorang lelaki yang tidak dikenali dekat lorong yang dia jalan semalam hanya 10 minit selepas dia melintasi lorong tersebut. Muslimah ini yakin benar lelaki kulit putih yang dia lihat semalam adalah perogol itu.
Atas rasa tanggungjawab dia terus ke balai polis dan buat aduan. Wanita ni dapat mengenal pasti suspek melalui kawad cam dan selepas siasatan dilakukan, polis dapat bukti bahawa lelaki tersebut adalah perogol yang dicari.
Tapi perempuan ini hairan juga kenapa lelaki tadi tak jadikan dia mangsa ketika dia melalui lorong tersebut walhal dia keseorangan di masa tu, tetapi lelaki tadi rogol perempuan yang lalu selepas dia. Wanita ini nak tahu sangat sebabnya. Jadi dia minta kebenaran polis untuk bercakap dengan perogol tadi sebelum hukuman dijatuhkan (sebelum lelaki tadi di bawa ke tempat lain).
Dia pun tanya perogol itu..
"Why don't you do anything to me on that night even though you know that I'm alone?" (Kenapa awak tak buat apa-apa kat saya malam tu walaupun awak tau saya seorang je masa tu?)
Perogol tu jawab:
"No, you are not alone. That night I saw two young man walking with you. One on your right side and the other one was by your left side. If you were alone of course you will be my victim." (Tak, awak bukan berseorangan. Malam tu saya nampak ada 2 orang lelaki berjalan dengan awak. Seorang sebelah kanan awak dan sorang lagi sebelah kiri awak. Kalaulah awak sorang2 malam tu, sudah pasti awak jadi mangsa saya..)
Wanita ni rasa amat terkejut bila dengar penjelasan perogol tu. Dia bersyukur ke hadrat Allah kerana memelihara dia malam itu, mungkin juga berkat ayat Kursi yang dia baca malam itu.
p/s : MORAL CERITA INI???
Jika kita sebagai hambaNya menurut segala perintah dan meninggalkan segala laranganNya, Dia pastinya akan sentiasa dekat dengan kita dan memelihara kita. Wanita tadi pertama-tamanya menutup aurat di US dan memang seorang yang menjaga batas-batas yang ditetapkan Islam. Mungkin dua orang lelaki yang menemani wanita itu adalah malaikat yang diutuskan Allah untuk menjaga hambaNya yang sentiasa ingat akan diriNya.
"…Barang siapa membaca ayat Kursi apabila berbaring di tempat tidurnya, Allah mewakilkan 2 orang Malaikat memeliharanya hingga subuh. Barang siapa yang membaca ayat al-Kursi ketika dalam kesempitan nescaya Allah berkenan memberi pertolongan kepadanya …" [Dari Abdullah bin 'Amr r.a.]
Sebuah kisah benar yang sangat sangat menarik pada pandangan ku… semoga kite semua mendapat pengajaran dan ilmu yang bermanfat… sebagai hamba kita seharusnya percaya dengan kemampuan senjata orang mukmin iaitu DOA….
Semoga kita sentiasa dipeliara Allah dari kejahatan syaitan yang di rejam……. InsyaAllah..
Posted: 09 Aug 2012 07:33 AM PDT
Putrajaya - Mahkamah Rayuan di sini hari ini memerintahkan saman RM100 juta yang dikemukakan Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim terhadap Ketua Pemuda Umno Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar dibicarakan di Mahkamah Tinggi.
Panel tiga hakim mahkamah itu, yang diketuai Hakim Datuk Ramly Ali, sebulat suara menolak rayuan Khairy agar saman itu diketepikan.
Hakim Ramly berkata mengikut Peraturan Mahkamah Tinggi, kes itu tidak wajar diketepikan.
"Kes ini perlu dibicarakan kerana terdapat beberapa ketidakpastian mengikut Seksyen 43 Akta Bukti," katanya.
Khairy mengemukakan rayuan terhadap keputusan Mahkamah Tinggi Kuala Lumpur pada 21 Dis tahun lepas yang menolak permohonannya untuk mengetepikan saman fitnah itu.
Beliau memohon mengetepikan saman berkenaan dengan memberi alasan bahawa saman sivil itu bersifat remeh, menyusahkan dan menyalahguna proses mahkamah.
Panel itu, yang turut dianggotai Hakim Datuk Zaharah Ibrahim dan Hakim Anantham Kasinater, memerintah Khairy membayar RM10,000 kos guaman kepada Anwar.
Peguam Datuk Sulaiman Abdullah yang mewakili Anwar memberitahu pemberita bahawa Mahkamah Tinggi menetapkan 14 Nov dan 20 Nov untuk perbicaraan saman itu.
Pada 7 Mac, 2008, Anwar, yang genap berusia 65 tahun esok, memfailkan saman terhadap Khairy, dengan mendakwa Khairy yang ketika itu Timbalan Ketua Pemuda Umno, mengeluarkan kata berbaur fitnah dan menyebabkan klip video bertajuk 'Anwar and kin no threat' disiarkan dalam laman web, termasuk Malaysiakini.com.
Ketua pembangkang itu juga mendakwa klip video dalam Malaysiakini.com mengandungi kata-kata yang diucapkan Khairy pada satu ceramah di Lembah Pantai, di sini pada atau kira-kira pada 20 Feb, 2008.
Dalam pernyataan bela diri yang difailkan pada 8 Okt, 2010, Khairy berkata beliau bersandar pada pembelaan justifikasi dan perlindungan bersyarat.
Khairy diwakili peguam Datuk Seri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah. -Bernama
Posted: 09 Aug 2012 06:28 AM PDT
I don't know about you but I am tired. Not from exercising but from the sheer agony of waiting for the next GE. I concur with Rom Nain that the sooner it is held, the better for our sanity.I just cannot wait for the elections to be held and then to say, "I went, I crossed and I voted". Perhaps after that, we can be spared of all the 'promotions' speeches and freebies being handed out and then start assessing the elected leaders for the 14th GE. Malaysian voters must always have their eyes on their elected leaders so that they do what they said or claimed they would do rather than concentrating so much on issues. We can cry till the cows come home but if the elected leaders are incompetent and cannot push for their constituents' well being, then it is not just they who have failed but WE as the electorate for having turned a blind eye to their weaknesses and faults. The time has come not just for an active civil society but also a watchdog organization. Anyway, here's Rom Nain's article which I extracted from Malaysiakini. I hope you can share your response to the thoughts and views expressed. Thanks!
Debating the 'best democracy'? by Rom Nain
At the rate things are degenerating, many Malaysians are probably feeling that the sooner the darn elections, both state and federal, are over and done with, the better it'd be for our collective sanity.
And the better, indeed, it'd (hopefully) be for our image internationally.
Indeed, you would think that, as the GE draws nearer, we'd get intelligent comments being made by all parties concerned, to convince us that the jokers, err leaders, who plan to lead - or even bleed - this country for the next five years, actually have something in between their ears.
But no, not in 1Malaysia Boleh, of course. Not likely indeed.
We've had a couple - or was it just that one? - of insipid public 'debates' of dubious quality which have tended to disintegrate into attacks on personalities rather than seriously discuss policy.
And even then, this was done at a lower level, with the PM, Najib Abdul Razak, evidently more keen on taking on Tiger Woods (left) on the fairways than he is on discussing and debating the country's future direction with the opposition.
I mean, you can't constantly send your second stringers up to the plate to defend your policies and strategies while you go walkabout, can you?
