Monday, 30 January 2017

World Citizen Speaker

Sunday, 29 January 2017

LGBT couple Expelled from Rotary Club

LGBT couple Expelled from Rotary Club

At a Rotary Club in Salinas Ecuador, an LGBT couple were expelled from the club for supporting the local Red Cross.
As members of the Rotary Club you are encouraged to adopt new members and bring in speakers.
A week  before this meeting on January 25, 2017, plans were confirmed with the president of the Salinas chapter of the Rotary to have the  speaker from the Red Cross give a presentation.
The meeting starts at 18.00 and is normally finished by 19.00. The Red Cross was first to give the presentation to last 10 minutes.
After some deliberation about dues, which took an unusually long time, the president (Rick Racinskas) stated that the second speaker was to present first. This would have prevented the Red Cross speaker from speaking because of lack of time.
An objection was raised by ( Evelyn McIntosh ) that the arrangement had been for the Red Cross to have presented first.
At this point, hecklers, some of whom are club members ( Manuel Pereira ) was demanding that the Red Cross not be allowed to speak because he did not  recognize the person as representing the Salinas Red Cross.
This behavior is unusual for the Rotary Club as they are non- political and serve the community where they can.
The president accepted the demands of the hecklers and said that the Red Cross speaker was not to give her presentation.
When this decision was made, four club members got up and walked out with the Red Cross speaker.
As a result of the action of the LGBT couple, they have been expelled from the Rotary Club for supporting the Red Cross.
In an email sent from the president of the Rotary Club, it clearly stated that the LGBT couple have been singled out.
As far as we know, the two other members have not been served with the same email from the president of the Rotary Club Salinas.
Below is an extract from the email sent to the LGBT couple.

You are welcome to take it to whatever level you like Since we are not official members of Rotary International yet, I don’t think you will get far.
As the local president, I am removing you both from the group as of today. Please do not attend future meetings.

Best Regards,

There are a number of things troubling about this email. First, that it was sent at all; 
Second, it has singled out an LGBT couple that were standing up for the right of the Red Cross to speak.
Third, the other two members have not been expelled from the Rotary Club.

From the actions of the Rotary Club Salinas Ecuador, which as stated in the email from the president, is not a member of the Rotary Club International, has promoted homophobic behavior towards an LGBT couple that joined the Rotary Club so they can give back to their adopted community.
Also, the heckler was able to hijack a Rotary Club meeting merely by shouting the loudest, and the club president supported this?

I was told by a Rotary Club  (John) member of 35 years that this is not what the Rotary Club is about, and this is not the Rotary Club for me. I will not return.

Friday, 20 January 2017

Living on the coast for the last years I have put together some images of who I have met and some of what I was doing, so check it out and see if you made it the final cut.

Here is a link to the slide show on youtube enjoy

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Is this the way it has to go !!!!!

UN experts criticize Ecuador’s ‘strategy to asphyxiate’ civil society human rights groups

The Napo Wildlife Center, built and designed by the Añangu indigenous community, is located in the Yasuni National Park of the Ecuador Amazon Rainforest. 

“The Government of Ecuador seems to be systematically dissolving organizations when they become too vocal or challenge government orthodoxy,” they said in a news release from the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). “This strategy to asphyxiate civil society has been implemented via two decrees – 16 and 739 – which give the authorities powers to unilaterally dissolve any kind of organization.”
30 December 2016 – Five United Nations human rights experts have condemned Ecuador for suppressing civil society following a Government order to close a non-governmental organization (NGO) that supports environmental and indigenous rights.
“The direct consequences,” they said, “are the progressive silencing of any group that challenges or offers alternative ideas to those of the government and thereby reducing visibility of the situation of vulnerable and marginalized people.”
Acción Ecológica, an NGO, has been supporting the Shuar, an indigenous people who is trying to halt mining on a territory they claim as theirs. On 18 December, the NGO called for a Peace and Truth Commission to investigate attacks on indigenous and environmental rights. Two days later, the Ministry of the Environment began a dissolution process, allowing the NGO only 24 hours to respond and 10 days to present evidence in their defence.
“Dissolving groups is the most severe type of restriction on freedom of association,” announced the human rights experts.

The city of Quito, Ecuador, which was declared a World Heritage Site by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), in the late 1970s. Photo: © UNESCO/Francesco Bandarin

The organization is only one of several who have recently been targeted by the government. Others include Pachamama, Unión Nacional de Educadores, and Fundamedios, an organization that Ecuador has been trying to close over the past three years. The human rights experts have previously spoken out against the Government for these actions.
“This latest action once again violates international human rights standards, including the legitimate exercise of freedom of association. It shows consistent disregard for repeated calls by the international community to end the policy,” they said.
“It is ironic that the same Government of Ecuador leading the positive international effort to make companies accountable through a binding treaty is itself reducing the space to be held accountable by domestic groups,” they added.
The experts are urging the Ecuadorian authorities to guarantee that all members of all groups, particularly those that defend human rights, are fully able to exercise their rights to freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly – including their right to criticize government policies and practices. They renewed an offer to assist the Ecuadorian Government in reforming the current restrictive legislation.
Among the five Special Rapporteurs are Maina Kiai, the Special Rapporteur on freedom of peaceful assembly and association; David Kaye, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression; Michel Forst, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders; John H. Knox, Special Rapporteur on the issue of human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, health, and sustainable environment; and Victoria Lucia Tauli-Corpuz, Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples.

Special Rapporteurs and independent experts are appointed by the UN Human Rights Council. They work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work and are independent from any government or organization, and serve in their individual capacity.