Monthly Archives: May 2008

The Heartless Generals and Starving Burmese–have mercy on them

(AP Photo: Victims of Cyclone Nargist waiting for aids)

After I read this news posted at the internet, I could not control my outrage and disappointment. Imagine the world community had been offering hundreeds of  thousands of tons of foreign aid for the millions of victims of the Cyclone Nargist in Myanmar but the military junta rejected the offer. They are so suspicious of foreign governments and even the United Nations to undermine their interest.

These lunatic generals who control millions of Burmese would rather see their own people dying everyday of hunger and diseases than allowing foreign aids to come in. These idiots are in constant fear of losing their control to the government of Myanmar that they don’t want foreigners to come in and have access to their territory even for humanitarian reasons.

Now they even have the nerve to accuse the United Nations as being stingy?

“The people from Irrawaddy can survive on self-reliance without chocolate bars donated by foreign countries,” the Kyemon newspaper said in a Burmese-language editorial.”

What survival is the Myanmar military junta is talking about when people are dying everyday of diseases and famine?

Read the news clip below:

Myanmar lashes out at ‘chocolate bar’ foreign aid


YANGON – Myanmar’s junta lashed out at offers of foreign aid on Thursday, criticizing donors’ demands for access to the Irrawaddy delta and saying Cyclone Nargis’ 2.4 million victims could “stand by themselves”.

“The people from Irrawaddy can survive on self-reliance without chocolate bars donated by foreign countries,” the Kyemon newspaper said in a Burmese-language editorial.

As with all media in the former Burma, it is tightly controlled by the army and is believed to reflect the thinking of the top generals, who until now have shown signs of growing, albeit grudging, acceptance of outside cyclone assistance.

The editorial also accused the international community of being stingy, noting that the United Nations’ “flash appeal” was still a long way short of its $201 million target nearly four weeks after the disaster, which left 134,000 dead or missing.

The level of aid stands in stark contrast to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, when governments around the world promised $2 billion within the first week.

“Myanmar needs about $11 billion. The pledging amounted to over $150 million, less than the $201 million mentioned by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as emergency aid,” it said, adding a thinly veiled swipe at arch-enemy the United States.

“There is one big nation that even extended economic sanctions on Myanmar although it had already been known that Myanmar was in for a very powerful storm,” it said.

The tone of the editorial is at odds with recent praise of the U.N. relief effort, but follows criticism of the junta’s extension on Tuesday of the five-year house arrest of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

U.S. President George W. Bush said he was “deeply troubled” by the extension and called for the more than 1,000 political prisoners to be freed.

The State Department said the Nobel laureate’s detention would not affect U.S. cyclone aid, but a top U.S. commander said warships laden with aid would leave waters near the delta if they did not get a green light soon.

France, which has diverted a naval vessel to the Thai island of Phuket to offload aid supplies, demanded the immediate release of Suu Kyi, who has now spent nearly 13 of the last 18 years in prison or under house arrest.

Her National League for Democracy party won a 1990 poll by a landslide only to be denied power by the military, which has ruled the impoverished country for 46 years.

Dire straits

The situation remains dire for many survivors in the delta, the “rice bowl of Asia” in the days before what was then Burma won independence from Britain in 1948.

The army has started to bury bodies in communal graves, villagers said, although there has been no official word on plans to dispose of the thousands of corpses that still litter the fields and waterways.

Bodies are grotesquely bloated or rotting to the bone and covered in swarms of flies. The stench of death remains strong.

“The soldiers told everyone to shoo, to go away,” one woman said at a communal burial site in Khaw Mhu, 40 km (25 miles) southwest of Yangon, where soldiers covered bodies in “white powder” before pouring concrete over them.

Private donors, who received assurances in state media this week that they could go where they wanted in the delta, have also run into problems, with 46 drivers and vehicles being impounded on Sunday night after a trip out of the former capital.

“They told us not to make any donations to people begging by the road,” one of those held overnight told Reuters. “It is said that our donations will spoil their appetite for hard work. We completely disagree with it.”

Fewer than half get help

Three weeks after the cyclone’s 120 mph (190 kph) winds and sea surge devastated the delta, the U.N. says it is slowly being given more access, with all its staff with pending visa requests being granted permission to enter the country.

However, getting aid and experts to the delta remains a very different proposition. The latest assessment from the U.N.’s disaster response arm suggests fewer than half of victims have had any help from “local, national or international actors”.

