24 July 2008

Tiger Temple in Thailand

I used to see the pictures of these tigers in "Tiger Temple" with monks and tourists in the pictures. I thought they were doing a good thing protecting the tigers. But someone from an animal organization told me that they use a tranquilizer to make the tigers tamed and sleepy so tourists can take photos with them. And also the news below saying that the tigers are being abused and illegally smuggled.

I used to want to visit the temple but I am glad I didn't.

How can monks who claim to be compassinate beings and follow Buddha's compassionate teachings do this?


UK wildlife group slams Tiger Temple

From http://www.bangkokpost.com/270608_News/27Jun2008_news14.php

A British conservation group has called on state wildlife agencies to look into alleged animal abuse and illegal tiger trafficking at a famous temple in Kanchanaburi province. A report by the group Care for the Wild International (CWI) claims the animals at the renowned ''Tiger Temple'' are kept in confined spaces and poorly cared for.

The report also raised concerns over the safety of tourists, as they are allowed close contact with the animals.

Since the worldwide broadcast of a documentary on the Animal Planet channel around 900 foreign tourists visit the temple on busy days, said the CWI, which made a two-year investigation into alleged wildlife abuse and smuggling.

The group does not give the full name of the temple and simply calls it the ''Tiger Temple'', as it is popularly known.

CWI chief executive Barbara Maas said the temple's popularity was based on claims its tigers were rescued from poachers and move freely and peacefully among monks who are actively engaged in conservation activities.

''This utopian facade hides a sinister reality of unbridled violence and illegal trafficking of tigers between Thailand and Laos,'' she said.

CWI claimed it has evidence that rather than rescuing orphaned tiger cubs the temple operates as an illegal breeding facility and is involved in the clandestine exchange of tigers with the owner of a tiger farm in Laos.

CWI Southeast Asia director Guna Subramaniam said the major attraction of the temple is that tourists can interact closely with live tigers.

She said the group had met with the temple's abbot to discuss the problems but he was reluctant to negotiate and showed no interest in reform.

The group called on the National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department to confiscate the tigers and transfer them to a sanctuary.

The acting deputy director-general of the National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department, Kamolwat Visetsiri, said the agency seized seven tigers and almost 300 other animals seven years ago but could not find any guilty party. He said he would inspect the temple after acknowledging the CWI's complaint

19 July 2008

5 million Iraqis displaced by war

Almost five million Iraqis have been displaced by war - more than 2 million refugeeshave fled the country, and 2.77 million are internally displaced inside Iraq. Their struggle to survive in dignity is growing much harder. Many refugees have no savings left, and the global food crisis means that the cost of a meal has doubled in Syria and Jordan, pushing Iraqi refugees even further into poverty. The U.S. has a particular moral obligation to help the most vulnerable Iraqi refugees – including widows, orphaned children, religious minorities, the sick, the elderly, and U.S.-affiliated Iraqis.

Urge the Bush administration to set a goal to bring at least 35,000 vulnerable Iraqi refugees to safety in the U.S. in fiscal year 2009.


Look at the picture of my pumpkin!!!!

Why do I have to be so proud of this pumpkin fruit?

Believe me or not: This pumpkin fruit grew from one of the pumpkin plants that have sprouted because I used food scraps as fertilizer!!!

Other pumpkin fruits were eaten by squirrels - I don't feel sad. Let the non-human animals eat :-)

There are many other edible plants that have sprouted in my garden because I compost.

Try composting and you will feel wonderful ;-)

17 July 2008

Do you know what is happening in Darfur, Sudan?

It it painful to know but this is what is happening....

People in Sudan have been genocided (ฆ่าล้างเผ่าพันธุ์). Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed. Women and girls have been RAPED.

The genocide has claimed at least 300,000 lives. More than two million people forced into refugee camps.

The International Criminal Court charged Al Bashir for genocide. In response, Al Bashir's regime is threatening more terror against Darfurians and the UN, and appealing to powerful international friends who buy oil from and sell weapons to Sudan to give him protection.

Bashir has blocked the deployment of a larger U.N.-led peacekeeping operation that would protect Darfur's civilians.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) is a giant step forward for humankind – a single global court, with the power to try any person who has committed the worst crimes against humanity.


From Avaaz.org, 16 July 08:

On Monday, the International Criminal Court indicted Sudan's President Omar Al Bashir for genocide. He is charged with killing hundreds of thousands of people in Sudan and its Darfur region, and corralling the surviving women and girls into terrifying camps where they are being quietly and systematically raped until their peoples are destroyed.

In response, Al Bashir's regime is threatening more terror against Darfurians and the UN, and appealing to powerful international friends who buy oil from and sell weapons to Sudan to give him protection. Al Bashir knows that he will be caught only if other governments, especially Arab and African governments, agree to help the International Criminal Court (for example by arresting him when he travels abroad).

Targeting Al Bashir is our best hope to end the terror of Darfur's rape camps, and take a major step forward for international justice. Many of Sudan's neighbours are Muslim countries where rape is a scandalous crime – and Al Bashir's henchmen have killed and raped thousands of Muslim women. To raise awareness of this, Avaaz is launching a large regional ad campaign, urging leaders to help the ICC. Our ads will run in just a few days, and a full page ad in an Egyptian newspaper is just 3000Euros($5000), so we need just 50,000 Euros ($75,000) to get our message across. Click below to help:


Many in the international community are concerned that this indictment will undermine attempts to make peace with Al Bashir, and even blame the ICC for threatening peace. Some of those concerns are just a cover for Sudan's oil and arms dealing partners. Others are more legitimate, but must contend with Darfur's victims and survivors, who have the most at stake, and are universally supportive of justice. They say they have seen Al Bashir break every agreement he has signed for 20 years, and that no lasting peace can be signed that leaves a genocidaire with the power to commit his crimes again.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) is a giant step forward for humankind – a single global court, with the power to try any person who has committed the worst crimes against humanity. It has an independent prosecutor, Luis Moreno Ocampo of Argentina, and judges from Brazil, Latvia, and Ghana. This is the first time the ICC has indicted a sitting head of state, and all the world's worst current and future mass criminals are watching closely. Let's send them a clear message: that justice, and the rule of law, are on the march. Let's help make it happen, and make sure that all our governments help the ICC to succeed in this first test, and end the terror of Darfur's people.

With hope,

Ricken, Mark, Graziela, Pascal, Paul, Veronique, Iain, Ben and the whole Avaaz team.