Home' Greymouth Star : July 14th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Tuesday, July 14, 2015
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uLetters to the editor
1789 - Citizens of Paris storm and capture the
Bastille prison and release prisoners, marking
start of French Revolution.
1865 - Edward Whymper leads the first
team of climbers to reach the summit of the
1867 - Explosives manufacturer
Alfred Nobel first demonstrates his
1881 - William ‘Billy the Kid’
Bonney and the reputed killer of 27
men, is shot dead at 21 by Sheriff Pat
1887 - German industrialist and
arms manufacturer Alfred Krupp dies.
1984 - In New Zealand, David Lange and
his Labour Party sweep to a landslide electoral
victory defeating the ruling national Party led by
Sir Robert Muldoon.
1998 - Death of Richard McDonald, who
pioneered the fast-food concept that evolved
into McDonald’s, aged 89.
2014 - Alice Coachman Davis, the first black
woman to win an Olympic gold medal, dies at
the age of 90.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Emmeline Pankhurst, British feminist
(1858-1928); Gustav Klimt, Austrian painter
(1862-1918); Woody Guthrie,
US singer and songwriter (1912-
1967); Gerald Ford, US president
(1913-2006); Ingmar Bergman,
Swedish film director (1918-2007);
Jane Lynch, US actress; (1960-);
Matthew Fox, US actor (1966-);
Victoria, crown princess of Sweden
(1977-); George Smith, Australian Rugby
Union player (1980-) .
“Jealousy is no more than feeling alone among
— Elizabeth Bowen, Irish novelist (1899-1973).
“ Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him
not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on
this behalf.” — (1 Peter 4:16).
hairdresser Mr H S
Howat is certainly
certain visitors to Greymouth retain life-long
memories of their stay here. In the middle of
May, Mrs Val Garland, of Rotorua, re-visited
her hometown and while here purchased a
Golden Kiwi lottery ticket from Mr Howat ’s
salon. Three weeks later there was jubilation in
the Garland home when it was found that the
ticket had won £12,000 first prize.
And about three weeks ago a person from the
oyster town of Bluff was in Greymouth. He
or she was also lured to have a go at winning
the Golden Kiwi, and so paid over 5s for a
ticket from Mr Howat ’s premises. And, sure
enough, Fluke, Bluff last Thursday took away
the £12,000 prize.
The fact that two first prizes have been sold
here within five draws is quite remarkable, as
the ticket allocation for the whole of the West
Coast is only 4000 out of 250,000 tickets in
each draw. Even more remarkable is the fact
that outsiders have won both times and, to cap
the lot, the odds were really stacked against
Mr Howat ’s selling two winning tickets in five
An 8pm to midnight dance conducted in
Greymouth on Saturday night disproved the
popular theory that early dances in Greymouth
are doomed to failure. Run by representatives
of various church organisations, the dance
proved popular and by 8.30pm there were
about 300 in the hall.
Meanwhile the usual Gladstone fortnightly
dance was not affected by the new dance. There
was the usual crowd of about 450 there for the
dance with a 1.45am ending.
uFood for thought
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It is hard to say sorry,
but it is even harder
to say you are sorry
for a genocide. The
word just sticks in the
throats of those who
should be saying it, as
the Turks have been
demonstrating for the
past 100 years in the
case of the Armenians
of eastern Anatolia.
The Serbs have just shown themselves
to be just as tongue-tied in the case of
the Bosnian Muslims slaughtered at
Saturday was the 20th anniversary of
the murder of between 7000 and 8000
people when Srebrenica was taken by
Bosnian Serb forces in 1995. The town’s
population was swollen by refugees who
had fled there to escape the “ethnic
cleansing” that was being carried out
against Muslims elsewhere in eastern
Bosnia, because it was a United Nations-
designated “safe area” defended by Nato
troops. Or rather, not defended.
When the Bosnian Serbs, having
surrounded Srebrenica for three years,
finally moved to take it in July 1995, the
UN and Nato commanders refused to
use air strikes to stop them. The D utch
troops who were there to protect the
town decided they would rather live and
let unarmed civilians die.
