16 December 2008
a brief explanation of the figures is given by duncan clark. the bottom line: global co2 emissions went up by 2.4 per cent in 2006, to 29,195m tonnes. china overtook the united states as the top emitter, producing 6018m tonnes. it's per capita production is only 4.6, while the united states' is 19.8.
hong kong is ranked 43, producing 85m tonnes, with 12.1 per capita. that's pretty high..
10 December 2008
Primarily, the Code is intended to help employers to understand and comply with the RDO and to promote racial equality in the workplace by encouraging good practice. It is also intended to give employees a general understanding about the law and their rights, and what to do if they feel they are discriminated against on the ground of race by their employers.the eoc is seeking to encourage ethnic minority (and all other) groups to better understand the code and give their opinions on it, which will be incorporated before it is tabled at legco in march 2009.
more information regarding the race discrimination law (which is quite poor in terms of rights protection) can be found here.
although the declaration has become the cornerstone of international human rights principles, and has resulted in other international treaties and norms, there is a stark gap between principles and practice. this is unfortunately true for most regions of the world.
with regards to asia:
(Hong Kong, December 8, 2008) “There is no getting away from the fact that 60 years after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the actual enjoyment of human rights in most countries of Asia is even less than what it was 60 years before,” said Basil Fernando, director of the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC).
On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the UDHR, Fernando noted that while there is now more talk about human rights in Asia, the region’s systems are mostly non rule of law systems. “The primary focus in human rights work should therefore be institutional reform,” he said.
According to the Hong Kong-based rights group, the primary obstacles to human rights protection are the defects in justice administration systems. Such defects exist because of the lack of political will to devote adequate funds to the administration of justice, as well as deliberate attempts to subvert justice institutions, so as to place the executive above the law and outside accountability.
In its statement marking the 60th anniversary of the UDHR, the AHRC distinguishes rule of law countries from non rule of law countries. While there are many limitations on human rights even in countries where rule of law systems are well established, in countries where the systems are fundamentally flawed, even the possibility of rights protection does not exist...
“What we have pointed to is a very serious problem,” said Fernando. “After 60 years of the UDHR, we cannot claim that the human rights situation in the region has improved. In many countries, both in civil and political rights, as well as in economic, social and cultural rights, there is a very significant deterioration. We may talk about human rights more than before. The people may be demanding human rights more than before. In actual fact however, violations of human rights have become far greater,” he stressed.
The work of the AHRC reveals that various forms of arbitrary deprivation of rights, torture and denial of fair trial are widespread in many places. There is more unemployment, and despite greater education, particularly among women, the actual enjoyment of rights has not become any easier for large sections of the population, who remain poor. Domestic violence against women is common, as is the deprivation of their personal liberties. Anti-terrorism is increasingly used as a pretext to suspend the rights of entire populations. Life for many remains a nightmare.
24 November 2008
among those practicing yoga in malaysia are cancer patients, for whom yoga, qi gong and line dancing sessions are organized as methods of relaxation and light exercise, as well as group interaction to "promote positive thinking and unity among survivors of different race and religion".
The National Fatwa Council's chairman, Abdul Shukor Husin, said many Muslims fail to understand that yoga's ultimate aim is to be one with a god of a different religion — an explanation disputed by many practitioners who say yoga need not have a religious element.
"We are of the view that yoga, which originates from Hinduism, combines physical exercise, religious elements, chanting and worshipping for the purpose of achieving inner peace and ultimately to be one with god," Abdul Shukor said...
The edict reflects the growing influence of conservative Islam in Malaysia, a multiethnic country of 27 million people where the majority Muslim Malays lost seats in March elections and where minority ethnic Chinese and mostly Hindu ethnic Indians have been clamoring for more rights.
Recently, the council said girls who act like boys violate Islam's tenets. The government has also occasionally made similar conservative moves, banning the use of the word "Allah" by non-Muslims earlier this year, saying it would confuse Muslims...
In recent years, yoga — a collection of spiritual and physical practices, aimed at integrating mind, body and spirit — has been increasingly practiced in gyms and dedicated yoga centers around the world.
There are no figures for how many Muslims practice yoga in Malaysia, but many yoga classes have Muslims attending.
In the United States, where it has become so popular that many public schools began offering it in gym classes, yoga has also come under fire.
