New massacre fears grow in ‘India’s Bosnia’

New massacre fears grow in ‘India’s Bosnia’

 

Survivors of ethnic bloodshed in restive Assam state decry government neglect and warn of more rebel attacks.

More than 300,000 people have been internally displaced in Assam amid ethnic clashes [Biju Boro/Al Jazeera]

Alipurduar, India – Displaced survivors of an ethnic massacre in Assam state that killed at least 80 tribespeople late last month say they are facing a huge humanitarian crisis and fears are high of new attacks by their rivals.

The number of internally displaced people has swelled with tens of thousands of Adivasi – a term describing the many ethnic and tribal groups in India’s northeast – now fleeing their villages after the December massacre to safer areas in the west of troubled Assam state.

The New Delhi-based Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) now puts the number of internally displaced in Assam at more than 300,000.

The mass killing of civilians – including women and children – has been blamed on armed fighters from the National Democratic Front of Bodoland, which has pressed for self-rule for members of the Bodo tribe who say they’ve long been marginalised.

Adivasi people burn the houses of Bodos in response to an attack that killed about 80 people in December [Biju Boro]

Assailants armed with assault rifles and dressed in military uniforms attacked four villages simultaneously on December 23, killing dozens.

Massacre survivors said there is not enough food and safe drinking water in makeshift camps now housing them, nor enough warm clothes and blankets as they endure a freezing-cold January.

Pregnant women are delivering babies without elementary healthcare support, and lactating mothers have barely any milk for infants.

Fearing an outbreak of disease, the Indian government dispatched a team of health officials last week to evaluate the humanitarian crisis building up in 85 makeshift camps in four districts of western Assam state.

“But we still hardly have any healthcare on ground so far,” Tina Kerketta, a displaced person at a camp in Chirang district, told Al Jazeera.

What worries the displaced people most, however, is a lack of security at the camps.

Adivasi villagers carry their belongings after deadly attacks allegedly by a Bodo rebel faction [Biju Boro/Al Jazeera]

“There are few policemen to guard our camps and we fear we may be attacked again,” said Manuel Lakra, a local tribal leader uprooted from his village during the December massacre.

Lakra is a Santhal – one of the many tribes known collectively as Adivasi – whose ancestors were brought to Assam from central India by British colonialists to work in hundreds of the region’s thriving tea plantations.

Now, many Adivasi have taken over and started farming land that once belonged to indigenous Bodo tribespeople.

“The land alienation is the main trigger for the ethnic conflict in Assam,” said Uddipana Goswami, a social scientist who has studied the history of Assam.

She described the area as a “tinderbox” because conflicts between Bodos and non-Bodos have repeatedly flared since 1992.

Indian soldiers patrol in Sonitpur district in Assam on December 26, 2014 after the ethnic massacre [Biju Boro/Al Jazeera]

An Indian defence journal last month described Assam as “India’s Bosnia”, flagging the frequent eruption of ethnic conflict in the northeastern state since India became independent from Britain in 1947.

More than a quarter of a million Santhals were displaced during large-scale violence unleashed by Bodo fighters in 1996. Hundreds were killed as Santhals fought back.

In May this year, Bodo rebels killed more than 30 Muslims of Bengali origin in an attack on some villages.

That was after India’s national parliamentary elections, in which a non-Bodo candidate emerged victorious for the first time by winning the Kokrajhar parliament seat in western Assam.

Kokrajhar is the administrative headquarters of the Bodoland Territorial Council, and the parliament seat had always been won by Bodo politicians. Various non-Bodo communities – such as ethnic Assamese, Bengali Muslims and Hindus, and Nepalese and Santhal tribes, who have faced regular Bodo rebel attacks – had joined together to support a former Assamese rebel leader, Naba Sarania.

Angry Adivasi torch houses of the Bodo community in revenge after deadly attacks [Biju Boro/Al Jazeera]

While the Bodo vote was split between three candidates from their tribe, the consolidation of the non-Bodo vote ensured Sarania’s victory.

“Many saw that as negating the Bodo claim for a separate state at a time when they were trying to intensify it in the wake of India creating a separate state of Telengana in southern India,” said Assam-based columnist Samir Purkayastha.

“That was sure to intensify the ethnic conflict all the more.”

In the summer of 2012, Bodo fighters attacked scores of Bengali Muslim villages that left hundreds dead and nearly 300,000 displaced.

Last week, those living in the camps had similar stories to tell – that the Assam government has failed to provide much-needed aid including warm clothes, baby food, and safe drinking water .

Sanitation facilties in the camps are almost non-existent. “They are living in unbelievably horrible conditions,” said Asian Centre for Human Rights chairperson Suhas Chakma.