Witnesses say many villages have received no food, clean water or shelter, and farmers are struggling against huge odds to plant a new crop to avoid long-term food shortages.

“We have only until June to plant the main rice crop,” one farmer called Huje said in the village of Paw Kahyan Lay, 40 km (25 miles) southwest of Yangon.

“Our fields are flooded with salt-water and we have no water buffalo to plough with,” the 47-year-old said, standing with his daughter in the ruins of their home.




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Filed under Economic Survival, International Relief Services, Myanmar Struggle for Freedom, Natural Calamities, politics, United Nations

He Saves to Die

Everyday we hear amazing stories of people unmindful of their death because of their attempt to save others. A great number of them are popular figures, men and women in world’s history, and the rests are ordinary people in the streets.

The most amazing story of human sacrifice is the crucifixion of Christ. He died to save mankind from sin. He died that man may live an eternal life; all because of God’s love to mankind.

Many faithful followers of God also died for their faith and the light of the truth they stand for. National heroes for every country died to gain freedom and save people from their oppressors.

Even ordinary people die to save others, and example set by Christ. And so with this ordinary man from the Philippines, he died saving someone not personally related to him.

Here is the story:

Man who saved kids from electrocution dies a hero

A man who saved his young neighbor from being electrocuted died in a General Santos City hospital recently. His death, however, was not in vain because the child he rescued from certain death has considered him a hero for the feat.

“He’s a hero to me, to us,” said France Quiapo, 8.

The child said he is grateful to Abelardo Bombita, Jr. who was rushed to hospital and was placed in critical condition after the incident.

Quiapo said he and friend Jesmark Barrete, 11, were playing Tuesday morning when he tried to get his slipper that his playmate threw on the roof.

He climbed on the roof but it was too late when he realized that there was electrical current running on it, Quiapo said.

The shock caused the child to fall unconscious.

Barrete tried to follow Quiapo but collapsed as well.

Neighbors said Bombita tried to save Quiapo but he too, was electrocuted.

After 29 hours in the Intensive Care Unit, Bombita died.

Bombita’s father, Abelardo, said the family is not holding Quiapo responsible for the death.

“It was an accident,” he said.

From a report of Chat Ansagay, ABS-CBN General Santos

We Only Live Once

People don’t have nine lives but still act heroically when the need arises. Many wonder as to the source of their heroism; is it because of their faith in God, their patriotism, their selflessness and humanitarian spirit, their philosophy in life, and abundance of love in their heart. Or are there people who are born to be heroes?

But some practical observers think the other way around. Situation and incidents make people heroes. People plunge themselves to danger because of human instinct to survive. Saving others may also mean saving themselves on that particular danger. Is it?

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The Lost of a Hero

The world is blessed with thousands of heroes all over the World. They all have one thing in mind, to sacrifice themselves that others may live. And this is exactly what Irena Sendlers did. She saved some 2,500 Jewish children from the Nazi Holocaust by smuggling them out of the Warsaw Ghetto. She died at the ripe age of 98.

Below is a complete story from the Associated Press:

Polish Holocaust hero dies at age 98

By MONIKA SCISLOWSKA, Associated Press May 12, 12:35 PM ETWARSAW, Poland 

Irena Sendler — credited with saving some 2,500 Jewish children from the Nazi Holocaust by smuggling them out of the Warsaw Ghetto, some of them in baskets — died Monday, her family said. She was 98.

President Lech Kaczynski expressed “great regret” over Sendler’s death, calling her “extremely brave” and “an exceptional person.” In recent years, Kaczynski had spearheaded a campaign to put Sendler’s name forward as a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Sendler, among the first to be honored by Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial as a Righteous Among Nations for her wartime heroism, died at a Warsaw hospital, daughter Janina Zgrzembska told The Associated Press.

Sendler was a 29-year-old social worker with the city’s welfare department when Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, launching World War II. Warsaw’s Jews were forced into a walled-off ghetto.

Seeking to save the ghetto’s children, Sendler masterminded risky rescue operations. Under the pretext of inspecting sanitary conditions during a typhoid outbreak, she and her assistants ventured inside the ghetto — and smuggled out babies and small children in ambulances and in trams, sometimes wrapped up as packages.

Teenagers escaped by joining teams of workers forced to labor outside the ghetto. They were placed in families, orphanages, hospitals or convents.

