THAT ILLEGAL WAR IN YEMEN: DR JACOB GEORGE APPLAUDS BBC 2 – VICTORIA DERBYSHIRE TALK SHOW!

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DATELINE UK:

I must congratulate Editor, Lousia Compton and talk show host, Victoria Derbyshire from the BBC 2, for an insightful exposure and hard-hitting questions on the illegal war in Yemen in this morning’s BBC 2 program!

Victoria’s direct and hard hitting questions brought into the living rooms of British citizens, echoed what I had raised on the 16th of August 2016!

In view of today’s program, I re post what I had written then, as the issue and questions raised, are still very valid and disturbing!

And the British people must address and ask serious questions why Britain is in this illegal war and whose real and tunnel vision aspirations and greed is being fulfilled here – policymakers, politicians, those in bed with the arms industry?

Most importantly, is this not an illegal war, by an illegal coalition, whose main interests seems to support Saudi Arabia, to sell their multi billion weapons of war?

The vulgar irony and plain truth is, the carnage and destruction left behind by the coalition is being addressed by dedicated and committed NGOs like OXFAM and Amnesty International funded by caring British population and volunteers!

This is nothing but an illegal and forgotten war funded by a terrorist state and assisted by a greedy arms industry!

The article of the 16th August 2016 were as follows!

‘My embarrassing and disgust is that despite these war crimes many countries and their merchants of war, have continued to sell and transfer weapons to Saudi Arabia and its coalition members for use in the conflict. ‘

ASEAN/APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST DR JACOB GEORGE – ON YEMEN’S FORGOTTEN WAR?

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Are you aware that the world has turned its back over the past year on a growing humanitarian crisis?

Are you aware that on 25 March 2015, an international coalition led by Saudi Arabia launched air strikes against the Huthi armed group in Yemen sparking a full-blown armed conflict.

And over the following year, the conflict has spread and fighting has engulfed the entire country.

As is the result of such tragedies, there are horrific human rights abuses, as well as war crimes, being committed throughout the country and the victims and collateral damage of such heinous crimes are again innocent suffering civilians.

I am advised that the strategy of this illegal war is by two fronts namely – relentless bombardment by coalition forces from the air, and a battle being fought on the ground between rival factions.
And who are the players here?

We have the Huthis on one side, an armed group whose members belong to a branch of Shi’a Islam known as Zayidism.

They are aligned with supporters of Yemen’s former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

And of course, the opponents are the anti-Huthi forces that are allied with the current President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi and the Saudi Arabian-led coalition.

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And in the middle caught between these warring factions innocent, helpless, exposed, vulnerable civilians and noncombatants!

The DNA of all wars fought throughout history!

As I write this piece, with information from friends and international NGOs, like Amnesty International another aerial bombing has taken place killing children and civilians in a hospital!

You read right – an hospital!

It is sheer hypocrisy and religious apartheid that the worlds puritans and selective breeders of foreign affairs deliberations, have remained in comatose as thousands of civilians are trapped in the middle – thousands killed and injured and a humanitarian crisis has spiraled.

Are you aware – that over a year, stakeholders of the world has ignored this raging conflict and heard little about its devastating consequences.

Is it because there is no oil here to manipulate?

Is it because Yemen is an extremely poor country?

Is it because, we have vested interests and politicians sucking up and kissing the asses of Saudi Arabia’s bourgeoisie, for various strategic interests of certain pariah nations preaching something but practicing another?

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War is one thing, but, when various invading forces impose a partial aerial and naval blockade on areas under Huthi control to cut off supplies, it is creating a situation of genocide, by severely limiting the import and provision of fuel and other essentials, obstructing access to food, water, humanitarian assistance and medical supplies and causing food prices to soar, creating a desperate situation for millions of people.

That is not all, as there is widespread damage and destruction to key logistical infrastructure, including bridges, airports and seaports, has also severely hampered the movement of crucial humanitarian supplies.

I am not partial to any group here, and I acknowledge receiving information and data, that even the Huthi armed group and allied forces have endangered the lives of thousands of civilians in the southern city of Ta’iz by blocking the entry of crucial medical supplies and food in recent months.

And the result is the same, we have seen in all conflict territories throughout the world, the last being in Syria!

