FEATURED PHOTOS AND STORIES

Tuesday:  November 25, 2014

When Will Chile's Post Office's Re-open? 

(PHOTO: Workers set up camp at Santiago's Rio Mapocho/Mason Bryan, The Santiago Times)Chile nears 1 month without mail service as postal worker protests continue. This week local branches of the 5 unions representing Correos de Chile voted on whether to continue their strike into a 2nd month, rejecting the union's offer. For a week the workers have set up camp on the banks of Santiago's Río Mapocho displaying banners outlining their demands; framing the issue as a division of the rich & the poor. The strike’s main slogan? “Si tocan a uno, nos tocan a todos,” it reads - if it affects 1 of us, it affects all of us. (Read more at The Santiago Times)

WHO convenes emergency talks on MERS virus

 

(PHOTO: Saudi men walk to the King Fahad hospital in the city of Hofuf, east of the capital Riyadh on June 16, 2013/Fayez Nureldine)The World Health Organization announced Friday it had convened emergency talks on the enigmatic, deadly MERS virus, which is striking hardest in Saudi Arabia. The move comes amid concern about the potential impact of October's Islamic hajj pilgrimage, when millions of people from around the globe will head to & from Saudi Arabia.  WHO health security chief Keiji Fukuda said the MERS meeting would take place Tuesday as a telephone conference & he  told reporters it was a "proactive move".  The meeting could decide whether to label MERS an international health emergency, he added.  The first recorded MERS death was in June 2012 in Saudi Arabia & the number of infections has ticked up, with almost 20 per month in April, May & June taking it to 79.  (Read more at Xinhua)

LINKS TO OTHER STORIES

                                

Dreams and nightmares - Chinese leaders have come to realize the country should become a great paladin of the free market & democracy & embrace them strongly, just as the West is rejecting them because it's realizing they're backfiring. This is the "Chinese Dream" - working better than the American dream.  Or is it just too fanciful?  By Francesco Sisci

Baby step towards democracy in Myanmar  - While the sweeping wins Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy has projected in Sunday's by-elections haven't been confirmed, it is certain that the surging grassroots support on display has put Myanmar's military-backed ruling party on notice. By Brian McCartan

The South: Busy at the polls - South Korea's parliamentary polls will indicate how potent a national backlash is against President Lee Myung-bak's conservatism, perceived cronyism & pro-conglomerate policies, while offering insight into December's presidential vote. Desire for change in the macho milieu of politics in Seoul can be seen in a proliferation of female candidates.  By Aidan Foster-Carter  

Pakistan climbs 'wind' league - Pakistan is turning to wind power to help ease its desperate shortage of energy,& the country could soon be among the world's top 20 producers. Workers & farmers, their land taken for the turbine towers, may be the last to benefit.  By Zofeen Ebrahim

Turkey cuts Iran oil imports - Turkey is to slash its Iranian oil imports as it seeks exemptions from United States penalties linked to sanctions against Tehran. Less noticed, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in the Iranian capital last week, signed deals aimed at doubling trade between the two countries.  By Robert M. Cutler

HUM HUMOR

"CLIMATE CHANGE: EVERYWHERE"

CARTOON: Peter Broelman, Australia/BROELMAN.com.au) "HILLARY ROUND THE WORLD"

(CARTOON: Taylor Jones/Politicalcartoons.com)

"HOW THE MIGHTY FALL"

(CARTOON: Michael Ramirez/Weekly Standard)

COUNTRIES AND TERRITORIES
WORLD CLOCKS
   
San Marino     Mongolia
   
Vancouver     Ghana
"THE GIRL EFFECT" - VIDEO

Advertisement

 

HUM SEARCH
@HUMNEWS ON TWITTER

`SUPPORT-A-REPORTER'

 Follow Me on Pinterest  Folo us on Pinterest.

Read some exciting news about our founder and FFI, here: http://bit.ly/12GJyXs

Are you a Global Citizen?Join us on GlobalCitizen.org to help end extreme poverty.

TRANSLATE HUMNEWS

THE HUM - OUR DAILY EMAIL OF WORLD HEADLINES
MY HUMPLANET

Do you have your eye on the world? Help us expand the global perspective and tell the stories that shape it.  SHARE what's happening locally, globally wherever you are, however you can. Upload your news, videos, pictures & articles HERE & we'll post them on  MY HUM PLANET CONNECT.  Learn something NEWS every day! THX

Advertisement

HUM BOOKS: Focus on FRIENDSHIP
  • Friendship in an Age of Economics: Resisting the Forces of Neoliberalism
    Friendship in an Age of Economics: Resisting the Forces of Neoliberalism
    by Todd May
  • Friends to the End: The True Value of Friendship
    Friends to the End: The True Value of Friendship
    by Bradley Trevor Greive
  • Friendship as a Way of Life: Foucault, AIDS, and the Politics of Shared Estrangement
    Friendship as a Way of Life: Foucault, AIDS, and the Politics of Shared Estrangement
    by Tom Roach
HUM SOCIAL GOOD

Learn more and join us here!

HUMNEWS SOCIAL MEDIA

  Look for HUMNEWS in the News Section of PULSE @www.pulse.me. For iPad, iPhone & Android-recently launched on deck for Samsung’s Galaxy tab.