After all, there's only so much bubur lambuk that you can distribute to us hungry masses. Even then, as with financial inducements (from public funds, let us remind you) like BR1M, pre-Raya bonuses and other elements of, shall we say, money politics, your numerous machas can willingly do that for you.
And, to be honest, there really is much to debate about.
First, and this certainly reflects my personal bias, there's this whole question of crime rates that need to be openly discussed. After all the to-ing and fro-ing, we are none the wiser about the situation.
The police, led by the home minister, certainly have not been convincing in asserting that crime rates have dropped. And the public are getting more and more concerned.
Just to take one example, the Teoh Beng Hock case - a crime was apparently committed, a man died while in custody, and there were promises openly made by the PM to his family. The question is: how far have those promises been met?
Then, there's the question of the economy. Given the current woes of the US and European economies, surely there is a need for some discussion of their impact on this region and, particularly, our economy?
And who better to discuss this than our political 'leaders', especially given the suggestions made by opposition politicians about 'alternatives', such as the removal of taxes and duties on motor vehicles.
Need to engage alternative ideas
It's not enough to simply dismiss these 'alternatives' as a lot of hot air. That would be rather infantile and certainly not reflective of a regime that can proudly boast of being 'the best democracy' around.
Instead, there really is a need to engage with these alternative ideas, more so when they are backed by even half-convincing arguments.
Indeed, in this regard, I'm sure there are many Malaysian taxpayers who, over the years since the birth of Proton in the 1980s, have been asking themselves why the heck are they paying through their noses for other (imported) makes while subsidising an industry that is perceived to be unprofitable and without direction?
And while we are on the economy, it would be informative, too, if some light were shed on why, indeed why, the two Malaysian states that seem to have an abundance of natural resources, Sabah and Sarawak, are certainly perceived to be the most impoverished, the most underdeveloped?
Education, too, would be a topic deserving of debate. It is indeed rather sad and truly pathetic that one hardly hears an intelligent word from the ministers (yes, remember there are now two ministries for education) concerned regarding, for example, the onging perception that our education standards have been declining at an alarming rate, despite the almost exponential growth of universities and institutions of higher learning locally.
And even if we were to gingerly skirt around the issue of Scorpene, the vast amounts spent on arms and the military would indeed be something worthy of debate. Indeed, RM13 billion plus was reportedly spent on the defence budget last year. And we certainly weren't at war.
So where do all this money go to? A televised debate between, say, the defence minister and, perhaps, MP Tony Pua, while not quite as bruising as a Chong Wei-Lin Dan clash, nonetheless, would provide us poor taxpayers some insights into where our money goes.
But, no, instead of having such productive debates which would reflect a healthy democracy, what we've been having thus far are base accusations being hurled, especially by the silly apparatchiks of the regime.
'Kepala otak' strategy
And demonisation, of course, is central to this primordial strategy. A perfect example of this kepala otak strategy is to hurl accusations at your opponent. And it is often felt - indicating the utter stupidity of these 'scriptwriters' - that this strategy will work if a 'traditional expert' , like a bomoh, guru pondok, mysterious-man-from-the-gunung - were to hurl such accusations and insults.
And the accusations, of course, have to be kept simple, for simple minds, with certain key words of no more than two syllables, the current one being HARAM. This, I'm sure, is meant to scare us Muslims s**tless, especially in this fasting month. And prevent us from playing with, let alone voting for, these 'infidels'.
And, for all the talk about a progressive Malaysia undergoing great transformation towards becoming the 'best democracy' around, unfortunately, as we head to the 13th general election, we need to brace ourselves for more such silliness about numerous bogeymen (and women) out to destroy our faith, our spirit, our very soul.
ROM NAIN is a media analyst and academic who is weary of incompetent, unethical leaders and their apologists and spin doctors in the media who try to get away with murder while professing to rub shoulders with God's angels.
Posted: 09 Aug 2012 06:12 AM PDT
Exclusive report from Rakhine state exposes an entire region divided by religious and racial discrimination.
A recent journey to western Myanmar has revealed a provincial capital divided by hatred and thousands of its Muslim residents terrorised by what they say is a state-sponsored campaign to segregate the population along ethno-sectarian lines.
Decades-old tension between ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims in coastal Rakhine state exploded with new ferocity in June, leaving at least 78 people dead and tens of thousands homeless.
Exclusive reporting conducted last week in the highly restricted region suggests that the long-term fallout from recent violence could be even more damaging than the bloodshed.
The United Nations has estimated that 80,000 people are still displaced around the cities of Sittwe and Maungdaw, and international rights groups continue to denounce Myanmar for its role in the conflict.
As it stands, any thought of reconciliation between local Buddhists and Muslims appears a distant dream.
Many Rohingya have fled the polarised region, fearing revenge attacks and increasing discrimination. Their status has sparked international concern and disagreement.
Rights groups have condemned the violence. The Myanmar government has denied any wrongdoing, while neighbouring Bangladesh has rejected an influx of refugees and slashed access to aid.
For those Rohingya caught up in the dispute, the day-to-day situation is rapidly slipping from desperate to dire.
In Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine state, the scars of recent conflict were everywhere.
Burned homes, shops and entire markets dot the Buddhist-majority city of nearly 200,000 people. Traditionally Muslim neighbourhoods, such as Shwe Pyar, Nazi Konetan and Mawlike, were deserted, locked up, or living in deep secrecy.
Prominent mosques and buildings, many of which were burned in arson attacks during the violence, now bear signs from the municipality reading, "No one is allowed to enter". Locals told Al Jazeera the properties have been taken over by the state. In some areas of Sittwe, the devastation from the violence that peaked in June is comparable to Cyclone Nargis, which struck Myanmar in 2008.
Most striking was the almost completely absence of the Rohingya population that once made up nearly one-third of the city's residents, and the largest portion of its working class.
The impact of that loss was obvious. The Rohingya who worked as the city's ever-present rickshaw drivers and porters at the jetty and markets are now gone. There are no signs of Muslims at the airport, the boat that shuttles ferry passengers to outlying islands, or even the local busses that run from Buthidaung to Maungdaw, two Rohingya-majority states.
Local Hindus, and residents who appear to be of Indian descent, have taken to applying bindis on their foreheads to avoid from being mistaken for Rohingya.
A range of interviews found that Buddhist Rakhines had collectively decided to practice a policy of "non-engagement" with the Rohingya. In practical terms, this meant a ban on businesses, as well as controlling access to food, medicine, travel and communication.
According to local sources, Rohingya are no longer allowed to enter the city's largest market or to travel from town to town.
Outside Sittwe, where the fleeing Rohingya had gathered, the situation was worse. The village of Bhumei, a few kilometres to the west, was overrun by thousands of refugees who said they were forced from the city, first by mobs, then by security troops.
By local accounts, this camp is the biggest of the camps that have sprung up to shelter the displaced city dwellers.
The refugees endured the current monsoon rains in mud-floored tents, living mostly on bags of rice provided by the UN's World Food Programme. There is no clinic, proper bathroom or clean water, as witnessed by Al Jazeera.
The camp is surrounded by all hours by security troops. Many wonder if the soldiers are there to protect them from attacks from the Rakhine, or keep them under guard.
"Many of the refugees who fled from inside the city are manual labourers and daily wagers. We are having great difficulties just surviving each day. We fear what will happen to us if we go back to the town. We can't go there yet. Those who risked going back to their homes and shops were prevented by authorities on security grounds," said U Shwe Maung, a Rohingya refugee in Bhumei.