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With no medical supplies, no resources – hospitals just shut down, or being targets of attacks, creating a platform where civilians and others face death!

Hospitals, that still are open, if any, – very vulnerable due to a lack of supplies.

And similar, to all conflict territories – there are growing human rights abuses by all sides!

I am advised, that dedicated and committed friends at Amnesty International, have gathered evidence revealing that all the parties to this conflict have committed violations of human rights and international humanitarian law.

For the record, there is comprehensive data of more than 30 air strikes across six different governorates (Sana’a, Sa’da, Hajjah, Hodeidah, Ta’iz and Lahj) by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition, that appear to have violated international humanitarian law – the rules that apply during a conflict, which are sometimes known as the “laws of war” – resulting in 366 civilian deaths (more than half of whom were women and children) and 272 civilian injuries.

I must reiterate here as an attorney and expert in International law, that these included attacks, that appear to have deliberately targeted civilians and civilian objects, such as hospitals, schools, markets and mosques, which may amount to war crimes.

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My embarrassing and disgust is, that despite these war crimes, many countries and their merchants of war, have continued to sell and transfer weapons to Saudi Arabia and its coalition members, for use in the conflict.

And yes, these arms have also been diverted into the hands of Huthi and other armed groups fighting in Yemen.

Now who are these shenanigans behind the arms trade?
Prominent are the industry players from the UK, USA, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain!

A reported licenses and sales to Saudi Arabia worth more than $25bn in 2015 including drones, bombs, torpedoes, rockets and missiles.

The hypocrisy and irony here is, these states are parties to the Arms Trade Treaty, which has the aim of “reducing human suffering” and which makes it unlawful to transfer weapons where there is a high risk they could be used to commit serious violations of international law.

From this part of the emerging world voices, I lend my voice to Amnesty International and OXFAM, who are appealing to all states, to ensure that no party to the conflict in Yemen is supplied – either directly or indirectly – with weapons, ammunition, military equipment or technology, that could be used in the conflict, until they end such serious violations.

This certainly, also applies to logistical and financial support for such transfers.

I appeal to the decision makers and stakeholders of conscience, if there are any left in these jurisdictions of UK, USA, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain, please intervene, to stop the unraveling tragedy!

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And to other governments and political pretenders without backbone or spine, whose governments always are racially and religiously selective, in addressing war crimes and carnage, in line with the silos based religious interpretations and political interest, please do get off your backsides, and lend your voice to end, yet another international tragedy without fear of favor!

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LEAD APEC/ASEAN LEAD CONSUMERIST AMBASSADOR DR JACOB GEORGE – 2017 A YEAR TO ENCOURAGE, INITIATE STRICT & DRACONIAN PENALTIES FOR RECKLESS AND DANGEROUS DRIVING!

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“Drivers here must also get security clearance, any criminal records and medical condition checked for substance abuse, before being given licenses to drive and operate such heavy vehicles!”

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LEAD APEC/ASEAN LEAD CONSUMERIST AMBASSADOR DR JACOB GEORGE – 2017 A YEAR TO ENCOURAGE, INITIATE STRICT & DRACONIAN PENALTIES FOR RECKLESS AND DANGEROUS DRIVING!

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Have we ever wondered what was the annual global road crash statistics?

Nearly 1.3 million people die in road crashes each year, on average 3,287 deaths a day, we are told.

That is not all my dear friends!

An additional 20-50 million are injured or disabled.

The DNA of more than half of all road traffic deaths occur among young adults ages 15-44.

And sadly, road traffic crashes rank as the 9th leading cause of death and account for 2.2% of all deaths globally.

Over 90% of all road fatalities occur in low and middle-income countries, which have less than half of the world’s vehicles.

If one looks at the economic costs road crashes cost USD $518 billion globally, costing individual countries from 1-2% of their annual GDP.

This is a staggering amount which if the issue is contained can be used elsewhere!

Road crashes cost low and middle-income countries USD $65 billion annually, exceeding the total amount received in developmental assistance.

We need appropriate and fast track response and unless action is taken, road traffic injuries are predicted to become the fifth leading cause of death by 2030.

In Malaysia, we are advised that a total of 18 people were reported killed daily in road accidents nationwide in 2016!

