Tag Archives: freedom

Mayans and Tibetan Monks Join Forces in the Name of Peace, Harmony and Freedo

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Mayans and Tibetan Monks Join Forces in the Name of Peace, Harmony and Freedom

The 2nd Mayan-Tibetan Bicultural Encounter concluded activities in the environmentally friendly Hacienda Tres Ríos Resort, Spa & Nature Park 

 

Cancún, Quintana Roo (PRWEB) September 27, 2012

In a call for peace, harmony and freedom for all people, the Tibetan Monks of the Drepung Loseling Monastery as well as Mayan representatives concluded their participation in the 2nd Mayan-Tibetan Bicultural Encounter, held at Hacienda Tres Ríos Resort, Spa & Nature Park.

In the presence of a number of tourists, special guests and those who enjoy these two cultures, the Tibetan monks destroyed the Tara Blanca Mandala, which was crafted during the five days of the encounter. This action was carried out as the final activity of the encounter to symbolize the transitory nature of life.

Deputy Vice President of Sales and Marketing of Hacienda Tres Ríos, Daniel Arroyo emphasized that the encounter met with all expectations to transmit a message of peace and respect of nature that is so lacking in our world today.

Arroyo also disclosed that because of the success of the second edition of event, there will be a third bicultural encounter in September 2013. The program will include more conferences, meditations and teachings that are sure to fill participants with good vibes and positive thoughts.

From September 12 to 16, the 2nd Mayan-Tibetan Bicultural Encounter brought together a group of nine Tibetan monks, Mayan dancers and representatives, the founder of Casa Tibet, Tony Karam, as well as a number of researchers and speakers of both cultures, who spoke on the principle teachings and philosophies of these two incredible civilizations.

The encounter included a presentation of Sacred Mayan and Tibetan Music and Dance in the Teatro de Cancún, as well as a photo exhibit, rituals and healing and meditation ceremonies (both group and individual). There were also meditations involving positive energy and the search for peace and harmony through ancient techniques.

As part of the closing activities of the encounter, Tony Karam, founder of Casa Tibet, presented a conference on Buddhism which covered relaxation and meditation techniques, as well as the principle doctrines of this religion.

Daniel Arroyo thanked the Tibetan monks, Mary Coba of Producciones Arte Maya, as well as the hotel collaborators who helped make this event a total success, accomplishing the objective of sending a message of love and hope to all of humanity.

http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/9/prweb9947130.htm

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2013 Annual Report on Global Trends for Human Rights Defenders Published

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2013 Annual Report on Global Trends for Human Rights Defenders Published

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http://www.frontlinedefenders.org/files/frontline_annual_report2013_0.pdf

On 23 January 2013 Front Line Defenders released its fourth Annual Report on Global Challenges facing Human Rights Defenders around the World in 2012.

The report explores the situation on both the global and regional level including several countries examined in focus namely: Burundi, Vietnam, Guatemala Kazakhstan and Algeria. It highlights the ‘unabated’ targeting of human rights defenders for their work documenting abuses, exposing corruption, or pushing for reform.

“The attacks and killings highlighted in this report are only the tip of the iceberg. In many countries the government has either shut down the local media, subjected human rights organisations to campaigns of intimidation or tried to silence those brave enough to bring the facts to international attention” said Front Line Defenders Executive Director Mary Lawlor.

 

The report highlights:

 

-24 killings of HRDs in 2012

-Physical Attacks on HRDs reported in 28 countries across all regions:

-Attacks on LGBTI human rights defenders in Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Kyrgyzstan, Russian Federation, South Africa, Uganda, Ukraine, and Zimbabwe.

-Restrictive legislation passed or under discussion in Algeria, Azerbaijan, Burundi, China, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Lithuania, Moldova, Russian Federation, and Ukraine

-Judicial harassment reported in nearly 40 countries

-Information technology laws used against those expressing dissent or circulating information on human rights abuses, in particular in Asia and the Middle East.

-Reprisals for cooperating with international human rights bodies were reported by HRDs in Bahrain, Belarus, Colombia, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, and Sri Lanka

 

 

“The facts speak for themselves”, said Ms Lawlor “The sad reality is that while governments proclaim support for human rights and their respect for the work of human rights defenders in international fora, in practice, human rights defenders face a daily struggle for survival”, added Ms Lawlor.

This report shows how the safe space in which human rights defenders work is consistently shrinking, while their personal credibility is attacked through state sponsored defamation campaigns in which they are routinely portrayed as agents of western/foreign interests. The introduction of restrictive legislation which limits both their work and their ability to source international funding is increasingly used to hamper their work.

The Report highlights the alarmingly high number of killings of human rights defenders and the fact that Front Line Defenders alone has documented physical attacks on human rights defenders in 28 countries and 24 killings of human rights defenders. Conditions for human rights defenders in Africa, Asia and the Middle East continue to be worrying while the report finds that that in many countries in Europe and Central Asia the situation has actually deteriorated.

On the regional level many countries in Africa have seen a series of disturbing ongoing trends including physical violence, and impunity for perpetrators. As noted in the report the murder of two LGBTI rights defenders Thapelo Makhutle in South Africa and Maurice Mjomba in Tanzania illustrate these risks.