"We are sharing food with each other. We are now facing starvation. Even though we are provided food by the WFP, that is not enough for such a huge number of people like this," he added.
The Rohingya now forced to live in the Bhumei camp appeared desperate. One woman was crying in the street with her rain-soaked children on her lap. She said they were sick and there was no clinic to look after them or food to eat.
"We want to go back to our homes if the officials provide security for us," said Mahmud Shiko, a Rohingya in Bhumei.
"The police told me I'd find nothing back there if I return, but I still want to go back."
The wave of violence in June was sparked by the alleged rape and murder of a Buddhist woman by three Muslim men in a Rakhine village.
Both ethnic communities attacked rival villages and neighbourhoods in the days that followed, destroying and torching homes, businesses and holy sites, according to a Human Rights Watch (HRW) report released last week.
The HRW report denounced both sides for the cycle of reprisal attacks, estimating that the death toll was far higher than the Myanmar government total of 78.
HRW also blasted Myanmar's security forces, sent in by the government, for standing down while the Rakhine and Rohingya groups battled each other. As the attacks escalated and thousands of Rohingya rioted, the report said that police and paramilitary troops fired on Rohingya protesters.
In an outlying area, according to the report, soldiers shot at Rohingya villagers as they tried to escape and looted food and valuables from their emptied homes.
Benjamin Zawacki, a Bangkok-based researcher for Amnesty International, described the violence as "primarily one-sided, with Muslims generally and Rohingya specifically the targets and victims".
HRW says hundreds of men and boys were rounded up in mass arrests, their whereabouts still unknown. Informal Rohingya estimates put the number of missing and arrested in the thousands.
On the hushed streets of Sittwe and in the tent city outside Bhumei, Rohinyga speak of the brutality of the Rakhine and the Myanmar forces, and of the many loved ones still missing from the conflict.
The alleged victims are not the only combatants talking about the violence.
In a series of interviews with off-duty security officers at bars and restaurants in Sittwe, a picture emerged of what some Myanmar military and police think about the Rohingya.
An ethnic Rakhine soldier from the 352 Light Infantry Battalion claimed he and his comrades killed "300 Rohingya" from Myothugyi village near the area of Three Mile between Buthidaung and Maundaw townships on the night of June 8.
The soldier, whose name has been withheld, explained that the killings took place when hundreds of Muslims blocked and tried to overwhelm the truck carrying his unit. The victims were unaware the truck, a civilian vehicle used for road construction, was carrying soldiers.
"I put the butt of my gun here at [the right side of] my waist and shot down many Muslims while keeping my left hand on magazines so that I could quickly fill up my bullets," said the soldier, now stationed at a village outside Maungdaw.
"There were so many dead bodies that we even had to call in a bulldozer to make a mass grave."
Another ethnic Rakhine soldier boasted that he and his troops killed uncountable numbers of Rohingya in the village of Nyaung Chaung in the countryside around Maungdaw during the early June crackdown.
"We have even still kept this from our [commanding] officers," he said.
It was impossible to verify these claims. Even so, the uncaring nature of the statements shows the animosity that some who wield power have for the Rohingya.
An educated Rakhine woman, visiting Maungdaw from the US where she has lived for 20 years, spoke bitterly when asked if the human rights she enjoys should be granted to Rohingya to ease tension between the communities.
"Human rights are for human being only. Are Rohingya humans?" she told Al Jazeera.
"We are the house owners and they are the guests. When the guests attempt to drive out the homeowners, human rights are no longer meant for them."
The Myanmar government has strongly denied accusations of abuse from rights groups.
"The government has exercised maximum restraint in order to restore law and order in those particular places," read a statement released on Monday.
The government also denounced "attempts by some quarters to politicise and internationalise this situation as a religious issue", a sidelong reference to the criticism emerging from Muslim countries, such as Indonesia and Saudi Arabia, over the assaults on Rohingya.
Then again, the government has, over the years, denied the entire existence of a "Rohingya problem", and even the Rohingya themselves.
Myanmar's formerly military government and its state-run media have strictly avoided the word "Rohingya", referring to the group instead as "Bengali Muslims", implying that the people are not indigenous and have migrated to Myanmar a fewl decades ago. The Myanmar immigration minister has repeatedly said that there are no Rohingyas in Myanmar.
Last month, in his meeting with a UN High Commissioner for Refugees delegation, President Thein Sein said refugee camps or deportation was the only answer for nearly the country estimate 800,000 to a million Rohingya Muslims.
"We will take responsibility for our ethnic people but it is impossible to accept the illegally entered Rohingyas, who are not our ethnicity," he told UNHCR chief Antonio Guterres, according to the president's official website.
The former general said the "only solution" was to send the Rohingyas to refugee camps run by UNHCR.
"We will send them away if any third country would accept them. This is what we are thinking is the solution to the issue."
The government, when it does discuss the issue, blames the resentment and fear that the Rakhine have for the Rohingya on a potential population explosion that would see the group seize power.
Outside its capital city, Rakhine state is nearly two-thirds Rohingya. The adjacent states of Maungdaw and Buthidaung are already majority Rohingya, according to official figures.
The population fears, possibly stemming from cultural stereotypes, are an issue that 72-year-old Rohingya elder Sayyad Abdullah can appreciate. He has four wives, 28 children and, in his words, "lots" of grandchildren.
Last week, authorities cited Abdullah's family and quoted him in press briefings about the so-called population explosion. Abdullah rejected any desire for an autonomous state and said he was open to government measure to curb Rohingya families to one wife and two children, but not at the expense of dignity.
"We just desire equal rights like the Rakhine and the Burmese, and we want nothing more than a normal life," he told Al Jazeera.
Other Rohingya leaders say the perception of their community is wrong, and racist. The majority are impoverished farmers and labourers, but some Rohingya hold university degrees and own many businesses in Sittwe and Yangon.
Thein Zaw and Kyaw Hla, who are now overseeing the distribution of food aid at the Bhumei refugee camp, belong to the wealthiest class of Sittwe. They claim their forefathers have lived in Rakhine state for 350 years.
As it stands, the vast majority of Rohingya are denied Myanmar citizenship, cannot own businesses, marry or relocate. The president's proposal to relegate the Rohingya population to UNHCR-run camps seems unsustainable and humiliating.
Whether this long-simmering dispute is founded in race, religion or population, matters little to the Rohingya stuck in camps such as Bhumei. Nor to the Rakhine who live in majority Rohingya areas and claim to live in constant fear of attack.
Some scholars, such as Myanmar expert Bertil Linter, claim the animosity between Rakhine and Rohingya began during the Second World War, when Buddhists backed the Japanese and Muslims the British. Other experts say the rift began centuries before.
In either case, unless the government or international bodies intervene, the violence and discrimination seem destined to continue.
A freelance reporter contributed this report to Al Jazeera from Myanmar. He is not being named for his own safety.
Posted: 09 Aug 2012 06:39 AM PDT
Kenyataan Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Razak bahawa perhimpunan BERSIH 3.0 cuba menggulingkan kerajaan adalah "longgar" dan tidak berasas kepada fakta, kata bekas pengarah Jabatan Siasatan Jenayah (CID) Bukit Aman Datuk Fauzi Shaari.
"Daripada perkembangan yang berlaku, saya boleh katakan kenyataan itu, kenyataan yang longgar, kenyataan yang sangat longgar, tidak berasas kepada fakta yang nyata.
