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ANNUAL VOLUME FOUR 2013 OCTOBER- NOVEMBER- DECEMBER 2013 october Š www.liveencounters.net


Support Live Encounters. Donate Now and keep the Magazine alive in 2014! Live Encounters is a not-for-profit free online magazine that was started in 2009 in Bali, Indonesia. It showcases some of the best writing from around the world. Civil and human rights activists, animal rights activists, poets, writers, journalists, social workers and more have contributed their time and knowledge for the benefit of the readers of the magazine. We are appealing for donations to pay for the administrative and technical aspects of the publication. Please help spread the free distribution of knowledge with any amount that you feel you want to give for this just cause. BANK DETAILS Sarita Kaul A/C : 0148748640 Swift Code : BNINIDJAXXX PT Bank Negara Indonesia ( Persero ) Tbk Kantor Cabang Utama Denpasar Jl. Gajah Mada Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia Om Shanti Shanti Shanti Om markulyseas@liveencounters.net

Š www.liveencounters.net october 2013


“You can chain me, you can torture me, you can even destroy this body, but you will never imprison my mind.” - Mahatma Gandhi

Click on month October November December Volume One December Volume Two

Cover design and pic - Mark Ulyseas

All articles and photographs are the copyright of www.liveencounters.net and its contributors. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the explicit written permission of www. liveencounters.net. Offenders will be criminally prosecuted to the full extent of the law prevailing in their home country and/or elsewhere. 2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


CONTRIBUTORS Click on title of article to go to page

Saudi Women and the Emerging Culture of Entertainment Maha Noor Elahi

Maha Noor Elahi, ESL Lecturer in a private college in Jeddah, KSA, wife and mother of three children is an MA in English Literature majoring in Drama. She established the Drama Club where she works and has written and directed several comedy sketches. The Club’s latest performance was in December 2012, titled Kaleidoscope. Her work focuses on empowering women whether in their studies, professional or social lives. Maha is also a poet. www.saudirevelations.wordpress.com www.freewebs.com

Shining the Spotlight on Parsi Food Perinaz Avari

Perinaz (Peri) Avari is a proud Parsi Zoroastrian, native of cosmopolitan Mumbai in India and hospitality professional who’s been on many ‘food adventures’, especially during her 10 years working for the Taj Group of Hotels in India. Now living in America, Peri shares her hospitality wisdom and passion for Parsi and Indian food by creating simple recipes with a global appeal, through her informative articles and world travel adventures on - Peri’s Spice Ladle

Traditional Irish Cooking by an Irish American Sally McKenna

Sculptor, Sally McKenna, relays her life story intertwined with imagery, symbols, politics and the journey back to the ancestral land of Ireland. Life is mirrored in art from her earliest influences to the current day. It is a retrospective look from the vantage point of an age of prosperity and international upheaval. It is an honest reverie of how she made choices and fought the system. Art provided a grounding and creative base to discover and launch her dreams. www.sallymckenna.com Blog sally mckenna FaceBook

Food Gallery Jill Gocher

Bali based international photographer has spent her life exploring and enjoying Asian cultures. Her work has appeared in National Geographic, Time, International Herald Tribune, Asia Spa, Discovery, Silver Kris and many more. Her books - Asia’s legendary Hotels, Periplus, Bali- Island of Light -Marshall Cavendish, Indonesia Islands of the Imagination. Periplus, Australia - the land down under - Times Editions, Singapore, Indonesia - the last paradise - Times Editions. She has held exhibitions in Singapore, Kathmandu, and Bali. www.amazon.com/author/jillgocher

Beyond Rape... Rosemary Grey

© www.liveencounters.net october 2013

Grey is a PhD Student in the School of Social Sciences at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and a visiting scholar at the Centre for International Governance and Justice. Her research interests are gender issues in international criminal law, focusing particularly on the prosecution of sexual and gender-based violence at the International Criminal Court. First published in Regarding Rights


October 2013

Of Friendship, Tea, and Dialogue Ivo Coelho

Coelho earned his PhD in philosophy from the Gregorian University, Rome. He is Reader in Gnoseology and Metaphysics at Divyadaan: Salesian Institute of Philosophy, Nashik, India, and editor of Divyadaan: Journal of Philosophy and Education. Born in 1958 at Mumbai, he specialized in the hermeneutical thought of the Canadian philosopher, theologian and economist Bernard Lonergan. He is the author of Hermeneutics and Method: The ‘Universal Viewpoint’ in Bernard Lonergan and editor of Brahman and Person: Essays by Richard De Smet. www.divyadaan.in

Moon Phases Terry McDonagh

Irish poet and dramatist, Terry McDonagh, taught creative writing at the University of Hamburg and was Drama Director at the Int. School Hamburg for 15 years. He now works freelance; has been writer in residence in Europe, Asia, Australia; published seven poetry collections, book of letters, prose and poetry for young people translated into Indonesian and German, distributed internationally by Syracuse Uni. Press; latest poetry collection Ripple Effect due for publication in May/June 2013, Arlen House; next children’s story, Michel the Merman, illustrated by Marc Barnes (NZ) to be published in September 2013. He lives in Hamburg and Ireland. www.terry-mcdonagh.com

Corporal Punishment and Children... Nikola Stepanov

Stepanov is a doctoral scholar in philosophy and law (Rights of Children) with the Melbourne Medical School & School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne, and recipient of an Australian Postgraduate Award. Nikola also works part-time as a lecturer in Medical Ethics and Law with the School of Medicine, the University of Queensland. She will be spending the summer in Cyprus as an invited visiting scholar of the University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) Centre for Professional Ethics and UCLan Faculty of Law-Cyprus. First published in Regarding Rights

Great Charter - Huge Hatred - Nothing Changed Natalie Wood

Born in Birmingham, England, U.K., Natalie Wood began working in journalism a month prior to outbreak of the 1973 Yom Kippur War. She remained in regional Jewish journalism for over 20 years, leaving full-time writing to help run a family business and then completed a range of general office work. Wood and her husband, Brian Fink emigrated from Manchester to Israel in March 2010 and live in Karmiel, Galilee where she continues to work, concentrating on creative writing. She features in Smith Magazine’s new Six Word Memoirs On Jewish Life and contributes to Technorati, Blogcritics and Live Encounters magazine. Her stories - Website and journalism - Website

Experiencing Subtle Energies Candess M Campbell

Candess M. Campbell, PhD is an internationally known Intuitive Life Coach, Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Seminar leader, Hypnotherapist and Author. She specializes in assisting others to gain their own personal power and to live a life of abundance, happiness and joy. Early 2012 she will be releasing her book 12 Weeks to SelfHealing: Transforming Pain through Energy Medicine. www.12weekstoselfhealing.com 2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


SAUDI ARABIA

Hatoon Kadi with her two children Ahmed & Awab Her YouTube program “Noon Al-Niswa” represents the voice of every-day Saudi women, who are not from the high or velvet class, and who have balanced, wise attitudes and insights about life, family, and work. The program criticizes female behavior in the Saudi society, especially acts that are associated with the nouveau riche and the so-called “cool” generation of females. © www.liveencounters.net october 2013


MAHA NOOR ELAHI

Saudi Women and the Emerging Culture of Entertainment Saudi Arabia…oppression, rigorousness, and a great deal of limitations; perhaps that’s all what you’ve heard or read about my country, and when it comes to women, the case is even worse. I am not trying to change what you think about Saudi Arabia here, rather I will just take you on a quick fresh journey from the heart of Jeddah…fresh as in 2013! With all the negative international media coverage about Saudi Arabia, you might find it almost impossible to believe that you are going to read about entertainment and fun in Saudi Arabia!

In the last few years, a lot of Saudi young men have amazingly overrun YouTube channels through a variety of short comedy programs criticizing common social, economic, and political issues, and later on, they went on different theatres in Riyadh and Jeddah, performing what is internationally known as stand-up comedy, doing a great job ever since they started. Amongst them are Omar Hussein, Fahad Al-Butairi, Hisha Faqeeh, Badr Saleh, and many others, but it may seem just normal for those young men to bloom in a male-dominated society. What you might have never heard about is that there are a few notable female entertainers in Saudi Arabia, specifically in Jeddah, for “life” finds its way in those who want to enjoy it regardless of their condition or the restrictions around them.

Text & Pics © Maha Noor Elahi

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


SAUDI ARABIA

From left to right: Founder of the Reading Forum, Thuraya.A Batterjee, artist Safiya BinZagr and former Executive Director of the United Nations Populations Fund, Dr. Thurayya Obaid.

A few years ago, a young Saudi academic and IT specialist, who happens to be a friend of mine confided in me that she wanted to do something really big…something that would create a buzz in our society! And since she had always had this sharp and thought-provoking sense of humor, her dream came true, and she has become the first YouTube Saudi female entertainer! Hatoon Kadi is not a full-time comedy program presenter; she is a wife and a mother of two adorable boys.

Her YouTube program “Noon Al-Niswa” represents the voice of everyday Saudi women, who are not from the high or velvet class, and who have balanced, wise attitudes and insights about life, family, and work. The program, in addition; criticizes many female behaviors in the Saudi society, especially acts that are associated with the nouveau riche and the so-called “cool” generation of females. In a cynical light-hearted way, Hatoon mocks the “cool wannabes”, who are usually appearancecentered, show-offs, and completely dependent on maids to serve them and raise their kids. Hatoon tackles these social issues from a woman’s perspective, without making judgments or offering solutions; she just displays reality in her own way, and if that makes her audience enjoy a good laugh, she feels satisfied. Nevertheless, “Noon Al-Niswa” is only a small part of Hatoon’s life. Most of her time, she is a caring mother, who works half of the day and runs after her kids the other half.

“I have started my career when I was pregnant with my first son Ahmed and I never stayed home. Maybe I was lucky because the place I worked at provided a very good nursery service, which was a relief, so we had always been a package, leaving home at 7:30 and coming back around 5 pm. In Saudi Arabia, I used to have a maid, but she was never a cook or a nanny as I usually take off my Abayah and put on my apron once I return home to prepare dinner for my family. I have always believed that it is the mother’s responsibility © www.liveencounters.net october 2013


MAHA NOOR ELAHI

Children during an improvisation activity holding a sign “I am an Arab! I read in Arabic!”

to ensure good nutrition for her family. Now as I am doing my PhD in the UK, things are different as there is no full-time maid, so in the morning I just urge everyone to do their beds, I clean bathrooms, load the dishwasher, and then come back after a full day to do the rest.Well, I know it’s not a very pinky and bright picture, but it is manageable and rewarding.” Along with her daily chores as a wife and mother, Hatoon is preparing for her PhD degree at the University of Sheffield Information School. Her research is about the impacts of the deployment of virtual learning environment systems on teaching in Saudi higher education institutions. Needless to say, Hatoon’s experience is a perfect example of the willpower and tenacity that Saudi women have. She is a real-life example of how Saudi women can be whenever they have the desire, knowledge, determination, and of course, family support.

And definitely, Hatoon Kadi is not the only positive archetype. There are many other women in Saudi Arabia who understand the value and importance of entertainment; not just for the sake of fun or social criticism, but for educational purposes as well. At the beginning of 2013, Mrs. Thuraya A Batterjee, children’s books writer and owner of publishing house Kadi and Ramadi, decided to take the initiative of designing a public reading forum to spread the love of reading among children and to educate both children and parents through entertainment, particularly through amusing interactive reading workshops and stage performances.

Planning for such a forum, which included more than 50 workshops, meetings with a number of well-known published authors, and performing two plays for children, was undoubtedly not an easy task. It needed thorough planning, keeping in mind all those tiny details.

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


SAUDI ARABIA

Stars of Dakoon the Frog after their first performance

Of course, such events like the reading forum happen all the time around the world, but what is unique about Jeddah’s Reading Forum for Children is that it was initiated, planned, and executed by women! A team of 12 women were involved in the planning and coordination procedures and more than 20 young Saudi girls volunteered to help and organize during the five-day event.

The forum included a variety of engaging activities such as story-telling, an art exhibition showcasing children’s work, book signing, and workshops that encourage reading and discuss diverse ways to help parents and children live enjoyable experiences with books. All these activities were presented by famous male and female figures in the Saudi society; prominent authors, educators, artists, businessmen, journalists, TV presenters, company owners, and many more participated in the event, believing in the great cause behind it; the development of the new generation through non-traditional and attention-grabbing ways.

In addition, two major performances took place during the forum days; a performance of a play titled The Secret Lives of Princesses by Philippe Lechermeier and Rébecca Dautremer, performed in English and directed by a promising Saudi female director, Ms. Lana Qumosani, and another play called Dakoon the Frog by Haidar Solaiman, performed in Arabic and directed by me. Selecting children (the actors) between ages 5 to 16 was done after a number of auditions, and the training and rehearsals of both plays continued for about 3 months, two or three times a week including weekends, sometimes. To prepare for the plays the whole forum, each member of the organizing team worked day and night, dedicating their time and effort to achieve the goal of the event; spreading awareness and love of reading through entertainment. © www.liveencounters.net october 2013


MAHA NOOR ELAHI

From left to right: Dallah Al Baraka official Ayman Felimban, Thuraya A Batterjee, famous program presenter, Muna Abu Sulaiman, radio presenter, Terad Sonbol

The plays were received with great excitement by the audience, children and parents, and both plays were performed more than once upon the demand of the audience. All in all, the forum received full media coverage and positive, encouraging feedback from those in attendance. In Saudi Arabia, people are thirsty for amusement that supports their values and principles, and this emerging culture is a translation of changing and developing needs and interests. It is a way to adapt to the rapidly changing world; it is a rather new culture full of life and energy led by women, along with men.

Hatoon Kadi during her program

Text & Pics Š Maha Noor Elahi

2013 october Š www.liveencounters.net


PARSI ZOROASTRIANS

The Faravahar, believed to be a depiction of a Fravashi, which is the guardian spirit who sends out the soul into the material world to fight the battle of good versus evil. LINK

Shining the Spotlight on Parsi Food To understand Parsi Food, we need to step back in time and take a look at the Zoroastrian immigrants’ arrival on the western shores of India from Persia to escape religious persecution, around the 8th Century CE.

Followers of the teachings of Prophet Zarathustra/Zoroaster, the ancient religion of Zoroastrianism is as relevant today in its basic tenets of ‘Good Thought, Good Words, Good Deeds’ as it was in the days of King Darius I of Persia. Legend goes that since these immigrants came from the Persian region of ‘Fars’ and spoke the ancient language of 'Farsi', they soon came to be known as 'Parsi Zoroastrians' or ‘Parsee’ around the Indian subcontinent. Most of the Parsis settled around Gujarat on the west coast of the country and adapted to India’s food habits and culture. Over the last thousand years, thanks to our love of food, the Parsi cuisine has been history in the making, as it evolved into a unique west Indian regional cuisine. A stunning creation of food with ancient Persian touches added to well-known Indian ingredients and cooking techniques. Our ancestors’ early relationship with India fittingly starts with food. An interesting tale of the Parsis landing on the west coast of India has been passed down the generations and goes something like this: Upon arriving in Gujarat on the coast of west India around the 8th century CE, the leader of the Zoroastrian immigrants was promptly informed by the ruling King of Gujarat that his land was already quite populated and there was no space for immigrants. Since the two sides spoke different languages, they used metaphoric gestures to convey their thoughts. The King used a bowl filled up to its brim with milk, to signify that his land (the bowl) was filled to capacity with milk (his population) and hence more milk cannot be added to this bowl. At this point, the intelligent Zoroastrian leader took a spoonful of sugar (signifying the immigrants) and very carefully, without spilling a drop, stirred the sugar into thebowl of milk; thus signifying that the new handful of Zoroastrian immigrants would only be adding sweetness to the land and blend with his people like milk and sugar. I guess that sealed the deal, and the Zoroastrian diaspora became an integral part of India. © www.liveencounters.net october 2013


PERINAZ AVARI

While the Parsi Zoroastrian population in India may be dwindling, the interest and passion for Parsi food continues to grow, instead gaining a global audience, as Parsis migrate and settle around the world. The Parsi cuisine is a unique amalgamation, over the course of more than a thousand years, of classic Indian flavors with large doses of ancient Persian influences. This is no ordinary regional cuisine; Parsi fare is a true example of what we call ‘global food’ in today’s culinary parlance. What makes Parsi Food So Unique?

Let’s take a close look at a few of the elements, nuances and quirks of this interesting cuisine that truly sets it apart. The Dynamic Duo of Cider Vinegar and Jaggery/sugar

Known among Parsis as the ‘khattu mitthu’ (sour-sweet) touch to a gravy preparation, Parsi recipes often use a unique balance of acidic tartness from cider vinegar along with jaggery or sugar for sweetness, both added to a dish at the end of the cooking process. For the Love of Eggs

Eggs are almost synonymous with Parsi food. From favorites like the Parsi Omelet and Akuri a spiced scrambled eggs preparation, to the often joked about Parsi concept of Per Enda which literally translates to ‘put an egg on it’; the Parsis know the ubiquitous egg down to a pat. The Per Enda concept is an interesting one, wherein a vegetable or meat is prepared in regular Indian spices and aromatics, but finally gets served the Parsi way, which means it’s topped frittatastyle with a layer of fluffy well-beaten eggs or even an individual sunny-side up egg, and cooked in a pan on the stove top, just prior to serving.

Growing up, I remember many busy weekday meals consisted of an Indian-style sautéed vegetable like okra, beans, tomatoes, potatoes or sometimes a ground meat preparation ‘kheemo’ ; always served topped with a generous layer of deliciously seasoned frothy eggs over it. © Perinaz Avari

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


PARSI FOOD

Parsi Jashan ceremony (in this case, a house blessing) LINK

One Pot Meals with Lentils, Meat and Vegetables Although traditional Indians follow a predominantly vegetarian diet, Parsis show their Persian roots by being a largely meat-eating community, which has lead to a unique way of preparing one pot meals, featuring lentils and vegetables with meat added to them. Home cooked brown lentils-n-mutton favorite Masoor ma Gosht and the ever-popular Parsi specialty Dhansak made using lentils, meat and vegetables all cooked together in one pot, truly showcase the delightful effect of bringing together Indian lentils with meat. Home cooked brown lentils-n-mutton favorite Masoor ma Gosht and the ever-popular Parsi specialty Dhansak made using lentils, meat and vegetables all cooked together in one pot, truly showcase the delightful effect of bringing together Indian lentils with meat. Fruity and Nutty Touch to the Meal

Dried fruits like apricots and raisins, as also pistachio, cashew and almond nuts, commonly appear in Parsi dishes like the celebratory ‘Sev Dahi’, a sweet roasted vermicelli preparation filled with dried fruits and nuts, and ‘Jardaloo Salli Boti’, a savory dried apricot and tomato-based gravy. It’s not uncommon to find fresh fruits like pomegranate in Parsi gravies and lentil dishes. A Look at 5 Mouthwatering Parsi Classics

The Parsi cuisine offers a smorgasbord of delightful servings, and below is a list of five all-time favorites that aptly highlight the uniqueness of this cuisine; I’d say each of these dishes is ‘a culinary stalwart in its own right’. (Oppopsite Pic : Sev-Dahi, a Parsi Celebratory Serving with Roasted Vermicelli, Dried Fruits and Nuts, Topped with Cardamom Vanilla Yogurt. Pic © Perinaz Avari) © www.liveencounters.net october 2013


PERINAZ AVARI

Jamva Chalo Ji Come eat...food is ready!

© Perinaz Avari

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


PARSI FOOD

Pic © Perinaz Avari

Patra ni Macchi Unique in every way, Patra ni Macchi is a fish preparation, in which fillets of firm white flesh fish like pomfret or tilapia are covered with a thick layer of Parsi-style green coconut chutney, steamed in a banana leaf, and served in its own flavorful juices. This preparation is often part of the menu at events like Parsi weddings and Navjotes - a Parsi rite-of-passage tradition for children in the 7-11 age groups. Serves 4

1 ½ lbs tilapia fillet (4-5 fillets) 2 tablespoons lemon juice ¼ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon pepper Slices of lemon to top the fish For the Coconut Chutney 3 teaspoons cumin seeds 9 garlic cloves 4 tablespoons coconut flakes/desiccated coconut 2 cups cilantro leaves 1 cup mint leaves 2 Serrano pepper/4 small green chili (reduce for lesser spice) 3 teaspoons sugar 4 tablespoons white vinegar ½ teaspoon salt 3 tablespoons lime juice

Wash and clean the tilapia fillets. Cut 3-4 slits on both sides of the fillet, add lemon juice, salt and pepper and refrigerate till the chutney is ready.

© www.liveencounters.net october 2013


PERINAZ AVARI

A Parsi wedding, 1905 LINK

In a food processor, blend all the ingredients for the coconut chutney except the lime juice, really well. Use a few teaspoons of water as required to aid the grinding of the chutney. Once you have a fine paste consistency, mix in the lime juice with a spoon. Cut 4 large squares of heavy duty foil. Place one tilapia fillet in the centre of the foil square and liberally slather the coconut chutney over both sides. Top with a round slice of lemon. Seal the tilapia fillet in the foil. Repeat this step for the other fillets.

Heat an outdoor grill to 350F. Place the fish packets directly on the rack, cook for only 12 minutes. Remove and leave aside for 5 minutes, then check to make sure the fish flakes easily. (You can also make this in an indoor oven at 350F for 12-15 minutes.) Serve the fish hot along with all its juices from the packet over a bed of Cumin and Cilantro Brown Rice Pulao. Cumin and Cilantro Brown Rice Serves 4 2 cups brown rice, cooked and hot 2 tablespoon olive oil 1 teaspoon cumin seeds ¼ teaspoon salt 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Heat olive oil in a pan and when it shimmers, turn off the flame and add the cumin seeds. Drizzle this tempering over hot cooked brown rice. Mix the salt and cilantro into the rice using a fork. Serve hot as a bed for the Grilled Coconut Chutney Tilapia or as a side with any meat, lentils, vegetable preparation of your choice. © Perinaz Avari

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


PARSI FOOD

Pic © Perinaz Avari

Jardaloo Salli Boti An apricot and tomato based meat-n-gravy preparation; Jardaloo Salli Boti uses the tart-n-sweet ‘khattu-mitthu’ technique mentioned above, along with dried apricot and meat of choice. This unique dish is a true Parsi cuisine classic, using boneless cubes (boti) of any meat of choice and Persian touches like apricot (jardaloo,) red vinegar and sugar along with a blend of Indian spices and aromatics. It’s best served topped with crisp ‘Salli’ or shoestring potatoes (although a handful of crushed potato chips work well too.) Serves 4

1 lb boneless meat of choice like chicken thighs/mutton/lamb cut in 1 inch cubes 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste (4-5 garlic cloves & ½ inch ginger, grated) ½ teaspoon each, salt & cracked black pepper 2 tablespoons canola oil 2 cups finely chopped onion ½ teaspoon ground red chili or Cayenne pepper ½ teaspoon ground turmeric ½ teaspoon ground cumin ¼ teaspoon ground coriander ¼ teaspoon Garam Masala 1 ½ teaspoon sugar or 1 teaspoon jaggery 3 medium tomatoes, finely chopped (about 1 ½ cups) 2 cups chicken broth or water 5 dried apricots (see note below) ½ teaspoon salt (to taste) 2 tablespoon cider vinegar 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro Salli or shoestring potatoes or crushed potato chips, as a topping

© www.liveencounters.net october 2013


PERINAZ AVARI

“Parsis of Bombay” a wood engraving, 1878 LINK

In a bowl, bring the cubes of boneless meat together with grated ginger and garlic (ginger garlic paste) and salt/pepper. Let the meat marinade refrigerated for at least 2 hours or even overnight, especially if using mutton or lamb.

Heat canola oil in a large pan and add the chopped onions. Fry to a light brown on a medium flame. Mix the marinated meat into the onions, sauté together till meat is coated with the aromatics (in mom’s words: ‘let your nose guide you’.) Next, sprinkle the dry spices and jaggery or sugar and sauté for 5-7 minutes. If you feel the spices sticking to the bottom of the pan, add a few tablespoons of broth/water to help it cook.

Add the diced tomatoes, apricot, salt and 2 cups of chicken broth (you can adjust the broth to the desired consistency of the gravy.) Bring this mixture to a boil and cook covered for 10-12 minutes till the broth is absorbed, and the meat and tomatoes are cooked through. Taste for salt and add cider vinegar, chopped cilantro to the preparation, simmer for another 3-4 minutes for the flavors to blend together.

Serve Jardaloo Salli Boti hot, topped with Salli or shoestring potatoes (a handful of crushed potatoes chips will work as a substitute) alongside warm Indian bread like roti-chapati, naan or steaming basmati rice. Note

Dried apricots can be used un-pitted since the apricot will soften and blend into the gravy, pits can be removed prior to serving or while eating.

The dried golden apricots available in Western countries are generally sold pitted and work just as well for this preparation, offering a slightly tangier albeit equally delicious taste. © Perinaz Avari

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


PARSI FOOD

Pic © Perinaz Avari

Chicken Farcha Spiced and egg-batter fried Chicken Farcha is a crisp on the outside and juicy on the inside succulent chicken bite. A Farcha’s amazing taste and can’t-eat-just-one-piece quality has lead to a large local fan following in India for this dish. Serves 4

1- 1 ½ lb Chicken thighs (4-6 pieces) or drumsticks 2 tablespoon lemon or lime juice. 2 teaspoons ginger garlic paste (3-4 cloves garlic and 1 inch ginger, grated) ½ teaspoon ground red chili or Cayenne pepper ½ teaspoon smoked paprika ½ teaspoon garam masala ½ teaspoon kosher or rock salt ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs (regular breadcrumbs can also be used) 1 teaspoon lemon zest (grated rind of a lemon) ¼ teaspoon ground cumin 2 eggs, beaten with a fork ½ teaspoon kosher or rock salt ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper ¼ teaspoon ground red chili or Cayenne pepper

Mint-n-Mustard Yogurt Dip ½ cup plain yogurt ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard 1 teaspoon (5-6 leaves) shredded mint leaves ¼ teaspoon sugar 1/8 teaspoon (a pinch) each ground cumin, salt and pepper

© www.liveencounters.net october 2013


PERINAZ AVARI

Parsi Navjote ceremony LINK

Parsi Chicken Farchas Start by putting the chicken pieces in a bowl along with the lemon/lime juice. Leave aside for 15 minutes. This helps tenderize the chicken.

Add ginger garlic paste, dry spices and seasonings to the chicken, making sure all the pieces are well-coated. Marinade chicken in the refrigerator for at least 2-4 hours. In a flat plate, mix the panko or regular breadcrumbs with lemon zest and ground cumin.

Beat the eggs in a shallow bowl along with salt, cracked black pepper and ground red chili or Cayenne pepper.

Preheat the oven to 400F. Grease a baking sheet with a wire rack on it (it’s also fine to place the chicken pieces directly on a greased baking sheet.)

Working with one piece of chicken at a time, coat each chicken piece with the breadcrumbs mix first, then dip each piece in the beaten seasoned eggs and lay it on the greased wire rack or directly on the greased baking sheet.

Bake at 400F for 25-30 minutes for chicken thighs and drumsticks (chicken breast cooks faster) till a golden crust is achieved on the chicken Farchas and the meat is done to an internal temperature of 165F. Before serving, let the chicken rest for 3-5 minutes. Alternately, chicken Farchas can also be shallow or deep fried in a pan.

Serve Parsi Chicken Farchas while hot and crisp, as an appetizer or entree along with refreshing Mint-n-Mustard Yogurt Dip.

Mint-n-Mustard Yogurt Dip Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. If the yogurt’s too thick use a teaspoon or two of water to thin it down. The dip should have a coating consistency. Refrigerate for the flavors to blend. © Perinaz Avari

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


PARSI FOOD

Pic © Perinaz Avari

Parsi Omelet Parsi-style omelet, a classic preparation served just as often for breakfast as for dinner, is ultimate comfort food. Spiced and seasoned fluffy eggs are mixed with raw onion, ginger, garlic, tomato, green chilies and raw mango, if in season, along with chickpea flour (besan) and cooked on a pan. Serves 4-6 • Hands-on time 10-15 minutes

4 eggs 1 medium onion, finely chopped 1 medium tomato, chopped ½ teaspoon ginger garlic paste (or 1 minced garlic clove/¼ inch grated ginger) 1 Serrano pepper, minced (optional) 1-2 tablespoons raw mangoes, finely chopped (only if you have them on hand) ½ teaspoon each: chili powder, cumin powder, turmeric and ground black pepper ¾ teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon chickpea flour/gram flour* 2 tablespoons cilantro/coriander leaves 1 tablespoon mint leaves Canola oil to cook omelets Juice of half a lemon

*Chickpea flour or gram flour is available in the bulk section of most grocery stores or sold at ethnic stores as besan/channa flour. If you need to make it at home- lightly roast dried chickpeas and grind them in a food processor to a flour consistency. In a large bowl, mix onion, tomatoes, Serrano peppers, raw mangoes, spices & seasonings, chickpea flour, cilantro and mint. Add the eggs to the bowl and mix well. © www.liveencounters.net october 2013


PERINAZ AVARI

Avjo Ji Welcome to my Home and Please Visit Again! Portrait of a Parsi Lady by Raja Ravi Varma LINK

On a medium flame, heat an omelet pan with some canola oil. When the pan and oil are hot, spoon 3-4 tablespoons of the egg batter into the pan (make sure you spread the vegetables out so they don’t heap in the middle of the omelet.) Cook each side of the omelet for 3-4 minutes. Repeat till all the batter is used up, you should get 4-5 omelets. Serve hot with a dash of lemon juice and a warm crusty buttered bread. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dhansak with Brown Caramelized Rice and Kachumber

The ever-popular Parsi ‘Dhansak’, made using lentils, meat and vegetables all cooked together in one pot is best served over caramelized spiced basmati rice along with a side salad ‘Kachumber’ made with onion, tomatoes, cilantro, green chili peppers and a cider vinegar dressing.

It’s worth knowing that although many Parsi homes cook ‘Dhansak’ as part of their regular family meals, this dish is traditionally served on sad occasions like the fourth day following a funeral, hence it won’t generally be part of the menu at joyful events. If you’ve been invited to a Parsi home for a meal and would like to taste ‘Dhansak’, make sure to put in a specific request for it. As we don’t have a photograph nor the recipe here is the LINK

© Perinaz Avari

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


TRADITIONAL IRISH FOOD

SALLY IN THE KITCHEN PREPARING SODA BREAD © www.liveencounters.net october 2013


SALLY MCKENNA

Sally McKenna is a well known Sculptor, Painter, Sketch Artist LINK

From Arizona to Kiltimagh... American Sally McKenna’s Journey Home to Traditional Irish Cooking

When I arrived in Ireland fourteen years ago to live in a small town in the West of Ireland called Kiltimagh , I was introduced to the people and traditions. Neighbors and friends served several of the recipes I will talk about and share in this article.Their hospitality helped me so much to feel at home here. I quickly found out what was important about keeping an Irish Kitchen. The food was entirely different from what I was used to in Arizona but very much like what I grew up with in Wisconsin. I don’t consider myself a Cook but I do , like everyone, have to make meals. The great thing about Irish cooking is that it is hearty, uses local foods and tastes wonderful. It wasn’t long after I arrived in 1999 that I visited a neighbour and was given some home made soda bread and tea. She told me that I could make it myself but I was straight over from the American South West where for years I used tortillas bought in large plastic packs for everything. I hadn’t yet thought about returning to the oven so I bought soda bread both brown and white for years at the store. One day I stopped by Nora Rooney’s ( my neighbour) and she encouraged me again to make Soda Bread. Nothing tastes as good as soda bread right out of the oven. It is lo calorie except for the butter one puts on it. Nora makes it two ways, on top of the stove in a pan and in the oven. I like it best made on top of the stove. This was the way it was made on the open hearth in the big iron kettles seen now in museums. Another Irish cook told me just yesterday that the secret to good cooking is good ingredients. Go for Top Class they say here. Nora always uses buttermilk. In the days when she was young everyone who visited the house took a turn at the churn. Then buttermilk was plentiful in every kitchen. If you don’t have buttermilk on hand sour milk will do.This is great for me because I can never use up a full quart of milk before it goes off. You can also help your milk out with yogurt. The fermented milk mixes with the flour gluten and gives the soda bread its lightness. You can make a brown soda with whole wheat flour mixed half and half with white. Most European recipes use the metric system which drives us Americans up the wall or in a twist. The thing to remember is that one ounce equals 28 grams . I can’t even tell you how hard it is to learn to bake in centigrade temperature settings. The comfortable familiarity of knowing what each F. setting will do is gone. It might be helpful to use both so I did in this recipe. Text & Pics © Sally McKenna

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


TRADITIONAL IRISH FOOD

WHITE SODA BREAD - WET METHOD Ingredients 3 and half cups of white flour 1 tsp salt. 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda. Scant not heaping. Yes, the same yellow box that you used to let sit in the fridge to keep odors away. It is also called, here in the stores, bread soda. Be careful with the soda because it can make your bread yellow if too much is used 400 ml or half pint of buttermilk or soured milk Make a little pile of the dry ingredients and gradually stir in the buttermilk. It will be somewhat sticky but not like a batter. The WET method

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If you want to make it on the stove top take a small to medium heavy fry pan, grease it with butter and pat the wet mix in and spread to the sides. Put it on the stove at a low temp and cover with a loose lid when it browns on the bottom and drys on the top pat it with butter and turn it over to cook the other side. It is called a pancake and is my favourite as I like the flavor and it is brown and crispy . It has to be watched which differs from throwing something in the oven and then going off to read your e-mails which I do. I have since found that multi tasking and cooking doesn’t often work.


SALLY MCKENNA

WHITE SODA BREAD - DRY METHOD The DRY method

Extra flour keeps your fingers from sticking together into a knobbly mess. The less you handle the dough the lighter it will be.

You push it into a flattened hump of dough and cut a Celtic cross in the top of it. It helps to let the heat in to the middle and is also a prayer to the Evermore of Evermore.

The oven is preheated to 180 - 200 C about 375 F and then cooked for about 20 to 30 minutes. It needs to be nice and hot when it is put in. All ovens vary so check on it until you have done it several times. Your bread is done when you turn it out , thump the center and it gives off a dull hollow sound. It also smells divine. Cut it hot and serve with butter and jam and tea.

Text & Pics Š Sally McKenna

2013 october Š www.liveencounters.net


TRADITIONAL IRISH FOOD

TEA Tea is an important subject in Irish life, in fact it is the hub of the culture. You might think you know how to make Tea. I was best at making sun ice tea. There is not enough sun here for that so I had to learn how to make a real pot of good tasting and rejuvenating tea. If you are not from the UK or Eire here are a few pointers which I learned after much patience and help from my friends.

First if you are an American forget that you ever knew what tea was. It is nothing like the tea here. There are commercials that suggest a break for a Barrys cup of tea fixes everything. This is true. There are many good brands and everyone has their favourite.. One friend always uses loose tea but most use tea bags. If it is a group one tea bag will do for two people. Count the number of people divide by two and hang in a large pot. Our Womans’ Group can make the best tea for twenty people in a blink of an eye. I try to help but I am useless. I help with the washing up which is another word for doing the dishes. If you are using a tea pot always rinse the pot with boiling water first. There are electric kettles here that are the jet engines of the kitchen. They sound like it and boil the water in seconds. It is the first thing to buy if you will be here for more than one month. This and a 220 voltage electric hair dryer are essentials. Always ask if your guest likes their tea strong or light. A light tea drinker can be identified by watching them resist snatching the tea pot and start pouring. The next vital thing to know about is MILK. The cow and Ireland are inseparable. If you think you can use skim milk for anything but your own hidden uses think again. Most Americans have given up on milk and why not after seeing that blue liquid skim milk on their Rice Krispies. LO FAT or light milk is sold , accepted and permitted in public here. Cream is not put into coffee or tea.

My biggest challenge is to have fresh milk on hand for visitors. One friend accommodates me by having the coffee black. It is just me here and to use a liter of milk before it goes off (spoils) is a challenge.

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SALLY MCKENNA

SALLY’S BLACK BERRY LAYER CAKE I usually have about three cartons in varying stages of sour to use in baking. Once it separates I give up and throw it out. Chemistry in the fridge.

It is amazing to see how milk is always available for the ever present cup of tea in so many places. People stop on their way to work to pick up a liter for the office tea, for the teachers lounge or any place where there is a tea break. For example, after any procedure that requires a heavy sedative at Mayo General Hospital tea , scones and a pat of butter are served to the groggy , fasting patient afterwards. Honestly, this is true and very, very welcome.

Not everyone has sugar with their tea but it needs to be available. No one uses packets of Sweet n Lo or Equal so if you are travelling you will need to bring that along. If you are a co-dependant pleaser don’t pull you Sweet n Lo pink sachet out in front of the locals. There are some things best done in private. Also when eating a big meal tea and coffee are served at the end of the meal. We don’t wash our food down with beautiful Tea. If you want it with your meal you have to ask for it ,if you are visiting a private home they will be glad to oblige. Finally’ if your big strong builder says he is going home to his tea . He is not going home to a single cup of tea but a full small meal of maybe a bacon sandwich, chips , coleslaw and then the tea. He had his main meal at noon. If someone asks you to have a cupa that is often one cup of tea and a biscuit like a Hob Nob, Kit Kats, Mikados or Digestives ( like a graham cracker, but addicitve ). The selection of biscuits for tea are varied and delicious. Often something home made is offered, a slice of brack (I have never made that) a slice of treacle (I have made that), a piece of apple lattice tart which is readily available in most food stores (fattening). My favourite Christmas present is a bag of treacle buns from Nora. Treacle is a heavy, dark molasses found in red and gold cans on most market shelves. It lasts forever, just as does the Irish hospitality.

Text & Pics © Sally McKenna

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


TRADITIONAL IRISH FOOD

BLACK BERRY JAM Autumn is the Harvest Season The Autumn is called Samhain (sowain) For all countries the Harvest is a reward and a busy, busy time. The tractors are up and down the Mill Road. The silage ( a mixture of the grass and weeds in the fields) is cut and mechanically wrapped in black plastic rolls for the winter cattle feed. The rolls replace the haystack. The hedgerows are full of blackberries this year. All summer long Blackberry vines snake around and trip you , scratch you and invade your favourite plants but everything is forgiven when they put forth such incredible, copious fruit. The photo also includes sloe berries, can you find them? People make sloe gin , welcome as a Christmas toast. Slainte!!!

Sieved cooked blackberries make a lovely juice to use in jelly, gelatine (jello) or even just to drink. Tarts (pies) are traditional. I have made a cake with whole blackberries in the centre. Sprinkle them on ice cream or make yogurt smoothies. When mixed in cream cheese they make a beautiful, healthy and delicious spread. Freeze them loose in plastic bags and they can be used as toppings during the winter. Blackberries help to cleanse the liver and have Vitamin C . Because black berries have many pits they can be mixed with bagged frozen fruit called summer berry mix or even fresh strawberries and then cooked down with sugar to taste. This is Mary Rooney’s hint for a year round fresh jam, You will never buy anything else but fresh again.

Rinse your pickings,the flies like them too. I put about a half a cup of sugar with this batch . If cooked slowly just under a rolling boil the fruit mix will thicken . Because of refrigeration canning methods of sterilizing jars and adding a cap of wax is not used as much. There is a fruit sugar in the stores which is used especially for jam but I haven’t used it because what I do seems to be working. If it is not broke don’t fix it, they say. One of my favourite sayings is Celebrate the Seasons, Celebrate Life. Picking blackberries from the hedgerows is a wonderful celebration of the Season. Slan abhaile- good bye, safe home © www.liveencounters.net october 2013


SALLY MCKENNA

Text & Pics © Sally McKenna

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


TRADITIONAL IRISH FOOD

NORA ROONEY’S BOXTY The Irish potato ,at one time, was the main item in the diet. A family would eat many bushels a day to keep alive. The tragedy of the Irish Potato Famine is part of the awareness of people all over the world. The horror is that there was plenty of food in Ireland but it was shipped out and people were punished if they tried to stop the wagons full of grain.

Potatoes are a tremendous source of food energy and contain many vitamins and minerals. Today there are warnings in the media to spray potatoes for blight so it won’t happen again. Almost everyone with a garden will grow a ridge or two . I grew some in my compost after discarding some rooting eyes .That was a happy mistake. The actual plant is beautiful green and bushy, the potatoes hang on to the roots. When growing up in America we had one kind of potato that was used. That was the Idaho. It is a State in the North West of America, ideal for growing potatoes . It is also famous for winter sports and Sun Valley skiing.

Here there are many, many, kinds of potatoes, one for each type of food preparation and taste. There are floury potatoes, dry potatoes, wet potatoes and now trendy new baby potatoes. There are Duke of Yorks , an early potato, Roosters, Queens, King Edwards, Records, Kerrs Pinks, and white potatoes. Potatoes chips are called crisps, French fries are called chips, Wedges are roasted crispy chips with the skin left on, Chips can have vinegar, red sauce (ketchup) curry sauce and cole slaw on them. Chips and crisps are omnipresent in Ireland, just like in the States. The photo opposite is of large roosters and a white potato.

I will use them to make a version of the traditional Irish Boxty. A favourite that keeps well in the refrigerator.

© www.liveencounters.net october 2013


SALLY MCKENNA

METHOD Boxty Ingredients 5 lbs of potatoes- 10 large potatoes Add two cups or more of self rising flour to make a batter (some recipes use mashed potato but this one doesn’t) two teaspoons of salt This recipe can be halved

Some potatoes are wetter than others so they are good for boxty. The Rooster is a nice wet potato to use, the wetter the potato the more flour you will use. It is best to spend time experimenting with your pan, stove temp and potato type.

Drop about 7 desert spoons (about 7 heaped tbs),on a hot buttered fry pan Nora’s is 8 inches (the layer should not be thick) and put a loose lid over it, cook lo to medium heat.

It will get dry on top and crispy on the bottom, butter top and then flip with a large spatula to cook and brown fully. Steps are included in the above photos.

