Excitement builds as Softchoice Cares prepares for Rajasthan, India        
Softchoice Cares has carried out a number of international projects over its 10-year history, including ones in Sri Lanka, Bali, Kenya, Rwanda, and most recently, India. In October 2016, the employee-led Softchoice Cares board is returning to Rajasthan, India to build on and expand the work that was completed during our last international project 18 […]

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          Rwanda’s Shared Roles        
Live58: is a strong believer and supporter of micro financing and saving associations to aid consistent incomes in underdeveloped countries. HOPE International is one of the best organizations doing just that; investing in the dreams of families in the world’s underserved communities. Within each family that HOPE works with, is a story of justice and
          OSCAR 2006...DOMENICA I RISULTATI        

Ecco a voi l'elenco completo di tutte le nominations agli Oscar 2006, divisi per categoria.




Philip Seymour Hoffman - CAPOTE
Terrence Howard - HUSTLE & FLOW
David Strathairn - GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK 

George Clooney - SYRIANA
Paul Giamatti - CINDERELLA MAN

Felicity Huffman - TRANSAMERICA
Charlize Theron - NORTH COUNTRY

Amy Adams - JUNEBUG
Catherine Keener - CAPOTE
Frances McDormand - NORTH COUNTRY











"It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" - HUSTLE & FLOW
"Travelin' Thru" - TRANSAMERICA







          Community as a Powerful Change Agent        
Two years ago when I began to consider blogging as a means to express personal and professional opinions I chose a title for my first blog under the erroneous impression that each blog entry would carry a unique blog idenifier and so “A Time to Mourn a Time to Rejoice” was mistakenly applied as a title for a single blog post which typified a very particular set of events that had transpired in my personal life. It wasn’t intended as the overall title of “my blog”. Later, when I realized that this was a kind of permanent identifier, I still clung to the original name for some mysterious reason.

That reason was revealed to me this week when the worlds of my personal advocacy, concerns and moral commitments collided with my professional assignments. It seems an almost sad and joyous collision. I had been feeling for some time now that I needed to bring something of larger value to my professional role as community facilitator, advocate and peer in my online SAP community network role and was wondering just how to invest time, not only in customer support, documentation, and vendor activities, but in more humanitarian and charitable callings.

Those stirrings toward something more purpose-driven in my professional life were prompted by a number of very inspiring conversations held with various SDN and BPX community members around the topic of what knowledge workers could contribute to world causes. They were further augmented when meeting the mural artist, Nancy Marguiles, at SAP TechEd as well as engaging in conversations with social media bloggers and thought leaders: James Governor, Dennis Howlett and Robin Carey Fray and they began to take formal direction after having a conversation with my boss, Michael Schwandt who suggested meeting with the Corporate Social Responsibility steward of my company, James Farrar. James, in one concentrated afternoon of knowledge exchange, shook my professional world and allowed me to dare hope that there could be a convergence of causes that mattered and mattered globally mapped to my own work and corporate responsibilities in the Business Process Expert Community. Beyond ideology and obvious compassionate responses from a dedicated community, BPX could provide a place where business process expertise meets governance, risk, compliance, sustainability, corporate responsibility and metrics to measure “how good are we doing at doing good”. These possibilities inspire and engage and suggest that there is something much beyond process model exchange and selling software as a possibility for work with BPX.

A Time to Rejoice, A Time to Mourn: Enormous joy at finding “a calling” worth following, immense sorrow at the enormity of the problems to consider dedicating oneself to addressing.
It will take a very focused community to move this forward.

Picture from World Food Programme - Albertine Mutuyimana
WFP through the the eyes of a child WFP - Latest news - Photo Galleries:
"WFP through the the eyes of a child Rwanda Albertine Mutuyimana, a member of
class P6 A in Gatora school, lives with her aunt. Albertine, aged 15, chose to
paint two scenes. In the first, a mother is desperately sad because she cannot
afford to feed her children or buy pens and paper so they can go to school. In
the second, the same woman is smiling because WFP's free rations of vegetable
oil and porridge mean her children do not have to work in the fields and can
attend class. "

          Comment on Banners Design for Mobile Unlock Base by MichaelImmed        
Our team is a unique producer of quality fake documents. We offer only original high-quality fake passports, driver's licenses, ID cards, stamps and other products for a number of countries like: USA, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Italy, Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom. This list is not full. 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          Global Update: After Measles Success, Rwanda to Get Rubella Vaccine        
Encouraged by Rwanda’s steady gains in curbing measles, donors are paying for a more expensive dual vaccine that will target rubella, too.
          God Sleeps in Rwanda: A Journey of Transformation        
God Sleeps in Rwanda: A Journey of Transformation
author: Joseph Sebarenzi
name: Sara
average rating: 3.97
book published: 2009
rating: 0
read at:
date added: 2017/08/03
shelves: to-read

          Overcoming Speechlessness: A Poet Encounters the Horror in Rwanda, Eastern Congo, and Palestine/Israel        
Overcoming Speechlessness: A Poet Encounters the Horror in Rwanda, Eastern Congo, and Palestine/Israel
author: Alice Walker
name: Sara
average rating: 3.90
book published: 2009
rating: 3
read at: 2016/05/23
date added: 2016/05/26
shelves: ridiculously-good-non-fiction

          World: FPMA Bulletin #7, 10 August 2017        
Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Country: Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Brazil, Burundi, Cambodia, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Georgia, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Malawi, Mexico, Moldova, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Peru, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Thailand, Togo, Uganda, Ukraine, United Republic of Tanzania, Viet Nam, World, Zambia

Key messages

  • International prices of wheat rose further in July on quality concerns, particularly for higher protein wheat, although upward pressure was limited by prospects of ample global supplies. Export prices of maize remained generally unchanged, while a slowdown in demand capped gains in rice quotations.
  • In East Africa, prices of cereals in most countries declined signi cantly for the second consecutive month in July with the new harvests, but remained generally higher than a year earlier. However, in Ethiopia, prices of maize surged further and reached record levels, underpinned by uncertain prospects for the 2017 crops.
  • In the CIS, prices of staple potatoes declined sharply from the record or near-record highs of June in most countries of the subregion with the beginning of the new harvest. Prices, however, remained higher than in July last year after the sharp increases of the past months.

          World: Food Assistance Outlook Brief, August 2017        
Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
Country: Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, World, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

This brief summarizes FEWS NET’s most forward-looking analysis of projected emergency food assistance needs in FEWS NET coverage countries. The projected size of each country’s acutely food insecure population is compared to last year and the recent five-year average. Countries where external emergency food assistance needs are anticipated are identified. Projected lean season months highlighted in red indicate either an early start or an extension to the typical lean season. Additional information is provided for countries with large food insecure populations, an expectation of high severity, or where other key issues warrant additional discussion.

          Kiehls #StayingAlive        
A few weeks ago I popped over to Glasgow for a bloggers brunch at Kiehl's on Buchanan Street to hear all about their #StayingAlive campaign in association with MTV.

I actually didn't know a lot about Kiehl's as a brand.  I'd only really become aware of them in the last 2 years or so, after Blair put a couple of Kiehl's men's skincare bits on his Christmas list that he'd seen in a magazine (ahh girls, remember the days when you used to get skincare and makeup recommendations from magazines, not blogs?).

After a morning at the Glasgow store being thoroughly schooled in the history of Kiehl's though, I am no longer in the dark (and now have a wishlist as long as my arm!).  I found it really interesting hearing about the background of the company, from the initial family run pharmacy in New York City, to the worldwide brand it is today.

One thing that has been consistent for Kiehl's is their dedication to helping communities and charitable causes.  In fact, their mission statement includes the phrase "making for better citizens, better firms, and better communities".  The main cause they support is AIDs and HIV research and prevention, which is what the MTV Staying Alive campaign is all about.

The campaign is doing some fantastic work, like providing vital HIV education in rural India, distributing condoms in Rwanda and Ghana, and providing safe spaces for young girls involved in commercial sex work to learn how to protect themselves again HIV.

You can help contribute towards the cause by purchasing a pot of the Kiehl's limited edition Ultra Facial Cream, with packaging designed by Laura Mvula.  Â£10 from every sale goes towards the cause, which is pretty impressive considering that when most brands do these type of charity collabs it's normally like "£1 from every sale".  I've been using it daily for a few weeks now and I LOVE IT.  I only use a tiny bit at a time but it is so moisturising, and it sinks in really quickly, so a really great product (as well as being for a great cause).

You can purchase the Ultra Facial cream in store or online.  Also, to donate £5 to MTV Staying Alive text kiehl98 £5 to 7007.

Thanks to Kiehl's for having us - and thanks to Halloumi Glasgow for the food, it was bloody lovely!

          What Does Victory Look Like in Afghanistan?        


What Does Victory Look Like in Afghanistan?

Adam Wunische 

 August 9, 2017

More U.S. troops are likely headed back to Afghanistan soon, while the Trump Administration is also now considering withdrawal. Before either option––or anything in between––is considered, the U.S. needs to decide what version of victory it wants before it can decide on a strategy.

One of the most shocking statements I’ve heard on Afghanistan in sometime was that the official U.S. policy is to force the Taliban into a negotiated settlement. This statement came from a highly respected scholar of U.S. foreign policy and military strategy. I wondered what veterans like myself should think of such a policy. Almost 17 years of fighting, over 2,000 killed, and countless others wounded or otherwise affected, and our strategy is now to accept peace with the Taliban and see them holding legislative seats in Kabul and contributing to governing Afghanistan?

To be fair, the statement above was somewhat of a misstatement. What he intended to say was that this is the actual policy being pursued by the U.S., if unofficially and inconsistently. It is an unofficial policy because it would be highly unpopular with the domestic audience in the U.S., and it is inconsistent because presidents have been unwilling to commit the political capital necessary to sustain such a policy. Since a possible troop increase was announced in June, journalists and analysts (and Trump’s advisors) have been debating the strategy to which the U.S. should commit itself. However, these debates often consider strategies in isolation, and this is a mistake. Strategies must be judged relative to the realistic alternatives. This article categorizes the most common recent arguments, considers their limitations, and makes an argument for the least bad option, a negotiated settlement with the Taliban.


One potential strategy considers the possibility of a post-World War II arrangement, leaving a permanent contingent of U.S. forces in Afghanistan to keep the Taliban and others at bay and influence other countries with interests in Central Asia. Unsurprisingly, many considering this possibility find the prospect unsustainable and possibly unachievable.

Another strategy considers the complex regional dynamics of the situation and suggests increasingly forceful engagement with neighboring countries, specifically Pakistan. Use of Pakistani territory sustains and strengthens Taliban operations in Afghanistan and the Pakistanis have been notoriously difficult partners for the U.S. and others.

Still another approach considers the folly of sending more troops before a coherent strategy, or even policy, has been agreed upon. Almost 200 years ago, Clausewitz asserted, “War is a mere continuation of policy by other means.” Military engagement without a coherent policy shaping the strategy by which the campaign is carried out is little more than organized slaughter.

A final take on the situation defines victory as an Afghanistan fully restored via so-called nation-building. This argument suggests less reliance on the military and more on civilians and the State Department. Otherslike Gary Dempsey, argue the costs so greatly outweigh the benefits that the U.S. should simply cut its losses and withdraw. Withdrawal arguments usually suggest that after ground forces have left the U.S. should send targeted operations into Afghanistan whenever violent non-state actors set up shop again, but this assumes the political will and legal justifications will hold indefinitely––which isn’t a safe assumption.

The problem with all of the above arguments is that they only consider one possible form of victory, or take the form of victory as a given. This can be effective when advocating for certain policies, but it also comes with significant limitations. As an alternative, I will present a variety of potential victories––each different in some critical way––and assess the prospects for achieving each and what they mean for U.S. strategy in Afghanistan.


It is first necessary to assess the most common assumption for victory and the current state of that possibility. The early stages of the war in Afghanistan were entirely directed at removing the Taliban from power and going after al Qaeda's central structure. This gave Operation Enduring Freedom a specific counterterrorism focus. Therefore, the early objectives necessary for victory were limited: end or degrade al Qaeda and the Taliban. This mission was accomplished, and surprisingly quickly. However, the mission then shifted from counterterrorism to ambitious state-building as the security situation deteriorated and the Taliban began to push back into the country from their sanctuary in Pakistan. NATO troops pushed out from Kabul and sought to extend the new central government’s authority throughout the country.


If we assume these more ambitious statebuilding objectives to be the standard by which victory is now measured, each of the following would have to happen before that victory could be considered won: the Taliban would have to be beaten back militarily, the Afghan government would need to establish control over the overwhelming majority of the country, and the U.S. would have no more than a small contingent of trainers and advisors on the ground. Given the length of the effort in Afghanistan thus far, it’s inconsistent progress, and the present trend, this outcome seems unlikely.

Assuming another military victory over the Taliban could be achieved, the Afghan government would still need to establish control over a territory that few central governments have ever been able to control since modern Afghanistan was founded around 1747. Afghan expert Thomas Barfield argues that attempts to extend control over the whole of Afghanistan like other modern states do is a fundamental flaw in U.S. strategy and is simply not possible in a country like Afghanistan. Instead, Barfield has suggested a “Swiss cheese” model should be used. That is, control the vital areas (the population centers) that can be controlled and ignore the areas that cannot. Unfortunately, this isn’t even a realistic model for Afghanistan today, since the holes in government control would undoubtedly be used as safe-havens for any number of armed anti-government and anti-U.S. groups operating in the country. Such a strategy can only work if sustainable and enforceable treaties can be negotiated with the various armed groups.

An Afghan farmer works in a poppy field on the outskirts of Jalalabad, the capital city of Nangarhar province. (Noorullah Shirzada/AFP/Getty)

Furthermore, even if the government were able to reestablish control over all its territory, the government has a myriad of high-grade issues that significantly inhibit the its ability to exercise and maintain control and authority over said territory. Corruptioninhibits the government’s ability to deliver goods and services. Opium continues to flourish in Afghanistan and fund numerous individuals and organizations beyond the control of the central government, criminal and otherwise. Afghanistan’s relationship with its neighbors is complicated, and contributes to the instability. Afghanistan is also plagued by a persistently weak economy that is unlikely to improve to a sufficient level to contribute to stability or even pay the government's bills without foreign aid.

This path to victory also hopes the Afghan government can be encouraged to reform; it cannot. For many non-trivial reasons, it is unreasonable to expect the Afghan government to make the necessary reforms, even if pressured by the U.S. or the international community. Several scholarly articles attempt to explain this phenomenon. Generally speaking, it is clear the interests of the Afghan government will always diverge from those of the U.S. government. Afghan officials will be more interested in crushing coup attempts before they happen or paying off their political rivals; reforming government agencies, especially in the security sector, is more likely to encourage coups and embolden their enemies. No one should hope for government reforms as the path to peace in Afghanistan.

In sum, this vision of victory is unrealistic. Too many variables are too unlikely to be achieved for any reasonable person to think that all of them can be achieved, and at a reasonable cost.


Taliban defeat on the battlefield is given special consideration here. Some might assume victory over the Taliban today should be as easy as it was in 2001. However, the posture and disposition of the Taliban today is very different than it was in 2001. They have been contesting and controlling territory, and that territory could be retaken if subjected to an effort similar to the one in 2001. However, their underground networks and sanctuary support are much more robust than they were. When pushed back from their territory in 2001, it took the Taliban about five years to build the infrastructure of insurgency and push back into Afghanistan. Today, the Taliban wouldn’t skip a beat if denied their territory.

Therefore, all of the issues mentioned in the above section would have to be remedied before the highest possible version of victory could be achieved, and this assumed the Taliban could be defeated anew, which also doesn’t seem likely. A series of unlikely conditions are necessary to sustainably defeat the Taliban. First, total cooperation with Pakistan, who would need to establish control over their own western provinces where these groups are currently afforded safe-haven, would be necessary. Second, Afghanistan would need a robust and functioning security apparatus, which it doesn’t have. Emphasis has been placed on building the Afghan military, but militaries are better at taking and holding territory than they are at defeating insurgencies, which is only step one in a campaign against the Taliban. Furthermore, evidence suggests that terrorist groups are mostly defeated by police and intelligence forces of local governments, not militaries.[1]

An Afghan soldier during an anti-Taliban operation in eastern Kunar provice. (AFP/BBC)

There is a surprisingly positive trend in the use of Afghan police and intelligence forces to pressure and dismantle the Taliban. Increases in Afghan National Army regular forces have essentially flat-lined. On the other hand, the Afghan government plans to increase the number of special forces commandos exponentially, as shown in the chart below.[2]Commandos have the tools and training to effectively go after non-state actors like the Taliban, but there are still significant barriers to defeating the Taliban via these means. First, the feasibility and effectiveness of doubling the size of commando forces isn’t certain. New recruits are drawn from conventional forces, so current special forces capabilities wouldn’t necessarily be reduced. However, whether they’re able to effectively train, equip, and support such a large force remains to be seen. Second, the Taliban would still be able to launch attacks from Pakistan; Afghanistan would still need to improve policing capabilities; and social and economic conditions would need to improve so unemployed youth couldn’t be convinced or paid to carry out attacks for the Taliban.

Furthermore, it is unlikely that the vast increase in commando power will go unnoticed by successive governments. As explained above, corrupt governments tend to weaken their military to hedge against coups.


With a long list of limitations preventing more ambitious victories, it is important to consider what lesser forms of success might look like and whether they are worth pursuing. A mitigated success would at least contain but not defeat the Taliban and focus on areas of higher strategic value, disregarding areas of lesser strategic value (as in the Barfield Strategy). This version of victory would even allow the Taliban to rule certain areas, or establish a power-sharing agreement in those areas not vital to the Government of Afghanistan. Such an approach could achieve core U.S. national interests at lower costs. For example, this would eliminate Afghanistan as a terrorist safe haven, and if Afghanistan were to revert to a safe haven in the future, the circumstance could be addressed more easily in these circumstances. Furthermore, with no powerful armed group opposing it, the Afghan government would be much less likely to collapse and potentially destabilize Pakistan, which is important for keeping nuclear weapons from proliferating into non-state hands.

Warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar returned to Kabul on May 4 after signing a peace deal with the Afghan government. (Reuters/Parwiz)

This strategy would solve one of the weaknesses in Barfield’s strategy by establishing peace with armed groups in exchange for control of their local areas, but how likely is it these armed groups will successfully reintegrate into the legitimate political process? Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, leader of the violent political party Hezb-i-Islami, recently attempted this exact transition. There are also reasons to believe some within the Taliban organization are at least willing to consider what is being offered in negotiations. This is perhaps why the members of ISIS in Afghanistan are mostly disaffected Taliban members. There is no way to know for sure why the former Taliban members defected, but several factors indicate that a willingness to negotiate for peace was important.


The Taliban have attempted negotiations several times since 2001. Taliban leader Mullah Omar died in April of 2013, but top commanders kept it a secret. Writing under Mullah Omar’s name, these top commanders struck a conciliatory tone, advocating for an inclusive Islamic government in Afghanistan. In October 2014, five to six top commanders of the Taliban defected and subsequently pledged loyalty to ISIS. Predictably, the Taliban command claimed they were expelled from the group. Nine months later, the Taliban called for peace talks again. Therefore it seems reasonable that some attribute the rise of ISIS in Afghanistan to disgruntled former Taliban hardliners, and a willingness to negotiate is a likely source of these sentiments.

As is clear by the many failed attempts by the Taliban to negotiate peace, there are limitations to the feasibility of this move for many of the violent groups that forms its ranks. Consider some analogous circumstances. The most powerful violent insurgency group in Colombia, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), recently negotiated a peace deal with the government. Successfully transitioning to peace will be difficult, as many Colombians are still scarred from the violence they carried. Similarly, the Basque Homeland and Liberty (Euskadi Ta Askatasuna or ETA) separatist in Spain is attempting the same move, and the legacy of their violence is also an issue. Likewise, many Afghans remember the part Hekmatyar took in the shelling of Kabul during the civil war following the withdrawal of Soviet forces. Many Afghans will not soon forget the pain suffered at the hands of the various violent groups that fall under the aegis of the Taliban.

If the Taliban are to be integrated into the political process, both they and the Afghan people will need to find a path to reconciliation. It is theoretically possible to achieve a deal without this reconciliation, but whatever peace is achieved without it may be tenuous at best. Again, analogy might be useful. Rwanda is engaging in a justice and reconciliation process to deal with the legacies of their genocide. South Africa set up the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to deal with the legacies of apartheid. Alternatively, Indonesia has set up no such commission or process, and their resultant peace has been much more tenuous and fragile.

It is also important to consider domestic opinion in the U.S., where the divergence between its interest and that of Afghanistan is perhaps clearest. Even if the Government of Afghanistan could reconcile with the Taliban, precarious as this would be given the support the U.S. must provide to sustain it, any negotiated settlement would be hugely unpopular domestically. Many would see it as surrendering to the enemy, leaving open a cynical but clear political opportunity. The unpopularity of working with the Taliban was on full display when the Obama Administration announced a prisoner swap with the Taliban that retrieved captured U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl. It is unlikely current or future U.S. presidents will be willing to expend the political capital necessary to make a negotiated settlement with the Taliban possible, especially considering the uncertainty of success.


Considering all of the limitations of the above strategic alternatives, it should be considered what a mitigated failure would look like. A mitigated failure would probably include some or all of the following outcomes. First, traditionally Pashtun lands would be conceded to the Taliban, and the central government would maintain a tenuous control over other territories. The Taliban are strongest in Pashtun regions, but they have shown an ability to reach beyond these areas. Regions under strong Taliban control would be relatively peaceful, but fighting would remain intense in disputed areas. Pakistan would be keen to avoid this, much like the Turks wanting to resist an independent Kurdish state.

Pakistan’s position in Afghanistan has always been to maintain as much influence over their neighbor as possible. Prior to 9/11, the intelligence and military establishment in Pakistan had established close ties with Mullah Omar and the Taliban. However, Pakistan post 9/11 has been forced to align reluctantly against the Taliban. The Taliban now has bases of operation in Pakistan and it is not certain that a peaceful relationship could be established if they gain some control in Afghanistan at the expense of the government. The possibility of the Taliban gaining power in Afghanistan and looking for more influence east of the Durand Line is too great a risk.


That leaves one final possibility: abject failure. This could happen if the international community loses patience with Afghanistan and cuts its losses, like the Trump Administration is perhaps considering. This certainly wouldn’t be the first time Afghanistan has been cut loose; there has been a pattern of countless such abandonments throughout history, like the Soviet withdrawal in 1989. Importantly, though, the international community has always decided to return. Afghanistan’s strategic importance to the rest of the world is significant, and modern forms of terrorism have compounded the effects of this strategic importance. This significance is evident in the many times that multiple empires have attempted to conquer it. Afghanistan is at the crossroads of the Middle East, Southern Asia, and Central Asia, and it continues to be a vital transit area for land-based commerce and gas and oil pipelines. There is no doubt that cutting strategic losses today might result in a strategic need to return a few decades, or even a few years, later.


Previous attempts to define victory in Afghanistan, and therefore advocate a strategy, have often considered various types of victory in isolation. However, the ideal end state for Afghanistan should be considered relative to the alternatives. A total victory is ideal, but needs to solve numerous enormous problems resulting from seemingly endless systemic conflicts. It would also require the greatest degree of political will sustained over the long-term. Furthermore, it is unlikely that the Taliban can be beaten militarily like they were in 2001. The government of Afghanistan and its allies could regain lost territory, but it is already a robust insurgency and terrorist organization; and these types of movements are rarely defeated militarily. Abject failure would be cost efficient in the short-term, but the resultant problems would increase costs over the long-term and would undermine U.S. national interests. A mitigated failure would likely have all the negative costs of abject failure, but with greater U.S. losses on the path to failure. Ultimately, total victory is ideal but highly unlikely. Abject and mitigated failures have long-term costs and endanger U.S. national interests. This leaves us with mitigated success and a negotiated settlement with the Taliban as the most prudent option.

A negotiated settlement would come with high political costs to whichever U.S. president decided to pursue it. However, these political costs would be lower than those required for a total victory. Furthermore, negotiations have mostly failed because there is no concerted effort or strategy to achieve it, just periodic opportunism. There’s no doubt this strategy would be highly unpopular and downright offensive to many Americans––especially veterans of the war. However, the question shouldn’t only be about its popularity; it should also be about its feasibility to bring about the end of America’s longest war.

The path of least resistance in Afghanistan is to contain the Taliban over the long-term. This starts with a continued focus on the building of commando and police capacity while reducing resources for the conventional Afghan National Army, because the Taliban are the problem rather than external invasion. The maintenance of a strategic alliance with the government of Afghanistan to deter foreign military interventions will allow the central government to focus on internal state building and reconciliation. The encouragement of smaller insurgent groups to negotiate transitions into the political process will enable reconciliation. Finally, seeking avenues to allow for a negotiated settlement with the Taliban, and integration into the political process if necessary, are critical.

The other victories mentioned above are certainly possible, but not at acceptable costs. A total victory––while appealing––would require extensive resources, in both blood and treasure, expended over an indeterminate amount of time. In 2012, a majority of Americans wanted to speed up the pace of the 2014 withdrawal. When the war started in 2001, about 90% of Americans said starting the war was not a mistake. Today, that number has decreased by about 40 points. No politician will have the political capital to commit the resources to a total victory. Other types of victories are more ideal and would be more popular, and despite the sentiment against the option, a negotiated settlement is not only more likely to happen in our lifetime, it’s also the most feasible outcome for success.

Adam Wunische is a U.S. Army veteran who has deployed twice to Afghanistan. He is also a PhD student at Boston College and a contributing analyst at Wikistrat

          Concerns over false messages spreading hatred through WhatsApp in India: Worries over impact on society, law-and-order and communal harmony        
Daily dose of false propaganda, communal messages, videos and hate can wreak havoc.

'The message is the medium' is an important article on this subject, which tells us how similar propaganda led to the genocide in Rwanda where 8 lakh people were killed in just 12 weeks.

Sushant Singh's powerful piece should wake us up about the situation that is arising because of such propaganda, false messages, unverified videos that are forwarded--incident of another country, termed as an incident here and blaming certain groups, even imaginary and absolutely false stories to spread communalism.

"From early 1990, anti-Tutsi articles and graphic cartoons had begun appearing in the Kangura newspaper. In June 1993, the RTLMC began broadcasting in Rwanda. The radio station was rowdy and used language of the street — like any other popular radio station, there were disc jockeys, pop music and phone-ins. It was designed to appeal to the unemployed, the delinquents and the gangs of thugs in the militia...", says the article.

READ: The Message Is The Medium

"The transcripts of RTLMC’s broadcasts are available in Duke University’s International Monitor Institute. A lot of attention has since been focused on the radio station’s efforts to direct the extermination — broadcasts told people to “go to work” and everyone knew that meant get your machete and kill Tutsis.

But what has escaped greater scrutiny is the manner — by demonising the Tutsis and encouraging hate and violence — in which the radio station prepared the ground among the people of Rwanda for genocide. The transcripts reveal RTLMC’s efforts to claim authority over the telling of Rwandan history whereby the hardline Hutu extremists exercised a monopoly over the truth".

"If radio was a powerful medium then, where you only needed a transistor and a few batteries, we have the smart phone and WhatsApp today. In the past few years, several instances have come to light where communal clashes are being planned or instigated through false videos circulating on WhatsApp."

"The police acknowledged that WhatsApp groups were used to incite the Muzaffarnagar riots in UP in the run-up to the 2014 elections. The gau rakshaks, the Jat agitators, and protestors in Kashmir also take advantage of WhatsApp groups to organise themselves."

"The government has responded by banning internet in such instances, making India the global leader in imposing internet blackouts. That is a tactical solution which prevents immediate violence. But the graver challenge of creating a fertile environment of hate, round-the-clock, by distorted story-telling continues unabated. It is not just the poor and semi-educated who are taken in by the alternative narrative of political propaganda on WhatsApp. The educated elite are equally guilty".

The complete article is available at the Indian Express website

          TIA - Africa at its best        

TIA! This Is Africa! Usually you get a beautiful smile on top and you are able to nothing else than smile. So forget about the annoyance that bubbles up as the truck again falls silent, the showers are cold, the grass of the 'bush toilets' is not high enough and every passing car honks, the 'african massage' roads and the associated turbulence .. . The first words you learn in Swahili are also matata (no problem) and pole pole (slowly) and they are not ashamed, on the contrary ... TIA is something they are proud of.

A chance meeting, a twist of fate or predestination? 12 white people on a stark white truck constantly being addressed or earlier angeroepen by locals with the words "Mzungu (white man) how are you?" Mzungu This truck is on its way to the chimpanzees in Uganda (pearl of Africa) and the gorillas in Rwanda (the land of 1000 hills) with Nairobi as a starting point (with the nickname Nai-robbery).

Car hire Nairobi Kenya

Rwanda gorilla trekking

Uganda gorilla trekking

It is impossible to enumerate everything and what I opsom is impossible to perfectly articulate what it actually was. But anyway here some impressions ...
The gorillas visit was of course a unique experience. After getting a briefing on the behavior of the gorillas, like who the dominant silverback and the importance of preserving the 7 meters between the gorilla and get yourself assigned everyone a family. The Amahoro our being, which means peace. The chance to see gorillas is virtually 100%, since trackers morning to look for the different families. After 2 hours of hiking through the rainforest, we were by the king-kong-on-the-chest-pounding sound welcomed. Then the my gorilla safari the silverback came closer to see who these monkeys were shaved. It is clearly stated that at the briefing as a gorilla gets closer, you must remain calm and certainly should not cry or run away. In theory this all sounds good ... but in reality it is something else. We were 1 hour at the family stay, after which we began the descent back to a sense of euphoria and a fantastic story.

Who says Rwanda, says (unfortunately) the Rwandan genocide in a rwanda safari. This is a very emotional experience because everything is gedocumeteerd photos and images. Disbelief that this happened so recently and the name Belgium is also several times in the museum. Then we drove to the Hotel Milles Collines (also known as Hotel Rwanda). In Uganda is the source of the Nile (where some of the ashes of Gandhi were scattered) and is also a great place for rafting. The day ended with a delicious barbecue, fresh Nile pint, burnt thighs, bruises on my wrists and an incredibly happy feeling.
In short, the first 16 days of my overland trip through were incredibly interesting people on the truck, the beautiful landscape, the trips and of course the heartwarming Africans ...

          Way of Life of the Mountain gorilla Africa        

Mountain Gorillas are more like humans even when it comes to grooming. As a matter of fact, it’s what they do all day long. They clean each others hair, remove lice and other small insects stuck with in.
The female gorilla is the most hardworking as it grooms its offspring’s and the silver back which is the male gorilla.
The silver back is the only one that does not groom others. It’s the most superior of all the gorillas in its family and often fights to protect them. The easiest way to identify one is that it has a silver lining in the back differentiated from the other’s which have no silver lining at all.
Even though gorillas are strong and have big bodies, they tend to stay out of trouble and often will make a lot of noise when disturbed instead of getting aggressive.All this can be discovered in any of our gorilla tours to bwindi national park
African Secrets limited is a registered safari company which is a member of AUTO and widely recognized and appreciated. We have pioneered in offering the best gorilla safaris in east Africa and surrounding countries. Our mission is to help you have a magical gorilla trekking that you will not be offered by any other tour company. Interact with us for any tour packages that you are interested in and we shall not hesitate to get back to you. Gorillas are shy and quiet. They communicate to each other by hooting, growling, chest beating, sticking out their tongue and so much more actions.

This communication is used to teach the young survival skills like how to hunt for food and get along with other gorillas in the jungle.
When gorillas retire for the night, they make nests made out of leaves and other plant materials. It is for that reason that when researchers are estimating a gorilla population, they do it by counting the nests.

At African Secrets, Our passion driven tour consultants are there for you from the planning stages of your fascinating gorilla tour until your departure. We’ll meet you at the airport help you check in to your hotel, and give you an expert introduction to the impenetrable gorilla park. While there, we ensure that you see more than you expected with the safety of our guides and porters and will be satisfied.

gorilla safari
gorilla safaris
Uganda gorilla safaris

          Uganda trips , a destination to Recon with..        

Shortly after we arrived in Uganda in 2005, was the Bellamy family who first ventured an attempt to look for us in Africa. Now, six years later, they once again that our stay in Uganda to visit a close.

This time we take them to a relatively unknown territory: the land of the Karamojong. Through Murchison Falls National Park - with a delicious Wine & Cheese Sunset Cruise on the Nile and overnight at the luxurious Chobe Safari Lodge - drive to Kitgum. This is the last stop for one of the most remote but most beautiful parks in Africa: Kidepo Valley National Park .
The extreme rainfall of the past month, especially the roads in the north very badly affected. Trucks that get stuck and block the passage, spontaneous and rivers are not uncommon. Also in the park, the trails passable poorly or completely flooded, causing sliding and dancing sometimes we try to follow the path. And the long grass on either side also makes the vision did not improve.More information on Murchison falls national park.

Nevertheless, the breathtaking scenery and we know a great game drive. Even the swollen river Narus does not stop us, though we forced our way on a different route because the water level has risen by now so that we do not would keep feet dry. More information on Queen Elizabeth national park.

By Lira, we continue our journey south to Sipi Falls, we come out. The otherwise rather narrow waterfall is now twice as wide and with a tremendous force of the water thunders down between the rocks. From Lacam Lodge in the afternoon we walk to the other two Sipi Falls, where we have small houses, many children and lush fields pass by in the background the always stunning views across the valley Karamojong.

Uganda gorilla safari

Mountain gorilla safari packages

Gorilla safari packages

East African Safari

          Wine tourism to boast tourism in South Africa in 2020.: Safari Uganda , Kenya , Rwanda        

It’s too amazing to see that many countries the have the kenya safari are pouring large amount of money in wine projects yet this is just one example of the growth that is being seen around the world in wine tourism. Wine tourism is expanding in most major wine growing regions, including France, Spain, Germany, Italy, the U.S., South Africa, and Australia.

Besides, South Africa is working towards positioning itself as one of the world's top 20 travel destinations by 2020, the local wine and tourism industry are uniting to present the country's first specialist wine tourism exhibition, Vindaba and the Kenya tour.This resulted from the backing effort of national and provincial government, and Vindaba will be showcasing the best in South African wine-related tourism when it is held in Cape Town in September 2012, targeting the local and international travel trade as well as wine, travel and lifestyle media.

Wine Tourism is known world wide that very most travellers in any Namibia safaris prefer taking wine while on there vacation holidays and also many scholars have written different books with different definitions. According to an Australian researchers Hall and Macionis. They define wine tourism as "visitation to vineyards, wineries, wine festivals, and wine shows for which grape wine tasting and/or experiencing the attributes of a grape wine region are the prime motivating factors for visitors." we have the rwanda gorilla trekking This definition is useful because it encompasses the various venues most frequently sought by wine tourists, and highlights the fact that there are different reasons visitors go to a wine region.

Also the South Africa Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk identified wine tourism as one of the fastest-growing and most lucrative sectors of the global tourism market. Get to visit the gorillas in Africa as the Vindaba, which marks a new spirit of collaboration among tourism bodies, is intended as a launching pad to position South Africa on the world map of wine tourism.

Currently, Cape Wine is considered the most successful international wine trade show in the Southern Hemisphere, the masai mara safari and has been held every alternate year since 2000 with the exception of last year, given South Africa's hosting of the 2010 Fifa World Cup.Next year's Cape Wine will be the first in four years and will thus provide an important opportunity for the industry to update its markets on new developments.Such as the It is expected that some 320 wineries will exhibit.

Although cape wine 2012 is conceived as a stand-alone event, it will be staged simultaneously at the Cape Town Convention Centre. Cape Wine also as we get ready for the masai mara tour , hosted biennially by Wosa, exhibits a wide spectrum of South Africa's wines and wine styles to the international wine trade, from buyers to importers and sommeliers in important export markets. It also attracts wine, travel and lifestyle media.

More so, both events will be staged as eco-friendly exhibitions, making use exclusively of recycled and recyclable materials. South Africa is already recognized as a world leader in eco-sustainable wine production. Now it plans to establish a similar reputation for wine tourism by marketing Vindaba as a "green" initiative.

Van Schalkwyk has identified South Africa's wine tourism as central to marketing the country as an attractive long-haul destination. Speaking at a tourism stakeholder workshop in April, he said: along with gorillas and Chimpanzees we have "Wine tourism is a vital product offering in South Africa's tourism product as it helps improve the country's competitiveness against destinations like Brazil, Australia, Kenya and Thailand.” Though Australia has a highly developed wine tourism industry, many of its wine regions are located far apart, unlike South Africa where production is concentrated mostly in the Western Cape.3 day gorilla safari tour

Not only will the two exhibitions feature many of the same producers, but there are other common links. Queen Elizabeth national park , South Africa has been steadily building a domestic and global awareness for the range and excellence of its wines and is now considered a significant wine-producing country. With provenance playing such a strategic role in wine marketing, it makes sense to advance wine-related tourism, so wine lovers are actively encouraged to visit the source of the products they enjoy.Murchison falls national park

          Rwanda and Uganda gorilla tour packages        

Mountain gorilla safari trekking is a challenging activity; therefore you must be physically fit. 8 people are permitted per group per day and a total of eighteen (24) people are taken in Bwindi, while six (8) people are allowed for Nkuringo group that can be accessed in Kisoro. So far, we have four groups for viewing. There are three groups in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, (Mubare, Habinyanja, and Rushegura) and one (Nkuringo) in Kisoro.

Gorilla safari is possible in Rwanda as well. Parc National des Volcans (PNV) in Northern Rwanda is a habitat for about 300 mountain gorillas. There are four habituated gorilla families - Amahoro, "Group 13", Sabinyo and Susa - each of the groups allows up to 8 participants per day. You can tracking Mountain gorillas, climb the Visoke volcano, track the golden monkeys or visit the Karisoke Research Centre, which Dian Fossey the famous grammatologist set up, or visit local villages.

Gorilla Trecking Permits in Uganda
-Non residents pay USD 500.
-East African Residents pay USD 355
It’s advisable to book gorilla permits well in advance prior to your visit.
As your tour agent, ASL shall handle all your bookings for Gorilla permits both for Bwindi and Mgahinga.

Gorilla trekking rules should be adhered to. Read rules
Non Governmental Organizations involved in the conservation ofGorillas include:
The Dianney Fossey Foundation
International Gorilla Conservation Program.
Africa Wildlife Foundation: http://www.awf.org/

          Uganda Safari Guidelines        
Uganda and Rwanda Safari Travel Guide

Best Time to Visit Uganda

Uganda is generally warm all year around and its position on the Equator explains the seasonal temperature variations. However, you should check out on the seasons if you are planning to visit national parks because some roads become almost impassable during the rain season. Usually the rains come in April, May, October and November. During these months uganda safari camping is not an option and hiking as it is, is an uphill task during the rains.

Paper Work Necessary

You will need a valid passport that is not yet to expire at least for six months of the date on which you intend to leave Uganda. Should your passport be lost or stolen, it will be easier to get a replacement if you have a photocopy of important pages.Namibia safari guide

If you are intending to drive while in Uganda, you will need an international driver’s license together with your original license.Even Most of the will ask for those original forms of identification.
An international health certificate indicating your Yellow fever status and other vaccinations like for Cholera. Uganda tour packages
Carry photo copies of your important documents and if possible leave copies of these documents with close relatives. Carry copies of your emergency numbers incase need arises.Botswana safari


All foreign entrants require Visas at the entry points. The good news is that these Visas can be obtained from the Uganda Embassies in your countries of origin or on entry to the country. Visa rulings are prone to any changes so all visitor are required to check with their embassies or high commissions before coming to the country.Rwanda tours


The main entry point for air travelers is Entebbe international Airport. Entebbe is 40km from Kampala the capital city of Uganda. The terminal is operated by most big International Airlines like BA, KLM, SN Brussels, United Arab Emirates, South African Air, Flights to Kenya ,Kenya Airways and many other Airlines. All the above mentioned Airlines have their offices in Kampala and at the airport, just incase you need any information concerning these airlines, they are always to there to help.

Getting to Kampala

A private taxi from the air port to the Uganda’s city centre in Kampala costs around USD30. The other alternative is to get a motor cycle commonly know as Boda Boda and it drops you in Entebbe town where you will have to board a 14 seater taxi that will charge around 2-3 dollar depending on the prevailing rate. A car for hire in Uganda can go between 70 - 100 dollars per day.


Meals are served in various restaurants in the towns and some small trading centers here and there in Uganda. The dishes range from local dishes to international cuisines and fast foods. These meals are very affordable with prices ranging from 2$-10$ and above depending on the place you decide to settle for your meal. Seeing gorillas in Africa

Bottled and canned beverages are on sale in shops, restaurants and bars every where, be cautious while taking drinking water because it’s not completely safe, Rwanda gorilla tours I rather you only take bottled mineral water.

Fruits are every where in the markets and are in most cases fresh produces right from the gardens. Vegetables are also in plenty and vegetarian meals can be prepared on order.

Tanzania safari tours

          A tour in Uganda Or Rwanda , Done by yourself        
Doing a tour by yourself ?

Do it your self Uganda tour
This is perceived by many to be an easy and cheap way to self organize a tour/ rwanda safari.
Organizing a tour requires a lot of paper work which involves tailor making a safari, organizing transport to your destinations, selecting your suitable accommodations, looking for available accommodation and booking/paying for it, booking/paying for permits where applicable, locating your destinations if you have never been to these places.

However, to do this and not be cheated would require you to do serious research on which destinations to visit rwanda gorillas , when to visit them, which accommodation is available, which accommodation is affordable and which accommodation has what you want. Apart from that you will have to run around looking for transport, a map and permits if applicable, during this period you are bound to be conned in term of exchange rates or even hiked prices or fares.

3 day Rwanda tours
Book your tour with the right tour operator and will have saved your self going through all that hassle and will only have to enjoy your dream safari without remorse. Such a Tour Operator will carry the burden of getting you Accommodation, Transporting to your Destination, designing your itinerary, providing you with an appropriate guide and make sure your tour is a total success. Mountain gorilla tours

          Uganda's Beautiful Scenery should be Experienced        

Once you think that the typical Africa countryside can’t offer you rolling bright green hills, snow capped mountains, misty forests and deep crystal clear lakes then you haven't been to Uganda. Though Uganda is a small country, it offers all of this and a lot more white water rafting, gorilla tracking, game viewing and some of the best trekking in Africa. Most outstandingly, the country has friendly and relaxed locals with unique cultural traditions which can’t make you ask for any thing more from an exotic holiday destination. Uganda safari

The country boasts areas of outstanding natural beauty compared to other African countries. That’s why Sir Churchill called Uganda “The Pearl of Africa”. One looking for a good first stop for a couple of days of relaxation, Jinja near Kampala is a quiet town with a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere and also, the home of Uganda's white water rafting industry. The rafting is awesome and they claim more grade five rapids than the more famous Zambezi rafting. It is a full day's entertainment with the rafting rounded off by an excellent meal near the river. Besides, the source of the Nile is also in Jinja so doesn’t miss out on the visit to the plaque marking the spot where the Nile leaves Lake Victoria on its long, long journey to the sea. 3 days gorilla safari tours

However, Uganda is blessed with lakes, variety of wildlife,Primates,Birds and Mountains like Mount Rwenzori ( The Mountains of the Moon) , Mount Elgon sharing it with Kenya on the Eastern Border, Mount Moroto in the Karamajong Region and Mount Mufumbira where you will find the world famous Mountain Gorilla. To the part of Lakes, Uganda is the source of Lake Victoria that is shared with Kenya and Tanzania. This lake is the third largest lake in the whole world. It’s the source of River Nile which is also the longest River in the world. Apart from Uganda Lakes and Mountains, you will be surrounded by stunning scenery from the moment you arrive in Uganda at Entebbe International Airport to the time you leave.