"Mungkin (dibuat) berdasarkan kepada maklumat-maklumat yang tidak sahih," katanya.
Justeru, kata Fauzi (kiri) lagi, kenyataan yang dibuat semata-mata andaian sahaja.
Fauzi mengulas kenyataan Najib yang dilapor mendakwa perhimpunan yang berlangsung April lalu oleh gabungan itu adalah cubaan menggulingkan kerajaan seperti yang dilakukan oleh rakyat Mesir di Dataran Tahrir.
Ketika diwawancara Malaysiakini, Fauzi berkata, alasan yang biasa digunakan sebelum penggubalan Akta Perhimpunan Aman 2012, antaranya "mengganggu atau menggugat ketenteraman awam" tidak lagi sesuai digunakan.
Katanya, alasan itu walaupun berdasarkan laporan risikan, mungkin tidak kuat kerana suasana kini menunjukkan rakyat matang dan sudah terbuka.
"Jadi yang itu (guling kerajaan), bagi saya kalau nak lebih adil, kalau kita dengar sedikit sebanyak (pandangan BERSIH)," katanya yang pernah bertugas sebagai ketua polis daerah Dang Wangi - antara balai paling banyak berdepan penganjuran demonstrasi.
Fauzi juga berkata, sekiranya polis dan Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (DBKL) membenarkan penganjur memasuki Dataran Merdeka lebih awal, kemungkinan "huru-hara" tidak akan berlaku.
"Bagi saya, asasnya kalau kita beri kebebasan bersuara, hak berkumpul kerana hendak menyuburkan demokrasi. Bagi saya tidak sepatutnya ada halangan, malah kita (anggota polis) kawal... Saya rasa kalau itu sikap keterbukaan yang diambil, saya yakin suasana itu baik.
"Kalau kita ada satu kesefahaman, dengan kita menghormati satu sama lain, kenapa kita tidak boleh beri satu peluang (kepada BERSIH)? Mereka datang secara aman. Kita korbanlah. Kerajaan, Kementerian Dalam Negeri, dan polis berkorban, maknanya beri laluanlah," katanya.
Fauzi berkata semua pihak perlu mencari kata sepakat bagi mengelakkan berlakunya huru-hara dan perlu menganggap perhimpunan itu sebagai perkara yang dibenarkan oleh perlembagaan.
Ditanya sama ada polis mempunyai Prosedur Operasi Standard (SOP) bagi mengawal peserta perhimpunan seperti BERSIH, Fauzi menjawab:
"Arahan (SOP) itu bergantung kepada pendekatan situasi. Maknanya mengikut kesesuaian tempat dan keadaan. Kalau kita tidak boleh betul-betul (kawal dan) keadaannya begini, (maka) buat begini, (dan) buat begini, secara umumnya," katanya.
Bagaimanapun, katanya, SOP bukan persoalan dalam perhimpunan 100,000 peserta itu, tetapi soal perbezaan pandangan antara pihak berkuasa dan penganjur yang "bermati-matian" dipertahankan.
Enggan beredar dikira ingkar
Ditanya sama ada tindakan polis mengasari peserta dan wartawan dalam perhimpunan itu termasuk dalam lingkungan SOP, Fauzi menegaskan tindakan itu menyalahi aturan.
"Kalau sampai (seperti) kamu kata pukul, itu salah dari segi aturan kita. Kita tidak boleh hukum (mereka). (Pukul) itu semacam satu hukuman," katanya.
Beliau juga menjelaskan, menurut SOP, tangkapan boleh dilakukan sekiranya peserta masih enggan beredar walaupun selepas disuraikan kerana ia dikira "ingkar perintah".
Ditanya sama ada suasana akan berubah sekiranya beliau dipertanggungjawabkan menangani perhimpunan itu, Fauzi bagaimanapun sukar untuk menjawabnya.
"Boleh jadi perkara yang sama (berlaku) sebab mungkin pada masa itu fikiran saya pun, kita sepakat. Kerana kita kerja sepasukan. Kita tak boleh (bertindak) bersendirian.
"Bila kita dah buat satu keputusan, walaupun (pandangan) peribadi kita berbeza-beza, tapi kita (harus) sekata," jelasnya lagi.
Fauzi diwawancara oleh Kuek Ser Kuang Keng, Abdul Rahim Sabri dan Koh Jun Lin. -mk
Posted: 09 Aug 2012 05:30 AM PDT
In an article in Psychology Today titled Combatting the 'I'm Powerless' Myth, Dr. Bill Knaus, Ed.D. in Science and Sensibility wrote:
Do people who repeatedly put themselves through an emotional wringer suffer from a denial of responsibility for extending a self-sabotaging lifestyle? Dr. Jon Carlson, Distinguished Professor, Governors State University, and author or coauthor of over 45 books, hones in on a major therapeutic and self-help challenge that both Albert Ellis, the founder of rational emotive behavior therapy, and Alfred Adler, the founder of Individual Psychology, saw as pivotal to positive change: Stop complaining and blaming and start taking responsibility for your own self-changing.
Albert Ellis frequently told me how his REBT approach shared so much in common with the work of Alfred Adler. Perhaps the most apparent similarity, and the focus of this blog, is the notion of the client's responsibility or their role in the problem that brought them to therapy.
Counselors are traditionally trained to listen empathically and to capture the essence of each client's message. The goal is to become a mirror so clients can see their problem from a different perspective and develop an alternative response.
Unfortunately, too many clients are unaware of their role in their own problem and act as though they are powerless because they did not do anything wrong. They sound like whiners talking about their problems as if they had nothing to do with them. They continue to think and speak as if life is unfair to them and fail to see their role in any aspect of the problem. They have unfair bosses, disloyal friends, insensitive partners and so on. Nowhere in their conceptualization of the problem do they see themselves. The counselor who listens and reflects unintentionally communicates to clients that they have a valid point of view (i.e., that everything happens to them and they are powerless).
CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE.
Posted: 09 Aug 2012 04:11 AM PDT
A wealthy man decided to go on a safari in Africa. He took his faithful pet dachshund along for company. One day the dachshund started chasing butterflies and before long the dachshund discovered that he was lost.
While wandering about, he notices a leopard heading rapidly in his direction with the obvious intention of having him for lunch. The dachshund thinks,
"Okay, I'm in deep trouble now!"
Then he noticed some bones on the ground close by and immediately settles down to chew on the bones with his back to the approaching cat. Just as the leopard is about to leap, the dachshund exclaims loudly,
"Boy, that was one delicious leopard. I wonder if there are any more around here?"
Hearing this, the leopard halts his attack in mid-stride, as a look of terror comes over him, and slinks away into the trees.
"Whew," says the leopard. "That was close. That dachshund nearly had me."
Meanwhile, a monkey who had been watching the whole scene from a nearby tree figures he can put this knowledge to good use and trade it for protection from the leopard.
So, off he goes, but the dachshund saw him heading after the leopard with great speed and figured that something must be up.
The monkey soon catches up with the leopard, spills the beans and strikes a deal for himself with the leopard.
The leopard is furious at being made a fool of and says, "Here, monkey, hop on my back and just see what's going to happen to that conniving canine."
Now the dachshund sees the leopard coming with the monkey on his back and thinks, "What am I going to do now?"
But instead of running, the dog sits down with his back to his attackers, pretending he hasn't seen them and just when they get close enough to hear, the dachshund says,
"Where is that monkey? I sent him off an hour ago to bring me another leopard."
If you can't outrun them, outwit them.
