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Ace News Room Featured Writer Post Gender and Women Issues Human Rights Concerns South East Asia News

‘Trafficking of South Asian Women Migrants Workers ‘


Every year millions of women from poor communities across South Asia migrate to find employment so they can send money home to support their families. But many end-up being deceived and trafficked into jobs with extremely low wages or don’t get paid at all.

Their movements get restricted, their living and working conditions are very poor and they often suffer threats and all sorts of abuse.

Last year,UK Department for International Development (DFID), the International Labor Organization (ILO) & the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) launched the newWork in Freedom” programme to fight trafficking of women and girls from South-Asia. This programme is tackling the issue through its multifaceted approaches that work on addressing the pertinent reasons behind the continued exploitative trafficking of South Asian women.

It is my humble opinion that south asian women’s status in global-sphere is somewhat very limited, dehumanized and degrading.

This feeds into the heinous system that allows for the continued lowly status and manipulation of women from this region. This project is like a breath of fresh air because it is aiming to make migration safe for girls and women, travelling to work in the domestic labor and garment sectors in the Middle East and within South Asia.

It has also introduced a unique measure of using “mobile phones” and capacity building of language skills to assist migrant women in getting the much-needed help they would be requiring to get out of a nightmare.

The project is concentrating on three key departure countriesBangladesh, India and Nepal — and major destination countries – India, Jordan, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates. Please watch this heart wrenching video to hear a glimpse of what some migrant women workers went through.

Say no to Trafficking & Illegal Labour Manipulations!

Source: Work in Freedom Report

Writer  

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Ace News Room Featured Writer Post Human Rights Concerns South East Asia News

‘ South Asian Women’s Football 2014 ‘


The SAFF Women’s Championship, also called the South Asian Football Federation Women’s Cup, is the main association football competition of the women’s national football teams governed by the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF). The teams from 8 member countries include: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

So far, Indian women have retained all three cups, each time beating Nepal in the Cup finals. While women in Asia are often treated as second class citizens and denied the opportunities given to men, here’s one place where they have come out on their own — the football pitch.

Pakistan hosted this year’s championship and here are some glimpses of glory and glitches on the pitch.

Pakistan being demolished by Sri Lankan  team

792624-SAFFWEB-1416242183-744-640x480

Pakistan Women Spectators Turned into Big and Small Groups Alike

India retain SAFF Women's Championship 2014

Pakistan's Hajra Khan goes for the goal

Bhutan Struggling Under Nepali Onslaught

Nepal and India - Finalist Clash On

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Ace News Room Chuqs' News Featured Writer Post Middle East

‘ When Democracy Just Won’t Do ‘


We Americans are proud of our democracy....but in recent years it is not looking so inviting with all the loss of privacy and the massive violence going on in the heartland….but never thee mind we will export democracy to every part of the world whether it is wanted or not.

So you want an example….look No further than the crisis in the Middle East today….IRAQ!

Let us be honest our invasion to oust a dictator and establish a democracy in the Middle East has been one blunder after another.  Did any of the arrogant dicks that planned the Iraqi campaign in 2003 ever consider what would happen with Saddam gone?

Best answer is NO….they were too busy slobbering over the massive oil reserves to care….American ignorance and arrogance has created the events that are controlling the region today.

Hate to pee on anyone’s parade but democracy is NOT……. and I say again…NOT always the answer.  Because of the arrogance of the American controllers ISIS is here to stay……why?  ISIS is not an isolated bunch of jihadists that are pursuing their own agenda…ISIS has a unified vision and most are working to that vision.  AQ suffered with the death of Osama and some say we can do it again with al-Baghdadi…I do not agree.

If Saddam the bloodthirsty dictator were still in control none of today’s events would be occurring….as much as no one is willing to talk about this….they all know it is true.  The promise of democracy has created this situation….and personally I do know believe that democracy can cure the problem.

Believe it or not….democracy does not solve all problems…..and a vote does not make a country a democracy.

The major fault with the US thought process is that they do not understand the tribal mentality.  Because of arrogance and ignorance thousands have died and many thousands maimed…….sad part is that we Americans keep making the same mistakes over and over……all in the name of….democracy.  For democracy to be readily acceptable there needs to be at least a small amount of democratic experience….there is NONE in the Middle East and thus any attempt to bring democracy to the region is doomed before it begins.

