The Sentencing of a Killer and Odd Progress in South Africa

Posted on | augustus 29, 2012 | No Comments

[Eugene Terre'Blanche against the backdrop of an AWB flag, From The Guardian via Google Images]

I hope you will all forgive my recent break from blogging. But I am back and plan to resume regular posting starting now.

Obviously a great deal has transpired across the continent in recent weeks. And nowhere has seen fissures split wider than in South Africa (a post on the ramifications of the mining strike will follow). One of the stories that caught my eye and that connects the country’s tortured past with its still sometimes troubled presence was the sentencing of the killer of Eugene Terre’Blanche.

Terre’Blanche was a fascinating but repulsive figure. The leader of the far-right paramilitary Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB — Afrikaner Resistance Movement) Terre’Blanche was unrepentant in his continued calls for white supremacy and Afrikaner nationalism. He was known for brutalizing the black farmworkers he employed (and some he did not) and continued to call for an all-white state within South Africa if he could not claim the whole. Most of the time Terre’blanche was a clown, but it is easy to forget that he was a clown with a disturbing number of followers who fomented resistance to the CODESA meetings that resulted in the negotiated settlement that ended Apartheid and led to the election of Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress.
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The struggle for the Political Support of the Surinamese Diaspora

Posted on | augustus 29, 2012 | No Comments


Ze hebben 50,000 gegeven om hun verhaal aan de Diapora in Nederland te verkopen. Maar de steun die ze in NL aanboren is onstabiel en labiel, een groep die nergens geworteld is, en die zich nergens thuis voelt…..Wat ze doen is de mensen afhouden van de samenleving waaruit ze nooit meer vertrekken, om ze lekker te maken voor iets wat ze nooit zullen krijgen, nl stemrecht in Suriname (Natascha Adama, FACEBOOK).

(Dutch Translation: They spent 50,000 euro’s to sell their story to the Diaspora in the Netherlands, on an unstable and fragile support market. What is the purpose of this action, when taking into account that the Surinamese Diaspora in the Netherlands, specifically in Amsterdam South-East is not rooted in neither the Dutch society nor the Surinamese……Why are they (NDP) keeping the Diaspora rooting, given the fact that they will never leave, baiting them with voting rights, that will never be granted (by this government)

The 2010 elections in Suriname uncloaked a new support market, a market determined by the Diaspora in Europe. Why is this development so very interesting? And what is the relevance of said support market?

What immediately springs to mind is why is this category so important for the National Democratic Party (NDP), what are they trying to achieve by wooing a group of foreigners, albeit with Surinamese ancestry? Will they offer this category people the vote?

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From Mao suits to Polo Shirts

Posted on | augustus 29, 2012 | No Comments

Recently, while reading an unofficial report on the proceedings of the trial of Gu Kailai, I noticed something that has long fascinated me about modern China. Those following the news may have seen that Gu, the wife of fallen Communist chief Bo Xilai, has just received a suspended death sentence for poisoning a British businessman. Yet it was not legal improprieties that caught my attention, these seemed about par for the course of a Chinese criminal trial. Instead, it was another facet of contemporary Chinese culture that attracted my attention, the ubiquity of the polo shirt. The report included pictures of Zhang Xiaojun, Gu’s alleged co-conspirator, and prominent Beijing attorney Shen Zhigeng (who despite allegedly being Gu’s first choice to represent her was only allowed to attend as an observer), both sporting polo shirts. Compare this to any American courtroom and the difference is stark (even Michael Jackson wore suits to his trials).
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Bangladesh: Immediately release illegally arrested gay men by police

Posted on | augustus 29, 2012 | No Comments

Mrs. Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh, 

Re: Bangladesh: Immediately release illegally arrested gay men by police

Dear Prime Minister,

I am William Nicholas Gomes, Human Rights Ambassador for

I have been informed regarding an alarming situation by Boys of Bangladesh, popularly known as BoB, is the oldest and the largest network of self-identified Bangladeshi gay men from home and abroad. Based in Dhaka, this non-registered, non-funded and non-formal group is run by a pool of volunteers.

I came to know that three gay men were illegally arrested by Bangladesh in Sylhet. While Bangladeshi young gay men Sumon, Jakir and British citizen Alen were enjoying their time in a hotel in Sylhet, the Kotwali police breach the privacy and illegally detained them in custody.
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Israel uses Caterpillar bulldozers to block roads, isolate Palestinian villages (VIDEO)

Posted on | augustus 29, 2012 | No Comments

Israeli forces were caught on camera when they blocked Palestinian roads in the south Hebron hills area of the occupied West Bank using Caterpillar armored bulldozers.

Caterpillar is the subject of an international divestment campaign because its equipment has been routinely used by Israel to demolish Palestinian homes and other illegal activities.

Rachel Corrie, the American peace activist, was crushed to death in Gaza on 16 March 2003 by an armored Caterpillar D9-3 bulldozer as she sought to protect a Palestinian family home from destruction.
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