~ The Author of the above story is unknown but the study of which is wiser, the cannine or feline has received a good deal of study.
Check out the following article:
Are Dogs More Intelligent than Cats? by Stanley Coren, Ph.D in Psychology Today
Dogs are smarter than cats and their advantage is increasing.
Published on December 3, 2010 by Stanley Coren, Ph.D., F.R.S.C. in Canine Corner
CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE.
Posted: 09 Aug 2012 05:31 AM PDT
Lebih 20 pertubuhan bukan kerajaan akan menganjurkan Himpunan Janji Bersih sempena sambutan Hari Kemerdekaan ke-55 - susulan kepada lapan tuntutan Bersih 2.0.
Pengerusi Bersama Bersih 2.0, Datuk A. Samad Said berkata, perhimpunan ini, yang diadakan pada jam 10 malam 30 Ogos di Dataran Merdeka, dianjurkan bagi membawa mesej orang ramai memerlukan sebuah Malaysia yang bersih dan adil.
"Kami mahu lapan tuntutan itu ditunaikan," kata beliau pada sidang media yang diadakan di sini.
"Kami dengan terbuka hati menjemput semua rakyat Malaysia, anak semua bangsa untuk bersama-sama kami merayakan ketulenan Hari Kemerdekaan.
"Kita telah banyak mendengar janji-janji untuk perayaan sambutan merdeka tahun ini, kami tahu apa yang orang ramai mahu ialah Malaysia yang bersih dan adil sebagai sambutan Kemerdekaan yang ke-55," kata beliau lagi.
Beliau berkata, sebelum ini pelbagai janji yang dibuat oleh pihak kerajaan, tapi ia nya sekadar janji kosong semata-mata.
"Kami menjemput semua rakyat Malaysia, berkumpul di setiap pelosok negeri dengan memakai baju tema berwarna kuning tanda meraikan hari kemerdekaan nanti," katanya.
Samad berkata, pihaknya tidak akan menghantar permohonan mendapatkan permit kebenaran perhimpunan.
"Tujuan perhimpunan ini, bukan untuk mengadakan demonstrasi, sambutan kemerdekaan harus diraikan oleh semua rakyat Malaysia," katanya.
Katanya lagi, pada malam tersebut beliau akan mendeklamasikan sebuah puisi sempena Hari Kemerdekaan.
Posted: 09 Aug 2012 02:09 AM PDT
The method of propelling the manual wheelchair has not changed for the last 100 years. This is achieved through pushing the handrims that are attached to the large wheels. Wheelchair users expends the most energy in this act of pushing to move around in the course of a day. Anodised aluminium handrims are common these days because it is light and cost-effective. This is what I have for my current wheelchair.
Nike Alpha Training Men's Grip.
Photo taken with the Samsung Galaxy S III.
The surface of the handrims is smooth. I have weak grips. My hands tends to slip. This makes pushing tiring. I have previously used leather gloves with latex pads which worked very well. However, the latex pads gets worn out and tear within six months. I have used up two pairs of these which I bought from Japan for ¥7,000 (RM270) per pair. This is expensive for something that lasts six months only.
My hands are rather large but the "Small" size fits nicely.
Photo taken with the Samsung Galaxy S III.
While shopping at Mid Valley Megamall last year, I found these Nike Alpha Training Men's Grip at the Nike Shop for RM79 per pair. They are not gloves but are gripping pads for weightlifting but worked as well on wheelchair handrims. Unfortunately, I dropped one side a few months later. The shop where I bought them and the other Nike Shops that I went to enquire were out of stock for my size. I placed an order for three pairs with the Nike Shop at The Gardens Mall which arrived nearly two months later.
This is how I push the wheelchair.
Photo taken with the Samsung Galaxy S III.
My thumbs and fingers are too weak for a good grip of the handrims. I push the rims by pressing my palms against the handrims. The non-slip surface of the pads helps in maintaining a good traction. They are cheaper than the leather gloves with latex padding and are very durable. Needless to say, I am happy to have found these pads.
Posted: 09 Aug 2012 01:48 AM PDT
"May Day, May Day, May Day"
Just a few moments ago we got the urgent message from Sittwe.
According to the informer, Rakhine Government has already given the approval for that raid. Cries and chaotic voices were heard during the phone conversation.
In the last Muslim settlement of Aung Mingalar, 7000 strong Muslims came out from their houses and are appealing to the Myanmar Military, Rakhine Government and Rakhine Buddhist people who surrounded them to allow them to transfer out peacefully. They pleaded that they would voluntarily transfer to any place the mob wants so that there would be no human casualties.
According to the person on the phone, even if they all are murdered, they wish the world to know that Myanmar Military is leading the massacre. He nervously ask us to publish this before the massacre starts.
Phone message from Sittwe through U Bo Tin Hla and U Ye Swe Win
Posted: 09 Aug 2012 03:31 AM PDT
Kuala Lumpur 9 Ogos: Kartunis politik, Zulkiflee Anwar Alhaque atau lebih dikenali sebagai Zunar hari ini melancarkan klip pendek animasi politik bertajuk "1 Funny Malaysia".
Animasi berdurasi 5 minit ini merupakan klip animasi politik yang pertama di Malaysia.
Funny Malaysia adalah kartun satira komedi yang mengisahkan seorang mangsa korban C-4 yang juga bekas model yang bernama ANTU TUYA bangkit dari kubur bersama anaknya dan mencari DATO NAZAK di pejabat pentadbiran beliau di PUTARJAYA. Setelah tiba di sana, ANTU TUYA meminta DATO NAZAK supaya TEPATI JANJI dengan memberi sebahagian komisyen kepada beliau," katanya dalam kenyataan.
Kesudahan klip animasi 1 Funny Malaysia boleh disaksikan melalui link zunarcartoonist.com.
"Dengan siapnya klip animasi ini, saya mengucapkan terima kasih kepada semua kartunis, artis, animator dan editor yang menjayakan produksi dengan bajet rendah ini," kata beliau.
Zunar juga bercadang mahu meneruskan kesinambungan klip animasi ini jika mendapat sumbangan dan bantuan orang ramai.
"Saya bercadang untuk menyambung untuk siri-siri berikutnya, tetapi memandangkan produksi animasi memerlukan dana, saya berharap peminat dan penyokong dapat menyumbang dana melalui web saya iaitu zunarcartoonist.com," katanya.
Posted: 09 Aug 2012 01:08 AM PDT
Ibu vs kekasih
Orang kata aku lahir dari perut ibu..
Bila dahaga, yang susukan aku.. ibu
Bila lapar, yang suapkan aku..ibu
Bila keseorangan, yang sentiasa di sampingku.. ibu
Kata ibu, perkataan pertama yang aku sebut.. Bu!
Bila bangun tidur, aku cari.. ibu
Bila nangis, orang pertama yang datang ..ibu
Bila nak bermanja… aku dekati ibu
Bila nak bergesel… aku duduk sebelah ibu
Bila sedih, yang boleh memujukku hanya ibu
Bila nakal, yang memarahi aku… ibu
Bila merajuk… yang memujukku cuma..ibu
Bila melakukan kesalahan… yang paling cepat marah..ibu
Bila takut… yang tenangkan aku.. ibu
Bila nak peluk… yang aku suka peluk..ibu
Aku selalu teringatkan ..Ibu
Bila sedih, aku mesti telefon… Ibu
Bila seronok… orang pertama aku nak beritahu… Ibu
Bila bengang.. aku suka luah pada ..Ibu
Bila takut, aku selalu panggil.. "ibuuuuuuuuuuuuu! "
Bila sakit, orang paling risau adalah ..Ibu
Bila nak exam, orang paling sibuk juga Ibu
Bila buat hal, yang marah aku dulu..Ibu
Bila ada masalah, yang paling risau.. Ibu
Yang masih peluk dan cium aku sampai hari ni.. Ibu
Yang selalu masak makanan kegemaranku. . Ibu
Yang selalu simpan dan kemaskan barang-barang aku, Ibu
Yang selalu berleter kat aku.. Ibu
Yang selalu puji aku.. Ibu
Yang selalu nasihat aku.. Ibu
Bila nak kahwin..