Advertisement

HUM TWITTER FEEDS
10000 Women 9/11 9-11 92Y ABC News Abdel Futuh Abdoulaye Wade abductions Abidjan Abuja abyei Acapulco ACS Action Against Hunger ADB Adivasi Adjara adolescents Afghanistan Africa Africa Fashion Week Africa Human Development Report African Wax AFRICOM agriculture agrochemical Ahmad Ashkar Ai Weiwei aid Aid Effectiveness aid work aid workers AIDS Air Canada Air France airlines Aisha Gaddafi Alain Juppe Alan Fisher Alassane Ouattara Albania Albanians Alexandria Algeria Alina Vrejoiu Alliance of Small Island States al-Qaeda Amama Mbaba Amazon American Samoa Americas Amina Filali Amnesty International Amr Moussa ANC Andaman Islands Andes Andorra Angelina Jolie angola Anguilla Anna Hazare Ansar Dine Antarctica Antigua & Barbuda Antonio Guterres Antonio Patriota apartheid Apple Arab Spring Aral Sea Arctic Argentina Armenia Art Aruba ascetism ASEAN ASEM Asia Asia Pacific Asia Society Asian Development Bank Asylum Asylum-seekers Augusto Pinochet Aung San Suu Kyi Aurora Borealis Australia Autism Azawad Azerbaijan baby trafficking Baghdad Bahamas Bahrain Balkans Balthasar Garzon Baluchistan Ban Ki-moon Bangalore Bangkok BANGLADESH Barack Obama Barbados Bashar Assad Bashir Bashir al-Assad bats Beijing belarus Belgium BELIZE Belo Monte Benghazi Benin Berlusconi Bermuda Bettina Borgfeld Beyonce Bhutan Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation BILL GATES Bill McKibben bio fuel Bishkek Bitter Seeds black jails Boko Haram Bolivia Bono books Bosco Ntaganda Bosnia Bosnia-Herzegovina Botswana Bouthaina Kamel BRAC Brazil Brazilian government Brian Williams BRICS Britain British Indian Ocean Territory British Indian Territory British Virgin Islands broadband Bron Villet Bruce Springsteen Brunei Brunei Darussalam Bruno Pellaud Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burma Burundi Business Cairo Cambodia Cameroon Campesino Campesinos sin Terra Canada cancer Cape Town Cape Verde Carbon CARE Caribbean CARICOM Carlos Enrigue Garcia Gonzalez Carlos Travassos Cartagena Casablanca Catherine Ashton Catholic Relief Services Cayman Islands CBS Central Africa Central African Republic Central America Central Asia CGI Chad Charles Feeney Chernobyl Child Labor child labour child marriage child soldiers Children chile China China's Communist Party Chinese farmers Chocolate cholera Cholpan Nogoibaeva Christiane Amanpour Christianity Christmas Island CIDA CItigroup Citizen Ciudad Jarez climate climate change Clinton CLMV Countries cluster munitions CNN Cocos Island coffee Colombia Columbia University Commission for Africa Committee on World Food Security Committee To Protect Journalists commodities Commonwealth community-based organizations Comoros conflict Congo Congolese conservation consumer Contas River Contraception Cook Islands COP17 corruption Costa Rica Cote D'Ivoire cotton Council on Foreign Relations coup Cover The Night CPJ credit Crime Crimes Against Humanity crisis Croatia Cuba culture cyclone Cyprus Dadaab Dakar Damon Runyon Dan Lashof Dan Toole Darfur David Bernet David Von Kittelberger DDenmark Dear Kara Delhi democracy Democratic Republic of Congo demonstrations Dengue Fever Denmark dennis fentie Department of State depression Deraa Desmond Tutu developing countries development Diabetes Dilma Rousseff Disaster Risk disasters discrimination disease Diwali Djibouti Doctors without Borders Dominica Dominican Republic Dominique Strauss-Kahn DPKO DPRK Dr. Judy Dr. Judy Kuriansky Dr. Mark Welch Dr. William Gray DRC DRINKS drought Drug war Drugs Dubai Duncan McCargo Earth Hour Earthquake East Africa East Timor Easter Island Eastern Europe ECHO economy ECOSOC ECOWAS Ecuador Education Egypt Eid Eirene El Alto EL SALVADOR El Trabajo de Crecer Election elections electricity Elizabeth Okoro Ellen Johnson SIrleaf Emerging emerging markets energy Energy4All enough project environment Environmental Defense Fund equality Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia ethnic cleansing EU Eurasia EurasiaNet Europe European Union expats explosion Facebook Falkland Islands famine FAO FARC farmers Farming Faroe Islands FASHION Father Wismick Jean Charles Federated States of Micronesia Feeding America Felipe Calderon Femicide Fernando Lugo Festival FGM FIFA Fiji Fiji Islands Films finance Finland flood floods food food crisis food security Forbes Ford Foundation foreign aid foreign assistance foreign correspondents club of China Foreign Policy Forest Whitaker Foxconn France FRENCH GUIANA French Polynesia fuel Future G20 G8 Gabon Gabriel Elizondo Gaddafi Gambia Gandhi Ganges River Gangs Gao Gauteng Gaza Gbagbo GCC GDP Geena Davis Gender Genetically Modified Food Geneva Genocide George Clooney Georgia Germany Ghana Giants of Broadcasting Gibraltar Girl Effect Girls Giving Pledge Gladstone Harbour Glenn Ashton Global Compact Global Digital Solidarity Fund global food prices Global Fund Global Health Global Malaria Program Globalhealth Globalization GMO's GMO's India Golden Globes Goma Good Samaritan Center Goodluck Jonathan Google grassroots organizations Greece Greed Greenland Greg Mortenson Grenada GRIST GRULAC Guadeloupe Guam Guantanamo Guarani Guatemala Gucci Guinea Gulf of Aden GUYANA Habitat For Humanity Haiti Half the Sky Halloween Hamadoun-Toure Hamid Karzai Happiness Haze health Heglig Helen Wang Hershey hhuman rights Hillary Clinton Hindu HIV HIV/AIDS HIVAIDS Hoffman Hollywood Hollywood Foreign Press Association homosexuality Honduras hookah Horn of Africa Hotel Housing HSBC Hu Jintao Hubble Telescope Hugo Chavez Hult Global Case Challenge HUM Human Impact Institute human rights Human Rights Watch Human Rights Watch Film Festival human trafficking Human Unlimited Media Humanitarian humanitarian work HUMmingbirdz Hunger hurricane Hurricane Rina IAEA IAVI Ibrahim Azim ICC Iceland ICG ICRC IHL ILO IMF immigrants Immigration improved cook stoves Imran Garda India Indian Ocean Indians Indigenous Indonesia inequality information infrastructure Innocence of Muslims Innovation INSI International Aid international community International Criminal Court International Crisis Group international development International Human Rights Day International Labour Organization International Maritime Board International Red Cross Internet Internews Interpol investing investment Invisible Children IO IOC IOM IPad IPhone Iran Iraq IRC Ireland irrigation Islam Islamabad Islamic Broadcasting Union Islamic Republic of Iran Islamists Islamophobia Islands Israel Italy ITC ITU Ivory Coast IWD Jamaica Japan Jarvis Island Jason Russell Je Yang Camp Jerusalem Jerusalem Post Jezebel Jim Rogers Jody Williams Johannesburg John McCain John Prendergast JOIDES Resolution Jordan Jose Carlos Meirelles Jose Graziano Da Silva Joseph Kabila Joseph Kony journalism journalists Joyce Banda Jr Judy Kuriansky Julia Gillard Kachin State Kah Walla Kaingang Kano Karachi Karen Attiah Karl Marx Kashmir Kazakhstan kenya Kenya Airways kgb Khaled Said Kidal Kigali Kim Jong-il King Mswati Kiribati Koror Kosovo Kurdistan Workers' Party Kurds Kuwait Kyoto Treaty