Still Uganda offers one of the travellers "must do" excursions, which is fabulous for example gorilla tracking trip. There are two options - Mgahinga and Bwindi both in the Southwest and Bwindi, in the impenetrable forest has got the highest population off mountain Gorillas in the world. In terms of security, a huge effort has been made to assure tourists of their safety and armed guards accompany every group.

Though East African game parks are famous, but Uganda’s game parks are more beautiful than those in other East African countries. Murchison Falls and Queen Elizabeth National Parks are the places to go. The campsite at Murchison Falls is just above the falls and is wonderfully located. It is also only accessible by 4WD cars for rent kampala and roads to the park are well constructed and improved. An excellent way to see the wildlife is to take a boat trip. There are huge numbers of birds in Uganda and in both parks there are so many hippos in the water that you feel as if you can step out of the boat and walk to the river bank on their backs, never getting your feet wet. It's wall to wall hippos with a few crocodiles circling nearby.

Another wonderful aspect of Uganda is the approach to community tourism that wherever accommodation you see is a community campsite and they are often conveniently located right outside park gates and all the benefits are at a fraction of the cost. In addition, you also know that you are giving something directly back to the community. It is a great opportunity to meet locals, share a beer and have a chat. When it comes to practical matters like food and drink, there are many options. Kampala is well equipped and the many roadside markets sell the most wonderful range of fruit and vegetables. They also sell interesting things like meat, or chicken, on a stick and plenty of Nile perch. Plantains are a stable food in Uganda anyone at a campsite, hotel, lodge will prepare a meal of matoke (mashed plantains) or anything else, for a very reasonable price. There is also plenty of beer available. Uganda gorilla trip gorillas and Chimps

If you are looking for a break that features contrasts and some of the best scenery the country has to offer then you should consider booking a place to visit Western Uganda. This is the place where you will see all about Uganda top destinations like the mountain gorilla trucking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and many other game parks. On your way to western Uganda, beginning in the south-western city of Masaka Town and winding its way through the Plains Lyantondde to Mbarara, you will see all the sights that make Uganda a world-class tourist destination. rwanda gorilla tour vacations

Once you leave Mbarara area, you will be greeted by a cold landscape of mountains, gushing streams, as well as forests rather than green terraces and sorghum fields of Kabale and Kisoro Districts. This will signal the beginning of your journey into the Pearl of Africa and you can look forward to your next stop in the town of Kabale and Kisoro. 5 day rwanda gorilla safari
Leaving the mountains behind the meandering rural roads. The journey will also bring you to Queen Elizabeth national park where you will meet the tree climbing lions of Ishasha and the pictures of Lake Edward, Lake George and Kazinga Channel. Uganda rwanda safari

Above all, Uganda offers an experience that is as varied and exciting as you want it to be. What you see and experience are only limited by your imagination and sense of adventure so don't let anything put you off discovering a place that truly is the Pearl of Africa and which ever ways you decide to spend your days in Uganda, you are sure to leave feeling relaxed and refreshed. gorilla tours in rwanda

          Restoration of the Kasubi Tombs        

The famous Uganda Cultural site and the main burial ground place for the four previous Kings of Buganda known traditionally as Kabakas, are situated five kilometers away from Kampala city center on Kasubi hill. Historically, Buganda Kabakas have always built their palaces on strategic hills in order to find easy ways to escape during an invasion and to control the major roads to the palace. It’s also a centre for the Royal family and the Kabaka and his representative’s frequently carryout important rituals related to Ganda Culture, masai mara safari. The Kasubi tombs hill is divided into three main areas: the main tomb area located at the western end of the site, an area containing buildings and graveyards located behind the tombs, and a large area on the eastern side of the site used primarily for agricultural purposes.

To experience Buganda cultures in Uganda, there are several sites to look at like Katereke prison where the king imprisoned his brothers in a trench. Naggalabi coronation site, Buddo where the kabakas of Buganda have been crowned for the past 700 years. Wamala Tomb the secret burial place of Kabaka Suuna II (1836-1856) who had 148 wives and 218 Children. Namasole Kanyange Tombs where the mother to Kabaka Suuna II was buried. Ssezibwa Falls is a spiritual place for the kings and Baagalayaze Nnamasole Tombs where the mother of Kabaka Mwanga II was buried.

On 19 March 2010, one of the main culture sites of Buganda (Kasubi tombs) was burnt by fire. Some of the major buildings there were almost completely destroyed by fire, but the cause is still under investigation. Later the outraged Buganda Kingdom has vowed to rebuild the tombs of their kings and President Museveni said the national government of Uganda would assist in the restoration of the site. gorilla safari rwanda

As Buganda kingdom vowed, the restoration of Kasubi Royal Tombs should not be considered as a solely Buganda Kingdom's responsibility, the Trade and Tourism Minister, Maj. Gen. Kahinda Otafiire said. "I think time has come to work together to ensure the restoration of the tombs. Such assets are for all of us. It should be a pride for all Ugandans," Maj. Gen. Otafiire said during the launch of the SMS fundraising drive towards the tombs restoration in Kampala yesterday. Pledging total support towards the reconstruction of tombs, Maj. Gen. Otafiire condemned its burning.

Under the new fundraising drive dubbed 'Ssaagala Agalamidde' mass SMS fundraising, any willing contributor will use his/her mobile phone to contribute Shs500 to the kingdom's treasury by typing the world 'Masiro' and send it to number 8885.Many Ugandans are participating in the SMS fundraising to ensure the restoration of the Kasubi tombs” Uganda’s best cultural site”.The Buganda Prime Minister, Eng. John Baptist Walusimbi, said Shs10 billion is required to rebuild the Kasubi Tombs and other 32 tombs across the kingdom.

Above all Uganda’s culture heritage is very strong for example many regions in Uganda have kingdoms including Buganda, Busoga, Bunyoro and Toro. Also Uganda has a remarkable hospitable and hails from a diversity of rich cultures and life styles. Each tribe has its own traditional dance like the banyankole perform their Kitaguriro dance, the Bunyoro have their Runyege, Acholi have the Bwila and Otole dances. The Alur people from the West Nile have the Agwal dance, Bagisu have the Imbalu dance during circumcission ceremonies. The country’s culture heritage led to the Kasubi tomb restoration. gorilla tour

          Student Packages Uganda        
Special itineraries for student and school education trips, visits, excursions, safaris and holidays from all over the world to Africa of all kinds of interest like art, music or languages, culture, and sports. The uganda tours are tailor suit, full of learning interests to life. Besides, Safaris are basically educational travel and tours for schools, learning institutions, alumni that are seeking quality and truly nature based learning tours that go beyond the morning and afternoon students.
Activities like White Water Rafting, Bungee Jumping in uganda , nature walks, Fishing, Quad Biking, Walking and Hiking Safari offer valuable learning experiences and lots of fun and our itineraries provide the right combination of adventure with education.
Terms & Conditions for Students Groups.

-Only groups are acceptable
- Minimum 2 students and above
-All students must carry their International Identity Students Cards
-It's purely a camping safari unless Lodge accommodations are requested
Day 1: Transfer with visit to Uganda Wildlife Center.

Day 2: Service work with Center staff of the Zoo and a visit to the botanical gardens.

Day 3: Transfer to Jinja with a visit to Sezibwa falls, Mabira forest, and source of the Nile.

Day 4: Full day whitewater rafting on the Nile.

Day 5: Morning visit to Soft Power projects, plus a visit to the Bujahgali Falls traditional owner palace.

Day 6: Quad biking uganda and afternoon community walk.

Day 7: Transfer to Murchison Falls National Park.

Day 8: Morning game drive and Afternoon boat cruise on the Nile River

Day 9: Morning chimp tracking and transfer back to Kampala
Day 10: Optional kampala City tour and departure
Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Transfer with an Excursion tour to Uganda Wildlife Center.

Past breakfast you will be picked and briefed by the company guide/representative who will take you through the safari and head to Uganda Wildlife center commonly known as the zoo. Expect to see a number of animals’ species available at UWEC such as; chimps, lion, Ostrich, Girafes, Zebras to mention but a few. It is worth visiting with your family members, friends since even the kids have a chance of closely glancing at these animals, studying their ways of living as well as how they relate with one another. This attraction is easily accessible and would ideally be convenient to a client that has got very limited time to spend. Have a lunch break, dinner and overnight at Central Inn (Budget), Travellers Inn (mid-range) and Imperial resort beach luxury.Masai mara holiday kenya

Day 2: Service work with Center staff of the Zoo and a visit to the botanical gardens. kenya family safari tour

After an early morning cup of tea, join the Zoo staff in service work like care and feeding of animals, and tree planting in communities. Have lunch, and then later visit the Entebbe botanical gardens for relaxation. Meals and overnight at Central Inn (Budget), Travellers Inn (mid-range) and Imperial resort beach luxury. hotels in kenya

Day 3: Transfer to Jinja with a visit to Sezibwa falls, Mabira forest, and source of the Nile.
Your will depart from Entebbe for a whole day exploration at Jinja a city best known of impressive flat rocks and it was previously the industrial capital of Uganda. However, expect to see variety of tourist attractions like Sezibwa falls, the source of the Nile, Rippon Falls, Bujahgali falls, and adrift campsite.

Later head east passing through coffee, Tea and Sugar plantations and the colorful roadside fruit/vegetable markets. The first stopover will be at Sezibwa Falls a Buganda uganda safarisHeritage site with great falls said to have been born by a woman, then Mabira Forest. Here you will be able to see the primates, birds and butterflies, and then continue to the source of the Mighty Nile. The Nile down river from Jinja which offers some superb white water rafting and sport fishing. Have lunch at Kingfishers Resort. This is the place to spend the afternoon relaxing.
There after, transfer to Bujagali Falls where different cultural activities take place like Acrobatic, jerry can swimmers, traditional Dances, waterfalls etc for an evening , gorilla trek in bwindi
After the exhilarating and memorial experience, your guide will then transfer you to your hotel for an overnight stay at Eden Rock (Budget), Nile pocth,(mid-range) Nile Resort hotel (Luxury)
Day 4: Full day whitewater rafting on the Nile. gorilla trekking holiday
African Secrets Ltd representative will meet you at your hotel at 07:00am and drive to the starting point for the activity at adrift campsite. White water rafting at the Source of the Nile is done on the powerful water rapids on the Nile and it’s an experience worth enjoying. Note: Clients do not need any previous rafting experience. The guide will instruct the client on all aspects of safety and will prepare them for an unforgettable experience. Rafting the Nile has 100% safety record and clients can enjoy the activity since they are very sure of safety. For the period of your trip you can try out Bungee Jumping as well. 3 days mountain gorilla safaris
The duration of the rafting experience ranges from 2hours, half day, or full day;
• One day rafting:
On this day rafting you will tackle all the big grade 5, rapids of the Nile for about 31 km.
• Half day rafting, if you are short of time. white water rafting uganda
• Two day rafting: This is the best rafting experience whereby you will raft for about 49km.Return for dinner and overnight at Eden Rock (Budget), Nile pocth,(mid-range) Nile Resort hotel (Luxury).
Day 5: Morning visit to Soft Power projects, plus a visit to the Bujahgali Falls traditional owner palace. rwanda primate safari
Past break fast, Visit Soft Power projects including a pre-pri. School and health Clinic.
Service learning with Soft Power Education to build or renovated Primary schools in Jinja area an activity which will teach you to help others and also share the school life experience with pupils in the schools visited. Return for lunch and later visit the palace of the Bujagali owner and learn more about the history and culture beliefs of the Bujagali fall. Dinner and overnight at Eden Rock (Budget), Nile pocth,(mid-range) Nile Resort hotel (Luxury). bwindi gorilla tours

Day 6: Quad biking and afternoon community walk.
Having taken a cup of tea or coffee to warm up for the morning, go for an Adventurous activity (guided quad biking) off the beaten track and into the warm heart of Uganda. Scenic rides through forests, farms and villages exploring the riverbanks from Bujagali Falls. Have lunch and latter visit the local community and learn more about African life style of people of the nearby community. Dinner and overnight at Eden Rock (Budget), Nile pocth,(mid-range) Nile Resort hotel (Luxury). 3 day gorilla safari
Day 7: Transfer to Murchison Falls National Park.

Depart Jinja, lunch enroute to Murchison falls National Park arrive Murchison fall afternoon; stop at the top of the falls. Dinner and overnight at the Paraa safari Lodge (Luxury), Sambiya river lodge (mid-range) Redchilli Rest camp/simba safari lodge (Budget) meal plan F/B.

Day 8: Morning game drive and Afternoon boat cruise on the Nile River 3 day

After breakfast, depart early at 070.00am Ugandan time to Murchison falls and drive through the beautiful country side through the famous Luwero triangle with a stop over for lunch. Then proceed to the park stopping at the top of the falls, where the longest river is forced through a narrow gap in the rock (only 7 meters wide), before viciously plunging down 43 meters. During the activity, you will also have a game view experience on the way. Animals like buffalos, hippos, elephants will be seen mentioned but a few.
Overnight at a Luxurious Paraa Safari Lodge/Midrange Sambiya River lodge/Budget Red Chili Camp (Full Board)
Day 9: Morning chip tracking and transfer back to Kampala.
After breakfast, proceed to Budongo forest, a dense natural forest, passing through Bugungu gate with packed lunch. Take a forest walk through the dense tropical rain forest. On the walk you may see different primate species such as chimpanzees, monkeys among others. Have packed lunch and then return to Kampala arriving in the late evening. Dinner and overnight at New city hotel (Budget), Africana hotel (mid-range), Serena hotel (Luxury).
Day 10: Optional City tour and departure. gorilla tours

Depart from your hotel past breakfast and our experienced guide will pick you from your hotel or residence and take you through the sights and sounds of this hilly city. Meet people renown for their friendliness and visit cultural sites. The tour can include the Uganda museum, Kasubi Tombs, Makerere University, Nakasero market, craft markets, Namirembe Cathedral, Kibuli Mosque, Kabakas Lake, Baagalayaze cultural center and Ndere Center for entertainment depending on the time you have. There after, transfer to the Airport to catch up with your home flight. safari uganda

Safari Inclusions
Our attractive Price includes:
- Full time transportation throughout the safari.
- All meals from Breakfast to dinner.
-All accommodation as per itinerary
-Activities as per itinerary
- Bottled Water during the Walks
-Park Entrance Fees
-Experienced English guide
-Airport transfers
Safari Exclusions
-Gratuity or tips and expenditure of personal nature
-Airport taxes, visa, insurance
-Airfare to Uganda

          Kenya Leopard Beach Hotel& Spa wins an Award        
The beaches of Kenya offer you an unending scope to enjoy yourself the way you
want. Relax in isolation, walk in the water, play with sand, party till the
early hours, admire the beauty of the surroundings or indulge in water sports -
do anything, the choice is entirely yours.kenya safaris africa The vast stretches of sea water have
a unique ability to carry away all your worries and heartaches along with its
waves. You can also watch the sun rise and set far in the horizon and appreciate
the beauty that is reflected as a reflection in the water kenya hotels.

And for all those who are more adventurous and yearn for a lot of challenging
activities, the beaches have plenty of options to choose from. Swim along with
the waves of the beach water or dive deep into the water to discover a
magnificent and colourful Water Sports Centre - offering windsurfing, kite
surfing, kayaking, pedelos and catamarans for hire or tuition Big game fishing
,Glass-bottom boat trip in the world. houses for sale in nairobi kenya

Due to the tranquil environment with abundant greenery around is just perfect to
relax and refresh ,Kenya's Leopard Beach Resort & Spa has won the 2010 World
Travel Awards Africa & Indian Ocean award in the Best Resort category at the
ceremony which took place last week in Johannesburg, South Africa had over 1,000
global tourism industry participants. Chris Modigell the representative of
Leopard Beach Resort & Spa said Kenya is gaining good tourism reputation from
such award though the country still faces considerable challenge from South
Africa as a favourable tourism destination due to infrastructure development.
However, he concluded that that the above challenge can be solved by providing
better customer service to tourists. tours in uganda

Unlike the very common and predictable experiences of living in a hotel, leopard
Beach Resort & Spa is a refreshing change for visitors of Beach Tourism in
Kenya. Accommodation occupancy of the beach hotels to the tourists that come to
Kenya all year around has become a prevalent practice at the beach hotels. The
major factor that sets leopard Beach Resort & Spa apart from hotels is the
bewitching experience of privacy, rwanda safari , space and personalized service. It fulfills gorilla tours your needs and desires for tranquility and peace. The experience of spending
your days and nights at leopard is not at all different than the feeling of
home. Everything in the leopard beach hotel & Spa is personalized for your
convenience and comfort. kenya safari

The gardens at Leopard Beach Hotel are beautifully landscaped over 30 acres and
immaculately maintained which give an even greater ambience. The room blocks are
dotted around the carefully planned gardens and look almost invisible. This
makes you feel like you are in a smaller secluded hotel. Almost at the end of
the big renovation project, the resort will soon launch their Uzuri Health Spa
and Fitness Forest at the back of the Hotel. kenya tourist attractions

Still, Leopard Beach Resort will be surrounded by 6 acres of indigenous forest
and promises to offer only the best treatments and therapies available. They
have tried to make the resort as comfortable as possible and offer the little
things which other hotels do not, like the Tutti Frutti Ice Cream parlour down
near the beach. Pizzas are part of the culture of the place and they serve
possibly the best pizza in Kenya. They also host a wide variety of activities
from a PADI 5 star dive centre to golf, tanzania safari which can be enjoyed at Dotted
throughout the vast 25 acres of magnificent tropical gardens are a total of 158
rooms, cottages and suites (90 standard rooms, 48 sea-facing superior rooms, 10
Chui class cottages, 7 suites and 2 superior suites and 5 honeymoon suites and 2
executive suites). We highly recommend the honeymoon suites with their sunken
baths! gorilla safari rwanda The executive suites have Jacuzzi baths and amazing power showers. The
above facilities together with the Beach Resort Hotel Restaurant offer you the
fine dining at its finest and perfect for that romantic meal. For lunch, sample
stir-fries at gorilla safari uganda , Coco Mchana on Coco Beach or try the Italian specialty restaurant
– Pizza ‘n' Pasta Tornati and whatever eatable you would wish to have. Dinners
are equally exciting with a blend of local cultural shows every night including
the famous Maasai dances, uganda gorilla safari live bands and acrobats. Evening entertainment
includes a disco overlooking the ocean, traditional African dancing and weekly
BBQ's around the pool.

In brief a beach and wildlife tour in will provide every kind of thing to enjoy,
from isolation and opportunity for introspection to action and fun. Take a beach
trip and wildlife safari Kenya and experience what makes the beaches and
wildlife in Kenya attractive to so many tourists.construction companies uganda

          Rwanda’s Cultural tourism is the Key investment Sector        

It is a well-known fact that tourism can be a deadly antagonist as much as a firm friend in the matter of development. Considering the economic might of the tourist industry now gorilla safari regarded as the biggest in the world ahead of automobiles and chemicals, careful attention should be paid to culture in order to progressive strategies which are vitally needed in order to prepare the ground for genuinely progressive international, regional and local tourism development gorilla trekking uganda .

Besides, cultural travel directed towards experiencing the arts, heritage and special character of unique places includes arts (galleries, rwanda travel guide studios, performing and visual arts), Cultural activities (festivals, celebrations, and rituals), events and physical heritage, building and environment. While reconsidering the relationship between tourism and cultural diversity, tourism and intercultural dialogue, and tourism and development, the Organization (UNESCO) proposes to contribute to the fight against poverty, gorilla safari rwanda protection of the environment and mutual appreciation of cultures.

Considering cultural development, Rwanda will, next week, host the Commonwealth investment conference, ahead of the 7th Edition of the Pan African Dance Festival (FESPAD 2010) that will be staged in July. This is a result of Rwanda being an attractive investment destination and both forums present an opportunity. uganda gorilla safaris , Apart from breaking into new markets, the events will enhance business openings for Rwandans since they facilitate gainful partnerships

However, the Rwandan business community will be accorded , rwanda gorilla safari , opportunity to forge new partnerships with business leaders from around the world since approximately 31 African countries are expected to attend, as well as China, Japan, Vietnam, France and Spain.

By promoting the rich Rwandan uganda gorilla safari , cultural heritage, the country shall attract both investors and tourists. The traditional dances and dress are world class, and our museums have a powerful story to tell. There is no doubt that Rwanda's tourism sector has been very kenya safari successful, but there are areas that have not been exhaustively exploited.

The country can cut itself a niche in the region by aggressively promoting its arts and culture which will rank Rwanda as the best cultural destination in Africa. houses for sale in kampala uganda

          NAFA to make lawful forestry strategy        

Environmental safari uganda issues affect every life on this planet from the smallest parasite to the human race. The reason for this is simple. A single disruption in the Earth’s delicate balance can mean certain destruction of the very place that cradles the lives of many species. What is not so simple is finding alternatives to the now dangerous and confronting acts of planet degradation that have been afflicted on the planet over recent years. One such issue that requires consideration is deforestation. gorilla safari rwanda Trees have been or are being cut down at increasingly high rates. If this is not stopped many unfavorable side effects could result.

At the moment, Falling of trees for Timber has contributed to deforestation in some parts of the Rwanda. In order to manage forest resources and optimize their economic and ecological functions in a sustainable manner, uganda tours the National Forestry Authority (NAFA) is currently drafting a new three-year strategic plan to be implemented. The plan was revealed when speaking to officials in the forestry sector during a workshop held in Kigali. The Minister of Forestry and Mineral Resources, rwanda safari Christophe Bazivamo, said that the underlying goal of the strategy is to increase institutional support to forestry stakeholders as well as raise public awareness of the importance of forests.

“When someone wants to start a farm, he or she easily clears or burns away part of forest cover without evaluating the impact this might cause,” Bazivamo said. “The forestry sector must get due attention and support it needs so that we can all have a safe and beneficial environment”.

He also noted that the government perceives environmental protection as one priority area that is a strong pillar to sustainable development of the country. “Through the National Forestry Fund, the government directly gorilla trekking supports and replenishes the sector. This goodwill and commitment it shows must flow into the public so that they can utilize forests in a conservative manner,” he said.

Also, new forestry strategy will support the implementation of several plans with an aim of improving the management of forest resources. gorilla trekking bwindi Said the Director General of NAFA, Frank Rutabingwa.

“In the next 3 years, we will seek to increase the area and diversity of national forest resources through agro-forestry research as well as carry out forestry education in schools and communities,” Rutabingwa said.

More so, he added that NAFA will train and support farmers to engage in agro-forestry and forestry seed business.” Chimpanzee tours uganda Our strategy will pursue the same overall goal of the forest policy, which aims to make the forestry sector one of the bedrocks for sustainable economic development of the country,” This effort will improve on the level of eco tourism conservation in Rwanda hence leading to the development kenya hotels and kenya travel guide of Rwanda’s Tourism Sector in general.

          Gorilla Visit Increase in Rwanda        

Mountain gorilla tracking in is hard work up steep slopes, through fascinating and a wide number of Tourists across the world travel to Africa to meet the great apes. Besides, one of the tourist who got in touch with the great apes twice had this to say. Uganda safaris , “Having met the Gorilla family twice I feel as if they are my family so you can imagine my joy when I saw that they had a another child”.

Thus, the recent tourist arrival statistics and reports from the Rwanda Development Board, which is in the office of Rwanda Tourism and conservation has released a report indicating a growth in the number of gorilla safari tourist to Rwanda just in the first quarter of this year.

The Statistics Offer Joel Rudasingwa uganda safari packages noted that it’s because of the improvement in the financial state of the world, which will heal the global financial crisis and later impact positively on its trend towards recovery which led to this increase.

"The great decrease was observed in the first semester of 2009, which can be attributed to the global financial crisis, which put many countries in recession,” masai mara safari packages However, from July to September 2009 which is the high season, gorilla visits surpassed 156 people every day. Meanwhile, official statistics from Rwanda Development Board indicate that in the first quarter of 2010 gorilla visits have generated Rwf1.2 billion with about 4,000 visitors comparing to last year same period. gorilla trekking

Rwanda boasts of almost 280 gorillas in total with Uganda and DR Congo having a good number of the primates since gorillas are very rare species in the world. According to the United Nations Environment Programme, only 700 mountain gorilla tracking are left in the whole world. Above all, Tourism is Rwanda's leading export earner ahead of tea and coffee. The sector contributes about 3.5 percent to the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and it is expected to account for 5.8 percent of the GDP by 2016.

Gorilla trekking generates the highest revenues in visits to Rwanda's three national parks. It is believed that about 85 percent of visitors to the Volcanoes National Park are attracted by gorilla trekking experience. Young rwanda gorillas , from three to six years old, remind human observers of children. Much of their day is spent in play, climbing trees, chasing one another, and swinging from branches. The fun the gorillas shouldn’t be what you can miss in life. houses for sale in kampala uganda

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The Ugandan Parliament in Kampala decided to give immediate attention to poor infrastructures in the whole of East African Region. ‘The poor infrastructure in the region needed immediate attention and the problem of infrastructure in East Africa is a matter of survival, especially electricity, the roads and railway” uganda safari company said the Uganda president.

He went a head and told Parliament that the UPDF had set up an engineering brigade with capacity to carry out engineering tasks, including building infrastructure.
We shall use them to build the railway. I talked to the army engineers and they said it is okay,” he disclosed.

Museveni emphasized that if the colonialists used rudimentary tools to construct the railway line used in East Africa today, the army was in a better position with better technology. This idea was supported by other East African presidents through which the Railway line passes. Mr. Odinga did not see the need for the study estimated to cost Sh800 million with Kenya’s contributing over Sh600 million. His view was shared by the Uganda minister for Works and Transport John Nasasira.gorilla safaris in uganda “We are not here for fun or mere drama. We know that Kenya is strategically placed to serve as the transport hub for the region.” The Permanent Meeting (PM) called for the delegations from the two countries to show the will and power to undertake the project saying it will help interconnect the Eastern Africa region.

The views from other East African delegates show unity and joint effort towards the rebuilding programmes of the Uganda Railway. gorilla safaris in rwanda

The EALA, led by its speaker, Abdirahin Abdi, is holding the 3rd meeting of the 2nd assembly in Kampala from February 7 to 19.
It is expected to pass resolutions on the East African Community Tourism Bill 2008, the Election Bill 2008 and Lake Victoria Basin Commission Bill 2007.

The opening was attended by Ugandan MPs, who occupied the opposition side of the House as Museveni appealed to the EAC partners to look into the issue of energy as a major factor in the development of the region.
Additionally,gorilla safari rwanda the Uganda president said electricity power generation was so low that it could not sustain development in the region.
He said the US generates 14,000 kilowatts per hour, while African countries generate only 12 kilowatts per hour.
Museveni explained that Uganda faced resistance from developments partners in developing power dams. He, however, assured the country that even without foreign aid; Uganda could build its own power stations.

“We are now aiming at generating about 17,000 megawatts in the next 15 years. This will give us 3,000 kilowatts per hour,” he said. ssese island safari
Museveni reiterated the need to fast-track the East African federation, so that the member states have a position by 2012.
“I am glad that there is compromise on this issue, but more needs to be done to ensure it is implemented.”

He urged member states to facilitate their citizens to process their goods and add value to them before putting them on the expanded regional market that includes Southern Sudan, DR Congo and the south africa safari Central African Republic.
He said Uganda had responded to the increased demand by producing more. “We got a bumper harvest of maize. As a result, prices have now come down,” he said.
“We need to deal with storage and processing of maize, so that the farmers don’t have to sell desperately at the time of plenty. This may force them to exit maize growing,” gorilla trekking uganda yet in the tourism sectors farmers are the major suppliers of agriculture products and if prices of the products are too low, that will lead to low production in Agriculture hence leading to low supply of Agriculture products to the tourism sector.

The ministries of finance and agriculture have devised means of how they can solve the problem in order to ensure constant supply of Agriculture products to the entire country sector. Said the president.
Abdi hailed the political leadership in the region for agreeing on the common market protocol.
He lauded Museveni for the effort to improve household incomes through modern agriculture and education.

More so, there are comments from the public listeners which can add value to the Government proposal of rebuilding the Uganda Railway and also ease travel movements for tourists from one country to the other and from one destination to the other. In terms of railway technology, the government should not go the British way but the French one. The French have the best and most efficient railway transport system in the world.uganda safaris adventures For example in some cities Lyon and Marseille are connected by the TGV (High velocity trains). Marseille which is about 780 km from Paris is only 3hrs. Imagine traveling from Mombasa to Kampala at that speed? So Mr. Government is advised to get the best technology around and not be blinded by colonial fidelity. bwindi gorilla trek The British are "out" when it comes to trains.

This can make travel very easy and it can reduce traffic congestion since there other transport alternatives which move at the same pace like others. Therefore for any person traveling or hopping to visit East Africa, transport shouldn’t be your worry.

Norway to support Eco-Tourism sites Conservation in Uganda trough Tree planting. masai mara safari

It is a surprising fact that Uganda has excellent growing conditions to support commercial tree growth. With good management and the adoption of intensive silvicultural practices, growth rates can match the best in the world and timber plantations can offer a solid return on investment. queen elizabeth safari This is due to the reason that Uganda has substantial areas of land suitable for timber plantations as shown by the silvicultural map of Uganda. This land is either in CFRs or is privately owned land. Long-term leases for tree planting are available in many CFRs: the first licenses for tree planting were issued by the NFA in mid 2005. Potential investors must realize, however, that the areas are more suited to pines than Eucalypts, being in hotter, drier areas. gorilla safaris in bwindi

Additionally, it was estimated that on average in Uganda it will cost around Ushs1.5 M per hectare (US$ 730) to establish a plantation. This cost covers all expected costs up to canopy closure (i.e. when the trees canopies in adjacent rows touch and shade out the ground vegetation) - which is around 3 years with Pinus caribaea, gorilla trekking bwindi 1-2 years with E. grandis. Costs will differ significantly on different sites and also depending on the supervision and level of skills of the labour. Other factors that can influence establishment costs are the scale of the planting, the level of mechanizations and the timing and frequency of key operations especially weeding. Within less than two years private planters learning quickly learning from their mistakes and they have real improved in the tree planting field.

However, due to the Uganda potential of planting trees the Norwegian Private Forest Growers (NORSKOG) has signed a partnership with the Uganda Timber Growers Association (UTGA) to support commercial timber growing with the aim of protecting forests which will conserve the natural beauty of Uganda hence promoting the Uganda’s Tourism Sector as the conservation saying goes “leave nothing, bwindi gorilla tracking safari uganda Touch nothing when you visit a destination.

The partnership was signed by NORSKOG director Arne Rora and the UTGA chairman, Robert Nabanyumya in Mpigi on Friday.
Rora said that the partnership was aimed at developing UTGA for the provision of services to the private and public sectors for sustainable management and utilization of plantation forests.

According to Nabanyumya, the association’s objective is to make quality products that are acceptable on the international market.
He also added on and said the association supplied improved seedlings to its members and lobbied for information, experience on tree growing, and advocacy for better land tenure security.

During the function, Norwegian ambassador Bjorg Leite said Uganda, being part of the global warming regions, needed to encourage more timber growers to protect forests.
“People can use this project to earn some money,” she added.kenya uganda safari

Leite lamented that more than half of Uganda’s forests had been cleared thus affecting climate, tourism and wildlife. There fore, the tourism industry is likely to benefit a lot from this partnership since it promotes conservation for eco-tourism sites like National parks and forest reserves. fishing safari uganda


True Uganda

Many people think of Africa as one country and those that know Uganda know it because of Idi Amin, HIV and AIDS, and Civil War. Truthfully speaking, there are people who haven’t even heard about the existence of Uganda. Uganda safaris

In July this year I had friends who were coming to Uganda for Charity. Everything was set for them so I though they needed not to worry about anything. I was shocked when I received a mail from them asking me very many question just to be sure that they are safe. uganda safari prices

They wanted to know whether they needed to carry beddings, plates, whether the house where they were going to stay had any windows and Doors. This is because only bad news is news. The good news never reaches the outside world. gorilla safari uganda
What you hear about Uganda is that only deadly diseases make up Uganda. Every insect in Uganda gives you a different disease! The mosquito gives you malaria; the tsetse fly gives you sleeping sickness. Not only insects do harm you. The freshwater snail gives you bilharzia. And if the yellow and dengue fever don’t get you, Aids or any other disease will for sure. gorilla safari rwanda

Uganda has got extraordinary natural richness and cultural diversity, as well as the talents and abilities of the people - all bestowed as a gift to the world. “Nature " is seen as the giver of Uganda’s uniqueness- dependent on human protection to preserve its uniqueness for future generations. gorilla tours uganda Uganda is a beautiful country where lovely, polite, and incredibly humorous people are not so different from other people in other countries. gorilla trekking rwanda

Uganda is home to many of God’s greatest creations. Uganda’s unrivalled collection of protected areas, endless lakes, rivers, waterfalls and wetlands makes it a lush tropical haven. Sprawling across both sides of the equator, a network of 10 National Parks and several other protected areas offers you a thrilling opportunity to experience Uganda’s biodiversity. tanzania safaris

Uganda is one of the continent's most beautiful countries, boasting a wide variety of scenery, culture and wildlife.kenya safari packages

Its reputation as 'Africa's friendliest country' is not only accredited to its likeable people, but also to its redevelopment as an eco-friendly environment, with the enlightened management of 10 national parks, and its introduction of eco-tourism projects, adventure sports and unique gorilla-trekking opportunities that have put the country as a gift to the World. masai mara safari kenya

Promotion of Uganda at international level is required because there is little understanding of a true Uganda.

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          River Musamya a victim of drought and encroachment        

River Musamya is famously known as “Gold for Bugerere” by residents and native of Kayunga and Mukono because of its numerous values is on the verge of extinction due to encroachment by area residents.Primate safari rwanda

This river is a tributary of River Ssezibwa, it passes through the districts of Mukono and Kayunga to Lake Kyoga. Until 2006 when the river almost dried up due to the long drought, River Musamya was acting as a water catchment’s area and a source of water for irrigation and domestic use for people who live along it. Gorilla trekking uganda bwindi

According to the Kayunga District environment officer, Mr Patrick Musaazi, River Musamya Wetland was among the few areas where the crested crane is found. It was also a source of medicinal plants and raw materials like papyrus for making crafts. Above all, it was a habitat for many rare birds and animals. gorilla trekking rwanda volcanoes safari

Today, the residents from the near by villages which is a big blow to the tourism industry and the falling crest crane numbers.Queen Elizabeth safari

          Rhinos - Uganda        

By the Uganda safari reporter

Uganda is blessed once again in a row, after the Lions received early this year there is yet another contribution to our rich wildlife from our Kenya Wildlife partners. Kenya is to move some of its Rhinos to 4 countries of Uganda, Burundi, Ethiopia, and Rwanda in an effort to conserve the huge creatures. Kenya is blessed with 603 of the 709 rhinos in eastern Africa and Tanzania has almost all the remaining rhinos.gorilla safaris uganda

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Uganda lost a very significant number of its Rhinos to poaching and war in the 1970s and 80s. Like the White Rhino the black Rhino is also almost facing extinction which is the main reason why Kenya is distributing some among 4 neighboring countries to encourage rebreeding so that the Rhino populations can increase.

Uganda has a few black rhinos and only 2 white rhinos at UWEC that were imported from South Africa in the Early 2000. This is a very boosting gesture from Kenya because it will increase chances of the Black Rhino’s survival in Uganda.

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This conservation strategy will help in protecting the Rhinos in case of an epidemic in one country and is also aimed at increasing Rhino number to 3,000 Rhinos by 2039. With such projects coming up there is hope for our wildlife’s survival for many generations to come.

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          Bigodi a Million Dollar Swamp        

Bigodi is a swamp like any other swamp any where the world over, this swamp that has proved to be people’s sources of livelihood is found in Kibale.

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Many swamps in Uganda have been destroyed by selfish individuals looking at using them for personal gains and as a result the community and the nation at large end up at a loss.

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But this is not the case in Kibale, just next to Kibale Forest National Park is this Swamp called Bigodi, The name Bigodi is derived from a Rutooro word, kugodya, which means to walk unenthusiastically. It is said that when travelers reached Bigodi on foot, they were always too tired to continue into the forest thus resting there.

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Convincing the Bigodi natives to embark on the tourism initiative was not very easy as the elders thought that their sons were planning to rip them of their swamp. This was back in 1992 when the foundation of the now flourishing Bigodi swamp project was dug.

Bigodi wetland is an important area of biodiversity. It hosts eight species of primates and over 200 bird species. The most popular bird for tourists to view is the Great Blue Turaco (Corythaeola Cristata). The most common tree species are wild palm, rubber and fig trees and rafia palm which are widely used in making handicrafts. Some of the primates include; the ever elusive Sitatunga bushpig, Bushbuck, Otter Mongoose, Civet Cat and Chimpanzee

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As we talk now the locals are reaping millions of shillings every year from the swamp. It is a tourist site which has significantly improved their livelihood, for this they have a Shs150m Bigodi Secondary School constructed out of the revenue from the project. Added to the Secondary school is a nursery school, bridges, a road and many more business projects that have resulted from the swamp project.

Families have put up accommodation businesses in their homes, craft stalls and groups have come up, and some farmers sell their fresh produces (fruits & vegetables) to the lodges and the tourists which provide them with ready markets. Many of the families in Bigodi have also benefited from sponsorships given to some disadvantaged families by some generous tourists.

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The same swamp produces raw materials for the women group works which they make out of raffia and phoenix palm leaves. They also get color for their products last touches from the swamp, thanks to the Swamp project. They even export their products to Europe.

uganda gorillas
Thanks to the good management of the project by Kafred, the locals are supportive of the swamp tourism activities because their children are getting an education and some are even employed by Kafred and the Kibale National Park. Poaching has even stopped because the poachers themselves have turned into guides, who take tourists around through the swamp and the village for community walks.
This project is encouraging conservation that it has bought an extra-four-acre piece of land to make the primates inside the swamp feel comfortable and also to get the local population live at a distance from the swamp. If other communities that neighbor swamps would adopt such strategies like this one then our wildlife would be

gorilla tracking in uganda :: shoebill safari :: kigali city tour :: uganda travel guide :: uganda tour operators :: hotels in uganda :: uganda gorilla tours :: hotels in kampala ::

          The Next (Budget) Generation: Performance-Based Financing at Bayalpata Hospital        
Nyaya Health has always believed in working with the government of Nepal to achieve its goals. While individual donors have made up the bulk of Nyaya Health's financial assets, the Nepalese government has invested $35,000 per year since 2010 and recent budget negotiations have looked to increase government investment to $100,000 a year and more in the coming years. 

The idea for a new contract with the government, due to take effect mid-July, began when the Nepali Ministry of Health approached Nyaya Health to propose a pilot program for future funding of private-public partnerships in Nepal. For this year's contract, Nyaya Health's assets from the government will be dependent on the organization's performance on certain metrics. If Nyaya meets their targeted metrics, then they will receive increased funding the next cycle, but if they don't, their funding from the government will be cut by 20%. Performance based financing for NGOs has been tried in places such as Rwanda and Nicaragua, but this is the first attempt to implement performance based financing in Nepal and focus on outcome-based funding for health organizations.

Nyaya is responsible for formulating 40% of the metrics it will be judged on, and it has focused on measurable outcome-based metrics that will hopefully result in meaningful improvement in both quality and equity of healthcare delivery. For example, one of the metrics Nyaya chose to be measured on is the institutional delivery rate for pregnant women. Nyaya works with many health posts in the region which serve as birthing centers for pregnant women to come in and deliver their babies. However, the birthing centers are often so shabby that expectant mothers choose not to come in to deliver. The performance based financing metric, which funding will be partially based, requires Bayalpata Hospital and the health posts in the region to serve a certain portion of the expected deliveries in the region, and so the hope is that the birthing centers will improve their quality once their financial status is linked to their performance.

Of course, there will be challenges. Performance-based financing relies heavily on the quality of data collection, which, if self-reported, may not always be trustworthy. That’s why Nyaya has attempted to use metrics that can be independently verified, in order to demonstrate that improvement of performance has to be real, and not just an inflated figures on government reports.

The challenges are real, but so are the potential benefits. It’s about a change in mindset. Rather than saying, "we need $100,000 to improve our birthing center", performance-based financing says, "we need $100,000 to improve the rate of institutional births in our region to reduce maternal mortality, which we will accomplish by improving our birthing center". It's about paying for results, and depending on how the pilot program with Nyaya goes, it could mark a major shift in NGO funding strategies in Nepal. 

          Rwandan Rape Survivor in ‘The Uncondemned’ Speaks Out        
Victoire Mukambanda was one of the instrumental witnesses who testified to bring about the first conviction of rape as a war crime in Rwanda. That historic trial is the focus of the new documentary "The Uncondemned."
          Paul Kagame remporte la présidentielle avec 98,79% des voix au Rwanda        
Selon les résultats définitifs fournis par la Commission électorale nationale, Paul Kagame obtient
98,79% des voix devant Frank Habineza (0,48%) et Philippe Mpayimana (0,73%).
Cinq jours après la tenue du scrutin, les résultats définitifs sont finalement rendus publics ce mercredi.
La commission électorale du Rwanda a confirmé mercredi la victoire du président Paul Kagame à l'élection du 4 août avec un score sans appel de 98,79% des voix.
Le sortant qui dirige son pays depuis la fin du génocide de 1994 améliore ainsi légèrement le résultat préliminaire de 98,63% des suffrages.
L'écrasante victoire de M. Kagame, 59 ans, salué pour avoir mis fin au massacre visant principalement la minorité tutsi et redressé économiquement le Rwanda mais critiqué pour le manque d'ouverture démocratique, était attendue avant même le scrutin.
Le résultat final de la présidentielle crédite ses rivaux à l'élection, l'opposant Frank Habineza et le candidat indépendant Phillipe Mpayimana de respectivement 0,48 et 0,73% des votes.
Selon la commission électorale, le taux de participation s'est élevé à 96,42% des 6,9 millions d'électeurs inscrits.
Le pourcentage de voix obtenu par M. Kagame correspond à celui par lequel les Rwandais avaient approuvé en 2015 une modification de la Constitution lui permettant de se présenter pour un troisième mandat et de potentiellement de diriger le pays jusqu'en 2034.

Réserves à l'international
Les Etats-Unis ont toutefois émis des réserves sur cette victoire.
"Nous sommes troublés par les irrégularités observées au cours du scrutin et nous réitérons nos inquiétudes de longue date sur l'intégrité du processus de totalisation des votes", avait indiqué samedi le département d'Etat.
La diplomatie américaine avait également fait part de ses inquiétudes concernant "le manque de transparence pour déterminer l'éligibilité des candidats potentiels". L'Union eureopéenne avait émis des critiques du même ordre.
Vendredi dernier, jour du vote, le président de la Commission électorale Charles Munyaneza s'est félicité d'un "processus qui se passe bien, sans problème majeur" et d'une "élection pacifique", évaluant le taux de participation à 80% vers 13h.
Paul Kagame est l'homme fort du Rwanda depuis que le FPR a renversé en juillet 1994 le gouvernement extrémiste hutu ayant déclenché le génocide qui a fait 800.000 morts, essentiellement parmi la minorité tutsi.
Il a d'abord été vice-président et ministre de la Défense, dirigeant de facto le pays, avant d'être élu président en 2000 par le parlement. En 2003 et 2010, il est reconduit dans ses fonctions au suffrage universel avec plus de 90% des voix.
VOA Afrique

          Hotel Rwanda        
          How this CEO invests in the dignity of others        

Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

HARI SREENIVASAN:  Now to another in our “Brief but Spectacular” series, where we hear from interesting people about their passions.  Tonight, entrepreneur Jacqueline Novogratz, founder and CEO of Acumen, a non-profit venture capital fund, talks about using the tools of business to address global poverty.

