Friday, May 20, 2011

The Fact stories about 'The Child soldiers' Put forward by Red cross Norway

The stories that touched my heart...
The stories which left millions of people in to astonishment and speechless…
And the stories that arouses Goosebumps and cry for the state of Human right of child soldiers….
When Ismael beah was 14, He was recruited into the Sierra Leon army. He remained a soldier for almost three years. In his testimony, read today by Samkelo Mokhine .He described his first experience at ths front line. He is now studying in U.S.
‘When we got there we were in an ambush, the rebels were attacking when we were in the bush. I did not shoot my gun at first, but when you looked around and saw your school mates, some younger than you ,crying while they were dying with their blood spilling all over you, there was no option but to start pulling the trigger. The sight stays with you. I was just pulling the trigger. I lost my parents during the war, they told us to join the army to avenge our parents.Source: Franz Kruger,’ Child soldier active in 41 countries, ’Radio Netherlands, June 12 2001
In Uganda children are caught in the battle between, Uganda’s Peoples defense force (UPDF) and the lord’s resistance Army (LRA) rebel force, which is committed to overthrowing the Ugandan government and to this end rounds up children from villages it raids and forces them to join with them. One 16 year old girl testified to the cruelties she endured when a boy tried to escape:
One boy tried to escape, but he was caught. The made him eat a mouth full of red pepper, and five people were beating him. His hands were tied, and then they made us, the other new captives, kill him with a stick. I felt sick. I knew this boy from before. We were from the same village. I refused to kill him ,and they told me they would shoot me. They pointed a gun at me, so I had to do it. The boy was asking me,’ why are you doing this?’ I said I had no choice. After we killed him they made us smear his blood on our arms. I felt dizzy. There was another dead body.I felt so sick. They said we had to do this so we would not fear death, and so we would not try to escape.’-Susan 16Source: Human rights Watch, The scars of Death: Children abducted by the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda, Human Rights Watch Report,1997,
‘The first time I went into battle I was afraid. But after two or three days they forced us to start using cocaine, and then I lost my fear. When I was taking drugs, I never felt bad on the front. Human blood was the first thing I would have every morning.. It was my coffee in the morning….every morning.’ -Ibrahim,16
Source: Youth Ambassadors for peace, Voices and stories, Free the children 2001,
‘I was in the Front lines the whole time I was with the opposition force. Used to be assigned to plant mines in areas the enemy passed through. They used us for reconnaissance and other things like that because if you are a child the enemy doesn’t notice you much; nor do the villagers.’- Former Child soldier from Burma /MyanmarSource: Former child soldier from Burma/ Myanmar, Interview by Human Rights Watch, Liberia, April 1994, in Human rights watch, the voices of child soldiers, Human rights watch 2004, http//
‘They beat all the People there, old and young, they killed them all, nearly ten people…like dogs they kill them… I didn’t kill anyone, but I saw them killing… The children who were with them killed too…. With weapons…. They made us drink the blood of people, we took blood from the dead into a bowl and they made us drink… then when they killed the people they made us eat their liver, their heart, which they took out and sliced and fried…. And they made us little ones eat. ‘
-Peruvian women recruited by the Signing Path at age 11.
Source: Peruvian women, Interview by R Brett and M.McCallin, in Rachel Brett and Margaret McCallin, Children: The invisible soldiers,(Stockholm:Rådda Barnen,1996),127.

Zaw Tun’s story:
‘I was recruited by force, against my will. One evening while we were watching a video show in my village three Army sergeants came. They checked whether we had identification cards and asked if we wanted to join the army. We explained that we were under age and had not got identification cards. But one of my friend said he wanted to join. I said no and came back home that evening but an Army Recruitment unit arrived next morning at my village and demanded two new recruits. Those who could not pay 3000 kyats had to join the Army, they said. I (My parents) could not pay, so altogether 19 of us were recruited in that way and sent to Mingladon (an army training centre)Source : BBC World service,’ Zaw Tun’s Story, ’In Children of conflict: A human right issue, BBC World service
Jean Paul’s story
‘’’I joined the army to get food for my mother, my brother and sisters’, says Jean Paul 15. Jean Paul is one of 4500 Rwandans children, aged 10-18, who was in the military during the countries brutal civil war Wearing ragged soiled clothing and running barefoot on the rugged lava rock, Jean Paul looked like any other Refugee boy. Jean Paul now lives in a refugee camp near Goma , I the democratic republic of Congo, where he is one of 630 demobilized child soldiers in the UNICEF-funded reintegration project, which provides schooling, job skills and activities aimed at promoting self esteem.’’Source: Global March against Child labor, The voices of former child soldiers, Global march against child labour,

