Monday, November 19, 2012

Esplanade: Trees chopped down

Esplanade: Trees chopped down


Esplanade: Trees chopped down

Posted: 19 Nov 2012 09:50 AM PST

Was this the work of the Penang Island Municipal council (MPPP)? Or was it the responsibility of some other public authorities? Where is the accountability? Whatever, I am disappointed with the attitude. Deeply disappointed. Grossly indignant. And with what?


With the wanton and illogical chopping down of some fabulous trees along the Esplanade Road (Jalan Tun Syed Sheh Barakbah) in George Town, Penang. 

This has always been one of my favourite parts of the Esplanade: a shady piece of land outside the Fort Cornwallis and directly across the road from the Royal Malaysian Navy base, where some nice trees had been planted and growing well since goodness knew when. A long time ago, actually.

I can declare that the trees were still around when I took part in the FMM Heritage Explorer Trail in July this year. The walk had taken us along the Esplanade Road and we walked past the Fort Cornwallis and the Lighthouse. I had commented to my wife and fellow participants from The Old Frees' Association that these trees made the nicest part of the Esplanade.

Well, they are gone now. All hacked away and uprooted, including one huge tree where only the stump remained. And of another huge tree outside the fort, it has been pruned of all its leaves and the naked branches stand out like sore thumbs. Undoubtedly this tree will sprout new shoots but it will never regain its former glory. I hold the public authorities, including the Penang state government, responsible for the destruction of this little square which is located smack within the UNESCO World Heritage core zone.

Here is how the area looked like in the past. The pictures were taken more than two years ago.


This tree is gone, all gone. All that's left is a stump!






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'Flatten Gaza!'

Posted: 19 Nov 2012 09:01 AM PST

Some astonishing remarks by Israeli leaders on the assault on Gaza:


1. Interior Minister Eli Yishai said: "The goal of the operation is to send Gaza back to the Middle Ages. Only then will Israel be calm for forty years." 

2. Politician Michael Ben Ari told the soldiers: "Brothers, beloved soldiers and commanders! Preserve your lifes. Don't give a hoot about Goldstone! There are no innocents in Gaza, don't let any diplomats who want to look good in the world endanger your lifes at any tiniest concern for your lifes. Mow them!"

3. Gilad Sharon, son of former PM Ariel Sharon said: "There is no justification for the State of Gaza being able to shoot at our towns with impunity. We need to flatten the entire neighborhoods in Gaza. Flatten all of Gaza. The Americans didn't stop with Hiroshima – the Japanese weren't surrendering fast enough, so they hit Nagasaki, too."


Barack Obama, of course gives his full support to Tel Aviv although calling for a truce.

Israel, while continued its bombing of Gaza, hinted a diplomacy approach to end the war, hiding the actual truth about its main intention to wipe Palestine off the world map.

And the whole world just stood still... watching!



Kes Rafizi: Hak Kerahsiaan Hilang Jika Individu Melakukan Jenayah - Peguam

Posted: 19 Nov 2012 09:00 AM PST


R Sivarasa, peguam mewakili pengarah strategi PKR, Rafizi Ramli dalam hujahnya menegaskan hak kerahsiaan seseorang individu dalam maklumat perbankan hilang serta-merta jika didapati terlibat dalam jenayah.

Hujah tersebut diberikan oleh Sivarasa semasa sesi pendengaran permohonan membatalkan pertuduhan dibawah Akta Perbankan dan Institusi Kewangan 1989 (BAFIA) ke atas Rafizi hari ini di Mahkamah Tinggi Shah Alam.

"Ia diakui maklumat perbankan seseorang individu itu adalah rahsia.

"Tetapi jika seseorang itu menghadapi pertuduhan pecah amanah dan jenayah, secara serta-merta hak kerahsiaan itu terbatal," kata Sivarasa dihadapan hakim, Datuk Ghazali Cha.

Dalam hujahnya lagi, Sivarasa juga mempertahankan pendedahan maklumat perbankan Pusat Fidlot Nasional (NFC) oleh Rafizi memandangkan perkara tersebut bertujuan untuk kepentingan awam.

"Apa yang Rafizi lakukan ini adalah atas tanggungjawabnya kepada orang awam.

"Lagipun aduan BAFIA ini bukan dibuat sendiri oleh Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) mahupun Public Bank tetapi ia dilakukan oleh individu (pengerusi NFC Datuk Seri Mohamad Salleh Ismail) yang kini menghadapi tuduhan jenayah di mahkamah," kata Sivarasa lagi.

Selain hujah tersebut, Sivarasa juga mengesyorkan dihadapan hakim supaya mengiktiraf tindakan pendedahan Rafizi ini dengan satu penghargaan dan bukan mendakwanya di bawah BAFIA.

"Beliau telah mendedahkan salah laku menggunakan dana kerajaan untuk kepentingan diri sendiri.

"Jika negara luar, Rafizi akan diiktiraf dan dianggap sebagai wira kerana pendedahannya telah mengheret Datuk Salleh ke muka pengadilan.

"Tapi sebaliknya beliau pula didakwa. Jika ia diteruskan, apa pula persepsi orang ramai nanti," tambah Sivarasa lagi.

Rafizi pada 24 Oktober lalu telah melakukan permohonan menggugurkan tuduhan tersebut kerana bukti-bukti pertuduhan terhadapnya berniat jahat dan terpilih bertujuan menutup pendedahan butiran perbankan skandal NFC.

Dalam hujahnya lagi, Sivarasa juga mendedahkan dalam semakannya dengan BNM mendapati sejak BAFIA dikuatkuasakan tidak pernah ada individu yang didakwa di mahkamah kerana mendedahkan maklumat perbankan sekaligus mengukuhkan lagi bahawa pertuduhan ke atas Rafizi bersifat memilih.

"Semakan saya dengan BNM mendapati tidak pernah ada seorang pun yang didakwa dibawah BAFIA. Kenapa sekarang baru mahu menguatkuasakannya?" soal Sivarasa. -TMI


Obama’s speech at Rangoon University

Posted: 19 Nov 2012 06:19 AM PST


Annakate’s Little Groove with BSB

Posted: 19 Nov 2012 05:46 AM PST

I have never seen her doing this but yesterday, she truly amazed me with her little grooving with the BSB's We've Got It Going On'.

Now, this is absolutely inherited from me!


BBC news: Obama to Burma

Posted: 19 Nov 2012 06:09 AM PST


Ali Hamsa Berdusta Kata MB Selangor Arah Tukar YDP Selayang

Posted: 19 Nov 2012 07:20 AM PST

Saya tidak keluarkan arahan, kata MB Selangor

SHAH ALAM: Menteri Besar Selangor, Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim menafikan bahawa beliau mengeluarkan arahan berhubung penamatan kontrak perkhidmatan Datuk Zainal Abidin A'ala sebagai Yang Dipertua (YDP) Majlis Perbandaran Selayang (MPS).

Beliau sebaliknya berkata cadangan dikemukakan adalah untuk memilih bakal Datuk Bandar dan Yang Dipertua di negeri ini mengikut kehendaknya dan tiada kaitan dengan penamatan tugas Zainal Abidin. "Saya hanya bercakap dengan pegawai perjawatan di Pejabat Setiausaha Kerajaan, bahawa kerajaan negeri ingin tentukan siapa yang akan jadi Datuk Bandar.

Saya minta mereka senaraikan nama-nama yang boleh dicadangkan untuk jadi Datuk Bandar.

"Saya sendiri tidak tahu sama ada cadangan saya itu diluluskan atau tidak sehinggalah pengumuman (penamatan tugas Zainal Abidin) di buat oleh Ketua Setiausaha Negara (KSN) Datuk Seri Dr Ali Hamsa," katanya kepada pemberita selepas sidang Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN) Selangor di sini hari ini.

Ditanya pemberita sama ada beliau mengeluarkan surat penamatan berkenaan, Abdul Khalid menafikan perkara itu.

Malah beliau menjelaskan beberapa cadangan nama untuk pemilihan Datuk Bandar dan Yang Dipertua Negeri dilakukan sebelum timbulnya kontroversi pembinaan projek kondominium, Dolomite Park Avenue setinggi 29 tingkat di Batu Caves.

"Saya tidak pernah menulis surat kepada KSN supaya memberhentikan YDP. Sebagai Menteri Besar saya juga mesti melihat apa yang dipanggil 'succession planning' (rancangan penggantian) dapat dilakukan.

"Jika Datuk Bandar tinggal setahun (kerja) lepas itu pencen…saya tak nak tunggu hingga sehingga dia berpencen baru saya nak cari pengganti," jelasnya.

Pada Jumaat lalu, Ali Hamsa berkata Setiausaha Kerajaan Negeri Selangor melalui surat bertarikh 15 Okt lepas memaklumkan bahawa Abdul Khalid memutuskan untuk menggantikan Zainal Abidin dengan pegawai lain.

