brad brace

10/26/2007

Filed under: Film,General — admin @ 5:40 am

Majimbo

Filed under: General,global islands,government,kenya — admin @ 5:39 am

(Nairobi)
Only a federal system of government (majimbo) can uplift the living standards of Kenyans, ODM-K presidential candidate Kalonzo Musyoka said on Sunday.

He said majimbo had been misconstrued to look like a recipe for chaos by its opponents and this had instilled fears among Kenyans, yet it was a harmless system that would guarantee equitable distribution of wealth.

“Majimbo simply means a region and was well defined in the Bomas draft constitution which was well received by majority of the people of Kenya,” he said.

According to him, only a few individuals in the Party of National Unity (PNU) were against what was good for Kenyans.

Identified regions

He said that the Bomas draft had identified various regions that would form jimbos. These were Luo Nyanza, the greater Kisii, upper Rift, South Rift, Central, Central Eastern, Lower Eastern and Coast among others.

Mr Musyoka was speaking at Tononoka Grounds in Mombasa at the climax of his three-day campaign tour of the Coast Province.

Giving examples of disparities in the distribution of resources, he said Coast Province contributed Sh57 billion to the Treasury in 2003 but still lacked basic infrastructure.

During the same period Nairobi gave Sh129 billion while Central Province delivered about Sh1 billion. But when it came to disbursement of funds, he said Central Province gets the lion’s share while the Coast got very little.

“Majimbo is the only system that can correct the imbalance in the distribution of the national cake. Regions like the Coast that produce a lot of revenue have to get their rightful share to address economic and social development,” he said. According to him, the area had been marginalised for many years “and this must come to an end.”

PNU has strongly opposed majimbo, saying that it would divide the country along ethnic lines and that it might trigger chaos.

Some PNU leaders have said that people who do not come from particular regions will be evicted by indigenous people. However, both ODM and ODM-K have said this would not happen.

Contradicted

The position taken by Mr Musyoka contradicted that of his party secretary-general, Mr Mutula Kilonzo, who said majimbo was an idea whose time came and went and it should be left to rest.

“It is unfortunate that men and women who were teenagers or younger when the debate for majimbo in the 1960s polarised the country should be the ones to bring it back,” he said.

“It is a political backslide and worse, they are confusing federalism as a political system with Majimbo, a tribal snake pit,” Mr Kilonzo said in his opinion piece.

Mr Musyoka, who praised the system, asked Coast residents to reject PNU and Shirikisho Party of Kenya whose leaders have opposed to majimbo.

“After sensing defeat, these people are now creating fear yet they know too well that Coast people and others from marginalised communities have suffered under the unitary system,” he said.

Earlier, Mr Musyoka had pledged to engineer economic and social change in the country if he wins the General Election.

He said: “Today, I take this opportunity to make a solemn pledge of ensuring that there is change in this country should I win the top seat.

“It is evident that majority of Kenyans are hit hard by poverty making life for them unbearable. I will ensure equitable distribution of the national cake to benefit all and sundry.”

The Mwingi North MP spoke at the Jesus Celebration Centre in Bamburi where he attended a service before addressing a well attended rally at the Tononoka Grounds.

At the rally, Bahari MP Joe Khamisi said he was shocked by President Kibaki’s rejection of majimbo but assured Kenyans that ODM-K will revive the Bomas draft which contains the tenets of the system. “It is sad that Shirikisho Party of Kenya whose ideology is against unitary government has now joined PNU which is opposed to majimbo,” he said.

He said president Kibaki was solely to blame for the problems that Kenyans were facing and should stop blaming it on the opposition.

“I do not deny the fact that I served in both Moi and Kibaki governments but I was just a mere minister who had no powers to authorise anything because the Presidents had all the powers to make things happen,” he said.

Mr Musyoka said if elected, his administration would set up a metropolitan police force in Nairobi and Mombasa to root out insecurity and allow businesses to operate round the clock.

“Hawkers have suffered for long in the hands city askaris but promised to turn hawking into cottage industry to enable small scale traders do their business in dignity and build a strong economy,” he said.