The figure I am told has alarmed the Malaysian Transport Minister, who notes that the number of road accidents last year has also increased.

Let us look at the Malaysian scenario and therefore in 2014, there were 476,196 road accidents while last year, 489,606 accidents were reported – a spike by 2.74 per cent.

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This number included 6,706 fatalities in 2015, as compared to 6,674 fatalities in 2014 and this cannot be allowed to continue!

My dear friend Aliyah after reading my last article on the good traits of driving sought whether I will also address the need to address the spiraling down of driving standards in the country and to suggest adequate remedies including legislation, which I intend to do in this article.

Driving is such an indelible part of modern life that every nation has a complex system of laws governing how people must act when operating a vehicle.

I have always advocated to make the process of attaining a license difficult.

It must be a through process which looks at the applicant thoroughly and in a holistic manner and through examinations to see if they are qualified to drive.

As such, the persons background, physiological tests are areas we need to look at in addition to the usual process.

This is very serious business needing clear political will to stop the rot!

And why?

Driving in a reckless or unsafe manner is a crime in itself.
It can kill and it has!

But have we taken seriously this process in view the kind of road carnage that we are seeing today?

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We must remember that the crime of reckless driving occurs, which includes driving under intoxication, whenever someone operates a vehicle in such a way that it poses a risk to others.

Unlike some other traffic laws, such as speeding violations, reckless driving is highly dependent on the circumstances of each individual case.

Though many countries list specific actions that qualify as reckless driving, drivers can be convicted of this crime whenever they drive in an unreasonably dangerous manner.

It is my call that for reckless driving, there must be legislation that is clear where one who is found to have driven in that state – is jailed, fined and one’s license revoked for a period of three years!

This must be mandatory and where there has been a loss of lives!

If the vehicle is not privately owned but by a company say for vehicles, buses, heavy vehicles, trucks and long vehicles carrying inflammable products – the owners of the company should also be heavily fined, their company blacklisted for at least a year after paying the damages.

Drivers here must also get security clearance, any criminal records and medical condition checked for substance abuse, before being given licenses to drive and operate such heavy vehicles!

And they need to pass a medical test every 6 months!

For offenses of a driver on their first three years of driving, their licenses should be suspended for 6 months and a fine, where there is an accident without loss of lives, bodily harm to persons and property!

For minor offenses like driving a vehicle with faulty lights, illegal parking, and so forth we can introduce the demerit points system which once accumulated will result in license suspension for a period of time!

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For these to work, we must have dedication, commitment and the political will, demonstrated by politicians, legislators, the Police, the Road Transport department, the Transport Ministry, and other stakeholders in the mix.

These stakeholders are critical and crucial to implementing the appropriate sentencing of offenders!

Any compromise by them, directly, indirectly, through proxies or corruption or incompetence will only further de-align and ill serve public interests!

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LEAD APEC/ASEAN LEAD CONSUMERIST AMBASSADOR DR JACOB GEORGE – 2017 A YEAR TO ENCOURAGE COURTEOUS SAFE AND POLITE DRIVERS!

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“In many international jurisdictions, the pertinent question bouncing off the corridors of sheer power and incompetence is, how many of us consider ourselves to be courteous drivers and are all the legislation adequate and of the times, to address the new challenges facing us on the roads?”

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LEAD APEC/ASEAN LEAD CONSUMERIST AMBASSADOR DR JACOB GEORGE – 2017 A YEAR TO ENCOURAGE COURTEOUS SAFE AND POLITE DRIVERS!

There is a saying in my country of birth!

The “Asian is a very gentle person until he/she gets behind a wheel!”

And adding to that in many parts of the civilized world, with morons, idiots, the incompetent and pencil pushers in public policy circles, government agencies and deliberations today – we can understand why the huge statistics of fatalities on say – certain Asian roads, year in and year out!

And instead of addressing that, politicians, play with statistics downplaying the “elephant in the room!”

No one has the courage to “bell the cat” except, this writer?
In international jurisdictions, the pertinent question bouncing off the corridors of sheer power and incompetence is, how many of us consider ourselves to be courteous drivers and are all the legislation adequate, and of the times to address the new challenges, facing us on the roads?