The Human Right Watch has put forth many facts about the Child soldiers. It says ,Although there are no exact figures, hundreds of thousands of children under the age of 18 serve in government forces or armed rebel groups. Some are as young as eight years old. Since 2001, the participation of child soldiers has been reported in 21 on-going or recent armed conflicts in almost every region of the world. Technological advances in weaponry and the proliferation of small arms have contributed to the increased use of child soldiers. Lightweight automatic weapons are simple to operate, often easily accessible, and can be used by children as easily as adults. Children are most likely to become child soldiers if they are poor, separated from their families, displaced from their homes, living in a combat zone or have limited access to education.
In Nepal’s context, Maoist seem to use more and more children taking advantage of their emotional and physical immaturity. They are easily manipulated and can be drawn into violence that they are too young to resist or understand. There have been many stories shared by children who are used by Maoist during the insurgency either forcibly or by convincing .Many joined Maoist group because of economic or social pressure, or because they believed that the group will offer food or security. Others are forcibly recruited, "press-ganged" or abducted by armed groups. Both girls and boys are used as child soldiers. In Nepal, a third or more of the child soldiers were reported to be girls, which is also same in Sri Lanka and Uganda. In some conflicts, girls may be raped, or given to military commanders as "wives." Children are sometimes forced to commit atrocities against their own family or neighbors. Such practices help ensure that the child is "stigmatized" and unable to return to his or her home community. Once recruited, child soldiers may serve as porters or cooks, guards, messengers or spies. Many are pressed into combat, where they may be forced to the front lines or sent into minefields ahead of older troops. Some children have been used for suicide missions.

In 2000, the United Nations adopted an Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict. The protocol prohibits the forced recruitment of children under the age of 18 or their use in hostilities. To date, it has been ratified by more than 110 countries. The ILO Convention on the Worst Forms of Child Labor prohibits the forced or compulsory recruitment of children under the age of 18 for use in armed conflict. It has been ratified by over 150 countries. In some countries, former child soldiers have access to rehabilitation programs to help them locate their families, get back into school, receive vocational training, and re-enter civilian life. However, many children have no access to such programs. They may have no way to support themselves and are at risk of re-recruitment …
(The programme about' child soldiers' is organized by Red Cross Norway at Oslo,The programme focussed on the rights of child soldiers,their experiences and rehabilitations in a documentary form and a shout for the further actions for them.)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Berlin,My new love!!!

Well this morning the weather looked a lot better so me with my sister headed quite early to catch train to bussterminalen,oslo. The Flybussexpression took us out to the airport in time and got our cheap Ryanair flight over to Berlin.After 1 and half hours of hide and seek ,in and out of clouds ,finally the destiny seems clear and visible. Got a way to catch S-bahn to central station with a kind help from a lady in tourist information centre. Her service pleased us undoubtedly, making the first impressions of German .
After getting out from S-bahn we took bus to hotel. Suddenly it started raining. Obviously no one welcomes rain when they r ready to travel and so do we. We afraid if it’s gonna rain other days too, so asked a local .She smiled and said it’s the first rain of the spring and it welcomed you. We were pleased and it did not took us long to find our hotel, centrally located. By the time we reached our hotel it was almost 4o’clock, too much tired and on the top of the rain!!so thought it’s better to rest .
The following morning we were up ready for exploring. First we went to the Brandenburg Gates which was pretty significant as a sign of peace and very huge in size. It also had lots of information on plaque's around so we could learn a fair bit about events that occurred right here decades ago. I can only imagine the feeling it would of been when the Berlin wall was removed to reunite the east/west and everyone that had gathered at this point. It was very interesting being here. Then we got at the top of city safari bus as its really a quality time listening to our guide saying information’s about different place and their history. On our way observed many historical places like Reichstagsgebaude, Check point Charlie, Holocaust memorial, Humboldt Universitat, Zoologischer Garten/Aquarium,Topographie des Terror, Amerika-Haus, Alexander Platz......which certainly did provide us an idea to roam more .
After the bus left us to the same place where we get in we were now tired and i was quite worried for being sunburned . Went to lunch shortly after and had the biggest lunch I’ve ever seen for ONLY 2.50 EURO!!! Absolute bargain! It was so big and cheap that it deserved a picture :oP I left the shop very full as if i was pregnant (thankfully a lot shorter term though :oP) and went to some church which the name has slipped my mind, however it was half burnt down and restored from WW2. It's amazing to learn how much of Germany had to be rebuilt after the war. . From this we went for a short walk to see the Topography of Terror (a significant section and post of the Berlin wall that still stands in original state with a shroud of information). It looked so old and depressing. However unless you can speak German you won’t be reading the information there. Just down the road from this place was the infamous Checkpoint Charlie. Just a normal street now, but it still has the checkpoint station where the allies crossed over to East Germany.
After that, we were eagerly looking forward to see the Berlin wall. Berlin wall was a direct product of the cold war, , former barrier surrounding West Berlin. We expected of some huge walls but it’s now nothing than a two consecutive rows of stones depicting wall dividing east and west Berlin . The World War 2 historical sites were surprisingly quite limited on the tour but we were taken to Hitler’s Bunker. Or what remains at least, it is now just a patch of grass outside some apartment blocks with nothing but a sign to indicate the significance.
The Holocaust memorial is dedicated to the memory of the thousands of Jews murdered by the Third Reich prior to and during World War II. It is located close to the Brandenburg Gate and not far from the bunker where Hitler committed suicide. The memorial consists of austere rectangular grey blocks, void of any decoration