JACQUELINE NOVOGRATZ, Founder and CEO, Acumen:  When I was six years old, my first grade nun, Sister Mary Theophane, beat it into my head to whom much is given much is expected.  And so, I always wanted to change the world.

I moved to Rwanda to help start the first micro finance bank and soon thereafter realized that most people don’t want saving.  Most people want choice and opportunity, which is another way of saying dignity.

In a funny way, I became an accidental banker and ended up in Latin America during the financial debt crisis of the early 1980s.  And there I saw that I love the tools of business.  The problem was that low-income people who were so industrious had no access to the banks and that’s why I went into international development and saw that on the other side, there was a great humanitarian ethos, but it lacked the efficiency, the effectiveness of the markets.

We often say the market is the best listening device that we have.  So, if I give you a gift, you’re unlikely to tell me what you don’t like about it.  But if I try to tell you a solar light, you’re going to tell me exactly what you think.

We created an organization with this idea that you could change the way the world tackles poverty by using something we call “patient capital.”  We took philanthropy and rather than give it away, we would invest it in intrepid entrepreneurs that were going where both markets and government aid had failed the poor, basic services like health care, education, agriculture, energy, workforce development.

What entrepreneurs and others we’ve invested in have in common is what we call moral imagination.  Moral imagination starts with putting yourself in another person’s shoes and seeing the world through their perspective.  But it’s more than empathy.  It’s the ability to envision a world and build institutions in which all people matter.

So, often, we look at poverty in terms of how much a person makes, rather than understand their contribution as a human being.

When we see companies enable people to have access to clean drinking water or agricultural inputs that enable them to make a little more income, one of the first things they do is turn around and help somebody else.  It’s seeing that there is no one above you or below you.  And really that’s the world that we need on see right now when we are so divided, and yet have so much opportunity to become united.

My name is Jacqueline Novogratz.  And this is my “Brief But Spectacular” take on dignity and the moral imagination.

The post How this CEO invests in the dignity of others appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

          Stunning treehouse retreat in Rwanda sets a new standard for ecotourism        
Related: + Via Dwell
          Rwanda : Tigo fourni désormais la 4G à tous        

Tous les abonnés rwandais, de la filiale du groupe télécom luxembourgeois Millicom International Cellular, Tigo, peuvent désormais avoir accès à la technologie 4G. Depuis le lancement de la technologie 4G dans le pays , il y a plus de près de deux mois, l’opérateur, avait réservé l’utilisation de la 4G, a ces abonnés premium, qui […]

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          Smart Africa : un projet pour interconnecter l’Afrique        

Né en 2013, lors du sommet Transform Africa, la rencontre internationale sur le développement de l’Afrique par les technologies de l’information et de la communication, Smart Africa est un projet de construction d’une infrastructure télécom clé en Afrique sub-saharienne, porté par le Burkina Faso, le Gabon, le Kenya, le Mali, le Rwanda, le Sénégal, le […]

Cet article Smart Africa : un projet pour interconnecter l’Afrique est apparu en premier sur TechOfAfrica.

          Rwanda : La 4G desormais offerte à tous        

Tous les abonnés rwandais, de la filiale du groupe télécom luxembourgeois Millicom International Cellular, Tigo, peuvent désormais avoir accès à la technologie 4G. Depuis le lancement de la technologie 4G dans le pays , il y a plus de près de deux mois, l’opérateur, avait réservé l’utilisation de la 4G, a ces abonnés premium, qui […]

Cet article Rwanda : La 4G desormais offerte à tous est apparu en premier sur TechOfAfrica.

          Rwanda election: President Paul Kagame wins by landslide        
Supporters of Rwanda's President Paul Kagame have been celebrating his landslide re-election. The electoral said partial results of Friday's election had given him 98% of the votes. Scientists have warned that the effects of climate change could kill over one-hundred-and-fifty-thousand people a year in Europe by the end of the century. And Usain Bolt's stride. (Photo: President of Rwanda Paul Kagame voting. Credit EPA)
          Rwanda: Tigo lance la 4G        

Tigo Rwanda, opérateur de télécommunication, filiale de Millicom a lancé son service 4G Internet au « 2015 Transform Africa Summit » à Kigali. Tigo se positionne donc comme le premier opérateur à offrir à ses clients, sans interruption, l’accès à Internet 4G sur leurs téléphones, selon des sources officielles de l’opérateur de téléphonie. Tongai Maramba, PDG de […]

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          Zambie : Liquid Telecom lance un produit internet        

Le groupe Liquid Telecom, leader télécom en Afrique de l’Est, vient de lancer  son nouveau fournisseur de service Internet (FAI) en Zambie. Il s’agit de Hai. La société dont le nom signifie « je suis vivant » en Swahili, fera bientôt son entrée au Kenya et au Rwanda. Elle fournira l’accès Internet aux domiciles et […]

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          Rwanda: MTN et Safaricom connectent leur mobile money        

L’opérateur de téléphonie mobile MTN Rwanda et la filiale kényane du groupe télécom britannique Vodafone, Safaricom, ont interconnecté leur service de Mobile Money L’objectif de cette opération est de permettre aux utilisateurs de ces services d’envoyer et de recevoir de l’argent par mobile entre le Rwanda et le Kenya à moindre coût. Cette interconnexion des […]

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          Rwanda: 100 millions pour les projets TIC        

Afin d’accompagner la jeunesse dans l’innovation TIC et susciter sa contribution au développement économique du Rwanda, le ministère de la Jeunesse et des technologies de l’information et de la communication prépare un fonds de près de 73,2 milliards de francs rwandais (99 712 807 dollars) pour soutenir les start-up TIC. Jean-Philibert Nsengimana, le ministre, a […]

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          Sécurité télécom : Le Kenya veut renforcer la collaboration en Afrique de l’est        

Des criminels profitent du laxisme de  l’Ouganda, du Burundi et du Rwanda, en matière de contrôle des opérateurs et des abonnés télécoms pour commettre des forfaits au Kenya. Selon les explications en fin de semaine lors de la rencontre des représentants du secteur des télécommunications des Etats membres du Northern Corridor Infrastructure à Nairobi au […]

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          Tornados Again & Some Fine Espresso!        
This past week has been crazy with tornados, electrical outages and mass loss of trees. The storms came in so quickly that I only had minutes to pile the kids and pips (our little white dog) into the bathtub. There were quite a few rounds of "Row, row your boat" while the wind howled. Hey, whatever works! Thankfully our home was spared, but many friends had homes crushed and are still dealing with the after effects. If you have a chance to send relief, please give it a thought.

And on to something happy for a moment... I don't often share my design work, but I've been busy rebranding The Windfarm Coffee Bar and it's finally finished! In an effort to tie the coffee bar in with The Camp House and to position it for easy expansion, we decided to rename the store to "Camp House Espresso". The new design was inspired by The Mission's roots in Rwanda, truly "handcrafted", excellent coffee and a commitment to beyond fair-trade beans. It's been fun to watch the new signage, cup sleeves, etc go up. The only flub was the new mugs arriving with the logo printed upside down - heehee! I'm thinking they'd be great "you are special to us" gifts to the daily caffeine addicts. So check it out, if you're in town. Trust me, my friend Aaron makes an espresso like no other! He is fanatical about each and every cup he pours! And the whole crew of baristas make drinking lattes truly artful. Mmm happy coffee!

          Rwanda : Tigo change de slogan pour conquérir le marché        

Filiale du groupe télécom Millicom International Cellular, l’opérateur de téléphonie mobile Tigo change de slogan pour se repositionner sur le marché télécom Rwandais. Résultat d’un vaste projet de positionnement de Tigo pour répondre aux besoins de la clientèle en rapide évolution, le nouveau slogan « Live it. Love it » remplace l’ancien  « Souriez, vous […]

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          Tanzanie : Le réseau national de fibre optique déployé avec succès        

L’opérateur Tanzania Telecommunications Company Limited (TTCL)  a affirmé lors d’une annonce  avoir achevé  avec succès le déploiement du réseau national de fibre optique dans le pays. Ce déploiement a permis au pays d’élargir son réseau haut débit. Ainsi, avec ce dispositif, il pourra   désormais exporter les capacités de son backbone vers ses  voisins, Rwanda, Burundi, […]

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          Coffee Beans Rwanda Musasa Red Bourbon Arabica 227g        
Coffee Beans Rwanda Musasa Red Bourbon Arabica 227g

Coffee Beans Rwanda Musasa Red Bourbon Arabica 227g

Vibrant Rwanda coffee Beans Grown in the wonderful Yirgacheffe region Hints ofMolasses, red berries, citrus & a bright finish Fairtrade and Organic

          Scientists Use Google Earth and Crowdsourcing to Map Uncharted Forests        

Scientists Use Google Earth and Crowdsourcing to Map Uncharted Forests

No single person could ever hope to count the world’s trees. But a crowd of them just counted the world’s drylands forests—and, in the process, charted forests never before mapped, cumulatively adding up to an area equivalent in size to the Amazon rainforest.

Current technology enables computers to automatically detect forest area through satellite data in order to adequately map most of the world’s forests. But drylands, where trees are fewer and farther apart, stymied these modern methods. To measure the extent of forests in drylands, which make up more than 40% of land surface on Earth, researchers from UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Resources Institute and several universities and organizations had to come up with unconventional techniques. Foremost among these was turning to residents, who contributed their expertise through local map-a-thons.

Technical Challenges, Human Solutions

Traditional remote sensing algorithms detect tree cover in a pixel rather than capturing individual trees in a landscape. That means the method can miss trees in less-dense forests or individual trees in farm fields or grasslands, which is most often the nature of dryland areas. 

<p>Hansen/UMD/Google/USGS/NASA tree cover data displayed on Global Forest Watch. Green pixels represent tree cover with greater than 20 percent canopy density but do not count trees outside of these pixels. Note, coarse pixels as shown above may be more efficient for rapidly detecting large scales of deforestation, while individual mapping techniques as described below may be more effective for monitoring land restoration and degradation.</p>

Hansen/UMD/Google/USGS/NASA tree cover data displayed on Global Forest Watch. Green pixels represent tree cover with greater than 20 percent canopy density but do not count trees outside of these pixels. Note, coarse pixels as shown above may be more efficient for rapidly detecting large scales of deforestation, while individual mapping techniques as described below may be more effective for monitoring land restoration and degradation.

Google Earth collects satellite data from several satellites with a variety of resolutions and technical capacities. The dryland satellite imagery collection compiled by Google from various providers, including Digital Globe, is of particularly high quality, as desert areas have little cloud cover to obstruct the views. So while difficult for algorithms to detect non-dominant land cover, the  human eye has no problem distinguishing trees in the landscapes.  Using this advantage, the scientists decided to visually count trees in hundreds of thousands of high-resolution images to determine overall dryland tree cover.

Local Map-a-thons using Collect Earth

Armed with the quality images from Google that allowed researchers to see objects as small as half a meter (about 20 inches) across, the team divided the global dryland images into 12 regions, each with a regional partner to lead the counting assessment. The regional partners in turn recruited local residents with practical knowledge of the landscape to identify content in the sample imagery. These volunteers would come together in participatory mapping workshops, known colloquially as “map-a-thons.”

To lay the groundwork for the local map-a-thon events the team identified both an entry point, usually a university, that could help recruit participants, as well as a facility with the capacity and internet to host the map-a-thon. Once trained, any given analyst could identify 80 to 100 plots per day.

<p>Example of Collect Earth grid set for data collection.</p>

Example of Collect Earth grid set for data collection.

Quality control was carried out afterwards by comparing the identified land cover with the number of trees counted. For example, if a local participant identified an image as having just three trees but later identified the same image as forest, the researchers knew there was human error and further review was required.

<p>The Collect Earth tool allows users to navigate between multiple windows and select the best imagery for each particular data point</p>

The Collect Earth tool allows users to navigate between multiple windows and select the best imagery for each particular data point

These map-a-thons were designed so that people with first-hand knowledge of local landscapes could participate. No knowledge of remote sensing or any technology beyond internet literacy was required. The expertise needed was the understanding of regional landscape and land use. This practical knowledge of the region was critical as the participants were not only able to count individual trees but also identify the type of land use and trees they saw on the Google Earth images.

This research only “discovered” new forest in the sense that Columbus “discovered” the New World. The drylands forest was always there, and the people who live in the area always knew it was there. In fact, they were the only ones who had the background knowledge to identify subtleties like whether an image of a plant in their region was a shrub or actually a young tree, or if what appeared to be a tree was just a perennial plant. A few common perennial crops, including coffee and banana, looked like shrubs in the satellite images, but local participants had no problem identifying them correctly as perennial crops instead of shrubs, a distinction that would have been impossible with satellite imagery analysis alone.

<p>Collect Earth Map-a-thon Event in Gatsibo, Rwanda.</p>

Collect Earth Map-a-thon Event in Gatsibo, Rwanda.

This human identification component, along with the ability to zoom into sub-meter resolution with cheap and available technology, has helped achieve the breakthrough result of forest cover identification 9 percent higher than previously reported. 

Local Ownership of the Map and the Land

Utilizing local landscape knowledge not only improved the map quality but also created a sense of ownership within each region. The map-a-thon participants have access to the open source tools and can now use these data and results to better engage around land use changes in their communities. Local experts, including forestry offices, can also use this easily accessible application to continue monitoring in the future.

Global Forest Watch (GFW) uses medium resolution satellites (30 meters or about 89 feet) and sophisticated algorithms to detect near-real time deforestation in densely forested area.  The dryland tree cover maps complement GFW by providing the capability to monitor non-dominant tree cover and small-scale, slower-moving events like degradation and restoration. Mapping forest change at this level of detail is critical both for guiding land decisions and enabling  government and business actors to demonstrate their pledges are being fulfilled, even over short periods of time.

The data documented by local participants will enable scientists to do many more analyses on both natural and man-made land changes including settlements, erosion features and roads. Mapping the tree cover in drylands is just the beginning.

          The Congo peace accord backstory        
Awhile back, the Catholic bishops in the Congo backed a peace accord.

 StrategyPage has a summary on the story and what is going on there.

 February 6, 2017: Many Congolese are not convinced the president Kabila will ever comply with the December 31, 2016 agreement brokered by the Catholic Church. That deal (“the December accord”) was made between the political opposition and several senior members of Kabila’s government. However, Kabila himself was not personally a party to the agreement. The agreement stipulated that Kabila could remain in power until national elections are held near the end of 2017.... 

so why does he want to stay in power? follow the money:

Kabila and his family are wealthy and that fortune could be lost or severely depleted if a reform-minded new government decides to recover billions stolen by corrupt politicians. The Kabila clan has extensive mineral interests (including gold, cobalt, diamonds and copper). Many of these family interests are in Katanga province. Corruption in the government Kabila controls has made his family and associates wealthier. It’s an old and wretched story. (Austin Bay)

 read the whole thing.

AlJ has an article on the M23 rebels.

International human rights groups say M23 fighters have been responsible for widespread war crimes, including summary executions, rapes, and the forced recruitment of children. In March 2013, following infighting between two M23 factions, Ntaganda turned himself in to the United States embassy in Rwanda and was extradited to The Hague.
Why the rebellion?The rebels say they started their rebellion because they were not happy with the pay and conditions in the Congolese army. But Congolese government officials and analysts say the mutiny began when the government came under pressure to arrest Ntaganda and hand him over to the ICC.
Given the fact that M23 is a ragtag army, and the vast 1136km distance between Goma and Kinshasa, it is highly unlikely that the rebels can topple the government. But they have continued to fight, sometimes emerging victorious after battles with poorly trained and ill-equipped soldiers. Many say the rebellion is fuelled by the presence of vast mineral resources in eastern DR Congo, claiming the rebels want to win control of them.
again follow the money.
          Lessons from 10 years of working with humanitarian aid agencies        

Jessica Alexander at a book reading at Quail Ridge
Books in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Brenda Summers
“Humanitarian aid is about helping people rebuild their lives,” Jessica Alexander states in reflecting on her 10 years of working with agencies in Rwanda, Darfur, Sierra Leone, Haiti and other countries.
Alexander is now traveling the United States discussing her work and promoting her book, Chasing Chaos: My Decade In and Out of Humanitarian Aid.  During a book reading at Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh, North Carolina, she said that, after 10 years, she felt it was time to reflect on her experiences going back and forth between emergency areas. 

The author started her journey with an internship in Rwanda during graduate school. After completing her master’s degree, she worked with agencies in Darfur, managing a 24,000-camp of internally displaced people. After completing her research for a Fulbright Grant on child soldiers in Sierra Leone, she was able to provide evidence which was used in the prosecution and conviction of former Liberian President Charles Taylor for war crimes. Alexander was also a relief worker in Sri Lanka and Indonesia after the 2004 tsunami and later in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake.
Jessica Alexander signs books at
Quail Ridge Books in
Raleigh, North Carolina.
Alexander notes that countries around the world have many silent emergencies right now, but they don’t receive media attention that draws needed support from donors. In these contexts, there may be as many people in need, but with limited resources, agencies struggle to prove relief.  

She wants people to learn several lessons from the book and her experiences, including how best to help after an emergency. She also wants to change some misconceptions about humanitarian aid and to provide insights into the people impacted by disasters who are not looking for handouts but are working with resilience and strength to rebuild their lives after a disaster. 

While Alexander finds the work rewarding, she admits that it can be very difficult and after a while can lead to burnout.  Today, she continues to make short trips to emergency areas, but most of her work now is with humanitarian agencies headquartered in New York. She also serves as an adjunct professor at Columbia, New York and Fordham universities. She is working on her Ph.D. at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, focusing her research on accountability in humanitarian aid.

          DTNS 3077a – A Shot In The Dark Web        
Microsoft builds Cortana into a thermostat, Rwanda uses low power networking to stop poachers, and Elon Musk promises more things. With Justin Robert Young and Tom Merritt MP3 Using a Screen Reader? Click here Multiple versions (ogg, video etc.) from Archive.org. Please SUBSCRIBE HERE. Follow us on Soundcloud. A special thanks to all our supporters–without … Continue reading DTNS 3077a – A Shot In The Dark Web
          Daily Tech Headlines – July 20, 2017        
Intel off of wearables, Cortana comes to a thermostat and Rwanda uses low power networking to stop poachers. MP3 Please SUBSCRIBE HERE. Follow us on Soundcloud. A special thanks to all our supporters–without you, none of this would be possible. If you are willing to support the show or give as little as 5 cents … Continue reading Daily Tech Headlines – July 20, 2017
          Rwanda : Rwanda wins UNESCO Adult Literacy Award        
Rwanda has been awarded with $200, 000 for their efforts in promoting adult literacy. The award was given to Rwanda by the Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). Bhutan, Colombia and Indonesia also got a similar award, under the 2012 International Literacy Prizes (King Sejong Literacy Prize). According to Director-General of UNESCO Ms Irina […]
          Rwanda : War against poverty needs efficient weapons- residents told        
Nyamasheke district residents have been asked to use the available opportunities and lift themselves from poverty, hard work being the only poverty destructive weapon. This was resolved by Egide Rugamba, Director General in charge of planning in the ministry of local government, during his recent visit to see how performance contracts have been executed. The […]
          The budget will focus on building an infrastructure backbone        
In the 2012/2013 fiscal year, the Government of Rwanda will emphasize scaling up of infrastructure projects to enhance growth and poverty reduction strategies. This was stressed during Thursday’s reading of the National Budget that took place at the parliamentary building by the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning John Rwangombwa. According to the budget, this […]
          Rwanda’s First Lady defends African woman        
Rwanda’s First Lady Mrs. Jeannette Kagame and six other African First Ladies and many personalities Monday 11th June 2012 met in Libreville the capital of Gabon in a one day meeting codenamed “Dialogue for Action”.   The forum organized by Cecilia Attias, former wife of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy and her foundation, had brought […]
          Only 50% of Rwandans may depend on farming by 2020        
 According to Stanslas Kamanzi the Minister for Natural Resources, the government of Rwanda is working hard so that by 2020 Rwandans who will be surviving on farming will be 50percent. The minister said this in the meeting that brought together members of the land registration commission in all districts of Rwanda held in Muhanga town […]
          Rwanda | Performing contracts to depend on capacities- Mayor        
The mayor of Rubavu district Sheikh Hassan Bahame said that the 2012-2013 performing contracts will be done according to the budget of the district instead of vowing to fulfill what is impossible.   This he said on the 29th.May.2012 in the function to present the achieved performing contracts that brought together 12 sectors that make […]
          Ngororero: VUP to use more than Rwf1Billion 2012-2013        
VUP project (Vision Umurenge Program) has been implemented by the government of Rwanda in order to promote fast development through investment pillars; Public Works, direct Support and Financial Services. Vision Umurenge Program works in five sectors of Muhororo, Kageyo, Ndaro, Bwira and Muhanda in Ngororero district. In a bid to help sectors implement their projects, […]
          Airtel to invest over$100 million as it launches its services in Rwanda        
The third mobile operator in Rwanda airtel, has announced that it will invest over $100 million (approximately Rwf65 billion) in the next three years and generate direct and indirect employment opportunities. The telecommunication company made the announcement on Friday at the official launch of its services in Rwanda. The operation launch has made Rwanda the […]
          Rwanda’s economy booms to US$ 6.34billion, a historic development        
February 07: President Kagame (c) launched EDPRS phase II following the successful implementation of the phase I which led to the reduction of poverty from 57 % to 45% in just five years. Some 1million Rwandans moved up the poverty ladder   The country’s economy expanded by more than 17 percent to more than US$6.34billion […]
          Ruhango: families still in poverty cycle        
According to the research that was released in recently, Ruhango district comes among the first districts that have not yet managed to deal with poverty at expected level in Rwanda.             Epimaque Twagirumukiza talking to residents This research shows that about 57percent of families in Ruhango district are affected by […]
          Global parliamentary group urges countries to emulate Rwanda on women        
Female parliamentarians in Rwanda’s parliament which make up more than 56 percent   The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and UN Women said in a report on March 03 that the representation of women in world parliaments remained “worrying low” – urging all countries to emulate Rwanda in helping women move up the political ladder. As of […]
          Rwanda | Germany govt donates over € 500,000 to WFP        
KIGALI – The Federal Republic of Germany has officially handed-over of €500,000 (approximately Rwf400, 000) to the World Food Programme (WFP) to  increase resources to feed 54,000 Congolese refugees living in Rwanda. The camps have been maintained for the last 17 years.   According to WFP Representative and Country Director Abdoulaye Balde, the donation will […]
           Eversheds Sutherland (International) advises Government of Rwanda on new international airport        
Eversheds Sutherland (International) has advised the Government of Rwanda as international legal counsel in relation to the development of the country’s new international airport under a Public Private Partnership structure, alongside Mott Mac...
          Project Manager (Asset Audit and Tagging) at IHS Towers        

IHS Towers is the largest independent mobile telecommunications infrastructure provider in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.  Founded in 2001, IHS provides services across the full tower value chain – colocation on owned towers, deployment and managed services. Today IHS Towers has operations in Nigeria, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Zambia and Rwanda. Following the recent acquisitions […]

The post Project Manager (Asset Audit and Tagging) at IHS Towers appeared first on Career Hob.

          News In Brief         

The US

The FBI arrested two men wanted in connection with the Oklahoma City bombing May 2 after raiding a motel in Missouri. Gary Allen Land and Robert Jacks were being held as material witnesses to the April 19 bombing. The FBI said it didn't yet know if Land was ''John Doe 2.'' James Nichols, charged with conspiring to make explosives with McVeigh, was to have a bond hearing the same day. Nichols and his brother Terry are also material witnesses. Search crews, meanwhile, prepared to use machinery to clear away rubble in the federal building. President Clinton urged Americans to denounce antigovernment zealots. Administration law-enforcement officials asked Congress to expand their powers to investigate potentially dangerous groups. (Story, Page 3.)

The White House, rejecting a challenge from House Speaker Gingrich, refused to propose a remedy for Medicare's fiscal woes until the Republicans put their own cards on the table. White House chief of staff Panetta said House Republicans have a responsibility to produce a budget that addresses Medicare's pending bankruptcy. The House Ways and Means Committee was to hear testimony from Health and Human Services Secretary Shalala May 2 regarding the crisis. (Story, Page 1.)

Sales of new homes rose 3 percent in March, reversing direction from February's 12.5 percent plunge, as mortgage rates continued to fall. The market was mixed, however, with sales rising by double-digit figures in the Midwest and West and falling by double-digit figures in the Northeast and South, the Commerce Department said.

The administration said it will allow thousands of Cuban refugees held at Guantanamo Bay to migrate to the US. Officials said the new policy would be announced May 2 as part of an agreement with Cuba. The administration said Cubans trying to reach the US by boats and rafts will be returned to Havana. (Opinion, Page 20.)

The Federal Election Commission said more money was raised and spent in last year's congressional races than ever before. Candidates raised $740.6 million and spent $724 million, breaking records set in both categories during the 1992 election cycle. Candidates raised 12 percent more in the 1994 cycle than they did in 1992 and spent 6 percent more, the FEC said.

The Senate was expected to vote May 2 on extending the proposed cap on punitive damages to health-care providers. The amendment would limit punitive damage awards in malpractice cases to three times the amount of economic damages or $250,000, whichever is greater.

Under a plan released by the Concord Coalition, a balanced-budget lobbying group, 4 out of every 10 Americans who get federal entitlements and earn more than $40,000 a year would have to make sacrifices to help balance the budget. The Concord Coalition said burgeoning federal health-care costs must be addressed or it will be impossible to keep the budget balanced after 2002. The report stopped short of calling for a radical overhaul of the health-care system.

Major League umpires and baseball owners agreed to a new five-year contract May 1, ending a 120-day management lockout. The umpires were due back on the diamond May 3, with raises of 25 percent to 37.5 percent.

A seventh juror in the O. J. Simpson double-murder trial was dismissed, leaving only five alternates. A 28-year-old Hispanic woman was chosen as a replacement. If the number of jurors drops below 12, both sides would have to agree to continue or a mistrial would be declared.

The World

Serb rockets hit the Croatian capital of Zagreb May 2, killing four and wounding up to 70 as Croatia erupted in the worst fighting in two years. Croatia bombed a Serb-held bridge that is the Croatian Serbs' last link to Bosnian Serbs. Croatian armed forces had stormed across a UN cease-fire line May 1, but May 2 the government said the offensive was over. Battlefronts also erupted across Bosnia after a truce expired May 1. (Story, Page 1.)

US trade representative Kantor and Japanese Trade Minister Hashimoto were to meet May 3 in Vancouver to try to break an impasse on sales of US autos and auto parts in Japan. The US, charging unfair practices, has leaked warnings of trade sanctions if talks fail again.

Gaullist Chirac, frontrunner in the French presidential vote May 7, pledged radical budget changes to create jobs and hinted at a higher minimum wage. Rightist Le Pen refused to endorse either Chirac or his opponent, Socialist Jospin. (Story, Page 6.)

Argentine President Menem is no longer assured of victory in a May 14 vote, polls show, since his rival, Frepaso candidate Bordon, could take enough votes to require a runoff. The office of Mexican President Zedillo denied a news report that Colombian drug funds made their way into Zedillo's campaign last year. Peruvian police said two American Maoists are wanted for a meeting they held last year with Shining Path guerrillas in Peru.

Chechen rebels stepped up attacks on Russian troops in Grozny just a week before world leaders arrive in Moscow to celebrate the 50th anniversary of World War II. President Yeltsin has tried to impose a unilateral Russian cease-fire in the war, which is broadly condemned by world opinion.

Leaders of South Asia's seven nations began a conference in New Delhi aimed at building greater economic cooperation and launching a trade bloc. Lowering of tariffs could begin in December. Pakistani Prime Minister Bhutto stayed away because of strained relations with India, but Pakistani President Leghari was to meet with Indian Premier Rao over the dispute in Kashmir.

South Korea welcomed North Korea's decision to restart talks with the US on a major nuclear accord, in which the US wants North Korea to accept South-Korean-made nuclear reactors.

A new Israeli Army plan calls for pulling troops from six Palestinian towns in the West Bank over a 14-month period starting in November, an Israeli daily reported. An Israeli official confirmed the plan but said there is no timetable. The PLO asked the UN to stop planned Israeli land confiscations in East Jerusalem. (Story, Page 7.)

France rejected the unilateral US trade embargo on Iran announced by President Clinton May 1, but Israel welcomed it. Japan, at US urging, cancelled a loan package to Iran. Japan is the only major source of credit to Iran. The US accuses Iran of pursing nuclear weapons and of backing terrorism.

Hundreds of people marched through Kigali, Rwanda, shouting ''UN go home'' and accusing the world of unfairly pointing at Rwanda's Tutsi government for a mass killing at a refugee camp April 22, at which at least 2,000 died. Placards accused UN Secretary-General Boutros-Ghali of ignoring last year's genocide of the nation's Tutsi minority. (Story, Page 7.)

At least 103 journalists were killed in 1994, Paris-based Reporters Without Borders said. Only 50 of the UN's 185 member nations respect freedom of the press, the media-rights group charged.


China began a new 40-hour work week May 2 as millions of workers returned to their jobs after the May Day holiday. Many cheered the new law, which gives them Saturdays off. In the city of Yiwu, meanwhile, more than 1,500 children under 16 reportedly continue to work illegally. A labor law that took effect Jan. 1 bans employment of children under 16.

Britain's Prince Charles joined Hamburg officials to mark the 50th anniversary of the surrender of that German city. Hamburg is often called the most British of German cities. It was also one of the places most ravaged by British bombers. Hamburg surrendered on May 3, 1945 -- early -- rather than face more bombing.

New York City remains among the worst places in the US for mail delivery. The latest quarterly survey by the US Postal Service shows that first-class mail is being delivered on time 76 percent of the time in Manhattan -- up from 52 percent a year ago. Of 96 US postal regions surveyed, service was worse only in Washington, D.C., the Virgin Islands, and San Juan.

Another burning issue is on its way to Texas' governor. A resolution declaring the jalapeno the official state pepper passed the Senate. The House has given its approval, and Gov. George W. Bush reportedly plans to sign the measure.

Top-Grossing Films In the US, April 28-30

(Preliminary figures)

1. ''While You Were Sleeping,'' $10.2 million

2. ''Friday,'' $6.8 million

3. ''Bad Boys,'' $4.4 million

4. ''Rob Roy,'' $3.3 million

5. ''Village of the Damned,'' $3.05 million

6. ''Kiss of Death,'' $2.9 million

7. ''A Goofy Movie,'' $2.8 million

8. ''Top Dog,'' $2.1 million

9. ''Don Juan DeMarco,'' $1.7 million

10. ''Jury Duty,'' $1.4 million

Associated Press

''Now you know how easy it is to make something big little, something little big, something straight twisted, something good look wrong.''

President Clinton on criticism over Henry Foster's nomination for surgeon general

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          Always a lucky winner - or, Fear and reading in Las Vegas        

Up at 4 am for a flight to LA on Virgin America which had the cheapest flights unfortunately.  Unfortunately because we had a long layover at LAX's ultra-dreadful Terminal 3 before going on to Vegas, or as I call it, Slot Machine National Park. . TSA torture went reasonably fast and we waited to go in the posh international wing. It was my turn by far to get the middle seat. Didn't look like there was much to see out the window anyway. Virgin is like a flying music store, including frere Wi-Fi. Going over the wi-fi worked on Facebook but not on Gmail. Going back none of it worked.  The free music section had all genres pretty well covered, with the exception of folk music. The best way to fly over the Midwest is listening to the Grateful Dead.

The flight across the country was notable because the flight attendants came through with beverage service at the beginning of the flight and then you went for five hours on your own. On the other hand, the flight from
LAX to Vegas included free beer or wine. Usually the desert east of Palm Springs is pretty dull, but they have now built a row of tall solar collectors which look quite impressive. Donna insisted on taking the airport shuttle BECAUSE it stops everywhere on the way to downtown. We stayed one night at the Four Queens out of sentiment because that's where we were on our first trip there 40 years ago. It was a ten minute walk to our buffet of choice at the Main Street Terminal hotel. By any standard, it was an excellent value at $25 for the two of us and quite good food.

That night, we walked through the Fremont Experience. The street has been turned into a covered pedestrian mall, and at night it is home to an hourly sound and light spectacular. Between shows you have a number of choices for entertainment - a smooth jazz sax player, Elvis and dancing girls. It was sensory overload, which seems to be the whole point of Las Vegas. An hour of that was about right. We were concerned that our room on the 9th floor would be noisy from the mayhem below, but it was not.

Early the next morning we had an excellent if somewhat pricy breakfast at the Golden Gate Hotel.
Donna with an old friend
Afterwards, I tried my luck at the supposedly looser downtown slots and lost $10 in the blink of an eye. Then we went to the Mob Museum - the old downtown post office, which has been converted to three stories of salute to the gangsters. We needed to check out, so we got through this in 90 minutes although we could have easily stayed longer. The most important phrase was one we already knew from our Arizona days - "Vegas was better when the Mob was running it."

Next we took an expensive cab ride to our hotel across the street from the Convention Center. I knew it would be close, but the walk to the exhibits hall wasn't more than 6 minutes in the searing, unrelenting Vegas heat. We both grew up in Phoenix so we knew about heat. Then I
Vegas from the World's Tallest Ferris Wheel
remembered that we dealt with it by going from air conditioned house to air conditioned car in the summer months. We got our five day monorail passes activated and set out to see a bit of the strip. Remember those cheap prices downtown? Prices on the strip range from "Worse than New York" to out-and-out highway robbery. If you don't like those prices, you have nowhere else to turn. First order of business was a ride on the World's Tallest Ferris Wheel. Managed to catch them at a slow time and got right on.

On Friday, we walked over to the convention center early, but not as early as the 200 people in front of us. We're becoming a more diverse group - I saw librarians with dragon tattoos, librarians with day-glo purple Mohawks, the usual female librarians with haircuts made fashionable by PeeWee Herman, and Biker Librarians. We were starting to get the idea that holding the convention here was a popular option. Sadly, ALA decided to tighten up on the "Exhibits-only" badges. Used to be that you could pay them an extra 50 bucks and upgrade one of the days to catch auditorium speakers. This time it would have cost me $100, and the badge even said "Saturday-Monday only." It turned out that his was not enforced on Friday night, but it did add tension.

Exhibition Hall opened promptly at 5:30, minus the usual speechifying. As the throng swarmed in we were met with vendors who gave us a rousing ovation. The good karma was flowing. Donna's mission was to bring back 40 book bags for her adult summer reading club, and we knocked off a good chunk of that on the first night. We spent an hour there, and then dropped our bags and took the monorail to the Venetan for our first party by a major publisher.

Waiting to cut the Bat Cake
They had taken over the Leonardo exhibit, throwing a party that also saluted the 75th anniversary of Batman. We were wise to show up right on time because it got mobbed and they ran out of wine. We waited for the artists to cut the cake, and finally gave up - shouldn't eat cake anyway.

Author of The Social Network
Saturday started with a late (8:30) breakfast sponsored by the publishers and arranged by the estimable Becca Worthington. Been to lots of her events, but this was the best ever. Donna and I often exchange eye-rolling when authors spend all or most of their time on the podium extolling their love for librarians. Enough - tell us about the book you wrote already.
This time, all six authors kept the library love to a manageable minimum and did tell us about their books. Most were first time authors. All had written books that sounded great. The last one was Ben Mezrich who is the wildly successful author of The Social Network.

With George Knott
After breakfast I made a quick run to the Elsevier booth to meet George Knott, the editor from Oxford who worked with me on Google This. We had an energetic and wide-ranging talk about the state of my book and the possibility of a second edition. It also turned out that he is atypically British in that he is indifferent to football but loves cricket. Note to self - try again to understand cricket.

The Innovative lunch was an enormous event, thanks to the fact that they have bought up several ILS vendors, so their customer base is enormous. I have some concerns about how this will impact customers who have been with Millennium or Sierra for a long time. We'll see how this plays out.

Saturday was party night, starting with Capstone Press, a K12-oriented publisher that had just won a major award. They were on the top floor of the Marriott with outstanding views. Then a party at Margaritaville, where we enjoyed drinks that we knew from past experience cost 10 bucks a pop. Then we ambled across the street to Caesar's Palace for a reception hosted by a major database provider. Finding the party room was hard. Finding the door out was harder. For some reason, casinos just don't want you to leave.

Paul Rusesabagina 
For years now we have been regular guests of the excellent Alexander Street Press at their ALA annual breakfasts. It started for us with Daniel Ellsberg at the Anaheim ALA six or seven years ago. This year they had Paul Rusesabagina, the man whose life  was featured in the film Hotel Rwanda. His tale of genocide was utterly gripping, to say the least. Have not seen the movie, but it is now in our Netflix queue.

After breakfast I went to the exhibits floor again to do some serious catching up with my agenda. I had been asked by colleagues to see demonstrations of III's EBSCO Duet in Encore and Proquest's new e-reader. I got out my cell phone and took videos of both things so I could do more than just tell about what I had seen. I happened across a booth in the international section called the Irish Newspaper Archive. I run a webpage called Irish History Digitized (http://www.greathunger.org) and I'm always on the lookout for free material to add. Theirs is all subscription now, but that may change. Ended up having a spirited talk with the two brothers who run this operation - one of them knew my name from the pictures of Ireland I've put up over the years. Made my morning!

No parties Sunday night, but just as well  because we had tickets to the Cirque de Soleil production of "Love," a salute to the Beatles. Even in the upper seats this is an outstanding production. Standout numbers included "Lucy in the sky" and "Lady Madonna." The rolling skating acrobatics in "Help" were beyond all reckoning.

On Monday we began to wrap things up. Donna and I both went to book presentations. That left us three hours in the afternoon to visit the Luxor. We took the monorail to MGM Grand and then walked over to take a second tram to the Luxor. Had an excellent lunch and headed back to MGM to monorail home and get ready for a blowout dinner with Donna's East Meadow colleagues. When we got there we learned that the monorail was down for maintenance for at least an hour. We trudged back to the front to catch a cab, only to find out that cabs are not found in front, so we started walking up the strip to the next hotel. Never could get a cab, and the 111 degree heat was killing us, so we decided to patch things together best we could and just go to the restaurant. I bought a new shirt and Donna bought a comb. The dinner at Giada was excellent beyond all reckoning, so we were back in fine spirits after a three hour foodie experience. Our legs were shot, so we just took a taxi back to the hotel.

Our flight back to LA was at a reasonable time - just before ten. They made us happy with another round of free wine. Tried the fish place at terminal three, and it wasn't all that bad. The flight was a half hour late, and they had to take a weird route, so we were an hour late getting back to JFK. Home sweet home. All in all, a great conference.

          Killing us softly         

A recent public outcry in China, sparked by a damning documentary about air pollution, was based on well-founded fear:

Of the 100 million people who viewed the film on the first day of its online release, 172,000 are likely to die each year from air pollution-related diseases, according to regional trends.* 

Worldwide, pollution kills twice as many people each year as HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined,** but aid policy has consistently neglected it as a health risk, donors and experts say. 

Air pollution alone killed seven million people in 2012, according to World Health Organization (WHO) figures released last year, most of them in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) in the Asia Pacific region.*** 

In a self-critical report released late last month the World Bank acknowledged that it had treated air pollution as an afterthought, resulting in a dearth of analysis of the problem and spending on solutions. 

“We now need to step up our game and adopt a more comprehensive approach to fixing air quality,” the authors wrote in Clean Air and Healthy Lungs. “If left unaddressed, these problems are expected to grow worse over time, as the world continues to urbanise at an unprecedented and challenging speed.”

A second report released last month by several organisations – including the Global Alliance on Health and Pollution, an international consortium of UN organisations, governments, development banks, NGOs and academics – also called for more funding towards reducing pollution. 

“Rich countries, multilateral agencies and organisations have forgotten the crippling impacts of pollution and fail to make it a priority in their foreign assistance,” the authors wrote. 

Housebound in China 

A dense haze obstructs visibility more often than not across China’s northern Hua Bei plain and two of its major river deltas. Less than one percent of the 500 largest cities in China meet WHO’s air quality guidelines. Anger over air pollution is a hot topic among China’s increasingly outspoken citizenry.  

“Half of the days in 2014, I had to confine my daughter to my home like a prisoner because the air quality in Beijing was so poor,” China’s well-known journalist Chai Jing said in Under the Dome, the independent documentary she released last month, which investigated the causes of China’s air pollution.

The film was shared on the Chinese social media portal Weibo more than 580,000 times before officials ordered websites to delete it. 

Beyond the silo

Traditionally left to environmental experts to tackle, the fight against pollution is increasingly recognised as requiring attention from health and development specialists too. 

“Air pollution is the top environmental health risk and among the top modifiable health risks in the world,” said Professor Michael Brauer, a public health expert at the University of British Columbia in Canada and a member of the scientific advisory panel for the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, a consortium of governments and the UN Environment Programme. “Air pollution has been under-funded and its health impacts under-appreciated.”

Pollution – especially outdoor or “ambient” air pollution – is also a major drag on economic performance and limits the opportunities of the poor, according to Ilmi Granoff, an environmental policy expert at the Overseas Development Institute, a London-based think tank. It causes premature death, illness, lost earnings and medical costs – all of which take their toll on both individual and national productivity.

“Donors need to get out of the siloed thinking of pollution as an environmental problem distinct from economic development and poverty reduction,” Granoff said. 

Pollution cleanup is indeed underfunded, he added, but pollution prevention is even more poorly prioritised: “It’s underfunded in much of the developed world, in aid, and in developing country priorities, so this isn’t just an aid problem.”

Mounting evidence 

Pollution kills in a variety of ways, according to relatively recent studies; air pollution is by far the most lethal form compared to soil and water pollution. 

Microscopic particulate matter (PM) suspended in polluted air is the chief culprit in these deaths: the smaller the particles’ size, the deeper they are able to penetrate into the lungs.  Particles of less than 2.5 micrometres in diameter (PM2.5) are small enough to reach the alveoli, the deepest part of the lungs, and to enter the blood stream.  

From there, PM2.5 causes inflammation and changes in heart rate, blood pressure, and blood clotting processes - the precursors to fatal stroke and heart disease.  PM2.5 irritates and corrodes the alveoli, which impairs lung function - a major precursor to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It also acts as a carcinogen.

Most research looks at long-term exposure to PM2.5 but even studies looking at the hours immediately following bursts of especially high ambient PM2.5 (in developed countries) show a corresponding spike in life-threatening heart attacks, heart arrhythmias and stroke.

Asia worst affected

The overwhelming majority - 70 percent - of global air pollution deaths occur in the Western Pacific and Southeast Asia regions.  South Asia has eight of the top 10 and 33 of the top 50 cities with the worst PM concentrations in the world.  


WHO says a city’s average annual PM levels should be 20 micrograms per cubic meter.  But cities such as Karachi, Gaborone, and Delhi have yearly PM averages above 200 micrograms per cubic meter. 

