Category Archives: human rights

ASIA/SRI LANKA – The Commission “Justice and Peace” in Jaffna denounces “the genocide of Tamils” – Fides News Agency

\”A genocide of the Tamil people is in progress in Sri Lanka\”: this is a strong and circumstantial complaint sent by the Commission \”Justice and Peace\” of the diocese of Jaffna in the north of Sri Lanka, to the Apostolic Nunciature and all the Bishops of the country.

In a long and detailed letter, sent to Fides Agency, the President of the Commission, Fr. S.V.B. Mangalarajah, launches the alarm and calls the Vatican to exert political pressure on the government of Sri Lanka in order to propose an \”equitable political solution\” regarding the national structure, in the post-civil war.

via ASIA/SRI LANKA – The Commission “Justice and Peace” in Jaffna denounces “the genocide of Tamils” – Fides News Agency.

Oh, SNAP: The Real Costs of Food Stamp Cuts | Civil Eats

California’s poor are hit doubly hard by poverty and hunger. Not only does California have the highest poverty rate in the country, but it ranks dead last among states when it comes to enrolling eligible families in SNAP. That means that 1.4 million households in California are missing benefits to which they are entitled and that would measurably improve their lives.

This underutilization has crippling human and economic impacts. In Alameda County alone (including the city of Oakland) California Food Policy Advocates (CFPA) found an estimated annual loss of more than $180 million in benefits for residents who qualify for food assistance. Because every dollar spent on SNAP generates $1.79 in stimulative economic activity, much of it in the local economy, this costs the county more than $325 million per year.

We’ll make what has become a bold claim: In a world with more than enough food for all, no one should go hungry. No drought or famine explains why one in seven Americans are hungry. This is a purely political disaster.

via Oh, SNAP: The Real Costs of Food Stamp Cuts | Civil Eats.

Vichy French opposition would revoke automatic citizenship – FRANCE – IMMIGRATION – FRANCE 24

“This is anti-republican,” Socialist Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault told the National Assembly, while the party’s parliamentary leader Bruno Le Roux added that the UMP was “in a mad spiral, looking to initiate a debate that will only serve to bolster the FN\”.

via French opposition would revoke automatic citizenship – FRANCE – IMMIGRATION – FRANCE 24.

IRIN Asia | Abuse, marginalization of war-affected women in Sri Lanka’s north | Sri Lanka | Conflict | Gender Issues | Human Rights

A UK-rights group has accused the Sri Lankan government of failing to address the marginalization and sexual abuse of women living in the country’s former war zones in the north and east, an allegation officials dismiss as coming from a “diaspora-led false propaganda machinery”.

via IRIN Asia | Abuse, marginalization of war-affected women in Sri Lanka’s north | Sri Lanka | Conflict | Gender Issues | Human Rights.

Another German company reveals its Nazi past | Germany | DW.DE | 22.10.2013

Like many other business magnates, then company chief Richard Kaselowsky sought to be close to the Nazis. Kaselowsky joined the Nazi Party (NSDAP) shortly after Adolf Hitler seized power in 1933. He made large financial donations to Heinrich Himmler, leader of the SS organization. Rudolf-August Oetker, his step-son and successor, also had no qualms about the Nazi leadership: in 1941, he volunteered to join the Waffen-SS, the armed wing of the party that also provided guards for the concentration camps.

According to the study, Dr. Oetker also employed forced laborers, though not in the main production facilities. Dr. Oetker was just one of the many German companies that sought the proximity of the Nazis, Bonn-based historian Joachim Scholtyseck says. \”During World War II, no company was really clean,\” he says. \”Everyone had to resort to slave labor when their own workers were fighting at the front.\” That even included adamant opponents of the regime like industrialist Robert Bosch.

via Another German company reveals its Nazi past | Germany | DW.DE | 22.10.2013.

