Tuesday, August 24, 2010

ARABMUSLIM EMPR: Really devils with no MERCY! I had to work from dawn to dust! I had hardly slept!They beat me, threatened to kill me & hide my body!

Saudi employer nails Lankan housemaid
Suraj A. Bandara

A 56-year-old mother of three with 23 nails inside her body punched as punishments by her masters in Saudi Arabia has been hospitalized after returning to Sri Lanka.

*She went to Saudi a few months ago
*Work in an overcrowded house

* Doctors find 23 nails in her body

* Being treated at Kamburupitiya Hospital

She had gone to Saudi Arabia after being registered at the Sri Lankan Foreign Employment Bureau a few months ago.

She had worked as a housemaid in an overcrowded house in Saudi Arabia with unbearable workload to be done per day. When she abstained or failed to accomplish her daily routine she had been inhumanly punished by her employers inserting nails to her body.

The doctors found around 23 nails in her body and removed them after a surgery. She told that she was severely beaten and nailed by her employers.

According to her, the job agency who sent her to that house promised her a place with safe and less work.

“But I had to work from dawn to dust. I had hardly slept. They habitually beat me, threatened to kill me and hide my body,” she said.

“I arranged my passports and all other documents to return through my own expenses. They were really devils with no mercy at all”. She is under treatment at the Kamburupitiya Base Hospital.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Veddhas or traditional forest-dwelling hunters, suffered from extreme poverty as a result of state interventions since European colonial/PC era.!!

Traditional wisdom combines with modernism to rid poverty in Veddha community
August 11, 2010, 7:23 pm

By Ifham Nizam

The Veddhas or the traditional forest-dwelling hunters, suffered from extreme poverty as a result of state interventions since the European colonial and post-colonial era.

Modern development schemes -including forced resettlement- and the establishment of conservation policies ignored the intrinsic sustainability of Veddha lifestyles.

Their enforced adaptation to mainstream scenarios has adversely affected the once free-spirited Veddha people, their traditional lifestyles and cultural values, and has intensified their marginalisation and enhanced their dependency.

Their primary occupation of hunting and gathering is now prohibited by law. In some cases, where protected forest resources are used by forest-dependent communities, including the Veddha, arrests were made and major conflicts and legal battles ensue between the stakeholder groups.

One key livelihood transition has been the adoption of sedentary agricultural practices. This shift has led to an increased dependency on external inputs, like chemical fertilisers and pesticides, and has restricted access to seasonal water sources. As a result, the traditional livelihood strategies of the Veddha, which helped to preserve forest resources, are being eroded.

The price the Veddha people have paid is high. They are facing undue pressures and are struggling to maintain livelihood security. An erosion of traditional values, in exchange for material aspirations, influenced by external economic, socio-cultural and religious influences, is distinctly evident.

The rights of the Veddha people are incorporated within broader national policies focused on the rights of forest-dependent communities in general. These policies have deprived traditional forest-dwellers such as the Veddha people of their economic mainstay and livelihood through displacement and a denial of the right to access forest resources.

Veddha settlements of Ratugala and Pollebadda were the focal points of concern. Water, hunger and poverty were burning issues reported by the Global Environment Facility-Small Grants Programme in July 2004.

Familiarity with Veddha lifeways resulting from previous social anthropological research-based studies resulted with a preliminary field visit by the Centre for Eco- Cultural Centre (CES) to Ratugala and Pollebadda in mid-August 2004, thus, confirming the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Small Grants Programme (SGP) report.

Further vulnerability and disempowerment were additional key factors perceived among the communities.

In designing the programme, priority community needs were identified as immediate livelihood recovery measures with the participation of the recognised local Veddha custodianship and community representatives through preparatory discussions, while representative community associations were established as the mechanism to build upon local capacities and strengthen stakeholder networks.

The communication channel thus, initiated has since been maintained with the Veddha communities, with the aim of strengthening ties and confidence-building that included training in livelihood skills, exposure visits and participation in GEF-SGP programmes facilitated by CES, during the project preparatory phase.

The Inter-Agency Working Group on the Livelihood Recovery of Traditional/Indigenous Forest-Dwelling People was also established in response to the livelihood insecurities being experienced by modern forest-dependent communities.

The Working Group committee, facilitated by the UNDP/GEF-SGP, comprises representatives from the Biodiversity Secretariat of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources and the Centre for Eco-Cultural Studies (CES), operating as the joint secretariat, and the Department of Wildlife Conservation.

The Working Group’s main objective is to facilitate the recovery of forest livelihoods and to preserve associated traditional knowledge systems.

The process is being carried forward through negotiations between the various stakeholders aimed at proactive change in order to overcome the barriers forest communities are presently facing in interacting with their natural environment.

These stakeholders include local, district, regional and national government agencies, non-governmental organisations and private concerns such as entrepreneurs.

While tackling this as a key theme, national and international agendas such as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the much publicised Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), for example, are also being addressed.