The main source of PM2.5 in indoor air, or household air, is burning solid fuels for cooking and heating, using wood, coal, dung or crop leftovers - a common practice in rural areas of low and middle-income countries that lack electricity.  

Almost three billion people live this way, the majority in the densely populated Asia Pacific region: India and China each hold about one quarter of all people who rely on solid fuels. For these people, the daily average dose of PM2.5 is often in the hundreds of micrograms per cubic meter. 

Filling the gaps

Unlike many other health risks air pollution is very cost-effective to address, Brauer said. Analysis of air quality interventions in the US suggests a return on investment of up to $30 for every dollar spent. 

“We already know how to reduce these risks, as we have done exactly that in high income countries, so this is not a matter of searching for a cure - we know what works,” he said.

But the World Bank report said that unless it starts gathering better data on local air quality in LMICs, the amounts and sources of air pollution and the full gamut of its health impacts, “it is not possible to appropriately target interventions in a cost-effective manner.”

Granoff said there are also gaps in government capacity to monitor, regulate and enforce pollution policy. 

Beijing hopes to bring PM2.5 concentrations down to safe levels by 2030, and has said it will fine big polluters. 

The World Bank report said China is also charging all enterprises fees for the pollutants they discharge; establishing a nationwide PM2.5 monitoring network; instituting pollution control measures on motor vehicles; and controlling urban dust pollution.

But enforcing environmental protections has been a longstanding problem in China.

“Pollution policy will only succeed if citizens are aware of the harm, able to organise their concern [through advocacy campaigns], and have a responsive government that prioritises public welfare over the narrower interests of polluting sectors,” Granoff said. 

While more people die from household air pollution than from ambient air pollution, the latter – through vehicles, smokestacks and open burning – still accounted for 3.7 million deaths in 2012, according to the WHO. 

A change in the air

Kaye Patdu, an air quality expert at Clean Air Asia, a Manila-based think tank - and the secretariat for the UN-backed Clean Air Asia Partnership, comprising more than 250 government, civil, academic, business and development organisations - said the aid community is finally starting to recognise the importance of tackling air pollution.  

• Last year’s inaugural UN Environment Assembly adopted a resolution calling for strengthened action on air pollution.  
• WHO Member States are planning to adopt a resolution on health and air quality at the upcoming World Health Assembly in May. 
• The proposed Sustainable Development Goals, which will set the post-2015 international development agenda, address city air quality and air, soil and water pollution. 

None of the experts IRIN contacted could provide a breakdown of total aid spending on all forms of toxic pollution (air, water and soil pollution that is harmful to human health).  So IRIN asked each of the major global donors for their figures.  

Three responded.  

A back-of-envelope calculation of all reported spending on toxic pollution by USAID, the European Commission and the World Bank suggests that between them they committed about US$10 billion over 10 years. This does not include aid spending on the diseases that pollution causes. The World Bank’s spending figures eclipsed those of other the other donors. 

By very rough comparison, HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, with half the death toll of air pollution, received $28 billion via public sector commitments to the Global Fund – the world’s largest financier of programs that tackle these diseases – over the same period, a fraction of total spending on these diseases. 


*Based on WHO statistics for per capita mortality rates in the Western Pacific region in 2012. 

**The mortality figures for air pollution come from 2012 statistics and were released by WHO in 2014, while the figures for the infectious diseases come from 2013 statistics and were released by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in 2014 (the Global Burden of Disease study).

***Includes deaths from both household air pollution (4.3 million) and ambient air pollution (3.7 million): the combined death toll is less than the sum of the parts because many people are exposed to both. 

For more: 

The relationship between household air pollution and disease

Ambient air pollution and the risk of acute ischemic stroke 

Cardiovascular effects of exposure to ambient air pollution 

Particulate air pollution and lung function  

Long-term exposure to ambient air pollution and incidence of cerebrovascular events: Results from 11 European cohorts within the ESCAPE Project  

OECD's The Cost of Air Pollution report

101285 200901271.jpg Analysis Health Killing us softly Gabrielle Babbington IRIN HONG KONG Congo, Republic of Djibouti DRC Eritrea Ethiopia Kenya Rwanda Somalia Sudan Tanzania Uganda Angola Botswana Lesotho Madagascar Malawi Mauritius Mozambique Namibia Seychelles South Africa Swaziland Zambia Zimbabwe Benin Burkina Faso Cameroon Cape Verde Chad Côte d’Ivoire Equatorial Guinea Gabon Gambia Ghana Guinea Guinea-Bissau Liberia Mali Mauritania Niger Nigeria Sao Tome and Principe Senegal Sierra Leone Togo Colombia Haiti United States Bangladesh Cambodia Indonesia Iran Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Lao Peoples Democratic Republic Myanmar Pakistan Papua New Guinea Philippines Samoa Sri Lanka Tajikistan Thailand Timor-Leste Uzbekistan Vanuatu Vietnam
          Rwanda Couple Making Their First Amateur Sex Tape        
Enjoy Rwanda Couple Making Their First Amateur Sex Tape at PornoTube.rs - best free hardcore pornotube videos and homemade sex movies.
          Hutus and Tutsis Show Tolerance In a Neighborhood of Bujumbura         

DESPITE the waves of ethnic killings in Burundi in the last year, at least one neighborhood here, Buyenzi, has remained peaceful. Residents offer a variety of explanations for this island of peace in a city where many neighborhoods are ethnically segregated.

Some say one positive influence is the high percentage of Muslims in Buyenzi, which is unusual since the country is only 1 percent Muslim. Others cite the presence of many refugees, primarily from Zaire, who may be adding a calming effect in Buyenzi, having fled previous ethnic strife themselves.

Perhaps a combination of religious tolerance, the experience of those who have seen violence elsewhere, and the fact that Buyenzi is the oldest neighborhood in this capital account for the calm. Hutus and Tutsis, Burundi's main ethnic groups, have lived together here for a long time.

A walk through Buyenzi's streets leaves one with the impression that ethnicity is not as blatant here as in many other parts of the city or country. Most homes are modest mud-wall structures, typically crowded with displaced relatives from other parts of the country.

In Burundi's only democratic election, which took place last year, voters chose their first president, Melchior Ndadaye, from the Hutu ethnic group. The Hutus make up about 85 percent of the population, the Tutsis about 14 percent.

The new president was assassinated in October in an attempted coup by the Tutsi-dominated military. Angry Hutus retaliated by slaughtering possibly tens of thousands of Tutsis before the military unleashed its response and killed large numbers of Hutus. United Nations officials estimate up to 100,000 people were killed in the clashes.

Talks resumed here yesterday to find a consensus candidate for the presidency. Nine of Burundi's 13 political parties signed an accord Saturday that provides for a 25-post government, 55 percent drawn from the Hutu majority, to be named by the president.

Despite such progress, ethnic tensions are still high in Burundi - except in places like Buyenzi.

``I don't know if they are Hutus or Tutsis,'' says Musa Kikwemo, a teenage resident of Buyenzi as we walk by a small schoolyard jammed with displaced Burundians from another Bujumbura neighborhood, where militant Hutus and the Tutsi-dominated military have clashed recently.

Michelle Nombe, another local resident, says Hutus and Tutsis ``work and talk together [in Buyenzi]. They have grown up together. They pray together.''

A local tailor says: ``People here aren't into politics. They are into prayers and business.''

Majid Sadat, an Iranian teacher of the Koran and Arabic, sits on a wooden bench in the one-room library of the Ahlulbait Islamic School. Buyenzi is ``a mixed neighborhood - Hutu and Tutsi. Islam teaches no difference between white, black, red,'' he says.

Said Ngoyilunga, a Zairean refugee who teaches at the school, says Islam stresses ``the unity of all persons. There's no importance in ethnicity. Loves plays a great role.''

But economic differences exist between many Hutus and Tutsis in Burundi, Mr. Sadat notes. ``In Bujumubura, there aren't enough jobs; there isn't much business. Too many Hutus don't know French or English,'' compared with Tutsis, he says. Under colonial rule, the Belgians favored Tutsis and provided them with more educational opportunities.

Mr. Kikwemo, a student at the Islamic school, offers another assessment of why Buyenzi has avoided ethnic killings. ``We know our neighbors. You can't kill your neighbor.''

That, however, is what happened this year during the genocide in neighboring Rwanda. And it has happened in Burundi as well, says Hawa Hassan, a Hutu who fled ethnic killings with her family in March in northern Burundi after the assassination of Ndadaye.

``They were neighbors,'' she says of some who attacked her village along with Tutsi military and even some Tutsi civilian refugees from Rwanda. The family now lives with several dozen other people in Kikwemo's crowded home here.

How will children today grow up viewing ethnic relationships - even in this neighborhood? ``Before, the idea of a Tutsi as an enemy was rare,'' says one young man who identifies himself as a Hutu. ``But now, even the little children are intoxicated with the idea of Tutsis as enemies.''

A young Hutu named Hadjous, whose nickname is ``Jimmy,'' says the youths of Burundi ``can help us get out of this [ethnic] problem.'' He offers no specific ideas on how the youths can help, however, except by their own example of ethnic tolerance. He discusses the news with a Tutsi friend each day, he adds.

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          â€œWhatever You Find To Do”: A Lesson From Rwanda        
Filed under: Uncategorized
          Best of Decade - Top 50 movies of the 2000's        

It has been a great decade. Life in one decade is quite different from another but the 00's or noughties as some would like to say it. It goes with movies too. The decade which just ended had a huge diversity in the way it unfolded. The word blockbuster was redefined and the BO expectations were re adjusted to a level way up north. A major part of this was the re emergence of the superhero movies. Superheroes never really had it good outside the comics and on kids' channels but the emergence and success of Spiderman paved way for a decade full of heroes. Then there were the animation flicks which laughed their way to box office and critical success at the expense of all those people who thought they were just for kids. They have an amazing potential and next decade will be even better. And finally I should also call upon the Independent film circuit to honour them for being so brave and resilient in the face of the studio moguls spending hundreds of millions on every other flick. As like in any other decade it is the independent small budget (comparably) ones which actually deliver on the potential of cinema but this time round they had help from digital technology which has become affordable and thrown the fencing between producers and consumers in to the recycle bin. The youtube generation can deliver the punch as well as the studios. You have heard of
Paranormal Activity, haven't you? 15000$ budget & 100 million$+ gross. It was good film making coupled with brilliant marketing. This is just the beginning to all such breakout movies.
We do not know how next decade is going to pan out. What will the movie watching experience be? Will theaters still hold their pull or are we going to just be addicted to Netflix? Will Avatar truly revolutionize the industry and will 3D reach our homes and be a part of it as they predict? But we do know how the last one has panned out for movies. Here in this article I try and capture the 50 best movies of the last decade ie 2000 to 2009. These lists are tough, especially when they spread across such a long time and across the world. So
though inherently flawed I try my best to keep a level head and chalk out the decade's finest.

(update: highlighting and minor sentence and position changes)
 How did I make this list? After perusal of extensive ratings on my vote history on IMDB, reading of various lists all over the web, I took into consideration the quality of film making, my personal favourites, cultural and overall impact of the movies. Then the movies were microscopically weighed against each other and rankings in this list were determined. Ask me after a couple of years and it might be different. Such is the case with all lists.

There are more blockbusters than I expected. Of course there might be many more movies out there definitely deserving a place in this but I havent seen them yet. Sure will do someday and maybe a decade down the line I can make this list really, really comprehensive.

50. Love Actually(2003)
This is a tie between two very different romantic movies. One is an outrageous mix of several stories, some sweet, some bitter but all wonderful. One of the best ensembles cast of the decade.

 Undoubtedly the contender for the sweetest movies of the decade. The latter is quaint independent movie capturing the life of two lost musicians who aren't exactly romancing each other. This movie took the industry by storm showcasing the power of the small movie.

49. Persepolis (2007)
Marjane Satrapi's digs into her own life and puts out a bildungsroman graphic novel of a young girl from Iran. The movie is unabashed story telling which has compelling visuals which seem pretty straight and simple.

48. High Fidelity (2000)
This movie should be hung on the walls of every rom com writer and shown how much character depth one can create in any movie regardless of its target audience. John Cusack and the music talk form the core of this movie.

47. Seabiscuit (2003) / Last Samurai (2003)
These two demonstrate the power, a legend can hold on screen. Brilliant captivating tales of 'beings' rather than just persons out of their element striving to achieve and make that difference for themselves and others. Get me every damn time.

46. POC: The Curse of the Black pearl (2003)
The ideal recipe for a blockbuster. Take a Disney ride, wrap it in a brilliant story, get Johnny Depp to do the swagger and take the audience on a thrilling ride. You earn a ton of money. Redo it to earn billions!

Technically it is a simple bollywood film made with good film making values. But it changed the whole industry and influenced a new generation of filmmakers, paving way for a new Bollywood.

45. Casino Royale (2006)
Roger Moore almost killed Bond. Brosnan though made a really good Bond was part of some bad movies. Daniel Craig who is a brilliant actor steps and gives Bond a 21st century's typical makeover. Grim, troubled and flawed is the way to go.

44. Finding Neverland (2004)
Depp again this time with Kate Winslet delivers a magical movie about the making of a magical play, Peter Pan.
Maqbool (2003)
Vishal Bharadwaj’s take on Macbeth with a mafia twist surprised me beyond belief. Seldom have I seen a movie from the subcontinent being so majestic, dark and uncompromisingly intense and not once stooping down to please every man in the hall.

43. Sunshine (2007)
Sci Fi had been relegated to anonymity till the end of the decade after the disastrous Star War prequels. Among Danny Boyle's finest work this movie works wonders for a scifi geek.
42. Iron Man (2008)
When everyone is going dark and gloomy, Iron Man takes a comicbookish lighthearted yet somber at times approach to what is the most exciting new franchise. It had the Wow factor.

41. Cidade de Deus (2002) ie City of God
Loved by almost everyone and topped several lists like these. It is a compelling tale of 2 boys growing up in violent Rio but I dint find it jaw droppingly or devastatingly great.

Mr. & Mrs. Iyer (2002) 
A beautiful movie capturing a story of two very different individuals thrown together during a journey amidst communal strife. Several years since I have seen it but can  still vividly remember its finesse and intensity. One of my favourite Indian movies of all time.

40. Monster's Inc (2001)
Toy Story and Bug's Life were good but this movie marks the beginning of Pixar's imaginative genius coupled with compelling story telling. And of course it had Mike!

39. La science des rêves (2006) ie The Science of Sleep
How far and well can you capture all those weird and fascinating things in your mind? It is one of the toughest things to capture it on screen and Michel Gondry with such panache that for me it is truly enviable!!

38. In Bruges (2008)
Simple Premise, good plot, very good location, great cast and one fantastic movie. In Bruges has got everything a good movie needs and it makes you laugh, think and pulls your heartstrings effortlessly.
37. Good Night and Good Luck (2005)
One of the most underrated movies of this decade. George Clooney directs this masterful piece of work capturing the battle between Edward R Murrow and Senator McCarthy. Among the best lead performances on this list or this decade if I may say by David Strathairn.

36. Ying xiong (2002)
Hero Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon paved way for movies like this but Hero was the gamechanger personally because it showcased the brilliance the Chinese harboured. Arguably the most beautiful film on this list!

35. Crash (2004)
Paul Haggis does a Innaritu but only better. It showcases the life of an average American and his/her insecurities magnificently. It is so good in doing so it should be preserved as a snapshot of personality of a post 9/11 American in the history archives.

34. The Man from Earth (2007)
This is here on this list because of Internet and shows yet again that movies aren't stars, sets and sauce. Fantastic plot in a minimalist setting with a tight screenplay is all one needs! Must must see!

33. Lucía y el sexo (2001) ie Sex and Lucia
Love, sex and more sex. That's all you see if you flip through. But it is a gut wrenching evocative tale of love, relationships, loneliness, guilt, regret, desire and of course lust.

32. Children of Men (2006)
Though not a new concept, 2009 was the year of dystopian future for man. But this did it much earlier and so much better. Clive Owens and Julianne Moore add that good acting touch in this vivid Alfonso Cuaron movie which most Sci-Fi flicks usually fall short on.

31. Star Trek (2009)
In a decade of blockbusters, Star Trek is the defining one. It is fun, it is smart, it is tight and it is well executed. JJ Abrams reboots a franchise almost deemed dead and makes it so good it is unbelievable.

30. Bourne Supremacy (2004)
Though the Identity launched this remarkable anti-bond spy and Ultimatum sealed him as one of the best heroes of our generation, for me Supremacy as the name loudly suggests is where he prevails. And also it has my fav movie car chase of ALL TIME.

29. United 93 (2006)
Paul Greengrass again! Just after wowing the world with his shaky cam in Bourne Supremacy takes up a very ambitious project and delivers undoubtedly the best 9/11 movie. It is good on so many levels!

28. Moon (2009)
Sci-Fi generally equates high costs, loud backdrops and operatic sequences. Moon takes the manual, shoves it in the trash and shows the world what truly sci fi is: An exploration of humanity in a world different from ours!

27. Prestige (2006)
When not making Batman movies, Christopher Nolan makes heady, heavy and hammering movies of struggle and ambition. Prestige is a classic thriller, Mr Hitchcock would be proud of.

26. V for Vendetta (2005)
Wachowski driven Alan Moore hero who inspires the rebel in everyone of us. This movie has brought a strong icon into mainstream popular culture who has given a voice to millions of people while entertaining and wowing them. Few have done this so far!

25. Waking Life (2001)
Richard Linklater goes on a tizzy trip exploring so many issues in life and their meaning. This dreamy affair is a cerebral overload and visual delight and exploits the medium in a uniquely new way.

24. Donnie Darko (2001)
Another very cerebral movie which has sunk into pop culture and largely derives from it to. A multi dimensional premise with the focus on the protagonist's psyche. 'American Beauty' in Sci-Fi if I may.

23. Hotel Rwanda (2004)
Africa is raged by civil War and it's as good as a hell hole but some acts of courage stand out as one man becomes the Oskar Schindler to his people taking mammoth risks on his own life and family.
22. El laberinto del fauno (2006) ie Pan's labyrinth
Guillermo Del Toro makes an astonishing tale of fantasy set in Fascist Spain. It is a beautiful, innocent and at the same time cruel. What you get is a mixed bag of reactions!

21. Le scaphandre et le papillon (2007) ie The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
The protagonist is paralysed and can move nothing but his left eye! He lets his mind do the living and writes a book and. It is a beautiful essay of imagination and courage.

20. The Dark Knight (2008)
Heath Ledger of course played a great part as a Joker but the reason this movie stands apart is because of the almost unconquerable levels of darkness and brooding it achieves. Nolan finishes rewriting the tone for Superhero movies with what he set out to do in Batman Begins.

19. Synecdoche New York (2008)
Charlie Kaufman and his introspective, self deprecating and worldly life reflecting genius! This movie is a grand painting of words and ideas on celluloid.

18. Amelie (2001)
This is a delightful French movie everyone adores because it is simple, beautiful and yet very enigmatic.

17. Das Leben der Anderen (2006) ie The Lives of Others
This best foreign language film Oscar winner set in communist East Berlin. It is a shocking and stirring tale for which I don't have enough words for.

16. Before Sunset(2004)
A sequel to Before Sunrise is bound to have expectations! This movie maintains the spirit of its predecessor and takes it up a notch in the way it has been made. If you observe the whole movie is one sweeping capture of conversation!

15. Atonement (2007)
Ian McEwan's novel is wonderfully brought to screen. This is a gem lost in a year of heavyweights. The super long shot at the beach and the unsettling typewriter soundtrack are just two examples of its brilliance.

14. Requiem for a Dream (2000)
A movie which can leave one scarred or corrected. It explores the lives of 4 drug addicts and physically, mentally and socially captures their pain and makes you feel it!
13. There will be Blood (2007)
Paul Thomas Anderson's grand tale of an Oil Man his ambition, life and battle with faith is a masterpiece. You know it when you watch it, it shouts so at you. Daniel Day Lewis is my best actor of the decade for his grand role.

12. Gladiator (2000)
Ridley Scott's magnum opus of Maximus Decimus Meridius has been a defining movie of my generation. Tale of a powerful leader yet a simple man who has been wronged told well doesn't go wrong, it becomes a cult!

11. Shrek (2001)
Along with Monster's Inc Shrek moved animation to the next level. What made Shrek so special was its wittiness and smart story telling. The combination of oh so many fairy tale characters to weave one to rule them all was a masterstroke. The pop cultural references including that of Matrix were epic!

10. Old Boy (2003)
This was one of my early foreign language films and I was left astounded. Not only does it leaves a bitter taste, It is a violent and revolting story one cant place themselves in brilliantly told.
9. Man on Wire (2008)
My fav documentary of all time ceases to be one and becomes a compelling tale of a marvelous feat. Couple with a brilliant Michael Nyman soundtrack you are damped with anticipation though you already know the result. Just Wow!
8. Kill Bill Vol 1 (2003)
The Bride is on a roaring rampage. She roars and rampaged and got bloody satisfaction. That about sums up Tarantino's blood and gore filled, style driven action extravaganza.
7. Fa yeung nin wa (2000) ie In the Mood for Love
Set in Hong kong of the 60's this beautiful tale is an exploration of love, loneliness and the longing. Amazing score and brilliant cinematography make this movie an instant classic.
6. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless mind (2004)
Michel Gondry meets Kaufman with Kate Winslet at hand and Jim Carrey gives what maybe the best performance of his career. It is a story about inseparable love wrapped with imagination!

5. Vals Im Bashir (2008) ie Waltz with Bashir
It is a psychedelic trip down the memory lane of an Israeli ex-serviceman in the Lebanese war. It is so fantastic that I was tripping on it and waltzing to its tunes!

4. LOTR Two Towers (2002)
LOTR, the whole trilogy as one would stand here but it is the second movie where it truly achieves greatness. The battle at Helmsdeep and Isengard just shook me away.
3. The Fountain (2006)
Arronofsky said his first movie Pi was an exploration of mind, Requiem was of body and Fountain of soul. Watching this movie was a spiritual experience. The soundtrack was so powerful I can recollect the visuals! It is a movie par excellence.
2. Wall E (2008)
The first 40 min of the movie changed it all. When animation movies had set into a fantasy stereotype with animals and objects doing extraordinary things, along came Wall E. With his adorable traits and mighty heart he awakens a world unknown to animators and humans!

1. Memento (2000)
A great movie is an enigma. A mastery over your story, its characters and the way they unfold to your audience. For the audience it is a challenge and Nolan brings out the greatest one among all. Arguably the greatest screenplays ever this movie set out to be emulated a million times by story tellers in their own petty way.

Do chip into let me know what you thought should have made it to the list and what shouldn't have.

p.s:This article first appeared in the magazine I write for called Avant Garde Life. I have made a few additions here.

          Politics - USA        
He has a point. We must be careful that separation does not intensify. The Balkans is an excellent example of what happens when you do that. Rwanda, Iraq and Afghanistan are others. The wars between the Scottish clans would be another. Clan McBlarrghhh vs. Clan McBLLarrgghh.

Separate too much and you become tribes in the area, and not the nation.

that is where you are wrong I do not identify myself as Californian, I say i'm in California, but identify myself as an American, just because you practice segregation and separate yourself from the rest does not mean all do.

I am a Texan. "You may all go to Hell. I shall go to Texas. " "If I owned Hell and Texas I would rent out Texas and live in Hell."
          Politics - USA        
 Frazzled wrote:
He has a point. We must be careful that separation does not intensify. The Balkans is an excellent example of what happens when you do that. Rwanda, Iraq and Afghanistan are others. The wars between the Scottish clans would be another. Clan McBlarrghhh vs. Clan McBLLarrgghh.

Separate too much and you become tribes in the area, and not the nation.

that is where you are wrong I do not identify myself as Californian, I say i'm in California, but identify myself as an American, just because you practice segregation and separate yourself from the rest does not mean all do.

I am a Texan. "You may all go to Hell. I shall go to Texas. " "If I owned Hell and Texas I would rent out Texas and live in Hell."

In other words, people shouldn't do that, but I can, because I'm a Texan. Maybe we should get rid of the mex part in Tex-mex food? Just call it Texan stew?

Automatically Appended Next Post:
Asterios wrote:
 jasper76 wrote:
@Asterios: To follow your logic why even identify as an American? After all, you'reca member of the human species before you're an American. Why not just identify as a "citizen of Earth"?

because Earth is not unified or even close to it and until then I will still strive to push for a unified America, once done, then I'll push for a unified Earth. one step at a time.

But we aren't just America. We are the United States of America. (I thought it was conservatives who pushed for greater states' sovereignty?" separate but part of a whole. That's "America".
          Politics - USA        
 Gordon Shumway wrote:
 Frazzled wrote:
He has a point. We must be careful that separation does not intensify. The Balkans is an excellent example of what happens when you do that. Rwanda, Iraq and Afghanistan are others. The wars between the Scottish clans would be another. Clan McBlarrghhh vs. Clan McBLLarrgghh.

Separate too much and you become tribes in the area, and not the nation.

that is where you are wrong I do not identify myself as Californian, I say i'm in California, but identify myself as an American, just because you practice segregation and separate yourself from the rest does not mean all do.

I am a Texan. "You may all go to Hell. I shall go to Texas. " "If I owned Hell and Texas I would rent out Texas and live in Hell."

In other words, people shouldn't do that, but I can, because I'm a Texan. Maybe we should get rid of the mex part in Tex-mex food? Just call it Texan stew?

Automatically Appended Next Post:
Asterios wrote:
 jasper76 wrote:
@Asterios: To follow your logic why even identify as an American? After all, you'reca member of the human species before you're an American. Why not just identify as a "citizen of Earth"?

because Earth is not unified or even close to it and until then I will still strive to push for a unified America, once done, then I'll push for a unified Earth. one step at a time.

But we aren't just America. We are the United States of America. (I thought it was conservatives who pushed for greater states' sovereignty?" separate but part of a whole. That's "America".

never said I was conservative.
          Politics - USA        
 TheMeanDM wrote:
Actually Sebster, if you take a step back and look at it....it does make sense.

But you have to understand how a caucus works....

I know how a caucus works, and I'll thank you to not be quite so silly in future.

And you're still missing the point - a caucus isn't an election and so can't pretend its an election, even if pretending it is makes Sanders look better.

We know less people show for caucus votes, because very fething obviously if voting takes a whole day instead of an hour then less people are going to do it. And we know the ones who remain are going to be the most committed supporters. And we know in this cycle Sanders has had a significant advantage in enthusiasm over Clinton. That's why the best models for predicting state votes have taken demographic data and then factored in whether the vote is closed, open or a caucus (with the first helping Clinton and the latter two helping Sanders).

As such, it's completely idiotic to take the advantage of it being a caucus, and then start to pretend that a popular vote had taken place. It would be equally ridiculous for the Clinton camp to notice that their best states were closed primaries, and then to claim that if they'd been open the vote total would have been greater, so she was just going to increase the vote count to what it might have been in an open primary... but keeping the vote shares the same.

You of course, instinctively know that last example is incredibly silly. And yet you can't see the exact same thing when it's applied to the caucus states... because you want to believe.

Automatically Appended Next Post:
 whembly wrote:
This is the end result of a culture infested with identity politics.

I repeat myself, but the idea that someone is unable to objectively and professionally perform his/her job OR perform it better because of your race *is* by definition racism. But, because identity politics is so pervasive in our culture, many are blind to it.

First up, I think you've got the bull before the horns - we had racism long before we had identity politics. Blaming racism on identity politics is out of sync by about 500 years.

Second up, recognising that a different background brings a different perspective is not racism. Seeing that a committee of six white women might benefit from a different point of view if the seventh member was a black man isn't sexist or racist. What is racist is the decision that because a person is of a background then he must be incapable in some thing or another.

Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Frazzled wrote:
He has a point. We must be careful that separation does not intensify. The Balkans is an excellent example of what happens when you do that. Rwanda, Iraq and Afghanistan are others. The wars between the Scottish clans would be another. Clan McBlarrghhh vs. Clan McBLLarrgghh.

Separate too much and you become tribes in the area, and not the nation.

The primary driver of aggressive seperation isn't from people speaking of their own identity, but when the dominant tribe tells the rest that they can't be any different If a person says "I am a Chinese American"... well so what? They're still going to work to get food on the table and a roof over their head, still gonna raise kids and try and get a babysitter once a month so they can go out on a date night and get really angry about the latest TMNT movie.

But if someone says to them that they aren't Chinese American, but instead are just American... well then you get seperation. Because that's denying them their heritage, telling them that unique experiences they had because of their background should just be ignored or maybe even denied. That's not healthy and that's where you actually see seperation start.
          Imorgon Rwanda        
Möt en ung fotograf, en dansare, en klubbarrangör och en musiker som berättar om skapande, kulturlivet i Kigali och vikten av att berätta sin egen historia.
          Kulturradion special: Imorgon Rwanda        
Möt en ung fotograf, en dansare, en klubbarrangör och en musiker som berättar om skapande, kulturlivet i Kigali och vikten av att berätta sin egen historia.
          Solar Irrigation in Rwanda: working with the IFC, EUCORD and Heineken to increase smallholder crop production        

Farmers in the Isuka Irakiza Cooperative in the Eastern Region of Rwanda have been cultivating maize for many seasons. They farm a productive tranche of land in the Kavura Valley, Muhazi Sector, Rwamagana District – but in recent years the rains have been more and more inconsistent, and in 2016, the area was hit by […]

The post Solar Irrigation in Rwanda: working with the IFC, EUCORD and Heineken to increase smallholder crop production appeared first on Futurepump Solar Irrigation.

          Meet the Team – Flavia Howard        

Name: Flavia Howard Job title: Country Director, Rwanda How long have you been at Futurepump? I first met Toby Hammond in January 2016, and Futurepump (Rwanda) Ltd was founded in September that year. Describe a usual day: There’s no typical day – as we’ve only just launched in Rwanda there are so many varied tasks […]

The post Meet the Team – Flavia Howard appeared first on Futurepump Solar Irrigation.

          Synergy bags $10 mn project for townships in Rwanda        

New Delhi: Bangalore-based real estate consulting and turnkey solution firm Synergy on Tuesday said it has bagged design and project management contracts for three townships in Rwanda for about USD 10 million (over Rs 55 crore).

The design and project management mandate is a part of a USD 153 million township development contract from Rwanda Social Security Board (RSSB) bagged by Blackstone-backed Synergy Property Development Services.

"Synergy's fee will be approximately USD 10 million for this project," the company said in a statement.

The selection was done through a global tendering process for the townships in Kigali, the capital and the largest city of the African nation, it added.

Under the contract, Synergy will manage the entire development of the projects, including design management and co-ordination, engineering, procurement management and construction management.

The Indian firm will be also be responsible for time, cost, quality and environmental health and safety standards, the statement said.

Work for all the projects will commence from July, with completion of the first phase targeted within 20 months.

Commenting on the order, Synergy Property Development Services Chairman and MD Sankey Prasad said: "Africa is a land of opportunities for housing and office space development work... The scope of work for these townships is massive and challenging and we are delighted to get an opportunity to demonstrate our capabilities."

These three projects will provide the foundation for the Indian firm to become a dominant global force in executing township projects anywhere in the world, he added.

Out of the three projects, two townships will be developed in 250 acres and 157 acres respectively. Another township will house 200 apartments.

Synergy currently has an order book of over to Rs 3,000 crore for various projects in India and abroad.


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Synergy bags $10 mn project for townships in Rwanda

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Top World News Now                 
March 3, 2013

United States
Obama Pardons 17 Felons, First in His Second Term
DHS built domestic surveillance tech into Predator drones
'Hundreds of thousands' of documents captured with Osama bin Laden, but only 17 released
Michigan governor moves to appoint emergency manager in Detroit
Pentagon Plans to Ask for Base Closures 
Thousands of Soldiers to Leave Europe
U.S. lawmakers question military aid to Egypt, citing concerns about Israel
US factory work is returning, but the industry has changed
'Anonymous' Hacker Explains Why He Fled The US
Among Most Polluted in US, NYC Area Awaits Cleanup
US Budget Cuts Force Yellowstone to Delay Opening
Obama signs sequester bill
Obama moves a step closer to approval of Keystone pipeline
Navy Building a Drone Base in Sunny Malibu

Ukrainian leader, fresh from EU talks, to meet Putin
Russian Arms Trade Czar Says "War" Declared on Weapon Supplies to Syria
Russian demonstrators rally in support of U.S. adoption ban
Moscow Police to Probe Alleged Rally Payment Scam
Moscow Mayor says no to more mosques in the city
Opposition’s ‘Social March’ Fizzles Out in Moscow
Uzbek National Shot Dead in Moscow
Putin, Obama stress cooperation, pledge to 'avoid deterioration' in relations
Russia presses for extradition of fugitive banker
Ukrainian President: Gas contract with Russia is killing us
Putin Signals Russia Can Be More Flexible on Syria
Putin says Russia should listen to French arguments on Syria, over vodka
Russians commend Putin's performance, believe he can keep election promises

Islands Dispute: China Warns Japan Ahead Of Legislative Session
A push for change in China as new leaders take the helm
China's reform roadmap gets clearer
China "fully prepared" for currency war
China divided on TV 'execution parade': judicial resolve or crude voyeurism
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Kills 12 in Chinese Coal Mine
Spill in China Underlines Environmental Concerns
China's fourth space launch center to be in use in two years
Xi Jinping taking on corruption in China
Premier Li Keqiang, as Hu Jintao protege, may be outgunned on policy
China calls for decreased tension on Korean Peninsula
5 Tibetans, mostly Buddhist monks, arrested for inciting self-immolations
Darkness at noon as worst dust storm in months mixes with morning smog
China's First Aircraft Carrier on Way to Permanent Base at Qingdao in North

United Kingdom‎
Cameron: UK 'can transform Africa' with G8
Cameron Vows To Stay The Course
Cameron buries hatchet with Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell - and offers him £250,000 EU job
Government fights Europe over air pollution reduction
EU banker pay cap 'threatens thousands of British jobs'
Revealed: One in four of UK's top companies pay no tax
Banker Andrei Borodin granted asylum in Britain after fleeing Russia
UK Explorer: Green Campaigning Has Failed
UK commits £88m to Chilean telescope 'as big as all existing ones put together'
Paedophile ring leader, Colin Peters, linked to Barnes scandal
Cameron vows to defend UK banks

European Union
Hundreds of thousands march against austerity in Portugal
Italy paralysed as Grillo plots exit route from euro
Italian newcomer Grillo predicts collapse in six months
Italy President Napolitano calls for realism after vote
Greek military prepares for mass repression
1000s hold anti-austerity demo in Greece
At least 22 people hurt in Macedonia ethnic protests over new defense minister
Mass layoffs at Caterpillar in Belgium
Dark Rumblings Of A Coup D'État In Spain
Spain Delays Catalunya Banc Auction
Spain overturns Islamic face veil ban
Thousands march in Portugal to protest austerity

Germany Blasted for Role in Europe's Crisis
German states rail against 'stupid' wealth transfers
Italian president says Germany must give EU recovery a boost
Germany Debates Fracking as Energy Costs Rise
Bitter feud divides family of Germany's reunification leader
Racism in German military mirrors society
Germany discovers toxin in animal fodder
Angela Merkel Wishes Bulgaria's Borissov Quick Recovery
Merkel cabinet lowers bars to German labor market
Kerry praises Germany's 'exemplary leadership' in Europe
Italian president scraps meeting with German opposition leader over "clown" remarks

Hollande leads tributes to 'a great figure' and resistance fighter
As France's Mali mission grows, so does terror threat from homegrown militants inside France
France considers marijuana-based drug
France will not reach 2015 disabled access target
Paris seeks alternative to 75% tax
France-Qatar tensions rise over Mali war, Tunisia
Hollande juggles trade, human rights in Moscow
Hollande to Talk Syria Settlement With Putin
Kerry holds talks on Mali with French leadership
War For Global Energy Supremacy-World War III
Al-Qaeda leader behind Algeria gas plant hostage massacre killed in Mali
US Seeks to Confirm Report of Terror Leader's Death
Syria: Fierce Clashes in Provincial Capital Raqqa
Assad Forces Take Aleppo Village, Reopening Supply Line
Syrian President Assad Blasts British Government
Iran Says Syria’s Assad to Run for 2014 Election
How Does the U.S. Mark Unidentified Men in Pakistan and Yemen as Drone Targets?
Syrian Rebels Angry Over US Aid: ‘Only Thing We Want Is Weapons’

Insight Into Today’s News
Billionaires Continue To Dump Stocks
G20 issues empty declaration against currency wars
Norway Enters The Currency Wars
The Second-Mortgage Shell Game
The Last Liberal Branch of Government
US/NATO occupation of Afghanistan unraveling
Goodbye? We’ve Lost Who We Are?
US Schools Go Into Full Prison Mode
Hornady Addresses Ammo Shortage: We’re working 24/7
US Media Yet Again Conceals Newsworthy Government Secrets

Netanyahu secretly visited Jordan to discuss peace with Palestinians
Netanyahu gets two more weeks to form Israel coalition
3 Syrian Mortars Land in Southern Golan Heights
Gaza Border: Senior Officer's Vehicle Hit by Gunshots
New coalition will have to freeze construction outside settlement blocs
Tissue tests planned for Israelis in Gaza who want to cross border
Palestinian PM evacuated from West Bank after Israeli soldiers fire teargas at protesters
Sequestration: Israel Could ‘Gradually’ Lose $500 Million in US Aid
Netanyahu blasts Erdogan's 'dark and libelous' criticism of Zionism

Scud Missile Fired in Syria Lands Near Iraqi Village
Bombs Kill at Least 22 in Iraqi Capital
Erdoğan: Islamophobia, anti-Semitism same
Turkey's Difficult Choice in Palestine, Israel
Erdogan Calls for More Support for Syrian Opposition
Kurdish leader 'outlines' Turkey peace plan
More Military Arrests in Turkey For 'Feb. 28 Process'
Turkey Provides Schools for Syrian Refugee Children
Iraq budget stalemate deepens over Kurd oil payments
Iraq continues to allow Iranian overflights to Syria

John Kerry visits Egypt as dozens injured in violent protests
Kerry urges Egypt to take difficult economic steps; opposition figures skip meetings
Protesters Demand Armed Forces Intervention in Cairo
Ex-member: Muslim Brotherhood has secret societies in 80 nations, including U.S.
Bahrain Activist Zainab Al-Khawaja Sentenced to Jail
176 Protesters Held in Saudi Arabia
Qatar's Influence in Egypt Runs Deeper Than Its Pockets
Morsi criticized for reaction to tragedy
Parties who boycotted Morsi's national dialogue invited to send suggestions
Opposition refuse to stand in Egypt's parliamentary elections

Ahmadinejad: National dialogue only way to end Syria crisis
Ahmadinejad: West's war against Iran media doomed to failure  
Ahmadinejad to Visit Pakistan This Month to Inaugurate IP Gas Pipeline Construction
Threatening Iran Won't Help in Nuclear Talks, Envoy Says
Seized Chinese Weapons Raise Concerns on Iran
Head Of Iran's Qods Force Suggests Assad Is Vulnerable
Sanction-Hit Iran Fears Unrest as New Elections Near
Khamenei tells Zardari pipeline must advance despite US opposition
Ahmadinejad Aide’s Candidacy a Challenge to Iran’s Theocratic Status Quo
Ahmadinejad, Zardari Stress Expansion of Iran-Pakistan Ties

Hugo Chavez undergoing chemotherapy
VP Maduro: Capriles Seeks Destabilization in Venezuela
Venezuela decries "absurd" rumors over Chavez death
Maduro: Chavez ‘battling’ for his life
Rumours swirl as Chavez stays out of sight
Former envoy claims Venezuela's Chavez is dead
Venezuela government denies rumours about Chavez
Venezuelans hold demo in support of Chavez
Student demonstration dispersed by authorities in Venezuela
FARC: Colombia government to blame for coffee strike

Brazil to get its first nuclear subs
Rousseff Meets Nigerian Leader for Trade Talks
Brazil's Unemployment Rises More Than Forecast in January
Prosecutors investigate spying charges against consortium building dam in Brazil
Brazil turns to Catholic Church to quash crack epidemic
Brazil Wind Developers May Be Required to Build New Power Lines
No one is safe from Argentina's drug war
Modern Slavery Rears its Ugly Head in Chile
Chilean Navy Saves 25 Stranded Whales, 20 Die
Peru says American couple found; family wants 'proof of life'

Nieto Says Justice Will Be Done in Union Boss’s Case
Six Bodies Found in Mexico, Including Teenage Boy Earlier Arrested for Murder
Mexican Daily Hit by Third Attack This Week
Army Kills 4 Gunmen in Northern Mexico
Two Police Gunned Down in Guatemala
Fire hits big Mexico City marketplace
Pena Nieto enacts major education reform
Powerful head of Mexico teachers union is arrested
Mexico to Launch New Police Force Later This Year

Cuba Dissident’s Daughter Says Dad’s Death Was No Accident
Cuban Dissidents Hope to Build Mass Organization
A post-Castro Cuba
Chavez Congratulates Raul Castro on Re-Election
Castro Retirement News Prompts Tepid Response In Miami
Transition now seen as underway in Cuba
Cooperatives Could Save Cuban Socialism
South African medical students in Cuba may be deported
No ease for Cuba from US state sponsor of terrorism list

United Nations
U.N. Security Council asks for report on possible Mali peacekeepers
Ban Tones Down Criticism of Rwanda Over Congo Claims
UN chief says Iran should gain world confidence over its disputed atomic plan
Libya to ask U.N. to lift arms embargo
UN Removes Osama bin Laden From Sanctions List
          You’ll thank me later        

I am following the lead of Migrations blog and pasting the Atheist Blogroll.

Number 21 of 50 Signs you’re a blogaholic reminds me that, for a true blogaholic:

# You care more about what Technorati says about your authority than what your children do.

Given that Technorati treats the Atheist Blogroll as having no effect on ranking anymore – possibly because it usually appears in a sidebar or it uses a script or both – I decided to give everyone on Mojoey’s Atheist Blogroll a link (as Migrations did) and up everyone’s authority a tad:

(You don’t want atheists lto seem less authoratitive than theists, do you?)

2 Intellectual Atheists
A Daily Dose of Doubt
A Human Mind
A Load of Bright
A Night on the Tiles

A Veritable Plethora
A Whore in the Temple of Reason
About: Agnosticism / Atheism
Abstract Nonsense
Aces Full of Links

Action Skeptics
After Faith
Agnostic Atheism
aidan maconachy blog
Ain’t Christian
Al-Kafir Akbar!

Alien Atheist
Am I mad, or is the world?
Amused Muse
An Enlightened Observer
Angels Depart
Angry Astronomer
Arcis Logos
Atheism is the Rational Response

Atheism Online
atheism | simra.net
Atheism: Proving The Negative
Atheist Blogs Aggregated
Atheist Ethicist
Atheist Ethics
Atheist Father
Atheist Girl
Atheist Housewife

Atheist Hussy
Atheist Movies
Atheist Revolution
Atheist Says What
Atheist Self
Austin Atheist Anonymous

Author of Confusion
Axis of Jared
Ayrshire Blog
Babble, bullshit, blasphemy and being.
Bay of Fundie
Beaman’s World
Beep! Beep! It’s Me.

