UNESCO condemns destruction at Iraqs Nimrud site

“I condemn this mad, destructive act that accentuates the horror of the situation. It confirms that the terrorists are not only destroying representations of figures and bas-reliefs,” said the Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova, in a in a statement to the press. “With their hammers and explosives they are also obliterating the site itself, clearly determined to wipe out all traces of the history of Iraq’s people,” she added, expressing her solidarity with the people of Iraq. The Director-General recalled UNESCO’s action to protect heritage and coordinate the efforts of the international community in the struggle against illicit traffic of cultural goods. “We will do everything possible to fight against this and document it, to ensure that those responsible are identified and brought to justice,” Ms. Bokova said. “The deliberate destruction of heritage is a war crime.” UNESCO denounced the attack against Nimrud on 6 March. Last weekend’s video shows the total destruction of the north-west part of the Palace of Ashurnasirpal II, along with stone sculptures from the neo-Assyrian era. Situated 32 kilometres south of Mosul, the Palace was built dated back to 879 B.C., when Nimrud, then known as Kalhu, served as the capital of the Assyrian Empire. “The propaganda and hatred that underlies these acts, and which is circulating via the internet, demands in response messages of peace and knowledge of history. UNESCO supports all those – in Iraq and elsewhere – who are mobilizing to explain the importance of this heritage and why nothing justifies its destruction,” Ms. Bokova said. “This message needs to be heard, and I invite political and religious leaders along with civil society to support the #Unite4Heritage campaign launched recently by UNESCO, and to speak out against these crimes via all possible channels,” she added. UNESCO is currently working closely with the Government of Iraq, neighbouring states and the full range of its other partners, to safeguard this millennial heritage. read more

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EYEWITNESS Goodbye Columbus…

…hello the (genocidal) consequencesIt seems like only yesterday your Eyewitness was in primary school and he learnt that poem by the Englishman JC Squire about the landing of Columbus on October 12, 1492 – from the perspective of the “Indian” or the Indigenous peoples who he stumbled over. Because this present generation has been exposed to a different perspective on Columbus, he’d like to share the poem in its entirety;There was an Indian, who had known no change,Who strayed content along a sunlit beachGathering shells. He heard a sudden strangeCommingled noise: looked up; and gasped for speech.For in the bay, where nothing was before,Moved on the sea, by magic, huge canoesWith bellying cloths on poles, and not one oar,And fluttering coloured signs and clambering crews.And he, in fear, this naked man alone,His fallen hands forgetting all their shells,His lips gone pale, knelt low behind a stone,And stared, and saw, and did not understand,Columbus’s doom-burdened caravelsSlant to the shore, and all their seaman land.So here it was, these people had been living on their own terms for thousands and thousands of years but it was all to change after the arrival of what even a member of the English ruling class would call the “doom-burdened caravels”. And doom it was. Columbus had landed on one of the smaller islands in what we now know as The Bahamas. Columbus ironically named it after Christ, “the Saviour) – San Salvador. But the native peoples were anything but “saved” – literally or figuratively.The “gentle people”, as Columbus described them, along with practically all their other tribes in the Caribbean archipelago from Cuba to Trinidad would be wiped out through the confluence of germs, guns, and steel wielded by the Europeans who followed Columbus. As a contemporary Bartholemew De las Casas wrote, the Indigenous population on Hispaniola, for instance, was reduced from 400,000 to 200 in a few decades. Recently we learnt from news of the hurricane on Dominica, only a few hundred survive there. Elsewhere, they’ve all practically disappeared.But the destruction and genocidal consequences of those “doomed caravels” didn’t stop there. Today, members of the African Guyanese community are commemorating the genocide inflicted on their ancestors who were hauled across the Atlantic against their will and made to slave on the plantations of the “New World”.According to Henry Louis Gates, of Harvard University, “Between 1525 and 1866, 12.5 million Africans were shipped to the New World. 10.7 million survived the dreaded Middle Passage, disembarking in North America, the Caribbean and South America.”That means at least 1.8 million perished. That’s genocide.…hello KafkaMaybe we know the story of Gregor the travelling salesman who wakes up one morning and discovers he’s been transformed into a cockroach? The Metamorphosis. From this new state, of course, Gregor can’t do even the simplest task, much less get on with his life. Which wasn’t much to write home about anyway.But like anything else, the family adjusted – but not without a fatal dénouement to Gregor. Something “Kafkaesque” like this is playing out with the poor folks of Wales. One morning last December, they woke up and discovered 1700 of their breadwinners were made incapable of earning bread. The country tried to deal with this tragedy – but seems to have now “adjusted”. The Government – following their first horrible act to change the people of Wales from employed to unemployed – is ensuring their death.The Finance Minister just announced, no job programmes for Wales in their budget but “No new taxes!”What’s this to the metaphorised folks at Wales, who’ve got no money to be taxed??…hello loose lipsThe Gaming Authority received an application for a casino gambling licence. The confidential info is now in the hands of the AG. But the Gaming Authority head says wasn’t him with the loose lips.So is he going to just bluster or investigate? Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedEyewitness: Changing… …self-definitionsAugust 5, 2018In “EYEWITNESS”EYEWITNESS: A new Columbus…November 22, 2017In “EYEWITNESS”Daily Eyewitness Column – PoetryApril 8, 2018In “EYEWITNESS” read more

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