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In Malaysia, we have great highways built, thanks to a proactive visionary government, led by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, but it is also important to initiate that these highways are used by safe, courteous and good drivers!

According to a survey recently conducted in Australia – 56% of people think, they are most of the time, but what does it mean to be courteous, for the average driver in the US, parts of Europe, Russia, India, Japan, Philippines, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam, China, Holland, Germany, Sri Lanka or the UK?

The same survey of over 1,500 motorists, found tailgating (42%), not letting drivers merge into lanes (39%) and slow drivers hogging the right hand lane (36%) as the top three discourteous behaviors that get us hot under our bonnet.

My UK legally trained brain interprets the word courteous, as polite, respectful or considerate in manner.

And I must go on record, to say that from where we live in Surrey – and many parts of the UK, I have found a great number of courteous, polite, respectful and considerate drivers!

It is no rocket science!

And as I spoke to a budding law undergraduates today, I told them that, I can quickly think of 12 Steps, to being a responsible driver.

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The simple truth is, we cannot control the actions of other road users, we must rely on our own driving skills, defensive driving (my own creation – where the driver takes measured and deliberate steps to avoid being close to vehicles or drivers deemed reckless!) and experience.

And following these 12 rules, may ensure that our driving is safe and courteous to all who share the road with us.

Plan Your Route:

We need to know where we are headed ahead of time. We should tune into a local media source to be well informed about weather, road conditions or traffic activity on that route.

In the case of the UK, whether there is a rail or tube strike as that will increase the volume of cars on the road (pun intended!)

Take adequate Rest at R&R.

If the said trip is longer, one should include, a rest stop every two hours.

This helps us freshen up.

Maintain Your Vehicle:

How many of us vehicle’s owners have read the vehicle manual and follow the recommended schedule for maintenance service?

Do we conduct our own routine check-ups on: tires, brakes, lights, wipers, and fluid levels?

And for good visibility, do we make sure that our mirrors, windows and outside lights are clean?

Do we secure any loose items or cargo that could become a hazard?

Focus Your Attention:

Being a safe driver means being both physically and mentally, prepared to drive.

Being well rested, alert and attentive enables us to respond quickly when other drivers do not make that choice.

Certainly, we need a break if we are tired and have difficulty focusing.

Many new cars today, come with inbuilt signals and warnings, to drivers to take a break when on the road for a long period!

Remain calm—and why do I say this?

A lot has changed on the road from the 50s to today!

Today, defensive driving is ‘part and parcel’ of one’s driving skill!

Today, our roads are used by drivers from all walks, shades, young, old, mature, immature, the reckless, and other backgrounds.

And as such, we should not let our temper or frustration cause us to act recklessly, as well.

Minimize Your Distractions:

I remember my late father telling me repeatedly, never take your hands off the wheel, your eyes off the road or your mind off of the driving task, as it puts you and others at risk.

Till today, I share that with my family repeatedly!

Today’s vehicles compared with those that were on the roads in the 50s to 80’s are in a different class altogether.

Distractions were far fewer!

We must accept that people, objects, or events inside and outside our vehicles can today distract us!

And in today’s driving climate – driving demands total concentration.

Any activities that interfere or creates distraction, omission with our driving are more today in comparison to the last decade!

Know Your Surroundings:

Look out for the possibility of trouble on our highways.
Scan the roadway continually, for hazards.

In some countries like Malaysia – irresponsible groups position objects, nails, pour oil along curves, to create accidents from which they hope to make financial gains!

There are allegations that tout tow trucking groups, insurance brokers and work shops are behind these cations!

And with inadequate monitoring and scanning of the roads, there are openings for foreign objects and criminals planning accidents and as such, we need to keep our eyes moving, looking from one side to the other on these highway trips!

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Motorists need to know what is happening well ahead of, watch for taillights and for warnings from other road users or the radio networks.

Know what is to the rear and sides of our vehicle.

Use the mirrors to keep an eye on traffic ahead and behind you.

Share Your Space:

I have always believed that many crashes could be prevented, if drivers only behaved courteously to other road users.

We share the road with drivers of various ages and skill level sets and backgrounds!

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We also have motorists who drive with a death wish for themselves and sadly, not realizing that their actions and omission will affect others who share that space with them!