You can also drop the mixture by spoonfuls separately into the fry pan to make smaller pancakes. Text & Pics © Sally McKenna

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


TRADITIONAL IRISH FOOD

BACON AND CABBAGE Rashers, Bacon, Gammon, Ham, Pork The Pig , the Irish word for a pig is muc and a young pig is called a banbh, (bonniv). It was a sacred animal in Celtic history. The Celtic sow was easy to raise, ate simply let loose in the forest and was very fertile. She is a very good mother and is careful of the little ones even though she is of an enormous size. The pig provided valuable protein and variety in the diet. One of the early Irish coins had a sow and her litter on it. It was often the job of the smaller children to take care of the piglets after weaning, feed them milk , mash and potatoes, veg. peelings. Nora and Patricia both took care of the banbhs when they were children and it is one of their fondest memories. Yes, just like the little girl and the pig in Charlotte’s Web. The word Bonny is from Banabh. Rashers are thin slices of bacon that all visitors love to try when they arrive. American streaky bacon is entirely different and mostly fat but delicious in its own way. The BLT was the first food I learned how to make myself. I was nine. Rashers are not bacon. They are part of the culture and have no cholesterol (just kidding) You can have a bacon sandwich that is a hot rasher and white bread . Comfort Food. A breakfast roll is an Irish breakfast in a long baguette and the title of a popular Irish song of mourning. The songwriter had just had a triple bypass. Rashers are the most smuggled food . When Irish emigrate it is one of the things missed most. The Airport American customs office must be full of Rashers. Rashers are often grilled or broiled (grill is the Irish word for broil and grilling is done outdoors.)

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SALLY MCKENNA

FALLING IN LOVE WITH RASHERS L to R - Erin Walker (my daughter) and Jinsey Dauk They are also fried but, of course, there is more fat and salt that way. Frying often brings up a white froth and that is the brine coming out from curing. A fry up is the start of many a day.

St. Patrick’s Day in the States is celebrated with Corned Beef and Cabbage.

I never liked corned beef growing up, so I am glad I don’t have to eat it anymore to celebrate the Saints birthday. When I moved here I noticed that corned beef was nowhere to be seen.

Corned Beef is a substitute for Bacon and Gammon . In the States that cured cut of pork is not readily available. So we substituted corned beef, I guess because it is pink. It is too late now to change because corned beef and cabbage in America is as traditional as Paddy’s pig. When I moved here one of my first friends was Patricia MacNicholas. She taught me, with great patience, how to make Bacon and Cabbage. It seems easy but it is a different way of cooking than I was used to. Most of the moist cooking that American cooks do is braising.

I often talk to the older ladies in the grocery store on Fridays, which is Pension Day, hence grocery day. Daughters come with their retired mothers to help them shop and it is a busy day. I was fretting about what cut to buy and the lady next to me said “if they are hungry enough they will eat it”. There is allot of Irish wisdom left.

Text & Pics © Sally McKenna

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


TRADITIONAL IRISH FOOD

METHOD Bacon and Cabbage Pick out your cut of bacon or cured ham. Gammon is from the hind leg and the word comes from the old French gambe which means hind leg. . Gammon can be called bacon but to a butcher gammon is not bacon. I have always been confused and unless you want to ask allot of stupid questions that everyone already knows here go to the Internet. There are drawings and even a chat page.

This piece is a one kilo of bacon back joint not gammon. Soak in cold water one to two hours, pour off water. If you like it salty, soak less time. Re-fill a large pot with water and boil for an hour and one half or until tender when tested with a fork. If cooked too long it will toughen.It is not like cooking a pot roast, which I grew up with. The cabbage will take about half an hour to cook , add it half way through. Some like their cabbage really soggy.

There are many types of cabbage here. Most small farms would grow cabbage. It is an easy crop to grow in Ireland except for pesky green cabbage worms left by the white butterfly. Stay organic and pick them off the leaves by hand . Cabbage is a beautiful sight growing. It is good for cleansing the liver. The Curly green cabbage is called Savoy and the other in the photo is a round white. Kale is also grown in the modern Irish veg. garden and is very good for you. The dinner is served with VEG. When dining out here a full side plate of all kinds of vegetables and at least two kinds of potatoes are served. It is the best part of the meal. This meal has the favourite Autumn root crops, carrots, turnips (swedes), parsnips and boiled or steamed potatoes (spuds). Delicious, Mahu, mahu is maith liom. Congratulations, good in Irish! Š www.liveencounters.net october 2013


SALLY MCKENNA

PATRICIA MACNICHOLAS I had never eaten parsnips before I moved here and they are now one of my favorites. Roasted parsnips rolled in olive oil and baked are fantastic. There are only a few varieties of squash sold here. Zucchini are called courgettes. They can be grown in a tunnel successfully as can squash but they take up allot of room so it must be a large tunnel. Oh yes, a tunnel is a greenhouse not something you drive through. Petrol is gas and gas is gaseous. A biro is a pen. Finding the right word to say is part of the learning curve. So get your biro out , make a grocery(market) list (messages) bring your purse (hand bag). Stop for petrol. Change dollars to euros (notes) (30% more than the dollar) bring your totes (Irish law says you pay for carry out bags) pack up your own checked groceries. After you have recovered from the high cost of food here you carry them out by yourself and put them in the boot (the trunk). Drive home (home is a universal- everyone knows what it is) and sort out your messages(put away your groceries) Call (ring) a friend (a mate) and ask them to tea. It’s a gas and good craic (fun). Opp. Pic : Brian Mooney (L) founded the Integrated Resource Development Program here. Brian Kelly (R) has an interesting story. He grew up one of six children in the millers cottage in the field next to the Mill. The family then moved to Chicago when he was young. He comes back every year this time for a short visit. He wanted me to include a Mince recipe that the brothers and sisters grew up on. He was born here, but he is kiddingly still the visiting Yank. I am definitely a Yank. There is a story in every recipe.

Text & Pics © Sally McKenna

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


FOOD GALLERY

Food Beautiful food nurtures the body and sometimes the mind and spirit as well. It comes in all shapes and forms and sometimes, super chefs take it to new heights using their creativity and imagination to take food from the banal plain and raise it to a work of art.

As we eat we need to remember to give thanks and spare a thought for those less fortunate... it's a blessing.

Jill Gocher

Photographer, Bali, Indonesia

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JILL GOCHER

Text & Pics © Jill Gocher

2013 october www.liveencounters.net 2013 october ©© www.liveencounters.net


FOOD GALLERY

Saigon saveurs -Pho

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JILL GOCHER

Vertical salad

Text & Pics © Jill Gocher

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FOOD GALLERY

Lasagne

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JILL GOCHER

Sushi

Text & Pics © Jill Gocher

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FOOD GALLERY

Pumpkin bruschetta

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JILL GOCHER

Star fruit surprise

Text & Pics © Jill Gocher

2013 october www.liveencounters.net 2013 october ©© www.liveencounters.net


FOOD GALLERY

Strawberry creme brulee terracotta

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JILL GOCHER

Apple Cake

Text & Pics © Jill Gocher

2013 october www.liveencounters.net 2013 october ©© www.liveencounters.net


BEYOND RAPE

Fatou Bensouda, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. Image – ICC.

Beyond Rape

The evolving concept of ‘sexual violence’ under international criminal law First published in Regarding Rights

In the past two decades the international tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda have developed a rich jurisprudence on sexual violence crimes,[1] and the younger international courts, the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the Special Court for Sierra Leone in particular, are beginning to follow suit. There has also been a move to codify sexual violence crimes under international law, the current high water mark being the 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (the Rome Statute), which entered force in 2002. The Statute recognises ‘rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization and any other form of sexual violence of a comparable gravity’ as crimes against humanity,[2] and the same range of offences as war crimes in international and non-international armed conflicts.[3] ‘Rape’ and ‘sexual violence’ are also recognised as acts of genocide in the ICC Elements of Crimes, the supplementary text that defines the crimes enumerated in the Rome Statute.[4]

The inclusion of these crimes in the Rome Statute was seen by many feminist legal scholars and gender justice activists as a sign of a new norm of accountability for sexual violence under international law. In that context, the absence of sexual violence charges in the ICC’s first case, against Congolose warlord Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, was widely viewed as a step backwards. Human rights groups including Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice, Human Rights Watch and Avocats Sans Frontières questioned the (then) ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo’s decision to charge Lubanga with the recruitment and use of child soldiers only, when it appeared his forces had also committed other serious crimes, including sexual violence crimes, against civilians in the Congo.[5] © www.liveencounters.net october 2013


ROSEMARY GREY

While the Prosecutor declined to expand the charges in response to these concerns, he and his team were careful to highlight sexual violence within the existing charges at trial. But it was too little, too late. The Majority found that because the Prosecutor had not raised allegations of sexual violence when presenting the charges at the pre-trial stage, the accused could not be held responsible for any of the acts of sexual violence discussed at trial.[6] Fortunately, however, this first case was something of an anomaly insofar as sexual violence crimes have been concerned. The Prosecutor brought charges of sexual violence in several subsequent cases including Katanga and Bemba, which are currently at trial, and the current Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, has articulated her intention to ‘continue to prioritize the sexual and gender‐based crimes’ during her time in office.[7]

In tandem with the increasing codification and prosecution of sexual violence crimes in international courts, sexual violence has also become more visible in the academic literature on international criminal law. CIGJ’s own Professor Hilary Charlesworth has been at the forefront of this literature for over a decade,[8] and many of the other leading and emerging voices in the field are represented in De Brouwer, Ku and Römkens’ 2013 edited volume Sexual Violence as an International Crime.

An interesting pattern to observe, in these important legal and academic discussions of sexual violence, is that the term ‘sexual violence’ is almost never defined. There are some benefits to this ambiguity: it leaves space for unanticipated forms of sexual violence to be recognised, and ensures that the term is adaptable to different cultural contexts. On the other hand, it is not always clear what the participants in these discussions mean when they/we talk about ‘sexual violence,’ nor whether they/we are all talking about the same thing. This observation applies even in relation to what many consider the archetypal sexual violence crime – rape, the definition of which differs markedly across jurisdictions. In some penal codes, rape can be committed against women only, whereas in other jurisdictions the crime is defined in gender-neutral terms. In some jurisdictions, the definition hinges on the victim/ survivor’s lack of consent, whereas in others it hinges on the perpetrator’s state of mind. The ICC’s definition of rape is particularly broad: it includes the penetration of ‘any part of the body of the victim or of the perpetrator with a sexual organ, or of the anal or genital opening of the victim with any object or any other part of the body’, if such penetration is committed with ‘force, or by threat of force or coercion’ or ‘by taking advantage of a coercive environment’ or ‘against a person incapable of giving genuine consent.’[9] © Rosemary Grey

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


BEYOND RAPE The Chamber’s reluctance to define ‘sexual violence’ by reference to the physical elements of the crime seems unobjectionable – progressive, even – as it leaves room for a consideration of the cultural and psychological aspects of sexual violence. On the other hand, it does little to clarify what distinguishes ‘sexual violence’ from other types of violence, and the suggestion that this is a ‘question of fact’ seems problematic, given that the ‘sexual’ nature of an act is often a matter of opinion, rather than something inherent to that act.

Once one moves beyond the crime of rape, the space for different conceptualisations of ‘sexual violence’ opens up even further. This point was illustrated recently in the ICC’s case against Uhuru Kenyatta, sitting President of Kenya. The case, which is scheduled to go to trial on November 12, is concerned with crimes against humanity allegedly committed during the 2007-2008 post-election violence in Kenya. This violence followed ethnic as well as political divisions, with the Party of National Unity (PNU) drawing support from Kikuyu people, and the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) drawing support from the Luo, Luhya and Kalenjin.

In its initial application for a summons to appear, and again at the confirmation of charges hearing, the prosecution argued that the forced circumcision of Luo men by PNU supporters constituted a ‘form of sexual violence’ of comparable gravity to the other sexual violence crimes enumerated in the Rome Statute. The perpetrators were allegedly seeking to punish the men for being ODM supporters. The men were identified as such on the basis they were Luo, and their ethnicity was ascertained after they were forced to undress in public, revealing that they were – as is customary in Luo culture – uncircumcised.

The Pre-Trial Chamber rejected the prosecution’s characterisation of these acts as ‘sexual violence’. In the Chamber’s opinion, the acts were not of a ‘sexual nature’, and would be better characterised as ‘inhumane acts’ instead. The Chamber explained that ‘not every act of violence which targets parts of the body commonly associated with sexuality should be considered an act of sexual violence,’ but rather ‘the determination of whether an act is of a sexual nature is inherently a question of fact’. [10] The Chamber’s reluctance to define ‘sexual violence’ by reference to the physical elements of the crime seems unobjectionable – progressive, even – as it leaves room for a consideration of the cultural and psychological aspects of sexual violence. On the other hand, it does little to clarify what distinguishes ‘sexual violence’ from other types of violence, and the suggestion that this is a ‘question of fact’ seems problematic, given that the ‘sexual’ nature of an act is often a matter of opinion, rather than something inherent to that act.

Further complications arise when the Chamber’s approach to defining ‘sexual violence’ is contrasted with the definition of rape. The ICC’s definition of rape (excerpted above) focuses on the parts of the body that are penetrated, and the circumstances in which the penetration occurred. In proving rape, the prosecution is not required to show that the penetration was intended as ‘sexual’, or experienced by the victim/survivor in that way. © www.liveencounters.net october 2013


ROSEMARY GREY As more cases come before the ICC, it seems likely that the definition of ‘sexual violence’ will be further contested, and might ultimately become more settled. Such developments should be informed by a robust debate in the academic literature, in consultation with affected communities, about what it means to say an act of violence is ‘sexual’ in nature, and how ‘sexual violence’ should be defined under international criminal law.

By contrast, it would appear that ‘sexual violence’ is not defined by the parts of the body subjected to violence, but rather with reference to something qualitatively ‘sexual’ about the act which must be demonstrated. This apparent inconsistency is not necessarily a problem, but further analysis of these issues by the Court is necessary in order to shed light on exactly what kinds of acts constitute ‘sexual violence’ for the purposes of the Rome Statute. As more cases come before the ICC, it seems likely that the definition of ‘sexual violence’ will be further contested, and might ultimately become more settled. Such developments should be informed by a robust debate in the academic literature, in consultation with affected communities, about what it means to say an act of violence is ‘sexual’ in nature, and how ‘sexual violence’ should be defined under international criminal law. [1] See Brady, H. ‘The power of precedents: using the case law of the ad hoc international criminal tribunals and hybrid courts in adjudicating sexual violence and gender-based crimes at the ICC’. Australian Journal of Human Rights 18 (2) Dec 2012: 75-108. [2] Rome Statute, Article 7(1)(g).

[3] Rome Statute Articles 8(2)(b)(xxii); 8(2)(e)(vi). Nb. There are some minor differences in the description of the residual crime of ‘any other form of sexual violence’ in each of these articles. [4] Elements of Crimes, Article 6(b), fn 3.

[5] See, for example: Avocats Sans Frontières, Center for Justice and Reconciliation, Coalition Nationale pour la Cour Pénale Internationale RCD, Fédération Internationale des Ligues des Droits de l’Homme, Human Rights Watch, International Center for Transitional Justice, Redress, Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice. 2006. Joint letter to the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, 1 August 2006 [cited June 19 2012]. [6] Prosecutor v Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, Trial Judgment, Trial Chamber I, 14 March 2012 (ICC-01/04-01/06-2842) at [896].

[7] Bensouda, Fatou. Address to the Assembly of States Parties. Eleventh Session of the Assembly of States Parties, 14 November 2012, The Hague.

[8] E.g. Charlesworth, H & Chinkin, C 2000, The Boundaries of International Law, Manchester University Press, Manchester, UK; Charlesworth, H, Chinkin, C & Wright, S 2005, ‘Feminist Approaches to International Law: Reflections from Another Century’, in Doris Buss and Ambreena Manji (ed.), International Law: Modern Feminist Approaches, Hart Publishing, Portland, pp. 17-47 [9] Elements of Crimes, Articles 7(1)(g)-1; 8(2)(b)(xxii)-1; 8(2)(e)(vi)-1.

[10] The Prosecutor v Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, Confirmation of Charges Decision, Pre-Trial Chamber II, 23 January 2012, (ICC01/09-02/11-382-Red) at 265.

© Rosemary Grey

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


PHILOSOPHY

Pic © Mark Ulyseas

© www.liveencounters.net october 2013


IVO COELHO

Of Friendship, Tea, And Dialogue

When I was younger, perhaps in the years when I was just beginning to read philosophy, I found myself extremely open to all religions, and interreligious dialogue rather easy. We were introduced to Hinduism and in a lesser way to Buddhism by people of the calibre of Fr Richard De Smet, SJ and Sr Sara Grant, RSCJ, which is why it would not be entirely wrong to say that the first religion I really reflected on was Hinduism, at least in its Advaitic incarnation. As for the Buddha, I have, I think, always found him a fascinating figure: in many ways, the Buddha remains the dream of the intellectual type of person.

Things became complicated when I began to get deeper into the religion into which I was born. That was another adventure in itself, and anything I write will probably be a simplification, but this much I can say: from Raimundo Panikkar I picked up the idea that the only way to get out of a religion is either to sink into its depths or rise to its heights. In other words, you cannot really judge a religion unless you have first experienced it, lived it profoundly. So I decided to allow myself to sink into the depths of Catholic Christianity. That kind of process, of course, is not one that has a clearly marked terminal point, so I guess it is still going on for me. But I know that taking my own religion seriously made the understanding of other religions and interreligious dialogue that much more difficult. So where do I stand at this point?

I believe I have an enormous respect for the religions of the world, though I am not equally familiar with all of them.

I believe also that dialogue cannot take place by first cutting away everything that bothers or seems like an obstacle. I believe deeply, I hope, in Jesus called the Christ with the faith of the Catholic Church, and I know this puts me in difficulty in different ways with different religions. For both my Jewish and my Muslim brothers and sisters, Jesus as professed in the Creed is quite impossible to accept. And my Hindu and Buddhist brothers and sisters will have problems from another angle, for are we not making too much of history and of the word, and should we not instead transcend the whole sphere of the vyavaharika, the everyday, in favour of that which is beyond, the ultimate, the absolute, the paramarthika? So there are difficulties, major ones. But my point is that dialogue cannot and does not proceed by first putting aside everything that seems to be an obstacle. If it were to do that, there would be precious little left to dialogue about. So how then might we proceed?

Š Ivo Coelho

2013 october Š www.liveencounters.net


PHILOSOPHY Stephanie Saldana, author of The Bread of Angels likes to speak in this context of the sheikha with whom she was privileged to study certain surahs of the Koran in Damascus. This sheikha, who ran a Koranic school for Muslim girls, believed that no religion has a monopoly on salvation: people of all faiths can go to paradise provided they do what is in their holy book. She was not an ultra-liberal sheikha by any means, Stephanie says, but here she was, a beautiful human being who could recognize and respect and love the humanity in another human being from another religion and another culture.

I am convinced, first of all, of the importance of friendship. Friendship, as Aristotle says, is the condition for doing philosophy. It is also the absolute condition for interreligious dialogue. Friendship is the lived recognition of our common humanity, beyond differences on the level of belief. Even if we never come to agreement, friendship will remain an absolute value and something to be treasured.

But friendship is a goal to be achieved. Perhaps we need to stress, even before that, the importance of simple contact. It is quite amazing how we can live our independent lives even in the midst of the most startling diversity. I have lived most of my life in cosmopolitan Mumbai, rubbing shoulders at home and at school with Hindus, Muslims and even the occasional Jew. Just now I am living in Jerusalem, surrounded by Jewish neighbours. But it does not follow automatically that we know one another, or even that we have sufficient contact. Contact needs to be achieved. It is the most basic step in dialogue. I heard a friend saying recently that there is no dialogue in the abstract, and there is much truth in that.

Stephanie Saldana, author of The Bread of Angels likes to speak in this context of the sheikha with whom she was privileged to study certain surahs of the Koran in Damascus. This sheikha, who ran a Koranic school for Muslim girls, believed that no religion has a monopoly on salvation: people of all faiths can go to paradise provided they do what is in their holy book. She was not an ultra-liberal sheikha by any means, Stephanie says, but here she was, a beautiful human being who could recognize and respect and love the humanity in another human being from another religion and another culture. Interreligious dialogue has to have a human face. Dialogue between Islam and Christianity might not mean much, but dialogue with another human being, yes. And then there was the ‘settler’ I met at a Taize prayer meeting in Ratisbonne, who spoke to me about his way of dialogue: giving a lift to any Palestinian he passed on the road. This man knew the importance of simple contact and interaction. Much of the time we tend to demonize the Other simply because we do not really know him or her. My friend told me how he had once taken a rather orthodox young man from his settlement to meet a Palestinian family in their house. It was the very first time this young man had ever come in proper contact an Arab family, and he came away a little changed by his encounter. “They seem to be quite nice, after all.” Friendly contact has a way of breaking down the walls we have put up between ourselves.

Contact and friendship bring up the topic of leisure and language. If we are to be friends, we need to invest time, and we need to have a medium of communication. This became so wonderfully evident to me last year when we paid a visit to the Benedictine monastery of Abu Ghosh, not far from Jerusalem. © www.liveencounters.net october 2013


IVO COELHO This is what Baba Devdas, a Salesian Catholic priest, does in the village where he runs a place for ‘street kids.’ He often gets groups from the neighbouring village barging into his house, and they are not always reasonable and sometimes potentially violent. What do you do, I asked him. I make them sit down first, he told me. Then I offer them water – you always offer water first in a hot country, it is the basic courtesy. And then tea. And they usually become quite reasonable by then. So I often think of tea as an important element in dialogue, including the interreligious variety.

Benedictine monks pray and work. They have no external ministry. This means they have time for people.

Brother Olivier, for example, meets many people from all walks of life and all religions. For his diaconate ordination last year he said he was surprised by the number of people who turned up: Christians of course, but also Muslims, men and women, Palestinians as well as Israelis, religious Jews as well as soldiers, and even twenty Israeli bikers with their Harley-Davidsons. I think the secret is that Olivier and many of the monks speak Hebrew, and they have time to waste with people. That is the wonderful thing about being a monk: no other ministry, and plenty of time for people. "We show that we must live together, and that we can," said Olivier. "I can tell you that my political views are quite different, but I experience that people love me just the same." And he told us of an sms that he received from an Israeli soldier that made him cry and laugh: “I miss you. Take care of yourself. Don't go out into the sun." Tea is another wonderful ingredient in interreligious dialogue, especially in a country like India. If someone invites you for tea in his house, it is usually a sign of esteem and friendship, and you would do well to accept it. And if a turbulent group confronts you, offer them some tea, and you will see how the temperature drops significantly.

This is what Baba Devdas, a Salesian Catholic priest, does in the village where he runs a place for ‘street kids.’ He often gets groups from the neighbouring village barging into his house, and they are not always reasonable and sometimes potentially violent. What do you do, I asked him. I make them sit down first, he told me. Then I offer them water – you always offer water first in a hot country, it is the basic courtesy. And then tea. And they usually become quite reasonable by then. So I often think of tea as an important element in dialogue, including the interreligious variety. Tea, after all, has ancient religious roots. As cha it comes from the Sanskrit word dhyan, meditation; from there it migrated to China, where it became cha’n, and eventually Japan, where it became the better known Zen. But in India it is a sign of friendship, especially when it is ‘cut.’ So when your host pours half the cup into the saucer and offers you the saucer, don’t hesitate to drink from the saucer. And then the importance of simple information. That became evident to me when a Hindu gentleman once approached me in Nashik. The Kargil conflict between India and Pakistan had just concluded, and Mr Patwardhan was writing a book on the new Kargils in the centre of India – by which he meant Christian missions all over the country. He felt these where the new and hidden centres of conflict. © Ivo Coelho

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


PHILOSOPHY Swami Abhishiktananda, the Benedictine monk Henri Le Saux, underwent the acute experience of the tension between Christianity and advaita, between the vyavaharika and the paramarthika. He was never able to transcend these antinomies in any satisfactory way. His greatness lay instead in having lived within himself the symbiosis of two traditions, Hindu and Christian, in such a way that they both became part of himself. In the words of the theologian Jacques Dupuis, his stubborn fidelity to two faiths made of him a prophetic figure at a time when the marriage of East and West was being felt as an urgent need.

But he wanted to be fair to the Christians, he said, and so he had decided to meet some and hear from them their side of the story. We had several sessions. Unfortunately he would turn up without warning, and I, as usual, always had a thousand things on my plate. I was not too patient, and he was not too open. What I realized in this short exchange was that not even the basic information about our religions could really be taken for granted. We cannot take for granted that we share the same data; and even when we do, it tends to be tremendously slanted in one way or another. Interreligious dialogue will often involve working painstakingly through the little details which we take for granted, and once again, friendship and leisure are a tremendous help.

From here we can go on to more sophisticated reflections. Panikkar distinguishes dialectical dialogue from dialogical dialogue. Bernard Lonergan notes that, where dialectic treats subjects as objects, dialogue deals with subjects as subjects. I find Gadamer’s remarks terribly enlightening in this regard: When we claim to understand the other person in advance, we actually succeed in keeping her claim at a distance. The dialectic of charitable or welfare work, Gadamer says, operates in this way, penetrating all relationships between people as a reflective form of the effort to dominate. And the educative relationship is also but an authoritative form of welfare work. When we want to deal with subjects as subjects, there has to be the effort not to co-opt the other into our schemes. We cannot pretend to understand the other in advance. Such understanding destroys dialogue, because it treats the other as an object, it fails to relate to her as subject. Which brings us to another important aspect of dialogue: the ability to hold things together in tension. We will often not be able to ‘resolve’ the inherent tensions in dialogue. Two examples come to mind here: Swami Abhishiktananda and Stephanie Saldana, once again. Swami Abhishiktananda, the Benedictine monk Henri Le Saux, underwent the acute experience of the tension between Christianity and advaita, between the vyavaharika and the paramarthika. He was never able to transcend these antinomies in any satisfactory way. His greatness lay instead in having lived within himself the symbiosis of two traditions, Hindu and Christian, in such a way that they both became part of himself. In the words of the theologian Jacques Dupuis, his stubborn fidelity to two faiths made of him a prophetic figure at a time when the marriage of East and West was being felt as an urgent need. He was able to live with the tension, leaving to others the task of constructing a synthesis. Stephanie Saldana, who reads the Gospel of Luke with Muslim students at the Al Quds University in East Jerusalem, echoes the same thing in a different way. How, we asked her, do her students relate to a Jesus who is believed to be God, and who is at the same time feels afraid in the Garden of Gethsemane? Strangely, she said, her students are able to connect with Jesus’ fear and weakness. How do you explain that?

© www.liveencounters.net october 2013


IVO COELHO Even the irenic Panikkar does not hesitate to say that true dialogue demands the lifting of all brackets. For if the other has reached his deepest level, and I, out of politeness, remain at what is for me only a penultimate level, I am not being really authentic. There is a point in the dialogue when dialogue itself give way and makes place for the witness, the testimony, the test is or the ‘third’ that speaks through us and breaks into another dimension.

Perhaps only by the fact that many of us actually do live with contradictions more often than we think. We might, for example, have strong prejudices about people from a certain community, and yet also have close friends among members of that community. The ability to hold things in tension is another very important aspect of interreligious dialogue. We need to resist the temptation to make everything the same. God is surely more complex than we think. On the other hand, within the context of friendship, dialogue will probably demand also the courage to go beyond the bounds of political correctness and to call a spade a spade. Within friendship and in a spirit of charity, we should surely be able to speak also hard truths. Not all love is merely sweetness and light. Here the three stages of community that Scott Peck speaks about in The Road Less Travelled might be instructive: true community begins when we are able to go beyond initial politeness and dare to face the chaotic, and it is born when we are able to get beyond chaos to true understanding. Even the irenic Panikkar does not hesitate to say that true dialogue demands the lifting of all brackets. For if the other has reached his deepest level, and I, out of politeness, remain at what is for me only a penultimate level, I am not being really authentic. There is a point in the dialogue when dialogue itself give way and makes place for the witness, the testimony, the test is or the ‘third’ that speaks through us and breaks into another dimension.

But surely all dialogue calls for a generous dose of a quality that Richard De Smet had in abundance: an inner strength, a centredness, the hara that enables one to stay calm, persist, persevere, even when the going is tough and one is challenged at one’s deepest levels. Here then is the emotional dimension of interreligious dialogue, one that blends and merges imperceptibly into the religious or spiritual dimension, into that strength and gentleness and peace that comes from a Source that we somehow know is not of our doing.

© Ivo Coelho

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


TERRY MCDONAGH

This very short poem, Moon Phases, grew out of a conversation I had with my son one evening out walking in Hamburg. It was full moon. We looked up. He told me about men on the moon and I tried to talk about the man in the moon.

I was about to tell him the man on or in the moon was imaginary when, suddenly, I realised time had passed and man had gone to the moon since my childhood. We were on two different planets.

Moon Phases

My son tells me stories of men on the moon.

I remember the man in the moon lighting up playful fox cubs on a hill at harvest time.

Š Terry McDonagh Š www.liveencounters.net october 2013


POETRY

Pic © Mark Ulyseas

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


HUMAN RIGHTS

Corporal Punishment and Children: Why is there a legal discrepancy in Australia between the use of physical force against children, and the use of physical force against adults?

Children at the 2011 UNRWA Summer Games Source: UN Photo / Shareef Sarhan

Reprinted by special permission of Benjamin Authers, Regarding Rights

Š www.liveencounters.net october 2013


NIKOLA STEPANOV

The recent Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) Position Statement Physical Punishment of Children illuminates the ongoing discrepancies in many nations, including Australia, between the legal rights of adult persons and the legal rights of children.

In seeking to ensure children are protected from the potential harms of corporal punishment, the RACP made several reasonable, evidenced-based arguments[1] including:

• That current Australian practice allowing the corporal punishment of one’s own children is inconsistent with the rights of other persons in society (including other children), and is incongruent with basic human rights;

• That there are other, more effective ways of disciplining a child; and

• That physical punishment is an outdated practice;

• That there may be adverse, long-term consequences to the child and that this outweighs any counter-claims of short-term effectiveness or compliance due to physical punishments.

The RACP Position Statement raises an important question about why children in Australia do not enjoy the same right not to be harmed as adults and whether this discrepancy is based on any valid moral or legal premise. As of 2012, 33 international states had prohibited all forms of corporal punishment, including in the home and in schools. A further 18 governments are also publicly committed to considering prohibitions, including our Asian neighbours Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Bangladesh, and Thailand.[2] Concerningly, a formal commitment from the United States and Australia appears to be absent.

Currently in Australia the use of non-consensual physical force, including harming another adult or another person’s child, may open up a liability under the tort of trespass. That the force was a form of punishment for some wrong is not an acceptable defence. However, as noted in the RACP Statement, using physical force against one’s own child is acceptable in all jurisdictions provided the level of force is reasonable and for the purpose of correction. [3] This discrepancy highlights a fundamental flaw in our nation’s occasionally ad-hoc approach to implementing and enforcing those basic human rights (as defined in various United Nations instruments) to which all persons have a claim, and to which Australia has formally agreed.

© Nikola Stepanov

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


HUMAN RIGHTS At international law, children have the same claim to basic protections and rights as other persons.This status provides the rationale for the position that children enjoy the same claim to “rights” as adults such as the right not to be harmed or killed. Furthermore, children occupy a special moral status in society that recognises their vulnerability, the significance of their special relationships with family, their potential as persons, and their limited cognitive ability to make decisions about their own care and needs.

Although the notion of personhood and the characteristics defining what makes a human being a person are frequently debated at a theoretical level, it is generally accepted that most living human beings have enough of the characteristics of “personhood”—such as sentience and a vested interest in their own future—to have a claim to basic human rights.[4] At international law, children have the same claim to basic protections and rights as other persons.[5] This status provides the rationale for the position that children enjoy the same claim to “rights” as adults such as the right not to be harmed or killed. [6] Furthermore, children occupy a special moral status in society that recognises their vulnerability, the significance of their special relationships with family, their potential as persons, and their limited cognitive ability to make decisions about their own care and needs.[7] This unique status affords them the right to basic protections as well as extra protections as noted in Article 19 s1 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child: Parties shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child.

Moreover, the convention places responsibility on states to ensure that these rights are protected and facilitated, stating at Article 19 s2: Such protective measures should, as appropriate, include effective procedures for the establishment of social programmes to provide necessary support for the child and for those who have the care of the child, as well as for other forms of prevention and for identification, reporting, referral, investigation, treatment and follow-up of instances of child maltreatment described heretofore, and, as appropriate, for judicial involvement.[8]

This extension of basic human rights to include extra rights for children is reflected in other declarations, including the 1924 Geneva Declaration of the Rights of the Child and the Declaration of the Rights of the Child adopted by the General Assembly on 20 November 1959.

Human rights, however, are aspirational in nature, aiming to bring about “the accomplishment of particular social or moral goods”.[9] Whilst all persons, including children, have the same moral claim to human rights, the potential to actualise or realise those claims may be limited by factors such as a nation’s financial resources, political will, or the physical environment.[10] Therefore, legally promoting and facilitating human rights is dependent on each nation’s ability to or interest in conferring responsibility to enforce human rights by way of laws and legislations.[11] Many developing nations lack the resources or the political and legal structures to make basic human rights enforceable.[12] This is not the case in Australia, however, particularly within the context of enforcing the right of children not to endure corporal punishment from their parents.

© www.liveencounters.net october 2013


NIKOLA STEPANOV This position must be reasonably justified in order to explain why Australia continues to allow practices that are at odds with numerous human and child rights declarations and frameworks, and the emerging empirical evidence of the harms of corporal punishment. Alternatively, we should face squarely the full moral and legal impact of what we are doing and seek to address such obvious inconsistencies with our international and domestic human rights obligations.

Furthermore, many nations that have prohibited or will seek to prohibit the corporal punishment of children are less well-placed in comparison to Australia. The RACP Position Statement offers a challenge to our current practices and our approach to enforcing human rights.

If we accept that current practices in Australia are permissible then we are accepting a position that is incongruent with many other nations and with the various conventions on the rights of children. Furthermore, we are identifying that there is something about being a child that reduces or sets aside their claim to the basic rights enjoyed by other persons. This position must be reasonably justified in order to explain why Australia continues to allow practices that are at odds with numerous human and child rights declarations and frameworks, and the emerging empirical evidence of the harms of corporal punishment. Alternatively, we should face squarely the full moral and legal impact of what we are doing and seek to address such obvious inconsistencies with our international and domestic human rights obligations.

[1] The RACP Position Statement includes references to a number of national and international published articles in well-ranked journals to support their claims, as well as a number of Commissioner’s Reports.

[2] Global Progress. (2012) Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children. Available from: LINK. Date accessed August 27 2013. Corporal punishment prohibited in all settings: Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, Congo, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Kenya, Liechtenstein, Luxemburg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Moldavia, Romania, South Sudan, Spain, Sweden, Togo, Tunisia, Ukraine, Uruguay, Venezuela. [3] RACP, n 1; Gawlik J, Henning T & Warner K. (2002). Physical Punishment of Children. Tasmania Law Reform Institute. Hobart; Australian Institute of Family Studies, Corporal Punishment: Key Issues. Date accessed August 27 2013. [4] Singer, P. (2011). Practical Ethics: 3rd Edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

[5] ‘Child’ is defined in Article 1 of Convention on the Rights of the Child as ‘every human being below the age of 18 years’.

[6] Freeman, M. (1985). The Rights and Wrongs of Children. London, Francis Pinter; Wald, M. S. (1979). “Children’s Rights: A Framework for Analysis.” U.C.D Law Review 12(255); Rodham, H. (1979). “Children’s Right’s: A Legal Perspective.” In P. B. Vardin, I. (Ed.), Children’s Rights:Contemporary Perspectives. New York: The Teacher’s College Press. [7] Kerridge, I., M. Lowe and C. Stewart (2013). Ethics and law for the health professions. Leichhardt, The Federation Press.

[8] Australia signed the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1990, and was an active contributor in the development of the convention with delegates including former Chief Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commissioner, Brian Burdekin. Details available from: LINK [9] Freeman, M. n 6. 1985. p 37. [10] Singer, P. n 4. 2011.

[11] Freeman, M. n 6. 1985; UN n 5; Wald, M. n 4. 1975. [12] Singer, P. n 4. 2011.

© Nikola Stepanov

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


KARMIEL

Great Charter - Huge Hatred - Nothing Changed Magna Carta, described as “the greatest constitutional document of all times” and considered the cornerstone of the British constitution, devoted two important clauses to the Jewish community of the period.

The famous first version, signed under duress at Runnymede by King John in 1215, is said to have placed certain checks on the absolute power of the English monarchy. This did not prevent Edward I from expelling his Jewish subjects in 1290 – a mere 75 years later. It was to be 366 years before any Jews returned to England openly, although like everywhere else in Europe, a tiny number of ‘hidden’ Jews remained throughout. I’ve been considering this again, as I did in 2006 when the Anglo-Jewish community celebrated the 350th anniversary of its resettlement in England. This follows the British Library’s decision to mark the charter’s 800th anniversary in 2015 by bringing together the four surviving copies of the original document. Two are kept at the library, another is at Lincoln Cathedral and the fourth is at Salisbury Cathedral.

The two ‘Jewish’ clauses, explained below, have been dismissed as ‘antisemitic’. In my view they prove how essential the community was to medieval English life – and how vital to the economy. I suggest that the rulings were not inherently anti-Jewish but the way they were interpreted by Jews’ enemies caused unnecessary hostility. This is not the same thing! Magna Carta (usually translated as ‘Great Charter’) contained two articles relating to money lending and Jews. Such involvement with money lending caused Christian resentment as the Church forbade the lending of money at interest (then known as usury). It was seen as a vice (such as gambling, an un-Christian way to profit at others’ expense) and was punishable by excommunication, although Jews, as non-Christians, could not be excommunicated and were thus in a legal grey area. Secular leaders tolerated Jewish usury because it gave them an opportunity for personal enrichment. This resulted in a complicated legal situation: debtors frequently tried to bring their Jewish creditors before Church courts, where debts would be absolved as illegal, while Jews attempted to get their debtors tried in secular courts, where they would be able to collect plus interest. The relations between the debtors and creditors would often become very nasty and there were many bids to resolve this problem. The relevant clauses in the original Magna Carta illustrate the legal code of the time: “10. If anyone who has borrowed a sum of money from Jews dies before the debt has been repaid, his heir shall pay no interest on the debt for so long as he remains under age, irrespective of whom he holds his lands, if such a debt falls into the hands of the Crown, it will take nothing except the principal sum specified in the bond”.

© www.liveencounters.net october 2013


NATALIE WOOD

“11. If a man dies owing money to Jews, his wife may have her dower and pay nothing towards the debt from it. If he leaves children that are under age, their needs may also be provided for on a scale appropriate to the size of his holding of lands. The debt is to be paid out of the residue, reserving the service due to his feudal lords. Debts owed to persons other than Jews are to be dealt with similarly”. Pope Innocent III annulled the first version of Magna Carta only two months after it was written. He claimed it was illegal because the king’s signature had been forced. Future versions contained no mention of Jews. The Church saw Jews as a threat to its authority, and to the welfare of Christians, because of their special relationship to kings as moneylenders. “Jews are the sponges of kings,” said one William de Montibus, “they are bloodsuckers of Christian purses, by whose robbery kings despoil and deprive poor men of their goods.”

So it is clear that on the subject of ‘usury’ and Jews, the medieval Church relayed an unpleasantly mixed message: the wording relating to Jews in the first version of the Magna Carta was there partly because it suited the Christian nobility and was symptomatic of the larger power struggle between Church and State throughout the period.

Little changes. If anyone reading this piece believes modern antisemitism relates solely to the State of Israel, I commend them to the website ‘Jewish Currents’ which has readers’ talk-backs under its article about Magna Carta. I conclude by quoting several in full without further comment: Barbara - June 27, 2011 “Why don’t Jews just live in their own country?”

Jack - June 27, 2011 “Wow, that must have been a virtual paradise in England, without any Jews. What a great time to have lived”. Mike Bailey - July 10, 2011 “Among other crimes King John expelled the Jews for: (1) ritual Jewish murder (the Hugh of Lincoln incident, sort of like Cayley Anthony, but a long time ago) (2) Coin clipping. This is a form of stealing / lowering the value of a silver or gold coin by chipping a little of the precious metal off the edge of the coin with a hammer and chisel. Modern coins have knurled edges as a safeguard against this type of thievery. That’s why Bernie Madoff worked exclusively with paper securities”. © Natalie Wood

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


HEALTH

Experiencing Subtle Energies

In the last few months in the 12 Weeks to Self-Healing: Transforming Pain through Energy Medicine series, we explored your beliefs and feelings, as well as how to handle trauma. Now we will explore your energy system. At some level, you are already aware of subtle energies. Now you can learn some tools for working with them that will assist you on the road to self-healing. We all feel subtle energy at times. You may have walked into a room and immediately sensed that there was someone there before you who was angry. Maybe you have been around someone who was depressed and noticed that you began to lose energy and feel unmotivated as well. Have you ever been in a room full of people and seen someone across the room looking at you … and you then felt a surge of energy and excitement? How about spending time with young children and being energized by the experience? Subtle energy is the energy around your body. It is a part of you, and others feel it as well. In his 1998 book, Subtle Energy, William Collinge tells us that Albert Einstein showed through physics what the sages have taught for thousands of years. “Every animate and inanimate object in our material world is made of energy, and everything radiates energy. The earth is one enormous energy field; in fact, it is a field of fields. The human body, a microcosm of this, is a constellation of many interacting and interpenetrating energy fields.”

Many of use experience the subtle energies of a pet as healing. The giving of love to the pet, the receiving of love and the caring for a pet are all ways that energize and heal. This is especially true for people who live alone, for children who often have a need to touch and explore their textural world, and for the elderly who do not receive much physical connection. When you pay attention, you realize subtle energies are around everyone. Notice the feelings you have when you are close to a parent or a lover. Think of hugging a loved one and then hugging a stranger. Now think about hugging someone whose heart is open and someone whose heart appears to be closed. You know the difference immediately.

When you touch someone, there is an energy exchange. An example from Collinge is that of a mental health therapist who “starts each day with plenty of energy but feels dragged out and depleted at the end. She decided to learn more about energy and took a class in Chi kung, an ancient Chinese tradition of energy cultivation.” She found one of the principles to be the notion that “when you touch another person there is an exchange in energy” and that “energy will move from the person with the highest energy to the one with the lowest energy.” The therapist experimented with this and found that her teacher was correct. When she stopped touching her clients, she stopped losing her own vital energy. You may begin to notice what happens to your own energy level depending upon whom you touch.