Violence between the Bodo and non-Bodo communities has raged for decades [Biju Boro/Al Jazeera]

Earlier in the week when Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi visited a relief camp east of the Beki river with a security force of 300 police and paramilitary troops guarding his convoy, Lakra said there was anger among the displaced.

“Only if we had one-third of that force in our area, the massacres could have been avoided,” Lakra recalled one survivor saying.

The Assam government blamed the December 23 assault – four simultaneous attacks on as many villages within in an hour – on armed rebels of the Bodo tribe.

The Bodos enjoy considerable autonomy in the Territorial Council, created in western Assam as a result of a 2003 peace deal with the Indian government.

But some Bodo groups have pushed for a separate state, while the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) wants outright independence.

While the NDFB’s chairman Ranjan Daimary is now negotiating with the government in New Delhi, a rival faction led by Songbijit – which is blamed for the pre-Christmas massacre – has refused to call off the armed movement.

Adivasi people carry their belongings as they flee from the village of Tenganala after their relatives were killed [Biju Boro]

Assam police official LR Bishnoi said the rebels were desperate to hit back after many were killed during operations launched by army and police in December.

“We have killed or captured many of their activists. That has made them desperate to strike back,” Bishnoi said.

That, say counterinsurgency analysts, is a favourite tactic of northeast guerrilla groups when they come under pressure.

“When the security forces launch offensive operations against a rebel group in India’s northeast, they often attack villagers of a rival tribe and kill many of them,” said Major-General Gaganjit Singh, who previously commanded a mountain division in western Assam.

“That forces us to call off offensive operations and disperse our forces for static village guarding duties. That takes the heat off the rebels.”

Assam is one of seven states in India’s northeast, a region bounded by China, Myanmar, Bhutan and Bangladesh. For long, residents have accused the central government of plundering its natural resources and ignoring development.

 

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2015/01/new-massacre-fears-grow-india-bosnia-20151412522519768.html

The Greatest Scientist from The Muslim world

The Greatest Scientist from The Muslim world

 

muslims

There is no such thing as Islamic science – for science is the most universal of human activities. But the means to facilitating scientific advances have always been dictated by culture, political will and economic wealth. What is only now becoming clear (to many in the west) is that during the dark ages of medieval Europe, incredible scientific advances were made in the Muslim world. Geniuses in Baghdad, Cairo, Damascus and Cordoba took on the scholarly works of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Persia, Greece, India and China, developing what we would call “modern” science. New disciplines emerged – algebra, trigonometry and chemistry as well as major advances in medicine, astronomy, engineering and agriculture. Arabic texts replaced Greek as the fonts of wisdom, helping to shape the scientific revolution of the Renaissance. What the medieval scientists of the Muslim world articulated so brilliantly is that science is universal, the common language of the human race. The 1001 Inventions exhibition at London’s Science Museum tells some of the stories of this forgotten age. Here are my top six exhibits . . .

 

1. The elephant clock 

the_elephant_clock

This centrepiece of the exhibition is a three-metre high replica of an early 13th-century water clock and one of the engineering marvels of the medieval world. It was built by al-Jazari, and gives physical form to the concept of multiculturalism. It features an Indian elephant, Chinese dragons, a Greek water mechanism, an Egyptian phoenix, and wooden robots in traditional Arabian attire. The timing mechanism is based on a water-filled bucket hidden inside the elephant.

 

2. The camera obscura

The camera obscura

The greatest scientist of the medieval world was a 10th century Arab by the name of Ibn al-Haytham. Among his many contributions to optics was the first correct explanation of how vision works. He used the Chinese invention of the camera obscura (or pinhole camera) to show how light travels in straight lines from the object to form an inverted image on the retina.

 

3. Al-Idrisi’s world map

This three-metre reproduction of the famous 12th-century map by the Andalusian cartographer, Al-Idrisi (1100-1166), was produced in Sicily and is regarded as the most elaborate and complete description of the world made in medieval times. It was used extensively by travellers for several centuries and contained detailed descriptions of the Christian north as well as the Islamic world, Africa and the Far East.

 

4. The Banu Musa brothers’ “ingenious devices”

ku-xlarge

These three brothers were celebrated mathematicians and engineers in ninth-century Baghdad. Their Book of Ingenious Devices, published in 850, was a large illustrated work on mechanical devices that included automata, puzzles and magic tricks as well as what we would today refer to as “executive toys”.

 

5. Al-Zahrawi’s surgical instruments

ku-xlarge

This array of weird and wonderful devices shows the sort of instruments being used by the 10th-century surgeon al-Zahrawi, who practised in Cordoba. His work was hugely influential in Europe and many of his instruments are still in use today. Among his best-known inventions were the syringe, the forceps, the surgical hook and needle, the bone saw and the lithotomy scalpel.