So all the Bosnian Muslim men and
boys between the ages of 14 and 70 were
loaded on to buses — the D utch soldiers
helped to separate them from the women
and children — and driven up the road
a few kilometres. Then they were shot
by Serbian killing squads, and buried by
bulldozers. It took four days to murder
The crime has been been formally
declared a genocide by the UN war
crimes tribunal for former Yugoslavia.
Both the Bosnian Serb president of the
time, Radovan Karadzic, and the Serban
military commander at Srebrenica,
General Ratko Mladic, are awaiting
verdicts in trials for directing genocide.
You would think that even the Serbs
cannot deny that it was a genocide, but
you would be wrong.
There are certainly some Serbs, like
journalist Dusan Masic, who are willing
to call it what it is. His idea was to have
7000 volunteers lie on the ground before
the National Assembly in Belgrade on
Saturday, symbolising the approximate
number of Muslim victims at Srebrenica.
“On July 11, while the eyes of the whole
world are on the killing fields near
Srebrenica”, he said, “we want to send a
different picture from Belgrade.”
“This will not be a story about the
current regime, which has failed to
define itself in relation to the crime that
happened 20 years ago,” he continued,
“or about a place where you can still buy
souvenirs with images of Karadzic and
better Serbia.” But the better Serbia has
not actually arrived yet.
Serbia’s interior minister, Nebojsa
Stefanovic, did not like the picture Masic
wanted to send. When right-wing groups
threatened to disrupt the demonstration
last Thursday, Stefanovic banned it in
order to guarantee “peace and security
in the whole of Serbia.” The Serbian
government had already asked Russia to
veto a UN Security Council resolution
describing the Srebrenica massacre as a
Russia was happy to oblige, and vetoed
it on Wednesday. Maybe Moscow was
just sucking up to the Serbs, whom
it would like to steer away from their
current ambition to join the European
Union — but maybe President Vladimir
Putin was also thinking that he did not
want any precedent for some future
attempt to describe what he did during
the second Chechen war in 1999-2002 as
Words matter. Serbia’s Prime Minister
Aleksandr Vucic, who seems to have
changed his mind about Srebrenica since
his early days in Serbian politics, still
cannot bring himself to use the word
“genocide” when he talks about it.
Back in 1995, Vucic was a radical
nationalist who declared in the Serbian
National Assembly, only a few days after
the Srebrenica massacre, that “if you
kill one Serb, we will kill 100 Muslims.”
By 2010, however, he was saying that
a “horrible crime was committed in
Vucic even travelled to Srebrenica
on Saturday to take part in the
commemoration of the events of 20 years
ago, a brave gesture for a Serbian prime
minister who must contend with an
electorate most of whom do not want to
admit that Serbs did anything especially
wrong. But he still does not dare say the
word “genocide”. The voters would never
Most Serbs would acknowledge that
their side did some bad things during
the Balkan wars of the 1990s, but they
would add that every side did. They will
not accept the use of the word “genocide”
— whereas that is the one word Bosnian
Muslims have to hear before they can
believe that the Serbs have finally grasped
the nature and scale of their crime.
That is why, when Vucic was at
Srebrenica paying his respects in the
cemetery, some Bosnian Muslims started
throwing stones at him. His glasses were
broken, and his security detail had to
hustle him away.
It was a stupid, shameful act, and
the Bosnian Muslim authorities have
apologised for it. But like the Turks
and the Armenians, the Serbs and their
neighbours will never really be reconciled
until the Serbs say the magic word.
Gwynne Dyer is an independent
journalist whose articles are published in
The hardest word to say
WORLD IN FOCUS
with Gwynne Dyer
Bodyguards protect Serbia’s Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic during unrest at a ceremony marking the 20th anniversary of the
Srebrenica massacre, in Potocari.
hen hundreds of
rescued from a life
of slavery on Thai
fishing boats off the
coast of Indonesia
earlier this year, the world took notice.