Pertukaran Zainal Abidin ke Institut Tadbiran Awam Negara (Intan) sebelum ini menimbulkan beberapa kontroversi termasuk tuduhan yang mengatakan beliau ditukarkan dalam tempoh 24 jam atas kenyataannya berhubung pembinaan projek kondominium setinggi 29 tingkat itu.

Ali berkata kekeliruan itu timbul mungkin kerana pihak yang mengeluarkan kenyataan itu sebelum ini tidak dimaklumkan mengenai permohonan kerajaan negeri untuk menggantikan Zainal Abidin. -TMI


11 Syahid Dalam Pembunuhan Besar-Besaran Terbaru Israel Ke Atas Gaza

Posted: 19 Nov 2012 05:16 AM PST


Gaza, (PIC)– Angkatan Bersenjata Israil (IOF) pada petang Ahad telah menjalankan pembunuhan besar-besaran yang dahsyat di Bandar Gaza, mereka mengebom kediaman keluarga Dalo yang membunuh dan mencederakan seluruh anggota keluarga.

Sumber tempatan mengatakan pesawat udara Israil mengebom kediaman keluarga Dalo di al-Nasser Street di barat Bandar Gaza pada tengahari Ahad yang menyebabkannya musnah.

Sumber perubatan mengatakan krew ambulan dan pertahanan awam telah menemui jenazah 11 syuhada yang kebanyakannya kanak-kanak dan wanita sebagai tambahan kepada 11 yang cedera dan jumlah dijangka bertambah.

Dengan kesyahidan 11 lagi warga Palestin tersebut, jumlah mangsa keganasan Israil kini meningkat kepada 66 orang sejak ia bermula pada hari Rabu lepas.

Rakyat Palestin dapat kemenangan atau syahid
Oleh Azan Safar

Gaza dan Palestin terus diserang, selepas serangan demi serangan berlangsung sejak 1948 sehingga kembali meletus sejak Rabu (14 Nov) lepas. Israel yang bertanggungjawab ke atas serangan ini terus rakus bertindak di luar batas kemanusiaan dan undang-undang antarabangsa demi menjayakan agenda pembentukan wilayah Israel raya. Amerika Syarikat (AS) pasti sekali bersekutu dan bekerjasama dalam hal ini demi memastikan kepentingannya terpelihara.

Terbaru, Israel telah menyatakan komitmennya untuk melancarkan serangan ke atas hampir 1000 sasaran melibatkan pejabat, rumah pejuang dan pusat ketenteraan Hamas di Gaza. Dalam serangan sejak Rabu lalu itu, kini telah mengorbankan lebih 50 orang penduduk Gaza dan ratusan yang lain cedera teruk.

Gaza kini berada dalam keadaan yang sangat kritikal. Dengan bilangan penduduk mencecah 1.7 juta orang di dalam kawasan berkeluasan 140 batus persegi menjadikan Gaza sebagai salah satu tempat paling padat di dunia. Lebih 10% kanak-kanak berusia dalam lingkungan 5 tahun terbantut tumbesaran mereka, lebih 30% hidup tanpa pekerjaan, setiap 1 daripada 5 kanak-kanaknya mengalami Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, 45% rakyatnya hidup di bawah paras kemiskinan, hak asasi mereka khususnya makanan dan tempat tinggal diragut kejam oleh perbuatan durjana tentera Israel.

Perkembangan terkini ini sangat membimbangkan. Israel dan sekutunya tidak mustahil akan melakukan seperti dalam 'Six Days War' pada tahun 1967 sehingga terjajahnya sebahagian besar bumi Palestin, semenanjung Sinai dan Bukit Golan, atau juga 'Operation Cast Lead' pada tahun 2008 yang mengorbankan lebih 1,000 orang penduduk Gaza, bahkan mereka pasti bersiap siaga untuk melakukan lebih daripada itu.

Jika tiada peranan masyarakat dunia, negara-negara umat Islam yang berjiran dengan Palestin, dan pertubuhan-pertubuhan antarabangsa untuk membendung konflik ini, perang besar pasti akan meletus lagi.

Alhamdulillah, pelbagai pihak telah memainkan peranan masing-masing.

Di peringat antarabangsa, kebijakan dan komitmen Mesir dan Turki dalam menangani krisis ini amat diharapkan oleh muslim seluruh dunia.

Liga Arab, OIC dan EU perlu lebih tegas dan melakukan tindakan secara lebih komprehensif dan kolektif.

PBB pula mesti bersikap adil menjalankan fungsinya dan tidak menjadi budak suruhan Israel dan AS dengan tunduk kepada kemahuan mereka bersandar kepada alasan "....hak dan tanggungjawab Israel untuk melindungi rakyatnya... Di Malaysia pula, kerajaan, parti politik, NGO Islam, pertubuhan hak asasi manusia, media dan masyarakat perlu berpakat berpadu tenaga menyelamatkan warga Gaza dan tanah air Palestin.

Insya Allah, Gabungan Mahasiswa Islam Se-Malaysia (Gamis) dengan upaya yang ada akan turut serta berpartisipasi menangani isu ini khususnya dalam memberi kefahaman dan maklumat semasa kepada masyarakat, dan akan mengadakan pertemuan serta kerjasama dengan pelbagai pihak untuk mengatur tindakan yang lebih efektif.

Selepas mengadakan pertemuan dengan duta Mesir Jumaat lalu, Selasa ini Gamis akan bertemu pula dengan duta Turki untuk mendapat maklum balas terkini perkembangan peranan Turki dalam isu ini dan juga bertujuan untuk menyerahkan beberapa cadangan kepada pihak kedutaan. Rabu ini pula Gamis bercadang untuk mengadakan piket mega di hadapan pejabat United Nations (UN) di Kuala Lumpur.

Meneliti sejarah panjang Gaza dan Palestin ini, Gamis yakin dan percaya bahawa pendekatan 'two state solution' pun tidak mampu mengembalikan keamanan di wilayah yang telah bergolak sejak berabad lamanya ini.

Gamis menyokong penuh perjuangan Hamas dan rakyat Palestin untuk terus berurusan dengan Israel dengan 'bahasa darah'. Hamas dan rakyat Palestin pasti sekali akan mendapat salah satu dari dua kemuliaan; menang atau mati syahid. Allahuakbar.

Penulis ialah Presiden Gamis.



Mahathir Berlagak Bijak Daripada Tuhan Dalam Menentukan Keadilan

Posted: 19 Nov 2012 03:33 AM PST


Hadi bidas Dr M isu 'hudud untuk semua'

Presiden PAS Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang membidas mantan perdana menteri Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad yang mahu pelaksanaan hukum hudud meliputi orang bukan Islam.

Abdul Hadi mengulas pandangan Dr Mahathir yang mendakwa perbezaan hukuman terhadap orang Islam dan bukan Islam boleh dilihat ketidakadilan dan bertentangan dengan ajaran Islam.

"Ada beza antara adil untuk semua dan hak untuk semua.

"Ada hak orang bukan Islam, hak dia untuk mengizinkan apa yang ada dalam agama dia," katanya dalam sidang media selepas menyampaikan ucapan penangguhan di Muktamar PAS ke 58 di Kota Bharu.

Beliau yang juga ahli parlimen Marang memberi contoh hukum hudud yang berkait dengan arak.

"Orang minum arak kena hukum, itu hukum hudud. Tapi tak hukum orang bukan Islam, sebab ia dibenarkan dalam agama dia," katanya.

Beliau turut menempelak mantan presiden Umno itu supaya bercakap pasal perubatan. "Dia cakap pasal perubatan sajalah," katanya.

Dr Mahathir dilaporkan meminta PAS perjelas tafsirannya mengenai pelaksanaan hukum hudud.

Beliau dilaporkan berkata pelaksanaannya harus berlandaskan keadilan sepertimana yang terkandung dalam ajaran Islam.

Dr Mahathir juga dilaporkan berkata parti itu seharusnya melaksanakan hukum yang dapat diterima pakai oleh semua golongan termasuk bukan Islam sesuai dengan kedudukan negara ini yang mempunyai penduduk berbilang agama.


Obama kissing Suu Kyi

Posted: 18 Nov 2012 11:45 PM PST

[VIDEO] Syor Hadi Sebagai PM: "Jangan Tumbuk Rempah Sebelum Dapat Ikannya"

Posted: 19 Nov 2012 12:45 AM PST

Syor jadi PM, syok juga sepintas lalu - kata Hadi

Presiden PAS Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang berseloroh selepas dicadangkan oleh Dewan Ulama yang mahu beliau menjadi perdana menteri jika Pakatan Rakyat menguasai Putrajaya dalam pilihan raya umum akan datang.

"Syok (seronok) juga sepintas lalu. Tetapi saya kata di sini, saya minta Tuhan jadikan cita-cita menangkan Islam, lepas tu nak mati, matilah,"katanya dalam ucapan penangguhan Muktamar PAS ke-58 di Kota Bharu hari ini.