Orang pertama aku tunjuk dan rujuk… Ibu
Aku ada pasangan hidup sendiri
Bila seronok… aku cari pasanganku
Bila sedih… aku cari Ibu
Bila berjaya… aku ceritakan pada pasanganku
Bila gagal… aku ceritakan pada Ibu
Bila bahagia, aku peluk erat pasanganku
Bila berduka, aku peluk erat Ibuku
Bila nak bercuti… aku bawa pasanganku
Bila sibuk… aku hantar anak ke rumah Ibu
Bila sambut valentine… Aku hadiahi bunga pada pasanganku
Bila sambut hari ibu… aku cuma dapat ucapkan Selamat Hari Ibu
Selalu… aku ingat pasanganku
Selalu… Ibu ingat kat aku
Bila..bila… aku akan telefon pasanganku
Entah bila.. aku nak telefon Ibu
Selalu… aku belikan hadiah untuk pasanganku
Entah bila…. aku nak belikan hadiah untuk Ibuku
Dulu Ibu kata: "Kalau kamu sudah habis belajar dan berkerja… bolehkah kamu kirim wang untuk Ibu? Ibu bukan nak banyak… lima puluh ringgit sebulan pun cukuplah".
Berderai air mata. Hari ini kalau Ibu mahu lima ratus sebulan pun aku mampu. Aku boleh kirimkan. Tapi Ibu sudah tiada.
Posted: 08 Aug 2012 10:55 PM PDT
Thursday August 9, 2012
Puppy thrown into manhole: Monsters in our midst
WHEEL POWER by ANTHONY THANASAYAN
I WEPT when I read the horrible news last weekend. Many
animal-lovers were just as distraught. The news media reported that two
young foreign students threw a helpless puppy into a manhole before
running away. And they had a good chuckle over it. The heinous act was
Posted: 08 Aug 2012 10:53 PM PDT
Much has been made of the recent sectarian unrest in western Burma and its ramifications for the country's fragile reform process. It's important to note that the violence and subsequent outpouring of anti-Rohingya anger is not a niche issue confined to a specific locale – instead it should be viewed as something more pervasive among many Burman and Arakanese, both inside Burma and abroad, that threatens to contaminate the wider discourse on how to move the country forward.
Among the key catalysts of anti-Rohingya sentiment are, surprisingly, prominent members of Burma's pro-democracy movement. The hypocrisy of their attempts to vilify an entire ethnic group – labelling them variously as "terrorists", "illegal immigrants", "not worthy of citizenship", and so on – appears lost on them.
Tin Maung Htoo, director of Canadian Friends of Burma (CFOB), was forced by the organisation's Board to retract a statement in early June in which he said the Rohingya were the remnants of a Mujahideen movement in western Burma that had tried to gain citizenship after their "Jihad" failed (like all the country's ethnic minorities, there is no fixed date for their arrival, though one study done of dialects in Arakan State back in 1799 references "Rooinga").
That, and other inflammatory comments posted on the internet, are merely the tip of the iceberg for many of Burma's "democrats", whose rhetoric implicitly encourages the ongoing persecution of the Rohingya. Burma Democratic Concern (BDC), based in the UK, states on its website that a special battalion of Burmese troops should be deployed to northern Arakan state "to protect the lives of the minority Buddhist Burmese Araknese who are living in the middle of barbaric so-called Rohingya Bengali Muslims", whom it claims have massacred "tens of thousands of Burmese Buddhist Arakanese in the past".
The founders of BDC and CFOB were themselves forced into exile after the Burmese military was given free rein to put down the 1988 student uprising in the name of "protecting the nation". The fact that these same people have also felt most painfully the scourge of state-sanctioned abuse and statelessness likewise gets lost in the fury.
Calls for the Rohingya to be expelled from Burma on the grounds that they are not citizens have been made by the very same people who were allowed to remain in their countries of asylum for years before citizenship was finally awarded – they assert however that this gesture should not be extended to the Rohingya.
Ko Ko Gyi, a former leader of Burma's prominent 88 Generation Students Group, pictured in Yangon earlier this month. Pic: AP.
Tin Maung Htoo has lauded prominent activist Ko Ko Gyi's proclamation that the Rohingya are not an ethnic nationality of Burma; but nor is he one of Canada. He and others seem to have a hard time explaining the rationale behind their comments.
What the "anti-Rohingya but pro-democracy lobby" also seem to misunderstand is that they have become effective lackeys of a regime that they have dedicated their lives to reforming or doing away with. A key policy of successive Burmese juntas is the divide and rule of ethnic groups, which has allowed the government to foment unrest, justify heavy-handed control and which has historically provided the excuse for why the country is not ready for democracy.
It is of great irony and great sadness that the country's civilians, both at home and abroad, have finally lent their hand to this, only months into the transition process and after decades of resisting state propaganda. As far afield as London, the front door of Tun Khin, who heads the Burma Rohingya Organisation UK, has been kicked in, while anti-Rohingya protests have been targeted against Burma Campaign UK and the BBC, often by veterans of Burma's pro-democracy movement who, exiled from their homeland, have gained citizenship in the UK.
Aung San Suu Kyi's reaction to the unrest was to call for rule of law to be the decider of the status of Rohingya – a deliberately non-committal and vague standpoint. As Sai Latt notes in Asia Sentinel, "The Rohingya case provides a very clear example why the law itself can be a source of problems. Statelessness, ill treatment, and discrimination against the Rohingyas are not simply the results of a lack of the rule of law. Quite contrary, they are legally produced."
The hypocrisy underpinning the Rohingya crisis calls into question the notion of equal rights, and indeed democracy, espoused by Burma's pro-democracy movement; indeed that the gestures accorded to them should not be extended to those of different origin, religion, skin colour, or whatever it is that makes the Rohingya such vile creatures in the eyes of those engaged in their persecution. The inability of many to see the double standards being deployed is perhaps a sign that the mindset of the regime, a master of psychological warfare, lurks within those who have spent years rallying against it, and becomes yet another factor in the sobering realisation that Burma's transition will be a long and painful process.
This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now
Posted: 08 Aug 2012 10:37 PM PDT
Source: Irrawaddy-Muslims in Burma – A Struggle to Live with Dignity and Respect By AUNG ZAW
Part One of Two
For Buddhists and Muslims who live and co-exist in Burma, the recent outbreak of sectarian violence in Arakan State is nothing new. The profound fear that many feel, however, is that this won't be the last time that these two communities are torn apart by strife.
The lack of rational and informed debate on this issue at the national and local level can only fuel more tension and sow deep mistrust. Moreover, there are forces inside and outside Burma that want to exploit this explosive situation. These elements have their own political agendas, and stand to gain if they can further inflame the hatred and mutual misunderstandings we have witnessed in recent months.