On the second day we took train from Hauptbahnhoff central station to Alexander platz and catch a U bahn to Freidrichsfelde , where Dr Rudiger clause was waiting for us to receive. He drove us to the IIJB. We had a nice time there talking about German history and many more. Fish, potato moss, mushrooms and some salad did make our stomach happy and satisfied. He also made us look at the institute and finally drove us to museums and other places where we can go once we r in Germany. We bid him goodbye with a little souvenir of lord Ganesha .
. From this we went to the Pergamon Museum which had some pretty huge architecture remains in there and provided a good walk, but we stayed for too long and got forced out due to closing time :o).The piece that really caught my attention most was a so-called "void" that was an empty space in the museum through which you walk and step on iron faces of the lost lives and memories.
I had the highest expectations of Berlin due to raving reviews from fellow travelers, and it certainly did not disappoint. Visiting the sachsenhausen concentration camp is a quality one. The camp does a superb job of demonstrating what the life was like for the prisoners held here. It is far the most emotional place I’ve ever been to in my life. It's one thing to read about in the text books, but standing on the ground where millions of prisoners, mostly Jews, were burnt to death, is history comes to life.
We learned about the crazy quirks of the city. For example, you can always know if you're in East or West by the traffic light guy. To my surprise, this is the first time i am ever seeing the different traffic light guy. The socially responsible red traffic light guy in the East is wearing his little hat and holds his arms out so as to block all the little kiddies from running out into the street. The capitalist red traffic light guy in the West cares not about the children, merely if he still has a job and way of life and keeps his hands in his pocket .These traffic light guys are booming souvenir industry, you can find traffic light guy marked t-shirts, pencil, erasers in souvenir shops.
It is said to be one of the fastest changing cities on the planet. It certainly has quite a bit to offer. It has over 170 museums... and enough history to fill them all. It was not even 20 years ago that Berlin was divided and drastically different. Berlin is exceptionally clean, incredibly friendly, has arguably the greatest transportation system in the world, and is intensely policed. We couldn't even jaywalk without being looked at strangely by the police that seemed to be everywhere. The efficiency here is incredibly impressive. People that committed the worst atrocity in the history of mankind, Germans are indeed embarrassed of their past. Many Germans I met didn't even feel comfortable talking about it. But after suffering decades of depression and political struggle, it is pleasing to see the resiliency of the people and therefore, creating Berlin of today. I'd highly recommend a visit here if you're ever in Europe and you'll surely enjoy it as much as I did.Truely Berlin!!!u r my New love!!!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Bicycle culture

Riding bicycle was just a mere fun time .We used to rent a bicycle ,rupees 10 for an hour. Being brought up in Kathmandu we travel in public transport, cars or motorbikes, but making bicycle a major means to go somewhere was never an option. Then it was just a cheapest means of transport for people and wasn’t thought to be much prestigious. It is cheap to afford in comparison to cars, motorbikes and paying daily in public vehicles.
And my concept wasn’t differing either until I saw many people travelling with their happy bicycles in England. The overwhelming number of folks in Brussels, Berlin ,Netherlands and Norway widened my eyes to an astonishment and interest to the cycle culture in Europe. People here feel no awkwardness using bicycles. In this system Netherland leads among all being city of cycles .for them, cycle is a major means to go somewhere. They also have popular sayings –‘Dutch are born with cycle skills from the tomb of their mother’. `They start cycling from the very tender age .Remarkable number of youngsters, old, men ,women, well dressed people ,players and even the member of parliament seems to be loving their journey in cycle. Mountain bikes are popular in Norway as it is a mountainous country.
Oslo too attracted me to what it is doing to encourage bicycle culture. It has a special provision for cycle users, A cycle rental system .This system is designed especially for summer, as it is all covered with snow during winter. One can make cycle card for just 70 kroner which is half hours wage for Norwegians .This can cover their travelling expense for whole summer and its nothing so much for them. Thus this system is beneficial, cheap and environment friendly. One can take cycles from any cycle booth, use it for 3 hours and return back to any nearby booths to their destination. Even those who never dare to ride bicycle also seem to be encouraged by this system.
Numerous studies have found that cycling provides variety of benefits. Cycling is non polluting and so is environment friendly and help us breathe easily. It is also recommended to people having sedentary lifestyle diseases like obesity, diabetes, heart disease etc. Nevertheless it’s a best way for all to have a complete exercise and stay healthy and fit. To be environment friendly attitude seems to be working well .more and more people use either bicycle or public transport. They can afford cars but they want to save environment and love cycling or else feel proud walking their destination.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Winter days n news from Nepal