Abdul Hadi memberi contoh sejarah Rasulullah menjawab pertanyaan kabilah Bani Amir yang bertanya siapa yang akan menjadi ketua jika Allah menjanji kemenangan pembinaan negara Madinah.

"Bila Nabi nak berhijrah ke Madinah, Nabi berjumpa dengan pemimpin kabilah yang bersedia untuk menawar diri mereka dengan Islam, Allah menjanjikan kemenangan, (dan) satu kabilah, Bani Amir, Nabi tawar Islam, (kata) Allah janji kemenangan, tegak negara kalau berjaya.

"(Wakil kabilah bertanya) Kalau menang siapa jadi raja, ketua, menteri dan pemimpin. Nabi Muhammad SAW berkata kekuasaan itu milik Allah dan Dia beri kepada siapa yang dia kehendaki. Itu jawapan Nabi. Jadi selepas ini kita ikut ajar begitulah," katanya.

Kemudian Hadi berkata:" Saya tidak mahu menjadi seperti Ustaz Azizan (Abdul Razak), dia tahu saya suka memancing. Saya pergi Kedah, dia ajak saya memancing di laut, sebelum pergi, dia minta anak buah dia tumbuk rempah siap-siap nak masak ikan jenahak," katanya yang iringi gelak ketawa hadirin "(Tetapi) pergi ke laut boleh (dapat) ikan belukang.... Belum apa-apa lagi dah tumbuk rempah.... Dan kita perlu mengikut apa yang diajar oleh Nabi SAW," katanya.

Dalam ucapan itu, Abdul Hadi mengulangi iltizam parti itu untuk bersama-sama Pakatan Rakyat kerana ia merupakan realiti di Malaysia.

Katanya, parti tidak boleh bersendirian untuk memimpin masyarakat majmuk berdasarkan kepada peruntukan perlembagaan dan resolusi yang telah ditetapkan oleh gabungan itu.

Menurutnya lagi, parti itu akan terus melaksanakan tahaluf siyasi (kerjasama politik) kerana mengikut peraturan hubungan antarabangsa dalam Islam "damai didahulukan".

Menurutnya lagi, ulama di alam Melayu telah menyampaikan Islam dan kefahaman politik kepada pemerintah di negeri-negeri Melayu termasuk membenarkan orang Buddha menjadi rakyat bersama-sama orang Islam dalam masyarakat majmuk.

Katanya, tidak mungkin rakyat dapat disatukan atas dasar perkauman sekaligus menempelak parti yang berasaskan kaum seperti Umno, MCA dan MIC sebagai "tidak relevan".

"Sekejap-sekejap kemudian apikan semangat kaum masing-masing... Ia sudah tidak sesuai lagi," katanya sambil mengingatkan jentera parti supaya membuat persiapan zahir, jasmani dan segala kekuatan dengan penuh ikhlas bagi menghadapi pilihan raya umum.

Berucap lanjut, Abdul Hadi juga berkata tidak timbul kumpulan ulama dan bukan ulama dalam parti itu dengan menyifatkan ia sebagai "mengarut dan jangan terikut-ikut dengan rentak lawan".

"Majlis Syura tidak jumud dan terbelenggu, kerana melibatkan kalangan profesional untuk memberi penjelasan berhubung perkara duniawi "Tidak timbul kumpulan ulama, profesional, kumpulan laga ayam.... Ini mengarut dan jangan terikut-ikut dengan lawan kita," katanya yang juga ahli parlimen Marang.


Remembrance Day: better late than never

Posted: 17 Nov 2012 11:15 PM PST

The only picture I could find on the Internet (found it on facebook, actually, courtesy of Andrew Yong from the Chief Minister's Office) of this year's Remembrance Day ceremony in Penang. It should have been held on 11 November 2012 but had been postponed a week to today for whatever reason.

The Chief Minister, the High Commissioners of Britain and Fiji, as well as representatives of Australia, New Zealand and Singapore were present. I would have loved to be there to observe the ceremony at the Penang Cenotaph if not for the closure of the Penang Bridge due to the marathon.



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အေမရိကန္ သမၼတ အိုုးဘားမားနဲ႔ ျမန္မာသမၼတ ဦးသိန္းစိန္ ေတြ႔ဆုုံမႈ အသံဖိုုင္ – DVB Live

Posted: 18 Nov 2012 09:39 PM PST



Obamals speech at Rangoon University in Burmese and English

Posted: 18 Nov 2012 09:26 PM PST

၁၉ ႏုိ၀င္ဘာ ၂၀၁၂ တနလၤာေန႔ ရန္ကုန္တကၠသုိလ္တြင္ ေျပာၾကားမည့္ သမၼတအိုဘားမား မိန္႔ခြန္းအႀကိဳ ေကာက္ႏုတ္ခ်က္မ်ား

(အိမ္ျဖဴေတာ္သတင္းဌာနမွ ထုတ္ျပန္သည္)

အေမရိကန္ျပည္ေထာင္စုအေနနဲ႔ လူသားေတြရဲ႕ ဂုဏ္သိကၡာကို ယုံၾကည္တဲ့အတြက္ က်ေနာ္ဒီကိုလာခဲ့တာလို႔ပဲေျပာပါရေစ။ ၿပီးခဲ့တဲ့ ဆယ္စုႏွစ္ေတာ္ေတာ္မ်ားမ်ားမွာ ၊ က်ေနာ္တုိ႔ ၂ နုိင္ငံဟာ သူစိမ္းျပင္ျပင္ျဖစ္ခဲ့ပါတယ္။ ဒီေန႔မွာေတာ့ ၊ ဒီႏုိင္ငံရဲ႕ ျပည္သူေတြျဖစ္တဲ့ ခင္ဗ်ားတုိ႔အားလုံးကို က်ေနာ္တို႔ အျမဲ ယံုၾကည္ ေမွ်ာ္လင့္ေနခဲ့တာပါဆုိတာကို က်ေနာ္ေျပာနိုင္ပါျပီ။ က်ေနာ္တုိ႔အတြက္ ေမွ်ာ္လင့္ခ်က္ေတြေပးသလို၊ ခင္ဗ်ားတုိ႔အားလုံးရဲ႕ သတၱိေတြကိုလည္း က်ေနာ္တုိ႔ မ်က္၀ါးထင္ထင္ ျမင္ခဲ့ရၿပီးပါၿပီ။

တနဂၤေႏြေန႔ေတြမွာ ႏုိင္ငံေရးအက်ဥ္းသားေတြရဲ႕ မိသားစုေတြကို ၀တ္စုံျဖဴေတြ၊ ၀တ္ၿပီးသြားေတြ႔အားေပးၾကတဲ့ လုပ္ေဖာ္ကိုင္ဖက္တက္ႂကြလႈပ္ရွားသူေတြ၊ လမ္းမထက္မွာ ၿငိမ္းခ်မ္းစြာဆႏၵျပခဲ့ၾကတဲ့ ဘုန္းေတာ္ႀကီးေတြ၊ က်ေနာ္တုိ႔ေတြ႔ခဲ့ရပါတယ္။ ဆုိင္ကလုံးမုန္တုိင္းဒဏ္ခံရသူေတြကို ကူညီဖို႔ စုေပါင္းလုပ္ေဆာင္ၾကတဲ့ သာမန္ျပည္သူေတြရဲ႕ အေၾကာင္း၊ ေက်ာင္းသားေတြရဲ႕ အသံ၊ လြတ္လပ္ျခင္းသီခ်င္းေတြကို သီက်ဴးေနတဲ့ ဟစ္ပ္ေဟာ့ပ္ဂီတသမားေတြရဲ႕ အသံ၊ အားလုံးကိုလည္း က်ေနာ္တုိ႔ၾကားခဲ့ရပါတယ္။ ျပည္ပမွာေရာက္ရွိေနၿပီး အမိေျမနဲ႔ မိသားစုထံ အၿမဲတမ္းတဆက္သြယ္ခ်င္ေနတဲ့ ဒုကၡသည္ေတြ၊ ျပည္ပေရာက္အင္အားစုေတြ အေၾကာင္းလည္း က်ေနာ္တုိ႔ သိခဲ့ရပါတယ္။ ဒါ့အျပင္ ေဒၚေအာင္ဆန္းစုၾကည္ရဲ႕အံ့မခန္း ဂုဏ္သိကၡာႀကီးမားမႈကိုလည္း က်ေနာ္တုိ႔ ေလးစားအားက်ခဲ့ရပါတယ္။ ေဒၚေအာင္ဆန္းစုၾကည္ဟာ ယံုၾကည္ခ်က္ႏွလုံးသားခိုင္ျမဲသူေတြကို ဘယ္လိုမွ အက်ဥ္းခ်ထားလို႔မရႏုိင္ဘူးဆုိတာ သက္ေသျပခဲ့တာပါ။