Ben’s Place
Bert’s Blog
Bible Study for Atheists
Bill’s View
bits of starstuff

Bjorn & Jeannette’s Blog
Black Sun Journal
Blogue de Mathieu Demers
Bob Kowalski
Born Again Atheist

Buridan’s Ass
By The Book Comics
Can’t make a difference
Christian Follies

Church of Integrity
Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster
Circular Reasoning
Cogita Tute – Think For Yourself
Coming Out Godless
Complete Materialist
Confessions of an Anonymous Coward
Cosmic Variance

Crazy Christian Chain Emails
Culture for all
Daily Atheist
Dark Christianity
Dark Side of Mars
Darwin’s Dagger
Daylight Atheism

Debunking Christianity
Deep Thoughts
Deeply Blasphemous
Desperately Seeking Ethics and Reason
Deus ex Absurdum
DEVOUT Atheist Godless Grief
Die Eigenheit
Dime a dozen

discernible chaos
Disgusted Beyond Belief
Dispatches from the Culture Wars
do not read this blog
Dr. Joan Bushwell’s Chimpanzee Refuge
Drunken Tune
Dubito Ergo Sum
Duplicitous Primates

Dwindling In Unbelief
Edifying Spectacle
Edward T. Babinski
Elaine Vigneault
Everyday Atheism
Everyday Humanist
Everything Is Pointless

Expired Convictions
Explicit Atheist
Feersum Endjinn
Fish Wars on Cars
Five Public Opinions
Flex Your Head

Free Mind Joe
FreeThought by a FreeThinker
Freethought vs. Friel-Thought
Freethought Weekly
Friendly Atheist
Geoff Arnold

Gimme Back My God!
God is for Suckers!
God is Pretend
Godless Kiwi
Godless on the Wasatch Front
Goosing the Antithesis

Gospel of Reason
Gratuitous Common Sense
Greg Hartnett
Happy Jihad’s House of Pancakes
Hayleys Paranormal Blog
Hellbound Alleee
hell’s handmaiden
High Maintenance Hags

Honjii’s Harangues
Human Psyche of J.D. Crow
Ice Station Tango
In Defence Of Reason
Incessant Expressions
Inkblot Icon

Irked off
Jewish Atheist
Judith’s thought-provoking hard-hitting journal
K H A L A S !
Kill The Afterlife
King Aardvark
Lary Crews

Le Contestataire
le tiers monde
leaping rabbit/lapin sauteur
Leicester Secularist
Let There Be Light
Letters from a broad
Life & Otherwise
Life is an adventure

Life Without Faith
Life, the Universe and Everything
Living with Missy and other thoughts
LOL god
Look at the Bright’s Side
Lord J-Bar For Democracy, Not Theocracy
louis’ blog

Love the Nimbu
Lubab No More
lynn’s daughter, thinking
Masala Skeptic
Matt’s Notepad
Mechanical Crowds
Meet An Atheist

Memoirs of a (G)a(y)theist
Memoirs of an ex-Christian
Midwest Atheist
Mike’s Weekly Skeptic Rant
Misc. Musing

mister jebs blog
Modern Agnostic
Modern Atheist
My Case Against God
My Elemental Muse
My Life Thinly Disguised as Groove
Naturalistic Atheism
Neural Gourmet

New Humanist Blog
Nicest Girl and Destroyer of Planets
No Double Standards
No More Hornets
No more Mr. Nice Guy!
Non Credo Deus

North Alabama Rant
Nothing Is Sacred
One Fewer God
Onion Breath
Onwards and Forwards
Open Parachute

Oz Atheis’s Weblog
parenthetical remarks
Philosophers’ Playground
Pink Prozac

Pinoy Atheist
Planet Atheism
Pooflingers Anonymous
Primordial Blog
Principles of Parsimony
Prose Justice
Psychodiva’s Mutterings

Quintessential Rambling
Ramblings of an Atheist Undergrad
Random Intelligence
Rank Atheism
Re-imagine Ritual
Reeding and Writing
Religion is Bullshit !

Rev. BigDumbChimp
Richard Carrier Blogs
Rideo ergo sum
Robert’s Thought’s
Ron’s Rants
Rupture the Rapture
Russell’s Teapot

Saint Gasoline
Sans God
Scientia Natura
Sean the Blogonaut
Secular Humanism with a human face
See For Yourself

Shared Difference
Silly Humans
Skeptic Rant
Skeptical Personal Development
So long, and thanks for all the guilt!
Son Shines Zee 365
Southern Atheist

Stardust Musings and Thoughts for the Freethinker
Staring At Empty Pages
Steven Carr’s Blog
Strange Land
Summer Squirrel
Talk Reason

Talking to Theists
Tangled Up In Blue Guy
Tarpan’s Blog
Televangelists with Toupees
Terahertz – From Physics to Life
Thank God I’m An Atheist
The Affable Atheist
The Allen Zone

The Angry Atheist
The Anonymous Atheist
The Apostate
The Ateist Endeavor
the atheist chronicles
The Atheist Effect
The Atheist Experience
The Atheist Jew
The Atheist Mama

The Atheist Resistance
The Atheocracy
The Atheologist
The Bach
The Blasphemous
The Blog of M’Gath
The Cat Ranch
The Chronicles of Gorthos

The Conscious Earth
The Daily Cat Chase
The Eternal Gaijin
The Flying Bagpiper
The Flying Trilobite
The Fundy Post
The Gay Black Jew
The Godless Grief
The Good Atheist

The Great Realization
The Greenbelt
The Happy, Religion Free Family
The Homeless Atheist
The Honest Doubter
The Humanist Observer
The Incomer
The Jesus Myth
The Jewish Atheist

The Labour Humanist
The Libertarian Defender
The Lippard Blog
the LITTLE things
The Mary Blog
The Nate and Di Show
The Natural Skeptic
The New Atheist
The New Horizon

The O Project
The One With Aldacron
The Pagan Prattle Online
The Panda’s Thumb
The People’s Republic Of Newport
the post-bicameral mind
The Questionable Authority
The Rad Guy Blog

The Raving Atheist
the right of reason
the Science Ethicist
The Science Pundit
The Second Mouses Guide to Life
The Second Oldest Question
The Secular Outpost
The Secular-Man Blog (An Oasis of Clear Thinking)
The Serenity of Reason

The shadows of an open mind
The Skeptic Review
the skeptical alchemist
The Strong Atheist
The Thermal Vent
The Uncredible Hallq
The Underground Unbeliever
The Uninformed Suburban Housewife
The Uninspired Manifesto

The Zen Of G
These Twisted Times
They Promised Us Jetpacks and We Got Blogs
Thought Theater
Toxic thought waste site
Ungodly Cynic

Unscrewing The Inscrutable
Uri Kalish – Urikalization
Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy
Vetenskap & F�rnuft
View From Earth
Villa Nandes
Wanderin’ Weeta

Way of the Mind
Why Dont You Blog?
Wild-Eyed Atheist Boy
Without Gods
Writer Philosopher Culture Warrior
Yet Another Blog
You Made Me Say It
Young Earth Creationists Anonymous

Zeemy’s Paradigm
Zen Curmudgeon
“Atheism Sucks” sucks

          Parallel Parking        
Hey family, I have been on a hiatus lately due to my trip to New York City and when I returned home, I got sick...thank you for your e-mails and words of encouragement. I didn't realize that these updates mean so much to you guys and thank you for your patience and your time! Get ready for an update...

Coming Home: Parallelling between destinations
I was in New York City for a week to start my monthly ministry with the Herald Youth Center and with the Chinese Christian Herald Crusades. It was the longest time that I have been apart from Jamie and in some ways it was very difficult but also finding that in the absence there is intimacy. Each night when we prayed or spoke about our days, there was a deeper affection and support for one another. We have a chance to share and enter into the promise that God has a plan and purpose for us during this new season of our lives. It reminds me of the words of Oswald Chambers, "When you cannot hear God, you will find that He has trusted you in the most intimate way possible— with absolute silence, not a silence of despair, but one of pleasure, because He saw that you could withstand an even bigger revelation. " The pauses of these days of our marriage has brought me to understand the cost of pursuing this calling...to serve...to account my days to Him.

A special thanks to Pastor Joseph Tsang of Vision Church who housed me one night and had a great time with some old friends like Norman, Steph and Carrie...the highlight was getting late night Kennedy Fried Chicken and watching U2 Concert videos.

Asian American Laity Ministry
I had the chance to preach at Mid-Hudson Chinese Christian Church and enter into a discussion with them to develop their English ministry. I am approaching them to establish some training and also support for them on a monthly basis starting in January. I am developing a plan with them to build this new direction in their church and recruiting some pastors and advisors to build this ministry. It was such a blessing to be with the leadership who have such a passion and commitment to see this Chinese church develop a legacy with its second and third generation congregation.

A small and growing group of Laity Project partners are building in New York City with several church leaders and also pastors. I am excited to see how God will use this project to empower the lay leaders of the Asian American church. I am still awaiting to work with several parachurches and with seminaries once the funding comes through.

I am also in the midst of doing the transcription for the Asian American Leadership Roundtable but my camcorder broke. I had it sent in for repairs and hope to get it transribed and posted.

Please pray for the vision of this campaign. Pray for wisdom as I am working with the Mid-Hudson Chinese Christian Church to establish and build on the ministry of the English congregation.

Chinese Christian Herald Crusades
I was able serve with the Herald Youth Center for a week and focus on developing a ministry plan with the team. In January, there will be a launch for the Center. The Chinese Christian Herald Crusades is in the midst of closing of a property in Queens that will make a multi-functional community center in the heart of the Chinese ethnic community. I am working with the organization to develop a plan to pursue partnerships with English speaking congregations for this project.

Pray for my role there and also the work that God is doing through CCHC. Pray for focus and to follow after God in the midst of this new venture and that we don't get seduced by the magnitude of the new center but rather pursue the preaching and the living out of the gospel.

OneHouse event is a little over a week away and there is such a momentum of the churches to come to this event for unity and social justice. I am preparing a talk for the evening called, "Paradise Lost: God's Testament of Justice in a Broken World." I will be speaking on Jesus's first sermon in Luke 4:17-19...In this very important message (one of the most important ones I have ever prepared), I am living through an unrealized yearning for myself. I have read and poured over scriptures that speak for our response to the poor, the widows, the orphans, and the oppressed...never had it spoken so deeply into my heart as it has this past week. I watched Hotel Rwanda for the first time last night and saw the profound loss in the world's unspeakable silence in the midst of so much tragedy...and I have this opportunity to join brothers and sisters in uncovering God's plan to uncover this journey to bring hope to the world...

Pray for this event but more importantly for a movement of the Holy Spirit to stir the hearts of our brothers to identify with the poor and to move towards a reality of God's deliverence in the lives of those hurting...

Center for New Americans
I have been volunteering at the Center for New Americans, which is a Syracuse organization that helps to resettle refugees from around the world...It has been so eye-opening as these refugees share their lives with me...I met a woman from Somalia who tells me of her experiences in surviving in the midst of moving from conflict, a young Congolese man who has scars that has not diminished his tender demeanor and polite disposition, and a Liberian woman who has overcome political upheaval to only have to fight and overcome her personal bout with cancer. These lives, these stories have nourished my soul...and have brought me to tears...these men and women who have shattered lives...they not only survive but have the most beautiful spirit...to smile, to look at me and offer me some of the most geniune laughs as I share jokes with them...Pray for those around the world who are in camps...surviving and wanting to arrive in a destination where there are lives that are released and radiant.

Speaking engagements
Once again the season has begun and I am getting invitations to speak at churches, outreach events, college fellowships and retreats. Here are the venues as of now...
NYU (Intervarsity Christian Fellowship)
Bergen Christian Testimony Church
Reforme Church of Newtown
Penn State (Asian American Christian Fellowship)
Cornell Navigators Fellowship

Praises for Provision
Thank you for your prayers...Jamie and I had our car fixed which cost us $1200 but it was amazing that my speaking engagements and generous friends who have given us love offerings in time of need really helped this month. We have also to find some alternatives towards my dental procedures and found a discounted rate that saved us more than $300. Thank you for your support.

To Financially Support the ministry please send checks (make payable to PaLM) to:
48-19 196th Street
Fresh Meadows, New York
please mark memo: Asian American Laity Ministries
All donations are tax-deductible

In the Globe and Mail article of September 29, 2003, ‘Some things are best forgotten’, the author, William Thorsell, espouses the virtue of forgiveness, which he considers ‘the most undervalued of virtues’. He also advocates forgetting painful incidents as the first step to construct a new life. Although the author preaches forgiveness with humane intentions, his deduction is at best simplistic, at worst dangerous.

Thorsell bases his analysis on a new conclusion on post-traumatic stress counseling by a panel of the American Psychological Society (APS). According to the APS, “Although psychological debriefing is widely used throughout the world to prevent PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder], there is no convincing evidence that it does so …For scientific and ethical reasons, professionals should cease compulsory debriefing of trauma-exposed people.” From this conclusion, the author generalizes that repression, denial and selective amnesia should be the preferable solutions for dealing with ‘bad experiences’.

Thorsell’s generalization is insensitive because of its dangerous assumptions: “…most of us know that these tools (repression, denial and selective amnesia) of avoidance ward off certain madness in our personal lives.” This banal comment has the condescending tone of an arrogant majority, despite his failure to provide any scientific reference to support this ‘obvious fact’. Moreover, the author is quite overt in his disapproval of cathartic counseling- even when the counseling is not compulsory, and he vilifies the ‘culture of confession’ as ‘wasteful indulgence’. The author seems to laud the majority individuals who heroically “grieve privately and then get better on their own.”

Countering these popular myths, PTSD-Alliance (link: www.ptsdalliance.org), a PTSD advocacy organization says, “PTSD is a complex disorder that often is misunderstood. Not everyone who experiences a traumatic event will develop PTSD, but many people do…It is important to understand that people respond differently to trauma. Some people will have a few problems, and these problems may go away without treatment. Others will need support and some kind of treatment before they can move forward with their lives.”

The organization also cautions, “The most critical steps in treating PTSD often are most difficult- recognizing the problem and getting help. There are many reasons why this can be hard to do: People who have experienced an extreme traumatic event may hope, or even expect, to be able to ‘handle it’ and ‘get over it’ on their own…Sometimes the experience may be too personal, painful or embarrassing to discuss…There are a number of effective options for PTSD. Treatment can involve psychotherapy (i.e., counseling), medication or a combination of both.”

Thus, it is dangerous to assume that people should handle their ‘bad experiences’ by selective amnesia since mental health professionals repeatedly warn that many persons suffering from PSTD, as well as other mental illnesses, do not seek help because of the stigma of being perceived as ‘weak’. These people do grieve privately, but not all of them get better on their own. The expected ‘one size fits all’ solution leads some patients to commit suicide because of unbearable suffering unabated by counseling or medication.

Equally dangerous is the author’s attempt to apply the APS conclusion to a broader canvas: collective trauma caused by large-scale political injustice. Thorsell believes since “the nourishment of awful memories that distorts the lives of millions, and threatens the peace of millions more”, ‘thoughtful forgetting’ by victims should be the solution “to construct a new life after wars and horrors…” Although he is correct in his observation that “Revenge is exacted on living innocents in the name of long-dead innocent victims… ”, his panacea, forgiveness, is simplistic.

Contrary to the author’s fear, lives of millions are not at stake over the questions “Was Alexander the Great a Macedonian or a Greek? Did this tribe decimate that tribe 600 years ago in the Balkans?” Lives of millions, indeed, are at stake in the Balkans. The reason is the ‘tribal’ wars that started 600 years ago continues today since the perpetrators of atrocities committed long ago were never brought to justice. As a result, the victims decided to get even by murdering their oppressors, blurring the definition of an oppressor and a victim. Similarly, Macedonia is on the verge of a civil war, not because of questions concerning the ethnicity of Alexander the Great- despite the occasional Greek claims, but because of incessant repression against the minority- ethnic Albanians.

Moreover, it is wrong to assume that seeking justice and planning revenge are analogous. Nor is forgiveness the solution for “leaving dreadful things behind”. Unless perpetrators of atrocities are brought to justice and forced to stand fair trials, the victims’ suffering is not likely to mitigate. They may indulge in revenge and the cycle could go on and on. On the other hand, if the perpetrators can get away with mass murder, they will not refrain from it whenever they wish.

Sixty years after the end of the Second World War, Korean female sex-slaves are still fighting the Japanese government in court to extract the admission of its role in forcing them into prostitution. But the Japanese government is reluctant to admit guilt. In such situations, it would be quite insensitive to preach forgiveness to the victims. Moreover, it will encourage other groups or persons indifferent to human rights to indulge in similar schemes.

Undoubtedly, forgiveness is an honourable virtue. But the article by Thorsell fails to suggest the dangers of pardoning criminals. Unless criminals are prosecuted and punished for their crime, the trauma experienced by an individual or a society is unlikely to culminate into any positive outcome. Moreover, contrary to the author’s belief, because of our forgetfulness, history seems to repeat itself. In this respect, Rwanda might be just one example among many. The Guardian article of April 5, 2004: ‘Rwanda: peace but no reconciliation’ by Rory Carroll states:

“Rwanda is peaceful and stable, even staid…but Rwanda is an abnormal, traumatized society. Tolerance between mistrustful neighbours reflects not a miracle of forgiveness but the will of an authoritarian regime…It’s too early for reconciliation. That’s for future generations…people are coexisting because they have no choice. Where would they go?...(the elected President Paul Kagame) rules like a general and squashes opponents as ‘divisionists’ who stoke ethnic rivalry. Since Tutsis (the tribe of the President) make up less than 15% of the population, Mr. Kagame needs Hutu (the majority tribe) support to stay in power, so promoting ‘unity’ is a political imperative…The hate ideology is gone but homicidal impulses may linger. You hear people say that ‘if Kagame is killed we will eat the Tutsi’s cows’- a euphemism for killing the owners…”

Moreover, forgiving the mass-murderers is difficult, if not a crime. How can one forgive a person whose victim is portrayed by the same article: “Wearing a white dress and an uncertain smile, Irene Mutoni gazes from her cot, a two-year-old girl in a fading photograph. Her favourite food, says the (photo) caption, was banana and rice. Her favourite toy was a stuffed dog. Her first word was daddy. Her method of death was drowning in boiling water.”


link for the guardian article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/rwanda/story/0,14451,1185757,00.html
          Responsibility of the UN        

At the end of the Second World War, world leaders decided to resurrect the League of Nations with a new name- The United Nations- to avoid further conflicts that might devastate the world as it entered the nuclear era. The Security Council of the UN is responsible for trying to resolve these inter-state and intra-state conflicts. So far, the Security Council has been successful as a mediator in preventing a major world war, but it has witnessed countless conflicts – often, but not always, proxy wars of the two super powers entangled in a ‘cold-war’ and genocides resulting in the death of millions. Since the primary reason for the inability of the Security Council to prevent genocides is its non-interventionist policy, time has come for the UN to reconsider this policy.

The Security Council considers military intervention a violation of international law – despite tolerating numerous such violations by its powerful members, irrespective of a UN mandate- and is reluctant to use force to prevent any atrocity committed by a sovereign state, especially within its own borders. It prefers conflict prevention as the key strategy. And when this strategy fails to prevent conflicts, the Security Council issues warnings to the countries concerned and then imposes arms embargos and economic sanctions. In case of any cease fire agreement between the belligerents, it forms irregular peace-keeping forces- comprising both lightly armed troops and unarmed observers- for particular conflict zones. Although the bulk of the peacekeepers are supplied by poor countries to earn foreign currency, rich and powerful countries also provide manpower. These peacekeepers are usually deployed, when a cease-fire has already been established between the warring parties, to supervise the cease-fire as impartial observers. They are not allowed to use weapons unless they themselves are under attack. But the warring parties are seldom intimidated by warnings and sanctions or even lightly armed peacekeepers. The central African state of Rwanda has paid horribly as a consequence of the failure of this UN policy of non-intervention.

During the 1994 Rwandan civil war, the majority tribe, the Hutus, slaughtered nearly a million civilian Tutsis, within a hundred days, in order to create a “pure Hutu state”. The UN decided not to intervene and prevent the genocide. Moreover, after the killing of ten UN peacekeepers - who had been overseeing a peace treaty between the government and rebel forces - by Rwandan government forces, out of fear for the safety of the peacekeepers, the UN decided to withdraw all of its diplomats and 3000 peacekeeping troops despite repeated warnings from the UN commander in Rwanda, General Romeo Dallaire, about probable consequences. The result is vividly depicted in The Guardian report on April 12, 1994: “A few yards from the French troops, a Rwandan woman was being hauled along the road by a young man with a machete. He pulled at her clothes as she looked at the foreign soldiers in the desperate, terrified hope that they could save her from death. But none of the troops moved. ‘It’s not our mandate,’ said one …The Belgian and French troops are here to get foreigners out…Rwandans, including staff of international organizations, are left to their fate” (Huband). Furthermore, Linda Melvern of The Guardian commented on the 10th anniversary of the genocide, “What we know now is that a corrupt, vicious and violent oligarchy in Rwanda planned and perpetrated the crime of genocide, testing the UN each step of the way. It was convinced that whatever it did, the UN would fail to act. It would also seem that France’s intimate involvement with the Hutu regime only worsened the situation” (2004).

Similarly, the UN failed to prevent the 1995 genocide of Bosnian Muslims by the Serbs in the UN declared ‘safe haven’, Srebrenica, during the Bosnian War. Today, in Sudan, government-sponsored Muslim Arab militias are in the process of ‘cleansing’ a Muslim black minority in the western Darfur area, resulting in a thousand deaths daily. The Sudanese government has also been waging a separate war with Christian rebels from the southern part of the country for the last two decades, which has already caused the deaths of two million people. Although Kofi Annan, the UN Secretary General, “called on the UN Security Council to issue ‘the strongest warning’ to forces fighting in Sudan to bring an end to the civil war in the south and the crisis in the western Darfur region” (Olivier, 2004), the UN is reluctant to intervene militarily and prevent such a catastrophe. Appalled by the UN reaction to the crisis in Darfur, Gregory Stanton of Genocide Watch commented, “The norm of international law is still against intervention, even when a government has forfeited its own claim to legitimacy by committing genocide or ethnic cleansing against its own people…We need military forces that can intervene with heavy infantry to prevent or stop genocides when they begin…we need a world movement to prevent genocide and ethnic cleansing, an effort as great as the anti-slavery movement” (2004). Therefore, it has become essential that the UN reconsider its non-interventionist policy to prevent genocide.

Despite repeated UN failures to stop genocide, some observers comment that the UN should continue its current peacekeeping policy of consent of the warring parties, neutrality, and the use of force only in self-defense against any proposals of intervention by multi-lateral forces. A former UN Secretary General, Perez de Cuellar, has characterized peacekeeping “as the opposite of military action against aggression, and non-fighting soldiers of peace as a symbol of international authority providing an honourable alternative to war and a useful pretext for peace” (Currier, 2003). Critics also emphasize conflict prevention strategies since they are less costly options for the international community than military action and reconstruction after a war.

Undoubtedly, conflict prevention by diplomatic means is the best solution; but it requires a consensus among all parties involved, and often reaching a settlement becomes impossible because of adherence to inflexible and unjust demands by the parties. Moreover, according to Stanton, “In Sudan, as in Rwanda, diplomats see their job as ‘conflict resolution.’ Genocide isn’t conflict; it’s one-sided mass murder. Jews had no conflict with the Nazis. Armenians posed no threat to Turks. Tutsis did not advocate mass murder of Rwandan Hutus. Conflict resolution isn’t genocide prevention” (2004). In many such cases, governments themselves are reluctant to save their citizens. As a result, they receive condemnation from the UN Secretary General: “When crimes on such a scale are being committed, and a sovereign state appears unable or unwilling to protect its own citizens, a grave responsibility falls on the international community…” (Olivier, 2004).

However, in many cases, threats of arms embargos and later economic sanctions fail to force such parties to refrain from committing atrocities. In such cases, the UN becomes unable to save innocent civilians despite ‘feeling a grave responsibility’. Therefore, the UN should reconsider its current policy of non-intervention. It should stress saving lives instead of endorsement by the warring factions or oppressive governments. It should be bold enough to intervene militarily when all other options fail.

Some critics argue that interventions could escalate the war, as the UN could appear to take sides. Discussing the future of the UN, Tasos Papadimitriou comments, “I would also argue that we need it (the UN) to be able and willing to intervene - and that does not necessarily or primarily mean the use of armed force - when humanitarian principles are at stake. If we accept that gross and systematic infringement of citizens’ well-being can not be tolerated in the name of national sovereignty, the right to intervene is the logical consequence” (2004). Thus, the UN needs to risk taking the side of the victims of genocide. Such a step will make the UN a target of the oppressors, and will result in loss of UN military personnel, but if the UN wishes to espouse universal human rights, it needs to prove that it is serious in its efforts, even at the cost of the lives of its soldiers.

Nevertheless, some observers think that the UN will still be ineffective even with an interventionist doctrine because of the vested interests of powerful nations. This argument cannot be entirely ruled out. Unfortunately, we do not live in an ideal world; powerful nations will never give up their influence. And since they possess the right to veto any Security Council resolution, hardly any military intervention by the UN will be sanctioned which conflicts with the interests of these nations and their allies. As Papadimitriou comments in his article, “Its (Security Council’s) resolutions quite often have nothing much to do with principle or international law but everything to do with the balance of power within it, being results of intimidation, coercion, bribing and horse-trading” (2004). Therefore, some people advocate abolishing the veto power of the five permanent members. It is a fair proposal, but not compatible with realpolitik. As a pragmatic UN official argued, “the UN, at its best, is a mirror of the world…it is far better to have a world organization anchored in geopolitical reality than one too detached from the verities of global power to be effective (Papadimitriou, 2004).” The war in Iraq has proved that powerful nations will act according to their wishes, with or without any UN mandate, with or without veto power. But on the other hand, not all conflicts are the result of power games between powerful nations. Many are caused by hatred of the ethnicity and religion of others without provocation from foreigners. As Emmanuel Dongola commented in the New York Times, “The genocide happened in Rwanda, but it could have taken place in any of the many pseudo-nation-states that are the legacy of colonialism- states in which the people are more loyal to their ethnic communities than to a faraway central government…” (2004). In such cases, a UN-mandated armed force should intervene and save people from genocide.
It is true that the UN is not a panacea. It is unable to end conflicts where major powers are involved, but it should try to intervene where they are not, where they are merely disinterested because of the strategic unimportance of the conflict area. For such interventions, the UN must form a properly equipped armed force under direct command of the Secretary General of the UN by recruiting volunteer soldiers from member nations.

Because of its non interventionist policy, the UN has lost respect from many member nations, especially from civil-war-torn Africa. One Senegalese commentator lamented in Le Quotidien, “As soon as it was understood that this savagery (in Rwanda) was African, it allowed (Europeans) to pontificate at leisure. How else can one explain the infamous phrase, said to have been uttered by François Mitterrand (then French President) that ‘in those countries, genocide is not very important’” (Diop, 2004). While Stanton commented, “Why, 10 years after Rwanda, has the world reacted so slowly to ethnic cleansing in Darfur? Racism is one reason. African lives still are not seen to equal the value of the lives of Kosovars and other white people, who are inside our circle of moral concern” (2004). Unless this kind of resentment is not mitigated by proper action to prevent genocides, the result might be the demise of the UN, or at least of its Security Council, rendering it irrelevant just like its predecessor, the League of Nations, which was accused of being powerless and restricted only to the discussion of trivial issues like the European railway system even on the very day the Germans attacked Poland and started one of the most devastating wars in history: the Second World War.

Fortunately, Kofi Annan’s ‘strongest warning’ of embargos and sanctions resulted in a peace agreement between the government and the rebels in Sudan. The belligerents agreed to end their conflict by December 31, 2004. However, they have made many such agreements in the last two decades and failed to respect them. There is no guarantee that they will not fail this time. Unless the UN adopts the policy of military intervention to save people, instead of the current policy of only keeping the peace after a cease-fire, it will not gain respect and fear from dogmatic armed groups indifferent to mass murder. A decade after the Rwandan genocide, the crisis at Darfur has presented another opportunity for the UN to make the necessary policy shift. The UN must utilize the opportunity this time and regain respect from its member states, all peace-loving people and the victims of genocides.


Currier, N. (2003). 1988 UN peacekeeping forces: ‘the impartial soldiers.’ UN Chronicle. [online serial], 3. Available: http://www.un.org/Pubs/chronicle/2003/issue3/0303p45.asp (November 30, 2004).

Diop, B. B. (April 8, 2004). The world stood by for too long (press review- Le Quotidien, April 6, 2004). The Guardian. [online]. Available: http://www.guardian.co.uk/rwanda/story/0,14451,1187931,00.html (November 30, 2004).

Dongala, E. (April 8, 2004). The world stood by for too long (press review- New York Times, April 6, 2004). The Guardian. [online]. Available: http://www.guardian.co.uk/rwanda/story/0,14451,1187931,00.html (November 30, 2004).

Huband, M. (April 12, 1994). UN troops stand by and watch carnage. The Guardian. [online]. Available: http://www.guardian.co.uk/rwanda/story/0,14451,1186807,00.html (November 30, 2004).

Melvern, L. (April 5, 2004). The west did intervene in Rwanda, on the wrong side. The Guardian. [online]. Available: http://www.guardian.co.uk/rwanda/story/0,14451,1185980,00.html (November 30, 2004).

Olivier, M. & Agencies. (November 18, 2004). Annan urges security council warning on Sudan. The Guardian. [online]. Available: http://www.guardian.co.uk/sudan/story/0,14658,1354293,00.html (November 30, 2004).

Papadimitriou, T. (2004). A radical vision for the future of the UN. [online]. Available: http://www.globalpolicy.org/security/reform/cluster1/2004/1024radical.htm (November 30, 2004).

Stanton, G. (2004). Bloodbath in the making. [online]. Available: http://www.globalpolicy.org/security/issues/sudan/2004/0402bloodbath.htm (November 30, 2004).
          Ashis Nandy        
Freud, modernity and postcolonial violence:
Analytic attitude, dissent and the boundaries of the self

by Ashis Nandy [The Little Magazine: vol iv: issue 5 & 6]


We live in an intellectual edifice primarily built by the European Enlightenment. It is not very old, having been given its final shape less than three hundred years ago, and our concepts of an ideal society and meaningful social criticism are coloured by this heritage. However, this said, we also have to confront the uncomfortable reality that these concepts of a desirable society and desirable forms of social criticism invoke altogether different associations in other parts of the world. These other associations have acquired new play in recent years because the Enlightenment vision itself has, finally, come under scrutiny in North America and Western Europe. Indeed, the rumours about its complicity with the violence of our times have been given a certain edge by a whole range of work.

Take for example the crisis in the Middle East. Jerusalem is on the one hand an ancient city of spiritual and moral grace, and on the other, a city of violence, uprooting and divided selves. Simone Weil and Martin Buber, I suspect, lived with the first Jerusalem, the modern Israelis live with the second. For the former, Jerusalem not only had secular and sacred geographies, but also moral and psychological ones. The latter seem to oscillate between their passion for an Israeli nation-state delicately perched on the desperate denial of a West Asian identity and a fierce commitment to a secular, modern European identity, precariously balanced on memories of massive suffering and projects of annihilation, once so lovingly designed by Europe for its Jewish population. The denial goes with a refusal to acknowledge that the Arabs and the Jews are often not divided by distance but by proximity. The commitment goes with the search for a magical remedy for remembered discrimination and genocide in the values of the European Enlightenment, presum ably in the belief that a European disease requires European therapy. The search reaffirms an identity that many can neither disown nor fully own up to.

I shall use as my baseline what one of the greatest ever products of the Jewish tradition, Sigmund Freud, who lived much of his life with an ambivalent aware ness of his cultural-religious status, might have said about the bitterness that has come to surround Jerusalem. Namely, that the narcissism of small differences and familiarity is often a better predictor of ethnic discontents and violence in our age than distance and ignorance. I am told that in the late nineteenth century a Belgian anthropologist, finding it difficult to ethnographically distinguish between the Hutus and the Tutsis, ultimately decided to distinguish between the two tribes by the number of heads of cattle they owned. When the Rwandan genocide took place, that story became one of the ways of acknowledging what many anthropologists always knew, that the Hutus and Tutsis were two tribes that, apart from being neighbours, were closest to each other ethnographically. There is a parallel to this in the Bosnian situation too. About 30 per cent of the Bosnian Muslims, one hears, are related to the Serbs by marriage.

I simultaneously want to use as my baseline some of the popular forms that the Enlightenment values have taken in the global middle-class culture to serve as the heart of a global structure of common sense. This is important because these values now shape our concepts of the normal, the rational and the sane, both within and outside the clinic. I shall also lay my cards on the table and confess that I am suspicious of the claim that Europe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries answered all basic questions of humankind once and for all, that all it left for the other civilisations to do is to write a few polite footnotes and useful appendices to these answers.

The body of work that challenges the Enlighten ment vision, when not directly dependent on psychoanalytic insights, has borrowed heavily from clinical work and therapeutic visions. Why?

One reason could be that the first psychoanalyst was a rebellious child of the Enlighten ment. He did not reject the Enlightenment vision, but the social critique he offered was not from the vantage ground of the Enlightenment’s standard ideas of a desirable society and knowledge. He tried to supply a critique of the Enlightenment reason from within its perimeters but while doing so, often accidentally strayed into strange territories. Indeed, his crypto-Platonic worldview was more open-ended than it had seemed at one time. Scholars have located in Freud’s work a whole range of new elements — from German romanticism and Naturphilosophie and the more open-ended concept of science associated with that tradition, to the East European, Hassidic-Jewish culture and mystical tradition that occasionally broke through his public self and overdone conformity to the model of the positive sciences.[1] As he gained confidence in his middle years, he returned to some of the philosophical and civilisational questions that had always haunted him. Books like Civilisation and its Discontents, The Future of an Illusion, Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego, Moses and Monotheism and Thoughts for the Times on War and Death could be read as ‘regressions’ to a more defiant and daring mode of psychological theorisation. These works are more Dostoyevskyan and more informed by his tragic vision of life. They show that Freud was no intellectual kin of Francis Bacon, though sometimes, in his cultural and intellectual insecurity, he appeared or pretended to be so. At least one commentator has felt compelled to say that Freud’s tragic vision implied a rejection of ‘the simplest Anglo-American belief in the virtues of progress.’[2]

Unfortunately, despite the rediscovery of psychoanalysis by literary theory and cultural studies in the last decade, this other Freud, a product of multiple cultural traditions who tries to negotiate cultural borders, remains a stranger to many. The limited cultural sensitivities of some of the mainstream schools of psychotherapy and psychoanalysis partly derive from this. These schools seem to be unaware that even modernity is no longer what it was, that four hundred years is a long time in human history; even the Dark Ages in Europe did not last that long. Today modernity, to qualify as such, requires an element of self-criticism or at least a sense of loss. The problem is compounded by the various schools of post-Freudian psychology, which are mostly progenies of the theoretical frames that crystallised as forms of dissent within the Enlighten ment. Even when they defy the modern, the defiance is primarily addressed to and remains confined within the citadels of modernity. The ones that try to break out of the grid often turn out to be transient fashions of brief shelf life. A culture not only produces its own ideas of conformity but also its distinctive concepts of valid or sane dissent. Worse, what looks like dissent in one culture at one time may not appear so in another culture at another time. Let me give an example.

When Freud’s ideas first came to India in the first decade of the last century, it was remarkable how little protest they aroused.[3] There was no frenzied opposition to them as there was in Victorian Europe. (I am using the term ‘Victorian’ here in the wider sense in which Carl Jung used it, to capture the flavour of the middle-class culture in all of Europe in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.) What offended Victorian sensibilities in Freud’s work did not evidently offend the middle classes in India. Elsewhere, I have mentioned Rangin Halder, a pioneering Indian psychoanalyst who did a classical Freudian interpretation of the Oedipal imagery in Rabindranath Tagore’s poetry in the 1920s, when Tagore was already being regarded as a national poet and had become a revered figure in Indian public life. Such interpretations at the time primarily meant a heavy-handed exploration of psycho sexuality. Almost no one was offended, not even Tagore. And Halder, who first presented the paper to a small group of psychoanalysts, subsequently translated it into English and presented it at the annual meeting of the Indian Science Congress. It was a hit there, too.

What seems to be defiant in one cultural context may not seem so in another. A colleague once told me how her great-aunt — a seemingly house-bound, puritanical widow who had limited education and always wore white to conform to the traditional image of an austere widow in east India — helped her brother Sarasilal Sarkar, a first-generation psychoanalyst, to translate some of Freud’s works into Bengali. She was not at all shocked by the newly imported European theory of human nature, tinged with ideas of infantile sexuality and incestual fantasies. I remember in this context a number of Indian folk tales about the Oedipal situation collected by the poet and scholar A.K. Ramanujan. Many of them end rather tamely with the hero learning to live with the knowledge that he has unknowingly married or slept with his mother. There is moral anguish in them, but not usually of the fierce, self-destructive kind found in the Greek myth. In one story that carries a touch of moral agony, the mother is the one who commits suicide.[4]

Contemporary Indian middle-class culture, however, has more in common with the global culture of common sense than with the folk tales Ramanujan had collected. We have to come to these alternative formulations in a different way, by examining the status of the post-Galilean world itself. Let me, therefore, look more closely at some elements in the critical apparatus of Enlightenment reason that the global triumph of rationality, sanity and progress (encased in an expanding global culture of common sense and conventionality) should have given us the confidence to re-examine. Victory should have brought with it a new sense of self-confidence and responsibility, but evidently it has not.

The stalwarts who contributed to the Enlightenment vision tended to nurture one particular kind of critical attitude. That attitude used as its pivot, often creatively, the idea of demystification or unmasking. From Giambattista Vico to Sir Francis Bacon to Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, it was the creation and unfolding of a new tradition of social criticism that sought to rid the world of the sacred and the magical. That was the tradition on which the great critical theorists like Freud and Marx were to build. This tradition of demystification usually assumes that manifest reality, after a point, is not trustworthy. If one tears the mask off that reality, one is closer to the truth, or to more justifiable certitudes. After the demystification, the certitudes that sustain the manifest reality and supply its standardised interpretations are shown to be unsustainable. Indeed, through this exegesis, one constructs a new reality closer to truth, and that second-order reality provides one with a fresh bedrock of certitudes. It was the hope of the protagonists of this tradition that a new society, a new social vision, and even a new human personality could be built based on this new hermeneutics.

The model, of course, was borrowed from modern science. There, too, the assumption is that once someone like Galileo dismantles common sense and everyday reality by proposing the idea of a heliocentric universe in place of the geocentric one, he demystifies or demagicalises the universe and comes closer to truth. Likewise, the emergence of modern medicine can also be viewed as the emergence of a new narrative that sheds the earlier mystification of illness and explains all diseases solely in the language of the body, as formalised in the science of biology. The assumption is that once one reaches the hard realities encrypted in the language of the body, one acquires greater mastery over ill health. Similarly with the Marxist concept of production relations and Freud’s concept of psychosexuality.

There is another tacit assumption here. Namely, that there can be competing theories of knowledge, but not two truths. Ultimately, one of the theories is expected to supersede the rest. Take the case of the Galilean discovery itself, which has served as a foundational myth of modern knowledge systems for nearly two centuries. Only two years ago the Catholic Church recanted and apologised for prosecuting Galileo, a little too late in the day, some might say. Yet, a whole range of works which rely on the actual arguments and exchanges between the two sides make us suspect that the Church was not clear about the position it should take on Galileo’s cosmology. Galileo was influential and had powerful friends in the Church. During his trial, he stayed in an abbey with a Church dignitary. The Catholic Church, never insensitive to political realities, was willing to compromise. In any case, it was probably less hostile to Galileo’s heliocentric universe than to his belief that the Church should repudiate geocentricism and make heliocentricism a part of official Christian dogma. In other words, the Church was willing to keep things vague and open and live with both the heliocentric and geocentric theories as contestants for the status of truth. But the idea that there could be two coexisting, contesting versions of truth was not acceptable to Galileo. In his world, one of the two theories had to win at the end.

Today, in the age of supercomputers, it is possible to argue that in a relativistic universe, conceiving the sun as the epicentre is not that striking an improvement over conceiving the earth as the epicentre, if one chooses to confine oneself solely to the issue of truth. A reasonably good computer can calculate the co-ordinates of the geocentric universe clumsily and inelegantly, but nonethe less truthfully. I emphasise the word truthfully, because Galileo’s battle with the Church is described in school texts as a battle for truth. I admit that the computations in the case of a geocentric universe will be more complicated; they will certainly not be aesthetic or efficient. But they will not be false. For heliocentricism and geocentricism are only two possible ways of viewing a relativistic universe. There could be other ways. Any modern physicist will agree with you on this as long as you do not bring in Galileo. He or she will be uncomfort able the moment you propose that Galileo was as right or as wrong as the dignitaries of the Church were. Galileo’s dissent is a major myth of modernity, on which we have been brought up. To disown it is to disown a part of our selves.

The moral of the story is clear. What looks like radical dissent at one time may look like a lesser innovation at another, or become a lovely little story of dissent that has lost some of its edge. However, this also has a dangerous corollary: many ideas that were once instruments of liberation or parts of an emancipatory theory, which for decades came in handy for those battling social injustice or inequality, have ceased to be emancipatory. Perhaps for the simple reason that human beings, given enough time, are perfectly capable of converting even the most radical theories of emancipation into sanctions for new forms of violence and oppression. It is probably better to be suspicious of all theories of emancipation after a point. Indeed, I believe that the coming generations may seriously demand that any significant psychological or political theory, to be so recognised, must have either an element of self-destructiveness or a subsystem of self-criticism built in. It may not be good for the theorists, but it will certainly be good for the rest of the world. There is no harm in viewing all theories of liberation as transient instruments that retain the potentiality of becoming oppressive in the end.

Everyone knows of the demise of Leninism; few have noticed the demise of classical liberalism. Nothing reveals this twin defeat more poignantly than the changing language of the winners of the world. The new slogans of the victorious have gradually become those that the likes of Marx and Freud thought emancipatory. I have in mind the various theories of progress, science, rationality, social evolutionism and development. The Nazis killed in the name of eugenics, the Soviet communists in the name of scientific history. The Khmer Rouge in Cambodia virtually acted out the dissertations that some of its leaders wrote for prestigious French universities. Values that at one time were associated with or indicated the defiance of authority are the values of the authorities today. Values that at one time looked authoritative and dominant have become the values of the marginalised and the powerless. We are moving into a world where the nature of authority is different. People at the heart of the Establishment today talk of the end of history, poverty and human rights. Obviously because the end history has reached is not the one for which generations of dissenting intellectuals have worked. Poverty has become a billion-dollar multinational enterprise and the idea of human rights is being exported by countries that have the shoddiest human rights record in the southern world. Nothing lasts forever; even dissent does not remain dissent after a point.

For us, who deal with human subjectivities, there is a more serious development in the wake of the crisis in modernity. The visions that presumed that individuality should provide the basic unit of social analysis and psychological intervention are themselves under severe stress. With individualism increasingly taking quasi pathological forms, strengthening individuality no longer looks like a foolproof recipe for health. A few years ago, I was told that in large apartment complexes in some Scandinavian cities, electronic devices were fitted in the toilets of lonely, elderly people. If a toilet was not flushed for a long stretch of time, the janitor came and broke into the apartment to check if the householder was alive. This was a response to instances of lonely senior citizens, deprived of community life, dying in their flats and the neighbours finding out only after the bodies began to decompose and smell. This is individualism taken to its logical conclusion. It is my suspicion that all theories of consciousness — and unconsciousness — will have to learn to look at the individual from a different point of view.