Records show that Sendler’s team of about 20 people saved nearly 2,500 children from the Warsaw Ghetto between October 1940 and its final liquidation in April 1943, when the Nazis burned the ghetto, shooting the residents or sending them to death camps.

“Every child saved with my help and the help of all the wonderful secret messengers, who today are no longer living, is the justification of my existence on this earth, and not a title to glory,” Sendler said in 2007 in a letter to the Polish Senate after lawmakers honored her efforts in 2007.

In hopes of one day uniting the children with their families — most of whom perished in the Nazis’ death camps — Sendler wrote the children’s real names on slips of paper that she kept at home.

When German police came to arrest her in 1943, an assistant managed to hide the slips, which Sendler later buried in a jar under an apple tree in an associate’s yard. Some 2,500 names were recorded.

“It took a true miracle to save a Jewish child,” Elzbieta Ficowska, who was saved by Sendler’s team as a baby in 1942, recalled in an AP interview in 2007. “Mrs. Sendler saved not only us, but also our children and grandchildren and the generations to come.”

“I kept silent. I preferred to die than to reveal our activity,” she was quoted as saying in Anna Mieszkowska’s biography, “Mother of the Children of the Holocaust: The Story of Irena Sendler.”

In 1965, Sendler became one of the first so-called Righteous Gentiles honored by theYad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem for wartime heroics. Poland’s communist leaders at that time would not allow her to travel to Israel; she collected the award in 1983.

Despite the Yad Vashem honor, Sendler was largely forgotten in her homeland until recent years. She came to the world’s attention in 2000 when a group of schoolgirls from Uniontown, Kan., wrote a short play about her called “Life in a Jar.”

Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev said Sender’s “courageous activities rescuingJews during the Holocaust serve as a beacon of light to the world, inspiring hope and restoring faith in the innate goodness of mankind.”

Zegota, an underground organization helping Jews, paid a bribe to German guards to free her from the prison. Under a different name, she continued her work.

After World War II, Sendler worked as a social welfare official and director of vocational schools, continuing to assist some of the children she rescued.

“A great person has died — a person with a great heart, with great organizational talents, a person who always stood on the side of the weak,” Warsaw Ghetto survivor Marek Eldeman told TVN24 television.

Anyone caught helping Jews in Nazi-occupied Poland risked being summarily shot, along with family members — a fate Sendler only barely escaped herself after the 1943 raid by the Gestapo.

The Nazis took her to the notorious Pawiak prison, which few people left alive. Gestapo agents tortured her repeatedly, leaving Sendler with scars on her body — but she refused to betray her team.

There Will Always be a Sendler

Irena Sendler has now rested in peace but her memory will continue to inspire young people today. There were always be an Irena Sendler to come. At the opportune time some brave people will just do what she did, to risk her life that others may live. With all the global problems the world is experiencing today, we are still blessed with inspiring stories like this. 



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Clipping the Source of Embarrassment

Had not been of electronics devices with video recording capabilities inside an operating room, there could have been no uploaded clip of a rectal procedure on the internet which elicited much controversy after thousands of You tube users had viewed it. This video clip,  had been picked up by network stations and other media and broadcasted it around the world.

The controversial video has brought embarrassment to the Department of Health and the medical community. The video which appeared in You Tube (internet video-sharing site) showed nurses and surgeons laughing and cheering while a canister was being removed from male patient’s rectum in an operating room.

Because of the extent of the moral damage it had created, particularly to the patient, the Commission of Higher Education now prohibits the use of cellphones and videocams in clinical classes. CHED chairman Romulo Neri, (a controversial personality also because of his refusal to disclose what he knows about the ZTE broadband scam controversy during the Philippine Senate’s investigation) banned medical students from bringing in these video- recording capable devices such as video cameras, mobile phones with camera features and other similar equipment in their clinical classes. The objective is to prevent similar incident to happen again in the future –uploading surgery procedure in the internet. Apart from this, medical students in the Philippines are now banned from videotaping any form of surgeries.

Neri, on his part, also explained that his order was only meant “to ensure that the integrity of all activities concerning the exercise or practice of related learning experience of nursing and other medical students are properly supervised and monitored.”

Ethical Standards in Medical Practice 

Neri’s action is just one little step to impress upon the minds of medical/nursing students the importance/ significance of observing professional ethics and discipline. With growing number of cases of medical malpractice in the Philippines now witnessed in the Philippines, the most critical and practical area of intervention is in the school. How serious are medical schools in doing their part? 

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