Muslims cheated

Mr Musyoka said the Muslim community in Kenya was being cheated by some leaders who want to use them for their political gains then dump them.

Muslims have rights like all other Kenyans and this will be guaranteed under an ODM K government, he said.

His running mate, Dr Julia Ojiambo said cases of insecurity were rampant and this had caused bitterness among Kenyans. She called on Kenyans to vote for Mr Musyoka because he was focused on security and peace.

She also urged wananchi to avoid violence during the campaigns.

10/25/2007

Filed under: Film,General — admin @ 5:05 am

Kenya police deny sect killings

Filed under: General,kenya,police — admin @ 5:03 am

Kenyan police have denied carrying out extra-judicial killings of alleged members of the outlawed Mungiki sect.

Police spokesman Eric Kiraithe dismissed the allegation of police executions of suspects as “outrageous”.

The Kenya National Human Rights Commission (KNHRC) had made the claim after investigating incidences of dead bodies being dumped around the capital.

In June, the president ordered police to hunt down Mungiki sect members blamed for a series of grisly murders.

“Even if you hide, we will find you and kill you,” President Mwai Kibaki had said in a warning to members of the quasi-religious sect which was outlawed in 2002.

Mungiki followers have been demanding protection fees from public transport operators, slum dwellers and other businessmen in and around Nairobi.

Those who refuse are often brutally murdered.

Arrests

Mr Kiraithe said KNHRC’s allegations were a plot to discredit the government in the run-up to the December elections.

Mungiki followers

Rise of Kenya’s vigilantes

A news agency reports that more than a dozen bloodied bodies have been dumped in bush on the outskirts of Nairobi in the past week.

The state-sponsored KNHRC has been investigating whether these and other killings were the victims of police executions.

KNHRC commissioner Hassan Omar said the organisation had reports of “cars being driven to secret locations with suspects” followed by “gunshots, then dead bodies and food for the hyenas”.

Mr Omar said some of the latest victims may have been innocent of any crime.

But Mr Kiraithe insisted that police officers followed the rule of law when dealing with suspects.

After the president’s directive, police raided the Nairobi slum of Mathare to arrest hundreds of suspected sect members.

At least 30 people died in gun battles with police during that operation, leading the human rights organisation Amnesty International to call for an enquiry.

10/24/2007

Filed under: Film,General — admin @ 5:25 am

Drunk elephants kill six people

Filed under: General,india,wildlife — admin @ 5:19 am

Assam is home to half of India’s elephants.

Drunken elephants have trampled at least six people to death in the northeast Indian state of Assam, local officials say.

The herd of wild elephants stumbled across the supplies of homemade rice beer after they destroyed granaries in search of food.

The incident happened near Tinsukia, 550 kilometres (344 miles) from the Assam capital, Guwahati.

“They smashed huts and plundered granaries and broke open casks to drink rice beer. The herd then went berserk killing six people,” a forestry official said.

Police said four of those killed were children.

According to experts, elephants often emerge from Assam’s forests in search of food.

But much to the annoyance of the local residents, they destroy rice fields and granaries.

Environmental questions

Growing elephant numbers and the devastation of the animal’s natural habitat are partly to blame for the problem.

Officials in Assam say at least 150 people have been killed by elephants in the last two years.

The deaths have led villagers to kill up to 200 elephants.

“It has been noticed that elephants have developed a taste for rice beer and local liquor and they always look for it when they invade villages,” an elephant expert in Guwahati said.

The region is home to more than half of India’s elephant population, estimated at 10,000.

The Assam Government’s protection of elephants over the last 20 years, including a ban on their hunting, has led numbers to increase to about 5,500.

10/23/2007

Filed under: Film,General — admin @ 11:36 am

Overview

Filed under: General,global islands,nicaragua — admin @ 11:35 am

The Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua is (economically speaking) the poorest region of a very poor country.

