Showing posts from January, 2012

Indonesian Court Indicts Papuan Activists for Treason


An Indonesian court on Monday indicted five Papuan activists for treason for raising an outlawed Papuan flag and declaring the region independent.
The men, who led a peaceful pro-independence celebration attended by 5,000 indigenous Papuans on Oct. 19, face life in prison if found guilty.

“The defendants jointly tried to commit treason with the intention of allowing the country or part of the country to fall into the hands of the enemy,” Judge Jack L. Oktovianus at the Jayapura district court said.

“They acted together to declare Papua an independent region, which constitutes an act of treason.”

Local TV footage had showed the men declaring the region’s independence in the Papuan capital Jayapura and paramilitary police then shooting into the crowd and beating participants with batons and bare fists.

At least three people were killed and more than 90 injured in the chaos. Eight police officers were let off with written warnings for disciplinary infractions.

New-York-based Human …

A Humbling Visit

Last week my group and I visited Orang Asli Batek Settlement in Ulu Tembling, near to Taman Negara Pahang. The Batek is part of the Semang subgroup, officially called Negrito. They are true nomads and classified by some anthropologists as pygmies due to their short stature. They live an extremely simple life, not worrying about material things that money can buy

'Hut'used for shelter when it rains.

More About The Batek:

"All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveller is unaware" - Martin Buber, German philosopher.

Twitter, Nations and Censorship

Twitter defended its decision on its blog on Friday, saying they would only scrub tweets after receiving what they judge to be a "valid and applicable legal request".  But then again what what does "valid and applicable legal request" truly mean? Who determines what is valid? And what transparency and accountability practices will Twitter adhere to? 
"In short, we believe the new, more granular approach to withheld content is a good thing for freedom of expression, transparency, accountability - and for our users. Besides allowing us to keep Tweets available in more places, it also allows users to see whether we are living up to our freedom of expression ideal," the company added. Sounds like a load of bullshit to me. 

Children with disabilities in humanitarian responses

In Qatar, forum calls for better inclusion of children with disabilities in humanitarian responses© UNICEF/NYHQ2006-0527/NooraniOsman Idris Abu Bakar, 9, uses a crutch in the Abu Shouk camp for displaced people in Sudan.By Tazeen Qureshi DOHA, Qatar, 26 January 2012 – At the fifth annual International Shafallah Forum, held from 22 to 24 January in Doha, Dr. Rima Salah, UNICEF Deputy Executive Director (a.i.), stressed the need not to let children with disabilities be the forgotten victims of emergencies. The Shafallah Forum focuses on the needs of persons with disabilities around the world, particularly those facing situations of crisis or conflict. This year’s forum highlighted the need for humanitarian actions to involve persons with disabilities in times of emergencies. Humanitarian response for children with disabilities Children with disabilities often experience marginalization and disempowerment. They have limited access to social services, including education, and are vulnerab…

No doubt that nearly all believe in the Supreme Myth

In the mythologies of every continent there can be distinguished great myths, and others that are of less importance. Some myths dominate and show the character of the religious outlook, while others are less central, repetitive and outrageously fanciful. All kinds of myths need to be taken into account, for altogether they show the values the society holds dear.

Most myths tell how something came to exist: human beings, the world, wildlife, nature and social interaction. The myths make a sacred history of the people, the society and the individual. But naturally the creation of the world comes first and this myth influences others that follow. Legendary events that came later show how the world was changed, and in particular the adventures of human beings, the discovery of enlightenment, the obligation to work, and at times the unexpected arrival of death.

Myths are stories, the product of fertile imagination, sometimes simple, often containing profound truths. And yet it seems, …

Conform to Institution or be deported from humanity

Diplomacy is one of the traditional accomplishments of a corporate gentleman, along with good educational background, driving a vehicle, a knowledge of music, a passion for football, and etiquette. Society expects such fine breeding of men and women to propagate their tradition, religion and family honour. Such is the culture that harried relentlessly by their parents and friends, these upper middle class then become distant from the realities of life.

They are usually consumed by materialistic need to fit into society, governed by influences of their peers, they set standards of behaviour. If you are unable or refuse to conform to such expectation, then you are definitely unworthy of their bounty. The reservoir of greed and vanity grows, unstoppable, with every new generation; even the poor, obsessed with the refined temptations of a "better" life, seek a magnificent life of luxuries, sacrificing both their identity and self-worth.

This materialistic-breeding programme …

A Life of Extremes for the Social Class

The traditional components of the present day corporate sector are the great corporate captains who govern the land in the name of democracy mashed with capitalism. The elites who stimulate the lifestyle and ferment it by flooding it with materialistic needs and whims. They embrace and nurture their luxuries, even at times beyond their means and in constant evolving debts.

Outside this social class structure, and therefore hardly recognised as part of civilised society, are those who live at the brink or within the endless cycle of poverty.

For the elites, both great and small, life could be a rich and splendid affair. But for the woman at the bottom, or outside, life was poor and changed little. The nameless factory worker, the forgotten homeless man, the disabled, grubbing in the brownish earth, or in crowded sweatshops, continued to labour in misery.