As Winter is tightening its icy grip in oslo,temperature reached to -14,not a big matter to a local norwegian but but offcourse its a strange and eye widening fact for somebody like me as it is not common in kathmandu.. though has experienced in london and used to it.Just clicked a news about life hit hard in eastern region with hilly districts witnessing snow fall and terai batteling cold wave and thick fog .The news said-Most of northern mountains are blanketted by snow and drizzle,and frost are adding to local woes in terai.
The mercury has drastically dipped affecting normal life as people are chilled to the marrow.Many suffered common cold,Pneumonia and rheumatism and many died. Yes many Died,just because of cold.
What can be a heart rendering fact than this….that many people died of Cold. Offcourse natural calamities are not preventable and it is certainly not volcanic eruption or hurricane so at least we can try take precautions.offcourse there may have been some kind of signs or weather forcast about the possible critical situation on the way.What is the use of that information which can not be applied to prevent or reduce the devastation which we are aware of…. I wonder!!?? What have been weather forcast and peoples welfare section of government doing?
Despite of chilling weather in oslo,people can continue normal life,as they have good preparation to cold,heating system to insulate against it and other necessary things to secure their lives.well it will be silly comparing Nepal to Norway as we know it is really rich and can afford anything .it produces enegy from waste products to operate heating systems and it definitely cost huge amount.yes ,we definitely cannot do like this,,, but our government can at least do preinform people about the coming situation,change ,ways to prevent cold or can donate warm clothes to poorest areas.but no,!!!!our government rather delights announcing to spend 23 crores in promoting ‘Visit Nepal’ but not in issues like this.And it’s a pitiest fact of our country.
Well ,if to think individually…..what can I do for them? it is not easy doing than talking and pinpointing sitting cozily being warm.why not we start sharing information on these matters to those places,why not donate our old sweaters as cold prepares to knock…as I know many of us keep them just to show our wardrobe full n chunk ,even we no longer are using them.
I saw many of frens in facebook,shared snowy pictures with happy gestures as is always fun to experience new things or so called*first experience.many suggested to visit there and enjoy snow but we should not ignore the bitter face of this,let us not forget many have lost their lives,their crops are severely destroyed and will be foodless for long…due to same snow which is also fun to look at n touch to. Hope we will be prepared in future to cope against such ‘extremities’. and will not let these changes change our lives adversely…….

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Heard this song few days back..really amazing..soothing music and lovely lyrics.

Some say love it is a river
that drowns the tender reed
Some say love it is a razer
that leaves your soul to blead

Some say love it is a hunger
an endless aching need
I say love it is a flower
and you it's only seed

It's the heart afraid of breaking
that never learns to dance
It's the dream afraid of waking
that never takes the chance
It's the one who won't be taken
who cannot seem to give
and the soul afraid of dying
that never learns to live

When the night has been too lonely
and the road has been too long
and you think that love is only
for the lucky and the strong
Just remember in the winterfar beneath the bitter snows
lies the seed
that with the sun's love in the spring
becomes the rose

Saturday, December 25, 2010

small wonders !

'Tisn't life that matters! 'Tis the courage you bring to it.--Sir Hugh Walpole

What a powerful statement—right away it makes you want to square your shoulders, raise your head and look the world in the eye…

And, the thing is that the place where the most courage is needed is in cheerfully doing our daily tasks…those little, sometimes tedious, everyday chores…duties that often go completely unnoticed by the family…routine tasks that just have to be done if the day is to move smoothly…gaps filled and people covered up for at work…there are so many tiny demands that daily life makes of us…nothing dramatic, or earth-shattering or traffic-stopping…but all requiring a cheery smile…thank yo mum n all who do those small wonders to make out each normal day brighter...

That’s when life really starts to matter…

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Kyun koi paas hai door hai kyun koi jaane na koi yaha pe...aa raha paas ya door mein ja raha janu na mein hoon kahan pe.................