Bangladesh’s leading Buddhist leader speaks out against Rohingya genocide

Bangladesh's leading monk (Sanghanayak Suddhanda Mahathero, at Nov 29 2017 conference

If you go to Burmese dissident Maung Zarni’s FB wall you will find several posts about & live stream of today’s Dhaka, Bangladesh conference on the Rohingya genocide.

He posted this photo of Sanghanayak Suddhanda Mahathero, Bangladesh’s leading Buddhist monk, speaking at the conference against the Rohingya genocide by Burmese military & nationalist death squads.

Maung Zarni’s wall:

Truer words were never spake:

“social media maturity: when the frequency of unfriending/blocking becomes greater than the frequency of discussing/debating.”

–Mir Laieeq

Torture of Kashmiris in Indian jails is industrial scale of criminality

If we do our political work right, India will come to regret that special police assaulted 18 Kashmiris in Tihar jail on the night of November 21st. Leading Kashmiri activists have already appealed to international human rights groups, including Amnesty International, to respond to the Abu Ghraib-style violence. The Delhi High Court–certainly no bastion of justice–has responded to the political pressure by ordering special medical treatment for the 18 victims & by calling for an enquiry into the incident.

This isn’t just an isolated incident in the treatment of Kashmiris who oppose the occupation & demand self-determination. In the last nearly 30 years, an estimated 8,000 to 10,000 Kashmiris have been forcibly disappeared. That means thousands spent time in the Indian gulag, were certainly tortured & ended up in mass graves. The Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society is doing monumental work in investigating & demanding accountability for the 2,080 mass graves in Kashmir. Many may still be in the gulag sustaining torture since there are several torture centers in Kashmir & many are imprisoned in Indian jails. Many of those who have been released suffer permanent disability, including dismemberment, & psychological trauma.

This is a particularly cogent article on the issue of Kashmiri activists jailed & tortured. We need to educate ourselves about the scale of human rights criminality & denounce these monstrous practices far & wide to put optimal political pressure on India & to stand in active solidarity with the Kashmiri freedom struggle.

Abu Ghraib treatment of Kashmiris in Indian jails


This photo is one of the 18 Kashmiris in Tihar jail near New Delhi who were brutally assaulted by special police on the night of November 21st. Kashmiri Imtiaz R Chasti compared this to Abu Ghraib, the US prison in Iraq that will forever live in infamy for extremes of violence against political prisoners; others compare it just as aptly to Guantanamo. With that in mind, read this lengthy promo from the website of Tihar jail presenting itself like a Club Fed prison in the US for well-heeled white collar criminals. “Yoga, meditation & spiritual activities,” no less. Where does beating the hell out of defenseless prisoners fit into the spiritual program? There’s another kind of rehabilitation required for Indian authorities involved in assaulting prisoners. It’s called prosecution for human rights crimes. But let Tihar jail speak for itself (quoted in full because it’s an indictment of actual practice involving beating of prisoners):
“Delhi Prisons strive to reform, reintegrate & rehabilitate the prisoners in the society. The challenge before any Jail Administration is to make the imprisonment purposeful in every way for those who have to undergo the same. We begin, by attempting to minimize the suffering of a person who has been imprisoned by providing an efficient & transparent administration. We provide them the opportunity to use their time purposefully & constructively by learning new skills, pursuing education & resolving their inner conflicts. It has been our endeavour to treat every prisoner in Delhi Prisons with dignity & respect.

“Today, Delhi Prisons are perceived as harbinger of human rights of prisoners & are being considered as role model by the National & International Prison Community.

“Delhi Prisons are known for innovations in correctional activities. Open/Semi-open Prison is one such effort wherein convicted prisoners having good conduct may undergo their sentence in a relaxed environment to enable rehabilitation and reintegration into the society. Yoga, meditation & spiritual activities constitute an important component of reformation & rehabilitation policy of Delhi Prisons which bring qualitative change in the life of prisoners. Thousands of prisoners have participated in the spiritual programmes conducted by the Prison administration & a marked change has been observed in their behaviour.