သမၼတရာထူးလက္ခံခဲ့တဲ့အခ်ိန္တုန္းက ကမာၻေပၚမွာရွိေနတဲ့ ၿခိမ္းေျခာက္အုပ္စုိးေနတဲ့ အစိုးရေတြဆီကို က်ေနာ္သ၀ဏ္လႊာစကား ပါးခဲ့ဖူးပါတယ္။ အဲဒါကေတာ့ – "တင္းၾကပ္တဲ့လက္သီးေတြကို ေျဖလိုက္မယ္ဆုိရင္ က်ေနာ္တို႔ဘက္ကလည္း လက္ကမ္းပါမယ္" ဆုိတဲ့ စကားပါပဲ။ ၿပီးခဲ့တဲ့ ၁ ႏွစ္ခဲြေက်ာ္ကာလအတြင္းမွာပဲ၊ အေျပာင္းအလဲေတြဟာ အရွိန္အဟုန္နဲ႔ေပၚလာခဲ့ပါတယ္။ ဆယ္စုႏွစ္ ၅ ခုၾကာ၊ အာဏာရွင္စနစ္နဲ႔ အုပ္စုိးခဲ့သူေတြဟာ သူတုိ႔ရဲ႕ခ်ဳပ္ကိုင္မႈေတြကို ေျဖေလ်ာ့လာခဲ့ပါျပီ။ သမၼတဦးသိန္းစိန္ရဲ႕ ေခါင္းေဆာင္မႈေအာက္မွာ ေျပာင္းလဲမႈလိုလားတဲ့ဆႏၵေတြနဲ႔ ျပဳျပင္ေျပာင္းလဲေရးလုပ္ငန္းစဥ္တခု ဆုံဆည္းေပၚထြက္လာခဲ့ပါၿပီ။ အခုဆုိရင္၊ အရပ္သားအစိုးရတခုနဲ႔ အတူ၊ ျပည္သူ႔လႊတ္ေတာ္ဟာလည္း အင္အားယူေပၚထြက္လာေနပါၿပီ။ တခ်ိန္က တရားမ၀င္ျဖစ္ခဲ့တဲ့ အမ်ိဳးသားဒီမုိကေရစီအဖဲြ႔ခ်ဳပ္ ဆုိလွ်င္လည္း၊ ေရြးေကာက္ပဲြ၀င္ေရာက္ၿပီး ေဒၚေအာင္ဆန္းစုၾကည္ကိုယ္တုိင္ေတာင္ လႊတ္ေတာ္အမတ္တဦးျဖစ္ေနပါၿပီ။ ႏုိင္ငံေရးအက်ဥ္းသားေတြလည္း ရာနဲ႔ခ်ီၿပီ လြတ္ေျမာက္လာခဲ့သလို၊ အဓမၼလုပ္အားေစခုိင္းမႈေတြကို တားဆီးမႈေတြရွိေနပါၿပီ။ တုိင္းရင္းသားလက္နက္ကိုင္အဖဲြ႔ေတြနဲ႔ ပဏာမအပစ္အခတ္ရပ္စဲေရးေတြလုပ္ႏုိင္ခဲ့သလို၊ ပိုၿပီးပြင့္လင္းတဲ့ စီးပြားေရးအတြက္ ဥပေဒအသစ္ေတြလည္း ေပၚလာေနပါၿပီ။

ဒါ့ေၾကာင့္ ဒီေန႔မွာ က်ေနာ္အေနနဲ႔ ေပးခဲ့တဲ့ကတိအတုိင္း၊ မိတ္ေဆြအျဖစ္လက္ကမ္းဖုိ႔ ေရာက္လာခဲ့တာပါ။ အခုဆုိရင္၊ ရန္ကုန္ၿမဳိ႕မွာ အေမရိကန္သံအမတ္ႀကီးလည္း ရွိေနပါၿပီ။ ပိတ္ဆုိ႔ဒဏ္ခတ္မႈေတြလည္း ေလွ်ာ့ခ်ထားၿပီးပါၿပီ။ ျမန္မာႏုိင္ငံမွာ စီးပြားေရးျပန္လည္ နာလန္ထူႏုိင္ၿပီး၊ ျပည္သူေတြအတြက္ အခြင့္အလမ္းေတြေပၚလာေအာင္ က်ေနာ္တုိ႔ ကူညီပါ့မယ္။ ဒါဟာ တကမာၻလုံးဖြံ႔ၿဖိဳးဖို႔အတြက္ အင္အားတရပ္လည္းျဖစ္ေစရပါမယ္။ ဒါေပမဲ့လည္း ဒီခရီးဟာ အခုမွ အစပဲရွိေသးၿပီး၊ ေရွ႕ဆက္အမ်ားႀကီးသြားရအုံးမွာပါ။ လူမႈအသိုင္းအ၀ုိင္းရဲ႕ ထိပ္ပိုင္းကေန၊ ဆင္းသက္လာတဲ့ ျပဳျပင္ေျပာင္းလဲေရးေတြဟာ အေျခခံမွာရွိေနတဲ့ ျပည္သူေတြရဲ႕ ေမွ်ာ္မွန္းမႈေတြနဲ႔ တထပ္တည္းရွိဖို႔လိုပါတယ္။ က်ေနာ္တုိ႔ အခုျမင္ေနရတဲ့ တုိးတက္မႈ ေရာင္ျခည္မီးပြားေလးေတြ၊ ၿငိမ္းမသြားေစေရးနဲ႔ ဒီမီးပြားေလးေတြဟာ ျမန္မာျပည္သူတရပ္လုံးအတြက္၊ ေရွ႕ေဆာင္လမ္းျပ ဓူ၀ံၾကယ္ႀကီးလိုျဖစ္သြားေစဖို႔ လိုပါတယ္။

အဖိႏွိပ္ခံရမႈေတြအစား အားလုံးစုံရုံးပိုင္ခြင့္ကို အျပည့္အ၀ေလးစားလိုက္နာရပါမယ္။ ခ်ဳပ္ခ်ယ္ကန္႔သတ္မႈေတြအစား သတင္းဆင္ဆာျဖတ္ေတာက္မႈေတြကို ဆက္ၿပီးဖယ္ရွားသြားရပါလိမ့္မယ္။ ဒီလမ္းစဥ္အတိုင္း ဆက္ေလွ်ာက္သြားရင္၊ တုိးတက္မႈေတြ ေတြ႔လာမွာပါ။ ျမစ္ဆုံေရကာတာစီမံကိန္းမွာဆုိရင္၊ ကန္႔ကြက္ၾကတဲ့ ျပည္သူေတြရဲ႕ အသံကို လစ္လ်ဴမရႈ႕ဘဲ၊ ေလးစားလိုက္နာခဲ့တာကို ေတြ႔ခဲ့ရပါၿပီ။ မတရားအသင္းလို႔ ေၾကျငာမႈေတြမရွိေတာ့ဘဲ ႏုိင္ငံေရးပါတီေတြကိုလည္း လႈပ္ရွားလုပ္ေဆာင္ခြင့္ေတြ ေပးလာေနပါၿပီ။

လႊတ္ေတာ္ေရြးေကာက္ပဲြေတြတုန္းကဆုိရင္၊ မဲဆႏၵရွင္တဦးက – က်ေနာ့္အဖိုးအဖြားေတြ၊ တခ်ိန္လုံးေစာင့္ဆုိင္းခဲ့ၿပီး၊ မေတြ႔သြားတဲ့ ဒီအခြင့္အေရးပါပဲလို႔ ေျပာခဲ့တာ ၾကားရပါတယ္။
ဒီလိုမဲဆႏၵရွင္ေတြရဲ႕ လြတ္လပ္မႈကို ကာကြယ္ဖို႔အတြက္ အာဏာရွိသူေတြအေနနဲ႔ သေဘာထားႀကီး ထိန္းခ်ဳပ္ႏုိင္ဖုိ႔လိုပါတယ္။ ဒါဟာ အေမရိကန္ႏုိင္ငံေရးစနစ္ရဲ႕ ပုံစံပါပဲ။ အေမရိကန္မွာ ကမာၻေပၚမွာ အင္အားအႀကီးဆုံးစစ္တပ္ရွိေပမယ့္၊ ဒီစစ္တပ္ဟာ အရပ္သားအစိုးရရဲ႕ ထိန္းခ်ဳပ္မႈကို နာခံရပါတယ္။ က်ေနာ္တုိ႔ကိုယ္တိုင္ဟာ သမၼတ ႏုိင္ငံေတာ္စစ္ေသနာပတိခ်ဳပ္ ဆုိေပမယ့္ က်ေနာ္ရဲ႕ ဆႏၵတုိင္းကို ကြန္ဂရက္လႊတ္ေတာ္မွာ အတင္းအၾကပ္ အတည္ျပဳခုိင္းလို႔မရပါဘူး။ ႏုိင္ငံေတာ္ရဲ႕ တရားသူႀကီးေတြကို က်ေနာ္က ခန္႔အပ္ရတာဆုိေပမယ့္၊ သူတုိ႔ရဲ႕ တရားစီရင္ေရးမွာ က်ေနာ္၀င္ပါလို႔မရပါဘူး။ ဘာေၾကာင့္လဲဆုိေတာ့ အေမရိကားမွာ ဆင္းရဲတဲ့ကေလးငယ္ေလးကေန၊ သမၼတအထိ အားလုံးဟာ ဥပေဒေအာက္မွာ တညီတညာတည္းျဖစ္ေနလို႔ပါပဲ။