We do not have to give up the concept of individualism. We have seen what reified, overdone concepts of aggregates — such as race, class, nationality and ethnicity — can do. In the last century, mostly deriving sanction from deified or demonised concepts of groups, we killed 200 million of our fellow human beings. Their ghosts haunt all contemporary ideas of collectivity. I suggest that we re-examine individualism in societies where, in the name of individualism, certain basic dimensions of individuality have themselves been subverted. For most practical purposes, individualism has been reinterpreted as self-interest and consumer ism. The Internet now threatens to reinterpret it as solipsism. The advertisement-driven individual ism associated with consumer choice would have frightened even Sigmund Freud, whose individualism always had a Shakespearean dimension.

I once tried to calculate the number of shades of lipsticks on the world market. Within a short time, I arrived at a figure that ran into thousands. It is doubtful if the human retina is physiologically capable of registering that many shades of colour. I presume the width of this choice is partly bogus; it creates an illusion of wider choice than there actually is. It would have been a perfectly innocent illusion if the total cosmetics bill of American women had not over-stripped the total budgets of all the African countries taken together. For the moment, I am ignoring the quarter of a million animals sacrificed every year in US laboratories alone for scientific experiments, a significant proportion of them conducted for the cosmetics industry.[5] This is not a plea to abridge choice across the board; it is a plea to recognise that certain forms of absurd multiplication of choices can have psychosocial costs and can be considered puerile. I am merely taking seriously the activist-scholar R.L. Kumar’s proposition that the rhetoric of wider choice often hides the fact that in modern societies, an individual is increasing ly left with only three substantive choices: to be a tourist, a voter or a consumer. Other choices are usually either secondary or illusory. I am inviting you to extend to the favourite slogans of our times what Philip Rieff considers the heart of the Freudian enterprise, the analytic attitude.[6]

The very idea of the disenchantment of the world, so closely associated with the idea of demystification, is itself reaching the end of its tether. The world is getting so thoroughly secularised that the idea of a fully secular world has ceased to be an attractive dream, except to those still living in the nineteenth century. Two factors have contributed to the growing scepticism towards secularism. First, there is the growing environmental crisis, which to many seems intertwined with the secularisation of the cosmos and the desacralisation of nature and nonhuman life forms. If nothing is transcendent or sacred, the final word on social morality becomes the aphorism of John Maynard Keynes, who crucially shaped some of the major economic institutions with which we live: "In the long run we are all dead." If that is so, in a fully secularised, fully individualistic world, there is no reason why we should leave anything behind for the future. Certainly, institutions structured around self-interest, rationality and hard realism have even less reason to do so. A conventional wit, W.C. Fields puts it more directly and honestly: "Why should I think about the future? What has the future done for me?"

That is why many of the social formations that look like rebellions against secularism turn out to be, on closer scrutiny, the offspring of secularisation. Disoriented by a changing world, they desperately seek meaning in the packaged versions of faith vended by charlatans, gurus and bloodthirsty religious fanatics. I have been studying ethnic and religious violence during the last two decades. One of the most remarkable features of such violence, I find, is the element of secularisation that has crept into it. Religious fanaticism now has little to do with faith, tradition or community. It is a product of uprooting, breakdown of community ties and weakening of faith. Thus, expatriate Indians in the First World reportedly financed — almost entirely — the Ram Janmabhoomi movement that demolished the Babri mosque in India in 1992 and triggered countrywide violence. Likewise, expatriate Tamils have largely bankrolled Tamil militancy in Sri Lanka and the IRA has consistently received funding during the last seven decades from Irish Americans. It was almost as if individuals, feeling increasingly deracinated and uprooted, have taken up causes to battle their own sense of loss of tradition and community ties, and to create what Hannah Arendt used to call pseudo-communities.

If this explanation looks too facile, there is the fact that in all of South Asia, communal riots are becoming a kind of expertise, even a profession. You can organise ethnic or communal violence anytime you like, provided someone gives you enough cash and political protection. You can order a designer riot to bring down a regime or change voting patterns or advance the cause of a political faction. The activists are known, so are their fees and their political patrons. The leaders who deploy these activists are also increasingly blatant about their profession. Organised religious and ethnic violence itself has become one of the most secular spheres of our public life. That is why Mr L.K. Advani, the leader of what many consider the world’s biggest revivalist formation, the BJP Hindu nationalist forces in India, the man who headed the movement that led to the demolition of the Babri mosque, could openly say in an interview with The Times of India, a national newspaper, that he is not much of a believer. As for his own religious sentiments, he added for good measure, he feels closer to Sikhism than to Hinduism.

Advani is no exception. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or the RSS, the steel frame of Hindu nationalism, was established in 1925. It supposedly has a million members now. Many of them are believers. Yet, for most of its existence and throughout all its formative years, the RSS has not had as its head persons who could be called believers. The first time the RSS chose a believing Hindu as its head was when M.S. Golwalkar took over in 1940. The earlier leaders were not diffident non-believers; they openly flaunted their disbelief, often trying to show how scientifically minded they were by attacking Hindu rituals and idolatry. They believed that they were fighting for the political cause of the Hindus, not defending Hindu religious traditions. Thus V.D. Savarkar, who coined the term Hindutva and authored what has become the Bible of Hindu revivalism, Hindutva, declares himself an atheist in the same book. Evidently, the violent and venomous furies of religious fanaticism are not always associated with theories of transcendence in our time. They have been direct products of the modern, secular world and the time has come for us to re-examine such fanaticism as the pathology of a modern ideology rather than that of a faith.

At the end, very briefly, I offer two theoretical proposals that might serve as possible baselines for reconceptualising forms of contemporary subjectivity, especially as they are reflected in the idea of individuality. I choose them because both are indirectly relevant to theories of the healthy personality and psychotherapeutic practice.

First, healthy, normal individualism is also possible when the boundaries of the self are not as sharply demarcated in terms of belief, faith or identity, categories that the moderns feel comfortable with. Our deepening cross-cultural experiences demand that we redefine health to accommodate a different concept of the boundaries of the self. Let me give two examples, one of them my favourite. I can confidently predict that there will never be religious conflict between the Shintos and the Buddhists in Japan, for the simple reason that a huge majority of the Japanese are Shintos and a huge majority of them are Buddhists. A similar prediction can be made about the Confucians and the Buddhists in China. Whereas in a country like India, where a periodic modern, scientific census has been conducted since colonial times, the percentages of different religious communities are so meticulously calculated that they always add up to exactly 100 per cent. The Hindus constitute 82.0 per cent of India, the Muslims 12.1 per cent, the Christians 2.3 per cent, the Sikhs 1.9 per cent, and so on.

Yet, when the Indian Anthropological Survey did a comprehensive survey in the early 1990s, not of individuals but of communities, it discovered that roughly 15 per cent of the 2,800 communities studied had more than one faith. That does not only mean that these communities consist of people from different faiths; it also means that the communities include individuals who can be classified as belonging to more than one faith. This is not new for us. I have mentioned Japan and China. Even Christianity and Islam — faiths that have shed enormous volumes of blood to deter mine the fate of Jerusalem over the last two millennia — evidently have other incarnations in the tropics. The Indian survey mentions 116 communities that are simultaneously Christian and Hindu, 94 that follow both Christianity and the various ‘tribal religions’, and 35 that are Hindu and Muslim. Seventeen communities are followers of three religions simultaneously — 11 can be classified as Hindu, Muslim and Sikh, six as Hindu, Muslim and Christian.[7] A colleague of mine has studied the Meos, one of the largest Muslim communities in northern India. They are devoutly Muslim, but also trace their origins to the Mahabharata clans. They have their own Mahabharata that they perform ritually. Even now, some elderly Meos have both Hindu and Muslim names, the way a huge majority of the Indonesians do.[8]

It is possible to re-envision individualism, self-identity, and even the borders of the self. Some points of departure are available and it is our responsibility to confront the violence of our age by pursuing these possibilities. We also have to remember that the communities that have kept alive these possibilities, despite enormous pressures to change or conform, are a beleaguer ed lot. The forces of globalisation and cultural homogenis ation threaten their lifestyles. Take the case of the Meos. Muslim fundamentalists, Islamic nationalists and many modern Muslims have not been comfortable with Meo religious culture. Many Meos, too, having been victims of religious violence on and off during the last fifty years, now feel that their Islam is flawed. Indeed, Professor K. Suresh Singh, who headed the Indian Anthropolog ical Survey’s study of communities, tells me that the multi-religious communities revealed by his survey are the last remnants of a phenomenon that was once much more widespread in the region. They have ceased to be the norm in India, as in other parts of South and Southeast Asia. The official, enumerative world in which we live has no respect for such traditions. It works with a more Cartesian concept of the individual self.

I reaffirm that there are possible ways of looking at the person to which the modern world has few clues. These possible ways cannot be explained away as mystificat ions or as romantic invocations of the past. Indeed, it is we who have been living in a make-believe world that ignores other concepts of the boundaries of the self with which a huge proportion, perhaps even a majority of the world, still lives. The new slave trade flourishing in our times, with the full support of a large cross-section of the intellectual community, exports such people from our neighbourhoods to history. We talk about them in the past tense and accuse anyone concerned about them of incurable romanticism.

Secondly, not only can the self be seen as being in dialogue with others, as most currently fashionable theories of multiculturalism have come to acknowledge, the self can also be seen in the other and the other as telescoped in the self. This is not unheard of in clinical literature. There are studies that explain homicidal hatred towards outgroups as an attempt to exorcise alien parts of the self, the ghosts within. From the beginning, projection and displacement have been important defences in psychological studies of racism and ethnophobia. However, the healthier, more integrative possibilities in the story have not been explored The same defences of projection and displacement can sometimes bond diverse communities within a shared cultural space.[9] As I have already said, the Enlightenment’s tradition of demystification bares the material, the corporeal, the unhealthy and the ‘ugly’. It undervalues forms of second-order demystification that might reveal the sources of creativity and psychological health that underlie manifest ill health.

Recently, I studied a city in South India, Cochin, where at least fourteen major communities have lived for centuries. It is a small city which was cosmopolitan and international much before the present idea of cosmopolitanism was imported into India in colonial times. The communities range from two Jewish communities, one of which claims to have been in the region for more than two millennia, to Yemeni Arabs, who claim that they were in touch with Cochin even in pre-Islamic times, to the Eurasian Parangis who came into being as a community only in the last four hundred-odd years. These communities live there and have lived there in peace. I studied the city to learn how.[10]

It took me some time to find out that their co-existence was not dependent on brotherly love. The communities were often ambivalent towards each other; sometimes they positively disliked the other. But while they did so, no person or community considered itself complete without the others. Cochin lives in what I have elsewhere called an epic culture, not a linear, empirical, historical concept of culture and community. In that epic vision of life, you need villains to complete the picture, though these villains are usually fashioned out of the same defensive structures that students of ethnic and religious violence have come to fear.[11] Such a vision has to reaffirm, ritually and regularly, the existing configur ation of the contests between the godly and the ungodly. You simply cannot do without the demons because you cannot even represent the gods without the demons. They are symbiotic al ly related and are an unavoidable part of each other and your self. You do not have to love the demons, but you cannot nurture annihilatory fantasies about them either. It is a bit like the story of the Jewish Robinson Crusoe who, I am told, had to build two synagogues, one to pray in and the other to set up as the one into which he would never step. The second synagogue was important to him. He might have hated it, but his self-definition was not complete without it

During the last two centuries, in the area of social knowledge and knowledge of self, we have managed to destroy such visions by bringing in a peculiar evolutionary perspective on the relation between space and time. That perspective has drawn upon the various nineteenth-century theories of progress to convert geographies into histories, histories into geographies. At one time, one had the right to dislike other communities because they did not conform to one’s ideas of morality and propriety. However, usually one was forced to yield to the others, even if unwilling ly, the same right to dislike one. It is no longer fashionable to exercise such rights or to own up to such prejudices. The triumphant culture of globalised cosmopolitanism has convinced us that we must pretend, even if we do not believe so, that everyone is the same. Yet, the same cosmo politan ism allows us to classify cultures according to the distance they have traversed on the time-scale of history. So, I may not detest you — as representing a culture, a religion, nationality or ethnic group — but I retain the right to believe that you are what I was yesterday or in the last century. And if you behave well, if you obey the textbooks I have produced on self-improvement — through economic development, technological growth, acquisition of scientific rationality or ‘proper’ political education — you could be like me tomorrow. It is like Albert Schweitzer’s idea of fraternity, as recalled by Chinua Achebe. "The African is my brother," Schweitzer appears to have said, "but a younger brother." Only this idea, which today infects virtually all liberal and radical theories of social change, is apparently an improvement on Immanuel Kant’s or David Hume’s belief in the natural inferiority of the blacks, browns and yellows.

For in Schweitzer’s view, some cultures are only living out the pasts of others and are, to that extent, obsolete and redundant. A few cynics may claim that this is a way of pre-empting the future of some of the oldest civilisations of the world and annihilating the present of hundreds of humble micro-cultures that keep open our options by acting like cultural gene banks of alternative, dissenting or even fantastic concepts of selfhood. But that is certainly not a popular view in the mainstream global culture of common sense.

I am optimistic enough to believe that the new century will define the capacity to listen to others as a major human virtue. An earlier generation of psychotherapists spoke of the need to listen with a third ear. Perhaps the next generation, less burdened by the ghosts of yesteryear, will not be embarrassed to speak of the need to listen with a second heart.



This essay draws on the author’s keynote address at the International Congress of the International Association of Group Psychotherapy, Jerusalem, 2000

1. See a more detailed discussion in Ashis Nandy, ‘The Savage Freud: The First Non-Western Psychoanalyst and the Politics of Secret Selves in Colonial India’, in The Savage Freud and Other Essays in Possible and Retrievable Selves (New Delhi: OUP, 1995).

2. Friedrich Heer, ‘Freud, the Viennese Jew’, tr W. A. Littlewood, in Jonathan Miller (ed.), Freud, The Man, His World, His Influence (London: Weidenfeld and Nicholson, 1972).

3. Christiane Hartnack, ‘Psychoanalysis and Colonialism in British India’, PhD dissertation, Berlin, Freie Universität, 1988; Ashis Nandy, ‘The Savage Freud’ (see above).

4. A. K. Ramanujan, ‘The Indian Oedipus’, in T. G. Vaidyanathan and Jeffrey Kripal (eds.), Vishnu on Freud’s Desk: A Reader in Psychoanalysis and Hinduism (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1999). See also Gananath Obeysekere, ‘Further Steps in Relativisation: The Indian Oedipus Revisited’, Ibid.

5. Shiv Visvanathan, ‘Annals of a Laboratory State’, A. Nandy,
Science, Hegemony and Violence: A Requiem for Modernity (New Delhi: Oxford University Press and Tokyo: UN University Press).

6. Philip Rieff, The Triumph of the Therapeutic: Uses of Faith After Freud (New York: Harper, 1968).

7. K. S. Singh, People of India: An Introduction (New Delhi: Anthropological Survey of India, 1994), Vol. 1.

8. Shail Mayaram, Resisting Regimes: Myth and Memory in a Muslim Community (New Delhi, Oxford University Press, 1997).

9. Shail Mayaram, ‘Living Together: Ajmer as a Paradigm of the Asiatic City’, in Kayoko Tatsumi (ed.), Multiculturalism: Modes of Coexistence in South and Southeast Asia (Washington: SPF, 1998), mimeo. This paper unwittingly and, therefore, unselfconsciously shows the involvement of two of the classical concerns of psychoanalytic anthropology — possession and psychic healing — in an Islamic mosque shared by Muslims and Hindus, and presided over by an unlikely Imam, a woman called Sushila Rohatgi.

10. See Ashis Nandy, ‘Time Travel to a Possible Self: Searching for the Alternative Cosmopolitanism of Cochin’, The Japanese Journal of Political Science, December 2000, 1(2).

11. Cf. Vamik D. Volkan, The Need to Have Enemies and Allies (New York: Jason Aronson, 1988).
          RNC itangizwa mu Budage         
HOST: SERGE  IKIGANIRO NYAMUKURU GITANGIRA KUVA SAA 1:30 TO 3:30 PM ET, NI UKUVUGA SAA 8:30 PM KIGALI MU RWANDA  ANDIKIRA:radioitahuka@gmail.com facebook/ijwi ryihuriro nyarwanda/itahuka
          Tokoh dalam film yang sehat mental        
Judul: Hotel Rwanda
Paul Rusesabagina (Don Cheadle) adalah seorang manager sebuah hotel di Rwanda. Dia dari suku Hutu, sedang istrinya adalah keturunan Tutsi. Tetangga2 dekat Paul juga banyak yg berasal dari suku Tutsi. Mereka hidup bertetangga secara damai.
Namun semuanya berubah setelah hari itu tiba, hari di mana seolah 'neraka' pindah ke bumi Rwanda. Diawali dengan tertembak jatuhnya pesawat sang presiden, para militan Hutu bak pasukan iblis mulai membantai suku Tutsi. It was a goddamn hell on earth. Ingat ini bukan peristiwa fiksi like Constantine, ini bukan peristiwa jaman prasejarah atau abad pertengahan, sejarah ini terjadi taon 1994!!! 10 tahun yang lalu! Dan pembantaian serupa sekarang masih terjadi di Sudan! Paul bergegas pulang mencari istrinya. Cukup mencekam saat tetangga2 dekat Paul yg suku Tutsi pada ngumpul dan berlindung di rumah Paul sementara militan Hutu berkeliaran di luar. Paul berusaha keras menyelematkan mereka dg membawa mereka ke hotel si Paul.
Hotel yang dijaga pasukan PBB sekalipun tidak bisa menjamin keamanan para penghuninya. Paul tambah repot setelah secara bergelombang para pengungsi berlindung di hotelnya. Saat suasana sudah sangat genting datanglah bala bantuan dari PBB untuk mengungsikan mereka keluar dari tempat neraka itu. Tapi sungguh mengharukan dan menyakitkan hati karena yang diselamatkan hanya ... I think its too spoiler to tell. Kejadian tidak manusiawi yang memalukan sejarah kemanusiaan. Kita bisa berkata 'shame on you' pada semua pimpinan negara dunia, khususnya pada negara2 Eropa dan Amrik.
Paul sendiri memutuskan untuk tetap tinggal di hotel tersebut karena dia merasa punya tanggung jawab kemanusiaan terhadap para pengungsi di hotelnya. Bagaimana dia mendapatkan supply makanan di suasana yg penuh dg chaos dan anarkis, bagaimana dia bisa menyelematkan penghuni hotel yang siap dibantai habis para militan di luar sana.

          Four Alumnae Named English Language Fellows        

ELFs 2017

Middlebury Institute alumnae Susan Spano, Emily Durst, Reilly Knop, and Kelley Calvert will serve as U.S. State Department English Language Fellows in Rwanda, Niger, South Africa, and Thailand in the coming year.

Four graduates of the Middlebury Institute’s Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) degree program have been chosen to serve as English Language Fellows (ELF) for the U.S. State Department for the 2017-2018 school year. The ELF program promotes English language learning around the world and fosters mutual understanding between the people of the United States and those of other countries. It places talented, highly qualified U.S. educators with graduate degrees in all regions of the world.

The four alumnae representing the Institute in the ELF program this year are: Assistant Professor Kelley Calvert MATESOL PCMI ’05 (also director of the Institute’s Graduate Writing Center), who will be teaching English in Thailand; Reilly Knop MATESOL ’16, who will take a teaching position in Niger; Emily Durst MATESOL ’15 in South Africa; and Susan Spano MATESOL PCMI ’17 in Rwanda. Calvert, Knop, and Spano are all Returned Peace Corps Volunteers.

“I'd never have known about or applied to the ELF program without learning about it from my TESOL professors and fellow students,” says Spano. When Spano served in the Peace Corps in Armenia she met English Language Fellow and Institute alumna Ellie Wolf MATESOL ’13 and was inspired by her work. “And, of course, teaching English in Rwanda is precisely the kind of work the MIIS degree prepared and qualified me for.”

          Summer Students Visit Development Organizations in DC        

DPMI visits OAS

Back row, l-r: Hawi Burka Kebede (Ethiopia), Bantu Mabaso (Swaziland), Miranda Meyer MAIEM/MPA ’18 (Graduate Assistant), Javier Monterroso Montenegro (Guatemala), Jhader Aguad (Peru), Jose Merlo (Ecuador). Front row, l-r: Allan Martinez Venegas (Costa Rica), Shanina van Gent (The Netherlands), Amita Ramachandran (India).

One of the added advantages the Institute’s Design Partnering, Management and Innovation (DPMI) program offers to students in its annual Washington DC session (sessions are also offered in Monterey and Rwanda) is the opportunity to take advantage of occasional mornings off during the three-week training to visit organizations involved in international development. On June 20, a group of Davis UWC Scholars enrolled in this summer’s DPMI in DC session had the opportunity to visit the Organization of American States (OAS).

Student Amita Ramachandran said she “really appreciated” the opportunity to visit OAS and “had a fantastic time with the amazing instructors and incredible cohort.”

Students in the intensive three-week DPMI program earn a certificate in international development and social change. Participants gain the program design, evaluation, strategic partnering, and facilitation skills needed to launch a career in international development, and become part of a global network of over 1,300 program alumni. Student Gabbie Santos (Midd '17) said “I’m grateful to DPMI for allowing me a close look at some of what international development work could involve. My interest in the field has been largely shaped and informed by my experiences at home in the Philippines.”

“Washington D.C. is a classroom in itself and our goal is to offer each cohort of DPMI in DC students both an intensive skill-building course and the chance to supplement it with invaluable networking opportunities,” added Director of Professional Immersive Learning and Special Programs Carolyn Taylor Meyer MAIPS ’05.

Each year since 2006, the DPMI in DC program admits eight Davis UWC scholars, who receive scholarships to attend the certificate program. The Davis UWC Scholars Program aims to build cross-cultural understanding by offering full scholarships to each United World College student who wishes to attend a participating university in the U.S. Since its founding in 2000, the program has provided scholarships to 7,686 scholars from 152 countries attending U.S. partner colleges and universities.

The Organization of American States considers itself to be “the world’s oldest regional organization,” dating back to the First International Conference of American States in 1889-90. The OAS was established in its current form in 1948 with goals including the promotion of collaboration, as well as the defense of the sovereignty and independence of the 35 independent member states.

          The Treatment of Black Citizens and Civilians in the Range of Nazi Germany        
Hello, Friends!

I’m excited to introduce a new contributor to our blog, Olivia. She is one of my spring interns and is working on her Masters of Art in History at Liberty University. Her primary field is Modern American Military History focusing on leadership in World War II and the Korean Conflict. Her work seeks to bring to light those leaders and subordinates whose impact is often overlooked or undervalued. She has also presented at several conferences and won an award for her work on the Japanese American Nisei Soldiers. I am very excited to have Olivia on board and hope you enjoy her post on treatment of African Americans in Nazi Germany!



The horrors afflicted by Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945 are ingrained in the world’s memory with the tragedy and loss still present in the minds of people around the globe. While the atrocities Nazi Germany afflicted on groups such as the Roma and Jewish communities are well known there are other groups, which also suffered at the hand of Nazi controlled Germany. One of these lesser-known groups the black and mulatto citizens of in reach of Nazi Germany.

Before World War I there were not many black German citizens living in Germany. When Germany lost World War I the Treaty of Versailles stated Germany was so give up her colonies in land that is present day Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Ghana, Togo, Cameroon, and Namibia. With the loss of these military outposts, military men and German colonial students, artisans, writers, and performers both white and black returned to Germany. Many military and colonial leaders also brought with them a system of deep racism and discrimination of black citizens. The Treaty of Versailles also stated troops were to occupy the Rhineland region of West Germany. The French assigned 200,00 soldiers both nationals and colonials to occupy the Rhineland. Racist propaganda groups in Germany quickly moved to compound the situation in order to spread racism and discrimination against blacks in the Rhineland and Germany. Propaganda viewed the black colonial French soldiers as rapist and carriers of disease. Other special interest groups blamed black soldiers for all of the unrest, rape, and murder of German women by the occupying forces, causing panic and uproar. This escalated and even resulted in Pope XV asking for the removal of black French troops and people writing to US President Woodrow Wilson demanding the removal of the black colonial troops. Even before Hitler’s rise to power, discrimination began with forbidding black citizens from holding any type of government jobs or roles in the military. Interracial marriage was also banned in Germany and all of its holdings.

However, with the rise of Hitler’s power in 1933 came wide spread persecution and further discrimination was implemented against blacks and mulattos living in Germany and the territories Hitler acquired. While there was never a program of systematic elimination, treatment of black citizens varied in levels of severity from discrimination and isolation to sterilization and medical experimentation. In Mein Kamph, Hitler stated that, “Jews had brought Negros into the Rhineland with the clear aim of running the hated while race by the necessarily-resulting bastardization.” In this statement Hitler used the previous post World War I tensions to push the German people to accepted racism and discrimination.

By 1937 the Germans decided something had to be done about the approximately 800 mixed raced children living in the Rhineland which Hitler deemed “an insult to the German Nation. Therefore, a committee created Commission Number 3, giving the German government power to start sterilizing mixed race children deemed “Rhineland Bastards”. As many as 400 German African mulatto children were gathered and sterilized, many with out the parents knowledge beforehand. Hans Hauck was a teenager at the time this organization was commissioned and was serialized by the Nazis. Hauck recalled in the documentary, “Hitler’s Forgotten Victims,” he was serialized without anesthesia. Once his procedure was completed he was given a certificate validating his procedure and told to avoid sex with German women. At the same time women who were found pregnant with mixed babies were forced to have abortions.  At the same time, persecution was also happening to the small population of full black German citizens.

Under Hitler’s rule all black citizens were banned from universities and in some cases the subjects of anthropological and medical studies, there were also cases of murder and abuse. Such is the case of Hilarius Gilges. Gilges was a 24-year-old native of Dusseldorf and an artist. In June of 1933 approximately a dozen SS officers attacked Gilges, captured, tortured, and killed the young man for his race identity and political affiliations. Today his life is memorialized in a plaza in Düsseldorf as the first marked death in Düsseldorf under the Nazi oppression. Others with similar stories are shared in published works such as Born to Witness: Growing Up Black in Nazi Germany, which tales the story of Hans Massaquoi who grew up during the War in Germany.

At the time Hitler and the Nazi’s came to power there were approximately 25,000 black or mulatto citizens in Germany out of population of 65 million. Taking into account the low population proportion of black and mixed German citizens during Hitler’s rule combined with the world wide level of accustomed prejudice and discrimination toward men and women with African heritage at the time it, is easy to see how the plight of those souls tortured and maimed by Nazi practices went unheard of for so many years. However, the policies of hatred and abuse toward those deemed “impure” or “a threat to the master race” practiced by Nazi Germany goes beyond the treatment of Roma, Jews, and Russians. The torment and pain Nazi Germany inflicted on the population of men, women, and children with African decent deserves to be told in shared with the same hope of never allowing such a travesty to occur in our lifetime and in future generations. 


          Gisenyi, Why Did It Rain On Me? — Gisenyi, Rwanda        
I don´t have a mortgage, I no longer have a job, I´m Single. Good excuse to see Asia, Australasia, South America, Africa......
          Misty, The Performing Gorilla — Ruhengeri, Rwanda        
I don´t have a mortgage, I no longer have a job, I´m Single. Good excuse to see Asia, Australasia, South America, Africa......

Beki wa kushoto wa Simba, Mohammed Hussein ‘Zimbwe’, ameibuka na kusema kuwa, kitendo cha kiungo raia wa Rwanda, Haruna Niyonzima kujiunga na timu hiyo kwake kimemfurahisha, hivyo wapinzani wasubiri kuona makali yake uwanjani pindi ligi ikianza.

Zimbwe ameyasema hayo baada ya Simba kumtambulisha rasmi Niyonzima kuwa mchezaji wao akitokea Yanga aliyoitumikia msimu uliopita.

Kabla Niyonzima hajajiunga na Simba, Tshabalala ametamba kuwa, anatamani siku moja acheze na Mnyarwanda huyo ambapo sasa amepata fursa ya kucheza naye.

“Nilishawahi kusema kwamba natamani siku moja nicheze na Niyonzima kutokana na kwamba ni mchezaji mzuri na amekuwa msaada katika timu awapo uwanjani, nilimuona akifanya hivyo alipokuwa Yanga.

“Lakini nashukuru sasa nipo naye hapa Simba na msimu ujao tutacheza pamoja, hivyo wapinzani wasubiri maana watakoma, kila idara sasa imekamilika hapa Simba, kilichobaki ni ushindi kwa kwenda mbele,” alisema Tshabalala.

          UN Women Announces 16 Steps Policy Agenda | Say NO - UNiTE        
UN Women Announces 16 Steps Policy Agenda | Say NO - UNiTE

In her first message for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, since UN Women became operational earlier this year, Executive Director of UN Women, Michelle Bachelet outlines a comprehensive policy agenda to end violence against women globally. Focusing on the three critical pillars of prevention, protection and provision of services, Ms. Bachelet’s call for action, urges world leaders to mobilize political will and investment to ensure that women can live a life without violence.

16 Steps Policy Agenda to End Violence against Women

1. Ratify international and regional treaties …
that protect the rights of women and girls, and ensure that national laws and services meet international human rights standards.
2. Adopt and enforce laws…
to end impunity, bring perpetrators of violence against women and girls to justice and provide women with reparations and remedy for the violations perpetrated against them.
3. Develop national and local action plans…
for ending violence against women and girls in every country that bring the government, women’s and other civil society organizations, the mass media and the private sector into a coordinated, collective front against such human rights violations.
4. Make justice accessible to women and girls …
by providing free legal and specialized services, and increasing women in law enforcement and frontline services.
5. End impunity towards conflict-related sexual violence …
by prosecuting perpetrators in conflict and post-conflict contexts and fulfilling survivors’ right to comprehensive reparations programmes that are non-stigmatizing and have a transformative impact on women and girls’ lives.
6. Ensure universal access to critical services…
at a minimum, women’s and girls’ emergency and immediate needs should be met through free 24-hour hotlines, prompt intervention for their safety and protection, safe housing and shelter for them and their children, counseling and psycho-social support, post-rape care, and free legal aid to understand their rights and options.
7. Train providers of frontline services…
especially the police, lawyers and judges, social workers and health personnel to ensure that they follow quality standards and protocols. Services should be confidential, sensitive and convenient to women survivors.
8. Provide adequate public resources…
to implement existing laws and policies, recognizing the devastating costs and consequences of violence against women not only for the lives directly affected, but to society and the economy at large, and to public budgets.
9. Collect, analyze and disseminate national data…
on prevalence, causes and consequences of violence against women and girls, profiles of survivors and perpetrators, and progress and gaps in the implementation of national policies, plans and laws.
  • Gender-based violence study in Morocco reveals that approximately 60 percent of Moroccan women have experienced some form of violence recently, and violence against women is three times more likely in urban areas than in rural ones.
  • Together for Girls, a global effort to prevent sexual violence against girls, of which UN Women is a partner, makes an urgent call for national surveys. The alarming finding in Swaziland—one-third of girls have experienced sexual violence—spurred a national education campaign, strengthening of the capacity of police to respond to sexual violence, and the establishment of a child-friendly court. For more information about Together for Girls, click here.
  • Access data on prevalence, laws and more at Progress of the World’s Women and Violence against Women Prevalence Data: Surveys by Country.
10. Invest in gender equality and women’s empowerment…
to tackle the root causes of violence against women and girls. Strategic areas are girls’ secondary education, advancing women’s reproductive health and rights, addressing the inter-linkages of violence with HIV and AIDS, and increasing women’s political and economic participation and leadership. Gender equality and ending violence against women must be placed squarely at the heart of achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
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by ensuring women’s rights to own land and property, to inheritance, equal pay for equal work, and safe and decent employment. Women’s unequal economic and employment opportunities are a major factor in perpetuating their entrapment in situations of violence, exploitation and abuse.
  • In a land torn apart by years of bitter conflict, the daily struggle to survive is an ongoing battle. Feeding the family is a constant challenge. Bread Winner, Bread Maker tells the story of some inspirational women who are bringing hope to thousands in the occupied Palestinian territory.
  • Millions of women work overseas each year and endure abuse and exploitation. On the Move: Nepal’s Women Migrant Workersfight for their rights.
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to stop violence against women and girls, and to enable women and girls subjected to violence to break the silence and seek justice and support.
  • With over 2 million actions and 600 partners, Say NO – UNiTE to End Violence against Women offers a global platform for information, action and social mobilization. Visit www.saynotoviolence.org and post your action today!
13. Engage the mass media…
 in shaping public opinion and challenging the harmful gender norms that perpetuate violence against women and girls.
14. Work for and with young people as champions of change…
 to end violence against women, and ensure that educational systems empower girls and boys to transform and build gender relations based on harmony, mutual respect and non-violence.
15. Mobilize men and boys…
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16. Donate to the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women..
 the only grant-making fund in the world exclusively dedicated to channeling expertise and financial support to national, local and grassroots efforts.
  • It’s the 15th anniversary of the UN Trust Fund—since its establishment, the UN Trust Fund has supported 339 programmes in 127 countries and territories, relying on voluntary contributions. Please help us make the world a safer place for women and girls by sending a donation today!

Related links: Download the 16 Steps to End Violence against Women.

          Belgium pursues justice without borders         

Justice may be blind, but her reach is getting longer.

When a panel of Belgian jurors convicted four Rwandans of participating in the 1994 genocide in their country, they pioneered a new brand of "universal justice" that knows no borders.

The verdict, handed down early Friday morning after 11 hours of deliberation in the gloomy granite Palace of Justice in Brussels, marked the first time that a civilian jury - not a judge - in one country had judged crimes against humanity committed elsewhere.

"Every citizen of the world is concerned by a crime against humanity," said Michele Hirsch, a lawyer for relatives of victims of the genocide, in which as many as 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed. "That makes every citizen competent to sit in judgment of such crimes."

"I hope that this is going to push the idea of universal justice, that it will be a springboard for other such cases," said Reed Brody, advocacy director of Human Rights Watch in New York.

The jury found the defendants, including two Roman Catholic nuns, guilty on most of the 55 counts against them, including murder and incitement to genocide. Witnesses called during the seven-week trial testified that the nuns had encouraged and collaborated with Hutu extremists who butchered and burned several thousand Tutsi refugees who had sought shelter in their convent. The nuns, a former government minister, and a former university professor were sentenced to between 12 and 20 years in prison.

The case was brought by Rwandan Tutsi exiles in Belgium, who had recognized on the streets of Brussels some of the Hutu extremists who carried out the genocide. They made use of a 1993 Belgian law that allows courts here to try cases of atrocities regardless of where they were committed. The defendant does not even have to be in Belgium to stand trial.

That law proved an embarrassment to the Belgian government last week, when it emerged that a private group had filed charges with judicial authorities here against Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, for his role in the massacre of Palestinians by Christian militia in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon in 1982, when Mr. Sharon was defense minister.

The law does not offer immunity to serving heads of state or government, or to other officials accused of genocide, war crimes, or other crimes against humanity.

Belgian Foreign Minister Louis Michel said on Wednesday his government would "try to correct" aspects of the law. Diplomats said the law as it stands could hobble Belgian international relations. Brussels could not hope to mediate the Middle East conflict, for example, if Belgian courts were investigating the Israeli prime minister's alleged involvement in war crimes.

Mr. Michel added, however, that he remained committed to the principle behind the law, giving Belgian courts the right to try foreigners for foreign atrocities.

In fact, countries that ratify the 1949 Geneva Convention are bound to try such cases, but few actually do so. "We are unusual and ordinary at the same time," says Gerard Dive, the Belgian Justice Ministry's head of international criminal law. "We simply do in practice what everybody should be doing, but there is a habit of shutting ones' eyes."

A Belgian magistrate is currently investigating former Chadian dictator Hissene Habre, under whose 1982-90 rule some 40,000 political killings are said to have occurred. Private citizens have filed a complaint against former Iranian President Hashemi Rafsanjani for alleged torture of political prisoners.

A number of other countries have begun to take similar action to apply "universal justice." Most famously, Britain detained former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet for more than a year while the courts heard an extradition case against him filed by a Spanish judge who was investigating the disappearance of Spanish citizens in Chile during General Pinochet's rule.

Courts in Germany, Holland, and Denmark are prosecuting or have sentenced Bosnian Serbs and Muslims to jail for crimes during the Balkan wars; Mexico has agreed to extradite to Spain an alleged Argentinian torturer; and France began to prosecute an alleged torturer from Mali before he slipped out of the country last year.

Other countries have preferred not to prosecute such cases: Austria let a top aide to Iraq's Saddam Hussein leave Vienna in 1999 even though a criminal complaint had been filed against him with a local court. South African police did not arrest former Ethiopian tyrant Mengistu Haile Mariam when he visited South Africa two years ago, even though he is wanted in his home country for crimes against humanity. And in the United States, when the Justice Department detained an alleged Peruvian torturer last year, the State Department intervened to ensure his safe return home.

"Belgium is setting an example, and I hope it is a precedent other countries will follow," says Alain Destexhe, a Belgian senator who led a parliamentary inquiry into the genocide in Rwanda, a former Belgian colony. "It makes sense only if other countries follow suit" to ensure there is no haven for war criminals.

Though some observers had wondered whether a jury of 12 ordinary Belgians - they included a hairdresser, a truck driver, a university teacher, and a journalist - would be able to understand enough about the extraordinary, unfamiliar, and horrific events they were judging to reach an informed verdict, the result appeared to quell such doubts.

They picked their way carefully through the accusations, confirming some and rejecting others by votes that often split the jury 7 to 5.

The trial, says Mr. Brody, "showed it can be done. You can ask citizens to determine right and wrong in a lot of different circumstances. This is a major step forward for the principle that justice has no borders."

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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Singapore and Uzbekistan have

Defense-Technology News: DTN News: US And Vietnam Stage Joint ...
Defense-Technology News: DTN News: US And Vietnam Stage Joint ...

Defense-Technology News: DTN News: US And Vietnam Stage Joint ...

Defense-Technology News: DTN News: US And Vietnam Stage Joint ...

of the 15th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Washington and Hanoi.

People's Daily Online News Archive --- Date:
People's Daily Online News Archive --- Date:

People's Daily Online News Archive --- Date:

People's Daily Online News Archive --- Date:

Uzbekistan issues stamps for

The saddle saga: deported from Uzbekistan - I4U News
The saddle saga: deported from Uzbekistan - I4U News

The saddle saga: deported from Uzbekistan - I4U News

The saddle saga: deported from Uzbekistan - I4U News

Singapore, Uzbekistan mark

The saddle saga: deported from Uzbekistan - I4U News
The saddle saga: deported from Uzbekistan - I4U News

The saddle saga: deported from Uzbekistan - I4U News

The saddle saga: deported from Uzbekistan - I4U News

Singapore, Uzbekistan mark

Photo: 15th Anniversary of Rwandan Genocide
Photo: 15th Anniversary of Rwandan Genocide

Photo: 15th Anniversary of Rwandan Genocide

Photo: 15th Anniversary of Rwandan Genocide

Photo: 15th Anniversary of




Singapore, Uzbekistan reaffirm

Assistant Foreign Minister Li Hui Attends the Launch Ceremony of ...
Assistant Foreign Minister Li Hui Attends the Launch Ceremony of ...

Assistant Foreign Minister Li Hui Attends the Launch Ceremony of ...

Assistant Foreign Minister Li Hui Attends the Launch Ceremony of ...

of Diplomatic Ties Between




Uzbekistan : 2009 Asian Youth

2010 December « European Council on International Relations
2010 December « European Council on International Relations

2010 December « European Council on International Relations

2010 December « European Council on International Relations

Professor Anton Caragea presence on the 15th anniversary of neutrality

My Little Postcard Corner: April 2011
My Little Postcard Corner: April 2011

My Little Postcard Corner: April 2011

My Little Postcard Corner: April 2011

diplomatic relations with

Channel NewsAsia - Singapore News - channelnewsasia.
Channel NewsAsia - Singapore News - channelnewsasia.

Channel NewsAsia - Singapore News - channelnewsasia.

Channel NewsAsia - Singapore News - channelnewsasia.

Singapore Airlines on Friday

Pacific Sentinel: October 2011
Pacific Sentinel: October 2011

Pacific Sentinel: October 2011

Pacific Sentinel: October 2011

In Singapore, I will attend

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Malta - Press Releases
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Malta - Press Releases

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Malta - Press Releases

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Malta - Press Releases

It is my pleasure to be with you here today to mark the 15th anniversary of

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Malta - Press Releases
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Malta - Press Releases

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Malta - Press Releases

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Malta - Press Releases

Diplomatic relations established with the Republic of Congo




As Singapore and Uzbekistan marked the 15th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties, both sides agreed to promote closer people-to-people relations through cultural exchanges and tourism. Minister of State (Foreign Affairs) Masagos Zulkifli ...

Singapore, Uzbekistan mark 15th anniversary of diplomatic ties : Videos

Michael Lerner Sam Botta Atlas Shrugged April 15 Movie Release Oscars
Michael Lerner Sam Botta Atlas Shrugged April 15 Movie Release Oscars

Michael Lerner Sam Botta Atlas Shrugged April 15 Movie Release Oscars

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Laos-China high speed railway รถไฟความเร็วสูงลาว-Presentation

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President Obama Meets with Japanese Prime Minister Hatoyama
President Obama Meets with Japanese Prime Minister Hatoyama

President Obama Meets with Japanese Prime Minister Hatoyama

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10/7/09: White House Press Briefing
10/7/09: White House Press Briefing

10/7/09: White House Press Briefing

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House Session 2011-09-14 (12:00:27-13:05:34)
House Session 2011-09-14 (12:00:27-13:05:34)

House Session 2011-09-14 (12:00:27-13:05:34)

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National Capital Planning Commission Meeting - December 1, 2011
National Capital Planning Commission Meeting - December 1, 2011

National Capital Planning Commission Meeting - December 1, 2011

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Healthy Body = Functional Body. Hollywood Look Side Effect: Healthy Function

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Reshaping the Debate on Climate Change - Mary Robinson
Reshaping the Debate on Climate Change - Mary Robinson

Reshaping the Debate on Climate Change - Mary Robinson

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Tanya Roberts Outrageous Love & Friendship Sam Botta-Live Fearless-Chris Shining,Executive Producer
Tanya Roberts Outrageous Love & Friendship Sam Botta-Live Fearless-Chris Shining,Executive Producer

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train to belgium
train to belgium

train to belgium

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Singapore, Uzbekistan mark 15th anniversary of diplomatic ties : Latest News, Information, Answers and Websites

Singapore, Uzbekistan reaffirm excellent bilateral ties

TASHKENT: Singapore and Uzbekistan have reaffirmed the excellent state of bilateral relations as both countries commemorated the 15th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties. Both sides will also promote closer ties between their ...

Investments: Is it time Singapore stock market listed, US$ 4 Billion ...

ODNI News Release: ODNI Marks Five-Year Anniversary With Ceremony - DNI Blair Celebrates Achievements, Reflects on Challenges April 21, 2010; DNI Blair Addresses the Office of the Director of National Intelligence Fifth Year .... FOREIGN RELATIONS. Join the Blue Ribbon Online Free Speech Campaign! ... April 12, 2012; Uzbekistan: Human Rights Problems with a Strategic U.S. Partner April 3, 2012; Why Are Police Still Torturing Drug Users in Indonesia?