Some Christian fundamentalists and even secular parents have argued that yoga's Hindu roots conflict with Christian teachings and that using it in school might violate the separation of church and state. Egypt's highest theological body also banned yoga for Muslims in 2004.
hmm, i wonder what the reaction to this will be at my markaz yoga group?!
18 November 2008
of the friends i could not make
of the time wasted
of the memories forgotten
of hearts broken.
i will not think of the places i never visited
of the journeys i never made
of the roles i never played
of a me i never found.
i will not think of the opportunities i did not take up
of the articles i did not write
of the presentations i did not make
of name cards thrown away.
i will not dwell on what could have been,
on a time long gone
i will not think.
someday, i will not think.
09 November 2008
while in the middle of these two novels, i started listening to new music as well: jason mraz, travis' 'ode to j smith', leona lewis (not worth mentioning though) and ani difranco's 'red letter year', which is the best of the lot, not to mention 'nicer' than her previous music. on my waiting list are still new albums by keane, tracy chapman and dido; these should happily get me through the rest of the year (and beyond).
to top it all off, i have just started reading 'the guernsey literary and potato peel pie society', which is great; i am already in love with the characters. it's a very short novel and i can see myself soon mourning its end.
to have read three highly enjoyable books in succession is not such a common experience. to have the experience interspersed with wonderful new music is even rarer. i don't know what i will read next, but i will thoroughly enjoy tglappps first. recommendations are always welcome.
08 November 2008
23 October 2008
there are of course disputes about how effective this method has been in combating terrorism, but it seems an interesting alternative, one that could be developed further.
His remorse over the massacre of civilians and the Indonesian police's careful handling of him transformed Abbas. From a terrorist commander he became a terrorist counselor, working with the police to try to convince other captured militants that their interpretation of Islam is wrong.
"I (came to) understand that the Bali bombings were a crime, not a jihad," he says.
"Because terrorism is an ideologically motivated crime, it is not possible to stop it using mere physical operations," said Ansyaad Mbai, the head of the Indonesian government's Counter-Terrorism Coordinating Desk. "Based on our experience, the harder we hit them with military force, the more radical they become."
Mbai is critical of the Bush administration's approach to fighting terrorism. The war in Iraq, in particular, has made the job of handling terrorism in Indonesia harder, he said: "Even the moderate Muslim leaders find it difficult to explain that the war taking place in the Middle East is not a war against Islam."
Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim country, treats terrorism as a crime, not a cause for war.
17 October 2008
so says the ceo of the World Alliance for Civic Participation (CIVICUS) and one of the founders of the Global Coalition Against Poverty (GCAP), dr kumi naidoo. meanwhile, he notes that not even 20 per cent of the committments pledged by the G8 summit in 2005 to fight poverty and fund development in the south has materialized.
there are popular concerns that amidst the present financial crisis, aid and funding for food, climate change and development will be reduced/lose priority, despite the huge numbers of people affected.
16 October 2008
many of the memories are of places and individuals no longer part of my life, which is perhaps why i do not think of them much when i'm on my own (it would be too depressing). on that day though, it was not at all depressing. it felt good just to remember: the events and how they made me feel, as well as to acknowledge the pleasure (and thankfulness) of having those memories, of having had those moments. it was one of those rare occasions when it didn't matter that friends were no longer around, that places had changed, that people had moved on; when it was enough just to have been.
rereading this post will be my solace on all those days when it is not enough!
05 October 2008
i am one of those persons who usually does not enjoy eid-il-fitr. i find it an anti-climax to the month long ibadat and camaraderie. sure, i'm happy that it's eid, that i can use lip balm and listen to music again, but i'm also sad that it's all over and that i have few friends to truly celebrate with (the bane of a small jamaat i believe). the two feelings are constantly in conflict, leaving me largely irritated and out of sorts.
so what made this year different? the shabab treasure hunt. it wasn't actually a treasure hunt as such--we were given a clue/riddle to solve, which would tell us whose house we were to go and wish eid mubarak. there, we would be given the clue to the next house. my team consisted of people (adults and kids) whom i had had little contact with previously, apart from the general social niceties. to my pleasant surprise, i enjoyed their company tremendously, and discovered interesting tidbits about their lives. the same can be said for a couple of houses i went to--most were families i'd not visited before, with whose menfolk i'd never exchanged conversation beyond 'hello'. to interact with them in an intimate setting was very nice.
and to top this off, there was a lunch afterwards (where more people showed up than at eid namaz-typical!). not only was it nice to mingle at the restaurant and listen to the very amusing list of lucky draw gifts, but it was a novelty to be at the semi centre of attention for having participated in this novel treasure hunt :)
all in all, it was one of my most social eids. and financially beneficial too, with all the eidy and lucky draw cash prize!