ဒီလိုနည္းလမ္းနဲ႔ပဲ ကိုယ္ေရာက္ခ်င္တဲ့အနာဂတ္ကို ေရာက္ေအာင္သြားႏုိင္မွာပါ။ အဲဒီအနာဂတ္မွာဆုိရင္၊ ႏုိင္ငံေရးအက်ဥ္းသားတစ္ေယာက္ ရွိေနတယ္ဆုိရင္ေတာင္ မ်ားလြန္းလွၿပီလို႔ ဆုိၾကပါလိမ့္မယ္။ ဥပေဒဟာလည္း ေခါင္းေဆာင္ေတြရဲ႕ အထက္မွာရွိေနၿပီး၊ ဘယ္ကေလးသူငယ္ကိုမွလည္း စစ္သားအျဖစ္ခုိင္းစားတာမ်ိဳးမရွိသလို၊ ဘယ္အမ်ိဳးသမီးကိုမွလည္း မတရားေခါင္းပုံျဖတ္တာ မရွိေတာ့ပါဘူး။ ႏုိင္ငံေတာ္ရဲ႕ လုံၿခဳံေရးကို အရပ္သားထိန္းခ်ဳပ္မႈေအာက္မွာရွိတဲ့ စစ္တပ္က ကာကြယ္ေပးထားၿပီး၊ ျပည္သူလူထုက ေရြးခ်ယ္ေပးလိုက္တဲ့ သူေတြ အုပ္ခ်ဳပ္ခြင့္ရွိေစမယ့္၊
ဖဲြ႔စည္းပုံအေျခခံဥပေဒတရပ္လည္း ရွိေနမယ့္အနာဂတ္ျဖစ္ပါတယ္။ ဒီခရီးလမ္းကို ေရာက္ေအာင္သြားဖို႔ အေမရိကန္ျပည္ေထာင္စုက အဆင့္တုိင္းမွာ ကူညီသြားပါမယ္။ လူထုလူတမနးစားအဖဲြ႔အစည္းေတြ အားေကာင္းလာေစဖုိ႔ အကူအညီေတြ၊ ဂုဏ္သိကၡာရွိၿပီး လူ႔အခြင့္အေရးေလးစားတဲ့ စစ္တပ္တရပ္ျဖစ္လာေစဖို႔ ၊ ဒါ့အျပင္ စီးပြားေရးဖြံ႔ၿဖိဳးမႈေတြနဲ႔ အတူ၊ ဒီမုိကေရစီလမ္းစဥ္ဆီကို ေရွ႕တုိးလုပ္ေဆာင္လာႏုိင္ေရး၊ ပူးေပါင္းေဆာင္ရြက္သြားဖို႔ က်ေနာ္တုိ႔ ကူညီသြားမွာပါ။

ႏိုင္ငံသားဆိုတာကို အဓိပၸါယ္ဖြင့္ဆိုဖို႔ ဘယ္ႏိုင္ငံမဆို အျပင္းအထန္ ႀကိဳးစားခဲ့ၾကရပါတယ္။ အေမရိကန္ႏိုင္ငံမွာလည္း ဒီျပႆနာနဲ႔ ပတ္သက္ၿပီး အႀကီးအက်ယ္ ေဆြးေႏြးျငင္းခံုခဲ့ရတာပါ။ အခုထိလည္း ဆက္ၿပီး ျငင္းခံုရဆဲပါ။ ဒါေပမယ့္ အဓိကအေျခခံအခ်က္ေတြကေတာ့ တကမာၻလံုးအတြက္ အတူတူပါပဲ။ ဘယ္သူျဖစ္ျဖစ္ အၿခိမ္းေျခာက္မခံရပဲ ေနထိုင္ႏိုင္ခြင့္ ရွိဖို႔ လိုပါတယ္။ မိသားစုေတြ ေဘးရန္ကင္းကင္း ေနႏိုင္ဖို႔ လိုပါတယ္။ သူတို႔ ဘယ္သူဘယ္၀ါျဖစ္ေနလို႔ ဒါမွမဟုတ္ သူတို႔ ဘယ္ေနရာကေန ေရာက္လာလို႔ ဆိုၿပီး သူတို႔အိမ္ေတြ မီးရႈိ႕ခံရတာမ်ိဳး မျဖစ္သင့္ပါဘူး။ ေနာက္ဆံုးကုန္ကုန္ေျပာရရင္ ကိုယ့္ႏိုင္ငံသားေတြကပဲ ကိုယ့္ရဲ့ ႏိုင္ငံညီညြတ္မႈကို လုပ္ႏုိင္တာပါ။ ျမန္မာႏုိင္ငံသားေတြဟာ မတူကဲြျပားမႈဆုိတာကို အားနည္းခ်က္တရပ္အေနနဲ႔ မဟုတ္ဘဲ၊ အင္အားအျဖစ္ အသုံးခ်ႏုိင္လိမ့္မယ္လို႔ က်ေနာ္အခုိင္အမာ ယုံၾကည္ပါတယ္။

က်ေနာ့္ ႏိုင္ငံ၊ က်ေနာ္ ေလွ်ာက္လွမ္းခဲတဲ့ ဘ၀အေတြ႔အႀကဳံေတြကို က်ေနာ္ ေျပာျပေနတာပါ။ အေမရိကန္ ျပည္ေထာင္စုဟာ ခရစ္ယာန္ေတြနဲ႔ ဂ်ဴးေတြ၊ မူစလင္နဲ႔ ဗုဒၶဘာသာ၀င္ေတြ၊ ဟိႏၵဴနဲ႔ ဘာသာ အယူ၀ါဒမရွိသူေတြ အတူေနၾကတဲ့ ႏုိင္ငံပါ။ က်ေနာ္တို႔ ႏိုင္ငံဟာ ဘာသာစကားမ်ိဳးစံုနဲ႔ ယဥ္ေက်းမႈ မ်ိဳးစံု ထြန္းကားတဲ့ ႏုိင္ငံပါ။ က်ေနာ္တို႔မွာ ျပည္တြင္းစစ္ရဲ့ ခါးသီးမႈေတြ ရွိခဲ့ေပမယ့္ လူသားေတြဟာ အမုန္းတရားေတြကို အသဲႏွလံုးထဲကေန ဖယ္ရွားႏိုင္စြမ္း ရွိတယ္၊ ဘာသာ နဲ႔ လူမ်ိဳးဆိုတဲ့ က႑ျခားထားတဲ့ လိုင္းေတြကလည္း ေမွးမွိန္သြားႏိုင္ပါတယ္ ဆိုတာကို သမိုင္းကျပေနပါတယ္။ တကယ္တမ္း ဘာက်န္ေနသလဲဆိုေတာ့ ရိုးသားတဲ့ အမွန္တရား ပါပဲ။ အေမရိကန္ႏိုင္ငံမွာ ကြဲျပားမႈေတြ အမ်ားႀကီး ရွိေပမယ့္ က်ေနာ္္တို႔ဟာ တစိတ္ထဲ တ၀မ္းထဲ လူမ်ိဳး တမ်ိဳးထဲပါ။ ကာလၾကာလာတာနဲ႔ အမွ် ဒီအမွန္တရား ကေန က်ေနာ္္တို႔ ႏိုင္ငံကို အင္အားျဖစ္ေစခဲ့ပါတယ္။

က်ေနာ္တို႔ဟာ ဖြဲ႔စည္းပံု အေျခခံဥပေဒကို ကၽြန္ေတာ္တုိ႔ ကိုင္စြဲထားတဲ့ ဒီမိုကေရစီ မူ၀ါဒေတြ အတိုင္း ျဖည့္ၿပီး ျပင္ဆင္ခဲ့ပါတယ္။ ကမာၻေပၚမွာ အင္အား အႀကီးဆံုး ႏုိင္ငံႀကီးရဲ့ သမၼတ တဦးအေနနဲ႔ ဒီကေန႔ ခင္ဗ်ားတို႔ေရွ႕မွာ က်ေနာ္ မားမားမတ္မတ္ ရပ္ေနပါၿပီ။ က်ေနာ္ဟာ အရင္တုန္းက မဲေပးခြင့္မရွိတဲ့ သူတဦးရဲ့ အမ်ိဳးအႏြယ္တဦးပါ။ ဒီ ႏိုင္ငံ နယ္နိမိတ္အတြင္း ရွိသမွ် လူသားေတြဟာ ဒီႏိုင္ငံရဲ့ သမိုင္းအစိတ္အပိုင္း ပဲျဖစ္ပါတယ္။ ဒါ့ေၾကာင့္ ဒီႏုိင္ငံမွာလည္း မတူကြဲၿပားမႈေတြကို ေက်ာ္လႊားႏိုင္မယ္လို႔ က်ေနာ့္ နက္နက္႐ိႈင္း႐ိႈင္း ယံုၾကည္ပါတယ္။

Excerpts of President Obama's Speech in Burma

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Above all, I came here because of America's belief in human dignity. Over the last several decades, our two countries became strangers. But today, I can tell you that we always remained hopeful about you – the people of this country. You gave us hope. And we bore witness to your courage.