The Middle East was a much calmer place when dictators ran the region……like it or not they did keep things in check.  And if we want a return to relative peaceful region maybe it is time to scrap the BS of a democracy and let a bloodthirsty dictator return to prominence…..it may not be the best thing for the people but the region as a whole would be a less volatile place….and that would mean that American troops would not be readily sacrificed to keep the peace and prop up a way of life that few appreciate.

Democracy cannot be forced fed to a people that are ambivalent to the concept…...it makes a good slogan but a poor substitute to stability.

Sometimes democracy just won’t do………………

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Ace News Room Blessed Little Children Come Unto Me Featured Writer Post

‘ War & Money Kills Children & Love Provides the Way to the ‘ Tree of Life ‘


The UN agency UNICEF on Monday declared 2014 a devastating year for children. This is according to recent report as many as 15 million are caught in conflicts in Central African Republic, Iraq, South Sudan, Syria, Ukraine and the Palestinian territories.

When nations fight for their version of the truth people suffer and the ‘ four horsemen of the apocalypse ‘ ride forth creating devastation and destruction.

This year has become the worst year for infant deaths ever, and with conflicts around the world increasing many more will die.

Now before you reach for your cheque-book or decide about giving a donation to any charity, ask yourself: Will me providing the pounds, dollars or euro’s stop  this happening again and again?  The answer is NO and a blatant uncompromising NO – we do not ‘ stop war ‘ with money we stop war with love, care and compassion!

Oh l hear you say HOW! By every man, woman and child old enough to speak saying l  do not support WAR.I realise that sounds too easy, or too simple, but if nobody does anything, but put their hand in their pocket, and just give money, it will not cannot change anything to stop the CAUSE!

You see the CAUSE is Really Simple – MONEY – and that Fuels the Fire, not the Passion. Just by doing nothing more than ‘ Giving Cold Hard Cash ‘ we do not douse the Fire we ignite it and in so doing CAUSE it to grow brighter. Oh yes it will feed, clothe or put a roof over some ones head for a while, but the fire of the ‘ ‘ four horsemen ‘ cannot be quenched and they will be stopped with money.It truly will and can only be with love, care and compassion not hate destruction and war.

This is the ‘ Truth ‘ none of us want to admit it, be it Governments, Nations or Leaders. We ALL want to give and forget, it is easier and less painful that way……… ! Or is it all we do is simply solve our conscious ………..?

Thanks you for reading my message and may ‘ God Bless You All ‘

Editors News  

Amen.

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Ace News Room Featured Writer Post Gary's Consulting News Religion

Procession of Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Secular Power II…


Christianity enjoys a dramatic and chromatic history. Although events in Jerusalem set the stage for the growth and spread of this religion, Rome became the sine qua non for the religion in the western hemisphere and concomitantly in the world. Subsequent to the rise and establishment of Christianity in Rome, which occurred in 325 AD, Roman Catholics enjoyed an exclusive monopoly of the faith in Europe, until the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century.

History records 16th century Europe as a dynamic period well-known for the “Renaissance” “age of enlightenment” “age of discovery” as well as for the bifurcation Christianity into Catholics and Protestants.

The Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant denominations are the lenses by which the western hemisphere generally experience and understand Christianity, but Christianity in the east offers a parallel developmental process. Orthodox Christianity a/k/a the Eastern Oriental Orthodox Christian Communion is observed in countries of the Middle East, Africa and Asia. This Eastern Orthodox line of the Christian faith predates the Church of Rome by 300 plus years. As such, it was the members of the Eastern Oriental Orthodox Christian Communion who represented the growing Christian community that experienced the cruel and odious machinations of the Roman Empire as they persecuted Christians. It was not until 313 AD, by way of the Treaty of Milan, that Rome’s persecution of Christians came to an end. Subsequently, in 325 AD, Roman Emperor Constantine convened the first ecumenical council, (Council of Nicaea) that resulted in Rome’s 1200 year domination of Christianity. Emperor Constantine established Rome as the headquarters of the Church in the west, while positioning Constantinople as the capital of the Faith in the east.