03 October 2008
1. she's too pretty
"pretty girls tend to be liked only by other pretty girls"
2. she's too confident
"too timid and you're a pushover. too self aggrandizing and you're a bad word.."
3. she could (has already done so in fact) embarrass them
hmm, i'm not sure whether to laugh or scowl..
what did make me laugh however, was a comment by writer kathleen parker, that "if b.s. were a currency, palin could bail out wall street herself".
22 September 2008
Natural Choice Yogurt Flavoured Ice Bar with Real Fruit
Nestle Dairy Farm UHT Pure Milk
Mengniu Pure Milk
Yili Pure Milk
Yili High calcium low fat milk beverage
Yili Super Bean Red Bean Chestnut Ice Bar
Yili Bean Club- Matcha red bean ice bar
Yili High Calcium Milk Beverage
Yili Bean Club- Red bean milk bar
Yili Prestige Chocliz - Dark Chocolate Bar
Yili Pure Milk
the centre for food safety also recommends consumers stay away from all Nissin Retort Pouch Cha Cha Desserts, which use yili milk as raw material.
meanwhile, both wellcome and parknshop have reportedly removed all Nestle milk powder products, Dutch Lady milk and Mr Brown coffee from their shelves, due to melamine being found in some of the products.
an email list in circulation includes even more contaminated products:
KLIM Instant Full Cream Milk Powder ( 1.8 kg )
Nestle Carnation Calcium Plus Non Fat Milk Powder ( 1.6 kg )
Monmilk Breakfast Milk Walnut Milk Beverage
Monmilk Suan Suan Ru Sour Milk Beverage (Mango Flavour)
Vita Fresh Milk
Nestle Vanilla Flavour Ice Cream Cone
Nestle Chocolate Flavour Ice Cream Cone
Meiji Ujikintoki (red bean and green tea frozen confection)
Meiji Hokkaido Azuki (red bean ice cream)
Trappist Dairy Low Fat Yogurt Drink
19 September 2008
(z, in light of our conversation last night, the blog was even more amusing..)
13 September 2008
the lyrics are beautiful, and self explanatory. (i suggest you read/listen to the urdu however..)
Hamarey Naam Say Pheli Howi Jhooti Kahani Haiyou can learn more about the song and campaign here.
This story that is being spread in our names is a lie
Yeah Mohrein Mout Ki….. Mathay Pay Gheroun Ki Nishani Hain
These stamps of death on our foreheads are the signs of others
Hamein Jis Naam Say Tum Jantay Ho…. Woh Hum Naheen
The name by which you know us - we are not that
Humein Jis Aankh Say Tum Dehktay Ho…. Woh Hum Naheen
The eyes with which you look at us - we are not that
Yeh Hum Naheen, Yeh Hum Naheen, Yeh Hum Naheen,
This is not us - this is not us...
Jaisay Sham Aatay hi Koi Rasta Hum Bola Baithay
As with the coming of night one loses one's way
Andhairo Say Daray Itna Kay Hum Ghar Hi Jala Baithay
We are scared of the dark so much that we are burning our own home
Yeah Kya Charo Taraf Urti Howi Rayegani Hai
What is this rising all around us...
Hamarey Naam Say Phali Howi Jhoti Kahani Hey
The stories that are being spread in our names are lies
Yeh Hum Naheen, Yeh Hum Naheen, Yeh Hum Naheen,
This is not us...
Gira Bathay Hain Rastay Mein Sabak Hum Sath Rehnay Ka
We have lost on the way the lesson of living together
Humain Ek Doosray Say Isliye Bhi Lag Raha Ha Darr
We are now even scared of each other.
Woh Koi Aur Hain Jin Kay Teray Hathon Main Chehray Hain
They are others whose faces are on your hands
Tumhara Dukh Samandar, Hamaray Zakham Ghehray Hain
Your hurts are a deep sea - our wounds are deep.