Kyrgyzstan La Nina Labuje camp Lagos landmines Laos Las Vegas latin america Latvia Laurent Gbagbo Laurie Garrett LDCs Lebanon Leslie Lane Lesotho Lesser Antilles Leyla Qasim LGBT Liberia Libya Liechtenstein Literacy Liu Changlong Liuxiazhuang London London Stock Exchange Louise Arbour LRA LTTE lukasenka LUNCH Luxembourg lybia M23 Macau Macedonia Madagascar Maggie Padlewska Maha Kumbh Mela Mahatma Gandhi Mahmoud Abbas Mahmoud Ahmadinejad malaria Malawi Malaysia maldives Mali malnutrition Malvinas Islands Manuel Zelaya Margaret Chan Marie Claire Marina Cue marine Mark Fitzpatrick Marrakesh Marshall Islands Martin Indyk Martin Luther King Martinique Marwan Bishara Mary Robinson MASERU Mashable Mastercard Foundation maternal health mauritania Mauritius Max Frisch Mayotte MDG Summit MDGs MDG's media Melanesia Melanesian Spearhead Group Memorial Day Memphis Mental Health Mercy Corps Mexican Red Cross mexico Mia Farrow Micha Peled Michael Bociurkiw Michelle Funk Micronesia micronutrient initiative micronutrients Middle East migrants migration Mike Hanna millennium development goals Mine Ban Treaty mining Misogyny Misrata Miss Universe Mississippi river Miyagi MLK Mogadishu Mohamed Cheikh Biadilah Mohammad Nasheed Mohammad Waheed Hassan Moldova Money Mongolia Mongolian Stock Exchange Monsanto Montenegro MONTSERRAT Morocco Mothers Mozambique Mr. Gay World MSF Mswati Mt. Merapi Muammar Gaddafi Mubarak Muhammed Munduruku Murder Musharraf Muslim Brotherhood Mustapha Erramid Myanmar MYUGANDA NAB Nahru Nairobi Namibia NASA Natalie Billon national congress party National Congress Party (NCP) National Democratic Force National Science Foundation NATO Natural Resources Defense Fund Nauru NBC News Nelson Mandella NEMA Nepal Netherlands Antilles Nevada New Caledonia New Jersey New York New Zealand NGO nicaragua Nicholas Kristof Nick Popow Niergai Nigel Fisher Niger Nigeria Nigerian elections Nike Nike Foundation Niue Nobel Nobel Women's Initiative Nokia Non-Aligned Movement North Africa North Kivu North Korea Northern Mexico Norway not on our watch Nuclear nuclear power plant Nutrition NYC OAS Obama OccupyNigeria Ocean Ocean Health Index oceans OCED OCHA OECD OHCHR Ohrid Framework Agreement OIC Oil Olena Sullivan OLPC Olympics Oman Omar al-Bashir Omar Suleiman One Laptop Per Child One Village Planet-Women's Development Initiative Oprah Organization of American States Organization of Islamic Countries Osama bin Laden OSCE Ouattara OXFAM Oxi P-5 Pacific Pacific Institute of Public Policy Pacific Island Forum Pacific Small Island Developing States Pakistan Palau Palestine Palestinian Liberation Organization Palestinians Palocci Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Parana Park Won Soon Paul Giannone Paul Kagame Paul Martin PDP Peace Peacekeepers Peacekeeping PEACEMEAL PEPFAR Perspective Peru philanthropy Philippines Pilay Piracy Pirates Pitcairn PKK PNG Pokuaa Busumru-Banson polio politics pollution Pope Benedict population Pork Port-au-Prince Porto Alegre Portugal poverty President Asif Zardari President Bingu wa Mutharika President Joseph Kabila President Karzai President Lee Myung-bak President Thein Sein Press Freedom Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski Prime Minister Shekh Hasina Wajed Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani Prince Zeid protests Proview Puerto Rico Putin Qatar Quetta rainforest Ramadan rape Rarotonga Ray Chambers RC Palmer Red Cross Reduction referendum refugees religion remittances Reporters Without Borders Reproductive Rights Republic of Congo Republic of South Sudan Reunion Island Richard Branson Richard Parsons Richard Pithouse Richmond Rick Steves Rio Branco Rio de Janeiro Rio Grande do Sul RIO+20 Robert Mugabe Robinah Alambuya Romania Ronit Avi Room to Read Rousseff Rowan Jacobsen Roxy Marosa Royal Air Maroc Russell Daisey Russia Rwanda S-5 SACMEQ sacsis Sahel Sahel NOW Saint Helena Island Salafists Saliem Fakir Salva Kiir Salvador Dali Samoa San Marino sanctions Sanitation Saudi Arabia Save the Children Savvy Traveller Scenarios From the Sahel ScenariosUSA security Security Council Senegal Senetable Seoul Serbia Sergio Vieira de Mello Seth Berkley sex trafficking Sexism sexual abuse Seychelles Sharia Sharks Shashi Tharoor Shirley Wessels shisha Shreeya Sinha Shrein Dewani Sierra Leone Sindh Singapore Skype Slovakia Slovenia smoking Social Good Summit social development social media Solar Solar Panels SolarAid Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South America South China Sea South Kordofan South Korea South Pacific South Sudan Southeast Asia Southern Kordofan Southern Sudan South-South cooperation South-Sudan Southwest Farm Press Soweto Soya Spain SPLA sports Sri Lanka St . Vincent & The Grenadines St Lucia St. Kitts and Nevis St. Maarten St. Vincent and the Grenadines Stand Up For Peace Project starvation statelessness steel StopRape Students Sub-Saharan Africa sudan sudan people's liberation movement Summitt of the Americas Superstorm Sandy Surfing SURINAME Sustainable development Svalbard Svalbard & Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syria Tahiti Taiwan Tajikistan Taliban Tanzania technology Ted Turner Tehran Terena terror Thailand Thaksin The Arab Spring The Bahamas The Caribbean The Carter Center The Elders The Enough Project The Gambia The Hunger Games The Marshall Islands the Middle East The Netherlands The Ocean Project the Philippines The Republic of South Sudan The Surfrider Foundation The Whistleblower theatre Thein Sein Themrise Khan Three Cups of Tea Tibet Tiger Tigers Tikki Pang Tim Hetherington Timbuktu Timor-Leste Tobacco Togo Toilets Tokelau Tom Schelling Tonga Tony Lake Toronto tourism trade Trademarks trafficking travel Trinidad & Tobago Trinidad and Tobago Tripoli tsunami Tuareg Tuberculosis Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks & Caicos Tuvalu Twitter Typhoon Bopha Typhoon Pablo UAE Uganda UK Ukraine UN UN Clean Development Mechanism UN Food and Agriculture Organization UN Foundation UN Peacekeepers UN Security Council un techo para mi pais UN Women UNAIDS UNCTAD UNDP UNEP UNESCO UNFCC UNFPA UNHabitat UNHCR unicef Union Solidarity and Development Party UNISDR United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United Nations United States United to End Genocide University of South Florida UNOCI UNRWA urbanization Uruguay US US Peace Corps US Supreme Court US Troops USA Uzbekistan Vancouver Vandana Shiva Vanuatu Vanuatu. Fiji Venezuela Vestergaard Vice President Joyce Banda Victoria Hazou Vidal Vega Vietnam Vii VIIPhotography Viktor Yanukovych Vladimir Putin Vladivostok Vlisco Vodafone volcano Walmart War Water West Africa West Bank Western Sahara WFP WHO wimax Wine Woman Women Women's Economic Opportunity World World AIDS Day World Bank World Cup World Economic Forum World Food Day World Food Prize World Food Programme World Health Assembly world hunger World Refugee Day WorldCup WTO WWF Xi Jinping Xingu Yemen Youssou N'dour Youth Youth Olympics YouTube Yoweri Museveni Yukon Yulia Tymoshenko Zambia Zimbabwe Zuma