It has a distinctive history of conquest, colonization and resource exploitation that has left it underdeveloped and environmentally depleted, with high levels of unemployment and poverty, and low levels of schooling, health and other social services.

This area of Nicaragua now comprises two autonomous regions: R.A.A.N (Región Autónoma Atlántico Norte – North Atlantic Autonomous Region) and R.A.A.S. (Región Autónoma Atlántico Sur – South Atlantic Autonomous Region), whose respective capitals are Bilwi (formerly Puerto Cabezas) and Bluefields.

The Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua comprises 57% of the national territory and has a vast supply of natural resources. The marine life on the Caribbean coast is unparalleled, the coastal rainforests are second only to those in Brazil, and the region’s mineral resources have the potential to yield $5 billion. Foreign companies, with concessions granted by the central government in Managua, have extracted vast amounts of these resources – leaving behind only massive pollution, erosion, and contamination. URACCAN intends to provide the basis for the ecologically sound development of abundant seafood, mining, and forestry resources for the benefit of people who live on the Coast.

In contrast to the Pacific Coast region of the country, the social and cultural distinctness of the Caribbean Coast is striking. While the Pacific Coast population is quite homogeneous: 96% Mestizo (of mixed indigenous and Spanish ancestry), almost 100% Spanish-speaking, and predominantly Roman Catholic, the Caribbean Coast is home to six different ethninc groups speaking four different languages.

The Mayangna (Sumu) and Rama are direct descendents of indigenous peoples now much-reduced in number; only the Mayangna still speak their own language. The indigenous Miskitu people have, since the 17th Century, undergone a process of inter-marriage with people of African origin and Afro-Caribbean immigrants. They represent the largest of the Coast’s ethnic minorities, and still speak their own language. Next in size is the population of English-speaking Creoles, descendents of white settlers on the Coast and their African slaves imported in the 18th Century, and of further migrations of Afro-Caribbean workers from Jamaica and Belize. Spanish-speaking Mestizos, who have migrated from the Pacific Coast region at various periods in search of land or work, now constitute the majority group. There is also a small population of Black Caribs, descended from black slaves, who ran away or were shipwrecked along Central America’s Caribbean Coast in the 18th and 19th Centuries, and who inter-bred with indigenous Carib indians. Their language (Garifunu) is still alive in the larger Caribbean settlements of Belize and the Bay Islands of Honduras, but the Nicaraguan Caribs speak Creole English.

A Brief History of the Coast

Nicaragua is unique in that it is the only country in Latin America that was colonized by two powers. The western side was colonized by Spain, which implemented a policy that resulted in the complete annihilation of indigenous peoples. The evidence of their culture is now minimal and limited mostly to folklore. Years of colonization has resulted in the destruction of their identity, language and social organization. In their place, a Mestizo, Spanish-speaking, Catholic culture has evolved.

The eastern, or Caribbean coast, however, has a different history. It was colonized by Great Britain, and for its own reasons, which had nothing to do with the interests of indigenous people, Great Britain implemented a policy that in the end resulted in the survival of three indigenous groups, including the Miskitu, Sumu, and Rama, and three multi-ethnic communities, including the Creole and Garifunu.

The differences between the two regions were exacerbated when, in 1894, the Nicaraguan military Рwith the help of the U.S. military Рinvaded the Caribbean coast, forcing territorial integration, to which Coste̱os (people of the Caribbean coast) were resolutely opposed. From that moment on, successive Nicaraguan administrations began implementing policies that sought to impose the primacy and dominance of Mestizo culture. Indigenous cultures and languages of the Caribbean coast were delegitimized by governmental decree. Economic policies based on the granting of licenses and concessions to foreign companies to exploit the natural resources of the region fostered increased resentment and antagonism, as Coste̱os witnessed the extraction of great wealth without any tangible benefit to the region.