Yeh Hum Naheen, Yeh Hum Naheen, Yeh Hum Naheen,
This is not us...
12 September 2008
When I was in college, the female students excelled academically, sometimes running laps around their male counterparts. Women easily ascended to school leadership positions and prestigious internships. In my graduating class (more than half of which was female) there was a feeling of camaraderie, a sense that we were helping each other succeed.indeed. succeeding at university was easy, and largely, girls did better than boys. and yet, even there, i remember having a conversation with one professor about how even though his best students were girls, they were the ones who found it the hardest in the workforce.
as for myself, i totally expected the environment at work to be similar to that of university: the same equality, opportunity and fairness.
...a larger issue that women, coming directly out of the colleges that nurtured and rewarded them and gave them every advantage, may have trouble grasping. For me, it was crystallized in a comment made to me by Myra Hart, a retired senior faculty member at Harvard Business School who studies women as entrepreneurs: “By and large women believe that the workplace is a meritocracy, and it isn’t.”the other thing is the issue of pay. even after working for five years, i still find asking for a pay rise difficult and distasteful. as seligson says, "Coming into the work force, I thought that, just as my professor had given me the grade I deserved on my political science midterm, my company would pay me what I 'deserved'." this is not of course the case. instead, 'the central tenet of a bigger paycheck is ask and you shall receive'.
and this requires some other qualities seligson mentions: a thick skin, the ability to promote yourself, to stop being a perfectionist, and creating a professional network, all of which are "abilities that men are just more likely to have already".
well, now i know what to work on..
10 September 2008
why does the government continue with these half-baked schemes that do not actually benefit the recipients? this is like the 'fruit money' of social assistance. how insulting.
09 September 2008
its synonyms include: enchanting, alluring, captivating, graceful, lovely.
oh my. after all the recent put downs, to be described as charming (and by more than one person too!) is a marvelous balm.
29 August 2008
and yet I feel none of those things right now. (and whatever embarrassment i would feel at admitting this, is numbed by a strange weariness.)
i recall a conversation i had with someone many years ago (i must have been 19 or so). for her, one of the hardest misaaq oaths was this: that you will not question why koi ne uncha kare, koi ne neecha kare. i looked at her in total surprise (and naivete) and said that was the easiest of oaths.
i want that conviction back.
life is easier, more meaningful when you believe, when there is a point. for so long i took that belief for granted. and now, when i want to believe, I find myself struggling..
26 August 2008
forget the medal count, matthew syed has a far more interesting story regarding what goes on inside the olympic village:
I am often asked if the Olympic village - the vast restaurant and housing conglomeration that hosts the world's top athletes for the duration of the Games - is the sex-fest it is cracked up to be. My answer is always the same: too right it is. I played my first Games in Barcelona in 1992 and got laid more often in those two and a half weeks than in the rest of my life up to that point…
I spoke to an Aussie table tennis player this week to check out the village vibe [in Beijing] and he launched into the breathless patter common to any Olympic debutant: “It is unbelievable in there; everyone is totally crazy once they are out of their competitions. God knows what it is going to be like this weekend. It is like a world within a world.” A British runner (anonymous again: athletes are not supposed to talk to journalists unaccompanied by a PR type, least of all about sex) said: “The swimmers finished earlier in the week and it was like there was an eruption.”
…it is worth noting an intriguing dichotomy between the sexes in respect of all this coupling. The chaps who win gold medals - even those as geeky as Michael Phelps - are the principal objects of desire for many female athletes… But - and this is the thing - success does not work both ways. Gold-medal winning female athletes are not looked upon by male athletes with any more desire than those who flunked out in the first round. It is sometimes even considered a defect, as if there is something downright unfeminine about all that striving, fist pumping and incontinent sweating.
the reactions to his article were just as entertaining:
Why on earth didn’t anyone let me know about this earlier? I might have tried to be a volunteer in the village . . . Wang, Beijing, China
Surely this is all the motivation those 14-to-18-year-old athletes on GB’s various Olympic development programs should need to inspire them to get to London 2012. It should be pinned to the notice board of every school and sports centre in the country. Tim, Manchester
That was the most awesome Olympics-related article I’ve read since Beijing 2008 started. Drake, Alabama, US
if you’re still interested in the medal count though, i came across this widget, which apparently calculates the medals according to population and GDP, with jamaica leading.