Emperor Constantine was a self-proclaimed convert to Christianity following his vision of the cross during his successful military campaign to unify Rome. The emperor credited his military victory to this vision of the cross which reportedly inspired him to accept the Faith. Emperor Constantine’s objective for convening the first ecumenical council was to consolidate the growing Christian religion under the domination of Rome. This was achieved following the Council of Nicaea. The Eastern Orthodox bishops that did not submit to the domination of Rome were branded heretical and excluded from remaining council proceedings and all future ecumenical councils. The irony of a new convert to Christianity having the capacity to convene a synod of African, Asian and Middle Eastern bishops and require them to submit to Rome’s political domination and ecclesiastical hegemony is profound. Nevertheless, the Council of Nicaea is etched in the stone of ancient history as the advent of the Roman Catholic Church in Europe. By way of military campaign’s Rome conquered Europe and the rest of the known world and proselytized the supremacy of the Roman Catholic Church as well as imposing the Greco-Roman historical “master” narrative. Rome enjoyed an exclusive monopoly over the Christian religion until the 16th century when the Faith was bifurcated into Catholics and Protestants.

Prior to the advent of Roman Catholicism, Christianity was eclectic and diverse in representation and expression in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. As the new “fulfillment theology,” it was initially proselytized by the priests of the Magi, the first worshippers of the infant Christ. Following there (Magi) visitation with offerings of Frankincense, Myrrh and gold, each returned to their respective communities and proselytized Faith. Three hundred years hence, when Emperor Constantine appropriated Christianity on behalf of the military expansion of Rome, he consolidated the Faith under one religious creed and absolute earthy authority… According to the proceedings of the first ecumenical council, the bishops that resisted the domination of Rome were excommunicated from further council proceedings and excluded from all future ecumenical councils. In particular, Ethiopian bishops did not agree to Roman domination and they (Ethiopian Bishops) also had irreconcilable ecclesiastical differences from Rome, relative to the nature of Jesus Christ, the Trinitarian doctrine, and the infallibility of the pope, among others.

The various controversies that attended the Council of Nicaea are recorded in history as the “east vs. west schism.” It is the objective of the work to explore parallel and divergent development of Christianity in both the east and west… In addition to this east – west dichotomy, early Christianity played a consequential role in the military conquests and growth of the Roman Empire. Imperial Rome ruled the entire known world under Christendom until the growth of Islam was able to successfully challenge the land holdings of the Holy Roman Empire, during the 8th century in Egypt, Jerusalem and Spain… Nevertheless, imperial Rome and the Holy See continued their efforts to “discover,” conquer and redefine the world, albeit now with a level of competition in some regions.

Specifically, Spain would be ruled for 700 years by the Moors until Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand returned the country to Catholic authority in 1492. The Spanish royalty with the authority pope financed the exploits of Christopher Columbus, and subsequent discovery of the “New World.”

Jerusalem was briefly reclaimed by the Knights Templar under the auspices of the papacy, for less than a century. Egypt on the other hand was lost to Islam and absorbed by ethnic Arabs in the name of Islam.
The Papacy in conjunction with various European kings and queens continued their concerted efforts to “discover” and conquer lands occupied by so-called “heathens” and bring them under the rule of Christendom, or to reclaim the territories (such as the Holy Land and Spain) that had been lost to them. Muslim’s conquered Jerusalem during the 8th century and retained control until the 11th century when it was briefly recaptured during the Crusades under the auspices of the pope. In 1492 Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain, again in conjunction with the papacy, recaptured Spain from the Moors who had ruled it for seven centuries. Only months after Christopher Columbus returned to Europe from his initial voyage to the “New World,” the Spanish-born Pope Alexander VI gave Spain and Portugal a head-start in their quest for domination over these newly discovered regions. The Pope decreed that all lands discovered west of a meridian 100 leagues west of the Cape Verde Islands would belong to Spain while new lands discovered east of that line would belong to Portugal. This papal instruction also specified that all lands already under the control of a “Christian prince” would remain under that same control.

This established line made Portugal angry. King John II (the nephew of Prince Henry the Navigator) negotiated with King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain to move the line further to the west. King John’s rationale to Ferdinand and Isabella was that the Pope’s line extends all around the globe, thus limiting Spanish influence in Asia. On June 7, 1494 Spain and Portugal met at Tordesillas, Spain and signed a treaty that moved the line 270 leagues west, to 370 leagues west of Cape Verde. This new line gave Portugal, more claim to South America, yet also provided Portugal with automatic control over most of the Indian Ocean. While it would be several hundred years before the line of the Treaty of Tordesillas could be accurately determined (due to problems determining longitude), Portugal and Spain kept to their sides of the line quite well. Portugal ended up colonizing places like Brazil in South America and India and Macau in Asia. Brazil’s (Portuguese-speaking population is a result of the Treaty of Tordesillas). Portugal and Spain ignored the instruction from the Pope in enacting the treaty, but all was reconciled when Pope Julius II agreed to the change in 1506. Hence, the Papacy divided the “New World” between Spain and Portugal, as the first Colonial “masters” of the world.

