Home' Greymouth Star : March 27th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Friday, March 27, 2015
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uLetters to the editor
1625 - Death of King James I, the first Stuart
king of England and the first to rule both
England and Scotland.
1713 - Spain agrees at Utrecht to cede
Gibraltar and Menorca to Britain.
1836 - The first Mormon temple is
dedicated, in Kirtland, Ohio.
1854 - In the Crimean War, France
declares war on Russia.
City is granted the first patent on a
corkscrew (a “gimlet screw ” with a
1899 - The first international radio
transmission is sent when inventor Guglielmo
Marconi sends a wireless message from England
1923 - Death of Sir James Dewar, Scottish
chemist and physicist whose inventions include
the vacuum flask and cordite.
2002 - Deaths of Oscar-winning film-maker
Billy Wilder at age 95, comedian Milton Berle
at age 93 and actor-comedian Dudley Moore
at age 66.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Louis XVII, son of King Louis XVI and
Queen Marie-Antoinette (1785-1795);
Frederick Henry Royce, English auto engineer
(1863-1933); Gloria Swanson, US actress
(1899-1983); Lord ( James)
Callaghan, former British prime
minister (1912-2005); Michael
York, English actor (1942-);
Quentin Tarantino, US film director
(1963-); Mariah Carey, US singer
(1970-); David Coulthard, Scottish
Formula One driver (1971-); Fergie,
US singer (1975-).
“Sometimes I think the surest sign that
intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe
is that none of it has tried to contact us.”
— Bill Watterson, US cartoonist (1958-).
“ But as for that in the good soil, these are the
ones who, when they hear the Word, hold it
fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit
with patient endurance. “ — (Luke 8:15).
sur vey, one of the first
to be carried out in
New Zealand, is at
present being conducted in the Paparoa Range,
just north of Greymouth. Samples of water
from all streams in the area would be taken
and analysed for mineral content. From the
samples taken it would be possible to assess the
minerals with the highest concentration.
This particular technique of assessing the
quantity of minerals in an area originated in
Canada. It has been employed in investigations
in Southland but other wise it is new to New
Manganese, copper, tin, silver and lead are
the five minerals which the sur vey will be
The Inangahua County Library Committee
has resigned as a whole. The move is in protest
against the Inangahua County Council’s action
in overriding the committee’s recommendation
regarding the appointment of a new librarian.
In a prepared statement released today, the
library committee pointed out that several
people on the committee had ser ved the library
for periods from 15 to 20 years. The library
committee had always endeavoured to keep
faith with the public, but felt that the council,
by ignoring the recommendations of the
committee, had prevented its continuation of
M Mathieson and J Newton are the first
holders of the Devonport Memorial swimming
trophies. The finals of the series highlighted the
last points meeting of the Greymouth Amateur
Swimming Club last night.
The series was closely contested and there was
little between the competitors.
uFood for thought
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hen Indian street-
food seller Kumar
Pal first began
years ago, he quickly spiralled into
depression and gave up hope of living.
Weighing just 35kg, shunned by his
relatives and friends and in extreme pain
due to the side effects of a cocktail of
medicines, 40-year-old Pal spent weeks
“I stopped taking the medicines. I was
certain that I was going to die anyway.
I worried about how my wife would
manage with four children,” said Pal,
sitting in his two-roomed home in the
maze of lanes in Sunder Nagari slum in
“The health visitors gave me support
... they used to tell me to take my
medicines, do exercise, eat properly. It
gave me hope for the future,” said Pal,
who now weighs 55kg and has recently
been cleared of the disease.
Pal is one of hundreds of multi-drug
resistant tuberculosis (MDR-Tb) patients
at Saint Stephen’s Hospital in Delhi
who have been cured, aided by a unique
programme providing psychosocial
support to sufferers of one of the world’s
most deadly diseases.
Despite a lot of progress over the past
two decades, the bacterial lung disease
Tb, that is spread through coughs and
sneezes, infected nine million people and
killed 1.5 million in 2013, according to
the World Health Organisation.