18 August 2008
i just spent a very amusing hour listening to pervez musharraf’s rambling speech (and the occasional foibles of the translator). after repeatedly emphasizing how all his actions were taken in ‘good faith’ and in the interest of the country, he detailed his numerous ‘achievements’ over the past nine years, including the opening of art galleries and high hotel occupancy (how could i not be amused?!). finally, after voicing his concerns for what an impeachment would do to pakistan’s ‘international reputation’ as well as internal stability, he announced his intention to resign (ilhumdolillah!).
it was a good break. we should do this more often--who's next?
27 June 2008
the most amusing moment of the trip was when our guide mentioned that the infamous thousand island salad dressing (which was a staple part of my childhood diet, particularly in pizza hut) was named after these beautiful islands. ra, fb and myself doubled over in laughter. how surreal, for this ordinary bottled dressing, regularly consumed halfway across the world (and in many other places i'm sure) to have originated from this beautiful scene.
29 May 2008
in burma, naval officers and seamen have been detained for abandoning ship mid-cyclone:
“Twenty-three men from those on vessel duty at Thilawar, including officers, have been detained at the Irrawaddy Naval Headquarters. It’s understood that they’re to be charged with abandoning ship. I know that some of them have been kept under house arrest. In the fierce storm some went ashore and took to high ground. Some also disappeared. It’s not known if they disappeared in the water or if they deserted and didn’t send word.”
meanwhile, in bangladesh, a frustrated high court bench of the country's Supreme Court suggested an apellant seek bail from Allah; since emergency rule was imposed in january 2007, the court has been barred from entertaining bail petitions.
27 May 2008
it started some months ago with an unhappy confrontation at work, to escape which i went down to langham place and bought some lipstick (yes, i can see the raised eyebrows; no comments please!) i wonder if i saw the film 'priceless' at around the same time--that film definitely made me want to shop. either way, since then i've been on a roll. not that i'm throwing money around or anything (what money?!), but i suddenly like the idea of buying new things for myself.
as ksa said, it's better (and cheaper) than indulging in alcohol!
15 May 2008
while the burmese military continues to prevaricate and resist opening its doors to international aid, local groups and individuals are attempting to overstretch their limited resources and assist their fellow citizens as much as possible.
"Among those doing this work, many are ordinary local people and civic groups in places where survivors have been relocated who have gathered together their money and goods to help as best as they can. People from religious groups of all persuasions are also actively involved. Others are famous actors who have some financial security and a concern for the wellbeing of their fellow citizens. And some are members of human rights networks who have at this time put aside their ordinary activities to concentrate on the cyclone recovery effort.
The Asian Human Rights Commission is in contact with some of these persons and in view of the dramatic delay in assistance from abroad and continued restrictions on what is getting in, has recognised the urgent need for continued support for these people and groups until the situation changes. Therefore, it is now accepting donations on their behalf. Money received can be forwarded within the same day. Unfortunately, for the safety of recipients the AHRC is not able to reveal their details publicly; however, for financial purposes some information can be given to credible institutional donors and those known to the AHRC upon request."
To donate online, click here. For other methods, see here.
24 April 2008
you can read the entire post here. when i first read about the petition, it made me cry.
22 April 2008
"Barack Obama has been warned that his refusal to pay the traditional "street money" to local operatives to help get the vote out in Philadelphia today could cost him the crucial percentage points needed to knock Hillary Clinton out of the race for the White House."
my immediate impression was that of bribery and gang warfare, reminiscent of politics in many parts of the world. as i continued reading however, i learned that 'street money' is apparently a normal practice in america:
"The committee people and the ward leaders have to buy lunch for hundreds of people, otherwise they won't have good workers. They have to buy coffee, orange juice and doughnuts. That's just the way it is."
i also learned that obama has not been playing by the rules, instead building up his own 'volunteer network'. if he hadn't, estimates suggest he would've paid out between usd 400,000-500,000 (just in philadelphia). wow. maybe this is why he hasn't reported any debts yet, unlike hilary.
but seriously, the amounts of money involved in the us presidential elections are staggering. and disturbing.
another disturbing (but highly amusing) story told to my news class by scmp's foreign correspondent last week: when he was covering the 2000 elections, he went to a town in new hampshire, where al gore was to speak. there were apparently many student supporters present, ready to wave their banners and all as soon as the tv cameras arrived. none of them however, were in fact from new hampshire; they'd all been transported from columbia university and other places.
again reminiscent of political practices in other countries. countries where we're trying to change the norms.