Other European powers of the day such as Briton, France, Germany, Denmark, and the Dutch, had no land holdings in the “New World” and so conspired with “pirates” to raid the territories and cargoes of Portugal and Spain. Ultimately by way of the Protestant Reformation the dissident European powers rejected the authority of the papacy. In the wake of the unfolding Protestant Reformation during the 16th century in England, the bifurcated European Christian powers rivaled each other as they scrambled for “New World” territories to derive wealth and power from the free labor of enslaved Africans. Going forward, the dynamic between Catholics and Protestants became the backdrop and design of the post 16th century world, particularly in the context of the expansion into the western hemisphere. In the spirit of the original Christian teachings Catholics and Protestants have essentially promoted “religious tolerance” among themselves apart from a few fascinating and violent exceptions. In the secular framework, among the competing European powers have over the centuries collaborated and cooperated, despite their colorful internal rivalries and wars. Ultimately, the competing European secular powers united around their shared objectives to conquer and control the “New World” and the continent of Africa.

The respective European colonialists respected each others holdings and economic interests in the “New World” during the trans-Atlantic trade of enslaved Africans, and treated there “human” property similarly. Following the end of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, these European powers cooperated and conspired as they undertook what is known in contemporary history as the “Scramble for Africa” (1876 – 1912). Subsequent to the Scramble, the Berlin Conference (1884) divided the territorial spoils of Africa, by petitioning, creating random boundaries and assigning various countries to the European “New World” colonial masters. The Monroe Doctrine (20th century) ensures that the former colonial masters in the countries of the “New World” would remain in place, while promoting the virtues of self-determination for indigenous populations.

European secular governments, in the context of the “Western World,” have a compatible geo-political vision. Although the European governments separate religion from state, they all espouse the Judeo-Christian ethic, in terms of Catholic and Protestant renditions of Christianity. The religious leaders of the western world, vis-à-vis, the pope, archbishop of Canterbury, and the respective bishops that lead the faithful in denominational Christianity generally share a coherent world view. Both the religious leadership and the secular leadership in the western world have demonstrated a symbiosis throughout the history of the Roman Catholic and Protestant global narrative. There is intriguing irony, though with respect to the colonization of the African continent by secular European powers, and the role of Ethiopia in the context of the ancient east – west schism. Specifically, Ethiopia is the only country on the continent of Africa that was never under colonial rule. Although, ancient Ethiopia has a well documented Judeo-Christian heritage and tradition that predated the advent of the Church of Rome by more than three centuries, pre-Roman Christianity was branded heretical.

Catholics and Protestants currently share the world Christian demographic which numbers just above two billion, and about 15 to 20 percent of the world’s Christian populations are observers of Eastern Orthodox Christianity. The accommodation between Catholics and Protestants is organic as they both observe similar holidays and Holy days, and they both use the Gregorian calendar. On the other hand, Orthodox Christians use the Julian calendar which observes Christmas Day, for example, on January 6, of the year.

Over the centuries there has been much speculation “what if” Ethiopia’s biblical canon, and Judeo-Christian narrative was not excluded from the popular western canon of scripture… Due to Rome’s domination of the growing Christian religion, the Greek translation of the original Hebrew scripture was translated into Latin. This translation became the book that converted European countries to Roman Catholicism, under the authority of the papacy. Following the Protestant Reformation, it was translated into English and made accessible to the common person, thus breaking Roman monopoly of the Christian word. From King Henry VIII, to the King James verson, the English translation proliferated throughout Europe and the known world. What if the fathers of the Roman Church had retained all the books in the original Hebrew Bible, as opposed to removing 15 books from the 81 books? In both instances (secular and religious) it can be persuasively argued that Ethiopia was indomitable and unique…