We saw the activists dressed in white visit the families of political prisoners on Sundays, and monks dressed in saffron protesting peacefully in the streets. We learned of ordinary people who organized relief teams to respond to a cyclone, and heard the voices of students and the beats of hip hop artists projecting the sound of freedom. We came to know exiles and refugees who never lost touch with their families or their ancestral home. And we were inspired by the fierce dignity of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, as she proved that no human being can truly be imprisoned if hope burns in your heart.

When I took office as President, I sent a message to those governments who ruled by fear: "we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist." And over the last year and a half, a dramatic transition has begun, as a dictatorship of five decades has loosened its grip. Under President Thein Sein, the desire for change has been met by an agenda for reform. A civilian now leads the government, and a parliament is asserting itself. The once-outlawed National League for Democracy stood in an election, and Aung San Suu Kyi is a Member of Parliament. Hundreds of prisoners of conscience have been released, and forced labor has been banned. Preliminary cease-fires have been reached with ethnic armies, and new laws allow for a more open economy.

So today, I have come to keep my promise, and extend the hand of friendship. America now has an Ambassador in Rangoon, sanctions have been eased, and we will help rebuild an economy that can offer opportunity for its people, and serve as an engine of growth for the world. But this remarkable journey has just begun, and has much further to go. Reforms launched from the top of society must meet the aspirations of citizens who form its foundation. The flickers of progress that we have seen must not be extinguished – they must become a shining North Star for this entire nation's people.

***

Instead of being repressed, the right of people to assemble together must now be fully respected. Instead of being stifled, the veil of media censorship must continue to be lifted. As you take these steps, you can draw on your progress. Instead of being ignored, citizens who protested the construction of the Myitsone dam were heard. Instead of being outlawed, political parties have been allowed to participate. As one voter said during the parliamentary elections, "Our parents and grandparents waited for this, but never saw it."

To protect the freedom of that voter, those in power must accept constraints. That is what our American system is designed to do. America may have the strongest military in the world – but it must submit to civilian control. As President and Commander-in-Chief, I cannot just impose my will on our Congress – even though sometimes I wish I could. I appoint some of our judges, but I cannot tell them how to rule – because every person in America, from a child living in poverty to the President – is equal under the law.

That is how you must reach for the future you deserve – a future where a single prisoner of conscience is one too many, and the law is stronger than any leader; where no child is made to be a soldier, and no woman is exploited; where national security is strengthened by a military that serves under civilians, and a Constitution guarantees that only those who are elected by the people may govern. On that journey, America will support you every step of the way: by using our assistance to empower civil society; by engaging your military to promote professionalism and human rights; and by partnership with you as you connect your progress towards democracy with economic development.

***

Every nation struggles to define citizenship – America has had great debates about these issues, and they continue to this day. But certain principles are universal – the right of people to live without the threat that their families may be harmed or their homes may be burned simply because of who they are or where they come from. Ultimately, only the people of this country can define your union, but I have confidence that – as you do – you can draw on diversity as a strength, not a weakness.

I say this because my own country, and my own life, has taught me this. The United States of America is a nation of Christians and Jews; Muslims and Buddhists; Hindus and non-believers. Our story is shaped by every language and enriched by every culture. We have tasted the bitterness of civil war and segregation, but our history shows us that hatred in the human heart can recede, and the lines between races and tribe fade away. What is left, then, is a simple truth: e pluribus unum; in America, out of many, we are one nation, we are one people. Time and again, that truth has made our union stronger.

We amended our Constitution to extend the democratic principles that we hold dear. And I stand before you today as President of the most powerful nation on Earth, with a heritage that would have once denied me the right to vote. So I believe deeply that this country can transcend its differences, and that every human being within these borders is a part of your nation's story.

(White House Press Office)



Burmese Security Forces Target Muslims

Posted: 18 Nov 2012 08:24 PM PST

Burma troops kill Rohingya Muslims: Human Rights Watch report 

Human Rights Watch condemns Burmese security forces for "killings, rape and mass arrest aganist Rohingya Muslims."August 2, 2012

The "Government Could Have Stopped This" report by Human Rights Watch (HRW) condemns Burmese security forces for "killings, rape and mass arrest against Rohingya Muslims."

The report documents sectarian violence between two Burmese minority populations, the Arakan Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims, in June 2012.

The two groups share a history of violence, but the most recent outburst occurred after an Arakan girl was reportedly gang raped by three Muslim men. Word of the rape prompted revenge killings of Muslims, which then led to an escalation of violence in the city of Sittwe and its surrounding areas.

According to the HRW press release, "Government restrictions on humanitarian access to the Rohingya community have left many of the over 100,000 people displaced and in dire need of food, shelter, and medical care."

The 56-page report provides details of how "Burmese security forces failed to protect the Arakan and Rohingya from each other and then unleashed a campaign of violence and mass roundups against the Rohingya," according to Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

"The government claims it is committed to ending ethnic strife and abuse" Adams said, "but recent events in Arakan State demonstrate that state-sponsored persecution and discrimination persist."

Human Rights Watch explains the situation in this video:



Burma: Satellite Images Show Widespread Attacks on Rohingya

Posted: 18 Nov 2012 08:15 PM PST

Burma: Satellite Images Show Widespread Attacks on Rohingya

Obama Should Press Thein Sein to End Sectarian Violence

(Bangkok) – Attacks and arson in late October by ethnic Arakanese against Rohingya Muslims in Burma's Arakan State were at times carried out with the support of state security forces and local government officials, Human Rights Watch said today. New satellite imagery obtained by Human Rights Watch shows extensive destruction of homes and other property in the predominantly Rohingya Muslim areas of Pauktaw, Mrauk-U, and Myebon townships, all sites of violence and displacement in late October 2012.

Rohingya and Arakanese residents of Pauktaw and Mrauk-U townships described to Human Rights Watch the sectarian attacks and arson that occurred in those areas on October 23 and 24, which in some cases involved state security forces. Similar violence between Arakanese Buddhists and Rohingya and non-Rohingya Muslims, also involving state security forces, occurred in seven other townships in late October.

Barack Obama is scheduled to make a one-day visit to Rangoon on November 19 to meet with Burmese President Thein Sein and opposition leaders."President Obama should make clear to the Burmese president that the attacks on the Rohingya need to stop if the Burma government wants to avoid renewed sanctions and the suspension of renewed military-to-military dialogues with the United States," said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. "This is crunch time because Burma's failure to contain sectarian violence in Arakan State and hold accountable those responsible calls into question the Burmese government's stated goal of becoming a rights-respecting, multi-ethnic state."

In satellite images of four townships in Arakan State that experienced violence in late October and in the state capital, Sittwe, which experienced violence in June, Human Rights Watch identified a total of 4,855 destroyed structures. These images show zones of documented destruction covering 348 acres of largely residential areas predominantly home to Rohingya Muslims who have since fled and to Kaman Muslims in Kyauk Pyu.

The images, which were captured on November 3 and 8, are not exhaustive and reflect damages in only five of the 13 townships that have experienced violence in Arakan State since June.Rohingya from Pauktaw now at camps near Sittwe told Human Rights Watch that for weeks they faced hostile Arakanese mobs, sometimes led by Buddhist monks, who threatened violence against them and anyone else found selling or providing the Rohingya with food or other assistance. They said they repeatedly notified local authorities of these threats, but insufficient action was taken. In late October, just prior to the violence, Rohingya were called to a series of community meetings held by local Arakanese members of a nationalist political party and local government officials apparently aimed at convincing the local Muslim population to abandon their homes.

On October 23, when boats filled with several hundred armed Arakanese descended on the riverside Rohingya villages in Pauktaw, the Rohingya fled, fearing for their lives, and their villages were razed.

Displaced Rohingya and Kaman Muslims told Human Rights Watch that some members of the state security forces provided them temporary protection at various points in late October – for example by firing shots in the air to fend off hostile Arakanese mobs, or by providing water and food to their boatloads afloat offshore who were being denied permission to come ashore in Sittwe. But these instances of protection were offset by violence committed against the Rohingya and Kaman by other groups of security forces. For example, on October 26, soldiers from Nasaka, a government border guard force under the command of the army, severely beat dozens of displaced Rohingya who had clambered off boats on to the shores near Sittwe.