“There is a creche in the Prisons to take care of children till the age of six years. Later their schooling is undertaken with the help of NGOs. A number of activities are undertaken for the entertainment of inmates including TJ’s FM Radio’s have been launched in the jails to engage the prison inmates in creative activities & in learning vocational skills. The Prison inmates are encouraged to participate in creative literary activities like poetry & essay writing, journalism, painting etc. & they themselves edit the monthly newsletter of their jails.

“Jute designer bags are being manufactured by the inmates in collaboration with National Jute Board. Jute jewellery & ornament training programmes have also been started. For the first time, a collaboration with the Automobile sector has been launched for training inmates in Write Harness Training Programme.

“The projects relating to bakery, carpentry, mustard oil extraction, weaving etc. have helped inculcate skills which will open up employment opportunities for inmates on their release. At the same time, they earn for the work they do during their incarceration period & their mind is purposefully occupied. This helps to fulfill our mission to reform, rehabilitate & reintegrate the inmates.

“A number of organizations have come forth to play an active role in shaping designate of the inmates inside Prison & in their lives once their term is over & they go back to society.

Director General (Prisons)”

(Tihar jail website where this rubbish is posted:…/connect/Lib_Cen…/central+jail/home)

Israel trying to give BDS activists jail time

Boycott Israel (from FB wall of BDS India)

Israeli lawmakers are trying to enact prison time for activists who promote the economic & cultural boycott (Boycott, Divestment, & Sanctions) movement. Lawmakers all over Europe & the US are trying to make BDS illegal & impose penalties for advocating it. Think it might be having a political & economic impact?

Honor & promote BDS by buying nothing with a barcode beginning 729 & check every label–from shoes to cosmetics to foodstuff.

(Photo from wall of BDS India)

Parveena Ahangar, founder & leader of Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) in Kashmir, speaking of her son who was forcibly disappeared & how APDP was founded:

“Javaid was abducted by the army in 1990. I have been searching for him ever since. I have gone to every jail, every military camp, every police & every torture centre in Kashmir & I have gone to many jails in India. But I haven’t found him so far. I have travelled bare feet, sometimes without having a proper meal for days together.

“In the early 90s, as I was going around Kashmir searching for my son, I met mothers, fathers, wives who had met the same fate. I started bringing them together & in 1994 we formed the APDP in my kitchen. That’s how our movement began. Since then, we have been protesting at various places, demanding our loved be returned. I have only ever asked one thing of the government: you took our sons & husbands, just tell us where you have kept them.”

You can show your solidarity & follow the work of APDP on Facebook at:; or on Twitter at:

True love & racism in the British moochocracy

William in the elevated chair (Getty)

Hate to be a killjoy when it comes to true love & all that. But the British moochocracy is gonna work the Black ancestry of Harry’s fiancee for all it’s worth. Every continent is still reeling from Britain’s colonial legacy; Phil is a shameless & outspoken racist halfwit; William allowed himself to be carried around in an elevated chair by Black former colonial subjects; & Harry’s no schlep when it comes to working a crowd using Black kids as a prop. Are we expected to believe redemption for all that comes with the nuptials? I love love like everybody else. I just hate being played by feudalism.

Kashmiri photojournalist Aasif Shah on the dichotomy of compassion & personal ambition in his work

Aasif Shafi by Rehmani Sameer Nov 29 2017

Reposting this powerful statement by Kashmiri photojournalist Aasif Shafi because I believe it is a commitment as important to political activists as it is to freedom fighters/photojournalists.:

“The worst thing is to feel that as a photographer I am benefiting from someone else’s tragedy. This idea haunts me. It is something I have to reckon with every day because I know that if I ever allow genuine compassion to be overtaken by personal ambition I will have sold my soul. The stakes are simply too high for me to believe otherwise.”

(Photo of Aasif Shah by Rehmani Sameer)