HUM QR CODE

Entries in EU (7)

Wednesday
Apr042012

Suriname's Slippery Slope (REPORT) 

(MAP: World Maps) (HN, 4/4/12) - Up until 3 weeks ago, President Desi Bouterse was Suriname’s most popular politician according to an opinion poll - despite his suspected murderous past.  

Throughout his life, he has been closely tied to the military regime that controlled the country and he was a leader in the 1980 Surinamese coup d'état which forced  President Johan Ferrier from power, declaring the country a Socialist Republic in August of that year.

The coup, transferred most of the political authority to the military leadership - making Bouterse the Chairman of the National Military Council until the beginning of the 1990s.

From 1980 until 1988, the country's Presidents, Ronald Venetiaan, Jules Wijdenbosch, and Venetiaan again - were essentially army-installed by Bouterse, who ruled as a de facto leader while trying on his own to return to power through elections.

In the 2010 Surinamese legislative election, Bouterse and his coalition, the Mega Combination (De Mega Combinatie) were voted to become the biggest party in Suriname though the coalition failed to gain an absolute majority in parliament by three seats, requiring 51.

Finally on July 19, 2010, Bouterse was elected as President of Suriname; and took office on August 12.

THE DECEMBER MURDERS - 1982

On December 8, 1982, 15 prominent political opponents of the military regime - thirteen civilians and two military officials - were taken from their homes to Fort Zeelandia and executed under the political eye of the then coup leader & army commander Desi Bouterse. 

After his 2010 inauguration, Bouterse immediately honored all nine still living conspirators, who together with him had been leaders of the 1980 coup, with the country's highest honor - the Grand Cordon of the Honorary Order of the Yellow Star.

(PHOTO: Desi Bouterse/Wikipedia) This led to great controversy internationally, since all nine are accused of involvement in the December murders.