I remember when I worked at the Healing Lodge of the Seven Nations as a mental health counselor. This was a treatment program for primarily Native American adolescents. After spending all day with their manic and depressive moods, I felt unusually tired after work. Often, I went straight to

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CANDESS M CAMPBELL

my daughter’s house and rolled around with my young grandchildren. After a few minutes with them, my energy level lifted, and I was able to go on with the rest of my day.

In addition to the subtle energies in and around our bodies, we are affected by the subtle energies of the world around us. Collinge shares that there are studies showing an increase in mental hospital admissions, suicides, and even lottery payouts related to the cycles of the moon. The planet radiates its own energy, and cosmic happenings can affect our behavior on a daily basis. Scientists know some of these energies, such as the geomagnetic field, but others are left to esoteric tradition. One response to these energy patterns is feng shui (pronounced fung-shway). Feng shui is an ancient Chinese art involving the placement of objects in such a way that energy can flow smoothly, thereby allowing health, peace, and prosperity to come to those who inhabit the space. Feng means “wind,” and shui means “water.” In Chinese culture, gentle wind and clear water have always been associated with good harvest and good health. Thus, “good feng shui” came to mean good livelihood and fortune, while “bad feng shui” came to mean hardship and misfortune.

According to Rodika Tchi, a Feng Shui consultant, “Feng Shui is based on the Taoist vision and understanding of nature, particularly on the idea that the land is alive and filled with Chi, or energy.” She explains that in ancient times, Chinese people believed that the energy of the land and the way that energy flowed were strong determinants of the kingdom’s fate. The Taoist theory of yin and yang, or opposing but complementary opposites, and the five elements of Feng Shui—wood, fire, earth, metal and water—are primary underpinnings of this theory. Light and color are also believed to be very important. Tchi further explains that the main tools used in a feng shui analysis are the compass and the bagua. The bagua is an octagonal grid containing the symbols of the I Ching, the ancient oracle on which feng shui is based. Knowing the bagua of your home will help you understand the connection of specific feng shui areas of your home to specific areas of your life.

I have created a bagua map for you to reference on my website. Look at the map from the direction in which you enter the room. You can then place items that will attract energy to the areas where you would like more energy. Many books have been written about feng shui, and there are many different styles of this ancient science. Feng shui is about bringing harmony to an area. Some of the ways to do this include removing clutter, making adjustments for rooms and homes that are irregularly shaped, harmonizing with color, and using tools for abundance and purification. This is a very basic introduction to feng shui. I strongly encourage you to research this fascinating topic on your own. That being said, I have had some validating experiences with it myself. Several years ago I was looking for a home to buy. I wanted to be near water and found a nice house north of Spokane, Washington, here in the US. It had a beautiful creek nearby. © Candess M Campbell

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HEALTH November 5th, (US time) I will be having a book launch. When you purchase the book on this day only, you will receive several valuable gifts such as audio downloads, e-books, tele-seminars and more. Sign up on my website to make sure you get this information!

As I walked the property, I realized that the house had been built between two small hills in a canyon, and there was no place for the energy to move. I saw that energy would get stuck between the two hills, right where the house was built.

I informed the realtor, “According to feng shui, the energy here would get stuck around the house. That would mean whoever lived here would get sick.” He looked at me with surprise and described the illnesses of the two people who lived there. He explained that these illnesses were occasioning their move. While this was sad for me to hear, I was not proficient in feng shui and didn’t understand how to remedy the situation. Later, when I did purchase a home across from the Spokane River, I had a feng shui practitioner come over to help me make sure the space was able to attract good chi and allow the energy to flow easily. She was very helpful when I was building my office. She instructed me to make a flat wall where a corner would have been. This revision eliminated a sharp corner that would have been pointing at me when I sat in my chair. It also offered me more room. I’ve had several additional good experiences using feng shui, but the one I would like to share here took place while seeing a new massage therapist. When I went into her office and rested my body on her table, I felt extremely uncomfortable. I was face down and felt the energy above me as disturbing. I sat up, looked up, and saw that she had a three-dimensional metal star above the massage table. There was a sharp point coming right down toward the back of her customers. When she came into the room, I pointed this out to her. While not aware of feng shui and energy medicine, she kindly took the star down. As I write this, I can’t help but wish I had followed up with her to see if she experienced a better return rate after making the change.

Collinge explains how technology offers some understanding of subtle energy, but that it is also important to note the human perceptual system is able to pick up energies that current technology has not yet been able to measure. Science tells us that if we cannot measure it, it does not exist, to which Collinge responds, “By this logic, of course, brain waves didn’t exist until the invention of EEG equipment.” To help you understand the subtle energies, I have included six principles described by Collinge.

1. We are beings of energy. When we think of our anatomy, we ordinarily think of our bones, muscles, organs, and other physical tissues. However, we also have an energetic anatomy. It is composed of multiple interacting energy fields that envelop and penetrate our physical body, govern its functioning, and extend out into the world around us. This anatomy serves as a vehicle for the circulation of vital energies that enliven and animate our lives.

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CANDESS M CAMPBELL You can find more information about the book 12 Weeks to Self-Healing: Transforming Pain through Energy Medicine here. LINK

2. The earth herself has an energetic anatomy, similar to our own, that influences our own energy field. The entire earth and biosphere in which we live is one gigantic living organism, with its own metabolic and energetic qualities. Energy centers, energy channels, and energy fields emanating from the earth, plants, and animals are in many ways analogous to our own. By understanding this vast system’s energetic life, of which we are a part, we can learn to live in a greater state of harmony and balance.

3. Our relationships with other people are shaped by the interactions of our energies. They are based on more than just psychology and family history. The energetic states that we bring to one another can introduce dynamics that are even more profoundly influential. Simply by touching another person, we influence what happens in that individual’s energy field. We can come to understand the impact of our own energy on others, and theirs on us, so as to relate with great clarity and effectiveness. 4. Through the simple act of breathing, we traverse the boundary between the physical and the spiritual at every moment. There is no life activity more important than breathing. It is our most immediate and intimate connection to the life force in every moment of our lives. It is a direct link to many expressions of subtle energy and spiritual attunement, as well as a doorway to profound states of harmony and peace.

5. We are each capable of sustaining and cultivating our vital energy. Our vital energy has a metabolism that we can come to understand and manage. Through attending to the nourishment we take into our bodies, our patterns of rest and activity, and our practice of energy cultivation disciplines, we can learn to become the stewards of our vital energy. 6. Meditation, prayer, and healing are rich with subtle energy phenomena that represent contact with the spiritual dimension. Many experiences we have during these practices can be taken as direct evidence of a state of communion or communication with Spirit. Healing abilities are present within us all, and we have unknowingly used them throughout our lives. In the 12 Weeks book, I also address your Biofield and how you can shift your energy by working in and clearing your chakras.

A practice for you is to review your week and see where you may have become more energized by the energy of others and where you may have been drained. Then, think back to your life before you suffered with pain. Who were the people in your life at that time? Were you energized or drained by them? What situations were you in that may have energized or drained you?

© Candess M Campbell

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


CONTRIBUTORS Click on title of article to go to page

Science, Common Sense and Faith Ivo Coelho

Coelho earned his PhD in philosophy from the Gregorian University, Rome. He is Reader in Gnoseology and Metaphysics at Divyadaan: Salesian Institute of Philosophy, Nashik, India, and editor of Divyadaan: Journal of Philosophy and Education. Born in 1958 at Mumbai, he specialized in the hermeneutical thought of the Canadian philosopher, theologian and economist Bernard Lonergan. He is the author of Hermeneutics and Method: The ‘Universal Viewpoint’ in Bernard Lonergan and editor of Brahman and Person: Essays by Richard De Smet. www.divyadaan.in

Forever Incomplete - The Story of Nepal Mahendra Man Singh

Singh, first time author, commentator on the social and political conditions in Nepal has mostly been in the private sector and currently he is Founding and Managing Director of TMB-Energietechnik (responsible for Alternate Energy Projects), actively involved in politics and is a known face in the corridors of power—both in the now deposed monarchy and in the Nepali Congress. He writes extensively on socio-political issues of Nepal. His articles have appeared in The Kathmandu Post (English daily), The Commoner, (English daily), The Samachar Patra and Deshannter (Nepali daily). www.sagepub.in

Breaking the silence on Papua Budi Hernawan

Dr. Budi Hernawan ofm is a part-time researcher at Franciscans International, an international NGO accredited with the United Nations. He is based in Jayapura, Geneva and New York. This article solely expresses his personal opinion.

Women in Australian prisons... Anita Mackay, Monash University

Anita is a PhD scholar at Monash University and a former visitor to the Centre for International Justice and Governance. Anita’s thesis compares prisons operating under a human rights framework with prisons operating according to restorative justice principles. She is conducting this research under the supervision of Associate Professor Bronwyn Naylor and Dr Julie Debeljak. Anita is also employed as a research assistant on an ARC grant about the application of human rights legislation in closed environments. First published in Regarding Rights

Why Most Jews Still Stand Alone Natalie Wood

© www.liveencounters.net october 2013

Born in Birmingham, England, U.K., Natalie Wood began working in journalism a month prior to outbreak of the 1973 Yom Kippur War. She remained in regional Jewish journalism for over 20 years, leaving full-time writing to help run a family business and then completed a range of general office work. Wood and her husband, Brian Fink emigrated from Manchester to Israel in March 2010 and live in Karmiel, Galilee where she continues to work, concentrating on creative writing. She features in Smith Magazine’s new Six Word Memoirs On Jewish Life and contributes to Technorati, Blogcritics and Live Encounters magazine. Her stories - Website and journalism - Website


November 2013

Librarians without Borders Mark Gelsomino

Gelsomino currently sits as the Co-Executive Director of Librarians Without Borders and has been active in the group since 2010. Through his work with LWB, he has had the opportunity to travel to Guatemala on several occasions and support literacy initiatives all over the world. Gelsomino also works as the Planning Librarian for the Ottawa Public Library in Canada’s national capital. He is currently working on creating a media and technology workspace that will act as a local hub for technological learning and innovation. www. LibrariansWithoutBorders.org

In a Doll’s House Terry McDonagh

Irish poet and dramatist, Terry McDonagh, taught creative writing at the University of Hamburg and was Drama Director at the Int. School Hamburg for 15 years. He now works freelance; has been writer in residence in Europe, Asia, Australia; published seven poetry collections, book of letters, prose and poetry for young people translated into Indonesian and German, distributed internationally by Syracuse Uni. Press; latest poetry collection Ripple Effect due for publication in May/June 2013, Arlen House; next children’s story, Michel the Merman, illustrated by Marc Barnes (NZ) to be published in September 2013. He lives in Hamburg and Ireland. www.terry-mcdonagh.com

HUMAN RIGHTS

WATCH

South Africa: Archbishop Dr. Thabo Makgoba Condemns Anti-LGBTI Violence Human Rights Watch Press Release

Human Rights Watch is dedicated to protecting the human rights of people around the world. We stand with victims and activists to prevent discrimination, to uphold political freedom, to protect people from inhumane conduct in wartime, and to bring offenders to justice. We investigate and expose human rights violations and hold abusers accountable. http://www.hrw.org

Photo Gallery - Durga Puja Sourav Jourdar

Since 2008, Jourdar, 27, has been working as a photographer for the North Bengal Bureau of The Statesman. A self taught photographer, he is convinced that photography is the only profession in the world that would never become boring. Sourav continues to capture for posterity moments of life… large and small, bitter and sweet. In addition to working as a photographer he looks after his ailing mother. Email: jash.jourdar@gmail.com

Energy Medicine: Kinesiology and Muscle Testing

Candess M Campbell

Candess M. Campbell, PhD is an internationally known Intuitive Life Coach, Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Seminar leader, Hypnotherapist and Author. She specializes in assisting others to gain their own personal power and to live a life of abundance, happiness and joy. Early 2012 she will be releasing her book 12 Weeks to SelfHealing: Transforming Pain through Energy Medicine. www.12weekstoselfhealing.com

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


IVO COELHO

Ivo Coelho - Philosopher, Priest and Rector of Ratisbonne Monastery, Jerusalem, writes an exclusive for Live Encounters.

Science, Common sense and Faith I am tempted to say that the topic of science and faith, or science and religion, is “an easy one.” I know there have been dreadful to do’s on the point: the Galileo case and the Darwin thing come obviously to mind. I am also aware that, while most people are by now quite reconciled to the point that Galileo was making, and while Pope John Paul II also tendered a sort of apology for the case, evolution is still a sticking point for many – despite the fact that the same pope also made significant openings on this topic.

The relationship between science and faith is not necessarily a Christian issue. It is, to the best of my knowledge, equally relevant to religions like Judaism and Islam. I am not quite sure how it would work out within the context of Hinduism or Buddhism, these being religions of a significantly different kind. And then heliocentrism and evolution are not the only topics in this area, but they are the ones that come most readily to mind, and, at least to my mind, the attitude one takes towards them is quite symptomatic or, better, representative of the attitude one takes on the issue of the relationship between science and faith in general.

© Ivo Coelho

Opposite photograph candles on sale outside a church by Mark Ulyseas

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PHILOSOPHY

Pic ©Mark Ulyseas

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IVO COELHO From a common sense point of view, even after we have thoroughly accepted Galileo, it still appears as if it is the sun that rises every morning. And here I love the distinction Lonergan makes between description and explanation. From a descriptive point of view, he says, it is true to say that the sun rises. From an explanatory point of view, however, things are quite different, and we have to admit that it is the earth that moves round the sun. Galileo had the signal merit of initiating, while not being fully aware of what he was doing, the shift from description to explanation. That shift is, to my mind, absolutely vital.

My conviction is that we are dealing with two quite different fields when we talk about science and faith, or science and religion. Methodologically speaking, empirical science is governed by what Bernard Lonergan calls a canon of selection: only theories, laws, hypotheses that involve sensible consequences qualify as scientific.

The major point is that theories, laws, hypotheses that do not admit of sensible consequences are not therefore ruled out of court as nonsensical, meaningless, irrelevant or stupid. What follows from the canon of selection is merely that they do not qualify as belonging to the natural sciences. The case of Galileo is complex also because it involves conflict not merely between science and faith, but also between science and common sense.

From a common sense point of view, even after we have thoroughly accepted Galileo, it still appears as if it is the sun that rises every morning. And here I love the distinction Lonergan makes between description and explanation. From a descriptive point of view, he says, it is true to say that the sun rises. From an explanatory point of view, however, things are quite different, and we have to admit that it is the earth that moves round the sun. Galileo had the signal merit of initiating, while not being fully aware of what he was doing, the shift from description to explanation. That shift is, to my mind, absolutely vital. I enjoy asking my students as they are seated comfortably in class whether, at the given moment, we are at rest or in motion. Most jump at the obvious answer: we are at rest. But it takes only a moment to realize that, if we believe all that we have been taught, we are in motion: we believe that the earth is in motion, and that it is in fact hurtling at breakneck speed through space, while at the same time turning around on its axis.

Things become even more complicated when we realize that the entire planetary system is itself in motion, spiralling towards some point and perhaps expanding ever ‘outward,’ whatever that might mean. So here we are, hurtling through space, and yet, for all practical purposes, completely at rest.

So what’s the story? Are we moving or are we at rest? And so we come to tiny realizations of what Newton might have meant when he talked about inertia: the same laws hold whether a body is moving or at rest, provided the motion is uniform. I love inertia: it is because of inertia that I am able to eat in a moving train or plane, otherwise you can imagine your coffee remaining back while you move forward….

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PHILOSOPHY Lonergan puts it elegantly: there is a lack of intelligibility in uniform motion. That same lack of intelligibility is what is probably at the bottom of Einstein’s paradoxes. I am far from claiming that I understand anything of what Einstein was saying, but I do remember reading about one of his thought experiments that ran like this: Imagine you are in a spaceship in uniform motion. That spaceship has only one window, and through that window you can see another spaceship, also moving at the same speed and in uniform motion. There is nothing else that you can see, no other points of reference. And then you ask yourself: are you moving or are you at rest? And you realize: does it matter?

I hope all this is not baffling, but the point is that there is something peculiar about uniform motion. Despite what Aristotle thought, uniform motion does not have to be explained, it has no cause. It is only acceleration – and by acceleration I mean here simply ‘change of motion’ – that calls for explanation.

Lonergan puts it elegantly: there is a lack of intelligibility in uniform motion. That same lack of intelligibility is what is probably at the bottom of Einstein’s paradoxes. I am far from claiming that I understand anything of what Einstein was saying, but I do remember reading about one of his thought experiments that ran like this: Imagine you are in a spaceship in uniform motion. That spaceship has only one window, and through that window you can see another spaceship, also moving at the same speed and in uniform motion. There is nothing else that you can see, no other points of reference. And then you ask yourself: are you moving or are you at rest? And you realize: does it matter? I can’t resist another example, and this one is about gravity. There was this young student called Tony who believed that the earth was round, but he thought it was round like a dish. One day one of his companions pointed out to him that the earth was round not like a dish but like a football. So Tony took that in, and adjusted his images, and things were okay, till one day his friend realized that he thought the earth was round like the inside of the football: sky above, land below, a bit curved here and there, but manageable all the same.

So Tony had to be told that the earth was round not like the inside of a football but like the outside of a football. And then the problems began: if the earth is round like the outside of a football, the people on the top of the football are fine, but what about people at the bottom? Do they fall off? Or, if they don’t, how it is that that don’t? We are back again at the viewpoint of description and the viewpoint of explanation. From a descriptive viewpoint, we have all of Tony’s problems about gravity and more. From an explanatory viewpoint, things are far more complicated, but that complexity has to be faced if it is true that the earth is round like the outside of a football and if people in Australia don’t keep falling off. Once again, one begins to get a glimmer of light when one suspects once again that up and down are perhaps – merely relative. The conflict between science and common sense has not perhaps been in the spotlight as much as the conflict between science and religion, but I do believe that the two conflicts are related, and that attaining a glimmer of light in one area tends to at least clear the ground for comprehension in the other. 2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


PHILOSOPHY The empirical sciences, to my mind, deal with questions of the immanent intelligibility of the universe. They do not deal with the question of ultimate intelligibility, which is really the question of God. And even when they seem to raise questions of efficient causality, as in the case of scientific cosmologies that ask about the origins of the universe and go on to speak of Big Bangs and singularities and oscillating universes and continuous creation, they are by their very canons restricted to the realm of the sensible.

The Galileo conflict was handled when the churches realized that God might not have intended the scriptures to be repositories of any and every kind of wisdom. The God who revealed the scriptures also is the creator and origin of human reason and it stands to reason that there should not be any ultimate conflict between the one and the other. The Second Vatican Council put it thus: the purpose of the scriptures is to teach truths concerning salvation – and not, therefore, to take over the role of the empirical sciences.

On the other hand, the empirical sciences deal with what Lonergan calls ‘immanent intelligibility,’ which is what Aristotle used to call the ‘formal cause,’ whereas faith and religion are concerned with ultimate intelligibility which at least in some way overlaps with the question of efficient causality.

Understanding the intelligibility of a circle does not mean one has answered questions in the area of efficient causality. Answering the question, ‘What is a circle?’ does not constitute an answer to the question, ‘Who drew this particular circle?’ Much less does it make the latter question irrelevant, insignificant, meaningless or nonsensical. The empirical sciences, to my mind, deal with questions of the immanent intelligibility of the universe. They do not deal with the question of ultimate intelligibility, which is really the question of God. And even when they seem to raise questions of efficient causality, as in the case of scientific cosmologies that ask about the origins of the universe and go on to speak of Big Bangs and singularities and oscillating universes and continuous creation, they are by their very canons restricted to the realm of the sensible. In other words, there is no way that empirical science can make the shift into metaphysics without violating its own canons. This is not to say that there are no scientists that attempt this shift. There are. But it has to be recognized that they are making category mistakes, if you want to be polite, or simply indulging in illegitimate crossovers. They allow, in other words, their reputations as scientists to wash over into claims that are, properly speaking, beyond the domain of science. So to my mind, neither the Big Bang Theory nor the Oscillating Universe theory nor the Continuous Creation theory have anything to say one way or another about the metaphysical or the religious doctrine of creation.

And even if, as Stephen Hawking tells us, the universe is proved to be eternal, the metaphysical question of creation does not cease to be relevant – as even a glance at Thomas Aquinas might have shown the © www.liveencounters.net october 2013


IVO COELHO Without wanting to defend all of Darwin, it would appear to me that there is overwhelming evidence for an evolutionary world view. And whether the world manifests an evolution, or whether instead, in a most unlikely scenario, it emerges all ready made and static (and this very way of talking is problematic), all this has simply nothing to do one way or other with creation – because evolution is a scientific hypothesis, and being a scientific hypothesis, it deals once again with immanent intelligibility, and neither raises nor answers nor in any way rules out of court the question of ultimate intelligibility: why is there something rather than nothing.

great scientist. Aquinas long ago said that, even if the universe was eternal in time, we would still have to ask the question, why is there this universe rather than nothing. The question of creation, in other words, is quite a different cup of tea.

Similar thoughts about evolution: Without wanting to defend all of Darwin, it would appear to me that there is overwhelming evidence for an evolutionary world view. And whether the world manifests an evolution, or whether instead, in a most unlikely scenario, it emerges all ready made and static (and this very way of talking is problematic), all this has simply nothing to do one way or other with creation – because evolution is a scientific hypothesis, and being a scientific hypothesis, it deals once again with immanent intelligibility, and neither raises nor answers nor in any way rules out of court the question of ultimate intelligibility: why is there something rather than nothing. On this topic, one of the most neglected intellectual contributions is that of Lonergan who, in the early chapters of his little book Insight, presents a devastatingly beautiful explanation, on cognitional rather than sense-empirical grounds, of an evolutionary worldview, which he calls the worldview of emergent probability. Required reading on this topic, to my mind, and well worth the time and energy.

Science and religion have been involved in celebrated conflicts which have in the end contributed importantly to clarifying the methods and limits of each, leaving each, hopefully, wiser and more serene. Or at least that is what I feel.

© Ivo Coelho

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


NEPAL

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MAHENDRA MAN SINGH

Mahendra Man Singh author of Forever Incomplete - The Story of Nepal speaks to Mark Ulyseas

Why did you write this book and what do you hope to achieve with it? Writing the book is my way of answering the many questions my children asked of me. On a wider scale, it is also to inform the younger generation in Nepal and around the world about Nepal.

The older generation may have read the works of Perceval Landon – early 20th century or even those of Daniel Wright, Hamilton and Kirkpatrick – 19th & late 18th century. There is another of the 1960s by Rose & Joshi. The latest is by Whelpton preceded by those of Jonathan Gregson and others instigated by the ‘royal tragedy’. I have listed these titles and more, in the Bibliography. While all these works are scholarly and informative in their own way, the travails endured by the people of Nepal through their long history to develop, preserve and foster their existential ethos and particularly their journey to human rights and democracy has been told only intermittently and I feel, only in passing. To my knowledge, no other book in English describes in as much detail this long journey as I have done in Chapters IV, V, VI and VII.

The reader I hope will receive more information from my book and therefore be able to understand and appreciate the people of Nepal better. I have tried to present history in a more reader-friendly style unlike the dry & dusty styles of the past. Published by Sage Publications

© Mark Ulyseas

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


NEPAL The ill-informed in India will say rather wistfully that Nepal is an ‘integral part’ of India. It is like saying Alaska is an integral part of Canada and Canada of USA or Mexico of USA. China has never said Nepal is an ‘appendage/ integral part’ of China. Identity is defined by geography, history, culture, language and icons. Nepal has this -distinctly and in full measure. All this is dealt with in the book. I leave it to the reader to discover and understand.

What impact did the 2001 ‘royal tragedy’ have on the people? I have written, rather briefly, about the feelings of the people in ‘Epilogue’. At the personal level, my brain did not function for 15 days. Call it shock, horror, disbelief and finally, coming to terms with it very, very sadly. It must have been the same for many people. As I heard about it later on, a woman in the rural area went insane with grief. From monarchy to democracy Nepal has come a long way. Please comment.

It is actually like this: Monarchy – Rana Oligarchy – Democracy – Monarchy – Constitutional Monarchy & Multiparty Democracy. My book deals with the above transitions.

Is Nepal an appendage to India or does it have a distinct identity? And if so, how does one define this identity? A country, a nation of people with at least 5000 years of history will definitely have a distinct identity. Granted that our neighbors India and China have longer histories –about 6000 years at least but the distinct identity of Nepal was recognized. Imperial China and Imperial Britain recognized this. The Republic of India did so in 1950. The ill-informed in India will say rather wistfully that Nepal is an ‘integral part’ of India. It is like saying Alaska is an integral part of Canada and Canada of USA or Mexico of USA. China has never said Nepal is an ‘appendage/ integral part’ of China. Identity is defined by geography, history, culture, language and icons. Nepal has this -distinctly and in full measure. All this is dealt with in the book. I leave it to the reader to discover and understand.

Lord Hansard’s deposition to the United Kingdom Parliament on 22 June/2006 also helps. “…Nepal, far from being a faraway country at the edge of global affairs is in fact at the centre of the emerging new world pattern between the awakening giant economies of rising Asia.” I like to describe my country as: “A violet by a mossy stone Half hidden from the eye, Fair as a star, when only one Is shining in the sky”

This is from Shelly and distinct enough I think. On a lighter note, because of our geographical location, sometimes I think the Nepali is like that little drummer boy of Gunter Grass banging his tin drum as he marches along the narrow lane in between tall buildings.

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NEPAL The Nepali people were made to take and so took two steps - republicanism and federalism. They are now wandering about. This happened because the Maoist, supported by our very friendly neighbor India, went on a rampage declaring ‘total change’ as their mission and killing 16000 innocent people and displacing over a hundred thousand people in the process. So you can surmise the socio-economic impact.

Who are the Gorkhas and are they different from other Nepalis? Could you give us an overview? Gorkha is the name of a district in west Nepal. It was a petty kingdom that expanded aggressively and eventually led to the formation of a unified Kingdom of Nepal. It was and is peopled by various ethnic groups as is the entire country of Nepal. Chapter I describes this. The British referred to these soldierly people as the ‘Gurkhas’ after their contact in the war of 1814-1816 and later on during the two world wars when the ‘Gurkha’ fought alongside the Allies. Over a dozen received the Victoria Cross and their bravery and valour became well known. This has been a matter of pride for all Nepalis. I have talked about this in Chapters II & III. The ‘ Gorkhas’ are not different from the Nepalis. They are Nepalis. In the politico-socio-economic scenario, where is Nepal heading today? What has been the socio-economic influence of the Maoists?

There is an appropriate Urdu sayari (couplet) that indicates where Nepal is heading. I have translated. “But two steps, did I take in jest And my life, I have spent in quest.”

The Nepali people were made to take and so took two steps - republicanism and federalism. They are now wandering about. This happened because the Maoist, supported by our very friendly neighbor India, went on a rampage declaring ‘total change’ as their mission and killing 16000 innocent people and displacing over a hundred thousand people in the process. So you can surmise the socio-economic impact. I have not written about/ on the Maoist in my book as there are many volumes written on/about them by more knowledgeable people and also because these are current events. However, none including India can explain satisfactorily why a system of ‘Constitutional Monarchy and Multiparty Democracy’ with a constitution that also enshrines sovereign rights of the people, a bicameral parliament and human rights was attacked upon and pushed aside. Dr. Man Mohan Singh, Prime Minister of India, while addressing Parliament had said “ There cannot be any root, trunk or branch of any cause that justifies the killing of innocent civilians.” The two steps taken in jest i.e. without knowledge have in essence clouded the politico-socio-economic scenario. Could you give us a glimpse into your life and works?

I am married and we- Kamala and myself, have three daughters. I have always been in the private sector. My forte has been starting/ doing something different, something as yet untried, something new. The book is an example. However, please do not ask me to walk on my head or even do a headstand the Yoga way. Not really my cup of tea! Kamala is a Yoga Instructor and coaches many students-local and foreign. The Bolshoi ballet in Moscow was absolutely fascinating. Have also been around the Schenzen countries.

© www.liveencounters.net october 2013


MAHENDRA MAN SINGH ...none including India can explain satisfactorily why a system of ‘Constitutional Monarchy and Multiparty Democracy’ with a constitution that also enshrines sovereign rights of the people, a bicameral parliament and human rights was attacked upon and pushed aside.

Fish & Chips, the original, in the UK tasted good and the castles quite impressive. When I deplaned in Dundee, Scotland, my impression was “So foul and fair a weather I have never seen.” Touring the vast Forbidden City in Beijing was, believe me, quite exhausting but very, very impressive. The Taj Mahal in India is indeed a wonder. Will be going to Singapore again end October. Some of my happiest moments are when I am flat on my back reading a book. Nevertheless, it was only after my eldest daughter introduced me to Indian/Urdu ‘Gahzals’ i.e. poems/songs that I discovered how ignorant I was. My second daughter gifted me a collection of Shayars i.e. couplets of Mirza Ghalib - English translations. My favourite pastime is trying to improve upon the translations.

I have been an intermittent commentator from the eighties on the socio-politico-economic aspects of Nepal. I do not write profusely. My last writings have been book reviews – Jinnah/ Partition and prior to that of Sugata Saurav, the English translation of the life of Buddha. Simply love to listen to Blues on a cloudy and rainy day. Heavy Metal etc. is rather noisy. The Saxophone soothes. Classical musicIndian and European is enchanting. Sufi songs are so touching! Mithila paintings precede Picasso by hundreds of years. Our own Tantric paintings have all the elements – impressionism, surrealism, realism. This is but natural for a nation of people with at least five thousand years of history. What are you working on now?

At present, I am in the process of establishing a grid connected Biomass Power Plant, of 720Kwe installed capacity. The plant site is in Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha. Power supplied by the plant will replace to some extent diesel generators now being used and will reduce pollution in and around Lumbini, a World Heritage Site. The beauty of this project is that agro-forest residues which were heretofore unutilized by the local community will be utilized for the generation of electricity. Hence the rural community – women in particular, will have a source of incremental income through the sale of biomass to the plant. This makes it a ‘Community Friendly’ power plant. The technology used – gasification, ensures that no noxious fumes are emitted. This makes it an ‘Environment Friendly’ power plant. It fulfills the 3 Es – Energy, Environment, Economy i.e generation of energy in an environment friendly manner with economic benefits. My project, Narayani-Shanker Biomass Power Plant (NS-BPP), is in many ways something new in Nepal. I am going to Singapore to make a presentation to the Asian Development Bank. Project Consultants are ABETS/CGPL Indian Institute of Science (IISc.)Bangalore, India. © Mark Ulyseas

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


PAPUA

Breaking the silence on Papua

Last week the UN fora in Geneva and New York broke the silence on Papua. During the 24th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, the International Coalition for Papua (ICP) marked the session by revealing systematic efforts endorsed by the Indonesian government to isolate Papua from international scrutiny. As an attempt to break the silence surrounding this issue, the ICP released its third annual report highlighting the worsening conditions of human rights in Papua. In a similar vein, the Vanuatu Prime Minister Moana Carcasses Kalosil spoke up during the 68th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, raising the issue of the neglected Papua with the Assembly. In light of the Syrian humanitarian crisis, he requested that the UNGA appoint a Special Representative to investigate the situation of human rights in Papua. Vanuatu is no stranger to the Papuan cause. On the contrary, it is the driving force of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG)’s sympathy towards Papua.

All of these efforts deserve our attention since for more than half a century Papua has attracted minimal attention from the outside world. The situation in Papua exemplifies common features of a subnational conflict. Papua has a long history of a low-level armed conflict. It is situated on the periphery of economic and political decision-making processes although its natural resources significantly contribute to the national economy. Such an area is also inhabited by an ethnic minority who experience discrimination from their respective government. Governments in the context of sub-national conflicts in Asia and the Pacific, like Indonesia, are generally heavy-handed. They are more than capable of isolating the conflicts from international attention and treating them as their own internal affairs in order to prevent any international criticisms. They have the power not only to convince, but more importantly, to stop the outside world engaging with what they claim to be ‘internal affairs.’ It is uncommon for outsiders to want to risk their bilateral relations with these governments. Given these characteristics, a sub-national conflict like Papua remains under-represented at both national and international levels. Why does Indonesia silence Papua? There remains a strong belief among many Indonesian state officials that giving any political concessions to Papua could repeat the mistake of the former East Timor: separation from Indonesia. As a postcolonial state, the imagined political entity of Indonesia is constructed from former Dutch colonies. It stretches from Sabang to Merauke. The preservation of this construct has become the state ideology which shapes the Indonesian government policy towards Papua. It does not allow any discussion on the political dimension of Papuan issues. Papua is final or NKRI, harga mati (the Unitary State of Indonesia is nonnegotiable). As a result any who questions the history of the incorporation of Papua into Indonesia is considered as a separatist.

© www.liveencounters.net october 2013


BUDI HERNAWAN

This dogmatic approach does not allow for any political discussion with Papuans. As a result, the Indonesian government is very reluctant to address the historical injustices of Papua. Instead it relies heavily on an economic development-based approach to respond to Papuan conflicts. The underlying logic of this approach is that improving the welfare standard of Papuans will satisfy their basic needs and eventually address the conflicts. The assumption tends to reduce all human needs into the single dimension of economic needs, whereas the Papuan conflicts largely derive from historical injustices. The latter remain neglected and cannot be adequately addressed simply by promoting economic development. They belong to the political domain and require a political decision.

What can be done to break the silence on Papua? There has to be a robust web of networks of resistance which is capable of confronting the history of impunity. The resistance should consolidate actions in different domains: local, national and international in order to win support from these three different audiences. Throughout the years various actors have made an effort to bring Papua`s troubles to light. The Papuan Churches and NGOs play a key role in exposing the hidden history of impunity in Papua. They work closely with international solidarity networks that amplify the Papuan voices for a broader audience. They managed to secure international attention from the UN human rights monitors. Two UN Special Rapporteurs were invited by the Indonesian government to visit Papua in 2007. The UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression’s recent plan to visit Papua, however, was delayed. At the last minute, Jakarta did not issue permission for him to visit Papua. This decision was not unprecedented. Previously the International Red Cross had been ordered by Jakarta to leave Papua. Similarly, the contracts of certain international charity organisations with Jakarta were not renewed. In parallel, the national parliament passed legislation that tends to encourage the military to come back to day-to-day politics. These all are challenges that confront Papua. It is the time for the international community to join the Vanuatu Prime Minister’s call for an independent investigation to be conducted into Papua’s situation. The world must act to establish the truth of the state of human rights in Papua. This truth will hopefully lead to justice.

© Budi Hernawan

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


WOMEN IN AUSTRALIAN PRISONS

Women in Australian prisons and why they need human rights protections First published in Regarding Rights

The ACT Human Rights Commission is currently conducting an audit and review of the treatment of women in the Alexander Maconochie Centre (AMC). This raises the broader question of “what human rights do women in Australian prisons have?”[1]It is a particularly important question given the growth in the female prison population nationally. The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported on 6 December 2012 that “the number of female prisoners has increased at a rate 21 times higher than the number of male prisoners since 2011.”[2] The overrepresentation of Indigenous women in prisons is particularly stark. The Indigenous Justice Clearinghouse has noted that:

Indigenous women’s imprisonment rate for the March 2012 quarter was 380 per 100,000, 16.5 times that of the general female population; this is a higher degree of overrepresentation than for Indigenous men (13.4 times). In addition, although Indigenous women’s imprisonment rate was lower than for Indigenous men, they accounted for a higher proportion of their respective prison population (35% vs 26%). I start this post with an overview of the characteristics of the female prison population in Australia before examining what human rights women in prison have. Given that there is no human rights legislation in most of the Australian states and territories (only the ACT and Victoria have such legislation) the focus will be on why human rights protection is needed for women in prison. Women in Australian prisons

Women currently comprise approximately 7% of the Australian prison population.

Women tend to commit types of criminal offences that mean they are of less danger to other members of the community than men. For example, the Victorian Sentencing Council provides the following breakdown of gender differences in sentencing: Men predominate in offences such as assault (11.8% of men versus 7.5% of women), sex offences (18.5% versus 3.5%) and unlawful entry with intent (burglary) (11.0% versus 6.0%), while women most commonly appear in prison with property offences (including theft) (21% of women versus 6.1% of men) and deception offences (10.0% versus 3.1%). © www.liveencounters.net october 2013


ANITA MACKAY

Women are also predominantly sentenced to imprisonment for shorter periods of time than men. The median sentence length for women is 24 months compared to 42 months for men. In relation to Indigenous women, it has been observed that “Indigenous women serve shorter sentences, meaning they are imprisoned for very minor offences—such as driving infringements and non-payment of fines” (3). Women in prisons are a particularly vulnerable group. For example, it has been estimated that between 57 – 90% of women in prison have been victims of childhood sexual abuse. Furthermore, 87% of women in Victorian prisons have been victims of sexual, physical or emotional abuse prior to their incarceration.

Women in prison also exhibit high rates of mental illness. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has found that 43% of women report a history of mental health problems upon entry into prison and 51% report a high level of psychological distress. This may be compared to 37% and 39% of male prison entrants respectively, and psychological distress levels in the general population of 13% for women and 9% for men. These statistics are quite concerning given that the World Health Organisation has recognised that the nature of imprisonment is likely to worsen people’s mental health if they have problems upon entry, or cause mental health problems in some people who are healthy upon entry. This is due to factors such as the disciplinary regime, lack of choice about activities and the people that they spend time with, and limited communication with family (especially children) and friends. The result is high levels of violence, aggression, self-harm and suicide.

In addition to the mental health implications of imprisonment, it is also very disruptive to peoples’ lives. It has been argued that for women this disruption is disproportionate, given the nature of the offences they have committed and the minimal danger they are likely to pose to the community. The Victorian Parliamentary Drugs and Crime Prevention Committee has argued that “[t]he impacts of short sentences for women are arguably disproportionate to the crimes committed; for example, they can lead to women’s children entering state care, the loss of housing, income and all personal possessions” (29). This is particularly the case given that the majority of women sentenced to imprisonment are the primary caregivers for dependent children. On average, twothirds of women in prison are primary caregivers. This figure is higher for Indigenous women, for example it was recently found to be © Anita Mackay

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


WOMEN IN AUSTRALIAN PRISONS As the female imprisonment rate continues to rise, there are some difficult questions that we need to ask ourselves as a society about whether the danger posed to the community by the types of offences typically committed by women justifies these results for the women and children concerned (not to mention the burden placed on those caring for children while their mothers are incarcerated).

80% in Victoria. Research has found that “when mothers are incarcerated it is typically maternal grandmothers and other kin, not children’s fathers, who step up to care for them if they are not fostered out”.

The impact on children of having their mother sentenced to imprisonment includes problems for their “physical, behavioural, emotional, social and academic development”; “social isolation/withdrawal, social stigma and a range of strong emotions such as grief and loss, depression and shame are also common” (75).

As the female imprisonment rate continues to rise, there are some difficult questions that we need to ask ourselves as a society about whether the danger posed to the community by the types of offences typically committed by women justifies these results for the women and children concerned (not to mention the burden placed on those caring for children while their mothers are incarcerated). What human rights do women in Australian prisons currently have?

Given that the female imprisonment rate is continuing to grow, it is important to consider what human rights women in prison have currently. Australia is a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) which contains a number of provisions relevant to people in prisons. These include: 1. Article 7, which provides that “[n]o one shall be subjected to torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”; 2. Article 10(1), which provides that “[a]ll persons deprived of their liberty shall be treated with humanity and with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person”; and 3. Article 10(3), which provides that “[t]he penitentiary system shall comprise treatment of prisoners the essential aim of which shall be their reformation and social rehabilitation”.

International human rights law also provides that people in prison retain all their rights other than the right to liberty. This principle is found in the United Nations General Assembly’s “Basic Principles for the Treatment of Prisoners” (Principle 5). This means that people in prison retain their right to life, personal security, privacy, the right to equality and not to be discriminated against, as well as other rights.

© www.liveencounters.net october 2013


ANITA MACKAY The human rights of women in the majority of Australian prisons are not protected by domestic legislation. However, in light of the characteristics of the Australian female prison population outlined above, and the nature of the prison environment, it is arguable that human right protections are particularly important for women in prison.

Despite Australia being a party to the ICCPR, it does not form part of Australian law except to the extent it has been enacted in domestic legislation. There are no legislative protections for the human rights of imprisoned people at the national level. There is the Standard Guidelines for Corrections in Australia (2004), but these are not enforceable.[3] Furthermore, most states and territories (which are responsible for prison administration, rather than the Federal government) have not enacted domestic legislation to protect the human rights contained in the ICCPR. The only two that have done so are the ACT (Human Rights Act 2004) and Victoria (Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006), and neither have included a provision that has the effect of Article 10(3) of the ICCPR.

Thus, the human rights of women in the majority of Australian prisons are not protected by domestic legislation. However, in light of the characteristics of the Australian female prison population outlined above, and the nature of the prison environment, it is arguable that human right protections are particularly important for women in prison. I discuss key examples of where these protections are required in the next section. What human rights protections are needed?

There are a number of human rights concerns raised by the imprisonment of women that are equally important, so the following list should not be seen as one that is ranked by level of importance. It is also not an exhaustive overview, and instead offers examples.

Strip searching is a common occurrence in prison. It is used to find contraband items, such as drugs. Being subject to a strip search is a traumatising experience for anybody, but it is particularly so for the high percentage of women in prison who have previously been victims of sexual abuse/assault. It has been described as “sexual assault by the State”. Under the provisions of the ICCPR the prohibition of torture and cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment and the right to be treated with “humanity and with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person” both require that strip searching be used minimally, if at all. It has recently emerged that there has been widespread sexual assault of women in the Brisbane Women’s Correctional Centre by a prison officer. This clearly involves a criminal offence, but it also violates the right to personal security as provided for by international human rights law. © Anita Mackay

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


WOMEN IN AUSTRALIAN PRISONS Many women wish to use their time in prison to further their skills through education, work or both. This improves their chances of being able to support themselves and their children following their release, and decreases the chances of recidivism. Educational programs and work opportunities are often not provided to women in prison to the same extent as they are for men because of the small number of women imprisoned.

What human rights protections are needed? (Contd...) Treatment for mental illness is a priority for women in prison given the high percentage with mental health problems. The UN Special Rapporteur on the right to the highest attainable standard of health, Mr Anand Grover, visited Australia in 2009 and found that mental health services in prisons were inadequate for the high percentage of people with mental illnesses there. Under international human rights law people in prison have the right to “the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health,”[4] and are also entitled to health services of an equivalent level to services provided in the community.