A recently released report by New York-based Human Rights Watch concluded that the government and its troops failed to do enough to prevent riots that broke out between Buddhists and Muslims in Arakan State in June.
Aung Zaw is founder and editor of the Irrawaddy magazine. He can be reached at email@example.com.
The document outlines that while the Burmese armed forces stepped in to keep an uneasy peace between the two sides, elements of the security forces, such as local police and the Na Sa Ka—the border security force—either allowed attacks on Muslims or participated in the violence.
"With little to no government security present to stop the violence, people armed themselves with swords, spears, sticks, iron rods, knives and other basic weaponry. Inflammatory anti-Muslim media accounts and local propaganda fanned the violence," the report added.
President Thein Sein, who has received kudos from the international community for his reforms since taking power last year, warned in a live speech in early June that the violence could derail the transition process by threatening Burma's stability and development. He said the ongoing strife was fueled by religious and racial hatred that resulted in widespread anarchic activities.
"If we are sticking to endless hatred and revenge by killing each other, it's possible that the danger will be more widespread, not only in Arakan State," warned the former general.
Burmese authorities and the majority of Arakanese have repeatedly insisted that the Rohingya don't belong in Burma. Then, in a meeting with high-ranking UNHCR officials in Naypyidaw, the president surprised (or disappointed) many by saying that Burma would be willing to send the Rohingya to third countries for resettlement because his country simply couldn't accept them.
According to a statement from the President's Office, Thein Sein told the UNHCR delegates: "Burma will take responsibility for its ethnic nationalities but it is not at all possible to recognize the illegal border-crossing Rohingyas who are not an ethnic [group] in Burma."
While many foreign observers were appalled by these comments, they won widespread support in Burma, particularly in Arakan State.
It has been disturbing to witness the nationalistic vitriol that has filled social media sites such as Facebook, where Burmese officials and ordinary citizens—including some leading dissidents—have actively inflamed the violence by spreading misinformation, rumors, hatred and anti-Muslim propaganda aimed at the Rohingya.
Amid this haze of hate-filled half-truths and outright lies, one thing is perfectly clear: the only winners in all of this are the hardliners who have no desire to see Burma change it ways. The rest of us—and particularly the Arakanese and the Muslims who are exchanging blows—stand only to lose from this senseless cycle of violence.
It is shocking to see how quickly many Burmese have forgotten what it feels like to suffer under the boot heel of a brutal regime. Have Burmese—the majority of whom are Buddhists—lost their compassion and understanding of what it means to be completely at the mercy of forces intent on obliterating their culture, identity and religion? The Buddha never told his followers to hate and attack other religions and races.
Some more reasonable Burmese, however, have asked where all of this will end. "If the Rohingya are our enemies, what about our other 'enemies' to the north?" they want to know, referring to the Chinese, many thousands of whom have made their way into Burma in recent decades under the cover of friendly ties between the former junta and the Chinese government. Would any official dare to treat them the same way as they do the Rohingya?
But such questions have little power to still the onslaught of harsh words emanating from many who should know better. Senior officials close to ministers and the president have abused social media to spew chauvinistic and racist views, while the local media—still heavily censored—feel free to target the Rohingya.
Without informed debate and at least a basic understanding of the history of Muslims in Burma, there is not much hope we will ever resolve the problems facing Arakan State and the rest of the country, where ethnic and religious differences continue to divide communities and create openings for those who seek to foment conflict rather than end it.
It is worth remembering that in the early days of the current outbreak of hostilities in Burma's westernmost state, the state media chose to use the word "kalar"—a derogatory term applied to foreigners, particularly those of South Asia descent—to refer to the Rohingya. Was this a deliberate attempt to stir up animosity toward them? Many suspect so.
If the aim really was to create ethnic enmity, it should come as no surprise. Burma's rulers have a history of going on the offensive against defenseless groups, and this habit seems to die hard, even when the country is led by an ostensibly "civilian" government led, for the most part, by ex-generals.
The last time that the Rohingya were on the receiving end of such attacks was in December 1991, when Burma's former junta, then known as the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC), drove as many as 30,000 Rohingyas across the border into Bangladesh. Reports at the time even suggested that there were cross-border raids.
At that time, the SLORC was facing heavy international pressure due to its crackdown on students, activists and monks and was increasingly isolated. The National League for Democracy had won a landslide electoral victory that the generals refused to acknowledge, and the party's leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The junta wanted a way to distract domestic attention from its failings, and found it by going after the Rohingya.
Then, as now, the regime's actions were condemned by the international community, particularly in the Muslim world. Islamic organizations and countries around the region and in the Middle East all voiced outrage. Prince Khaled Sultan Abdul Aziz, the commander of the Saudi contingent in the 1991 Gulf War, went to Dhaka, Bangladesh, where he strongly recommended Desert Storm-like action against Burma.
The Committee for Islamic Solidarity in Jakarta accused the SLORC of acting like Nazis and urged the UN to stop atrocities against Rohingya Muslims. The issue finally died down when Burma accepted Rohingya refugees back into the country.
This episode marks one of the low points in the history of Muslims living in Burma. But it also provides a glimpse into the complexity of the Rohingya issue, since the Burmese army's campaign in Arakan State was actually supported by many Burmese Muslims who shared the common view of the Rohingya as interlopers from neighboring Bangladesh.
In any case, the history of Muslims in Burma has not always been as fraught with conflict as it is today.
Some historians believe that Muslims began to arrive in Burma in the 13th century. Muslim traders and mercenaries first came to Burma by sea and lived in coastal regions. Those who remained and settled in Burma loyally served under Burmese kings. Foreign and Burmese historians suggest, for instance, that King Anawrahta (1014 –1077), the founder of Pagan Empire, had Muslim Indian units and bodyguards.
King Bayinnaung (1516–1581), who launched campaigns to invade the Thai kingdoms of Ayutthaya and Lanna and the areas of present-day Shan and Arakan states, had his own Muslim and Portuguese artillerymen. However, historians say that he was also the first Burmese king to show religious intolerance toward Muslims. He forbade them to slaughter cattle and forced them to listen to Buddhist sermons.
For the most part, however, Burmese kings generally tolerated small Muslim communities that came and settled in Burma. These Muslims spoke Burmese and dressed like Burmese, but they preserved their religion. Essentially, they were accepted because their communities were small and did not engage in efforts to convert Buddhists, even though they often married Burmese women. In other words, they did not represent any threat to Buddhism or Burmese culture.
Under Burma's monarchy, Buddhists, Muslims and followers of other religions coexisted with little or no tension. Under King Mindon, a reformed-minded monarch who ruled Burma from 1853 to 1878, Christians were allowed to build churches and Muslims to build mosques. Mindon even helped to build a hostel in Mecca for the comfort of Burmese Muslim pilgrims, and his army had thousands of Muslim soldiers who served in different administrative posts and in the infantry and artillery divisions. Evidently, the Burmese king did not see his traditional role as protector of Buddhism as entailing a hostile attitude toward other faiths.
This prevailing attitude of mutual respect began to change, however, with the advent of British rule. Following the first Anglo-Burmese War (1824 to 1826), a large number of Indian immigrants began to arrive in southern Burma and Arakan State. Burma subsequently became a province of Britain's Indian empire. Of course, this had an enormous impact on the country's social and economic structure.
Local Burmese witnessed large numbers of Indian Muslims coming to settle in Burma, as the opening of trade routes to foreign markets, including Europe, forced the country's new rulers to seek more and more cheap and skilled labor. With its vast population, India inevitably became a main source of these much-needed human resources.