We forget that we also share the road with pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, and vehicles of varying sizes, which includes heavy vehicles.

We must be proactive and be aware of special needs and limitations of other drivers and highways to be proactive users.

Watch Your Speed:

We must always remember, each country have their own time tested maximum speed limits!

And posted maximum speeds are for ideal driving conditions.
How many of us do adjust our speed for traffic, road and visibility conditions or when not, operating at our best.

And it has been proven that higher speeds magnify our errors and provide less time, to identify and react to a hazard, and as such, stopping distances are longer and crashes are more severe.

Keep Your Distance:

This is why we need to give ourselves room to maneuver.
We need it in a crisis.

And to protect ourselves, we need to keep a large “safety cushion” around our vehicle. This will enable us to change lanes safely and give us time and room to take evasive action in emergencies.

Keeping a safe distance between vehicles therefore, increases our ability to see and to be seen by other drivers.

Never tailgate!

It is a favorite death wish and past time on Malaysian highways!

Signal Your Intentions:

Driving can be a stressful business.

This is why we need to be courteous and signal our intentions, so other road users know what we plan to do next.

Let us be predictable.

Let us not hesitate to use our horn or headlights to establish eye contact, when needed.

Remember to express your thanks, by a wave of the hand or a flash of your lights is courteous.

Always Wear Your Seat Belt:

Seat belts are our best defense in a crash. Being properly secured keeps us in control of our vehicle and ready to react to a hazardous situation.

Finally, we should not hog or drive slowly in the allocated fast lanes!

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GLOBAL UNIFIED ACTION NEEDED TO ADDRESS VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN – LEAD ASEAN/APEC AMBASSADOR CONSUMERIST/LAWYER DR JACOB GEORGE CALLS OUT!

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“The fact is – and rightly so, the number of British visitors to the Indian resort of Goa, has fallen dramatically in the wake of a series of murders and rapes of foreign tourists.

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Remember British teenager Scarlett Keeling?

Take note also that in India – Rape and violence are also about a misplaced sense of power and about wanting to humiliate a woman and teach her, or through her, the family a lesson!”

Globally, if apathy has not set in, many of you should remember 2012!

That was the year when a tragic notorious gang-rape and murder took place of a Delhi student!

That tragic incident in Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi’s India shone a spotlight on sexual violence in that country to greater heights!

Yes, India – we are told stood still, united in its anger and revulsion at the horrific rape and murder of a young woman on a bus in the national capital.

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The media named the gang rape victim as “Nirbhaya—the Fearless One!”

What happened as it would, in any other capital of the world post tragedy and a media blitz, was mass street protests and tightening of Indian laws, including the broadening of the definition of rape.

But then can in 2017, we ask how are things looking not just in India, but, rest of the world on issues pertaining to violence against women?

And how are things looking for the average Indian woman?

My colleagues in India, advise me that despite all the hype, promises, political speeches, active debates among lawmakers in Parliament, awareness campaigns and a host of measures to curb violence against women, the picture today – 2017 – is no less grim and cold!

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If you are a woman, whether you grew up in a rural or urban setting, lived at home or ventured into a new city away from family, work in an office or manage your house full-time—the fear of sexual harassment is real, constant and getting wild!

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The same goes to foreigners and tourist traveling alone!
Friends of mine in the diplomatic services, in the judiciary, in active legal practice, and active NGOs advise me that in 2016, over 300,000 women were kidnapped, raped, molested—and in some extreme cases, killed—by men across the country.

That is shocking if true!

They reiterate that figure is almost a 27 percent increase since 2012!

The year – the world’s attention was drawn to the problem of sexual violence against women in India.

According to data from the National Crime Records Bureau, the government agency that keeps track of the country’s crime rate, cases of violent abuse of women, have steadily increased since 2009.

By 2013, the number of such cases has increased by over 50 percent.

If my mathematics is correct, that is simply over 848 women, who are either harassed, raped or killed after abduction every single day. Some are sold off to traffickers.

And we all know how bad that is and it has become an industry today!

And shockingly, Delhi is the worst offender in such cases.