At the point of the first ecumenical council (325 AD), the Ethiopian Orthodox Church had already established 81 books of Judeo-Christian scripture. It is not hard to imagine that the Roman Catholic Church decided to include 66 Books in the Latin translation because that choice offered an introductory narrative for establishing Roman Catholic dominance of Christianity. It is possible that if Ethiopia’s lineage had not been unequivocally disconnected from the Roman Christian dispensation, the economic, social and cultural subjugation of African people (imposing the master narrative) may have been impossible to achieve… Instead, the Roman Catholic Church formulated a revisionist Greco-Roman narrative that embodied, and established Rome’s religious and secular origins and world view…This may have made the economic, social and cultural conquests, subjugation of African people, and imposing the master narrative difficult, if not impossible to achieve… The Roman Catholic Church fathers and historians formulated a revisionist Greco-Roman historical narrative that embodied, promoted and established Rome’s religious as well as secular origins and world view…

The Greek poet and historian Homer, in his classic book The Iliad, was unequivocal as to whom he revered and received great learning from. Homer credited the Egyptians for much of his education, and referred to Ethiopia, and Ethiopians with divine attributes, vis-à-vis, the land of Punt (Land of God)… Some suggest that if the Ethiopian component was included in the Latin Canon of Scripture it would have made it difficult, if not impossible to impose a multi-race narrative and social construct contrived to position Africans, and black people as less than human. The advent of the “Negro” as an inferior race of humans, the trans-Atlantic trade of enslaved Africans would likely not have been industrialized and institutionalized to the extent that it was.

Instead the ancient east – west schism and race based dichotomy was established and institutionalized. Hence, the religious world and the secular world continue their precarious interface…

Gary’s Consulting News   

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Ace News Room America Chuqs' News Featured Writer Post

‘ Police Man Cometh ‘


The news has been released in Ferguson…..and the violence broke out….go figure!  First, how many did not see the grand jury decision coming?  Second, why would the decision be announced in the middle of the night?  Was the announcement intentionally announced at dark so the inevitable would be more vivid and dramatic video?

Just a few question that crossed my mind when I heard the announcement.  And then I got to thinking about back in August and the events after the shooting of Michael Brown……basically the response of the police and its tactics….

The recent militarization of the police should be disturbing to most Americans….even to the staunchest law and order conservative should be worried…..all this appears to be the beginning of a police state…..WHAT?

You read it right a police state……kinda on the mould of Orwell and 1984…..

But first…what is a police state?

1–a country in which the activities of the people are strictly controlled by the government with the help of a police force…..

2–a political unit characterized by repressive governmental control of political, economic, and social life usually by an arbitrary exercise of power by police and especially secret police in place of regular operation of administrative and judicial organs of the government according to publicly known legal procedures

Either definition could explain the happenings in Ferguson in August and after the decision…..but is there more signs than just some arbitrary definition?

Good question…..the police in the US have killed around 400 people with “justifiable” homicide………unlawful harassment of people, mostly minorities….children seen as criminals……stop and frisk laws……long imprisonment for ridiculous crimes………..Peaceful protest met with violence……….military and police sharing resources like intel gathering, training and equipment….finally, police do not face similar charges and sentences as civilians……all in all a birth of the American police state.

US is sending police officers to the best example of a police state for training….Israel.  Why if not to learn the control of the police over a population?

Of course the argument in support of the militarization of the police is that we live in a new era an era of danger and new tactics are needed to protect the people from danger……but think about that excuse…..how many times in history has some authoritarian muscle man used that excuse in some form or another?

The so-called ‘power of the people’ is waning and the people are allowing it in the name of security……

The American Police State has arrived on the back of massive apathy and fear.  That genie once out of the bottle will be hard to control.

There is an old saying that applies to what is happening in the US…..”Careful what you ask for….you may just get it”………..

Chuqs’ News 

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Ace News Room Featured Writer Post Gary's Consulting News Religion

‘ Procession of Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Secular Power ‘


Abounding complexities underpinning our modern world may be approaching the point of global conflagration as the geo-political hegemony of the West, is challenged by indigenous regional people’s seeking self-determination, elected government and frequently seeking separation from western influences: 

The unfolding political facts on the ground in target countries, the “Arab spring” presently overwhelming the Middle East and North Africa are classic examples of proliferating violence. A compelling argument can be made that virtually all regions of the world are experiencing turmoil of one sort or another… Beyond the myriad influences that inform and animate this calamitous international environment of conflicting nation states and insurgent forces, is a religious dimension which is virulent, ancient and ignominious. Religion has often played a distinct role in the subtext of military and imperialistic undertakings by secular governments throughout history. Specifically, the juxtaposition and popular narrative between Judaism, Christianity and Islam continues to convince their respective adherents of their incompatibility with others. Although the concept of “religious tolerance” continues to be promoted broadly over the centuries, engaging it has proven to be utterly insufficient. Unfortunately the quality and scope of “tolerance” can be undermined by the invisible energy of arrogance as these ideas may be organically connected. Perhaps the concept of “religious tolerance” can be replaced with the concept of “religious appreciation,” going forward. The appreciation of another person’s religion or other differences does not suggest acceptance of the others beliefs or values. Religious appreciation implies acknowledgement, respect, mutual co-existence, and religious appreciation embodies ecumenism, that noble quality in human beings.