The new satellite imagery shows near 100 percent destruction of Yan Thei village in Mrauk-U Township. Witnesses told Human Rights Watch that Arakanese mobs armed with swords, spears, homemade guns, bows and arrows, and other weapons descended on the village on October 23, and fighting ensued. The Rohingya were ultimately surrounded and overwhelmed, and survivors fled by land to an area outside the village. Gruesome casualties were sustained on both sides, including beheadings and killings of women and children.

After October's violence, there are now more than 110,000 internally displaced persons in Arakan State, nearly all Rohingya Muslims. "People are still coming every day," a displaced Rohingya near Baw Du Ba displaced person camp told Human Rights Watch.

Yan Thei Village, Mrauk-U Township: Pre-attack View of Village

Yan Thei beforeYan Thei Village, Mrauk-U Township, on 11 February 2012. Pre-attack view of village in satellite image.

Damage Analysis: Human Rights Watch; Image © DigitalGlobe 2012; Source: EUSI

Yan Thei Village, Mrauk-U Township: Post-attack View of Village

Yan Thei afterYan Thei Village, Mrauk-U Township, on 3 November 2012: Post-attack view of village in satellite image with annotated building damages.
Damage Analysis: Human Rights Watch; Image ©: DigitalGlobe 2012; Source: EUSI

The displaced Rohingya populations from the sites of destruction depicted in the new satellite images are in dire need of shelter, food, water, sanitation, and medical care, Human Rights Watch said.The displaced from Pauktaw have been forced to seek refuge in beachside coastal areas outside Sittwe, in treeless, makeshift camps under the hot daytime sun without adequate food, potable water, and other necessities. One makeshift camp with an estimated 1,200 displaced persons lacks latrines and the group is subsisting primarily on donations from nearby Rohingya villages, which themselves struggle to survive. Some of the displaced had tarps for shelter bearing the logo of a United Nations agency that they said they purchased from local merchants.

Burmese security forces have restricted the access of international humanitarian agencies to the area and to even more remote coastal areas where others from Pauktaw are seeking refuge. Since their arrival some displaced persons reported they have been beaten by local security forces.

The displaced Rohingya from Yan Thei are likewise in dire need of aid, Human Rights Watch said. They are living in makeshift shelters outside their now razed village. According to the displaced, there has been no sustained international access at their camp, and government officials are not permitting them to leave the area. Burmese government officials have provided only a limited amount of aid.

 

Groups of displaced Arakanese Buddhists from Yan Thei have sought refuge in two monasteries in Mrauk-U town, where they appear to have received sufficient amounts of aid from the local Arakanese community. Unlike with the Rohingya, the government is not restricting the movements of ethnic Arakanese.

While violence had not affected Mrauk-U Township in June, there was previous violence in Pauktaw. According to local accounts, approximately 14 homes in Pauktaw were burned down in June. Villagers told Human Rights Watch the previous arson and subsequent threats and incidents of violence were clear indications of the risk of future violence.

"The satellite images and eyewitness accounts reveal that local mobs at times with official support sought to finish the job of removing Rohingya from these areas," Adams said. "The central government's failure to take serious action to ensure accountability for the June violence fostered impunity, and makes it responsible for later attacks not only when security forces were directly involved but also when they weren't."

The Rohingya have faced decades of state sponsored discrimination and abuses. Burma's 1982 Citizenship Law effectively stripped the Rohingya of citizenship, rendering them stateless.

Human Rights Watch previously released satellite imagery showing extensive destruction of homes and other property in a predominantly ethnic Kaman Muslim area of the coastal town of Kyauk Pyu, identifying 811 destroyed structures on the eastern coastal edge of Kyauk Pyu following arson attacks conducted on October 23 and 24. The area of destruction in Kyauk Pyu measures 35 acres and includes 633 buildings and 178 houseboats and floating barges adjacent on the water, all of which were razed.

Human Rights Watch investigations found that local security forces killed ethnic Kaman Muslims in Kyauk Pyu while soldiers from the Burmese army stood by and watched. Members of the Muslim community in Kyauk Pyu also attacked and in some instances killed ethnic Arakanese before fleeing by sea toward Sittwe."The Burmese government needs to get serious about addressing the root causes of the sectarian violence in Arakan State, including Rohingya statelessness," Adams said. "The absence of accountability for this horrific violence gives a green light to extremists to continue their attacks and abuses."

Background

All four districts of Arakan State – Sittwe, Maungdaw, Kyauk Pyu, and Thandwe – have experienced violence since June 2012. Violence between Arakanese Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims reignited on October 21 and continued to some extent all week in 9 of the state's 17 townships: Pauktaw, Mrauk-U, Myebon, Kyauk Pyu, Ramree, Kyauktaw, Minbya, Rathedaung, and Thandwe. Four other townships experienced serious violence in June and thereafter: Sittwe, Maungdaw, Buthidaung, and Toungop. Many of the places targeted in October had not been attacked in the earlier round of sectarian violence that consumed Sittwe and other parts of northern Arakan State in June. The sectarian violence that erupted in Arakan State in June devastated both Arakanese Buddhist and Rohingya Muslim communities, both of whom lacked protection from security forces.

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NZ travelogue: Around Christchurch with Alan

Posted: 18 Nov 2012 06:08 PM PST


Meet Alan, one of my old chess kaki from the Penang Chess Association days. I knew him back in the 1990s when he was still working at Hewlett Packard in Penang. Towards the end of the decade, he decided to pack his bags and move his family to Christchurch in New Zealand.

When my wife and I visited the South Island last year, we re-established contact, and we still do keep in touch till today. It was good to catch up with him again. And getting to know his family. The son, born in Penang and last seen as a toddler, has grown up a teenager. The daughter, born in New Zealand, completes the family.

On the last day of our vacation in New Zealand, we caught up face-to-face at the Riccarton Bush. Alan was little changed except he looked a bit stockier. Could be the additional layers of clothes to ward off the anticipated autumn chill. (Except that New Zealand was experiencing some weird weather pattern in 2011. Right until June, the weather was warm enough to fool some trees into bearing flowers when they should not.)

We spent the rest of the day together until it was time for us to catch the AirAsia X flight back to Kuala Lumpur. Speaking of AirAsia X, I am quite disappointed that the long-haul budget airline had decided to terminate its services to Christchurch. I'm sure it was not because of some silly excuse like not making money on this route. On the contrary, I believe the airline was doing well as it brought plane loads of Malaysians and other tourists directly to the South Island. Malaysia Airlines only fly to Auckland.

Maybe there was some other more sinister reason which I'm speculating, like Malaysia Airlines persuading AirAsia X to stop competing with them on this sector when the two airlines were still working together about a year ago. Maybe, in return for AirAsia X's getting landing rights to Sydney, they were persuaded to give up Christchurch. Anyhow, Christchurch wasn't the only long-haul destination now off the AirAsia X horizon. Even their flights to London and Paris have disappeared.

But this digression aside, I suppose Alan must have been quite pleased with the small diversion in his life. Seeing us and well as some other of his friends was like catching up with news from the homeland. I ploughed him with news on the political developments in the country, and especially the positive news emanating from Penang. Hope he salivated and thought about coming here for a holiday sometime in the future.


When we left the Riccarton Bush, we ended up at the Foo San Teahouse in Rountree Street for some Malaysian dimsum. Alan told me that the family running this joint was from Ipoh. When we arrived, the place was packed with people. Mostly Asians (Malaysians and Singaporeans?) but there were other people there too.


Somehow, we managed to grab a table with the six of us crammed round it. The food wasn't very impressive but hey, after being away for slightly more than a week, eating Malaysian dimsum was a welcome change to our diet.


Alan suggested that we stopped by his house in Christchurch but before we did, there was a small diversion to the Raewards Fresh warehouse to pick up some fresh produce. "We'd normally come here weekly to pick up our provisions," he explained. Yah, okay, the warehouse was an eye opener. We hadn't seen so much abundance of New Zealand vegetables, fruits and meat in one central location before. Produce of all shapes, sizes and colours. Some going for ridiculously cheap prices although there were others which to me, were rather expensive.


This, below, is Alan's house at the northern part of Christchurch. An impressive double-storey building quite unlike the typically NZ houses I noticed everywhere else. "We were fortunate not to be affected during the earthquake," he told me. The whole of Christchurch had rocked and rolled when the earthquake struck and the areas most devastated were the central business district and towards Lyttleton to the south-east.


I walked around. I commented that he was a bit of a green thumb. I could see even lengkuas plants growing there. "Oh, they'll die off soon enough. It's because of the balmy weather we're experiencing now that they are still surviving. They are being fooled by the weather. When it gets chillier and frost sets in, all these will be killed off," he said.


I found out later that he wasn't joking. By July that year, winter had really settled upon the South Island and Christchurch was buried under a thick layer of snow.

Soon, we decided to go for a drive into the Christchurch CBD. "We'll it is impossible to drive into the CBD," Alan explained, "as the whole area has been cordoned off. We can only go around and walk as near as possible to the barricades." This was a real pity as one of my original intentions, when I bought the flight tickets to Christchurch - and this was way before the earthquake - was to go admire the Christchurch Cathedral and jump on board their tramcars.