The majority of women in prison are mothers and it is important for both the women and their children, as well as for other family members, that they have continuing contact during their incarceration. Research has found that the availability of visits impacts on the quality of women’s ongoing relationships with their children following their release. Because there are fewer women’s prisons they are often located in remote areas, making it difficult for family members and carers of children to visit. The remoteness of these prisons can also separate Indigenous women from their communities and country. Human rights law provides for the protection of the family, and so supports ongoing contact. Additionally, Indigenous women in prison have the right to enjoy their culture with members of their community (under Article 27 of the ICCPR). Many women wish to use their time in prison to further their skills through education, work or both. This improves their chances of being able to support themselves and their children following their release, and decreases the chances of recidivism. Educational programs and work opportunities are often not provided to women in prison to the same extent as they are for men because of the small number of women imprisoned. As noted above, the goal of imprisonment under the ICCPR is rehabilitation, which requires that education and vocational training be made available. The right to equality before the law and not to be discriminated against requires that such programs be made available equally to men and women in prison. Conclusion

Nelson Mandela observed that “no one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails. A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones”.[5] The concerns raised by the treatment of women in Australian prisons, in light of the statistics highlighted in this post, include: © www.liveencounters.net october 2013


ANITA MACKAY Human rights law is certainly not a panacea for the harm caused by imprisonment of this segment of the population, and it would be preferable to consider alternatives to imprisonment. However, if as a society we are going to continue to imprison women at ever increasing rates, they are clearly a group that needs access to protections. Human rights law offers one such protective mechanism.

. . .

being subject to conditions that are likely to worsen their mental health (especially in light of the mental health issues they face upon imprisonment, their history of abuse and victimisation, and being subjected to strip searching and some cases sexual assault while in prison);

being separated from their dependent children and other family members, which is in the majority of cases harmful to both the mother and her children, and of particular significance to the high percentage of Indigenous women in the Australian prison population who are often being imprisoned long distances from their country and communities; and not being provided with adequate mental health services, education and vocational training aimed at rehabilitation.

Human rights law is certainly not a panacea for the harm caused by imprisonment of this segment of the population, and it would be preferable to consider alternatives to imprisonment. However, if as a society we are going to continue to imprison women at ever increasing rates, they are clearly a group that needs access to protections. Human rights law offers one such protective mechanism. ________________________________________ [1] This post draws substantially on the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law submission to the ACT Human Rights Commission which was prepared by Associate Professor Bronwyn Naylor and Anita Mackay.

[2] Note that the ACT provides an exception to this trend as the number of females in prison has remained fairly stable. For example, in 2010 there were 15 women imprisoned in the ACT, whereas during the March quarter of 2013 there were 13 – Australian Bureau of Statistics, Corrective Services, Australia, March 2013 (13 June 2013) 14.

[3] The preface states that the guidelines “constitute outcomes or goals to be achieved by correctional services rather than a set of absolute standards or laws to be enforced” (3). [4] Article 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, to which Australia is a signatory.

[5] Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela (Back Bay Books, 1995). © Anita Mackay 2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


KARMIEL

L to R : Ed Miliband and his father, the late Ralph Miliband

Why Most Jews Still Stand Alone It was back to business as usual in Israel after an unusually early month of Jewish New Year celebrations. The main story for news outlets during the week ending Friday 04 October was at the United Nations’ General Assembly where Premier Benjamin Netanyahu warned that “Israel will not allow Iran to get nuclear weapons. If Israel is forced to stand alone, Israel will stand alone”, he maintained. Hot on his heels was Finance Minister Yair Lapid, who first remonstrated with young Israelis for moving to Berlin for economic reasons and then reminded delegates at a conference in Budapest that “antisemitism has reared its ugly head in Hungary again ... we cannot discard it, we cannot let it grow. Hatred”, he said, “is not disappearing”. Most striking was that both men veered from their main subjects to speak with quiet eloquence about their forebears’ courageous escapes from anti-Jewish oppression. While Lapid recalled that in 1945 his late father Tommy had avoided being murdered with thousands of other Jews on the banks of the River Danube, Netanyahu related how in the 19th century, his grandfather had made his way to Palestine from Europe after being beaten and left for dead by anti-Jewish hoodlums.

Meanwhile in the UK., it became clear that while Labour Party leader, Ed Miliband lives as a ‘nonJewish’ Jew, his own filial affections run as deeply devout as those of Lapid and Netanyahu. But it became obvious also, that some family allegiances may be misconstrued as disloyalty to Britain. For quite suddenly, the Israeli politicians’ remarks became a stark backdrop to one of the nastiest pieces of journalism I have seen in a British newspaper for some years: Even as they spoke, readers of the Daily Mail were being treated to a series of features about Ed’s father, Ralph which were vicious enough to be roundly condemned even by the Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron and his Liberal-Democrat deputy, Nick Clegg. Ralph Miliband was a Jewish refugee from Nazi Europe who fled to Britain and served in the Royal Navy. He was also an atheist and a Marxist socialist. But everyone who spoke out against the Mail’s campaign to destroy his son’s credibility as Labour leader by impugning Ralph’s loyalty to Britain, agreed that it went far beyond the bounds of common decency. If the allegations had not been so wickedly untrue they would hardly have been worthy of reply.

However matters became worse. Those with long memories recalled the Mail’s brief pre-war flirtation with Fascism. Then its wholly independent sister newspaper, the Mail On Sunday also played dirty. A reporter covertly attended a private memorial service at Guy’s Hospital, London for Mr Miliband’s uncle, Professor Harry Keen, in order to speak to relatives about the on-going controversy.

© www.liveencounters.net october 2013


NATALIE WOOD

Like most people, I am furious about the Mail’s behaviour – both for personal and professional reasons. First it has further discredited an industry still suffering as a result of the News International phone hacking scandal. But my personal reason is partly because, as I have outlined previously, a couple of my relatives enjoyed a warm acquaintance with Miliband Senior, Professor Eric Hobsbawm and their circle. One of them however, Professor Avrom Saltman, was strictly Orthodox and eccentrically, his expertise was not Marxism but Medieval Christianity! Yet there’s much more. Many Jewish people agree that the Mail’s actions were not anti-Jewish. But others, including The Guardian newspaper’s Jonathan Freedland and me, believe that an unpleasant odour lingers there.

My contention is thus: If the Mail did not intend to pander to anti-Jewish feeling, it has done so unintentionally as the Miliband fracas is just the latest in a list of recent stories which have fed traditional prejudices about Jewish wealth, power, influence and prestige. I have decided not mention them individually or to name the people who featured in them here. Let us reflect merely “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” and say that the Mail’s initial story was written by a Jew, not only because probably he was well apprised of Miliband’s background but almost certainly to deflect accusations of anti-Jewish sentiment. I suggest the same could be said of those Jews who write for Israel’s chief enemies in the British media – The Independent and indeed, The Guardian. Much of this is a matter of personal opinion and perception – just like the continuing arguments about the use of the word ‘’Yid’ or attitudes towards antisemitic figures in great literature. It’s a matter of tone and context: What is painfully objectionable to an individual on a particular occasion may barely register with another sometime else. No matter. I am convinced that the Mail’s tirade against the late Ralph Miliband is part of a growing, sickening trend in British society, bred partly by poverty, which in turn causes envy and fear. I am glad I need bear it no longer.

© Natalie Wood

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


LIBRARIANS WITHOUT BORDERS Putting Information in the Hands of the World

LWB is an organization that was formed in February 2005 by a group of socially-minded librarians who wanted to address the vast information resource inequity existing between different regions of the world. The vision is to build sustainable libraries and support their custodians and advocates — librarians.

Today, Librarians Without Borders is an action-oriented nonprofit powered by student committees at six universities in Canada and a volunteer Executive Team and Board of Directors.

Mark Gelsomino

Co-Executive Director Librarians Without Borders interview with Mark Ulyseas

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MARK GELSOMINO

Pic courtesy of Librarians Without Borders

2013 october november www.liveencounters.net 2013 ©© www.liveencounters.net


LIBRARIANS WITHOUT BORDERS When people think of poverty, what typically comes to mind? It’s commonly accepted that a lack of money, shortages of food, or lack of access to comfortable lodging and health care are things that typify poverty. There are plenty of fantastic organizations that address these important issues, but we often overlook the one thread that crosses into all these sectors – information poverty. That’s where it all starts. Without the proper education and access to information resources, it’s impossible to get yourself out from underneath these other pressures.

Could you give us an overview of the organisation, its operations in the home country and elsewhere across the world? Librarians Without Borders was formed in 2005 at the University of Western Ontario in London, Canada. The founding members were a group of socially-minded librarians who wanted to address the information resource inequities that exist between different areas of the world. Our vision is to build sustainable libraries across the world and to support their most ardent defenders – librarians.

From that small initial group, we've grown into an international non-profit organization with over 1400 members worldwide. We're supported by student committees at six universities in Canada, an all-volunteer Executive Team of professional librarians and a Board comprised of notable figures in the literacy community.

When people think of poverty, what typically comes to mind? It's commonly accepted that a lack of money, shortages of food, or lack of access to comfortable lodging and health care are things that typify poverty. There are plenty of fantastic organizations that address these important issues, but we often overlook the one thread that crosses into all these sectors – information poverty. That's where it all starts. Without the proper education and access to information resources, it's impossible to get yourself out from underneath these other pressures. Education is the key to more gainful employment, increasing food production, building better houses and obtaining health care services. Whether they advertise it or not, any group that's in the non-profit game is in the business of information sharing.

Libraries have the fundamental role as defenders of intellectual freedom and providers of equal access to information. Information wants to be free and we provide access regardless of cultural background, language, geography or religion. Our largest program right now is a partnership with the Miguel Angel Asturias Academy in Quetzaltanango, Guatemala. We're proud to be entering the fifth year of our partnership. Asturias is a private, non-profit Kindergarten to Grade 12 school that provides subsidized education to kids who may not otherwise be in school. The Academy's director, Jorge Chojolan, opened the school in 1994 to address many of the same imbalances LWB was designed to combat. Schools, education and libraries are natural friends. Over the years, we've helped Asturias build their library from a box of books in Jorge's office to a fully functioning library space with over 3000 titles. We’ve also been supplying our expertise to another literacy based non-profit called Librii. Their

© www.liveencounters.net october 2013


MARK GELSOMINO We have some general rules regarding book donations though. If a book isn't something you'd feel comfortable giving your own child, it shouldn't be something you'd feel good about giving to someone else's kid. That's our way of making sure everything we supply is of good quality. Kids in developing areas deserve our best efforts, and that means helping them access material that is just as good as the stuff we read to our own kids.

vision is to build vibrant community information hubs across Africa. They build low-cost, prefabricated spaces that can be easily installed, even in remote communities. Right now, Librii is ramping up to their first library installation on Accra, Ghana. Once that initial library has been piloted, and all the kinks are worked out, we hope to help them replicate that model in other African cities.

We have loads of other projects on the go as well, mostly centred around our local student committees. It's easy to assume that talking about “developing areas” automatically means what is often referred to as Third World nations. “Third World” is a term I personally avoid, as it creates the erroneous generalization that people are better or worse off, depending on where they were born. It also ignores the fact that, even in the richest nations, there are always people in need.

Our student groups support causes ranging from Aboriginal libraries in Kettle & Stony Point, Ontario to women's shelters in Montreal, Quebec. The ability to communicate remotely has allowed our students to go even further afield. Our Ottawa, Ontario committee has recently provided encyclopedias to the Keiskamma Trust, a school just outside of Hamburg, South Africa. Other student groups are looking at starting projects in places like Pakistan and Cambodia. The “without borders” moniker means exactly that – there's always someone in every corner of the globe who can benefit from better access to information. How are you funded? Our organization is primarily funded by individual member donations and small fund raisers. We offer online donations on our website that members of the public are free to use at their leisure. Those donations are a great supplement to our funding and can go a long way towards helping us enhance the services we can offer.

We can also accept general donations of in-kind materials and services. It's not uncommon for Canadian or American schools to offer gently used computers, laptops or printers. As you can imagine, shipping larger ticket items such as electronics can be a challenge, but there are definitely places that can use them. Finding homes for books in good condition is never a problem. We have some general rules regarding book donations though. If a book isn't something you'd feel comfortable giving your own child, it shouldn't be something you'd feel good about giving to someone else's kid. That's our way of making sure everything we supply is of good quality. Kids in developing areas deserve our best efforts, and that means helping them access material that is just as good as the stuff we read to our own kids. 2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


LIBRARIANS WITHOUT BORDERS

L to R : Guatemala Project Lead Carmen Ho and Program Manager Carolyn Doi show off books donated to the Asturias Academy. Mr. Jorge Chojolan, Director of the Migeual Angel Asturias Academy in Quetzatanango, Guatemala.

Our group is supported by local committees located at graduate schools in six Canadian cities. Throughout the academic year, these committees work very hard to develop their own local projects and to contribute to the work of the international organization. As stereotypical as this may sound, bake sales and university students are a winning combination. Put baked goods in front of library students and you've got a guaranteed hit. It may not seem like a lot, but if a bake sale raises two or three hundred dollars, that amount can go pretty far in developing nations. Spent wisely, we can get a lot of mileage out that capital. It's no lie when people say every little bit helps. If you can provide $20 worth of support to someone who may only make $2 or so a day, you've just made a big difference in their lives. Student associations and universities have also been good to us. These sorts of groups are very invested in making sure their students do well, as their successes reflect on the school's reputation. LWB offers our student members opportunities to engage in projects and work-studies that they wouldn't normally have access to. Schools like to help, especially if our activities tie into their curriculum. We've recently begun delving into the world of sponsorships. At this point LWB has a very well developed social network and a recognizable brand in the library community. We're finding an increasing number of small businesses, book vendors or similar ventures who see the benefits of doing something positive with their profits. They can help better the quality of people's lives and make their companies look good in the process. We've had great success partnering with Auryn, a group that publishes interactive children's stories for the iPad. Publishers and vendors like Saunders Book Company, Crabtree Books and Tinlids have donated funds, as well as books and school supplies.

These donations are greatly appreciated and go a long way towards fulfilling our goals. As is the case with most non-profit endeavours, the people who need our services far outnumber the people we can actually help. Anything that comes in helps us increase our capacity to spread literacy around the globe. What parameters are used in the selection of books? Is it based on specific age groups, cultural profiles, language or religion?

Collection development and book selection are particular specialities of LWB. We don’t always have staff located in the countries we support and travel to partner libraries isn’t an everyday occurrence. With recent advances in online communications platforms and easy access to online purchases, remote work has become easier than ever. We’ve taken full advantage of this when it comes to helping our partners select material.

© www.liveencounters.net october 2013


MARK GELSOMINO

L to R : Grade Six Children at the Asturias Academy display a cartoon poster designed to teach them how a lending library works. Story time in the Asturias Academy Library. Pics courtesy of Librarians Without Borders

The first and most important criteria for selecting material are the user’s needs. If you’re not selecting the types of books your users tell you they want, you’re doing them a disservice. The first step is always a feedback cycle. That may take the form of a user needs assessment, a set of surveys and interviews or some other way to get inside the heads of the people who will be reading those books.

The specific parameters vary from community to community. They all have their own unique needs. Age is one of the primary indicators and how to purchase. There’s an extra level of responsibility when you’re purchasing for younger children. The books have to be well written and compelling to kids, but also age appropriate. Cultural profiles and language are also extremely important.

I’ve dealt with libraries supporting First Nations in Canada, indigenous Maya groups in Guatemala and community centres in Tanzania. They have a lot more in common than you may think. The Narnia and Hunger Game series are hugely popular in Guatemala right now. Aboriginal teens in northern Canada love Twilight, just the same as teens almost anywhere else. Kids in Tanzania love reading Diary of a Wimpy Kid. That tells me that people have the same hopes, dreams and desires regardless of their backgrounds. That being said, people have their own home grown heroes and traditional stories as well. We can’t just flood other people’s libraries with popular North American authors. Central and South America has an amazing tradition of mythological storytelling. There are African oral histories that date back untold generations. Those local stories have to take their place alongside everything else.

As information professionals, we have a level of expertise in the best practices of book selection. The library users however, are the foremost experts in their own experiences and desires. We see the selection process as a meeting of two groups of experts. These two groups work collaboratively to come up with the best possible list of titles. Have there been instances when a book has been withdrawn because a particular ‘group’ has objected to its contents?

To the best of my knowledge, neither LWB nor any of our partner libraries has ever been subjected to any overt political pressure to remove a title from our collections. Most of the libraries we support are small and many cater specifically to children and youth. LWB has always been very careful to choose literacy material that fosters a love of reading without promoting particular religions or political ideologies. 2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


LIBRARIANS WITHOUT BORDERS There are large numbers of libraries in places like Africa and Central America in desperate need of books. They may not have the luxury of being able to turn away donations, or their staff may not trained to distinguish between good material and bad. Unfortunately, there are fringe religious or political groups that are willing to take advantage of this. The donations they offer libraries are presented as benign, but are sometimes just thinly veiled recruiting material. It’s unfortunate, but it’s a reality for libraries in the developing world.

Have there been instances when a book has been withdrawn because a particular ‘group’ has objected to its contents? (Contd/-) That being said, in some areas of the world the simple act of reading is revolutionary. In Guatemala for instance, it’s not uncommon for families to subsist in the equivalent of $1-3 American per day. There can be a great deal of pressure for kids to leave school at a young age in order to help support their families. School can often be seen as a negative, as it removes a breadwinner from contributing to the household income. Many families have to choose between the potential long term gains of education and the more immediate needs of feeding their families. This can be particularly pronounced when it comes to young girls. Childrearing and sibling care often falls upon them. When you’re struggling to support your family it’s an all hands on deck situation. Investing time into reading is a luxury some people find difficult to afford.

In some cases, we encounter the opposite issue. Instead of seeing libraries pressured to remove material, we see a trend towards groups attempting to pressure libraries into accepting material that may not be appropriate. There are large numbers of libraries in places like Africa and Central America in desperate need of books. They may not have the luxury of being able to turn away donations, or their staff may not trained to distinguish between good material and bad. Unfortunately, there are fringe religious or political groups that are willing to take advantage of this. The donations they offer libraries are presented as benign, but are sometimes just thinly veiled recruiting material. It’s unfortunate, but it’s a reality for libraries in the developing world. As much as possible, LWB strives to fill our partner libraries with material that is not only culturally appropriate but helps readers develop critical thinking skills. Knowledge and education is the best defence against misinformation.

We supply the experts with backgrounds in developing collections, in assessing user needs and in sourcing materials. That expert advice is packaged and presented to a partner library, but the we’re always careful to spread the decision making power as evenly as possible. We support and advise, but the at the end of the day the libraries we help don’t really belong to us. They belong to the people and the communities who use them. The final decisions on what sorts of books they want in their facilities belongs to them. We like to give them the tools to make those decisions wisely.

© www.liveencounters.net october 2013


MARK GELSOMINO

Guatemala Project Lead Laura George attends a celebratory dinner with members of LWB and Asturias Academy staff. Pics courtesy of Librarians Without Borders

What are your plans for 2014?

We fully expect 2014 to be a growth year for our organization. We’re now entering the fifth year of our partnership with the Asturias Academy. At this point we’re more than partners. We’ve become close friends with many of the staff and families. We make a yearly trip to Asturias and that will continue. We’ve recently made friends with another Guatemalan non-profit, Limitless Horizons Ixil. They support a very similar library just a few hours drive from Asturias. We’re also developing smaller projects in Cambodia, Pakistan and South Africa. What is your message for the readers of Live Encounters?

If I could leave your readers with one message it would be to just to do one thing that benefits someone else. I sometimes encounter people who don’t have the time, or just feel that their contributions won’t matter. They couldn’t be more wrong. A lot of the kids we deal with have never owned a book or had the opportunity to experience the pride of ownership that comes with caring for one. Giving one book to one child can open the door to a whole new world of possibilities.

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


POETRY

This poem, In a Doll’s House, was written in Hamburg and it is included in my latest collection, Ripple Effect.

In it I have tried to convey our attachments to unimportant experiences we might have considered important at one time – but in the end we must confront ourselves and our helplessness in the face of passing time. We spend our time trying to conform, fit in, and to making others conform to our definition of how things ought to be. Why?

© www.liveencounters.net october 2013


TERRY MCDONAGH

In a Doll’s House Day after day, year in year out, life after life, you and I sit like puppets, or stand at the horizon unable to trust our wings.

We make low, uneasy sounds behind frosted glass or we toy with balloons hoping to find a second wind. Former lovers saunter along the street below like links in a chain of empty cups – like glitzy eyes dancing in tandem.

I had a full pipe and swagger then, but we grew weary searching for each other in sweat shops, data banks, meditation classes and crossfire.

You used to be a good kisser. I had my newspaper in my tweed pocket. We were a repeat performance turning left, left, left, left, left – only left. My car was bigger than yours. You were more brunette; better on the phone to Indian summer resorts – things like that.

We’ve moved on to become decorations in an earthenware pot – a place where birds of prey can’t stop laughing, and when you think that – in our day – The Beatles sang love, love, love, love is all you need…love is all you need.

In a doll’s house next door, a healthy boy is getting singing lessons to make him more tenor, to make him more base, to suppress his love of singing songs, to make him one of us.

© Terry McDonagh

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


SOUTH AFRICA

Most Revd Dr. Thabo Makgoba © Human Rights Watch © www.liveencounters.net november october 2013 2013


HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH

South Africa: Archbishop Condemns Anti-LGBTI Violence Statement in Video Challenges African Leaders Press release October 21, 2013 Human Rights Watch

(Banjul) – Southern Africa’s Anglican archbishop calls for an end to violence and discrimination on the basis of real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity, in a video Human Rights Watch released today. The remarks by the Most Revd Dr. Thabo Makgoba, Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town and Metropolitan of Southern Africa, challenge arguments put forward by several African governments that culture, tradition, and religion justify the marginalization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) people.

“Don’t fear,” Archbishop Makgoba says in his message. “You’ve been given this task of helping the rest of humanity to realize that we are called to respect and we are called to honor each other. People may come and say this is un-African, and I’m saying love cuts across culture.” Human Rights Watch interviewed the archbishop for the video as part of an effort to highlight supportive voices for the LGBTI movement in Africa. Makgoba’s statement reinforces the persistent efforts of his predecessor, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Desmond Tutu, to combat homophobia and transphobia in Africa and around the world, Human Rights Watch said. Tutu has spoken out against a number of laws and practices that violate the rights of LGBTI people, including Uganda’s proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill and Burundi’s criminalization of same-sex conduct in 2009. “When you violate somebody on the basis of difference you’re not only violating them but you are demeaning yourself,” Makgoba says in the video. He exhorts leaders to take up their “moral responsibility to stop the violence against people who are different.”

Makgoba’s statement was released amid high levels of violence against LGBTI people in Africa. In Cameroon, Eric Ohena Lembembe, a gay activist, was murdered in July 2013, but government officials have refused to acknowledge that his murder might be a hate crime. In South Africa, lesbian and bisexual women and non-gender-conforming people face endemic rape and assault; the killing of Duduzile Zozo in July is the most recently reported example of such targeted violence.

“Archbishop Makgoba’s statement should serve as a call to national, religious, and cultural leaders across Africa who support the rights of LGBTI people to speak out publicly,” said Graeme Reid, LGBT Rights director. “And the archbishop’s message of respect for everyone’s rights should challenge leaders who have opposed the rights of LGBTI people to reconsider their positions.”

© Human Rights Watch

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


PHOTO GALLERY - DURGA PUJA

DURGA PUJA Although observed throughout the country in its different manifestations, Durga Puja is the mother of all festivals in the State of West Bengal... spanning over five days in keeping with the almanac.

According to the Hindu faith, the authentic worship ‘Basanti Durga Puja’ is observed in late spring between March and April in limited areas. The popular form ‘Sharadiya Durga Puja’ is celebrated in autumn between September and October. The puja (worship) signifies Goddess Durga’s, who is believed to be Himalaya’s daughter and the spouse of Lord Shiva, sojourn to her father’s place with her four children. Goddess Durga is synonymous with good prevailing over evil and oppression.

Once a household ritual, Durga Puja has evolved into a community affair and takes the shape of a protracted jamboree in West Bengal. Puja budgets can run anywhere between US$ 5,000 to upwards of US $100,000 attracting corporate involvement and showcasing exquisite art forms and illuminations.

Sourav Jourdar, Photographer, Siliguri, West Bengal, India. www.facebook.com/sourav jourdar

© www.liveencounters.net november october 2013 2013


SOURAV JOURDAR

Artist putting the finishing touches to a Durga idol. Pic © Sourav Jourdar

2013 october november www.liveencounters.net 2013 ©© www.liveencounters.net


PHOTO GALLERY - DURGA PUJA

Artist working on an idol of Durga.

Š www.liveencounters.net november october 2013 2013


SOURAV JOURDAR

Pics © Sourav Jourdar

2013 october november www.liveencounters.net 2013 ©© www.liveencounters.net


PHOTO GALLERY - DURGA PUJA

Goddess Durga in all her splendour

Š www.liveencounters.net november october 2013 2013


SOURAV JOURDAR

Pics © Sourav Jourdar

2013 october november www.liveencounters.net 2013 ©© www.liveencounters.net


PHOTO GALLERY - DURGA PUJA

Pandals of Bengal. Pandals are fabricated temporary structures used for religious functions. In this case it houses the Durga idol.

Š www.liveencounters.net november october 2013 2013


SOURAV JOURDAR

Pics © Sourav Jourdar

2013 october november www.liveencounters.net 2013 ©© www.liveencounters.net


PHOTO GALLERY - DURGA PUJA

Exquisitely made pandal with coir and bamboo, rising three storeys high

Š www.liveencounters.net november october 2013 2013


SOURAV JOURDAR

Each pandal has a theme. This one is on corruption.

Pics © Sourav Jourdar

2013 october november www.liveencounters.net 2013 ©© www.liveencounters.net


HEALTH

Transforming Pain through Energy Medicine: Integrate and Receive

Pic Š Mark Ulyseas

Š www.liveencounters.net november october 2013 2013


CANDESS M CAMPBELL

Where Does My Energy Go? Do you notice you are tired in the morning when you first awake? Do you have a difficult time concentrating? Where does your energy go? I love the work of Caroline Myss—especially her image of the hundred circuits of energy we are given each day. In a course called Medical Intuition Training that she taught in April of 2004, she described these energy circuits as your power or your Spirit. She had us imagine one hundred circuits coming out from the top of our heads. She then asked us to follow the circuits to see where they were going. We imagined that 20% of the circuits were in the future, as people thought about what they were going to do later in the day; 40% in the past, connected to a childhood wound; and 30% in present time, leaving 10% unaccounted for. When your energy is not in present time, you don’t have the energy to fuel your body-mind. To be able to heal your body, you need to have a large percentage of your energy in the present. This explains partially why some people are able to heal themselves quickly and others are not. In previous articles in this series you have received several tools to bring your energy back. Body Work

In the field of integrative medicine, there are many helpful modalities and healing tools. I particularly like Reiki. The knowledge that an unseen energy flows through all living things and is connected directly to the quality of health has been part of the wisdom of many cultures since ancient times and discussed at length in this writing. We have seen how the existence of this life force energy has been verified by recent scientific experiments, and medical doctors are considering the role it plays in the functioning of the immune system and the healing process.

Reiki is a form of laying on of hands healing. Its origins have been traced to Tibet. The word Reiki is made of two Japanese words–Rei, which refers to God’s Wisdom or the Higher Power, and Ki, which is life force energy. So Reiki is actually life force energy. In China, this energy is called chi or qi; it is known as prana in India, mana in Hawaii, and orenda in Native American cultures. Another name for this energy is aura, which is the electrical force field that surrounds the physical body.

© Candess M Campbell

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


HEALTH Healing Touch is another energy therapy you may be interested in receiving or learning. It helps to balance your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Like Reiki, Healing Touch works with your energy field to support your natural ability to heal.

Reiki is used to apply life force energy to relieve pain, promote the healing process, revitalize, regenerate, and calm. It differs somewhat from touch healing in that the position of the hands over (or on) the body aligns more closely with the chakras.

Disease begins first on a non-physical level and then manifests on the physical level. Reiki will stimulate the aura and heal at that level. Lack of vitality is the cause of dis-ease in the non-physical, and Reiki stimulates the life force energy in the aura, giving the body more energy and vitality as well. Reiki eases trauma and shock, reduces stress and pain, and keeps tissue damage to a minimum. Your body holds the cellular memory of perfect health within. Reiki assists the body in remembering this perfect health. It is especially helpful for renewal when you find yourself too busy and working without rest. It is a technique for stress reduction and relaxation that allows everyone to tap into an unlimited supply of life force energy to improve health and enhance the quality of life. Healing Touch

Healing Touch is another energy therapy you may be interested in receiving or learning. It helps to balance your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Like Reiki, Healing Touch works with your energy field to support your natural ability to heal. Founded in 1989 by Janet Mentgen, an RN, Healing Touch was used as a continuing education program for nurses. Today it is used widely in hospitals and other medical settings. You may find many of the massage therapists in your area are also Healing Touch practitioners.

After a car accident in 2006 in which I was rear-ended, I went to a massage therapist friend for treatment. She used Healing Touch on me, and I could immediately feel the energy shift and release. I was impressed. It took the kinks out of my muscles quickly, and I felt like myself again. Massage Therapy Many massage therapists will use different techniques to augment their practice, such as hot rock massage and massage with therapeutic oils, but massage alone is very beneficial. It can be a great preventative measure in addition to helping with pain relief. We addressed chi deficiency earlier, and massage can be helpful for this lack of energy. Also, the joints become less elastic as you age, and massage can help keep your muscles, joints, and ligaments more supple. When I hurt my shoulder in London schlepping my bags around in and out of the Tube, a massage therapist was extremely helpful in releasing the pain and tension in the muscle, as well as teaching me how to employ a pillow while sleeping so the arm could be elevated a little and not strained as I slept. Massage is also very nurturing. If you live alone or don’t receive touch, massage is a blessing.

Š www.liveencounters.net october 2013


CANDESS M CAMPBELL Many massage therapists will use different techniques to augment their practice, such as hot rock massage and massage with therapeutic oils, but massage alone is very beneficial. It can be a great preventative measure in addition to helping with pain relief.

Electromagnetic Protection According to the online dictionary found at Dictionary.com, electro pollution is defined as:

Nonionizing electromagnetic radiation propagated through the atmosphere by broadcast towers, radar installations, and microwave appliances, and the magnetic fields surrounding electrical appliances and power lines, which is believed to have polluting effects on people and the environment; also called electromagnetic smog. In Week Ten, we discussed your biofield. Although there is much controversy over what will or will not help protect us from electromagnetic pollution, much of what I have read concludes that there is indeed a problem. Earlier I shared the story of how wearing a pendant helped me to quickly recover my energy and health. My understanding is that the vibrations coming from cell phones, televisions, microwaves, and other items that are plugged into the electrical system are man-made waves, not natural to the environment and not natural to the environment of the human energy field or biofield. The BioPro (now Gia Wellness) pendant supports my body’s own self-healing ability by changing the vibration of the electropollution into a wave against which my body can defend itself. There are many studies that support this claim, and I encourage you to decide for yourself. You can learn more at http://candess.inspiredwellness411.com, use your newfound skill of kinesiology, your intuition, or find a combination of the three that works for you. If you decide to use products to protect you from the electromagnetic pollution, there are even more sources that you can find on the Internet. If you choose not to explore this option, but do believe that electromagnetic pollution is dangerous, here are some things you can do:

1. If you have an electric clock or radio next to your head when you sleep, either get a battery clock or move the clock as far from your sleeping space as you can. 2.

Unplug anything that you are not using.

4.

If you use a microwave, stand several feet away from the microwave when you are using it.

6.

Use headphones rather than Bluetooth earpieces.

3. If you do not want to unplug items, it is helpful to get power strips so you can plug several items into one strip and turn them all off at once. This works well with computers and printers. 5.

Use land phones when possible, and do not let children use your cell phone.

© Candess M Campbell

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


HEALTH The simplest and most productive way to feel good naturally is to meditate in the morning and early evening. Morning is also a good time to stretch, play, move your body, and check in with your body. Experience the outdoors as often as possible, and become conscious of your surroundings.

Manifesting What you focus on increases. This is a large part of manifesting. Use the following simple steps to bring what you truly desire into your life: 1.

Imagine the END result.

3.

ENVISION what it is that you are manifesting. Use all of your senses.

2. 4. 5. 6.

Clearly IDENTIFY what you want. Write it down.

Be RECEPTIVE. Maintain your desires, but be unattached to the specifics of the outcome. Practice an ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE! Be generous with others.

RELEASE any fears or doubts regarding your deserving this manifestation.

7. RECEIVE what comes your way. Be aware of what is coming and be careful not to block the gifts of the Universe. Overall Health

You have been given a lot of information in this series on 12 Weeks to Self-Healing: Transforming Pain through Energy Medicine and if you have it, in the book. I hope that you are able to reread sections and practice the tools and exercises so that they become daily habits in your life. In summary, ultimately, you create your health by your choices. The external world, including your body, acts as a mirror reflecting your inner beliefs and expectations. Your doing, thinking, and feeling affect all aspects of your physiology, which results in good health or disease, as well as happiness or depression. The simplest and most productive way to feel good naturally is to meditate in the morning and early evening. Morning is also a good time to stretch, play, move your body, and check in with your body. Experience the outdoors as often as possible, and become conscious of your surroundings. Eat healthy food that is not processed, and eat the largest meal in the middle of the day. Avoid alcohol and other drugs, including sugar. Drink eight glasses of un-chlorinated water daily.

Experience and express your feelings. Take time to understand what you are feeling and the origin of the feeling. See a counselor or a body worker to help you release your feelings. Relax before bed with a book, bath, or some light organizing. Be positive in your thoughts, and allow yourself to belong, to be loving and forgiving, and to experience yourself in a process of health and healing. Take responsibility for your own health. And, I would like to add, be grateful!

Š www.liveencounters.net october 2013


CANDESS M CAMPBELL The whole process of self-healing involves becoming conscious and activating your own life force energy and directing it consciously. Have fun with this. Use the tools that you find to be the most helpful and share them with friends.

Tools and Exercises 1. Ground yourself, close your eyes, and breathe deeply. Take a moment to imagine you have 100 circuits of energy emanating from the top of your head. See where your energy is going. You can do this by seeing what memories and feelings surface. Do a timed writing for twenty minutes to get more information. 2. Assess your home for electropollution. Research on the Internet what is said to be harmful, and take some precautions by investing in protective products or using the ideas I gave you in this week.

3. Make an appointment for Reiki, Healing Touch, massage, or another nurturing experience. If you do this kind of work as well, do not trade sessions. Allow yourself to receive.

4. Go to your local independent bookstore and spend some time looking through the books. Allow your intuition to take you to the book that will be activating for you. The whole process of self-healing involves becoming conscious and activating your own life force energy and directing it consciously. Have fun with this. Use the tools that you find to be the most helpful and share them with friends. If you need more support, this audio program will assist you through the process. 12 Weeks Self-Healing Audio Course.

There are a couple of points I have not yet made, but I find them to be very important. The first is to be sure to forgive yourself for anything you may be holding without letting go. Forgive others as well, because as we hold resentments of the past, the resentments hold us much tighter. The second is a word I have learned to love as I embrace it. The word is surrender. The more I have learned to surrender my will to God, the Universe, the Divine … the simpler my life has become. When you understand that you are not alone, that there is a part of you that is much wiser and much more capable, it becomes easier to let go and trust that your own Higher Self, your Inner Guide, the Holy Spirit will create for you in a manner beyond what you could imagine yourself. “Doctor, I’d like a bottle of placebo please.”

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


CONTRIBUTORS Click on title of article to go to page

Guest Editorial - Does religion have a political role in a country Dr. Ivo Coelho

Coelho earned his PhD in philosophy from the Gregorian University, Rome. He is Reader in Gnoseology and Metaphysics at Divyadaan: Salesian Institute of Philosophy, Nashik, India, and editor of Divyadaan: Journal of Philosophy and Education. Born in 1958 at Mumbai, he specialized in the hermeneutical thought of the Canadian philosopher, theologian and economist Bernard Lonergan. He is the author of Hermeneutics and Method: The ‘Universal Viewpoint’ in Bernard Lonergan and editor of Brahman and Person: Essays by Richard De Smet. www.divyadaan.in

Islam in Indonesia - The Contest for Society, Ideas and Values Dr. Carool Kersten

Carool Kersten is a scholar of Islam with interests in the intellectual history of the modern Muslim world and Islam in Southeast Asia. He currently is a Senior Lecturer in the Study of Islam and the Muslim World at King’s College London and a Research Associate with the Centre for South East Asian Studies at School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). ww.kcl.academia.edu www.hurstpublications.com

Public Hinduisms Dr. John Zavos

Zavos is Senior Lecturer in South Asian Studies at the University of Manchester, UK. Recent publications include Religious Traditions in Modern South Asia (2011), co-authored with Jacqueline Suthren Hirst, and several articles on Hinduism and Hindu organisations in the UK. He has worked extensively on the Hindu nationalist movement and is the author of The Emergence of Hindu Nationalism in India (2000). 2008-10 principal investigator on the Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded network project: ‘The Public Representation of a Religion Called Hinduism: Postcolonial Patterns in Britain, India and the US’. www.sagepub.in

The Nonverbal Revolution of Pope Francis Dr. Peter Gonsalves

Peter Gonsalves, PhD, currently teaches the Sciences of Social Communication at the Salesian Pontifical University, Rome. A member of SIGNIS, a world association for communicators, he has also written a manual for South Asian educators entitled Exercises in Media Education. https://www.facebook.com/GandhisMegaSymbol

Gleanings

Natalie Wood

© www.liveencounters.net october 2013

Born in Birmingham, England, U.K., Natalie Wood began working in journalism a month prior to outbreak of the 1973 Yom Kippur War. She remained in regional Jewish journalism for over 20 years, leaving full-time writing to help run a family business and then completed a range of general office work. Wood and her husband, Brian Fink emigrated from Manchester to Israel in March 2010 and live in Karmiel, Galilee where she continues to work, concentrating on creative writing. She features in Smith Magazine’s new Six Word Memoirs On Jewish Life and contributes to Technorati, Blogcritics and Live Encounters magazine. Her stories - Website and journalism - Website


December 2013 Volume One A United Ireland Noel Monahan

Monahan has published five collections of poetry. His next collection: Where The Wind Sleeps, New & Selected Poems, will be published by Salmon in May 2014. Literary awards include: The SeaCat National Award organised by Poetry Ireland, The HibernoEnglish Poetry Award, The Irish Writers’ Union Poetry Award, The William Allingham Poetry Award and The Kilkenny Poetry Prize for Poetry. Most recent plays include: “The Children of Lir” performed by Livin’ Dred Theatre and “Lovely Husbands”, a drama based on Henry James’ work performed at the inaugural Henry James Literary Festival, 2010. He is co-editor of Windows Publications and he holds an M.A. in Creative Writing.

Why the reporting of clinical trial outcomes is an important social issue Nikola Stepanov

Stepanov is a doctoral scholar in philosophy and law (Rights of Children) with the Melbourne Medical School & School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne, and recipient of an Australian Postgraduate Award. Nikola also works part-time as a lecturer in Medical Ethics and Law with the School of Medicine, the University of Queensland. She will be spending the summer in Cyprus as an invited visiting scholar of the University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) Centre for Professional Ethics and UCLan Faculty of Law-Cyprus.

The 1965-66 mass killings in Indonesia: Recent

developments towards historical justice Dr. Jemma Purdey

Purdey is an Adjunct Fellow in the School of Political and Social Inquiry, Monash University. She is author of From Vienna to Yogyakarta: The life of Herb Feith, UNSW Press, Sydney, 2011; Anti-Chinese violence in Indonesia, 1996-1999, NUS Publishing, Singapore, 2006 and editor of Knowing Indonesia: Intersections of self, discipline and nation, Monash Publishing, Clayton, 2012. She is a chair of the Board of the Indonesia Resources and Information Program, which publishes the magazine, Inside Indonesia.

Photo Gallery - Tibet Jill Gocher

Bali based international photographer has spent her life exploring and enjoying Asian cultures. Her work has appeared in National Geographic, Time, International Herald Tribune, Asia Spa, Discovery, Silver Kris and many more. Her books - Asia’s legendary Hotels, Periplus, Bali- Island of Light -Marshall Cavendish, Indonesia Islands of the Imagination. Periplus, Australia - the land down under - Times Editions, Singapore, Indonesia - the last paradise - Times Editions. She has held exhibitions in Singapore, Kathmandu, and Bali. www.amazon.com/author/jillgocher

2013 Another year of living foolishly? Mark Ulyseas

This essay was written and published in 2008. Since then I have updated it every year. Except for a few lines here and there the basic essay has remained in its original form. It is a reminder to us that the inhumanity of humanity has not changed. In fact it appears to be growing in intensity. Sadly the more things change, the more they remain the same. 2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


IVO COELHO

Does Religion Have A Political Role In A Country?

Does religion have a political role in a country? This is a thorny but very actual question, especially in those countries where religions have large and significant presences. We might think most spontaneously of Christianity in its different forms in the West, but we ought to keep in mind also Islam in many countries around the world, Hinduism in India, and Buddhism in several countries of Asia. The question has a history that is long and pesante, heavy, as the Italians would say. After the postReformation wars of religion in Europe, for example, there has been a tendency to relegate religion to the private sphere. On the other hand, it is not uncommon for preachers in certain countries around the world to give unambiguous exhortations to direct political action. In a certain sense, the overlap between religion and politics is inevitable, given that religion is so allencompassing. In my opinion, it would be a poor form of religion that concerned itself only with the hereafter to the exclusion of any concern for the here and now.

I cannot help remembering the question asked to Jesus about paying taxes to Caesar. Jesus is being asked to take a position on the issue of the Roman occupation, and it would seem that, whichever way he answers, he will get into trouble, either with the Romans or else with his own compatriots. His response is wonderful: “Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and to God what belongs to God.” I find this astounding. Jesus’ questioners are the ones carrying coins with Caesar’s image on them. They are, in other words, consenting to the Roman occupation at least in some way. And then, what is it that belongs to Caesar and what to God? Is it not true that, in the final analysis, everything belongs to God, including Caesar and all that belongs to him?