With religious juxtapositions in the popular imagination as a context, local governments as well as geo-political players and insurgents vociferously engage their political, economic and military objectives. Although the religious juxtapositions are individually challenged within their respective institutions by sectarian strife, their internal challenges are generally ignored in favour of pointing an accusatory finger at another religion… None of the three religions of Abraham, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, can tout their theological purity. Accordingly, contemporary expressions and observances of these three great religions are based on revisionist histories which have caused schisms in each religion along sectarian lines.

Currently the only unequivocal connection that these religions have is a shared past in their collective assertion that the prophet Abraham is the patriarch of these religions. Therefore the historical testaments of the three monotheist religions is a familial relationship by way of their acknowledged patriarch. Moreover, the theology of monotheism asserts that all of humanity is children of God: The Genesis narrative observed and articulated offers a familial account regarding the advent of humanity. Thus the essence of disagreements among the three Faiths can be viewed in the framework of family dynamics… Clearly, much was lost in translating the historical procession of the religions of Abraham, from Judaism, to Christianity to Islam. The political facts on the ground in regions impacted by these conflicts are rooted in popular revisionist renditions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Religious hyperbole associated with these conflagrations maybe better understood by examining the historical procession of the Abrahamic religions and generating a broader appreciation and understanding of the dynamic factors that currently account for these human affairs/events in the world…

The earliest historical records of human society indicate an inclination (if not proclivity) in the human imagination toward a higher and invisible spiritual power… Peoples in all regions of the world in the earliest times organized their communities around the place of worship. The local place of worship and its priesthood became the center of early societies and communities. Consequently, religious leaders often became the organic rulers of fledgling communities and thriving societies until the advent of the “king” and secular power, authority and government. The initial rivalry between priest and king morphed into a precarious courtship, and frequently “marriage” between the “church” and “state.” The church and state relationship remained in place for millennia, until the advent of the America and federalism, which proclaimed the separation of church and state. The separation of church and state idea was a product of The Age of Enlightenment composed in the Protestant Reformation, the rise of objective science and reason, and the age of discovery in the western world… The Protestant Reformation bifurcated Christianity into Catholics and Protestants, while the industrial development in the western world generated enormous economic wealth in Europe and America. Ultimately, secular power in the context of the military and economic component eclipsed influences of the church and religion in the material world. It could be argued that the church still enjoys a clear monopoly of the spiritual concerns. Nevertheless, the relationship between church and state remains a dynamic and intriguing enterprise as they modulate the status quo from respective vantage points… Secular public and private powers in the course of achieving relative military victories, territory, resources and raw material often proposes a religious context to their geo-political objectives. In ancient Rome at the advent of Roman Catholicism in the 4th century Emperor Constantine utilized the “Faith” as a theme for his numerous military forays and conquests of the known world. The emperor’s military campaigns were done in the name of advancing Christendom throughout the world. The Christian Crusades authorized by the papacy during the 12th century established the Knights Templar, a military wing of Christendom, mandated to reclaim the holy land that fell to Islam in the 8th century. Interestingly enough President George W. Bush, in 2003 initially dubbed his intervention into Iraq, as a “crusade” which resurrected memories of that historical west vs. east military confrontation between Christianity and Islam. More recently, in the wake of the “Arab Spring” which began in Tunisia with a popular “revolution,” North Africa and the Middle East became active theatres of military conflict, unconventional and asymmetrical warfare, highlighting the ancient Christian and Muslim juxtaposition. The adversarial nature characterizing the current relationship between Judaism, Christianity and Islam thus has its origins in antiquity. This religious dichotomy continues to find its way into the popular narrative and backdrop of the competing geo-political objectives in target countries and regions.