I am advised that India’s capital city is the epicenter, of almost thrice the amount of sexual crimes against women than the national average
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I am reminded that despite Andhra Pradesh in south India and Uttar Pradesh in the north register more than one-fifth of the total crimes against women, Delhi has by far the worst crime rate.

It has also recorded the highest increase in percentage of rape cases across the country.

In 2013, almost 34,000 women were raped.

A 35.2 percent rise from 2012, with the highest rate of increase in Delhi.

Shockingly, my dear friends and readers across the globe, – my blog at http://www.drjacobgeorge.com/ a sizeable portion of the rape survivors, over 13 percent, are very sadly, under the age of 14 years!

Yes, you read right – 14 years of age!

And using the reasonable man’s test, if one counts all the women who are raped by the time, they turn 18, that will be almost 40 percent of the entire demographic of women rape survivors?

Yes? No?

And the reality of these attacks and those committing them, in all cases are neighbors, parents, a close family member or other relatives.

Rapes in 15 out of India’s 35 states and Union Territories are only committed by people known to the survivor.

And may I ask what have they done with the perpetrators of his heinous crime?

Delhi in the north, Assam and Tripura in the northeast, and Rajasthan in the west are the most unsafe states for women in India.

And tragically, if rape or murder takes place in tourist attracted Goa, for example – the excuse seems to be – “the bikini made me do it!”

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That is the defense Goa, India’s state ministry of tourism responded with after a series of sexual assaults against tourists, even children, vacationing in the area, topping off most recently with the alleged rape of a 9-year-old Russian girl!

And the response from a government servant, an idiot to say the least.

He stated:

“You can’t blame the locals; they have never seen such women.
Foreign tourists must maintain a certain degree of modesty in their clothing.”

So my dear friends, from which ever global city you come from, who is planning to visit Goa as a tourist destination, you are hereby warned against the prevailing official sentiment!

If you wearing bikinis in a tourist destination, known for its renowned beaches, you are to be blamed for the rapes and sexual assaults on the rise in Goa, not the perpetrators who happen to be politicians, well connected individuals, beach boys cum pimps, locals, criminals and those involved in the drugs cartel!

You – women wearing bikinis at the beach are just asking to be raped?

That is the official sentiment!

Even the recent cold, calculated and mindless case of a very young Russian girl, who was raped, where her attacker had a calculated and planned attack, using an accomplice to distract her mother, so he could lure her away and rape her behind a nearby rock!

No, he did not spring into action, at the sight of her in a bikini – he waited for the opportune moment, a moment, that presented itself as a result of his planning.

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Shockingly, politicians and even those expected to protect and serve, are making excuses for the men who commit rapes and blaming women for the violence committed against them!

Yes this is infuriating and moreover does absolutely nothing to address the problem of sexual assaults in the first place.

Perhaps, female tourists should just boycott Goa?

Come instead to my country, Malaysia, where the Police force is dedicated, committed and have zero tolerance for violence against women, let alone rape!

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Anyway, this is the same Goa where several years ago British teenager Scarlett Keeling was raped and murdered!

That was rather traumatic and painful not just the deceased family but the whole of the UK!

That is why I scream boycott these destinations!

And when the tourist dollars dry up, let us see what the stakeholders in the tourist industry and politicians do in protecting their business interests?

They will initiate a change we can believe in with their tails between their legs!

Fast forward, India’s Silicon valley – Bangalore.

The southern megacity—sometimes known as the Silicon Valley of India, which is the epicenter of India’s technological revolution.

Here the center with India’s bourgeoisie, young, educated professionals from all over India and surrounding countries have moved to Bangalore to work in the rapidly growing IT industry, causing the city to double its population in the last 15 years.

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As a result, the women of the city have long enjoyed a degree of freedom, not afforded to their sisters in northern cities like Delhi, which has been called the “rape capital of India” for its high prevalence of sexual assault!

All this raises questions, on the events of New Year’s Eve, where women out celebrating on a main street at the heart of the city’s festivities, MG Road, as well as in other parts of the city, have reported being groped and sexually assaulted by groups of men.

The so-called “mass molestation,” as it has been reported by the Indian press, has focused national and international attention on a part of India traditionally believed to be relatively safe for women.

And the apathy and incompetence, of those expected to protect women and uphold security without fear or favor?

So, what is the answer to the violence against women, just not only in India, but globally?