The Wok On In Cafe in Kendal Avenue was our final destination in Christchurch. We all trooped there for dinner. Alan had a little surprise for us.


"Here, meet Ah Hock. He's from Penang and he owns this place," Alan said, and it was true. If I'm not mistaken, Ah Hock's roots are in the Noordin Street section of George Town or its whereabouts. He still goes back often to see his folks and presumably, to pick up more culinary secrets.


He and his staff cooked up a mean meal in Christchurch and we enjoyed ourselves with his improvised versions of Char Hor Fun, Char Koay Teow, Wantan Mee and Nasi Lemak. As far as we were concerned, the food was different but still close enough to the real stuff back home. His little cafe was just about three minutes away from the Christchurch airport and so, it was quite convenient for us to have a slow and hearty meal while we killed time before leaving for the airport. Here's part of the menu. Quite a wide variety of items.


Soon, we really had to leave. And with great reluctance, I had to say goodbye to Alan and his family. Alan, I hope to be able to meet up with you again one day, if not in Christchurch, then perhaps in Penang, Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur or Kuching. Keep in touch!



ca-pub-5430283382112812


Kitab Mustika Hadith Terbitan JPM Sendiri Sahkan Boleh Murtad Jika Hina Islam - TGNA

Posted: 18 Nov 2012 10:02 PM PST


Boleh murtad jika perlekeh Islam

KOTA BHARU: Mursyidul Am PAS, Tuan Guru Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat berkata, sesiapa sahaja orang Islam yang memperlekeh agama Islam dengan sengaja maka ia boleh jatuh kepada murtad (terkeluar dari Islam).

Katanya, tindakan memperlekeh Islam boleh berlaku dengan banyak cara termasuk menolak Islam sebagai dasar perjuangan kerana menganggap Islam itu sudah lapuk dan tidak sesuai lagi zaman ini.

"Tak kira siapa pun kalau tok guru berserban berjanggut sekalipun kalau tolak islam dengan hati yang sengaja, dia kata Islam tak guna, dia murtad sekalipun tak ada mufti bagitau dia.

"Umno tolak Islam maka nampak dia telah memperlekeh Islam. Dia buang Islam macam buang ubat habis tempoh. Boleh jadi yang tolak Islam tu murtad dah, boleh jadi dia jahil, boleh jadi dia tak faham," katanya.

Beliau berkata demikian kepada pemberita di Muktamar Tahunan PAS kali ke 58 di Pusat Tarbiyah Islamiyah Kelantan (Putik) di sini hari ini.

Menteri Besar Kelantan itu juga berkata, bagaimana PAS boleh percaya dengan ajakan Umno untuk bersama-sama mereka membela Islam sedangkan sejarah membuktikan Umno sendiri menolak ulamak dalam biro agama Umno waktu perjuangan kemerdekaan dahulu.

"PAS bukan dicipta oleh orang PAS tapi oleh biro agama Umno. Kami hanya jaga sahaja.

"Sekarang (Umno) nak ajak PAS (bersama-sama) bela Islam. Alim ulamak kamu pun kamu tolak, takkan kamu nak terima ulamak kami pula. Itu logiknya," tegasnya memberi analogi.

Sementara itu, dalam sidang media berasingan, Datuk Seri Tuan Guru Abdul Hadi Awang turut ditanya wartawan berhubung kenyataan Mursyidul Am PAS itu yang mengaitkan Umno dengan murtad.

Presiden PAS itu bagaimanapun berkata, huraian berhubung murtad boleh dirujuk dalam Kitab Mustika Hadis yang diterbitkan Jabatan Perdana Menteri.

"Baca kitab itu, ada hukum mengenai orang yang memperlekehkan Islam. Itu kitab yang ditandatangani Tun Dr Mahathir," katanya tidak mahu mengulas panjang.

Carian Harakahdaily terhadap kitab dimaksudkan itu mendapati, bahagian kedua di bawah tajuk 'Iktikad kepercayaan yang bertentangan dengan dasar-dasar Islam', menyebut; Melalui percakapan, iaitu tiap-tiap perkataan yang mencaci, menghina, merendah-rendah, mengecil dan mempermain-mainkan nama Allah, sifat-sifat-Nya, malaikat-malaikat-Nya, rasul-rasul-Nya, kitab-kitab-Nya, ayat-ayat-Nya dan hukum-hukum-Nya serta hukum-hukum yang diterangkan oleh rasul-Nya.

Dan juga perkataan yang menolak, menafi dan mengingkari segala perkara yang sekata alim ulamak mensabitkannya atau menafikannya serta diketahui oleh orang ramai bahawa perkara itu dari agama.

Misalnya seperti katanya mengenai mana-mana hukum Islam:

• Hukum apa ini?
• Hukum ini sudah lapuk.
• Zaman sekarang tidak sepatutnya diharamkan riba' kerana menghalang kemajuan.
• Dalam zaman serba maju ini kaum wanita tak perlu dibungkus-bungkus (tutup aurat dengan memakai telekong).
• Berzina kalau suka sama suka apalah haramnya?
• Minum arak kalau dengan tujuan hendak menyihatkan badan untuk beribadat apa salahnya.
• Berjudi kalau masing-masing sudah rela menerima untung ruginya apa salahnya.
• Kalau hendak sangat menurut hukum-hukum Islam, sampai kiamat kita tidak maju.
• Seseorang berkata,"Perbuatan yang demikian tidak beradab", apabila diceritakan bahawa Nabi Muhammad SAW selepas makan baginda menjilat sisa makanan dijarinya (sebelum dibasuh tangan).
• Seseorang berkata,"Aku tidak mahu memotong kuku sekalipun sunnah", apabila diberitahu bahawa memotong kuku adalah sunnah.
• Membaca ayat-ayat suci al-Quran, hadith nabi dan nama-nama Allah dengan cara mempersenda dan mempermain-mainkannya.


Ulasan GB

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Singapore: Israel of Southeast Asia

Posted: 18 Nov 2012 07:56 PM PST

The new war in Gaza, Israel atrocity and the new Zionist of Asia. Blame it on Singapore?

I remember a Middle East diplomat mentioned about the 'little republic in Southeast Asia is another Israel-in-the-making' during a conference in Casablanca in 2008, not naming the nation but was sharp enough to criticise its leadership as having similarity to that of Tel Aviv.

Zooming in to the 'little republic' will lead us to Singapore, the only Asean country that defies ZOPFAN (Zone of Peace, Free and Neutral) by hosting the Israel Embassy, engaging the Zionist military experts to boost its armed forces, doing much trading with them and recognising Israel as among its most important business partners.

And when Anwar Ibrahim went against all odds by supporting the rights and security of Israel, linking him and his political allies DAP with Singapore's PAP and Bank of Israel, the askance toward our south neighbor grew thicker.

And here, Jim Sleeper, a lecturer in political science, Yale University, produced a lengthy-logical analysis about Singapore-Israel strong bond, sharing similar capitalist character and a diplomatic approach which can be described as 'arrogant inteloper'.

Lee Kuan Yew has set the pace, and his successors just follow the chartered path.
In 1965, when Singapore declared its independence, its first prime-minister (and, for many years, its virtual dictator) Lee Kuan Yew asked Israel to design, set up, and supervise its military machine. Israel did precisely that. How successfully? Just this month, the Bonn International Center for Conversion published a world-wide survey ranking Israel the world's most militarized nation -- and Singapore the second-most.
But we in Southeast Asia, especially in Malaysia, are aware of it. As long as nothing across the Causeway harms or provokes us, we are fine with it, right?

Malaysia puts diplomacy above all, and so are the Muslim Indonesia. However, as regional and international diplomatic and social landscape take a new turn, we can expect something 'torrid' to our relations in the years to come, particularly if Pakatan Rakyat wins the upcoming general election.
The similarities of these two little engines that could (and did) become models of state capitalism with high per capita incomes and growth rates haven't often been noted. Both have been governed and stamped by the British. Both have populations of 5 or 6 million, including 2 or 3 million second-class citizens and non-citizens, some of them migrants, some of them openly despised.
I guess many would like to read this interesting part:
The Israelis militarized Singaporean society, even with Israeli military songs, to which Lee's soldiers marched in one of Singapore's first real Independence Day parades. Less symbolically, they showed Singapore how to establish military conscription in a hitherto un-militaristic populace that, according to at least one survey, ranked the profession of soldier far below that of thief, while placing artists, teachers and merchants on top.

So determined was Lee to adjust this that when Israel won the Six-Day War in 1967, vindicating his decision to work with it and boosting Singaporeans' confidence in their Jewish military mentors, Singapore's UN delegation surprised other Third World nations by abstaining on a resolution condemning Israel.
Read Jim Sleeper's Blame the Latest Israel-Arab War on...Singapore?


Surah Al FurQan

Posted: 18 Nov 2012 08:09 PM PST










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