Karima Bennoune is a professor of international law at the University of California–Davis School of Law. She was appointed UN Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights in October 2015.
“Cultural heritage is significant in the present, both as a message from the past and as a pathway to the future. Viewed from a human rights perspective, it is important not only in itself, but also in relation to its human dimension,” Karima Bennoune says. As UN Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, she decided to address the intentional destruction of cultural heritage as an urgent priority. Her first thematic report to the UN General Assembly, which she presents to the United Nations General Assembly, on 27 October 2016, is devoted to that issue.
The report’s primary message is that cultural heritage is a human rights issue to which we must take a human rights approach. Beyond safeguarding an object or a manifestation in itself, a human rights approach obliges one to take into account the rights of individuals and populations in relation to them. It is impossible to separate a people’s cultural heritage from the people itself and their rights.
This is certainly the way it is often experienced by local populations. Haider Oraibi, the Director of the National Museum of Iraq, was reported to have wept after learning of Daesh destruction of Iraq’s relics, remarking, “They’re just statues, [b]ut for us, they’re living things. We came from them, we are part of them. That is our culture and our belief.” When extremists attacked Mosul’s museum, he was quoted as saying, “it was like someone wanted to kill you, like a murder.” One can hear in these words how much pain and suffering is caused by such destructions and how in fact they represent an assault on human dignity and human rights. Read more →
KUALA LUMPUR: The fact that the former second finance minister had to ask parliament 1MDB-related questions suggests that only the prime minister has all the answers on the state investment firm.
Commenting on Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah’s 1MDB-related queries in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday, DAP lawmaker Tony Pua said he found it strange that the former minister had to raise the matter in parliament.
“Wouldn’t he have known all the facts as he was the second finance minister during the time? Does this mean that he was never even briefed about 1MDB?
“1MDB seems to be a top secret operation that only one person in the cabinet knows, the prime minister, who is also the finance minister,” the Petaling Jaya Utara member of parliament told reporters at the Parliament lobby here today. Read more →
KUALA LUMPUR: The Women, Family and Community Development Ministry (KPWKM) is awaiting a report from its officials sent to a welfare home in Perak whose occupants were reportedly placed in a fenced cubicle like a cage.
Minister Rohani Abdul Karim said she was waiting for the follow-up report about the home, which has gone viral on social media.
“I instructed officials to go to that place … I am now waiting for a detailed report from them,” she told Bernama after appearing as a guest in a programme aired by the Bernama News Channel today. Read more →
PETALING JAYA: Umno minister Abdul Rahman Dahlan has come under fire again for wanting to blacklist companies that allegedly sponsor the Bersih 5 rally planned for next month.
This time, the criticism has come all the way from Sarawak, with PKR’s Baru Bian calling Rahman “immature and arrogant”, adding that the statement also exposed a dictatorial streak which seemed to run through the veins of most Umno politicians, The Borneo Post reported.
The Ba Kelalan assemblyman warns however, that this latest threat could also be part of a tactic to heighten tensions, enabling the government to use the National Security Council Act (NSC) against Bersih during the rally, scheduled for Nov 19.
“If this should happen, it would only confirm to Malaysians and the rest of the world that the Barisan Nasional government has gone to the gutter, and that Umno is cracking at the seams,” Baru was quoted as saying by the Sarawak-based daily. Read more →
The photographer was allegedly visiting her aunt in the facility and she comes across the cages. Pic taken from the Star.
BATU GAJAH: A welfare home here is keeping disabled children locked in “cages” – for fear that they may hurt each other. And the Welfare Department says it’s for their own safety and that of the other children there.
However, photos of the children in the concrete “cages” with solid metal doors have gone viral and the home has come under attack.
The home’s chairman said the actual situation was not what people saw in the photographs.
Handicapped Children’s Welfare Home chairman R. Sivalingam said the home had been unfairly accused of mistreatment.
He said that of the 47 residents at the home, 10 were mentally challenged and were suffering from extreme mental conditions.
Sivalingam said the 10 were under the supervision of the staff during the day and were allowed to roam around the home’s compound. During bedtime, though, they were confined to “special cubicles” and provided with mattresses and pillows. Read more →
Dr. Azmi Sharom is a law teacher in Universiti Malaya.
Is it okay to want to choose a government? Well, duh.
Of course it is. That’s what a democracy is about. But reading some of the statements being made by one of the numerous Ministers in the Prime Minister’s Department, it appears that wanting a choice is like some sort of sin. And helping those who want the right to choose is also a sin.
I sometimes wonder what these people think a democracy is. If we believe a government is corrupt, incompetent and wicked, then surely we would want to speak out about it. Then hopefully others would agree and there could be a civilised debate.
I am embarrassed to type this out because this is how I would explain things to a toddler and I am quite certain that there are no toddlers reading this. If I sound like I am insulting your intelligence, dear reader, please forgive me, it is not your intelligence I am questioning.
I am writing as though I am speaking to a kindergarten class because sometimes I think that is the level of intellect of some. I mean, what is their idea of a democracy? We all vote and then whatever the Government does, we just sit around and quietly go about our business until the next elections when we vote again? Read more →