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What difference can be made with fast track and new women protection legalization, the direct involvement of sitting MPs, statutory support systems, the using the media extensively, both to censure and educate the masses, bringing into the narrative religious groups, NGOs, Medical groups for support, and an active no nonsense approach by those in the Police force and other government agencies to protect the rights and interests of those, who are victims?

In recent years, some countries have taken significant steps, towards improving laws relating to violence against women.

For example:

In July 1991, Mexico revised its rape law in several important ways.

A provision was eliminated that allowed a man who rapes a minor to avoid prosecution if he agrees to marry her.

Malaysian judiciary and legal intelligentsia, please do take careful note!

Now judges are required to hand down a decision regarding access to an abortion within five working days.

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On 9 June 1994, the Organization of American States adopted the Inter-American Convention to Prevent, Punish and Eradicate Violence against Women (also called Convention of Belem do Para), a new international instrument that recognizes all gender-based violence as an abuse of human rights.

This Convention provides an individual right of petition and a right for non-governmental organizations to lodge complaints with the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights.

In Australia, a National Committee on Violence against Women was established to co-ordinate the development of policy, legislation and law enforcement at the national level as well as community education on violence against women.

In 1991, the Government of Canada announced a new four-year Family Violence Initiative intended to mobilize community action, strengthen Canada’s legal framework, establish services on Indian reservations and in Inuit communities, develop resources to help victims and stop offenders, and provide housing for abused women and children.

In Turkey, it was really proactive and adventurous where, a Ministry of State for Women was established, whose main goals are, among others, to promote women’s rights and strengthen their role in economic, social, political and cultural life.

Legal measures are being adopted towards the elimination of violence against women.

The establishment of special courts to deal with violence is envisaged.

Psychological treatment for abused women is also planned, along with the establishment of women’s shelters around the country.

Specially trained female police officers would provide assistance to victims of violence.

In Burkina Faso, a strong advertising campaign by the Government as well as television and radio programmes on the unhealthy practice of genital mutilation were launched to educate and raise public awareness about the dangerous consequences of such an “operation”.

A National Anti-Excision Committee was established in 1990 by the present head of State.

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Today, the practice of genital mutilation has been eliminated in some villages of Burkina Faso.

In others, there has been an incredible drop in the number of girls excised: only 10 per cent of the girls are excised compared to 100 per cent 10 years ago.

Some countries have introduced police units specially trained for dealing with spousal assault.

In Brazil specific police stations have been designated to deal with women’s issues, including domestic violence.

These police stations are staffed entirely by women.

These examples illustrate some steps, taken at the International level towards the eradication of violence against women.

Combating and eradicating this scourge require enhanced and concerted efforts, to protect women at the local, national and international levels.

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Some States have tended to adopt a passive attitude when confronted by cases of violations of women’s rights by private actors and politically connected individuals and their families and this must be addressed especially in countries like the Arab states!

Where, most laws fail to protect victims or to punish perpetrators.
Passing laws to criminalize violence against women is an important way to redefine the limits of a civilized acceptable behavior.
States should ensure that national legislation, once adopted, does not go unenforced.

State responsibility is clearly underlined in Article 4 of the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, which stipulates that “States should exercise due diligence to prevent, investigate and, in accordance with national legislation, punish acts of violence against women, whether those acts are perpetrated by the State or by private persons.”

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LEAD ASEAN/APEC CONSUMERIST AMBASSADOR LAWYER DR JACOB GEORGE SAYS – TIME TO PREVENT CORRUPT POLITICIANS/INDIVIDUALS INTO POLITICAL OFFICE!

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‘And this seems to be the case as in many global jurisdictions the separation of powers are so diluted, powerless, with the executive in a totalitarian control?’

Most times you may know someone but yet not really know him!

After all you only met them at official functions and meetings.

You only see them through the mask they wear.

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And certain individuals and politicians do not really show their true face, and some have many faces and when something like this happens, you are shocked, saddened and hurt.

My family tell me, that I am always a bad judge of character as I seem to always think and speak highly and treat all I meet with dignity, decorum and respect.

So to hear that someone I know in the corridors of public policy being arrested two days ago for corruption deeply hurts.

