Archive for May, 2013

A terrifying night

Posted: May 30, 2013 in International, Published


BY: Khairul Kuader

The time around from 2:00am to 4:00am, a two-hour crackdown by three phase’s troops with guns and tears moved ahead the Mothijeel square in Dhaka to exile the Hefazat-e Islam activists with triggering fire at last night on May 6. As a journalist I was in the troops and moved ahead, it was a nightmare. After the drive the troop members started the rescue operation and some kind troop members help them for safe escape. “What I have done in the night, all are kids here, and how I opened fire on them!” a troop member said with breaking tears. Most of the gunned down people were minor boy and very elderly man, those who came to attend at a meeting at evening on the day. The place just became a hell with fires, loud sound of sound grenades, blank fires as well as countless triggers of rubber bullets. With in very short time countless bodies fallen down on the street like life less and rolling down blood to the nearby drain and street from those injured body. Many were seen running with hands up above their heads towards Notre Dame College. Most of them made off through Tikatuli.

At least 14 killed in ongoing clashes between Hifazat and law enforcers. Some 25000 Hifazat demonstrators of Motijheel retreated into the nearby lanes amidst clouds of teargas and a hail of rubber bullets. Police say most of those protestors were indeed Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir activists, but Police admitted that it is an assumption. However Motijheel area was littered with papers, sandals and some bags after the operation drove the assorted band of Hifazat and Jamaat supporters away. Fire was burning in a few places. Five vehicles were also burning at the scene.

Original here –


Breach of Trust

The crisis in childcare in Ireland cannot come as a surprise to any employee with any level of awareness. This crisis plays itself out on a daily basis in 95% of Irish workplaces.

This is a crisis caused by business owners not really caring enough about how their business is run.

However, this particular crisis is starker as it involves children. The most vulnerable in our society. The most vulnerable as they have no life experience to call upon for assistance nor any support group with which they can properly articulate their experiences.

This morning on RTE radio’s ‘Morning Ireland’ I listened with dismay to the Chief Executive of Early Childhood Ireland, Irene Gunning. She said “quite a substantial investment” is needed to improve services, in particular in relation to staff training and staff “needed training above FETAC level 5 qualifications” and that “a mentoring system to be put in place to help workers”. She went on to say “…we need more qualifications…”

At several stages throughout the Primetime programme the word ‘funding’ was thrown around as a solution to this crisis! So funding will fix it, yeah? 75% of childcare in Ireland is in private hands, are we suggesting that profit orientated corporations should get more taxpayers money?!

Regardless, any good business person will tell you – ‘…it’s resourcefulness not resources that is needed…’

I do not know why I am dismayed with predictable responses. Employer bodies/advocates/lobby groups etc. seem to have a catalogue of ‘crisis response phrases’ from which they chose – depending on the crisis that arises.

You are right Ms. Gunning, quite a substantial investment IS needed. But not necessarily in finance or training as much as it is needed in time to select the right people and their support!

Why do employers give more time to the purchase of mobile phones than to hiring and training staff? Does it take even more abuse of Irish children for lazy employers to get this message?!


Either you need staff or you don’t – and when you need them, you must take time to hire the right ones and provide the right support. Of course all employers say they do this but the reality paints a somewhat different picture. Look no further than in the detail of the the backlog of cases currently at the E.A.T. for proof of this.

So employers, it may be about profit for you but it is about something very different for your customer and in this case it’s about human life! Remember also when you hire an employe, on a very basic wage, for a period of at least three years, that amounts to an ‘expense’ of (at a conservative estimate) €60,000. How does that compare to a set on new mobile phones?

Also if you buy a mobile that doesn’t work, you take it back. Not quite the same for a human being is it?

Employers and trainers have to do much much better than “…ah sure she’s just great wit di childerdin…” and “…she has her FETAC level 2…” or whatever. Qualifications mean nothing unless they are accompanied by the behavioural ability to carry out their content – and this also requires support from the employer/manager. Furthermore, if the staff member’s life values conflict with that of the organisation, no amount of qualifications are going to make a blind bit of difference. Assuming of course the organisation knows what its values are!

The real weakness in the FETAC/QQI system, and indeed any formalised qualification system, is the measurement of behavioural ability and values assessment. It is poor and indeed there isn’t even an acknowledgement that it needs fixing. It is carried out in the typical slovenly Irish fashion and it is generally based on (despite a list of Learning Outcomes (LOs), to beat the band, attached to any course information brochure) whether ‘…they’re a lovely person…’ or not.

This may or may not be insufficient in itself, until of course you see how poor some assessors are at judging what exactly it is that makes a ‘lovely person’ and how exactly being a ‘lovely person’ has got anything to do with the course or future employment.