15 April 2008
from the government's point of view, it is the financing of hk's health care that is in need of urgent reform, due to 'an aging population and rising medical costs' which are an increasing burden on the current tax funded health care system. for this reason, a substantial part of the report focuses on different financing options, all of which require additional funding. from the middle class it seems.
legislator fernando cheung notes the absurdity of the government refusing to tax capital while insisting on the necessity of taxing those with an average wage of hkd 10, 000 or more in its various financing options (such as a mandatory medical savings account like in singapore).
"one cannot but feel that true to its character as a bulwark of business, the SAR government recognizes a tax only when it is levied on profit-making; when a tax is levied on wage-earners, the government finds it appropriate to call the tax by numerous other names except admit it is a tax... the government owes society an explanation as to why it considers it appropriate to impose the entire burden on wage-earners with monthly income at $10,000 and above."
it is therefore important that issues of equity and access are discussed, and some social consensus reached on the reasons and benefits of health care reform and financing.
01 April 2008
24 March 2008
i became familiar with the disease over the past few months, when reading cases of starvation and tb related deaths amongst a weaving community in varanasi, india.
"The decline of India’s weaving industry, particularly the hand woven sari trade of Varanasi--which once enjoyed great prosperity—has led to many deaths, from hunger and tuberculosis... While the cases involving malnutrition and starvation clearly indicate the complete failure of India’s food distribution system and relevant government bureaucracies, the cases of tuberculosis infection spotlight the country’s failing health care system."
"The decline of the handloom weaving industry—caused by the introduction of the power loom, cheap imports and a lack of government intervention—has led to many weavers being out of work. These weavers were proud of their occupation, which was a family trade, passed on through several generations. One such weaver, Jamaluddin, who has been working as a weaver for about 20 years, is racked with illness and weakening eyesight. He has now given up weaving and taken to carpentry, a trade alien to him. He earns only 20 -25 rupees a day, with which he cannot make ends meet. His child is also sick, but he cannot afford medical treatment for his child or himself. Jamaluddin told the tribunal that he burns up all the medical prescriptions in rage and frustration."
you can read the entire article here.
another concern regarding tb is the prevalence of infection amongst those suffering from HIV/AIDS. (this might be a good topic for my next africa post). according to india's health and family welfare minister, not only are women more prone to HIV infections, but at present tb is the "single biggest killer of young women".
world tb day tells you what is being done to change this situation.
12 March 2008
"The United States news media has failed to produce sustained coverage of Islam to challenge the easy assumptions, gross generalizations or untested rhetoric that shape perceptions of Muslims."
with regard to Middle East coverage, Bennett says the media "fails to demonstrate a critical understanding of the region’s history, culture and context." (this can be said of many regions and many media).
one of Bennett's solutions to this failure is to bring in more muslim journalists. hmm, i can see this going down well with the more conservative sector of the american population.
i agree with the principle, but i don't think that by simply having more muslim journalists, the issue of representation is solved. more importantly, as he noted himself, "coverage of Islam is always dominated by political and military conflict and for all sides 'the media is a part of the battle space'." all media has its own ideology and political stance; this will inevitably affect its portrayal of anything, including islam. in that case, it is not the journalists but the editors and managing boards that would need to be muslim.
03 March 2008
how interesting. you can read the bbc story here, which gives some info on the poll results; the majority of muslims want democracy, but not a democracy imposed by the west, for instance. doesn't sound much like the muslims the mainstream media generally portrays. more info on the book is also available here.
02 March 2008
today, i came across a bbc story on how china is responsible for africa's eroding press freedom, according to a report by reporters without borders. the story was not able to prove the claim in anyway; i don't know if the actual report does any better. you can read some african reactions to this here, all of which, needless to say, were quite scathing of the claim.
i haven't researched chinese reactions yet, but i wouldn't be surprised if they were just as harsh. i make no denial of china's atrocious human rights record, but i have to say that it is arrogance of the highest order, to claim that china is somehow responsible for all of africa's ills. especially when you fail to take into account all the players involved.