 

6. Ibn Firnas’ flying contraption 

Ibn Firnas' flying contraption

Abbas Ibn Firnas was a legendary ninth-century inventor and the Da Vinci of the Islamic world. He is honoured on Arabic postage stamps and has a crater on the moon named after him. He made his famous attempt at controlled flight when, aged 65, he built a rudimentary hang glider and launched himself from the side of a mountain. Some accounts claim he remained airborne for several minutes before landing badly and hurting his back.

Jim Al-Khalili is an author and broadcaster. He is professor of physics and of the public engagement in science at the University of Surrey.

 

 

American Christians Educating Kids

2 LOUISIANA HIGH SCHOOL TEACHERS ARRESTED OVER THREESOME WITH STUDENT

 

Two Louisiana high school teachers are accused of having a threesome with a student, WGNO-TV reports.

Police in Jefferson Parish charged Destrehan High School English teachers Shelley S. Dufresne, 32, and Rachel Respess, 24, with carnal knowledge of a juvenile, contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile and indecent behavior with a juvenile.

Police say the student, who was 16 at the time, went to one of the teacher’s apartments after a football game on Sept. 12. The police report says the student then began having sex with both teachers simultaneously until the early morning hours of Sept. 13.

The Times-Picayune reports police learned about the crime after the student was heard “bragging to other students that he was having a sexual relationship with teachers.” The student told his peers he had met the teachers multiple times and even documented some of their encounters on video, according to WGNO-TV.

Detectives say the student, who is now 17, told them his ongoing sexual relationship with the teachers was consensual. The legal age of consent in Louisiana is 17.

“No matter what sex the victim is, everyone should be outraged,” Kenner Police Chief Michael Glaser said. “You have an educator. Their responsibility is the safety and the education of children. … They should have known better.”

Respess has been teacher for two years and is an alumni of the high school where she works. Dufresne is currently in her 10th year as a teacher. She is also married with three young children. Both teachers are graduates of Louisiana State University.

Respess’ attorney says his client is innocent.

 

Stupid F’cks

US Bombing of Syrian Food Reserves Kills Only Innocent People and Destroys Precious Resources

silo..

Nineteen innocent Syrian citizens lost their lives to the US government last week. Besides the cost of innocent lives, the new entanglement in Iraq and Syria has cost US taxpayers nearly $1 billion so far.

On the Fall Equniox this year, the US government started waging a war of aggression in another state, Syria, and immediately they began targeting vital components of Syria’s already ravaged infrastructure: oil fields, and grain reserves.

With the vast majority of the people of America who are active duty military opposing the new war, the powers that control the US military continue wars of aggression, with zero regard for anything but their

agenda.

Manjib, Syria was the city where themilitary bombed grain reserves, killing 2 workers.

The director of The Syrian Observatory For Human rights,  Rami Abdurrahman says “[US bombings] killed only civilians there, workers at the site. There was no ISIS inside.”, and “it destroyed the food that was stored there”.

It is unclear just how much food was there, but it sounds like a pretty large storage of very much needed food. A precise sounding target, if one had the intent of destroying Syrian infrastructure and crippling them.

To understand the true intentions of a war waging body of people like the US government, one must know exactly what military actions they are taking, you must know every individual they murder, everything they take out and destroy, and when you combine all of that, you have a clear picture of who they are targeting and why.

The US military say they ‘accidentally’ bombed this grain silo, ‘mistaking it for a jihadist base’. As usual, somehow they expect to be immune from prosecution, free to make ‘mistakes’ that kill dozens of people. Just because the people dying in these bombings are brown and live thousands of miles away, it’s still murder, and the people responsible should be held accountable.

Obviously they are focusing on destroying the Syrian infrastructure to accomplish an agenda that is slowly being revealed, an agenda you can decipher through analysis of their choice of targets. The truth of the matter is that the US either directly, or through proxy, created ISIS to overthrow the Syrian government. So while ISIS is the US’ ‘foot in the door’ for Syria, the end goal is still the overthrow of a sovereign government.

Anything in the way of the powers that control the US military will be murdered, and that has been made clear by decades upon decades of repeated aggression towards countless countries. That is so abundantly, redundantly clear that it should make you sick.

Please share this with absolutely as many people as possible, especially people who support war. We must stop preaching to the choir and really put effort into getting the message to unaware people. That is currently our most effective way to shed light upon this and prevent it.