“One of the things overlooked when
it comes to curbing tuberculosis is the
mental health problems of patients,” said
Joyce Vaghela, deputy director at Saint
Stephen’s Hospital’s Community Health
“The long duration of the treatment
which can be more than two years, the
adverse side effects of all the drugs and
the social shame attached to the disease
can cause patients to suffer problems like
depression, anxiety, anger or even feeling
suicidal ... and they soon stop taking their
Vaghela said the hospital’s home care
mental health programme has treated
over 400 patients with impressive
preliminary success rates, proving that
psychological support is crucial.
Studies by the hospital in 2011 found
5.7% of MDR-Tb patients under the
home care programme quit treatment
compared to the national average of 23%.
The death rate under the programme was
6.9% compared to the average of 23%.
Each year India has 2.2m new cases
of Tb, more than 300,000 deaths, and
economic losses of $23b, prompting
the nation’s president to call for greater
efforts to curb its spread, especially with
the emergence of MDR-Tb, a form
resistant to front-line drugs that is hard
and costly to treat.
All cases of Tb are hard to treat and
require months of antibiotics. Symptoms
include coughing, sometimes with
sputum or blood, chest pains, weakness,
weight loss and fever.
“ Tb is a major health problem
which afflicts mainly the young and
working population of our country. It is
unfortunate that in India even today one
person dies every two minutes due to
this menacing disease,” President Pranab
Mukherjee said in a statement this week
to mark World Tuberculosis Day.
“There is urgent need to build public
awareness about the curability and
prevention of this disease.”
Under a revised government Tb control
programme, patients must report to local
Tb centres six days a week to have their
daily drugs administered but from the 19
million patients treated since 1993, only
3.4 million have been cured.
Experts say more than drugs are needed
as patients often lack employment,
nutrition, decent housing, and good
“ When Tb is diagnosed, patients and
their families must receive counseling,
nutrition, and economic support,” Zarir
Udwadia, consultant physician at the P D
Hinduja National Hospital in Mumbai,
wrote in the British Medical Journal.
In Sunder Nagari slum, home to some
70,000 people, Tb is common but still
brings with it stigma and shame.
Health workers report cases where
patients are thrown out of their homes,
sacked from jobs and ostracised by their
With no access to finance to support
their families, a feeling of isolation
and the harsh side effects of the drugs,
patients can develop mental health
“ While the system is focused on the
patient taking their medicines, no one
stops to ask them how they are feeling
inside,” said Ravi Kumar Mishra, one
of the eight home care health workers
working in Sunder Nagari.
“Many of the patients are depressed and
feel hopeless. But we encourage them to
continue. It’s not easy but a relationship
develops overtime and the patients learn
to trust you and will phone regularly just
Under the programme which began
in 2009, health workers fortnightly visit
patients at their homes and advise and
counsel them and their families about the
disease and what to expect.
Given the low incomes of many
families, the hospital also provides
supplies such as eggs and milk to patients
who require a high protein diet and
crÃ̈che services to help with day care.
In some cases, health visitors have also
helped families gain access to government
welfare schemes, soft loans and arranged
skill development for family members of
Doctors at Saint Stephen’s Hospital,
which gets funding from the charity
United Way Worldwide, say the mental
health home care programme is effective
and should be in the national Tb
“Mental health is the invisible burden
of Tb,” said Vaghela. “Patients do not
want to admit to having mental health
issues and most doctors are too busy to
deal with it. But if we want to end Tb,
we need to address this aspect of this
disease.” — New Zealand Herald
A child waits along with Kashmiri women for his turn to be examined at hospital, in Srinagar, India.
Weeks after Taliban gunmen massacred
134 pupils at an army-run school, Pakistani
lawmakers significantly expanded the
power of military courts by allowing them
to try civilians accused of terrorism.
Critics say the new rules cede too much
ground to the military, which towers
over Pakistani politics despite the first
ever handover of power from one civilian
government to another two years ago.
An investigation of legal documents
provided by lawyers and families of those
tried under existing military courts also
highlights concerns over how fair and
accountable the new courts will be.