The Autonomy Law, first implemented under the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) government in 1987, sought to redress the injustices created by centuries of foreign and internal colonialism. The autonomy process legitimizes and acts upon the demands of the Costeños to reclaim their historic right to the natural resources of the region as well as the right to defend, preserve, and promote their identity, history, culture and traditions

Indigenous Rama People

The Rama people are the smallest ethnic group living on the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua. The assessment of the Rama population was never very high. It was estimated at 500 by 1827 and 285 in 1909, with a lowest citation of 164 by 1865. The total Rama population today in 2003 is said to be above 1000.

The Ramas may have been relatively late comers to Nicaragua. The name Rama did not appear in the colonial documents until the eighteenth century. The Ramas are considered descendants of the Votos, who at the time of the conquest occupied a territory extending from the Rio Escondido north of Bluefields lagoon to the Rio San Juan which forms today the border between Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Traditionally the Ramas lived in small scattered settlements, moving about and hiding from intruders in the tropical forest.

At the turn of the XVIIth century the Miskitus granted the Ramas a small island in the lagoon of Bluefields in recognition of their help in fighting off Terraba Indians from the south. An estimated 200 Ramas from the coastal area of Punta Gorda moved to the island which became known from then on as Rama Cay. The island is thirteen kilometers south of Bluefields. (The trip from Rama Cay to the market town of Bluefields takes about four hours on average by dug-out canoe (`dory’ in Creole), and from an hour and a half to thirty minutes by motor boat.). Today the vast majority of the Rama population lives on Rama Cay.

By the mid-eighties, the Ramas found themselves in the midst of discussions for the autonomy of their region, which included claims by all ethnic groups of the region to the use and development of their ethnic languages. This is how a delegation of Ramas from Rama Cay approached the Sandinista authorities of Bluefields in 1984 to ask for help in saving their Rama language. A “Rama Language Project” (RLP) originally aiming at the revitalization of the Rama language was initiated in the mid-eighties. It was sponsored by CIDCA (Centro de Investigación y Documentación de la Costa Atlántica), the institution in charge of research in the region, including all language programs.

10/22/2007

Filed under: Film,General — admin @ 4:38 am

As Bangkok slowly sinks, Thailand hunts for solutions

Filed under: General,global islands,nicaragua,thailand,usa,weather — admin @ 4:35 am

KHUN SAMUT CHIN, Thailand — At Bangkok’s watery gates, Buddhist monks cling to a shrinking spit of land around their temple as they wage war against the relentlessly rising sea.

During the monsoons at high tide, waves hurdle the breakwater of concrete pillars and the inner rock wall around the temple on a promontory in the Gulf of Thailand. Jutting above the water line just ahead are remnants of a village that already has slipped beneath the sea.

Experts say these waters, aided by sinking land, threaten to submerge Thailand’s sprawling capital of more than 10 million people within this century. Bangkok is one of 13 of the world’s largest 20 cities at risk of being swamped as sea levels rise in coming decades, according to warnings at the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change held here.

The city, built on clay rather than bedrock, has been sinking as much as 4 inches annually as its teeming population and factories pump some 2.5 million cubic tons of cheaply priced water, legally and illegally, out of its aquifers. This compacts the layers of clay and causes the land to sink.

Everyone — the government, scientists and environmental groups — agrees Bangkok is headed for trouble, but there is some debate about when.

Once known as the “Venice of the East,” Bangkok was founded 225 years ago on a swampy floodplain along the Chao Phraya River. But beginning in the 1950s, on the advice of international development agencies, most of the canals were filled in to make roads and combat malaria. This fractured the natural drainage system that had helped control Bangkok’s annual monsoon season flooding.

Smith Dharmasaroja, chair of the government’s Committee of National Disaster Warning Administration, urges that work start now on a dike system of more than 60 miles — protective walls about 16 feet high, punctured by water gates and with roads on top, not unlike the dikes long used in low-lying Netherlands to ward off the sea. The dikes would run on both banks of the Chao Phraya River and then fork to the right and left at the mouth of the river.

Oceanographer Anond Snidvongs, a leading scientist in the field, says other options must also be explored, including water-diversion channels, more upcountry dams and the “monkey cheeks” idea of King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The king, among the first to alert Bangkokians about the yearly flooding, has suggested diverting off-flow from the surges into reservoirs, the “cheeks,” for later release into the gulf.

