Aug. 14th, 2010

frandroid: Picture of a pro-LTTE protest blocking the Gardiner Expressway, Toronto (tamils)
If you aren't in Canada or haven't been paying much attention to the news, most news organizations have been obsessed with the Tamil refugee ship, the MV Sun See, that's arrived in BC. On board are 490 Tamils seeking refugee status in Canada.

This is very much a story about media fear-mongering about brown people coming to Canada.

Now, I don't know if news organizations have paid attention, but the LTTE have been pretty much been annihilated. By that I obviously don't mean to say that there are no Tamil Tigers left, but organizationally, they've pretty much hit the bucket. What are they going to be doing in Canada? Raising funds? What for? The war is over.

We were warned last time that there were Tamil Tiger "terrorists" on board, but no one has either been arrested or sent back to Sri Lanka, as far as I know. Granted, this time the Sri Lankan government is saying that the ship's crew and some passengers belong to the Tamil Tigers, but considering how racist this government is, what's that worth? I mean if they are Tamil Tigers, I'm guessing that they have even more of a case in claiming refugee status in Canada, since they can be severely mistreated in Sri Lanka, if not killed in the case of the most serious commanders. I don't know.

The whole media circus around this stinks to high heaven. I hope no one on board is seriously sick; there have been reports of TB. The Victoria hospital has opened a ward for them, at least. Great thanks for public health care.
frandroid: YPG logo, Syrian Kurdish defense forces (Default)
All of Ontario is flooded. From Ottawa to Thunder Bay, from Toronto to North Bay, most homes have been swept away, all agriculture is ruined for this year and possibly the next year, factories are gone and will take years to rebuild. You're stranded in Toronto with 3 million other people and you can't get to Montréal because the 401 has been washed out in many places, and so have rail links. Lake Ontario now runs up to the bottom of St-Clair hill, but even everything north of there has been washed out.

The Canadian armed forces are air-dropping bottles of water, because everything coming out of taps, where there are taps left and they still work, is brown. Condo owners thought they'd be safe in their towers, but most have been broken into to escape the waters; many are overcrowded. The Canadian armed forces drop loads of water bottles every day, but heavy rain impedes their work. You only had 3 small bottles of water today, and 2 pre-packaged sandwiches. Some of the Muslim friends aren't even as lucky, and have been breaking their Ramadan fast with water only.

In Québec, where already one million Ontarians are taking refuge, food prices have gone through the roof due to the drastically reduced supplies and increased demand. The floods continue and some hydro-electric dams in the region of Saguenay/Lac St-Jean might burst, spreading the devastation to Québec.

Back in Ontario, there are currently 10 million people facing imminent serious health problems if they don't get enough water and/or medication. Water-born diseases are starting to spread among the people that are in refugee camps at various higher ground points throughout the province.

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That's Pakistan today. The flooded area in Pakistan is nowhere as large as Ontario, but the number of people affected (14 million) is greater than the province's population. The 10 million figure of people in serious risk is quite scary. An update on the current situation: Pakistan's crisis will outlast floods: UN

Two sets of pictures to consider:
http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2010/08/severe_flooding_in_pakistan.html
http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2010/08/severe_flooding_in_pakistan.html

Donate today: redcross.ca.
Chapati Mystery has links if you live in the USA, and elsewhere.

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One thing that's bugged me is how the media are complaining that "islamist groups are providing aid to refugees in the devastated areas, gaining influence".

Seriously? The government is utterly failing at providing relief, and you complain that islamist groups are providing aid? Don't worry, they probably can't respond to the demand either anyway. Every person that islamist groups help is someone who won't die. So stop that whining.

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Ottawa is pledging another $30M, on top of the initial $2M peanut the government came up with.

Hopefully Zardari can skip on his 10% cut this time.

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frandroid: YPG logo, Syrian Kurdish defense forces (Default)
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