Friday, July 12, 2013

Malala says extremists are afraid of women, education.

                          Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager shot by the Taliban for promoting education for girls, celebrates her 16th birthday on Friday by addressing the United Nations. The UN has declared July 12 'Malala Day', and to mark the occasion the teen, who returned to school in March after medical treatment in Britain for injuries suffered in the October attack, will address more than 500 young leaders from around the world at a Youth Assembly. 

Here are the Highlights of Malala Yousufzai's address:

  • If we want to achieve goals, let us empower ourselves with weapon of knowledge, let us shield ourselves with peace & unity.
  • One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.
  • Let us wage a global struggle a global struggle for our brothers and sisters who wait for a brighter future.
  • Terrorists are misusing the name of Islam for their own benefits. Islam is a religion of peace.
  • There was a time when women's activists asked men to stand up for women's rights. This time we will do it ourselves.
  • Extremists are afraid of women, education. They are afraid of change.
  • We realised the importance of books and pens when we saw violence in Swat.
  • There was a time when women's activists asked men to stand up for women's rights. This time we will do it ourselves. We not succeed when half of us are held back.

Unesco and 'Save the Children' released a special reported entitled "Children battling to go to school", ahead of Malala's speech.  

The report found that 95 per cent of the 28.5 million children who aren't getting a primary school education live in low and lower-middle income countries 44 per cent in sub-Saharan Africa, 19 per cent in south and west Asia and 14 per cent in the Arab states.  

Girls make up 55 per cent of the total and are often the victims of rape and other sexual violence that accompanies armed conflicts.  

The study found that in 2012 there were more than 3,600 documented attacks on education, including violence, torture and intimidation against children and teachers resulting in death or grave injuries, as well as the shelling and bombing of schools and the recruitment of school-aged children by armed groups.  
According to the report, while the number of primary school age children who are not getting an education has fallen to 57 million in 2011 from 60 million in 2008, during that period the percentage of youth in conflict-affected countries who aren't at primary school rose to 50 per cent from 42 per cent.  
"Across many of the world's poorest countries, armed conflict continues to destroy not just school infrastructure, but also the hopes and ambitions of a whole generation of children," Unesco's director-general Irina Bokova said.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


                        With the LDF in Kerala baying for his resignation on the solar panel scam, a defiant chief minister Oommen Chandy rejected their demand, saying it was part of a political conspiracy by the CPI-M-led opposition and if he stepped down now, he would be doing an "injustice to truth."  "I am not a person who wants to cling to power at any cost. But, if I resign now, I will be doing injustice to truth," Chandy, in the eye of a storm triggered by the scam, told reporters after a cabinet meeting here today. Expressing confidence of overcoming the present crisis, he said it was now a political issue and "we will fight it out."  "Party high command, state congress party, ministry and ruling UDF is united on this issue," he asserted. Chandy said the charges against him were part of a political conspiracy by the CPI-M led LDF opposition, because all their agitations against the UDF government after it came to power failed to click. 
                       The conspiracy started after the arrest of a personal staff in the chief minister's office, he said. "After that the LDF thought, it was a chance to target me and the UDF government", he said adding "we will not yield to their political designs." On the 12-hour strike called by the opposition today demanding his resignation, Chandy said it was a challenge to people and government would not tolerate violence in the pretext of agitation. Chandy also rejected the statement of the complainant in the solar case, Sreedharan Nair, that he had met the chief minister and discussed solar project.Investigation into the case was progressing in the right direction and "all accused in the case would be brought before law," he said. 

                             The scam pertains to alleged cheating of several persons to the tune of crores of Rupees by one Saritha Nair and her accomplice Biju Radhakrishnan by offering solar panel solutions. An actress Shalu Menon has also been arrested in connection with the case. It took a serious political turn with the arrest of one of Chandy's close personal aides, who has alleged links with the accused. Two other employees in his personal staff have also been removed in connection with the scam.