The killings have cast a long shadow over Suriname for the last 30 years and it was only in 2007, 20 years after democracy had returned to the country, that a court case against the suspects began - with Bouterse thought to be the main perpetrator

Bouterse has denied any involvement in the killings, saying that the decision was made by the commander of the battalion, Paul Bhagwandas, who died in 1996, although he does take `political responsibility' for the event. 

INTERNATIONAL OUTLAW

Since his rule began in 2010, Bouterse has been accused on various occasions of involvement in illegal drug trafficking and in July 1999, he was convicted in absentia in the Netherlands (Suriname's former colonial parent, along with Britain) to nine years in prison for cocaine trafficking.  In 2011, Wikileaks published a cable in which the American embassy in Paramaribo, Suriname's capital, confirmed Bouterse's involvement in drug trafficking, together with Shaheed Roger Khan from Guyana.

From that point  there has been an international warrant for his arrest ordered by Europol, the European Union's criminal intelligence agency. 

But, according to the United Nations Convention against illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (UNODC), since he was convicted before his election as Head of State in 2010 he has no immunity from the prosecution.  

Even though he was found guilty in the Netherlands, he has remained free in Suriname. Though the Surinamese government said that it is preparing `a' case against the perpetrators of the December murders to be brought before a judge this Spring - as the statue of limitations on prosecution runs out.  

BOUTERSE AS PRESIDENT

None of this prevented Bouterse from being elected president in 2010 and becoming a well-liked politician among young voters in particular, who have been supportive of his election.

Within a year and a half, he has put the country back on the map in the region and attracted investors; while both friends and frenemies, including the United States and France, have praised his progress.  

Even the Caribbean leadership community CARICOM has honored Suriname by holding its  annual `Heads of Government' meeting in the country, March of this year.  

Representatives of the Surinamese parliament say that President Bouterse should give an explanation for the Wikileaks cable; but officials from Bouterse's office discard this as not being their problem.

(PHOTO: Desi Bouterse as military leader, 1985/Wikipedia) AMNESTY OUTRAGE

Now, the Surinamese parliament is debating a 1989 amnesty law - which would include a new amendment - granting President Desi Bouterse immunity from prosecution for his part in the 1982 killings.  Put forward by fellow party members of the former army commander, it is likely to be supported by almost all the coalition parties in parliament.

In an unusual move for the Surinamese law-making body which often takes years to vote on laws, the amnesty bill was announced two weeks ago, and started going through the assembly immediately. During last weekend's debate some parliamentarians asked not to even discuss the ‘December murders’, saying the bill has nothing to do it.

And its timing is no coincidence either - as the court martial period for the December murders is drawing to an end on April 13, when the public prosecutor will also sum up his case, a judge will hand down a sentence sometime in May.

Meanwhile, the issue has become an international outrage among governments and human rights groups.

The Dutch Foreign Affairs Minister Uri Rosenthal issued a statement this week saying Suriname should `abide by its international obligations'; and a spokesperson for the European Union's foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton said the so-called December murders must be `cleared up, as reconciliation will only be possible then'.  

Yesterday in London, Amnesty International’s Secretariat started a worldwide ‘Urgent Action’ campaign against passage of Suriname's Amnesty Act, calling on its networks to send e-mails to Suriname’s Parliament protesting against the bills passage over the next 6 weeks.  

WHAT DOES SURINAME WANT TO DO?

“We are young and we want stability in the country,” says Melvin Bouva, a member of Bouterse’s party and one of the authors of the amnesty bill. "Amnesty is the best solution for the country.”  

A sentiment which relates what politicians say is 'Suriname’s ever-present political pragmatism'.

Local rights organizations, relatives of those executed in 1982, and former President Venetiaan sent a letter to the National Assembly asking for the amnesty law to be rejected saying, "People have committed acts, let them bear the consequences now."

The bill needs a simple majority and the support of at least one of the government's coalition partners from either the Pertjajah Luhur (PL) party or the Interior Party ABOP to pass - and who also want to stay in power as part of Bourtese's coalition too.

But, Suriname is party to international treaties that consider crimes against humanity punishable under all circumstances and it remains to be seen if the country wants to face its past as a new regional leader, or move on, leaving ghosts in its closets.

The National Assembly is expected to finish its debate on the Amnesty law later this week. 

---HUMNEWS

Tuesday
Feb212012

G20 foreign ministers meet in Mexico; say `World is failing' (NEWS)

(PHOTO: Mexican Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa Cantellano speaks during the opening of the G20 Foreign Ministers Informal Meeting in Los Cabos, Baja California Sur state, Mexico, 2.19/Xinhua, Shi Sisi)LOS CABOS, Mexico -- Foreign ministers of the Group of 20 (G20) on Sunday convened in Los Cabos, a resort town in northwestern Mexico, to discuss important issues including global governance, food safety, climate change and green growth.

Mexican Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa, host of the meeting, said that frank and open dialogue would be held among G20 foreign ministers and officials from other invited countries at the two-day meeting from Sunday to Monday.

Mexico, which holds the G20 presidency this year, planned the meeting to "stimulate ideas" to promote the changes the world needs, said Espinosa.  "There are many important issues that affect the lives of billions of people across the world, on which the international community is failing to make any discernible progress," she said.

She called for progress to be made on issues such as eradicating famine and illiteracy, promoting green growth and sustainable development, and enhancing the rule of law.

The Mexican official, however, said the meeting, given its informal color, would not lead to any official documents.

"At this stage any results arising from these sessions will be mere recommendations for policy coherence among our countries and we do not intend to develop guidelines or formal documents to negotiate at the G20 Summit," she said.

According to the minister, the meeting have four major topics, namely the multilateral trade system, current global challenges, green growth and human development.