25 February 2008
since then, i have learnt that the structure is a mobile art container designed by architect zaha hadid, whose work i saw (and loved) at new york's guggenheim museum. the mobile art exhibition is a chanel sponsored project, and you can check out this interactive website for more info.
the mobile container is debuting in hk on february 27, and will go on till april 5, before being dismantled and taken on to tokyo, new york, london, moscow and paris.
according to hk ticketing, over 20 artists from all over the world have taken part in this:
"MOBILE ART is not so much an exhibition to be visited as a landscape to wander through in a completely new way: to experience the artists' installations, visitors equipped with a MP3 player must let themselves be guided mentally and physically by a soundtrack created by the label "Soundwalk" in collaboration with each of the artists. This soundtrack mixes the original music of a diverse range of artists with voice and ambient sound effects.
MOBILE ART is above all a new form of artistic expression, an unique experience, combining architecture, art, sound creation and fashion. "
16 February 2008
one of these is the inter-press service, which is a really good source of alternative stories and information--a must check out for everyone interested in international news.
David Li is chairman and ceo of Bank of East Asia, as well as a member of the Executive Council. a letter has been written to hk's chief executive Donald Tsang, regarding the need for Li to resign. there seem to be suggestions that this will not happen; that such behaviour is common in hk, and rarely makes any political waves. i do not keep up with hk's financial news, but i find this indifferent and callous attitude to the law appalling. (even worse, this attitude is far from confined to finance and business..)
11 February 2008
the series also does a good job of being informative, which is always a good thing. (having said that, i wouldn't want anyone to think it was representative of all muslim communities).
23 January 2008
the idea metamorphosed from the 'world cafe', which is more about dialogue and collective action ('if you can change the conversation you can change the future').
my interest however, is on sharing different knowledge; discussion with a group of people from different fields, with different talents. i recall a long ago conversation where z mentioned having all her friends--comprising of artists, musicians and writers--live in one apartment building, and having them take turns teaching their kids their various talents. or a more recent conversation with colleagues, of how amongst us we can teach our kids numerous languages.
before we get to the kids, we can consider applying this to ourselves. if i look at my immediate circle of friends, they all have their own areas of professional expertise, together with other talents. and yet, we rarely discuss such things. as fascinating as the idea seems, i am not sure how practical or feasible it really is... any ideas/thoughts?
21 January 2008
Stop blocking a UN human rights monitoring mission in Sri Lanka
"The state, as the sovereign, has an obligation to investigate into all crimes irrespective as to whether these are done by organised criminal gangs, terrorists or state agencies themselves. This obligation implies that there needs to be a competent and impartial criminal investigation branch within the policing system which has not been corrupted or impaired by political interference. There is consensus within Sri Lanka that the capacity of the police investigation system has been gravely diminished due to political interference over several years and that its internal capacity for investigations has become extremely limited. When it comes to organised crimes, acts of terrorists and also extrajudicial acts of the military and the police, the police investigation system has not demonstrated any capacity for effective investigations in recent years."
There have been calls by civil society groups within Sri Lanka as well as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour, for the government to agree to a UN field presence in the country. The recent ending of the 'official truce' (such as it was) with the LTTE by the government can only worsen the widespread killings, disappearances and other abuses faced by citizens on a daily basis. While an OHCHR presence in the country will not stop all of this absolutely, it will definitely make a difference.
Protect the independence of Korea's National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)
"The NHRCK is an internationally highly regarded national human rights institution (NHRI), indeed a model for other countries. The Commission is a very active institution at the national level, and an engaging force at the regional and international levels as an important member of the Asia Pacific Forum and a Vice Chair of the International Coordinating Committee of National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights (ICC).
The intended placement could negatively influence the international standing of the NHRCK and could erode its national position. It could also impact on public perceptions of its independence and compliance with the internationally accepted benchmarks for NHRIs, the Paris Principles, (UN GA resolution 48/134). This could in turn affect the NHRCK accreditation with the ICC and the Republic of Korea’s excellent reputation in the international human rights system."
18 January 2008
even though i KNOW all this occurred, it seems very ephemeral now. it is one day later, and i already feel like much time has passed. like the wisps of ilm that i could not fully grasp, which float around inside my head, and will very soon fade away.