The point is that there is an inevitable overlap between religion and politics, religion and the state. Jesus’ answer is profound, but it leaves plenty of room for interpretation, negotiation, learning. And I think we have to learn from history. So I want to say that, despite the fact that everything belongs to God, including Caesar, there is place for the legitimate autonomy of the political sphere. Religion, therefore, cannot become a force that dictates terms to the state. Just as faith does not do away with reason, so religion does not attempt to replace or take over the functions of the state. But it is also true that, just as faith somehow transcends, goes beyond and sublates reason, religion cannot simply withdraw completely from the sphere of the political. So the question before us is not whether religion has anything to do with the state, but simply what its role might be.

© www.liveencounters.net october 2013


GUEST EDITORIAL

Dr. Ivo Coelho

Philosopher, Priest, Author Rector of Ratisbonne Monastery Jerusalem

One way of putting the matter might be to hold that religion has the role of Socratic gadfly – and the more powerless the better. If politics is not merely a mechanism for regulating public life, if its lofty aim is to provide and achieve justice in the here and now for all, then the question inevitably arises, what is justice? And here is where religion is one of several forces that can contribute, by casting light on and by challenging or perhaps inviting to constant and ongoing purification.

Politics tends to be linked to national, special, and even often simply personal interests. Especially when a religion is able to rise above such interests, it can play the role of gadfly, asking questions that no one else seems to be asking, provoking reflection. It will keep in mind, of course, also the fact that Socrates paid for his questioning with his life. So did Jesus, I can’t help thinking. He makes shrewd distinctions between Caesar and God, but everything he does has inevitable political implications. He invites himself to spend the night at the house of a Roman collaborator, the tax collector of Jericho, Zacchaeus. He heals the servant of the Roman centurion and even praises the centurion’s faith. On the other hand among his disciples there is not only a tax collector but also a zealot, someone who might be termed a terrorist or a patriot, depending on which side we are on. Faced with the ultimate test, however, Jesus does not shirk. To Pilate he says: You say that I am a king, and it is true. But my kingdom is not of this world. I have come to bear witness to the truth. Jesus is a witness to the truth who does not hate anyone, who is willing to meet and eat with Romans and Samaritans as well as Jews, tax collectors, sex workers, people who like to live it up, but also the more orthodox. He is a witness to the truth who keeps crossing boundaries. So when John Paul II became instant friends with the young Communist mayor of Rome in the early 1990s, he was not really doing anything new. And when Jyoti Basu, the Communist chief minister of West Bengal, spent half a silent hour at the body of Mother Teresa, it was not really anything astounding. That is how it should be. We speak, we bear witness to the truth as we see it, but we do not hate, we keep crossing boundaries, we are friends. So when I hear about certain extreme Catholic attitudes towards President Obama, I find myself disturbed. I may not agree with certain of his stances, but I would not be blindly against him. We can work together even if we disagree on certain fundamentals.

© Ivo Coelho

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


GUEST EDITORIAL I believe that religions have a right to speak out and say their minds even on delicate issues, and I am fully aware that such speaking out can have large political fallouts, so I hope and pray that a religion that decides to speak out will also be careful not to issue diktats to its faithful. It will speak out, because it is within its rights to speak out. But it will not seek to impose, not even on its own adherents, and it will certainly not stoop to manipulate.

And, besides, religion itself has to keep purifying itself in its concrete incarnations.

A one-track morality frightens me: Catholics, for example, who shout loudly against abortion and homosexuality, but are quite unmoved about war and injustice.

Cardinal Peter Turkson, who was with us here in Jerusalem recently, used a phrase that I like very much: gentle accompaniment. That is a good way of putting it: religion as gently accompanying humanity, politics, as the case may be. Not a heavy-handed religion, not a religion that is prepotente or attempting to dominate, but a religion that gently bears witness to the truth. And here, I must say, religion has its own rights to be respected and to be respectfully heard.

Speaking out is not the same as ‘interference.’ If everyone has a right to speak out and be heard, so do religious bodies. Telling the truth as one sees it is not necessarily ‘imposing’ oneself on others, and it would be uncharitable to interpret it that way. I believe that religions have a right to speak out and say their minds even on delicate issues, and I am fully aware that such speaking out can have large political fallouts, so I hope and pray that a religion that decides to speak out will also be careful not to issue diktats to its faithful. It will speak out, because it is within its rights to speak out. But it will not seek to impose, not even on its own adherents, and it will certainly not stoop to manipulate. And then there is what Bernard Lonergan calls the dynamic of creation and healing. All religion bears witness also to the existence of Something or Someone by which or whom we are carried beyond ourselves, as it were. We do our little part to improve the lot of humanity, and if we believe, we do it not with cynicism but with hope. Lonergan refers to this component as ‘healing’: God is at work to redeem, heal, save, in ways that we know and in ways that we do not.

But there is also the component of ‘creating’. God’s ongoing work does not take away the need for human creativity, for insightful responses to concrete needs, for an ongoing evolution of systems to meet the needs of human beings on smaller or larger scales. Lonergan is engaged in making two points: first, that creating and healing are both necessary: the creative process, when unaccompanied by healing, is distorted and corrupted by bias; but the healing process, when unaccompanied by creating, “is a soul without a body.” Second, that moral or religious theorizing needs to arise from intimate knowledge of economic or political processes. © www.liveencounters.net october 2013


IVO COELHO

Thus economic theorists are called upon to work out a new type of analysis that acknowledges the inevitable component of human insight and decision in economic process, and that therefore works out how moral precepts have both a basis in economic process and an effective application to it. Moral theorists, on the other hand, must be able to see the need to descend from abstract and lofty moral principles to “specifically economic precepts that arise out of economic process itself and promote its proper functioning.” “When physicists are able to think on the basis of indeterminacy, economists can think on the basis of freedom and acknowledge the relevance of morality. Again, when the system that is needed for our collective survival does not exist, then it is futile to excoriate what does exist while blissfully ignoring the task of constructing a technically viable economic system that can be put in its place.”

While economics does not coincide with politics, no one will deny that the two are inevitably connected. So while religion might play the role of Socratic gadfly, witness to the truth, or gentle accompaniment, and while it also is a witness to its conviction that there is a component of healing in world process, there is also the fact that believers and religious and moral theorists, like everyone else, are called upon to contribute to the component of creating, so that their invitations to the purification of reason arise from proper familiarity with the economic, social and political processes in question. And if I am right in my suspicion that this last part of my essay is intolerably vague, I will try to offset this by referring my readers to Lonergan’s essay itself, “Healing and Creating in History,” found in a collection of his essays entitled simply A Third Collection.

© Ivo Coelho

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


CAROOL KERSTEN

Š www.liveencounters.net december october 2013 2013 volume one


ISLAM IN INDONESIA

Dr. Carool Kersten

Senior Lecturer in the Study of Islam & the Muslim World KING’S College LONDON

author of

Islam in Indonesia The Contest for Society, Ideas and Values Published by Hurst Publishers

in an interview with Mark Ulyseas

“Fifteen years after the fall of the Suharto Regime in 1998, Indonesia’s Muslims are still pondering what role religion should play in public life. Although the religious violence marring the initial transition towards democratic reform has died down, in the first decade of the 21st century, the Muslim community has polarized into reactionary and progressive camps with increasingly antagonistic views on the place of Islam in Indonesian society. Debates over the underlying principles of the democratization process have further heated up after a fatwa issued by conservative religious scholars condemned secularism, pluralism and liberalism as un-Islamic. With a hesitant government dominated by Indonesia’s eternal political elites failing to take a clear stance, supporters of the decision feel vindicated to pursue their Islamization agendas with renewed vigour, displaying growing intolerance towards other religions and what they consider deviant Muslim minorities. Extremist and radical exponents of this Islamist bloc receive more international media coverage and scholarly attention than their progressive opponents who are defiantly challenging this reactionary trend. Calling for a true transformation of Indonesian society based on democratic principles and respect for human rights, they insist that this process depends on sustained secularization, religious toleration, and freethinking.” - Kersten

© Carool Kersten/Mark Ulyseas

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


ISLAM IN INDONESIA The new freedoms that came with the regime change of 1998 opened up the public space to a diversity of voices that had been unheard of before in Indonesia. This meant that not only those drawing inspiration from Cak Nur and other like-minded Muslim activists had new opportunities for further developing and implementing their ideas, on the other side of the spectrum, reactionary Muslims were now also able to openly advocate their political agendas.

Could you kindly give us an overview of your book? Islam in Indonesia: The Contest for Society, Ideas and Values is in part a sequel to my previous book, Cosmopolitans and Heretics, in which I examined the work Indonesia’s leading Muslim intellectual of the late twentieth century, Nurcholish Madjid (1939-2005) -- more affectionately known as Cak Nur. His writings have been seminal in developing what is often called a liberal or neo-modernist strand of Islamic thinking, because it rejects an Islamic state or even the need for Islamic political parties, arguing that a secular political system should be perfectly acceptable to Muslims because it leaves ample room for the expression of Islamic values. Although he was not associated with either the Muhammadiyah or Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) and never joined any political party, his influence did extend into politics and he was instrumental in convincing Suharto to step down in 1998, thus helping to secure the transition into the Reformasi Era. I ended that book noting how the torch has now been passed on to younger generations of progressive-minded Muslim intellectuals and activists. Islam in Indonesia tells their story. I think it is an important story to tell at this point in time, not only because Indonesia is the most populous Muslim country in the world – a fact that many people are not aware off – but, more importantly, there are valuable lessons to be learned from Indonesia’s experiences during the last decade and a half, especially in view of the seismic shifts that are currently taken place in the Arabicspeaking parts of the Muslim world.

The new freedoms that came with the regime change of 1998 opened up the public space to a diversity of voices that had been unheard of before in Indonesia. This meant that not only those drawing inspiration from Cak Nur and other like-minded Muslim activists had new opportunities for further developing and implementing their ideas, on the other side of the spectrum, reactionary Muslims were now also able to openly advocate their political agendas. This resulted in a mushrooming of a wide range of Muslim political parties, civil society initiatives, NGOs, think tanks, and what have you, but it has also led to the emergence of radical and frequently violent vigilante organizations such as FPI, militias involved in inter-religious armed confrontations, such as Laskar Jihad, and even more sinister exponents of Islamic political extremism like JI. As a consequence, also debates within Indonesia’s Muslim community have become more antagonistic, leading to a growing polarization between the various viewpoints of what kind of role religion -- in this case Islam -- should play in Indonesian society. Politicians, the media, and also academics have paid more attention to the reactionary side of the spectrum than to progressive Muslim voices. In my book I want to restore that balance. This has become all the more important following the release of a controversial fatwa, or religious legal opinion, by the Indonesian Council of Islamic scholars (MUI), in the summer of 2005. In this document, they condemned the notions of secularism, pluralism

© www.liveencounters.net october 2013


CAROOL KERSTEN One of the interesting things I discovered is that, contrary to what you would expect, Muslims from traditionalist rural backgrounds were more progressive than their urban modernist peers. In their ‘intellectual adventurism’, they demonstrated a knack for looking back to the tradition and come up with creative reinterpretations of centuries of Islamic learning which are relevant to the present and future of Muslims in Indonesia.

and liberalism as ‘un-Islamic’. Not surprisingly this caused quite a stir, splitting Muslims into two camps: supporters and critics of the fatwa. For me, this provided both a motive for writing this particular book and a motif around which to organize my narrative. Concentrating on progressive Muslim intellectuals who have begun to make a name for themselves in the fifteen years that have passed since the fall of New Order, I use the 2005 fatwa as a calibration point for gauging to what extent Indonesia has succeeded in becoming a more democratic country. After all, democratization is not just about the ballot box, and organizing free and fair elections and regular intervals.

I argue that, since 2005, the antagonism among Indonesia’s Muslims was further aggravated by a conservative turn within the leadership of both traditionalist NU and the modernist Muhammadiyah, and a government that seems to cow tow to conservative and reactionary Muslims. However, younger generations of Muslim activists do no longer slavishly follow their more senior colleagues or former teachers. The progressive voices also do not form a monolithic bloc. To help the readers in finding their bearings in this intellectual cacophony, the beginning of the book maps different schools of thought, which often took shape through critiques of their intellectual mentors from earlier generations.

One of the interesting things I discovered is that, contrary to what you would expect, Muslims from traditionalist rural backgrounds were more progressive than their urban modernist peers. In their ‘intellectual adventurism’, they demonstrated a knack for looking back to the tradition and come up with creative reinterpretations of centuries of Islamic learning which are relevant to the present and future of Muslims in Indonesia. The remainder of the book deals with the ways Muslims engage with specific themes affecting Muslim society and its politics, such as the relation between religion, statehood and democracy; the very hotly debated issue of the place of Islamic law in a multi-ethnic and multi-religious country like Indonesia; and questions of universal human rights, tolerance, and religious education. Many of these issues have been contested since Indonesia gained independence.

For example, after 1998, we saw a rerun of the same debates of 1945 whether there should be any mention of Islam in the country’s constitution and the need for Muslims to adhere to Islamic law. These attempts were again soundly defeated, and Islamic parties had to find different ways of fulfilling their political agendas. I don’t expect there to be any decisive or final outcome to these debates, but the fact that they are taking place will give direction to Indonesia’s political future and – ultimately – to what kind of country Indonesia will be. © Carool Kersten/Mark Ulyseas

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


ISLAM IN INDONESIA Indonesia is somewhat unique in the sense that, since 1945, its political system is defined by the Pancasila or Doctrine of Five Principles: The first principle being the need of every Indonesian citizen to belief in a supreme being, without any further identification. In practice, this has resulted in the formal recognition of only a limited number of religions: Islam, Catholicism, Protestantism, Hinduism, and Buddhism. The Chinese tradition of Confucianism has been in and out a few times, and there is still much debate about indigenous spiritual practices alternately referred to as Kejawen, Kebatinan and Kepercayaan.

Is it true that there is a blurring of lines between religion and state with the growing influence of Islam? And do you foresee Indonesia becoming an Islamic State? Yes, there is a blurring of the lines between religion and state in Indonesia, but this is neither a new phenomenon, nor a result of a supposedly recent growing influence of Islam. It makes Indonesia a very interesting case study for the phenomenon of secularization. The way the Indonesian republic has handled the relation between religion and state in the almost seventy years of its independent existence prefigures what political and other social scientists have only begun to realize in the last twenty years or so. And that is that modernization has not so much led to a reduction of the importance of organized religion as to a differentiation between the function of religious institutions and that of the state.

Also the claim that in modernizing societies, religion has been relegated to the private sphere can be challenged. The evidence for that does not only come from the Muslim world, empirical research shows that this also applies to countries with Christian majorities. The United States is a prime example: nobody can deny that religion is of great importance to Americans and it is very much present in the public sphere.

Indonesia is somewhat unique in the sense that, since 1945, its political system is defined by the Pancasila or Doctrine of Five Principles: The first principle being the need of every Indonesian citizen to belief in a supreme being, without any further identification. In practice, this has resulted in the formal recognition of only a limited number of religions: Islam, Catholicism, Protestantism, Hinduism, and Buddhism. The Chinese tradition of Confucianism has been in and out a few times, and there is still much debate about indigenous spiritual practices alternately referred to as Kejawen, Kebatinan and Kepercayaan. Some observers refer to this as Indonesia’s ‘soft secularism’, which stands in contrast to the ‘hard secularism’ found in, for example, France, or to mention another Muslim country, Turkey. Since the political success of the AKP, that country has in fact moved closer to the Indonesian situation.

It is against this background that one has to situate the current debates among Muslims as to the role of Islam in present-day Indonesia. Some Islamist parties have tried to revive the discussions of 1945 and insert a stipulation into the constitution making it mandatory for Muslim citizens to abide by Islamic law. However, this was not just rejected by parties such as Golkar or the PDI-P, but also moderate Muslim parties. Although, in contrast to the New Order years, it is no longer mandated that all political parties

© www.liveencounters.net october 2013


CAROOL KERSTEN It is against this background that one has to situate the current debates among Muslims as to the role of Islam in present-day Indonesia. Some Islamist parties have tried to revive the discussions of 1945 and insert a stipulation into the constitution making it mandatory for Muslim citizens to abide by Islamic law.

and mass organizations (including Islamic ones such as the Muhammadiyah and the NU) accept Pancasila as their ‘sole foundation’ or asas tunggal, many progressive Muslims remain convinced that the Pancasila forms an important safeguard for pluralism and tolerance in an ethnically and religiously diverse country such as Indonesia.

That is also the reason why they corralled the Pancasila in the wake of the notorious fatwa of 2005. Criticizing the condemnation of the principles of secularism, pluralism and liberalism by conservative Muslim scholars because they were supposedly running counter to Islamic values, together with other segments of Indonesian society progressive Muslim circled the wagons to protect the toleration of religious minorities, including Muslim groups which are considered ‘deviant sects’ by their conservative and reactionary adversaries.

There is no denying that the Islamists remain very vocal, and in the early Reformasi years, when there was a momentary breakdown of law and order as the military was forced to retire from its former predominant role in politics and wider Indonesian society, some of the more radical and extremist elements constituted a real danger to the integrity of the state and the fabric of Indonesian society. Also the release of the 2005 fatwa and the conservative turn in important organizations such as the Muhammadiyah and NU is a reason for concern. But at the same time, I think the phenomena which I discuss in my book show that there is also a very substantial counter current of progressive Muslims who have every intention to defend the gains that have undoubtedly been made in turning Indonesia into a more democratic country. Why, in your opinion, do the radicals get more ‘publicity’ than those intellectuals who seek to ‘democratize’ Indonesia, to turn it into a truly ‘open’ society?

That question can be answered very cynically: Because the actions of radicals are more ‘newsworthy’ than measured intellectual debates, or average Indonesian Muslims going about their daily business. And, obviously, the most extremist exponents of Islamism are also a security risk, which means that government bodies dealing with such developments and -- I should add -- academic studies of religious violence will find it a lot easier to secure funding than NGOs involved in community cohesion building or grassroots level development initiatives, let alone scholars – like myself – who are interested in what Muslim intellectuals discuss.

The latter often takes place in scholarly circles or, at the very least, among highly educated Indonesians, who are still a relatively small minority of the total population. © Carool Kersten/Mark Ulyseas

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


ISLAM IN INDONESIA Indonesia’s own track record is ambiguous in this respect. Internationally, Megawati Sukarnoputri was one of the first to jump on the Bush bandwagon after 9/11. When Islamic radicalism hit home in Indonesia with bombings in Bali and Jakarta, it briefly seemed that domestically the gloves were coming off too. However, pursuing the mentors of the terrorists was only done half-heartedly. As I have mentioned earlier, especially since 2005, ambivalence and hesitation seem to be the hallmarks of the government attitude vis-à-vis undesirable aspects of Islamic political activism.

There appears to be little resistance from government for it often succumbs to the diktats of extremists: attacks on minorities and places of worship, etc. Please comment. Since 2005, religious intolerance has certainly been on the rise, affecting not just non-Muslims, but also Muslim minority groups such as the Ahmadis and Shi’ites. That is not only due to the fact that vigilantes such as the FPI feel vindicated by that fatwa, but also due to a government that gives mixed signals. On the one hand, they claim to uphold Pancasila, on the other they refuse to step in when acts of violence are perpetrated against religious minorities. Instead of speaking up for freedom of conviction and expression, the Indonesian government only stepped onto the international stage to propose a UN protocol against blasphemy.

It is very surprising how the incumbent SBY administration has failed to capitalize on the extended and expanded mandate following its 2009 re-election – usually a rare feat for a sitting government. In part this is due to SBY’s own passivity and indecisiveness. On the other hand, I believe the resilience and survival instincts of what I call Indonesia’s ‘perpetual elites’ are still holding Indonesian society in its grip. Even fifteen years after Reformasi, you still see the same names recurring in politics, business, and even in Muslim circles too. NU leader Abdurrahman Wahid (Gus Dur) may have been the first freely elected president Indonesia ever had, but he was the grandson of the founder of the NU, and his father had served as minister of religious affairs under Sukarno, his career was only cut short when he died in a tragic car accident in 1953. Although an opposition figure, throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Gus Dur was very much a fixture of Indonesia’s political mainstream. These elites are not adverse from manipulating less savoury elements from Indonesia’s social underbelly for their own purposes. The recent statement by the interior minister that the thugs of the FPI should be ‘empowered’ to play a more prominent role in Indonesia than the vigilante actions and persecutions they have been involved in so far does not bode well. It offers an eerie reminder of the involvement of paramilitary organizations such as the Pemuda Pancasila and the Muslim Ansor in some of the more sinister episodes in Indonesia’s recent history. The continued ‘war on terror’ and the rising Islamophobia particularly in the West, have been partly instrumental in creating a ‘fear psychosis’ and thus maligning all Muslims. What affect has this been on Islam in Indonesia?

Indonesia’s own track record is ambiguous in this respect. Internationally, Megawati Sukarnoputri was one of the first to jump on the Bush bandwagon after 9/11. When Islamic radicalism hit home in Indonesia with bombings in Bali and Jakarta, it briefly seemed that domestically the gloves were coming off too. However, pursuing the mentors of the terrorists was only done half-heartedly. As I have mentioned earlier, especially since 2005, ambivalence and hesitation seem to be the hallmarks of the government attitude vis-à-vis undesirable aspects of Islamic political activism.

© www.liveencounters.net october 2013


CAROOL KERSTEN Progressive Muslims are countering this ‘creeping shariatization’ of Indonesian society, not by rejecting Islamic law out of hand, but by pointing at what Shariʽa really means. Generally, the term is used as shorthand for ‘Islamic law’, but that is a misunderstanding. Shariʽa is actually a very general principle offering Muslims an ethical code or moral compass for proper Islamic conduct. Concrete stipulations pertaining to dress codes, segregation of the sexes, and the more notorious examples of stoning adulterers or cutting off hands, are not part of that.

Did the power vacuum left by Suharto become fertile ground for the breeding of Islamic extremists who took the opportunity to impose their sense of religiosity? Certainly, the initial chaos in the immediate aftermath of the changes taking place in 1998 and 1999 played in the hands of organizations and activists with very dubious agendas. On the other hand, the new openness of Reformasi also means that those with whom one disagrees also deserve an open forum to voice their opinions and a platform for developing their agendas for Indonesia’s future, provided they stay within the confines of the law, of course. Such challenges are an important test for the robustness of the democratization process. A clear example of this is the issue of the introduction of Islamic law. When it became clear that there would be no reference to Islamic law in the new constitution and that the central government would not enforce Islamic law on a national level, Islamists changed tactics by using one of the achievements of the democratization process under Reformasi: The decentralization of Indonesia’s state administration and the devolution of powers to regional and local authorities offered a new window of opportunity by introducing Islamic law on these lower levels through so-called ‘Local Religious Orders’, or Perda Syariat, in staunchy Islamic area such as Aceh and certain districts in Java and Sulawesi.

Progressive Muslims are countering this ‘creeping shariatization’ of Indonesian society, not by rejecting Islamic law out of hand, but by pointing at what Shariʽa really means. Generally, the term is used as shorthand for ‘Islamic law’, but that is a misunderstanding. Shariʽa is actually a very general principle offering Muslims an ethical code or moral compass for proper Islamic conduct. Concrete stipulations pertaining to dress codes, segregation of the sexes, and the more notorious examples of stoning adulterers or cutting off hands, are not part of that. They are the outcome of legal practices during the early centuries of Islam’s formative period, which were incorporated in a historical body of Islamic jurisprudence, or fiqh in Arabic. Such rulings were constantly debated among scholars in order to determine their continuing relevance or obsoleteness. Reactionary Muslims think the only right way forward is to reintroduce these rulings, which by now have become anachronisms. How can the right thinking educated Muslims of Indonesia repulse this growing trend of radical Islam? How can their voice be heard above the ‘war cry’ of the extremists who have become the self appointed gendarmes of the faith?

Progressive Muslims try to recapture the spirit of Shariʽa by shifting the attention from archaic jurisprudence to the underlying principles developed in a juridical specialism called maqasid alshariʽa, the ‘objectives of shariʽa’. In effect, this is a philosophy of law not dissimilar to the natural law debates of the Western tradition. The moral guidelines that can be teased out from such a purposebased approach to legal debates are fully compatible with a political system such as democracy and with the universal human rights standards that have now gained global acceptance. © Carool Kersten/Mark Ulyseas

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


ISLAM IN INDONESIA ...progressive Muslims have been at pains to develop ways of modernizing Indonesian society, including its Muslim segment, without losing its Indonesian distinctiveness. That also means they are just as much opposed to the ‘Arabization’ of Indonesian Islam. To their mind, the kind of Islam propagated by reactionary Muslims who try to copy their Salafi brethren in the Middle East, is just as alien to Indonesia as many aspects of Western culture. Nurcholish Madjid called his variant Islam Kemodernan Keindonesiaan, while Abdurrahman Wahid spoke of Pribumasi Islam, or the ‘indigenization of Islam’.

There is no need whatsoever, progressive Muslim intellectuals argue, to create a parallel alternative Islamic political and human rights system, let alone make certain reservations to these universally accepted standards in terms of the rights of religious minorities or the participation of women.

These debates are far from finished. In fact, when Abdurrahman Wahid was impeached in 2001 due to his mercurial behaviour, supposedly progressives in moderate Muslim parties tried nevertheless to prevent Megawati Sukarnoputri from becoming president because she was a woman. That was a moment when a generation gap became apparent between some of the pioneers of innovative Islamic thinking in the 1970s and the younger generations of progressive Muslims. Are the radicals using Islam as a weapon to fight the growing ‘modernisation’ or ‘westernisation’ of Indonesia because they see it as a threat to Indonesian culture, in the process maligning Islam?

The conflation of modernization with westernization has been plaguing the debates between progressive and reactionary Muslims since the late 1960s. At that time, Nurcholish Madjid -- whom I mentioned at the beginning – was the leader the country’s largest Muslim student organization. In 1968 he had written an article in which he argued that modernization meant a rationalization of Muslim thinking, not the wholesale Westernization of Indonesian society and culture. Since then, progressive Muslims have been at pains to develop ways of modernizing Indonesian society, including its Muslim segment, without losing its Indonesian distinctiveness. That also means they are just as much opposed to the ‘Arabization’ of Indonesian Islam. To their mind, the kind of Islam propagated by reactionary Muslims who try to copy their Salafi brethren in the Middle East, is just as alien to Indonesia as many aspects of Western culture. Nurcholish Madjid called his variant Islam Kemodernan Keindonesiaan, while Abdurrahman Wahid spoke of Pribumasi Islam, or the ‘indigenization of Islam’.

Younger generations of Muslim intellectuals continue exploring new avenues of this cultural or cosmopolitan Indonesian Islam. They also exhibit a growing assertiveness towards Muslims in the Arab world who very frequently take a rather patronizing attitude towards Indonesians. Many of these Indonesian Muslims are not just fluent in Arabic, but also English and often other foreign languages too. They have spent time abroad, studying at universities in the Middle East, as well as in North America, Europe or Australia. Thus they are not only intimately familiar with the cultural heritage of Islam, but also very well informed of the latest advances of Western academe in the humanities and social sciences. This has led to new intellectual initiatives, which they have presented under names such as ‘Islamic post-traditionalism’ or ‘transformative Islam’ and which I have tried to unpack in my book.

© www.liveencounters.net october 2013


CAROOL KERSTEN I am currently a senior lecturer in the study of Islam and the Muslim world. But my interest in that part of the world actually dates back to my high school years in the late 1970s and early 1980s. This was the time of the Iranian revolution, the Camp David accords, and the assassination of the Egyptian President Sadat. The fascination I had for the Middle East made me decide to specialize in this area during my university studies. Eventually, I graduated with an MA in Arabic language and culture, writing a dissertation on Islamic international law.

Could you give us a glimpse of your life and works? I am originally from the Netherlands, but I have been working at King’s College London since 2007, where I am currently a senior lecturer in the study of Islam and the Muslim world. But my interest in that part of the world actually dates back to my high school years in the late 1970s and early 1980s. This was the time of the Iranian revolution, the Camp David accords, and the assassination of the Egyptian President Sadat. The fascination I had for the Middle East made me decide to specialize in this area during my university studies. Eventually, I graduated with an MA in Arabic language and culture, writing a dissertation on Islamic international law. Subsequently, I found myself working for more than ten years in Saudi Arabia as a translator and personnel manager, interrupted by a sabbatical year during which I went back to my old university in the Netherlands to study philosophy. By the end of 2000, I thought it was time for a real change. Now married and with two children, we moved to Thailand where my wife is from. I gave myself another sabbatical and obtained a diploma in Southeast Asian Studies. Rather unexpectedly, the university offered me a job as an instructor in Asian history and religions, and I also found some time to write two books on the Dutch in Southeast Asia. I became increasingly convinced that I wanted to turn this into an alternative career, and in 2005 I decided to pursue a PhD. With 9/11, the incidents in Indonesia, and new troubles in Thailand’s Muslim south just behind us, I was looking for a subject where I could combine my earlier background in Arabic and Islamic studies with my new found interest in Southeast Asia. Having already done a course in Indonesian language during my graduate and postgraduate studies in the Netherlands, I applied to the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London to write a thesis comparing three contemporary Muslim intellectuals from Indonesia, Egypt, and Algeria, which also became the basis for the book Cosmopolitans and Heretics. I was exceptionally fortunate to be offered a job at King’s College London even before I had finished my PhD. Since then, I have been involved in a variety of research projects on contemporary Islam. This has resulted in book collaborations on the caliphate and on new strands in Islamic thinking and the consequences for religious authority. My next writing project will be yet another book on Indonesia, this time a history of Islam for the Islamic surveys book series published by Edinburgh University Press. When that is finished I can dedicate myself to another contract I have signed with Routledge for an overview of contemporary Muslim thought, in which I also envisage saying something about the repercussions of the Arab uprisings for Muslim thinking in the present-day world.

Apart from indulging in research, I continue to teach and advise PhD students. Being based in London, I also have regular opportunity to comment in the media on current affairs in the Muslim world. © Carool Kersten/Mark Ulyseas

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


JOHN ZAVOS

Photograph courtesy John Zavos Š www.liveencounters.net december october 2013 2013 volume one


PUBLIC HINDUISMS

Dr. John Zavos

Senior Lecturer in South Asian Studies The University of Manchester Lead Editor of

Public Hinduisms Published by Sage Publications

Late in 2005 a controversy unexpectedly surfaced in the everyday procedures of the California State Board of Education. In the course of a public consultation exercise which forms a regular part of its review of Social Science and History textbooks for use in public schools, the Board ran into some diametrically opposed views about references to Hinduism and Indian history. The initial protagonists in this controversy were, on the one hand, two Hindu groups, the Hindu Education Foundation (HEF) and the Vedic Foundation (VF) who had suggested some edits to the textbooks, and on the other, Michael Witzel, Professor of Sanskrit and Indian Studies at Harvard University, who had written a letter supported and signed by nearly 50 other academics from around the world, objecting to the involvement of these two Hindu groups. Deepa Reddy, one of the contributors to a recent book entitled Public Hinduisms, takes up the story: public awareness of the controversy was growing and various groups representing disparate sets of interests began to identify their positions vis-à-vis the issues. …An array of groups joined in the chorus of opposition to the HEF/VF edits; most prominent among these were the Friends of South Asia, Federation of Tamil Sangams of North America, and the Coalition Against Communalism. Their opposition then precipitated further public debate: the Hindu American Foundation supported the HEF/VF edits, as did many other far more loosely organized groups and individuals (academics and others) writing into local media or directly to the SBE. And so the controversy rumbled on, echoing to some extent a similar controversy that had emerged a few years earlier in India, where the National Council of Educational Research and Training was similarly embroiled in a struggle over historical representations in school textbooks. The way in which these controversies developed demonstrates a fundamental point about religions and the communities associated with them: public representation is an unpredictable, sometimes fraught process, both framed and influenced by a range of agents, both ‘within’ and ‘outside’ the fuzzy boundaries of the community itself. © John Zavos

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


PUBLIC HINDUISMS This is an edited volume with a title that challenges the reader to think carefully about the concept at its heart. It purports to study Hinduisms, rather than Hinduism, invoking a plurality justified by reference to theoretical work over the last twenty years or so which has emphasised the constructed nature of the concept of Hinduism (and in fact, of the concept of ‘religion’ on which it is based). This current volume explores how these

historical processes have played out in the era of postcolonialism, how the idea of Hinduism continues to be produced in the complex public arenas of the contemporary world.

The book from which the above quotation is drawn is concerned with this process. It looks at modern Hinduism, and the practices of Hindus in some areas of the world where this religion has a particularly significant public presence. India, not surprisingly, is at the heart of this study, but it also looks at the ways that Hindus have asserted and maintained a public presence for the religion in two key diaspora contexts: the US and the UK, where large numbers of Hindu migrants have settled over the past 50 years. Of course, this is by no means an exhaustive study geographically: Hindus are spread much more broadly than this. But it does provide some critical interventions focused on these three important sites, providing some models for further research on this important and rapidly developing field. This is an edited volume with a title that challenges the reader to think carefully about the concept at its heart. It purports to study Hinduisms, rather than Hinduism, invoking a plurality justified by reference to theoretical work over the last twenty years or so which has emphasised the constructed nature of the concept of Hinduism (and in fact, of the concept of ‘religion’ on which it is based). Lots of work has looked at the ways in which the varied traditions of South Asia were brought together through a range of discourses in the early modern and colonial period, organised or even, some argue, disciplined by an overarching discourse of religion which articulated those traditions as a religious ‘system’ called Hinduism. This current volume explores how these historical processes have played out in the era of postcolonialism, how the idea of Hinduism continues to be produced in the complex public arenas of the contemporary world.

Not all public representations of Hinduism are as hotly contested as those in the so-called California Textbook controversy described at the start of this article. But more generally speaking, the book argues that the processes involved are implicitly political (often with a small ‘p’), in that they involve the public assertion of particular representations by particular groups; a claim to the power of representation, then, which may or may not be contested, depending on contexts and on the relative power of other groups with an interest. All this may sound rather general, and it has to be so, as the processes that the book theme encompasses are multidimensional, from the birth anniversary celebrations of the Nath Yogi sampradaya (or Hindu sect) in a Rajasthani ashram, to the representations of Hindu deities on underwear, toilets and even chocolates by various US companies. As this suggests, just as there are a diversity of Hinduisms to take into account, there are also a wide range of public spaces that are potential sites for the representation of religious identities. In the contemporary world of advanced communication and media technologies, the complexity of these public spaces – how they relate to, interact and overlap with each other – is intensified. For example, our understanding of the development of Hindu communities has long been framed by the location of these communities ‘at home’ in India, or ‘away from home’ in the diaspora.

© www.liveencounters.net october 2013


JOHN ZAVOS The importance of politics in the process of public representation means that there is one modern phenomenon associated with Hinduism which cannot be ignored in this book: the ideas and actions associated with Hindutva or Hindu nationalism. The book embraces this challenge, but the approach is influenced by a recognition, gleaned through the many debates that shaped the intellectual approaches in the volume, that this phenomenon has to be comprehensively situated – socially, culturally, religiously. We can only understand its development if we recognise the loose weaves through which it appears in the everyday articulations of Hindu-ness across the globe.

Many of the papers in this book, however, demonstrate that this divide is being progressively breached, as the internet and other forms of virtual public space provide new and critical avenues to representation, which are not constrained by national, or, for that matter, any other geospatial contexts. One organisation which has done much to develop its presence in these environments is the Bochasanwasi Sri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha, a comparatively modern sampradaya which was established in Gujarat in western India, but now has a global reach and sophisticated internet presence. The book explores this organisation through four articles, including one focused explicitly on its websites.

The importance of politics in the process of public representation means that there is one modern phenomenon associated with Hinduism which cannot be ignored in this book: the ideas and actions associated with Hindutva or Hindu nationalism. The book embraces this challenge, but the approach is influenced by a recognition, gleaned through the many debates that shaped the intellectual approaches in the volume, that this phenomenon has to be comprehensively situated – socially, culturally, religiously. This approach challenges what the editorial group perceives as a damaging faultline in some previous scholarship, isolating the politics of Hindu nationalism from broader developments in the articulation of Hinduism as a religion. The book locates Hindu nationalism in this broader perspective, exploring the continuities and ruptures which inform the relationship between Hindu nationalism and movements and ideas which are not manifestly part of this project. This is evident, for example, in chapters which explore such diverse organisations as the Krishna Pranami sampradaya and the Hindu Forum of Britain, and resonant diaspora ideas like the ‘practising Hindu’. Pathologising Hindu nationalism does not lead to critical clarity. We can only understand its development if we recognise the loose weaves through which it appears in the everyday articulations of Hindu-ness across the globe. Such insights point to a complex and developing set of ideas underpinning manifestations of public Hinduisms. The project from which this book is drawn seeks to continue to explore these manifestations, not just in and across the three countries that form the focus here, but more generally as a feature of the contemporary world. Recently, I have produced an article on the development of public Hinduism in the context of the European Union, and Europe more generally LINK.

Other recent work on this area of study includes a book entitled The Guru in South Asia: New Interdisciplinary Perspectives LINK. This book is edited by Jacob Copeman and Aya Ikegame, two scholars who took part in the network debates which also produced Public Hinduisms. These developments show how the research agendas explored in the Public Hinduisms project have been sustained, and the steering group is now looking to develop these agendas through further research and productive scholarly debate. Please refer to the network website for news of these developments LINK. © John Zavos

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


THE NONVERBAL REVOLUTION OF POPE FRANCIS This article is an excerpt from his forthcoming book on Gandhi and the Popes.

The Nonverbal Revolution

Pope Francis kisses the feet of the poor, Photograph : blogs.telegraph.co.uk

Catholic anthropology appreciates and nurtures symbols and sacraments as essential vehicles of faith expressed and grace received. But Bergoglio’s battery of startling and unexpected modifications meant that the changes were not unintended. They betrayed a steely determination to by-pass conventional codes and petrified habits accumulated over centuries. The fact that they were done in full view of his flock of over one billion members across the world gave them an intensely revolutionary emphasis. His biographer, Andrea Tornielli confirms: “In a single stroke, some displays and rituals of the papal court seemed to belong to a bygone era.” Pope Francis later explained: “I want a Church that is poor!”

And, his nonverbal communication effectively added, ‘I want the change to begin with me!’ © www.liveencounters.net october 2013


ROME

of Pope Francis with a little help from McLuhan

Dr. Peter Gonsalves

Associate Professor, Faculty of the Sciences of Communication Salesian Pontifical University, Rome

As I put the finishing touches to this article in the second week of October 2013, Jorge Mario Bergoglio is entering his eighth month as Pope Francis. In a little over two hundred days of his papacy, he has already secured a special place in history for the informal titles he has garnered ever since he assumed office in mid-March. He has been called ‘the pope of surprises’, ‘the pope for the poor’, ‘the people’s pope’, ‘a miracle of humility in an age of vanity’, ‘a man of peace and purpose and a voice for the voiceless’. One journalist called him ‘the least popey Pope in papal history’. Most Vatican observers are convinced that an unprecedented ‘revolution is underway’. Undoubtedly, during his first seven months Pope Francis has set the tone of his papacy which has led to a change in the public perception of the Catholic Church. News reports have recorded a major transformation marked by an increase in attendance at church services and a renewed interest in Catholic charities. This global phenomenon, perhaps the most talked-about of the year 2013, has been christened the ‘Bergoglio Effect’ and the ‘Francis Effect’.

It has also taken the mass media by storm. During his first hundred days in office, news agencies and mass media companies aggressively vied with each other to be the first to publish a new episode, a striking metaphor, a catchy photograph or a touching sermon. Statistics of social networking sites registered a giant leap in papal enthusiasm. At the end of March, barely two weeks after his appearance, data revealed that Pope Francis was being ‘searched’, ‘followed’ and ‘shared’ by billions. It all began at the loggia of St. Peter’s Basilica. As soon as Pope Francis emerged from behind the red curtains, he smiled, waved and then stood motionless as the band played and the people in the square cheered enthusiastically. He greeted them and invited them to pray for the bishop emeritus, Benedict XVI, for the Church of Rome, and for the whole world. He concluded in a manner that was to bring to light his most visible characteristic: humility.

And now I would like to give the blessing, but first – first I ask a favour of you: before the Bishop blesses his people, I ask you to pray to the Lord that he will bless me: the prayer of the people asking the blessing for their Bishop. Let us make this prayer in silence: your prayer over me.1 © Peter Gonsalves

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


THE NONVERBAL REVOLUTION OF POPE FRANCIS

Francis washed the feet of a dozen inmates (including the feet of two girls - a Serbian Muslim and an Italian Catholic ) - at a juvenile detention center in a Holy Thursday ritual that he celebrated for years as archbishop and is continuing now that he is pope.

Yet, even before his greeting, his very appearance had broken through centuries of sacrosanct papal tradition. Arthur Urbano, a scholar of early Christianity who has studied the representation of clothing in early Christian literature and art, highlights the revolutionary aspects of Bergoglio’s attire.

From his first appearance, Pope Francis has communicated his vision of the Petrine ministry through a visual code of sartorial choices. When he first appeared on the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica, what he was wearing—and in this case, what he was not wearing—spoke volumes before he even said his now famous “Buona sera!” That Francis chose not to wear the red mozzetta [cape] with white ermine trim and the gold embroidered papal stole – a tradition since at least the time of Pope Pius XI’s election in 1922 went unnoticed by most, but to those who understood the language of ecclesiastical garments, this was a shout. Moreover, instead of the gold pectoral cross, Francis emerged wearing the silver cross he had worn as bishop of Buenos Aires. He donned the stole for the papal blessing, then promptly removed it. Like his choice of the name of Francis, the new pope was sending several messages, not all of them immediately clear. 2

More ‘messages’ made the headlines in the weeks that followed. His papal ring would neither be brand new nor solid gold, just gold-plated silver made from a mold created for Pope Paul VI. His papal shoes would not be elegant crimson like those of his predecessors but ordinary black like the common man. Hours after his appearance, he chose to return to the hotel with his fellow cardinals in a bus rather than in the escorted papal limousine. At the hotel he collected his belongings and showed up at the reception to pay his own pre-conclave hotel bill. He shunned life in the papal apartments – the opulent 12-plus-room in the Apostolic Palace overlooking St. Peter’s Square – choosing instead to reside in a more modest accommodation at the Vatican’s guest house.