Such impunity is also commonly seen in the Americas alongside a common trend, the use, region-wide, of fabricated criminal charges such as those that have resulted in an 18-year prison sentence for Colombian human rights defender David Rabelo Crespo.

Asia has seen the continued usage of smear campaigns against human rights defenders branding them as ‘enemies of the state or as working for foreign interests’. One example of such a case can be seen in India with the branding of P.V. Rajagopal, Vice Chairman of the Gandhi Peace Foundation, as a ‘Maoist sympathiser’.

The situation in Europe and Central Asia is characterised by the increasing use in many countries of legislation to curb the activities of human rights defenders. This is particularly evident in the Russian Federation with a swathe of legislation being implemented including a law designating NGO’s in receipt of foreign funding as ‘foreign agents’.

Finally in the Middle East and North Africa region the report confirms the fears of ‘limited real change’ despite the events of the Arab Spring that ‘gave hope to thousands of people in virtually every country in the region’. In Bahrain in particular almost all of the most vocal human rights defenders were in detention at year’s end including former Front line Defenders staff member Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja.

The Report is based on Front Line Defenders’ work in support of human rights defenders at risk. In 2012, Front Line Defenders issued 287 urgent appeals on 460 human rights defenders at risk in 69 countries; it provided 267 security grants and trained 358 human rights defenders. Overall, more than 1150 HRDs benefited from Front Line Defenders’ protection support in 2012.

http://www.frontlinedefenders.org/node/21376

Madonna’s U.S. Tour Stop’s Message: ‘Don’t Get Fat And Lazy,’ Respect Democracy

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Madonna’s U.S. Tour Stop’s Message: ‘Don’t Get Fat And Lazy,’ Respect Democracy

By MESFIN FEKADU

PHILADELPHIA — As she kicked off the U.S. leg of her “MDNA Tour” in Philadelphia, Madonna said she was happy to party in the USA after touring Europe for three months.

The pop icon told the crowd Tuesday night they should “never forget how lucky you are to live where you live and to have the freedom that you have.” She made the comments after talking about the arrest of three members of the punk-rock female band Pussy Riot. The women were sentenced to two years in prison after performing a “punk prayer” at Moscow’s Christ the Savior cathedral in which they called on the Virgin Mary to deliver Russia from its leader, Vladimir Putin.

“In my travels around the world the one thing I truly witnessed is we in America have freedom of speech, freedom of expression,” the singer said.

Madonna, who toured most of Europe from June to August, has called for the Pussy Riot members to be freed. Paul McCartney and Peter Gabriel also have spoken in the women’s favor.

“I don’t think that it’s a coincidence that I’m in the city where the Declaration of Independence was signed,” Madonna said at the Wells Fargo Center to nearly 20,000 fans. “We are in the land of democracy.”

Russian activists recently sued Madonna for millions of dollars, claiming they were offended by her support for gay rights during her show in St. Petersburg. A law passed in February makes it illegal to promote homosexuality to minors, and the author of that law has pointed to the presence of children as young as 12 at Madonna’s concert on Aug. 9. (Minors also attended Madonna’s U.S. show.)

When speaking about Pussy Riot, Madonna said that about 80 gay men were jailed in St. Petersburg because of their sexual orientation. She told the crowd that the arrests were unfair, and they booed in her support.

Then the 53-year-old told the U.S. audience: “Don’t get fat and lazy and take that freedom for granted.”

Madonna kicked off her concert late on Tuesday, apologizing to the crowd, who began to boo before she hit the stage around 10:30 p.m. EST.

“We had many changes to make from Europe to America, and I wanted the show to be perfect for you because my fans deserve it and quite frankly I deserve it,” she said.

She performed for nearly two hours, starting in a skin-tight black ensemble with a gun in hand as she sang the song “Girls Gone Wild” from her latest album “MDNA.” She transitioned to “Revolver,” as she and her background dancers held guns and bullets appeared on the backdrop. (Madonna posted on her website that she does not condone violence or the use of guns and she’s using fake guns in concert as a metaphor for strength.) During the next song – “Gang Bang” – she shot a man and spat what appeared to be liquor in his face, while blood spats and bloody hands appeared on the screen.

The dark mood escaped as Madonna changed into a red and white marching band get-up, singing “Express Yourself” and “Give Me All Your Luvin'” as a marching band played to the crowd. She sang some of Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way,” pulling up her skirt to reveal her red shorts.

Madonna’s performances of “Celebration” and “I’m Addicted” were also colorful, as laser lights beamed and the venue became nightclub-like. Madonna’s best vocal performance, though, was during “Like a Prayer,” which featured more than 30 back-up singers in robes. She got the best response from the crowd when she performed “Vogue,” as the dancers and Madonna – now in a corset, long gloves and her hair pulled back – strutted in black and white onstage.

She got racy during “Like a Virgin” and “Human Nature,” taking off her shirt to reveal her bra, and pulling down her pants to reveal her thong (she wore fishnet stockings).

“Sometimes it’s easier to show your (butt) than show your feelings. Maybe tonight we can all live dangerously,” said Madonna, who had the words “No Fear” on her back.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/29/madonna-us-tour-dont-get-fat_n_1838791.html