And when the poor recruitment decisions of lazy employers goes belly up, it is absolutely disgusting that they would do, as Giraffe Childcare & Early Learning have done – scapegoat their own staff! In the wake of this crisis, Giraffe Childcare & Early Learning said “…it was profoundly sorry…a staff member has been suspended…” unacceptable to scapegoat your own staff – MANAGERS AND EMPLOYERS TAKE PROPER RESPONSIBILITY!

Hardly surprising from a company that once told a friend of mine (an employee of theirs at the time) that she was “…on unauthorised absence…” when staying with her family a little longer than expected after the death of her father! Caring huh?!

As I said, this crisis is not just confined to childcare. It is happening all over the Irish workplace and on a daily basis. It goes unnoticed as, thankfully, it usually does not involved the physical abuse of any individual (although sometimes it can involve mental abuse).

It further underlines the dangers of sending the wrong kind of people into the workplace who have an unsubstantiated and exaggerated sense of their abilities because they achieved a high grade (under dubious assessment criteria enforcement) on an average course. People need to feel good about themselves when completing a course and entering a workplace and they need to have a good sense of their real abilities.

We also, and on this Ms Gunning is quite right, must do better than FETAC 5 for such an important job. Childcare providers also must reward their staff at a much higher level than FETAC 5! This job is just too important.

We need to restrict childcare to proper educational establishments and take it away from wanna be business people who really have not got the first clue about business never mind the well-being and education of children.

This responsibility, because that is what it is (it is not a business), needs to be restricted to education providers who not only claim to deliver a certain style of education but actually deliver that style also. Radical, no?!

It also of course brings into question the modern workplace. I mean, can we expect to find the right people for all these jobs? If not then why bother?

So in some ways Ms. Gunning is correct in her analysis. However, it firstly needs employers to examine why they are in business, who they are there to serve and do they have the ability to recruit the right people to make this happen.

Anything less is just a greedy and short-sighted abuse of, what some call, capitalism and sows the seeds for the next ‘unexpected’ crisis!

Pakistan Election

By: Naeem Asghar

ISLAMABAD: Keeping the tribal tradition alive, once again the local women were barred from casting their ballots in recent Pakistani re-polls at at-least two of the polling stations in its Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

Polls Women

Earlier Gem Observation Mission (GOM) from Gender Concerns International on May 13th issued a report based upon election observations, disclosing that women were not permitted to cast their ballots in eight dirstrict of Pakistan mostly belonging to the Khuber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan.

However, this time Pakistani women were barred from casting their votes in a provincial assembly constituency PK-260,  Batagram  II of the same KPK province in at-least two polling stations.

Un-official results declared Shah Hussain, a contesting candidate from Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Islam (Fazal) was running up scoring highest 8117 votes, whereas Muhammad Zubair , an independent candidate was the running up candidate in this constituency with his 7721 votes.


Zubair made a complaint to the Presiding officer, the females have been barred from using their right to vote, following which the re-polls were permitted on the two polling stations

On the complaint of independent candidate Muhmmad Zubair presiding officer held re-poling for women on these two polling stations in PK-260,  Batagram  II.

It was witnessed that despite getting takeoff at sharp 9 am, no female appeared to cast her vote till the end time.

Muhmmad Zubair logged a complaint making claim that women in the area were forcibly stopped to not to cast their votes and poling day confirmed his claim as well.

These two polling stations are located in the vicinity of Batgrame and are in village Allaai Miaan, where women do not cast their vote.

Reliable sources told the scribe that local elders reached a consensus prior polling day that women could not take decision, and should not be permitted to vote, summing up into ‘no vote for women.’

An aged local  Gulab Khan told,

It is our tradition to not to let women involved in decision making or to cast their votes, In according with our local traditions and customs no women casted any single vote during current or the past election.

The total number of registered voters in this constituency PK-260,  Batagram  II is 77,762 voters, whereas only 24,256 votes had been casted in recent elections, which reflects the ratio of female registered voters who were not permitted to use the right of their vote.

See original here –



22ND MAY 2013

“The Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland out rightly condemns the unjustified and barbarous murder of an off-duty soldier in Woolwich, London.

The Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland urges all Muslims in Ireland to distance themselves from such deplorable acts of savage murder or association with the perpetrators of such acts. We call upon our fellow Muslims in all Irish Mosques to condemn this act particularly in this Friday’s sermons.

The ICCI states that there is no justification for such gross acts of vigilantism and such acts have no attachment to any religion or ‘peoples of faith’.

It is our hope that the perpetrators of this heinous crime are brought to justice swiftly and we implore journalists and politicians to exercise restraint when addressing this event to the wider community. It is vital that this form of extremism exercised by the murderers of this innocent man is disassociated from the views of the moderate mainstream Muslims.

We call upon the Muslim Community of Ireland to continue to represent true Islam in the manner of peace and justice, and to avoid the short-sighted views of extremists.”


Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland

Media Enquiries:      01-2080000


This is one of many such images circulated about the Uruguayan President. As if living like this is something to be admired. It would appear it is still possible to dupe the public with images and anecdotes regardless of which faction you belong to. I’ll admit to knowing nothing about this man or his policies. In spite and indeed because of this I will not elevate him to celebrity status simply because he courts the opposing image. And as a man elected to the most important office in his land I assume he knows something about image. Didn’t the Irish also elect someone to the most important office who courted this ‘ordinary bloke’ type image? How did that turn out? Furthermore his comments about Kirchner seem to have escaped the attentions of his political supporters. The image being cultivated is that he is an ordinary man and he champions the poor and the down-trodden. Isn’t there an important bloke in Rome who courts this image too? How was his election greeted by the ‘Left’? Again ‘left’ ‘right’ religious or non, whatever these meaningless defence and attack mechanisms really mean to those involved, to me they are simply rival factions.


Another power struggle with victory the only thing on the minds of the participants. The topic is irrelevant as the style is all too common in our TV democracy. And it need not be televised to be so ego driven, as the four main participants clearly are. All of which is assisted by an inept and disinterested chairperson. Nobody listening, everybody talking, inserting irrelevant data and making wild accusations. All of this in an attempt to ‘win’ and ridicule the other side. Do they not see how self defeating such a strategy is? When you humiliate or even insult the other side they hit back and on it goes. The topic of 9/11 or global warming is just another opportunity for opposing sides to do battle. Don’t ever believe this has anything to do with the ‘truth’ (the truth as opposed to facts I mean) it is all to do with ego, beating the other side and getting your network into positions of influence. As a final note the absence of a shirt and tie does not make you any less a fascist than those who happily wear one…


Was Eamon Coghlan just grabbing a headline or did he have a point? Well reading a lot of what comes from certain ‘truthful’ media sources on FB, Coghlan’s position could gain momentum. There are several pages/groups/people on FB claiming to be independent media. I have had to explain to them that the absence of a corporate sponsor does not make you independent – it doesn’t even go in one ear.

They are the type likely to take on and publicise any ‘alternative’ idea going that may gain them some badly needed street cred at some unheard of music venue. They are pro-abortion, anti-establishment and whatever you’re having yourself – some honourable causes, I’ll quickly add. Yet their research and presentation, which is tabloidesque, does these great causes a great injustice. They’ll get behind just about any crack pot idea and the wackier the better. Remember it’s about street cred for these guys so the content is not important, just the image.

Recently I made the mistake of responding to one of their cries for help only to be abused in the usual juvenile fashion – agressive retorts and being called a troll… etc etc. I’m not really sure if I understand this word, troll. However, it appears to mean either (a) they cannot comprehend (b) they don’t agree with you or (c) they can’t articulate a response. Yet if you were to look at their page posts (and I don’t recommend that you do) you would think they are on to something it’s so positively sycophantic. Some of their bewildered followers must fear the ‘remove from group’ punishment. God only knows what these guys would do with any significant power. But then again, they are telling the truth are they not?

Are these guys seriously presenting themselves as an alternative media?

There’s so much more to being a media source, a reliable one I mean, than surrounding yourself with your underground mates, knocking RTE and the mainstream and having 3,000+ likes! It also requires the discipline to accept diverse opinions, conduct proper research, and report unbiased news…you know…j-j-j-journalism, I think it’s called! Yet despite their protestations against the mainstream, could you imagine their excitement were they to be quoted by them or invited on one of their shows? That’d surely boost their street cred!

And that’s exactly what they’re about – desperately seeking a quote from the mainstream and getting on their payroll. They have no desire to be alternative, independent or speak the ‘truth’ it’s in the fibre of everything they do. The sensationalist posts, the one-sided presentations and the language. They’ve used expressions like “…RTE would never have the likes of us on…” and “…the Irish Times won’t quote us…” A desperate cry for recognition by the mainstream.

You’d think they’d follow the real leaders in the field such as Democracy Now. They are probably the leading alternative media source worldwide. In fact the leading media source in either alternative or mainstream media. Democracy Now are clearly left leaning, pro-abortion etc etc yet they have no problem at all giving a voice to pro-life or right wing pundits. The conditions? You must contribute with respect – again a concept lost on the Irish ‘alternative’.

Unfortunately the Irish ‘alternative’ media prefer the RTE model. They are indeed RTE without the big sponsorship – and they do receive sponsorship (except they call it a donation). It is no accident, as it is RTE they idolise, and not DM. How they long for that call from Brian Dobson. So is there still a need for athlete’s strong armed attack on the underground? Probably not. There’s no need for it yet as they aren’t a threat, most of their ‘followers’ don’t even vote and they demonstarte immaturoty in debate at every opportunity. And by the time that they do mature they’ll have nicely morphed into the next generation RTE. So RTE will, for now and the forseeable future, remain trusted with the ‘truth’!