The morning after he travelled with his Cardinal-electors to the hotel by bus, he presided at the mass but did not read the speech prepared by the Secretary of State, as was the long-standing tradition. He spoke off the cuff, commenting on the Scripture readings while maintaining eye contact with his audience. He stood as he preached and without the mitre – unlike his predecessors who read the homily while © www.liveencounters.net october 2013


ROME

Photograph : www.telegraph.co.uk

seated on the papal throne. As for his mitre, it was not embroidered in gold but made of simple cloth like the one he used in Buenos Aires.

Catholic anthropology appreciates and nurtures symbols and sacraments as essential vehicles of faith expressed and grace received. But Bergoglio’s battery of startling and unexpected modifications meant that the changes were not unintended. They betrayed a steely determination to by-pass conventional codes and petrified habits accumulated over centuries. The fact that they were done in full view of his flock of over one billion members across the world gave them an intensely revolutionary emphasis. His biographer, Andrea Tornielli confirms: “In a single stroke, some displays and rituals of the papal court seemed to belong to a bygone era.”3 Pope Francis later explained: “I want a Church that is poor!”4 And, his nonverbal communication effectively added, ‘I want the change to begin with me!’

Two weeks after his election, on Holy Thursday, he began by demonstrating the type of Church he wanted to see. It was the day Catholics commemorate how Jesus invited his apostles to be servantleaders by bending down to wash their feet. It was an action that was reserved for Roman slaves not for teachers. Like Jesus, Pope Francis was transgressing the dictates of dramaturgical conventions. Whereas his predecessors used to wash the feet of twelve priests amidst sacrosanct symbolism in the gigantic Archbasilica of St. John Lateran at the heart of Rome, Pope Francis reached out to the nondescript Casal del Marmo Juvenile Detention Center and knelt down to wash the feet of twelve young offenders, ten boys and two girls, not all of them Catholics. In the weeks and months that followed, there were more significant ‘massages’5 in servant-leadership. He visited sick children and their parents at a local hospital. He celebrated the feast of the Trinity with parishioners on the outskirts of Rome.

In summer, while many in Rome were holidaying, he set out for the small Italian island of Lampedusa, the first port of call for illegal immigrants from parts of Africa. He paid a visit to the people of Varginha, located within the favela of Manguinhosto in the north of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He dropped in at the Jesuit-Run Astalli Center that receives thousands seeking asylum in the heart of Rome. Here he spent time listening to refugees and consoling them with words of hope. © Peter Gonsalves

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


THE NONVERBAL REVOLUTION OF POPE FRANCIS Marshall McLuhan’s opinion of the body as the foundation of media extensions that cut across barriers of space, time, speed and memory has found in Pope Francis a unique exemplar. His body – the warmth of his physical presence, his smile, his gestures, his eye-contact, his hugs and kisses, his interaction with people, his simple living – is his primary message. His revolutionary concern is not merely about a change of content in sermons, rituals and texts. It is about being and becoming an embodied ‘culture of encounter’ – a whole new environment within which processes gravitate towards making a ‘welcoming church’ the norm. Not a Church that is centred on its own ideology but one that reaches far out to soothe and heal.

Even babies were caressed by his tender touch. The number of children he kissed, hugged and blessed earned him the title, ‘Daddy Francis’. It was conferred on him by Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Council for the Family. And children seem to have endorsed it with their spontaneity in his presence – like the embrace of little Nathan De Brito from Brazil who was overwhelmed by the joy of sharing his deepest desire to be a priest; or the ‘boy in yellow’ who wandered onto the stage to hang out with him, to hug him and even occupy his chair while he spoke to more than 100,000 families from 75 countries on World Family Day.

Intended or unintended gestures like these, display a capacity for lucid, highly effective nonverbal communication that inspires and motivates millions. Through humanely relevant choices on what to wear, how to travel, where to live, how to relate with people, Pope Francis has inadvertently given prime emphasis to the role of his ‘body’, his embodied self. It would become the visible justification on which to build and promote the revolution that he hopes to see in his Church.

Consequently, he earned the moral authority to challenge young people to go against the tide of materialism by beginning with their lives; to admonish a German bishop for a lifestyle that was not in conformity with his preaching; to dare his priests and bishops to abandon careerism and mediocrity with a forthrightness that was unlike any of his immediate predecessors. Marshall McLuhan’s opinion of the body as the foundation of media extensions that cut across barriers of space, time, speed and memory has found in Pope Francis a unique exemplar. His body – the warmth of his physical presence, his smile, his gestures, his eye-contact, his hugs and kisses, his interaction with people, his simple living – is his primary message. His revolutionary concern is not merely about a change of content in sermons, rituals and texts. It is about being and becoming an embodied ‘culture of encounter’ – a whole new environment within which processes gravitate towards making a ‘welcoming church’ the norm. Not a Church that is centred on its own ideology but one that reaches far out to soothe and heal.

© www.liveencounters.net october 2013


PETER GONSALVES

Photograph : www.telegraph.co.uk

Not merely ‘a Church for the poor’ as described in dozens of encyclicals, but also ‘a poor Church’, the natural home of the marginalized and ‘a field hospital after battle’. The medium is the message yet again: the Pope’s visible openness is the McLuhanian ‘light bulb’ that makes it possible for the Church to light up the world with its embrace.

An important detail has been added to the tomes of papal history: Pope Francis’ revolutionary symbolic actions speak louder than any encyclical ever written, and perhaps louder than any encyclical that even he is likely to write. _____________________

1. Translation based on live telecast of Pope Francis’ Apostolic Blessing “Urbi et Orbi” in Vatican.va, 13-032013, http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/francesco/elezione/index_en.htm (15-03-2013).

2. Arthur P. Urbano, “Clothes and the Man, How popes communicate through clothing”, in America, 30-052013, http://americamagazine.org/issue/clothes-and-man (14-06-2013). 3. Andrea Tornielli, Jorge Mario Bergoglio Francis, Pope of a New World, Bangalore, ATC, 2013, 135-136.

4. Philip Pullella and Catherine Hornby, “Pope Francis wants Church to be poor, and for the poor”, Reuters, Vatican City, 16-03- 2013, http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/16/us-pope-poor-idUSBRE92F05P20130316 (24-03-2013) 5. McLuhan liked to play with the words ‘message’ and ‘massage’, with the conviction that over time, any technological medium creates an environment that structures the way communication takes place independently of the content that is transmitted.

Peter Gonsalves is the author of Clothing for Liberation, a Communication Analysis of Gandhi’s Swadeshi Revolution, (Sage, 2010) and Khadi: Gandhi’s Mega-Symbol of Subversion (Sage, 2012). The above article is an excerpt from his forthcoming book on Gandhi and the Popes. He teaches the Sciences of Social Communication at Salesian Pontifical University, Rome.

© Peter Gonsalves

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


GALILEE

GLEANINGS

“And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corner of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleaning of thy harvest” (Leviticus 19:9).

Jewish tradition so prizes the tender, pastoral story of the convert, Ruth that the text is placed next to The Song of Songs in The Tenach – Hebrew Biblical Canon. “Her mother-in-law said to her, ‘Where have you picked today and where have you wrought? May your benefactor be blessed” (Ruth 2:19). It’s therefore natural for it to have prompted some of English literature’s most cherished works, including John Keats’s verse (below) and Somerset Maugham’s story, The Alien Corn. “Perhaps the self-same song that found a path Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home, She stood in tears amid the alien corn ….” ‘Ode to a Nightingale’ – John Keats

The poet and the master prose writer both turned the biblical tale upside down, making their subjects mourn their emotional exile, whereas Ruth was anxious to leave Moab to return to Judea with Naomi, her widowed mother-in-law and to be part of Israelite society. I was aged only 16 when I first saw Maugham’s story adapted for television and was captivated by the romantic anguish of the failed musician who killed himself. But reading the original as an adult, it becomes clear that the author, a closet bi-sexual in an age when practising homosexuality was illegal, wrote it to reflect his own sense of isolation and estrangement. While the plot and characterisation are pervaded by the popular anti-Jewish stereotypes of the European inter-war years, in real life Maugham was personally friendly with Jews. So I insist that The Alien Corn cannot be about wealthy German Jews desperate to be accepted as members of the British aristocracy. Instead, I view it as an extended metaphor for Maugham’s personal condition, representing first his family who uprooted themselves from Yorkshire to become urbane metropolitans and then himself, someone who was not only unable to satisfy his voracious sexuality but was forced also to acknowledge that his own talent, like that of the would-be pianist, George Bland was no more than "in the very front row of the second rate”.

© www.liveencounters.net october 2013


NATALIE WOOD

Hungry Israeli Kids? That’s Hard To Stomach! All of this returns me to present-day Israel where it doesn’t take the droppings from a back-breaking investigation to discover that in barely a decade Leket (‘Gleanings’) has become the country’s largest charitable food bank and food rescue network. Arriving as a western immigrant I was surprised to learn that about one-third of Karmiel residents lived on benefits. This is not just an Arab issue as the only real poverty I’ve witnessed has been among former Russians, like the man scavenging for cigarette butts in a public dustbin or another ahead of me at a supermarket check-out paying for his goods with a thick wad of vouchers. The cost of living in Israel is at least twenty per cent higher than in Europe yet jobs are hard to find and wages are very low. How do people balance this paradox? I’ve been told that if they earn enough to open a bank account, they live on permanent overdrafts! But the strange anomaly of being urged to emigrate to Israel – to live in the Jewish State but without the means to enjoy it - is no laughing matter for those at the sharp end.

Some privation is self-inflicted by people who simply refuse to work. More is suffered by new immigrants from countries like Ethiopia who arrive after extraordinarily courageous journeys with only the clothes they wear and then discover they face many more years of grinding poverty while they become accustomed to western life. But most upsetting is the apparently unending line of needy school children whom Leket helps to feed daily. This is what hurts: Leket estimates that 1.9M Israelis live in poverty and “… nearly a quarter of the country’s population suffers from an imbalanced or insufficient diet” due to that hardship. Indeed, if Leket did not do its sterling work, about 850,000 Israeli children of all backgrounds would go hungry each day while hundreds of thousands of tons of food would simply rot away.

No matter where they live, there are always those on the poverty line and below who are constitutionally unable to provide even the basics for themselves as they do not understand how to budget and find it difficult to save. These are the type of people who need help.

When I volunteered during the summer at Leket’s storage depot in Nesher, Haifa, I met other volunteers along with paid staff who confirmed that Leket also assists Israel’s ‘at-risk’ sector and the non-profit organisations which offer nutrition education among other facilities. © Natalie Wood

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


GALILEE

But when I helped to sort vegetables and load crates at the depot or enjoyed a couple of invigorating sessions pulling turnips and kohlrabi from Leket’s specially designated field at Moshav Nahalal in the Jezreel Valley, I was only one of 45,000 volunteers helping in a wide range of activities which include rescuing more than 770,000 hot meals, 110,000 loaves of bread and more than 18M pounds of produce and perishable goods. Other volunteers make more than 7,600 sandwiches each day to feed underprivileged children at 113 schools in more than 30 cities throughout Israel. Furthermore, food is reclaimed from hundreds of suppliers which is then redistributed to 190 non-profit organisations which help a wide range of people of all ethnic groups. No-one, no matter their background, is denied assistance. My most recent volunteer picking session took place in September during the harvest festival of Succot – Tabernacles when I was part of a very large crowd which pulled 95,000 lbs of kohlrabi to help feed more than 12,000 needy families. These sessions invariably exude a jolly party atmosphere so it’s no wonder that families celebrating a barmitzvah or batmitzvah often participate as a treat which ends with the child receiving a commemorative certificate to mark the day. Even less surprising is that this year’s World Food Day harvesting project became so popular that some applicants had to be turned away! Before closing, I want to commend Leket Israel for producing an outstandingly attractive website which displays its aims and achievements while offering readers an ingenious look at traditional Jewish ‘soul food’: Its new ‘Parasha (Biblical portion) Project’ involves celebrated scholars offering bi-lingual food-related commentaries on the biblical portion of the week. Their essays are supported by relevant recipes from well-known food writers and chefs. Typical was the commentary and accompanying recipe for the week ending Sabbath 09 November when the study passage was written by US poet Professor Alicia Ostriker of Rutgers University while the recipe for ‘Sinyeh – Kebab Patties baked in Tahini’ - came from Miriam Kresh of Israeli Kitchen.com. Sinyeh – Kebab Patties baked in Tahini Ingredients for Kebabs 1 kg/2 lbs ground lamb (beef, turkey or chicken may be substituted), coarsely ground 2 tablespoons olive oil or, if available, 25 gr./1 oz. ground lamb fat 1/2 onion, chopped fine or grated into the meat 1 heaped teaspoon finely chopped garlic 1/2 bunch fresh parsley, chopped fine Salt and freshly ground black pepper.

© www.liveencounters.net october 2013


NATALIE WOOD

Recipe and Picture © Miriam Kresh, www.israelikitchen.com - miriamkresh1@gmail.com

Tahini 2 cups (use unprocessed tahini paste straight from the jar, preferably whole-grain) Juice of 2 lemons 1 cup of cold water (important that it be cold) 1 large clove garlic 1/2 teaspoon salt Note: do not use shop-bought ready-to-eat tahini. It will separate in cooking. Vegetables: 1 onion, sliced 1 bell pepper, any colour, sliced 1 large tomato, sliced 1 lemon, sliced thinly

Mix all the kebab ingredients. Cover and put in refrigerator to mellow for 30 minutes.

Prepare the tahini. Mix all the ingredients, stirring with a whisk. The mixture might be lumpy at first. Don’t worry; keep stirring. If it is too thick, add a little more cold water. The consistency should be thin. It will thicken with cooking. Correct taste. It should be lemony. Preheat oven to 180˚C. - 350˚F.

Roll kebabs into 5 cm/2” balls. Sauté, in batches, in olive oil until browned on both sides but not cooked through. Remove to a platter.

Add the onion and bell pepper to the hot oil used for frying the kebabs. Fry 2-3 minutes until onion just starts to change colour. Place kebabs on a clean frying pan (or oven tray). Cover with fried onion and bell pepper slices. Scatter sliced tomato and lemon over all. Pour tahini over the kebabs and jostle the pan a little so it seeps between the kebabs and spreads evenly. Place the frying pan over medium heat or oven tray in oven. Cook for 5 minutes, until the tahini thickens and changes colour from white to light brown. Look for the golden-tinged edges.

Serve with plenty of pita to mop up the sauce.

© Natalie Wood

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


NOEL MONAHAN

Photograph courtesy Noel Monahan Š www.liveencounters.net december october 2013 2013 volume one


UNITED IRELAND

Noel Monahan

Celebrated Irish Poet speaks on a United Ireland to Mark Ulyseas

“Geographically, the island of Ireland is incomplete because the Northern part of the country is separated. Now one of the distinctive features of nationalism is the perception and recognition of geographic islands as one unit and supposedly governed by one authority. But life is not as simple as this. You see, the Ulster Plantation in 1609 was the most successful plantation in Ireland. Its effective colonisation plan planted a new people in the North. Their race, religion and cultural background were different. They have occupied these parts since the early 17th century. They have kept themselves apart from the South of Ireland. They have pledged their loyalty to England and were closely associated with the greater industrial revolution there. It is occupied territory but that happened over 400 years ago.

Many countries have been occupied in Europe since then. Are we to redress the wrongs of the 17th century? Are we to continue the historical conflicts? We cannot expect to force a people against their will and squeeze them into a geographic unit of a so called united Ireland. Let us respect our differences. Let us enjoy the different cultures. Let us continue to work towards peace.” - Monahan

Above: Noel Monahan’s first collection of poems titled Opposite Walls, 1991

© Noel Monahan/Mark Ulyseas

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


UNITED IRELAND The Gaelic word draíocht, meaning magic, has the same root form as druid, so we can assume the druids were associated with magic of some kind. There are many gods mentioned in Irish Celtic legends. The more prominent being: Ogma, Brigid, Lugh, Nuada and the fearsome Crom Cruach. Crom Cruach had twelve sub gods and it is generally accepted that he received human sacrifice. His place of veneration was Magh Slecht in Co. Cavan.

Are Celts the indigenous people of Ireland? In so far as the Celts have been in Ireland since the Iron Age, I think it is reasonable to say they are an indigenous people here. But the Celts were not the first people. Leabhair Gabhála Éireann, The Book of Invasions lists a number of peoples predating the arrival of the Celts. They mention The Firbolg and the Tuatha Dé Danann, people of the goddess Danu. This Leabhair Gabhála is a loose collection of stories, legends and myths. The text has come down to us in a number of medieval manuscripts compiled in the 11th century and not the reliable primary sources that true historians like to work with. As we all know today, the Celts occupied central Europe spreading over to the Balkans. Now the Celtic group we are interested in here is the branch of the race which spoke the Goidelic tongue, the language we now call Gaeilge, present day Irish. I think it is fair to say the core of Irish heritage is Celtic. Our very home addresses, townlands are Celtic in origin. Many poets today are interested in the Dinnseanchas, place-name lore. For instance I live in Stragelliffe, Strath An Ghála translates as Meadow of Storm. Two of my plays: Deirdre of Sorrows and the Children of Lir are ancient Celtic stories and only last year I told in modern day Irish the famous story of the mad King Sweeney who was banished to the trees by St. Ronan at the time of the coming of Christianity to Ireland. Celtic archaeological sites pepper our landscape. In the 1980s an Iron Age Road was discovered in a bog in my home county of Longford. It is true to say the Celts still engage us and provoke our curiosity. In a post- modern Ireland of today, the Anglo-Irish Revival of the late 19th and early 20th century hasn’t quite vanished. In the mid-5th. century CE St. Patrick arrived on the island bringing Christianity. What was the prevailing “religion” at that time and how did Christianity become The “ main religion”?

Very little is known of the specific paganism that existed then in Ireland. It is generally accepted that there was a class of druids, a priestly society similar to that of the Indo-European tradition. Certainly, ancient history seems to paint a picture of man’s fears and vulnerability and the constant reliance on nature to provide food. There was an urgent need to offer sacrifice to placate the gods.

The Gaelic word draíocht, meaning magic, has the same root form as druid, so we can assume the druids were associated with magic of some kind. There are many gods mentioned in Irish Celtic legends. The more prominent being: Ogma, Brigid, Lugh, Nuada and the fearsome Crom Cruach. Crom Cruach had twelve sub gods and it is generally accepted that he received human sacrifice. His place of veneration was Magh Slecht in Co. Cavan.

© www.liveencounters.net october 2013


NOEL MONAHAN The Nine Years War 1594-1603 resulted in the military defeat of the Irish chieftains of Ulster. This defeat brought about what is known in Irish history as The Flight of The Earls. Irish chieftains like O’Neill and O’Donnell headed to the continent to seek military help from Catholic Europe. Their land was confiscated and given to English and Scottish planters/ settlers and thus began the Ulster Plantation and the start of the Northern Ireland Troubles.

St. Patrick arrived in Ireland circa 432 to a backdrop of paganism as I have already indicated. St. Patrick’s arrival not only announced the message of Christ but also initiated an education system that had not being experienced before. Christianity was like a new technology. It liberated us into a new way of thinking, we moved away from pagan ways and human sacrifice. It led to a new enlightenment in Ireland. Monasteries were set up and became centres of education. The Irish were introduced to a new language. Latin was taught in the monastery schools and this led to a golden age we later shared with Europe. I am not saying the change-over happened suddenly. I am sure it was gradual and in some cases the old pagan ways persisted well into Christian age. The legend of King Sweeney and St. Ronan, Buile Suibhne/ Mad Sweeney, is one example of the opposition to Christianity. This legend is well documented in Seamus Heaney’s Sweeney Astray, 1983 and I have a modern Irish version of the same, Suibhne Faoi Bhodhráin Ghealaí/ Sweeney Under A Full Moon, due for publication in 2014. In the last 400 years Ireland has faced unprecedented invasions, witnessed bloody battles and been the victim of foreign [ British/English?] religious-political machinations that has resulted in the present day divide of the country, as well as, between Catholics and Protestants. What is the historical background that has lead to Ireland being partitioned into Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland? And has religion played a pivotal role in this division?

The Nine Years War 1594-1603 resulted in the military defeat of the Irish chieftains of Ulster. This defeat brought about what is known in Irish history as The Flight of The Earls. Irish chieftains like O’Neill and O’Donnell headed to the continent to seek military help from Catholic Europe. Their land was confiscated and given to English and Scottish planters/settlers and thus began the Ulster Plantation and the start of the Northern Ireland Troubles. It is important to state that the Irish chieftains themselves operated a landlord/tenant system. However, the fact that the new landowners were English and Scottish didn’t help and the policy of colonisation had one intention and that was the Anglicisation of Ulster .It was a Protestant colonisation. English planters were mainly Church of England and Scottish planters mainly Presbyterian. So from the very beginning religious differences played a major role in the conflict. It is important to address your your question on bloody battles. The 1641 rebellion was a rising of Irish against English rule in Ulster. This was a fierce and bloody event often glossed over in Irish history. One of the main reasons for Cromwell’s invasion of Ireland was to avenge the atrocities of the 1641. Cromwell’s slaughter of the Irish was a bloody affair. It is important to view this conflict at this point in history with that of the religious wars in Europe. Religious differences did mark out the divides but there were always the economic and political differences. © Noel Monahan/Mark Ulyseas

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


UNITED IRELAND Between 1800 and 1921 Irish political energy was either military or constitutional. Popular constitutional movements sought the Repeal of the Union and a form of Home Rule by debating in the chamber. The roots of the IRA in its many avatars featured in many military campaigns such as Young Irelanders in 1848 and IRB ( Irish Republican Brotherhood) in the 1860s.

Has the IRA, in all its avatars, been solely responsible for the major part of Ireland becoming a Republic? And can another large scale program of violence against Britain bring about a united Ireland? “Avatars” is a very important word here and one must know the IRA had many incarnations. The 1798 Rebellion in Ireland was first airing of republicanism after the French Revolution. It was a military failure with risings North and South of Ireland. It is important to note here that one of the leaders, Henry Joy McCracken, was a Belfast Presbyterian. So republicanism was not a simple war of Catholic Ireland against British Protestantism at that point.. The Presbyterians both North and South fought on the same side as Catholics in the 1798 Rebellion. As a result of the 1798 rebellion the Union of Great Britain and Ireland was set up in 1800. This is a key towards a long range understanding the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Now Irish politicians were sitting in Westminster, London.

Between 1800 and 1921 Irish political energy was either military or constitutional. Popular constitutional movements sought the Repeal of the Union and a form of Home Rule by debating in the chamber. The roots of the IRA in its many avatars featured in many military campaigns such as Young Irelanders in 1848 and IRB ( Irish Republican Brotherhood) in the 1860s. Continuous military failure lead to the popularity of the Home Rule Movement of which Charles Stewart Parnell was main leader. The famous Home Rule bills came before Westminster, the first in 1886 and 2nd. In 1893 and although both were defeated it looked as if the 3rd. Home Rule Bill might be passed in 1912. The Protestants of Ulster favoured Unionism and were totally opposed to Home Rule and this is the beginning of a divided Ireland of North and South. Ulster Unionism used slogans such as “Ulster Will Fight and Ulster Will Be Right” “ Home Rule Will Be Rome Rule” The Orange Order rallied the troops, the Solemn League and Covenant was signed by Ulster Unionists, pledging loyalty to the crown of England and Ulster Unionism. World War 1 intervened, England’s difficulty was perceived as Irish Republicanism’s opportunity and the famous Easter Rising happened in 1916. This was a city revolution confined to Dublin. It was a rising of poets, intellectuals, trade unionists and republicans. It lasted a week and then you had unconditional surrender and the executions of the leaders of the rising. Most historians agree that the manner in which the executions were carried out led to a change of heart by the collective Irish in the South of Ireland and the results of the 1918 General Election led to a landslide victory for SINN FÉIN (Ourselves Alone) the new political party with its unofficial army of the IRA.

© www.liveencounters.net october 2013


NOEL MONAHAN We have to take into account a broader puicture.The role of the Catholic church has diminished in our lives. The Queen of England visited Ireland, attended a ceremony in the Garden of Remembrance, spoke a few words in Irish at a dinner in Dublin Castle and her visit was very popular with media and all concerned. What is a United Ireland? A unity of space whereby all the island of Ireland is under the same government. I favour more a unity and understanding of our differences.

A war weary England (post WW1) offered negotiating opportunities to the Irish after two years of gorilla-warfare in the War of Independence and there followed the famous Irish treaty and partition, with Ulster still part of the British Empire. To answer your question, yes the IRA in all its avatars was responsible then in achieving the establishment of The Irish Free State.

The second part of your question takes us to present day Ireland. Ireland is a totally different country today. Politics in the South of Ireland has changed. The concept of nationalism has changed. I feel we no longer perceive nationalism in military terms. We are living in post Celtic Tiger Ireland. Our collective body of people belong to a post- modern secular Ireland. One should consider the diaspora and how nationalism lives abroad. The population of Ireland is about four million but beyond the geography of this island 93 million claim to be of Irish descent . We have to take into account a broader puicture.The role of the Catholic church has diminished in our lives. The Queen of England visited Ireland, attended a ceremony in the Garden of Remembrance, spoke a few words in Irish at a dinner in Dublin Castle and her visit was very popular with media and all concerned. What is a United Ireland? A unity of space whereby all the island of Ireland is under the same government. I favour more a unity and understanding of our differences. Human rights for all people is more important than the nationalism of the past. Nationalism like everything else has to evolve and move on. For me the nationalism felt when England played Ireland in rugby in Croke Park is a greater indicator of nationalism for the future. I do not agree with any program of violence to achieve a so called united Ireland. If it happens in the future let it evolve peacefully. Are there people to people contact (Trade, Arts, Education, et al ) between the Northern and Free Ireland? If so, can you give us some examples?

Much has been done in the arts and education to promote a proper understanding of the cultural differences that exist between the North and South. The Arts Council of Northern Ireland have had joint ventures with the Arts Council of the South to promote peace and understanding. The National Rugby team is chosen from the thirty two counties (The whole of Ireland). Gaelic football and the G.A.A. (Gaelic Athletic Association) is open to an all Ireland contest every year and the six counties participate. The Peace 111 movement promotes peace and understanding especially in border counties. Politicians both North and South, together with British and American initiatives have worked tirelessly over the years to promote peace in Ireland. Š Noel Monahan/Mark Ulyseas

2013 october Š www.liveencounters.net


UNITED IRELAND

Curse of the Birds

As a celebrated Irish Poet what role do you think the Irish poets, writers and other artists of the isle can play to bring about the unification of Ireland? And do you think this (unification) will happen in your life time? I feel poets and artists have played and continue to play a major role in the peace movements. Take for example The William Carleton Summer School. This school was set up in Clogher, Co. Tyrone in 1982 to commemorate the life and works of the writer William Carleton. This summer school takes place every August and writers, academics and scholars deliver papers on the works of Carleton. William Carleton (1794- 1869) was born a Catholic but as he was about to launch on his literary career he changed religions and became protestant. A study of his many novels illustrates the difficulties of the Irish Catholics in Northern Ireland in the 18th. century and the pain endured as they gradually moved from speaking Irish to the English tongue. Much of Carleton’s work is written in a special type of English known as Hiberno-English, where the Irish idiom and syntax of words is like direct translation from the Irish language. This is especially true of his famous work: Traits and Stories of the Irish Peasantry. I have had the pleasure of reading at this great summer school over the years.

In July of this year I read at the John Hewitt Summer School in Armagh. John Hewitt was an Ulster poet of planter stock. His life and works take us through his search for identity in protestant Ulster. His writing has a strong sense of the Ulster landscape and his MA thesis was based on research of the Ulster Weavers Poets of Down and Antrim. Being involved as a poet and reading at such summer schools helps to further our understanding of the complex cultural situation that is Ulster. Also this summer I edited an Anthology: Writing Across Borders. The book featured the work of writers from Monaghan, Barnavan Writers group from Cookstown and Lough Neagh Writers’ group from Craigavon. The writing dealt with the inner thoughts of a people who came through the Troubles. Writing Across Borders was brought about by Monaghan Community Forum’s “Hands Together 2”Peace 111Project. This project used the tools of Art and Heritage to bring communities and individuals from different religious and political backgrounds together. The Writers In School Scheme, under the umbrella of Poetry Ireland have organised readings and workshops of poetry both North and South of the border. Getting back to answering your question, I feel such summer schools and literary workshops and publications help to educate all of us. At this point in time, we are not focusing on a political unification. We are happy to bring about a deep understanding of our cultural differences and the great need for respect and understanding of each other. If we have peace and understanding we have a real

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NOEL MONAHAN

Snowfire

unification. It doesn’t have to be political. Such a unification cannot be forced. It may and can evolve. Could you share with us a glimpse of your life and works?

I was born in Granard, County Longford, Ireland on Christmas Day, 1948 and that might account for my many poems on the subject of winter celebrations. I grew up on a farm there and I feel the fields and the landscape had a strong influence on my later work as a poet. Granard was a market town then with a population of one thousand people. As a child I was an observer and people fascinated me and the Granard of the 1950s is celebrated in the long poem, Diary Of A Town, published in my fifth collection, Curve Of The Moon. Many of my early poems are based on subject matter retrieved from childhood. Having completed my national school education in Granard, I went as a border to St. Norbert’s College, Kilnacrott, Co. Cavan. Here I spent five years in preparation for the Leaving Certificate Examination. It was a typical boarding school of its time with a strong emphasis on the Catholic religion. I spent one year studying for the priesthood in Maynooth University and left the seminary part of the university to continue my study as a lay student. To help fund my education I went to New York in the summer of 1970. Here I developed a deep love and interest in the music of Paul Simon and Bob Dylan and in many ways they were the inspirational poets of my life. Having completed my Diploma in education, I started teaching in St. Clare’s College, Co. Cavan and remained there for thirty six years ending up as Deputy Principal of the College. I directed a number of Musicals in the College: The Mikado, The Sound Of Music, Oliver, Fiddler On The Roof. While teaching I started to write and publish poetry in the literary magazines. And this lead to the publication of my first collection, Opposite Walls, in 1991.

© Noel Monahan/Mark Ulyseas

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


RESEARCH ETHICS

Photograph courtesy Nikola Stepanov Š www.liveencounters.net december october 2013 2013 volume one


NIKOLA STEPANOV This article forms part of a Doctor of Philosophy Thesis.

Why the reporting of clinical trial outcomes is an important social issue Introduction The recent development of an international campaign calling for reporting of all clinical trials results has highlighted global concerns about the lack of transparency and access to clinical trial data and outcome reporting.

The ‘AllTrials’ 1 campaign began in January 2013 as a collaborative initiative of Bad Science,2 British Medical Journal (‘BMJ’),3 Centre for Evidence-based Medicine,4 Cochrane Collaboration,5 James Lind Initiative,6 PLOS 7 and Sense About Science.8 It is being led in the United States by the Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine 9 and the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice (United States of America).10 The campaign’s aims include that all results from past and present clinical trials be published. To date a petition begun by the campaign has secured almost 60,000 signatures with support from more than four hundred institutions, organisation and professional bodies including the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (U.K.), Medical Journal of Australia, and the International Alliance of Patients’ Organizations. 11

Other successful campaigns with similar aims including the online campaign by Dr. David Healy, an internationally respected psychiatrist, psychopharmacologist, scientist, and author, 12 demonstrate that there is a shared global consensus among multi-disciplinary professionals, institutions, communities and other individuals that deficiencies in accessing and reporting clinical trial outcomes are emerging as very significant social problems. What are Clinical Trials?

As distinguished from medical care which wholly focuses on outcomes for the patient,13 the primary aim of clinical trials involving human participants is to test novel and potential treatments for their safety and efficacy in humans, with the purpose of contributing to knowledge about the diagnosis, management or treatment of a disease or condition.14

In choosing to take part in clinical trials participants may be motivated by a desire to benefit others by contributing to new knowledge. They may also be motivated by a desire to receive some personal benefit for themselves, although the extent and type of personal benefit that can be anticipated is contentious and subject to much debate.15 © Nikola Stepanov

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


NIKOLA STEPANOV Any failure in transparency may also have an impact on the health and wellbeing of existing and past clinical trial participants. As Healy notes, the lack of access to clinical trial results is not only in conflict with the primary ethical justification for undertaking clinical research - that it will contribute to new knowledge - it also may place participants at risk of being unable to determine what may have caused any harms arising after being involved in a clinical trial:

What are Clinical Trials? (Continued...) However, irrespective of participant motivations, clinical trials are not primarily designed to clinically benefit them. Moreover, due to the nature of experimentation in clinical trials, involvement may mean being exposed to significant research-related risk and harms in the form of side-effects and toxicities.16 The purpose of clinical trials is to help persons in the future by publishing empirical data about which treatments are effective, and which are harmful. The data can also be used to develop future clinical trials.17 The ethical justification for clinical trials is that any potential burden or harm to participants will not be in vain, but will contribute to new knowledge about treating or managing some medical condition,18 and that the ratio of risks to benefits is as low as possible. This is particularly the case for clinical trials that involve more than a minimal risk to participants; non-therapeutic early-phase studies; and trials involving vulnerable populations such as children, participants from minority populations, and participants from developing nations or poorer socioeconomic areas.19

The success of campaigns like AllTrials and Dr Healy’s among others indicates that there are widely-held concerns about deficiencies in accessing and publishing outcomes and data, including accessing information about the occurrences of any side-effects of agents being tested.20 There is evidence that these concerns are well-founded.21 A meta-analysis of all clinical trials conducted in the United States and Canada, registered with ClinicalTrials.gov after December 31, 1999 and updated as having been completed by June 8, 2007 showed that the results of fewer than half of all clinical trials were published, with positive results being twice as likely to be published.22 More recently Jones et al. conducted a cross-sectional analysis of clinical trials registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, that contained more than 500 participants, and that were completed prior to 2009.23 They found that of 585 registered trials, 171 or 29% remained unpublished. The unpublished studies involved an estimated 299 763 study participants.24 Industry funded studies (150) were also more likely to be unpublished than those that were not funded by industry. 25 Deficiencies in reporting results have been explained as being due to publishing bias; a lack of positive results; and transparency conflicts between public interest and safety, and commercial interests and intellectual/commercial property rights.26 Non-industry funded studies are also more likely to be published than industry sponsored studies.27 Publishing bias is also evident, for example in paediatric clinical trials. In a cross-sectional survey Hartling et al. noted that of 166 paediatric randomised controlled trials (RCT) undertaken in the United States and presented at professional meetings, results from 83% were never submitted for publishing.28 Any knowledge deficit that leads to uncertainty in gauging the efficacy and safety of new and existing treatments, and the ability to accurately predict risk and harms, is significant. This is particularly the case where the knowledge exists but is purposefully withheld from the public or is unreported for other reasons (including publication bias).29 Š www.liveencounters.net october 2013


RESEARCH ETHICS ‘During the 1960s and 1970s people took part in clinical trials where there was access to the data from the trial and in so doing they helped lift a burden of disease and disability from their families, friends and communities, but now that data are hidden, if we participate in a trial we are putting our families, friends and communities at risk of being unable to show that a drug induced injury was in fact caused by the drug’. 33 - Dr. David Healy

Are Deficiencies in Reporting Clinical Trial Outcomes a Significant Social Problem? How clinical trials are conducted is an important global social issue and any lack of transparency in reporting clinical trials outcomes is a social problem. Barber (1980) defines a ‘social problem’ as being ‘some social condition that a sizable group comes to define as both bad and unnecessary and improvable or removable’. 30

Most people will experience one or more medical conditions during the course of their lives. Where possible, medical practitioners make decisions about which treatment/s to offer patients based on the best available evidence. Often this means that medical practitioners are reliant on published findings of clinical trial outcomes to assist in their deliberations about what treatment options are suitable for each particular patient. During deliberations medical practitioners must also take into consideration any other illnesses and conditions the patient may have; any other medical interventions they patient may already be receiving such as medicines; and how any new treatments might affect the patient in terms of side-effects and interactions with existing medications.31 Any failure in transparency about clinical trial outcomes, particularly regarding results such as potential or actual side-effects or drug interactions, will inevitably influence decision-making by medical practitioners. This may lead them to make decisions based on insufficient evidence, or evidence of a poor quality. Treating clinicians also rely on published data from clinical trials to make decisions about whether to recommend clinical research involvement to their patients. Finally, clinical and human research ethics review committees and funding bodies also rely on published evidence of outcomes when they consider the ethical and scientific merit of future studies.32

Conclusion

The assertion that any lack of transparency in reporting outcomes of clinical trials is an important social problem is not a radical position. Moreover, it is not an unreasonable position in view of the fact that the primary justification for conducting clinical trials is that the outcomes will contribute to new knowledge. Internationally it is recognised that the lack of transparency about clinical trials outcomes impacts not only on research participants, but also on decision-making by medical practitioners as they try to ascertain the best treatments for their patients. Continued/Foot Notes © Nikola Stepanov

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RESEARCH ETHICS

Foot Notes AllTrials. (2013). “All Trials Registered: All Results Reported”. Retrieved November 4, 2013., 2013, from http://www.alltrials.net/blog/

1

http://www.badscience.net/ http://www.bmj.com/ 4 http://www.cebm.net/ 5 http://www.cochrane.org/ 6 http://www.lindalliance.org/ 7 http://www.plos.org/ 8 http://www.senseaboutscience.org/ 9 http://geiselmed.dartmouth.edu/ 10 http://tdi.dartmouth.edu/; AllTrials. n 1 (2013). 11 A llTrials. n 1 (2013). 12 http://davidhealy.org/ 2 3

Kerridge, I., M. Lowe and C. Stewart (2013). Ethics and law for the health professions. Leichhardt, The Federation Press, Stepanov, N. and M. K. Smith (2013). “Double standards in special medical research : questioning the discrepancy between requirements for medical research involving incompetent adults and medical research involving children.” Journal of Law and Medicine 21: 47-52.

13

Miller, F. G. and S. Joffe (2008). “Benefit in phase 1 oncology trials: therapeutic misconception or reasonable treatment option?” Clinical Trials (London, England) 5(6): 617-623, Kottow, M. (2009). “Clinical and research ethics as moral strangers.” Archivum Immunologiae et Therapiae Experimentalis 57(3): 157-164, Stepanov, N. (2013). Understanding the Existence and Implications of Therapeutic Misconceptions in First-in–human and Early Phase Research Involving Children. Unpublished Thesis, Centre for Health & Society, and the Melbourne Medical School. The University of Melbourne. Merritt, M. (2005). “Moral Conflict in Clinical Trials.” Ethics: 306-330. Ott, A. (2007). “One Goal? One Consensus? One More Trip to the Drawing Board: A Review of Global Bioethics: The Collapse of Consensus.” Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics: 748-750.

14

It is not within the scope of this article to suitably address the debates about clinical trial benefits, however for further clarity please see: King, N. (2000). “Defining and describing benefit appropriately in clinical trials.” Ibid. 28(4): 332-343, Lewens, T. (2006). “Distinguishing treatment from research: a functional appraoch.” Journal of Medical Ethics 32: 424-429, Kimmelman, J. (2012). Gene Transfer and the Ethics of First-in-Human Research: Lost in Translation. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. 15

Furman, W., C. Pratt and G. Rivera (1989). “Mortality in pediatric phase I clinical trials.” Journal of National Cancer Institute 81(15): 1193-1194, Kim, A., E. Fox, K. Warren, S. Blaney, S. Berg, P. Adamson, M. Libucha, E. Byrley, F. Balis and B. Widemann (2011). “Characteristics and Outcomes of pediatric patietns Enrolled in Phase I Oncology Trials.” The Oncologist 17: 5982-5990, Mosse, Y., E. Lipsitz and E. e. a. Fox (2012). “Pediatric Phase I Trial and Pharmocokinetic Study of MLN8237,

16

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NIKOLA STEPANOV

an Investigational Oral Selective Small-Molecule Inhibitor of auroa Kinase A: A Children’s Oncology Group Phase I Consortium Study.” Clinical Cancer Research 18: 6058-6064. Common toxicities may include serum sickness, neurotoxicity, mucositis/stomatitis, myleosuppression, persistent nausea or diarrhoea, pathologic changes consistent with organ involvement, failure or damage. 15 18 19

Lewens, n 17 (2006); Stepanov & Smith, n 15 (2013). Stepanov & Smith, n 15 (2013). Stepanov, n 12 (2013).

Sismondo, S. and M. Doucet (2010). “Publication Ethics and the Ghost Managment of Medical Publications “ Bioethics 24(6): 273-283, Schroeder, D. and E. Gefenas (2011). “Realizing Benefit Sharing: The Case of Post-study Obligations.” Ibid.: no-no. 20

21

Stepanov, n 12 (2013).

Excluding phase I trials: see Ross, J., G. Mulvey, E. Hines, S. Nissen and H. Krumholz (2009). “Trial Publication after registration in Clincal Trials.Gov: A Cross-sectional Analysis.” PLoS Medicine Sep 8(6:e 1000144), Bourgeois, F., S. Murthy and K. Mandl (2010). “Outcome reporting among drug trials registered in Clincal Trials.gov.” Annals Of Internal Medicine 3(153(3)): 158-166. IHR (2010). Heatlh Technology Assessment Program. NHS, NHS. 22

Ross, J., G. Mulvey, E. Hines, S. Nissen and H. Krumholz (2009). “Trial Publication after registration in Clincal Trials.Gov: A Cross-sectional Analysis.” PLoS Medicine Sep 8(6:e 1000144). 24 Ross, n 23 (2013). 25 Ross, n 23, (2013). 23

Stepanov, n 12 (2013). Although outside the remit of this paper, the lack of published data is in itself an ethical issue given the primary justification for conducting research is that it will contribute to generalisable knowledge usually 26

27

Ross, n 22, (2009).

Hartling, L., W. Craig, K. Russell, K. Stevens and T. Klassen (2004). “ Factors Influencing the Publication of Randomised Controlled Trials in Child Health Research.” Archives of Paediatric and Adolescent Medicine 983-987. 28

29

Stepanov, n 12 (2013).

Barber, B. (1980). Informed consent in medical therapy and research. New Brunswick, NJ, Rutgers University Press p2. 30

See also: Leah Cowan and Ancel-la Santos. “Access to Trial Data”. Retrieved November 9, 2013 from http:// davidhealy.org/health-action-international-access-to-trial-data/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_ medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+DrDavidHealy+%28Dr.+David+Healy%29. 31

32 33

Stepanov, n 12 (2013).

Personal communiqué, Dr David Healy, November 11, 2013.