As authorities ponder, communities like Khun Samut Chin, 12 miles from downtown Bangkok, are taking action.

The five monks at the temple and surrounding villagers are building the barriers from locally collected donations and planting mangrove trees to halt shoreline erosion.

The odds are against them. About half a mile of shoreline has already been lost over the past three decades, in large part due to the destruction of once-vast mangrove forests. The abbot, Somnuk Attipanyo, says about one-third of the village’s original population was forced to move.

Endangered cities

Cities around the world are facing the danger of rising seas and other disasters related to climate change. Thirty-three cities are predicted to have at least 8 million people by 2015. According to studies by the United Nations and others, these 18 are among those considered to be highly vulnerable:

City Country

Dhaka Bangladesh
Buenos Aires Argentina
Rio de Janeiro Brazil
Shanghai, Tianjin China
Alexandria, Cairo Egypt
Mumbai, Calcutta India
Jakarta Indonesia
Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe Japan
Lagos Nigeria
Karachi Pakistan
Bangkok Thailand
New York, Los Angeles U.S.

Filed under: Film,General — admin @ 4:26 am

Artist turns Trevi's waters red

Filed under: art,General — admin @ 4:22 am

Police fear fountain’s marble could be stained
Rome, October 19 – The waters of Rome’s famous Trevi Fountain turned blood red on Friday after a man threw paint into the basin in a bizarre act of vandalism apparently inspired by the Futurists of the early 20th century.

The man, reportedly wearing a beret and a light-coloured jacket, struck at around 4.30 pm and then disappeared into the crowd of tourists, leaving behind a pile of leaflets. The fountain, which re-uses the same water in a continuous cycle, soon started spurting red water into the air from its jets, providing an unprecedented spectacle which tourists immediately began photographing.

Police said they were afraid that the marble of the fountain could be damaged by the continued contact with the red water.

The leaflets found beside the fountain claimed that the colouring of the monument had been carried out by ‘FTM Futurist Action 2007’, a name which had never been heard of before.

The leaflet said this group aimed to battle against “everything and everyone with a spirit of healthy violence” and to turn this “grey bourgeois society into a triumph of colour”.

The baroque fountain is a tourist magnet and one of the symbols of Rome. Ever since actress Anita Ekberg frolicked in its waters in Federico Fellini’s 1960 film classic La Dolce Vita, there has been a succession of tourists who have tried to do the same thing.

Until now no one had ever changed the colour of its waters.

Artist turns Trevi’s waters red

Filed under: art,General — admin @ 4:22 am

Police fear fountain’s marble could be stained
Rome, October 19 – The waters of Rome’s famous Trevi Fountain turned blood red on Friday after a man threw paint into the basin in a bizarre act of vandalism apparently inspired by the Futurists of the early 20th century.

The man, reportedly wearing a beret and a light-coloured jacket, struck at around 4.30 pm and then disappeared into the crowd of tourists, leaving behind a pile of leaflets. The fountain, which re-uses the same water in a continuous cycle, soon started spurting red water into the air from its jets, providing an unprecedented spectacle which tourists immediately began photographing.

Police said they were afraid that the marble of the fountain could be damaged by the continued contact with the red water.

The leaflets found beside the fountain claimed that the colouring of the monument had been carried out by ‘FTM Futurist Action 2007’, a name which had never been heard of before.

The leaflet said this group aimed to battle against “everything and everyone with a spirit of healthy violence” and to turn this “grey bourgeois society into a triumph of colour”.

The baroque fountain is a tourist magnet and one of the symbols of Rome. Ever since actress Anita Ekberg frolicked in its waters in Federico Fellini’s 1960 film classic La Dolce Vita, there has been a succession of tourists who have tried to do the same thing.

Until now no one had ever changed the colour of its waters.

