29 May 2008

when the system isn't working

the following two stories speak to the absurdities of bad governance.

in burma, naval officers and seamen have been detained for abandoning ship mid-cyclone:

“Twenty-three men from those on vessel duty at Thilawar, including officers, have been detained at the Irrawaddy Naval Headquarters. It’s understood that they’re to be charged with abandoning ship. I know that some of them have been kept under house arrest. In the fierce storm some went ashore and took to high ground. Some also disappeared. It’s not known if they disappeared in the water or if they deserted and didn’t send word.”

meanwhile, in bangladesh, a frustrated high court bench of the country's Supreme Court suggested an apellant seek bail from Allah; since emergency rule was imposed in january 2007, the court has been barred from entertaining bail petitions.

27 May 2008

shopping therapy

it's very strange, but lately i have started shopping when i'm feeling down, or even if i have nothing else to do. i never understood how shopping could make people feel better... no, to be more accurate, i didn't see why people would want to GO shopping when they were depressed. i still don't get it, but hey, i'm glad it's working.

it started some months ago with an unhappy confrontation at work, to escape which i went down to langham place and bought some lipstick (yes, i can see the raised eyebrows; no comments please!) i wonder if i saw the film 'priceless' at around the same time--that film definitely made me want to shop. either way, since then i've been on a roll. not that i'm throwing money around or anything (what money?!), but i suddenly
like the idea of buying new things for myself.

as ksa said, it's better (and cheaper) than indulging in alcohol!

15 May 2008

donations for burma

despite all calls to postpone the referendum in the wake of cyclone nargis, burma's military proposed constitution has now been approved, with a reported 99% turn out. this is while an estimated 2.5 million citizens are struggling to find clean water, food and shelter for survival. some of these are being turned away from public buildings designated as polling stations for the referendum on may 24 (postponed only in certain affected areas). what a sham.

while the burmese military continues to prevaricate and resist opening its doors to international aid, local groups and individuals are attempting to overstretch their limited resources and assist their fellow citizens as much as possible.

"Among those doing this work, many are ordinary local people and civic groups in places where survivors have been relocated who have gathered together their money and goods to help as best as they can. People from religious groups of all persuasions are also actively involved. Others are famous actors who have some financial security and a concern for the wellbeing of their fellow citizens. And some are members of human rights networks who have at this time put aside their ordinary activities to concentrate on the cyclone recovery effort.

The Asian Human Rights Commission is in contact with some of these persons and in view of the dramatic delay in assistance from abroad and continued restrictions on what is getting in, has recognised the urgent need for continued support for these people and groups until the situation changes. Therefore, it is now accepting donations on their behalf. Money received can be forwarded within the same day. Unfortunately, for the safety of recipients the AHRC is not able to reveal their details publicly; however, for financial purposes some information can be given to credible institutional donors and those known to the AHRC upon request."

To donate online, click here. For other methods, see here.