The elite always knew that they could not live without the poor and believed that somewhat reasonable attention should be given to…

Endangered turtle to be tracked in Cambodia - #conservation

One of the world's most endangered turtles has been released into a Cambodian river with a satellite tansmitter attached to its shell to track how it will navigate through commercial fishing grounds and other man-made hazards. The 75-pound (34-kilogram) southern river terrapin - one of only about 200 adults remaining in the wild - waddled into the Sre Ambel river in southwestern Cambodia this past week to the heers of local residents and conservationists. The New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society said the female terrapin was given to the group last year instead of being sold to traffickers who have decimated the country's population of turtles and other species to cater to demand for exotic wildlife in China. The southern river terrapin, once considered the sole property of Cambodia's kings, only survives in the wilds of Malaysia, Indonesia and Cambodia, the group said in a statement. The population in the Sre Ambel river is estimated at less than 10 nesting females.

Relationship Tips

@SuAvaTia: Relationship Tips: [Relationship Tips are trending on twitter. Loving the ones from my fav ladies xfarrahx, mediha_m & massabrinam] These are some of mine here..enjoy :)

We may stop showing concern, but its not that we dont love. We may look elsewhere or do other things, but its not because we dont feel passionate about that cause. We have other matters to attend to but its not because the issue is immaterial.

Photos of a sanctuary where beauty & harmony is nurtured

Photos taken at a secluded beach in Melaka - peaceful, surrounded by the grace of Nature. 

We are the World's Children

Address at the opening of the UN General Assembly's Special Session on Children [8 May 2002] delivered by Gabriela Azurduy Arrieta from Bolivia and Audrey Chenynut from Monaco.

We are the world's children.
We are the victims of exploitation and abuse.
We are street children.
We are the children of war.
We are the victims and orphans of HIV/AIDS.
We are denied good-quality education and health care.
We are victims of political, economic, cultural, religious and environmental discrimination.
We are children whose voices are not being heard: it is time we are taken into account.
We want a world fit for children, because a world fit for us is a world fit for everyone.

.... ....

This was the opening part of their speech, the voices of children and young people. The words spoken in 2002. Where are we now in 2013? Have we achieved much?

A few posts which might interest you, just click on any:

Rights of Marginalized ChildrenBody Count: Children Killed in Thailand's SouthThe Rig…

Two years later, Haiti, more than 200k dead and still nothing

As Haiti marks the second anniversary of the massive earthquake that claimed the lives of more than 200,000 people and devastated an already poverty-stricken country, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged continued international support for recovery and rebuilding.

But the reality, Haiti will not recover in the next decade. As it is, the UN, funding agencies and NGOs are unable to coordinate effective community-building programs, while the world's blindness mocks at itself. Haiti is in the pisspot of charity, it is a nation which has been unwittedly turned into a begging nation. Courtesy of pen-pushing, degree-wielding "experts" who are completely ignorant of relief and recover work.

You have the power to change. So what are you waiting for?


Participation of Young People or Lack of Opportunities?

Many political leaders, NGOs and Institutions are far from convinced that harnessing the active involvement of young people represents an effective strategy for achieving better outcomes. Outcomes that affects children and young people, their present, and their future. Marginalized youths lack access to most of the processes through which adults can easily articulate their concerns. 
They lack the power of the million-dollar commercial lobbyists to wield influence on Governments and community-based organizations. They lack access to mainstream media, press and the courts. They may not be invited to be active members of trade unions or professional bodies that could negotiate on their behalf. Often they are not even considered to comment or participate in the evaluation of the national education system.
Young people are often disregarded in public policies. But then, YOU already know that. 

Ending Poverty ~ Our Choice

I always ask myself is life worth living, why does every cent have to be a bet in life? Why does hunger persist in a world of plenty? How does it feel to be hungry all the time? As this article is written, I allow myself to cry. Life seemed unfair. Hunger has haunted humankind throughout the known history of the world. What have been causes and consequences of hunger events? How have the peoples of the world faced fear of hunger, the prospect of starvation, devastation by famine in their lands? How have they adapted to these conditions?
Imagine you’re a poor woman in Africa; you work hard almost every day. When your children get sick, there is no money for medicine. Ask yourself, what would you do? Sometimes this kind of desperation makes you want to do the wrong thing, you know, for the sake of your children. Nobody wants more pain. I cry every time I watch children starving or dying a horrible, painful death due to something completely out of his or her control on Youtube. Yes. I wa…

Homeless people travelling in Bangkok

When I was doing my relief work in a partially flooded-Bangkok, I met a homeless elderly woman sitting on a bench at 4:17 am. Her two heavy sacks was filled with dirty clothes, her face was masked with pure exhaustion, and she fiddled with an empty bottle. I offered her my flask, but she graciously declined with a smile, and in English, said she had to walk the path Fate had set for her.

