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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2641

Please Save the Children!

By Malinda Seneviratne

"Brother, brother, what are you saying? I mean, you have blood on your hands!" Dunya cried in despair.

"The blood that's on everyone's hands," he (Raskolnikov) caught her up, almost in a frenzy now, "that flows and has always flowed through the world like a waterfall, that is poured like champagne and for the sake of which men are crowned in the Capitol and then called the benefactors of mankind. Well, just take a closer look and see what's really what!” - Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

The worst thing about abuse, and especially child abuse, is that on most occasions the crimes are perpetrated by people the victim’s look to for love and protection and indeed those who profess to love and protect their victims, look after their interests fight for their ‘birthright’, redress their ‘grievances’ and deliver their ‘aspirations’. Like Prabhakaran and his Baby Brigade.

It is a phenomenon that is not entirely limited to child abuse of course. Most self-appointed ‘benefactors of mankind’ hide beneath their saintly garb to perpetrate all manner of crimes against humanity. While some, as per Raskolnikov’s indictment, are crowned after the fact of tyranny, some arrive already crowned, or worse, sporting a halo.

The colonial project was an unmitigated and monumental crime against humanity. And yet, its history was written mostly as a favour that was extended towards lesser mortals and there is much literature on the now proverbial ‘White Man’s Burden’; or else the crimes justified as an unconscious act of history necessary so that men and women could fulfill their revolutionary destiny (‘The British Rule in India’, Karl Mark, 1853).

They went further. Some said that plunder was not a burden/favor but a right: ‘they don’t know the value of gold; we do, so we have a better claim’. Such people dispossessed people of land and property because ‘they didn’t have title’ or simply mis-identified desired territories as ‘wasteland’ (check out the Waste Lands Ordinance, 1831). They robbed.

The missionaries did the same. They came to ‘save’ the heathens. They came armed with justification (Isaiah 2:3, John 3:16, Acts 17:16-34, Romans 4:5 and especially Matthew 28:18-20). They rode roughshod on peoples, communities, cultures, religious faiths and civilizations far superior in terms of humility, civility and general decorum than they could ever hope to be. They destroyed temples, burnt priceless manuscripts, robbed and built their churches on these physical, cultural and psychological ruins.

In all these things the culprit and his/her approver acted god. They abused those they professed to love and pledged to protect. They made sure to scatter the seeds of their mal-intent, passing their unholy cultural genes from generation to generation.

Sure there still are assemblies of the unholy preying on impoverishment and disempowerment, but this is not about them, but the Modern Day Good Samaritans, the INGOs. They come in veritable hordes, dishing out jobs and funds, ruining lifestyles, economies and cultures in the name of relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction. The people of Aceh know, the people of Sri Lanka know, how they came armed with promises and houses and all kinds of goodies. Some had to barter religious faith for handouts (what’s new, brother?!). They came for a tropical holiday at dirt cheap rates. They not only skimmed the cream off the donor bowls, they raped their would-be-beneficiaries.

I am not saying this; Save the Children is. A recent report alleges “sexual abuse of children at the hands of peacekeepers and international aid workers in war zones and disaster areas” and mind you they’ve researched only Sudan, Ivory Coast and Haiti, compiling “a litany of sexual crimes against children as young as 6”.

Their words: “Children were denied food aid unless they granted sexual favors; others were forced to have sex or to take part in child pornography; many more were subjected to improper touching or kissing.”

Their words: "The report shows sexual abuse has been widely underreported because children are afraid to come forward; peacekeepers and aid workers are abusing the children they were sent to protect. It ranges from sex for food to coerced sex."
One of them was 'Elizabeth', who was 12-years-old when she was snatched from the roadside early one morning last June and dragged into the bush by 10 UN peacekeepers who raped her one by one.

They say that more than half the children interviewed knew of cases of sexual abuse and that in many instances children knew of 10 or more such incidents carried out by aid workers or peacekeepers and they had found an overwhelming majority of the people interviewed would never report a case of abuse and had never heard of a case being reported.

Should we say ‘Three Cheers, Save the Children,’ No. There have been 15 allegations of misconduct towards children against Save the Children staff in 2007, three of which were proven and led to dismissal. Note: Save the Children says ‘under or non-reportage is typical’.

In January 2007 it was revealed that more than twenty different cases of child sex slavery involving UN staff have been reported in southern Sudan. It was also reported that peacekeeping and civilian staff based in the town were regularly picking up young children in their UN vehicles and forcing them to have sex. It is believed that that hundreds of children may have been thus abused.

A UN official in that instance had said dismissively that ‘there could have been a few bad apples’ but as one commentator put it, there seems to have been a hell of a lot of rotting fruit in the UN barrel in the past few years.

In 2004 The New York Post reported that the UN was trying to block the publication of a book by three United Nations fieldworkers that detailed sex, drugs and corruption inside multiple U.N. missions. "Emergency Sex and Other Desperate Measures: A True Story from Hell on Earth" chronicles the experiences of a doctor, a human-rights official and a secretary in U.N. operations in Cambodia, Somalia, Haiti, Rwanda, Liberia and Bosnia. It also alleged that the UN knowingly hired freed criminals to serve as peacemakers.

Previous to this, in early 2002 a massive pedophilia scandal within the UN was uncovered involving sexual abuse against West African refugee children in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. UPI reported that Senior U.N. officials knew of the widespread pedophilia and not only did they not take action against the perpetrators, they covered up the atrocities.

Communities in some countries howl with horror when convicted rapists are released after serving their jail terms. I don’t blame them. And I don’t blame myself for treating with utmost suspicion these international do-gooders. They have horrendous track-records and have known to recruit convicts and thugs to do ‘peace-keeping’. If they are peopled by rapists and child-molesters numbering no more than the ‘few bad apples’ one can perhaps forgive. Not possible. They are, moreover, finger-pointers who do not have the right to point fingers. Save the Children blew the whistle but underreported their crimes against humanity. I don’t buy that s**t. To put it bluntly, they do f***-all for us. We’ve had 500 years of this gruesome pantomime. Time to say bye-bye-baby-bye-bye, I believe.

Sure, we have our problems, we are not after all a country of saints, but we don’t want this rogues who tout rogue-versions of R2P (in the same manner in which some zealots, both then and now, toss around Isaiah, Matthew, John et al, out of context and twisted for personal and political ends).

Please remember, ladies and gentlemen, their forefathers did our forefathers in. Their progeny will do our progeny in, we better remember. Well, they are already doing our progeny in. We have to save our children from these Jack-the-Ripper types who call themselves saviors. Let us resolve then to save our children, especially from these uncles and aunties whose thinking apparatuses are located below their waists. Let us also resolve that we are nobody’s burden; that in the end we are our own saviors. That’s our tradition. That’s what history proposes.

- Asian Tribune -

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