10/21/2007

Filed under: Film,General — admin @ 6:33 am

Ortega says foreign textile firms `enslaving' workers

Filed under: General,global islands,nicaragua — admin @ 6:30 am

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega has accused foreign textile companies, mostly Taiwanese, of “enslaving” workers and leaving the country instead of paying higher wages.

Ortega said several industries closed in free zones following the government’s recent decision to increase the minimum wage by 18 percent.

“There is talk that the companies are going to leave the free zones, that people are going to be left unemployed,” the leftist Ortega said in a speech late on Wednesday.

“When they find that they have to pay more, it is no longer worthwhile and they leave,” he said.

The president said the owners of textile industries “enslave” Nicaraguan female workers, forcing them to work long hours in exchange for “the lowest salaries in all of Central America.”

“When they see that they should increase their employees’ wages by 18 percent, they decide to leave for places like … China and Vietnam, although they are Taiwanese,” Ortega said.

The Nicaraguan president said his country needed “long-term investment and not this kind.”

Free zones, which offer incentives to foreign companies by cutting tariffs and quotas, started to operate in Nicaragua in 1990 and have become an important source of jobs. More than 83,000 people work in 112 firms, most of them from Taiwan, South Korea and the US.

Miguel Ruiz, secretary general of the Sandinista Workers Union, which is close to the government, said on Wednesday that at least five factories have closed this year.

He attributed the fact to “a 30 percent reduction in work orders.”

In related news, Taiwanese Ambassador to Nicaragua Wu Chin-mu (???), who was also present yesterday evening, told a Central News Agency reporter that Huang Ming-wei (???), general manager of Nien Hsing Textile Co (????), verified that the company had set up a plant in Vietnam but that it had no plans to leave Nicaragua.

Wu said the policy to increase salaries was put in place after Ortega took over the Nicaraguan presidency, but that labor costs still were the lowest in Central America.

A Nien Hsing official who mentioned some of the problems encountered in Nicaragua’s free zones in an interview with the Miami Herald last week said that pulling out its investments was one of the company’s possible strategies.

Ortega says foreign textile firms `enslaving’ workers

Filed under: General,global islands,nicaragua — admin @ 6:30 am

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega has accused foreign textile companies, mostly Taiwanese, of “enslaving” workers and leaving the country instead of paying higher wages.

Ortega said several industries closed in free zones following the government’s recent decision to increase the minimum wage by 18 percent.

“There is talk that the companies are going to leave the free zones, that people are going to be left unemployed,” the leftist Ortega said in a speech late on Wednesday.

“When they find that they have to pay more, it is no longer worthwhile and they leave,” he said.

The president said the owners of textile industries “enslave” Nicaraguan female workers, forcing them to work long hours in exchange for “the lowest salaries in all of Central America.”

“When they see that they should increase their employees’ wages by 18 percent, they decide to leave for places like … China and Vietnam, although they are Taiwanese,” Ortega said.

The Nicaraguan president said his country needed “long-term investment and not this kind.”

Free zones, which offer incentives to foreign companies by cutting tariffs and quotas, started to operate in Nicaragua in 1990 and have become an important source of jobs. More than 83,000 people work in 112 firms, most of them from Taiwan, South Korea and the US.

Miguel Ruiz, secretary general of the Sandinista Workers Union, which is close to the government, said on Wednesday that at least five factories have closed this year.

He attributed the fact to “a 30 percent reduction in work orders.”

In related news, Taiwanese Ambassador to Nicaragua Wu Chin-mu (吳進木), who was also present yesterday evening, told a Central News Agency reporter that Huang Ming-wei (黃明偉), general manager of Nien Hsing Textile Co (年興紡織), verified that the company had set up a plant in Vietnam but that it had no plans to leave Nicaragua.

Wu said the policy to increase salaries was put in place after Ortega took over the Nicaraguan presidency, but that labor costs still were the lowest in Central America.

A Nien Hsing official who mentioned some of the problems encountered in Nicaragua’s free zones in an interview with the Miami Herald last week said that pulling out its investments was one of the company’s possible strategies.