The escalating conflict in the Middle East is perhaps a classic example of what happens when artificial and arbitrary boundaries are imposed on regions as they begin to unravel… While western powers continue to entertain strategic and tactical operations to contain the advances of indigenous Islamic military forces, others assert that the western powers can only forestall that which is inevitable… The Middle East as we know it, in terms of national boundaries of their respective people’s of the region, came about 100 years ago based on political and economical design by the British and the French foreign ministries. This scenario was the outcome of the exploits of “Lawrence of Arabia,” Napoleon and the French Foreign Legion. The British and French segmentation of the region was codified following WWI, when the authority for countries comprising the Middle East was divided between Briton and France. Now these artificial boundaries are deteriorating, strongman rule enabled by western powers has waned under the force of organic and indigenous uprisings, and the overall influence that the western developed countries enjoyed with “strongman” regional leaders may no longer be relevant.

Both secular and religious leadership can be cited for engaging in the diabolical and abominable behaviour over the centuries… But justice is anticipated in the secular as well as the spiritual world. It was Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who posited that the moral arch of the universe is long but it bends toward justice. The question whether there will be appropriate accountability remains an open question. Based on end time eschatology, accountability and ultimate justice will prevail… Increasing public opinion argues that world events as they are currently unfolding have profound biblical implications going forward…

Gary’s Consulting News 

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Ace News Room Featured Writer Post Gender and Women Issues South East Asia News

Gender Disparity: ‘ South Asian Women Fight On ‘


In recent years, the South Asia region has made some progress towards gender equality. The ratio of female-to-male life expectancy in South Asia, while behind East Asia, is now ahead of sub-Saharan Africa.

Indian Women Paving Paths

There is still a long way to go in about bringing the much-needed positive change towards the existing patterns of patriarchy that afford men privileges over women’s minds, souls and bodies. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that millions are still stuck in the dinosaur age, suffering acute Neanderthal syndromes.

A development organization, IFAD through its Gender and Development Division has decades spanning contribution in making head-ways to counter patriarchy and gender gaps.

Through their work, IFAD reports following noteworthy progresses and areas of concern: 

1.South Asia has also seen women’s increased political involvement, with their parliamentary participation rates higher than those in East Asia.

2.The 2012 Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) shows that South Asia raised its position from the lowest ranked region in 2009 to the fourth ranked region in 2012 in overall discrimination against women.

3. However, the report also notes that the changes in ranking between 2009 and 2012 should be interpreted with caution and that better quality data − rather than an improvement in discriminatory social institutions − could also contribute to an improved score.

4. This culturally diverse region has typically lagged behind on gender equality issues. Boys still outnumber girls in primary school enrollment in Afghanistan, India, Nepal and Pakistan. Furthermore, across the region, girls are more likely than boys to drop out of school and almost half of all adult women are illiterate. In 2005, 48 per cent of young women were married before the age of 18.

5. Out of the nine countries in South Asia, only Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka have laws that prohibit domestic violence.

Pakistan's Benazir Bhutto record on women rights, debatable

6. The region is confronted by skewed gender ratios owing to the continued preference for boys in society, at least in part because of the dowry system. In Afghanistan and Pakistan, patriarchal norms isolate women in their homes by placing restrictions on their mobility and prohibiting contact with the opposite sex, especially in rural areas. This has significant implications for their employment, voice and representation in public life.

Despite challenging circumstances, IFAD and its many partners working in South Asia have made significant strides in improving the lives of women and girls in the region, as shown in the stories that follow.

Economic empowerment: South Asia has one of the lowest rates in the world of women’s participation in the labour force. Women earn less than men and have limited economic opportunities, often toiling as self-employed labourers across all sectors.

 Voice and participation: Inequities cannot be addressed until there are more women in decision-making roles in the public and private domains. It is true that some countries such as Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka have had women heads of government. Others have used affirmative action, such as quotas, to boost women’s participation in decision-making bodies and change the focus of development agendas. However, there is often a large gap between representation and voice.

In Pakistan, for example, women are virtually absent from water user associations even though they own some agricultural land. And if they do attend meetings, they have little influence over decisions.

Women’s decision-making power in the household is also low compared with other Asian regions, but it does increase with wealth and economic empowerment.

Workloads and benefits: In South Asia, the widespread disparities can be observed from the most insignificant to most significant important issues, women work longer hours on domestic chores in comparison to men. Their work overall is benefited by men, most agricultural laborers and workers are women but they earn less and have no decision-making power over their limited incomes and its uses.