In addition to doing manual labor and other jobs that did not appeal to Burmese, many Indians, including Muslims, also came to Burma to work as soldiers, policemen, government officials and businessmen. The numbers of Indians and Muslims increased every year, especially in the capital, Rangoon, but also to a lesser extent in some small cities and villages.
Indian Muslims built mosques and established associations and schools devoted to religious activities across Burma. Organizations such as the Muslims Students' Society and institutions such as the Muslim Free Hospital (which was later nationalized by Gen Ne Win, the dictator who seized power in 1962) became well-known in the country. This rise in prominence, accompanied by an increase in the Muslim population, began to alarm many who feared the loss of Burma's traditional Buddhist identity. Marriage between Muslim men and Buddhist women became a contentious issue, and there was even a proposal to pass a bill to prevent Buddhist women from marrying foreigners. All of this coincided with growing nationalist sentiment (a popular slogan at that time was "Burma for Burmese"), which was directed primarily, but not exclusively, at the British.
The large Muslim migration from neighboring countries and the expansion of their Islamic religious activities eventually sparked a "clash of civilizations" in pre-independence Burma. Things came to a head in the 1930s, when serious anti-Indian and anti-Muslim riots broke out. Adding fuel to the fire, this was during the Great Depression, a period of severe economic hardship for Burma, when many ordinary Burmese were suddenly out of work. Indians, who had come to dominate certain sectors of the economy, including low-skill jobs and money-lending, were increasingly resented.
The worst of these riots occurred in July 1938, when the publication of a book that allegedly insulted Buddhism provoked a violent backlash. The New Light of Burma, an influential newspaper, fanned the flames by calling for a boycott of Muslim shops. Even Buddhist monks played a very active role in the riots. The violence spread across Burma, killing hundreds of Muslims and Buddhists and resulting in the destruction of a number of mosques.
In spite of all this, Muslims born in Burma continued to play an important role in Burmese society. They were politicians, army officers, government servants, scholars and teachers. One of the most prominent names was U Razak, a well-known politician and cabinet minister who died alongside independence leader Aung San when he was assassinated in 1947. Muslim politicians Khin Maung Latt and U Rashid also served as ministers under U Nu, Burma's first and only democratically elected prime minister.
Today, many Muslims feel that they still aren't fully accepted in Burmese society, even after demonstrating their loyalty to the nation. They complain that they are still regarded with suspicion and treated like second-class citizens. The situation is similar to that of other ethnic minorities, including the Shan, the Karen, the Kachin and the Arakanese.
After independence, Muslims continued to struggle to gain respect and find a place under the sun. Under different organizations and councils established in the 1940s, Muslims continued to press the new government to recognize Muslims as a national minority and grant them community representation, cultural and religious rights. Under U Nu's leadership, Muslim leaders also requested a special government department for Muslim affairs, but it was turned down. U Nu did, however, have cabinet ministers from different ethnic groups who took care of their respective ethnic Karen, Kachin and Shan affairs.
However, when Gen Ne Win seized state power in March 1962, he set out to crush the aspirations of all of Burma's ethnic minorities.
Posted: 08 Aug 2012 10:44 PM PDT
Chenor - Ketua Wanita Umno Cawangan Felda Jengka 3, Rahimah Abdul Rahman dan rakannya nyaris maut setelah kenderaan dinaiki mereka terbabas hingga hampir terjunam ke dalam sungai dekat Kampung Jengka Batu 13, di sini, semalam.
Gambar: Kereta dinaiki mangsa terbabas lalu merempuh pengadang jalan dan hampir terjunam ke dalam sungai, namun terhalang oleh paip besar di tepi jambatan berdekatan Bukit Genting.
Rakannya, Kamariah Mat Sharif, 64, berkata, dalam kejadian kira-kira jam 6.30 petang itu, mereka berdua dalam perjalanan pulang dari Temerloh ke Jengka 3 atas urusan memperbaharui cukai jalan kenderaan.
Menurutnya, ketika sampai di tempat kejadian, kereta jenis Proton Saga BLM yang dipandu Rahimah hilang kawalan sebelum terbabas lalu merempuh pengadang jalan.
"Akibat rempuhan itu, kereta seakan terbang dan menjunam ke arah tepi jambatan dan nyaris masuk ke dalam sungai tetapi terhalang oleh sebatang paip besar.
"Orang ramai membantu mengeluarkan kami berdua dari kereta. Keadaan Rahimah lemah kerana tekanan darah tinggi akibat terkejut dengan apa yang baru kami alami.
"Alhamdulillah, kami berdua selamat dan hanya mengalami luka kecil," katanya kepada Sinar Harian.
Kedua-dua mangsa dibawa ke Klinik Kesihatan pekan Awah dengan bantuan orang ramai.
Kamariah berkata, mereka berdua keluar dari rumah ke Temerloh pada jam 2 petang selepas Rahimah beria-ria mahu mengambil cukai jalan yang sudah diperbaharui kerana tamat tempoh semalam.
"Memang Rahimah nampak penat kerana kami berdua mempunyai jadual aktiviti kemasyarakatan yang agak padat sepanjang Ramadan ini.
"Rahimah mahu juga ambil cukai jalan hari ini (semalam) kerana esok (hari ini) dia perlu membawa anak yatim ke satu majlis sumbangan menggunakan kenderaan ini," katanya. -SH
Posted: 08 Aug 2012 08:43 PM PDT
တို႕တိုင္း တို႕ျပည္ တို႕ေျမၾကီး တြက္
အာဇာနည္ေသြး လြတ္လပ္ေရး တြက္
အေရးေတာ္ပုံ ျပည္ေတာ္ ေခၚဆင့္
တို႕တိုင္း တို႕ျပည္ တို႕ေျမၾကီးတြင္
တို႕ကို ႏွင္လို တို႕ကို ေမာင္းသို႕
အမိႏိုင္ငံေတာ္ၾကီး အတြက္ စြန္႕လႊတ္စြန္႕စားခဲ့ၾကေသာ ျမန္မာမြတ္စလင္အာဇာနည္
Posted: 08 Aug 2012 08:22 PM PDT
I am sharing the following post which Freddie just sent me for laughs and not to make a mockery of the marriage institution. My sincere apologies if I offend any one with this post for that is certainly not my intention at all. Sometimes, it is better that we spell it out clearly ...er perhaps not that clearly :-) but regardless...may those who are married view and uphold their vows seriously and live in marital bliss. Have a wonderful day.
Just for smiles...
We are gathered here in the presence of God and men to join these people in holy matrimony. We know they have been living together in secret but now they can do it with the knowledge of everyone.
And as marriage is holy, at least in theory, I put it forth that if there is anyone in this gathering who has a valid reason why these two should not be joined, speak now or forever hold your peace. Anyone.....
Is there anyone.....? C'mon, don't be shy!
Someone....? Anyone....? Good. No one night stands.
Moving on swiftly. Mr Groom, do you take this woman as your lawfully wedded bride:
till death do you part?
Groom: I do.....?
And do you Miss Bride, take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband:
Bride: I do.................?............???
Well then, theres nothing more that I can say that will change your minds ...I pronounce you husband and wife. What God has joined, let no man, neighbour, handsome workmate, barmaid, beer brand, ex's, in-laws,
milkman, shamba-boy, wet dreams , driver or sexy secretary, football game, computer, Facebook, Twitter etc put asunder.
You may kiss the bride...
*Posted for laughs
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