In the spirit of the International Decade for Indigenous Peoples, developments for the establishment of the National Policy on Traditional Knowledge (NPTK) were set in motion in 2003. The NPTK and its associated strategies were finally declared on August 9, 2007, a day recognised internationally for the Celebration of Indigenous Peoples.

Pre-existing policies, such as the National Biodiversity Action Plan and National Forest Policy, have already highlighted the importance of preserving traditional knowledge practices and their associated communities.

However, the NPTK exists as a government policy solely dedicated to the promotion and facilitation of traditional knowledge, and to the maintenance of the eco-cultural well-being of indigenous communities that have nurtured such wisdom for thousands of years.

A model for the livelihood recovery of forest-dependent Veddha communities has been proposed through the IWGLRIP in Ratugala.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Criminalising immigration, which is a social and economic phenomena, opens the door to intolerance, hate, and discrimination..!!!

Poor Mexico and Wicked Americans
By Gwynne Dyer

The president of Mexico was furious. "Criminalising immigration, which is a social and economic phenomena, opens the door to intolerance, hate, and discrimination," Felipe Calderon told a meeting of Mexican immigrant groups. The state of Arizona had gone too far.

Jose Miguel Insulza, the head of the Organisation of American States, was equally angry. "We consider the bill clearly discriminatory against immigrants, and especially against immigrants from Latin America," he told the Associated Press news agency. His point seemed to be that by treating illegal Mexican immigrants as a police matter, the new Arizona law is attacking their human rights..

The new law that is causing such outrage requires Arizona police to question people about their immigration status if they suspect they are there illegally. Day labourers face arrest for soliciting work if they are in the US illegally, and police departments can be sued if they fail to enforce the law. Illegal immigrants will face jail sentences of up to six months and fines of up to $2,500 before being expelled from the United States.

Harsh measures, certainly, but suppose I went to Mexico as a tourist and then stayed there illegally, taking work that might otherwise have gone to some deserving Mexican citizen. That does not figure prominently in my current plans, but if I did it, I would not be treated more gently by the Mexican authorities. Why does Mexico believe that its own citizens who are illegally in the United States deserve better treatment?

The flow of illegal migrants to the United States is important for Mexico. It provides a vital safety valve for the Mexican state, which would otherwise face the discontent of millions of Mexicans who cannot find decent jobs at home, and their remittances are a great help to the Mexican balance of payments. But the widely held Mexican belief that illegal immigrants have RIGHTS in the United States is most peculiar.

It arises from the fact that for a long time the United States has deliberately kept the border with Mexico porous, so that large numbers of Mexican illegals can enter the United States to provide cheap stoop labour for American agribusiness. In the cities along the American side of the frontier the border defences are quite impressive, but out in the desert they are frequently no more than three strands of barbed wire and a dirt patrol track.

Out in the desert, of course, some hundreds of the Mexican border-crossers get lost and die of thirst each year, but that is necessary in order to maintain the fiction that the United States is doing all it can to stop the flow. It is also assumed that most of the illegals will go home again after the harvest, but of course each year some choose to stay permanently.

Each year the number of permanently resident illegal immigrants grows: even in Arizona, where there is not a huge demand for agricultural labour, there are now an estimated 460,000 illegal Mexican immigrants. That is about 7 percent of Arizona’s total population. Some argue that they are doing jobs nobody else wants, but that is only a possible reason for letting them stay. It certainly does not give them the right to stay.

Yet the Mexican government reacts with outraged indignation whenever the US government, or in this case an American state, talks about enforcing the law against illegal immigrants. It has come to think of the nod-and-a-wink arrangement that allows large numbers of illegal immigrants to cross the border each year as the natural state of things.

Arizona is calling time on that system, and actually intends to seek out and send home people who are in the state illegally. In most parts of the world, that would not be regarded as unreasonable. What is different in Arizona’s case?

The implicit charge is racism. The assumption is that American citizens of Mexican origin, and legitimate Mexican visitors, will also be stopped and asked to prove that they are legally in the United States – and that they will be chosen for questioning on the grounds that they simply look "Mexican".

President Calderon himself would never be inconvenienced by such a policy, because he does not look "Mexican". He looks like your average white American, as does a large majority of the Mexican upper class. But it is true that most poorer Mexicans, including both legal and illegal Mexican immigrants in the United States, are mestizos of mixed white and Indian ancestry.

They look "Mexican", in other words, and the concern is that they will face constant demands from the police to prove they are legally in the United States. But the solution for this is simple. Simply enforce the same rules that apply in airport security queues to ensure that nobody feels they are being "profiled" because of their ethnicity.

In the airports, they make sure that heavily bearded young men who look "Middle Eastern" face no greater risk of being selected for special examination than paraplegic grandmothers. The Arizona police should be instructed to stop thirteen white, black and Asian people and check that they are legally in the state for every person they stop who looks "Mexican". Then nobody will have anything to complain about.

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