          East African Community (EAC) Jobs - Senior Procurement Officer at EASTECO         
Job Title:         Senior Procurement Officer Organisation: East African Science and Technology Commission (EASTECO) Duty Station: Kigali, Rwanda Reports to: Executive Secretary Ref:...

Ugandan Jobline Jobs for All the latest jobs..

          EAC Jobs - Principal Officer - Scientific Research and Development at East African Science and Technology Commission (EASTECO)         
Job Title:         Principal Officer - Scientific Research and Development Organisation: East African Science and Technology Commission (EASTECO) Duty Station: Kigali, Rwanda Reports to: Deputy...

Ugandan Jobline Jobs for All the latest jobs..

          a moment of silence for...........        
the hundreds of thousands that died in the genocide in Rwanda a few years back.Lest we forget that there are people out there who have literally fought to survive and more others who are still doing so.For the victims of HIV/Aids more especially the women whose partners and husbands and boyfriends did not love them enough to take care not to pass on the virus to them.For the hungry child who has died or is dying in a refuge camp somewhere in Africa or the Asia or South America whilst the mot...
          Genocide Awareness Events to be Held at Alvernia University        

Alvernia students to hear from Rwanda genocide survivor, author of “Left to Tell,” Immaculeé Ilibagiza.

(PRWeb February 06, 2015)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/201502/alvernia/prweb12499375.htm

          Canon Kayijuka Emmanuel wayoboraga umuryango wa Bibiliya mu Rwanda yahaye inkoni Pastor Mukamakuza Therese wamusimbuye ku buyobozi bw’uwo muryango        
Imyaka 29 yari ishize nta hererekanyabubasha rikorwa hagati y’ubuyobozi bw’umuryango wa Bibiliya mu Rwanda ,kuri uyu wa kabiri tariki ya 1 Kanama 2017 ku cyicaro gikuru cy’uyu muryango giherereye Kacyiru mu Karere ka Gasabo habaye guhererekanya  inkoni y’ubunyamabanga  hagati y’uwari umunyamabanga mukuru canon Kayijuka Emmanuel na Pastor Mukamakuza Therese ibi byaherukaga mu mwaka wi 1988 […]
          RRA: Irishimira ko umwaka w’ingengo y’imali ya 2016-2017 yazamutseho 10,2%        
Kuri uyu wa gatatu, Ikigo cy’igihugu gishinzwe gukusanya imisoro n’amahoro (RRA) cyatangaje ko mu mwaka w’ingengo y’imari wa 2016/17 cyakusanije amafaranga agera kuri miliyari 1103.0 z’amafaranga y’u Rwanda, bakaba barageze ku ntege ku gipimo cya 100.8%, ndetse by’umwihariko imisoro yonyine izamukaho 10.2%. Richard Tushabe, umuyobozi wa “RRA (Rwanda Revenue Authority)” avuga ko ubundi muri uyu […]
          Rubavu: Guverineri w’intara y’i Burengerazuba na Mayor wa Rubavu bazitabira ibirori by’itorero ry’abapresibyteriyene mu Rwanda        
Ubuyobozi bw’itorero Presebuteriyene mu Rwanda intara y’i Burengerazuba buratangaza ko mu giterane NDATUMA NDE ? 2017, umuyobozi w’akarere ka Rubavu ndetse n’umukuru w’intara y’i Burengerazuba bazitabira. Iki ni igikorwa giteganijwe gutangira tariki ya munani Kanama hariya ku Gisenyi mu karere ka Rubavu. Nk’uko bitangazwa n’umushumba mukuru w’Itorero ry’Abapresybiterienne mu Rwanda, Intara y’i Burengerazuba; Rev pastor […]
          Abasaga 200 bafite ubumuga bari guhugurwa kwigira        
Itorero ry’abadivantiste b’umunsi wa karindwi mu Rwanda ryateguye umwiherero w’abafite ubumuga bw’uburyo bwose bakaba bagiye kubigisha umuco wo kwigira ndetse no kwihangira umurimo. Uyu mwiherero uzamara iminsi irindwi, watangiye tariki ya 6 Kanama 2017 ukaba uri kubera muri kaminuza ya UNILAK iherereye mudugudu w’Izuba  mu Murenge wa Kicukiro mu Karere ka Kicukiro. Pastor Hakizimana Eliya […]
          Stunning treehouse retreat in Rwanda sets a new standard for ecotourism        
Related: + Via Dwell
          Comment on A provocation on Burundi by Burundistory        
Good points here. High time that the Intl community swallow its pride & do what is best for the stability of Burundi. The CNDDFDD perceive themselves as the defenders of democratic principles against those who would accede to power via coup d'état. They kept Burundi on the democratic path. How, do you say? Before the 3rd term controversy, way back in 2011 the radical opposition (Alexis Sinduhije & Co) made statements to the effect that after their poor showing in the 2010 elections, they would do all they could to disrupt the 2015 elections and force a transitional gov. Knowing the radical opposition was going to attempt this sort of undemocratic maneuver (force transitional gov) CNDDFDD was expecting the worst, and so the person with the best ability to withstand the coming storm was put forth as their candidate. CNDDFDD viewed that the potential of controversy over a barely legal candidacy would be less of a risk overall than possibly loosing everything. And they were right. And they picked the right man: Nkurunziza survived violent protests and a coup attempt to organize successful elections, and form a Multiethnic, multiparty gov, even convincing the main opposition leader Rwasa to put country first and join the government. The radical opposition were hoping Tessa's numerous followers would assist them in inciting violence & instability in order to force a transitional gov. (Rwasa opted for the long game rather than an attempt at a "quick win" that could potentially destroy the country.) Rwasa's move effectively undercut the radical opposition's chances of any success at toppling Nkurunziza by rebel force, as without him, the radical opposition represent only about 6% at the polls and not all these are willing to take up arms as there is more to loose than gain. The only thing that the CNDDFDD grossly miscalculated was the international community's fierce reaction, lack of understanding and support for the protest movement. This was followed by aid cuts and sanctions after the successful elections. It is crazy to think that the West still wants to force CNDDFDD to form a transitional gov with those who tried to topple the legitimate elected gov! The West's plan for Burundi... Talk about a step back in Democratic gains: radical opposition disrupts election cause they can't win it, yet they fail and it goes thru. Then they start using violence and then West pushes for them to get rewarded for it by being included in the transitional gov! Who even needs elections if that works. Ever five years just rise up and force a re-carving up of the pie. That will help Burundi become a more modern, democratic, & prosperous state. NOT! CNDDFDD also underestimated the radical opposition's ability to get a PR machine rolling in order to control the narrative and manipulate the Intl community by playing on their fears of there being "another Rwanda." The goverment is trying to play catch-up diplomatically, but as you pointed out, the Intl community needs to adjust its position because if they are going to have any dealings with Burundi at all (and the Burundian people do not deserve to be abandoned) they will have to deal with Nkurunziza and the CNDDFDD. You can't circumvent the deFacto gov that is not going anywhere and has the 50-50% Tutsi-Hutu army& Police behind it. As for the "rebels," they are mostly radicalized Urban youths disappointed that things didn't turn out the way the fat cat politicians paying them and instrumentalising them said it would. The "rebels" have the ability to carry out small scale terror attacks such as throwing grenades onto crowded sidewalks but no ability to organize, regroup, hold territory, or actually fight the professional army. As organized rebellions, they exist only on Facebook & Twitter. Back to your main point: All these measures of the Intl community against the CNDDFDD-led gov will continue to be counterproductive, pushing them into defensive mode. As you pointed out, CNDDFDD has the legitimacy to rule (they have the votes. Around 70%), so the Intl Community needs to quit treating gem like the enemy, but rather engage with them, as the ones with the best chance and ability to restore stability (vs the radical opposition). One more point: the gov has already been able to successfully contain and isolate most of the instability and violence go just portions of four neighborhoods in the capital, allowing daily life & commerce to go on uninterrupted for millions of Burundians:a remarkable achievement already. Thanks again for your analysis from a political theory perspective. I hope the Intl community will listen to your sound advice, but I fear they will not. As for Burundi, it will be OK and life will go on either way. I don't even think that the radical opposition can sustain the kind of indiscriminate violence they are engaged in 1. Without a backlash from their own sympathizers (killing women with babies on their back to oust CNDDFDD? that is not what they signed up for.) 2. Because of the Army & Police's clear stance of backing the elected gov (for the sake of stability) the "rebel" ranks are shrinking as the Police & Army effectively engage them. Joining the "rebels" at this point is pretty much suicide: not too many new recruits want to sign up for that.
          Comment on Reclaiming Activism and Keeping It Honest – A comment on Alex de Waal’s “Reclaiming Activism” by Mutuyimana Manzi        
The appeal to rhetorical pathos, in a complete absence of evident facts, always leads to self-exposition through attempts to fake evidence. It is a very lack of professionalism to see Karuretwa trying to lend color to his claims by borrowing a hand from a fictitious report. That report called “The Travesty of Human Rights Watch on Rwanda”was first published by pro-RPF media in March 2013. In my research, I later found out that the author of the document, Richard Johnson died in 2011. Second, FDLR should be perceived mainly as survivors of the genocide against Hutus in Congo perpetrated by RPF troops between 1996 and 2001. It could be true that among ranks of FDLR, you may find individuals who committed crimes. However, FDLR is not led by criminals. Contrarily to RPF whose leaders committed genocide crimes, war crimes and crimes against humanity. It’s that criminal cartel that is using the oppressiveness of the army to stifle the evolution of Rwandan towards democratic rule. RPF is aware that democracy comes after justice and unity. Hence, justice and unity are preceded by truth and freedom. As a criminal organization, RPF has suspense about the reign of truth, freedom, justice and democracy, which would hold them countable of crimes they committed and are still perpetrating. Furthermore, it is futile to expect economic development in the absence of truth, transparency, justice, freedom and democracy. The quintet is the forerunner and cornerstone to the sustainability, durability, proration and positivity of economic development.
          Comment on Syria: A View from Africa by Lindsay KÄ°PTÄ°NESS        
I do not agree that Africa has great experience in resolving conflicts. I also do not agree that ''African solutions to African problems'' in the current state of affairs in Africa(many African leaders are yet to embrace human security virtues in their countries). The AU has been a dismal and hopeless performe that cannot be relied upon to save poor Africans from decimation by state violence(read the case of Darfur, which it claims it has helped). Africa leaders or former African Presidents cannot therefore purport to advice others. The AU failed the people of Siera Leone, Liberia, Rwanda, DRC, Chad, CAR, Mozambique, Uganda(Northern Ugandans under LRA terror). Shame on the likes of some of the former and sitting Presidents for dining with ICC war criminals and yet they cannot tell them to stop genocide against its own citizens. I agree that tit-for-tat does not necessarily end conflicts hence the need for diplomatic pressure and isolation. Why hasn't the AU isolated Bashir for the crimes in Darfur, why didn't they deal with Foday Sankoh and Charles Taylor before they could kill more?. The above views do not therefore represent me as an African from Africa but represent the views of African Oligarchs. As for Syria, the IC has failed the Syrian poor, just like the AU has failed and there are the only two ways to the problem: 1. Negotiations- all the fighting groups, including al qaida affiliated ones should come together to a negotiating table without conditions. There is a stalemate now. Plan B- The stale can only be broken if the opposition groups are fully armed so as to tilt the balance of military power to their side and the IC(including Russia and China) imposes an air blockade on Syrian air force.
          A Solution From Hell        

The following essay is excerpted from the latest issue of n+1 magazine. It is available online only in Slate. To read the complete version, click here to purchase n+1 in print.

The current age is uncommonly preoccupied with human rights. The story of how we got here can be traced from various points, whether from the Enlightenment and its great American spokesman Thomas Jefferson, or from the interventions and non-interventions following the European upheavals of 1848, or from the founding of the United Nations after World War II and the Holocaust, or from 1977, the year when post-'60s dismay, Jimmy Carter, and the Cold War intersected to place a commitment to "human rights" at the center of Western consciousness. Whichever way, for whatever reason, or for half a dozen reasons, human rights have at least rhetorically come to the fore of American and European foreign policy, with the result that it is now possible for the U.S. to wage war for humanitarian purposes in campaigns that seem otherwise irrelevant to the national interest. In this telling of the story of the "rights revolution," as the philosopher and Iraq war proponent Michael Ignatieff has called it, the end of the Cold War has opened up new vistas for the enforcement of human rights across the globe.

There is another way to tell the story, however. In this telling, the march of rights took a wrong turn as early as 1948, when the U.N. adopted its Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The U.N. Charter had established state sovereignty as the basis for international law. This meant that weaker states would be protected against stronger states by the international community—and for all its flaws, the U.N. was instrumental in helping postwar, post-colonial states get on their feet. At the same time, the Universal Declaration promoted the principle of human rights in general, independent of sovereignty. Writing in the wake of World War II and the founding of the U.N., Hannah Arendt in The Origins of Totalitarianism echoed Edmund Burke's famous critique of the French revolutionaries' Declaration of the Rights of Man. "The calamity of the rightless," wrote Arendt, "is not that they are deprived of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, or of equality before the law and freedom of opinion—formulas which were designed to solve problems within given communities—but that they no longer belong to any community whatsoever. Their plight is not that they are not equal before the law, but that no law exists for them." Surveying the history of refugees and other stateless people over the prior 30 years, Arendt found that "not only did the loss of national rights in all instances entail the loss of human rights; the restoration of human rights, as the recent example of the State of Israel proves, has been achieved so far only through the restoration of national rights." There could be no rights without belonging to a sovereign jurisdiction; the U.N., by enshrining sovereignty on the one hand and "universal rights" on the other, had tried to solve the problems revealed in the interwar period, but ended up simply restating them.

The contradiction in the U.N. founding documents between inviolable human rights and inviolable state sovereignty remained essentially obscured throughout the Cold War, when neither the Americans nor the Soviets could seriously claim to believe in either. Even when the U.S. championed human rights under Carter, it retained its priorities: Forced to choose between socialists (or just serious land reformers) and human rights abusers, the U.S. always sided with the abusers. Suddenly in 1991, the choice became unnecessary. You no longer had to decide between leftists and rightists, since everywhere you looked there were only capitalists. And by the end of the Cold War, aerial weapons systems had advanced to the point where the military could conduct basically gratuitous wars, with little risk to soldiers' lives, at comparatively low cost—and without raining explosives indiscriminately on foreign populations. The new precision-guided weaponry offered the hope of truly distinguishing the good guys from the bad guys, as long as they stayed far enough apart.

In the '90s, the language of human rights came into its own. The people of Kuwait, when a U.S.-led, U.N.-approved coalition drove Iraq out of their country, were the citizens of a sovereign state invaded by Saddam Hussein—but not so the Iraqi Kurds, who were Saddam's own citizens when he invaded their lands. Nevertheless the U.S., Britain, and France established a no-fly zone to protect the Iraqi Kurds from their internationally recognized head of state. Likewise, the Tutsis of Rwanda and the Albanians in Yugoslav Kosovo were victims of the state in which they lived, and their rights, insofar as they had any, could only be defended by an international community. In one case those rights were defended, in the other they were not. What were the U.S.'s principles, and what was its practice, when it came to human rights? Neither seemed clear, and the debate about them was equally confusing and confused.

The only people who seemed consistent about intervention were too far right or left to get much of a hearing. Throughout the 1990s, the right opposed intervention from a "realist" perspective, arguing that it was not in the national interest to go on humanitarian adventures abroad. The left, which was in the process of forming a powerful movement against the "structural adjustment" policies of the giant international financial institutions, and also promoting a humane globalization (carelessly labeled "anti-globalization" by the mainstream press), opposed the interventions on anti-imperialist grounds. In the end, neither view had much effect, as a strong hawkish core emerged: Bob Dole, the Republican leader in the Senate and 1996 presidential candidate, was a strong proponent of intervention in Bosnia; so too, eventually, was Bill Clinton. Among respectable pundits, the right-leaning hawks were neoconservative, the left-leaning hawks neoliberal. If there was a real distinction it was in their attitudes toward international institutions like the U.N. Neoconservatives loathed the U.N.; neoliberals liked it. But it was the Kosovo intervention, which most egregiously circumvented international institutions (in the name of a good cause), that was the final Clinton intervention. Thus at the end of the '90s neoconservatives and neoliberals had reached the same place, disdainful of seeking "multilateral" permission for their wars.

Perhaps the liberals would soon have returned to their more traditional interest in international institutions; perhaps the conservatives would have gotten out of the human rights business altogether; perhaps not. In any case the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 altered—or scrambled—people's thinking. The next American war was an unusual operation: a mission to overthrow a government (the Taliban) that almost nobody recognized as legitimate, in order to deprive a belligerent non-state actor (al-Qaida) of a staging ground. Realists on the left—few remained on the right—argued for a narrowly defined police action to root out al-Qaida. Supporters of all-out war, soon the only respectable position, invoked the liberation of Afghan women as a bonus legitimation. And a year and a half later came Iraq. The war was sold to the public under many pretexts, but for liberal hawks the dominant reason to invade was Saddam Hussein's former crimes (and potential future crimes) against his people. There was no question that from a humanitarian perspective a world without Saddam would be a better world. And we were going to take him out.

In retrospect, it's easy to see that the argument over humanitarian intervention that should have taken place in the years after Kosovo was replaced and muddled by an argument over the Bush doctrine of pre-emptive war. In 2000–01, a high-powered international commission convened to discuss what the international community should do in the event of a human rights crisis in a failing state; one of their recommendations was that the concept of "humanitarian intervention" be scrapped, as being needlessly prejudicial (like "pro-life"), and replaced with the more capacious, less necessarily violent "responsibility to protect." The group's report was humane and intelligent, though not without problems; it was also presented before the U.N. Security Council in December 2001, at which point it had been "OBE," as they say in Washington—overtaken by events. The same happened with Samantha Power's "A Problem From Hell": America and the Age of Genocide, the summa theologica of liberal interventionist historiography, which was published in 2002. The book immediately became part of the debate over Iraq, with George W. Bush famously scribbling NOMW ("not on my watch") in a memo outlining its arguments. Not long after, he launched Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The argument over pre-emptive war was decided, resoundingly, against, though not because Stephen Holmes wrote essays in the London Review of Books or Jacques Rancière contributed an elegant elaboration of Hannah Arendt's argument about rights in the South Atlantic Quarterly (subscription required). The argument was decided by the 126,000 or so Iraqis killed during the U.S. invasion and in the civil war that followed. No one will be invading a terrible but stable regime to hang its leader anytime soon; at least we won't. Now, in 2011, we are bringing the troops gradually home from Afghanistan and Iraq, the results mixed. Neither war was waged for human rights, and it seems clear that humanitarianism shouldn't have been part of the discussion, not in the way it was. How humanitarian is it to unleash one civil war and reignite another?

In Libya, we find ourselves faced with a more classic, '90s-style intervention. The background could not be more stark: A courageous rebellion against a brutal and unbalanced 40-year dictatorship was inspired by the nearby uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia. Unlike the dictators of those countries, Muammar Qaddafi gave no thought to stepping down. The rebels armed themselves and began to march toward Tripoli, capturing several towns on the way. They carried Kalashnikovs and RPGs. Qaddafi's days were numbered! But his army had jets, and tanks, and heavy artillery. Once it began a counteroffensive, the rebels proved powerless. They retreated and retreated, until Qaddafi's forces reached the outskirts of Benghazi, the largest city in the Libyan east and the heart of the rebellion. Qaddafi took to the radio. "It's over," he told the rebels. "We are coming tonight. Prepare yourselves. We will find you in your closets. We will show no mercy and no pity." People on the ground began to predict the massacre of Benghazi. They even used the word genocide, if only to disclaim it: "Not a slaughter amounting to genocide," clarified the New York Review of Books, "but almost certainly a bloodbath." (And what was the exact word these exquisite splitters of hairs had in mind for the killing resulting from NATO bombardment?) TheNew Yorker's understated Jon Lee Anderson was in Benghazi as Qaddafi's army approached. He had been watching the hapless rebels for weeks, growing increasingly alarmed at their inadequate arms and training. Now artillery could be heard on the edge of town; in the city's lone functioning Internet cafe the young people updated their Facebook profiles. Social media weren't going to help them now. "The war was finally coming to Benghazi," Anderson wrote.

And then it didn't. NATO jets swooped in, forcing Qaddafi's army back. Benghazi was saved. Nor was it a unilateral mission. The Arab League had sought the intervention; none other than Lebanon, home of Hezbollah (still furious at Qaddafi for the "disappearing" of a Lebanese Shiite chief in the late '70s), sponsored the resolution in the U.N. Security Council. The White House had the finesse to "lead from behind," as they put it. And the rebels, having taken several cities in the first weeks of the uprising, had established what international law calls "belligerent rights"—they were a force that could claim some legitimacy both inside and outside the country. Many of the arguments that should have given pause to American policymakers before the Iraq war, and to some extent during the Kosovo bombing, were moot here. This intervention was U.N.-approved, and seemed to emerge from a genuine concern for the casualties that would have ensued had Qaddafi's forces been allowed to proceed into Benghazi. (A more realpolitik consideration was to place the U.S., belatedly, on the side of the Arab Spring; we would be less resented as the old enabler of Mubarak if we were also the newfoe of Qaddafi.) Ryan Lizza's New Yorker article describing the days leading up to Obama's decision for war singled out Samantha Power, senior director for multilateral affairs on Obama's National Security Council, as one of the motors for the intervention. America was finally choosing values over money.

And yet somehow it gave one a toothache—like the toothache Vronsky had at the end of Anna Karenina, when he went off to Belgrade to humanitarianly aid the Orthodox Christians in their uprising against the Turks. Wars waged by the U.S. are inevitably imperialist; that is part of the toothache. But are they also irredeemably so? Can the local good—the protection of these people or that city—never outweigh the global problem that human rights are, at best, invoked inconsistently and hypocritically, and at worst to excuse any and every war? Humanitarian warfare, clearly bad in principle, often looks good from the standpoint of a particular people at a particular moment, when they are threatened with death. And so the temperamental opponent of intervention can come to feel that while in general he opposes this kind of thing, well, in this case he guesses he supports it—and in that case too, and the next one. He can come to feel like somebody who has principles only for the sake of suspending them. This was the real cause of the toothache—it was déjà vu all over again. In general, you reject humanitarian war—but have you ever met one you didn't initially like? For liberals or leftists who neither automatically support nor automatically oppose all interventions, the Libya war has prompted something paradoxical: mixed feelings in especially pure form. Here the humanitarian motive for intervening has seemed more genuine and decisive than in any prior case. And the chances of doing real good looked favorable. Yet we've got to stop doing these things!

What has been the result? NATO almost immediately expanded the concept of "civilian protection" granted in the U.N. resolution to include regime change—what safety could there be for the rebels if Qaddafi stayed in power? Again, it was hard to argue: Qaddafi was a maniac and a murderer. But Qaddafi held on. One of his residences was bombed, killing a son and several grandchildren, and still he held on. The rebels, while increasing in number and confidence, did not suddenly transform themselves into a well-armed, well-trained fighting force, and militarily a stalemate ensued. Here we were again: An idea that on the face of it was reasonable, and in a certain way "humane," was leading to further deaths, further damage to a country's infrastructure, and a political situation in which the rebels, emboldened by the NATO jets (and, eventually, attack helicopters), refused to negotiate until Qaddafi was gone. Meanwhile the International Criminal Court, the pride and joy of the liberal interventionists, filed suit against Qaddafi for crimes against humanity, thereby putting him beyond the pale. How could you negotiate with someone with nothing to lose? So a nonmilitary solution to a conflict that, Obama said, would be a matter of "days, not weeks," is, as of this writing, further away than ever, even after five months of bombing.

All this could simply be regretted as a well-intentioned plan not working well enough. But that issue of abrogated sovereignty cuts both ways—the American people are supposed to be sovereign, too. The Obama White House's attitude in this has been telling. Not only has Obama failed to seek congressional approval; his lawyers filed a laughable legal brief that argued that America was not even at war. As congressional Republicans correctly pointed out, the administration could not be serious! What could explain this fealty to the letter of international law, and utter contempt for the president's duty to get his wars through Congress?

The answer, it seems to us, can be found in the work of the humanitarian hawks; they have turned the world into a morality play, a ceaseless battle of good versus evil. In Power and the Idealists, his ambivalent farewell to the moralism of the generation of 1968, Paul Berman traced this worldview to the 1960s student left. Born too late to fight Nazis the way their parents did, idealistic young leftists in the prosperous countries of the West looked for Nazis where they could: in university administrations, in American carpet bombers, in the colonialist Israeli state. Even as they grew older and wiser, the hunt for Nazis continued, and continued; in 1999, it led them into Kosovo, and in 2003 it led some of them into the catastrophic invasion of Iraq. Berman was the most perceptive analyst of the humanitarian hawk mindset; Samantha Power was its most compelling exemplar. There are only three kinds of people in her A Problem From Hell: evildoers (Hitler, Pol Pot, Milosevic); saints (Raphael Lemkin, Jan Karski, George McGovern, Peter Galbraith); and cowards (everyone else). You're either with Power or with Pol Pot. The word evil is sprinkled liberally throughout the text (35 appearances), as are slaughter (65), mass murder (25), bloodbath (13), and massacre (99). The function of these words—as well as the word genocide, to whose propagation the book is partly devoted—is to place the evil people beyond the pale of politics, of negotiation, of human intercourse. Would you shake hands with a mass murderer? With the invocation of the word genocide, we move into some other sphere of human relations. Thought, strategy, negotiation shut down; there is only right and wrong, only fight or flight. Which is precisely, in fact, the point.

A politics this morally coercive may explain why a president who is a former law professor, and who came to power with the mandate to restore the rule of law, would so brazenly ignore the Constitution. But a politics this morally coercive is not a politics at all.

What has happened to human rights in the last 20 years is a hijacking, of the sort Napoleon managed with the Declaration of the Rights of Man when he turned Europe into a bloodbath, as Power would put it, under its banner. The search around the globe for genocides to eradicate is the ultimate rights perversion, for it reduces human rights to the right not to be brutally murdered in a particular way that fits the definition of genocide given in the Genocide Convention. This cannot be anyone's idea of a robust human rights. If human rights are to be reclaimed they need first of all to be restored to the realm of politics. Not the realm of morality, which is always and ever a discussion of good versus evil, but politics, a discussion and argument over competing legitimate aims—e.g., the aim of honoring sovereignty and not waging war, versus the aim of protecting the defenseless and ensuring their rights. Morally, it would clearly be better to be a democracy liberated by George W. Bush than a tyranny under Saddam Hussein. Politically, it may be better to bide your time under Saddam than be plunged into a civil war that will kill 100,000 or twice that many. A political rather than moral discussion of human rights might even lead us to acknowledge that a mass murderer like Muammar Qaddafi or George W. Bush has a legitimate constituency whose rights must also be kept in mind.

Meantime the historical record grows long enough for us to ask: Has there ever been a truly successful, truly humanitarian humanitarian intervention? Not of the Vietnamese in Cambodia, who deposed the Khmer Rouge for their own reasons (the Khmer kept crossing the border, and also murdered their entire Vietnamese population), and then replaced them with Hun Sen, who has been ruling Cambodia with an iron fist for more than 30 years. Not the Indian intervention in Bangladesh, under whose cover the Indian government arrested all student protesters in India. And not NATO in Kosovo, which, while it stopped Milosevic and ensured the safety of Kosovo, could not make it a viable state (it is now a failing state likely to be swallowed by Albania), and also led to the ethnic cleansing of the Serb population. Too bad for the Serbs, to be sure; but the creation of a safe space for the expulsion of a civilian population cannot be what anyone had in mind when they launched the planes. That there has never been a successful humanitarian intervention does not mean that there cannot be one in the future. But the evidence is piling up.

#girlstravel is trending on twitter this morning. Seems a bit random that on Memorial Day there is a focus on women traveling solo, though it immediately caught my attention as I am heading to Kigali Rwanda next month as part … Continue reading
          The Hillary Clinton Doctrine        

With last week’s massacre in Orlando, Florida, the dread of terrorism and the anxiety of national security threats across the unstable globe broke through to the surface of our grim-enough electoral politics. The mass shooting also offered a preview of how the two parties’ presumptive candidates might handle a crisis.

The Republican, Donald Trump, proved himself an empty suit with a loud mouth, a set of dangerously shallow ideas, and an ego enormous enough to mistake them for wisdom. Hillary Clinton delivered a very different sort of speech. She was measured and thoughtful, unifying in places and aggressive in others, scrupulous about getting the analysis and the action right. You might call it a “presidential” address.

But what kind of president—what kind of commander in chief—did it suggest she might be, and how did it align with her long-standing positions on national security issues? How would her approach differ from the legacy of Barack Obama or the specter of Trump? How would those differences—not just in general rhetoric but in specific actions—shape American policies and the world they touch? Can one detect in her response to Orlando the outlines of a “Hillary Clinton doctrine”?

The widespread wisdom is that Clinton is a hawk. A recent headline in the New York Times Magazine blared, “How Hillary Clinton Became a Hawk,” as if the question of whether she is one had long ago been settled. But there are many species of hawks. What kind is she? Compared with her predecessor and her rival, will Hillary’s brand of hawkishness make us safer or less secure—raise or reduce the odds of plunging us into war?

And are these the right questions, or in any case the only ones, to ask? During one of her first briefings on China as secretary of state, Clinton asked, to the surprise of everyone in the room, highly detailed questions about several dam projects that Beijing had begun—referring to them by name—and wanted to know how neighboring India was reacting to them. “She understood that water resources were a national-security issue in the region,” the briefer recalls.

It was a small moment, but it reveals something important about how Clinton sees the world, beyond the hawk-dove binary. It suggests that, in much the same way she sees domestic policy as a series of interlocking problems, Clinton takes a more expansive view than most hawks (or doves) of what “national security” entails.

* * *

Hillary’s hawkish reputation is not undeserved. In the high-level debates over war and peace in Obama’s first term, when she served as secretary of state, Clinton almost always aligned herself with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and his generals. She supported their case for sending 40,000 more troops to Afghanistan (Obama reluctantly approved 30,000 and then only with a pullout-date attached). She advocated keeping 10,000 troops in Iraq (Obama decided to bring them all home, in part because an agreement signed by George W. Bush required a total withdrawal). She sided with Gen. David Petraeus’ plan to arm “moderate” rebels in Syria (Obama rejected the idea, concluding it would have little effect on Bashar al-Assad’s regime or much else).

The only issue on which Clinton parted ways with the Pentagon was Libya, and in that case, she was more hawkish: she favored armed intervention to help resistance fighters who wound up toppling Muammar Qaddafi, while Gates and the top brass opposed getting involved.

Yet in her time as secretary, Clinton also took positions anathema to most hawks. She launched the “reset” with Russia (which accomplished a great deal, in nuclear arms-reduction and counterterrorism policies, until Vladimir Putin resumed control of the Kremlin). She was a champion of international women’s rights and children’s welfare, seeing these causes as vital for development, diplomacy, and global stability. She grasped the gravity of climate change earlier than most senior officials.

Even in her support for sending arms to Syrian rebels, one of her more conventionally hawkish positions, she opposed still more aggressive proposals to deploy tens of thousands of U.S. troops as an occupying force. And while she called for a no-fly zone to protect Syrian civilians, she linked the proposal to consultations with Russia, in order to minimize the risks of escalating conflict. (By contrast, some Republican presidential candidates who supported a no-fly zone salivated at the prospect of shooting down a Russian combat plane.) Similarly, on Libya, she called for armed intervention by a coalition, not by the United States alone. (Like Obama, she accepted assurances from NATO allies, especially France and Italy, that they would take the lead on reconstruction and “stability operations” after the fighting stopped—assurances that proved hollow.)

It’s hard to predict how Hillary Clinton will act or make decisions when she’s the one who’s alone in the Oval Office. The calculations of a senator, or the arguments of a cabinet officer, are different from the deliberations of a commander-in-chief. Still, judging from the long record of her votes and recommendations, it’s fair to say that she is more hawkish than Obama—but less hawkish than, say, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, the neo-cons who surrounded President Bush, or nearly all the Republicans who ran for president this year, including Trump. Her stance lies somewhere in between the poles, though, in her case, that’s not the same as saying she’s middle-of-the-road.

“She’s not very shy about using military power,” says Kurt Campbell, her former assistant secretary of state for East Asian affairs, now chairman and CEO of the Asia Group. “Some Democrats talk about using the military as a last resort. That’s not a natural way for her to think.” To Clinton, military force is but one of several tools of national power, and her mode of thinking, he says, involves “welding or integrating all of them together.”

A hallmark of President Obama’s thinking, dating back at least to his 2009 Nobel address, has been an acknowledgment of the limits of American power, especially in the post–Cold War era of global fragmentation. By contrast, Campbell says of Clinton, “The idea of ‘limits of American power’—that’s not in her. She was not humble about American power. She was always about leadership, took it as a given and a guiding star.”

Another former State Department official who worked with Clinton says, “She is inclined to take action—not necessarily military action, but she believes American inaction can leave a power vacuum, which could make us less safe in the long run.”

This is a key distinction between Obama and Clinton. Obama’s recognition of the limits of power, and his reluctance to act just for the sake of acting, has kept the nation from doing (as he put it) “stupid shit.” But this trait has also sometimes made him appear ambivalent, an apt pose for a scholar-statesman but riskily indecisive for a president. Clinton’s confidence in American power may make her look more resolute as president—but it may also lead the nation more determinedly into war.

* * *

Clinton was born in 1947, at the dawn of what Time magazine heralded as “the American Century,” and she has long adhered to its assumptions about America’s central role in world affairs. Many of her contemporaries, as they came of age, were seared by the Vietnam War and emerged more skeptical about U.S. military power—and U.S. military advisers. But if Vietnam planted seeds of fundamental doubt in Hillary Clinton’s mind, she hasn’t let them show. Her views seem to have been shaped more by experiences in her husband’s presidency—especially his regret at not acting to stop the genocide in Rwanda and his redemptive decision to act, with a combination of airstrikes and firm diplomacy, to protect Kosovo from the savagery of Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic.

In his new book, Alter Egos: Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and the Twilight Struggle Over American Power, Mark Landler, a New York Times reporter, tells a story about the 2010 incident in which North Korea torpedoed a South Korean navy vessel, killing 46 sailors onboard. State and Defense Department officials devised a plan to send an aircraft carrier into coastal waters just east of North Korea, as a show of force. But the top U.S. admiral in the Pacific suggested that the carrier be rerouted, more aggressively, into the Yellow Sea, between North Korea and China. In the ensuing debate, Clinton supported the admiral, saying, “We’ve got to run it up the gut!” (Obama rejected the idea, in part because the mission was already in progress and, as he put it, extending the football metaphor, “I don’t call audibles with aircraft carriers.”)

Russia’s seizure of Crimea and a swath of eastern Ukraine occurred during Obama’s second term, after Clinton had left Foggy Bottom. But during the Q&A section of a speech at the Brookings Institution in September, Clinton said, “I am in the category of people who wanted us to do more in response” to Russia’s moves. Though acknowledging that the economic sanctions, which Obama coordinated with Western Europe, may “have had some impact” on Russian behavior, she said that the West “had to up the cost” to Russia and “to put more pressure on Putin,” noting that his objective was “to stymie and to confront and to undermine American power”—not just in Eastern Europe but “whenever and wherever [he] can.”

Obama’s logic, in declining to send Ukraine offensive arms, was that Putin would outplay us in that realm. Russia has a far greater strategic interest in Ukraine and could match or exceed our efforts very quickly, since the two countries share not just a long history but a long border. Better, Obama decided, to supply Ukraine with defensive military equipment, to share intelligence, and to focus more sharply on economic sanctions, where the West had an advantage over Russia (and where Obama has done a better-than-expected job of keeping the Western European nations onboard).

More recently, in her speech in Cleveland on June 13, the day after the Orlando shootings, Clinton first noted that not all the facts were yet known about the shooter, Omar Mateen (was he inspired by ISIS or a troubled, violent homophobe who used jihadist social media as an excuse to vent his self-hatred?), and she invoked the fundamental unity and tolerance of American society. Then she laid out her plan for defeating ISIS. It involved “ramping up the air campaign” in Syria and Iraq, “accelerating support” for Arab and Kurdish soldiers on the ground, pressing ahead with the diplomatic efforts to settle sectarian political divisions, and “pushing our partners in the region to do even more,” not least pressuring the Saudis, Qataris, and Kuwaitis to stop funding extremist organizations. At home, she called for an “intelligence surge,” upping the budgets of intelligence and law enforcement agencies, improving their coordination on a local and federal level, working with Silicon Valley to track and analyze jihadist recruiters on social media networks, and working with responsible leaders in Muslim neighborhoods (rather than alienating them by suggesting—as Trump did, in his speech on the same day—that all American Muslims are somehow complicit in the actions of extremists).

Some of these proposals are new, especially the “intelligence surge,” and seem tailored to the evolving domestic threats. It’s true, as Politico recently reported, that the FBI has enough agents to track just 48 suspected terrorists in the U.S., 24/7, at any one time. But it may also be true that, in order to find and relentlessly pursue possible “lone-wolf” terrorists (those with no direct connections to jihadist organizations), the FBI would have to change its nature from a law enforcement bureau to a domestic intelligence agency, with broad powers going beyond the restrictions of prosecutorial probes. Is that a path we want to go down? Does Clinton want to pave that path? It’s unclear.

As for the military and diplomatic aspects of her plan, these are things Obama has been doing for some time. (I asked some of Clinton’s advisers to clarify what she meant by “ramping up the air campaign” and “accelerating support” for ground forces—where, by how much, to what end?—but responses were vague.) The fact is, nobody quite knows how to deal with an organization like ISIS in a region like the modern Middle East, where the jihadists’ most natural and most powerful enemies are unable to fight together because they fear and loathe one another more than they fear and loathe ISIS.

Which leads to a larger point—that, in their basic policies and outlook on the world, the differences between Obama and Clinton are relatively minor. Even Mark Landler, whose book chronicles their competing views on military power, acknowledges in his first chapter that, during her time as secretary of state, she and Obama “agreed more than they disagreed. Both preferred diplomacy to brute force. Both shunned the unilateralism of the Bush years. Both are lawyers committed to preserving the rules-based order that the United States put in place after 1945.” Their disputes, he writes, stemmed mainly from their “very different instincts for how to save” this post-WWII order as it has fractured in the aftermath of the Cold War.

Their common ground is highlighted by their common, stark contrast with Donald Trump. The “rules-based order” that Clinton and Obama both cherish holds no interest for Trump; nor does he seem to know anything about its history, its institutions, or its value to American security.

Trump has said that, as president, he would torture suspected terrorists and murder their families, reflecting an indifference or hostility to international law. His idea for beating ISIS is to “bomb the shit out of them” (not realizing, or perhaps caring, that ISIS fighters live among innocent civilians, whose killing by U.S. air power would rouse their friends and relatives into alliance with the jihadists), to ban all Muslims from entering our borders (unaware that this would energize jihadist propaganda), and—in his post-Orlando speech—to throw Muslim American citizens in jail if they don’t report their suspicious neighbors. Trump dismisses NATO as “obsolete” and says, with a shrug, that he’d abandon allies in Europe and Asia if they didn’t pony up more money for their defenses, even if our withdrawal would prompt them to develop their own nuclear arsenals. Yet he also believes that, all on his own, he can negotiate “great deals”—of what sort, he’s never specified—with Putin and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un. (He strikes a peculiar, if clueless, affinity with authoritarian leaders.)

Trump is neither hawk nor dove, but rather some vague mutant hybrid—part isolationist, part international hoodlum, at once a byproduct and aggravator of the era’s teeming resentment, rage, and incipient global anarchy.

By contrast, Clinton is less a hawk or a dove than a traditionalist, and a cautious one at that. Amid the exuberance of the Arab Spring and the street protests in Cairo, she advised against cutting off Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, fearing that his successors might be worse. Had she remained secretary of state in Obama’s second term, she probably wouldn’t have stretched out the ill-fated Israeli-Palestinian talks for as long as John Kerry did; yet she might also not have stuck so long with the Iran nuclear talks, which resulted in a remarkable deal that she now fully supports. On the occasions when she called for the use of force, she usually did so in the context of an alliance or coalition, and for the purpose of upholding a regional order rather than toppling one.

Her vote as a senator in 2002, authorizing President Bush to invade Iraq, is of course the action that most vividly emblazoned her image as a hawk. It may also have cost her the Democratic contest in 2008 (to Obama, who had spoken out against the war), and it animated much of the support for Sen. Bernie Sanders in the 2016 primaries. (Her Iraq vote was the only example Sanders cited—and cited repeatedly—of Clinton’s “poor judgment.”)

Early on in this year’s race for the Democratic nomination, during a town hall debate in New Hampshire, Clinton explained that Bush had made a “very explicit appeal,” pledging to use the Senate’s authorization as “leverage” to prod Saddam Hussein into readmitting U.S. inspectors, so they could resume their mission of verifying whether Iraq was building weapons of mass destruction. In other words, she claimed that she voted the way she did in the interests of diplomacy; the problem, she said, was that Bush went back on his word.

The transcript of the 2002 Senate debate reveals that Clinton was telling the truth at the 2016 town hall: This was the rationale she gave, in a long, seemingly anguished speech, for supporting the resolution. (It was also the reason many other Democratic senators—including John Kerry and Joe Biden, whose subsequent careers did not suffer—also gave in authorizing an invasion.) Still, Clinton’s logic does not explain why she didn’t oppose the war after the invasion got under way (though she did later vote against the troop-surge), or why she never read the full pre-invasion intelligence report (which included some agencies’ doubts about whether Iraq actually possessed chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons), or why she took so long—not until very late in the 2008 campaign—to admit that her vote had been a mistake.

She has a genuinely strategic mind. Just as she sees the linkages between development and stability, water resources and national security, she understands that diplomatic pursuits require leverage and that leverage often entails a display (with an implied threat) of force. But Iraq stands as a case in point where strategic thinking of this sort can overcomplicate matters. Even aside from the errors in her assumptions (that Iraq had a WMD program and that Bush was really interested in using the Senate vote as a lever for diplomacy), she downplayed—perhaps evaded—the flip side of her calculations: What if Bush had tried to persuade Saddam to readmit the inspectors and Saddam still refused? Would that have been reason enough to invade? Given its risks and America’s competing priorities in the region, was war the wise course? Her vote—and her long delay in expressing regret for the vote—suggests that she thought it was. As president, would she exert leverage against some other nations, in an attempt to prod their leaders to accept her demands or alter their behavior—and take the slippery slide to war if they don’t?

Then again, it’s false to suggest that Clinton has a consistent tendency to swerve onto risky paths. She may not be shy about using force, as Kurt Campbell says, but that doesn’t mean she’s gung-ho to do so.

For instance, when it came to drone strikes, the Obama administration’s preferred instrument of military power, she was sometimes more cautious than the president, less prone to favor an attack. As a matter of protocol, when the CIA proposes secret drone strikes in a foreign country, the State Department is given a chance to weigh in. On the occasions when the U.S. ambassador in a country (usually Pakistan) advised that a strike’s location, timing or target would have politically disruptive consequences, Clinton opposed the attack. When David Petraeus was CIA director, he ceded to Clinton’s judgment in those cases and called the strike off. Petraeus’ predecessor, Leon Panetta, always ignored her objections, once, in a National Security Council meeting, even growling at her, “I don’t work for you!” (Obama, at least in his first term, almost always sided with the CIA.)*

Finally, there’s the case of Obama’s most dramatic decision: the very high-level debate over whether to order the raid on Osama Bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan. It was a question racked with dilemmas and uncertainties; the intelligence agencies were divided over whether Bin Laden was really even there. Clinton filled a legal pad, listing the many pros and cons of acting or not acting. She came down in favor of the raid, but just barely. Her position wasn’t that of an impetuous, adventurous hawk; it was precisely the same position as Obama’s.