 

http://theantimedia.org/us-bombing-of-syrian-food-reserves-kills-only-innocent-people-and-destroys-precious-resources/

 

Really Fuck’d Up Dumb, Drunk and Racist Exposed Australian intolerance

Really Fuck’d Up Dumb, Drunk and Racist Exposed Australian intolerance

,

LET’S face it, Australia has a pretty complex relationship with other races and nationalities, with our attitudes constantly shifting between loving and loathing, tolerance and acceptance.

 

you racist bastard

One nation Australia has a very complicated, conflicted relationship with is India. To our shame, Indian students attending schools and universities in this country have been targets of violence, some even dying as a result.

Plus Indian call-centre employees frequently cop vile verbal abuse from Australians they contact.

 

So irreverent journalist and commentator Joe Hildebrand took it upon himself to escort four everyday Indian citizens around Australia to show them what this country and its people are really like, for better or worse.

The result is the new six-part ABC documentary Dumb, Drunk and Racist, its incendiary title a reflection of the way some Indians have come to view us.

Q. WHAT WAS THE IDEA BEHIND THIS SHOW, JOE?

A. It’s a bit like a bookend to Go Back to Where You Came From, this massively unexpected hit where a bunch of hand-wringing inner-city lefties said, “I always thought we were horribly intolerant and now this proves it”. But it also turned around a bunch of “We grew here, you flew here” types who were seeing the whole picture for the first time. The same production company came up with the idea for Dumb, Drunk and Racist – or, as I like to call it, “Stay Where You Are” – based on a news item that ran a year or so ago about how Indian call-centre workers were trained to expect Australians to be stupid or intoxicated or out-and-out racist bastards. So they had the idea, and then all they needed was someone who was deeply offensive and idiotic to host. Which is where I came in.

Q. THE RECORDINGS YOU FEATURE OF AUSTRALIANS UNLOADING THIS UTTER VITRIOL ON THESE CALL-CENTRE WORKERS IS KIND OF STAGGERING, I HAVE TO SAY.

A. These are all real recordings. We actually went to a different call centre and we got all these different recordings the employees had made – it’s pretty horrible for them to hear those things about themselves. But I think it’s part of this age we’re in where so many things are remote and disconnected, and people feel they can say whatever they like without consequences. People feel so far removed from the person they’re addressing, they feel like they can just open up, and what emerges is this absolute nastiness.

Q. TELL ME A BIT ABOUT THE FOUR INDIANS YOU TAKE AROUND AUSTRALIA. I IMAGINE YOU WANTED A DIVERSE CROSS-SECTION OF PEOPLE.

A. We certainly did. In a perfect world, you’d have a perfectly representative group of people – someone lower-caste, some upper-caste, someone from here, someone from there – but we had to make do with who we could find. Don’t forget the premise is Indians are increasingly afraid to come to Australia, and we’re saying, “Hey, come to Australia!” We wanted people at the forefront of thinking Australia was a drunken, racist backwater, and thankfully they weren’t hard to find. We have a student whose family was worried about sending him here because they thought it was violent, a newsreader on this 24-hour news channel who was privy to plenty of anti-Australian stuff, an education consultant who flat-out tells students not to come to Australia because it’s unsafe – I believe her daughter had been subjected to wolf-whistles or some inappropriate comments when they were out here – and of course a call-centre worker who had experienced some Australian bad behaviour firsthand.

Q. IS IT JUST AUSTRALIANS WHO ARE ACTING THIS WAY OR IS WESTERN SOCIETY IN GENERAL NOT REPRESENTING ITSELF WELL TO INDIA?

A. Indian society is very westernised in many ways but it’s also quite conservative. And our behaviour, well, we might call it rambunctious or devil may care, our larrikin streak, perhaps. Look, we shouldn’t generalise about a country of over a billion people but let’s do it anyway: India has a very strict hierarchical social structure and class system, with a great deal of importance placed on etiquette and decorum. You take a bunch of people from that society to a B&S Ball, there’s going to be some culture shock.

Q. WHAT DO YOU THINK EVERYONE TOOK AWAY FROM THE DUMB, DRUNK AND RACIST ROAD TRIP, JOE?

A. It’s kind of a weird one. We wanted these people to think, “Hey, Australia’s not that bad”, but at the same time we also kind of wanted to shock them by saying, “You thought that was bad? You ain’t seen nothing yet!” But then again, we wanted to say, “Look, we’re actually really not that bad – that guy you see doing the Nazi salute is just crazy!” Everything we tried to show them, we inadvertently showed them the opposite, good and bad. Speaking for myself, I learned two things: one is that Australia is pretty racist, the other is Australia isn’t that racist.

,,,

 

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/entertainment/six-part-abc-documentary-dumb-drunk-and-racist-with-joe-hildebrand-exposes-australian-intolerance/story-e6frexlr-1226409065137?nk=594009d0150d1b89bc54ded3b4a26e8b

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