Continued/References © Nikola Stepanov

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


RESEARCH ETHICS

References Barber, B. (1980). Informed consent in medical therapy and research. New Brunswick, NJ, Rutgers University Press Bourgeois, F., S. Murthy and K. Mandl (2010). “Outcome reporting among drug trials registered in Clincal Trials.gov.” Annals Of Internal Medicine 3(153(3)): 158-166. Furman, W., C. Pratt and G. Rivera (1989). “Mortality in pediatric phase I clinical trials.” Journal of National Cancer Institute 81(15): 1193-1194. Hartling, L., W. Craig, K. Russell, K. Stevens and T. Klassen (2004). “ Factors Influencing the Publication of Randomised Controlled Trials in Child Health Research.” Archives of Paediatric and Adolescent Medicine 983-987.

Kerridge, I., M. Lowe and C. Stewart (2013). Ethics and law for the health professions. Leichhardt, The Federation Press. Kim, A., E. Fox, K. Warren, S. Blaney, S. Berg, P. Adamson, M. Libucha, E. Byrley, F. Balis and B. Widemann (2011). “Characteristics and Outcomes of pediatric patietns Enrolled in Phase I Oncology Trials.” The Oncologist 17: 5982-5990. Kimmelman, J. (2012). Gene Transfer and the Ethics of First-in-Human Research: Lost in Translation. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

King, N. (2000). “Defining and describing benefit appropriately in clinical trials.” Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 28(4): 332-343. Kottow, M. (2009). “Clinical and research ethics as moral strangers.” Archivum Immunologiae et Therapiae Experimentalis 57(3): 157-164.

Lewens, T. (2006). “Distinguishing treatment from research: a functional appraoch.” Journal of Medical Ethics 32: 424-429. Merritt, M. (2005). “Moral Conflict in Clinical Trials.” Ethics: 306-330.

Miller, F. G. and S. Joffe (2008). “Benefit in phase 1 oncology trials: therapeutic misconception or reasonable treatment option?” Clinical Trials (London, England) 5(6): 617-623. Mosse, Y., E. Lipsitz and E. e. a. Fox (2012). “Pediatric Phase I Trial and Pharmocokinetic Study of MLN8237, an Investigational Oral Selective Small-Molecule Inhibitor of auroa Kinase A: A Children’s

© www.liveencounters.net october 2013


NIKOLA STEPANOV

Oncology Group Phase I Consortium Study.” Clinical Cancer Research 18: 6058-6064.

Ott, A. (2007). “One Goal? One Consensus? One More Trip to the Drawing Board: A Review of Global Bioethics: The Collapse of Consensus.” Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics: 748-750.

Ross, J., G. Mulvey, E. Hines, S. Nissen and H. Krumholz (2009). “Trial Publication after registration in Clincal Trials.Gov: A Cross-sectional Analysis.” PLoS Medicine Sep 8(6:e 1000144).

Schroeder, D. and E. Gefenas (2011). “Realizing Benefit Sharing: The Case of Post-study Obligations.” Bioethics: no-no.

Sismondo, S. and M. Doucet (2010). “Publication Ethics and the Ghost Managment of Medical Publications “ Bioethics 24(6): 273-283.

Stepanov, N. (2013). Understanding the Existence and Implications of Therapeutic Misconceptions in First-in–human and Early Phase Research Involving Children. Unpublished Thesis, Centre for Health & Society, and the Melbourne Medical School. The University of Melbourne.

Stepanov, N. and M. K. Smith (2013). “Double standards in special medical research : questioning the discrepancy between requirements for medical research involving incompetent adults and medical research involving children.” Journal of Law and Medicine 21: 47-52.

© Nikola Stepanov

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


BREAKING THE SILENCE

Monash University Publishing - Herb Feith Translation Series Š www.liveencounters.net december october 2013 2013 volume one


JEMMA PURDEY

The 1965-66 mass killings in Indonesia Recent developments towards historical justice Dr. Jemma Purdey Research Fellow in the School of Political and Social Inquiry MonashUniversity, Melbourne was one of the organisers of the conference

A conference on the mass killings in Indonesia in 1965-66 held on 30 August across two main sites in Jakarta and Melbourne, with participants also in Vancouver, London and Copenhagen, marked another important step for both scholars of this highly contested history, and activists fighting for truth and justice for its victims and survivors.

‘After the Act of Killing: Historical Justice and 1965-66 Mass Killings in Indonesia’ sought to build on momentum which has been growing over the past fourteen months, to open up this period of Indonesia’s history and recognise the suffering of its victims. In Jakarta, over one hundred people attended the conference at STF Driyarkara where they heard from panellists including the nation’s leading historians and activists working for a revival of a truth and reconciliation process for the victims and survivors. Sitting in the front row of the audience there from very early in the morning until its conclusion late in the day, was a group of now elderly women, former political prisoners and survivors, each deeply engaged in this process of seeking truth and some form of justice.

© Jemma Purdey

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


BREAKING THE SILENCE

L-R: Dr Annie Pohlman, Ms Jess Melvin, Dr Vannessa Hearman, Professor John Roosa online from Vancouver, Dr Antje Missbach

At the height of the Cold War, Indonesia’s Communist Party (PKI) was a significant force in national politics, with a growing following and increasing support from President Sukarno as he sought to share in what appeared would soon become a significant political power base. In late September 1965, attempts by a small group of PKI-backed generals to stage a coup were foiled and in its wake, an army-led assault against the PKI and its sympathisers was unleashed with fury and horror. Over the coming months and years, an estimated 500,000 people across the archipelago were killed and the PKI and all ‘leftist’ groups were decimated. If not killed, their leaders and cadres alike were arrested and imprisoned without trial for up to thirteen years, most famously on the prison island of Buru in eastern Indonesia. The killings themselves, about which scholars increasingly have evidence to link directly to the armed forces, were also carried out by civilians under varying degrees of instruction from the military. Whilst evidence exists of militia engaged by the army to carry out the rounding up, torture and killings, it is also known that the atmosphere of the time allowed for local resentments and vengeance to be settled without fear of recrimination.

Under the New Order military-backed regime that prevailed following the purging of the political left, the official version of the events of 30 September 1965 and the subsequent mass killings, torture and imprisonment of communists and those deemed to have communist sympathies, could not be contested. Over a decade since the fall of this regime, new narrative spaces are opening up, but very slowly. This is a complex and contested history about which scholars, and activists acting on behalf of victims and survivors, continue to be challenged. A conference on the mass killings in Indonesia in 1965-66 held on 30 August across two main sites in Jakarta and Melbourne, with participants also in Vancouver, London and Copenhagen, marked another important step for both scholars of this highly contested history, and activists fighting for truth and justice for its victims and survivors. ‘After the Act of Killing: Historical Justice and 1965-66 Mass Killings in Indonesia’ sought to build on momentum which has been growing over the past fourteen months, to open up this period of Indonesia’s history and recognise the suffering of its victims.

In Jakarta, over one hundred people attended the conference at STF Driyarkara where they heard from panellists including the nation’s leading historians and activists working for a revival of a truth and reconciliation process for the victims and survivors. Sitting in the front row of the audience there from very early in the morning until its conclusion late in the day, was a group of now elderly women, former political prisoners and survivors, each deeply engaged in this process of seeking truth and some form of justice.

© www.liveencounters.net october 2013


JEMMA PURDEY

Joshua Oppenheimer live from Copenhagen talking about reactions to his film The Act of Killing. Audiences in Jakarta and Melbourne.

New emerging truths

New interest within Indonesian politics and the media in the 1965-66 narrative began in mid-2012 with the publication of a series of highly important reports and investigations. The first of these was the Commission for Human Rights’ (Komnas HAM) report on the killings released in July 2012. Amongst its comprehensive findings about the nature of the killings themselves, which it found were carried out in a systematic way by the military across the archipelago, the report called for a national apology for the victims and survivors. At almost the same time, American film maker Joshua Oppenheimer released his extraordinary film, The Act of Killing. A chilling documentary set in Medan, North Sumatra the film features a group of ageing former gangsters and self-confessed murderers who killed and tortured suspected communists in the mid-1960s. The producers chose to avoid the censors in Indonesia and thereby the risk of a banning by not releasing the film into mainstream cinemas. Instead it has been shown to audiences in hundreds of guerrilla screenings across the country and is now available widely through pirated DVDs and on the internet. Internationally the film has received high acclaim, challenging audiences with its graphic and boastful recounting and re-enactments of the killings by the men who carried them out. This was followed on 1 October 2012 by major news magazine Tempo’s publication of a special double edition titled ‘Executioners’ Confessions’, which included interviews with perpetrators - the executioners themselves - from ‘civilian’ groups including the militia arm of religious organisation, Nadhlatul Ulama (NU) amongst other groups.

As Indonesia historian and advocate for survivors and victims, Ron Hatley, has written about these new contributions to the historiography of this period, “for perhaps the majority of communities, and for the nation as a whole, truth-seeking has just begun; undoubtedly more will begin with the revelations of these three new documents” (Inside Indonesia, n112). The August conference followed another held in Canberra in early 2013, which brought together many Indonesian researchers and activists focused on reviving the truth and reconciliation process and challenging state-sanctioned versions of the history of this dark period. This latest effort was an attempt to further progress those relationships established between scholars in Australia and Indonesia, and to bring the conversation up to date; where are we now? And, where do we go next?

© Jemma Purdey

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


BREAKING THE SILENCE This local action supported by the work of scholars, is now backed by an international campaign launched by the UK-based group Tapol, led by its founder Carmel Budiardjo, herself imprisoned for several years as a communist sympathiser. The Tapol campaign, ‘Mohon Maaf’ or ‘Say Sorry’ is, its director Paul Barber told the conference, focused internationally with the intention of using pressure from outside Indonesia to push the government towards making an apology to the survivors and victims.

A major theme across the conference was the teaching of this history to present and future generations. Although the New Order’s official version of the events of 30 Sept/1 Oct 1965 and subsequent ‘justified’ annihilation of the communist party is no longer prescribed for all school children to hear and experience in the national curriculum, there is not yet an agreed alternative history being taught in its place. Some teachers of history are increasingly encouraging their students to go out and discover for themselves the ‘truths’ available and make their own minds up, but this is a small and limited experience.

As Ariel Heryanto recounted in his paper tracking responses to The Act of Killing among Indonesia’s youth, there is little or no interest among young people in this past, let alone a desire to seek their own versions of what took place two decades before they were born. Without national leadership guiding a process towards reconciliation and truth-seeking about the mass killings and imprisonments, Heryanto believes there is small hope that it can succeed. Further evidence of that is the ‘almost’ apology by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono shortly after the issuing of the Komnas HAM report, which in the end failed to materialise as political opposition to the commissions’ findings grew. Nevertheless, despite the many reasons for pessimism, the responses from members of the audience and the speakers in Jakarta in particular, to the papers heard there and from around the world via the webcast, is also testament to an enduring commitment to continue this struggle for increased awareness about the killings and eventually some form of justice for its victims. This local action supported by the work of scholars, is now backed by an international campaign launched by the UK-based group Tapol, led by its founder Carmel Budiardjo, herself imprisoned for several years as a communist sympathiser. The Tapol campaign, ‘Mohon Maaf’ or ‘Say Sorry’ is, its director Paul Barber told the conference, focused internationally with the intention of using pressure from outside Indonesia to push the government towards making an apology to the survivors and victims. The hope is that momentum from the international response to The Act of Killing, which exposes worldwide audiences to the brutality and horror of these events for perhaps the first time, will produce a significant global movement calling for an apology. Tapol’s strategy, like that used by Amnesty International in its campaigns, is to hope that Indonesia’s concern about its international standing will push it towards making this small, although highly significant gesture. The ‘say sorry’ movement across countries with histories of gross crimes against humanity has gained some traction in recent times, including Australia’s own apology to the Stolen Generations in February 2008.

© www.liveencounters.net october 2013


JEMMA PURDEY This recent conference, although not without technical hitches, was the first on this subject to connect speakers and audiences in Indonesia to the rest of the world. Wellknown Indonesian blogger and columnist Ibrahim Isa said of the impact of the conference, “In the midst of an atmosphere which is swinging between hope and uncertainty [about a Truth and Reconciliation process], the teleconference at STF Driyarkara yesterday proved one thing: social and cultural reconciliation in society can still be achieved”.

Closer to the Indonesian situation and possibly influential, are recent apologies issued by the former colonial power, The Netherlands, for atrocities committed during the Indonesian struggle for independence (1945-49). In December 2011 and again in September this year, the Dutch have extended apologies for mass killings of civilians during the revolutionary war and have paid compensation to the victims’ relatives. The timing of this most recent apology at a ceremony in Jakarta on 12 September is regarded by observers in Indonesia and overseas as highly significant in the context of growing demands for Indonesia to make reparations to victims of its own state violence. This recent conference, although not without technical hitches (unsurprising perhaps for such an ambitious offering), was the first on this subject to connect speakers and audiences in Indonesia to the rest of the world. Well-known Indonesian blogger and columnist Ibrahim Isa said of the impact of the conference, “In the midst of an atmosphere which is swinging between hope and uncertainty [about a Truth and Reconciliation process], the teleconference at STF Driyarkara yesterday proved one thing: social and cultural reconciliation in society can still be achieved” (9 September 2013).

More than anything the atmosphere promoted by this conference and other such efforts in Indonesia and around the world, is that of a sense of shared endeavour and common concern that this period in Indonesia’s past must continue to be investigated and its multiple truths revealed and re-presented within the Indonesian national story. The proceedings of the ‘After the Act of Killing’ conference can be viewed on YouTube and the program downloaded here.

© Jemma Purdey

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


PHOTO GALLERY - TIBET

TIBET The Tibetans have been having a tough time in their own country for more than 50 years. But lately things have gone from bad to worse. When China invaded, they reconfigured the country so that the Tibet Autonomous region covered less than half of greater Tibet. All of the Eastern Tibet ( Kham) was relocated and came under the banner of what is now known as Szechwan. Amdo to the north comes under another district.

The one positive thing about Eastern Tibet, was, as they were not recognised as Tibetans, per se, pictures of HH the Dali Lama were not banned and freedom of worship was a little less highly monitored. In the past two years, this too has changed and not they too fall under a similar oppressive regime as Greater Tibet. Torture, murder, and general interfering in their culture and religion have made life intolerable for many. Since China has been befriending Nepal one of their traditional escape routes (a gruelling trek through high snow covered passes and freezing conditions) has been almost completely shut down, on the word of the Chinese. Many refugees, on arriving at the Nepal border have been shot down and murdered or worse yet, sent back into China, where they will receive more punishment, if and when they recover from the hardships of their torturous journey. It is no wonder that more than 200 Tibetans have self immolated in the past two years - it is one of the few ways they have left, to protest their untenable situation.

And still, inconceivably, the world turns a blind eye to the situation and sympathy and support remain missing. Let us all try to do what we can to give support to these proud, great spirited people who deserve a break. Free Tibet!

Jill Gocher, Photographer, Bali, Indonesia. www.amazon.com/author/jillgocher

Š www.liveencounters.net october 2013


JILL GOCHER

Pic ©Pic Sourav © JillJourdar Gocher

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


TIBET

Š www.liveencounters.net december october 2013 2013 volume one


JILL GOCHER

Pics© Jill Gocher

volume one 2013 2013 december october © www.liveencounters.net


TIBET

Š www.liveencounters.net december october 2013 2013 volume one


JILL GOCHER

Pics© Jill Gocher

volume one 2013 2013 december october © www.liveencounters.net


TIBET

Š www.liveencounters.net december october 2013 2013 volume one


JILL GOCHER

Pics© Jill Gocher

volume one 2013 2013 december october © www.liveencounters.net


2013

2013 Another Year of Living Foolishly?

Photograph courtesy Randhir Khare Š www.liveencounters.net december october 2013 2013 volume one


MARK ULYSEAS This essay was written and published in 2008. Since then I have updated it every year. Except for a few lines here and there the basic essay has remained in its original form. It is a reminder to us that the inhumanity of humanity has not changed. In fact it appears to be growing in intensity. Sadly the more things change, the more they remain the same.

This year is grinding to a close and then hope will begin for the New Year. So what will it be? More wars? Genocide?

Child abuse?

Mutilation and other abuses of women? Human slavery?

Extinction of another species?

New insidious revelations that expose the all pervasive criminality of governments, international politics and sections of the Media?

There is so much to choose from. It’s like a supermarket out there with all kinds of manmade disasters available on the shelves, one has simply to reach out and grab one. 2013 is ending on a note of negotiated delusions with the climate change conference in Warsaw. What happened to the good old days when we used a blanket instead of a heater? All this talk of saving the world is pointless. Everything is done half-heartedly. Let’s make a resolution for the New Year to decimate the planet. Destroy all our natural resources, pollute the rivers and farm the seas to extinction. At least we would be doing one thing properly.

On one hand we talk of peace, love and no war. On the other hand we bomb, rape, pillage, annex and subdue nations with money, military power and retarded religiosity.

For instance, let’s take a quick look at Afghanistan. The British couldn’t control the tribes in the 19th century, the Russians failed miserably and the American soldiers with their assorted comrades in arms, poor souls, are dying by the dozen along with faceless unarmed civilians. I suppose life is cheaper by the dozen. Hasn’t anyone got a clue about what the Afghans want? © Mark Ulyseas

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


2013 Statistics are essential in war zones. They can always be rearranged to suit one’s perceived objectives. The little numbers represent people; mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, relatives and friends. A neat way to manage these numbers is to write in pencil so that an eraser can be used judiciously. And while the death toll in war ravaged countries rise, a hysterical caucus threatens Iran not to go ahead with its nuclear program, while watching China systematically and violently dismantle Tibetan culture.

What about certain parts of the Middle East? Do you think they will run out of people considering the number of killings that are taking place? Education there is history – like the death of a six year old killed by a stray bullet. It stems from the barrel of a gun. The pen is for signing death certificates. Statistics are essential in war zones. They can always be rearranged to suit one’s perceived objectives. The little numbers represent people; mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, relatives and friends. A neat way to manage these numbers is to write in pencil so that an eraser can be used judiciously.

And while the death toll in war ravaged countries rise, a hysterical caucus threatens Iran not to go ahead with its nuclear program, while watching China systematically and violently dismantle Tibetan culture.

Africa, the Dark Continent, what can one say about its peoples and their ancient civilizations that have slowly been corrupted by large corporations and foreign governments meddling in the affairs of the states: Buying and selling governments on mammoth proportions? Oh for the days of Idi Amin. Remember Entebbe and the blood baths? Everything is so quiet now, no excitement and drama except for bloody popular uprisings, theft of natural resources and other inconsequential happenings. What about the sub-continent, India? Do they still abort female foetuses? Burn women who don’t bring enough dowry? Continue to decimate wildlife? Persevere in the destruction of the environment? And do millions still exist on the threshold of life and death? And is the arrogant Indian Middle Class growing to newer levels self indulgence?

Forgive me, I missed that little country to the west of India; Pakistan. Poor chaps they’ve had such a tiresome year with the constant ebb and flow of political violence and religious fundamentalism peppered with suicide bombers that probably the common folk want to migrate to India... can’t really blame them. All they desire is to live in peace to pray, work and procreate. Now let’s see who is left on the black board? Hmmm…the indigenous people of the Amazon are still fighting a losing battle with the powers that be to stop the plunder of their home, the rainforest, the green lung of mother earth. South America appears to be lost in translation. We never seem to get a lot of news from there except for soccer, drug lords and the plunder of the marine world.

Let’s leave all this violence for some whale steaks. The Japanese are so considerate to the world at large. For a country that prides itself on rejecting nuclear weapons it has a rather odd way of showing

© www.liveencounters.net october 2013


MARK ULYSEAS There are many countries that lecture China on its Human Rights. Wonder who has a perfect track record? The world’s last Superpower? A superpower that continues to interfere in the affairs of other nations ... at times actually sending troops and bombing unarmed civilians along with perceived enemies of the State? I suppose the term ‘collateral damage’ is more palatable than the word... murder.

its respect for the environment. I am referring to the mass killing of whales for scientific purposes. Actually you must admire their concern. Ever considered the fact that they maybe ridding the oceans of monsters that take up so much space and are a serious health hazard to humanity? I think Japan’s neighbour China has the right approach. It has dispensed with the cumbersome concept of Human Rights and its implementation. In its place totalitarianism with a small dose of plutocracy has been suitably installed.

There are many countries that lecture China on its Human Rights. Wonder who has a perfect track record? The world’s last Superpower? A superpower that continues to interfere in the affairs of other nations ... at times actually sending troops and bombing unarmed civilians along with perceived enemies of the State? I suppose the term ‘collateral damage’ is more palatable than the word... murder.

Civil liberties are essential for the survival of a nation and so is the health of its people. In some areas of society where commonsense has been the victim, Nature has found a way of retaliating by inventing diseases like AIDS and Swine Flu, infecting millions and helping to keep the population in check, of course with a little assistance from humankind.

And once again, as we have done in the past, this Christmas and New Year we shall all sit down to sumptuous meals, drink whatever fancies our taste buds, shop till we drop and pamper our overweight children and pets. It’s the season of happiness, love and family especially for the homeless, injured and maimed children of wars, missing women in Afghanistan and elsewhere, asylum seekers, political detainees and the fringe folk of the planet. They will surely be very happy and content with what they see, hear, feel and touch this festive season. From genocide to environmental disasters it has been a roller coaster ride through many countries and peoples and cultures and religions. This journey will end only when we truly comprehend the reason as to why we have been put on this planet by a power far greater than we can ever imagine. Merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year to you Om Shanti Shanti Shanti Om

© Mark Ulyseas 2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


CONTRIBUTORS Click on title of article to go to page

Guest Editorial - A Returning Eco-Exile

Captain Paul Watson, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Watson is an acclaimed environmentalist who has authored a number of books and has received international awards for his endeavor to save the denizens of the marine world. Presently, he leads a flotilla of four ships lying in wait to confront the Japanese whaling fleet heading for the Southern Antarctic Ocean. His decades long fight against the rape of the oceans is now stuff of legends. http://www.seashepherd.org/

Randhir Khare celebrates 50 years of writing interview by his daughter, Lavanya Khare

Lavanya Khare is a student of English Literature, currently pursuing her Masters in Literary Art from Ambedkar University, New Delhi. She is as passionate about her writing as she is about special needs education. Her history with writing includes work in both the Miranda House College Magazine as well as Sanctuary Cub Magazine. Her essays have also been featured in a compilation of works titled ‘Girl 13’.

Snow in Hamburg Terry McDonagh

Irish poet and dramatist, Terry McDonagh, taught creative writing at the University of Hamburg and was Drama Director at the Int. School Hamburg for 15 years. He now works freelance; has been writer in residence in Europe, Asia, Australia; published seven poetry collections, book of letters, prose and poetry for young people translated into Indonesian and German, distributed internationally by Syracuse Uni. Press; latest poetry collection Ripple Effect due for publication in May/June 2013, Arlen House; next children’s story, Michel the Merman, illustrated by Marc Barnes (NZ) to be published in September 2013. He lives in Hamburg and Ireland. www.terry-mcdonagh.com

Invitation to contribute to ‘Regarding Rights’ Dr. Benjamin Authers

Benjamin Authers is an Australian Research Council Laureate Postdoctoral Fellow in the Centre for International Governance and Justice at the Australian National University. His research examines the interrelations between law and literature, with a focus on the legal and cultural work of human rights in Canada and globally. He has previously worked as a lawyer and as a Conciliation Officer with the South Australian Equal Opportunity Commission. regardingrights

Urban Villager - Life in an Indian Satellite Town Vandana Vasudevan

© www.liveencounters.net october 2013

Vandana Vasudevan studied economics at Lady Shri Ram College (Delhi University) and trained in management at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. She has worked in leading banks and media companies for over 15 years. In parallel she has been writing for leading publications including a fortnightly column in the business daily Mint. www.sagepub.in


December 2013 Volume Two The TOI Story

Sangita P. Menon Malhan Malhan is a Delhi-based former journalist. She worked at the Delhi Mid Day, The Statesman, and The Times of India, before turning to creative writing. Her short stories - Rastapherian’s Tales - were published in 2010 by the Writers Workshop. Arshia Publications brought out her Urdu poems entitled Nusrat-e-Gham (The Triumph of Grief) in 2012. Prior to this, she was a national gliding champion, and acquired a Private Pilot’s Licence. Currently, she is a freelance editor and translator; and she teaches French.

Toraja People of Sulawesi, Indonesia Joo Peter

Aka Joachim Peter is a Visual artist and writer based in Southwest Germany, presently working on documentary & travel photography in Asia right. He loves to explore and combine all arts in his work. Joo has studied Arts; painting and graphics, worked for theatre ( designing stage, costume and light) , did some work for television and film, went into teaching. He writes essays and a blog in his native tongue, German, for he feels his language combines philosophy and humour. www.joo-peter.photoshelter.com

Homeopathy & You Dr. Mukesh Batra

Dr Mukesh Batra, LCEH, FSRH (MED) P (LON), MDH (USA), FBIH (UK), a homeopath of international repute, is Founder & Chairman, Dr Batra’s, the world’s first and largest corporatized homeopathic healthcare group. In a career spanning four decades, he has treated over a million patients, including presidents and prime ministers, and revolutionized the way homeopathy is practiced today. Batra has been honored with several fellowships and over 50 national and international awards, including the Padma Shri, one of India’s highest civilian honors, by the President of India. He has authored several books, including the cyclopedic work, Healing with Homeopathy (September 2011). drbatramukesh@drbatras.com

Energy Medicine: Kinesiology and Muscle Testing Dr. Candess M Campbell

Candess M. Campbell, PhD is an internationally known Intuitive Life Coach, Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Seminar leader, Hypnotherapist and Author. She specializes in assisting others to gain their own personal power and to live a life of abundance, happiness and joy. Early 2012 she will be releasing her book 12 Weeks to SelfHealing: Transforming Pain through Energy Medicine. www.12weekstoselfhealing.com

Heroes of 2013 Mark Ulyseas

Heroes of 2013 are the unsung refugees, the homeless, the disenfranchised languishing on street corners like abandoned dogs, abused women and orphaned children and more. Sadly there are no awards for these wretched souls. They are the forgotten, misplaced people whose lives are not worth rewarding in every sense of the word.

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


A Returning Eco-Exile by Captain Paul Watson

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

It is a fascinating experience being an exile and an international fugitive.

I have been at sea for fifteen months since departing from Germany in early August 2012. On that day when I refused to be extradited by Germany to Japan, I drove to the Netherlands and there I boarded a sailing boat. It took me four months to reach Samoa where I boarded my flagship the Steve Irwin to continue down to the waters around Antarctica.

The next three months were spent in the Southern and Indian Oceans in pursuit of the Japanese whaling fleet where the Sea Shepherd fleet of four vessels succeeded in restricting the whale kill to 9% of their intended quota saving close to 900 whales. It was a very successful campaign but success has its consequences.

The Sea Shepherd fleet returned to Australia in mid-March but I could not go ashore because of two Interpol Red notices. One from Costa Rica for stopping a Costa Rican shark poacher in Guatemalan waters in 2002 and the other from Japan for conspiracy to trespass and interference with business. I left the Steve Irwin off Tasmania and for the last eight months I have been on the water continuously except for occasional landings on remote uninhabited islands in the South Pacific.

Text & Pics Š Captain Paul Watson Š www.liveencounters.net october 2013


GUEST EDITORIAL

volume two 2013 2013 december october Š www.liveencounters.net


GUEST EDITORIAL During the last year my allegations against Chinchilla’s government have been given credibility with the head of COPESCA the Costa Rican fishery agency now under investigation for bribery from shark poachers and drug traffickers.

During that time I collected lots of plastic debris from remote beaches, watched Green Turtles and numerous species of sea-birds laying their eggs and I ate quite a few coconuts. I was also working with my legal team to resolve the issues that forced me into exile.

Top: Laura Chinchilla ‘no corruption or censorship in Costa Rica government LINK. Bottom: Costa Rican Times ‘how deep is the costa rica shark finning-rabbit-hole LINK.

The Costa Rican warrant is blatantly political and finally even Interpol saw through it. It has been dropped from the Interpol Red List. The charges for interfering with a Costa Rican shark poaching vessel stem from 2002 but the warrant for my arrest was issued in 2012 only a few weeks after a meeting between Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla and the Prime Minister of Japan. Also, during the last year my allegations against Chinchilla’s government have been given credibility with the head of COPESCA the Costa Rican fishery agency now under investigation for bribery from shark poachers and drug traffickers.

No one gets extradited for trespassing and especially when it was someone else doing the trespassing. In 2011, Pete Bethune’s boat the Ady Gil was rammed and destroyed by a Japanese security vessel in the Southern Ocean. Bethune responded by boarding the Japanese vessel to demand that the Japanese captain return to New Zealand to answer for the destruction of his boat. Instead the Japanese arrested Bethune and charged him with trespassing.

© www.liveencounters.net october 2013

Before Bethune boarded the Shonan Maru #2, I advised him not to do so and I can be seen on camera doing so.


CAPTAIN PAUL WATSON Bethune responded by boarding the Japanese vessel to demand that the Japanese captain return to New Zealand to answer for the destruction of his boat. Instead the Japanese arrested Bethune and charged him with trespassing. Before Bethune boarded the Shonan Maru #2, I advised him not to do so and I can be seen on camera doing so.

Bethune was taken back to Japan and put on trial where he made a deal. In return for a suspended sentence Bethune stated that I had ordered him to board the whaling ship. This was the basis for the charges filed against me with Interpol.

In June of 2013, Bethune agreed to sign an affidavit stating that he lied about being ordered by me to board the Japanese vessel. He stated that he did so as part of a plea with Japan to reduce his sentence. I did not have that affidavit when I was in Germany but now that I do I am confident that I have a strong case to demonstrate that the Japanese request for extradition is political. My exile bought me time to prepare a solid defense. If I had stayed in Germany I would have been sent to Japan without a hearing and once in Japan, my chances of a fair trial would be non-existent.

During the last week of October I returned to land when I arrived on the Brigitte Bardot in San Pedro, California. I arrived on the same day as the civil charges of contempt proceedings began in Seattle.

Japan had filed for an injunction in the U.S. Courts to stop our interventions. The request was denied by Judge Richard Jones and Sea Shepherd prepared for Operation Zero Tolerance. We thought it was amusing that Japan would ask a U.S. court to stop Dutch ships from leaving Australian ports to intervene against a Japanese whaling operation in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary that was continuing in contempt of the Australian Federal Court. That was the way Judge Jones saw it, also.

2013 october Š www.liveencounters.net


GUEST EDITORIAL

But to our surprise on December 18th after the Steve Irwin had left for the Southern Ocean, the 9th Circuit Court overturned Judge Jones without explanation and granted the injunction. This caused Sea Shepherd USA to withdraw and I had to withdraw personally. Operation Zero Tolerance continued under the leadership of Sea Shepherd Australia. Top: One of the 932 whales saved during Operation Zero Tolerance. Bottom: Operation Zero Tolerance against Yushin Maru No.2. Photographs Courtesy www.seashepherd.org

Despite that, the whalers claimed that the injunction was violated and now the directors of Sea Shepherd USA and me are on trial for contempt.

One of the Circuit Court judges even went so far as to declare marine protests as piracy and this is a decision presently being used against Greenpeace activists by the Russians in response to a recent Greenpeace protest against Russian oil drilling in the Arctic.

The outcome of the trial will have no bearing on the ability of the Sea Shepherd ships to return to the Southern Ocean. They are fueled, crewed and ready for departure from Australia in December. Operation Relentless will be the 10th campaign to the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary to defend the whales and it will mark the 7th season of the Animal Planet show Whale Wars that documents the annual encounters.

When people say that we should not be surprised that we are being persecuted for defending the whales, I can only answer that we are not surprised. Š www.liveencounters.net october 2013


CAPTAIN PAUL WATSON

In fact we are delighted. The continued Japanese efforts to shut down Sea Shepherd simply reveal how much of a threat we represent. In Sea Shepherd we measure our success by the number of and the intensity of our enemies. If we did nothing we would not have a single enemy but numerous enemies are merely a reflection of numerous successes.

Campaign leaders Jeff Hansen and Bob Brown with crew member wearing the new Operation Relentless T -shirt. Photograph Courtesy www.seashepherd.org.au

Operation Relentless - Sea Shepherd’s 10th Antarctic Whale Defence Campaign www.seashepherd.org.au

Text & Pics © Captain Paul Watson

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


LAVANYA KHARE

Lavanya Khare, daughter of Randhir Khare, speaks to him on his 50 years of writing.

The Renaissance Man

“My entire family from my father’s side lived in and around Kanpur in North India so Hindi was well in use as a social language and non-English speaking people floated in and out of our home. In fact, my paternal grandfather who was a criminal lawyer, fought most of his cases in Hindi. However, when it came to the language spoken at home – it was English. I keep wondering whether this was so because my Grandfather had gotten into the habit of talking in English at home because his late wife was Irish. Also, my mother who was half Spanish and half English spoke only English. Having said this, I must add that my mother knew fluent Tamil because she had grown up in Madras. But then Tamil wasn’t of much use in Kanpur. It was a foreign language.” Randhir Khare is a teacher, writer and theatre person. He started his career in theatre acting and journalism before shifting his focus to teaching, writing and workshops. His work with different tribal communities has brought him recognition. Khare is representing India at Europalia this year on Diversity/Tribal Issues.

© Lavanya Khare © www.liveencounters.net october 2013


RANDHIR KHARE

Pic © Randhir Khare

volume two 2013 2013 december october © www.liveencounters.net


THE RENAISSANCE MAN

Since you have chosen to write in English, has your use of language been influenced by your multi-lingual exposure ? Yes certainly. I find it difficult to write ‘straight English’ because I find it artificial. My written English is really spoken English with multi-lingual Indian rhythms and cadences, broken sentences and in a way idiosyncratic. This came in handy when I wrote plays for my theatre company. Why was English your choice for your medium of expression?

Because it was the language I was most familiar and comfortable with. Besides that - because my immediate family had moved away from Kanpur and the Hindi speaking North to Bengal. We lived in a part of Calcutta that had a considerable number of English speaking families – people from various nationalities as well as Anglo Indians. So you could say that my surroundings further stimulated my choice of English. Then of course at another level, for a culturally in-between person like me English was the obvious choice. You have been writing for 50 years now, how has the game changed for you?

Personally, it hasn’t changed. I still write because I am compelled from within and not because I want to be published . And that too - only when I am satisfied with what I have created do I publish. Of course, my canvas of themes, styles and concerns have evolved. When you say canvas of themes, how do you feel the concerns explored within your writing have evolved?

I guess as my experience of my outer world and inner world has grown, through travel, reading and reflection, themes became more wide ranging and varied. From ‘encounter’ inspired writing I moved on to ‘issue’ inspired work. Now it’s an amalgamation of the two. New themes have demanded new styles. For example, the style and treatment used in most of my short stories in ‘Return To Mandhata’ is quite different from ‘Survivors’…and radically different from ‘Notebook Of A Footsoldier’. My poems in ‘Written In Sand’ are far more clarified than those in ‘Hunger’. I have never shied away from experimentation. These concerns, are they an amalgamation of your personal and emotional location in a particular moment of time or then more to do with the issues surrounding you? Both.

© www.liveencounters.net october 2013


LAVANYA KHARE

Has some of your work been influenced by reader responses or suggestions to you? Not at all. I am a doggedly individualistic person.

With your writing career starting with your work for J.S. Magazine, why did you eventually shift away from journalism? Oh well, I was a young man living in an Age of Upheavals and witnessed both the Naxalbari violence and the Bangladesh war of Independence. As if that was not enough I even volunteered to work in Mother Teresa’s Home For The Dying And The Destitute. Those experiences moved me to want to effect change for the better in the world in which I lived. But pretty soon I discovered that journalism could not do that. It was terribly disenchanting. So I dropped everything I was doing, left behind a job, a readership, a pretty successful theatre career of sorts and set out alone to travel across the country, into remote areas and unlearn everything I had learnt and rediscover my true calling. You have rekindled that past interest by working with various Pune newspapers, is it something you will always return to?

Not ‘papers’ but yes, a popular paper for which I wrote a weekly column for nearly six years. I chose to do that because through the column I could reflect the life of the city with warts and all. Not in activist mode but as an entertaining commentator. I would love to have the occasional opportunity to do that…but there is little space in my life at this stage as I find myself turning more and more away from the temporal experience.

You have lived in several different cities in your life, starting your career in Calcutta and now living in Pune. Do you feed off the energy of the city you are in? Yes, in a way. Because every city has its own past, present and future, its own way of surviving, its own way of thriving. A city that is stimulating in what it has to offer but also allows me space to continue to be myself. Would you associate a particular phase of your writing with a city you have lived in?

Yes, absolutely. I was born in the dusty, cluttered wild west ‘city’ of Kanpur, went on to spend my formative years in the riotously intense city of Calcutta – leaving it for Mathura and Madras, lived briefly during my travels in Delhi and towns in Kumaon, then central and western India then spent an entire cycle of my life in Bombay then went south to places in the Nilgiris and other parts of Tamil Nadu and north to Delhi then back again to Mumbai and on to Pune with innumerable stops in between. I have the nomadic spirit. Earlier, it meant shifting residence but now the shifting and travelling goes on inside me. © Lavanya Khare 2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


THE RENAISSANCE MAN

Your struggles with your own identity, being from a family of mixed heritage comes out in the writing you have done about the Anglo-Indian community. What change have you seen in your writing since ‘Survivors’ in this regard? I think I have moved on to writing about in-between and marginal people from various backgrounds and in various situations. Not just ethnically but socially and psychologically. And the good news is that my approach has become more expansive, giving me the flexibility to explore various levels of living. In your work with tribal communities across India, what compels you to travel and record their folk narratives?

Because I feel that their narratives are an expression of their way of life and their relationship with each other, with the land that they inhabit, their beliefs and their very identity. I have been recording folk narratives and carrying them to non-tribal people through print, oral presentations and advocacy efforts because they deserve to be part of the great tapestry of living India. I am sure a lot of people are doing a lot of work but I nevertheless feel I need to do this. Coming to think of it – maybe it has to do with this deep seated absence of a living heritage/identity in my own life that I am driven to the deepest roots of belongingness that is evident in the life of tribal communities. Have these interactions with people from tribal communities changed the way in which you see your own location in an urban set-up?

Completely. Though I live in an urban environment, I now have the spirit of a person from a tribal community. I think the essence was always been there, with continuous exposure, that essence has flowered into a psychological manifestation.

The poetry you choose to write shifts thematically from personal experience towards the translation of tribal folksongs, touching upon the theme of nature as well. What has influenced these shifts in your writing? I don’t see them as shifts but more as approaches to the same ‘theme’. Someone at the Poetry Festival in Chennai commented that there appears to be a deep seamless connection between my poetry and Bhil songs. After having done theatre workshops across age groups, what purpose do you feel your workshops play in the lives of children when it comes to the sphere of self-expression?

I believe that the educating process should, apart from all else, help a child to find his or her own voice and make his or her own choices. And this should be done in a creative and inspirational way and

© www.liveencounters.net october 2013


LAVANYA KHARE

not shoved down their throats. Because the act of finding one’s own voice and sharing it with the world and thereby evolving is so like the act of ‘play.’ In an ideal world, the education system should be able to take care of that. But then the system has its own limitations so is unable to deliver. This is where my workshops find a meaning and purpose. Is this need for self-expression also the reason you have been drawn towards working with special needs education?

Yes of course. Another angle to this, I know what it means to be an ‘outsider’ so I always make an effort to stand up for the outsider. In today’s day and age with the social climate in India being the way it is, how relevant do you feel your workshops are for children? Absolutely relevant. I feel that in my own way I am helping young Indians to discover their own identities and creatively assert themselves. In the new world order that is rapidly evolving, you have to start ‘swimming or you’ll sink like a stone (thanks Bob Dylan) for the times they are a changing.’ Do you see a change that has come about in the manner special needs education is given importance between when you first began your engagement with children with special needs and now?

Yes, there is increased awareness, more trained professionals, somewhat more services but deep rooted ignorance, fear and neglect persist. Special needs children, young people and adults are marginal people still struggling to be heard. When it comes to writing for children between ‘The Last Jungle on Earth’ and ‘Legend of Creaky’, is there a central vein that runs through your writing? Yes. Yes. Yes. They explore my abiding themes…self assertion, survival, belonging, acceptance.

How did you/what did it take you to reach the point in your writing where you could write a novel instead of your previous literary forms of poetry and short stories? I see the writing of novels as more necessary for me today than writing short stories. My short stories were like boulders rumbling down a mountain side. My novels are the mountains themselves. My short stories were streams that flowed into a river. My novels are rivers. The shift took me a long time. My first novel was written in the mid 80s in Delhi. When it was complete – I lost the manuscript!! After that I had to wait for the urge to come back. Now it has. © Lavanya Khare

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


POETRY

Š www.liveencounters.net december october 2013 2013 volume two


TERRY MCDONAGH It’s winter again. I’ll be in Ireland this time, but I’m reminded of my first winter in Hamburg when was very cold and full of surprises. I was not used to ‘real’ snow and all the ritual that surrounded its arrival. The sound of that first scraping and shovelling still reverberates in my ears. These days, when in Hamburg, I am part of the ritual. My poem was a response to the surreal world of snow that met me in Hamburg many years ago.

Snow in Hamburg

It has been snowing for two days. Yesterday, a clown dropped off at the harbour – he was tired and searching for peace. The snow had really surprised him, he said. Still, he walked to the city, passing people shovelling snow by the flake, brushing furiously, striking out at heavier snow, or switching on spotlights for the night watch. One man heard the man sniggering; he called the police. They came with great fervour and bagged him in one swoop. Under heavy guard, he was taken to prison, while all along the streets, people brushed and swept and fought snowflakes.

© Terry McDonagh 2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


Centre for International Governance and Justice, Regulatory Institutions Network, Australian National University

Regarding Rights: Academic and Activist Perspectives on Human Rights Dr. Benjamin Authers and Dr. Emma Larking, Co-Editors

Regarding Rights is an initiative from the Centre for International Governance and Justice (CIGJ). Under the auspices of Professor Hilary Charlesworth’s ARC Laureate Fellowship Project ‘Strengthening the international human rights system: rights, regulation and ritualism,’ the Regarding Rights blog provides a forum for voices from activism and academia to comment on important issues in human rights. We are hosted by the College of Asia and the Pacific at the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia.