Srilankan women in workforce

South Asian patriarchy continues to feed into the cycle of keeping women poor and in vulnerable conditions, so that they can be controlled within the heinous societal roles set out for them.

IFAD’s on-ground work has also resulted into many outcomes that can help to continue addressing women’s inclusion and empowerment within the region.

LESSONS LEARNED AND GOOD PRACTICES

IFAD’s Asia and Pacific Division has implemented projects that address gender equality and women’s empowerment in different ways. Some of the lessons learned and good practices implemented in South Asia include:

– Self-help groups. Self-help groups are an effective way to strengthen the decision-making and economic power of women in South Asia’s patriarchal societies.

– Women-specific value chains. Supporting women-specific value chains by providing micro-credit coupled with technical and social training has improved household-level gender relations. It has helped increase women’s mobility and their participation in family decision-making, and brought them greater control over their profits.

-National gender coordinators. Country-level gender coordinators, such as in India, have improved gender outcomes by providing direct support to project design and supervision.

The region is known world-wide for its non-friendly attitudes and traditions that continue to threaten women’s lives. At the center of the rotting core — South Asian women themselves and  have taken it to task to work on improving their lives and continue to display their positive interest and enthusiasm  progressing towards their rightful places in the societies. 

Posted in Gender and Women Issues

South East Asia News 

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Ace News Room Education Featured Writer Post Pakistan Poverty South East Asia News

Agents of Change |My Dream For Every Little Girl


The Girls’education progress has remained marginalized in the political and general discourse of Pakistan. There is no denying the very fact that there are parts of the country that have the lowest literacy rates in the world, this fact constantly pinches me with passing times.

As a nation, we are falling and failing behind due to two main issues POVERTY and EDUCATION.  

The time has come to stop denying the very fact that education lifts whole communities out of poverty forever. Inside turbulent Pakistan, Oxfam is doing whatever it takes to get more children into class by lobbying with governments, training teachers and also building schools in rural areas, which will provide little children and girls opportunity to attend school. Watch this sensitive video on girl’s education, this is my dream for every little girl and let’s work towards making it a reality.

After-all, educated women are agents of change and Pakistan is in dire need of a social change that empowers its women.

Posted in Gender and Women Issues

South East Asia News

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Ace News Room Chuqs' News Featured Writer Post Holcaust Israel Palestine WWII

‘Oppressed Becomes The Oppressor’


Since the end of the latest Gaza war the tensions between Israelis and Palestinians has been simmering waiting for a spark to set the region on fire.

With the recent attack on a Jewish worship that spark is getting closer and closer.….and the retaliation of the Israelis will do nothing to calm the situation…..many have asked time and time again…..what the Hell is this all about……I shall try and answer that question for the reader…..

By this point in your life you have been exposed to the horror of World war 2 and the Holocaust……if not…..where the Hell have you been?

Every time Israel goes into action against the Palestinians we are reminded over and over about the horrors that the Jews were exposed to during the Holocaust…all the death and misery.  And because of the horrors they endured you would expect them to have No toleration for any such actions what so ever…….but you would be WRONG! 

Not mistaken but flat out WRONG!

One of the Israeli intellectuals of the founding generation, Yeshayahu Leibowitz feared that a Jewish state would become no better than the oppressors that he and so many others fled from in the days of WW2….he stated………”it would invert the whole history of the Jewish people, turning them into the spitting image of the oppressors whose terrorism from which we fled.”

He also noted that the …..“the entire energies of the Jewish state, instead of looking after the needs of its citizens, would be directing at enforcing “a strange system of political domination”……he was more prophetic than he has been given credit.

Israelis were the victims in the days of WW2….they were imprisoned, lands confiscated, harassed and put to death…….where is that any different than the circumstances with the Palestinians?  They were victims and for that they were basically given a country….the world trying to soothe its guilt….and in doing so have turned the victim into the oppressors they fled from in the past.

The world continues to close its eyes to the horrendous effects that Israeli policy is having on Palestinians….all because the world still feels the guilt of World War 2…..until they break that feeling this sort of murderous outreaches will continue.

The victim will continue to be the oppressor…...and the Palestinians must wait for the world to rid itself of a guilty past.

But the world is starting to take notice of the heavy handed responses of the Israelis toward the Palestinians…..it is possible that the justice that the Palestinian people have been denied in the last 50+ years is finally within their reach.

The world needs to demand that all nations act in a civilized manner and that includes Israel.

Chuq’s News 

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