Afghanistan | Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center

Afghanistan: A Land Torn Apart by War

The US has been at war in Afghanistan for 12 years as of October 2013.  Some important perspective and information on this tragic anniversary:

After 12 Years, 2284, 110 and an Unknown Number – Veterans for Peace

The Forgotten War : 12 Years in Afghanistan Down the Memory Hole – Ann Jones, Journalist who has reported from Afghanistan since 2002

America\’s Afghan Victims. An in-depth look at the civilian toll of America\’s longest war. – The Nation

Afghan Families Want Accountability, Not Apologies – Giuliano Battiston, IPS-Inter Press Service News Agency

US Diplomat: Troops Not Leaving Afghanistan Anytime Soon. The longest war in US history now set to last even longer as US balks on alleged 2014 deadline for withdrawal – Sarah Lazare, staff writer, Common Dreams

\’Iraq Replay\’: Kerry Demands Immunity for US Troops in Afghanistan – Sarah Lazare, staff writer, Common Dreams

For more about the current conflict:

Afghanistan Study Group is a great resource to look at to not only become informed about the past and current situation in Afghanistan, but offer proposals of renewing the US strategy in this area to create more peace and end the prolonged war.

Rethink Afghanistan: A riveting documentary about the truth of the war in Afghanistan. You can watch the entire documentary or short clips on a number of topics including security, situation of women, cost of war, civilian casualties, and more.

via Afghanistan | Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center.

6-Year-Old Newtown Victim Saved Classmates By Telling Them To Run: Gothamist

Jesse Lewis, 6, was a student in 27-year-old Victoria Soto\’s first-grade class, and though Jesse, Soto and a number of other students in the class were killed, 11 of his classmates survived. Some of those children told investigators they were huddled in a corner holding hands while Lanza was shooting, out of his line of fire; when Lanza\’s gun jammed for a second, he stopped firing, and Jesse yelled at them to run. Six students ran to safety. \”He yelled, ‘Run!’ ” Jesse\’s mother, Scarlett Lewis, told The Associated Press. “Adam reloaded and shot him in the head.”

via 6-Year-Old Newtown Victim Saved Classmates By Telling Them To Run: Gothamist.

Roma teens deportation was right, says French minister – FRANCE – FRANCE 24

Roma teens deportation was right, says French minister – FRANCE – FRANCE 24.

Interior Minister Manuel Valls told French media Sunday that he has no regrets about the way a 15-year old girl of Roma gypsy origin and her family were rounded up and deported, after widespread criticism in the media and from his own political party.

“We should be proud of what we are doing, rather than feeling sorry for ourselves,” Valls, a Socialist, told the Journal de Dimanche weekly in an interview published on Sunday.

He should be fired!

Children at war: the faces of Syria’s lost generation |The National

The war in Syria has changed so much. The loss of innocence, the phrase so often used to lament the effect of war on the young, has affected the whole country. What was, just two years ago, one of the safest countries in the Middle East is now a war zone. No part of Syria is untouched by violence. As these photographs from Dimitar Dilkoff show, children have been dragged to the front line and the experience of war has escaped few.

It is in these photographs that we see the truth of the Syrian conflict. These are not the terrorists and foreigners of Bashar Al Assad’s fiction. These are the boys and girls of the country, the future men and women of Syria, now begging, fighting, hiding, and surviving, merely for demanding the right to live in freedom.

These are the children of Syria’s war. Boys and girls who cannot go to school, cannot play in the streets safely, cannot live a normal life. These are children who are now breadwinners, whose fathers are dead or vanished, who hear their mothers mourn in the dark hours of the night, children who can no longer remember the voices of their dead friends. It is they who must line up, small elbows jostling, in the filth of refugee camps, edging forward in never-ending lines to bring food and water back to their families, or dodge the snipers and the sadists of Assad’s armies to buy bread from the few bakeries the regime has not bombed.

What makes these images so heart-breaking is how old these children look. In their faces is written the pain of the last two years of the revolution, the terrifying reality of children becoming adults, brutalised into maturity, seeing things no adults should see and feeling things no child should know.

These are the faces of a lost generation. The faces of the millions who have fled Syria or fled their homes for safe haven within their former country, boys and girls whose entire childhoods have been swept away by, as the war poet Wilfred Owen wrote, the monstrous anger of the guns.

* Faisal Al Yafai, opinion writer for The National

via Children at war: the faces of Syria’s lost generation |The National.