The president and his former secretary of state are also speaking in harmony, if not unison, in the wake of Orlando. Notwithstanding her tendency to do more, faster, stronger, the approach she’s prescribed is very similar to his. It’s an approach based on analyzing the facts, understanding the vital role of allies (at home and abroad), and grasping the motives of terrorist groups, what makes their recruitment drives appealing, and what responses from the West might intensify or slacken their appeal. The difference between Clinton and Trump is the same as the difference between Obama and Trump: It’s the difference between someone who has a sophisticated knowledge of international relations (granting that this doesn’t always lead to the most successful policies) and someone who has no knowledge whatsoever.

As one of her assistants in the State Department puts it, “The differences between Obama and Clinton are real, but they’re not huge. She’s on the slightly tougher side of the spectrum.” Call it the Obama-plus-a-bit doctrine.

*Correction, June 19, 2016: The article originally misstated that Leon Panetta suceeded Gen. David Petraeus as CIA director. Petraeus served after Panetta. (Return.)

          Afriek is een sprankelend modelabel met een prachtverhaal        

Afriek is een kleurrijk modelabel dat Nederlands ontwerp samenbrengt met de creativiteit en het vakmanschap van kleermakers in Rwanda. Zo produceren ze de meest unieke kleding op een eerlijke manier.... Lees verder

The post Afriek is een sprankelend modelabel met een prachtverhaal appeared first on .

          Prime Minister of Rwanda        

Prime Minister of Rwanda

Grégoire Kayibanda 19 October 1960 1 July 1962 Parmehutu
Post Abolished (1 July 1962-12 October 1991)
Sylvestre Nsanzimana 12 October 1991 2 April 1992 MRND
Dismas Nsengiyaremye 2 April 1992 18 July 1993 MDR
Agathe Uwilingiyimana 18 July 1993 7 April 1994 MDR
Jean Kambanda 9 April 1994 19 July 1994 MDR
Faustin Twagiramungu 19 July 1994 31 August 1995 MDR
Pierre-Célestin Rwigema 31 August 1995 8 March 2000 MDR
Bernard Makuza 8 March 2000 Present MDR
          Zanzibar - paradisön        
Jag sitter och kollar igenom bilder och minns tillbaka till Zanzibar. Jag var först inte så positiv till att åka på sol- och badsemester efter det fantastiska utbytet i Tanzania, jag trodde att jag hellre ville stanna några dagar extra i Bukoba eller åka till Dar Es Salaam för en annan sorts kulturupplevelse med storstad eller Arusha och deras historia med rättegångarna i samband med folkmordet i Rwanda.
Men gruppen på 4 tjejer enades om att tillbringa våra sista dagar i Tanzania på Zanzibar. Och vilka dagar sedan, vi hade nog inte kunnat ladda oss bättre för att komma hem till kyliga men ändå varma Sverige efter de tre månaderna i Bukoba-området. Det blev en bra mellanlandning mellan luncher på halmgolv och långa sångfyllda gudstjänster. Mellanlandningen fylldes av sol, bad, sällskapsspel, nattklubb och god mat, även tripp till Stone town och till en av de nordliga vita stränderna.
Poolen utanför dörren och stranden likaså, aldrig trodde jag väl att jag skulle njuta så mycket av att kunna göra ingenting! =)

Prison Island

På väg hem från snorkling vid ett korallrev

Vi besökte fängelsekamrarna för slavarna


Utsikten från vårt boende på Palm Beach Inn

Grön kokosnöt att dricka och äta

En av två förvarings/fängelsekamrarna

Stranden vid hotellet

På gatan utanför hotellet. Foto: Sophie Sjögegård

Byn... Foto: Sophie Sjögegård

I resturangen/baren. Foto: Sophie Sjögegård

Jag och Bushman på ett tak i Stonetown, Zanzibar. Foto: Sophie Sjögegård

På "gården" på hotellet. Foto: Sophie Sjögegård

Poolen och havet. Foto: Sophie Sjögegård

Utanför resturangen. Foto: Sophie SJögegård

Skönt kvällshäng i poolen. Foto: Sophie Sjögegård

Hotellet vi bodde på - Palm Beach Inn. Foto: Sophie Sjögegård

Vid ingången till hotellet. Foto: Sophie Sjögegård

Porten ut till stranden, rakt utanför huset där vi bodde. Foto: Sophie Sjögegård

          2012 nÃ¥r sitt slut...och 2013 gÃ¥r mot sin början!        
Så läggs ännu ett år, 2012, till det förflutna, ett år som varit fyllt med många händelser:

  • Början av Ã¥ret inleddes med kärleksyra och nyÃ¥rsfirande i Uppsala. Jag var lycklig.
  • Jag hade en tuff start pÃ¥ Ã¥ret eftersom att jag inte hade landat helt frÃ¥n COP17 i Durban, Sydafrika.
  • Kärleksyran tog snabbt slut, och det har nog aldrig gjort sÃ¥ ont i mig. Det gör fortfarande ont att tänka tillbaka. Men visst sjutton var det värt det, jag var totalt lycklig för en stund (innan det tog slut).
  • Arbetsmässigt har det varit det tuffaste Ã¥ret pÃ¥ länge, men det har ocksÃ¥ varit glädjefyllt, utmanande och inspirerande. I februari 2012 hade jag varit anställd i ett Ã¥r, och nu i slutet av Ã¥ret nästan tvÃ¥ Ã¥r.
  • Buggkurs grön (nr 2) var rätt tuff till en början pga. kärleksfulla danslÃ¥tar och behov av glädje för att kunna dansa, men till sist kom dansglädjen ikapp. =)
  • Förtroendeuppdragen... Först ville jag dölja mig i dvala, sedan tog jag mig an flera uppgifter i Svenska Kyrkans Unga och förbundsstyrelsens namn för att fylla kalendern och kunna gÃ¥ vidare frÃ¥n sorgen. Gotlands kyrkvecka, Strängnäs DÅM i Mariefred, Uppsalas DÅM pÃ¥ Undersviks lägergÃ¥rd, remissvar, Demokratigruppen, Demokratikonferensen i Göteborg, styrelsemötena...ja, jag for och flängde en hel del under vÃ¥ren och det var bra skönt. Jag valdes även in i valberedningen för ÖBRK - Östersunds Bugg & Rock'n roll-klubb.
  • Jag ansökte om att fÃ¥ bli en av deltagarna i Ung i den världsvida kyrkan, och jag blev uttagen för Härnösands stift. Och jag fick möjlighet att tacka ja till tre mÃ¥nader i Tanzania, pÃ¥ den kontinent som jag drömt om att fÃ¥ leva lite längre tid pÃ¥. AFRIKA!
  • Jag tillbringade fina dagar i juni mÃ¥nad pÃ¥ Sigtuna folkhögskola i förberedande syfte inför utbytet.
  • Sommaren tillbringades pÃ¥ mÃ¥nga danser, det är första sommaren som jag har dansat sÃ¥ här mycket! =)
  • Jag tillbringade tvÃ¥ veckor av min semester i Uppsala pÃ¥ sprÃ¥kkurs och ytterligare förberedande dagar inför utbytet i augusti.
  • Sista arbetsveckan innan tjänstledigheten Ã¥kte vi med jobbet pÃ¥ personalutvecklingsdagar till Bukarest i Rumänien. (Jag tog med swahilikompendiet för att inte tappa sprÃ¥kundervisningen jag fÃ¥tt - märklöigt att plugga swahili i Rumänien, men kul!)
  • Till sist bar det av till Tanzania där jag delade mina tre mÃ¥nader tillsammans med Sofia Olsson, vi bodde i Bukoba, Rwigembe, Ramweshenye, Kashai, Kampala (Uganda), Kabale, Katoma, Kangabusharo, Bukoba, Kigali (Rwanda), Kashura och slutligen stranden norr om Paje pÃ¥ Zanzibar (vi stod för de sista fem dagarna själva, inte utbytet). Vi mötte mÃ¥nga människor, gjorde mÃ¥nga erfareneheter och har förmodligen lärt oss mycket - det mÃ¥ste bara sjunka in först. Sophie och Viktoria var ocksÃ¥ utbytesdeltagare i Tanzania och delar av de här tre mÃ¥naderna spenderades även med dem.
  • Jag fyllde 25 Ã¥r, matade andra med tÃ¥rta, firade med att äta chipsmayai med vänner (omelett med klyftpotatis/strips i)
  • Jag predikade för första gÃ¥ngen helt själv och med ord. PÃ¥ Swahili! I kyrkan i Kangabusharo... Wow!
  • Jag har varit pÃ¥ min första sol-och badsemester...och jag har fÃ¥tt mersmak. Underbart! Snorkla vid korallrev...sÃ¥ fantastiskt! Mitt miljökämpande hjärta kämpar emot min suktan efter att fÃ¥ Ã¥ka tillbaka pÃ¥ nÃ¥got liknande ställe.
  • Jag kom hem till adventstiden här i Sverige och slogs av att sÃ¥ mÃ¥nga stressade sÃ¥ ofantligt mycket men passade pÃ¥ att njuta av fortsatt tjänstledighet, adventspynta, tända levande ljus och försöka hÃ¥lla mig varm i kylan.
  • Återträff och hemkomstkurs med de övriga utbytesdeltagarna - Ã¥terigen pÃ¥ Sigtuna folkhögskola. Mys var ledordet för dessa dagar! =)
  • Tjänstledigheten tog slut och min tjänst förändrades. Jag kommer att jobba i Odensala istället för i centrala Östersund framöver.
  • Anmälan till nästa buggkurs blÃ¥ (nr 3) är inskickad och fördelen med förändrade arbetsuppgifter är att jag nu kommer att kunna gÃ¥ pÃ¥ medlemskvällarna och öva sÃ¥ mycket mer. :)
  • Jul firades i Ånge och pÃ¥ TimmerÃ¥backen, bästa julklappen var en get via barnmissionen. Jag kände att jul var väldigt jobbigt pga. sÃ¥ mÃ¥nga onödiga julklappar som gavs hit och dit samt all resursslöseri. Varför lagar vi för mycket mat? Varför fÃ¥r alla barn 20 julklappar var? Ja, jag pÃ¥verkades nog extra mycket av mitt utbyte... 
  • Fördelen med jul var att fÃ¥ träffa alla älskade i familj och släkt. MÃ¥nga barn blir det, och bebisar, och vuxna... och fler har det kommit efter jul dessutom! Underbart att fÃ¥ träffa de flesta igen! <3 li="li" nbsp="nbsp">
  • Året avslutas med stilla firande tillsammans med exet Robert, Majny och Ida.

Gott slut på 2012 och ett Gott välsignat 2013 önskar jag dig!

          La Fuerza Regional de Protección de Sudán del Sur recibe a su primer contingente        
El responsable de la Misión de las Naciones Unidas en Sudán del Sur (UNMISS), David Shearer, anunció la llegada durante el fin de semana del primer contingente de 120 soldados del batallón de Rwanda que formará parte de la Fuerza Regional de Protección.
          Why Everyone Is So Nervous About Kenya’s Election        

Hell didn’t break loose Tuesday during voting in Kenya’s close-fought presidential election—but the real moment to worry about is Wednesday, when the results are expected to be announced. That’s when many fear a repeat of 2007, when post-election violence killed 1,400 people and displaced more than half a million, nearly plunging the country in outright civil war.

In that election, Mwai Kibaki was declared the winner over Raila Odinga after initially trailing, prompting allegations of fraud. The violence broke down along ethnic lines, with Kibaki’s Kikuyu tribe and Odinga’s Luo fighting each other in riots and brutal street battles. There were widespread reports of sexual violence and torture. Finally, a deal brokered by former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan made Kibaki president and gave Odinga the newly created position of prime minister.

That explosive episode would come to influence every subsequent Kenyan election. In 2013, Odinga lost again to Uhuru Kenyatta. There was no violence that time, but the result was controversial because Kenyatta was then under indictment by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity over his alleged role in the 2007 violence. The charges, portrayed by Kenyatta as neo-imperialist interference, may have backfired, driving Kikuyu voters to the polls. The ICC dropped the charges against Kenyatta in 2014, with prosecutors accusing the Kenyan government of blocking their investigation.

This year’s election is a Kenyatta vs. Odinga rematch. They are the sons, respectively, of Kenya’s first president and first vice president, who were also fierce rivals during the 1960s and ‘70s. Kenyatta is trying to avoid becoming the first Kenyan president to lose re-election. And at 72, Odinga is looking at his last chance. Kenyatta is running on a record of economic growth and infrastructure projects, including a new Chinese-built highway between Nairobi and the port city of Mombasa. Odinga counters that Kenyatta’s administration is mired in corruption and dominated by his fellow Kikuyus.

The election is likely to be close, and if neither man can get over 50 percent of the vote, there will be a runoff, further raising the tension. Election procedures and security are thought to have improved since 2007. Election observers including former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry are on the ground, and former President Barack Obama has urged calm in his father’s native country. There were vague reports of “insecurity” at a few polling places, but mostly the vote seems to have been peaceful and orderly.

There’s reason for concern: Last month, Christ Msando, the head of IT for the country’s election commission, who had helped develop a new electronic ballot system, was found tortured and murdered in the outskirts of Nairobi. There have also been recent attacks by the Somali militant group al-Shabaab and increasing attacks by armed nomadic cattle herders on locals in the drought-hit Laikipia region. A recently instituted gender quota for the country’s parliament has also prompted a backlash in the form of widespread violence against women running for office.

The election has implications beyond Kenya’s borders. For one thing, as analyst Murithi Mutiga of the International Crisis Group notes, Kenya’s main port at Mombasa is the primary entry point for imported goods into eastern Africa, and the 2007 violence resulted in food shortages for landlocked countries like Rwanda and Uganda. With its combination of a large economy, vast disparities of wealth, and political instability, Kenya is also viewed as something of a bellwether. After years of steady gains, the spread of electoral democracy in Africa seems to have stalled somewhat. The recent presidential election in Zambia, generally considered a poster child for political stability, was marred by violence and controversy. Rwanda’s Paul Kagame, elected to a third term with a dubious 99 percent of the vote last week, seems destined to join the ranks of the continent’s “forever presidents.” The Democratic Republic of Congo’s Joseph Kabila seems to have decided he doesn’t need to hold elections at all.

So while the stakes of these tense contests are obviously highest for Kenyans themselves, they won’t be the only ones anxiously watching the events of the next few days.

          Genocide Survivor to Provide Update on Events in Rwanda and Burundi        
MAHWAH, N.J. – Eugenie Mukeshimana, Rwandan genocide survivor and founder of the Genocide Survivors Support Network, will provide an update on developments in her native country and neighboring Burundi on Friday, November 4 at 2 p.m. in the Alumni Lounges (SC156-57) of the Robert A. Scott Student Center at Ramapo College of New Jersey. The […]
          Repent; do penance; pray        
On November 28, 1981, the Virgin Mary began appearing in the tiny village of Kibeho, Rwanda.  Among Our Lady’s many messages was a chilling prophecy. This prophecy of mass genocide sadly came true in the nineties when a million people were killed … Continue reading
          Genocide in Rwanda left many people growing older alone and depressed - social inclusion could be the answer        
More than 20 years on from the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, many of the country's older people continue to be affected by it in new and troubling ways. Hundreds of thousands of people lost relatives or were separated from their family members. They are now reaching older age. But where they would hav...

          Rwandans Upset By Captain        
I wonder what some experts on the regulations think of this.

It seems that the unfortunate incident on the last day of the Olympiad has had the unintended side-effect of causing ructions within the Rwandan men's team.

From Rwanda's The New Times paper:

The controversy started on the final day of the tournament on Thursday last week, when in round 11, a Seychelles player against Rwanda’s Alain Patience Niyibizi on board 2, suddenly collapsed and was later pronounced dead.

Although Rwanda was leading on the score against Seychelles before the incident, team captain Maxence Murara chose to sacrifice two games as loses in a gesture of goodwill to Seychelles, a decision which did not go down well with his teammates.

Never mind that the captain apparently did not consult his players, for that was just poor decision-making and obviously bad leadership. I am just curious about this: if the position is not evident on the board during actual play, how can a game be declared lost? Obviously, there may be situations wherein a game can be lost regardless of the position, like player behaving badly if I remember the Laws right, but we are not talking about this. The only procedure I can think of is that the captain sort of "resigned" on behalf of his players, although I am not sure if he can do that either.

Honestly, it is easy to understand the motivations of the Rwandan captain. But I think offering a draw would have been quite adequate as a gesture of goodwill.
          FEED 100 & Paradoxes        
1. The newest FEED bag, the FEED 100 bag is available now exclusively at Whole Foods Market nation-wide! Each FEED 100 bag will provide 100 school meals to hungry children in Rwanda through the UN World Food Program (www.wfp.org). Help them reach their goal of provide all the WFP school meals in Rwanda for 2008 […]
          Oxfam supported ‘Tree Tomato Project’ in Rwanda has helped women gain more than money        

Since joining the Tree Tomato Women's Cooperative Flonira has earned enough money to renovate her house, grow her own tree tomato plantation and send her son to China for his studies. In doing this she has broken perceptions of women in her community who are now valued and respected for their contributions to the household.

          NA WEWE        
NA WEWE (2010, Ivan Goldschmidt, Belgium/Burundi, short film, A+30)

หนังสั้นเรื่องนี้เคยเข้าชิงรางวัลออสการ์ หนังเล่าเรื่องของรถตู้ที่บรรทุกผู้โดยสารหลายเชื้อชาติ และรถตู้คันนี้ก็เข้าไปเผชิญกับสงครามฆ่าล้างเผ่าพันธุ์ระหว่างชาว Hutu กับชาว Tutsi ใน Burundi ในปี 1994

เพิ่งรู้จากหนังเรื่องนี้ว่ามีการฆ่าล้างเผ่าพันธุ์ใน Burundi ด้วย เพราะก่อนหน้านี้เรารู้แต่เรื่องของ Rwanda ไม่นึกว่าใน Burundi สถานการณ์ก็เลวร้ายเหมือนกัน

ตอนดูจะกลัวมากๆ เพราะเราเคยดูหนังเกี่ยวกับสงครามในแอฟริกาอย่าง HOTEL RWANDA (2004, Terry George), BEASTS OF NO NATION (2015, Cary Joji Fukunaga), BLOOD DIAMOND (2006, Edward Zwick), THE CONSTANT GARDENER (2005, Fernando Meirelles), IN A BETTER WORLD (2010, Susanne Bier), THE LAST FACE (2016, Sean Penn) มาแล้ว เราก็เลยรู้สึกว่า ไม่มีตัวละครใดที่จะปลอดภัยเมื่อไปอยู่ในสถานการณ์แบบนี้ในแอฟริกา และสิ่งที่โหดร้ายที่สุดสามารถเกิดขึ้นได้ในสถานการณ์แบบนี้

จริงๆแล้วมันมีหนังแบบนี้เยอะเหมือนกันนะ หนังเกี่ยวกับ "แบบทดสอบความเป็นมนุษย์" ในช่วงสงครามกลางเมือง โดยใช้ผู้โดยสารต่างเชื้อชาติและต่างศาสนาที่ต้องมาร่วมเดินทางด้วยกัน แต่เราก็ชอบหนังกลุ่มนี้เกือบทุกเรื่องเลย เพราะหนังกลุ่มนี้มันพูดถึงหนึ่งในสิ่งที่เราหวาดกลัวมากที่สุดในชีวิตน่ะ นั่นก็คือ genocide และ massacre ที่เกิดขึ้นจริงในอดีต และอาจจะเกิดขึ้นได้อีกในอนาคต


1.FOTOGRAF (2001, Kazim Oz, Turkey) ที่เล่าเรื่องมิตรภาพของชายหนุ่มสองคนที่เดินทางโดยรถบัสคันเดียวกันท่ามกลางภาวะไม่สงบ โดยคนหนึ่งเป็นทหารตุรกี ส่วนอีกคนเป็นกบฏชาวเคิร์ด เรื่องนี้ถือเป็นหนึ่งในหนังที่เราชอบมากที่สุดในชีวิต

2.MR. & MRS. IYER (2002, Aparna Sen, India) อันนี้เป็นเรื่องของชาวมุสลิมกับชาวฮินดูที่โดยสารรถบัสคันเดียวกันท่ามกลางเหตุการณ์จลาจล จริงๆแล้วเราไม่ได้ชอบหนังเรื่องนี้มากเท่าไหร่ แต่ concept ตั้งต้นของมันน่าสนใจดี

3.HIJAB (2017, Trongpol Sitthipoon, Surasak Chedueramae, Issariyaporn Na Songkhla) ที่เล่าเรื่องชาวพุทธกับชาวมุสลิมที่โดยสารรถตู้คันเดียวกันในเขตชายแดนภาคใต้

          Codes for making International Calls        

What is a Country Code?

      Country codes are used to make International Phone calls.Every country has a unique country code. Country codes are the prefixes you need to dial before calling to the country.This short alphabetic or numeric geographical codes (geocodes) are developed to represent countries and dependent areas.The International Dialing codes of a country is called "Country Code" or  International Area Code(IAC) or International Calling Codes.

International Calling codes of all countries

Country Codes List

CountryCountry Code
Abkhazia+995 44 +7 840, 940
American Samoa+1 684
Anguilla+1 264
Antigua and Barbuda+1 268
Ascension Island+247
Australian Antarctic Territory+672 1x
Bahamas+1 242
Barbados+1 246
Bermuda+1 441
Bonaire+599 7
Bosnia and Herzegovina+387
British Indian Ocean Territory+246
British Virgin Islands+1 284
Burkina Faso+226
Cape Verde+238
Cayman Islands+1 345
Central African Republic+236
Christmas Island+61 8 9164
Cocos Islands+61 8 9162
Cook Islands+682
Costa Rica+506
Côte d'Ivoire+225
Curacao+599 9
Czech Republic+420
Democratic Republic of the Congo+243
Dominica+1 767
Dominican Republic+1 809 / 829 / 849
East Timor+670
El Salvador+503
Equatorial Guinea+240
Falkland Islands+500
Faroe Islands+298
Federated States of Micronesia+691
French Guiana+594
French Polynesia+689
Global Mobile Satellite System+881
Grenada+1 473
Guam+1 671
Guernsey+44 1481
Hong Kong+852
International Freephone UIFN+800
International Premium Rate Service+979
Isle of Man+44 1624
Jamaica+1 876
Jersey+44 1534
Kazakhstan+7 6xx, 7xx
Kosovo+377 44 / 45 +386 43 / 49 +381 28 / 29 / 38 / 39
Mainland China+86
Marshall Islands+692
Mayotte+262 269 / 639
Montserrat+1 664
Nagorno-Karabakh+374 47 / 97
New Caledonia+687
New Zealand+64
Norfolk Island+672 3
North Korea+850
Northern Mariana Islands+1 670
Palestinian territories+970
Papua New Guinea+675
Puerto Rico+1 787 / 939
Republic of China (Taiwan)+886
Republic of the Congo+242
Saba+599 4
Saint Helena+290
Saint Kitts and Nevis+1 869
Saint Lucia+1 758
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines+1 784
Saint-Pierre and Miquelon+508
San Marino+378
São Tomé and Príncipe+239
Saudi Arabia+966
Sierra Leone+232
Sint Eustatius+599 3
Sint Maarten+599 5
Solomon Islands+677
South Africa+27
South Korea+82
South Sudan+211
Sri Lanka+94
Telecommunications for Disaster Relief by OCHA+888
TokelauAfrica is the second-largest continent in the world.Here is the list of 55 countries in Africa and their capitals.

Burkina Faso
Cape Verde
The Central African Republic
The Comoros
Cote d'Ivoire
The Democratic Republic of the Congo
Equatorial Guinea
Addis Ababa
The Gambia

Port Louis
The Republic of the Congo
Sao Tome and Principe
São Tomé

The Seychelles
Sierra Leone
South Africa
Western Sahara

          Rwanda's President Dangles The Possibility Of A Third Term        
          Esteri di mar 04/03        
1-Crisi ucraina: Putin scopre le carte, si attende la reazione dei governi occidentali. Fondo monetario sotto pressione per gli aiuti a Kiev. ..( Emanuele Valenti, Philip Crowley, Andrei Soldatov, Marta Gatti ) ..2-Egitto: il movimento palestinese Hamas dichiarato fuorilegge.( laura Cappon) ..3-Uighuri- terroristi: in Cina la minoranza musulmana respinge l'equazione di Pechino ( Rassegna stampa cinese a cura di Diana santini ) ..4-Germania: cresce ancora il numero di offerte di lavoro. In totale sono 1 milione di posti vacanti...5-Centrafrica: Ban Ki-moon chiede l'invio di 10 mila caschi blu...6-Giusti dell'umanità: memoria del bene e prevenzione dei genocidi (Intervista a Françoise Kandiki Bene Rwanda) ....
          FR. JACK SOULSBY S.M        
Spiritual Renewal

 Fr Jack has been working full time in spiritual renewal and evangelisation in both Catholic and Ecumenical circles since 1980 and has ministered in 98 nations in the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Pacific. 

In the footsteps of St.Paul

He has toured PNG with a Pentecostal pastor,
- preached at open air crusades in Nigeria and Ghana, 
- taken groups of Australians to large ecumenical renewal conferences in USA, 
- led pilgrimages to Europe , the Holy Land,
- embarked on an " Aids safari " in Uganda, 
- held healing services for lepers in Sudan, 

ministered to 
- Mozambican refugees in Malawi, 
- Liberian refugees in Sierra Leone, 
- Sudanese war victims in Kenya, 
- genocide victims in Rwanda, 

trained evangelists in a number of nations, 
- introduced and encouraged renewal in nations as Namibia, Botswana, Ethiopia, Uganda, Marshall Islands, the Philippines, Malaysia, Pakistan, Belarus, and East Timor


 Several Groups
- have been initiated in Australia to conduct praise and worship, 
- run Life in the Spirit Seminars, 
- help Ugandan orphans, 
- redeem Sudanese slaves and much more

Ministries available from Fr.Jack include


Fr Jack is a native of Cornwall U.K. who resides in Brisbane, Australia . He is a former Civil Engineer , and is a member of the society of Mary.

          The Grinch’s not-so-festive guide to food ration cuts        

Across much of the world, the festive season is a time of indulgence. But what if you’re too busy fleeing violence and upheaval, or stuck in a refugee camp on reduced rations?

It’s been a hard year for the most vulnerable among us. This is partly due to tightening aid budgets, but it’s also the result of there simply being so many more people in crisis who need help.

“It's not just a question of falling donor funding; most donors have continued to be generous, providing funds at relatively consistent levels for years,” World Food Programme spokeswoman Challiss McDonough told IRIN.  “But the number of [those in need] is much larger.”

A prime example is Uganda, where 602,000 South Sudanese refugees are sheltering. As a result of the conflict in neighbouring South Sudan, “we are now supporting nearly twice as many refugees as we were just six months ago”, explained McDonough.

WFP, as the global emergency food responder, is feeling the strain. “I'd say there are probably very few countries where we have not had to make some kind of adjustment to our assistance plans because of a lack of funding,” said McDonough.

The following is a not-so-festive guide to where WFP has been forced to make cuts to already minimal food rations in Africa. It includes some non-refugee national programmes, which have also been impacted by funding shortfalls.

Burkina Faso

Rations have been reduced and cash assistance suspended for the 31,000 Malian refugees in Burkina Faso. As a result, about a quarter of refugees do not have enough food to meet their basic nutritional needs.

“Most refugees in the camps depend solely on humanitarian assistance to survive,” said WFP country director Jean-Charles Dei. “When assistance is interrupted or insufficient, the food security and nutrition situation dramatically deteriorate, especially for women, children, and elderly people.”


Lack of funding has impacted a range of activities targeting vulnerable communities. Food-for-training for Congolese refugees and Burundian migrants expelled from Tanzania and Rwanda has been suspended. The number of children reached through an anti-stunting campaign has been reduced by 70 percent, with the programme halted entirely in Ruramvya and Rutana provinces.


Monthly food rations for Central African Republic refugees in Cameroon was cut by 50 percent in November and December. The 150,000 refugees are entirely dependent on international aid.

In May, WFP also halted its meals programme to 16 primary schools in northern Cameroon due to a lack of funding.

Central African Republic

WFP has been unable to assist more than 500,000 people in urgent need of aid and has been forced to halve the amount of food it has provided to those it can reach. Emergency school meals have been suspended in the capital, Bangui, and rations to displaced people in the violence-hit central town of Kaga Bandoro have been slashed by 75 percent. “WFP needs to urgently mobilise flexible contributions to cover for distributions from January onwards,” the agency has warned.


For the past two years, refugees in Chad have survived on monthly rations well below the minimum requirement. For some, the cuts have been by as much as 60 percent. A joint assessment released in November by WFP and the UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR, found more than 40 percent of the 400,000 refugees in Chad are malnourished and the majority of children are anaemic.


Since November 2015, ration cuts have affected more than 760,000 refugees, the bulk of them from South Sudan and Somalia. Although there was an improvement in general food rations from June this year, UNHCR has warned that households still face difficulties. The cuts have, in particular, affected children aged under the age of five, with global acute malnutrition above the 15 percent emergency threshold in 10 out of 22 assessed refugee camps.


All nutrition and livelihood related activities have been suspended due to a lack of funding.


In December, WFP cut monthly rations by half for the 400,000 refugees in Kenya’s Dadaab and Kakuma camps. It warned that unless urgent new funding is received, it will completely run out of food by February. Most refugees in Dadaab have already had their rations cut down to 70 percent of June 2015 levels, and UNHCR has warned of a likely increase in malnutrition as a result of the new squeeze.

Human Rights Watch said in a statement: “Given Kenya’s threat to deport Somalis has already triggered illegal forced refugee return, the UN ([World] Food Programme’s decision to further reduce refugee food rations could not have come at a worse time.”


Ration cuts to 27,000 refugees meant that at the beginning of 2016 they were only receiving 40 percent of the recommended minimum number of daily kilocalories. Those shortages began six months earlier. By March, only three out of seven food items – maize, beans, and cooking oil – were being supplied. The Dzaleka camp hosts people mainly from the Great Lakes and Horn of Africa regions, with new arrivals escaping unrest across the border in Mozambique.


In November, WFP halved food rations to 42,500 Malian refugees. Without fresh funding, it says it will be forced to suspend general food distributions, including cash transfers, from next month. A school meals programme for vulnerable Mauritanian children has also been put on hold and will only partially resume in January.


A nationwide prevention of stunting programme for children aged six-23 months, pregnant women, and breastfeeding mothers has been discontinued due to limited funding.


WFP will “significantly scale down” its livelihoods programmes in December 2016. If no additional resources are confirmed, it will only be able to continue with minimal programmes (mainly nutrition) from February 2017. WFP is targeting 1.4 million vulnerable Somalis in food-insecure areas.


Rations have been cut by 50 percent for some 200,000 refugees who arrived in Uganda prior to July 2015. Low levels of funding, together with the large numbers of new arrivals fleeing fighting in South Sudan has left WFP workers “with no choice but to re-prioritise their focus on those refugees in greatest need.” The humanitarian response to South Sudanese refugees in Uganda was already severely underfunded even before the latest outbreak of violence in Juba in July.

(TOP PHOTO: Residents of an IDP camp in North Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo receive food rations distributed by WFP. WFP)


Residents of an IDP camp in North Kivu receive food rations distributed by WFP News Aid and Policy Food The Grinch’s not-so-festive guide to food ration cuts Obi Anyadike IRIN NAIROBI Africa Burundi Central African Republic Ethiopia Kenya Rwanda Somalia Uganda Malawi Burkina Faso Cameroon Chad Gambia Mauritania
          International Women's Day- Why is Feminism a dirty word?        
This post has very little to do with travel, but is relevant to everyone across the world. Tomorrow, the 8th of March, is International Women's Day. The idea of this date is to celebrate respect, appreciation and love towards women and to acknowledge their achievements. That's fantastic, I love the idea and I'm thankful that it's stuck around, in one form or another,  for the last 100 years. 

This is where it is celebrated across the world...

Official holiday
Holiday for women
Non-official holiday (gifts for women)

Artemka- http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Maps_by_Artemka

Chaing Mai (these noodles were delicious) 
But why do we need an International Women's Day in this millennium and why is it acceptable to stand up for women's rights on the 8th March, but to do so elsewhere in the year singles you out as a rabid Feminist? 'Feminism' has become a dirty word. Although some rational young people are coming around to accepting the term for its true meaning, many still associate it with man-hating and stereotype to sorts of women who define themselves openly as feminists. 

Wikipedia Definition:"Feminism is a collection of movements and ideologies aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights for women. This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment. A feminist advocates or supports the rights and equality of women."

Even the stuffy Oxford Dictionary agrees that Feminism is- "The advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes."

If the definitions above are correct then surely everyone should consider themselves to be a feminist (regardless of gender) as somebody who believes both sexes to be equal or face the alternative label: 'sexist'. 

Unfortunately, the media isn't always so supportive of this view...

In a recent interview Lily Allen says that she hates the word Feminism and suggests that â€œWe’re all equal, everyone is equal. Why is there even a conversation about feminism? What’s the man version of feminism? There isn’t even a word for it. Menanism. Male-ism. It doesn’t exist.”

Apparently the worst problems that women-kind now face are bitchy comments and the judgmental attitudes of other women- "It’s much the same [as it used to be]. But I don’t think men are the enemy. I think women are the enemy." 

You can read some extracts in the Independent here.

Maybe she would label me as one such bitchy female, but I find it extremely frustrating for somebody in such a privileged position to suggest that the work for women's rights movements is over. 

We're all equal now! Horray!

This seems like an appropriate place to insert a small selection of statistics...

(I'm sorry for the excessive referencing, but I don't want anyone to think I'm pulling numbers out of the air.)
Tiny children in Laos.

The World:
  • Violence against women and girls is a prolific problem . At least 1 in 3 women around the world has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime with the abuser usually someone known to her. (General Assembly. In-Depth Study on All Forms of Violence against Women: Report of the Secretary General, 2006. A/61/122/Add.1. 6 July 2006)
  • Globally, 10 million more girls are out of school than boys. (Calculated from data contained in the UN’s The Millennium Development Goals report 2007, New York: 2007, p11)
  • In Sierra Leone, the number of incidents of war-related sexual violence among internally displaced women from 1991 to 2001 was as high as 64,000. (Vlachova, Biason. Women in an Insecure World. Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces. 2005).
  • In Rwanda, up to half a million women were raped during the 1994 genocide. http://www.womankind.org.uk/about/why-women/statistics/
  • Women account for nearly two thirds of the world’s 780 million people who cannot read. (UNESCO Institute for Statistics, “Adult Literacy Rates and Illiterate Population by Region and Gender,” 2006)
  • Globally, women make up just 17% of parliamentarians. (UNICEF, The State of the World’s Children 2007, UNICEF, New York: 2006, p.56)

Maybe Lily is only considering the 'first world', in which case we'll have a look at the statistics for the UK. 


If that isn't enough statistics for you have a look here http://ukfeminista.org.uk/take-action/facts-and-statistics-on-gender-inequality/ 

If you are (understandably) tired of statistics, you might like to have a look at the The Every Day Sexism Project, which encourages people of both sexes to write in about their experiences of sexism. It includes everything from name calling in the street and discrimination at work to accounts of violence and rape. 

This, Lily, is why we're having a conversation about feminism. 

Happy International Women's Day.

P.S. I'm sorry if I have accidentally alienated any of my readers. Please feel free to disagree with me in the comments below (although I might not like you if you're rude).
          Jeanne d’Arc Girubuntu        

Il existe une autre Jeanne, Jeanne d’Arc Girubuntu, championne de cyclisme sur route du Rwanda en 2014 et 2016, Vice championne cette année. Elle a déjà bénéficié d'une formation en Suisse et avec son niveau il ne faut pas désespérer de la voir un jour participer au TCFIA sur les routes de l'Ardèche.

Je n'ai pas eu le temps de réaliser un portrait, voici une adaptation de son maillot avec Piscopia:

Jeanne d’Arc Girubuntu (2)

          Reply by Gregory S. Gordon: On the General Part, the New Media and the Responsibility to Protect        
by Gregory Gordon

by Gregory Gordon [Gregory Gordon is Associate Professor of Law, Associate Dean for Development and External Affairs and Director of the Research Postgraduates Programme at The Chinese University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law.  He was formerly a prosecutor with the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Special Investigations.] […]
          A Set of International Crimes without Coherence or a Proper Name: The Origins of “Atrocity Speech Law”        
by Gregory Gordon

by Gregory Gordon [Gregory Gordon is Associate Professor of Law, Associate Dean for Development and External Affairs and Director of the Research Postgraduates Programme at The Chinese University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law.  He was formerly a prosecutor with the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Special Investigations.] […]
          Democratic Republic of Congo: Supporting women's rights and addressing the root causes of the conflict        
Democratic Republic of Congo: Supporting women's rights and addressing the root causes of the conflict

Blog: Democratic Republic of Congo: Supporting women's rights and addressing the root causes of the conflict

With just 48 hours to visit the Democratic Republic of Congo, there was no time to lose once we crossed the border into Goma from Rwanda. I was travelling with Mark Goldring of Oxfam GB and Robbert van den Berg, the regional director for Oxfam Novib. Our mission was to visit our humanitarian programs, and assess progress since the signing of a major regional peace accord last year.

          Rwanda Couple Making Their First Amateur Sex Tape        
Watch Rwanda Couple Making Their First Amateur Sex Tape at ExSexTape.com - best homemade sex videos and amateur porn movies.
          Why conservatives are happier than liberals        
The exuberance displayed by Barack Obama's supporters might make Republicans look like geriatric chess enthusiasts, but a new survey suggests that conservatives are happier than liberals - and offers one reason why.

Liberals, claim New York University psychologists Jaime Napier and John Tost, have a tougher time rationalising social and economic inequality than conservatives.

The recent surge in home foreclosures, for instance, is due to poor economic choices on the part of borrowers, a conservative might think. Liberals, on the other hand, seethe at predatory lenders and lax government regulation of the mortgage industry.

The result: conservatives mix a martini and hit the country club, while liberals write angry letters and stage protests.

Of course, American political views aren't so binary, yet the happiness divide seems to be real. Previous studies, including a 2006 survey from Pew Research Center have found the same general trend, much to the delight of conservative pundits like George Will, who noted that "liberalism is a complicated and exacting, not to say grim and scolding, creed."

The authors of the Pew study suggested income, religion and ideology all played a role in shaping the happiness divide.

To add some ammo to these explanations, Napier and Tost conducted a series of surveys on political attitudes of Americans and citizens of 8 Western countries, using previously collected data. Their results affirmed the "conservatives are happy, liberals are mad" findings of previous polls, but income, education, religion and other demographic variables couldn't explain the happiness gap.

However, when the authors instead grouped people by their "rationalisation of inequality," the differences between conservatives and liberals dissolved. Republican or Democrat, people not bothered by social or economic disparities tend to be happy.

This trend held for non-Americans, as well. Right-wingers in the Czech Republic, Germany, New Zealand, Norway, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland were all happier than liberals, on average. And the poorer - and presumably more unequal - a country, the greater the happiness divide.

One may quibble with their methods. Respondents rated their political beliefs on a 1 to 10 scale, liberal to conservative, and I suspect the political beliefs of even the most doctrinaire Scandinavian conservatives would give Rush Limbaugh the willies. But the authors' comparisons were within countries, where relative differences still stand.

Napier and Post attempt to seal their case with one final point: the happiness divide has grown as income inequality in the US has surged. Between 1974 and 2006, the so-called Gini coefficient has document a growing divide between haves and have-nots.

The number varies between 0 and 1, with zero representing total income parity and 1 representing a total inequality. The lowest (.24) belong to Denmark, while the highest (.71) to Namibia.

In 1974 the American Gini coefficient stood at .39 in 1974 and by 2006 had risen to .47, about the same as Madagascar (.48) and Rwanda (.47), and higher than Iran (.43).

And the happiness gap could widen, depending on the results of this year's Presidential election. The authors note that conservative governments tend to increase inequality, compared to liberal governments.

At least Obama's supporters still have hope, if not happiness.

Ewen Callaway, online reporter
          Vocational Training In Tanzania – Who Benefits More        

Tanzania is a tropical country located in East Africa and is neighbors with Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Zambia, and Malawi. Tanzania’s economy revolves mainly around agriculture. Other factors that contribute to the economy are natural gas and tourism. Once children reach mid-teen years or even before, they stop attending school. A Broader View, the non-profit […]

The post Vocational Training In Tanzania – Who Benefits More appeared first on Volunteer Abroad News.

          Recommended Reading        
I compiled a list of books I've recently read and feel would appeal to middle and high school students. Each of the books includes themes conducive to classroom discussions.

Except when marked with an asterisk, all titles are available in audio format from the Las Vegas Clark County Public Library District (see LVCCLD link when applicable). To access these materials, you must have a current public library card and know your PIN. For more information about procuring a library card, click here. To use eAudio books from the public library, you will need to download OverDrive Media Console (a free software package) to your computer. Instructions and more information about accessing eMedia are available here.

Except for Candy Shop War and Leepike Ridge, all remaining books with asterisks are available at Audible. Note that there is a charge to purchase audiobooks from Audible. Different from the public library, however, the purchaser becomes the book's owner.

Recommended Book Options

Young Adult Science Fiction
  • Adoration of Jenna Fox (Pearson, Mary E.): Jenna Fox awakens after a coma having forgotten her life before her accident. She explores her past life through video, but is often met with reluctance to talk about her operation with others. This science fiction mystery explores issues related to bioethics. [LVCCLD CD]
  • Elsewhere (Zevin, Gabrielle): Elsewhere is the story of a girl who died. Upon doing so, she arrived at a place called “Elsewhere” where all the people had lived lives on Earth and were now dead. Most of the people were a lot older than her (she died in her teens). A unique feature of Elsewhere is that you grow older instead of younger while there. [LVCCLD CD]
  • Hunger Games (Collins, Suzanne): The Hunger Games is the first of a trilogy by Suzanne Collins. The premise underlying the plot is that a corrupt “Capitol” controls 12 districts. To keep the districts under control, the Capitol sponsors The Hunger Games each year. Two children from each district are selected to participate, and only one participant from the 24 survives the Games. [LVCCLD eAudio/CD]
  • Little Brother (Doctorow, Cory): Cory Doctorow truly practices what he preaches! In a book about high-tech, high-action stunts in the midst of terrorist activity in the U.S., Doctorow discusses the importance of freedom of information. Likewise, he made his book available for free online using a Creative Commons license. [Warning: This book includes mature themes likely to be inappropriate for use in school environments.] [LVCCLD eAudio]
  • Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment (Patterson, James): This is the first book of a series by the acclaimed James Patterson. The main character is Maximum Ride, a headstrong teenage girl who grew up in a science lab. She and her “flock of bird kids” were all genetically manipulated pre-birth, resulting in the presence of wings. As such, all the children are able to fly. The book follows Maximum Ride and her flock as they escape from the lab and learn to live on their own. [LVCCLD eAudio/CD]
  • Maze Runner (Dashner, James): This is an action-packed thriller! Every month for several years, one boy has been delivered into the “Glade.” All the boys remember their names, but none remember anythin