Haitians bear witness to the violence in the country following the Presidential election first round results. The marriage between a teenage girl and an adult in Malaysia has sparked lively reaction online. And a web documentary looks at Burmese people living in exile in Thailand.
ELECTIONS IN HAITI
Cars were set alight and protests broke out in Haiti when the Presidential election first round results were announced on Tuesday. Although seen as the favourite, candidate Michel Martelly came in third. To everyone’s surprise it is former first lady Mirlande Manigat and Jude Célestin, protégé of outgoing president René Preval who will go head to head on the 16th of January in the second round of this highly controversial presidential election.
Many pro-Martelly Haitians took to the streets to demonstrate their anger, as we see in this video and these photos available on sharing sites. These images bear witness to the violence of these protests that have erupted in the capital Port-au-Prince over the past few days. This blogger believes the situation has been made worse by the intervention of blue helmets in the capital that reportedly fired rubber bullets and tear gas at demonstrators to disperse the anti-establishment protestors.
This American humanitarian worker in Haiti understands this anger. She says that Jude Celestin’s presence in the second round of the Presidential election is seen by many Haitians as a veritable insult. And she explains that these violent protests are probably the only way for citizens to express their frustration.
This Haitian woman living in the US is not surprised by these demonstrations; she thinks they were to be expected bearing in mind the poor organization of the country’s elections. She also mentions the many allegations of electoral fraud that appear to have pushed some sections of the country to their limit.
Despite everything, some comedians, like this anonymous web user have been inspired by the situation; he is offering the two second round candidates the opportunity to buy his election theft manual for dummies.
MALAYSIA’S 14 YEAR OLD BRIDE
"In Malaysia intimate relations with a 14 year old girl is called marriage rather than pedophilia"
These intentionally shocking words were written by Jonathan Turley, an eminent American law professor. On his blog, he slams the arranged marriage in Kuala Lumpur on the 4th December between 14 year old girl Siti Maryam Mahmod, and a 23 year old man. He says this is not an isolated case in the country where Sharia, or Islamic law allows this type of union for Muslims.
The affair has prompted lively reaction on the web. Women’s’ rights associations, like Sisters in Islam, have taken up the cause and denounce this outrageous situation. On the NGO’s web site it says it’s high time for things to change in Malaysia and calls on the government to ban child marriage in the country.
The author of the blog Un Dhimmi expresses a similar sentiment and says that marrying too young can have serious consequences on teenagers in the long run. They will be prone to psychological problems linked to this traumatic experience.
Meanwhile, the International Research Centre for Women, the IRCW is saying this phenomenon has reached alarming proportions across the globe. It estimates that if things do not change soon, 100 million young teenage girls will be forced into marriage in the next 10 years, that’s 25 000 per day. The centre has also posted statistics on its site, showing the countries where child marriage is most common like in Niger or Chad.
WWF FILE EXTENSION
Conservation organization WWF, is waging war on deforestation by launching an original file format, it’s called a “WWF”, resembles the PDF format and its particularity is that it cannot be printed. The aim is to reduce paper consumption and indirectly fight climate change. This new format is used solely for storing documents and will prevent millions of web users printing documents on paper, when there is no real need.
French daily Le Monde has posted a documentary on its web site called « Little Burma », which focuses on the Burmese people who have fled the military regime to seek exile in Thailand. There are about 4 million Burmese people living outside the law in Burma’s neighbouring country. The documentary covers resistance, secrecy, survival and hope, and looks at the journeys of these people who often live in hiding. There is also a blog with regularly updated information on the subject.
VIDEO OF THE DAY
« I am just parking here for two minutes ». This is often the argument used by motorists to justify parking in spaces reserved for disabled people. Two minutes can sometimes turn into an eternity. This is the message Quebecois director Yan Giroux hopes to get across in this short film called “Just two minutes”. The film reminds us just how important these spaces are for disabled people.