Thursday, May 22, 2008
it's almost inconceivable how anyone could make george. w. bush look good, but Burma's military leader, Gen Than Shwe, has done the impossible.
1st pic: all those medals do look nicely polished.
2nd pic: the reality of the burmese government's shame.
3rd pic: and a a nicely choreographed photo-op, except i don't see too many thousand homeless people queuing up for the clean drinking water...
time to rename the united nations. i was thinking more appropriate along the lines of "what time's lunch?"
the UN secretary general obviously has a bit of a memory problem when it comes to hundreds of thousands of people left to fend for themselves, so here's a reminder:
UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon pledged to step up efforts to prevent another genocide at a ceremony marking the 14th anniversary of the mass slaughter in Rwanda.
Hovering over the ceremony at the delegate’s entrance to UN headquarters was the five-year conflict in Darfur which the UN says has killed more than 200,000 people and forced at least 2.5 million to flee their homes.
Eugenie Mukeshimana, who lost her husband and parents in the Rwandan genocide, told several hundred UN staffers that “the sense of loss that survivors feel is very deep”, noting that there are mothers in Rwanda who have no children, no home, no food and no medical care.
“They are still hoping that the future will be better not only for them but for future generations,” she said. “However, we are also concerned that what happened to us is happening now to mothers in Darfur, and it could be happening in the future if we don’t pay attention.”
Ms Mukeshimana, who was pregnant during the genocide and now has a 14-year-old daughter, then lit a candle in memory of the victims, surrounded by nine Rwandan children, symbolising the country’s future.
Rwanda’s genocide began hours after a plane carrying President Juvenal Habyarimana was mysteriously shot down as it approached the capital, Kigali, on April 6, 1994.
The 100-day slaughter, in which more than 500,000 minority Tutsis and moderate members of the Hutu majority were killed by Hutu extremists, ended after Tutsi-led rebels ousted the extremist Hutu government that orchestrated the killings.
The secretary general stressed that the United Nations – which did nothing to stop the genocide – “has a moral duty to act on the lessons of Rwanda”.
“That is why this day is also a call to bolster efforts to prevent another genocide,” he said. “It is a cause I am resolved to pursue, in my time as UN secretary-general and in the years beyond.”