And as such, I cannot but need to rewrite an article that I had spoken of with Law undergraduates from a certain university here.
Public policy deliberations is a highly motivating position in any government.

It empowers one to bring about holistic change to marginalized groups, to address poverty, those displaced and initiate a hallmark change so that your office and policy can elevate communities that need them!

But when that position of trust, power is abused for self-gratification it is a crime that cannot but need punishment.

To hear of the ownership of countless properties here and abroad, of gold bars, international currency in the millions, a fleet of luxury cars, jewelry, and other things of value shocks and sends shivers down my spine as I read about them.

What has happened to honesty – a honest job and its honest returns.

Our late founding fathers especially HRH our beloved first and second prime ministers would be so hurt if they were around today to see what is happening!

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And those caught so far are the same people who openly preach, go on countless pilgrimages, and every other utterances that comes from their mouth has a spiritual wording and yet here they are found in possession of monies and properties that cannot be reconciled with their wages or their bourgeoisie lifestyles?

How and why have many nation’s politicians gone down this slippery slope of systemic high powered corruption?

Today, we as consumers and voters, should expect of one who wants to be leader, a politician, a public policy asset among us to be above reproach!

I can think immediately of five pertinent qualities of a political leader that must be if one is to take office.

In view of recent events and happenings, deciding which candidate to vote into office is no more simply a matter of party affiliation for us any longer.

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Corrupt party whips and parliamentary speakers in many jurisdictions, may pressure party affiliates to cast their votes based on specific characteristics they look for in their candidate of choice or in addressing issues while some may put caveats and hurdles in addressing systemic abuse and corruption at some levels.

But are these the choice of the ultimate bosses – the voters?

When things go badly wrong cannot the voters do something?
Must they have to await the next General Elections to be able to address wrongs if any?

And this seems to be the case as in many global jurisdictions the separation of powers are so diluted, powerless, with the executive in a totalitarian control?

As we look at the scenarios – then what are the qualities or characteristics good political leaders should possess for consideration in the next election?

From where I sit in London, let me suggest a few.

Honesty

Being honest can sometimes be difficult because it makes individuals vulnerable. It reveals who we really are and discloses our mistakes, which gives others the opportunity to criticize or reject openly. Honesty develops character and builds credibility and trust, which are the foundation to evoke confidence and respect from those around you, and in the case of political leaders, teammates and constituents.

Compassion

Compassion is the humane quality of understanding the suffering of others and wanting to do something to alleviate that suffering. While many see compassion as a weakness, true compassion is a characteristic that converts knowledge to wisdom.

Good political leaders use compassion to see the needs of those he or she leads and to determine the course of action that would be of greatest benefit to all those involved.

Integrity

The word integrity is defined as ‘the adherence to moral and ethical principles; the soundness of moral character.’

It is a synonym for honesty and uprightness, and is a vital characteristic for those in political leadership. Political leaders who possess integrity can be trusted because he or she never veers from inner values, even when it might benefit them to do so.

A leader must have the trust of followers. This requires the highest standard of integrity.

Confidence

Having confidence in a political leader is about having faith or belief that he or she will act in a right, proper, or effective way. A good political leader needs to be both confident in himself or herself as well in their ability to lead.

Leaders who possess this quality inspire others, drawing on a level of trust which sparks the motivation to get others on board and get the job done.

Flexibility

Flexibility for a political leader is about understanding the give-and-take aspects of politics, and the ability to find the common ground.

Good politicians listen carefully to all sides, to not only hear their arguments but to especially learn what it will take on behalf of all parties involved to reach a consensus. This characteristic allows political leaders to recognize setbacks and criticism, to learn from them and move forward.

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Great Political Leaders

Throughout history, whether in the East or West, North or South, whether in Vietnam, Cambodia, Singapore, New Zealand, Japan, China, Korea, India, America, Europe, the UK, Sri Lanka, Australia, Pakistan, West Asia, Russia, the Africa continent, the Scandinavian countries, we have seen great political leaders in all times have all of these qualities – and more.

Each aspires to respect different views, analyze problems, and identify the best solutions – not based on loyalty to political party or oneself, but rather based on what is good and right and in the best interest of the nation as a whole.

The operative word always being – the best interest of the nation as a whole!

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