Within her eyes burned a desire to survive. She did not lose her home due to the enraged flood, she lost it because of society's prejudice and ignorance. Apathy has forced her into homelessness for two years. The heavy flood was merely an eye-opener for people living in Bangkok and many provinces in Thailand; but did anyone see those without a home before the flood? And have society changed its behaviour towards homeless people?

This woman had fought horrors that would have crushed the elites of the city and the spirit of any common man.


When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence. ~Ansell Adams~
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Water and Truths

Rivers, ponds, lakes and streams - they all have different names, but they all contain water. Just as religions do - they all contain truths. ~Muhammad Ali~
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Adakah Dia Yang Ditunggu

kini dia sudah bebas
tidak bersalah dimata mahkamah
ramai yang berkinja gembira
ramai yang marah kecewa
ramai yang masih tak tahu hujung pangkalnya

apa yang akan terjadi seterusnya
adakah ini bermula strategi
untuk mengotakan janji
untuk menyempurnakan dendam
untuk membuktikan kebenaran

atau dia sebenarnya
masih seorang ahli politik
yang sama seperti yang lain
yang mencari keuntungan
yang mencari kuasa

kita menunggu
adakah dia seperti yang diagungkan
adakah dia sebaik yang diwarkan
adakan dia seistimewa yang diumumkan
adakah dia pemimpin generasi ini

adakah dia yang ditunggu
untuk membawa perubahan itu

Nura Ahmad 9/1/2012
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The Medicine

Nature is my medicine.
~Sara Moss-Wolfe
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Extinction of Relief Workers and our Identity

Natural disasters, war-torn countries are hot spots. These occurrence brings about the worse in humanity. Institutions cease to function, for a time, and mayhem strikes into the hidden core of vulnerability. Society panics as they see their quality of life drops, miserably and in agony.

Outrage, confusion and disorder comes into existence, violently slapping the face of every adult and child, waking them from their slumber into the reality, the fury.

It is still interesting to see that humanitarian relief and recovery work is still alive in many parts of the world. Relief workers are in high demand, though society often does not understand what we do - especially in Malaysia.

The recent expedition of relief workers into the flooded-areas of South East Asia; we saw, and still see, countries sinking under the waves of the floods, battered by wild storms. Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia and the Philippines had little chance to fight or resist the onslaught of the e…

The Cruel Bow: Submission to a Master

Every man has a master, cruel or compassionate, who in turn bows his head and back to another.
All things must eventually answer to something more powerful, be it human or a symbolic-searing object; man will continue to bow before everything in the hope of peaceful existence or a balanced life of happiness. The day man stops bowing to anything is the day man embraces life with respect, to understand the fear of the submission and the harsh realities of being free.
Such is Karma, powerful, and it is in your hands, 
Then, now, you can move away from your captivity.

Poem: And the price we pay

the distant chatter in mandarin
assures me I am here
in this land
where emperors once rule
where communism was a way of life
where great rivers meet
where forbidden palace reside
where people once wear the same clothes

when i walk the streets today
i see apartments and condominiums
i see skyscrapers
i see high-end boutiques
i see VW taxi cabs
i see people in designer clothes

and it reminded me
of my own country
of how we become skilled
of how we become wealthier
of how we strive to be developed
of how we still struggle in social issues
and the price we pay to be where we are now

nura – 5/12/2011, 9:56pm

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The Past, nightmare, the edge of reason, endless unappetising cycle

"Oh fuck, why am I dreaming this again!"

As a student of activism and humanitarian relief work in the late 1980s, I often had bad dreams.

What struck me the most was how lifelike they were. The nightmare followed, stalked me, often senselessly when I was in the field, either endlessly coordinating supplies to be transported or the actual relief work in the zones. More like twilight zones on a backdrop of mayhem.

I have learned over the years to lock the memories in my mind, in my soul ~ an abandoned sanctuary. Locking them in Vaults, securing them tightly with chains made from loss and forgetfulness. It was better to let sleeping dragons hibernate. The challenge was that, to control my emotions in such a way that in the course of my work, I would not accidentally awaken the dragons.

Such a thought and determination is not as easy as I would care to boast. Even with an adrenaline-infused will power, I hear the calling, the whispers of seduction, a soothing voice ~ they be…

The Sunset Over Sg Belanak

Know what you want to do, hold the thought firmly, and do every day what should be done, and every sunset will see you that much nearer to your goal. ~Elbert Hubbard
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Puisi: Sudah Terlambat by Nura Ahmad

Puisi: Sudah Terlambat oleh Nura Ahmad bila susah mengherdik
kita kuat menentang

bila sakit menjerit
kita cekal melawan

bila celaka berkunjung
kita pakukan pintu

kenapa sewaktu amaran tiba
tiada peduli yang kita sediakan
tiada endah yang kita cari
tiada risau yang kita beli

kenapa kita tidak mengembeling sedia
kenapa kita tidak mencari resipi mengelak
kenapa kita tidak bersenam semangat
kenapa kita tidak bertukang idea

kenapa kita selalu menunggu
sehingga semuanya sudah terlambat

Nura Ahmad – 9/12/2011, 7:15pg