The meeting brought together 10 foreign ministers of G20 member economies, including U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd. The Chinese delegation is led by Assistant Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu. Mexico also invited representatives from non-G20 economies and international organizations to participate in the meeting.

Los Cabos, the coastal resort where the G20 Summit will take place in June, has adopted strict measures to beef up security. More police and soldiers have been deployed at the airports and along the major roads to maintain order and check the vehicles.

--- this article first appeared on Cam11

Related:

Mexican Presidency of the G20

Mexico will chair the G20 in 2012 and host the Leaders’ Summit in June of the same year. By assuming the annual Presidency of the G20, as the second emerging country to do so at the Leaders’ level, and the first in Latin America, Mexico confirms its role as a responsible and constructive actor, both regionally and globally.

Mexico is firmly committed to achieving a successful Summit in regards to the agreements reached and their positive impact on the world economy. The Mexican Presidency will seek to follow up the agreements reached previously and will also work to make important contributions to these and other issues of the agenda of the G20. Moreover, Mexico will promote an active and engaged participation of non-members, international organizations, think tanks and the private sector in order to make the G20 dialogue as inclusive, open and transparent as possible.

With this goal in mind, Mexico has established the following priorities:

1. Economic stabilization and structural reforms as foundations for growth and employment.

2. Strengthening the financial system and fostering financial inclusion to promote economic growth.

3. Improving the international financial architecture in an interconnected world.

4. Enhancing food security and addressing commodity price volatility..

5. Promoting sustainable development, green growth and the fight against climate change.

Wednesday
Feb152012

Foreign Medical Teams Admitted to Examine Ailing Former Ukrainian PM (REPORT)

Yevhenia Tymoshenko, the daughter of the ex-Prime Minister, has complained of lack of access to her mother. CREDIT: Interfax Ukraine(HN, Feb 15, 2012) - Amid growing fears over the well-being of the former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, medical teams from Germany and Canada have arrived in the country to carry out their own examinations of the imprisoned opposition leader.

Tymoshenko, who was given a seven-year sentence for financial wrongdoing whilst in office after a trial that the European Union and the United States said was politically motivated, has been suffering from medical problems - primarily serious back pain - for several months.

A German team examined Tymoshenko Tuesday evening and were allegedly detained for three hours, according to her defense lawyer and Ukrainian politician, Serhiy Vlasenko. He added that prison officials have denied him the right, as a Ukrainian legislator, to access Tymoshenko at the Kachanivska penal colony in Kharkiv.

Vlasenko was also quoted as saying that, for more than five hours, the Canadian doctors were being pressured to disclose the diagnosis to representatives of the Health Ministry of Ukraine. He said the results of the checkup could be disclosed only to the patient, and "any person indicated by the patient," the Kyiv Post reported.

According to a joint order issued by the Foreign Ministry, Healthcare Ministry and Penitentiary Service, the medical commission comprises Ukrainian doctors, three Canadian and two German specialists.

The Canadian team were dispatched after strong intervention from the Government of Canada.

The Interfax news agency reported that the Germans left early on Wednesday with the results of their examination in a sealed envelope, which is to remain closed until another round of medical examinations are completed by Canadian doctors on Wednesday.

In addition, Tymoshenko's daughter, Yevgenia, said she was not allowed to visit her mother.

She said: “They’re not letting me in for the second day in a row. We don’t know what is going on. We don’t understand what pressure she is under there. Yesterday we had all the prosecutor’s office and prison service representatives there. They put a lot of pressure on her to make her agree to the (presence of) Ukrainian doctors, which she has solid grounds to refuse....we don’t know either her diagnosis, or what is happening to her.”

She said she did not rule out that the diagnosis of her mother made by the foreign doctors might be falsified.

The Canadian team is composed of general practice doctors George Rewa and Peter Kujtan, and also an obstetrician-gynecologist Christine Derzko, according to Ukrainian media reports.

"We are here on a humanitarian basis. We were welcomed very well, and we will be conducting the research on strictly scientific basis. We proceed from the premise that the Government will make a conclusion judging from the results of this humanitarian mission," Rewa told journalists at the airport, according to the Ukrainian News Agency.

Western governments, led by European Union officials, have criticized the politicization of Tymoshenko's trial and had put pressure on Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich to release her. The two are long-time political opponents.

In a recent statement, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said: “Canada is very pleased that our government’s interventions have paved the way for three Canadian doctors to participate in the international medical commission being established by the Government of Ukraine to independently assess the health of former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

"While this is a welcome development, we hope that outstanding issues can be resolved expeditiously to allow doctors access to Ms. Tymoshenko as soon as possible. Ms. Tymoshenko’s health, diagnosis and treatment should remain the primary focus of all involved.

"Canada remains concerned by the apparently arbitrary and politically biased nature of judicial proceedings against Ms. Tymoshenko and other individuals, which undermine the rule of law. We stand ready to work with Ukraine to help build a democratic, open and prosperous society.

- HUMNEWS staff

Friday
Jun242011

As Peace Takes Hold in Isolated Burundi, Donor Crisis Feared (REPORT)

Waiting for change in Burundi: According to UNICEF about 50% of the population is under 18 years old CREDIT: HUMNEWSBy a HUMNEWS Correspondent in East Africa

The global economic crisis and the drawing down of the emergency situation is translating into a decline in donor and humanitarian aid agency activity in Burundi - one of the poorest nations on the planet.

As the scarred nation struggles to emerge from four wars since independence in 1962 - between 1993 and 2006 some 300,000 people were killed - Burundi finds itself near the bottom of the UN's Human Development Index - with a GDP per capita of just $110. More than two-thirds of the population lives below the poverty line.

 

The health system is in a shambles and, according to UNICEF, almost 60% of children are stunted, a key manifestation of malnutrition.