“La porta di Lampedusa” (Lampedusa’s door), also known as “La porta d’Europa” (Europe’s door). The monument, “looking” towards Africa, was built in 2008 on the Italian island of Lampedusa in memory of more than 10,000 migrants who died over the years while they were trying to reach the island.

The aim of Regarding Rights is to engage critically with human rights issues from a range of perspectives. We seek to be inclusive and engaging while ensuring that the articles we post are thoughtfully and carefully argued. Contributors so far have included members of the CIGJ and visitors to the Centre, as well as Australian and international commentators and social justice activists.

In the year since its launch, Regarding Rights has published articles on a spectrum of human rights issues. Posts have discussed the history of human rights, the International Criminal Court, and Maori rights under New Zealand constitutional law. Contributors have also brought different perspectives to the right to asylum in Australia and Europe, corporations and human rights, prisons in Australia, the November 2012 ASEAN Human Rights Declaration, and children’s rights.

As the Blog continues to develop we hope to foster the dialogue that has already begun to take shape, while welcoming new voices to the conversation in the form of comments and new articles.

© www.liveencounters.net october 2013

Interspersed with comments on human rights issues, Regarding Rights also provides regular updates on the activities of the CIGJ, and news and events from other, similar initiatives.


REGARDING RIGHTS

Invitation to contribute to ‘Regarding Rights’ Would you be interested in contributing to Regarding Rights?

We are happy to publish short pieces of around 400 words, but we also regularly feature more sustained comments of up to 2,000 words. Entries may focus on ‘hot topics’ in rights; equally importantly, we provide a space for contributors to intervene in long standing debates and to comment on areas of historical and theoretical concern. Our aim is to publish pieces that represent the breadth of work in human rights. We welcome articles that are carefully considered, reflective, and that cast new light on contentious issues.

While Regarding Rights has developed out to the ‘Strengthening the international human rights system: rights, regulation and ritualism’ Project, there is no need for your contribution to reference the project or to use its terminology. You may, however, be interested to know that the project draws on regulatory scholarship to analyse how states respond to human rights principles, focusing particularly on the notion of ritualism (i.e. formal participation in a system of regulation while ignoring its substantive goals). Thus, the project looks at the gap between many countries’ acceptance of human rights standards and their commitment to these standards. It also identifies ways of resisting human rights ritualism, and mechanisms for improving the implementation of international human rights principles. Interested contributors are invited to contact us. Benjamin Authers - benjamin.authers@anu.edu.au Emma Larking - emma.larking@anu.edu.au

Dr. Benjamin Authers

Dr. Emma Larking 2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


VANDANA VASUDEVAN

Š www.liveencounters.net december october 2013 2013 volume two


URBAN VILLAGER Builders are perhaps the most powerful lobby in India and they influence land acquisition and allocation by the government. A lot of that acquisition is happening at the fringes of the city, moving further and further into the interior and gobbling up farmland creating “urban villages” around a metro.

Vandana Vasudevan author of

Urban Villager

in an interview with Mark Ulyseas

“An urban villager is one living on the cusp of rural and urban India, a resident of one of the new towns that are being built around a metro on what was once rural land. Like Gurgaon and Noida, Greater Noida outside Delhi or Rajarhat New Town outside Kolkatta or Sriperembudur outside Chennai. The lives of the residents here is a curious mix of city life and the countryside. They shop in malls which spring up next to fields and live in big gated societies surrounded by villages.

When I moved to Greater Noida in 2011 I was struck by these aspects-the absurd contradictions in our semi-urban lives; the way the villagers had adapted to the professionals living in high rise apartments built on land which until recently belonged to them; how the city folk were trying hard to stay urbanized while living amidst wheat fields. The duality I witnessed as an “Urban Villager” prompted me to write the book.” - Vasudevan

Published by Sage Publications © Mark Ulyseas

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


URBAN VILLAGER I know of a wedding celebration in a Noida village where the groom’s party-the baraat-landed at the girl’s village in a helicopter. In Greater Noida, in the village opposite my house the DJ plays trance and disco beats all night when there are weddings and the scale of fireworks is dazzling by any standards. The amount of cash and the kind of gifts given in dowries have skyrocketed. There weren’t such ostentatious displays of wealth in rural communities beforeperhaps because there was no wealth. The villagers who sold land have become rich beyond their remotest dreams.

Is rampant development in real estate (housing) been the primary cause in the ‘creation’ of the urban villager? And is this development spurred by the rapid rise in the middle class and movement of rural folk to the big cities for work? The real estate sector has been growing at an incredible 20% per year since 2005 when the government allowed foreign investment into real estate companies. Both domestic and foreign players rushed in lured by the demand and the high returns on investments. It has been moving along like an uncontrolled juggernaut- many fly by night operators have profited and it became common to hear of flat buyers who invested but the project never came up. Builders are perhaps the most powerful lobby in India and they influence land acquisition and allocation by the government. A lot of that acquisition is happening at the fringes of the city, moving further and further into the interior and gobbling up farmland creating “urban villages” around a metro.

This expansion of the city is definitely spurred by the rapid rise of the middle class, their demand for houses and their growing ability to afford them. That part is true. But it is not caused by the movement of rural folk to the city. In fact, it is the other way round. The urban folk are moving into the countryside because the countryside is getting urbanized. Large corporations have moved out of the city and are setting up factories in the hinterlands for cost reasons, which makes the city folk who work for them look for houses nearby. This in turn creates residential complexes and then shopping malls and so on. So, many urban villages are formed in the perimeter of the city, over decades they will get fully urbanized and then the city will push further inwards to create new urban villages. Is it true that many villagers who had become rich by selling their land have frittered away the proceeds on purchase of fancy cars and splurging on entertainment etc., and therefore have become ‘landless farmers’ often resorting to antisocial activities including assisting real estate developers in acquiring more land?

In the suburbs of Delhi called the National Capital Region (NCR) consisting of Gurgaon, Noida, Faridabad and Greater Noida, the roads are full of SUVs. I know of a wedding celebration in a Noida village where the groom’s party-the baraat-landed at the girl’s village in a helicopter. In Greater Noida, in the village opposite my house the DJ plays trance and disco beats all night when there are weddings and the scale of fireworks is dazzling by any standards. The amount of cash and the kind of gifts given in dowries have skyrocketed. When I spoke to elders in the villages of Greater Noida for the book, all of them uniformly said that this was a recent trend, say, about ten or maximum fifteen years old. There weren’t such ostentatious displays of wealth in rural communities before- perhaps because there was no wealth. The villagers who sold land have become rich beyond their remotest dreams.

© www.liveencounters.net october 2013


volume two 2013 2013 december october Š www.liveencounters.net


URBAN VILLAGER The sudden influx of wealth hasn’t brought a change in entrenched traditional thinking. In the years that I lived in Noida-Greater Noida I did not see rural girls travelling outside their village to study in college for instance. If college meant sending their daughter to a nearby urban centre, then they would rather stop with school. I did not see a farmer’s family saying “Now, I can afford to send my daughter to learn computers in the city, so let me do that.”

Some of them have wisely bought more land or started a business but the majority have no idea how to manage the money. They do not know of investments. Most don’t have a bank account. Rural banking, once a wave in the early part of the century has sort of petered out because villagers do not know how to save. This is across the country. Sociological studies show that cash as compensation has always resulted in it being frittered away, and that’s what I saw happening in Greater Noida. And they no longer have their land to fall back on, once the cash is exhausted. There is also the question of the youth in these villages having a huge amount of idle time. It is distressing to see strapping youth playing cricket in the village grounds every weekday. No college to attend, no jobs to go to. Just entire days of doing nothing. When they had the land, they were gainfully employed during the day-tilling, planting harvesting etc. This idleness has a social impact as it encourages drinking and casual crime. What has been the socio-economic impact on villagers who live cheek by jowl with modern India in terms of education, alcoholism, crime, domestic violence including the murder of youngsters who have eloped, etc?

The sudden influx of wealth hasn’t brought a change in entrenched traditional thinking. In the years that I lived in Noida-Greater Noida I did not see rural girls travelling outside their village to study in college for instance. If college meant sending their daughter to a nearby urban centre, then they would rather stop with school. I did not see a farmer’s family saying “Now, I can afford to send my daughter to learn computers in the city, so let me do that.” Wealth hasn’t broadened their horizons or made them adopt modern ideas. In fact in a perverse way, wealth has perpetuated some social practices, especially those that are unfavourable to women. That’s why the practice of dowry is now stronger than ever. During a wedding in a Noida village, the father of the bride displays all the gifts that he is going to give his daughter- the brand new TV, refrigerator, furniture and of course the “chaar paiyye ki gaadi” (the four wheeled vehicle i.e. car). At one time the humble two wheeler would pass muster but not any more unless one wants to invite ridicule. Now a car is par for the course. If the farmer’s family has to save face in the community, they have to include in the dowry at least a Maruti 800 and very often an SUV.

The number of cases of women getting molested in these suburbs is only increasing as the news reports show us. Crime in general is on the rise, making these suburbs notoriously unsafe, especially after dusk. Carjacking, chain snatching, eve teasing and kidnapping are fairly routine. The Superintendent of Police of Greater Noida told me that one reason for this is the alcohol and the fondness for the good life that money can now buy. Rich village brats get hooked to it and don’t mind resorting to crime to keep up their lifestyle. In my book, there are several interesting anecdotes gathered from local people and insights about the connection between sudden wealth, easy guns, crime and a society that continues to be very patriarchal and orthodox.

© www.liveencounters.net october 2013


VANDANA VASUDEVAN The number of cases of women getting molested in these suburbs is only increasing as the news reports show us. Crime in general is on the rise, making these suburbs notoriously unsafe, especially after dusk. Carjacking, chain snatching, eve teasing and kidnapping are fairly routine. The Superintendent of Police of Greater Noida told me that one reason for this is the alcohol and the fondness for the good life that money can now buy. Rich village brats get hooked to it and don’t mind resorting to crime to keep up their lifestyle.

Has the sprouting of Art villages like Hauz Khas in New Delhi and the yearly Surajkund Mela in neighbouring Haryana enriched the meeting of modern and rural India? Or, is this just another economic activity in no man’s land where everyone earns a bit? The two examples are very different. Haus Khas village contains restaurants serving global cuisine, outlets of fashion designers, French style patisseries and boutiques selling kitschy knick knacks. None of it has anything to do with the original Haus Khas village behind the tomb/mosque complex where you can see people going about their lives, quite disconnected from the hip urban crowd just a few feet away from them. The streets in the village are narrow and the place seems like any other low income habitat in and around Delhi. The Surajkund mela on the other hand is quite different. It is organized by the Haryana tourism department and features numerous craftsmen from across the country who show their wares to visitors from across the world. Therefore it is a forum for the urban and rural to interact.

Haus Khas village is a space and exists in a different world from the original village that it has been carved out of. The Surajkund Mela is an event created around the principal of a rural-urban meeting ground. This sort of event in a new town like Greater Noida, would boost local self esteem. What are you working on now?

My next book called “Tough Customer” is based on urban consumer experiences and is expected to be published in the spring of 2014.

© Mark Ulyseas

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


THE TOI STORY

Sangita P. Menon Malhan

The TOI Story: How a Newspaper Changed the Rules of the Game Published by HarperCollins India

``Every thing that becomes great... becomes greater, after being less.’’ Plato, quoting Socrates, in his `Phaedo’. It took 12 years to complete “The TOI Story”, from concept to print. During one of the few hundred interviews for the book, an industry top notch who had played a leading role at the Times of India, told me: “Quite simply, the Indian media story can be divided into two parts – pre Samir Jain, and post Samir Jain”. And then, he proceeded to detail out the differences between the two. He may have overdone it a bit. Nevertheless, during the course of this journey, I realised that the current state of the Indian media – mainstream “national” media at any rate – is influenced in large measure by what Samir Jain and The Times of India tried out over two decades ago.

There are strong views on whether we are better off today with the sort of media we have given ourselves. I have refrained from making any judgements, preferring instead to let a lot of relevant people on either side of the debate voice their views even as I unravelled and documented this most fascinating story. I joined The Times of India in New Delhi as a city correspondent in 1994. By 2001, I was writing on aviation and hospitality. It was at this time that something happened to me.

One day, I was drawing up a list of potential interviewees to profile for the business pages. I had interviewed Richard Branson of Virgin Atlantic and Naresh Goyal of Jet Airways among others. When it came to the media as a domain, I realized that the greatest growth story in the media in India had happened right where I was; at Times House. © Sangita P Menon Malhan © www.liveencounters.net october 2013


S A N G I T A P. M E N O N M A L H A N

Pic Š Sangita Malhan

volume two 2013 2013 december october Š www.liveencounters.net


THE TOI STORY Samir Jain went about making these changes systematically. He brought in concepts hitherto unknown to this domain. Even as rivals looked on, he re-jigged content; put the spotlight on local issues; created supplements with a view to tapping the advertising segment and also to cater to a niche client base; his publications became colourful and snazzy; highbrow pontificating gave way to simpler, clearer, wittier language.

I was curious about how my newspaper had become such a success; why it carried the content that it did; how The TOI became the largest-selling English daily newspaper in the country, and subsequently, in the world. I couldn’t have done justice to the project while working at the newspaper. Besides, I wanted the freedom and the time to pursue the subject. I moved out of The Times in April 2001 to begin my research; without a contract from a publisher for the book; without any support (or obstruction, for that matter) from The TOI; and without a grandiose plan. I did draw up a list of editors and heads of marketing and advertising I was going to interview. I intended to see the story through their eyes, and take in their narrative to get the big picture. People were initially incredulous, even amused by the initiative. But many of them overcame this and shared their stories with me.

The core of Samir Jain’s thought has been that his publications must offer superior value to the advertiser. Every aspect of his business has to be aligned to deliver that. This is the touchstone for decisions and initiatives at the Group. The TOI group, self admittedly, is all about “aggregating audiences for the advertiser”.

Pushed to the limit, this means that if the newspaper is forced to choose between an erudite editor’s expounding on larger national issues and upper middle class professionals worried about water shortage and unsafe neighbourhoods, then the latter would get preference in the columns of the newspaper. If the consuming classes find a certain style of language stiff and uncomfortable, it will be replaced with something lively. If these targeted classes did not have time for long reports, the stories would be crisper. If lifestyle, celebrity, education, travel and fashion were their new priorities, separate supplements would be spun out to serve them, and to serve the advertiser. Samir Jain went about making these changes systematically. He brought in concepts hitherto unknown to this domain. Even as rivals looked on, he re-jigged content; put the spotlight on local issues; created supplements with a view to tapping the advertising segment and also to cater to a niche client base; his publications became colourful and snazzy; highbrow pontificating gave way to simpler, clearer, wittier language. He backed this with clever marketing moves. He combined the advantages of all his main publications and offered them as a collective to the advertiser, thereby changing that pattern once and for all. He hiked the rates for space in certain publications such as The TOI, Bombay where he is the dominant leader, and then sweetened that by offering space in lightweight editions across north India for a nominal, additional fee.

© www.liveencounters.net october 2013


S A N G I T A P. M E N O N M A L H A N As one of the stalwart editors, Girilal Jain, famously observed (and is quoted in The TOI Story): “I do not regard The Times of India as a family owned or company owned newspaper. I regard it as a national institution. …If it were to be run as a companyowned concern, I won’t fit in”. And then, he went on to add: “For me, it (being editor) is national service with a certain amount of payment”.

To attract advertisers in Delhi, where he was a distant second to The Hindustan Times, he spoke of the `value’ that his publications delivered instead of focusing merely on circulation.

People described those changes and the surrounding controversies with great emotion. They told me how Jain shut down many publications of the group, including those which had been launched by his grandparents and were respected among the intelligentsia. They said he wanted to sharpen his focus; they explained how the decision was met with severe shock and indignation, but how he still went ahead. This was fine to the extent that no one could grudge a businessman trying to become more relevant for his audience. Except that the other side of the debate was that this is not a soap business. This is an “institution”. The media has to rise above commerce, as it were, since it had a larger role. The Times of India, with its long tradition and leadership position, was obliged to play that role.

As one of the stalwart editors, Girilal Jain, famously observed (and is quoted in The TOI Story): “I do not regard The Times of India as a family owned or company owned newspaper. I regard it as a national institution. …If it were to be run as a company-owned concern, I won’t fit in”. And then, he went on to add: “For me, it (being editor) is national service with a certain amount of payment”. But Samir Jain was not interested in that “larger role”. He wanted to do what his advertisers wanted, and by extension, that which would touch the sort of readers whom the advertisers targeted. What added colour and interest to these battles was the personality of Samir Jain himself: reclusive, spiritual, focussed, and with an almost uncanny knack of anticipating - and shaping - the demands of his customer.

By and by, the media world began to take Samir Jain seriously. It criticized him, but also watched him closely, and followed what he did. Today, practically every leading newspaper in the country brings out its own supplements; launches localized editions; brings out its own version of the price matrix; rakes in the glamour, the celebrity. It condescends to conquer.

The context in which these changes took place was also conducive. India was beginning to change. Consumerism was no more a dirty word. It was all right to want to make money. Entrepreneurship was emerging. The stranglehold of the government would loosen up. Economic reforms were unleashed with a vengeance. And, Samir Jain had been able to read the message in the wind, and take that leap of faith. In that sense, he becomes the pioneer; also the `perpetrator’ of change. 2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


THE TOI STORY The main concern with this subservience to the news consumer – and by extension, the advertiser – is whether the media is now left pandering to the least common denominator. In its focus on news that you “want to know”, has it completely lost sight of news that you “ought to know”? Is mainstream national media now circumscribed by the narrow and immediate concerns of the middle class, and is unable to take up more in-depth and long term issues?

There are accusations against The Times of India. It `dumbed-down’ journalism. It guillotined the great power of the editorial cadre. It brought in advertorials and entertainment into the newspaper. Some of the columns in its supplements are up for sale. Small newspapers have died. He has `commercialized’ news in India. The Times of India, admittedly, is in the business of advertising, entertainment, or “infotainment”, not news. Indeed change has been coerced on the print medium in the country. Benefits have accrued to the consumer and the advertiser. Pulp and trivia have found a clientele. It is a high-stakes venture. Monetary gains drive the media enterprise like any other. While there are many more players, they often end up as clones of each other.

There has been growth. Readership and circulation are both growing in this country while newspapers across the world are folding up or being consumed by their peers in the digital space. Undoubtedly, all this has had a strong bearing on shaping contemporary media in India. “Aggregating audiences for the advertiser” has been replaced with the supremacy of the TRP, with much greater vigour and clarity.

The main concern with this subservience to the news consumer – and by extension, the advertiser – is whether the media is now left pandering to the least common denominator. In its focus on news that you “want to know”, has it completely lost sight of news that you “ought to know”? Is mainstream national media now circumscribed by the narrow and immediate concerns of the middle class, and is unable to take up more in-depth and long term issues? I refrain from making any judgements here.

The sense I have got from the TOI group is they recognised at some point that they had taken relevance too far and perhaps trivialised issues. Besides reversing some of that, they have also tried to discharge the “national institution” role through multiple social campaigns. It seems to them that young people want to make a difference by participating and doing, more than by analyzing and discussing issues in newspaper columns. What does one expect from the media and from the leader of the pack? With its sizeable resources and reach, we expect more research and analysis; more intervention in areas that matter; and in cases where columns are for sale, perhaps a fuller disclosure!

© www.liveencounters.net october 2013


S A N G I T A P. M E N O N M A L H A N

Of course the environment is changing rapidly. Content is now being “aggregated” in cyber space, tempting one to question the relevance of the media as it exists. That may be a little premature. Knowing The Times of India, one can be certain that there will be profound changes to adapt and win, as the world around us transforms.

I’m glad the opportunity to capture the most defining upheaval in the medium came to me. And, no matter what more happens to print in India, the story of the mid 1980s to the `90s will always be when it all began!

© Sangita P. Menon Malhan

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


PHOTO GALLERY - TORAJA

Sulawesi, Indonesia Living in the mountains of Sulawesi are the Toraja people who are proud, independent and smart. They keep a unique heritage alive and are famous for their Tau Tau figures, effigies of the deceased family members buried in caves in rocks. Major events are funerals in the village with sacrifices of buffalos. White buffalos are the most vulnerable. When I was searching one of the caves hidden in the jungle for the ancient graveyards with boat-like shaped coffins and beautiful ornamental carvings, I met a rice farmer coming home from work. He told me that he was learning Spanish by himself and had visited Europe some time ago, travelling from Amsterdam to Vienna in winter time. Then he returned to work in the rice fields and built a new traditional house. That’s the way Sulawesi people are. There might be a SUV in front of the home and the mummy of grandma in the back of the house – they know how to balance tradition and modern life.

Joo Peter, www.joo-peter.photoshelter.com Text & Pics © Joo Peter

© www.liveencounters.net december october 2013 2013 volume two


JOO PETER

Wooden, carved coffins in a holy cave in Toraja land. The old coffins are shaped like a boat, scientists and local people believe, ancestors of the Torajas came by boat to Sulawesi, shaping houses and coffins like boats in memory of their origin. Pic Š Joo Peter

volume two 2013 2013 december october Š www.liveencounters.net


PHOTO GALLERY - TORAJA

Babies are buried in holes in holy trees, Toraja land, Sulawesi, Indonesia. The little doors covering the hole in the trees, where the babies are buried, are made of hairy palm strings, symbolizing the hair of the mother. Babies are spirits coming from nature, from the trees, so returning back to the trees. When the hole in the tree is closing in the following years, the spirit of the baby has successfully returned to spiritual world and is strong enough to help the family after its death, as a spirit. Š www.liveencounters.net december october 2013 2013 volume two


JOO PETER

Family member in traditional costume at a traditional funeral in a village in Toraja land, Sulawesi, Indonesia Text & Pics Š Joo Peter

volume two 2013 2013 december october Š www.liveencounters.net


PHOTO GALLERY - TORAJA

Š www.liveencounters.net december october 2013 2013 volume two


JOO PETER

Wooden, carved coffins in a holy cave in Toraja land. The old coffins are shaped like a boat, scientists and local people believe, ancestors of the Torajas came by boat to Sulawesi, shaping houses and coffins like boats in memory of their origin. Text & Pics Š Joo Peter

volume two 2013 2013 december october Š www.liveencounters.net


PHOTO GALLERY - TORAJA

Man at a traditional funeral in a village in Toraja land. Š www.liveencounters.net december october 2013 2013 volume two


JOO PETER

Buffalo sacrifice at a funeral in a traditional village in Toraja land. Text & Pics Š Joo Peter

volume two 2013 2013 december october Š www.liveencounters.net


PHOTO GALLERY - TORAJA

Š www.liveencounters.net december october 2013 2013 volume two


JOO PETER

Traditional village in Toraja land. The traditional houses are called Tongkonan. Text & Pics Š Joo Peter

volume two 2013 2013 december october Š www.liveencounters.net


MUKESH BATRA

Dr Batra’s has been at the forefront of homeopathic revolution — transforming the 200-year-old holistic alternative medical system into a modern, safe and effective science. From what started as a small one-room clinic, 32 years ago, Dr Batra’s is today the world’s first and largest homeopathic healthcare corporate, with over 120 clinics located in India and across the globe. As thought leaders in homeopathy, it has been Dr Batra’s constant endeavor to bring the best of homeopathic healthcare, supplanted by technology, within the reach of all.

© www.liveencounters.net october 2013


INTERVIEW

Dr. Mukesh Batra of Dr. Batra’s

speaks to Mark Ulyseas on the launch of his magazine

Homeopathy & You

There is a plethora of magazines on health in the market. Why is H&Y different? India’s first on homeopathy and lifestyle - adds a new dimension to the idea - bringing homeopathic and lifestyle content that you can depend upon, trust and use for your day-to-day and long-term needs. H&Y has set its own benchmark; it is unique not just in terms of content, but also presentation. According to WHO, homeopathy is the second largest system of medicine in the world. The global market estimated at Rs 26,000 crore; India’s homeopathy market is currently worth Rs 2,758 crore. It is expected to reach Rs 5,873 crore by 2017. The homeopathy market has been growing at 30 percent per annum over the last five years. With 150 million people already using homeopathy in India, we felt, as pioneers of this system, that we should take the benefits of this wonderful science to the masses. This prompted us to come up with Homeopathy & You. We believe that the magazine will provide the platform to people to know more about homeopathy. We believe that health awareness is important and a lot can be done if we educate people about health, popularise homeopathy and create awareness about several health issues.

The best part - the ideas and solutions that the magazine presents can be easily incorporated into your and your family’s daily health and lifestyle plan, so that you can maximize your chances for a long, healthy and vibrant life. Put in précis, H&Y empowers you, the reader, with the best there is to create and maintain optimal health and wellness. Is H&Y an in-house magazine of the corporate entity, Dr. Batra’s Group of Companies?

Yes; but the magazine is endowed with complete editorial freedom. It exemplifies independence, not ‘pontification.’

© Dr Mukesh Batra/Mark Ulyseas

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


HOMEOPATHY H&Y is a magazine on homeopathy and lifestyle; it is not a magazine about our company or policies.

What do you hope to achieve with H&Y? Despite growing awareness about health, wellness and homeopathic healing, there exists a gap in terms of objective dissemination of practical health information and knowledge. Homeopathy & You intends to bridge this gap and increase active participation of its readers, their families, and others in the holistic healthcare process. • H&Y seeks to bring about a healthy change by highlighting the importance of routine medical check-ups and management of acute illness and chronic disease — because too often, notwithstanding the World Wide Web and other access to information, most people are ill-equipped to effectively manage their health, • There is also just too much information, or lack of dependable, appropriate knowledge, about our physical, emotional and spiritual health and wellness, or even a lurking fear of ‘taking control’ of one’s own health

• H&Y is keyed to give you all the tools you need to take care of your health and, in so doing, empower you with relevant, up-to-the-minute, trustworthy and succinct information, encompassing every area of your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health

• H&Y explores health issues affecting all stages of life, including lifestyle, nutrition, diet, fitness, exercise and environment, in a new, practical light, in tune with homeopathy and its signature tune that ‘nature, be my teacher.’ This only means there will be something for everybody... literally.

Do you think it is ethical for a company that manufactures and markets medicines to be associated with a health magazine because editorial objectivity may be compromised? H&Y is a magazine on homeopathy and lifestyle; it is not a magazine about our company or policies. Is the editorial content centred on your products/services or are there articles on the whole gamut of health issues/treatments, some not related to your company/products?

Not really; all articles are ‘keyed’ to focus on a whole range or gamut of issues without favor or bias.

© www.liveencounters.net october 2013


MUKESH BATRA

2013 october Š www.liveencounters.net


HOMEOPATHY H&Y explores health issues affecting all stages of life, including lifestyle, nutrition, diet, fitness, exercise and environment, in a new, practical light, in tune with homeopathy and its signature tune that ‘nature, be my teacher.’ This only means there will be something for everybody... literally.

Who are your contributors? And how are they qualified to write for H&Y? Our writers make us what we are and sustain to be — leaders in homeopathic and wellness information and knowledge. Our writers and columnists are top-notch, internationally-renowned, university qualified, certified and licensed homeopaths, physicians, or respected names, in their respective specialties, or areas of interest. What does this signify? That the information provided in the magazine is free of bias and based exclusively on their evidence-based practices, or long years of experience. Dr Mukesh Batra, a homeopath of international repute, is Founder-Chairman, Dr Batra’s. In a career spanning four decades, Dr Batra has treated over a million patients, including presidents and prime ministers, and revolutionized the way homeopathy is practiced today. A writer, photographer, singer and philanthropist, Dr Batra has been honored with several fellowships and over 50 national and international awards, including the Padma Shri by the President of India. He has authored several books, including the critically-acclaimed cyclopedic work, Healing with Homeopathy. He lives in Mumbai.

Dr. Akshay ., the first-ever trichologist from Asia to be elected President of the Trichological Society of London, his alma mater, is Managing Director, Dr Batra’s. He is the youngest and the firstever non-UK-based trichologist to receive the prestigious Robert Olding Award for outstanding achievement in the field of trichology. He is also India’s first hair specialist to be associated with the European Hair Research Society [EHRS]. His published work includes the first-of-its-kind and landmark book, Hair: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About It, which is available at all good bookstores and on www.flipkart.com. He lives in Mumbai. Dr Rajgopal Nidamboor, Editor-Publisher, is a Board Certified wellness physician-turned-writer, commentator, critic, columnist and author. In a writing career spanning 35 years, Dr Nidamboor has published hundreds of newspaper, magazine, and Web articles, essays, meditations, and critiques, on a host of subjects. His published books include four self-help titles on natural health, published in the UK, two coffee table books, published in Australia, a handful of E-books, and a primer on medical therapeutics, aside from an encyclopedic treatise on Indian philosophy. © www.liveencounters.net october 2013


MUKESH BATRA H&Y seeks to bring about a healthy change by highlighting the importance of routine medical check-ups and management of acute illness and chronic disease — because too often, notwithstanding the World Wide Web and other access to information, most people are ill-equipped to effectively manage their health,

Kavita Nadkarni, Assistant Editor, is a writer and healthcare communications professional. She holds a degree in microbiology with a master’s in bio-informatics. She has managed editorial teams in media groups, specialising in healthcare and pharmaceutical publications. Her other areas of interest include complementary medicine and alternative healthcare. Columnists

Maneka Gandhi is a noted politician, animal rights activist, writer and environmentalist. She is also equally well-known for her books in the areas of etymology, law and animal welfare. Dr Richard Firshein, Founder-Director of The Firshein Center for Comprehensive Medicine in New York City, is a leading innovator and authority in the field of preventative and nutritional medicine, integrating both Eastern and Western medical practices. He is Board Certified in Family Medicine and has served as professor of family medicine. An internationally recognized leader in the field of integrative medicine and healthy aging, a cancer researcher, prolific author and writer, Dr. Firshein has written several groundbreaking books, including the bestselling Reversing Asthma, Your AsthmaFree Child, The Nutraceutical Revolution and, most recently, The Vitamin Prescription [For Life]. Kerry Dulin, a world-renowned fitness guru, first got into professional bodybuilding at age 40. He won his first bodybuilding competition, at age 41. Now 54, with a physique that would put someone half his age to shame, Dulin has, what he calls “a manageable program,” 12 top trophies to show for his fitness endeavors and three health and fitness Websites. He lives in the US.

Nelressa Stallings, a copywriter-PR consultant, writer, teacher and ESL instructor, is a qualified life-coach. An Indophile, Stallings has worked and consulted at top companies like HarperCollins, Pentagram Design, Exceed Communications, Scholastic, and DirecTV, aside from Dow Jones. A resident of New York City, she now lives in the Middle East. Radhanath Swami, a spiritual guide of international repute, is the author of the bestselling book, The Journey Home. Ambika Shukla is Trustee of People for Animals, India’s largest animal welfare organization and Director of Sanjay Gandhi Animal Care Centre. She shares her home in New Delhi with ten dogs.

© Dr Mukesh Batra/Mark Ulyseas

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


HEALTH

Pic © Mark Ulyseas

© www.liveencounters.net december october 2013 2013 volume two


CANDESS M CAMPBELL

Energy Medicine: Kinesiology and Muscle Testing Some of the most helpful tools of Energy Medicine include kinesiology and muscle testing. I use at least one of them in my life on a daily basis. What is kinesiology?

According to http://dictionary.reference.com it is defined as “the science dealing with the interrelationship of the physiological processes and anatomy of the human body with respect to movement.”

In the forward to Dr. Hawkins’s book, Power vs. Force: The Hidden Determinants of Behavior, editor E. Whalen gives the history of kinesiology. I could not say it better, so I will quote him: The study of kinesiology first received scientific attention in the second half of the last century through the work of Dr. George Goodheart, who pioneered the specialty he called applied kinesiology after finding that benign physical stimuli—for instance, beneficial nutritional supplements—would increase the strength of certain indicator muscles, whereas hostile stimuli would cause those muscles to suddenly weaken. The implication was that at a level far below conceptual consciousness, the body “knew,” and through muscle testing was able to signal, what was good or bad for it. Whalen further explains, “Dr. John Diamond refined this specialty into a new discipline he called behavioral kinesiology.” Diamond realized that the indicator muscles would grow stronger in response to “positive or negative emotional and intellectual stimuli, as well as physical stimuli.” Dr. Hawkins took this concept further when he began researching the “kinesiological response to truth and falsehood” in 1975.

This is a simple explanation of kinesiology. Begin with two people. One is the subject, and the other is the tester. Have the subject stand tall, with one arm raised straight out from the side of the body and parallel to the floor. If it is the subject’s left arm that is extended, then the tester faces the subject and places his or her left hand on the subject’s right shoulder. It is suggested that the subject not look directly at the tester, but rather over the tester’s shoulder. The tester then places her or his right hand on the subject’s left wrist, with his or her palm facing downward. The tester can instruct the subject to resist when the tester pushes down on the wrist. Then the tester pushes down firmly on the wrist. © Candess M Campbell

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


HEALTH A specific way in which you might want to use this tool is to test the level of life energy in the food you eat. Imagine a scale. For example, you may use percentages. Let’s use the example of an apple. As soon as the apple is picked from the tree, it begins to lose its life energy. This life energy is what nourishes your body. When you choose an apple, test the apple for the level of life left in it. A level of 100% would be the highest level of life, and 0% the lowest.

The idea is to see whether the response is strong or weak, and there should be a bounce. It is not good for the tester to push too hard or for the subject to strain to resist, as this will fatigue the arm. Different people have different amounts of bounce in their arm as they are tested. Over time, the tester will know their testing answer—yes or no—quickly.

When you begin the kinesiology, the first question to ask should be a yes or no question or statement to ensure information is being received correctly. If you are the subject, an example would be for you to say, “My name is [your name].” When you test, you would get a yes response by your arm being strong while the tester pushes on it. Your next statement might be, “My name is Minnie Mouse.” In this case, you would get a no response, meaning the arm the tester is pushing would be weak. To see if you are going to get an accurate response to subsequent questions, you should test strong for what is true and weak for what is false in this initial set, as it is a very simple example in which you know the answers. Cross Crawl

If you are getting the wrong responses, then you are not communicating with yourself accurately. In this case, there are a couple of things you can do. One is to have a large glass of water. You may be dehydrated. The other would be a cross crawl. The cross crawl is an energy technique taught by Donna Eden in her book Energy Medicine. She explains that it “facilitates the crossover of energy between the brain’s right and left hemispheres.” She adds that the technique helps you to “feel more balanced, think more clearly, improve your coordination, and harmonize your energies.” Eden explains the steps for this technique as follows: 1. While standing, lift your right arm and left leg simultaneously.

2. After you let them down, raise your left arm and right leg. If you are unable to do this because, for instance, you are confined to a wheelchair, simply lift your knees to the opposite elbows, or twist your upper torso so your arm passes over the midline of your body. 3. Repeat, this time exaggerating the lift of your leg and the swing of your arm across the midline to the opposite side of your body.

4. Continue in this exaggerated march for at least a minute, again breathing deeply in through your nose and out through your mouth.

I have included this information because kinesiology is an incredible diagnostic tool, as well as one that is extremely useful in self-healing. Many integrative health practitioners use kinesiology. © www.liveencounters.net october 2013


CANDESS M CAMPBELL

What is muscle testing? Some people assert kinesiology and muscle testing are not the same. My assessment is that the ways in which the tests are conducted are different, but the results are the same. Kinesiology requires two people and muscle testing you can do yourself. You are able to use muscle testing personally in many ways. Once you learn the muscle testing, you will be able to adapt this tool to your lifestyle. When you use it on yourself for healing, be aware that you must also remain neutral with no intention or expectation. At times this can be difficult. For myself, when I realize I may have Ego involved in the outcome, I will ask someone else to help me. I have created the process with photos for you to learn muscle testing on my website LINK. A specific way in which you might want to use this tool is to test the level of life energy in the food you eat. Imagine a scale. For example, you may use percentages. Let’s use the example of an apple. As soon as the apple is picked from the tree, it begins to lose its life energy. This life energy is what nourishes your body. When you choose an apple, test the apple for the level of life left in it. A level of 100% would be the highest level of life, and 0% the lowest. To apply muscle testing using your fingers, either take the apple in one hand or touch one of your hands against the apple and test, starting at 10%, 20%, and so on, and see how high the percentage gets before your fingers release, signifying a no. That will give you knowledge about the level of life the apple has retained. I try to find food that has at least 70% of life left. During the summer, your food generally will have higher life energy. Think about it: how much life do you suppose is available in a can of green beans? Try muscle testing it and see. If you need further information or instruction on this technique, you may want to check out the videos called “Kinesiology” on my website at LINK.

I have been blessed in having this tool at my disposal at several key moments in my life. One time that stands out for me was several years ago when my family—my dog Friday, my cat Kayla, and I— got sick at the same time. Friday and I fared well and recovered, but Kayla had a more difficult time. One evening I decided to take her to the pet emergency center. A friend of mine was in town and staying with me, so we went together. The vet checked Kayla and said he wanted to run a set of tests to see what was wrong. Well, truthfully, I have been resistive to medical testing and procedures as a first response, so I asked him if he would work with me. I asked what he was looking for with respect to the test results. He explained to me what organs might be involved in Kayla’s illness. My response was to muscle test, and my testing showed it was the stomach. Then I asked him, “If it’s the stomach, what would the treatment be?” He gave me the names of a couple of medications he thought might be helpful in that circumstance. I muscle tested and picked a medication. Kayla was severely dehydrated, having been sick for a few days, and the vet kept her overnight. 2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


HEALTH

The next day when we went to get her, the vet announced, “She’s good!” We looked at him questioningly, and he responded that he had decided to run the test on his own, the results of which indicated that I had been right. The problem was with the stomach, and the medicine Kayla had muscle tested for was what he would have given her. I was delighted with this feedback and the ability to act as a bridge between traditional medicine and energy medicine. I shared with the vet about Reiki as well, which I touched on earlier in this book and will talk about more again in the last week. Another example that surprised me took place when I awoke one morning and found something wrong with my neck. It was kinked, and my head was twisted to the left in an odd position. I was in so much pain that I could hardly move, and when I moved accidentally, it really hurt. I was frightened and didn’t know what to do. I had neither medical insurance nor a regular medical doctor. Finally, I remembered my friend, who was a massage therapist. I called him and asked if he could help me. He came right over with his massage table and intuitively asked me some specific questions that had to do with my beliefs. He used muscle testing as well.

As he began asking me questions, I had a strange image of a past lifetime. I saw that in the past lifetime, my husband was physically abusive to my (our) children. My response had been to look away; I didn’t do anything to help them. Once I realized this as I lay on the massage table, I felt remorseful. Then the muscles in my neck loosened, and I was fine. I realized then that this image had been triggered by a John Grisham movie I viewed the previous evening, in which there was a similar scene. It appeared that my neck became stuck as I would not turn my head to look at what was happening to my children. The effect of Robert’s kinesiology and his newly learned skill at asking just the right questions to get to the core of the issue turned out to be miraculous. Dreams can also cause this kind of situation, and the healing would be the same process. I am confident it was from a past life only because I have been taking clients through past life hypnotherapy for many years. Invite your friends to learn this special tool with you so you can practice together. Below are a few exercises you can use to develop your skill. Tools and Exercises

1. Write down some declarative statements, one per paper, to practice kinesiology. Fold the paper so you do not know what each paper says. Find a friend and practice kinesiology. Hold the paper near your solar plexus (in front of your body under your heart), while your friend tests your non-dominant arm. You may want to test movies, politicians, or medical providers in your life. © www.liveencounters.net october 2013


CANDESS M CAMPBELL

2.

3.

Go to LINK to learn the steps to muscle testing.

Watch the videos to learn to test your food LINK.

4. Go to the grocery store and test the food you pick. Use a percentage scale. You will be surprised at the difference from one piece of fruit to the next. Be sure to allow yourself to test without getting your Ego or head involved, because it is important to be in a neutral state. In addition to testing foods to determine the general level of life force in them, you can test food to see whether a particular food is likely to support your body. Think of the food, or hold it, and say the following to yourself, either silently or out loud: “This food, [whatever it is], will support my body and my health.” You will get a strong response or a weak one. The response will tell you whether it is wise for you to have the food at that time. I almost always use this technique when I want to have a cup of coffee, ice cream, or a glass of wine. These are foods that my body will accept at some times and not at others. There is also a video on my website that teaches how to muscle test food. This is only one aspect of energy medicine. In my book 12 Weeks to Self-Healing: Transforming Pain through Energy Medicine there is much to learn about acupuncture, flower essences, essential oils, the chakras, crystals and more. US Amazon

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© Candess M Campbell

2013 october © www.liveencounters.net


HEROES OF 2013

Photograph courtesy Randhir Khare Š www.liveencounters.net december october 2013 2013 volume two


MARK ULYSEAS

Heroes of 2013 Hope is the seed of life, an energy that lies dormant within us ready to sprout forth when all else fails...even love.

2013 is for many just another rung up the ladder towards self-indulgence. But for millions of faceless people it has been a long hard struggle to survive the rigours of living on the periphery of Life... And in spite of all the hardships, humiliation and starvation, these folk have prevailed with hope in their hearts and faith in their Gods.

These people are in truth the heroes of 2013 for they, in their fallen grace, have risen above the inhumanity of humanity to find sustenance in all that is good, wholesome and life embracing. It is these people who have stood up and walked the road when all were being slaughtered around them. ..blood being the water of death and dust, reality between the teeth.

Let us for a moment be thankful to these heroes of 2013 for believing in Life... for keeping the true spirit of humanity alive, like an oil lamp glowing un-flickering in a thunder storm...these faceless starving folk carrying their emaciated children and meagre belongings with the hope that over the horizon somewhere, someone, would open their homes to them, to give them shelter, food and dignity...while the well fed and clothed have watched with a deadly disconnection the shenanigans of power politics and gendarmes of faith decimate with ruthlessness the innocence of humanity...the defenceless, unarmed people who want simply to live their lives in peace. The heroes of 2013 are the unsung refugees, the homeless, the disenfranchised languishing on street corners like abandoned dogs, abused women and orphaned children and more. Sadly there are no awards for these wretched souls. They are the forgotten, misplaced people whose lives are not worth rewarding in every sense of the word. They are the expendables.

And yet, in them, hope glows brightly. Om Shanti Shanti Shanti Om

Š Mark Ulyseas

2013 october Š www.liveencounters.net


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Pic by Mark Ulyseas Š www.liveencounters.net october 2013


Live Encounters Annual Volume Four 2013