Filed under: Film,General — admin @ 6:25 am

State of disaster declared in Nicaragua after torrential downpours

Filed under: General,global islands,nicaragua,weather — admin @ 6:21 am

Torrential downpours caused “Rio Grande de Matagalpa” river to grow 9 metres and overflow the town damaging infrastructure and ruining crops throughout the area. That forced Pres. Ortega to declare a state of disaster.

President Daniel Ortega declared a state of disaster after days of incessant rains in Nicaragua left at least nine people dead and thousands homeless in the Nicaraguan department of Matagalpa.

“We are declaring a state of disaster and not a state of emergency,” he said, adding “a state of emergency limits the rights of the citizens and here we are not limiting any right to any citizen.”

The torrential downpours caused the “Rio Grande de Matagalpa” river to grow some nine metres and overflow into the town damaging infrastructure and ruining crops throughout the area.

The strong currents have caused vehicles to overturn on the roads and dragged makeshift homes, cars and household appliances into the river.

The situation has still caught many residents off guard, and rescue teams have been working constantly in order to help the local inhabitants.

“Nobody was prepared, some of us were coming back from work and suddenly we realised the river had overflowed and it began creating havoc,” a local resident told Nicaraguan television.

Rio Grande de Matagalpa which borders the city by the same name, has some of the strongest currents in the area.

Ortega meanwhile met in Managua with a Venezuelan delegation in Nicaragua to help assess the damages in Matapalga and other districts of the country affected by the floods which destroyed several neighbourhoods and toppled bridges.

The Nicaraguan president asked his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez for help in dealing with the situation.

Chavez said a team had been sent to Nicaragua to help his delegation assess the overall damages.

Heavy rains meanwhile continued to fall throughout the country, including the capital.

The city’s mayor Dionisio Marenci said that if it continued to rain, floods could force the closing down of the Sandino international airport.

The recent damages caused by the constant rains throughout the region have affected thousands of Nicaraguans who were still trying to recuperate from the damage caused by Hurricane Felix last month.

10/20/2007

Filed under: Film,General — admin @ 6:46 am

Día de la Resistencia Indígena

Filed under: General,global islands,government,nicaragua — admin @ 6:42 am

Managua, Oct 16 — Columbus Day on October 12, marking
the arrival of Spanish colonizers to the Americas 515 years ago, will
no longer be observed in Nicaraguan schools as of this year, an
official source said.

In the opinion of President Daniel Ortega last week on the eve of October
12, the arrival of Spanish colonizers to the “New World” meant the
start of genocide against the indigenous population in the America.

According to Minister of Education Miguel de Castilla, the date will
be celebrated from next year on as “Indigenous Resistance Day,” to highlight the struggle of native peoples against European colonialism.

In remarks made to local media, De Castilla added that from this year
on, every October 30 the Nicaraguans will mark the granting of
autonomy to the mainly ethnic Nicaraguan Caribbean Coast in 1987.

Día de la Resistencia Indígena (Spanish for “Day of Indigenous Resistance”) is the name for an October 12 national holiday in Venezuela. The holiday on this date was known as Día de la Raza (Day of the Race) prior to 2002, a name that is used together with Columbus Day in other countries across the Americas.

The festival originally commemorated the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus, and was made a holiday in 1921 under President Juan Vicente Gómez. The new Day of the Indigenous Resistance commemorates thus the resistance of the indigenous peoples against the Spanish colonization of the Americas.

On the 2004 Day of Indigenous Resistance, a statue of Columbus was toppled in Caracas, the Venezuelan capital. The pro-Chavez, left-wing website Aporrea wrote: “Just like the statue of Saddam in Baghdad, that of Columbus the tyrant also fell this October 12, 2004 in Caracas”[3]. The famous toppling of Saddam Hussein’s statue had occurred the previous year.

All this revival of the Indian resentment against the white Spanish conquerors (and Columbus) is supported and promoted by Venezuela’s current President, the Bolivarianist Hugo Chávez, himself a mestizo of mixed Amerindian, Afro-Venezuelan, and Spanish descent.

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