On the economic side, the former Belgian colony has a very small tax base and is heavily reliant on external aid. It is set to miss most of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). One of the most densely populated places in the world, it has difficulties feeding its 8-million inhabitants. Quite the change from independence until 1993, when Burundi's economic performance was one of the best in Africa.

Yet the landlocked, East African country hardly registers on the radar of major donor countries.

And crises elsewhere in the world means that cash-strapped agencies like the UN's World Food Programme (WFP) are scaling down their operations here.

"Maybe donors need to be told that they need to invest in Burundi to prevent another crisis," said a European diplomat. "You can either spend $100 now to treat a mildly ill patient or $1000 later to treat a severely ill patient."

However one main challenge, experts agree, is the provision of good governance. Diplomats say the current leadership is extremely inexperienced and lacking vision. "They are narrow-minded and introverted and are only interested in looking after their own constituencies," said one diplomat.

Periodic violence by armed bandits remains a problem in Burundi. Earlier this week gunmen in police uniforms killed five people.

The humanitarian arm of the European Community (ECHO) is shuttering the doors of its Burundi head office all together next year. Other UN agencies are also expressing fears about the cash situation a year or two up the road.

Part of the challenge in drawing donor attention is generating more media coverage, aid workers say. Few of the major western news agencies have a bureau in the capital Bujumbura, preferring instead to send correspondents from the East African media hub of Nairobi.

A man dries his coffee beans next to a highway near Gitega. Coffee exports represent about 90 percent of Burundi's export earnings. CREDIT: HUMNEWSRelatively peaceful and credible elections last year won the Maryland-sized country international applause. But rampant corruption, low capacity and frequent changes in the cabinet makes the shift from the emergency phase to long-term development difficult, experts say. Recently, western ambassadors wrote a scathing letter to the Government complaining of an escalation in extra-judicial killings.

After President Pierre Nkurunziza, an avid golf player, won the election last year, opposition figures have either fled the country or gone undercover.

A 2006 USAID-funded study recently found that what is needed is diversification of the economy - away from an over-reliance on coffee growing, which accounts for some 90 percent of export earnings. However landlocked and with the nearest seaport well over 1200 kilometers away in Dar-es-Salaam - via poor roads and customs barriers, connecting Burundi to the outside world is not a simple matter. Indicative of the lack of economic activity is that Bujumbura's lakeside port is operating a just a fraction of its capacity.

A Nairobi-based Western diplomat who follows Burundi said the country's only, long-term hope is to take advantage of the opportunities that can come from regional integration. He pointed to the small neighbouring country of Rwanda, which has recovered from its multi-year conflict much better and is even now boasting a tourism sector and functioning stock market.

Said the diplomat: "The Government will have to position itself to benefit fully from regional integration. Instead what we are seeing is a squandering of one opportunity after another. I'm seeing very little political will to open horizons.

"My message is to focus on integration. It will be a catastrophe if they don't."

One glimmer of hope is the prospect of new mining operations in the country. A Canadian mining company is said to have obtained exploration rights for gold deposits. Another is improving yield on coffee exports: the Seattle-based company Starbucks is said to be looking at Burundi as a market for beans.

And in another positive development to further integrate Burundi into the global economy, Seacom Ltd., a closely held company that operates a fiber-optic link off East Africa, said this month it plans to extend the high-bandwidth fibre-optic cable to Burundi.

The USAID study suggests development of the tourism sector as part of an economic development package. But Burundi's sandy beaches - it sits on the clean and majestic Lake Tanganyika - international-quality hotels and guest houses are little known to the jet-setting public. For visitors, it's possible to arrive at Bujumbura International Airport - one of the cleanest and most efficient in Africa - and be sitting on the beach drinking a can of locally-made Primus beer less than one hour after touchdown.Burundi already has some international-standard tourism assets, including a good international airport and the Bora Bora Beach Resort in Bujumbura (shown above). CREDIT: HUMNEWS

International air links are limited, but that may improve later this year with the addition of service by South African Airways. Sadly, deforestation and a decline in the wild animal population doesn't give the countryside the appeal of other East African countries. The part of the country with the most exotic vegetation and wildlife - bordering Congo and Rwanda - is still regarded as a security risk.

Saturday
Apr022011

Historic Elections in Nigeria Suspended Due to Irregularities (UPDATED)

The EU is heading an election observer mission in Nigeria. CREDIT: HUMNEWSUPDATED -- (HN, April 3, 2011) - In a huge embarrassment for Africa's third largest economy and regional superpower, elections for Nigeria's House of Representatives were suspended just four hours after tens of millions of registered voters started to head for voting stations.

The Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) said Saturday it has postponed the elections  for 109 seats in the Senate and 360 seats for the House of Representatives across the country to Monday, April 4th.

INEC chief Attihiru Jega said on TV that he blamed the postponement on ‘ unprecedented late arrival of results sheets’ to the country's 120,000 polling stations.

According to Nigeria's Vanguard newspaper, glitches on Saturday were caused by poor logistics, as materials arrived in many polling stations late. Voting materials reportedly failed to arrive in the capital Abuja and other regions, including Rivers, Bayelsa and Akwa Ibom, Edo and Delta, Plateau and Borno states. 

Later reports attributed the delay to the late delivery of ballot papers from Europe and South Africa. It remained unclear Sunday what would be the fate of the ballot papers already used.

There are fears that the crisis could stoke more violence in an election campaign that has already reportedly claimed the lives of hundreds of people in politically-motivated communal and sectarian violence across the country of 150 million people.

Late Saturday, the Commonwealth Observer Group (COG) said it was "naturally very disappointed" and that it sympathises with the "frustration" felt by the Nigerian people.