Tr a ffi cked and sold to work on the boats,
the men — mostly from Myanmar and
Cambodia — had endured beatings, abuse
After they were freed, however, they had
little support to help them recover from
the horrors they had experienced.
“Everyone is shocked when they hear
about the conditions on these fishing
boats — but then what? No money is
available to help them after they have been
rescued,” said Lisa Rende Taylor, director
of Project Issara, a public-private alliance
to tackle trafficking in South-east Asia’s
Donor countries in the Organisation
for Economic Co-operation and
Development allocate about $120 million
each year to combat modern slavery
— a su m dwarfed by the $150 billion
in estimated profits each year from the
human trafficking industry.
Governments and donors mostly fund
support for women and girls trafficked
for sex, but there is little money for male
trafficking sur vivors, many of whom have
suffered and witnessed extreme violence.
Tr a ffi cked fishermen are forced to work
up to 20 hours a day, endure beatings
and sexual assault, and have seen injured
colleagues thrown overboard and left to
drown, researchers have found.
Deprived of pay, those able to return
home are penniless, making them feel
“Male sur vivors tend to feel a crushing
sense of shame that they, as breadwinners,
come back with nothing,” said Nicola
Pocock, a researcher at the London School
of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
“A lot of them return to poor rural areas
and find limited job opportunities, which
is why they migrated in the first place,”
said Pocock, who co-authored the largest
ever study into the health of trafficking
victims in South-east Asia, published
earlier this year.
The study found that 57% of men
trafficked for work on fishing boats and
other forms of forced labour showed
symptoms of depression, while 46%
suffered from anxiety and 41% were
affected by post-traumatic stress disorder.
After many years away, some trafficked
men find their wives have remarried and
their families have long assumed they
had died because no money was ever sent
The welcome home may be mixed, said
Mike Nowlin, of Hagar Cambodia, a
charity that helps rescued Cambodian
fishermen find work, deal with their
trauma and reunite with their families.
“Often families do not understand the
horrific environment that the sur vivors
were in, and are only aware that their
family members were not sending money
home as promised,” Nowlin said.
“They (the men) may be asked why
they were away for three, five or 10 years
and bring home nothing to support the
Some choose not to go home at all for
fear of rejection or because they may have
been unable to contact their relatives.
Daren Coulston, a New Zealand-based
anti-slavery campaigner who has provided
assistance for trafficked Indonesian
fishermen, said many were reluctant to
discuss their trauma.
“ I learned that many of them had
been cheated of their wages, subjected
to beatings and in some cases, sexually
assaulted by the ships’ officers,” Coulston
“ It ’s hard to talk about these experiences
for men. Most of them rather pretend it
never happened,” said Coulston, a former
deep-sea fisherman. “ But for their mental
health, they need all the help and support
they can get.”
Rende Taylor said a lack of assistance
for male trafficking sur vivors made them
highly vulnerable to fall prey to traffickers
The dearth of funds for support
prompted Project Issara to seek direct on-
line donations from the public through a
crowd funding website.
One young man, who asked not to be
named, was trafficked to Thailand from
Cambodia by a relative at the age of
eight, and says without counselling and
specialised support, he would not have
been able to sur vive.
For years, he was forced to beg on the
streets, beaten and star ved. He was 12
when he was referred to Hagar, received
counselling and art therapy, and was sent
to a school for trauma sur vivors.
Now 25, he is studying psychology in
Phnom Penh and wants to open a charity
for trafficked children.
here, always angry and breaking things,”
he said at Hagar ’s Phnom Penh office.
“The counselling and the chance to
reflect in a safe environment really helped
me to deal with what I had lived through.
It ’s really important to have that kind of
help.” — Reuters
Long road to recovery
Fishermen rescued from Thai fishing boats have breakfast at a building in the Chroy Changva district of Phnom Penh. A total of 230 Cambodian fishermen trapped on
Indonesia’s Ambon island were returned home on a charter flight to capital Phnom Penh.
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