Some convictions would have been
thrown out by civilian courts, according
to lawyers involved. Several defendants
said they were denied access to legal
representation in breach of military law.
Some said they were tortured in custody.
The military can, and sometimes does,
dissolve and reprimand courts that reach
verdicts they disagree with, then order
repeated retrials, according to court
documents and former military officials.
“This happens often. The military is
command-oriented, right from arrest until
execution,” said former military judge Inam
He said he was forced into early
retirement for delivering judgments the top
brass disliked. He is now a defence lawyer
in high-profile military cases.
The military declined to answer questions
on the new courts or any of the cases cited
in this article.
But some officers privately blame
government incompetence for forcing the
army ’s hand.
“ With the civilian courts, it’s justice
delayed and justice denied,” one senior
military official said. “ With the military
courts, it ’s justice on time and justice
Senator Aitzaz Ahsan voted for the new
courts, saying they were necessary in a
country at ‘war’ with militants.
“I have a visceral distaste for military
courts, but the safeguards provided and the
state of war we are in justifies it,” he said.
Few dispute Pakistan’s chaotic justice
system moves at a glacial pace. Human
rights lawyer Asma Jahangir says reforms
are slow because the powerful do not want
a judiciary that might one day hold them to
“It suits those who want to work the
system,” she said.
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali
Khan told reporters this week more than 50
cases had been referred to the new courts,
nine of which are already being set up.
Cases must be approved at the provincial
level before going to the Interior Ministry
and Prime Minister’s secretariat.
“There have been dozens of cases which
have not been approved by the ministry of
interior and have been sent back,” he said.
Amid popular pressure to crack down
on militants in the wake of the Peshawar
school atrocity in December, Prime
Minister Nawaz Sharif championed the
new courts in parliament and lifted a
moratorium on the death penalty.
He also promised the courts would only
try ‘hardcore terrorists’.
Those could include some of 6000 to
7000 people the military is holding in
internment camps, the senior military
official said. Many have been held for years,
their identities and locations mostly secret.
They could face a trial like Ehsan
Unidentified gunmen abducted him and
his brother from their home in 2013, his
parents said. The brother limped home
two weeks later, saying he had been hung
upside down and beaten. A military court
sentenced Azeem to death last year.
Military documents show Azeem was
accused of attacking a military camp, yet he
was sentenced for sedition.
When his parents were finally allowed
to visit him in prison, Azeem told them
he was tortured and had never appeared in
court or spoken to a lawyer.
“He told me, ‘I don’t know on which
charge we have been sentenced to death’,”
the prisoner’s father, Muhammad Azeem,
said, his weeping wife clutching a photo of
“O ur son has been abducted and punished
like this? Why? It is justice?”
Former military legal adviser Muhammad
Akram said the military sometimes
prevented suspects from having lawyers,
making convictions easier.
Before the January amendment, the two
main charges the military could bring
against civilians were sedition and spying,
Akram said he knew of more than 100
cases where the military used the charges to
bypass civilian courts and try a defendant
suspected of a different crime.
An intelligence official said that Azeem
and four co-defendants were members
of the militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi,
which murders minority Shi’ites and
No such claim was made in documents
seen by Reuters.
In another case reviewed, Nisar Javed
Fakhri was convicted of the rape and
murder of an officer’s wife. Fakhri, a
low-level soldier working as a cleaner, was
tried three times until his life sentence was
increased to the death penalty.
Forensic evidence was inconclusive, so his
conviction rested mostly on evidence from a
co-accused who contradicted himself three
times about whether Fakhri was present.
Both men say they were tortured. The co-
accused ate a shattered light bulb to try to
kill himself in custody.
“I had accepted my involvement in the
occurrence due to torture,” Fakhri said at
his third trial. “I was innocent.”
Fears over power of Pakistani military
Muhammad Azeem, left and Sajida Parveen, the parents of Ehsan Azeem, who was sentenced to death by a militar y court, hold their son’s picture during an inter view in
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