"We also call for calm and restraint on the part of all stakeholders, so that the elections can take place in an atmosphere of peace and order," said a statement issued by the Chair of the COG, Festus Mogae.

Some Sunday newspapers in Nigeria called Saturday's failed National Assembly vote an "election fiasco" and a "national shame."

The former Chieftain of the Alliance for Democracy, Musa Umar, told The Vanguard that the postponement was surprising. "This is the first time in the history of Nigeria that an election is postponed on the day fixed for it."

Opposition groups have been quoted as saying that the postponement is a deliberate attempt by the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) to prevent defeat at the polls.

Debo Adeniran, head of the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders pressure group, was quoted as calling the postponement "a national shame and a monumental waste of time and resources."

Election posters in Abuja. CREDIT: HUMNEWSWidespread disappointment was visible as ordinary Nigerians tweeted about their disbelief in the postponement. "It seems Nigerians showed up to do their civic duty in hoards but the government failed to do its part...unfortunately," said a student in Nigeria in Twitter post at 1730GMT today.

The debacle comes several weeks after a nationwide registration process had to be extended twice due to chaos involving computers and other equipment.

An election observer mission led by the European Union arrived in the country about two weeks ago to monitor the polls.

Next weekend elections for the presidency are scheduled to take place, followed by governorship elections in 36 states a week after that. Many will see this development as a major blow to Nigeria's desire to break a cycle of election fraud and violence.

- HUMNEWS staff

Tuesday
Oct262010

(Report) Tackling hunger in Nicaragua 

(photo: UN News) (HN, October 26, 2010) -- In an effort to check rising rural poverty and hunger in Nicaragua, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is helping the country’s government to support small-scale farmers boost their production of beans, maize, rice and other staple crops.

The agency said that there are 52.5 million hungry people in Latin America, citing high food prices and the global recession as among the main reasons for the region’s increasing food insecurity.

Although Nicaragua has made strides in the fight against hunger and poverty, it is still the second poorest country in the region after Haiti. In 2009 the GDP fell by almost 3% due to decreased export demand in the US and Central American markets, lower commodity prices for key agricultural exports, and lower remittance growth – remittances are equivalent to almost 15% of GDP.

In Nicaragua, poverty is a rural phenomenon, with two out of three people in the country-side living on less than $1 a day.

FAO is working with the Ministry of Agriculture and the European Union (EU) to help farmers’ associations increase their yields through a two-year, €3 million scheme which will, among other activities, focus on the delivery of high-quality seeds as well as the provision of technical support and marketing assistance  

During the planting season which lasted from May to June, nearly 5,000 hectares of land were planted with improved bean, maize and rice seeds provided by FAO to more than 4,000 farmers.

No results are available yet, but looking back on the harvest of late last year, Leonard Fagot, the agency’s project coordinator, said he is optimistic.  At the time, FAO assistance led to productivity increases of up to three times the national average in the central area of Jinotega.

Drought and pests hit the department of Nueva Guinea in south-eastern Nicaragua, and yields remained slightly under average. Nevertheless, Fagot is looking forward to the upcoming season. Many farmers will come and work with us again.

Related economic information

The US-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) has been in effect since April 2006 and has expanded export opportunities for many agricultural and manufactured goods. Textiles and apparel account for nearly 60% of Nicaragua's exports, but increases in the minimum wage during the ORTEGA administration will likely erode its comparative advantage in this industry. Nicaragua relies on international economic assistance to meet internal- and external-debt financing obligations. Foreign donors have curtailed this funding, however, in response to November 2008 electoral fraud. In early 2004, Nicaragua secured some $4.5 billion in foreign debt reduction under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative, and in October 2007, the IMF approved a new poverty reduction and growth facility (PRGF) program.

- HUMNews Staff (sources: UN, FAO, IMF)

Friday
Oct222010

HUMNEWS HEADLINES - October 22, 2010 (Europe and Eurasia) 

Armenia

Azerbaijani top official calls on Russia to say decisive word on Armenia’s “occupation”

Referendum on border opening to be conducted in Kars

Armenia-EU political cooperation efficiently develops

Armenian opposition leader upbeat on prisoner release

Most of Armenia’s economy in shadow

Seyran Ohanyan hopes for Armenian-British further military cooperation

Misinterpreted Encyclopedia: British and Russian publishers distort basic facts about Armenia  

Armenia’s National Assembly has renovated oval hall

Gibraltar

UK must defend waters, says opposition

Talks with Spain make a sudden return

Remembering Trafalgar

Kyrgyzstan

Russia, US could cooperate in Kyrgyzstan: president

CEC not ready to announce final election results in Kyrgyzstan

India facilitates Kyrgyzstan on parliamentary elections

In Kyrgyzstan 7-safe boxes containing ballot papers drip wet

German Development Bank to annul Kyrgyzstan’s €5 million debt to Germany

Troupe from Kyrgyzstan brings nomadic melodies

Liechtenstein

Corruption: Finance probes stretch limits of justice system

Moldova

EU gives green light to visa-free talks with Moldova

How to battle illegal logging in the face of low incomes and high wood demand?

Media watchdog: press freedom in EU, Balkans deteriorating

News report cast spotlight on education in Black Sea countries

Litmus along the Dniester

Mongolia

Internet public relations agencies offer some questionable services

Nomads no more: A steppe-land struggles with new riches

Mongolia win medals in World Sumo Championship (sports)  

Tajikistan

Tajiks drawn into radical Islam groups

War on Terror Tajik-style: Shave those beards  

Tajikistan modernizing Varzob HPP-1

Turkmenistan  

Gazprom considers joining Turkmenistan-to-India pipeline project

WHO recognizes Turkmenistan as free from malaria

Cheleken expansion program nearing completion (oil & gas news)